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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The cost of being a free bird!

And the child was born! A girl.

Attempts were made to keep her in the well that was considered to be the "ideal" place to raise an "ideal" Indian woman/daughter.
The well! It was a deep, dark well where right from a tender age, she was subjected to various degrees and types of gender discrimination; where the guardians of culture made every effort to program her mind and make her believe that "silent suffering is a matter of pride" and that being a women, it is her duty to protect the honour of her people even at the cost of her own honour and chastity! She was programmed to have no self-esteem, to believe that existence of men is a favors on her and that she is unwanted and worthless.
Worst of all, the well forced her to be a witness of horrific crimes of violence and abuse in her formative years and then, the guardians expected her to silently accept it all as an integral part of her future; because apparently, that is what that makes a good women!
 
Many young girls in the well gave in. Some agreed to suffer silently, but without having any conviction in what they were being made to believe. And then, there was she, the difficult one. The rebel!
 
The one who knew that she deserved much better a life and she had realized the fact that the purpose of her life is much more deep and meaningful than "silently suffering" for the sake of "hollow honour."
 
The rebel chooses to not let her life be a victim of fate and chances. She decides that when all are trying to pull her deeper and deeper in that well, she has to make efforts to move up. But the climbing up isn’t easy. As soon as she starts making attempts for her liberation, all the hands in the well unite to pull her down. Yet with her determination and inner strength, she somehow manages to rise above the level of the guardians there. But people were still making attempts to pull her down by firmly holding her legs, so that she doesn't leave the well and fly!
 
Years of social battle had left her with little strength remaining, all that she now needed was a "little" external pull from the outside of the well. Just a "slight, little pull."
 
The well was not located in isolation. It was placed well in the center of the society. Millions of people used to walk past that well daily, hardly any of them was unaware of the plight of women in that well, many even saw this young lady struggling at the brink of the well to break free from it, but no one bothered to help, because many of them were themselves convicted that it was the right place for women. Some did pity her, but lacked the courage to express their opinions and rescue her. 
 
And then, one fine day, there came her knight in the shining armor. He was above this societal circus. He saw from distance this beautiful lady struggling at the brink of the well, not to do any harm, but just to live her life, in her way, on her own terms. 
 
Admired by her courage, inspired by her determination and mesmerized by the beauty of her soul, which was reflected in her picture perfect outer appearance as a woman, he came close to the well and offered her the much needed "slight little pull."
 
Just as he started pulling her, he could see her beyond the picture perfect outer appearance. He could see the real her. The real her; which was beautiful but had shades of brown and marks in red. Astonished, he left her hand. He wasn't expecting this from someone who looked so beautiful from a distance.
 
The shades of brown, that he considered dirt, were symbolic of her intense struggle and courage to come out of a circus of mentally sick people who promoted chaining a woman, in the name of culture.
 
The red marks were the scars of all the bruises inflicted upon her, over the years, in the form of physical, mental, emotional and at times even sexual abuse. That too from a very tender age, just for being a girl. The scars were symbolic of her battle with several years of insult, abuse and belittling. They deserved to heal. 
 
But instead of helping her heal those scars and bringing her out of that darkness, he left her side at the first sight of her struggle. All she could do was just keep looking at him going, leaving her body mind and soul hurt and bruised, even more than before. 
 
Fear, irritation, restlessness, pain, anger, anguish, self-pity, frustration etc are just some of the feelings that engulfed her. She went through a miserable phase of complete numbness and stagnancy. A loss in the ability to trust people. In some moments, she even contemplated giving in to the societal norms. But that wasn't her nature.
 
After a phase of complete stagnancy and deep darkness, light emerged in her soul. She mustered all her remaining inner strength and courage and decided to move. Even if it meant, moving just a millimeter, she just had to move and she had to keep moving, no matter how little. And finally, with determination, she once again started to try.....to try to move, in order to finally "break-free".
 
Because she deserves it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Behind Relationship Failures

Friction and/or problems between two people are common, not just as lovers, but even as friends, parent-children and many other bonds that exist without labels. All these bonds are some or the other form of relationship. Problems between two people can sometimes be so intense that it might end up crumbling the bond in to tiny pieces. And what gives rise to such dissonance? Misunderstandings. Surprised? Don't be, if you sit and reflect, you would realize that misunderstandings are indeed the single most effective factor that can manifest itself into several other issues and lead to a relationship failure. If I have to simplify, I would say:

When it comes to dissonance between two people, 
  • The main cause is: Misunderstandings
  • Major cause to misunderstandings is: "We don't see the world as it is, we see it as a reflection of who we are." (Thanks to our fears, insecurities, ego etc)
  • Most suitable solution: Having an attitude of listening with an empty mind to understand, rather than listening with a mind full of presumptions and judge. Focus has to be "understanding" not judgement.
Now, let us look at each of these three points in detail:

Misunderstandings:
Misunderstandings can simply be comprehended as "difference in perceptions". Difference of opinions and perceptions between two people is a common and natural phenomenon, but when it exists for too long, it breeds negativity between two people. When two people fail to understand each other's perspective COMPLETELY, there are very high chances that they develop negative presumptions, if not grudges, with respect to each other, which in turn, will lead to a chain of negativity and will eventually start reflecting in all aspects of the relationship, creating problems that didn't even exist in the first place!

World as a reflection of our own self:
Now, time for the credits. The idea for this blogpost came in after I saw a video of Chandresh Bhardwaj , a USA based lifestyle speaker and spiritual guide, speaking on relationships and how ego are the main cause behind most failed relationships. And then, I went into my introspection mode, and realized how true it was! After all, isn't it ego that serves as a prime support to the creation and sustenance of misunderstandings between two people?
"We see the world not as it is but as we are"- Robin Sharma
 Now that is one quote i live my life by and repeat every morning before I talk to anyone. Does it help? Yes, it does. Every time I am urged to feel anger or irritation at someone without LISTENING to his or her perspective of the situation, I am reminded that since I have not made an attempt to UNDERSTAND h/her, whatever chain of thoughts are provoking negative feelings in me are nothing but a reflection of my own self. Or else, why on the earth will I think that an "x" person, behaved in a "y" manner, in a "z" situation, because of these "abc" reasons? Who am I to declare their thought process? A mind reader? No, I am not. These chain of thoughts are nothing but the most likely manner in which I would have behaved in that situation. What has the other person got to do with it?

And where do these presumptions, judgement and negativity come from?  EGO, FEAR, INSECURITY. In my opinion, these three words are the cause of all misery that we suffer in human relationships. It is because our ego doesn't want to understand anything, it is because we are afraid of several things/outcomes.feelings that even we can't comprehend and it is because we are insecure owing to these fears, that we seek "guarantee" in everything, including "relationships". And the moment "human relationships" deviate even a little from the expected path, we panic, judge and misunderstand. All this while, we forget that human mind is flexible and grows with every damn minute and we cannot anticipate the direction in which it will mature and in how much time. 

We need to keep in mind that:
  • Every individual is a distinct being, with a unique thought process, that only they can explain.
  • Most likely, even the same person may have different response to the same situation occurring at two different time instances.


The solution: Listen to understand, not to judge:
In the above paragraph, I have highlighted the importance of listening to the other person before jumping to conclusions. The major problem here is, many of us listen just to complete the formality of listening. We have just one agenda in mind, to prove the other person wrong. And that is so miserable! Coming to conclusions without understanding ALL aspects of the situation can be dangerous and hence it is very importance to keep "understanding the other person" as the priority of the exercise instead of giving importance to proving ourselves right. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The second Choice!

NOTE: This story is the sequel (second part) of the short story titled "Choice", which I had published on this blog earlier. To read "Choice!", Kindly Click here
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Her phone rang and her smile instantly reached her eyes. It was him. They had dated for 3 years until they broke up a month ago. As discussed, they were "very" good friends but she still loved him, "unconditionally", and this was the first time he called since the break up. Smiling, she picked up the phone.

They spoke to each other, just like close friends do. And he shared with her the fond feeling that he had developed for this another girl by the name of "Nisha". But his confusion and yet prevailing attraction for her was evident too. Knowing him to his depths, she understood that his feelings and confusions about her were a mere attraction, while his feelings for Nisha were nothing less than love.

Owing to his confusion about her, he gave her several chances for a possible patch up while talking, she too wanted this patch up, bad enough, yet, for reasons unknown even to her at that point, she could not grab them. The man she loved was in love with someone else, she realized it even before he could and even before she could realize, she found herself making efforts to make him realize the value of Nisha in his life. She was dying for his attention, but she couldn't stop herself from making him understand that it was Nisha who deserved his time and attention. She had no idea as to why, even after having a strong yearning for him, she was doing this.

Yes, she was in pain, immense pain, but she had no regrets. Next day, he texted her that he loves Nisha and told her that she made him realize this. Tears filled her eyes, she could feel a lump in her throat and she broke into silent screams. Yet, she couldn't stop herself from encouraging and congratulating him for his new relationship. Her eyes had tears, yet her smile reached those eyes. A part of was in immense pain and longing, yet the another part of her was genuinely happy because the man she loved had found love.

For his happiness, she could smile through the pain and see her biggest fear come true. She'd let go of him, but she could not let go of  love. Although he made an exit from her life, she was at peace and was genuinely happy for being by his side and making him realize his love. Maybe that strange peace was nothing but the strength of her love and her belief in the labour of love.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

For the labour of love!

For the labour of love;
You understand beyond the surface,
and listen what is left unsaid.

For the labour of love;
Even when your heart breaks into a million pieces,
You put up a million dollar smile to make them comfortable.

For the labour of love;
You send them to the one they love,
But still smile because they are happy.

For the labour of love;
You suffer silently,
Yet love being there for them.

For the labour of love;
In spite of being in immense pain,
You choose not to give up on them.

For the labour of love;
Just when you feel that your world has shattered,
You get up and walk, to stand by them.

For nothing,
but the labour of love,
you give love a new meaning.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What exactly is being in love all about?


Ever wondered what is love? How to differentiate love from infatuation? Being an avid reader, I have personally come across several, several and several quotes that go on and on about love. And then, i came across this piece that I am mentioning below, and believe me people, it is the FINEST description of love that I have ever read. These are the lyrics of the song "You owe me nothing in return" by Alanis Morissette. Before listening to this song, i happened to read the lyrics and the effect they had on me is enormous. It was just 10 minutes ago when I was doing research on these words that I discovered that it is a song. I would still urge you all to read these words before you listen to them. They are AWESOME. If you have the heart to love someone this way, only then, in my opinion, are you strong enough for love, for this is how love is supposed to be. Here it goes and as you read it, think if you can ever even imagine saying all this to someone you love:


"I'll give you countless amounts of outright acceptance, if you want it. I will give you encouragement to choose the path that you want, if you need it. You can speak of anger and doubts, your fears and freak outs, and I'll hold it. You can share your so-called shame filled accounts of times in your life, and I won't judge it; and there are no strings attached to it...

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give. You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have. I give you thanks for receiving it, it's my privilege, and you owe me nothing in return.

You can ask for space for yourself, and only yourself, and I'll grant it. You can ask for freedom as well, or time to travel, and you'll have it. You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I'll support it. You can ask for anything you want, anything at all, and I'll understand it; and there are no strings attached to it.

I bet you're wondering when the next payback shoe will eventually drop. I bet you're wondering when my conditional police will force you to cough up. I bet you wonder how far you have now danced you way back into debt. This is the only kind of love, as I understand it, that there really is.

You can express your deepest of truths even if it means I'll lose you, and I'll hear it. You can fall into the abyss on your way to your bliss, I'll empathize with. You can say that you have to skip town to chase your passion, and I'll hear it. You can even hit rock bottom, have a mid-life crisis, and I'll hold it; and there are no strings attached to it.

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give. You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have. I give you thanks for receiving it, it's my privilege, and you owe me nothing in return" —Alanis Morissette 


This is how, as I understand, love is and this is how it is supposed to be. Totally unalloyed, pure, selfless, compassionate and detached.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Women; A Bitter-Sweet Symphony!

On the composed exterior:
In my capacity, I know I have given the best that I could have. Now, it is up to people if they really want to understand "my heart". If they don't want to, its not my problem, its the problem with their understanding. I have tried my best, with utmost dignity and compassion, to make people see the reality, but if they still choose to live with illusions, then its their decision. But yes, when-and if-the wall of their illusions will break and they will realize their fault, I will be gone, taking care of people who understand my heart and value me.


In the insecure interior:
I did the best I could have. I genuinely have but I still don't understand why people fail to see that!Where did I go wrong? What is it that I should have done, but I did not do? Why people I care about are not ready to understand me and stand by me? Am i that wrong? But I never wanted to be that way. I genuinely wanted to do the best I could for the people I love, I tried, but I don't understand where did I lack.Many a times I even dealt with immense discomfort, only because their comfort was a priority to me. Where the hell did I lack?

At the calm core of her soul:
Its OK! I have always kept my intentions pure, my heart never had even a tiny bit of negativity for anyone and of course, in my capacity, I have ensured that I put in the best of efforts for the people who matter to me. Now, it would be wiser to leave everything on my destiny, which, will be a result of my KARMA. Life is all about the law of "cause and effect", the principle of "you shall reap as you sow", in simple words: KARMA. Yes, i do desire certain outcomes to my efforts, but I need to remember, that only efforts are in my hands, not the results. Moreover, I need to have faith in my intentions. I may not get what I desire, irrespective of the dedication of the my effort. But it is not necessary that the reason behind this is lack of effort, maybe, it is that I deserve something better than what I desire and at this point, I am not able to understand it. I just need to wait and hold on. What is meant to be, will always find its way.
Yes I am deeply pained and I want many answers, but its OK to not have answers all the time. It is OK to live in ambiguity, maybe I am just not prepared to know the answer. Let me understand the questions first, and when the right time comes, the answers will reveal themselves. All I need to take care of, is that, in all my suffering-which is an essential requirement for my growth-I do not let even a tiny bit of negativity enter my heart. My intentions have to be pure, my heart has to be compassionate and my efforts have to come out of the same compassion. Rest will be taken care of!

That is a women! A bitter-sweet symphony. She has the tendency to be insecure, confident and a believer...all at the same time. Of course, she goes through her own journey and although all these traits are an integral part of who she is, their dominance in her thought process changes as she grows in life.

When she begins her journey from being a girl to a women and faces the world in their eyes, its usually the insecure side of her that is of high dominance, and nothing is wrong with it, that too is a part of her journey. Then, when she realizes that life is not a fairy tail and no matter what happens, LIFE GOES ON, she learns the art of balancing the confident exterior and the insecure interior with perfection. And then, as she grows, as she gains experience in life, observes people and makes learning an integral part of her daily life, she understands the importance, relevance and authenticity of the calm core of her soul. At this stage, its a calm soul that dominates.

It is this roller-coaster ride that enables a women to see through and believe even in times of ambiguity. She has faced every aspect of life and hence, develops an attitude of Compassion, understanding and non-judgement in her daily life. And this is why, she has the tendency to be considerate even when she is in intense pain.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Choice!!!

He was 26, She was 22. He was an IT guy, she was a management student. They had known each others for past three years and had been very close since then. "Hurting her" was even beyond  the last thing he could ever imagine and her faith in him was unflinching, she could stand against the entire world for the faith that she had in him. But, they were not in a relationship. He loved her as a friend and she was in love with him! Yet, the care,trust and understanding that they shared as friends was unaffected. There was a time, when he was in a different city for almost 8 months, but even the distance could not dilute the beauty of their bond.

Their friendship wasn't a bed of roses. They had their own share of fights,misunderstanding and disappointments, but nevertheless, their mutual understanding emerged victorious each time.

Then, life Happened. He was going through tough times, managing a lot of things, all alone, at the same time. He had his own struggles to face, his own deadlines to meet and his own frustrations and pressures to cope up with. Slowly, he became too occupied in these testing times. At times, he didn't even had time for her.

She still choose to stand by him. No, they were still not into a relationship, but she did not had the heart to give up on the guy she loves, especially when he was going through the rough phase of life.

But slowly, he started taking all this understanding and patience for granted. She still tried to hold on, understanding that he was not doing it intentionally. It wasn't about her, it was about his own fight with his own life and that he just needs time.

But with time, things worsened. He became more and more dominated by moods. He spoke to her at his own will and mood. Some mornings they would talk as if all is going great, while many times, he wouldn't even bother about her the same evening! At times, they used to have awesome conversations, but sending him an interesting youtube link the same evening or the next day meant inviting a facebook block!

Things reached the level of her self-respect and self-worth. The choice was clear, but it was difficult because she knew he wasn't behaving that way intentionally. It was a result of his own personal struggle and that he genuinely was not understanding how he was treating her and how it made her feel. She still chose to hold on.

But then, when the "taken for granted" scenario exceeded her self respect, she had to give in and make a CHOICE.

She knew that he was genuine, that he could never even think of hurting her and that the way he was behaving was not by choice or intention, but a result of situations around him, which is just a matter of time. She knew it all, yet she chose to increase the distances between them. She did so by telling him that she has given up on him and that she is in a relationship with someone else. Although, she was not.

Yes, she lied to him, but what else could she have done? She did not want to take the risk of making him feel bad by telling the truth, especially, since his intentions were not wrong. Also, if she would have told the truth, maybe, he would have tried to stop her, but this time she knew she cannot. Even if he wouldn't have tried, maybe a few days/weeks later, she might have had second thoughts about giving up on the guy she loves in his tough times. Of course, she was not in a relationship with him, but then, it was her love, not his. She was the one to hold on to it, saying that its her love and she will stand by it, without expecting, no matter he feels for her or not.

She did not had the heart to tell the truth, because for her, it was a choice between her self respect and the faith for which she had stood against almost everyone who knew what she shared with him. It was as it is difficult for her, she didn't want to complicate it even more.

Of course, she knows that to an extent she ran away from the situations, she was being inconsiderate, insensitive, manipulative and weak. More than anything, a part of her was guilty for leaving his side in such not so good hours, but at that point, none of it seemed to matter. Absolutely none of it.

Before things could deteriorate even more, she made a CHOICE. She chose to maintain the dignity of the bond they shared and decreased the closeness between them. She chose her self-respect, the dignity of their bond and hence, increased the distances between them, stopped fighting for his attention, stopped making efforts to make him smile and no matter how much cared, stopped showing that she did.

As she told him and as it looks from outside, it was clearly seen that she gave up on him, but in reality, she just increased distances before any negativity could find its place between them.

It wasn't giving up, it was just taking a step back.
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NOTE
To read the sequel (second part) of this story, titled "The Second Choice!", Kindly Click here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Being a reflective writer, no idiot's job!

Many readers, critics and even authors have time and again argued the every work of fictional writing has inspirations in the very non fictional world that surrounds the author. Being someone who enjoys writing, I couldn't agree more. I am no one to speak for anyone else, but when it comes to what I write, yes, It is, almost every time, the result of inspiration that I draw from my own life, either by observing people around me or by my personal experiences or my introspective mind, but yes, all my works are a reflection of my own life and its learnings. Precisely why I say that I am a REFLECTIVE writer.

I have developed a new found respect for all those writers whose principle source of inspiration is their own life, their experiences and people around them. It is indeed not easy to be a reflective writer. You have to TELL ALL without telling it all! You can actually understand and get to know a lot about a person by their literary style and work. Its like, you stand up on a table, in a crowded room and throw yourself open to judgments, hypocrisy, moral criticism etc. But u still have to walk out of that room as if nothing ever happened!

You, although indirectly, make your life public, share your experiences and learnings out of them, without even knowing how many would understand your perception. Being a reflective writer, you are introspective and tend to look at things, and world at large, through a magnanimous mind and an open heart that ain't afraid to fall down, has courage to get up each time and embodies compassion that treats every being equal. All this gives you an altogether different persona and the way you look at life is different from that of the herd mentality. So you really don't know how many of your readers will agree with your viewpoint and how many will judge you through the eyes of narrow vision. For some, your work becomes the silver lining in dark clouds, while for others, you become a threat for culture/heritage etc.

But you still go ahead, because you know that you look at every being with the eyes of compassion and you understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion. In spite of being judged with hypocrite comments, you chose to look at people who motivate you to work hard and you draw strengths from them.

Indeed, being a writer, who wants to reflect the society, ain't really that easy :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

5 random facts about me

1. I like being alone :)
Strange, but true. I LOVE being alone. Yes, I do go to movies alone, I roam around the entire Mumbai alone, I have meals alone etc. and I don't see anything wrong with it. Not that i don't like people or I have attitude issues or anything like that. Its just that, being alone and introspective is a very crucial and integral part of my personality....its like my "me" time that keeps me going. I enjoy my company but that doesn't mean I don't like people. I love people. For me the biggest success ever, would be to make a positive difference in the lives of people around me. But again, to keep myself going, I need my "me" time and moreover, this "me" time is sometimes the best option to keep all the unnecessary drama, non-sense and negativity out of my life.

2. Friendly with all, but friends with few :)
Yes, i have few friends and they are family. I am selective about people I open up to, I share my life with and once you are that close to me as a person, you are not just a friend, but for me you are a part of my family, so much that I won't even bother being formal with you. I ll love you and care for you from the core of my heart, will stand by you in the darkest of hours....but, you need to be worth it! I irritate my few friends like helllllll, make their lives miserable by my insanity and make them go nuts with my stupidity, but when I TRUST them, I trust them, completely. Of course, in general, I also refer all my colleagues as friends, but the truth is, I am just friendly with them, the people I am friends with have to understand this by the way I treat them......now my FRIENDS need to understand me this much at least :)

3. I am a very Private person.
Yes, I am a very private person and I have my guards very, very high. For a simple reason, I live life on extremes, either my guards are very, very high or I am just an open book to you, nothing in between. I also believe that it is my this extreme nature that gives me the strength to love unconditionally and stand unfaltering by the people who matter to me, and I am proud of it. Also, I respect my personal life and those of others as well. I don't want my life to a topic of table discussion. I am unconventional and so are my decisions. Not every one has the right to put my life on a table, judge it or even opine about it. That is a privilege I give only to few people that are close to me and hence, I am fiercely private, have very high guards, open up to very few people I truly call and mean FRIENDS and finally, this is the reason why I have very high standards set for letting people close to me. Either I don't trust you or I trust you completely, and I cannot stand betrayal.

4. I am die hard romantic :)
Now, this is something many people don't know about. Yes there is a girly side to me. I do come across as a practical, studious and boring girl, but I do have a side to me that very few people know about. I am an emotional fool!!!!! I don't fall easy, but when I do, i fall hard. Having said that, let me tell you that I am single, I have hardly had one relationship, which was also sort of one-sided and then, it has always been about one-sided love. I don't speak about my relationships, but yes, my love life has a lot to do with the kind of person I am today. It has taught me the real meaning of love, unconditional love, loving without expectations, independence, pain, betrayal, strength, compassion and of course, hope. In fact, guys, all the poems on this blog are because of my girly feelings and so are most of the articles ;) I have actually walked miles under the sun to save money to buy gifts for that "someone special" and then spent hours packing them because I wanted to personalize them ;)

5. Sometimes, Nobody gets me. NOBODY!
True. I am impulsive, unpredictable and moody. Owing to this, many a times, nobody gets me. My values, my principles.....people find them weird!At times, even the few people I call friends fail to get me. But still, they believe in me and stand by me, without any questions, maybe that's why they are my friends.But then, there are others, who question me when even i am in the process of discovering answers. They judge me for petty things and label me for not justifying myself. The demand of justifying myself is something that I find unacceptable. I don't justify myself even to my friends! I just express them what I feel and what I learned from the ambiguous situations, but I don't justify to them as well, so why on the earth should I justify my actions or thoughts to anyone, especially as long as I have not hurt anyone? That is what I believe in.


So well, this is me for you all. As a friend and even as a person, I ll make life very irritating and troublesome for you if you are close to me but at the same time, I ll always be there with you, by your side, without judging you :) But yes, u will have to adjust with the above facts.....because that is who I am and that is what that makes me the person I am. So....its your choice, take me as I am, or watch me as I go :)

Uncertainty: A poetry....

Stumbling over and again,
I somehow begin to stand.
All what I shared with you,
now seems a flowing sand.

We might not survive,
I might not see you again.
But the memories that we made,
Will shine bright admist pain.

Your arms were my heaven,
Your smile; my hope.
In these moments of ambiguity,
I wonder how will I cope.

On one side I see hope,
On another I see fear.
Uncertainty grips me tight,
And a mask of calmness I wear.