Battle Of Silence By Naveen Bommakanti.
I am reminding myself again: “There is only one instinct in life – ‘Survival’.” I reminded myself the other day and the day before. Though, how many times I keep recalling the same – day by day as nights falling shorter – it is becoming harder to live; even much heavier to breathe and accept my instincts that I am going to die without living the way I want.
It all began with a smile followed by my cry. It all began with a cry that caused many smiles. I thought, the only cry that makes others happy is our birth. However, the day I was born my mother cried along with me. I cried for my life but this time she cried with life’s content. I didn’t see her – I was utterly ignorant when I opened my eyes.
Though, I couldn’t see anything but by instinct little did I know what to search for and very certainly my strongest instinct was to quest for air and breathe to survive; but as a mother I would do the same. In fact, anybody who knows how to feel does exactly what my mother did – She cried her heart out in joy. That’s a universal reflection of love.
At such a point of time, her tears conveyed multiple emotions. I didn’t become a mother yet to feel such emotions that are equal to a woman’s whims. Probably I never will; to be precise, I will never become a woman or that of a mother. Because I was genetically inherited to the male lineage. Though, scientific studies show that genes have nothing to do with gender.
Yet, I choose not to become a woman. Without any contradiction, I came to this life as my mother’s first boy child. I proceed with my innate gifts; I embrace boyhood; manhood and my natural livelihood. But metaphorically figuring, the sign of pure love has nothing to do either with the gender or any ethical moralities; Love has to do everything with the exchange of mutual connection and adapt to endure each other’s vast differences.
The moment I came into this existence, in my mother’s innocent tears, perhaps these three strongest impulses had been carved –
“I survived the battle of birth; so did my child.”
“Now, I can survive by looking up to his recurring dreams. The future of his life rooted to the source of my pain and gain.”
“Even if the hell falls down on me, I am going to battle with the god of hades to protect my child.”
As she felt, she nurtured me by giving her everything – I cried like every infant; walked like every child; talked like every boy; though I was raised like every other individual, yet I became a different man. I have become a man of men who is contented with silence. All this, as a consequence of love – A love from which I never come out.
At this age, I feel the similar pain of love from my mother ; but the unexpected love of a woman whom I consciously allowed, left a major scar in my memories and such pain is beyond any measure; and such unfinished traits will haunt me forever in my heart; and will keep burning my soul.
Today I need to accept everything; if not everything, at least the words of utmost honesty that are necessary to be heard. In the hope that my life would resonate and reverberate in many. I need to bleed my heart at least to console my deeply disturbed soul. I am not yet ready to share my pain with my motherly mother and make her desperately sad.
At least in these darkest hours I need to be with myself, I need to protect from myself. Although, to what length, fate tests my patience, I need to survive from my perplexed lingering thoughts.
My mother – From the moment I was born, I have been living in her presence. But in 2015 I chose to leave my native place – Hyderabad. As I have the freedom to choose my career, I decided to reside in north India for higher studies. And ever since I left home, I have been living in her prayers, in her longings, in her tender heart and in her pseudo fears and in her ceaseless suffering. She has been living just for the sake; without complaining; venturing the labour work and advancing with my father in his sacrifices; in the fair share of heavy breaths and bruised eyes; together in their scariest nightmares, yearning to witness me in my better future.
To describe my father no words would ever suffice to express. But to be In-brief, I see myself in him, and he perceives himself in a sage. We are carriers of the burdens and healers of the souls, we are for each other in our every thought that leads us to do good – to be at peace.
I accept that I am humbled and honoured to be the child of such modest parents. They both ceased their time to provide me ethereal amenities and never thought about themselves but my companionship in their dreams, deeds, and words. Such a selfless love. They both have been living for a single moment that someday I make them proud and bring order to their lives and add value to their suffering.
It’s been 5 years since I didn’t visit home, and they are missing from me, and I am missing from them, but we are in one another.
Ever since I moved to the north, I have been exposed to new experiences which coincidentally helped me to expand my thought process, I went to pursue computer science and accidentally discovered the power of my intuition and graced as a writer. That is the beauty of travelling; and education; and self-actualization.
Though I discovered my purpose as a writer, I was not ready for it, as I knew nothing to pursue it. But, what all I knew by instinct, that I feel everything about life in its depths and heights and all of its zeniths. I feel that’s my power – A nature’s gift which my parents have given me at birth.
I was alone, and I have a degree neither in arts nor in literature but in computer science. I knew nothing about the process of writing and publishing. Yet, anyhow I envisioned becoming the greatest writer of all time.
However, to support myself and make parents happy I chose to do a job in the computer science field itself, attended multiple interviews and earned a decent job but there was no inner satisfaction as my vision shows a different path and unique destiny which I am going to write by myself for my life.
Besides, I wanted to give it a try and work on this job for a few months. And I have been evolving psychologically with each waking dawn, ever since I realized the true potential and the possibilities of evolution not in a job but in the discovery of my imagination.
My friends who finished graduation along with me began their lives with their families, but I was still in search of it. In the process I came to a stage where I created my own understanding about living, loving and learning. In this journey I perceived my path in which I found a woman who is equal to my life and similar to my mother.
To understand her, psychologically, I have become a woman. But when I realized the complexity of her existence, I stopped being a woman and went with her ways which lead me to the fragility, mystery, and the life that was occupied with love.
Now, I have become a man who understands her – not in its entirety but the parcel of my being, and she has in common. With such mutual connection, I am ready for life and do anything for love. Now I accept a woman as she is.
It’s been 3 years we realized our place in this creation and united in the name of love and connected for life. But for the past 14 months, the days are unlike days and each night is like a curse – It is a bit colder in my heart; a sense of loneliness in the soul, emptiness in life. I have been feeling like my whole existence has abandoned me – She suddenly disappeared from my life without any cosy hug, or a friendly kiss, or a wordy goodbye.
All these months I was looking for the patterns to find the reason for her departure. I tried to reach her in all possible ways, but her electronic medium was shutdown. And the worst possibility – I was unaware of her exact home address. Nonetheless, I searched and searched and at last wished and hoped that “She is safe and happy with her parents. And will return to me one day”.
Yet, all sorts of dark energies possessed me; I was punishing myself with my own thoughts, blaming all my flaws for her absence. Sadness took me to a great depression. When I was almost at my extreme period of grief, out of nowhere exactly 7 months ago she rekindled through Facebook chat from her grandmother’s NOKIA 216. Her text says: “Nav! I’m in great trouble, I don’t have access to anything. Don’t be worried, I’ll text you when I get the opportunity, but I’m not sure when it will come. Take care of yourself! I love you.”
A simple message from the right person would wake a person from hell – Her arrival brought me to life; A gift of reincarnation to prevail my survival. I missed the unconditional vibration of her soul. A love that keeps me to love without any prejudice, because her love is no less than my mother’s instincts. And it’s critically rare to unearth such a breed of feminine. I was insanely lucky that our paths intersected.
As I wished, she returned. The text from her soothed my wounded soul. I was happy that she is alive. But the kind of message she put consumed me from within. Her message was vague; in hurry; fearful; indeed a great sense of trouble. After, I was aware that she was in trouble, I couldn’t stay still. Though, I have no idea of her address, I searched for her once again, but nothing helped. After a few days of constant quest, I forced myself to settle-down and thought it would be better to wait.
The art of living is such a sensitive process. These uncertainties compel me to become who I want to be and with each tragic experience, I am heading closer to myself.
As I am approaching near, the vision is expanding much larger; Pain is growing much deeper; Love is revealing its hidden maktub. With all such changes in myself, I am becoming the life itself.
3; 4; 5 months have passed. Further, neither a phone call nor a text from her.
In May 2020, after 6 months of wretched nights, she texted again and mentioned that her parents found out about our relationship and the whole family shifted to their grandmother’s city. They forced her to quit the job, grabbed all the devices, disconnected her from society, ceased her freedom and grounded her in a single room for these many months.
I couldn’t imagine how much she might have suffered due to her strict parents and I can’t even compare her pain to mine to be treated with such contempt. I was deeply saddened by listening to her situation. We consoled each other for our conditions and I requested her to inform her new address, so that I would visit their parents and convince them for a marriage proposal. But she denied by saying:
“More than me, my parents were greatly hurt and disappointed by me. Because, in their eyes, loving is a taboo. As they came from different times and cultures, in their perspectives, choosing my heart is equal to disrespecting their sentiments and stature.
They stuck to their limited beliefs and were not even ready to listen and see my face. They are dying inside by thinking, I betrayed their expectations though I have not done anything. I did nothing but love. Yet, I do not know why everything is happening to me. You can’t see me sad, but there is nothing left in my life other than sadness.”
She wept for months and now by expressing all her struggles, she allowed her pain to pass through her eyes. And I was stoned to say anything. Yet, I didn’t want to show my pain to her and brought courage to myself and said:
“Baby! I love you. I am missing you so much. You do not worry, take care of your mental and physical health. Focus on your life. Do not get stressed by the future. As of now, take care of your parents and expose them to some fresh air. If possible, consult a doctor for them including yourself.
Let’s give some time, we all need space and healing. Let’s see, they might change their minds and wish something good might happen. Once, if you and your parents begin to feel better, I will find a way to approach my parents and convince them to approach your family for our marriage proposal. Until then, be close to your family and take care of each other. I am just happy you returned. That’s all I need. Hope we will meet soon.”
Thus, for every 15 to 20 days, she secretly began to text me through her grandmother’s phone as still they prohibited her from accessing anything. But, whenever she got the opportunity, she updated the status of the family condition.
Meanwhile, I have been in contact with my parents through phone calls and video calls for all these years. Recently, for the first time they asked something that I didn’t know how to respond to.
“My son, you are 25 now,” Dad said in a phone call “I think it’s the perfect age to get married.”
“Hahaha” When I do not know what to say, that’s what I do. In this particular situation my laugh suggested him, please not now. But, as I knew him very well, hesitatingly I answered, “Who’s she?”
“My close friend’s daughter. He approached me and requested for my approval, if you agree I would say, yes to him. She would be a good match for you. With your marriage our lifelong friendship would turn into a lifetime blood relationship.”
I responded “But, papa! You know my situation, I am not yet settled, I have neither a job nor a steady income source, and I am still struggling to get stable in life.”
I think the phone is in speaker mode, so my mom joined the conversation,
“No need to marry right now my son,” she said,” Just we need your ‘yes.’ They will wait until you will be ready, but we all need your confirmation, so that they won’t search for other matches.”
“How can I marry a woman, whom I know nothing about?” I asked
“Don’t worry about that Naveen, we provide details of her, you can contact her. Get to know each other. We know you will like her.”
They were unaware of my issue. I didn’t know how to tell that I am in love with another woman. I didn’t know how to convince them that the woman whom I was loving hails from another part of India who was not familiar with our language, culture and work. Even If I express my thoughts and feelings, they are looking for their friendship, but I am looking for my soul mate.
I didn’t want to hurt them in any way, “Give me some time, and let me think about it.” I said to them politely even though I was not at all interested in that proposal.
“Take your time, but you are going to say yes and will marry her. That’s it.” my mom said finally.
“Hahaha” I chuckled again in pain which they didn’t notice. Though how much freedom they have given me, for the first time I felt they are trying to control my life in this marriage matter. I thought most of the parents are alike in this matter of marriage. And hung up the call.
For the same matter, I wanted to discuss my girl. So, I forwarded my exact conversation with parents on Facebook chat, to know her thoughts and what she might have to say.
Even after a month I texted, she neither saw my message nor responded to me. And almost every time I called home, my parents brought up the same topic and convinced me to agree to their proposal. But, finally I opened up and expressed my feelings of love for my woman.
They were literally devastated after listening to my story. I realized, they perceive me as a different version within themselves. All my life I was listening to them and acting as per their will, though they have given me the choice of freedom for my career. But in this matter, they are obliged to their beliefs and value of friendship. It was difficult for them to digest my negotiation.
They couldn’t say no more, disappointed and being hurt, they chose silence.
After 2 months of my text, she responded with a message, “My parents’ health has worsened, I cannot see them dying, if something happens to them because of me, I cannot live with such remorse. I would rather choose to suffer by killing my emotions and me, but I cannot see them suffer for me. I don’t think our relationship works. At least one of us should move on. Listen to your parents by killing your mind, heart and soul. Just live for them, they won’t even know that you died inside. Because for them, their beliefs, values and prestige is more important than the hearts of their children. Yet, I am sure, parents know better than us. Whatever they do, it will be good for everyone. Time heals everything. Take care of your parents, make them happy and just forget about yourself.”
“Baby! Don’t give up. Everything has a solution, don’t make things more complicated than they are. Let’s give it a try, let me talk to them peacefully, let me come to you, provide me your home address, I will come to you, allow me to be with you in these difficult times, you are not alone baby! We both are in this together. Let’s fight for our love. I am ready to do anything to earn you with all my might. Don’t think in such a way. If I convince my parents they would listen to me, they care for my life, let’s give one more chance to each other. Don’t think of anything now. Just take your time, Maybe you will see clear, when your mind becomes calmer”
But there was no response, she didn’t say a word; she chose silence.
And I couldn’t say anything furthermore. There is nothing left to say. I, too, chose silence.
She is not the same woman any more with whom I fell in love with. There is no more love in her words, she is afraid of the consequences. She is entirely scared to death. Where there is fear, there is no love. And where there is no love, there is utterly ignorance. But, in her ignorance there is a mysterious meaning which impelled to sacrifice her dreams. “Perhaps, it is the question of survival.”
I could see clearly she is not herself any longer. Though as per my experience she was a fearless and well-balanced woman, but in this particular instance her emotions conquered her. The fear of uncertainties, blinded her mind. And her hyper sensitive nature towards violence, burdened her heart. She came to a state of incapable of neither thinking nor feeling for her own soul. She already died inside by passing all the stages of grief. Thus, I could not say anything. I didn’t want to force anything.
If my woman itself gave up on me, whom shall I fight for?
Often the right and wrong decisions are similar – they are complicated.
But she chose not to take a decision at all, she killed her emotions, handed over her life to her parents.
But what about me?
I was ready for everything from the beginning. I foresaw this day would arrive sooner, yet I chose to stand for myself and fight for the love of my loved one. And I dreamed nothing but the peaceful union of both families. But at the end I didn’t even have the opportunity to fight. Every one of us selfishly chose to protect our skin in order to survive without living the way we wanted.
I wanted to marry her, I wanted to create a beautiful world for our families, I planned my entire future in my imagination. But in the end, all I could do is simply stare blankly when my whole future collapsed into its abyss.
The status of my existence is unpleasant to witness and horrifying as often, my love story has been veiled in the secrecy of darkness.
Now I am left all alone scavenging from bitter reality. My tolerance is long-lived for the calls of ghosts of my dead ancestors. I am mourning for my own death, in a way even life feels pity for itself.
She convinced herself with lies that she’s going to survive. And I tormented myself with the truth that she is not my woman any more. But, for both nothing comforted. Neither lies nor the truth. We have forgotten the secrets of our special magic, and stayed with the turmoil of our hidden battlefields. Confronted each other and have become the liars to both our families. Killing the love even before giving birth to itself.
My noble pursuit to love screamingly dismissed with heartbreak and confined to silence and darkness. There is no sacredness to honesty, trust and faith. There is only dominance of fear and ignorance – central pride and indifference.
Among the many strange things about humans that make us one of the most fascinating and least understood creatures of life – everyone is looking for love yet no one is any closer; when love itself approaches us. Such a mercy to ourselves. Such pathetic souls.
She is keeping torturing her dead soul her, without knowing whom to share her pain of life and the suffering of her love. Her parents are dying inside in their minds without understanding the heart of their beloved daughter, by being stubborn with their ways and thoughts that lead nowhere but death. And my parents neither want to hurt me nor themselves. Stuck in their mixed emotions and worsened their health too.
I am here left bereft, forsaken to the forlorn of hope and figuring whom to solace.
I was born with ignorance; even with such innocence, I went to war with myself to win the love of loved ones. Now, all I mastered is silence. All in the end, our love has fallen apart and famed with the battle of silence.
Despite, she gave up on herself – I did not – and I will not until all the possibilities sync with the love of tragic Macbeth and fade away into its eternal oblivion.
I will find ways to heal the wounds and bring order to our lives. Since she was suffering her own inner skirmish, I understood her silence and given her space in the hope that she will recover to her original self.
In the meantime, I resigned my job too and followed my intuition. Henceforth, writing my mind and bleeding my heart into each sheet I could find and tirelessly pitching my stories to the magazines that never responded. Wishing someday my voice will be heard.
Thus and thus, I can earn a name for myself; witness that happy tears in my parents and approach her family and with love and respect, rightfully propose the love of my life; will marry her and live my life the way I wanted.
My parents have given me birth, but they didn’t give birth to my fate. It is mine to write. My woman has given me her heart, but now it is not in her hands to stay until last. I will let my destiny create an opportunity for me.
It is time to suffer. They say suffering leads a man to perfection and everyone is suffering for their own survival. Yet, my intuition says, “One who is not ready to suffer for love, suffers for life.” Therefore, I choose to suffer for now than forever.
The arrival of love makes little difference in the weather. I hope for the miracle to happen from the midst of this New Year eve.
Wait is a wise man’s faith. Therefore, I will wait and watch and act. This is not the end, but the beginning of halfway.
What if the life hold me into its mysterious chest and set me free from this battle of silence?