High Strings

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Her eyes are deep
Like the unknown sea
Of doubt and despair
Of destiny and fantasy

She smiles like the sun
Sighs like the gentle wind
Her mind, though, is black and white
And her heart is rather dim

She feigns acute pain
Before her life has even begun
She isn’t too bad though
She is just high strung

Her touch is sweet
And her hair moves like the breeze
But not many have been charmed
By the grace of an empty leaf

She’d hold your hand
Like in her world you matter the most
But when the lights go up
She vanishes like a ghost

She loves like a goddess
Of your thousand splendid suns
And you wonder if you’re falling in love
Even though she is so high strung

She looks so beautiful
Perched at the edge of her faithful mirror
You almost ignore the imperfect
Way she holds the scissors

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You shower her with gifts
She pretends it turns her on
Smiles her empty smile
When you hand over the latest Louis Vuitton

And when the day she walks away
Leaving your heart tortured and broken
You wonder if it was because of you
Or was she just high strung

Of writing a nightmare…

I had a nightmare. Which is a worse kind of speech than I had a dream, but the point is, I have been having these nightmares and turning them into stories almost all my life. Which brings me to how we write stories, why do we write them? Why do we write AT ALL? Writers all around the world have a weird sense of non-artist-ness about them, they don’t paint beautiful pictures or sing songs or dance, they write. They just put down on paper what most people think and that’s that. Beauty, its basic definition for a writer, is just what he/she writes on a scrap of paper.  
There is a very thin line for most writers between reality and fiction which is why it seems only real to write about dreams and nightmares and what we see. I remember reading the Finkler Question and telling myself I’m a lot like one of the main characters in the book Treslove, who almost always was waiting for something tragic to happen in life. I have been waiting that wait.
A life which is a little too uneventful is no perfection for a writer’s life. Hence, the nightmares, they are my subconscious’ way of feeling the exhilaration, of a tragedy. Unlike a lot of “artists”, I have had too many things that have gone right for me. A less than perfect yet uneventful childhood, a more eventful but less tragic youth, so I wait. I wait for fortune to bring me a misfortune. Meanwhile, my mind brings about unrealities in front of me, plays the truth of death and helps me write about lives full of lies.
But when eventually the lines blur, between reality and fiction, that’s when my masterpiece would present itself (or so I think). Virginia Woolf was right; a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
So this is me waiting, wanting and hoping for a tragedy, until then my dreams would stalk me until I pen them down. 

In a stereotypical world…


“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Virginia Woolf

I suppose the typical urban woman would consider the above thought almost biblical. But the truth remains, that our voice as an entire gender is almost always driven by stereotypes. A man has to deal with only common identity issues like which place or what religion he belongs to. We, women on the hand, spend all of our lives fighting stereotypes (and add to that the normal communal and geographical ones too common to all MANkind!) Even now half of the audience reading this would probably think in their heads oh, this WOMAN is getting emotional, is becoming a feminist, and is, well, a recent word I made up – womany!

I was searching for ways of getting published (aren’t we all?) and stumbled across this blog that explains how the New Yorker and the NY times have a majority of female audiences and yet most of their writers are male. It went on to talk about how women tend to write about more personal things and these journals do not consider that as literary prowess and that women writers are “intimidated by the white male culture” as the editor of Atlantic Monthly pointed out. So the article makes two assumptions, one that women are incapable of writing big policy pieces, and second, their “emotional” articles and those with a “sexy twist on work/life drama” is not worthy of literary recognition. This coming from a country that boasts of having a woman in a key policy making position.

It is true though, we like to write about what we feel rather than what we see, but whoever said that policy decisions and strategic moves for a nation or a corporate for that matter have to be devoid of all emotion and empathy?!

Remember the times when women had to write under a pseudonym to be published? Well, by the looks of the times today, we aren’t very far from that world. (I used to think we are) There are still occupations women are “not good at”. (A stereotype we fight every single day at our workplace) Like recently a classmate of mine observed, “Women are not good traders.” Another once mentioned how “women can never understand politics.” I am reminded of how many men rejected marriage proposals because the girl was a journalist (she wouldn’t be able to do justice to her “duties” as a wife)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to stand on soap boxes and hate men for their stereotypes, it takes two to tango. If we are so upset with these stereotypes, we should just stop attempting to adhere to them! We should be content with who we are and not try to prove a point every single day at our work place. (Lesson to self!)

I’m not a feminist or a nihilist (Gosh I hate the “ist” words, they are so patronizing!). But these stereotypes (and the million others I have broken) just make me attempt to fight them just for the heck of it. And it is beginning to get tiring to try and break Plath’s bell jar. Why bother upsetting yourself for somebody who has in his head made the stereotype (unless he/she is your boss: P ). And isn’t the fact that you’re trying to prove yourself mean you yourself believe in the stereotype? I’d rather just be myself and not worry.  However, the real”IST” in me is wondering if I should just swallow my pride and write under a pseudonym, who knows the New Yorker might just find me! 

The Drowning

The stones they sink
my soul set free
I wish I could unthink
everything that defined me

A life lived for fame
a death died alone
a limitless game
that strives on the fear of unknown

At six feet, I think of the grave
that would hold my pained heart
At ten, it’s no longer cold
almost like you and I could finally be apart

This isn’t a cry for help
or even a goodbye today
this here is an easy departure
for it was in this endless depth I always lay

Sing to me Virginia

Sing to me virginia
in your lights of the past
sing to me what made you cry
what stories your shadows cast

Sing to me virginia
in your melancholy vibe
sing to me of your life
and your blank pages’ relentless jibe

Sing to me virginia of your last step
the last footfall in time
sing to me of the sorrows
that made your death divine

Mrs. Dalloway : An ode to Virginia Woolf

She lives in empty rooms
she feels, she cries
she walks over shrouded tombs
she sighs as she walks away

Johnny left in spring
Little Mary didn’t see the winter
The house is in shambles
her hopes in splinters

Each stone seems special
adding weight to a soul
we’ll meet in purgatory, she thinks
the lake is just beckoning her more

The cold water pierces through
her heartless beats don’t last
It stabs like a thousand knives
It is on this cold October Sky
that Mrs. Dalloway breathes her last…