The nursery pain I had, gave me the experience of “envy” for the first time in my life, when my parents were preoccupied with someone else,a newly born baby boy and when my grandparents were sanctuated to the needs of my fair looking two cousins. The left-out feeling never went away! Lately I discovered that the outburst of my childhood’s inner turmoil was my writings. My creativity was nourished by the baby confusion which lead me to be an introverted extrovert. In the left-out hours I read books, started from fairy tales as an ordinary reader but progressed to deal with Dickens and Shakespeare when i completed the age of twelve.
That was how I described envy I was little; feeling left-out & deprived, angry,abandoned, out of control & humiliated.(Though I would never have admitted any of these feelings aloud. Public knowledge of defeat would have increased my thoughtfulness) Now I value this defeat and solitude for making me introduced to the world of literature. Like Austen said I will fall in love with literature and have children with it again and again. Like a decent second attachment, literature became my soul companion. I found solidarity under the brown pages of old classics. Like a new fettish, the old fragrance of the books pages seduced me to a level of addiction.
You might think that I was an emotional cripple. That was not how I or the rest of the world would have described me. I had put myself together so cleverly ,I’d fooled everyone, myself included, and as far back as I could remember. Or wished to.(Even my parents didn’t know that the face I was showing was a mask)
How ironic! I was relaxing through exposing my auto grinding thoughts! It had backed in to dreaded Freud! All the climaxes I had, become an effort to sort out the paradoxes in my life.
They said life was defying gravity! But when it come to me-it changed to no gravity….
I used to love danger-walking on high walls-loose bricks crumbling underfoot. Empty houses with no Trespassing signs drew me in. It was frightening, thrilling too. Something was being gained, something more important than becoming like the shy, anxious woman who lived in my house. I was trying to be brave like men! But when this comes to this, I would like to question are men that brave?
Adolescence, breath-taking in its immediacy, held no place for bravery in girls. I would have won a race, written a sonnet, swung from the tallest tree- excelled at any of my myriad “masculine” skills – for the freedom of boys, unfortunately, waiting was the only action allowed. You might think that what’s the use of doing boyish things-but to me, they were the actions which allowed me to continue my bravery. In that role, I wanted to leave the silly woman in my house behind, who had obeyed the Rules of Feminine adolescence more carefully than I and thought that my wicked desires would be obstacles for my future as a “lady” !
None of the girls I’d grown up with in my childhood had shared my fascination with those twenty-five rupee thrills! Did all little girls feel different until they abandoned their thrills?
My mom never liked for riding roller coasters, but she didn’t wanted me on that trip either! But The Rules were bearable only so long as every woman obeyed them.
Damn traditional omnipotence!! So – I’d used to seek my reflection, my value in me! For months this critical eye shown me a sad girls’ stained, tight lips-my own private image of what anxiety did to girls’ faces! Seeing myself mirrored in store windows, I turned away with fear! Where had I seen that face before? It was that part of my mother I’d sworn never to become!
Like Narcissus, he drew up a face to mirror his own-exciting, fearful, defensive! It was the mask I didn’t want to wear! Most women wanted to wear! So I put it away strongly admitting this was NOT me.
When my mom made hallucinations, the sense of dissolution of the limits of self-I kept silence. That’s her life! I couldn’t interfere it! So much panic, so much dependency.
So I engraved my constant fear of becoming the one I never wanted to be. I write poetry. I read my poetry. It defines me and highlights my utmost desire to break the everlasting chain of suffering proudly descends from my grandmother and my mother. And before them my grandmother’s mother. Unconventional indeed. But they are the words, I bleed.
Charu | 14.03.2018