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The Thief

They've stolen my words.


that come and go

as they please

in the land of things

ever desiring permanence

in the midst of eternal flow.

I had to fight them.

Sanity was burnt at the stake

while still alive,

sizzling pieces of its substance

have fallen on their own roots

cementing the stake in a

reminder of what once was.

A gooey mess,

where there was once

beautiful form.

And I couldn't just stand by.

I had to fight.

I forsook my pen

for a sword.

Nimble movement of fingers

to a heaving swing from the shoulder.

They were too many,

too huge,

too overwhelmingly porous.

I couldn't really kill them.

So, I just put on a gas mask

and smoked them into a

windowless box.

Naivety of hope,

that they asphyxiate

in their own echoes.

When I took the mask off,

the world had changed color.

The stake,

the words,

the pen,

were all gone.

There was merely a calm

off-white silence,

the one that

succeeds a broken,

empty egg-shell.

I reveled,

for the calmness was

a hug

after the great war.

I drank and I lay,

I ate and I dreamt.

I drank and lay again,

ate more and slept.

But soon,

I couldn't remember any of my dreams,

I couldn't be sure

I even had dreams.

I searched frantic,

for my companions,

the words that caressed me so dearly,

the ones that held my finger,

as I crossed their beds,

the ones that came pouring out

when the parchment was parched

and the ink, wet.

They've stolen my words.

I can almost hear them

in the box I've banished

them to.

Have my words asphyxiated?

Has sanity desiccated in quietus?

White silence,

spread like thin glass.

threatens to break

in a constant hum.


They win.

Without their highs,

I have no memories.

Without their lows,

I have no words.


engulf me once again,

so in our intimate spar,

my words are born again.

Image Courtesy: Psychology Today & R.C. Baker

On the journey to healing in the aftermath of a traumatic incident, accident, loss or the like, the individual is exposed to a multitude of available options. Yoga, meditation, spirituality, religion - all of which are oft focused on distancing self from our own emotions to a level that we can objectively evaluate the existence of an emotion itself, and thereby the thoughts/patterns behind it, till we reach a state of calmness, peace through acceptance and letting go. Even the process of psychiatric healing - therapy, focuses on acknowledging, accepting and thus, gaining objectivity of the emotions that threaten to engulf us into what is an endless void of human suffering.

Emotions are bad, we get it.

But we have emotions, continue to feel them and act on them.

In this conundrum arises a rather sadistic cognitive dissonance - where things oft go wrong. Researchers have studied cognitive dissonance over 60 years and found that out of the three ways to deal with dissonance, namely -

  1. Change your actions - stop lying

  2. Change your beliefs - believe that the lie is a truth

  3. Do nothing - sit with the discomfort of knowing the lie and persevere for truth

people were most likely to choose option 2. I'm sure you're not surprised.

A lot of us, in our journeys, at some point or the other, end up believing that we are wise/at peace because we have been able to silence the emotions that arise, to a level that they do not arise anymore. In short - this maybe point no. 2 - believing that numbness is peace.

I don't have the right answer, in fact, I'm not sure I even have an answer, but I have an inkling that calls for more exploration and that's what this prose is about.

This Sunday, as you sip that coffee/tea/green tea/ors/dot shots/juice/brunch cocktails, take a moment to think about emotions, cognitive dissonance patterns of resolution, and as always, if you want to talk/share feedback, you know who to reach out to!

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