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Two births

The air is heavy.

Ricocheting off the walls

rather slowly

and bleeding down

to where we sit in the silence

that has now conceived unknown conceit

within the conniving folds of

its unassuming quietude.

Silence is rather fertile.

If a seed is even so much as

carelessly flung

without ceremony or remorse;

worse -

without thought,

silence impregnates.

And out grow roots

and ever so voluminous bodies

that otherwise would have

died an anonymous death.

Your expectant breath,

has sucked in all that

was buoyant in its freedom

and left behind leaden,

hot air

that creeps up along my back

and sits on my shoulder,

while I slouch deeper every day

in the corner

that has no windows.

In this rancid air,

we etch out

with drawn pauses between breaths

our Xs and Os

on the tic-tac-toe board

that once was

a fun escapade in fleeting chalk

and now,

is an inescapable maze

circumambulated in spirit.

How did you get so bloated,

that whatever’s within you

couldn’t even pass through

as fleeting flatulence,

but lay repressed

till it festered

into the sickeningly sweet,

rotten stench that

poisoned decay owns?


when passive;

drives the oppressed insane

in the possibility that

it is a mere blasphemous illusion.

And this ambivalence

is what cements together

the bricks

in this persecutor's home.

Maybe I could have chosen

to not wear the noose

your baleful eyes

lassoed me in with;

speaking in tongues

that reverberated inside me

until your words

escaped as mine.

But in trying to avoid the noose

I had to keep glancing at it,

and maybe

this is what

made it more tangible,


The air is heavy today

and close to a delivery,

as the umbilical chord of

unwarranted sighs

stretches out to clear the throat.

I too, am crouched,

bent over within myself

like a fetus

ready to stretch,

and maybe today

there’ll be two births.

Two births through the lens of an ouroboros

Image Courtesy: OpenAI's interpretation of an ouroboros if it were created by the Polish artist Zdzislaw Beksinski

Another week, another few miles around the ball of fire that culminate in an arbitrary measure of eternal time. This week we explore themes of oppression, but not the ones that have valiant fights for justice to their names, but the kinds that are silent in a manner in which their perception as oppression could be assumed as an act of oppression in itself. I talk about the ambivalent kinds, the ones that exist in the best of relationships and run the worst ones. The kinds that take on many forms like the mythological gods, becoming and perpetuating obligation, duty, purpose, ideal, and possibly even truth.

It is this oppression that we often mistake for love, as care, as proof of a concept that we have no way of knowing but want to desperately believe: belongingness. Isn't it the sweet sting of this oppression that sometimes gives us the pleasure we so desire—of being as we have been taught? Is it always burdensome? No. This kind of oppression doesn't deal in absolutes; it lives in the land of in-betweens, rocking on the see-saw while we run in circles to keep the balance at the more bearable centre.

Today's prose is about the unsaid oppression that rules the atmosphere of a home, especially after something unsavory has been brought for consumption by all. It attempts to capture the moment from consumption to the actual expression of unsavoriness, in the midst of which oppression runs its course with both parties feeling its singular existence. This prose is about two births—one of each of the parties repressed, for in their stories, both are. One could also look at it through the lens of the birth of the first rebellion, which will then change the course of this relationship forever.

It could also be the inner oppression of one's self-judgement projected in ways that render the innocent bystander a persecutor.

It could also be the collective chaos that precedes the birth of the balance that is much needed.

It could be a mere fight for peaceful silence.

It could be a story of no significance beyond the moment of its occurrence, thereby unworthy of revisiting twice. It could also be the very relationship you share with your loved ones in moments of angst.

In all that it could be, it could be many things. But it will be especially specific for you. And whatever it is for you, you will know that it is what you must birth next, if only to regain the balance you secretly crave. Here's to a day seeking balance.

Happy Sunday!

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ohh this reminded me of George Orwell 1984. The subtle and sophisticated form of oppressions are most dangerous as they take away one’s soul and sanity. Beautifully written!


Jul 09, 2023


Aishwarya Jayal
Aishwarya Jayal
Jul 09, 2023
Replying to

Thank you!

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