This one is based on a concept in Law, known as Mens rea, which is Latin for "guilty mind". It is defined as, "the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused". Here's my take on it.
@laxitha, I came around to it after like 3 years xD.
My Dadi passed away on 2nd June, 2019. It was really unexpected and had a toll on not just me, but all of my family. I thought before the day comes, I can put in words how it all was. I'm sorry if it's a little depressing and long.
Eudaimonia is actually an element in ancient Greek philosophy which literally translates to "human fulfilling". It is a state of perfect health, wealth and knowledge as described in ancient Greek texts.
How to read a poem (feat. juxtaposed metaphors and absent-minded creativity)
When, out of sheer hopelessness, or, perhaps by a strange turn of events – you can't quite remember, you find yourself being cradled by a poem; gently trace the contours of the title. And while you're at it, jump to conclusions, (Yes, you read that right.) Do not tether your imagination, let it fly, unfurl, uncurl, and run amok, Let your imagination lead you astray.
And after you've made a detour, read the first sentence out aloud, enunciate each word, see how it frolics, waltzes, and slowly, fades into oblivion. When you encounter a semi-colon, unyoke the breath you've been holding, gather the tattered sinews of your sanity, and let the poet take over.
The lines often end abruptly. And a lot of what is written, may not make sense to you, but be patient, listen to the myriad voices that the poem effortlessly shapeshifts into, listen to how they're all fighting for attention.
Can you feel the words rising like vapours, humming a forgotten song? Can you feel the lumps in the poet's throat, as the sawdust that's been marring his lungs for aeons, dissloves & makes way to the voicebox? Can you hear his voice crack? Quiver, maybe?
Once you've finished reading the poem, read it all over again, and see how the poet's thoughts melt into each other, and then, crystallize all over again, as if they are nothing but molten wax. Read it yet again, and read it over and over again, read it until you can distinguish the cerulean ink from the crimson of his blood.
Read it until you can feel his blood gushing, until you can see him undressing his wounds, intentionally poking the scabs with his quill, read it until you can feel his heart lying bare, naked, almost vulnerable.
Tonight the air is grey and in a room, as old as Time itself, a melody from another age floats through the tinted windows and lands flush upon our ashen skin it is the whisper of a girl who is not yet a lady, is the lament of a child who wants nothing more than to grow up.
From the pages of a dog eared book lust is born and swiftly on its heels follows conscience this child who bends the laws of our world to her own tunes is not satisfied merely by reading words her eyes must dance over the rhymes she must not be a mere observer she must become the words, the story.
Dew falls gently upon your outstretched fingers the glass pane is content to watch the joy that spreads through the veins of your face you do not talk of some things, for to speak is to taint the purity that only silence can possess, you ask me if I have loved, whether I have known true pain and our faintly dead eyes lock daggers as I ask you if you have known the quiet before the rain.
With the windows of my room left ajar, myriad tendrils of light trip on their own feet, and slyly leap into my room. Darting hither and thither, they dangle from the edges of the swinging chiffon blinds, and they do so with a childlike innocence. Painting the room in all shades of yellow, filling it with the dull white foam of a wave that had melted into the embrace of the shore, they perch on top of the book that lays beside me and for the first time since they broke into my room - they lay still, and refuse to wade through the morose air. And only after they've placed a soft kiss on the forehead of the book, they toy around with my eyes, and that's exactly when it dawns on me: it's a bright day; perhaps, a little too bright for my liking.
But that isn't the only epiphany I've been struck with, there's another too: it's how seamlessly the bitterness sinks into your life as if your life were a forgotten bowl of curd left on the kitchen counter; how monotony's presence drapes life in a blanket of mist, and 'mundane' becomes the adjective you define everything with – how the stars morph into blinking dead eyes, when you watch starry nights too often, and how the ceiling starts pressing in on you when you lie awake and stare at it for one too many times.
It's unnerving how a yellowish film of these thoughts settles on the pavement of my mind everyday when I wake up, and to dust them off, I let my eyes pirouette over the cherry blossoms in my backyard.
I know not about the person who planted the seed, for I like to believe that the tree sprung up on its own – just like this swarm of thoughts.
'Pink snow' is what I thought of it as a kid, and Maa would break into one of her characteristic soft chuckle upon hearing it. Now that she's gone, whenever I look at the branch that shoots towards my window pane, I think of it as her arm bending over to pull me in an embrace. The sound of wind rustling by, is the cadence of her glass bangles brushing past each other; the dangling petals – her favourite pair of dim pink tassels.
Swaying gently in the lap of this soft void, it's only after a petal unyokes itself from the branch, when I realise how it's sad, and devastating, almost unfair – that there are people like me, who acknowledge the presence of love only after it has been moulded into the semblance of grief.
But what's life, if not a compendium of grief? What's life, if not myriad attempts of casting and recasting yourself after grief wrecks it? So, in this moment — when the backyard is still brimming with pink snow — I thaw, soften and melt into the embrace of this stretching branch.
I am bored almost all the time, or never at all. Nothing holds my attention for more than an hour. If I am not doing at least two things at once, my mind tears itself to pieces.
I cannot go to sleep before 2 AM and only after I have listened to a specific set of songs in a specific order. Sometimes I will take the longer route back home just because I want to finish reading a specific article on sports psychology while I am walking.
Mostly you won't know if I am joking or being serious because even if I am being sarcastic it is quite subtle. I take nothing to heart, and it takes a lot to offend me, but once some lines are crossed I never look back.
The curse of the introvert is they are called cold hearted because they don't wear their hearts on their sleeve. They have made their peace with it, just like they have made their peace with statements like "why don't you talk more and why are you so quiet?"
You walk away quietly fighting back the tears and just like that your life isn't yours it's a subject to be dissected, a novel to be analysed by strangers who have never breathed in your skin, never seen the roads that you've walked upon.
You aren't allowed to be yourself, you aren't allowed to be a mystery, you must strip open all your secrets, throw out all the skeletons from the closet only for them to say with derisive laughter, "you aren't special", but the truth is that you never wanted to be special you just wanted to be yourself flawed but happy.
Silence isn't consent no matter how many times they snigger behind your back and try to convince you that they know what's best for you better than you do there are far too many lives floating around in shallow waters in any case while there's an ocean that's just waiting for deep divers.
You were 8, when your teacher asked you to scoop out a dream; So you meticulously uncurled the tender fingers of a blooming dream, and with wide-eyed wonder, laid it bare : "I want to be a pilot-astronaut-magician."
You were 10, And you dreamt - and dreamt. One day, you were a pilot flying a plane to California. On another, an astronaut worming into a spaceship that somehow, collides with an alien whose skin was tinged blue, whose eyes were sparkly --- like fairy lights? Oh yes! Like fairy lights. And on others, you were a magician pulling out rabbits out of your hat.
You were 12, and unbeknownst to the chaos that popped up: like moss on a wet brick, like mushrooms in a forest, like ivy on a wall; you, a drifting feather, you, an amassment of storms, you, a soft tragedy, decided to unapologetically follow your dream.
You were 14, and your dream was a bud on the cusp of blooming, and you were afraid someone would pluck it even before it bloomed. But what do you do when there are voices that keep repeating It's not possible?
You were 16, and the sunlight had begun peeling away your innocence. "It's impossible." "It's impossible." "It's impossible." "It's im------" You see, when words are repeated over and over again, either they just end up being a pile of shapeless thoughts, or your entire existence curls and moulds itself into the shape of these words.
You were 18, and it dawned upon you: the only way to silence the haunting voices, is to raise your voice up a bar; so that their voices effortlessly drown into yours.
Now, you're 20. And you abduct stories. And you morph your shapeless thoughts into words. And you ---- You write. So, one day, you are a pilot flying a plane to California. On another, an astronaut worming into a spaceship that collides with an alien whose skin was tinged blue, whose eyes were sparkly --- like fairy lights?
You're a seamstress, and you stitch dying embers together. You're a magician, and you pull words out of nowhere.
You're a poet.
@zohiii Dhain-tanain. THANKS FOR BEING AN INSPIRATION, WALLFLOWER!
Can you count grief in a vessel, so that you know when it starts to overflow? Why are some goodbyes harder than others? Why does happiness come in spurts, while hope hovers in the sky without ever perching upon a branch? Why are our brains so wired to gravitate towards tragedy? Are we in love with people, or is it the idea of being in love that rips the ground beneath our feet? Why is it we crave adventure and comfort all at once? How is it that our body lives in the present while our mind flits between the past and the future? Why do we go back to some people, doing the same things but expecting different outcomes? Who pushes you off the cliff? Who catches you when you fall? Is it the same person?
(Things I wonder in the dead of night, when the world is asleep and the stars come to life)
Home, they say, is where your heart is. When you move from place to place, school to school, you learn to collect all these simple things, which, with time, become your happy memories.
You leave a little bit of your heart in all these places you have been, you put them away somewhere in your head, so when the time comes that the world is too much and you find yourself slipping, you retreat to this space in your head.
Your happy place.
So my happy places are really memories, and on the darkest nights, I can replay them in my head with almost picture perfect clarity. Listening to the same set of 8 songs the nights before my board exams, the look on mum's face when I come back during vacations, certain dates where I remember every detail.
The little things. It's always the little things that make me happy. To be aware for a few seconds about the goodness in life, to realize that happiness is, when it comes down to it, a choice.
It's easier to think of happiness, if you can break it down into chunks of happy moments. Afterall, nobody is happy all of the time, nobody can be happy all of the time. But all of us have happy moments, and we just need to try to hold on to that.