What’s the prettiest mask you ever wore?

Hello Stranger!

Rain, Coffee and Silhouette Photography ©V

I know you’re intrigued by the title. I really like that about you. Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, which is perhaps why I haven’t written in a while now. How are you doing? I know you have been a little confused by life. This isn’t really turning out to be your year, is it? I think we’re on the same side then. As I sit here, listening to classical piano music with a mug of coffee beside me, I can’t help but think about the numerous times I’ve been in this position before. This moment, right now, is my solace and I want you to picture it too.

Who are you? Have you thought about the various faces to you? The various phases you’ve been through to get here? Have you thought about the people who pushed you to become this person? Yes, it’s best not to go there again. It’s interesting to note how, many a times, we end up being the people we staunchly disrelish to the people we deeply desire. Why do we do this? Is it fear or are we just unequipped to deal with anyone but ourselves? We’ve all made promises that remain unkept till date. We’ve loved those who couldn’t love us back. We’ve angered ourselves about things we had no control over. People always came and left and chapters got completed so abruptly that now we almost look forward to the endings.

I’ve stared at the skies long enough to realize this is just who we are, so completely and naturally flawed. I have tried to keep my promises but the older I get, the more I understand my limitations. All of those beautiful stars I grew up gazing upon, remain the same, and yet your masks change every single day. How am I to know which mask is the real you? Is it when you smile oh-so-softly that your eyes light up? Is it when I can’t stop looking at you as you speak because every word you say breaks my heart into pieces I strive so hard to collect? Is it the diabolically carefree one you have on with everyone else? Or is it the one you put on while your head rests on my breasts with your eyes shut and your lips slightly parted, in your deep slumber?

Perhaps I do the same to you. Perhaps I’m too scared to know what’s behind that mask of yours, so I put on a new on too, every morning. I think I wear mine to hide the hurt so you don’t ever see me cry. It changes with the person I’m with, of course, just like yours do. These conventionally pretty masks keep my latent desires away from your scrutiny, so no one can ever touch me. But don’t misconstrue their complexities of being, for they are only trying to save you from yourself. Maybe if you take them off, you wouldn’t be so spectacularly strong. Maybe you’ll realize that you and I aren’t very different. Maybe someday your masks will strip mine off layer by layer, so I wouldn’t ever need another one. And quite honestly, I am looking forward it, for when that happens, I’ll know how right I was to love you the way I did. So let’s begin with a simple question, what is the prettiest mask you ever wore?

 

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Memoirs of a broken lock

“How do you turn this rusty broken lock into a story?” he asked her. She smiled to herself and said, “Ah, yes. I thought you’d never ask.”

This story, my dear, is a series of relentlessly unfortunate events that snowballed into breaking of a seemingly ordinary lock. It dates back to when she was 16, growing up in a world that was harsher than her wildest nightmare. What she desired most was to escape into a wilderness, a place where promises were kept by all of their makers. She craved to be understood and accepted for being who she was. She loved people in a crazy, stupidly intense way. Her world was so surreal that the romantics would have been proud. But what she didn’t know was that the society around her wasn’t ready for her desires.

She was not aware of the depth of these societal traps. She didn’t know what patriarchy meant and how it would change her entire life. Being 16 in this world isn’t easy. It’s that time when you have you magical firsts like she had hers. The kiss that stole her naïve heart away, the boy who made her nervous, the friends who were to last forever, all those promises that were made. You guessed it right, the magic faded away just a little before her friends did. But her world came crashing down when she came home and saw the broken lock on her bedroom door. Her parents had fallen prey to a society that demanded for girls to get their wings clipped, so they wouldn’t fly.

So what did she do when all her secrets lay nakedly around her bedroom floor, with the open pages of her personal diaries? She cried, until there was nothing left to cry about. She looked at the broken lock everyday hoping it would fix itself. But when it didn’t, she knew what she had to do. She registered that sight in her mind and liberated herself the way that lock had. She decided to live her life unapologetically, to keep people at a safe distance, to not let romanticism control her anymore and most importantly, to love herself like no one had ever loved her.

*As seen upon returning from school- 12th grade

“Wow. That’s quite a story, but didn’t she face more problems going against her parents?” He asked.

“Why of course she did, and that’s what made her so strong. She learnt to save herself before letting anyone else try and fail. She also had dark phases, some darker than most, but you see, some people are just so irrationally stubborn about being okay that their paths always lead them back to themselves. She was one of those.”

He looked like he was in a state of trance. He took a pause and said, “So where is she now? How is she?”

I can’t help but smile at this boy before I continue, “Well she’s within all of us, isn’t she? You know the feeling that nudges you to go on? That’s her. The broken lock signifies that you’re not bound to anything. Everything is so susceptible to breaking hon, don’t you think? We’re so fragile with all our egos and charades that we so proudly flaunt around. We need her to keep us sane, to feel the hurt and keep moving forward. So the next time someone breaks the lock to your personal door, thank them, think of her and walk right through it. Her 16 year old self would be so proud of you.”

Darkness of a song.

What is it about tonight that feels so calm?
What is it that’s keeping me up?
Maybe it’s you and the memories of you.
Maybe it’s what you sound like, inside my head.
The most beautiful madness I’ve experienced,
Is enchanted by the way you look tonight.
Would you show me what you desire?
If I show you my tragic lies?
Would you let me have my weak moments,
And yet hold me tight?
I can’t promise you a forever,
But I promise you love in it’s purest form.
Some say it’s insanity, I call it being alive.
What are we, if not two lonely souls,
Who happened to own the nights?
Darling I’ve seen many,
They come and go as they please.
But the darkest song I ever wrote?
Is the one you’ll never hear about.
A fakir with unrelentlessly glimmering eyes,
All I have are my words, my love,
And for you, I’ll carry them right on the edge of my sleeves.

You are bigger.

It’s a Friday night, and you’re alone in your room,

Why don’t you pour out that wine and sip it, watching gossip girl?

Or read that book that you’ve been trying to finish,

Since forever?

Wear your favourite dress, out on that dark lipstick,

Put on your favourite playlist on that speaker of yours.

Twirl a little, have a pizza or go for a run,

This life is yours and yours alone.

There’s no one that matters the way you do,

No one you’d rather be.

You’re kind, you love so deep, complete in yourself,

You don’t need another person to be your “better half”,

You’re not a broken puzzle, looking for pieces to fit together,

All your puzzles are right inside you, already fixed.

Take that solo trip you’ve always wanted to, you don’t need anyone,

For the best company you can get is of yourself.

Expand beyond the horizons of what this world has to offer,

In this moment and all that will follow, you are a beautiful enigma,

Your world sure is big, but you are bigger.

Why are modern day theories of empowerment not helping us practically?

3 years of law school taught me more than I’d learnt in 2 decades of my life. Heck I’d go as far as to claim that these years changed my perception of the entire goddamn world, a feat no family member could have ever achieved. I’ve perfected the theories that grant me a sense of empowerment (especially since I identify myself as a woman), and a belief that I’m capable of doing just about anything I set my mind to. But somewhere down the process of implementation, this is all they tend to remain, mere theories.

Why is it that when most of us get romantically involved with a partner, we end up compromising on all kinds of theories that law school tries to chip into our brains? Through the two serious relationships I’ve had in these 3 years, I realize the end of each one was sporadically spread out with short and long intervals of emotional abuse. And each time it happened, each time one of us walked away, each time one of us broke up or suggested it, we thought to ourselves, “Oh but this time was an exception, it’ll get better henceforth”; Except it never really got anywhere close to getting better.

I’ve read all kinds of feminist theories, radical, liberal etc., and none were in favour of what my cycle of relationships went through. I realize that real life relationships, especially those that are romantic in nature, aren’t simple enough to perfectly fit into a specific theory. But does that mean we don’t implement these theories at all? While the complexities of a human mind will always pave ways for irrationalities, can we not try and suppress it by the knowledge we gain through texts? If I can take abuse from my partner on irregular intervals that only get more and more regular, and preach feminism on social media, does that make me a hypocrite? Does the fact that I don’t want anyone else to go through anything remotely akin to my situation and I keep going through it anyway, make me a hypocrite? Do I need to really implement all that I preach or do I give my relationships certain amount of leverage because well, “He and I are going to last forever”.

I think our generation is the loneliest and campus lives are the hardest. Once you’re out of the comfortably monotonous routine you live by for all your life at home and are put in a hostel with people of your own age group, the place starts getting intimidating. Every other person seems so much more happier, every other instagram/facebook profile seems so perfect, and soon enough, every other relationship seems straight out of freaking Hollywood. But wait, stop for a second and analyze this situation. That picture which portrays such a happy couple was taken right after they had one of their ugliest fights. So why is it up on social media then? Oh because getting approval from our peer is the latest way to determine how good our private lives our. We’ve all done this. I have too. Guilty as charged.

This loneliness that stems from our unwillingness to embrace our own company is probably what is harming most of us at this very moment. Broke up with your partner? Get on tinder already! Why? Because Friday night was date night, what do I do alone now? How about get some pizza and wine and have a date with yourself? You might be pleasantly surprised with just how fun you can be. A close friend of mine told me this and ever since, my Friday nights have not been lonely. I think the only way we will stop taking someone else’s shit is when we stop brushing off everything under the supreme umbrella of “love”.

I heard my 19 year old sister tell me how she couldn’t break up with her boyfriend even though she realized and recognized the toxicity in her relationship. “But why can’t you?” I asked her. “Because I love him and I can’t imagine my life without him”, she answered. Is this really love? Being hurt over and over again, crying so much that you become comfortably numb, alienating yourself from everything that once gave you joy, making your whole life about caring for someone else, is that really what love requires?

Because honey, if that’s love and you’re expected to invest so much of your emotions into it simply because you can’t be alone, I’m out. If love requires hypocrisy, then maybe it’s time to redefine love. How about we try placing ourselves before any partner we might ever have and then see how another human fits into our lives? How about, for once, we give ourselves a break and breathe at a pace that suits us? I’ve seen way too many socially and politically empowered persons completely switching their stances when it came down to their personal lives and that is just sad. So how about this, let’s try and practice the theories that once impressed us so much that we defined ourselves using them? Let’s try. Please.

How are you?

Sounds like quite a general question, doesn’t it? Well I don’t know how to answer it anymore. I don’t know how I can make it better. I don’t know when this feeling will change. I’m not sure if it will actually. And this is perhaps what scares me the most. I know all that I need to do to reach wherever I want to. But somehow, things just seem to keep falling apart. I try to not let it get me down. I try so hard. But by the end of it all, the system of this academic world pushes me against the walls, in a dark corner and keeps me pinned down. I wish there was an easier way to go about life. I understand that this isn’t the worst thing that could happen to anyone, but it’s not what I want. I helped save a life quite recently. I think that deserves to be talked about. I think people are losing their sense of humanity and the very essence of love that is required to keep this world intact.

When you ask me how I am, a million things run through my head. A million different feelings rush in. I want to scream out and tell you just how fucked up I feel. I want to shout it all out. Would that help? If I were to tell you that I need some help, would you help me? If I tell you that I’m scared, will you hold me tight till I am not? Or will you feed off of my vulnerability? Tell me, do you really care or are you just being nice? What’s up with me? I don’t know love, I’m a little lost. But darling, when you ask me how I am, do you really want to venture into my darkness? Do you really want me to tell you how I feel about the way things are? Will you care about how my thoughts on politics or how I think the world needs a fresh start? Will you care about my desires of making this place a much more humane world to live in? Do you want to hear about those times when I pretend to be okay, just so people won’t bother me anymore? Or about how all those therapy sessions didn’t really help me?

How am I? I’m in pain. There are all kinds of things that bother me, and there are just not enough solutions. I want to be okay. But it just seems a little too difficult to be okay when our world seems to be falling apart. So the next time you ask me how I am, I’m going to smile and say, “I’m good. How are you?”

Make love to me

Look deep into my eyes, cup my face.
Tell me why you hate yourself,
Tell me all of your fears.
Hold my hand, I’ll hold it back,
And trace your face with a kiss on your forehead.
I’ll hug you tight,
Tight enough to chase your demons away,

©V

Far, far away.
Strip me of all my emotions,
And make love to me, one tear at a time.
Tell me your darkest desires, I’ll tell you mine,
Trust me darling,
We’ll find a plethora of paths intertwined.
Touch me, touch my body,
Every goddamn inch of it, until I can’t take it anymore,
Until you can’t take it anymore.
Make love to me,
Make it raw, and hard and ah! Blow my mind away.
Make love to me darling, make love to me.

 

xoxo

 

Melancholy of A Dried Rose Petal

As odd as the title may seem to you, I promise to make this a good read!

While scooping around for stuff in an old college bag, I found an odd item still surprisingly intact. It was one single ancient-looking rose petal, stripped off of all the romance that once kept it alive, akin to the story of us. If I hadn’t known better, this petal could’ve been passed on for perhaps a dried specimen from one of those herbariums I used to have. But alas, knowing better sometimes translates to knowing what causes you to feel that raw emotion of hurt. I’m a recovering romantic, there, I said it. I understand the absurdity of it but whatever little romance I had left in me got sucked right in so deep that I’d forgotten about its existence. I was involved with a really nice guy for almost a year and a half, since the very inception of my law school life but somewhere along the way, we forgot what had brought us together. Sweet talks became yelling matches, too loud, too irrational. There’s something about what a person says in anger that hurts more than it should. It’s quite interesting to note how Seneca, an ancient philosopher, once said that “people get angry because they are too hopeful”. This, perhaps, is true. He and I, we crossed all horizons of human rationality in an attempt to make “us” work which I believe is a problem a lot of people face. We get so used to being around an individual that the sheer thought of going on without them seems absurd. This also gives birth to the cycle of fight and resolve, fight and resolve.

He and I were like two sides of a coin that just happened to get stuck midway and by some miracle, also happened to turn around and face each other. Don’t get me wrong, he is an amazing guy, just not the right one. He is smart, rational but lacks the irrationality, the romanticism and poetry that love requires. The dried rose petal that now lies on my desk is a bittersweet token of our undefined love life together. I remember when he gave it to me and when I threw it away in anger, only to walk all the way back to fetch it.  I’ve had it for months now and until this day; the magnitude of impact something this silly could have on my emotions surprises me. The dried veins on this petal seem unfamiliar and the touch, no longer welcome. It just wants to be left alone, much like the story of us that I’d woven in my head.

I promised to make this a good read, and I hope I did. There isn’t a happy ending for there isn’t an ending yet; but I can tell you this much, if you are with someone merely because that’s the way it is, get out of it. It’ll hurt more than you signed up for, but it could also be the best gift you give yourself. As far as my mystery man is concerned, I’m still counting on being on amicable terms someday. But for now, I’m in a good place with myself. And for now, the pale brown petal thrives on this wishful thinking.