I learnt the art of drowning at the delicate age of ten,
when I was neck-deep in the toilet bowl, gasping for breath,
my voice reduced to flailing arms.
In the bedtime stories, the monsters were always defeated.
In those unforgiving moments, I figured Ma had lied.
When I was eighteen, they boxed me in, sermoning that love comes with constraints—loose leaves of rules we’re bound to obey.
Following the astrologer (soothsayer) who sits on a paternal throne,
cursing every woman who dares lifts her veil,
bellowing about how his ever-loving God would descend from heaven and bring them to book.
When I announced that I loved a man, four priests swathed in vivid orange drowned me a holy number of times in the Ganges to cleanse and wash away my sins.
At forty, after having dropped my son to school one day,
I filled the tub to the brim.
Sinking with remorse, catching for breath,
I had mastered the art of drowning.
I take this opportunity to introduce you to one of my favorite bands: Porcupine Tree. There’s a particular song of theirs that I’m leaving the link below for you to check out. This band has offered an eclectic mix of songs that remains unmatched in the quality of music and lyrics that read like poetry. I have often found solace in their melancholic music, in the knowledge of suffering that we carry, and how there is always a little light to get us going despite the darkness that waits for all of us.
In these difficult times, I hope that you’re taking good care of yourself. I’ve found that going back to old books full of colorful illustrations has helped me a lot. I will be coming up with book reviews and short essays soon. Stay safe.