Whisky Words: Project (15)

This is Submission FIFTEEN of The Whiskey Words. The Whiskey Words is a writing project (and a giveaway). The winner will be announced on 1st of April.


Chaos
Chaos, disturbance, and disharmony,

Is not the balance of Mother Nature.
Money,
Just another creature,
A part of nature.
Power, injustice and failure,
A magnificent lure,
Pulling me,
Into chaos.
Development is well-being,
Or is it?
Seeing,
What’s hiding underneath.
Peeling away layers,
Underneath the sheath,
Of a sword.
“It’s double-edged”, he said.
Not afraid,
Of slicing through one layer,
With excitement,
while tearing me inside.
Hey, I am just a rookie slayer,
In a world full of chaos.

– Ovee Thorat

Whisky Words: Project (8)

This is Submission EIGHT of The Whiskey Words. The Whiskey Words is a writing project (and a giveaway), and if you’d like to participate, here are the rules.


Vita Brevis

Youth,
Fleeting.
A journey to the stars,
voyage of dreams.
My heart aches for all that you were,
all that I did not know.
We must cry when our hearts ache,
Laugh when our souls rejoice,
Sing when the swallows soar,
Smile when each day begins.
Life,
Fleeting
Youth,
Fleeting.
Live and Love all that we are.
Be alive
Every
Fleeting
Moment
Of Every
Fleeting
Day.

– Evanne Kilgallon

 

Whisky Words: Project (7)

This is Submission SEVEN of The Whiskey Words. The Whiskey Words is a writing project (and a giveaway), and if you’d like to participate, here are the rules.


End

“You can do it!
I believe in you.
Of course it is difficult but we are with you. Call us any time!
Try till you succeed. That’s all that matters.
If you work hard, everything is possible.
I love you and I know how high you will fly after the course is over, son.”

Once, I was proud to say these encouraging words to my son. I was being a supportive parent who firmly believed that my conviction in his dreams and success will propel him.

Now, even writing these words is making me cringe with embarrassment.
I had every reason to have faith in him. He was one of the topper at school. He spoke six languages, including two foreign ones. He got into one of the top three colleges in the country and had a good academic record throughout. All this despite no parental pressure (since we have done well in life without fancy degrees) to excel at studies.

After graduation, he could’ve found a great job here but he was committed to learning as much as possible before joining the money-making bandwagon. So, fairly easily, he got into a university of his choice in the USA.

He called us regularly from there. He was excited to be a student abroad.

In a couple of months, I could sense the change in his enthusiasm levels. He had mentioned the academic pressure. Contrary to his expectations, he was hating the snowy cold weather. Additionally, missing his childhood friends, trying to integrate in a different culture and fitting in with students from all over the world was tough on my shy young boy. Whenever I felt he was down, I tried to lift him up and make him see that it is just the newness of it all, which is taking its toll on him.

One day he mentioned depression. We lectured him on how tough he was and he had parents like us, who’d support him in success and failure but he had to keep trying. A few days later, we got the call.

He’d hanged himself.

Within just six months, the people who called him joyful or an optimistic young man full of promise, started labeling him as a weak-willed quitter who must-have-never-been-good-enough! The harshest judgement often comes from the closest ones. But in our case, as his suicide made news in the USA and here, even strangers criticized him.

Of course, a lot of well-wishers offered understanding and meaningful condolences. But, nothing can stop the pain, which started replacing “me” in my soul. In my head, I hear my long departed mother’s voice, “A parent cannot afford to make mistakes. A tiny spark can set the jungle ablaze.”

The tiniest thing you do, has a multi-dimensional impact on your child’s psyche.
So my mind wanders to the past, searching for anything that may have triggered this response in him.
Is it because he was raised by day care employees while we both went to work? Is it because we discouraged him from being a singer when he was 11? Did we allow him to watch too much TV? Or because we never opposed his atheistic beliefs?

So many questions! I know that the guilt will not help and I’m being too hard on myself. I have googled coping tips for hours through the sleepless nights and even tried a few but I just can’t handle this. It’s been a long time but I still cry before bed; or if someone mentions him; or if I see young students laughing in a cafe.
May this be I passed on to him.. this inherent limitation of wavering in the face of problems.

Or may be, I was supposed to learn that however well you know somebody’s capabilities, do not undermine their difficulties.

Listen to them carefully. Be on their side instead of cheering them on the path they’ve come to hate.

Sometimes your loved one needs empathy and not motivation. They need love and probably, a break.

Not all sadness is depression but before deciding if someone is "just down" think, reflect, question, listen and then give an opinion. And yes, depression can happen to a person who seems perennially happy-go-lucky too.

Life goes on, with or without those you love. I will finally accept this someday. We know that he never meant to hurt his parents or make us feel guilty and end our lives along with his. So, I will do the last thing he can ever want from me now – learn to be myself again.

– Janvi Shah (blog)

A necklace of hope.

Ghosts do exist.

  1. The first time she was haunted by one was when she fell in love. When he kissed her for the first time, her hands found his hair, but her thoughts could not find a reason to believe that he would stay. She opened her eyes mid-way, and looked at him and all she saw was her fear. She felt sweat on her forehead, as she pulled away. Her eyes darted here and there as she saw flashes of the last time someone had promised to stay and hadn’t. The ghost of empty promises and broken hearts left her tongue dry. He did not seem bothered at all.
  2. He believed in ghosts because they just wouldn’t let him be. Every time he decided to move on, and build himself a life he wanted, the ghost of the expectations of his parents tied his hand behind him, and slowly choked his will to believe. His wrist had scars of him trying to untie himself, but they were mere reminders of his shattered hopes and dreams.
  3. She just could not forget what he had done to her. Every time she went on a new date, tried to move on, he popped up in her thoughts. She loved him. She still did. How can she move on knowing that he was what she wanted. She wanted expensive champagne, and cheap nail polish and warm blankets with him by her side. The ghost of her past haunted her on every new date, and she just could not let it go.
  4. He did not want to hurt someone. He feared power and authority for the sole purpose of staying unable to inflict pain. He did not trust himself enough to believe that if given the chance, he wouldn’t choose himself over others. He knew that choosing oneself is how you progress, but not at the cost of someone he loved? The ghost of his darkness made him fear himself.
  5. She had lost her friend. Every time she sat on her terrace and gazed at the city that was unaware of her loss, she saw shadows of her friend sitting beside her, a cigarette embraced in her fingers, a carefree smile reaching her eyes. One that is lost can never really be lost again. And so she held onto the ghost of her friend, a shimmering and fading image that made her believe that maybe it would all be okay.
  6. There was no way out of this. He sat in the corner of his room, tears running down his red cheeks. Everything seemed to collapse on him, and he just could not pick himself up again. He wanted to believe, he tried to, but there was nothing to believe in. No hope bloomed in the garden inside his chest. The ghost of hopelessness held a knife to his wrist, and as the blood trickled down, he felt free.

We are all haunted in some way or another. We just have to hold on and believe in ourselves. Ghosts do exist, but just in our heads.

Hope.

“I hope to arrive at my death, late, in love, and a little drunk.” – Atticus


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Writer’s block

So, what is writer’s block?

Do you remember that time
when his little finger grazed your wrist,
amidst the whispered conversation,
steady eye contact, and
lip gazing?
How you stuttered on the next word,
fumbled between your thoughts,
trying to forget the shiver
running up your spine, like
a dew drop on the foggy window?
You just could not remember
what you had to say next.

Do you remember that cliff,
the “What if you fly” split seconds,
the hopes for a wonderland,
an escape from this cruel world,
at the bottom of the fall?
You wanted to shout out to the mountains,
and hear them talk in response,
for they really were the best listeners.
You opened your mouth,
but no words came out,
what did you have to say?

Do you remember that stage,
your first audience,
all those gawking eyes,
on your dried lips,
and anxious eyes.
Your heart beating so loud,
the mic would’ve probably caught it ,
had you not held it high enough.
Do you remember the struggle,
to remember just the first damn word?

It’s almost like that.
But don’t worry,
I don’t believe in a dam being strong enough
to hold back the tsunami of my words.
I don’t believe in writer’s block.


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