Before emails took on the archived colour of a stray barber’s pole in your memory—both overlooked, flashing by until you scroll down a window—and before you couldn’t recall the exact email or the precise spot of the pole, the colour was, appropriately, enough. The post-liberalisation trend of autograph books that circulated in urban Indian classrooms became early pedagogy in the Hallmark annals of admiration, an adolescent adaptation of the Proust questionnaire: A secret? Your happiest memory? Your preferred time of day? Appropriate, enough.

The books were addictive: quick neon fixes for intimacy, always in circulation, featuring high-resolution blood roses colour-blocked in cream, or an unsmiling teddy bear with a font that was sincerely comic sans, confessing both the desire for the other—can I have you(r)—and its mortification.

The one you like remembering was a slim, ivory pamphlet that your English teacher filled out in uncompromising purple.

Now you clock your inbox with a similar rush of colour and feeling: the light on the floor of the swimming pool/the email you read minutes later/ the approximate hex code of the carnations on sale/ the tepid queues of unsent drafts, candy-coded by your inbox theme, disappearing with the white wine you bought that was also on sale as the sky behind the screen darkens.

Sharanya lives and writes in England.