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Insanity plagued me,
my senses,
my cognition,
my composure.
It devoured me whole.

I relished
the incisive nibbling,
the gnawing suffering,
the rise and fall in energy,
the clinching of the finale.

I dripped
in the transformations
in the tantalising change
in the magic of the insanity.
It devoured me whole.

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I found that crazy settled in after a while of being around strangers constantly. My reactions were apathetic. I felt numb and on the edge at the same time. I craved to run with my hands over my ears. Yet, I stood pivoted in my spot and stared through those gathered. People continued to look me in my eyes and talk. I locked eyes with them out of habit. I even watched their lips move and words must have come out. But not a word registered. I was overwhelmed by a series of words in bold and italics floating from their mouths towards me. The floating letters distracted me further from their speech. More words rushed at me. Till I saw nothing but ‘f’s, ‘e’s and an odd ‘x’. The letters jumbled and mixed as they adorned a curious expression. Perhaps awaiting my response. I couldn’t respond even if I tried.

 

 

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The word home is so ambiguous. Its a construct around a place where you reside and feel pleasure, I presume. It isn’t a constant, yet it gives the illusion of never moving. Home is a place where one can be oneself; where one can feel safe; where one feels loved. Is it truly so? Or have we built this powerful, all encompassing, calming feeling of being home? I truly have. I feel at ease when I am within four walls that is filled with positivity, energy, compassion, empathy and passion. These four walls have transported along with me to many cities. But they have also been constant. In the sense, the people I would host within these walls haven’t drastically changed.

Home is not just a house. I believe I create an illusion of home around people, ideas, places, animals and in the larger sense, my emotions. This could turn out to be very destructive or might work in my favour. I am yet to see how having a shape shifting, space moving home suits me.

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This post is dedicated to my darling sisters.

Dearest pieces of my heart,

I find it hard to tell you how I feel about you. Words fail me most of the time. But today I feel vulnerable enough to put into writing and record my emotions. I remember when we were younger and much like every other set of siblings we have had our share of ugly fights. Doors were slammed, threats were issued and tears were shed; yet we continued to get close. I don’t remember the exact moment when the switch happened but it has happened.

You two are no longer just my sisters.
You are part of me.
You have helped me fight my battles.
You have been my superwomen.
You have been pillars of strength for eons now.
You have reminded me of the reasons I write (when I forget them).
You painstakingly edited my work, corrected my grammar and told me to not listen to anyone’s bad advice.
You have tried to understand the darkness and often just accepted it.
You have been everything I need, want and could imagine.
And for many other things you have been that I cannot seem to remember now.

For that and more, I am very lucky to have you’ll in my life. I don’t think your marriages will change anything but physical presence. Distance isn’t strong enough to mess with a bond like ours. I am sure we are going to be linked, connected and bonded for a long time to come. You know like those three old ladies who will take trips across the world together leaving our mark everywhere.

Love,
Now and always,
Your little one

P.s You cannot blame me. I feel sentimental today.

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There was a level of sophistication with which he handled last night’s catastrophes. Or so he thought. His mother would probably not agree. Some incidents required less class and more action. The high road was one she didn’t approve of. She preferred an active reaction. But he demanded her to remain silent and ignore her instincts.

This catastrophe in particular was one he felt he handled well. His neighbour had been found dead. The kinda dead that no one knew how. The body had decomposed and the stink could have made an elephant faint. But everyone assumed that some skunks had wandered in. No one could believe the real story. Richa had come home from a work trip of a week to be greeted with the odour. The man of the house was found with mysterious green marks on his face, dead on the couch. The wife, Richa, banged our door down in fright. We called the police and informed them of the situation. Richa was being questioned next door while he hid in his house.

His mother wished for him to go and prod the police. Or even help Richa by comforting her. But his reaction was nonchalant. He needed to be calm, relaxed and continue to be uninterested.

Hours later, his hiatus was interrupted with a knock on his back door. Richa needed some company. First we sat in my living room for half an hour. I couldn’t handle an outburst, physical or verbal. So without a word exchanged, I brought a bottle of Jack Daniels to the table. We drank eight neat shots of whiskey in silence. She needed to calm herself; I needed it to stay calm. We sat in silence after that for another hour. She didn’t seem like she wanted to discuss what the police said or discovered. Finally, she leaned in and whispered, “Good riddance.”

I poured only myself another large shot. I didn’t respond.

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Half the city
drifted
into deep slumber,
the remaining
awoke due to
violent
rumblings of fear.

She fought
the shackles
of tradition,
She embraced
contradictions
of modernity.

Sharp and pricking
were his words,
He knew
the ache,
bullied as a
child.
Yet he
continued.

Revenge
should be
delicious.
Guilt
avoided.

Rejoice in the unknown,
Revel in the unpredictable,
Remain unheard,
Stay unseen,
I plead.

Headache
accentuated,
Brain
damaged,
It burst
into flames.
I stared
at its
remains.
It was
not fascinating.

I like pink,
Doesn’t make a girl.
I have short hair,
Doesn’t make me a boy.
I am a feminist,
Doesn’t make me a man-hater.

Check your stereotypes.
Know sex from gender.
Please.

Ramblings of the mind.

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I like the word wanderer. I find it has an aimless, mindless tone to it. It also adds a bit of mystery and unpredictability. The ‘rer’ at the end makes me roll my ‘r’s which for some inexplicable reason pleases me quite a bit. The randomness attached to the word coupled with the hint in it of a certain pleasure of being lost makes it desirable to me. I am tempted to tag myself with it. It cannot define me, obviously. But it could be used along with other phrases. However, a wanderer is a suitable term for a happy soul. I would think. The word does give me an inkling of warmth. I can’t make up my mind. I like the word, though. It could be how I wish to see myself someday. As a wandering spirit. Free and in control of being perennially lost.

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He had always been a private person. He restricted intimate details to a few friends. He found that being vulnerable all the time was exhausting; he wished to protect his heart more. When he felt threatened by the world, the people in his vicinity, he raised impenetrable walls. He locked himself in fear from the piercing judgment of others. He envied those who are able to flaunt their happiness as openly as their pain. He sheltered the latter from scrutiny. Hence, in moments of anxiety, anger and sorrow, he relied on his well oiled redress system. It involved many hours of solitude with jazz music in the background. The soothing music led to intense retrospection and introspection which eventually led to acceptance of the duality in his personality. But his facade of being calm, composed and sober betrayed him. No one was willing to accept the struggles he fought within those walls. He rejected their analysis as he knew himself well. Well enough to understand the depths of his emotions. He refrained from blatantly refuting the contradictions and swallowed his unease. This pattern led to his companions never learning of his inner turmoil. It was the result of years of never publicly showing his exasperation or his emotions. It was all his doing. Though this notion made him restless, it also thickened the walls of his self-imposed prison cell.

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Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She loved to sing and roam alone by herself. She would play every evening after school with her friends in the woods. As darkness fell and the moon lit the sky, she would bounce back home. She would even go to visit her great grandmother on the other side of the forest every Wednesday. It would take her two hours of walking to reach the little cottage that old Nancy lived in. The cottage was warm and always filled with goodies, especially her favourite cookies and soda. Old Nancy never stopped her from binge eating. She would even put out rum cakes for little Sarah. Sarah never let her down. She always finished it all.

One wednesday, Sarah didn’t show up at her usual time. Nancy began to get worried.

Somewhere in the middle of the forest, Sarah was face-to-face with a fox. The fox wanted Sarah to feed it. But Sarah had nothing to give. So she apologised and continued on her journey. The fox, but, wouldn’t leave her alone. He kept interrupting her and suddenly he tugged at her red skirt from behind. Furious, Sarah turned on around and kicked the fox. She held him down till he begged her to release her. The terrified fox escaped from under her leg. The fox disappeared from her sight. She merely adjusted her slightly ripped skirt and picked up her red hat, which fell in the struggle, before moving forward.

Nancy hugged Sarah as she told her the story. Nancy assumed she was scared. But the feisty young girl grew only in confidence after the incident. She reassured old Nancy that she wasn’t afraid of a cunning fox or anyone else. She munched on her cookies like it was just another day. As her little adventure spread across the forest, no fox or any other animal dared to tease her.

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“The walls are closing in on me,” I screamed out loud.

“No, they are not,”¬†he calmed me down.

The terror didn’t obviously leave my eyes. I couldn’t be sure if he was lying or telling me the truth. I grabbed his navy shirt and held on. He pacified me. I loved looking into his eyes. His presence was comforting. I felt a spark of hope when he lied to me, like when he told me the walls weren’t drawing near.

I woke up every night wrecked with nightmares of my impending death between the walls. Once I even dreamt that the walls closed in and I suffocated to death. He promised me that wouldn’t happen. But that never made the dreams stop. Fortunately, he stayed by my side. Unfortunately, he slept badly every night I did.

As I shut my eyes, his grip on my hand loosened. He went to call the doctor. He thought I didn’t hear him but I heard his worried voice in the distance. Shortly after, the doctor came to drug my paranoia away. He sat by my head and held my hand. He hummed a tune as I fell asleep. This was our destructive pattern. I lost control over my mind; he brought me stability. I wondered what was in it for him.