“ You should talk about it more often. Tell us what is wrong.”
Words don’t stick to my tongue anymore, ma and pa. It takes every ounce of energy in my bones
to take them and play with them, as I did before,
like wet mud and mould
them into elaborate sentences.
Also, ma and pa, I tried telling you
what was wrong, three months ago,
on the dinner table, but you thought
I was joking then
when I said something
was wrong inside my head
because it had forgotten
that roses were red
and not grey and it had decided
to pay no heed to whatever my teachers or friends often said.
“ Beta, it will all be alright if you put your mind to something else. Try your books, or a sport or something to keep these thoughts on the other side of the fence.”
Ma, but there is no fence to
keep them on the other side of. They’re just as much a part of me as the mole above my lip is.
They rain on me from a cloud,
of my skin and my memories,
that follows me around everywhere, even under the padded roofs
of the blankets on my bed,
even when I’m ensconced
in your arms and you,
gingerly, pet my head,
hesitating for the fear of
saying something wrong, something that might
push me over the edge.
Ma, I can’t lock my memories away or scratch my skin off of my bones. Ma, I know. Because I’ve tried, several times, to do them both.
“Eat healthier. We work hard to serve the food on your table.”
Pa, I know my diet isn’t stable
and I too miss the taste
of my favourite dishes,
especially when ma would
feed me from her fingers.
But, it is not the food my fight is against. It doesn’t stay in and
calls me from inside,
the sound of its pleas echoing in my intestines,
like princesses trapped
in high rising towers
from your favourite fables. Ma, letting it out
turns me into the prince,
so far I have only read about. Ma, my happy endings grovel out from my mouth.
“ Please talk to us. Tell us what’s wrong.”
Okay ma and pa, if you can, let me please finally regurgitate all I’ve been trying to kill inside of me, and allowing, slowly, to
kill me from the inside.
Things are not alright with me
and I know the neighbourhood aunty will call me mad and
all our distant relatives
will tell you that I’m just being dramatic because they can’t see any bruises or blood loss
as evidence, but I’m not okay.
I need help.
Dhruv Trehan is a second semester Literature student at Ramjas College, Delhi University. When he’s not reading, he’s found constructing obscure criticisms to Shakespeare, writing poetry and working on his content writing portfolio.
Amaaya is gathering odd experiences whilst pursuing a gap year between school and college, she is an aspiring artist working towards furthering her studies in Fine Arts – Art by Amaaya Dasgupta