We beg for our cries to be heard We cry for the unsettling storm inside us We adjure for the storm to leave, unharmed For our beat to not be disrupted The human conflict we call pain To be prevented in all scenarios But then again, it narrates a story People in pain are people who write With the pain subsiding, We lose a bulk of stories Is that a world we sought for? This might be the fifth poem I wrote today. The five poems have no relevance to each other. The first is about the moon, the second is about sunset, the third is a satire based on one of Shakespeare's sonnets, the fourth on vision, and the fifth is about pain. What I find ridiculing is the number of poems I wrote since the pandemic as I gave up on writing. And the cherry on top? I was repulsed by the idea of taking on literature. You ask why? Simple, it just felt too monotonous and gloomy. I found it hard to sympathize with it. Once I read The Picture Of Dorian Gray, I straight up went like, "no way this is real." With the extensive poetry and implied erotica, I barely understood half of it. But the writing style had me captivated. I still opined with the fact that writers need a big hug and be a bit optimistic. Now coming from a fellow pessimist, I get why they aren't on the bright side of life. Being locked in a dark room feels suffocating and frightening. Even if the atmosphere is vast, it still feels like the oxygen supply is cut off and soon you would be left with nothing. That is how the pandemic felt. It was around my transition age and everything felt so frustrating, so dull. At a certain point, I wanted to give up and it felt as if nothing is worth living for. Life became like a spiral abyss with no escape gate. Just like the chapters of a book, the plot keeps getting better and better right? But once the protagonist starts pitying himself, life becomes an endless nightmare where everything comes to a pause. Reflecting on past mistakes and never moving from them made me adopt a façade that is not me. My present life is a like a house of cards- a house that might break with the slightest gush of wind blowing over it. It feels like I'm there even though I'm not. Even the slightest of things hurt me and I'm left numb. Sometimes I pretend to not care and just go with the flow. I once told one of my friends, ‘you know it wouldn't hurt me if any of you leave me.' Was I lying? No. As someone who everyone left, I expect the worse and nothing more. It is better to assume the worse than to have your expectations shattered. Ever since I was young, I struggled with feelings. I never had a potential lover neither did I feel anything. Yet I pretended to blend with them. Little did I know it would affect me so much. Almost everyone gave up on me including my parents, after all, I'm the embodiment of disappointment. An additional point, I keep making a fool out of myself all the time. I feel empty most of the time, a feeling I cannot explain. Yet I keep fighting but for what? Why am I trying so hard when everyone has turned their backs on me? Why am I trying when I have no reason to do so? I cannot quite remember the last time I was happy. That is where writing comes into play. It is not much of a hassle, just take a pen and paper and let your hands move. The art of writing is not understood by many but once you let the pen flow, a stream of words appears and your mind becomes active as ever. It's like an adrenaline rush for me- writing until your fingers are numb, the pain in your fingertips feels like you have accomplished something. Tragedy prevails in everyone's life. No matter how much we hide from the demons, staying in the light of the day, we are bound to face them once the night dawns upon us. When we practically vent out to someone, they listen and nod. But when one writes, the secrets are stored. One may look at it after a while and realize the progress they have made over time being and that it something to be proud of. Reading No Longer Human, I realized that Yozo, the protagonist tells us about his life filled with shame. He tried his best to be a human and did everything to act what we call ‘normal'. But his life was short-lived as he met the same fate as the author of the book- Osamu Dazai. Writing is not only for scribbling or writing stories but also portraying yourself in a subtle manner, something that Oscar did to Dorian, drawing his sinful life that led to his demise like Dorian. For a story to be successful, tragedy should be written in its utmost element. A lot of us have many stories to share. Especially after the pandemic that morphed everyone's life into someone they aren't. Someone they never wanted to be. Writing is not any form of rocket science. It is art, words combined to form emotions, something everyone can try. Exploring one's different side won't kill, will it?
A few days ago, I was writing a story. A story about a boy. A boy, whose best friends were agony, despair and grief. A boy, whose behavior would often be called “weird”. People would not accept his idiosyncrasies; they would instead find it better to ridicule him and his lack of social skills. His childhood did not deserve to be called a childhood at all. I felt a connection to that story. It was remarkably relatable. Although even I had had very few friends, I had had a lot of pleasant escapades too. Yet, I scraped off that idea and tore my page into a million pieces. I was about to throw them all in the bin when one of the smaller ones caught my attention, and all of a sudden, I was nostalgic. 25th May 2015. It was evening. I was sitting on the couch of my Meemaw's house, reading a book, and I was beaming with delight. After all, my birthday was just around the corner! All of a sudden, I felt an itch in my right ear. Lazy as I was, I did not want to get up and use an earbud. But I was worried about my hygiene too. I couldn't imagine using my own finger to remove my earwax. So, I tore off a bit of paper from the last page, and put it in my ear. As funny as it sounds, it really was effective in removing that itch. The problem arose when I started to enjoy a bit too much. I was holding it with the tip of my finger and inserted it far too deep; and then, I lost my grip. The paper got stuck inside. I panicked. I did not want my parents or my grandparents to find out about my stupidity, so I got up and rushed to get that earbud. Unfortunately, I did not realize that the earbud would not remove that paper; rather it would push it even further inside. I just kept hoping for the paper to attach to the earbud with adhesion, which was practically impossible. The paper, even after this struggle session, was still lodged inside. I decided to forget about this incident and acted normally that night. The next morning however, while eating my breakfast, I felt a searing pain in my ear. I could no longer afford to keep this incident a secret. I confessed everything to my parents. They were shocked at my idiocy; but they knew they had to get my ear checked. Unfortunately, most of the ENT specialists whom we knew about were closed that day. We spent the next 2 hours surfing the internet, but weren't able to find even a single doctor close to us. That was when my mom recalled that she had once been to a doctor, who used to keep his clinic open all year long. “Maybe to earn more?” I deliberated with myself. We got into our car and drove to him. His clinic was present in a really secluded area. He did not have an assistant, and it became obvious to us that he had not had patients in a while when we saw him playing candy crush on his phone in his working hours. He first looked into my ear with a concave mirror and a torch. He could not spot any piece of paper, and was going to conclude that it might have fallen out; when I told him about my pain. That was when I saw him turn serious. He looked more carefully, and this time, he spotted it. He requested my parents to leave us alone. He might've guessed that the love of my parents for me had made them astonishingly soft-hearted, so they might not be able to see me cry. When they left, he warned “Son, you will feel a slight pain in your ear. But your parents told me that you are a brave boy. Once I take that paper ball out, you will be good to go”. I nodded in approval. He put his sharp instrument in my ear. That searing pain returned to me. I wondered why he had not given me any anesthetic. The deeper he went, the more it hurt. It was like having a hundred wasps sting me in a very small periphery for a very long time. I must've gotten lost in my own thoughts, because I remained motionless even after he had taken out the paper from my ear. It was only when he shook me that I came back to my senses. He pointed his finger towards that dirty nasty paper covered with my disgusting earwax. I went outside and saw my parents waiting anxiously. “The operation was successful!”, I exclaimed with delight. My voice startled them. They turned around, only for me to witness my dad gasp in shock and my mom choke a sob. I innocently asked “Why are you crying mom?”, but before she could answer, I felt a drop fall on my neck. “Is my ear bleeding?” Her sudden surge of tears answered my question. While walking towards the bin, I wondered if I had partially lost my hearing. This was one question whose answer I did not want to know. My introspection was interrupted by my mom's voice, “Son, which girl are you dreaming about?” Embarrassed, I replied, “I am not dreaming about any girl mom!” “Then go and do something productive. And remember, don't start thinking about girls again!” We chuckled.