Fabric

I was born on a sunny day
In the middle of April
Wrapped in white blanket
to keep my little body warm
I was handed over to my mother’s safekeeping

She remembers that fabric today
the touch of that white cotton
the smoothness of its texture
the gentleness of the tucked-in corner
She clutches on to a memory that feels like
slippery sand in small hands

Hands that she held on to
Hands that she taught to grab
Hands that she kissed
Hands that she tucked carefully
under a blanket on a cold night

She remembers that fabric today
the patchwork quilt lovingly sewed
through the nine months of morning sickness
and back pains
each patch carefully selected
out of her softest linens
lovingly held together
through pin pricks and dropped stitches

Stitches placed with care
Stitches made with love
Stitches made to last forever
long after the abandonment of the quilt in a corner of the attic
in the company of school uniforms,
and pinafores no longer needed.

She remembers that fabric now
of the uniform purchased proudly on the first day of school
Washing it by hand to ensure
no stains stayed behind
Pressing it by hand
to ensure no crease streaked my look
putting the tie on every morning
feeding me breakfast
dropping me off at the bus stand everyday
waving me off to a new world
with her packed lunch and a shiny school bag.

She remembers that fabric now
of a school bag which held
more than it ever should
books and forgotten candy wrappers
pencils broken at the bottom
pencil shavings decorating the sides
A name tag in the corner of a zipper
that was painstakingly filled in with bright colours
and a happy smile
A bag that saw me through middle school
and ripped open in high school
A bag that’s still lying under the bed
proudly holding my storybooks
my journals
my old diaries
my scrapbooks
waiting for me to return
waiting for me to pick them up
waiting for me dig through them
waiting for me to pick my favorites
to carry along to college.

She remembers the fabric now
decorating the wall above my bed
a congratulatory message
a happy graduation
wishing me the best
wishing me a beautiful future

She holds on to the checked shirt in her hands
she wants to smell its fabric
she wants to remember how her baby looked in it
when she bid her goodbye
2 hours ago…

The fabric is stained red and brown
The body is bruised black and blue

she remembers the white blanket
and the fussy baby wrapped in it
she remembers the patchwork quilt
and the difficulty she had in waking me up in the mornings
she remembers the new uniform
and how dirty it got after a fight in school
she remembers the shiny school bag
and how I selected it all by myself

she remembers the graduation poster
and being hugged when she surprised me with it
she remembers the checked shirt
and the last time she saw her baby in it

She remembers that I was alive

She remembers that I smiled
I laughed
I talked
I joked

She remembers that I was alive…

A fabric clutched to her chest
dry eyes staring at the body in the morgue

She remembers that I was alive…

 

*END*

 
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23:00 hrs, Drunk

There are days when I feel happy; very happy. There’s no particular reason why. That’s the day I go running. I’m up since 4. I cook and I clean my room- corner to corner.

Then, there are days where it’s difficult to get out of bed. I feel half-dead at 8 AM even though I slept at 9 PM last night; I feel unable to deal with a new patient and I just can’t bring myself to care.

I’m a psychiatrist. Should I diagnose myself with bipolar disorder?

I don’t think so.

I think it’s more like I’m experiencing something that most of my generation do.

The feeling of not being enough and being just enough at the same time.

It’s a battle.

We’re told in the media to accept ourselves as we are. That we are awesome any way we are. That there are different ways to define success and we’re all successful in our own way.

But, there’s the fact that we were brought with values that contrast with these concepts.

We were brought with the concepts of hard work and equivalent gains; with early to bed and early bird getting the worm. We were matured with an unhealthy dose of competitiveness and a healthy helping of despair. We were let go of into the world while being told you are what you make of yourself and this is what you should make of yourself.

So, during the nights that I lay awake, conflicting emotions raging through my subconscious and an unexplained restlessness ravaging my conscious, I question the truth.

I wonder if it’s my hard work or natural ability that got me this far. I question if I made it by myself or if I was led here by a subtle hand. I doubt my prowess and my logic. I overthink my past, my present and my imagined future.

Is this just me?

Do you also feel this way?

I was born in ’92. Is it a curse of the generation?

Or is it just…me?

 

Questions

Who am I?

 

I look in the mirror

I look at myself

I part my hair left

Then, right

I change my lipstick

I wing my eyes

 

Then, I rub it all off

And look again

 

I’m searching

I’m finding

I’m losing again

Myself

My way

 

Where am I?

Where am I going?

 

I look back

I look away

I peer into the darkness

I try to make out

My origins

My secrets

The path I took

That led me here

 

Where did I come from?

Where do I go?

 

I try asking my shadow

My memories

In the cobwebbed corners of my mind

I scrutinize the old pictures

I look for hints

In conversations long forgotten

 

Then, I drive to the cliff

And look over its edge

And wonder how it’d be

To free fall

 

If I wake up again

Will I remember?

 

Who am I?

Where am I?

Where did I come from?

Where do I go?

 

Let me sleep now…

 

Let me sleep now

And if I wake up again,

I’ll remember?

 

Won’t I?

 

 

 

 

Reflection

Look in the mirror everyday
See a familiar stranger
Face, I know; features, I recognise
But, who are you?
And why do I hate you so much?

First thing in the morning
I call you names
I judge you, I blame you
I hold you responsible for my failure
I never give you credit for my success

I make you work, work more
Whatever you do is never enough
I make you ask, beg for forgiveness
Without a smidgen of mercy in my heart
I make you question, doubt yourself
Your motives
I make you insecure, unstable
Angry and unreasonable
I make you tired, I exhaust you
With my whims, fancies, my ridiculous demands

Why do I hate you so much?

You’re by my side
You’re holding my hand
You support me
You help me out
You give me your all
You make me who I am

You’re my reflection in the mirror
My shadow in the heat
You’re my voice when I speak
My thoughts when I write
You’re my all
You’re me

Why do I hate you so much?

Did you do something to me?
Did you hurt me?
Did you make me suffer?
Did you make me cry?
Did I make me cry?
Did I hurt me?

Why do I hate you so much?

Why do I hate myself so much?

 

*END*

I Miss You Guys

I miss you guys.

You were so much better than me- at studying, at playing, at creativity…you made me want to work hard to catch up with you. You made me aim higher, set greater goals. You made me want to be better than I am.

I want to be there again.

Amidst people who’d get caught up in the workings of the world, but tried their hardest to disentangle again. Amidst people who didn’t give a flying fuck what the world thought of them. In the place among you people where I had the most fun in my life even just lounging around.

I want to talk with you guys.

A conversation with honest confessions and frank opinions. A conversation where lies are put aside temporarily because we don’t have time for them. A conversation where I can let myself go without having to censor myself.

I want to cook with you again.

Those nights on that terrace, no plates or glasses, just a bunch of spoons and the weirdest combinations. Indian, Italian, Nawabi and Irani, and then a touch of cake and cream with all of them. We’d leave nothing untouched, we’d leave nothing unfinished…except for conversations and memories.

I want to drink with you guys.

A shot of whiskey shared in camaraderie and good spirits. A shot of tequila for that sense of misguided adventure and thrill. Then, the beer on tap because I want to hear our glasses clink and laugh madly for no reason.

I want to run with you again.

You’d go on ahead because you’re faster, but look back once and again to make sure I didn’t stop. You’d pull me ahead on the last 100 metres across the finishing line. Of course, you’d laugh at me because I look funny when I run and when I collapse at the end while you’re all still standing.

I want to spend a night out with you guys.

Where we talk about nothing and something and everything. Where we share secrets around midnight and sleepy nothings around dawn. Where I feel so excited because I’m with you, yet so relaxed as if I were by myself.

I want to celebrate birthdays with you again.

The elaborate planning and messy handling. The cake and chips and dancing all night. Because you want to show you care; because you want to have fun; because you want to say, what if your family is not around, this is what friends are for.

I want to go out with you guys.

You’d discuss clothes the night before and change them all up in the morning. Stuff on the bed, stuff in the bag and yet, there you are with more in your hands. We’d laugh through the mess, through the chaos before setting off finally an hour and a half late.

I want to watch TV with you again.

Post-dinner, post-post-dinner-walk, collapsing on the couch, laughing, commenting, passing judgement on characters that are ridiculous. Sometimes the final few moments we share in a day. Most times, it’s the final few hours we share in the day, mocking, teasing and laughing over nothing.

I want to study with you guys.

Just knowing you were in the room across slogging away like me was enough to keep me going. Just knowing that you’d come knocking on my door at dinner time kept me motivated to study a little more. Just knowing that I could come and whine and cry on bed helped me keep the frustration at bay.

I want to spend time with you again.

Sharing stories, memories, nostalgia for those days. Sharing concerns, problems, secrets of the past and present. Just us and the minutes ticking by. Until we have to say goodbye again.

I miss you guys.

I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

Seconds, minutes, hours tick by. I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

Days, months and years pass by. I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

My life goes on. But, I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

I miss you all over again.

 

*END*

12:28 PM, Reading Up On fMRI

Whatever happens, happens for the best.

This has been a motto of mine since childhood. But, recently I’ve started questioning how much do I believe in it and how much do I use it as convenient thought to comfort myself?

After all, if something bad happens; if I lose something- like my phone; if I don’t get what I really want- like a place in the school that I actually wanted to study in for my post graduation, it’s all for the best, isn’t it?

I mean, of course, I’m here instead of there because I didn’t work hard enough- I read manga and watched anime instead of studying anatomy and physiology- but, that’s also for the best, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Is it?

Is it really for the best?

Or am I just saying empty words to comfort myself?

Because there’s this little twinge every time I think about where I am right now and I silence it by saying it’s all for the best. For the moment. Because it’ll be back. It comes back quite frequently. If only I had been more sincere. If only I had been more hard working; less distracted…

But, no. I’ve given up on the hard working part of me. I never was. I don’t think I ever will be. It’s one of those things I can’t do.

Is this attitude of giving up also a result of these comforting words?

I’ve never been very competitive. I like winning. I like proving people wrong just as much as the next person. Yes. But, it’s not the driving force. It’s never been the driving force. In fact, I don’t know if I have a driving force at all.

I like to have fun and if I’m not having fun, then I stop. Whenever I think back upon my perceived achievements, this is all I realise. I never did anything which wasn’t fun for me.

When studying wasn’t fun, I stopped. When work wasn’t fun, I took a day off. When people weren’t fun, I made up excuses to refuse hanging out with them. And when situations weren’t fun, I avoided them.

All for my best, right?

I’ve gotten by like this for 25 years; and I have a feeling that if I continue like this, I might need to be using that motto way than I already do.

So, with the advent of another new year and with my 26th birthday coming ever closer, maybe it’s time to consider some changes?

*END*

Alone

“Did you hear…

“What did you…

“No, that’s not wha…

 

Voices

Talking

Always, always talking

Chattering, gossiping

Exchanging news, titbits of information

Sharing old memories, making new ones

Surround me

 

Creech…bang…honk…

 

Traffic

Noisy

So, so very noisy

Cutting in between people

Into conversations

Making voices raise

Shout, and yell into each other’s ears

Trying to be heard

Trying to understand, to respond

To tease

Surrounds me

 

Sounds

People

Voices and conversations

Surround me

All the time

 

I feel alone

All the time

 

My mind split in half

Paying attention, thinking hard

Running away, coming back

 

My legs walking fast

Moving to, moving fro

Running away, coming back

 

My heart erratic, ecstatic

Beating hard, beating fast

Running away, coming back

 

Caught in between

Breathless

Lost

 

I feel alone

All the time

 

Time in seconds

Time in minutes

Time in hours

Passing by

 

Days together

Months together

Years together

Spending on

 

Thoughts of life

Ideas of midnight

Games of imagination

Shared together

 

I feel alone

All the time

 

I try to talk

I try to join

I try to enjoy

 

I laugh hard

I crack jokes

I make you laugh

 

I pretend to understand

I pretend to care

I pretend I’m a part

Of all that you are

 

But…

 

I feel alone

All the time

 

The truth is…

 

Surrounded by you

Surrounded by them

By noise,

By sound,

By presence…

 

I still feel alone

All the time

 

*END*