Tag Archives: struggle

Superman.

Every morning, a Superman wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Eyes dead, bloodshot red from the fatigue tearing apart the insides of his head. His usually perfectly combed hair is a mess; mangled, tangled, strangled dense and untidy every inch of their previously lustrous lengths. He is fully aware of his steadily declining health, but is bent on telling himself to never wait to catch a breath because when you’re Superman, the universe doesn’t expect you to reach out for help. Superman’s supposed to solve problems. Not have his own as well.

On some days, Superman feels more human than he’s ever felt. But the ungrateful world still expects him to repay a recurring, fateful debt that out of his own moral consciousness hangs heavy above his head. Superman is a soldier who’s barely slept, because guarding the borderlines of conflict are part of a duty so firmly etched in his mind that he can’t forget, even when he’s a few inches away from death- standing, taking shallow breaths in a place where its 30 degrees below zero. On most nights, Superman doesn’t need a cape to be a hero.

Every morning, a Superman wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Awakened from a nightmarish fable, drenched in dread and cold sweat, emotionally disabled. The empty can of anti-depressants lies on her bedside table, just like her mental state; balanced precariously but barely stable. The pills ran out two days ago but she hasn’t been able to go to the corner drugstore to ask for more because you see, being a single, working mother of three is a full time job description and responsibility and she has no time to stand in line for a prescription to cure her depraving sanity. Now she’s slaving; craving answers from a mind throwing tantrum after tantrum and misbehaving. Maybe the world doesn’t realize that tonight, Superman is the one who needs the saving because every, single morning, a superman wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Looks disgusted in the mirror, shakes his head, at a disproportionate body and an utterly skewed ratio of length to breadth gifted to him by fate. Every night he weeps for his inexplicable state. Sheds drops of fears that flow into a river of tears, emptying it all into a reservoir of self-hate. A dam overflowing so bad, that sooner or later it’s going to break. By the age of seven, he’s so afraid, he’s questioning every decision he’s ever made- from full length pictures in his phone gallery, to every calorie he ever ate.

So every day, Superman makes it a point to stay away trying not to blow his fuse. Keeps a distance from the outside world, wary of becoming its ridiculed muse. Curls up inside his room with a blanket and a box of tissues. Too old to drown the demeaning words, too young to understand the meaning of the words “thyroid issues”. So before the end of the day, he prays for world to shift its gaze and just let him be; because tonight Superman is fighting an adversary they cannot see.

As the nights get colder, every Superman wishes he had a shoulder on which to weep. Prays someone kissed his head, tucked him into bed before he sleeps. Hopes he won’t wake from a deep slumber wanting to crumple into a heap, until he’s nothing but a dune of dust. The Man of Steel might be invincible, but he’s not immune to rust.

So the next time the Superman you know wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, remind them what they’re worth. Tell them that ever since birth, every single day was spent in learning to resist the hurt that threatens to punch them all down slowly into the dirt. A soldier teaches the frigid winds of the earth a lesson in defiance, a single mother of three forges with her depression, an uneasy alliance; a ceasefire, to relieve it. Just, just, so that she can look at her kids, tell them everything’s okay, even if she herself doesn’t believe it. A kid with a malfunctioning thyroid gland wipes his tears with his hand, steps outside his room for once and slowly understands, that everything he was ever fed was all a bunch of lies and that Superman suits are stitched and sewed for each and every size. Even one big enough to fit him right. A lot of Supermen woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, but maybe they’ll sleep a little easier tonight.

 

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Being God.

The winter’s scream now raged with fury, as the sun lost its powerful glow, 
the city was wrapped in a blanket of white, fearfully quiet in the realm of snow.
The embers in the fireplace stayed barely alive, trying to fight their natural foe,
The vice grip of ice grew even stronger, as the fire’s intensity dropped ever so low.

I looked outside for signs of defiance, anything that stood up to the elements in play,
the wind and the cold forged a powerful unison, proving unbeatable on that brutal day.
But as my eyes scanned the falling snow, I saw a barely visible speck in the distance,
whoever it was surely had nerves of steel, to even contemplate initiating a resistance.

The practicality of staying inside was gone, the scales tipped in curiosity’s favour,
How could I this miss a chance to learn, from someone on a mighty endeavour?
I slipped on my coat over 2 layers of clothes, and set my foot outside the main door,
Eagerly I shuffled through the heavy snow, imagining what explanations lay in store.

I walked into the cold and deserted street, as the speck I saw earlier grew bigger,
I kept on walking as my footsteps slowed, until I was directly above the cloaked figure.
The frail hooded person lay tortured by ice, a thick woolen blanket lay on his lap,
Confused at why he hadn’t used the blanket, I bent down and gave him a tap.

“Please use that blanket to cover yourself sir, this snowstorm is far from done.”
A hand reached up and the hood came down, and I saw that it was a woman.
Shocked by the revelation I kept on looking, as she looked back and shook her head,
“What are you doing in this cold my child? You should be at home snuggled in bed.”

It was amazing how the frost harassed her, and yet her voice remained ever so calm,
But what perplexed me was the unused blanket, one that could save her much harm.”
Pointing my finger at her lap I spoke “that could do you a world of good you know?
All you have to do is wrap it around you once, and it’ll keep out the horrible snow.”

She turned her head slowly and looked at me, smiling with a face all cold and sore,
“I certainly could do with warmth my son, but there is someone who needs it more.
I raised my eyebrows in obvious confusion, I guess she caught the look on my face,
She smiled again and beckoned me close, pointing between the blanket’s empty space.

I moved a step forward and slowly bent down, between the blanket I took a peep,
And within the covers lay 4 new born puppies, embraced by the arms of blissful sleep.
“ I could use the blanket and not give a damn, but my conscience will hurt me like knives,
I’d rather sit down and die with the cold, then let the world take these beautiful lives.

I’ve seen fate deprive the ones who are weak, so I’ve chosen to take up my stance,
The world can refuse to lend me a hand, but I’ll do whatever to give them a chance.
After all we mortals are forced to accept, that we worship destiny as the ultimate Lord,
I believe we are the masters of our own fates, although sometimes we need help from God.

So I became God for these helpless beings, and even though I‘m aware that I can’t do much,
I promise one thing to you and God above, as long as I’m alive they’ll be untouched.”
I stood in the snow bereft of any words, how could one perfectly acknowledge a noble thought?
Why was it that all the selfish souls were loafing, while selfless ones like her were left to rot?

“You are amazing!” I somehow managed to utter, and again I was left searching for speech,
Knowing that it was no less than extraordinary, avoiding that blanket just within her reach.
I stood up again and turned back around, the city now resembled a scene from the north pole,
I prayed for the lady as I walked back home, hoping she’d survive with the warmth in her soul.


The Fighter Within II.

A million screams,

and a billion dreams,

Suspended by a thread in the room,

Foreheads soaked,

as their minds all hoped,

Someone would lift the cloud of gloom.

From each extremes,

and everything in between,

Tears ran dry and eyes were sore,

As they sat in wait,

awaiting their fate,

wondering if a loved one was at heaven’s door.

Doctors rushed,

the commotion gushed,

everyone anxiously awaiting their turn,

To walk right in,

and meet their kin,

Before their agony would spill out and burn.

During this phase,

a few eyebrows were raised,

towards the sight at the end of the room;

A lady quite frail,

and a tall, young male,

laughing and smiling in this cauldron of doom.

Some of them wondered,

as the others thundered,

How could anyone smile in a place like this?

They found it unfair,

all of them there,

that those two people were happily in bliss.

So one of them walked,

and decided to talk,

wanting to vent all his rage in brief,

His patience broken,

as soon as he’d spoken,

“Are you two blind or just oblivious to grief?

Our loved ones are on a bed,

some already dead,

you think it’s funny we sit here and grieve?

I don’t want to fight,

but trust me I might,

so I beg you just stand up and leave.”

The young boy smiled,

which drove the man wild,

as he waited for one of the two to explain;

Their lack of pity,

engaged his curiosity,

why couldn’t they understand his pain?

Then the silence broke,

as the young boy spoke,

“Good sir, I would like you to meet my mother,

Cancer stage five,

just barely alive,

so you’re wrong that I can’t understand pain of another.

For two long years,

I saw all of my fears,

come true and I could do nothing to keep,

her pain away

even just for a day,

so I would just sit down, hug her and weep.

But tell me good sir,

if you have an answer,

if there’s any good in reminding us of her fate?

No I wouldn’t let her,

even if she isn’t getting better,

sit down and cry out the rest of her days.

Wouldn’t you smile,

Take her away for a while,

Remember the good times in what are her worst?

Wouldn’t you be proud,

That you never bowed,

And that before death you got to her first?

Your loved ones have a chance,

of waking from their trance,

but I sadly know what lies ahead for me,

So I would be glad,

if you don’t make us sad,

and leave us to laughter and just let us be.”

As the man listened,

his eyes glistened,

as he returned to the corner where uncertainty loomed,

He looked at the fighter,

as his heart grew lighter,

hearing the the sound of their laughter echo in the room.


Little Things.

She stood in the distance, unaware just how lovingly I was staring at her. She slowly glided past me, as gently as the delicate breeze that swayed the few thin strands of hair on her head. The sound of uneasy, imbalanced footsteps echoed in the room, as she lowered herself onto a wooden chair that moaned as she collapsed into it. Little beads of sweat trickled down her once beautiful dusky skin, now botched with black patches, remainders and reminders of the ordeals she had undertaken in the past few months. A look of intense concentration spread itself across her face, as she tried to focus her attentions to the cup of hot tea that lay on the table in front of her.

She reached out ever so slowly, trying to stop it from shivering as her hand clasped at the winter air, trying to grab the handle of the teacup. Her fingers felt around it’s scathing surface, trying to find the strength to lift it to her parched lips. Them a moment of calm, its silence broken only by her heavy breathing, and the gentle clanging of the teacup against the glass saucer. She sighed, as she heaved the cup upwards, the cancer drugs inside her body disrupting her sense of balance and normalcy. The hot tea spilled across the table for a second, but she only chuckled at her clumsiness.

Her hands still trembled, like a candle flame nearing the end of its existence, but that only seemed to make her even more determined. Her eyes drifted in and out of a world only she could understand, trying to speak to a mind so thoroughly drained that it wished for nothing but peace and tranquility. The morphine which dulled her unbearable pain from the chemotherapy, had already sapped the boundless energy that danced in her smiles. Yet she fought hard to keep awake, to keep trying, wanting to do one of the very few things she was allowed to do without feeling handicapped. The strain showed clearly on her face, as the cup of tea came ever so close to her lips. The smell of tea wafted close to her, tantalizing her, as the cup came even closer. Her lips, full of cracked lines running like fissures across the drought stricken plains, anticipated the warm liquid that would touch them, free them from their fate.  She closed her eyes as the tea touched her lips, savoring the beauty of her thirst being quenched. She sipped it in utter ecstasy, the most beautiful smile stretching itself across her face. The chair groaned once more and so did she, as she gathered all her strength to stand back up, her slow foot steps now made their way towards me. She smiled once more and looked at me, I smiled back. ‘I love you son’ she whispered, before the echoes of her footsteps faded away.