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Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Ethnic stories | 1 comment

Triggers

  1. Mother taught me to put my hair in a bun. It is easy, she said. Gather the hair in a pony, twist, and tuck. Now every time I run my hands through my hair, I stop. Tangled in between those long tresses are memories, and they, they can never be tucked in a bun. They come undone at the slightest of triggers- wild, untamed. Like loose strands.
  2. Our furniture is labeled. With bindis in different shapes, colours and sizes. Round and drop-shaped, black and red, P6-P8. For a neutral bystander on the margins of this page, this probably sounds redundant. Something to be added in parenthesis. For me, mother, each and every bindi is a talisman. They fill more than the land between your eyebrows.
  3. I still paint pictures out of the darkness. The figures I fabricate are different now. The pedestal fan masquerading as a sputnik headed monster no longer bothers me. We’ve made our peace. The silhouettes I conjure up are more life-like now. All the more real. All the more scary.
  4. I crawl into your bed at times. As I bury my head into the pillow, I fancy I smell you. As I pull the covers over me, trying desperately to hide my fatal aberrations, I fancy I feel your warmth. As I curl up, I fancy I can hold you in the space between my knees and my chest. The best thing about life is perhaps the uncertainty of its end. Oh, death divine.They taste of sulphurous fumes, burning holes in my palate. They are triggers I’m resigned, but perhaps not willing, to see. These objects with a perishable tenure, look at what they have begotten, mother. They’ve made me resurrect you in atrocious prose. Abstract projections of a mental infirmity. Reverberations of a fatal loneliness.

___

Bhavya Vishwarajan is an aspiring writer and literature student from India.

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1 Comment

  1. I love this, Bhavya. I’m not sure what it is, but I love it!

    The neutral bystander in section 2 struck a jarring note, I felt, as it created a sudden jump from the narrator’s point of view to that of her audience, and made us aware that it’s a piece of writing rather than a series of memories/emotions triggered by her life events.

    I particularly liked the last section, where the use of language reminded me strangely of Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, although I wonder if it might be more powerful without the three repetitions of ‘I fancy’?

    Also, the sentence beginning ‘They are triggers…’ feels a bit clumsy, or is that intentional in view of your comment about ‘atrocious prose’?

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