I’m Not Real
They say that psychologically it takes 3-4 months to know a person.
But I believe that you know people
The very first time you meet them.
The kind of words they choose
After all those permutations and combinations of all the 26 letters of the English language.
The kind of look they give you,
Despite of being unable to maintain an eye contact for more than 5 seconds.
The way in which they sit a bit aloof
Just to maintain “the space”
Without risking the fact that you might just know everything about them.
People say that eyes don’t lie,
I believe it’s a lie
Because the only thing in human body that doesn’t lie
Is this patch of terribly tiny mountains on your flesh.
But according to behaviourists,
Children observe and learn.
So when I was a child, I learned that truth is never rewarded.
That human beings have multiple layers of flesh
To hide away their goosebumps.
So you know,
I became black-listed.
For people who too often searched for compliments.
For those whom I told they weren’t in love with me
That love isn’t a feeling that can be summed up in 3 words.
That the color of love is translucent and not red.
So that we could see each other
Destroying one another.
On the days I’m myself
I climb stairs of sophistication.
And stumble and fall down
Whenever I have someone to hold onto.
My hands do not quiver the moment I start reciting my poems.
Because I know I’m pretentious
And they are all broken pieces of different stories
And in their gaps,
I hide myself.
That artists are nothing but clowns in disguise.
We paint our face white
With peace, paradoxical to the cyclones we could never survive.
We apply an extra layer of red lipstick to our smiles
So that we get an extra syrup of attention
Over the icecreams we binge eat out of loneliness.
Because you know,
Deserts have been my first love,
And I just giggle about the way
People change the topics
As if they are standing at the sea shore
And I’m the tide.
They say that phobia is an irrational fear of something
And that it’s ok for me to cry in public.
But whenever I try,
My eyes get stoned.
The windows and doors of my house close down
As if there is an automatic alarm warning me of an intruder.
And I’m the biggest miser of them all,
For I cannot shed my possessions.
And I solemnly admit that I’m not real.
I fake my Hello’s.
I fake that I’m contended when I’m just holes
Into which people pour love
And suck it whenever they find a better place to invest it in.
I fake that I’m strong
When I have these tiny mountains growing bigger and conical
Underneath the layers of flesh
That are like the chihuahua barking over a terrorist.
I fake that I’m a child in this body of a 20 year old
Tired of people trespassing the line of control
Saying that they are refugees
And my empathy is a shelter for them.
I fake that I’m fake
Whenever I mistakenly behave as the truest version of myself.
So, agreed. I’m not real.
Just as you all aren’t!
When we talk about stories or anecdotes, we rarely contemplate them in poetic forms. But here is a version of someone’s reality, so unique and laid out in this beautiful verse.
I can’t summarize or enlist my learning from this poem because I know each read has lead me on to a different interpretation, a different conclusion. But that’s what poems are. Open for interpretation.
So all I’ll say is this: how many of us are ‘real’ anymore? Every day, we’re going farther away from who we are. Tell me then, how do we learn to love, and be at peace with our real selves?
(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns. If you’re interested, you can send me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.)