Pins & Needles

It had happened once that I used to live in a room. All the color I saw was the pale yellow of the walls. The only fragrance was that of crisp folded sheets in my closet. A bottle of nail paint forgotten in a corner of my suitcase. Shoes flung under the bed. Hot showers after midnight. And passage of time meant nothing more than ticking of the clock. It was as good as me living in the moment before I  had moved into that room. Either days were too sluggish or were they too fast for me to even be conscious of their passage. They ended sometimes in inhuman fatigue and a sullen face of the cook who would threaten to leave. If I got back that late the next day.

Sometime in between, I stopped feeling. I felt pins and needles. You know pins and needles?

I called up people to tell them I had developed this incapacity to feel, understand. Loss. Loneliness. Hunger. Even sorrow. I couldn't even feel sorrow. There was this mild immunity that had grown inside me and protected me from almost everything. I used to feel like this body of flesh walking around.

After a few days of being that way, I felt a surge of fear. What if this numbness never left me? What would it be like to be marooned in this utopia forever? Alone.

So I pinched myself hard. Like you sometimes do, when your leg's gone to sleep. Because pain is the surest sign of feeling. I pinched myself hard.

Now it does pain. Sometimes, a lot. But I am relieved that I can feel. That I am more than numb. More than dead. More than utopian, I feel human. And a trifle alive. And even rarely, happy.  


Winter Song said...

"After great pain, a formal feeling comes. The Nerves sit ceremonious, like tombs."
Emily Dickinson

Incidentally, this post was quite insightful. Awesome!!

Surya Prakash V said...

And then sometimes, when that lone point, of reference, of reverence, is gone; you exclaim "deja vu!"

Syed Ali Hamid said...

As a poet wrote:

Behtar to hai yahi ke na duniya se dil lage/
Par kya karein jo kaam na be dillagi chale.

smita said...

awesome post wildflower..

................your's entirely said...

Yes...sadly one of the strange truths is sometimes Pain makes you feel alive