“Sometimes I feel bad,
Way beyond bad,
But I smile.
Sometimes I stand at my veranda,
And watch the houses growing nearby,
I don’t like them as they have eaten up the greenery,
And now all I see is a duplex, housing eyes, that constantly follow you, from side to side.
Even when you are turning your back towards them.
Sometimes I feel, non-existent, complaining, and not being listened,
At times, I feel, I am surrounded by negativity and hate
But I smile….
I smile for the little girl who lives next door,
Because when she looks at me,
Her eyes expect a smile from me.
So I turn back and force a smile,
It looks so real and childlike,
When my dimples form on my cheeks,
It creates a crevice for tears to burry beneath.
Today a toddler waved at me, and she smiled swiftly,
I waved back, and a smile fell on my cheeks, naturally…
Then I turned my back, went inside, and thought, what just happened..
The toddler cares for me, and my existence.
It’s subliminal, but it’s beautiful.
I had things to do, so I got back and wore that thinking puzzled face.
Then I looked at the mirror and smiled.
It smiled back at me,
With the same intensity.
The mirror showed me something, that seems to be lost within.
I fake a smile every day,
Sometimes I don’t feel like smiling for the kids that live next door,
Or talking or waving at them..
It feels like a burden inside, the endless chatter,
Though I always reply and am kind,
Because as a kid, I too wanted to be heard and listened..
But sometimes, I feel, why should I be too nice to them?
I can be critical, and not force myself to mingle, play, and answer every question that excites their spirit.
But then my mind takes me back into time,
When I saw the same bond in my cousins, aunt, and people, who responded to my queries.
So I smile, I ask, how she is doing, I compliment her,
And share my wisdom, when she is in a position to listen..
But sometimes, I have to force myself to make her feel nice…
When on the inside its all dry, when I am warped in my thoughts, and feel like being on my own…
She keeps talking, and I have to unsew my lips, to force that conversation..
She is only ten, a flower with little spots of judgement.
Therefore, I feel like making her feel special, and heard..
Because I know, every kid deserves it.
Hence, I smile for the world.
To think, I am dumb, cold and numb,
To make them stay away from me…
And I am getting better and better at it.
Smiling is a test of my patience…
It’s an art form I am trying to marvel..
Sometimes I get sick of it,
And feel like catching the bus that leaves at 9 am.
Because inside that bus everybody was a victim.
And nobody expected me to smile back at them.
They saw me and wondered–
“What goes inside this girl’s mind?
She has that oriental features,
What language does she speak?
She seems to catch our eyes.”
Hence people and pretty girls never sat next to me.
It made me feel good and better than the rest of the crowd
Who were never as pretty as me..
Because they wore angry faces, were always upset and triggered,
Especially when they saw the jam-packed bus taking a good 15 minutes break…
I was the only person who didn’t care much.
I was happy not to be disturbed.
I used to sit and relax.
Sometimes I wanted to be there forever,
I watched the crowd panicking like we see men and women in daily soaps, sobbing..
There I never faked a smile,
Whenever I exchanged smiles, it was with elderly people, and tribal women from Rajasthan,
Because they were as calm as me, and I connected with their energy…
Except for the time, when I faked a smile for a few unknown faces,
By that time I forgot how to force one,
I was living in my head, in peace, sometimes in distress,
But I was going on, I felt strong and people became alien to me,
But I was happy there.
Inside that bus, going in the same destination every day.
I remember I smiled less back then, but it was pleasantly beautiful and real…”
The Plot of this Poem:
Sometimes we want to be vulnerable, to be real humans, who feel sad, heartbroken, hopeless. This helps us to accept our pain, sorrows, and just be humans with emotions.
However, the world stops you and tells you to do this and that. Without knowing what goes on in that person’s head.
You cannot keep your mind open for all. You accept the fact that nobody will understand it. You just smile, do your work, and live like we are told to in this well-structured society.
Sometimes you don’t feel like smiling, talking to people, and faking happiness. Because you are too numb for being in that state to please others. However, you are expected to be happy and to respond with a smile.
During such moments, it takes great courage to smile because little by little when that smile unfurls it scrapes your heart. You have to keep aside what you were feeling as a human with some hardwired emotions inside.
Therefore you smile, and that smile isn’t beautiful, it is painful. You cannot cry even when you are bleeding inside. You cannot say you have lost your mind, all you do is you fake a smile. Because that’s what you can do, and are told to do…
Smile like a sunflower, smile like a rose, smile for the kids that lives next door…. Because that’s all we can do, I suppose.
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Let thy spirit be high in love. Namaste