drafts

And here I stand again, with nothing but my words to support me as my courage turned to dust and rose up to take the shape of my worst nightmares. I have nine drafts on my laptop, nine times that I was honest with myself and nine times that I refused to tattoo that honesty onto my soul. Lying comes easy to me, I find it easier to accept what my brain feels is complete injustice to my very existence. You see, my mind and my brain do not get along very well and I have anger that has very firm roots inside of my body. I water the roots regularly and lately they’ve been wanting to leave the confines of my being and I can feel each branch push against the walls that hold them inside me.

Nine times that I tried to be honest, nine hundred times that I failed to do so. Each one of my failures gnaws at my skin and bites deep into the lies I weave to keep myself safe from harm.

Draft number 1. The lie about my self-made existence without the help of the sister who stays inside her room and cries for the lover who left bruises on her skin and her heart. On her cheeks, I see the traces of every tear she still has to shed in the name of the boy who taught her how to make her lips dance. On her wrists, I see deeply etched finger prints from the time he dragged her out of darkness and on her back, I see the imprints of his palms from when he pushed her back there. Her feet are crooked from every time she wore shoes he made her think she needed to wear so he wouldn’t be embarrassed by her frame. But her hands, her hands are exactly like mine. In the tips of her fingers lie a thousand angry syllables made softer with the turn of every page of her paperbacks.

Draft number 2. The lie about not loving the boy who now inspires all my poetry. His eyes have inspired my best words and his soul is weaved into my very existence. I lied about not loving him, I do not know how long I have loved him but I do know that there is a timer on how much longer I am supposed to love him.

Draft number 3. The lie about not crying anymore and yet feeling my tears sting the back of my throat and roll down my cheeks in perfect rhythm with every letter I type. It was a letter to the world, my world, about thoughts that I refused to let surface to my consciousness in order to shield myself from hurt I thought was best buried and not dealt with.

Draft number 4. The truth about not understanding why it is so hard to let go of certain lies. Why is it so hard to let go of love and lies? Why is it easier to hold on even if holding on takes every ounce of your strength. I look down at my hands and I see scars from where the ropes have cut too deep into my skin. I do know that letting go will hurt more because fresh air stings at new wounds. Pain has always left me paralysed and it is easier to hold on because after a while, it all starts to feel numb.

Draft number 5. The truth about everything I want from anybody who claims to love me. My selfishness resurfaces with every bit of love I ask from you, as I ask you to balm the insecurities that left craters on my skin. I ask you to understand the callouses my words have left on my hands and the imprints my thoughts have etched into my mind, I ask you to gently try and smooth out the dog eared pages of my existence even though I know fully well that some creases stay forever.

Draft number 6. The lie about how much I hate the inside of my head without full knowledge of how much the inside of my head tries to love me. The hatred born from thoughts I gave birth to without realising that I could, as a matter of fact, be the only person who loved me. I see ink blot the paper and I realise that the only difference that remains between my love and my hate for the inside of my head is what I write on the blank canvas of my mind.

Draft number 7. The truth about the number of drafts there really were and the lie I will tell now as I feel my inspiration take leave again. Maybe for another few months and I can physically feel the pain of letting go of all my dreams and being the reason for their crashing around me in epic proportions. The lie about being okay with it and the truth about hating it yet not being able to do anything, nay, being able to but still not doing anything and then blaming the world for each of my misfortunes.

Good night.

 

Advertisements

everything wrong with my head

You see, I warned you, do not fall in love with a writer.

Well, to be quite honest, I did not. I did not warn you against falling in love with a writer for two reasons:
One, because I thought you would have read enough posts on Instagram and Tumblr about the over romanticised sea of chaos, one that is in reality quite unromantic, which exists inside the head of a writer and,
Two, because I fell hopelessly in love with your eyes the first time you glanced at me and I wasn’t letting go of those lips and firm hands anytime soon, not until I had read every word the universe had etched onto the lines of your palms and heard every careless whisper that had rolled off your tongue past that pink.

So, I’m here to tell you of the grave mistake you made.

This one is for the boy who is my star in starting over. (Thank you, Sarah Kay)

One, my words don’t fall lightly onto paper, I cut out my sentences a lot. My letters feel like blisters on the inside of my lips and they don’t quite roll off the tip of my tongue with ease, they taste a little like sandpaper, you see, my words are not big and there most definitely does not exist any of the SAT vocabulary I crammed last year in these sentences. So, I am, to put it quite frankly, not a writer.

Two, I’m the creator of mountains out of little molehills with the audacity to use the word poet to describe myself after two carefully thought out sentences and five words I probably searched up on thesaurus to make myself sound smart to people I only wished I could be like. I am the creator of mountains out of molehills so let me tell you this, the first time I spoke to you about the overused cliche of forever and always, not giving two fucks about the expiration date we had thought of for ourselves, all I could think about was how the next morning I would wake up with nothing but the taste of you leaving me at the back of my mouth simply because I failed to adhere to the rules we had built to keep each other from getting hurt.

Three, I have (at 16) loved you more than anybody my grandmother, who is remembered by nothing but ashes, her mad awesome poker face and the fact that she named me, did at 60. So, you still have the chance to run away, because if you decide to stay, I will overthink every single one of my actions because I will treat your heart like the glass ornament my mother told me not to touch when I was five, and just as I did when I was five, I will stretch out my hands to try and reach the top shelf where she and you both, so carefully guarded what you thought to be important but not important enough.

Four, I am a cheesecake now, look at how far I’ve come from all the promises little me made to herself about never writing love poetry. I will tell you the truth here, the truth is that I find it a little hard to believe when you tell me I’m the most beautiful in the world for you and sometimes I am scared that maybe the simple face and even simpler mind my parents passed down to me might not be enough for the intricate patterns your nerves have formed, spreading spider webs all over your body.

Five, there will always exist a feeling in my mouth about not being able to say everything I have on there, maybe because I am simply unable to describe what I truly mean to say and I swear when I started writing this I had a hundred more things to say, a thousand extra letters and they have simply vanished leaving behind in my mind nothing but a very clear image of you and I have a thousand metaphors that I could use to describe you but not one that would do justice to the beauty that lies beneath your skin.

Six, it is very hard to come up with happy things to write about and it is not because I have led an unhappy life, not really no, I have been happy but my brain does not seem to comprehend happiness in any other form because everything seems grey in comparison to the shades of blue and green I saw with you sitting on the brown red stone of the fort as the clouds overhead formed patterns that for once I wasn’t interested in looking at because all I could see was your smile and all I could think of was how apt your name really was and how easy it flowed on my mind.

I am sorry for being chaotic when I can very easily be quite arranged. Good night.

 

 

double cheese with extra cheese and a side of cheese (i am sorry it is so long)

I started with this one day after the day I spent two hours watching slam poetry, two days before my Sociology exam and thirteen days before three hundred and sixty six days with you (so basically my three hundred and fifty third day with you, yay maths). The title is more of a warning, proceed with caution, it gets cheesier with every word (apologies).

I started by tackling this question: how do you describe a person you can’t really describe? I pride myself on accurate descriptions but you, sir, are the one person who really stumps me. Then I thought about what I could say to you, but then again, what do you say to a person you’ve already said everything to? By that time, I already had my mind set on writing this so there was no turning back because you once told me not to quit when I do start writing something. So then I came up with this: 27 things I could’ve said a bit more poetically. Kind of.

One. Since yesterday was slam poetry day, here goes: I’m not a love poet and I don’t like to read a lot of love poetry or listen to a lot of spoken word about love but my god, every time I heard Rudy Francisco describe his love for the person he met at Starbucks this one time, my mind nodded in agreement (quite vigorously, might I add) and put those words in one box labeling it “THINGS I CAN NOT SAY AS WELL AS REAL POETS CAN BUT THINGS I TOTALLY MEAN”. Point is, you make me love a lot of things to a certain magnitude I never thought I would but then again, I never imagined I would love you as much as I do, simply because I didn’t think I was capable of it.

Two. I have weird associations in my brain that connect the smallest day to day things with you. I could walk down the street and a small word in a weird font that is hardly legible would sneak into my brain, hop from association to association till it finally reaches you. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’re always on my mind.

Three. I love you. Simple as that.

Four. Everything sounds better in my head. I find it difficult to form clear and concise sentences, my words lose their meaning halfway through my phrases, I repeat a lot of things but I’m afraid the words will detach themselves from what I’m trying to say. Basically, I say weird things sometimes and they really do sound better inside my head but my words find meaning when I am around you and when they are about you. My words would like to thank you for that.

Five. I read. A lot. As much as I can of everything I can get my hands on. Reading has been my favourite thing to do since I was five years old but hear this, my favourite thing to read isn’t even a book. Black ink on white paper in the simplest font defined true beauty for me until I noticed every single line and curve that defines your body.

Six. You brush your fingers against my arm and the trail that your fingertips leave makes my skin erupt into tiny goosebumps. Neurons send messages up my spine to my brain that both make me very excited and ask me to calm the fuck down.  I can’t calm the fuck down with you around.

Seven. I love winter mornings when I reach school with freezing hands and I can press my nose against your cheek to make you jump. I love how warm you always are, my hands would like to thank yours for being the reason my writing was legible when I wrote in my notebook during the first class of the day, human heater.

Eight. How do I explain to you how I feel when I can not get an answer out of you. To be very honest, usually, I would stop. If it were anybody else I would stop. But with you, I gain the ability to do a lot of stuff but I also lose the ability to do a lot of stuff. I promise you one thing that I’ve always promised you. I am not trying to fix you. I’m never going to try and fix you. Your sea of chaos is beautiful and I love it the way it is. How do I explain to you how I feel when I sit in a room full of people with dazed eyes simply because I could not figure out why you didn’t want to talk to me.

Nine. I’m considering showing you this less and less with every single word I write. It gets cheesier, yes, but I need you to understand something I think you do already understand. There is a raw feeling behind this and this is basically me, standing bare in front of you with all my thoughts on a plate, right out and I’ve given you a loaded gun and asked you to go ahead and shoot.

Ten. I know you won’t shoot. You know how I know? Because the first time I begged for a cigarette, you refused. I can only imagine how hard it is to say no to an extremely annoying and drunk sixteen year old hanging off of your arm. Thank you.

Eleven. I know I am not supposed to but thank you. When I had an anxiety attack at my doctor’s a few weeks ago, it felt somewhat like someone was choking me. I couldn’t breathe properly, I could feel the oxygen go in but my lungs refused to take them, my nails were bitten to my cuticles, raw and red from the blood and you, you were my first breath of fresh air. Your laughter worked better than any medicine ever had and soon, I was breathing easy again.

Twelve. I know I will get the wind knocked out of me again, I know I will someday drown underneath a burden of salt water and piles of papers, I know someday my lungs will once again refuse to take in the oxygen and I know someday, someday my head will spin so fast and my body will collide with the ground and shatter, blood and bone and I will want to scream so loud but I won’t be able to find my voice. I also know that that will be the day I will look into my phone for your number again. But for now, I’m breathing easy, I have you by my side.

Three. I love you. I don’t think any other collection of twenty six alphabets can describe more beautifully what I really truly feel for you.

Thirteen. When you held my hand for the first time and laced your fingers through mine, I could feel a different kind of warmth spread through my body. It was the kind of warmth that you feel on cold winter mornings, sitting in front of a fire. As soon as you move away from the fire, the warmth retreats, as soon as you take your hand away from mine, the warmth retreats.

Fourteen. Let me tell you about something we refer to as ‘butterflies’. I used to think butterflies were just something Meg Cabot made up and girls never do feel that in real life. But when you kissed me, I swear to god, I could feel five million butterflies fluttering around in my stomach and they really haven’t left since. I think they like it there, I do hope they continue to like it there.

Fifteen. I wonder if there is a word for a male muse. That is what you are. You see, why should artists only have a woman who inspires them? If I were to really describe what you mean to me, I would start with the profound effect you have had on the way I see the world. With you around I see things in different shades entirely. You, my dear, are the reason I could ever give voice to my thoughts.

Sixteen. I know now what it is like to near a deadline. Four hours away from my three hundred and sixty sixth day with you an all I can think is that I need to get this done. I have never before more desperately run my fingers across the keyboard, never before understood the urgency of a ticking clock but I think, I think the only thing that will make me rediscover this urgency in a manner even more desperate will be my realisation of the last few days that I will spend with you right before you say goodbye.

Seventeen. It is going to be hard to let go of you. I have accepted that and I think you have too, but does acceptance lessen a blow? You can prepare and prepare and prepare yourself for something your whole life but the final blow would hurt just as much even then. I don’t think I will ever be ready maybe that is why Christmas, 2024 is a plan. Maybe that is why I will look forward to Christmas 2024 with every breath I take after you say goodbye. You will be my Christmas miracle.

Eighteen. How did we get here? I remember last year. No, I remember the year before that. I remember hating myself for hating you but I also remember hating myself for loving you so damn much that I, with all of my ‘boys don’t matter’ attitude, was reduced into spluttering girly mess of ‘Will he ever text me back?’. Thank you for always texting me back.

Nineteen. Thank you for making me trust again. You see, after my first failed relationship, all I could think was “I am never trusting or loving a boy too much again, not for a very long time. It is of no use.” But there you were, in all your glory, dark hair and piercing eyes and the cutest goddamned smile I had ever come across and soon enough I could feel myself loving harder and faster than I had ever before.

Three. Which reminds me, I love you.

Twenty. You just asked me where I reached at Fairy Tail and I lied to you and said I am out buying Subway. I am sorry, but please laugh when you read this after 3 hours and 41 minutes, alright? (Side note: thanks for making me fall in love with Fairy Tail, I adore it. I have become an even bigger nerd because I can now add “anime” to the list of things I love) (Side note for the side note: you top that list).

Twenty One. If there is one thing that I want to apologise for, it is for getting too cheesy, if I did (I definitely did). I just feel that there is no other medium where I can describe my thoughts as well as I can here, in this manner, no other way in which I can let you know your importance for me. I know I don’t do it too well here either but I tried (get me the badge). Please don’t run away. I’m trying not to be too creepy. I don’t think you scare easy though, you’ve seen all bad parts of me.

Twenty Two. I’ll let you in on a secret. When I was ten years old, I started taking my writing seriously (or about as seriously as a ten year old can take her writing) and a few years after that I promised myself I would never ever write about love. I told myself that people who wrote about love were absolute “wusses” and you know, basically lifeless idiots with nothing to do but make one person the centre of their universes. I promised myself that there was no room for love poetry. I think that is the only promise I have made to myself and felt happy about breaking because-

Twenty Three. I am so glad to have made you the centre of my being. You see, people who write about love aren’t idiots, well maybe they are, but they’re idiots capable of seeing the world in a new light. If I could really write about love, I would write about how when I kiss you I can taste my dreams and how when you hold me, I know what true comfort really means. I would write about the galaxies I would paint for you in different shades of blue and red and yellow (but I can’t paint) and I would write about every edge so sharply defined by your skin and bone.

Three. So, there, I’m saying it again. I love you.

Twenty Four. I don’t repeat three because I run out of things to say, or as a filler for the gaps between my words, I say three because I can say it over and over again and I feel the need to make sure you hear it enough from me in this one piece of writing than anybody can say to you in a lifetime.

Twenty Five. I am selfish. I am selfish enough to always want you all to myself, I am selfish enough to want to be at the back of your mind all the time, I am selfish enough to want be spoken as the girl who mattered, I am selfish enough to want to be the person you think of ten years down the line once again simply because you came across something maybe I had once mentioned to you, I am selfish enough to want your love, I am selfish.

Twenty Six. I have galaxies inside my head that have space only for you,  a thousand shooting stars that I would wish on and wish only for you, there are a thousand words that I could say to you and I could rearrange these twenty six alphabets over and over and over again but I would still run out of ways to express what you truly mean to me.

Twenty Seven. These are the twenty seven things I wish I could have said more poetically but speaking from the mind of a sixteen year old with hardly any writing experience, I don’t think words could have flowed more smoothly from the roughness of my tongue and the coarse surface of my brain that lacks the creativity I wish I possessed and I really really did try. I do hope you like it.

Three. So, once again, I love you.

 

 

Maybe you’ll mean it if you say it enough

So, my new laptop is here (thank you, father) and my fingers are taking a little long to get used to the spacing between the keys. That is the reason I will give myself for having to use backspace and rewrite my words because I missed out on some letters and not because blurry eyes and trembling hands make it harder to have control over where your fingers are going. I have promised myself that I will not let any liquid spill over and onto my cheeks so I cannot make the blurry vision go away, maybe I will have to rewrite my words, my sentences, my paragraphs, can I rewrite my life story?

If I could rewrite my life story, I would start with when I was five years old. So when the old man with the smiling face patted his knee and beckoned me over, I would run. Maybe then I wouldn’t be as scared of smiles as I am today. Maybe then crinkling eyes would not be frequent visitors in nightmares and maybe, just maybe, I would have some more memories from the year I turned five than I do today. I also promised myself I wouldn’t think anymore, but since I’ve broken that promise, it is okay for the liquid to spill over.

One. Maybe, just maybe, if I say it enough, I will start to mean it. If I say I hate you, over and over again, I would mean it. Oh, who am I kidding, I could hate myself and resent myself and hurt myself in every single way I wanted to, I could burn, I could bleed and inflict all sorts of harm upon my body, carve and decorate it with scars like a new sculpture but I could never hate you. If I say it enough, I might start loving myself. If I say it enough, I would stop quoting books that talk about the acceptance of only the love you think you deserve, maybe if I say it enough I would stop talking about ruining myself, maybe if I say it enough, I will climb out of that deep well of self-pity that I dug for myself, pushed myself into and am now finding hard to climb out of. Maybe if I say it enough I might just start loving myself. Oh, who am I kidding, I am only meant for the lower rungs in Jung’s self actualisation hierarchy.

Two. Three. Those two slipped by surprisingly fast. Maybe they don’t like being confined to only my eyes, maybe they wish to escape my body just like I wish to escape my body. This one time, I went to the beach. I went to the beach and I decided to take a swim. So, when the high tides washed over me, I went under the water for a few seconds. My initial response was panic. I was going to drown. I was going to die. Panic. Then, I let it consume me. Maybe this wasn’t so bad. After all, it was more peaceful underwater. Maybe if I let go completely, my lungs would eventually stop protesting and I could stay there, my soul like the captain that went down with the wreckage that is my body, trapped inside the rib cage, the captain that went down with his ship. Maybe then, I could escape the world without escaping my body.

Four. When the tide retreated and my head came up above the water, the very body I had taken so long to convince to stay underneath, broke over the surface and much like a traitor gasped for oxygen even after I had convinced it to live without it. As I walked over to the beach, sand clung onto my feet, my legs and my arms. It became difficult to wash it out and over the next few days, I found sand every where. Now, when I think about sand, I think about how I tried picking up a handful once. And I think, how do you hold on to a handful of sand grains? Its going to slip away anyway. It will slowly seep out of spaces in between the fingers, those spaces where your fingers held mine perfectly. So as the sand starts to slip away from one hand, you place another hand directly underneath to prevent it from slipping away but nothing, nothing can stop it anymore. Just as the ocean can’t stay away from the shoreline, the grains of sand can’t stand to be separated from the beach too long and so they slip away.

Five. Lips. Has anyone ever written poetry about lips. Probably. Definitely. Lips are the most overused metaphor, the most romanticised body part, probably after the eyes. Those lips that collide in complete and utter confusion and desperation. Those lips whose union seeks to explore every single body part through contact in simply that area. Lips.

Six. Since I mentioned the eyes, here it goes. Dark, hooded eyes. They still give away a lot. I have noticed every shade of brown in those eyes as your pupils dilated with proximity and our voices dropped to whispers. Your eyes give away a lot, I have learned to read them like they are my favourite book. They are my favourite book, you are my favourite story and I promise I am not trying to fix you. I love the sea of chaos in your eyes more than I love the calm. I promise I am not trying to fix you, your beauty lies in what you touch and what you destroy. Your beauty lies in your hands, rough and calloused, firm but gentle to touch. Your beauty lies in your hands and what they touch.

Seven. Eight. Nine. It is still my favourite number. You are still my favourite story. Maybe this is the one part of my story I would never rewrite.

Introduction.

I am not good at two things:

  1. Introducing myself and,
  2. Maintaining blogs.

I’m sorry.

My name is Bani Sehgal and I’m a 15 year old living in India. The first thing my mother warned me of when I made a Facebook account six years ago, was strangers who take advantage of young children over the internet. “So,” she told me, “Never give out information about yourself on a social networking website.”

6 years, 3 blogs, over 1000 photographs and 600 Facebook friends later, it is safe to say I did not adhere to her warnings and not listening to her has not resulted in my undoing. Yet.

This blog will primarily be about everything that I can filter out of the jumbled mess of unfinished sentences that I call my brain. Starting something like this in the midst of my 10th standard final examinations is not something I’d call wise but hell, I’m anything but wise. Let the blogging begin, I guess?

-Bani