Across the street
lived the giants.
The green giants-
who waited for rains to cry,
who waited for the night to speak.
Thankfully the windows
in my temporary home
were small and few.
Thankfully it was always cold,
that awful cold
that makes you want to sleep
for a long long time.
So I slept and slept.
I ate whatever my mother cooked.
I waited for her to tell me
what I am to do with my life.
While the kids I never spoke to,
went into the home of giants
to put them on fire,
I slept and cried in my dreams.
Because tears on my real skin
would make this sadness more real.
Real sadness demands reasons and explanation.
Real sadness demands proofs.
to stand among them-
the ones who have learnt
how to live and die quietly,
to forgive easily.
I waited for the day
I would grow roots,
the day when I could smile
at my falling leaves.
I waited for the day
I could become one of them
and not the cruel outsider that I am now.
Once the shade of the shutters
are rolled down,
once I am left on my own,
reason and explanation rush in,
try to cling and climb up
the cracks of my heart,
and the folds of my brain,
trying desperately to stop me
to reach out, to find me
in the fog of fear.
But I am already far ahead,
my hands reach for everything it could hold,
everything it could break
and hurl them at the window
till it broke,
till I could cry
for the things that were robbed from me.
I couldn’t stop.
I couldn’t stop hurting myself
even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains,
even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back.
If I stopped, I would again hear the steps
that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.
The crowd, every crowd-
they exhaust me
and frighten me.
They take away air around me
and tell me to leave myself at the door,
if I want to come in.
They like to stare a lot,
they like to condition my mind, my eyes to look away when they stare.
Is this the point
where I am supposed to sit down with a sigh
and tell a sad story-
about how I was wronged (isn’t everyone?),
how they never apologized,
how there was nothing to apologize for,
how people find it easier to support the one in wrong,
how it is easier to hate myself that to hate so many people.
The most painful but convenient words that I can tell myself-
“maybe they were right” “i took it too personally”.
How the result of telling someone all this
are more words like these-
“you are not the only one, it happens, it is normal”
“don’t make a big deal of it”.
Is there any end to what one must hear and suffer
just to give an explanation that people want so badly to hear
and are more desperate to brush off as weakness of my own character.
I told myself
I just needed some answers
to solve this life.
So that I can untangle my feelings from this world,
from the shadows of people
I am maintaining by my wavering light.
But when nothing got solved
and the problems became too familiar
to be thrown away from my life.
I told myself I was searching
for an explanation.
Just a statement
that helped me make peace with what I got in life.
That if I could have those reasons,
then I believed my pain would dull.
But it didn’t and it won’t.
Now when I look at the world
with a passing amusement at my sadness,
I know my searching is the only thing
keeping me from severing my ties
from this world I so badly want to leave.
There have been numerous accounts
of my failing life
and the reasons of my silence.
And these stories never cease to surprise me.
From time to time
I find the people in my life
have had a story about me
that even I was not aware of.
Their uncalled kindness
and their uncalled cruelty
all had an explanation.
Explanations that had nothing to do with me.
In everyone’s heart their is someone by my name.
They have put me in colors
when I always was in grays.
I never had a friend.
And I find them lonely
just like me,
when I look at the people
I have colored myself.