Category Archives: Thought bucket

…on childhood books with Indian characters

They made me perceive my own culture as exotic; little boarding school white girls in pinafores more familiar to me than the brown girls on my playground. My people were relegated to spicy kitchens and turbaned attics, were given magical yogi powers and the ability to calm all strife with the word “ohm”. We were no longer simply “men and women”, we were “rajahs” and “ayahs”. We did not understand any greeting but “namaste”. They reduced the entirety of India to a single, farcical character replicable as a Bengal tiger-owning fakir in every children’s novel and bedtime story. They did not understand us, and so they reinvented us to suit their understanding.

(And through their understanding, we understood ourselves, and we understood that we were different – strange, abnormal – and did not belong in normal society. We were exotic.)

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restraint

There are words I stop myself from writing

not because they don’t make sense or because they don’t make enough

but because they make too much But also because they are visceral, superficial, the dramatic outlashings of a pubescent mind, One who screams to be heard

Whereas I want to scream without screaming

for my voice does not have the energy to want to be heard louder than a whisper

asdf

I thought the next piece I put on here would be another social critique type piece, but apparently not. This isn’t going to be a discursive piece – it’s just the flotsam of my thoughts regarding one matter in particular.

Depression is something that’s rarely confronted in conventional societies, or environments where studies, marriage, the formula to happiness, are the top focus above everything else – where the strain is normal, and “everybody else has it worse”.

I have been fortunate enough to have parents who understand and sympathise with the concept of depression. Not once did they tell me, as countless others have been told, that “everybody else has it worse”. Their support alone has kept me going countless times, and I struggle to think of where I would be now had they not been with me then.

Even though the worst of it has lifted (and has been lifted for over a couple of years now), I still have my bad days. My bad weeks.

This has been a bad week.

There is the guilt, that I’m not doing well enough. That I’m not doing enough. That I will never be enough.

There is the crippling feeling of inadequacy lying just below the surface of apparently calm waters, that whispers loudly to let self-doubt be my guide.

There is the overwhelming temptation to run from whatever makes me healthy and happy when I feel that things are going too well.

I can’t explain the silent panic that overtakes me when I think of something that I have left too long, too late, out of fear that it won’t turn out well. I can’t describe the anxious wreck my body becomes as it jitters with the feeling of not knowing the future.

Mostly it’s just fear. Fear and cowardice, coiling together in a giant snake of terror, with its tongue forking viciously at me – I will make you scared to move again.

And yet, I tell myself, there are better ways to handle life. One way is to live it, rather than merely exist.

I will move.