July is weekends spent at the beach with toes soaked in frothy waves and skin patterned with hot sandy grains as you watch the water swallow the sun before piling in cars to go home but falling asleep on the way.
July skies are like thick strokes of murky water spilled over a canvas that’s not in the least absorbent, forming clouds so dense they can barely hold up their own weight so eventually they succumb under pressure and dissolve into stormy rain.
July is monsoon season that smells of corn on a skillet by the roadside and cars swimming through their road rage. Its unprecedented blackouts and spontaneous bookings made to go on holiday. It’s a group of childhood friends sitting on plastic chairs, smoking in a garden they haven’t sat in ages, dotted with mosquito bites as they reminisce into the early hours of the day.
July is family weddings that seem to last decades as every night is an explosion of choreographed routines and massive feasts and playing rounds of rather loud and competitive games. Its rushing through bazaars and comparing your mehndi and staying up late to watch movies as every night is spent wide awake. Its wrapping ourselves up in a tight bubble of love as warm July magic sweeps us away.
July meant the last month of summer vacation freedom, marked at the very end by our birthdays that were always meshed into planning one huge party, inevitably birthing countless fights and debates. July meant moving into our family home, sprinkled with dreams of growing old, but became so much more than just a place to stay. A haven for our first drinks, and the first of many cigarettes sneakily puffed on the roof, as we rung in new year after new year, speeding through life till it all somehow went up into flames.
July is no longer lazy beach days or family holidays. All that we had to celebrate has been reduced to a pile of messy memories that now sound like clichés. Every momentous day is washed in colours of your funeral and every event invitation is missing your name. Its suddenly ordering only one cake over a weekend that’s always hosted both of our birthdays. Its watching the clouds breakdown into a storm and understanding their pain. It’s selling the family home to a group of strangers that will not hesitate to mutilate, as we pack bags smaller than our dreams that will now forever remain incomplete as we move out of our bubble, accepting that nothing will ever be the same. July is a month on the calendar but for us a photo album that is home to some of our best memories but soiled with hindsight and mistakes.