Her

There is this agony that I fail to define

This want, this need beyond the comprehension of my mind

Her lips, Her eyes, Her glistening smile,

Your phantasm of Her walking down the aisle

I know I’m the one

who told you to seek out the stars

I know I’m the one

who told you to follow the flight of your heart.

Tragic, though, I’m not the one.

The air stings this face that cannot breathe

The sea rises in infinite rays across the pier where I lean

salt meets salt, the clouded eyes that cannot see.

Wasn’t this charred heart enough?

The shards of glass in my soul, weren’t they enough?

The sting of your words dedicated to Her,

The bruises you never saw in your grand gestures on the spur,

You lifted Her in the air and crowned Her in all glory

I, the antagonist of my story

I helped you bleed your own heart

and hid the joy of the daggers I’d sunk in my part

The suffering, the pain, the loss, the darkness, how much was enough?

What a waste, the salt, the sea, the scars my nails dug in the wood leave

My silent scream at Her indifference, your unrequited love, your salt, my salt

Your broken heart is my burden to bear.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Sometimes in life (almost all the time for me, actually) one goes through something I like to call the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” phenomenon. It is characterized by those times when one really has two opposite opinions about something and the real test of the soul lies in the guess work involved. In recognizing the part of the split you that you should trust. Of my recent experiences, I can say that I’ve acted in haste, while being drenched in emotions and not seeing the complete picture. And I’ve failed at choosing the right way out.

What I’ve gone through, if I try and spell out those facts and circumstances in third person without any emotional involvement, it would actually seem like nothing too tragic or worthy of the million rain drops I’ve shed. In fact, any sane person would lecture me that people in the real world go through some real problems and my pain in comparison to theirs is like comparing the height of a sand castle to the John Hancock Center. But I’ve always felt that pain is subjective in nature. We measure the magnitude of our despair and cataclysms with reference to the things that we ourselves have gone through. We can empathize with the sufferings of others, but we can never truly understand the things they had to face and the monsters they had to slay and the beasts that almost trampled them. Or in fact did trample them. We can never truly fathom someone’s sorrow. So, telling someone that their problems really aren’t that big or worthy enough to get upset over is ethically wrong.

Pain has a definitive character unlike any other sentiment. It ends up deciding who you become. It defines who you are. When I am subject to pain and bleed furiously with battle scars that run deep and wide, I have the habit of shielding my soul and attacking back, even though the blows on my enemy take their toll on me too. I can never get over people who hurt me. I might forgive them as time passes and the memory of the pain fades a little everyday. But I can never forget, especially when the people who attack you were your own trusted friends. Why is loyalty so hard to find these days?

Another really important life lesson I’ve learnt recently is the dire need to get out of abusive relationships. Now, the dictionary meaning of an abusive relationship is “a state of affairs between two people characterized by wrong or improper action, either physical or verbal.” This very well includes abusive friendships. Holding on to people who have always just used you for their benefit while being malicious towards you. People whose conduct towards you has been laced with rudeness, sarcasm and taunts. People who have dragged you down, made you more depressed and darkened your soul with their apathy and cruelty. When I look back at these past months, I’m horrified at not realizing this any sooner. I had known their conduct towards me was wrong, but instead of having the courage to walk away, I started changing myself. Stopped being bothered by their snide comments. Kept my mouth shut all the time. Never shared any of my thoughts or experiences. I remember infinite instances when I began narrating some anecdote only to stop and realize that no one even noticed that I had left the story halfway. Because they treated me like garbage and had no interest in what I had to say. They were willfully committed to misunderstanding me and still are. And the honest truth is that I don’t hate them. I hate myself for ever putting up with those fiends just because I was afraid to end up alone.

I think that is the very reason people tend to stay in abusive relationships. The fear of loneliness. The fear that maybe what lies outside the relationship is much worse than the present torment. So we deny the wrongness. We justify their conduct by pointing out mistakes in ourselves. We change ourselves to suit them, to fit into their idea of right. When actually all we should have done was stepped away from such people. It requires tremendous courage to accept the truth and move on towards uncertainty and possible loneliness. But it really is worth it.

But not all of life is cruel and untrue. I really admire the people who stepped up and stood by me in my hour of self doubt. I am indebted to their help and kind words. I wouldn’t have survived this storm of my life without their love and support. Their courage and strength is a source of inspiration to me and I will do everything in my power to be there for them when they are in need of my tattered soul. It may not be much but I promise my loyalty to them.

I’m done with people who walked away at a time in my life when everything went haywire and I lost myself for a while. I’m glad to have gone through this ordeal because everything is so clear to me now. My troubles proved to be a litmus test for me and the people around. I have realized now that at the end of the day, the people who were left standing are the ones worth dedicating yourself to. It’s like waking up from deep slumber. There is just so much beauty around me and so much to take in. I may not have too many friends, but I will fight wars for those who helped me in my battle. I will ensure that from now on, my life is a reflection of the clear peaceful sky. It might take time to reach the zenith of clarity and peace, and I will  fall and stumble along the way, but I do believe that I will get there someday.

 

 

Dirge of the Dying Year

“Thou dirge of the dying year,

To which this closing night will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,

Vaulted with all thy congregated might, of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere         

Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst”

When I first came across “Ode to the West Wind”, I too was one among those tortured souls of high schoolers who cannot fathom why Shelley had to write something so complicated and why I was being forced to swallow this circus of literary devices down my throat. But somehow, as the tide of time flowed and years went by me, I have been able to understand his sentiments, his fears, his disappointments and wistfulness that led him to create this beautiful symphony of words that I now eternally appreciate. I guess I can identify with him as I too bleed upon the thorns of my life as time escapes me on its winged chariot and I’m left frail and powerless in the face of misery and darkness. So, here I am trying to write my own “dirge of the dying year”, as 2013 comes to a close and I’m forced to turn an inward eye towards all the major plot twists and tragic endings and introspect all that is lost forever. (“Dirge” means a funeral song)

This year, I’ve lost a lot of things dear to my heart.  I mourn them as I turn into a new phase, even though parts of me too have died along with those cryptic things and people I am not going to name or mention. And thus, the core of my beliefs has been shaken and I’ve been questioning everything in the universe ever since. I’ve never been so lost and filled with darkness, as I walk through this tunnel, with the light at the end ever descending, farther and farther, away and away, beyond my reach as my mind turns numb and I fall prey to my own demons. I’ve lost the ability to feel the genuine joy and peace I used to feel. Now all I ever notice is death and destruction, melancholy and darkness. Somewhere along all those bad experiences, I’ve tried to harden myself and have coated my feelings and sentiments with layers of stone, so as to preserve them from the cold attacks of this world and the bruises they want to inflict on me. In doing so, I’ve isolated them, from my own self too. I’ve grown numb to so many beautiful things that I’m scared a day would come when all that I will have left would be a barren wasteland with no sign of any light. An eternity of moonless nights, with nothing but a vacant starless sky. A hollow abyss of monsters of my own creation.

I want to bury every dark thought I’ve had this year. I want to cremate the presence all the vanity and pretentiousness around me, all my material desires and wants that have brought me to the brink of depression and all those unfulfilled unnecessary aspirations that have kept me up endless sleepless nights. I want to leave behind every bad experience and every harsh word I have ever spoken, as well as every cruel vowel and consonant ever directed at me. I want to wash away all these black and red blotches from my mind and go into the New Year in white, with nothing but peace, love, tranquility and patience.

I forgive everybody who has ever done me wrong. I burn the envious, angry and vengeful thoughts and desires in me, not holding ill will against anybody as I bask in the golden radiance of this new beginning. I forgive, but I shall not forget for that is not who I am. Though I pass all my experiences of this past year through a minute sieve so as to sort out all maliciousness from them, I do carry forward with me the lessons I have learnt and the truth that has been revealed to me. I spread this carpet of nothingness around me, facilitating the newness of thoughts, actions, words and deeds, but I will make no efforts to undo the past. What is done is done, and I will bear this in mind as I will make no effort to make amends of any kind. I’m tired of being mistreated at the hands of everybody who views me as nothing but a means to an end. I refuse to be a pawn in someone else’s game that can be sacrificed so that someone else’s chess pieces can be saved. I too am a human being. “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” But no, I do not want revenge, of any sort. I free myself of the shackles of these feelings, embracing the angels of this new dawn.

Another thing that I have realized over this past year is that not everyone deserves to see behind your walls. If that makes me a loner, so be it, but I will never show my true self to anyone who doesn’t deserve me or doesn’t treat me the right way. Love, care, honour, friendship, dedication, that is all I desire in return for my loyalty, and I shall see through this resolution of staying away from people who are nothing but superficial plastic dolls, sans credibility of any kind.

In this new chapter, I will not let anybody affect me or my mind. I will dedicate 2014 to myself and live with a peaceful and open mind. I will be patient and kind to the ones I love and will absolutely feel nothing against anybody else. My indifference will be my shield in this war. I will surround myself with good people, books, music and stories that touch my heart. I know now that the world is a complicated place with an equal amount of good and evil. I will not let the dark shadow the light. Even though it may rain sometimes and the clouds may hide the golden sparkle of the sun, I will not yield.

My mind will be that undisturbed lake on a peaceful winter morning, sans ripples, a mirror to the grey silent sky, taking in all that wonder and beauty that is easily overlooked in one’s own haste, envy and pride. Pure and serene, untouched by the darkness of envy or hate. Tranquil, quiet, idyllic, calm.