Now and then after a difficult day I have a repeating dream of me as a child coming home from school and sitting down to draw. And I draw suns. I use every crayon in the box. I draw every type of sun. One after the other, tirelessly. A rainbow sun, a hollow sun, a scared sun, a new sun, a neat sun, a dirty sun, a magic sun, a spinning sun, a poem sun, a danger sun, a boss sun, an open sun, a tired sun, a breathing sun, a clapping sun, a mirror sun, a funny sun, a sour sun. I get upset if anyone tries to get me to eat or do homework or even go out to play instead. I have meltdowns. I really need those suns. So my mother gets worried about my obsession and takes me to an ayurvedic doctor for help. This doctor twinkles and gleams like a sunbeam, too. I don’t mind though. She goes through a stack of my sun drawings alarmingly quickly. I wait for her to say something about how magical they are, as each sun flies into the sky and joins the rest. Instead she measures my pulse with her fingers and gravely mentions to my mother that dying children put the sun on the upper left corner of their drawing more often than healthy children. This makes my mother worry if I am going to die soon. I don’t understand what is making her worried at all. I ask her if dying is fun. She says nobody tickles you when you die. I ask her if she has died before. She says sure she goes to sleep everyday just like the sun. I insist that the sun never sleeps because it doesn’t have a blanket or a pillow, and that the sun just crawls into a corner, that it is time out for the sun. The doctor asks me what the sun did wrong. I retort gleefully that no one can punish the sun. Suddenly the doctor is putting me in the corner and I keep yelling that I don’t want to go to the corner. My mother sings a lullaby, and I fall asleep. That’s when I awaken.
NEHA CHOKSI is an artist who also writes. In early 2016, in addition to a new installation about sunsets at the 20th Biennale of Sydney, her works can be seen at the Dhaka Art Summit, Photo Dubai, and Project 88 in Mumbai.