From behind the cage

I worry that there is something broken in our generation. There are too many sad eyes on happy faces. We have been wearing masks for so long, that we’ve forgotten who we are beneath it. We often hide behind that radiance of early mornings that everyone expects us to have. The melancholy brilliance which resides within us continues to be oppressed and buried deep. That wild part of us, always remains hidden in the shadows, due to the mere fear of judgement. But little do we realize that melancholy is what gives rise to a poet; to an artist.

“We know what’s best for you.” “Be realistic.” Simple phrases which exerts immense pressure on us to be someone we are not. From my parents to relatives to neighbors, everyone has an opinion on who I should be and what I should do. They have my map to success all planned out. Apparently I am “too young” to decide what I want. But what they don’t realize is that the artist inside me killed itself, to ensure the tears they spilled were out of joy and bliss. The yearn to succeed has overpowered and outshined happiness to such an extent, that the lack of it doesn’t seem to concern anyone. It’s all about satisfying the society and playing it safe in order to lead a regular, mundane life whilst earning a reasonable pay.

My soul belongs to words and books. Every time I write, I am at home. But that didn’t matter. All that mattered was how many 90s I could ace to make them proud. It seems that everyone has forgotten that not all of us are meant for the quadratic formula. That some of us are just a couple of lost kids trying to find our way to the Neverland of life. The passionless rat race has never left any survivors. But ironically people still crave for us to be where we don’t feel ourselves.

What horrifies me the most is the idea of being useless: well-educated and fading out into an indifferent middle age. I fear that there would be no saving myself from the nothing I am about to become. I still look for fairies dancing on the grass, I will always believe in witches, wizards, ogres, giants and enchanted spells. I belong wandering through old forests and laughing at candlelit taverns. I belong on a ship, sailing across the seas and swimming in the waters of foreign caves. I belong where words are alive, stirring the skies with their magic. I belong amongst the lilting gait of poetry, the adventures I find there. I belong with stories, for they shall forever move my heart.

I don’t want to be governed by money or clocks or any other artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I can’t seem to perceive myself living in a world where all this magic has been taken out by scientific explorations. I want to be boundless; I desire to be free. But again no one seems to care. I have this terrible urge to be reckless, and I am dreadfully frightened of becoming old and having no memories at all. I know climbing forbidden fences are wrong, so I’ll just stick to falling off metaphorical trees. I am just dying to do something worth remembering. I suppose there’s no logic, not really, only that if I bleed now I’ll have a life time left to heal. But somehow I find myself doing nothing at all, stuck in this figurative bubble of existence constrained by these social expectations.

As it says in the Dead Poet’s Society, “Everybody claims that medicine, law, business and engineering are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. And they are. But all have failed to comprehend that poetry, beauty, romance and love are what we stay alive for.” If only they’d realize that I am not here to fulfil their dreams. If only they’d realize that Newton would never fascinate me the way Shakespeare does.

We are all caged birds who have forgotten to fly, but still dream of the clouds with closed eyes. Set us free. Let us fly towards our euphoric destination. Because we all deserve to be the person we are meant to be. After all life is meant to be enjoyed, not monetized.

Dedicated to everyone wondering if I am writing about them. I am.

 

Written By:

Divansshi Mukunthan
(3rd Place – Descriptive Article Category)
WORDSVILLE’20

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