A class act

You’re no different from the rest: popular, a fame whore, a pseudo-mendicant monk of depression. You cut your arm for attention. Oh, the thrill of the sensation! Oh, the implacable darkness that haunts! I’m sure it does. An eighteen-year-old waste of space who doesn’t seek help for her condition (if she has one) and then mooches off friendship issues, and adds a stage, lights and actors wearing blue and red paint, performing tricks and cartwheels and creating a bland simulacrum of the house of horrors. What do you really know? Have you seen your mother almost dying at the hands of a feral man you still can’t call your father? You sit at home with your picture-perfect family, framed, regal with cherub faces and rosy cheeks, and you’re given everything on a platter. You don’t even have to dance for John’s head. Just ask, and it’ll be brought, neatly arranged with a cup of jus, and slices of the holy garlic bread, and old wine in a goblet from daddy’s pre-millennial aged cellar. And still you whine, complain and pretend you’re broken. Your Instagram feed has a thousand followers and each picture or post gets a hundred likes with comments from friends and loved ones and you talk about how you feel like Jeremy and want to speak in class. I wept in classroom corners and begged the bullies to leave me alone. I felt my spirit castrated each time I brought home my marks card because one rank short of Papa’s standard meant he’d beat me black and blue. I had my phone conversations monitored, and he’d feel free to abuse any friend with the filthiest words, just because he thought his voice sounded a little girlish. An all-boys school where each day was a palimpsest of the last – an unending, unyielding early bipolar scrape of the mind, the grate leading to a now fattened, balding, medicated shell of a man, hoping by and by the etch will lessen, the voices will stop echoing, and the episodes of grandeur, making me one of the two witnesses, turning water into blood and standing transfigured like an archetypal Elijah will leave and help me feel cold, tiled ground because that’s as real as it gets. I hope for hope, because that’s the ashen ground with rasping withered grass and black, ribald hailstones pelting I stand on. I numb the pain, stringing pills like the pentameter: the small blue sertraline, the white big Amisulpride, the small white valium, the big blue Valproate…and drink it down with hard Indian Rum, never caring about fame, fortune or prestige, or even life or death. I don’t write for recognition and that’s where a false prophet of despondency like you falls short. You want it: the accolades and the audience roaring your name for giving them art cooked in a pot of histrionics. I’ve been held down by scores of doctors while they injected a tranquilizer in an institution because I walked on thorns and tried gouging my eyes out when psychosis possessed me like Legion. I cope now through these lines I give the world and will do it though my voice is unheard and my song unsung. So, fuck you and your façade of concern. Fuck your self-induced post-millennial teenage drama.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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4 responses

  1. Nitin – this bit of writing is so good that I would’ve been honoured if it was about me (which is wasn’t)! I finished reading it and kept saying “Stuff’em! Stuff’em!”. Well done – again.

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