The Third Eye- of love, hurt and loss.

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“I found him the most adorable when he sat in the cafeteria surrounded by all these girls and he would be distant from all their attention, his elbows on the table, his chin in his palms, biting his right cheek while the fan made his jet black hair dance in waves. I could stare at him for hours. He had brown eyes, not the chocolate, the caramel kind. And he sang ghazals. Husky voice, but something with an Adam Levine feel about it. He was such a darling! Above all that, he had this heart of gold. I was one of those wallflowers, an absolute introvert who couldn’t even talk to the class nerd without stammering, let alone him. I always felt I wasn’t good enough.  But he made it a point to speak to each and every person in a way so friendly and comforting, that it made you feel warm inside. It made you smile. I still think of that day in my first year when I had had a horrible confrontation with the dean and was crying as quietly as I could just outside the empty auditorium. I was feeling terrible. That terrible feeling that seems to begin as a queasiness in the pit of your stomach, and gradually spreads, making you feel frightened of everything, unable to concentrate on anything, and weirdly, uncomfortably, hot. When you can’t decide whether you want to be alone or… Maybe you know what I’m talking about.  And along comes this guy, asks me what the matter was. I couldn’t even speak properly, but he sits with me for two hours and leaves me feeling at peace with the entire world.

I always had a crush on the guy.  That day I fell in love with him. He was the one.

Trouble is, I was “he”, too.”

“They put a ban on words,

On bread too.

Now, they put

A ban on love

So hush! My child

Let your heart freeze

Oh no, my child!

You can’t tell them it still bleeds!

Learn to love

The love

They allow

Bow.

And please, my child

If you want to be alive

Learn to live

With this ban

This ban

On life”


It was a heavenly afternoon, the soft sun after the rain in the morning. She was sitting by the window, looking at the street outside, sketching. She had always loved sketching, and was good at it. But now, it was all she did. All her friends were out today, the board exams had ended. She would have appeared for it too. But not now. Maybe next year, she wasn’t sure. Maybe, they wouldn’t allow her after all that had happened. Dad said so. He said she was” impure” now. Strangely enough, she found it better than what the newspapers called her: victim. No no, it was “survivor” now.  The politically correct term. She didn’t understand. What was wrong with her name? Everyone loved her name. Even they had. “What a beautiful name” they had said, before dragging her inside that empty bus. There had been four of them. One from the Chemistry classes she attended. Strong, too. She still remembers that strong, iron grip on her hands as they held her back. A hand on her mouth. The strong iron grip on her legs as they held them apart and…

…Sometimes she has dreams of that strong iron grip. Only there, that grip is around her neck. It seems right, somehow…It had felt like fire between her legs. It had hurt. All the four times, it had hurt. It had hurt when her Didi had cried, when she had told her about it that night. She had asked her how her churidar had gotten so muddy. Now it didn’t hurt so much. Nothing did. But she often has nightmares from which she wakes up, sweating and screaming, crying, shivering and her sister holds her tight, till she calms down. Her mother holds her head to her chest, stifles her own tears for her child, asks her what she saw.

You know, it hurts her again when her mother breaks down, as she says,

“The hands, Ma. All over me. Inside me…I saw those again”.

“She cried

For the wretched being

Meant only

For tears

For fear.

Someone

Who fought a war

That began

Even before,

They saw

The world.

Weep, woman

For you are guilty

Guilty

Without no crime,

And suffer you shall.

Weep , woman!

For you,

Are a mother

You need to weep

For your

Wretched

Daughter”


“Ever felt void, Sharman?” she asked me, as she stirred her coffee. It was raining slightly. A light mist hung over the coffee gardens all around us. Coorg was sheer bliss. A pleasant breeze, too, that made her hair fly astray without being too obtrusive, intruding. She looked at me with a little friendly smile playing on her burnt sienna lips. I didn’t have an answer to her question,  and maybe she wasn’t expecting one too. “It’s a strange, immense feeling. Unlike sadness, that seems to have a solution, a reason. I have learnt to live with it now. But it hit me very hard the first time I felt it. The day my mother died. I was sitting outside the ICU. She was on a ventilator. I was crying. A lot. There was this, sort of burning sensation right… where your heart is supposed to be, very deep inside your chest, you know? But that was sadness, of seeing her suffer. I hated seeing my mother like that. Then suddenly there is this very busy atmosphere inside the ICU…nurses, doctors, shouting, beeps…by the time I rush in, it all ceases. She is no more. That’s when it hit me for the first time. Void. Like, I was leaning on a railing, somewhere, and it suddenly breaks, and I am falling… I don’t know where, but I am falling. Maybe I won’t get hurt, but there is no railing to lean on, again. I was alone now.  I felt so…empty. Like some big part of me had suddenly been wrenched away, and it left me feeling not incomplete, not in pain, but empty. There was this lump in my throat that wouldn’t disappear”. She quickly puts on her sunglasses. There was no sun that day. All I had done was stare at her all this time. “ And that is why I opened this old age home. Because that feeling of void, emptiness I told you about? I know these people here feel it every single day. I was young, I bore it. But it shook me, hard. They are old, Sharman. They cannot take it on their own. They will die”, she looks at me as she says this, taking of her glasses again. I see no anger in her kohl smudged eyes. Only…nothing. I see nothing.

It’s almost as if she is empty.

“Unwanted

Unloved

Uncared for.

These feels

They hurt you

They eat you

Within.

It is

Tremendous

At any time.

But

It hurts the most

When it comes from those

Who learnt to walk

Holding your thumb.

When it’s

Your own blood,

It leaves you

Feeling

Numb.”

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