Tell me about each of your pieces Parvinder, and why you wrote them.
Firstly, I want to say that to me, any piece of paper is a room full of soft yellow flowers, sky-high mountains and a lush green oasis. Mum says I have always had a piece of paper in one hand and a pen in another. I am 20 years-old and I have seen very little of this world; I have read very little, learned very little. All these little bits have helped me to come up with the pieces that I have submitted for this book. Every piece that I submit to the universe has its strings attached to me. I wish reading this will help the readers to figure out how they have been feeling, because whenever I am able to give words or colours, or find sounds to my fears, they become a beautiful motion picture of the past and I am finally able to move away from it.
RED is a result of many different poems from when I was still younger with anger issues that were nothing like the ones that I now walk with. We all have a past coloured in the colour that we might not like and love at the same time. Mine is of the colour red. At some point, I realized that anger caused destruction and that I was hurting the ones that had nothing to do with the way that I was feeling. I knew I couldn’t hurt them and I had recently heard of an alternative. Self-harm. As stupid as it sounds, it was deeply satisfying. From “oh let’s just try it” I went to “huh I feel so happy, let’s do it again”. It was by far my stupidest decision. It is like smoking or any other addiction for that matter-of-fact. Once you are into it, only strong determination will help you get out. Once I knew it was wrong, thanks to the moon, I started looking for alternatives. I started painting, drawing, gardening, journaling. In other words, doing anything but that. It helped! Go for a jog, take boxing lessons, go for a walk; all of it helps! Take my word on it, the world is so much prettier outside Red.
It is true that we need to feel strongly to come up with something that holds the ability to move someone else. I’m not easily satisfied with what I write, but there are some pieces by the end of which I am ready to cry for a few good minutes. RED was one of them.
COMMENCING is very specifically about feeling numb. There were times when I found it so hard to feel anything at all. I didn’t really cry when my Grandfather passed away. Not like I was super close to him, but he still was my Grandfather right? I was supposed to cry right? But I couldn’t. It bothered me so much. Just because everyone else was crying and I wasn’t, I decided something was wrong with me. Only recently have I realized that it is okay to not be able to feel anything at all. Some of us are just made that way and that is okay. This is just an example, but there were always random instances when everyone else was crying and I wasn’t; dreaded those moments. All I am saying is poking a blade through you is not a solution. Feeling pain this way is not a solution. Talk to anyone. Write it out. Go see a doctor whenever you think you need to, okay?! There are chemicals that your body needs to be happy, hormones and stuff I don’t really know what they are but I know we need it. Be open about your struggles, if not because you need the help, then do it because someone else might!
BLADES is an angry piece. Sometime you just can’t wait for it all to be over right. This was from then. I’m so glad I don’t feel that way again. I keep myself so busy and I keep finding new things to do every day. Thus giving me a new reason to live every day.
REPETITION too is an angry one. I wish I could remember why I wrote it or what was the context. It never came back to me and it is a pretty old piece but I guess this happens to everyone. You know something in a moment and in the next, you forget if you were supposed to breathe out next or breathe in. I really hope this makes sense.
SCARS is a special one. You know those time when you just wish you could go back to those simple relations that you had with someone in your past? Maybe a friend or maybe just someone you nodded to in the hallway every day without fail. I hope we all have someone like that. Because when everyone else leaves, a smile from this person is enough for you to wake up with the next Sun. I try to be nice to everyone and people are nice and sweet back to me. I really wish we all would flash our wide smiles more often. I instantly want to be friends with anyone who is not shy to smile a big wide smile.
GENDERFLUID, a group of people not many talk about and I am not quite sure how to explain it myself. I know I am gender fluid for sure but I don’t know how to explain it. And hence I don’t have much to say about it, except that I am your sister and anyone who reads this is welcome to talk to me about anything at all.
The first drafts to most of these pieces were written in the shower. Yes, it is the best place for thoughts. And food courts, I love writing in food courts and cafes. So many people and so many emotion and food and coffee. All the amazing things.
To everyone reading this, I wish I could stress enough on the need to feel. Najwa Zebain said something I can never forget. She said; ‘when pain knocks on your door, let it in. if you don’t, it will knock harder. Its voice will become, louder and louder. So let it in. spend some time with it. Understand it. Then walk it to the door and tell it to leave because it’s time for you to welcome happiness.’ I live by this poem. We need to honour pain, we need to understand it, but we also need to respect ourselves and know what is best for ourselves. Get hurt but heal. I hope all of us can heal.