A Deaf Man’s Diary: Ambiguos Love


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I fall out of my sweet slumber

To awake in the morning

I gather my thoughts hurriedly

When I catch hold of her

Her

Her

She.

Her beautiful body carved out by the hands of the Gods

Her never-ending legs

Her intricately designed hips

Her long, flaxen hair

Her smile

Oh her smile

I fall out of my sweet slumber

To awake in the morning

And she smiles at me so innocently

And proceeds to flick her tongue to the top of the mouth,

An action so familiar

So familiar by those who speak

To move their lips together

And make beautiful sounds

Sounds to form a constellation

A constellation of words and thoughts

Thoughts that I can never hear

I imagine them to be as lovely as her face

As her body

As her heart

I fall out of my sweet slumber.

 

 She inches near me

And I feel her honey breath against my cheek

She whispers her love so softly

I know this because I can feel it

Feel it

Feel it

Feel her love; her passion; her beauty

I hear it without hearing it

I touch her without touching her

I know she loves me

I know she does

She loves me in a way

A way words can’t do justice to

In a way that requires only the blanket

The blanket of comfort I get from her eyes

Her exquisite eyes

I fall out of my sweet slumber.

 

 She slowly brings her hands together

And I,

Mesmerized by her dripping in the gold of her soul

Don’t realize she’s trying to communicate

A language for only both of us

She brings her hands together

And slowly the smile

Her smile

Her smile

It disappears.

 

 I try my best to speak to her

To indicate with my hands

To ask her what’s wrong

But she doesn’t want to know

To hear

She wants to be left alone.

 

 I can’t

I don’t want to

I feel my heart tremble with terror

Why did I awake from my sweet slumber –

If the reality that would face me would mirror thunder

A harsh and hard thunder.

 

 I want to know what’s wrong

Why her beautiful features have turned so hard

She sighs and tells me she loves me

But cannot do so any more

I know she said she loves me

I know because of the way her lips moved

Moved to sound out “I love you”

But if she loves me

Then what went wrong?

 

 Days go on

Without the silken feel of her hair

Her touch

Her essence

And I feel myself tremble

Oh how I wish I could return to my sweet slumber

My sweet slumber

My sweet…

Oh how I wish I could fall asleep

Only this time

 

                                                                                                                 Forever.

The Truth Behind Words

Hey guys! Quick note: This particular piece of work is actually an assignment I had submitted for ToK (Theory of Knowledge) a few months ago in school. ToK is an integral part of the IB core syllabus and you guessed it right; my favorite element from this excruciatingly time-consuming course. While I am immensely proud of this essay, it might not transcend well enough to non IB students, so do read a bit about ToK if you want to understand this article a bit better. This essay was answered on the basis of the prompt, “how does a reader shape meaning of a text?” 


Language – defined as “the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way”, the aforementioned has played an eminent role in our society from the beginning of time. As human beings, language is a part of our human heritage that is often passed down from parents to children within the speech communities where we live. A child born in India is most likely to speak Hindi and a child born in Washington is likewise, most likely to speak English. Had the two children been switched around during birth, they’d also switch the language capabilities they possess. Language, however, is not confined to only the human voice resonating in other’s ears. Words written by humans possess the ability to transcend meanings from one to another. As Roland Barthes once said, “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author”. So truly, how is it that we humans – we readers – shape the meaning of a particular text at hand?

The question at hand is highly subjective. To begin with, we as people are born as blank slates whose individuality is then painted and crafted by our experiences, emotions, faith and beliefs’ as we grow into adulthood and swim through our daily existence. As the theory of existentialism rightfully states, the individual person is the only agent that can determine his or her own life by means of acts of the will. This means that our life is based on our own decisions. As each person is different and has become the human they are today based on their own choices, is it not fair to say that their personal experiences can manipulate the way they articulate and form a common consensus on a text at hand? For instance, will a woman who has been brought up in free America not find a textual piece on women’s rights violation under Islamic law more abominating than an Islamic woman brought up in the same circumstances in the article herself? Our experiences in this world have an immense capability of shaping our mindsets, which is exactly why different people form different opinions on pressing issues of the world. Whilst conformity is common in the world we live in, it cannot change the virgin thought that forms in a person’s mind when they come across a particular issue.

Secondly, the actual language used in a particular text has the propensity to shape how readers interpret a text. Taking the subject of math into consideration, let’s look at word problems. A common issue a vast majority of students face is the fact that they find word problems in the examination harder to solve than simple algebraic equations. Can this not be referred to as the mere manipulation of language? As a reader, the way a text has been stated can play a huge role in the way we analyze the same. For instance, “1+infinity” will be several times easier to solve than “if the sum of one person’s thoughts are absolute and the other person’s imagination is a void with no particular ending, what can the two combine to form?”

As we can clearly see, not only do our experiences from the past shape the way we see a work of art but also the way the same has been stated can affect our brain when we view it.

When we have a verbal conversation with another, we are granted with the ability to modulate our voice to suit the situation at hand. As authors, however, this perk is snatched from us – which leaves us with only grammar as a tool to help form different pictures when we write. A common linguistic/literary device is “imagery” and authors often exploit the same to help create a picture in the minds of the reader. Whilst it is not certain that the reader will capture the essence of exactly what the reader was going for, it is sure that it can definitely act as a catalyst to boost the process. A simple exclamation mark can help change the meaning of a sentence! See? As this factor is more dependent on the author, it isn’t exactly credible. That being said, the imagination – which is another way of knowing – of an individual, can play a massive part in how they observe or form conclusions on the same.

In conclusion, while there are several elements that can determine the way a reader shapes the meaning of a text, the most important one to keep in mind is that we as people of the world are all unique and created by nature with the intention of being unparalleled. The aforementioned also includes our thought processes. Whether it is the imagery and satirical references used by the author or the fact that the reader himself was brought up in a nation that admires certain intrinsic qualities that might change the way he or she looks at a particular text, it is still very apt to end this essay by the same quote we began it with – “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author”.

Running in Circles

It had been an extremely hectic day at school that Tuesday.

With our exams around the corner and our assignments inflating, I couldn’t wait to go back home and drown in the ocean of my imagination and dream of the numerous fun things I’d do when summer finally came around. This little after-school plan of mine, however, never really manifested in reality as the moment I rang the bell, my mother informed me that we were going to adopt a little puppy. The excitement in my mother’s voice galvanized me into action and I quickly changed my clothes and headed over to the puppy’s current home. As soon as I set eyes on baby Muffin, my heart melted for he was absolutely adorable, but watching him run in circles trying to chase his tail is what transmuted into one of the most important metaphorical analogy’s that I – and several other people – have been subjected to throughout their lifetime: running in circles.

One month ago.

My eyes tingled profusely and I felt my nose whisper to my conscience that I was about to cry. ‘Crying’, defined by the oxford dictionary as “the act of shedding tears in distress, pain, or sorrow”, was something I found myself doing quite often during the course of the past year of my life. And just like the vast majority of people I associated myself with had told me, I too told myself that this was just a phase. Sure enough, the bitter feeling I had gotten accustomed to was a phase. But the process I went through to understand the aforementioned “phase” can be likened to the feeling one experiences when they realize the person they thought they know inside and out is not the same person in reality: unbearable.

On the 5th of April 2016, one year ago from today, I lost a person who I believed epitomized my “future”, as silly as that sounds coming from a person that was 16 at the time. And as hard as it is, I am not going to walk you through the good time I spent with that person, but through the time I spent from April 2016 to April 2017 and how the paradigm shift I underwent allowed me as an individual to come to terms with the phenomenon we call “life”.

The emotional departure I had from this person was in the beginning, something I found was beyond amazing for my own state and peace of mind, due to the simple fact that the equation we both shared had turned toxic and merely poisonous. As time progressed, I felt increasingly hurt by the lack of emotion the latter displayed – it was almost as if he did not care about my evident absence from his life! This is where I began to slowly fall into the abyss of self-pity, doubt, and irrevocable sadness. Being the person I am, a lot of my perspective was shaped on the basis of other’s validation, so when I turned to my friends, they reassured me that I had done the correct thing and he’d soon realize. But if he’d soon realize, why did I still feel so unimportant?

That is where it all began. I remember sitting in the hotel room my parents had booked during my trip to Kerala one month after my metaphorical yet literal departure from this individual and thinking to myself about how worthless the time I had spent nurturing our relationship was if it was only to result in me feeling completely irrelevant after it was over. I began to drown in a constellation of my own thoughts, until I finally picked up the phone and called him and begged him to return into my life. I told him I missed him and needed him back. He told me he no longer wanted to be a part of my life, but he still wanted to be my friend. At the time, I remember having my eyes well up with a fountain of tears and I remember feeling unfathomably awful inside. But I told myself I’d never fall so low again. Spoiler: I did.

Months and months flew by of me constantly reminding myself I was doing okay and feeling better; only to crumble under the excruciating weight of my thoughts by midnight. And don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the paragon of what they romanticize on Tumblr: no, I wasn’t maintaining an all-black feed on Instagram or sharing sentimental pictures or slitting my wrists. But I felt different levels of pain in every iota of my body, and each time I felt that way I would call him and tell him I am sorry and that I wanted him back, and each time he’d respond with a simple no.

So I took it upon myself to transform into another person. I began experimenting with things I wouldn’t usually indulge in, I started working even harder in school… in fact I even changed my hairstyle in the middle. But nothing seemed to change my constant demeanor on the inside.

“The root of all suffering is attachment” – Buddha

I came across the aforementioned quotation one day when I was browsing through a few of my mother’s books on Buddhism, for it was a belief she practiced. On reading the quotation, I formed a common consensus on what I was failing to understand this whole time. Being angry on a person who has hurt you is nothing but natural human behavior. As social animals, we base our existence on disassociating ourselves from all wrong in our lives and blaming it on the latter.

Moving on is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my entire life. Coming back to the beginning of this extract, where I wrote about the tears I experienced one month ago, you must be wondering how I received enlightenment on the situation of my life and yet faced sadness only a month ago… that is exactly the purpose of me writing this: running in circles and coming back to square one is okay. It is all a part of the process. Embrace the same, learn that finding yourself in the same place where you begun is alright as long as you find it in you to pick yourself back up again. Only you will understand your journey. I wrote this extract knowing that many people around me are facing the same thing, and I want to let all of you know that you all are strong, intelligent, and phenomenal human beings that epitomize beauty. Breaking up, moving on, losing someone you love; they’re all very difficult things to deal with but they’re a part of life. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re weak minded or flawed or less of a person for finding yourself in the same situation time and time again. Just as I said before, only you can understand your journey. Others can act as a catalyst to getting you there, but the ball is truly only in your court.

So yes, with our exams around the corner and our assignments inflating, I couldn’t wait to go back home and drown in the ocean of my imagination and dream of the numerous fun things I’d do when summer finally came around. This little after-school plan of mine, however, never really manifested in reality as the moment I rang the bell, my mother informed me that we were going to adopt a little puppy. The excitement in my mother’s voice galvanized me into action and I quickly changed my clothes and headed over to the puppy’s current home. As soon as I set eyes on baby Muffin, my heart melted for he was absolutely adorable, but watching him run in circles trying to chase his tail is what transmuted into one of the most important metaphorical analogy’s that I – and several other people – have been subjected to throughout their lifetime: running in circles.

And as Muffin got tired of chasing his tail and decided to go play with a ball nearby, I too came to an understanding of the second most important metaphorical analogy we as people are yet to understand: life does go on.

Iridescence: A Bully

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one day when I came across a post that made my heart drown in a full-fledged tsunami of reminiscence. The post contained a candid picture of a very pretty girl with tanned skin and dark blonde – almost brown – hair that floated lavishly around her hips. The girl, unaware of the picture being taken, stared at the camera with immense confusion coating her features. I shortly realized that this picture was, in fact, not uploaded by the confused girl in the picture but by another girl, who had posted the aforementioned to ridicule and embarrass the girl in the picture. The tsunami of reminiscence I felt was piqued by the fact that the girl who posted the picture had bullied, harassed and had hurt feelings that belonged to me (and several other people) too. Let’s name this bully ‘Iridescence’, for no word better describes her multi-faceted personality.

So, iridescence: the term itself can be defined as the ability to show luminous colors that change when looked at from different angles. I came across Iridescence during my freshman year of high school. Joining a new school for high school was something I was overly excited about – new friends, new teachers, new life! So when a senior in my school that seemed to be avidly active on social media approached me and became my friend, I was thoroughly shocked. As my time in school progressed, so did my understanding on the fact that Iridescence really was, iridescent. This girl thrived on putting others down and I was almost certain that her main motto in life was to paint a superior image of herself in front of her “friends” on Instagram. Everyone had some thing to say about her – almost always negative. My friends constantly discussed her immense narcissism, obnoxious behavior and sheer pettiness. She was every teenage girl’s worst nightmare, to say the least. The confusing part, however, was that she was supremely nice to me.

Sure enough, every coin has two sides! The “nice” side to her personality was a sheer façade. It shortly came to my notice that Iridescence took pride in commenting on my pubescent acne, a few scars that danced around my arms and enjoyed constantly enforcing the fact that my boyfriend at the time could be her’s any moment if that’s what she wanted. Throughout the course of my existence, everyone around me always told me about how important it was to be a nice human being, so when these constant reminders of Iridescence’s unyielding hatred for me surfaced, I’d push them under the carpet. Always.

One day, during our school’s assembly, an event took place that shaped my perception on Iridescence (and to some extent, myself) forever. As we wrapped up our morning’s prayer and the inconclusive speech our Principal thoroughly enjoyed giving every morning ended, I turned around to see Iridescence and her friend sneering at me. “Are those scars on your hands?” she chuckled, careful to pierce her words into my heart. “Do you cut yourself? Are you, like, depressed?” she turned to her friend and laughed. At this moment, I was enraged. More than anger, however, I felt hurt and embarrassed. I walked back to my classroom and broke down into tears the moment I found my best friend at the time.

I let it slide. Arguing with a fool only shows that there are two, right? Wrong. A few months later, I was scrolling through my feed on a site that was very popular at the time – ask.fm – only to find her post on how she was “depressed” and couldn’t help herself from “cutting” her arm over her ex boyfriend. Attached to the answer was an image of the supposed scar from her depressive carvings. The post was flourishing with the essence of a plea for help, almost as if she was asking those who viewed the answer to support her.

At this moment, I lost my shit. Like, wait a minute, WHAT? Iridescence took pride in not only hurting my feelings immensely that morning in the assembly but even succumbed to hypocrisy by acting as if she knew the horrendous pain the depressed go through! I was shocked and angry and confused. This, sadly, wasn’t the only circumstance in which she displayed her hypocrisy profusely. She would comment and pick on other girl’s irreversible flaws – like beauty spots or their tanned skin or the fact that they may have had weaker vision in one eye – and then months later I’d see her sharing a post on Facebook about the importance of empowerment and loving one another and kindness. My friends and I could not fathom the level of idiocy that this girl possessed.

Hence, the reminiscence I felt when I saw this girl ridiculing another on Instagram. I never answered her question that day during the assembly, but today I will. No, Iridescence, I was not depressed. But had I been, I could’ve decided to seize to exist due to the harshness of your words. I could’ve fallen into an irrevocable pit of sorrow and lost my faith and hope in life. The other girls you bullied (and I am sure, will continue to bully throughout your life) may actually believe the garbage that comes out of your mouth and start to acknowledge that they are as worthless as you make them feel. Your boyfriend’s incompetency to stay committed to you is not another girl’s fault. Mental illnesses aren’t funny and it is high time that people comprehend that bullying, hurting, and emotionally tormenting people over things they cannot control is NOT okay. One day, social media won’t even be a ‘thing’ anymore because we’ll all be busy trying to make a life for ourselves, while all Iridescence will be doing is trying to get her “likes”.

This breast cancer awareness month, I wanted to share this story and remind all of the beautiful women that may be reading that this it is not cool to be petty and hateful towards other women. We are the same kind. There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise, so let us rise to become more loving, kind and resilient. Always remember: girls compete with one another – it’s the WOMEN that encourage, support and empower! As far as Iridescence is concerned, a part of me hopes that she will stumble across an incident in life that will remind her that nothing in this universe matters more than the depth of kindness in one’s soul. A pretty face is nothing without a beautiful heart!

Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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Love or Drugs?


As I laid down on my mother’s king-sized bed one gloomy, melancholic afternoon, I couldn’t help but drown in a series of videos on the Internet. As the silken texture of the bed comforted my pale skin, my eyes fluttered over a video on the effects of Meth. My mind wandered back to the time I heard a bunch of my friends speak about this drug in school. “It makes you feel really good!” they whispered, their words intertwined with the essence of pride. I didn’t pay much attention to their irrelevant statement though, and continued doing what I had to do. That gloomy afternoon, however, the thumbnail of the video lit up a constellation of inquisitive thoughts in my mind, and I decided to watch it. Little did I know, a Pandora box of revelations were about to unfold.

A young, beautiful woman showed up on the screen, wearing everything but a smile. She began to pierce my eardrums with statistics and horrible before and after pictures. My deranged heart was slightly intrigued by her words and continued watching, eager to find out more. “Meth is a synthetic stimulant that affects the central nervous system”, she began, her eyes illuminating with solemnity. She continued to speak about how the drug produces immense amounts of dopamine: a compound that allows one to experience a lot of pleasure. Taken aback by the intense information my brain had just received, I shut down the laptop. My mind was racing at an unfathomable speed. An emotion inside me sparked. It was a sense of…knowing: a certain familiarity. Oh no, it’s not what you think: I wasn’t addicted to meth or cocaine or molly or whatever possible drug you can think of. No. I hadn’t even tried it. The sense of familiarity I felt, however, was piqued by the unanimous similarities I found between the ill-effects of meth and the ill-effects of the most heart-wrenching phenomena ever known to my sixteen year old self: love.

Growing up in a multicultural society, all of my friends’ had different perceptions on the concept of love. I’d see my American friends smile in awe as their parents kissed before parting ways. I’d see my Indian friends dazzle due to the warmth of love they felt when their Mother would give them a bit of junk food in their lunchbox at school. As we grew up, however, love wasn’t about watching your parents kiss or having a bit of extra food at school. It was the intoxicating adrenaline that passed through one’s veins as they felt their significant other touch their body, or when the butterflies inhabited one’s stomach momentarily as the thought of the person they liked crossed their mind. As we evolved from 5th graders in pigtails, so did our definitions of love.

When Cupid struck me for the first time at the tender age of fifteen, I was shocked! Okay, shocked would be an understatement. I was completely confused about the way my brain began to work around him. I was extraordinarily happy – and the happiness I obtained sky rocketed as time went by. From the sardonic sense of humor we both shared to the eloquent mid-night conversations about life and death and reincarnation and not to forget, the eminent overly dramatic talks about marriage, my mind and heart could not comprehend why I deserved something as special as this. “I was probably one hell of a nice kid in my previous life”, I told myself. I guess it would be fair to say that I ignored the way my conscience snarled at me when I came across a quote by Nicholas Sparks one evening that said “greater the love, greater the tragedy when it’s over.”

I was on an all-time high. I felt beyond euphoric: almost as if I could touch the sky. So when it unexpectedly ended, everything around my crashed down – including the sky I once thought I could touch. Not only was I slapped in the face with a constant sense of unworthiness, but I also felt an irrevocable mountain of hatred welling up within me. All I wanted was the serene emotion I once called love, back. In between the tears and the blame game and the withdrawal symptoms, I think I lost a part of myself. My opinion on love was completely revolutionized.

You see; the same occurs when we discuss the controversial topic of drugs – such as meth or cocaine. You attain an exorbitant amount of happiness – pleasure – and before you know it, this ‘pleasure’ pulls a 180 on you and you’re left crashing to the floor, gasping for breath, dying to get back that very jollity you based your life on. You lose yourself, and you turn into the person you never thought you’d turn into.

I think the point of me writing this wasn’t to make myself look like a damsel in distress, or to allow myself to be seen as vulnerable to the general public. I do believe that the point of writing this was, in fact, to throw light on the eminent existence of metaphors in our lives. We all have addictions, and romanticizing love whilst bashing the concept of drugs can be highly debatable because well, who are we to judge? What really are the differences between the two?

“We’re all in the same game, just different devils. Dealing with the same hell, just different levels.”

As I allowed my body to give way on my mother’s king-sized bed one gloomy, melancholic afternoon, I couldn’t help but drown in a series of videos on the Internet. As the silken texture of the bed comforted my pale skin, my eyes fluttered over a video on the effects of Meth. My mind wandered back to the time I heard a bunch of my friends speak about this drug in school. “It makes you feel really good!” they whispered, their words intertwined with the essence of pride. If only I turned back and asked them whether they’d heard of the drug that makes one lost in a tornado of happiness, sadness, anger, horror, fear, excitement, and every other adjective in the dictionary I could wrap my head around: love. If only.


 

Hues of Paint


We are all born as white canvases, and we are all given beautiful hues of paint to create our lives with.

The problem, however, lies in the fact that we expect others to paint with the same colors as we have. We expect others to add turquoise and pink and vermillion to our lives instead of trying to do it ourselves – which only leads to the inevitable, metaphorical blotch of blue on our canvas.

We are all different individuals with different thought-processes and different approaches to life. We were put into this world to live, to love, to learn. Not to “save” someone else, or to have another person “save” us. That isn’t what life is about.

The day we learn this, is the day we will complete our painting.

When are you planning on completing yours?