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Of Fears, Regrets & Moving On

By Ankit Shrivastava 

The eyes are stoned, the fevered brows are all uptight, reluctant to make any movement and the tiny rivulets of sweat dripping through them are somewhat hesitant and in an unexplained hurry to escape into a non-existential domain. The parched lips are quivering and writhing in desperation to weave a few words. But at the brink, they also falter to silence and get shattered to undecipherable shards and are traveling backwards, surprisingly. With a meteoric speed, they are heading towards a failed heart. Perhaps to bludgeon it with one final blow and put it to an eternal quietness. 

Entwined thoughts gripping the mind are curling around like venomous snakes and rendering every trace of logic, intelligence and intellect, lifeless. For the tiniest and the faintest string of light, veins beholding the grey matter are still rummaging relentlessly but the darkness is insurmountable and worse inexplicable. But the darkness is not literal, it’s rather ethereal. The perimeters that bind this darkness are not visible to anyone but me because it was conceived in my own mind, nurtured inside my own heart and after feeding off me, it has now become inseparable to my soul. And unfortunately it now defines me, justifies my every course, action and inaction for that matter.
Yes, I’m scared. More scared than you can possibly be in the worst of your nightmares and more dreadfully than you can candidly admit. I’ve been scared for as long as I can remember. Sometimes from my elders, sometimes from my teachers, sometimes from my circumstances and sometimes from myself. From the first tentative steps of childhood to the confident stride of adulthood, my feet are still shaky, uncertain and unable to find a steady ground. The innocence and the childishness have withered away with time and a new sense of maturity is taking over the reins but I still find myself cluttered and shackled to my oldest and most unwanted companion. And it isn’t that I have never tried to combat the ever growing shadows of fear. I have, trust me. But the harder I tried, the more intense it became until I dwindled my efforts to that of complete surrender.

 Is my fear unwarranted? Partly yes and partly no. Yes because somewhere in its control over me, I hold myself responsible for allowing it to spread over my psyche for a long time. For just standing quietly in a corner as a mute spectator until it became dangerously powerful. For my own inability to stand up and set a firm foot down on many occasions to prevent its cancerous tentacles from entering my mind. Yes, I became an escapist because I was too scared and meek to do something about it. And I do and will regret for my entire lifetime about the things I didn’t do or didn’t speak when I should have. I would curse my inner self till eternity for fumbling and flickering just because I was gripped by fear. But then there is nothing much I can do than just an empty and futile retrospect about how I’ve been lead by it hitherto.

No because right from the beginning, I was made to believe in the absurd concept of compromises and sacrifices. That elders are always right and to argue with them is tantamount to being blasphemous. That one should tread a path after much deliberation and shouldn’t take too many risks. Very clear demarcations were made between the good and the bad and stepping out of the former was intolerable and unforgivable. Religion and God are meant to be respected and are beyond any question. As all this soaked deeper into my sub conscious, the tiny sprouts of fear started becoming a colossal tree.

 So when did the problems arise?  When my sense of logics conflicted with my beliefs, I started to realize the true nature of a perspective. And that perspective became the womb of the rebel inside me who wasn’t ready to simply believe on things and supposed facts passed onto generations. Who saw every aspect of a situation through the transparent glasses of common sense and refused to get swayed away by idiotic ideologies and was outright blunt and candid in his expression in what he truly believed. He was met with severe threats, reprimands and rebuke for being “rude” and “disrespectful” and was told to adhere to the conventional norms. And in this way a bloodless battle had been waged.

 The rebel would have won had I allowed it to win. It would have clung onto his school of thoughts had I been a little stronger in my approach. If I hadn’t let my fears prey upon me, I would have been somewhat different than what I really am today. When I look at myself in the mirror, the dying rebel still stares accusingly at me, questions me and haunts me in the wistfulness about why I was such a coward. But I can never square my gazes with him as it reminds me of my incompleteness and uselessness as a human being. It plummets me into a deep void of reproach which strangles my conscience with every passing second and when I can’t breathe anymore, it gives me the worst out of its closet. It leaves me to live. Spares me to lead a life that is saddled with a heavy emotional turmoil.

 And that is exactly when I turn away from the mirror and escape like I’ve always done before and move on shamelessly.


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