Edited by: Kavya Gupta
A part of me wants to tear this world asunder and howl like a banshee on a grim night.
Too much? Nope.
I’m in dire need of some peace of mind. And nothing is more satisfying than pouring vodka all over the pathetic excuse of human existence and tossing a lit match stick onto it.
Light up the world, they say. Well, let’s burn together.
She is a good girl, the eldest daughter. Ten years and four more. Winsome, witty and simply wonderful. Her voice is as soft as petals. She has never raised it, and so it remains.
She speaks when she’s asked to. Quiets her volume lest she is too loud. Makes herself small to avoid taking up too much space from pot-bellied uncles who leer at her starving body.
She’s encouraged to dream big and gifted old, faulty fountain pens. She still writes in sloping cursive letters. Her numbers are far inferior to that of her father. So, she mimics him.
Until her hands are smudged black and blue.
Until her language makes space for her.
She is just a child. In a body that feels too big and too small at the same time.
People have too many expectations, she has realised. Five years ago, she would’ve jumped to meet them with a starry, winning smile. Now, it just makes her mad.
Not at the people. No. At herself.
So, she gives and gives and yet she gives again. More than she ever expects back. And it must be that she’s always been there to give—to make a little time, to make a little space—has what made them so entitled to receive.
Her expectations? Not much really, she likes a decent person.
Yes, she would like that shovel to dig up the grave wherein lie her standards.
To say that being 20 years of age is interesting would be an understatement.
Her language could never hold the woman she was to become. The woman she is becoming. So, she grew out of the trappings of her body.
A body that has been made a prison since the time communities came into being. For years and generations. From grandmothers to mothers, then to her—a legacy of confinement.
She is many things now.
A selfish loner for not making time for silver-spooned, high-end friends.
An utter fool for feeling strongly, for that intensity scares little girls and boys into hiding.
Loud and brazen in her thought, speech and gait; not withdrawing from screaming into privileged, willingly deaf ears.
New friendships lean toward situationships.
Snuggling in single beds turns into weeks of silence. To small talk in elevators. To tired greetings. To smiles that look like smirks. To acquaintances who can’t be acquainted anymore.
People shed and wear skins like snakes. They change, slithering into the lives of new friends and abandoning old ones.
The best thing she can do is be honest with herself.
She has accepted the fact that she can never be a lawyer.
She loves arguing against nonsense. But if she becomes too angry in the middle of it, she just starts crying.
Why is crying bad though?
Well, there are many reasons why. For one, she cannot express heightened states of emotion if she wishes to get her point across.
She needs to be more like a person in a mechanized economic model. Maybe then, she will make optimal choices. As if math and models can ever encompass a mind.
So, what does she do with the feeling that was born in her the day her mother covered her chest?
The feeling that simmers constantly, inflaming her entire body without an outlet or relief. The feeling that wrings tears from the most calloused hearts. The feeling that was swept under the rug, continually allayed, shamed and stepped on. The feeling that she couldn’t name for years.
Sentimental. Hysterical. Crazy.
See how they have weaponised your rage and named it madness?
Is there a way I can pull my hair out without tearing off my scalp?
No, I don’t care for the cranium. It didn’t make me hard-headed. But that’s not the point.
See, I’m just concerned for my roommate. A messy bald head can be blamed on razors. Bodily mutilation is pushing too far.
Not that I mind, honestly.
Why do I wish to rip off my hair, you ask?
Well, it is so that I grow several little snakes in the follicles that will finally shut people up for once.
A silence set in stone.