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Poetry

 

Broken

Days came, days went.
Locked up in my room I sit like a dead body. Motionless.
A deadly silence prevails.
Only the clock's ticking sound occasionally broken by my own sobs.
I see a messy room in front of me.
Clothes with price tags attached, shattered on the floor,
Books hanging from the shelves,
Shoes underneath my bed,
Oh! A pungent smell tickles my nostrils,
The food packet I bought, I do not remember when, is still on my table,
Untouched, not a morsel eaten.
Pieces of glass on the floor from my broken cup…
I look out of my window...
What day is it?
Did I eat my dinner? Or lunch? Or breakfast?
Maybe yesterday…. Maybe today…. Ah! I cannot remember...
Hot tears swell up my eyes again...
Messy room, messy my heart!
Seems like a knife with a serrated edge is slashing my existence mercilessly.
What is it that’s bothering me?
That lover who called my mother a whore?
That lover who made fun of my poverty?
That lover who physically abused me?
That friend from school who left me in the middle of nowhere when we were out for a trip on a foreign land?
That friend from college who called me names behind my back?
That friend from university who tactfully left me alone when I was in despair?
That man for whom I have an unfathomably unrequited love?
That teacher who has been mentally tormenting me?
That boy who catcalled me?
That creepy guy whose sexual innuendos keep popping up my message box every now and then?
What is it? What is it? What the hell is it?
I wail. I scream.
I feel lost.
These tears just wouldn’t stop.
For months now I have been living with this pain.
I feel like thrashing my head on the wall.
I feel like this pain will engulf my soul soon.
I cannot pretend anymore. I am tired.
Exhausted.
Helpless.
I want to talk.
I don’t need a friend; all my friends have deceived me.
I need a listener.
Am I insane?
This pain is making me crippled.
This is slowly poisoning my heart.
Slowly and gradually feeding on my flesh and blood.
People say I will be fine. I do not need your damn advice.
I am alone. This loneliness is eating me up.
Claustrophobic.
I am breaking down; I want someone to hold me.
With an immense and a sudden urge, I get up from my bed and take a look at myself in the mirror.
A broken woman.
I don’t like the face the glass mirrors.
I stuff my face with kajal, foundation and powder.
I change into a new dress.
I look at my reflection again.
Is this me?
Or just a pathetic caricature?
Is this really me?
This grotesque looking creature. . . Is this me?
No! No! I don’t like the face.
It is mocking me for what I have become.
Like all the other people in the world this hideous creature in the mirror is laughing at me.
Laughing at my failed will.
Laughing at my failed dreams.
Laughing at my failed life.
Laughing at this nameless illness that has engrossed every bit of my body.
What is wrong with me?
Am I not normal?
Why is it that I do not feel like leaving my bed any day?
Why is it that I do not want to go out of my room and socialize like other humans?
Why cannot I sit at my favourite chai-stall and endlessly gossip with my friends?
Why cannot I finish a book anymore?
Why don’t all those delicious delicacies appease my taste buds anymore?
Why cannot I concentrate on my work anymore?
Why cannot I remember anything anymore?
All I want is to fall into a deep slumber never having to rise up again.
The thought of a new day terrifies me.
This pain will only aggravate.
No new sunrise can ameliorate my pain...
I just want to sleep….
Oh yes! I have, hidden in my bag, a strip of sleeping pills.
I stole them from my grandmother’s medicine some time ago.
Should I take one or the entire strip?
I pause.
Nestled in against my sleeping pills was a brochure.
Counselling centre, it read.
They could cure mental illness, it read.
Should I give it a try?
I gulp down one pill and with trembling fingers dial the number.
“Hello! Welcome to the City Counselling centre!”
“Hello! Hello! Please help me. . . I need help. . . please…….”
And I break into sobs again.

About the author

-

Somjeeta Pandey

She is an Assistant Professor of English at Gobardanga Hindu College which is a government-aided college situated in West Bengal, India. She is also pursuing her PhD from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technolgy (IIT) Kharagpur.

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