Trigger Warning/Content Warning:
Mention of death/loss, and content entailing the current pandemic and general despair. Proceeding with due discretion is advised.

For the most part, I am numb. Used to hearing the worser parts of it all. Expecting bad news when someone rings me up or messages me out of the blue. I outright don’t want to feel, sometimes, and my mind complies. Some things are too much, and it’s best not to deal with them.  But there is a part of me that can still feel. I do not know what I think about it. It’s an interesting paradox — being so numb that you forget who you are in the chaos.

The part of me that still feels only thinks in extremes.

I am pained. Deeply. Truly. It hits all at once, right before I’m going to bed, or when I put away my plates after lunch. I grieve for those who I knew, I grieve for those I never got to know, and I grieve for hundreds and millions of strangers. I am privileged. Privileged to be in a safe space, privileged to be able to afford basic necessities, privileged to not have lost someone in my immediate circle of people.

I am angry. Ferociously. Blindingly. At whoever or whatever did this to those I love. I want justice for the people who we shouldn’t have lost. I want to blame someone, something, but the names on the endless list of puzzle pieces all blur together and I end up blaming myself. I do not know why. I can’t comprehend a lot of things it seems, these days.

I am tired. Exhaustingly. Completely. It’s hard to switch from whatever I’m doing to something else. Time refuses to make sense anymore, and I let it be that way. School is starting again… do I remember when it ended? Not really.

So much goes on in the news nowadays. I read through everything when I have the time, but I simply push it to the back of my mind. I hate myself for not caring about the stories of my own citizens — I wished I could save every little memory, every little piece of those I hear about. I fail and they slip away, slowly but surely. But I still see them, I think. I hear them. I hear everything. It hurts.

I am unfortunate. To be trapped in the middle of it all. And there are others far more misfortunate than I am, and I try to help, but I lose constantly — my arms are tied behind my back and there is a cloth around my mouth. As if to hide the frustration, the stories, the lived experiences I want to scream out to the world.

I am… fortunate. To still have the friends and family I love with every part of my being still with me. I wish I could protect all of them through some miracle, and every moment they grieve, I do too. I do not like seeing them so hurt. But there is little I can do about it. So I hold on next to them. Say words that I hope to be comforting but I know they’re meaningless. I just go on and on. Hoping I’ll reach them.

The people around me are brave and resilient. Far more than I am. And I am grateful for them every day, because I could not have done without them. And I daresay, you, reading this are too. It takes a lot to be here. It takes a lot to stay, and I hope you know that. I hope you know that you are entitled to your grief, I hope you know that your suffering is valid, regardless of its magnitude. It is okay if you can’t get out of bed easily. I hope your struggling lessens, somehow. I hope you are able to reach out, and I beg of you to do it if you have to. This is not something anyone should go through alone. Not even you. Never you.

Hold out a bit more. I won’t be able to tell you till when, but I hope you keep it somewhere in your mind. I hope you still hear the birds chirp. I hope you still have those fleeting moments of happiness and joy and love. I hope, I truly do, that you find some relatability, some peace, some solace in something here. I hope you find kindness burning powerfully somewhere in the darkest of times.

I hope, with every inch of me, that you will get through this. And I long for the day it all somehow ends.

P.S., here’s a toast to the ones holding on for us all. I can’t name all the names, verifier friends, and the ones out there on the frontlines battling for humanity — but I do not think I will ever forget you, your compassion, your empathy and your dedication.

– Yashasvini Verma, Amity International School, Noida



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