Visions of foliage, lush, verdant When dried leaves crunch below My weary feet, as I trudge along In the silver shadows of alone Seeking solace, a hand to hold In the woods of life, worn-out, old The end in sight, yet so distant
My dreams serenade The ghostly guard In the vanishing distance Darkness emerges From behind auburn veils Of a lonely sunset; Lovers of the night Twist and slither In serpentine glee; I wake up flushed Burning from nightmares Crawling on my cold skin.
When you don’t feel belonged, you are isolated, lonely, and then the voices in the head become larger than life, and the fine line between the real and the perceived diminishes.
The short story is a strong but difficult medium. In many ways it is more potent than a novel because it can leave an impact with few words, consuming little time. An observant writer can concoct many stories using everyday themes and images, telling extraordinary tales about ordinary people, evoking emotions and reactions from a diverse readership. In the preface to The Goat Thief, prolific Tamil short story writer, Perumal Murugan, talks about his own tryst with the skill of story writing and how he came to evolve his own style and rendition.
As a loner, I have difficulty in connecting with people. I am the one you will see sitting alone in the cafeteria reading something or the one who refuses to take a walk in the park because there is a book or a craft waiting at home. I have few friends and I just don’t beam into a smile when seeing strangers/neighbours. I am cautious in my dealings and wary in my relationships.
At my new home, I haven’t as yet explored the entire space – the parks, the club, the pool! I look at people huddled in groups chatting away and I almost panic. I fear the small talk and the fake smiles, I fear the comparison or the show off, the condescending and the patriarchal, the overambitious or the downtrodden. I fear of being swamped by energies that I don’t need in my life. Maybe my fears make me lose out on some good contacts but then this is just me.