Archive | February, 2014

Contempt

27 Feb

For Sivagnanavathy.

This is her latest piece- Musing.

I have lost count of the number of times I have just sat and looked at the words she uses, how she phrases them and just.. sighed. She makes writing seem so bloody easy.

I wish I could write the way you do. I really, really do.

***

Have you ever felt like the one thing you do unconsciously, makes you deplorable because you make an effort to make it seem innate and spontaneous? It comes to a point where you start despising yourself a little every time you allow yourself to be held captive under their spell. For the attention, for the adoration, for the adulation. It feels like you’re a slave. You feel like taking that part of yourself, destroying it and seeing who you are without it. If you are anything without it. Because it is not real anymore. It has become a farce. A mask. A tap that can be opened at will.

They allow you to get away with nearly anything. Your eyes ask them to believe otherwise, but they take you at your face value. Shouldn’t people who love you, know better than to believe in it? For the power they wield, is untold. They make you believe, hope and have faith. They make you change your decision, in a heartbeat.

I lost the reason why I started. I can’t seem to remember, anymore. It feels like I am caught in a game, with a skilled hand moving me, a mere pawn.

***

It started off beautifully. She loved it, before she started noticing them. There were/are dry spells. Nobody seemed to pay any attention. They started getting in her head, slowly, but surely. From just a cursory glance everyday it slowly progressed, like ink being absorbed by tissue, to a continual appraisal, several times a day.

In an effort to make it better, she started trying to understand them. Their form, their rise and fall,  the logic behind them. She wanted them and she wanted them all.. She had always been fiercely competitive, ambitious even.. They had this innate talent in tipping the scales of her disposition either towards dejection and depression or towards elation and euphoria. There was no middle ground here. She metamorphosed, for them, not realizing that she was losing several shades of herself as she seemed to go after something.. beyond her reach. If she were to look back on her younger self, she would realize that it was the lure of the unknown..  Something that seemed to be equal parts mysterious and omniscient. And she gravitated towards them, utterly captivated.

The knowledge that she could be good, possibly brilliant at something and that they could make others see the same brilliance, reeled her in.  It felt like an arid, barren land with approval and acknowledgement as common as water in a desert. She tried being funnier, more witty, more .. Just more than herself. This stemmed from the reasoning that when she was herself they didn’t recognize her. So, she tried becoming what she thought was the best. She hung on to what they said, saw and understood where and when they turned around and glanced her way. Those times, she decided to magnify and relive, in the hope that they would bring in more of them..

***

It felt like without them, she was nothing.

This continued till a friend told her that she was losing in front of them. And she couldn’t stand it. She hated losing, she always had to try. And try she did, losing herself in the process. Forgetting why she was doing this thing she claimed to love.  It became imperative that people understood  this .. obsession. But they didn’t. Most people told her that she was trying too hard.. That it would take time or they simply didn’t see her struggling.

One person told her to stop this madness. Pleaded actually, saying that it was turning something beautiful into something contrived and that it was taking over her life. “They don’t really matter. Remember when you wanted your voice to be heard because it was yours and not because it was one among the crowd? Because there is a difference between listening and hearing.

I have always heard it and will continue to do so.  So, forget about them. They were never the focal point. They merely tell you how many have seen the world through your eyes. And trust me when I say, once you take us through your eyes, nobody wants to leave, because it is a beautiful world, the way you see it.”

***

And so gradually, the obsession couldn’t be called an obsession.. It petered out and slowly became something in the background. That is not to say the embers have completely died down.. No. They do get me riled up once in a while, but not to a point of questioning my self-worth. They are dormant, but I don’t need them as much anymore. They are not as important as the words.

After all, numbers are notorious for the games they play and I refuse to call out “Polo” to their “Marco”..

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

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Der Schrei

19 Feb

I see soldiers camouflaged, moving into a forest, ready to destroy. I stop to look around. There seems to an undeniable crackling of energy in the air.  The setting seems rather familiar. The forest looks lush and green with the trees standing close to one another, they might just be one single entity. Their canopy is so dense, that only a few slivers of sunlight, pass through. I walk further inside. There don’t seem to be any paths that have been forged due to constant walking. It seems unexplored.

The forest looks intimidating, yet there is a rather unbridled freedom to be yourself. Far from civilization, yet closer to being humane. Not a sound was to be  heard, save for the wind whistling through the trees. As I watched, a small flower slowly falls down. As it falls, it slowly turns, the petals fluttering.. I can see the pollen getting scattered. How deceptive are looks, I wonder. Light yellow and so small and seemingly empty, yet having the potential to create everything.

I keep walking and a while later, I stop in surprise. I see a small bridge going from one side of a small stream to the other. It is made of creepers and there are several small flowers peeking from within the corded thickness. There are several large trees with hanging roots and they have woven through these creepers quietly providing their strength and structure. I walk towards it wondering if I will be able to walk over it.

I gingerly place a foot in front and another and another and before I know it, I am on the other side. This side of the stream seems to provide a new meaning to silence. I can hear the breath I take, the crunch of old leaves as I step over them, an occasional cricket and my heart. It looks like I have reached the heart of the forest. The trees here seem.. different. There is more diversity and they seem to have.. character? The inside seems rather melancholic, as compared to the periphery. 

As I wander further, I come across an enormous tree.. It looks magnificent and at least a few hundred years old. It reminded me of the phrase “old-soul”. I touch the trunk and I flinch at the texture. It is.. soft, warm. The tree itself seems to be thrumming with life. I walk around it, running my hand over the surface. As I bend, to touch my face to it, I look at the ground and a small gasp escapes me. 

The roots that have been growing above ground have been poisoned. Somebody has also drilled through the base of the tree and poured something within. I remember the soldiers I saw. Whose fault would it be if the tree died? Theirs because they started it or mine because I couldn’t stop it? 

I hear a battle cry and I turn around to see something aimed at me.  I realize this is war. And yet, I’m powerless to stop it. The soldiers march on. The infantry destroys. I feel blood flowing down. I look at my hand to see deep gashes. A knife materializes in my hand. I drop it and run. A way out. I scream, I yell, I cry out. But it doesn’t seem to matter. The soldiers sense my turmoil and see an easy target. As they move toward me, I run faster. A cliff looms ahead and suddenly, I’m at peace. I know I’ll fall. I feel something warm and sticky over my right shoulder. My left hand goes up and there is something sharp sticking out. I pull and a small dart comes away, dripping with blood and something.. black. 

I realize that I don’t want to go, over a period of days, wasting away, with each moment drawn out. Rage is the only thing I feel.. It moves fast and burns out every coherent thought. I want to scream out loud until my  insides splinter. The rage is slowly joined by pain. It feels like I have been set on fire. I scream in agony.

I want this to stop. I place my hands over my ears and scream. It comes out, drawn out and guttural.. I fall down on my knees  as I plead for the pain to stop, knowing it won’t.. I crawl to the edge of the cliff and look below. It seems a long way down. I can barely see the ground. I take a deep breath and simply roll off.

 

***

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

Light at the end of a tunnel

17 Feb

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Funny, isn’t it? How hope is a double-edged sword. It may be sharp enough and strong enough to get you through the darkness or it might just impale you. But then again, is there any half measure with hope? It is always all or nothing. It is the great panacea, a cure for all ills.

So easy to ask it of a person. Even easier to allow it seep through you and fill every single particle within.. But when has hope sought permission before it enters? I would love to hope.. But my logic driven brain gets a kick out of questioning the rationale behind investing in something as mundane as hope.

Do I wait or do I go on? 

It is definitely more pragmatic to look for other options rather than wait for something to take flight. As you wait for things to change, along with hope, comes faith. Hope is an expectation, sometimes foolish, sometimes obstinate, but always earnest and impassioned. Faith is quite simply, trust. Hope is difficult, because it offers no guarantee, but at that moment, hope gives you something, nothing else can..

Peace.

Yet for all the uncertainty that it seems to cloak itself in, I find it almost too easy to give in. Is the darkness making me give in or is it that bright, solitary light I seem to see within? When we hit the proverbial rock bottom in our lives, we reassure ourselves saying that things are going to get better. It doesn’t matter how long it will take for it to get better, the small voice that says it will, gives us more impetus than any other.

A wish. A prayer. A hope. 

What I fear the most is whether this right here is, but a mirage. Whether when the time comes, dawn would come up suddenly, even if it felt like twilight and you would wake up, trying to remember the strains of music you thought you heard. Maybe that is the true curse of hope. You may find what you most fervently wanted. Something, you didn’t even know you did and hope will have the last laugh as it sees you try to hold on to it, even as it slips through your fingers, like water.

Hope is there, everywhere. In you, in me, in all that we see, breathe and imbibe. And so it is- “Where there is life, there is hope.”

Or is it the other way around?

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

Suspended in time

6 Feb

For my very own Pisasu.
For being there and for being yourself.
Every word, every comma, every single punctuation mark, is yours.
Thank you, for believing and for making me believe.

Happy birthday!

***

Have you read something so hauntingly beautiful, it made your heart ache with a longing so deep for a place, person or thing or simply a wish to articulate better?

Have you looked into a pair of eyes and felt overwhelmed, knowing that no matter what happens, in that singular moment in time and space, you have known what it meant to be the centre of somebody’s universe?

Have you seen a sculptor at work and felt awe at the man who worked with such infinite patience to carve out that angel, it made you wonder if it was mere stone?

Have you walked in hallowed halls revered for generations and been scared to take a breath and break the stillness?

Have you known a moment when everything around you slowed down and the world stood still?

Have you helped an old man/woman across the road, on a whim, only to be subject to the most beautiful smile that lights up your insides?

Have you written a letter to your friend, using a pen and paper, sealed the envelope, pasted a stamp and sent it across, anticipating their smile when they receive a letter from you?

Have you felt for years that you don’t belong anywhere, only for that belief to vanish in a trace, leaving you filled with a simple warmth and closing all the fissures you never knew you had?

Have you known what seeing disappointment in the eyes of someone you love does to your insides?

Have you played peek-a-boo with a child, just to see confusion replaced by unbridled joy as your face comes out from behind your hands?

Have you thought your siblings were the last people you would confide in, only to grow up and have that change?

Have you frozen with shock, unable to process or assimilate something?

Have you known loss so profound that it becomes a part of you, through your changing colours, going from a painful open wound to an inert scar?

Have you had your best friend fall in love with you or you with them?

Have you known heartbreak?

Have you lost a friend because you believed in rumors than in each other, only to regret it later?

Have you felt like your world had tilted on its axis because a person whom you considered to be your Northern Star has fallen from their pedestal?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like, if you were not around?

Have you been so unsure of yourself, that you wonder what people see in you?

Have you hugged someone and cried so hard, feeling lost and wanting oblivion, only for their arms to come around you and be your anchor?

Have you found a family, outside of your family?

Have you wondered if its possible to hate and love someone, at the same time?

Have you realized that, the person you are now and the person you were a few years back are two different people?

Have you longed for serenity, for a home, for a sense of something that you think you are missing?

Have you borne the brunt of somebody’s anger for something you did not do?

Have you stood up for something, despite feeling scared?

Have you defined yourself in black and white only for someone to come in to your life and make you see the colours in the wind?

Have you felt anger on the heels of helplessness as you watch someone waste away before you?

Have you felt proud of yourself?

Have you known the void that comes as you lose someone long before they are dead?

Have you been surprised at how fiercely protective some people are, of you?

Have you ever thought you aren’t worth much, only for a teacher to come along and make you see your potential?

Have you stepped into a place and been everything you wanted to be?

Have you understood that as you grow and change, your principles might still be the same, but the way you approach them will be different?

Do you realize that everybody has their own scars, demons, hopes and dreams?

Do you know, we are not so different, you and I?

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

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