How long has it been since I wrote? It feels like ages since we last talked, exchanged life stories and unhappy incidents from our lives. Why should we be living so apart and afar off when we could somehow make miracles happen and see each other more often, maybe live closer by, spend more time together and probably make memories again like we did when we actually lived close by, running across the building, playing sufferable games, talked endlessly very often ignoring the time and the fact that the sun has set and the birds have gone home and the night skies were here and we had to go home, do our homeworks and get to bed to kick start yet another day tomorrow so we could play, talk and waste our times doing nothing for yet another day.
I miss you Meera more than any other thing in the entire world and most of all the fact that I had someone to rely on, someone who would look at the little dark circle around my eyes and know that I had been up all night, someone who could listen to my voice and guess right away that I have had a terrible argument in school and messed things up. I have become so lone now I very often miss your presence around here and the evenings I looked forward to, to talk, talk and talk about that girl in class who bitched endlessly about me, that guy from church I had a crush on and the little girl in our school bus who was the most adorable thing on earth.
I am so sorry Meera for not being there during the last couple of months when you were juggling your dessertation, a break up and numerous other problems that kept adding to your list. Please call me a bad friend who abandoned you in the streets of life and proved to her best friend from 11 years that she was a stone at heart and a devil in her mind who was cold and insensitive. I know I should have been there but I lost myself in the highway of life in the last couple of months and since then I am stuck at the bylanes and lost here in a land I have no clue about. Well, the lockdown has been a hard, hard thing on me Meera. Most days I get up feeling gloomy and out of myself and looking out my window it looked like the world had come to a standstill, a pause that took a long, long while to resume.
I have lots of things to tell you that I cannot possibly contain in this piece of paper but Oh God when I meet you next you should be mentally prepared to listen to me for hours on end going on and on about my final year at college, my many challenges, my latest book and the countless days I spent thinking, overthinking and ruminating about how my love life should have turned out if I had possibly taken the right decisions and how my brother was a bad ass to me and how that this lockdown has brought flooding to the banks of my mind many a sweet, bitter and sour memory of you and the nights I wished I could somehow wake up the next day in 2010 and know that you were still living across my house, your dad walking away coolly to work and your mom waiting for my mom every evening downstairs when she got back from her hectic day at school.
But Alas! Each day no miracle happens, I still wake up in 2020, stuck with a pandemic that wouldn’t leave, a home full of lethargy, the streets full of loneliness and the skies somehow cleaner and purer like never before! I terribly miss you dude and I know we have moved on since 2010, met better friends who made us laugh a little bit louder, friends who stayed up late into the night listening to our relationship crisises. I know we have grown apart for some time, stopped texting for a long time when calls were out of the question but Meera, you are one of a kind. I have had Shalom and Abhirami who have been there for me but they couldn’t possibly tally with all the soothing words you told me when grandpa passed away on April 18, 2010, your gentle touch after our silly fights and all your books and our Harry Potter discussions that simply teased away all my rather enormous miseries in sixth grade.
Meera, the lock down has been hard and when I say hard I don’t mean Hard-Hard where I got bored all day and cried all day. I mean that it has given me enough time to think about us and our innocent friendship, the endless poems we wrote for each other, the bicycle rides and the beautiful insects we stuck in our Insect Book (God!! What were we thinking back then?) When I stroll downstairs in the parking area of our apartment your memory roars in my head, making me feel for a second that I did fly back 11 years behind. The places we played hide and seek, the benches we sat on only brought back memories that were too sweet it made me cry and wish things hadn’t changed even an ounce since then. It was nostalgic………
Meera I have been ranting a lot!!! I will call you on Saturday. I love you so much!!!
I was born as free as you were.
I wonder why I should possibly straighten myself out, brush away the flaws and smoothen the wrinkles from out of my life when I have to present myself in the society. I wonder why in the world I have to dance to the tune of the typical aunties in my society who tag people as good, very good, bad, hopeless and okayish. I wonder why in the wide world we have been told to act a particular way, behave in a way and talk yet another way. Some days I wonder if I was ever born free or if my life was based on the people in the society who label, tag and expect the world around to dance to their tunes and fit well in their picture frames. Some mornings I wake up to think, “What if I like a different tune to dance to? What if I want a slight change in the music and a different genre of everything altogether and you out of the band? And what if I am not in the mood to fit into your picturesque and fit myself into a frame that I am not proud of?” Some days I wake up to step out of the boundaries you set for me, break through the hedge you made for me and the thorny fence you fenced around my dreams, plans and wishes. On some days when I try to fit in with you, dance gracefully to your tune and fit pretty well in the picture frames you put up for me I hate myself for being the slave, for being voiceless and letting myself be trampled down to nothing and caging my dreams and passions to the stigma of the society and the line of restriction from my strangely pious family that simply believed in class and dignity in terms of the jobs I take up, the clothes I wear and the life I lead.
On most days I have been told to shape myself, carve out my insecurities and fit in well in the jigsaw puzzle. I have been told to fit in, curve myself, lean forward, submit a little, stoop very low and never even think of falling down and go missing. No matter how hard my days got and how pathetically my dreams washed away in the sea, I was told to stay put and give in myself to the wrath of the waves and the cheekiness of the little kids stomping on me all day and night. Most days I dance to your tune and let you shape my desires and my ways but oftentimes I wish to be the crack on the pot that gives you away, that spills the soil onto the garden. I wish to show my resistance by simply leaning forward a little too much and down to the ground. I do wish to be that cranky shred that pushes forward a little too much so as to fall to the ground, let the soil spill out, the water to flow out of place and the roots to stick out. On some days I wish to be the reason this pot was changed and the cactus/chrysanthemums on me be plucked out to be planted on the ground.
I wish to be the reason for change, a difference, an obstinate resistance.
This is not a cry for help, just a cry.
Lights off. I settle in bed, shuffling my blankie in the cosiest way I want. There’s a knock on my door. And then things changed, the cosiness was gone, the night was colder than ever before and the lights remained off for longer than I can possibly remember now. I lost myself that night, I found not the pieces of my sanity and my mind flickered like a candle in the storm. I am taking a painful ride through the worst of times, desperation, devastateness and emptiness and trust me it is no fun ride but an agonising walk through the wilderness. Let me see, I have decimated from being good to being empty and hollow and that does not sound any good, does it? I have no good, convincing reasons as to why I have been falling but it’s hurtful and exhausting. My mother looks at me and sees a happy child, my father sees a hardworking, passionate girl and my brother sees a fun sister but I have a well deep in me that I have covered with something of a huge thing on the top and let pretty creeper plants grow all over it, they cover the sides and fall over from the edges now. I am wide, gaping well that has in it trash, vain thoughts and trash again.
I thought I was doing great, posting happy, positive things on social media, connecting back with friends and healing from a heartbreak when suddenly depression and anxiety stopped by to say Hallo and check in on me. They stayed for long and they have decided to stay on. Now I wake up each day wanting to sleep on, never being grateful for my existence, apathetic to the birds outside my window and the sun peeping through the cracks. I pull myself together to get myself to freshen up and let positive vibes take over me but I tick-tick on my phone and I see my friends smiling with their best friends, I see the world falling apart, nations fights against each other, people giving up on themselves and people writing, “Everything will be alright”. I pull myself again to eat and work hard to build my career. What do you think? I don’t work or study,? I do. I start with writing a paper, a minute later check my phone, an hour later read a book, five minutes and I walk around aimlessly, then maybe go and binge eat and then worry about putting on weight and then study again because I have to do well and be the topper I always was and then scroll endlessly on social media and then I feel devastated about the things happening with me and I go to a corner to cry and let out repressed emotions. Fresh air would do some good so I stare out the window and then think, think and think about how caged I felt. Well, writing has always helped, so I settle down with my laptop and begin to write. I write two sentences and feel overwhelmed. Maybe sleeping will help. I slump on the couch and shut my eyes and then wake up in a jiffy because I dreamt something disturbing. So nothing helped. I try to text a friend and realise they are doing sensible things unlike me who was always ruminating. Trust me it’s been hard.
My mind’s been swinging like a pendulum and I have tried staying put but I seem to oscillate every minute of the day. I feel lost, empty and hopeless. My depression and anxiety eating me up like a ferocious animal, I feel like a helpless creature in the mouth of my predator. I have become a vagabond in my own streets, a stranger within myself and I have lost my way. How do you expect me to reach out to you when I have lost myself in the highways and bylanes of my messy life? Or do you expect me to call or reach out? Or do you even know that I am shattered?
I am sorry if I don’t return your calls or reply back to your texts, it’s just that I don’t feel like but I still love you. I am not sure if you get it, if you don’t it’s hard to explain. I am dying each day and I don’t feel like reaching out. The last time I did, you gave up on me, you told that on my face and though you did apologise I still hesitate to come to you and be a burden and a leech that would not go away. I called you when I wanted to talk but I have cut calls almost immediately. I am sorry but I have deleted your number on my phone and erased all your memories from my phone because you associate with a lot of traumas. I am sorry.
Ever since depression and anxiety met up with me, I have been unable to get rid of them. The days are long and the nights are terrorizing. I sit still all night wondering why I am staying awake and in the mornings I just don’t feel like waking up to face a new day. I spend my days doing so many things that I believe would distract me but at the end of the day I fail. Fail drastically. I have lost a fight that I never thought I will even have to face. The heaviness in the heart, the haziness in the mind, the insomnia, the starvation, the gloominess, the tiredness, the pessimism, the shutting out, the tears and the lethargy are genuine. Please don’t term these as “Nothing” because I wake up each day to do better but I have failed. The reason for the depression I don’t know and the anxiety, sweating of hands, exhaustion and the ruminating mind I cannot explain. So if you think I am faking it, I am not even asking you to be anywhere around me. I don’t want the help, I don’t want to reach out or talk right now. I want the two guests to leave and be gone.
This is not a cry for help, just a cry.
I am that last little piece in the jigsaw puzzle that finally makes sense.
If it weren’t for me the picture you behold would definitely be a picture but would you live up to see or make sense of the whole even if your imagination has given me away, pulling you away to a side to show you the complete picturesque without me being fitted into my place? I am that last piece that makes sense and over the years I have been told to fit in, curve myself, lean forward, submit a little, stoop very low and let the rest of the pieces take control over my sides so we could fit rather well in unison and stay put for a long time, at least for a while. For the longest time in my entire life I was submissive, let the picture oppress me, to stay, to make sense and be the final one that brought the “Whoa” in people. Didn’t I like all that attention when people picked me to fit me in? Didn’t I possibly enjoy those moments when I and only I could finally make sense? Didn’t I enjoy the privileges I was offered, the fact that looking at me for the first time I didn’t make sense as to where exactly I could be placed but only could when finally everyone were placed, smoothed and settled in? Didn’t I come to relish that ultimate moment when I was scrambled for and fitted in with all pride and dignity? I did. I did a million times. It’s been so long, 22 years to be precise and I am bored, I wanted spice, some aroma, some mystery, something different. I wanted to be that piece that went missing under the table, that caused all the trouble, that was the sole reason the puzzle was left incomplete and the piece that had broken sides so as to be replaced, changed and maybe even thrown away so I could somehow see the backyard, lie in the pile of junk that went to the junkyard to be recycled, smashed and transformed to something else- maybe a flat piece of plastic or just a stupid piece so I could lie there in the yard and watch the world go by. If I had bad sides, too obstinate to fit in with the rest, the picture on my face faded and insipid I would be the change won’t I? I would probably be the reason why “they” thought it was high time for a change of jigsaw puzzle and tried a hand at scrabble or chess or simply gone to get a life outside of jigsaws, puzzles and pieces.
I was told to fit in but what if I pushed myself to the edge of the table to fall down and roll under the table to lie there dusty and unpicked for a long time I would be the resistance that brought change won’t I? I could give jigsaw some time alone, I could be the reason why jigsaw had to be locked again in little Joe’s cupboard for a long time, maybe for another 22 years. Maybe I could lie beneath here, swept out very soon into the backyard and be gone for good and for Resistance and Change. Just a little Resistance and Change from my rather boring fitting-into-the-jigsaw-puzzle life. And to simply be gone to get a better life. Something a little better.