Saturday, July 4, 2009

In Between Dreams

I am cold. The incessant downpour during the past week has left me cold – not so much on the outside (those who know me I am sure will know what I am talking about), but rather on the inside. I am empty. Something – physical, abstract, real or a figment of my imagination – has hollowed me out; whatever fire was raging inside me is now nothing more than a few lingering embers. I try to keep myself warm, but my hands have become numb, and even my breath seems to be laced with an air of emptiness – a cold, dead sigh escapes from me.

“Is this what I have become?”

The days have gone by too quickly – and so has my sense of reality. I am at a loss trying to remember when it was I last wrote. But still, I remember with what emotional fervor I used to write – every rhyme, every line in my poems wrought with an undercurrent of tears – of joy and of pain. I remember the nights out in the darkness, staring up at the sky, beckoning to The Man Upstairs to show me a purpose for living the life I do. Then, there were the nights where I’d lie in bed, with nothing but distant echoes to keep me company, still wearing the smile from thinking about that fair maiden or the other.

I close my eyes. I take myself back to those days under the remorseless sun, riding a bright red bicycle to class. The sun was harsh, and I was harsh upon myself too – I was much thinner, and my eyes betrayed the many nights I’d gone without sleep. Still, I was content. It was unpleasant, it was hell, but it was a hell whose fires could only burn to bring the dogged determination within me. I felt alive. I was living. But hell it seems, comes in many forms.

I am home. It’s summer vacation. Family, friends, good food – what more do you want? Well, I’ve found out the hard way that there’s so much more to life than the simple pleasures we simply love to whimper about. Amidst the anxiety I felt to be back home, I have forgotten what it was to be me. Here I am catered to by my loving family; all my needs looked after. I barely have to lift a finger. But there’s a problem – I feel empty. I sit down; I search my soul for emotions – feelings of love, joy, happiness. It is not there. A prevailing sadness overcomes any desire to communicate, to socialize. I have become an emotional recluse. It is a startling realization.

Having been away in a foreign land, lost in my determination to fulfill my obligations to family and society, I have inadvertently and inevitably bid farewell to the life I knew. I come home – the streets, the houses are the same. But they are not. No, that cannot be. It is I who is not the same. I used to walk these streets – finding happiness in the faces of passers-by. Now they look sad. No, that cannot be. It is I who has become sad, devoid of emotion. I call upon old friends – they used to smile and laugh and play. Now they sit quietly in some corner and smile at me. They know that I am not the same. I want to be the same. I want to feel again. I want to take myself back to the time when I’d sing a ballad under the window of some lass under the night sky with my closest friends beside me. I want to… … … there are just so many things I wish I could do again. But no, the window is never open now – the lass has long gone, my friends too. The figures before me have their faces, but they are not the friends I once knew. They have moved on with life’s journey, while I… remain.

My hands start to shake. Somewhere deep inside… I feel a warmness start to resonate. Slowly but surely it spreads; my heart long frozen begins to thaw. I breathe – the air around me tastes different – it seems so much more alive! My hands once numb from the cold now reach out and begin to write - a poem perhaps? No, the words are not poetic; the lines are much too long. Then what am I writing? A ballad overflowing with rapture surely… but no – the words that flow from my hands are sad, dreary. I write two verses then I stop. It stops. My hands will write no more. I stare at what I’ve just written, and as I stare blankly at it a whisper, a soft voice starts singing in my head. A tune! I have written the words to a song!

My eyes light up – after so long I’ve written again! I immediately rush out of the toilet (!), and with my phone (where the words are written) I call a friend from my old band:

“Dude! I just had a great idea for a song! We should totally work on this!”

“What? I said I just had… oh! Sorry. Enjoy your dinner. I’ll call you later… um… it’s really great…”


It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. Even at this very moment my face is turning red and my nose is getting bigger by the second – I am embarrassed. I’ve had writer’s block… is my attempt at an excuse. Well, recently though, I managed to pen some lyrics to a song that me and the guys from my old band are working on, and it gave me a desire to write something more. As in the passage above, I did come up with them while in the toilet. As usual I had let my mind wander off quite far and all of a sudden the following lines came to me:

"Never felt this way, in this life I'm leading;
Guess I'm here to stay, I'm feeling weak I'm bleeding.
My soul escapes from me, only death is waiting;
For all eternity, I've got nothing to believe in.

There's a door inside my head, that just won't open;
Hear the calling of the dead, don't wanna hear them pleading.
I try to run away, don't care what's gonna happen;
Guess I'll find my way, from this place I'm leavin'..."

Not the most poetic lines I’ve written, but they worked. I somehow came up with the vocal line there and then, and I immediately called up a friend who was the bassist in my old band. He was having dinner.