A letter to my 11 year old self (when I wrote my first poem – Butterfly)

Dear girl,

You aren’t so little anymore

Those rhymes you’ve just written down have aged your soul

You are now wise beyond your years

Your tears that dissolve your words into large blue dots

Will one day become rivers flowing through your veins

Filling your heart with an innocence you thought you forgot

You write of fluttering butterflies right now

You will soon turn to werewolves and vampires

And then

You won’t rhyme at all

You will just paint pictures of your soul on pieces of paper supposed to contain class notes

The doodled angels on the corner of your pages will smile

At your childish notions of sorrow

Soon your poems will be cries for help

All that angst of teen age will turn into a knife inching into your veins

Each poem will enter your heart like a shooting star

Burn through its chambers and turn into star dust

Every night you will crumple your pages into hugs

Till the words drill a hole though your chest

In the mornings you will wake up with a smile

Those pages will turn magically into blankets

You will write of unrequited love

Of that boy who thinks you will never be pretty enough

Of that boy who loves you relentlessly till you break his heart

You will walk over a thousand such hearts

And place your words like flowers on the graves of your failed relationships

You will then wait till you are alone

And then embrace your solitude like You are all you need!

And just like that, one winter morning

The green of the forests, the growls of the wolves and the grim of the fairy tales

Will be back to claim their space on your empty pages

You will shoo them away brandishing your pen like a sword

Soon your scribbles will becomes quivers of arrows

With which you hunt down the voices in your head

Until all you will hear are the waves of words washing poems on the shores of your pages

Little girl, my friend,

That pen you hold like a laser beam

Will one day vaporise your insecurities

It will fill your heartbreaks with hot chocolate

It will teach you that remembrance is the only cure to death

It will keep your innocence neatly wrapped up and safe

In the pages of your notebooks

And plant tiny pieces of your soul in every poem

Until there is a garden blooming new words each spring

That pen you hold like a mountain top in your hands

It will find your love, bury your anger and save your soul

My dear girl,

Don’t ever let that pen go.

A Letter from my Childhood Room

You were ten when we first met.

You were fighting with your sister for me

I was the bigger room

It was always about bigger things – better things

Younger ones are like that among your kind

You were no different

 

But my four walls were never enough

At ten years nothing is enough

It was the first home you owned – all four of you

“You can scribble in these walls”, your father said

Admit it though

You were still scared of sleeping alone in your bed

 

I was there

When you father told your mother, she was a terrible cook

You wondered why you loved everything she made

But You kept quiet

He was more important to please

So you became his perfect little girl

 

I saw him, so did you

But you let your silence win

Each time he raised his hand

Your father was always right, right?

Your sister had made a mistake in math

She “deserved” the punishment

 

I was there

When you were angry coz your sister wouldn’t come out and play

She is being a snob, you told yourself, why else?

I knew why

Back then you didn’t know the meaning of rape, neither did she

Little girls aren’t supposed to

 

I saw you learning every prayer your father taught

You were perfect in your efforts of winning him

I was there

When he decided to leave the house for 3 years

He left to buy you a better life

I saw you miss him everyday

 

I saw her –

Your mother fighting your teenage self in vain

Your sister becoming the man of the house

She bravely chased the rats away

She was always your knight

Her armor would never grow a chink

 

I saw your mother confide

She wrote in her diary

“Am I a bad mother?”

At the age of 11, you had made her wonder

Were your lies her fault?

You may’ve been a child but you weren’t easy

 

You invented stories by the day

Yet you were scared they’d come alive at night

I saw you read your sister’s suicide letter

She had torn it up and thrown it away

You walked outside her closed room that night aching to hear her breathe

You heard her move about and then you went to sleep

 

At 14, you’d wake up in darkness every night

You’d see a shadow on your doorway

You were not really scared of a nightmare

You were just curious as to why you cherished them some nights

The shadow wouldn’t say anything

It just stood there – a silhouette of a woman

 

You left me when you turned 17

By now even the house wasn’t enough

You were angry at everything

Angry at your mother for her silence

Angry at yourself for yours

Angry at your sister for not being angry enough

 

I lost you for a while

You slept without dreams and nightmares for 10 years

You grew up

You brought up your heart

You trained it to forget the fights, the beatings, the masochism of it all

You grew out of the anger

 

You stashed your pain away in boxes

You only shed tears for your friends

Your own sorrows didn’t deserve them

Your sister was still your knight inside your temple for Athena

She’d passed on her armor to you

There was no room for weakness now

 

And here we are 

You are 30 years old

You peeping into me from the doorway

You fear the darkness inside

You think you see her – the ghost of a memory – that 14-year-old girl

You wish you could tell her

 

It’s not you, dear girl

It was never your fault

You see that’s why you were never scared of nightmares!

You know now

These shadows at the edge of the doors are just pictures of you years from now

Now you wonder why that silhouette stayed in the dark?

 

You didn’t know then what you’d look like now

You didn’t know then you’d forgive

That you’d promise to fight for your sister when no one fights for her

That you’d promise strength to your mother when she’s crumbling

That you’d promise forgiveness to your father when he’s lonely

Above all, you promise tears for yourself

 

I see you

You’re a woman, a little rough around the edges but mostly nice

You – you look beautiful

I see you

You were my child too, if only walls could talk

I’d say I’m proud, dear child

I’m proud!

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