Wonderful to write to you finally. I had to fish out your address from the last time we met, which was not very long ago actually. Do you recollect the bar from near KP where I tried to hit on that girl with the tattoo sprawling across her tiny neck which turned out to be her illegible name? You tapped me on the shoulder and tried to inform me that she was in fact gay and did not take too kindly to my shock and as a hinderance to my attempts to flirt. I took your address from the red of her hands imprinted on my cheek.
Now, as much as you might expect this to be one where I crib about how you often disregard
my little and brittle feelings, it is not. I think for the kind of woman that you seem to be with your frequent visitations at ungodly hours (very disreputable dear, try the sunshine, you look better with it radiating off your skin) you might as well simply toss it in the trash can. No, I wish to write to better understand from you how do you console yourself in that occasional hour when you pass by our familiar faces in the corridor? I am having a hard time too.
You see dear friend, that while you forgot to make that appointment with me in June I fooled everyone into thinking that I deserved one more chance and was given the task of assisting in the running of a club. The very first of those things that I had to do was to select eight individuals who could help run the ship and have the good fortune as I have had, to helm it one day. We received about a dozen more applications than we wanted and were determined to take the interviews in our quest to find the chosen eight. We glazed over the sheet a day before we began the process and mentally took notes of the names and surnames. What commenced was the selection process.
The process was less than smooth, let me be honest with you. We erred at times, took hasty decisions and at times seemed more nervous than those on the other side of the table. Eventually, after some deliberation, we came to conclude the eight with whom I have the pleasure of working with. The question remains, what of the others?
Do we really have the right to break someone’s spirit through rejection? Do we really have the right to say who is good and who is not? I understand that those who applied took a chance and played their cards. Life is a game, you win or lose. I know that it was in the name of duty to my club that I undertook this exercise. There are a hundred reasons to justify why what happened had to happen. Yet reason is not the panacea of the grieving mind. You cannot tell a mother that her son who served as a soldier in the army is dead without her breaking down, even if it was his job to risk his life and that everyone knew so. What I ultimately did was introduce a good number of students to college, these eighteen or seventeen year old boys and girls; a vast majority of whom have not lived outside their hometowns, through rejection. I helped them feel the angst of knowing what it means to be left out very early in the game. Whether or not this will help them in later life, I do not know. What I do know is that it only takes till second year to truly know that life is more than these silly frivolous games. However, till then whenever I look them in the lobby, I lower my eyes out of the weight of the decision that I took. Someone once took a chance on me and helped me grow. Did I rob these children of such a chance?
You have been visiting me lately dear friend. You come cloaked as an email whose deceptive subject has the spark of rejection in it. You come as silence from a competition that I had submitted my article to. You come as an unresponsive audience that does not appreciate what I am saying. You come to me as the marks of an assignment that I worked too hard on without any fruition. In all those guises, I visit a very dark world, a path so strewn by sorrow I near choke. The air pervades of the perverted stench of self doubt, as the carcasses of our undoing are littered about us in some heathenish satanic ritual. I keep tripping and within i hear an echo, a techno rendition of all those people laughing at me, phantoms of my own making. It is truly harrowing because those days one slips from dreams to nightmares and the spirit broken and bruised, bleeding on all sides .
Incidentally appropriate cringey quotation image
Whatever the answer be to how you do not blauch, I don’t know dear friend. My only wish being that when you sat me on that fateful day and let these children know what you were all about, you shall leave some other time. You will be merciful on them, that even in their darkest moments you shall leave their side to find some happiness. That you will give them enough chances to have a smile on their lips and a glow in their face, as you have for me. As Dylan Thomas once wrote “Do not go quiet into that dark night.” Do not let them go quiet into that dark night but rather have them burn with the passion of purpose. Whatever you do, let them be at peace with themselves in the end.
- Aditya G.K.