About Beginnings

Note: This is another rambly post.

How do you start something?

Be it a project, a semester, a blog post, or even a conversation with someone new. How do you start it? More specifically, how do you feel before, during, and right after “the beginning”?

Beginnings are defining points in our lives. There are an infinite number of beginnings—small and big—and just as each decision we take in our lives create ripple effects, every beginning creates a unique path for you to go on. Depending on how beginnings go, your path either widens or narrows. It’s very interesting, if you overthink beginnings and imagine the scenarios that may occur.

I’m overthink often, but not in panic or anxiety. When I find myself with a pocket of free time, my mind goes to various scenarios that could occur. I won’t lie, most of my imaginations are negative. I think about how situations can worsen or what would be worst case scenarios. And then, I think about how I would deal with those situations. It’s a weird coping mechanism. Since I know what I will do in advance, I feel better going into whatever situation. Mentally, I’m prepared for the worst.

I’m the same with beginnings. Even if I’m just talking to a new person, I rephrase my first text or sentence to them multiple times until it sounds right. If I’m contacting someone professionally, I’m ready for them to not reply or reply negatively. I used to do this with friends as well, if I asked them favours, but I’ve managed to curb this habit of mine a little now.

What differs with decisions and beginnings, is that I believe I can somehow control a beginning such that I can turn my life to the path I want to go on. With decisions, it’s different. I can’t see exactly what will happen with decisions, I can’t predict the ripple effects they create. I feel like I can control my narrative with beginnings, but I can’t do that with decisions.

How we feel during beginnings largely contributes to the result. I’ve noticed that when I feel confident about my ability to turn things to my dream, everything goes smoothly. And even if it doesn’t, I’m okay with it. And I feel confident when I have multiple worst case scenarios thought out in my head.

Even when I had interviews recently, I thought about what I would do if I couldn’t answer a technical question, or how I would behave if the interviewer is rude. I ran through every situation I thought would catch me off-guard, and I prepared for it. I was actually pretty confident in the interviews. I mostly didn’t lose my calm. This tactic works for me.

Lately, I’ve had a lot of free time without a goal that needs to be accomplished soon. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking. Thinking about how things may have been different if I had a different attitude, or if I acted another way.

Usually, I’m not an overthinker. I revolve around productivity. Checking off tasks gives me satisfaction, a weird high. And I run behind that as much as I can. I barely take some time for myself, to simply think. I used to but I don’t anymore.

While I’m not very happy about my current lackluster days, I think they have been good because I needed this time to simply introspect. Two years back I used to take an hour a week to myself every week, just letting my thoughts run. Now I barely find an hour to blog during the semester. I actually needed these lackluster days to chill out and let myself breathe for a bit.

Now I’m mentally fully prepared to go into the next semester. I’m mentally prepared for the stress of working on two projects along with having a shorter semester. I’m prepared to not have a break after the next semester because I know that I’ll have to immediately start my 6 month internship. I wasn’t prepared like this for the last year, and I had multiple breakdowns throughout the year. I had to take multiple time-outs.

At this moment, I’m super confident that I’ll do amazing in this semester and I will have most of my shit together. I’m prepared for it. And because I’m prepared, I’m confident. This confidence makes all the difference. I recognize that.

Anyway, yeah. My point was meant to be that what you feel when starting something makes a huge difference in the path you take.

Being nostalgic

Oh my goodness, y’all. I am feeling so nostalgic right now.

It’s been a slow day, so far. I mentioned in my last post that I have a sudden vacation upon me without plans. I’ve been trying to keep myself mildly busy, though. I’ve been reading, reviewing and working on Instagram. I tried making elaborate picture settings for the first time, and they look really nice! My mum has been giving me chores to do to fill my time as well.

But I still have pockets of time where I don’t have anything to do and I don’t feel like starting something new. A while back, I found myself in that mood and decided to go through my old posts on this blog. I went way back to January 2016. My first post was on January 16th, 2016. I was 17, studying for my last high school finals. My main intention was to see how far I’ve come, to see if there’s a difference in my writing style or my content. I found what I was looking for, but I was not ready to be impacted so much by my own writing.

Reading through those old posts felt like reading an old journal, only I’m not just chronicling the events that occurred and my feelings at that time, but also my thought process. I was was reviewing books like I continue to do now, but I was also WRITING so much. Writing poems, short stories, small pieces based on daily prompts.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I went on to reading posts from February 2016, and this post just made me stop and think. I can’t even remember the last time I thought so much, about abstract things, let alone write about them. I also used to blog every single day. I didn’t worry about word counts or whether people of the internet will like this post that I’m writing. I just typed whatever I felt like, and hit publish.

Once I got the hang of blogging then, I even started writing posts on my phone! Anytime inspiration struck, I whipped out my phone and started typing. This post was written when I was walking home from my best friend’s place, and I literally just wrote about what I was thinking as I walked. Now, I look back and remember that once college started, I used to blog on my phone when I was in the bus.

Thoughts about formatting, grammar and proof-reading used to not hit me. I just wrote and published. Reading those posts makes me miss that so badly. I miss writing without a care about how I would be perceived. I miss writing.

Granted, back then my blog had a different name and no one from real life knew that I had a blog. I even blogged under an alias. It was my special corner of the internet. I did not have to worry about what people would think about me because anonymity is freeing.

At this point, I can’t even remember when I last wrote something just for the act of writing. I cannot remember the last time I thought about abstract concepts, or the last time I took 10 minutes to just think.

Back then, I wrote a post on slowing down time based on a writing prompt. I wrote that I loved walking alone, and that it allowed me to think. I wrote that everyone rushes to complete things in life and don’t take a minute to breathe, and how I make sure to take out time for myself. But today, I have become the exact opposite. I run around, trying to get things done in time and manage multiple things. I’ve become a productivity-oriented person, feeling satisfied when I’ve finished doing a bunch of tasks. It’s come to the point that now, I feel lost when I have a vacation without plans.

It doesn’t escape me that the old me would have loved to have time without set deadlines or tasks.

After a while of reading old posts and ruminating about the change in me, I became motivated to write for the first time in what feels like forever. This post that you’re reading right now will not be formatted, or proof-read. I did not decide beforehand about what I would write. I just opened up the WordPress editor and started typing. And it feels so damn good. I literally have a small smile on my face right now and my fingers are typing so fast.

Right before writing this, I checked out posts under the “writing” tag on WordPress. I used to do this a lot before, and it used to inspire me to write more. I also found such amazing blogs. So I decided to do it again, and I found these two posts:

And that was all the push I needed to start writing.

My blog has changed shape so much. I have tonnes of content now that wouldn’t have even occurred to me three years back. I share my bullet journal, I talk about Kdramas and I share my music. I do think that my reviewing style has grown. I love using images and different colours in my post. The way I review has changed, and definitely for the better.

But for the first time, I’m looking back and I’m seeing what I lost during the last two years. I stopped writing. I stopped wondering. And I started second-guessing my content. I started questioning whether people will like and want to read my blog post before even writing one word.

My content today and my content from 2016 are vastly different. So much that they look like they’re of two different blogs. But it’s the same me.

I have grown in many aspects, but I now also want to bring back some of my old self. And since this blog is mine, and it’s still my special corner of the internet, I’m not afraid to change it’s shape again.

To whoever is reading this, I don’t know when you started following me. Maybe this is the first time you’re here, or maybe you’ve been following me since the beginning. Thank you for taking the time to read my words, and i hope you will continue to read them even if they sound different.

Writing under 25 words

Writing under 25 words (1)

 

It has been SO LONG since I’ve written, or published a post with my writing. The thing, I’m spending a lot of time for college and have simply not found the time to write. But recently, I jotted a few small things, and I thought I’d share them with you today! They’re not very good, or eloquent, but they’re just some things that were going through my mind when I was down for a bit.



There are too many versions of those three words.


I move on too fast, they say.
I never really stopped.


I hide too much.
It’s a blessing and a curse.


Everyone is unique.
It also means I’m alone.


I don’t fit into a plan, goal or path.
Tunnel vision throws me out.


Is it me, or is time moving too fast for us to even breathe in life, rather cherish it.


I want to show off my talent.
I want to hide myself.


I am not un-noticed, but I’m also not really noticed.
Where does that leave me?


When you internalise pain, you start to recognise it in others’ eyes too.


Sometimes I wish I was an open book.
Then I’m glad I’m not.


Simple choices make big impacts.
That’s why I hesitate at every step.


I don’t know who I am.
How can I explain myself to others?


They started associating invincibility with numbness.


She was wind.
Everyone enjoys her touch, but no one sees her.


I want to be fearless, standing on the edge of the roof.
But I’m also suicidal.


The words convey only half of it. The tone conveys the rest.
Text messages mask so much.


Happiness and contentment draw me in.
Perhaps it’ll balance me.
But I might also destroy it.


Probably. Maybe. Someday. We’ll see.
These words exist in my vocabulary to escape from attachment.


By the time I brave up to say something, everyone’s moved on. I am left behind.
In more ways than one.


I need human interaction to prove to myself that I’m still alive.
But I also just want to be alone.


I am not afraid of oblivion.
I am afraid of recognition.


Let’s play a game called
who notices when I’m gone.


I am afraid of being understood.
I want to be understood.
I am a f r a i d of being understood.


The only place I find complete comfort is in the depths of my mind.
But that’s also where I drown.


Sometimes all I want is to feel.
Other times, I simply want to be numb.



I don’t

i dont.jpg

It’s been a year and 12 days. I didn’t even notice, until I saw a message from you today morning saying you miss me. It’s been over a year now. I didn’t realise. But then, you don’t value for me anymore.

I remember, how we came together, like a wave softly crashing onto the shore. I was the shore- steady, calm, always there and you were the wave of water-in the form of my favourite color, exciting, always moving. And when we met, I held on to you, and you held on to me.

But soon, you receded, pulled away, strayed far. After that, I saw you and you saw me but we never met again. Water always moves, even under layers, to different places.

I kept count of the dates after that-a week, 10 days, two weeks, a month, two months, three. I heard what my friends told, how I wasn’t the same. How I lost my spark and they were sad to see me that way.

Slowly, I began to not think of you. I smiled genuinely, laughed from my heart and moved on. Even though you were still in front of me almost every day, moving in the same friends circles as I, I began unseeing you. You were there but to me, you weren’t more than one of the strangers in the background.

You moved on, I heard, a few months later. But by then, I refused to care.

And now after more than a year, you try to wade back into my life like a lost soul looking for home where he previously felt warmth. I wasn’t enough then, how will I be enough now.

I spent the whole day, moving around in a haze, remembering everything of the recent past. The memories of us two together which kept running through my head again and again, us laughing, making jokes, sharing our day. Today, I can hardly remember any of those moments.

It’s evening now, I open your message again.

I miss you, it says. It hasn’t changed. Oh, I wish it had.

I let out a huge breath,

I don’t.

All I have left are words as compensation

All I have left are words as compensation..png

I sucked at writing before, my love, and I still don’t write well

But now, I’ve got words inside me

so many

so many words

waiting to be poured out like a waterfall, to be let out from behind an invisible barrier acting as a dam

to be said.

 

We were a crescendo, building up very fast

so very fast

I was afraid and wanted to slow down but it wasn’t possible, was it? We fell into each other and I wondered if you’d catch me before I crash.

But you were right there, arms outstretched, giving me faith and belief.

Every laugh of yours, every touch gave me chills and made blood flow through my veins newly

As if I was discovering myself for the first time as I was discovering you

As you were coveting me

I smile, remembering our first moments together

And others in between

Small memories which bring a flutter of happiness from inside me even though I’m sitting alone in my room

Which make me blush while walking in busy streets

Which make me turn pink for the first time when my friends tease me

We were a crescendo of notes and words, making such music

We were.

Somehow, almost at the top, we halted for a minute

And came back down.

Spiraled down, our hands losing grip

All I could hear was the wind as it went past us, as we fell back in such a fast pace

A few minutes was all it took

A few messages

A few said words

And just like that we were two again.

I keep wondering what went wrong, how we went from talking all day long one day and breaking up the next

I still wonder why you brought it up, darling

I make excuses and reasons on your behalf in my head but I suppose I will never know

Our music stopped in the middle of a short note

Abrupt enough to put me into shock for a while

But it doesn’t matter anymore

None of my hurt or thoughts matter because you are happy

You are happy, and I guess it’s because of her

I feel glad to see you smile and laugh and not cracked inside like me

But the crack inside me opens up just a bit more every time I see you two together

Every time I find a glimpse of how we were

Every time you hold her hand

hug her tight

put your arm over her shoulder

And I just turn away

unable to bear it but unable to say anything about the metaphorical band-aids I try to stick onto the cracks on my heart

In the end, maybe I should thank you

For making words bubble up inside me again

To want to pour out

Only,

you won’t ever find a trace of them.

 

the old me

theoldme

there is this quietness that seeps into me

through cracks and edges i have not yet managed to

close off and seal

 

the old me

the quiet me

the depressed me

the alone me

the old me

who

hardly

smiled

 

some times when

in the throes of that quietness

sitting uncomfortably with the noise and interaction around me

surrounded by my friends

friends of the “outgoing” me

those times i want to get up

shoulder my bag and walk away silently

just walk away

back to how i used to be

with silence as my company

with no complications and facades to keep up

back to when

i was alone

but not lonely

 

you have become so dependant

the memory of my old self taunts me

she says

look how we were, content

now you feel lonely every time you sit alone in public

I shake her words off

I reply to a comment a friend said

and in a few seconds of being silent

I hear her again

we used to want that, remember?

want to be alone

never unsatisfied by it

look at you now

 

i do remember

how i was completely content

of being by myself

 

i’ve changed

but not so much too

i still look around

look at this big group of friends

and wish i was alone once in a while

wish i could leave

without an explanation

simply because i want to

simply because i want that silence

i lived in for so long

which feels like a happy home for a visit

 

this noise

these interactions

become too much for me some times

i just want to sit quiet

with only my own thoughts

for a while

 

I look up, hearing my name

I become the present me again.

the old me slides away, now quiet, still a reminder

the other half of me no one knows

Pinpricks

Pinpricks.png

Oh, darling, do you even have the slightest idea what goes through me every time I see you now? I become elated for a fraction of a second before remembering that you are not mine anymore. I shouldn’t be looking for your face in a crowd; I shouldn’t look twice at someone else just because the colour of their shirt matches yours today.

I shouldn’t.

It would hurt more and more and more and I’ll bring myself down so much that I start to pull back from the world. I shouldn’t—because I know you don’t care.

There are several pinpricks in my heart now. Every time I see you with her, a few more small holes open up and start to trickle invisible blood of pain. I’m bleeding out slowly slowly slowly and you don’t even realise it as you smile and hug her right in front of me.

I was afraid of giving you my heart in fear that you would smash it, but I was finally starting to trust you; and you ran out of patience. Somewhere between you proclaiming your love for me and the words coming out of my mouth; when I was reaching out and handing over my heart to you, you drifted away and I was left standing there with my heart, now beating very slowly as if in shock, mocking me. I only watched when I saw you with her the next day. My heart only started trickling from those few small holes.

It hurts. I feel a small jab, a few tiny pricks every time and its oh, so hard to continue smiling and laughing and seem fine when I’m anything but. Sometimes I want to let out my feelings, and tell it to you, pour out everything inside me but the same thought holds me back. You won’t catch me as I fall. Is there a point of jumping?

This once, I wish I was selfish. So I could blame you, hate her, hate you and move on from this but I’m not able to, no, because I know that it was me who unintentionally let you go and the lack was in me, not you.

It’s all-the-more harder to look at YOU and smile and converse as “friends” when all I want to do is hold your hand and hug you tight. The sight of her in the edges of my vision, present with you always makes me want to turn around, hold my heart tight and go away away away hoping that if you’re out of sight, you’ll be out of mind too.

some days

somedays

there are some days

like today

when i just feel numb

there is an ache of hurt inside me

which i become used to too soon

and its as if im nothing

but a body and a mind

not caring about opinions

or what people

think of me

anymore

 

i cut myself out

and every cut

every app uninstalled

every connection broken to the outside world

makes my breaths come easier

 

i want to be sad

i want to be quiet

some days

i just want to be alone

 

are these down days?

no, i consider these mental health days

all the sadness and hurt and worry

pushed and built up inside me

i let it all out

and it feels oh so great

i feel burden-less at the end

 

no, i am not sad because of something that happened yesterday or today

i feel sad a lot

this is just the one day i show it

and i would rather not give an explanation

one of two which i can reply with

one, you wouldn’t understand

the other, is not true

 

so let me

let me be

let me take a day off

its not easy being happy all the time

its not easy being the light all the time

its     not     easy

s m i l i n g

every time something cuts my heart

 

you know that I bounce back fast and happy

but that takes a toll on me

not letting my feelings out

pushing them in and smiling

replying I’m fine every time someone asks

how i am

i don’t understand how

you believe that im invincible

to negative feelings

i don’t understand myself

how

i manage to smile and jump

greet everyone excitedly

with a pitch in my voice

 

sometimes

my voice is on the edge of c r a c k i n g

almost wavers

but you never notice the off balance

in the end of my word

 

i love you, my friend, i do

i love you all

 

but some days

 

i would rather you leave me alone

This says it

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There was another one too, which I’m not able to find at the moment. It said something along the lines of

As she came back home with a PhD to her name, her parents’eyes shone with tears,

And a soul died inside.

It’s not verbatim, in fact it could be pretty different but it was something like that.


All credits to The Scribbled Stories and the respective writers. It’s a page on Facebook and the writers are mostly Indian, so the educational microtales are from what happens in India. There are a lot of other really good ones too, about love, relationships, death etc. I’ve been loving them and I plan to write a couple for them too, hopefully.

Counting beats

1.. 2.. 3.. 4..

One word to question my life

Why

Two words, everyday, running in my mind

No more

I had three words to say when we met

Leave me alone

Four words when you wanted to be my friend

I don’t see why

 

5.. 6.. 7.. 8..

Some five words when I finally gave in

Will you stop pestering me?

Six words in my mind when I started to love you

This is just a stupid phase

Seven when you asked me to love freely

I’m not sure I can do this

Eight words when we found our rhythm

I can’t believe this is happening to me

 

8.. 7.. 6.. 5..

Eight from you when we came down from the high

I can not have you being so clingy

Seven from me when we never went to parties together anymore

Are you ashamed to be with me?

Six in my head when we started to crack

I hope we recover from this

Five from a friend who noticed a lot

Maybe you should give up

4.. 3.. 2.. 1..

Circling in my mind were four words

You gave me hope

Three that I repeated to try to mend this

I love you

Two when you broke me after I bared my heart

Stop this

I had only one left while you turned around

Please

 

I am somewhere worse than before you came into my life

 

There are no more words left in my heart

 


This is something completely jumbled up that I wrote on a whim. I’ll need to fix it and rewrite later because it’s not really a poem, not really a story. I want to make it into something good—readable.

I feel like I added too much story into it and it’s not simple anymore or I added too many counts.. I’ll try again some other time.

 

 

Promises (Part 4)

I know! I’m super-duper late but I kinda fell into a writing slump. Since it’s been so long, I fear you might have forgotten the story or new readers might not have even read it.

If you don’t want to go back and reread part one, two and three, I have read it aloud and recorded it. HERE is the recording with the whole story together. (Apologies if I sound bad or anything) If you still prefer to read, then click the following links.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Riley

He hugs me tigthly and I can’t help but hug him back. He sets the glass of water beside him and pulls me to the carpet as well. He continues to hug me, pressing his nose to my hair and stroking my back with one hand.

Eventually, we part and I know that I owe him a huge explanation. I need to say it before he can accuse me of anything. After going through so much, I don’t think I can handle it.

“Aaron, I’m sorry.” He opens his mouth to say something but I press my fingers to his lips. Those lips.. “I just need to say all of it, okay? Please let me explain and then say whatever you want.” He understands the desperate plea looking into my eyes and relents, leaning back and taking a sip of water. He continues to hold the glass in both hands and I can’t help but view that as a shield he holds against me, to not touch me again.

“I found out a little over two months after you left that I was pregnant.” His grip on the glass becomes tighter when I say he left. He doesn’t look at me, instead preferring to stare at a point on the carpet. “Since we broke up, my parents were furious when they found out. I didn’t want to have an abortion, Aaron, not for all in the world. They screamed at me for that decision, especially since we broke up and I would be a single mom.” My voice quivers slightly. “They couldn’t bear their daughter being pregnant out of wedlock. They didn’t want to face the society, I think, deal with the reputation. Instead they asked that I leave.” Asked would be putting it politely though. Aaron’s jaw clenches as he notices the contempt in my tone.

I couldn’t look at him anymore, with him not making eye-contact with me. I lean back on the couch’s legs and look forward at nothing. “Clarke was the only one who stuck with me. With being pregnant, I gave up my scholarship to college and came here, to get away and start again. She helped me move here and stayed with me for as long as she could. I got a job as a desk clerk in a nearby company. After the babies were born,” my eyes water, remembering those long hours of labour, “I hired Wayna, the woman you saw, to help when I was working. I made a new life Aaron. I’ve moved on.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” He asks quietly. Now, my anger surfaces.

“How? How could I tell you? I didn’t know how to contact you, your friends wouldn’t give me your number and soon I had to leave. I couldn’t keep searching for you, Aaron. I had to take care of myself and the babies. I didn’t have time for you.”

He flinches when I say that. “Once, Aaron. You didn’t call me once.” Tears leak out of my eyes now. “I kept hoping, kept waiting. Instead, I was all alone. I loved you. And I thought you loved me too.”

He finally turns towards me, expression full of sadness, regret and hurt. Good. “I do love you. I always will. I thought I was doing the right thing. I didn’t want you to wait for me and be stuck up on me when I didn’t even know when, if, I would return.” He pleads.

“And that way you dealt me a worse hand. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to bits and wouldn’t trade these years for anything. But the heartache I felt for you? That killed me everyday, Aaron.” Tears are streaking unabashedly down my cheeks now. All the sadness, despair and hurt from so long shows in my words.

He pulls me into his arms. I am not able to resist and I cry and cry and cry, clinging to his chest. I can feel his tears falling on my skin too. I cry for everything I’ve been through and kept hidden for so long. He cries for everything he missed and could have made right.

After seemingly an eternity, I pull back. He cradles my face and wipes the tears from my cheek, pulling my gaze to his. I see heart wrenching regret in his eyes, it almost makes me cry again.

“Not anymore.” There is fervour in his voice. “You are not alone anymore, okay? I don’t care if it takes double the time, I am going to make it up to you until you can trust me again.” Tears stream down my cheeks again, which he wipes gently. I hold on to his wrists.

“Don’t commit to something on a whim.” I tell him. “They are children. I cannot bear it if one day you can’t take it anymore. It won’t be fair for Zoe and Zander either.”

“I planned on marrying and having a family with you anyway. What if the order is a bit wanky?” He jokes. I let out a choked laugh. “I promise, Riles. I won’t impose on you suddenly. It will take time for me to learn, and I know you; you need time to adjust to me being around again.” He says seriously. “We will make this work, you see. I don’t want you crying like this ever again.” 

I stare into his eyes for long moments, searching them, seeing if he’s telling the truth. “What about the army?”

“I’m done. I wanted to serve, I have. But I didn’t think I could stay apart from you any longer. I can’t. And now them, I don’t think I can leave again.”

I hug his chest tightly, hoping that this will be true. The hope that we might actually have a happy future, together, blooms in my heart.

And right then, my stomach grumbles. We break apart laughing. “First thing I am going to do,” he says “is feed you. You have become so thin! No, the mother of my children shall be kept happy and full.” He said ‘my children’. He must have realised it after he said it too, because then he whispers, “my children.”

I nod. “I need to feed them too, now.”

“Do you have food made at home?”

“No, I haven’t cooked.”

“Okay,” he says and both of us keep nodding, looking into each others eyes. He gets up and pulls me up too. “I’ll buy some food and get back.” He walks backward towards the door, glancing towards the kids’ nursery. “I have a lot to do and learn. I will be back.” He says again, to make me believe.

“Okay.” I whisper. Just when he opens the door, he stops and whirls around. Confidently, he strides towards me, cradles my face in his hands.

“Forgot something,” he says and kisses me.

The slow, tentative kiss, full of meaning, emotion and untold sentences. I cling to his shirt and he grips my waist. Its like listening to an old favourite song, learning the lyrics to it again and finding that you never really forgot.

We break apart and as I stare into his beautiful eyes again, I start to believe in our future. Our future, all four of us.


Yeah I know, this last part was pretty rocky (and kinda lame?) but at least I finished it right? Comment whatever you feel like 🙂 I promise to take the negative ones like a sport.

Getting to know her

I perch on the railing of a balcony and look at the human standing a few feet away from me silently. She was so silent and still that I did not take her as a threat as I flew and rested my tiny legs here. Her face is still upturned, looking above into the night sky; gazing at what, I don’t know.

I am careful not to move too much, rustle my wings or make any noise as I sit there. There is something so serene about this female human unlike others that I don’t want to disturb her. I have enough patience to observe her in silence.

She sighs—not of sadness, not of longing, I don’t know why she sighed. She is still gazing up.

I carefully turn my head towards where she is looking and see nothing more than that normal night sky. I even doubt that she can see with as much clarity as me, as humans tend to have weaker sight than us. I look back at her in wonder.

I don’t make any expression. I’m a bird, not like any human even notices if there is a different expression on my face; they are not that intuitive. Birds have that intuition to understand each other through tone and tenor, our voices don’t lie of our feelings.

I go a little forward, mindful to not move too fast and disturb her. Daring, I move closer again after a couple seconds. This time, she notices me from the corner of her eye and breaks out of her trance. She jerks back slightly in surprise and I myself fly and perch farther from her, making the action in reflex.

“Oh it’s you. You scared me.” She says softly. I don’t understand why she speaks to me, no other human bothers. They usually shoo me off or promptly let out a curse. Yet, for the past few days that I have been here, she’s spoken to me.

I speak to her, but she doesn’t understand me. I make a soft noise to give a reply, my greeting. She takes it as that.

“You’re pretty stealthy, you know.” She says really softly again, which makes it almost the normal tone for me. She sighs again and slowly leans back on the railing. “Too bad you’re a sparrow. I would have been glad for someone’s company who doesn’t mind being silent.” I make another soft noise, not moving towards her anymore.

She only noticed me after a week of me coming here regularly, right around when she stares at the sky and is lost in her world. The first time she noticed me and jerked, I promptly flew away. Again the next night. Same the third. On the fourth night, she was waiting and was careful not to move too fast. She hummed softly after a minute of noticing me near her, her voice entranced me, almost as beautiful as a nightingale.

I kept coming back—for that voice, for the silent company. A few more days later, she started speaking softly to me. Talking about nothing and everything —things that seemed pointless and yet were showing the depth in her.

“Some days, dear sparrow, I wish I could fly away like you, not be stuck as a human forced to pretend all the time.” I crooned when she paused, encouraging her to continue and hoping she understood my support. “I suppose it isn’t easy for anyone to live happy these days. I see the rift between my parents and how it affects my little brother. I see how a remark about one’s body affects him or her so much. More and more I noticed the dark circles, the swollen and red eyes, the heavy makeup and the strained smiles around me.” She paused again, during which I stay quiet and still. “I started noticing the cracks and I can’t seem to stop. It’s selfish for me to be satisfied that I’m not the only one, but it also saddens me how most of us are sad.”

I don’t dare move now. She stays absolutely still too, closing her eyes and letting the moonlight bathe her face. A few minutes later, she hums a short tune, as if I’m forgotten. Then she opens her eyes and casually, as if I’m no more than another human, addresses me again. “Is all of that there in your bird lives? The heirarchies and bullies and sadness. I suppose not,” she chuckles to herself, “what do you birds do other than with to survive? I don’t know, I admit, but your life seems simpler.”

This has become too deep for me. I see it in her eyes, the growing hollowness, the ever-cementing helplessness. I cannot support her or offer words of condolence. I flap my wings twice and take off in flight. As I fly away, the wind carries the sound of her chuckle and sigh to me.

I fly only a few blocks far, taking in details out of habit, reassured that no one is around. I fly through the slit between curtains pulled in one of the open windows of a house. No human or animal noticed me fly inside in the dark night, the curtains flapping closed behind me. In a flash of light, I transform mid-stride and close the window glass with my hands. I switch off the lamp light and the room plunges into darkness.

As I fall asleep in my human form, I promise in my head, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will approach her in school. I will introduce myself and become her friend.”

Strangers and friends.

All around me I see smiles, laughs and happiness. On me others see smiles, laughs and happiness. Isn’t this a queer game we play, pretending to be happy. I say pretending because there is no way all of us are this happy.

We are practically strangers, mildly friends. We hang out in the same circles amd only know details about each other through gossip. But how much of it is real? And does it really show insight into the person?

You say you know me because you heard quite somethings from a certain someone who heard it from another certain someone. This is like the chinese whispers game we used to play as kids, don’t you see? Facts, words, sentences and ultimately the news chamges as it goes from mouth-to-mouth. You still say you know me. You still say we’re friends.

I am blunt. I don’t say that, I hardly know you. I don’t know your hopes and your dreams, I don’t know who you love the most from all your heart, I don’t know who you want to be and whether you dislike who you are. I don’t know, how can I call myself your friend.

Would I like to? Maybe. Maybe not. Would you like to? Wouldn’t I want to know. But none of us are interested enough to truly invest time in each other. We remain mostly strangers, mildly friends.

This ocean

Drowning in my sorrow is like the saying “drop by drop makes an ocean”. The water drips into my heart for years and years until my whole being is filled with the salt water that is tainted by the outside world and makes my body only a vessel to hold all of that leaving no place for good river water to flow in and remain pure. The salts spread until everything is bittersweet and now all the liquid in this ocean is like tears that taste of salt which give a small insight into the infinite well inside me from which water is hardly drawn. It all remains inside. Until one day when one more drop makes it overflow, when this vessel will not be enough to hold that much sadness that sorrow pours out to which others are astonished seeing. The water is blue like any other. No one knows of all the sadness inside me until they make an effort to draw out everything and help this well start afresh again. But now it’s too late because I am ocean now, not a well; an ocean too big and filled to start again. 

So I blubber, I contain, I hold all of it within my boundaries to my best extent. Drowning myself is a given, drowning others is not necessary. 

Reading all the happily ever afters give me hope, make me wish, that one day someone will willingly drown themself to give me company. The pragmatist side of me overpowers within a minute of that thought.

I remain underwater, hardly breathing, drowning forever. 

No, thank you.

I try to be the perfect daughter.

I try to be the perfect friend.

I strive to be on top.

I try

Not to be a disappointment.

 

I plaster a smile everyday

Try to be calm and composed.

I keep my voice down

Trying to be the perfect girl.

I learn all traditions and rules

Even though I don’t want to follow them.

I pretend to be someone I’m not

In an effort to be accepted.

 

It is so hard

Now after so many years

To be myself

When everyone believed the fake me

As the real me.

 

I have changed, they say

I have become fake, they sneer

I am not the girl

I was brought up to be.

 

What they do not understand

Is that I have finally realised;

I tried so much

That I fell short for myself.

It is not a life I want to lead.

 

It is not a life I want to lead.

 

I will break out of the shell I made

Show who I really am because no one

No one matters more than myself

And I have finally accepted that.

 

I will stay up and stay strong.

You want to gossip about me?

I will give you something to talk about.

I will not be brought down and down and down

With these rules of the society

That were set in cement centuries ago.

 

I am my own self.

I will not bow down to your rules

Of how to be a person.

I am decent enough to apologise for it;

I’m sorry.

But no, thank you.