When I wrote to Sharika

I read a few musings and poems of a colleague of mine, a gentle girl named Sharika.

I wrote to her.

Dear Sharika,

If someone where to chance upon your writing, that someone would be surprised, moved and inexplicably grateful for the words you write and the way you write them. This must be evident to you from the number of times you would have been earnestly urged to publish it, with emotional and utterly redundant statements, like, “You must write!”. I might urge you to do this too, but tomorrow. Today, I might have just glimpsed, through a teeny little vein in the veil of words, the ‘why’ behind your writing.

I’ve come to understand, over two decades, that all women are the same. I don’t mean their natures; that would be a rather silly assertion. I mean their lives, their…lot. Friend, family, acquaintance, soulmate, muse…no matter who she is, every woman has been, for lack of an adequate word, violated in some capacity. I have felt the uncontrollable rage of the naive, to the simmering resignation of the helpless, as violence or perversity pecked at my loved ones like skulking vermin; ever repulsive, always a shade too quick to catch. It dawned on me, quite early, that I will never know the shades of fear that grip them, nor the steely courage they use to muffle it. I might never know the visceral pain that they are often intimate with, nor the boundless fortitude that keeps them from crumbling. However, fear and pain are like venom, which, unless brought out and dissipated, eat away at the very marrow of one’s identity. Here’s where I’ve come to understand, over two decades, that not all women are the same.

Some women are blessed with the unique ability of channeling their pain into some mysterious alchemy in their spirit, and transforming it into something else entirely. Like a mother’s kitchen, they redirect sharp tools, work away at incomprehensible ingredients, put together foul fuels and white-hot flame, and then… there is creation. The result of this alchemy is something that nourishes the soul. Not just the creator’s, but of everyone who partakes of it. Your writing, my friend, is one form of this magic. You wrote about a ‘certain depth’ you frequently visited, and yet want more of. How I envy you. While all you do is fall into it, men and their opaque imaginings are forever lost to that realm. How can mere red and blue neon lights hold any charm for someone mesmerised only by the aurora? The million little nuances and fractures in relationships parade themselves in shame, under that gaze, which can bend time itself. And through all the lies and hurt and pettiness, you still manage to hold on to your compassion.

Asking you to share these little miracles as if they were marbles, would be presumptuous of me. Then again, to you, a woman, they are indeed, little, colourful marbles. If you do give me a few, I promise to celebrate them like they were miracles.



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