Biting the Dust

A dim light. The desk, cluttered and piled with books, Ayn Rand, PG Wodehouse, JD Salinger, a little humour, a little knowledge, a little motivation and a little courage. The thoughts of the days past, playing in her head like a movie, a sense of dread. The pen begins to move of its own volition, ranting and rambling, the hopeful adolescent begins her descent.

Dear Ideal Self,

You seem to love writing letters and I guess that’s an extension of our mind. Unfortunately you and I at this moment are poles apart, but don’t worry, someday, we shall meet. I always wondered what it would feel like to meet you? Would we be complete opposites or would we be reflections of each other? Like an Idea and Impression? would it be like sitting in a coffee shop with a cold caramel frappe and thinking about those moments where we almost met, where you and I were at different spatial and temporal dimensions but were thinking the same thing. Those moments when you and I could have quarrelled over some friend we favoured while being neutral or about our little world of fantasy, a little damsel in distress play. Maybe we could have argued about the knight in shining armour, would he be like what you wanted or what I expected?

So many what ifs! Its crazy how when I walk those empty streets thinking of nothing in particular I can hear your voice as if you’re right there by my side whispering to me, edging me on to do better, to make certain choices, but I’m sorry, I’m sorry to disappoint you, I’m sorry I’m not be more like you. I wish I was that strong, I wish I was that stable, but I’m not and I think that’s okay. I know you wish to be more independent and I’m holding you back but I can’t let go, I can’t let go of those moments you conjured up in my head, they made my drab day to day existence so much more happening. I sometimes wish you hadn’t, its making things a little difficult now.

Remember that time, when we met for a few brief moments? I wish I’d gotten to know you better, things might have been different, my boundaries might have been different. I clearly remember when you and I were in consensus about reading more and spending time with my friends as well as my self. My self? What self, what do I mean when I say something like that? Is it what I am, is it what I want to be, Can I even try to fathom a concept so complex?  I’m sorry that I didn’t do that, I was so scared of losing sight of the so called important stuff that I let a lot of things slip away. I know we had decided to keep these things safe and sound, but I was so scared of taking chances that I let go. I put up walls and I’m so sure you wouldn’t do that. You’re like a fire, raging and I unfortunately am like the effects of that, hurt, helpless and destructive. But no more.

Conformity, I know you won’t be bothered by it, you’re strong remember? I might need the acceptance, the validation. You’ll manage on your own, I may not. I am so sorry I can’t be more like you. I wish things were different, I wish my choices were different, but I think I’ve made a choice.

I think I’ve been waiting too long to meet you, now I’m shifting closer to understanding you, I’m making my own observations, I’m taking those chances, I’m making those changes. I may take the wrong decisions but I need to make my own. Who knows I might even surprise you. Though I think you already know, you already are that person. See you soon. Another time, maybe another life.

Yours in Anticipation,

The Real Self.

She looked around that room, its white washed walls, the fan slowly moving in circles, almost stationary, the smell of wet earth outside her window, the smell of steam inside the room, the blinding colour of the blankness of everything, the shrill and overpowering voices, the dark green of the bottles that lay there, the smell of smoke in her hair, the sound of a million silent expectations, a buzzing fly almost like those whispers when she walked outside her house, those very soft nagging whispers that judged her for being different, for being vocal for being an individual. How was she to survive in this society? How was she to bring two opposing halves together? How was she to pacify her soul? Her integrity?

The answer existed in front of her, or did it? The noose hung loose, white- merging with the walls that cloistered upon her, round- like the circles of society that she was forced into, beautiful- like the contradiction she was. Right in front of her eyes. Acceptance came at a cost. Conformity was the price.

Slowly she slipped it around her, kicked the pedestal on which they placed her and then like a mixture of colours, it was Black.

Suffocated by conflicting thought. Smothered by society. Scared of being Alone. Scarred by Conformity. Another ‘Individual’ bites the dust.

– Yashasvini Kumari


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