My friends find it really funny that I have a hand fetish. Yes, I use the word fetish because I don’t think I have the power to imagine more than I do than when I see someone’s hands.

Hands, like scars, have their own stories to tell. There are hands like my father’s. Soft and stubby, quite contrary to what the conventional idea of man hands is. My mother says it is because he is a good, caring man who has been lucky to have the women around him love him enough to never have him work a day of manual labour. I always remember my dad’s hands as the ones that have never faltered when it came to teaching me a lesson and never being too hard on this crybaby he had for a daughter.

At the other end of the spectrum are my mother’s hands, slender like a lady’s hands should be. But roughened by the life in a kitchen feeding her families before and after marriage and moulding children as a teacher.

Even today, you ask me about any boy I like and I will be able to tell you how much I loved his hands.

I still remember the hands of the teacher who threw us down on the floor in the name of discipline. I still remember the lining around the print left on my own tiny one because that is the only mark she thought a teacher is supposed to leave on a student.

Hands build and hands break. Hands caress and hands tear. What else do you want when you have hands to hold you? Or hands to just play with? Barring Captain Hook and Jaime Lannister, I think I can safely say that we cannot imagine our existence without touch. So, why don’t we let our hands decide where we want to go? For someone whose memories centre around sensory memory, hands are such a big part of the picture.

Touch aside, when you’re someone like me who uses her hands to express so much of what they feel, you know what I mean when I say they are extremely important. This reminds me of a time that I was standing outside my hostel waiting for a cab in my second year of college. I saw a good looking boy in his teens talking to a girl. I looked at his face, his eyebrows moving like Mexican jumping beans. I realised his lips weren’t moving. I looked down at his hands. His long fingers made words in the air for her to hear. I hadn’t seen too many people converse in sign language, so I stared like the juvenile I was. I was fascinated by how much hands could say.

We have waved off things we would rather forget, flipped off things we don’t give two flying birds about, dismissed people as crazy with a twirl of our fingers. We have also called out in desperation, pleaded for help, wiped our tears and picked ourselves up at the end of the day.

I wish I could express in words, or justify my fascination or love for our often underestimated hands. Maybe, I need to use them to let you know how I feel like I always do?