Flash Fiction

“I love my life! I love my job, I love my house, I love my car. Everything! They, are jealous of me. Yesterday, they bashed my car! Can you believe it? It’s craaazzyy! And I know… I know they’ll be coming today as well. Let’em come… Let’em come. I am ready! I am SO. FUCKING. READY.”

Little did James know that straight down the corridor the electrocution chamber was being prepared for him… Again!

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School

“School”
Often related with memories beautiful,
Fun, laughter & endless stories,
But it reminds me of mishappenings purely!

It was the first time I was called a whore!
My mistake?
May be I was prettier than most. (Not sure though)

It was the first time I was cornered on a deserted street.
My mistake?
I didn’t let him play Holi with me!

It was the first time my guy friends were threatened!
My mistake?
Just that I was their friend!

It was the first time my teacher molested me and my friend.
Our mistake?
We trusted and respected him!

It was the first time I was called names randomly.
My mistake?
That I used to perform and dance beautifully!

It was the first time my father received a dirty text,
Mentioning that multiple times I’ve had sex!
Though my father didn’t question me once,
I realised my mistake,
That i was a girl!

It was the first time I felt terror so palpable,
That going out alone, even to the shop next door was unimaginable!

You’d think, why didn’t I report?
Well there wasn’t one but many, and most of them unknown!

And that’s not even the part worst,
It’s that seven years later
I still curse,
The moment that I’ve to come home
Because of the memories etched in my soul!

Whether it’s for days, weeks or months that I stay,
I still don’t step out of my house, no matter what anybody says!
I could feel the fury raging inside of me
Because they destroyed,
Destroyed what was supposed to be my favourite place!

Seven years,
And I still quiver,
Seven years,
And still the streaming tears,
Seven years,
That crept between me and my parents,
Seven years,
And my hometown feels the place most alien!

They say school is the place to learn and grow.
For me it’s the place of haunting memories & sorrows!

It’s a bittersweet experience for everybody else,
For me it was as bitter, as it could get!

Drained emotionally,
Exhausted physically ,
With terror incorporated in each cell,
I… Finished my school!

Ma

I will never look like my Ma anyday.

I thought this one day,

Standing in front of the mirror

And watching the light in my eyes

Fading away.

When I visit home she says,

You don’t look like my daughter for at least two days,

You forget how you used to behave.

And I feel, I’ll never be like my Ma anyday.

So, on the night of the second day

I lay in bed wide awake.

Staring into the darkness spread everywhere

Reflecting on what lies underneath this bitch face.

The deafening silence

The silent screams

The sinking of heart

And the tears flowing down in streams.

All this, when next to me

She lies asleep unfazed.

I know in that moment

I’ll never be like my Ma anyday.

Curled up like an embryo

I want to start again.

I will not screw up this time, I promise, I swear!

But this can’t happen and I’m very well aware.

And I know, I will not look like my Ma anyday.

With swollen eyes, red nose and a headache

I turn to the wall & towards sleep, I sway.

I open my eyes with her melodious voice ringing in my ears

And there she stands

Simple, beautiful and looking like the goddess that she is.

She comes to me and gives me a kiss,

And I swear to God, it heals.

That loving touch and caring gaze

Makes me wonder, Hey!

I might look like my Ma someday.

So that day when I bath,

I wash all my baggage away.

As each drop trickles down my body

It feels slightly lighter in weight

And I think again

Maybe, just maybe, I can look like my Ma someday.

She doesn’t know my plight, my fears and fights

But she can read it in my eyes

That something is definitely not right.

That’s the best thing about my Ma

She doesn’t pester but gives me my space

And that makes me feel I can be like her someday.

But she’s growing old with every passing day.

With the lines deepening on her hands and face

I see clearly now as I’ve lifted my veil

I’ve to be stronger

If I want to look like my Ma someday.

So I pick up my pieces, one by one, each day

Carefully holding and caressing I put them back in their place

And I plan to continue doing just that, Everyday

Because I want to, and I know I will

Look like my Ma, one fine day!

 

Girl With The Brightest Smile

She reached her doorstep out of breath. Her shirt was soaked with sweat, hair matted, one foot still tapping to a rhythm in her head and a wide smile spread across her glinting face. Opening the door she walked into the dark apartment and within a second she slumped to the floor hugging her knees, face hidden, eyes shut tight, she tried to resist herself from crushing underneath the ravaging dam of tears that was threatening to explode any minute now. But she failed. And laid there curled up in a pool of her own emptiness running down her eyes.
Kavya woke up with a severe pounding in her head. So much so that it took her a while to make sense of her surroundings. She pushed herself up on one of her elbows and clutching her head in the other palm she sat up on the cold floor. It was then that the events of last night came back to her. She smiled. It wasn’t the smile which reminds anyone of sunshine and springs. More like a smile you pass on to an old acquaintance you meet accidentally while crossing the road. Only this time, the old acquaintance was her perennial sorrow and her smile was laced with a well crocheted fabric of heaviness and pain. But she was used to it by now. Though she agreed, last night was a bit too much even for herself. “Wow! Careful girl!” She exclaimed to herself. “You could’ve at least let me come up to the bed yaar! What the hell!” She said in a mock rebuke to her own loneliness which was a permanent roommate of Kavya’s. It was usual for her to talk out loud to her loneliness. She even had a name for her, ‘L’, because who has time to say the whole word each time you use it, and as in her case, so often. She shook her head at L, like a parent who wants to be strict and rigorous with his child but cannot help adoring him at the same time, and got up picking her handbag and went ahead to start her day.
By the time she was done with her domestic drudgery, it was late afternoon. When her stomach growled she realized that she hadn’t eaten anything since last evening. She liked cleaning some times… when her apartment got into that state that she couldn’t even find her mattress, on those times. It gave her a sense of control over things and she didn’t need to put in any real attention to the repetitive task , but cooking was different. She hated cooking. What’s with all the preparation before it and then the dish washing after it! Ugh, so much work! Also, now that she had spent her whole day cleaning up the mess in both her apartment and herself, she didn’t had it in her to cook something. “You know no L, I just can’t do so much work in one day! Stop criticizing me! Whose side are you on? Mine or the world’s??? Ugh!“ she spoke while throwing herself on her bed and opening Zomato on her phone.
While she waited for her food to arrive, staring towards her ceiling, once again the previous evening came to her mind. She remember being so happy the first time she had noticed it a couple of weeks back. She had stopped getting ready in front of the mirror about a year ago, but that day she just happened to look at herself. She was mildly surprised to notice that she looked leaner than before. Then, to make sure, she fished out an old top from her closet which she had discarded because she had grown out of it, and put it on. It fit. She couldn’t believe it. It was favorite top and she was so upset when she had to stop wearing it. And now! It fitted her like she bought it just now. She was elated. But few days later, she noticed that she was looking leaner even than before. She also noticed how much she was out of breath. Not that she lived on sixth floor, it was only two set of stairs that she climbed daily but never before had she experienced this. Though she dissed the thought away thinking it might be because of her smoking habit. “And, doesn’t weed causes weight loss? ” she thought to herself and went on with the rest of the evening. However just two days ago at work she had had enough! She was having her lunch as usual in KFC, sitting alone at a corner table when she picked up a tissue to clean up the spilled ketchup on the table. Only few seconds later she realized it wasn’t ketchup but blood dripping from her nose. She was horrified! She rushed to the bathroom of the mall where she worked and later told her store manager that she couldn’t continue for the day and left immediately to go see her doctor. The rest of her day was spent in having numerous tests being run on her and various needles being inserted in various places of her body. By the time she came back she was so exhausted that she didn’t even take off her shoes and just fell on the bed and slept for twelve hours straight. The next morning she woke up with more than her usual heaviness in both her head and chest. Without wasting a single second, though with tremendous effort in doing so, she got up and bathed, and got ready to go take her reports back. She reached the hospital after an hour and a half and then had to wait for another hour for her doctor to get free.
She went straight to a nightclub from the hospital. She wanted to celebrate. On her way over to the club, she called all her so called friends, people whom she knew through working in different companies over the years. Not everyone was available, but about ten of them agreed. She was okay with ten. Well, she’d have been okay with none as well. Strangers were just fine with her. After all, she only wanted to drink her guts out and dance till she dropped. May be make out with someone too. “Hell yeah! Why not?” she had thought and smiled at her own new found boldness. She did exactly what she wanted. So many different drinks that there was a cocktail in her stomach, topped with crazy amount of smoking everything from a cigarette to a joint to a bong, along with a steamy make out with a hot stranger whose face she didn’t even remember by the time she reached her home. Oh how she loved the night till the time she remained outside her door. Outside the door was her best escape ever! She had been escaping her inner demons from about a year back when she was diagnosed with severe depression. But she didn’t really have anyone who could be bothered by it. Whom was she supposed to tell anyway? Her relatives? They’d made it clear from the very next day after her parents had gone that she was just a liability for them. They couldn’t care less about some characterless, ill mannered orphan with depression. So she tackled with it, the way she knew best. Drinks, smokes, random sex, endless parties, that’s where all her money went for the whole of last year and still she was never late for her rent, paid all her expenses on her own, even on dates she split the bill, and always carried loose change to give away to the little children on the streets. But last night had been the king of all escapes! Well she needed that too, didn’t she? A king of an escape for the king of the news she had gotten!
On her way to the club she had burnt the report and saw the ashes flying away in the air for as long as she could. She had also immediately sent her resignation after that. She planned to go to Europe now. Her long time dream. And she had enough money to last her two months or so in Europe, thanks to dad! She thought. If not, she would stay on the streets there. “I bet there the streets are better and safer than here. Not that safety was her concern anymore.” she had thought. But even she was surprised by the strong whirlwind of emotions that took hold of her the minute she walked in through that door. Like she had stepped into a new world altogether, only it was like a black hole, with the darkness of the room resonating with her own darkness. And she had just lost it. But this morning was a little better. It was the best sleep she had had in a year, despite the cold hard floor underneath her. Sleep had helped her in sorting out everything about her plan. She felt different despite the thumping headache. She felt what she could only describe as relief. And may be even happiness, if she could be bold enough. “Soon I’ll be able to be with them again L. But I’ll always remember you too. You have been a good friend. My ONLY friend.”
It was at this moment that the doorbell rang, breaking her out of her contemplative state. She hadn’t realized that she was silently crying. She wiped the tears off her face, picked up the brightest of smiles from her collection that had stopped reaching her eyes a long time ago, pasted it over her mouth and went to collect her sumptuous food order.

Unapologetic

Once upon a time there was a young innocent girl fresh out of school who was about to go to college soon. She was smart, confident, ambitious, but most of all kind and caring. So the day came and she left for college. A new life awaited her. She was excited and thrilled and was soon enough engulfed by the charming new world.

Her fellow students and seniors belonged to a wide range of cultural demographic and each of them had a uniquely bold personality. She considered herself bold before, but this was a whole new level for her. So she tried to learn and adapt as much as she could within the new environment.

One day, she had an episode with her roommates about some money being lost. She was questioned by them, and she obviously denied because she was in her own world and she reacted in a somewhat evasive manner because she had nothing to do with it and then she left the room. She didn’t think much of the incident because she was that innocent and had no idea of how people think. Few days later, all three of them went to hang out together and she was told then, that they both suspected her of stealing the money and that they were sorry about it. She was obviously shocked with the revelation but she being the innocent person that she was, forgave them immediately and didn’t think or felt much of it. They all went back happy and more together than before. Later that night, she felt something inside her break but couldn’t quite put a finger at that feeling. So, she ignored it and let go of it.

That was first of the many uncomfortable situations that she’d face in the future for the next three years. Every time she had these extreme situations, she’d go numb at first. Not knowing how to react. This numbness caused even more trouble with her ‘friends’ because she never reacted as expected and was always vague which lead her friends to think that she didn’t care at all. And so, they’d gang up on her on many occasions throughout the years and whether it was really her fault or not, she ended up apologizing, almost begging to them for the sake of the ‘friendship’.

Same thing happened in her personal relationships too. She wasn’t very fond of confronting people, or being confronted and of calling out people for every little thing that may have caused her inconvenience in some way. She always ‘let it go’ for the sake of maintaining peace but also to restore the relationship / friendship.

Over the years this habit of hers cost her, her confidence; her voice, essentially herself! She became, and she didn’t even realize this, a pushover. People whom she loved and cared about walked all over her and she ended up apologizing because she feared she’d be left alone and she couldn’t bear that thought.

So she kept putting up with things that hurt her, never speaking up, never expecting anything, just getting along with anything and everything and apologizing for the so called inconvenience that she caused to those around her, until… one day! One day, she realized that she was not wrong. That she never actually did something to hurt those around her but whatever mistakes she made hurt her and only her and so it was nobody’s business to belittle her. She experienced this new feeling which bordered somewhere on deep hurt and rage and for the first time she spoke up. But guess what happened? She flustered completely, couldn’t form coherent thoughts and hence sentences, and so she was shut up again.

This continued for so many years along with more bad choices and lack of confidence that needless to say she went into depression. She refused to see herself in the mirror, drowned her hurt in alcohol, got lost in the haze of the smoke of numerous cigarettes and weed, and countless working hours each day. On the outside, she was the life of any party. She danced like nobody’s business. She drank like a fish and had numerous meaningless make outs and hook ups. Not realizing at the moment that with each puff of a cigarette, and each night out in a club, and each meaningless make out, she was just going far far away from her true self and deeper and deeper into the big black hole that had opened inside of her.

But like everything else in life, these escapes of her also had a time out limit. And then, she was forced to face her demons. And when that time came, it crushed her. The weight of her guilt, self loathing, self pity and shame was so much that she’d only cry and cry and cry. Each day and night. Howling and wailing till the pain in her chest subdued a bit and her eyes dried out of tears and the whole thing would start afresh the next day.

But since everything happens for a reason, with the tremendous help, love and care of her family, she started on her journey of self discovery. She started seeing the reasons behind everything that happened in her life, and took the lessons from each incident. First and foremost, she finally, forgave herself! She accepted the fact that she’s just human and that she has flaws and it’s okay to have those flaws. She realized that nobody in this world is more real and important and can love her as unconditionally as her Family. But most of all, she realized that her scars were her scars and nobody else’s, her fight was her fight and nobody else’s, her sufferings were her sufferings and nobody else’s, and that’s why anyone who ever tries demeaning her for her past or her behavior or her attitude without caring to listen to her, was not worth any space in her life anymore. She realized that she didn’t need to explain herself to people, both, who really loved and cared for her, and as well to those who didn’t because they won’t change their opinions of her.

She found peace, and more love and validation within herself and her family than she ever had from anyone else or she’d ever need from an outsider. She learnt to be OKAY with herself. She found her self respect. She finally learnt to Love Herself.

And that’s the story of how that sweet innocent childish girl became a fierce, confident, happy, and self satisfied but most importantly an UNAPOLOGETIC WOMAN in this big bad mad world!

Blind

So, I lost my eyesight

Last night!

Oh! Poor you , so young!

I heard all of that!

I howled, sniffled and spat!

But obviously! it didn’t come back!

So I was laying alone

In my zone

One fine day,

Couldn’t tell whether it was

Night or day?

Plugged in the headphones

Chose a random song to play

It played, and then I realised…

I realised that every beat that played

Was overlapping with my heart rate.

Every pore of my skin swayed

And I breathed…

I breathed like never before

Could just feel every beat more and more

How I got up, I don’t know

And I danced…

I danced my heart out

Felt so fresh like new leaves sprout

Spun so hard then fell flat out

And I laughed…

I laughed as if my soul lifted

From the deep dungeons of self misery

It felt as if it broke free

From the shackles of self-doubt!

Now everything just turned white

No ounce of black just bright light

I could see it with those blind eyes

And I found…

I found myself & my purpose again.

Thought , this wasn’t a loss but a beautiful gain

And now I have my life’s rein

And I’m going to make it!

I’m going to make this weakness

My absolute strength!

I’m going to make all other senses

My best friends!

I’m going to turn the table around

And I’m going to make

Every. Single. Second. Count!

I’m going to make this vision less face

The ore of expressions.

I’m going to make this deformed body

A temple of impressions.

I’m going to fill everybody up

With that light in my soul

And I know I can do it! I know!

Because I am “WHOLE” like never before!!!

Raging bouts, that is Anxiety

Waking up every morning I can’t anticipate how my mood is going to be. How will my day unfold! Not having a job adds to the uncertainty of it all.

So I get up, and I just sit there for a few minutes as if I have been jerked off of my sleep, only I hadn’t been. I wake up on my own and yet feel betrayed by my own self. So the few minutes are taken to get accustomed to the day that lays ahead of me.

What do I do in these minutes? I stare aimlessly into the wall right opposite to me with nothing running inside my head, all blank. Like a trance. And then I actually jerk myself awake and start the day.

It consists of browsing aimlessly through the phone, eating, taking a nap, reading a novel, browsing some more, eating again and sleeping! Seemingly harmless although boring! But what could possibly go wrong with this routine? I’ll tell you what!

At times after waking up from a nap instead of feeling refreshed, I feel even more depressed. Like something has been taken from me in my sleep. I wake up engulfed with this profound sadness around me and it threatens to drown me even more if I don’t do something about it soon. Only, actually doing something about it becomes damn difficult! You want to get out of it, but you can’t actually get up and do it! And so after a while you give in and you know the rest of the day is going to be spent in a sullen mood.

At times like these, I keep to myself. Talk to limited people in limited words. Now you might think of it as an extremely foolish way of tackling the situation, but it isn’t. Because it’s either this or you getting hell pissed off at such a minor issue that it’s not even funny. What’s worse is that before you can control your voice and think about the tone, the words already leave your mouth in a pitch close to a scream! And mostly on the receiving end of it is a person who loves you dearly! Who’d do anything for you, and would only try to take you out of the mess that you’re in. And what do you do? You shout at them, use an accusing tone as if your problems are their fault, and once you’ve successfully shushed them away, you feel so much worse about yourself than before that you lay there crying silently. And it’s a loop! You can’t escape it. Yes, as you get better, the frequency of such bouts reduce but when they do happen, they still happen the same way, bringing in everything back you thought you had overcome!

So what’s the way out of this? I wish i knew for sure! What does work for me is being left alone. Left alone for as long as I need to reason with myself that the issue is not important, at least not important enough to hurt you and your loved ones. It might take a day or may be just a couple of hours. It varies! But it does help me.

Although no matter what I do, it doesn’t take away the pain of hurting a loved one. So I just pray for forgiveness, push the guilt aside and hope they understand (which mostly they do).

But my advice to anyone suffering, is that, whenever you feel right, talk about it. I know how difficult it is, to put into words your emotions, especially in front of someone. But nevertheless, do it!

And for those who are there for people suffering with anxiety and depression, don’t push it. Don’t push them for anything too much. Give them time and space. It is a fine balance actually that you need. To be there but not be too intrusive. To nudge them, but not push them that they start pushing you away and closing themselves. And most importantly, Listen to what they have to say! Actually listen! Don’t interrupt. Don’t project what you think of their problem. Don’t try to validate. And don’t ever try to give a solution. Because chances are they know! They already know the problem amd the solution. What they don’t have is the energy to overcome it. So you can only help by listening. And Do It Well!

Choosing Pain

In the last blog I mentioned I’ll be starting from this point. So here it is…

Pain can come in various shapes and forms. It can be predicted or it can come from round the corner and smack you in the face! Now when it is predicted, it doesn’t hurt, because you’re prepared. The real deal, is, what to do when you get smacked in the face with full force? And here’s also a thing about this smacking, you can’t control it, you don’t know how long is it going to hurt, even what to do about that hurt. And yeah, it SUCKS! BIG TIME!!

So here’s what you do, don’t ever try to run from it (i say this, because it’s the first instinct), instead feel it. Yes it hurts, but I’ll tell you what, it hurts more when you try to avoid it, try to feel it and it will lessen even if just a little. Acceptance is the key to move on from the pain. And we all know, moving on in its true essence is very important in life, rather, is the necessity of life. So after you feel it and are consumed by it, is when you truly can think of moving out of it, before that, you’ll just run. After acceptance, comes the clarity of thought and situation. Analyze the situation you’re in, if it’s anyhow your fault, forgive yourself, if it’s not your fault, don’t try and make it one and never try to blame it. Because blaming just ruins your mental peace, it stems anger and frustration, and both of those things never do any good to anyone! And when all your instincts about blaming will truly go away, you’d have a better understanding of the situation and a clarity of thoughts to move forward.

Then, MOVE FORWARD! It’s the most arduous job to do. In your misery, you dream about living without your misery every single day, you even take all the previous steps and feel better and positive about it but when you’re truly ready to move forward, your feet freeze! You stop dead in your tracks. Do you know why? Because no matter how much you hate it, your misery becomes your comfort zone. It’s easy to feel and be in pain rather than try and do something about coming out of it (yes you may not like hearing this but it’s true). So yes, no matter what your mind tells you, or body is against it, MOVE FORWARD, because that’s the only way.

In this article, i never said, it’s going to be easy. Every step is as difficult as it gets, but then think, what is life without all this? How do you grow, if not for pain? How do you learn humbleness, if not for pain? How do you become HUMAN, If not for pain?

Pain – Bearable/Unbearable

“Pain” the word is often misunderstood. It is taken as a negative, something we don’t want in our lives, rather don’t need in our lives. We would do anything, will go to any length, will do whatever it takes to remove it from our lives, won’t we? But, we are missing one point, right here, it’s staring us in the face, yet we’re so preoccupied with our obsession of removing the pain that we don’t notice it! Which is, that Pain is what push us into Acting on things. Pain is what propels us to do better. It’s because of pain, that we actually start growing or you can say start walking from point to another and hence complete a journey, only to embark on another. So now, tell me, is Pain really bad? I don’t think so.

What I do think is, that pain hurts and it hurts like a bitch! My pain might be different from your pain, it might even be lesser in broader perspective, but for me, in that moment, my pain is the most unbearable thing ever! Even if it’s just my stomach because of my period cramps and not because of an abusive childhood. Now here’s where people make mistake. When they see someone in pain, and if their pain is not “up to the mark” of pain that they deem fit to sympathize, they diss it. Totally! Completely! Utterly! They’ll tell you right on your face that you’re irrelevant, that your suffering isn’t worth their time or even kind words. Yes, i understand not everything could/should be treated like an emergency or highest level of empathy, but a little kindness is what everyone deserves (except terrorists beheading people for no reason, of course). Why, you ask? Because it gives them strength! It enables them to look past that pain and helps them to overcome it gradually. You see, that person is hurting, whatEVER the reason! But they ARE hurting and even if you don’t comprehend it, you should not make them feel unimportant about it. A lot of people don’t talk about their pain/problems precisely because of this reason. And when they’re diagnosed with depression or anxiety we wonder why! I guess it’s time we change this perspective.

But there is an interesting thing about pain, it is only unbearable when we don’t choose it. Pain is bearable if it’s self inflicted! Let me elaborate. Think about it, if I asked you to punch a wall for me, and you do it, it’s going to hurt you much more than when and if you choose to do it yourself in anger or while exercising! You might even be able to hit it harder. So what changed? Your thinking! Same way, problems, if we choose them are easy to solve and hence cause us less pain. But the trick to still choose to look for a solution when you haven’t chosen the problem / pain is what makes you truly great. And trust me, it is DAMN DIFFICULT, no matter what others tell you.

But more on that later, will continue the next one, from this point only. Till then, I hope you got enough to ponder on, untill next time. Ciao!

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