In the summer of 1905, along the borders of an obscure village in the remote areas of southern bengal, amidst the clanging of temple bells, the dhuno-filled air and small bushes full of red rukmini blossoms, did i first gain consciousness—in the form of a banyan tree. Decades have passed since and today, to break this unbearable silence, have i decided to narrate to you seedlings, my ancient tale. The earliest memories i have are of the village ladies, young and old, carrying trays of offerings of flowers and sweets for the local gods in the old temple near me. From the fresh smelling shiuli blooms to the auspicious marigold flowers, from ghee-seeped mihidana to carefully prepared sweet yoghurt—the fragrance of the offerings was mesmerising. The young girls would wear bright glass bangles and giggle as they lithely carried the trays while the older women walked with their bronze anklets ringing softly as they gossiped over the newest piece of information they had obtained from their sources. The village men would gather around me in the twilight to smoke a pipe and discuss events. Over time, i attained a sacred status. The women would occassionally offer water and various other forms of pleasing substances and circle around me, tying a red thread while chanting auspicious mantras for the well-being of their families. Birthdays, marriages, funerals—all began to be held under my shade. It was pleasant. Amongst all the villagers, Mrinalini Debi was my favourite companion. Married off to the young Bhawaniprasad Ray, at age 9, she used to spend much of her leisure time under my great branches writing or reciting poems with great passion. Eyes as clear and bright as a young fawn, skin as soft and polished as the earth, voice as enchanting as a cuckoo bird—she was my first true friend, opening up a vast horizon of lands and scenes I could've never experienced, to me. From the tales of young sailors exploring new lands to heroic men fighting for the peace of their homeland to the unimaginable palaces of kings and gods being invaded by malignant villains. She would also sing songs in her sweet voice describing heavenly sights and earthly pleasures and devotion and passion. She was the one who added vibrance in my dull routine life. Her young husband, Bhawani, as he was affectionately called, was a enthusiastic nationalist. He used to write in the local Bengali newspaper under the pen-name Ishwar. I heard the villagers say that his articles burned with the fire of patriotism and his sleep-deprived eyes filled with the dreams of a free India didn't betray those words. He was a promising lad,and so were his friends, and they tirelessly worked for the causes they believed in, holding meetings regularly under my branches for their future.
Yet the boy was not favoured by the Lady Luck. At the ripe age of twenty, he and his assembly of nation-loving men were caught having a meeting for joining the nationalist movement, by a few local British policemen and in a bout of commotion, all of them were shot right dead on the spot. Under me. Under my own branches. The policemen left the corpses in the dust below me but i shall never forget the cold air filled with the smell of jasmine flowers and blood, as if silently shrieking, "Murder! Murder!". The next day, the entire village was horrified at discovering the bloody sight. Mothers and wives with disheveled hair wailed and sobbed and screamed and weeped bitterly. Fathers and brothers could barely contain themselves as they finished the last rites. The whole village mourned in horrifying silence, at the loss of their young, promising sons. And mrinalini—a young lass of eighteen now—was widowed. Perhaps it was her age, her unfamiliarity with death, her naivety, her uncontaminated mind—that made it impossible for her to accept her loss. She lost her senses, roaming here and there and leaning on my trunk, singing dully, staring into the distance with blank eyes. The villagers had a new subject to talk about and they distracted themselves, whispering of the young madwoman of the banyan tree, to help themselves move on. I would never be able to say, whether Mrinalini truly went mad or not. She had an aura of sharpness, like a knife, that had been made blunt with misuse. Perhaps it were her in-laws who drove her out. Perhaps it was the harsh life of a widow being thrust upon her which drove her out. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I could only speculate as the villagers did. Her face was a book written in a language we had never learnt. It was at this point, on a dull autumn afternoon that a rickshaw stopped a few steps away from my canopy. A man stepped out. He had a young face, faded by the worries of the revolution he had decided to devote his life to. His eyes reflected a caring personality and yet a man who could do anything, sacrifice everything, to reach the point he wanted to.A pair of thick rimmed spectacles covered his tired eyes and he looked at his distraught sister, sitting in my shade, staring blankly into the distance. As i would later come to know, he was her brother, Mahendro Chatterjee. "Mrinu!" Even the young swallow birdlings stop fighting at the call of the mother bird, and this was Mrinalini, hearing the voice of her brother after a decade. She jolted awake from her trance. "Dada?" Perhaps they stared for two seconds, perhaps for twenty— I fail to recall now. But it seemed to me an eternity passed between us as we stood in utter silence. The air was heavy with unspeakable words, unexpressed feelings, perforated with a silent, bitter, uneffable maddening grief. It seemed to me a silent letter accounting every injustice, every taunt, every sorrowful incident that had possibly occurred that was exchanged between them. And then, they cried. They cried, as the crows on my branches lulled their young to sleep, and i stood in silence. They cried. I would never understand what had passed between them in those few moments, or indeed, in their lives before this, but i believed even God Almighty must have shed a tear at this reunion of two siblings, torn between duties and desires. Mrinalini held his hand and went away. I later heard the villagers speak of her returning to Kolkata. She was gone, perhaps forever, flown away with the autumn winds. Weeks went by and then years, Mrinalini didn't return. As time went by, her name faded into an obscure memory, a bittersweet nostalgia, a folk song that lost its tune before being sung. I was abandoned too and declared inauspicious as quickly as i had gained my scared status. The weeds around me grew into a wee forest stage and i grew on, spreading my branches and roots, wider and deeper. Mrinalini, never returned. I did hear once, the words of a traveller describing the heroic exploits of a young patriot woman nicknamed Mrinal. She had become a barrister and helped defend the freedom fighters sentenced for trial and had even started teaching in a girl's school. These flashes of stories gave great relief to me. She was safe. She was happy. That was enough for me. A few years back an old couple were passing in front of me in a carriage. The woman halted the driver and stepped down. She was wearing a grey cotton saree, gold-flecked bangles on her hand and a light metal-rimmed pair of spectacles framing her deep kohl filled eyes. Her face was wrinkled and her salt-and-pepper hair was loosely tied into a bun and yet when i saw her, i felt a strange affection for her. She looked at me softly and stroked my trunk gently, asking," Do you remember me? It's me. Mrinalini. Do you remember me? I used to hide in your branches. Do you remember me? You used to lend me your shade for my poetry and singing. It's me. Mrinu. My, you have grown. I have become old too haven't I? Look there, do you remember my dada? But really dear, how could they let you alone for all these years?" . She smiled. If I were human, I would've hugged her. I wanted to tell her i was proud of her, that she was like my sister, daughter, mother and friend. I wanted to tell her i remembered her. I wanted to tell her that i missed her. But all i did was stand in soft silence, balancing the golden sun rays dancing on my leaves, amidst the two siblings and the bushes of rukmini blossoms beside me. And then, they left.
All of this moments have cuminated into this point of time, where I sit among you all narrating my story. It is nothing great, and hardly moving. I have merely stood witness to these events and formed an attachment to my memories. Perhaps, since I've seen so much, heard so much, the silence in which i stand today makes me ache. But the Almighty has plans for each of his creatures and every dawn i can only pray for the peace of all his beings as i ruminate on the memories of the temple bells and dhuno-filled air amidst the summer sun and rukmini blossoms all around.
What do y'all think it's been such a long time since I posted here honestly feeling intimidated it was fun writing this though xddd
1. To all those posting "repost this if you're against rape or else I'll lose my respect for you" and putting up pitch-black profile pictures— good. This is your first step, of showing solidarity. But don't stop here. Move on and improvise. Speak up about real-life situations and inform people. Put your effort into educating people about the female oppression you may witness in your lives. We still have a long long way to go.
2. To all those guys who squirm at the word "feminism". Why? Why do you do so? We aren't here to torture you, overtake you and establish matriarchy,you know? Stop running away from this word. Stop cringing. Stop making fun. Realise the truth and importance in it. Accept its need in this world. We do not hate men. We simply want the freedom to go out on a walk in the night without fear. We simply want the freedom to smile at strangers, to sit fearlessly beside men we don't know, fearlessly ask for help from men we don't know, we simply want the freedom to be human. We want feminism because we still face huge pay differences for the same job than our male counterparts. We want feminism because the world thinks girls aren't good enough for STEM fields but only till they succeed remarkably. We need feminism for a lot more reasons. We need feminism to give every single human the right to be weak and the right to be strong.
3. To all parents who buy their girls dolls and khelna-baati, and their sons toy cars and bikes, what are you accomplishing? Toys are toys. Stop teaching your sons khelna-baati is not for them, stop teaching your girls playing with toy bikes is strange for them. You are their god. Open their horizons. Let them explore. Give them the choice of everything. Same for cartoons. If your son wants to see a barbie movie or your daughter wants to buy an omnitrix inspired by Ben 10, support them. Please. I beg you. And i promise you your children will grow to be mature understanding adults. Please let go of the old thinking your parents taught you. This is a new world. Allow your children to embrace it in a kind way too.
4. To all those people who preach "girls mature faster than boys", i apologize. Girls don't really mature faster than boys. We are rebuked for our mistakes much earlier. The same mistakes that boys make but are indulged to a much later age. We are expected to understand,to be mature, to be good obedient girls and so we mature. And yet I've never seen anyone point us out to boys and say "see, she's a girl, she's more mature than you, respect her and try to be more like her". No. Because that's a default female virtue. Maturity. Huh. I see.
5. To all boys who say "not all men are like that". Yes i know. And i also know that not all men are serial killers. Yet we have laws for murders. We put criminals at trial and hang them. Rapists aren't anything different. We don't destroy their lives, they do. Calling them out doesn't damage their reputation, it only makes it more accurate. And if a girl ever falsely accuses someone, she deserves punishment too, for no crime must go unpunished, whether it be committed by a male or female.
6. To all boys who think why we demand equality if we cant even match them in strength and fight as equals. Well. I pity you. Don't equate equality with who you can or cannot abuse. It reflects primitive thinking. And we expect you to behave rationally.
7. To anyone who thinks dressing "inappropriately" makes a girl characterless, to say that "yeh toh hona hi tha" well. If clothing was the problem, girls wouldn't have been raped over the past hundreds of years even when they dressed from head to toe. No, the cases weren't fewer. The number of cases that could manage to get reported, were fewer. Instead of criticising the girl, drown the criminal in contempt. Teach your sons an example, teach them the importance of consent and teach them to respect girls. And teach them not to respect girls because "she's someone's sister, someone's daughter, someone's mother" but because "she is a human being. Her social standing has nothing to do with the respect she deserves as an individual" . Teach them this. And i promise you you'll be proud to have raised a genuine human being.
**Allow boys and girls to exist as equals, let everyone live their life to the fullest, let's cherish every moment on this planet by starting a change. Change yourself sweetheart. Maybe the world might follow your lead. Let old ideas die. This is a new era. Either embrace it or die on the other side of history**
// All my wolves begin to howl
Wake me up, the time is now.//
I guess I do love sleeping.
It's like I'm dead and alive at the same time. Lol. You replied that it's like death without the commitment (woof. Death with benefits)
Life's shitty. I wake up, open the curtains and see dust and old bricks lying at the corner of the street. The day's dull. I wash my face. It's 5:02 on the clock. I put on my hairband without combing my hair and go out to unlock the main door. There's a fat brown dog, spotted with red rashes sitting on the lawn. The newspaper is late as always.
Then I brew up some tea and sit down on the balcony floor but it's too bitter and I spit it out clumsily. I'm wiping my mouth with my tee-shirt.
The sun's out now. It's too harsh already. 7:12 AM. I wanna die.
I open whatsapp and see you've written something. "Good morning babe", you say. I type it back and send lots of goofy smileys. I'm not smiling. We won't talk much during the day anyway.
I stretch. I pull the curtains again. I wanna be in the dark. The light's too bright. 10:42 AM. There's a van outside with a mic blaring off. There won't be any electricity and water upto 5 in the evening. I'm still in my pajamas. I'm lying down on the bed, my feet dangling off the edges.
So does the day go on. It's hot and humid. I'm tired of existing. I just wanna sleep. My head aches. There are cobwebs in the corners of my room.
8:36 PM. I'm spamming you. I'm telling you about the stars, my name, my parents, my dreams, my fears, I'm crying and asking you if I'm okay, if you're okay, if your mum hugged you today and if your dog ate. You're silent. You're just telling me you wanna kiss me. I'm broken inside. I loathe you. Perhaps.
10 PM. We make up. Video call. I love you too. Perhaps.
11 PM. I choke on my food. The milk's burnt. I have to clean up. I'm still in yesterday night's tee. I reek of sweat and despair. I'm happy. I guess.
11:11 PM. I'm in bed. You're calling. But I switch off the phone and fade away.
I like sleeping. It's death without the commitment.
I know that you do not exist in this world as of right now. However the Many Worlds theory of quantum physics argues that everything that can happen, will happen; across infinite alternate realities. So think of this as a love letter across parallel universes, from a universe where you don't exist to a universe where you do. And maybe, just maybe there's a world where I only exist in your mind, just as you do to me right now. As you can see, lately I've been using science as a foil to fight my inner conflicts and shakespearean dilemmas. Hamlet would've found schrödinger's thought experiment very intriguing, to say the least. The idea of being both alive and dead would've really appealed to him. Perhaps to be and not to be is the answer. ...I don't know what I'm trying to prove here. I don't even know what I'm trying to say. What I can, however, attempt is to embody you as a stand-in for every writer who has left this platform. It's equally baffling as all the schrödinger's hypotheses. You are here, yet..you aren't. Like an empty set, a space enclosed by set brackets. A sense of superposition seeps in your deactivatedness, of both being and unbeing. I get it, this tiny universe of ours has changed. For better or for worse, that is subjective. What started off as a farm where we plucked ripe words that fell off from the old yet growing branches of feelings, is slightly becoming more..commercialised, more mass-produced, pumping out processed wordy poems without any heart to dictate them. And this is precisely why I ask you to return. Once, the nib of my favourite pen had broken. I had the nib alone replaced, of course, but the question still lingered- is this still the pen that I'd known and loved? Will its barren iridium tip embrace the world of paper and dreams, will it become fertile with ink again? I didn't know the answer then, but I did come to understand much later that the pen is merely a consequence, a cultural medium that is dependent on the hands of its holder. I think it's fair to say that the same applies to this world of ours too. And I think I'm coming to understand why this place now has a "quill" in its name and a pen nib as its symbol. Just because there's a difference in the way it used to be, doesn't mean that it's still not our world anymore. I might even go so far as to say that our attitude towards this world has changed much more than the place actually did. Places don't change, people and feelings do. So please come home.
Of course in the realm of overarching possibilities, cannot-ness cannot exist. I'm quite confident that the possibility of you returning, can happen. I can only hope that it will. Yours, @wine_mirrors
- Aurelia - Her eyes look like unheard stories shaping clay moulds into archaic symbols of greek sculpture. Ferns adore her art, like poems adore her hand. Hooded ancient scribbler notes down this wholesome tragedy of her beauty, fading into stardust, on every full moon; as she kneads the raw heart full of thaws, to give a coarse tone to her soft armature made of delicate metaphors aligned. Lifeless sculpture breathes through her charms and breaks into tears in her arms as she quietly hugs it while sobbing.
- Love - The rain is falling into the lap of mother, her eyes holding onto the dead child, as she surrenders the universe and offers it as homage to the holy trinity. Her fingertips still caressing the child's hair, pouring life into the scalp and skull. Soon awakens the child in heaven to find, an old man awaiting by the olive tree in their very own backyard, holding a box full of truffles and honey. While he leaves for the truffles, her arms fall down, she lays on the ground, by drawing life from every cell of her body into her eyes, to capture her child jumping with joy. She offers herself.
- Xenon - Two lovers found two roads, one road allows only one person to travel. Ephemeral, burdensome, decision making time arrives as they borrow another hour from heaven to stay together. Like wallflowers with wanderlust, following a pitiful fate to rhyme a melody before departing, the xenon undresses his pathetic form and devotes himself to the pure bliss called love.
- Old lavender - Your smile is a lie as the corners of your lips twitch with the tears rolling down from the canthus of your eye. You smile is real when you leave the old pages and old books in the cellar to find a new book from the unusual store called life to renew your writing skills and better adding more paintings if words could not describe the little descriptions of your routine.
- Noah - When flowers bloom, the selene in mufti inspects the ruins after war, encounters the river. Crestfallen moon dips into brook, as it's shine brings the dead river back to life. Butterflies flutter their wings pouring some pollen over the soil where water meets. Elegant embodiment of forgiveness takes birth after destruction.
I leave my home, donned in my little Breton shirt. I trot down the narrow twichel with fall placing its warm arms around my shoulders. The sky is wearing a cornflower blue and beech branches are singing, "Bonne rentrée!". The leaves are so vibrant, it makes me dance. But I think I won't risk it, my bag is a little bit heavy.
I pick up a fallen leaf, perfectly painted in yellow, and keep it inside my pocket. Everything about autumn is so cinnamon sweet and sunny. This indeed is the golden age.
As I step in the country-town street, I watch old Mr. Chastain fill jars with greengage plum jam in his small cottage. I listen to the tune of French harp played by a man in red. There's a tweed coat seller, standing near a bakery shop, wearing a warm smile over her pretty face. Everyone is so happy.
I scrutinize the desserts on the baker's stall. Honey orange macaroons with pumkin spice cream, and croissants all golden-brown like the bark of oak tree in my yard. And I want a caramel apple so badly now. I hope my mumma would give me some coins, so I munch it happily while I'm on my way home.
I'll be meeting my friends after so long. I'm wondering how tall would they have got in all this while. We'll play many games and have fun. And I can't wait to meet Miss Lane's cute briar.
Everything is so full of life, on a golden day of September. It's like happiness is sinking in the world, and the earth's wearing its best dress. The sunshine glowing through the withering leaves, the bliss floating over the cobblestone streets. I feel the earth's calling me. To the new colours of autumn, to a new little life.
And just like that, September slipped away like a dream. Like a song we sometimes wish would never end. It came and went almost unnoticed. Its soft footsteps never made the floor creak even on languid days when the afternoons were drowsy and couldn't stifle a yawn.
How I wish I told her weeks back to stay for good, but I was too engrossed listening to the variety of nostalgic Christmas songs being played on repeat since the day she first knocked on my door with surprise gifts that made the kid in me ecstatic for days. I forgot she isn't staying for long or maybe I knew but I was just in denial that I thought it's going to make the days longer than they should.
Some days I wish the hours would stretch till eternity so I could sit beside her as long as I want to, while we enjoy hot cocoa with bits of Marshmallows by the window on drizzly mornings. And like best of friends, we would giggle no end as we tell each other random stories and plans for Christmas while we watch the rain trickle lazily on windowpanes, then we will write our names with tiny hearts on the foggy glass.
This morning, I was a bit under the weather knowing that September packed her suitcase last night and today is her last day with me. I wanted to make us a hearty breakfast, with her favorite bacon and eggs but we ended up having the longest, most quiet breakfast over oatmeal and brewed coffee. We ate in silence, my breathing shallow, I could feel the lump in my throat stuck for a moment. I couldn't hush and stop the stubborn tear that fell on my cheek like a naughty kid.
I wanted to hug her oh so tight and tell her to stay for a while but I knew it's time for her to go. Somehow, the thought that she's coming back one fine day made the parting a little less bittersweet, it made my separation anxiety take a back seat as I heaved a deep sigh. I guess it isn't going to stick around that long for October to see.
S o m e. W a y s. T o. G e t. P e r f e c t. L o v e.
Life is a destiny, with journey called fate, bonuses like cars or bikes called luck, on the ROAD(S) called LOVE, while trying to decode Kenshō, that is supercoiled in our DNA, that needs to be decoded, to be known. Not every spirit ends up dying. Some end up living. Living in ukiyo of dreamland or in latibule or after working on dreams and making them come true. We travel on the road with same amount of rocks (memories), same amount of flowers (milestones) and same amount of thorns (sacrifices). The fernweh of reaching love makes you forget that you need to reach life before death. Dotage receives rocks, newborns and children receive flowers and matured humans, adults receive thorns mainly.
God lays these different ways for us to acknowledge them. Their use in our life is to get rid of destinesia. Once you reach your destiny, life disguised in death, you forget the roads and your choices. Sacrifices are choices. Pairing with others is a choice. Love is a road. Be grateful for birth and life.
The King and The Monk receive same roads. Monk knows to walk alone and clear the roads for others to walk without thorns. But the king, a bohemian, USES chariots, children, wife, his kingdom and his people, and wants only flowers forgetting he needs to take those thorns (difficulties, sacrifices and wars). A monk never complains or feels lonely on thorns. While it's the opposite for the King. Find what's real and what you need. Don't regret any choice and don't forget any promise you made. They were all made by a YOU.
Dead receive more easy way of love. They're ALONE. The ataraxia accompanies them. While the alive need to accompany the living to walk, some esoteric. Once you walk alone and join others, you can't leave them behind. Some flowers don't need to be mentioned. Women and world encourage always. They give strength, they're the catharsis in every form of life, a daughter, a mom, a sister, a grandmother. The way every stage of "Seven Ages", you crawl in love, stand in love, walk in love and run in love. Women seem fragile and despicable to some. But that way, if you leave them behind, who's gonna take those thorns for you?
Every season gets some bonuses. Some winters get you warmth. Some summers get you relief. Some rains connect with your tears, get your epiphany back and some autumns remind of love, heartbreaks and conflicts. A saga of memories. Metanoia to get known with your fake and your real self. Find yourself.
Love ain't in the air. It's a path. You're a flaneur seeking solitude in company. You need to be a spirit of heavens to seek company in solitude, a real traveller. I T. H E L P S. !
There's someone in my head but it's not me, my fingers are waves sunk beyond the bottom of the sea there's this madness, this sweet insanity that creeps in like a shaft of light begging me to rebel, shun the ordinary but I walk the walk of the blind my feet follow the preordained fates they slice my bones, numb my mind there's salvation at the bloodstained gates.
They took your sight, left you dead but couldn't wash the starlight from your eye from beyond the grave you rose instead to pry your share before saying goodbye there was fire, a whole lot of screaming while you watched from beyond the flame there were tears, a whole lot of dreaming unsuspecting puppets in a rigged game.
So when I fall, you dare not cry there is a silent strength in letting go a whole lot of truth, a handful of lies wrapped within secrets you'll never know so I walk where the land is scorched where they don't have any joy to sell my heart is lost, my soul lies torched I trace the path to the meadows of hell.
The line "there's someone in my head but it's not me" is credited to Roger Waters
I am me and you are you so when the mask slips, we simply pull it back up and smile as we feel it tear into our skin, and just like that, we are good to go, and a tragedy waits with impatience to take birth.
I sometimes forget the things I used to like; pretence wraps itself like a rope around my throat I cannot help but wonder if you are tired too, trying to find the line in the ocean beyond which we have sunk, and if it is possible to float back up or whether we have swam past the nautical point of no return.
Fate laughs from somewhere in the sky, because for us to be together I must become the person you like and you must do the same we trapped each other in an ideal for far too long and reality would be too much of a shock to our senses you see, it's no good lighting a fire if we haven't learned how to put it out.