Update on The World Past Me.

It has been just a little more than a month since I’ve last posted on my blog, and over six months, since I stopped posted continuously. This is an long, overdue explanation for that.

I had trouble writing. The enthusiasm with which I wrote had deserted me, moreover, it felt impersonal. I’ve always written because those were words that I didn’t say, and they needed to be said. They’ve always been from the heart, they’ve always been about things that I felt, or did, or thought; my writing was never about just writing- it was a means for me to express myself.

Lately, more specifically starting last summer, I ran out of things to talk about. I ran out of things to say. I didn’t know what to write. I felt that the one thing that I had with me always had emancipated from myself. What I wrote was a result of my frustration of not being able to write, not being able to feel empty after I’d written, not being able to say what I needed to say. And let me tell you, that isn’t a good place to be. Imagine someone taping your mouth when you are telling them about a very personal event, or not being able to find a recall the word that would say exactly what you want to say and your mind going in circles at that thought and you’ll know what I mean. 

Many of you may also know that it was around the same time that I started my undergraduate studies as an English major in a university about two hours from my house. of course, as a language major, I was also supposed to write a lot. My conviction in my writing only grew weaker, and the feeling of being wordless was engulfing me. I could only write for my courses. I felt that this “academic” writing was draining me of my ability to write, for myself. I wrote, a little, as I said, but they were not writings that I was satisfied with. Their purpose was simple: to keep the blog running. And in that way, an entire semester passed, without me having blogged successfully.

However, last month, at my end semester break, I decided to write anything, poetry , prose, anything that would make me write. And I started a little something. From 11 pm to 3 am, I would sit with a cup of soup or coffee at the dining table in my house, surrounded my a warm blanket and alternate between writing and watching YouTube videos. And I did write; I wrote about 7.5k words in a span of 15 days. I don’t know a lot about these stats, but the important thing is that I wrote. I wrote without deleting every second word and without closing the file in my anger and without getting distracted.

Fifteen days since I last worked on it, I have finally written something today that I am satisfied with, that makes me feel like I’ve done a good job. And it is in celebration of that that I am finally making this post, my first post in the new year that is 2017, that is making me think that yes, I will be more punctilious and adhere to blogging regularly.

Hopefully, this post today will unjinx the bad voodoo that has prevented me from writing, and hopefully, it’ll be the welcome mat for the next, and more frequent posts, on The World Past Me.

A very (late) Happy New Year to everyone. May words always be with you!

 

Aleppo.

My mother is a history teacher,
and I was a sixth grader when
she first told me about the World Wars.
Now, as a twelve year old,
blissfully unaware of the crises of the world,
this was a revelation because

I could not understand, however hard I tried,
how anyone could watch and simply see people
killing other people.

Six years later,
desensitized to terrorism
and having learnt the ways of the world,
I realize how wrong I was,
believing that I would never ever be
one of those who could stand see war
tear apart countries.

I have been witnessing a genocide
in Syria for most of my adult life,
and reading the final goodbyes of people
in Aleppo over Twitter today,
never have I been more ashamed
of my own existence.

The Starry Night

“Through the iron barred window, I can see an enclosed square of wheat… above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory,” – Van Gogh, in a letter to his brother. 

The condescending darkness
echoes through the cosmos
the descending doom,
the sky sways with the wind
the lit sky numbs progressively
the candle flickers dangerously
the wheat winnows itself
the bars of my windows break free.

I sit over the crescent moon
and watch the world burn
and watch the sun rise
and I burn as the sun
fills me with light
like the lit up sky,
the stars eddying
hypnotize mankind
will them all to hope
as hope is in the stars
and the planet is a star
ignited with souls like me
and today, I paint just for me.

About Venus.

I wear my hair in a bun, curls cascading down my face,
my bun, prim and perfect like the Manali mountain
rooftop where visitors (tourists and local alike) throng
for the picturesque view they can post on their timelines
as a reminder of the majesty of the place, all the while
paying homage to what I can humbly call my creation;
the gentle curls around my lush pink cheeks hover like the
floating clouds that threaten to hide the wide valleys
nestled behind the crevices of my collarbones and the
steep, winding heights , that are my perky breast,
making experienced conquerors dizzy with their unyielding
climb; my abdomen is the valleys unexplored, some huge
with their unconquerable landscape and some so narrow,
only a stream can run through; into the mystery that is
between my legs, secrets unrevealed, ever gathering moss,
places that my deft fingers- like the animals in the forests-
have been to and been lost in; thighs like tree trunks, strong
and sturdy, developed well enough to carry my own weight
and well as to nurse life (on my lap, children have slept
as the nursed and they sat as they played until they grew)
but dare you seek my wrath and I will uproot and destroy
everything, everything, everything you have ever known to rubble.
So the next time you call me weak, remember that clouds
do rain, mountains do collapse and trees tremble and fall
but it all comes with your destruction.

Let Me Tell You Something About Depression.

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(This is a poem that I had originally written with the intention of performing)

They say you feel sad all the time, I beg to differ
I do not feel sad, always. There are times when I laugh so much
that I think I just overreact on the days I suffer,
but the thing that remains true is that that only happens
once in a blue moon, when I do, in fact, manage to get
out of my bed, choose a pair of jeans over a pajama instead
and join my friends to watch a movie they had planned
we would, but from which I had withdrew, as late as I could.
They seem to think that I talk and laugh among them
so it is so absurd an idea that I may even have a reason to feel
differently, when in fact, the truth is that the times
I am with them, is when I am truly different, for they haven’t seen
me in my natural habitat. The days, the low days, as I call them
are stretches of days when all my troubles stem
from a single root, I sleep too much, but that I something I cannot help.
These days I do not wake before noon, when the world has done
half its chores, I cannot but wake up from my snores, and
even then, I lie in bed, till my stomach has growled some angry words.
But I beg it to keep quiet as I try to go about my business,
to attend the classes that I have left and not think about the ones I did not,
but then, the cursed bed pulls me its way, and wills me to sleep again and again
till the ancient moon rises and all the trouble of classes, I almost forgot.
These days the world feels weird as if I am eating sand,
road trips, movies, going out, bathing, eating food, all feels like a scam.
The days are long and the ceiling fan seems amusing, there is emptiness
around me, the world seems like a hole, a void in the dark that nothing can complete.
There is silence, the phone does ring and the doorbell too,
the silence screams louder, emptiness fills the room and there is emptiness still.  
These days, I hardly talk to anyone, and Solitude is my friend
and these are day when I don’t get out of my bed, for days on at end.
These are days that I don’t get out of bed, so I have no reason to look in a mirror
that reminds of my bruised, broken self, and I turn the lights dimmer.
Darkness feels bliss as the blackness reminds me I am alone
and I smile a little to myself, and think about every soul I know.
The Darkness and Solitude, my two dear friends, find for me great reasons,
why my friends who I took years to trust might not like me anymore
and thus begins the cycle of self-attack as my words carve scars in my esteem
 and on and on and on it goes, until my veins are clean.
And when the entire cycle happens three four times and again,
the sun finally rises, but I am a desolate survivor, there is no one to help,
and so my critical self tries again to build walls so I don’t hurt,
not realizing that I am the victim and I, myself, the killer.
And thus begins the healing, till I feel my feel my veins fuller.
On days like these, I talk selectively, and my voice feels kind of sick
and they ask me so and I wish I could tell them, I am mentally unfit
but all I say is I am fine, and there is some stress in my life,
and in this time I smile, I make it my façade, it hides my real self
and all the misery and the sadness that I had just felt.
And days later, just as I feel something close to being happy (that is when I laugh)
 it all start again, the laughter fades, my ears ring, I feel myself receding
unwillingly into that haunted land, where few have ventured, separately
and made friends with Solitude and Darkness and their friends: Loathe and Despair;
Finger nails scratching, dragging my own self as I am pleading,
crying in vain, hoping someone stops to listen, but it is an empty wail
as it all starts again, it all starts again, it all starts again and yet again.

 

So Put Down Your Knife And Live Your Life.

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Art Work from One Tree Hill

I look outside of my window,
and everyone seems to be just like me,
And entirely different.
They too have one nose,
two legs, two arms,
hair on their head,
two eyes, a mouth.
But do they have
the mole on my hip,
the curve of my lip.
do they have the
memory of my lisp?
Do they have the
clothes that I wear,
the things that bring me to tears,
the voice that I get when I cheer?
Do they have the nights
I spent in love,
the noons when songs
from years ago, made me realize
how living has never changed,
and that the pain that
I felt has been felt before
and the happiness
with my friends, has made
hearts grow more giving, before?
DO they have my life,
m y  m e m o r i e s
the blood that runs
in my veins, the thoughts
that I think,
the essence of me,
t h e  p o e t r y
in me, my grace, my stance?

No. They don’t.

They why should I feel replaceable?

What I Learnt in My First Month in University

Four days ago was one month since I moved out of my house to the hostel in my university. Here are my observations on how it has been:

1. Some teachers won’t give a damn if you won’t. They won’t bother if you are listening, if you’re napping, if you’re on your cell phones. Your education is in your hands. It is up to you to pay attention.

2. On the other hand, the teachers who do actually teach will not spoonfeed you. They will give you stepping stones, they will tell you what you want, in a manner that’ll make you want to rip off your hair. But at the end, you’ll get an idea of what they were talking about. You’ll be grateful that they didn’t tell you. You’ll be happy that you were able to arrive at what you did without anyone putting thoughts in your head.

3. There are no fixed schedules. Your sleeping pattern revolves around the work you have. You may have a class at 9 in the morning and the paper due the same morning. You will have to work till dawn, you will have to sleep for 3 hours and you’ll have to attend the class. 

4. Which is why, don’t procrastinate. If you do, you’ll have not have the satisfaction of having submitted a paper that you actually like. For the two papers that I’ve submitted so far, I have  worked and I enjoyed the process. Even though it kept me awake till 4, the feeling that I had before going to sleep was unparalleled.

5. You’ll have a lot of free time at hand. For people like me who have classes I only 2 days a week and who are literally the most shy and laziest people in the planet, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of sleep. It’ll beckon you, call you, force you in subordination so much that you’ll sleep 15 hours a day. You’ll have to resist that. I fell into that pattern and believe me, that week, I didn’t have more than 10-12 meals of the 21 meals I should have been having. 

6. Which is why, get involved. One of the best ways you can make friends is by getting involved. Find your interest and go for it. You’ll find your kind of people if you venture out of your comfort zone. Even if you can’t, sit on the quad, go to the library, sit in the café; you’ll find someone to talk to.

7. Saying that, there will come a time when you’ll lose your appetite. The mess food will taste like sand, each meal of each day and you will literally feel your appetite fading. And you would be able to go one for days on just water. At that time, eat. Go to tuck shops, make popcorn, buy a sandwich but eat. Nourishment is important.

8. Have a night out with friends. Just go to the park, and sit there. Walk around, let the dew kiss your feet, play music, wait for the stars to recede. Talk about yourselves, know each other, your pasts, presents, futures. Witness the sunrise, I swear, you’ll feel like you were meant for that day only. (Not to mention, sleep at six and miss the first class of the day!)

9. There will be times when you’ll feel homesick, you’ll feel alone, and miserable. You’ll miss your home, your family, your friends, your school. You’ll feel like crying all the things that you’ve felt since you left home. Cry. Cry your heart out, in the pillow, on a shoulder, in the afternoon, at night after everyone’s asleep. You’ll feel a lot better, you’ll feel lighter, you’ll feel more settled.
10. You are here to learn but you’re here to make memories too. Many of the people you meet will probably end up becoming your closest friends for the rest of your life. Which is why, choose them carefully. I’m not saying don’t talk to anyone. Rather, talk, but make sure that the people you pour your heart out to deserve you. Don’t settle for less. You’re worth a lot more than a toxic relationship. Never demerit yourself. 

These are the few things that I learnt, rather experienced, in the first month. Do they match your college life, or are they not what you experiences? I’d love to hear from you!

Until the next month, then!

How The Rain Makes Me Feel

I wish I could feel like how rain feels,
On a warm, steadfast night
and the way it makes the world feel,
at rest, in motion, just quite right.
I wish for the patter of the rain,
and the silence that it casts around,
that peace of mind for an infinitesimal moment
That is lost, and at moments like these, found.
I wish the world unites as it does
when drops fall from high above us,
Makes me feel so wanted, gives a reason to stay,
For me, rain is belonging and it is trust.
It is how the things that leave us
have their own way of returning to us,
even when the blackest clouds block their way
It’ll make its way, it always does.
It made me feel like magic and stardust,
and my beating heart once stood still,
it folded in my hands and was lost,
leaving me with memories and goodwill.
It went through my soggy chest,
and left me feeling cold and lost,
and then as soon as I dried my breast,
it left me free and contained and breathless.
So maybe, the rain does wonders to us, the world
it leaves us free and tired and guarded and loved.