lovely

It’s 1:42 am, and I’m in my room half asleep.

It’s 1:42 am as I listen to Billie Eilish and Khalid

in my room that is half lit by the rising sun past midnight,

in my room that is half lit by memories of every goodbye.

 

I cannot describe the peace and calm I feel,

hidden beneath the soul that screams.

 

In this midsummer night

the fresh cut grass pierces through my clothes,

as I lie entangled in the clear night and web of crystal thoughts.

But I have learnt to touch and caress,

I know how to put them on hold.

I have learnt to silence the void I embrace as my own

 

Is this a dream?

Because the stars don’t blink like liars now.

Did I fall asleep?

Because the night tastes too intense to be real somehow.

Is this the parallel universe?

What once hurt feels like rhythmic poetry and verse.

 

I think I’ll wait for the fireflies to rise,

knowing they too will leave me

and dissolve under this sky.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2018.  All rights reserved.

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I’m Caught in the Red but I’m Fading to Grey

A constant reminder that nothing stays the same,

but nothing ever really changes.

WordPress just reminded me that 4 years ago today, I started my blog in my college library, depressed, alone, fading, in need of hope and light.

This blog has been more than a friend to me. It has been a space to feel safe, to let out my fears and cries without judgment, to learn about myself and the way I write. It has helped me speak to people I may never meet from countries I may never travel to. Sometimes the echoes have brought back words, kind and tough that have helped me realize that no matter how much I feel the contrary is true, I am not alone.

So this calls for generic introspection.

What have I learnt over these last 4 years?

What has happened to me since?

Am I still the same person who started this blog?

What am I going to do?

Do birds fly to the moon?

 

(I’m not mainstream enough to be interviewed, so I’m going to go ahead and pretend this is what anyone would want to know.)

The textbook fairy-tale answer would be that my life has completely turned around, that life has magically fixed itself in these past 4 years, because 4 years is a really long time for a person to sort themselves out.

Bullshit.

Like Gemma Hayes’ beautiful lyrics quoted by me in the beginning of this post, I am both red and grey.  My life has changed but it’s still the same. I’m still as lost as I was, as alone as I was, as depressed as I was, although in different and more complex ways than before. All my old problems have sorted themselves out, but I’ve got new ones in their wake. More challenging ones, I would delude myself into saying mainly because I can’t see the solution yet.

As to what I have learnt in these past 4 years, it mostly consists of learning about myself. I have learnt to fight and lick my wounds, to bear pain and to build fire-proof shields. But I have also learnt to put my shield down and face the beauty with the pain, a decision I’m still in a debate about (with myself, if that wasn’t clear enough).

I’ve stopped praying for someone to come rescue me. Instead I’m learning (still) to equip myself to do that, to be my own hero. And I fall and stumble as I did before, even more so now that before. Which is to be expected if you walk faster than you did before, if you cover more ground than you did in the times ago.

It hurts, I’m not going to lie. It makes me wishes I was done already. It makes me sting others in my wake. But I don’t think I really have a choice anymore.

The only way I can go is forward, the only direction I can fall is down.

So that is what we are going to do for the next 4 years.

 

Thank you for being a part of this blog and a part of my world.

All my love,

That Girl in the Fray.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

Dear Chester

 

This is my second attempt at this. When I tried writing this before, I was so overwhelmed and out of words that this post turned out to be a mesh and I dumped it in my drafts folder until I could muster the strength to revisit it.

I don’t want to reiterate how amazing and talented Chester was and how much he influenced the world; that has been said before along with numerous things and I’m not going to get into any of it. Despite the title and the tags, this post is about me.

I’ve been depressed throughout most of my teenage and adult life. And as any book or movie about teenage depression will tell you, I have contemplated killing myself on numerous occasions. I remember the one time I even attempted it; I walked on the ledge of the roof of my house with my eyes closed, praying to God to kill me, because I was too chicken to do it myself. And I’m thankful I was.

The things that happened to me were neither too tragic nor too painful if you compare it to the sorrows enveloping the rest of the world. But they were too much for me to handle; they seemed like the end of the world to me and I just wanted the pain to end. The thing about depression is that it gives you a tunnel vision; your view of the world shrinks and it is as if you are in solitary confinement in a tiny cell, thinking you matter to no one and, in fact, the world would be a better place without you because no one cares. You start finding reasons why everyone hates you, adding to your own resentment and the million reasons you hate yourself. It’s a deep maze there seems to be no way out of. I’ve been there, stuck in the middle of it, with darkness engulfing every inch of my body while my screams drowned in the bottomless void of my soul. And I got out of it. It is this experience that has defined me for rest of my life, because I knew if I could come out of this hell, I could pretty much handle life.

Music helped me a lot. Numb by Linkin Park kept me alive and breathing. Every time I sang along to it, at the top of my voice, I felt my pain mattered. That I mattered. That I wasn’t alone in going through this. Iridescent got me through some horrible times as well, as I tried to hold on to hope and let go of my pain, failures and tears. As it did hundreds who swear by the band and its epicness. Leave Out All the Rest, In the End, What I’ve Done, Crawl and dozens of other songs defined a whole generation. It made us who we are.

The reason why I’m so broken by Chester’s death is that he died because of the same thing he saved me from. And no one could help him out of it, like he helped me. It is the irony of this twisted fate that brings me to the brink of tears every time I think about it. It’s wrong and it hurts.

Music and words helped me get out of my labyrinth and it has made me all the more strong. It has made me independent and suppressed my need to depend on other people in times when I’m going through things. Which has in turn improved my relationships because I’m not let down by them anymore; I have no expectations because I know I’m enough for me. I still feel a little unhinged at times and I’m still on the path of discovering who I am but I’m happy with where I am in life. All because I didn’t end my life on the ledge that day. I have a goal and I’m trying my best to work a path towards it, failing and flailing all along the way. I still get depressed at times, but I know how to pull myself out of it now.

If you think that you don’t matter, you are wrong. Talk to someone if you’re going through something that is too much for you to handle. Get help. Read as much as you can about people who are going through the same things. Meditate. Let go of the pain. Let it rebuild you from the core. Listening to music. Read books that speak to your soul. Paint. Dance. Sing. Do whatever that makes you feel alive. You don’t really need to care about the rest of the world. All you need to do is repair your soul, because you are made of the same cosmic dust that floats through the sun and stars.

You are the sun and stars.

You are strong enough.

I will miss Chester with all my heart. He saved my life and I will forever love him for it.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

The Cosmic Summer

Caress my fragile fingers into yours

As I let gravity embrace me as I fall into you,

beyond the realm of bruise bandages and remedial cures.

You are the black hole gulping every shred of my clarity

and I cannot but help give into you,

 

and fall

and dissolve into nothingness.

 

All I ask in return for my vulnerability,

for the key you hold that unlocks the obscurest parts of me

is that you take my hand and walk across the Bow Bridge

while lovers share a kiss

in a boat that rows beneath us.

 

I will lead you the meadow and lie with you among the blades of the grass

imbibing the serenity of the sapphire sky and the thistled leaves on bows and plants,

nestled together spend a quiet minute or two listening to the songs on my ipod.

 

Or I might take you to past the conservatory to the Bethesda Fountain

and ask a stranger to take a picture of us as we wrap our bodies together.

 

Or I might walk with you to the Belvedere Castle through the Shakespeare Garden.

Under the wooden arch, tucked away in the corner you might hear someone playing the violin;

you will laugh and tell me how this reminds you of a night many moons ago in Rome

and I will try to curb the pang of jealousy raging through me at the people in your life before me you called home.

 

I will pull you across the exceptionally narrow spiral stairs of the Castle

forbidding but one person at a time to pass through,

to give you a reason to rest your hand on the small of my back in the close quarters’ hassle.

 

Once atop of the highest tower, I will hear you sigh as you take in the breath taking view of Central Park in the Summer

 

and let you take my hand as you tell me bandages won’t work on you too now.

How You’re Not the One

There you go, a caterpillar in a cocoon of narcissism and arrogance. Vain. Egotistical. You smile a smile, showcasing your artificially whitened teeth and utterly high cheekbones on your freshly shaven face. Your cologne chokes people to death because you bathed in it, rather than spraying it on yourself like a normal human being, after you hit the gym to maintain your oh so precious abs. If only you valued humility and compassion as much as you value your abs. You park your uselessly expensive car taking up two parking spaces, not because you’re scared of someone scratching it but because it satisfies your humongous ego. You assume that every girl is in love with you. You assume I am in love with you. But oh my dear half-witted simpleton, I would rather stick pins in my eyes than even think of the possibility of us.

Maybe you’re not all that I’ve described. You’re chivalrous. Gallant. Your polished soul resonates your debonair. You serenade the birds and paint the flowers. Maybe you’re not all that either. But you think I’m falling for that faux charm and my heart is in your palm. Because that is what gives you joy. Or maybe not. But honey, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m not a fifteen year old. Or an imbecile. Neither are most creatures of my sex.

You see, had you been the one, I would never have been able to speak to you coherently. My awkwardness would have baffled you to the point of doubting my sanity. You would have, numerous times in fact, caught me gaping at your face dimwittedly. While stammering and stuttering, and possibly literally going weak in the knees, I would have asked you if you love travelling. Or books. Or long walks in the library. Or if you believe in destiny. Or if you see the stars as evidence of the existence of magic. Or made you a mixed tape of my favourite records. I never did that, did I? Hate to burst your pristine bubble, but you are so not the one.

Comfortably Numb

Hath time been an enslaved dove I keep chained in the chamber,

My bidding an edict etched in stone for its survival,

It would fly to the cinematic moments I lack the strength to delete

The photographs I speak to night after endless night,

So I would stop myself from feeling I finally belonged.

To moments so I would hold my tongue from giving away a thousand hidden sentiments.

I would scream at myself, think, think for your mind is but a padded lock,

Think, you fool, for you know it is but a masquerade.

I would cry a thousand tears at once

to not have enough for the single drops that fall for a thousand nights.

I would inflict enough wounds on myself to be numb to the fight.

Numb, for I am numb now to every star every thunder,

My soul embracing the deep slumber.

Beauty is dead, my sorrow is a vacant stinging hollow.

That’s How I Know You are the One

When we are together you make me feel like my mind is free and my dreams are reachable

You know I never ever believed in love,

I believed one day that you would come along and free me.

These lyrics to the beautiful Kodaline song caress my heart and soul, as I’m in this half asleep mode where the world seems so pretty and my body is ready to embrace the words of a lullaby serenading me to sleep. I’m breathing in the air and letting it cleanse my mind and praying this stillness lasts forever.

I’m waiting for these lyrics to come true one day when I’m ready to surrender my heart and be vulnerable again. To gauge the depth of the whole other worldly process of baring your true soul to someone and let their opinions about its edges and contours matter, I’ve learnt that I’m not really ready for it right now. This past year has taken its toll on me and lead to my metamorphosis into someone who doesn’t care about minute things and hurtful words that would evaporate in their essence in barely any time. It has taken a tremendous effort and a lot of rivers and rain to become who I am at the moment. I’ve let the sentiments that had been seething in me out and buried them six feet under. I refuse to have to start from the scratch again, at least for now.

Today, as I was having lunch with a few friends, listening to one of my favourite songs play made me transcend the realms of the four walls and I had an epiphany; I realized how music was something that cracked my facade of stoicism and filled me up with emotions I thought I had become numb to. This then lead me to another avenue and I decided something: I had to save all of these emotions for the time when I would need to share them with the only person I ever want to share them with. I’ve never really made a mixtape for any person in my life, nor will I ever until I find The One to whom I’ll feel safe enough to bare my soul. I’m saving up all these feelings and all these little moments of thorough spectacular spectacles in the form of playlists for every speck of the kaleidoscope, for when I’m feeling on top of the world, for when I feel like I need to vent my frustration, for when I’m feeling blue or red or black or purple. And the only person who will ever have a right over them will be The One who makes my heart feel like it’s summer.

The First Time

I think one of the most magical experiences ever is time travelling to the past in the arms of a symphony that became a part of your soul when you heard it for the first time. I’d been searching for this song for a long time and I’m ecstatic that I’ve finally found it. Here is, what I thoroughly believe to be, the most beautiful symphony ever created.

(The First Time, from the series Winter Sonata)

About Nothing and Everything All at Once

I sat in my favorite corner in the library, breathing in the magic and utter magnificence of shelves and shelves of stacked works of art waiting to be opened and cherished, veiling words endowed with the power to change life as you know it. I gazed at all those books, and as always I was overwhelmed by the legion of voices, thoughts and ideas that made it to print, that will be preserved in paper and ink forever. And then slithered in a thought. My exuberance was shadowed and I felt sad as I thought about all the wonderful books I’d never read. I thought about all the stories I’ll never know, all the voices I’ll never hear, all the feelings I’ll never feel.

What of all the thoughts I’ve had and never told anybody. What of all the wonderful things I’ve said when no one was listening. What of all the words in my diary that no one will ever feel. What if in one particular moment in the universe, had there not been a simple affecting factor and my words would have been heard by the right person exactly at the right moment, a life could have been drastically altered. What if that alteration would have been for the better?

If someone asked me what the point of life is, I would say there is no point. Bad things happen to good people, innocents are slaughtered, hard labor isn’t rewarded, happiness is a mere fleeting chimera, a writing in the sand washed away as soon as the tide rolls back in. But in all honesty, I don’t know what the point of everything is. Lost moments, lost time, lost people, lost love, lost words, they can never truly be recovered in their pristine divinity. So what was ever the point in their existence? It’s like grabbing air in your palm and trying to hold on to it.

A million questions. A million worries. A million doubts. A million fears. A million regrets. How are you supposed to be okay with living in such uncertainty in an ever transient universe, with the ever increasing probability of a million things going wrong. Loss. Death. Pain. Grief. Injustice. Loneliness. Darkness. Rejection. Wrong Decisions. An unfathomable utterly endless infinity of dark prospects.

I truly am nothing but a bundle of contradictions. I’ve said this before, there is a touch of melancholy in everything beautiful, a shade of black in every colorful combination, a thorn in every rose. A million unread books for every one book that you do read. A million unsaid words for every word you say. A million bad days for every good one.

 

I Didn’t Want to be the One to Forget

“It didn’t matter what they wanted to see

He thought he saw someone that looked just like me

The summer memory that just never dies

We worked too long and hard to give it no time”

Those memories that are imprinted in your soul end up defining who you are and who you become in the course of your life. And these memories, most of the times, are nothing but an essence of the people you meet and the effect they have on you. What I do not understand is why more often than not these moments turn out to be nothing but sheer agony. The pain of knowing that you have to part soon and forever isn’t a privilege you’d have, that is what makes me question what the point of everything is. Why is it that we attach ourselves to people we know will leave us eventually? Maybe the Red String of Fate is what binds us to them, to people we feel an inexplicable attachment to, something I fail to put into words as I wonder at the sheer beauty of it all and my undeniable sorrow. It’s like looking directly at the brilliant Sun, you can’t help bowing before its pulchritude but it hurts your eyes beyond anything.

I’m nothing but a bundle of contradictions. I’m happy because of things that make me happy, but I’m also sad because I’ve lived long enough to know that all good things end. There is a hint of melancholy in everything beautiful, at the aspiration of wanting more, at the fear of losing it, at the realisation that maybe it never existed, maybe it was all just in your mind.

And it hurts to know, to realise, that all you can do, as the mighty universe stands against you, is forget.

(Quote: Lyrics to Instant Crush by Daft Punk)