Fires of Hell

I back myself into a corner,
Holding onto the wall for support,
To stop my fingers, my hands,
From shivering with fear,
As I stare back into the eyes,
Of the dark room before me,
My body clenching,
As though violated;
All those hurtful words,
They ring in my ears,
Questioning my Purity,
Questioning my intentions,
Questioning my humanity,
Questioning my femininity –
Dragging my every action,
Through the fires of hell;
Burning my confidence,
My integrity, my self worth;
I am unable to see my reflection,
For all I see is doubts;
The loathing towards myself,
And towards those voices,
Slighting me, stomping my pride,
For all I wanted to do,
Was make her voice be heard,
To tell them of those horrors,
And the nightmares,
Of wrongs that were done;
My voice cracked,
And let out sobs,
For it seemed to be the only solace,
In being denied the justice,
For being a woman,
My voice wasn’t loud enough.

A Bittersweet Journey

With a blink of an eye, I’m watching yet another year come to an end. It feels like just yesterday that I moved to this city and began my journey of independence. The memories certainly have been bittersweet. There have been so many changes in my life this year, and I might still be adjusting to those significant changes. One thing is for sure, I know that I am not alone in this wonderful journey of mine.

When I first got my taste of independence last September, I was apprehensive. I was away from the warmth of home and family; but, I was also entering a world of choices I would be making on my own. Although I have never developed a taste for this city, there is one thing about it that will never come close to anything I have experienced – this city taught me the value of solitude. I have always been a person of solitude. I have always enjoyed the silence of my own company. Being a part of something this enormous, a part of such a busy city, you still learn to spend time with yourself. The first three months specifically were very significant to me. I would come back to my PG after a long day at work and take off on long walks by myself, exploring. There was such a hustle and bustle around me, and yet, I was alone. I was alone, yet not lonely. I learnt to eat alone. Growing up in a very close-knit family, I have always been around people. This feeling was scary and exciting, all at once.

Over one and a half years, I worked two jobs, lived in three different places, spent time with old friends, made some new friends, formed new relationships, lost some old ones, I have shared my feelings, I’ve internalized on some. I don’t think I have undergone so many physical and mental changes in a decade as I have in this last one year. It has all been a lesson for me, and given me the ability to deal with life as it comes. I’m afraid that this journey is slowly coming to an end as I leave my job. I’m glad to be going back home, but I’m also going to miss the fierce independence that comes with this city.

The Abyss of the Soul

The Centre of my soul,
It calls me,
Into an abyss,
From the noise,
The chaos,
The agitation,
Controlling this world,
Bereft of peace,
Without humanity,
So I clutch my mind,
With sheer agony,
The mayhem of
The frantic voices,
And protect it,
From the malevolent
Energy of the world;
I shut myself in,
Desperately in search,
Of peace,
Of bliss,
Inside this frantic spirit.

 

A Smile that Says Unconditional Love

Summer Camp 2015, Mythri Charitable Trust (R)

When I look back to all those times that I have smiled with abandon, there is one place that prominently stands out – Mythri Charitable Trust (R).

Mythri is a school for the mentally challenged which my grandfather started about 35 years ago – the first of it’s kind in Mysuru. You can’t improve their IQ that easily, so my grandfather and his partner introduced a syllabus for these special children to improve their skills; he introduced those activities into their schedule which would not only improve their motor skills but would also help them find a job for themselves when it was time for them to leave the school.

People think that spending time with these people would make them sad. I’m here to tell you that you won’t be. Spending just five minutes in this place will plaster a smile on your face. The students might be challenged and they might be from economically backward communities, but they love unconditionally. They don’t understand the concept of hate.

Every time I visit the school, they recognise me the instant I reach the gate. I am greeted with bone crushing hugs and screams of enthusiasm. No one wants to be left out with the handshakes and hugs. Even the reclusive ones have warmed up to me over the years. Just the sound of “APPAKKA” makes my day and there is no challenge I can’t overcome. Even today, after moving to a different city, there is no happy place which can compete for close second.

A New Friend and New Experiences

There is so much that we take for granted in life. We are so absorbed in our own tiny bubbles, that we fail to see the people or lives that exist outside this bubble. Yes, life is busy as it is, and yes, we have so many hardships of our own. That doesn’t excuse us from being ignorant of everything around us. There is so much to learn from the world around us.

A new intern was assigned the same cab as me yesterday. Here is what makes him stand out – he’s blind. Apart from the fact that he needs someone to guide him from place to place, he’s just like one of us. Though he has routine as normal as ours, there were so many questions running around in my mind. The cab driver voiced out the first question – how does he use a smartphone? Turns out that there are special functions and apps which reads out the content on the screen to help them use the phone. This is just one of many.

Being his first day in the cab yesterday, he first felt awkward to ask for our help. He was about to request his friend to come down to the cab to help him to his floor, and I offered to take him there. Impressively, he carefully but easily crossed over stones and climbed the steps to the building lobby.

See, I’m a person who doesn’t like awkward silences. I start talking more than normal when the atmosphere is awkward (and that is saying something). So like I always do when there is an awkward silence,  I decided to strike up a conversation with him. I asked him for his name and introduced myself to him. I asked him about his internship and asked him about his college (I’m assuming he’s extremely smart because he’s doing his MBA at IIM). Turns out he just needed someone to break the ice of awkwardness. Today, he struck up a conversation by himself. He asked me what I do, and joked about the interns looking lost a few days ago. Just a simple conversation with him lifted my spirits for the day. I didn’t hear a judgement in his voice.

I still have so many questions in my head, but I keep them to myself because I’m afraid of offending him. I’m looking forward to more small talk for as long as he’s here. I have so much more to learn.

Beacon Within

When you disappear,
In the dense crowds,
That throng the streets,
Of this unappealing world,
To become insignificant,
Amongst those people,
Who so desperately
Seek recognition,
Like you and me,
To be different,
Just like every last person,
Hastily hustling,
To find a path not trodden;
You are alone,
To uncover your path,
And make your journey;
You fret and cringe,
At the obstacles
That befall you,
That make you trip,
On your choices,
And your decisions,
Setting hurdles,
Quite arduous to par;
You often believe,
That defeat follows,
But look hard,
For that brilliant light,
That beckons you,
Like a beacon does a ship,
And that light,
It hides within you,
Making you radiant,
The guiding light;
So follow the light,
And it will lead you,
To bliss you truly seek.

The Typhoon

The gloomy clouds,
They swarm the skies,
Hiding the warmth,
The happiness,
The light;
Muffling-
The guiding voices,
Of the planets,
The stars,
The universe;
The lightning strikes,
Setting fire to desires,
The brutal outbreak of thunder,
Penetrating the ears,
In an ear splitting roar,
Piercing into peace;
The animals cower
In fear,
The plants bow down
In defeat;
Conquered,
Overpowered,
The rains lash the ground,
With power,
With force-
The trees sway uncontrollably,
With the wind,
Too gusty for survival;
Days after days,
Nights after nights,
The tempest raged,
Until the world bowed,
To it’s might;
Destruction and doom awaits,
Any being that fights;
Until you are humbled,
By the wrath of the typhoon.

 

Sunshine

As the lush grass,
Sways to the winds,
And the sunflowers
Gaze up at the sun,
Glimmering bright;
The cuckoos swoop down,
Serenading the meadows,
Euphoniously,
Waking up the earth,
The trees,
The creatures –
All priming,
For a spectacular day,
A day of possibilities,
Clear as the blue skies,
Stretching beyond the horizon,
The thoughts of euphoria,
Floating over my head,
Shielding me,
From the darkness
Of the shadows;
I take in the scent,
Of positivity,
Of Hope,
And heave a happy sigh,
For my mind,
It is happy;
I open my eyes,
To reality,
Where dark clouds,
They formed shadows,
But the smile on my face,
It remains plastered,
For the sun in my head,
It shines too bright,
For the darkness,
That envelops the world.

 

Believe

via Daily Prompt: Invisible

Do not fear,
For it is there,
You cannot see,
But it is there,
shielding you,
From the wrath,
The Pain,
The Hurt;
An invisible force,
dormant
Until you summon,
With full power,
With credence,
And it will arise,
With power beyond
Any energy you’ve seen,
Unstoppable,
But you only need,
To believe,
To have faith,
For it is only,
The strength inside,
The light within,
Waiting to break out,
So close your eyes,
And beckon this power,
And stand tall,
For this wall,
It will not move,
And it will protect;
So smile,
Accept,
And believe,
That you are the light,
And look within.

Reminiscence of Summers Past

With school letting out for the holidays, I see little children playing cricket, chasing each other around the fields; It is that time of year which never fails to take me down the memory lane. From brightly coloured ice candy to endless games of hide and seek, every summer from 1st standard until 12th has been in every way cherished.

Being a loud, noisy and boisterous bunch, every evening, us kids would get together to play for endless hours, until it was dark and our parents demanded we go back home. Courtesy to the summer power cuts, some evenings were spent playing and chattering away to glory. The endless supply of ice cream and lemonade cooled the days of scorching heat. An extra rupee was saved every summer so we could buy mango churmuri.

Every vacation included a mandatory visit to the cousins in Bangalore, where we spent days on end just roaming the streets, eating and playing. These trips also included a visit to my favourite bookstore, “Blossoms”, where I would spend my birthday money on bags of books which I devoured away through the holidays. Book shopping followed by Chinese food was a must. Summer vacations also meant endless sleepovers of movies, coke floats and gossip.

One unforgettable summer for me would be the summer of 2008. So many memories and experiences from the “Sarpass Trek” which not only has given me friends for life, but a new appreciation to the mountains. The first sight of the snow-capped mountains as we ascended towards Rohtang Pass mesmerized me, for a few moments convinced me that it was a painting instead. The unbearable cold, the blizzard and the grueling climb gave us a sense of accomplishment.

When it was time to bid adieu to being a kid and become an adult at college, I was fortunate to bring Mythri Charitable Trust (R) into my life. Those special children accepted me as their own and showered me with so much love, I knew for sure that my life would not be the same again. They taught me the value of unconditional love and to be happy no matter the hardships. Until today, it is the happy place I can never replace. It was also this summer that I made friends who I know are by my side no matter what.

Although it was time to grow up, I decided to keep some of the child-like qualities and enjoy life no matter what it throws at me. Here I am, cherishing some of the most precious memories of my life, those which will be close to my heart forever.

A shout-out to the kids of this generation. Get out of the house, get some fresh air and go be a child. You have enough time to be an adult when you actually become one.

Looking forward to the rest of the summer.