The Voices

The voices used to be my friends, I created them. When I started growing up, they faded, came in handy when I didn’t have any friends to count on. But once I grew up, stood on my own feet, the voices turned on me, against me, whatever you want to call it. Nowadays the voices tell me it’s over, tell me I cannot when somewhere inside I know I can. They’ve taken over, flooded my head with images, none too friendly.

They were my best friends when I was a kid, I could tell them everything and anything. They would put me to sleep at night and even wake me up on time. Slowly like children usually do, I grew up. The voices weren’t ‘cool’ anymore so I hid them in my room, and returned to them every evening when the house was empty. At this point I make it sound like I have been possessed by a poltergeist. But no, they filled up the void. I had nobody to share anything with, my parents were working, my sister was much older than me. So, the voices found me solutions, told me how to do anything that needed to be done.

I don’t remember why or when I cut the chord with them. They just disappeared, and I was left with my problems alone. The void grew along with me. For a while, a year or two I waited for the voices, which everybody seemed to call my imagination. But they didn’t return. It was like life had taken the training wheels off. I’d catch glimpses of them every once in a while when I was saddened by something, they’d stop by to say hello. But after a while, that stopped too. I forgot about them, forgot I needed them and would reminisce, laughing, thinking my mind was playing tricks on me.

When I was eighteen the voices returned after six years, knocking on my door, not just knocking, they broke down the door. But something about them was different, they weren’t the voices I created, they were darker, angrier, louder, ………and hurt. They would make their presence felt in public spaces and even more so in private spaces. I couldn’t escape them. Instead of pulling my confidence up as they did when I was younger, now they began telling me to give up, told me I am less, that I couldn’t. My motivation in the process took a good beating. I had made a few friends but these voices had suddenly become my enemies.

These days they point out the flaws when I look in a mirror, they laugh at me, humiliate me and leave me crying that I am not good enough. They’ve set up shop in my head, and will not budge. Maybe this is punishment for forgetting them. But how can it be? They forgot me too. I thought this is a one-man battle but I am fighting multiple voices with one of me. Somehow the odds kept stacking up against me and like a delicate building of cards I fell with it. I was forced to surrender. But this battle isn’t about shooing them out of my brain or muting them. I want to get rid of them, for good. I created them, I need to destroy them.

On this train of life, I feel trapped, because I can’t get off and I don’t know where my station is. I have been sitting on this berth for 21 years now, staring out the window watching sceneries go by, my fellow passengers changing from voices to real people and now voices again. This time around, it’s time to pull the chain, stop the train and get into the driver’s seat before the voices take over for good. I don’t know how to drive this train or where to take it. All I know is that if I wait any longer, this train is going to race down a cliff. Make way for Sahitya’s Express.


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