People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share…
“I had a problem. I stammered when I talked to them – my parents, friends, neighbors and strangers. My words would falter and break into incomprehensible bits. My thoughts would hide away from social contact. And so would I. “
And she chose to bloom, in hiding
I’d hide away with myself- because with myself my thoughts and words were at home. They felt happy and accepted. They never faltered during my endless monologues with me. I could talk about my day, my dreams, my fights, my follies, my heartbreaks – and not run out of breath, words or courage.
Leaving her impression for the world,
To let them know ‘what could have been’
To let them see how the dice rolled
What could’ve been
And should’ve been
Yes, this was my little secret. I loved to look myself in the eye. I loved that my thoughts didn’t need to edit themselves. I loved my messy tress, my silly antics and my solitude. I loved that I didn’t have to fit the mould.
Rebuke is the word, she spelt out with her face
I died a thousand times per minute
Freedom, not a reason for a dirty dress…
And then, they found out. Their resolute, disdainful eyes pried open my secret hideout. Even then, the look of triumph on their faces seemed to be too much for this minor victory. What I didn’t know was that they had a secret too.
Washing my hands off this sin
Of being free as a child
Let me be a Lady now
A painted face, with a smile mild…
They knew I’d have to grow up.
And molding a cage
My mind was a book
Now, only a page
The ‘cover’ page …
So I did. And with that, I stopped stammering. I had come out of my hiding. I couldn’t recognize myself at first. But their approving eyes were a pleasant surprise – and I didn’t mind playing along.
Now, it’s my cup
Learned to paint a smile
To use a lady’s guile
To be the damsel
You’d love to save
Erasing the ‘me’
Learning to behave
I was getting better at it, actually. I could talk aloud about my day, dreams, plans and beliefs – tailored to fit their viewpoints. I knew the social graces now. I knew how to small talk. I knew how to say what I don’t mean. I knew how to tell people exactly what they want to hear. And I knew how to be visible and yet be very much invisible.
Alone as I cry
With dry eyes
And tears of rain
With me wept too, the sky
As I felt shy of myself
And may be a bit too sane …
Yes, I knew a lot. My thoughts wouldn’t come in a rush now. They’d be very, very careful so as to not tread on anything unacceptable. Or immoral. Or original. And my words? They’d be pleasing, clever and spoken just the right way. This was me. A grown up. A lady. And I couldn’t remember being any different.
Learning to forget what I was
And becoming what, I wanted to be
It’s like changing inside out
Aborting my past, that’s inside me …
And then one day, I came to find
My soul that I left behind
Never perished, or wither it dint
Still I refused to take the hint …
Until the day I bumped into her. She looked starkly different – yet vaguely familiar. I hadn’t been with myself for quite some time now. We had a lot of catching up to do. I wanted to talk about how perfect I had become. And that they approve of it too. But, on looking myself in the eye I realized that it’s going to be difficult.
And now, as I see
The ‘shadow’ me
The little girl,
I used to be
I long for loneliness as I
Am now too scared of facing me …
I had another problem now. I stammered, when I talked to myself.
Lightroom Poets creative team :
- Rahul Roychowdhury
- Muktobrinda Dash
- Sohini Banerjee
- Roudra Mitra
- Mohor Basak
- Saurabh Som
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