There was a sickening ball lurching and churning in the pit of her stomach. She nervously twitched and compulsively swallowed spit. Nothing helped in diverting her attention from the dreadful doom that hovered at the back of her mind. She was alone.
This lonely girl pitied herself as she had no alternative. Whether she was in her office or her bedroom, inside or outside, when she ate, drank, shit, pissed, laughed, screamed, or sobbed, the echoes just bounced off the walls and mocked the emptiness.
If this silly girl accepted this as her life and tried to comprehend how she could possibly make it better, she was guilty. If she’d stay stuck in the moment and wait for a miracle to happen, she was guilty. If she tried to get her act together and dared to be content, she was guilty. If she led a life at her own pace in her own direction, she was guilty. If she obeyed others, she was guilty. If she was optimistic, she was guilty. If she was pessimistic, she was guilty. Not only was she lonely, but she was guiltily alone.
This foolish girl believed that a person has the ability to makes others happy. Even if she knew she couldn’t please everyone, she didn’t want to hurt or cause displeasure to someone because of herself. She tried so hard to be as harmless as she could, sometimes at the cost of her ego, ever since she realized that ego was a self construed idea that submitted only to one’s own selfish desires.
This idiotic girl surrounded herself with drawn faces and painted colors; a drawn illusion of belonging. Little did she know that every man is for himself and no one belongs to the other. I guess she was afraid of the daunting reality of her loneliness and desperately compensated for it. Because even if it was for a spare moment, she wanted to believe that everything was alright and life didn’t have to be a platter of shit handed to her by fate.
This impudent girl juggled between her own happiness and the desire to see others happy, at least with her. She liked to make people smile and laugh. What a farce! As soon as the show was over, everyone left their seats and went their way. She was left alone with her jester’s tears in the middle of a Shakespearean stage.
They say that love has the ability to consume you. I wonder who “they” are but nonetheless they too are victims of this… scintillation. I had to think of a word for that state you go into when it strikes you that you must accept the fact that this love is now a part of you.
Some call it a drug or a virus that is injected into your bloodstream and infects your whole body. I beg to differ. This metaphor implies the forceful penetration of a foreign venom. Love is not rape. If you find yourself associating words like one-sided and forceful or similar synonyms, I request you to remove “love” from the context. Desecrating love on the basis of poor choices or misfortunes that you had to endure is just a projection of you misplaced faith.
I write from a completely subjective perspective. I have associated love to all sorts of ideals; a spectrum from the ugliest to the most beautiful. I have come to the conclusion that love is equilibrium. It can be your strength and your weakness. It is liberation as well as possession. It is devotion as well as independence. It is rage as well as calm. It is intimacy and it is distance. It is loud and it is quiet. It is rough and it is soft. It is emotion along with aggression mixed with passion. It is intervention of thought and rationality. It is the action as well as the words that run parallel.
Love is all that you can feel, unconditionally. It causes wars when at peace yet it gives you peace when you’re at war. It is so much and yet it seems too little. Thus you keep going on and on yet it never runs out.
You can love so many things and so many beings at the same time, altogether and in completely different ways. Love is not constrained to spacio-temporal norms. Love is universal. Love is free. Love is infinite.
So here’s the thing… You’ve got an internet connection. Everyone knows you have the ability to discover and explore websites and their material. There’s all sort of stuff out there! Especially hidden in the darker corners of internet. Yes I’m talking about all those photoshopped Nicholas Cage memes. You find something cool or funny, you share it; it may be something funny, an article, news or a quotation with ambiguous references that you want your friends to know about. Totally makes sense.
But then statuses and tweets turned in 160 lettered rants full of exaggerated opinions which are usually copy-pasted or rephrased versions of something they read. I mean, you know shit’s gotten real when a Facebook status shows the “…see more” option. You don’t have that liberty on Twitter so Hashtags and emojis are abused upto the extent of atrocity, raping grammar in the process.
Usually people do this for the sake of being a part of some mainstream trend or “social media approval”. This is no different from that awkward kid at school trying to convince the other kids that they’re cool. But goddammit the amount of people posting absolutely stupid stuff online, trying so hard to be philosophical or funny for the sake of social media popularity, is too damn high!
Yes, I contradict with my own words and I am posting this long-ass rant on my blog. I shan’t even defend myself because when I speak about others, I openly admit I am a part of the whole frenzy too. So what is my point? I need to let it out. Why? Because I can’t post much on my personal social media website…
Welcome to the other side of virtual popularity!
I am thankful to Mr. Zuckerberg for the platform he’s given us regardless it’s controversial policies (privacy settings; get your shit together!) The problem is, unless and until you change your name to something like “Angel Sweet” or “Attitude Pwince” (I actually saw someone with the name “Red Apple”) most probably people who know your name will find you and add you! (Ahh Liam Neeson, you great SoB) That’s basically the point of such social media websites, right? Realistically you cannot contact each and every person you know. So it’s convenient to just browse your newsfeed and see what they’re up to, right? WRONG!
Those check-ins are to remind you how deprived you are. It’s a way of rubbing it in your face that hey, I bet you can’t get yo’ ass even near this place/event, eh? Oh and thank you for also reminding us that not all of us are able to take a half-decent picture. If only a donation would be made for every pout, this world would be a better place! When it’s not a selfie, it’s a picture of whatever that person is eating. Bro, I’m broke. I can’t afford going to that popular fast food place every weekend. But I’m happy with my massar ki daal, achaar aur chaawal. For not every day is a shaljam gosht day! (Hashtag Say Yes To Bhindi!)
I know there are moments of pride and happiness are definitely worth sharing. They definitely make your friends and family happy. People might even be inspired by your narcissism. But sometimes we don’t realize what sort of impact, positive or negative, it may have on the other person. I’m talking to all them people getting engaged, married and having kids! I am as happy for you as I am sad for myself.
Here’s the thing, respected monsieur/mademoiselle… Everyone’s got their own life to deal with. Some people have more opportunities and moments to share. For others, this is a constant source of catharsis. But honey, you’re driving us crazy! Seriously! And I won’t even bother to comment on your post for the following reasons:
- People on social media are easily offended
- Probably someone from your friends list is randomly going to send me a friendship request
- Comment wars are directly proportional to the rise in one’s blood pressure
On one hand there’s plagiarism of other’s ideas, pictures and article, then there’s thirty feet of shit and then there’s pseudo-intellectuals/liberals with an identity crisis updating their statuses. Do not get me wrong, I really respect those people who genuinely vocalize their opinions on social media with good content but I’m sorry to say that posers are successfully drowning your voice with their arguments for the sake of arguments. Mostly the debates online are like ego-defensive bullies trying to punch people in the face via their wifi connection. We’re not arguing for an outcome or a solution, we’re arguing to prove that we’re superior and the other is inferior.
What about those people who can’t or choose not to be a part of the social media frenzy. If someone reserves their judgment does not mean they ignore things or they’re dumb. Economy of words does not entail scarcity of ideas. People need to know that it is okay not to be a part of mainstream trends and do what everyone else’s doing just for the sake of it! Just because one is unable to advertise himself on social media, does it make him any less talented? Maybe not. But it does become an automatic disadvantage as compared to those who use social media as a promotional tool.
I thought running a Facebook page for the stuff I write would be a good idea. It wasn’t. I wasn’t virtually apt enough to constantly post things and badger my friendslist with shameless promotion, even though in real life I am fairly good at social interactions. With the passage of time, I felt like I was writing for the sake of likes or virtual approval. We all want that self-esteem boost, right? Maybe. But unfortunately I couldn’t and I’m okay with that.
Sometimes, a page of a website or blog or an account on some social media website gets more recognition than the actual person. Often and a lot, these websites tend to gain popularity on the basis of the material they share instead of the institution or idea they represent. Platforms like tumblr, pintrest and 9gag are social media sites that particularly aim to serve the purpose of sharing the things you like. You’re able to share whatever the hell you want without your mom knowing. You can “fraandship” with people who share common interests ranging from a heart-warming story to extremely disturbing fan fiction, memes to tutorials, whatever floats your boat.
Unfortunately, we’re unable to draw a line. Is it that difficult to use a website for the purpose it was created? No it is not. I’ve got people from my family added on my personal social media accounts, senior colleagues/teachers, people I know from my social activities and events to old classfellows, school fellows and acquaintances etc. They all are NOT the same to me even though they’re all a part of one list called my friends list. I cannot share the same things with my colleagues that I share with my close friends. My social event buddies might know things my classmates don’t. I try to share things but believe it or not online messes permeate offline too. If I got a dollar for every time someone confronted me about my online presence in an offline situation, I’d definitely have gone back to Minnesota by now. But at least the website serves the purpose of being a unified platform where I can easily contact my “friends” whenever wanted or needed.
So, is virtual social media popularity actually worth the hype? Is a major online following worth creating a gulf between your online presence and your life offline? Or does online popularity equate offline popularity? Is it justified to lead two different lives? Is it healthy or hazardous? Don’t give me that clichéd answer that it depends on the user and how they use social media because they’re downright boring.
I’ve been away for a while on a much-needed break. But I’m glad to finally be back. To be honest, I have missed writing so now I’ll be trying to do that as often as possible. My focus shall primarily be on poetry that I’ve start to grow very fond of over the past few months.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is what I want to do for as long as I can. One of the most encouraging things about writing is the support and feedback so thank you to everyone who has done that! It really does mean a lot. Thank you!
Happy reading and writing! x
Writing is my refuge and I seek shelter in literature. As much as I am immensely enjoying the profound indulgence in poetry, today I wish to put that aside just for a while and rewind the tape back to the start. The roots of my writing rise from prose. I’d rant and talk about anything in the world. An idea would strike me and I would just write it down. Prose did not bind me to any rhyme scheme, diction or symmetry. I was free to write and submerge myself in the ocean of words.
This is something that I would like to address, for a change; a topic that has been all over the media getting a lot of attention. It is quite marvelous, the way a single life makes populations contemplate over matters and issues that go unseen and ignored under the piles of riff raff. Here, I speak from experience and this is merely a reflection of my thoughts.
What is this “depression” you speak of?
I read somewhere that asking someone to stop being depressed is like asking a patient to stop having cancer. A natural and true writer is such a sensitive soul that at one point or the other, often and a lot, intermittently they go through depression or depressive phases.
Depression does not simply imply that a person is sad. It is as capricious as the weather right before the season is about to change. One day it’s terribly hot and humid and the other day it’s cloudy, dark and rainy.
It is the shadow that does not just follow you in the light but lurks over you, clouding all sources of light. When you are in the dark, it makes it even darker that even pitch black seems like an understatement. Suffocation engulfs you. It’s like that irritable little girl stuck in a room full of chain smokers.
“You don’t understand!”
Since you are the only one who is actually experiencing this, it feels like no one understands. Maybe they don’t. I mean, if they have tickets to a Beyonce concert, they are going to jam out and dance all night. But that does not mean they are not willing to cooperate, support you or help you.
We all have our highs and lows. Everyone has their own way of dealing with their problems. Some people like to be whiny babies and like being pampered like a girl on her period. Others are stubborn rocks and are not willing to let anything permeate unless it is strong and convincing enough to break through their walls. So, just because someone’s way does not match your way does not mean it should be discarded. Just because you’re a vegan does not mean you can’t look at a hamburger, right?
Reach out and someone will hold your hand
Yes, everyone is yapping about how you should seek help and reach out. I know how goddamn difficult that can be. Imagine sitting in a box that has been nailed close. You are the one who has closed the box from inside out. There are small cracks that are the only way you can reach out. You also fear that if someone comes close, then the nails sticking out from all over the box might hurt them. That is what it’s like when you are depressed and you are expected to reach out to others for help.
If there was a book called “Depression for Dummies”, Reach For The Stars or something equally cheesy would be chapter number two. That’s how self-help and motivational books are like, right? Chicken Soup for the Depressed Soul, anyone?
People keep telling me “get a life.” How do I do that?
Those people seriously need a hobby because you already do have a life. All you need is to fill it in with all sorts of things. If there was a chapter number three it would be; Distract Yourself. There there Grandma Susan, it ain’t as easy as it sounds. But it does not mean you should not give it a try.
The best way is to have multiple options open like hobbies or general activities.
- You can initiate something new like read a new book, watch a new movie or start watching a new TV series.
- You can enroll in extracurricular activities from playing an instrument to playing a sport, from singing to acting to debating. Anything you like!
- You can revive an old passion like sketching, writing and one of my favorites is listening to old school music.
- You can be creative like cook something interesting, do some gardening, go skateboarding, swimming, work out, go for a walk or even dance in your underwear when you’re in your room alone or home alone (lock the door, okay?)
- Keeping in view your religious or spiritual beliefs you can meditate, pray or go to the church and confess a sin or two. Bend down on your knees and talk to God!
- Treat yourself to a cup of coffee, go dine in somewhere with or without someone else, buy a new shirt or a pair of shoes
- Express yourself through some change in your appearance. This is something I’ve seen people do often like dye your hair (I did that three times!) or get a new haircut. Now, be careful and think this one through before you go off shaving your head, getting a tattoo or piercing because you are the one to bear with the consequences afterwards, too. Only do this if you’re absolutely sure about it!
A Positive Support System
Chapter four would be “Surround Yourself by the Right People”. This is vital! A positive support system and people who actually understand can be so comforting. I would recommend at least one person from your family; anyone you get along with really well, can easily confide in and ball your eyes out if you have to. A parent, partner, sibling, cousin or a friend or two you really love should be a part of that circle. Their presence can be extremely soothing.
If you do not like the way someone behaves with you especially when you are depressed then you do not need to keep them around or put up with their crap during this rough time. It could be someone like a family member who you cannot completely discard, but in that scenario, just distance yourself.
It’s okay not to be okay
If you are depressed, you are not alone. If you chose to be secluded to sort things on your own and get your act together, that’s absolutely fine too. You know what helped me a bit? I switched my phone off, deactivated my social media accounts, turned on my favorite music and binge wrote. I mean, I have been depressed for over a month now and here I am writing an article ranting about depression! (Depressception? Gosh, no!) I have not fully recovered but I am feeling so much better.
Before this gets out of hand, I’ll start wrapping it up. I have been suffering from depression ever since I was sixteen and it has never been easy. It never is. It is not a choice, it just happens. There are so many people who go through this. We know and understand. But time passes, both good and bad. You must keep on going. Only then will you know for sure what time has in store for you.
Sometimes living the way you want is like shouting out into a void.
Sometimes you can’t even hear your echo.
Sometimes you can’t even hear your own screams.
Sometimes your whispers are so loud they resonate through your whole existence.
But that’s just who you are.
You. All you.