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Black and White

Life, Experiences, Today.

Altered Zenith

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Alphabet Soup.”

Altered breathing, careful drumming,

Enthusiastic fingers on the guitar.

Hindered intentions, jealousy-

After all, she was a star.

Kindred lyrics, music nestling,

Opaque in her silly joys,

Perpetually penetrating quintessential reservoirs

Of a soulful and sorrowful turmoil of listeners.

Ushering venom from vengeful eyes-

Those wistful xenomorphs

Yonder the zenith.

If You Think, It’s Gibberish.

I never got lemons from life, because nope, life does not have the time to give you lemons. It sure has the time to cut them into two perfectly equal halves, find a squeezer, and squeeze them into your eyes and run away like a child darting his way into the safety of his home after having rang a victorious doorbell anonymously. But handing out gifts? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t wait around at a sulky table trying to find my share of opportunities. I grabbed at them, and even snatched. But right when it was my turn to make an escape, the load seemed too heavy to carry. I had to take breaks and when I got around to a safe resting stop, life caught up with me. She stared at me with the eyes of a scornful mother, scrutinizing my tantrum of having thrived to get what I thought I deserved. One hand on her hip, other outstretched, she demanded the lemons back before I even reached my kitchen to make lemonade.

Then there was the time that I sucked at the lemon as soon as I got it. I had to tear the peel with my nails till the juice teared me up. My cuticles stung and when I touched it to my mouth, all I got was squinting sourness with a bitter aftertaste (Oh! And a slap on the wrist from my beloved mother!) Life gave me lemons. I never got around to making lemonade. I think I never tried enough.

I fear.

I am eighteen, relatively young.

At times I feel invincible

Like everything is within reach

But those times are rare.

Mostly, I just fear.

I fear that like the wind, that blew my hair

Into my face and made me want to

Scream into the vast roar

And let my voice be big as

The wind the blew,

My good days are past me.

The high that I wanted my life to be

Is gone. And that is life.

I fear that I am lost,

That life is a labyrinth

Closing in on me.

Testing me…

Only, there is no way to pass this test.

I fear that there is no way out

And claustrophobically

I am stuck.

There is darkness

There is vacuum

And there is me holding my breath.

I fear that I fear too much.

I fear that it’s not enough.

Celebrating Fatherhood

He widens his eyes at me, curious and intimidating, having the desired effect exponentially. Little does he know me, my thoughts, but he knows how to push my buttons and that is all that matters right now. I don’t remember the last time we had a meaningless conversation and I like it. I like knowing that instead of getting to know me he is working on making me how he wants me to be. He is a realist, unlike me. I usually want to defy him, to be the rebel that he won’t ever let me be (thanks, dad!) but I know that he expects from me what he knows I can deliver. 

On the outside, I resemble him more than I would like to. The same hair, the oh so huge eyes, the round face. On the inside we could not be more different- or maybe we could, but not very. He smiles little, deliberately. He hides under a roar of laughter at stupid stand up comedians. He repeats and drills into our heads what he expects of us. He makes sure that what is needed is somehow found. 

With a lock of hair always sticking out of place on the back of his head, he works mysteriously. He has an openly secretive way of going about his business which is often questioned but never modified. He also has a quiet way of observing and not answering. And that is that.

Hissed Reassurance

A silent serpent slithers down my spine and its tongue draws taunting patterns on my bare back. The cold animal warms my even colder body. It fills me with awe first. It is slow and deliberate, very cautious. The vibrant colours fill my dreams. It crawls up my neck. I feel accustomed to it, almost comfortable, even friendly. It can’t be that bad… right?

Air fills my lungs and escapes in a fit of short lived relief. The staccato of my heartbeat returns to a reasonable pace. My eyes close. My lips turn up. I feel accomplished. The vermin becomes the world that I have conquered. Little do I know that it is it that has conquered me. I stare into it’s eyes. They never blink. They shine. They reflect me. They understand my understanding of myself. It is relieving to be known like that. I let it crawl on my legs until it becomes a pest- slowing me down and draining my resources. It finally talks to me in hisses and lisps. It slowly whispers commands and I oblige. It feeds off of my brain and I let it. It caresses my cheek with the rest of its body resting gently around my stiff neck. I love it with all my heart, mostly because my heart will stop beating when I choke to my death- when not if. 

The hisses have increased in volume. It shouts now. It knows I will oblige. Its scales adorn my hand as it makes its way up my sleeve. I let out a chuckle at the irony. Mistake. Having warmed me enough, it moves swiftly, the forked tongue sending thunder down my spine. The green scales haunt my nightmares and the unseeing eyes- so shallow that they only reflect- make me shudder. I look into them again, and disgust kicks in with the venom. 

Verbal Voyage

A hand covers my mouth, and another reaffirms the grip. All three belong to me. I fear that once they escape the lid and tumble into the realm of nothingness that surrounds me, my words will be wasted. I will be left devoid of a small yet significant part of me. I would rather swallow them than cough them out into the pool of blood that is sure to follow. Undigested by the body, and unappreciated by the environment, that is where they belong- in an agonising amalgamation of what is within and without. Hanging in the air like the last breath of a soldier that just got shot on the border with his heart struggling to pump through the hole that pierces the silence where it may not be heard, my words argue with themselves.

It rises in my throat- a mere vibration. My tongue does wonders to it- forming every syllable with a little sway like a paint brush dancing on the paper to form a masterpiece- lightly and slowly, taking its time, enunciating. It is low and barely audible till it reaches my lips. From there it could take two directions. My mouth parts, very gently, letting the world know my thoughts, for they are sure to make an impact or at least give me the satisfaction that I tried. Or, it could decide that my thoughts are too precious to be revealed, if not just too vain, and take control of my brain (and not vice-versa.) 

I choose to believe that the human mind, as complex as it is, does not partake in the even more intriguing process of conversing, for there are so many individuals in this world that regret what they say, and not just once. Words are precious. They can not be taken back and they can be the best gift for someone. But the tongue can also be a weapon- for a sword may fatally wound a person but a word can rob them of their dignity and what is worse is obvious. 

Nomadic Envy

I do everything with an unnecessarily intricate detail because I have nothing to do. In a new country and a seemingly new world, where I am living with some people I have never talked to before in my life, one may think there would be so much to explore and so many places to go to- just so much to do. But the truth is disappointing. I have not had a fruitful conversation in two days. Nobody calls my name and when they do, it is addressed to the other girl here who shares my name. It is unsatisfying, frustrating and most of the time agonising.
Its a new place I have been to before. But this time it is new because of the circumstances. I have never left such amazing friends back home and life had never been so interesting. I am afraid that was the high point and it won’t be beat.  I am scared of having to start over as an introvert. I am intimidated by all the new faces that haven’t seen mine yet.
I have no comfort yet- no home even. But there is hope- despite having vowed to never hope again. There is silence. I have barely heard my own voice in a long time. And there is ranting. But most importantly, there is here and now and that is all I have.

The Lifecycle of a Rose

A rose blooms in my backyard. It is white, it is pure and and its corners have started to wilt. Amidst the weeds and the grass- where it is watered regularly, for it is the only plant that needs quenching- it grew from a graft. I won’t say it is tender, because it is not. It has thorns for protection and the sepals are papery. Even the petals are rusty and rough.

It is naive. It blooms every year. It knows it will have no care, it knows it will be lonely, but it still trusts and hopes that maybe this year there will be another rose on another graft, and more water in the soil. Maybe the weeds won’t eat at it, maybe it will last a day longer, maybe a bee will need the nectar it creates. But there is no bee and there will be none. The rose will bow with the burden of the nectar and one fine day it will fall to the soil and mix in it.

It is selfless. It does not matter if it didn’t get what it deserved, it gives to the soil what she needs. It lingers and rots and waits for more than its life’s worth, until it is a part of the clay itself.

It is wise. It knows the weeds will grow off of it. But it also knows that its martyrdom will aid its presence in the next rose that takes its place, be it only an iota.

Weighed Down by Wings

She grew feathers and the world stared at her. They were beautiful- but unusual- and that was enough for them to narrow their eyes at her. She drowned in a puddle of gossip and resurfaced only to be met by knives and daggers attacking her slow growing wings. There was ice and there were rocks, there was freezing and pelting, but one thing there was not- acceptance. What had she done to be shunned like this? Been different? That too accidentally? Her wings were battered and so was her hope. And thus began her story…

A dream, however small, however unique, is looked upon with criticisms. Therefore, dreaming is for daredevils. One does not simply dream without being pulled down by the leg and thrown to the ground at least five times or till it is forgotten- whatever comes second. It is a sin to let your imagination go wild, and pursuing those thoughts is fatal. As a kid, we were taught to dream and to soar high, to let our imaginations run wild and to reach the apex. It sounded so refreshing, so hopeful, and definitely amazing- like the world was ours to take. But soon we realised that dreaming is for children, we follow the crowd, we stay on the curb, we walk straight. We don’t fall because we don’t try. We match our steps, and keep our eyes on the ground (because isn’t that where they are supposed to be?)

When her wings don’t cease to grow

They put her up for show

And everyone plucks a feather each.

She is put into a cage,

So she won’t fly away

Far out of their reach.

Let’s face it. Dreaming isn’t permitted, but achieving is. So be what you can’t think of, and you shall survive (approved by the Society.)

 

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