Trigger warning

Good days

The mirror tells me I’m beautiful today

I smile and stop and smile again

There are no words on my page

For peace and joy are so annoyingly free

They hate being stuck inside words

I search for synonyms and iambic meters

But this feeling

Of floating in silence

Of flying inside the confines of a room

Of smiling for no reason

Of dreams of pink balloons

Of dancing without a song

Doesn’t have enough words

Instead the clarity of it is like a veil

A filter for my unslept eyes

A yellow painted on canvas

Surrounded by blue Irises

The mirror tells me I’m beautiful today

I’m a fierce force of nature

A superhero saving my world

With grace softly perched on my breasts

And glory holstered on my hips

Today, the mirror says, I’m invincible

And today, I agree!

Bad days

The mirror is an abyss today

Inside it, my eyes aren’t my eyes

They’re hollow ghosts stuck in time

My body is a loaded garbage bag

Self loathing, Hate – reduced, reused, recycled.

I stand here naked but for my breath

Stale air engulfing my breasts with each exhale

Embalming me with funereal ease

Enraged fists break into my palms

Ears split with screams stuck inside my glass head

The dark room spreading its wings, I know.

I’m triggered today

A loaded gun inside a black mouth

A bomb waiting to blow

A woman on a ledge

A blind knife on a barbwired skin

A neck exposed – waiting to be eaten by a noose

The mirror is an abyss today

I can feel my breath turn to dust

I can hear the imaginary stones grinding my chest

The bed is a casket parked inside an open grave

Do all rooms in high rises feel this way?

Nearly dead humans subsisting in each square

Windows like tombstones that say

Insignificant and Unknown

(3rd Sep 1986 – Every fucking day)

The Epidemic of Mental Illness

As I passed by an abandoned sanatorium in Matheran on Sunday, the vibes from the place were not necessarily the best. Out of want for an adventure, I imagined a mishap and the number of unwanted human beings that must have at some point inhabited the place. In my head, I briefly lived through that scene in 15 Park Avenue, when the protagonist Rahul Bose comes across his schizophrenic ex-girlfriend.
Mental health has always been a mystery to me. But the entire idea of it being a medical issue boggles my mind. It moves from a medical realm to a philosophical one in a matter of seconds (possibly why I would never have made a good psychiatrist!) It’s relative and behavioral and can never, in my opinion, follow a set of definitions.
I always remember the one line by Paolo Coehlo in his book Veronica decided to die, an inmate of the asylum questions what those walls are for, “Are they to protect the world from us or to protect us from the world?”
With the rising number of reported cases, I begin to wonder what is good for our society. America currently claims to be going through a raging epidemic of mental illness. All numbers point towards double digit increase in the number of people (children more so) suffering from some disorder or other.
Is that what we are headed as well? A population more dependent on their therapists and lawyers than their friends and family, is that what we are aspiring to turn into? All these disorders, are these not mere stereotypes? Everything has a medicine, they even have a medicine for rudeness (an observation from PS I love you!). My side of the argument is simple. What if a “disorder” is the inherent nature of the person? Wouldn’t drugs that cure his so-called condition alter his personality and no longer preserve his true identity? Are we not altering behavior to suit that of the masses? Are we simply expanding the criteria for mental illness so that nearly everyone has one?
A recent acquaintance with a psycho-analyst opened my eyes to the good side of the dreaded electric shock. The process apparently is a fool proof method into shocking craziness into submission. The method may seem brutal (images of old hindi movies and the million horror flicks), but it seems to have been in use for centuries and has worked wonders in the field of psychiatry. Perhaps I need a little more research to have some faith in the field.
Right now, it just seems like a way to build stereotypes in the desperate need of giving people an identity (“the Sylvia Plath effect” is the perfect example of such stereotyping). Perhaps a little more insight into the medicine of it might change my opinion. For now, it seems rather romantic to be depressed, anxious or paranoid, until of course they make a drug to cure my being me!

The Dark Room

I keep my dreams in the box
away from the all familiar sun
I let them live with sanity unsought
like a relentless fugitive
The blade isn’t far
the knife uncut
but the beauty of the stars
leave my veins untouched
She lives far away
my resemblance of me
she lives in my happy days
and lets go when darkness comes to meet
What have I become
a ghost alone in time
this house has no sun
only stories of untold crimes

The black screen

As the light above blinds
my unassuming eye
As the screens go black and green
at the blink of an eye

My thoughts stray to that heavenly valley
that sound of the river meandering through

I stop at the place where
the heavens and I were one
the mountains embraced
my rain-kissed skin

all my thoughts of doom – gone
I come back to tell the story
to my black screen
stories of my moments of glory
and yet the triumphs are unseen

unheard are my views
untouched is my soul
for I’m alone in a box
with no one around
It’s just me and my black screen

P.S.: Written a long time ago on a depressing day at work!