Odyssey of Life

PC – Unsplash

She looked at me in the mirror and paused. She looked pale but then she smiled. As if trying restrain something! Something probably compelled her to hide under that smile. But did that smile look like her own? No, I have never seen her look so sad with a smile on her face. I think I will have to wait a little longer to see her real smile, a smile that truly touches the heart.

It’s a new day and again she stood in front of me with the same sad smile. I think the effort put in, was more today. With the heavy layering of the maroon shade glided over those lips, the attempt to look ‘oomph’ was very much evident. She again paused before faking that smile . She was then lost for hours to capture that perfect selfie pout with her phone.

She has not been looking at me for a few days now. But I can see her. I am the witness to everything that she undergoes physically, emotionally, and even mentally. She had been constantly scrolling her phone, checking different apps, trying to take pictures of her from different angles, putting on filters, deleting the pictures, and has been slowly losing her will to even smile. Bundled as a ball, she sits in the corner of her room, with the doors closed. She has drawn the curtains of her window and does not even look outside, one of her favorite activities. She used to love feeling the air in her hair. I know she adored to look at the sky, see the clouds float by, count the birds that she spots, stare at the sun with her squeezed eyes, soak in the greenery of the nature. But she has stopped indulging in all these activities for a few days now. She has cocooned herself like a caterpillar and is only feeding on the feeds that the virtual world offers her. Sometimes, she looks elated and with a sense of victory she straightens up. But this emotion stays only for some microseconds. Soon again her face is filled with gloom and she throws her phone on the bed, before burying her face in the pillow.

Today, she is at her worst! I witness her weep and that breaks my heart too. Even delicacies from the kitchen do not excite her , now that she has been facing hunger for so many days, hunger for acknowledgment, hunger for validation, hunger for being accepted. She is used to facing this hunger so much that she has lost any other appetite. I hear her talk to someone on the phone.

” I don’t know what is wrong with me. I do just like them, but I don’t get the likes, nor the views, and forget about the comments! Where is it that am I going wrong? Is it because I am on the heavier side of body weight? Is it because I don’t have that visible jawline or is it because I am not that fair? What do I do, I go out in the sun and I get tanned despite taking all precautions. I just don’t get tanned, I get skin burns! What do I do? Please help me. I am losing my mind. AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?”

I don’t know what she hears from the other side but she just nods her head along and then when the call is disconnected , she starts crying, tears rolling down her skin, she sobs like a child while lying lifeless on her bed. There is a knock on the door and look at her! How quickly she wipes those tears, splashes water on her face, and has put on that plastic smile as if nothing is wrong! No one but me knows, how deep are the scars that she is trying to hide so desperately ,trying hard to fit in the world that glorifies flawlessness, that rejoices only success, that teaches one to just run unidirectionally in the rat race with full force, to push one to comply to the trend that is being set. The so-called obsession of knowing it all, ace it all, and the dangerous obsession of validation even in the virtual world can take one completely away from reality. This is what has been troubling her as well.

I want to have a dialogue with her but only if she would find the pause to connect with me. I wish that happens soon. Before it is too late. Like her, even I am in pain. I feel aloof, caged, and incomplete. Only if she could hear me scream, she would know how loudly I am calling her towards me! Only if she would pause just for a while to acknowledge the presence of me, her real self that she has been running away from, to satisfy demands of her superficial alter ego, that never seems to end! I will wait for her to return to me, because that is what I am capable of.

I think it’s a great day today. For after such a long time she has finally come to me. She faces me and looks into my eyes standing in front of the mirror looking at her own reflection. Yes, the mirror is the only way she connects with me deeply. She turns her head left and then right. She inspects herself closely. She stands there for some time without giving in to the chaos and looks deep into my eyes. For the first time, I see a blur vision of the smile trying to make it’s presence felt. Again! I feel assured that hope has prevailed over all the darkness. I know she will survive, no matter what. She was never meant to be the crowd for she is unique and destined to stand out in the odyssey of life! It is for the best when she falls in love with herself without being a slave of obsessions to try imitating a fake someone. I am the happiest as now she has met me, her own inner shelf.

Obsessions are dangerous addictions !

I have decided to take up an emotional joy ride with this year’s A2Z challenge where my focus is to showcase different aspects of human behavior . I will be penning down pieces of fiction centered around emotions in alphabetical manner. I have a title for my theme and it is : A little bit of you; A little bit of me . 

I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z -2021

You can click on the alphabets below to read the stories that have been published so far.

A B C D E G H K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Love,

Chinmayee

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Very true post for someone who’s life is deeply impacted by SM approvals. Nice writing.

    Even I am writing for A2Z. Do visit.

    Like

  2. Harshita says:

    How well have you portrayed our obsession with SM likes, comments and views!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This has become addictive for the current generation ! Thank you for your kind words

      Like

  3. Matheikal says:

    This craving for approval from the public is a disease today. You’ve portrayed it powerfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your support ☺️

      Like

  4. Mayuri6 says:

    Such a quietly powerful post.Chinmayee. Most of us have been her, at some point in our lives. You’ve explained the inner conflict and the need for validation so beautifully. Your thoughts and topic for the theme are just so unique and vow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am thankful that my little attempt is being appreciated by beautiful people like you . Thank you so much 💞

      Like

  5. purbajune says:

    The story is enriched with realism and skillful narration. Great work dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much ❤️

      Like

  6. I cannot agree more! we have got to a stage where no likes and comments means, its not right! well written. a powerful one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for always being so supportive 💖💖💖

      Like

  7. Hope we all realise that we all are different and we are so special the way we are.. great write up..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it. Thank you 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Simon says:

    Nicely came out. Reality, skillfully came out in words…✨ Great work 👍💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting 🤠

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Anita says:

    Interesting story & ‘o’ words- odyssey, oomph, obsessions…
    Mirror never lies. Inner self too. Nice when we get to connect.
    Effort for likes & comments in social media posts have been a matter of great concern lately in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts ! Glad you liked it 😊

      Like

  10. We let others define our success when we start looking out for their approval in terms of likes and comments. All of us are obsessed to be seen as the best.
    Well narrated
    Deepika Sharma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words 🤗

      Like

  11. Harjeet Kaur says:

    This is the story of 90% of bloggers aka influencers on Instagram…very well written

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 💞

      Like

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