La Vie Est Belle.

We were walking toward the AMC Theater, just my mother and I, when a certain tide of pure bliss began to wash over me. Like waves in the endless ocean as the tide rises toward one, this overwhelming feeling drew near me softly and slowly, first tickling the toes, then receding a bit, then reaching toward the calves, then receding a bit again, and then reaching the knees, and I’m sure that if I’d rested immobile it would have covered my head in no time, and carried me away, blissfully unconscious and without any trace of protest, in its caressing flow back to the vast salty water. But this tide of pure bliss was accentuated by a constant, subtle reminder: “Enjoy this rare moment of utter peace, because later you will have to go back to your responsibilities and misery. And because if you don’t enjoy this now while you can, you shall always regret not having lived this moment to its fullest.” And for once, I tried to listen to my heart’s advice.

The parking lot, devoid of all signs of human activity, was naught more than a vast labyrinth of stationary cars around which we made our way to the grand entrance. As I saw the colorful façade of the once-profitable cinema, the pent-up anxiety of years seemingly evaporated in the crisp dusk air. It was the second time in my life going to an actual cinema to watch a movie. After all, I usually was too busy to even watch a movie in the first place, and when I wasn’t too busy, I was too cheap to spend anything on movies and thus never watched any other than the couple of passable films available on my mother’s Amazon Prime.

But last night was different. Under that blue moon, we were in the mood for spending money on unnecessary things. For me, it was the first day of Spring Break after a hectic three months in the new year of 2018. For her, it was an unusual Friday night away from her job set aside for time with her baby girl, now an awkward adolescent. For various reasons personal, scholarly, and professional, both of us felt accomplished and happy for once. There was no argument over my overwhelming stupidity, no bickering over my incurable laziness, no harsh rebuke for my cursed clumsiness, no angry yelling over the couple of ostensibly worthless friends that I had.

In this auspicious state we entered the cinema. Though we have lived near it for all of our five years in the country, we had never entered it before. The high ceilings and interior design reminiscent of its bygone era of profitability greeted us as we got our tickets. The ticket lady asked us which film we wanted to watch, and spotting on the bulletin a film a friend of mine recommended, I chose that one, while my mother nodded her beautiful head in agreement. Apparently we either both look like students despite our 24-year age difference or the kind ticket lady was having an especially good day, because both of us managed to somehow receive discounted student tickets instead of the usual adult ones. You see, my mother is almost 40, but looks young enough to be a high school student. I, on the other hand, look 30 despite my actual age of 15. I guess this was one gene the ugly duckling didn’t get from the beautiful swan mother.

Giggling over our great fortune, we sauntered into Auditorium 6, where our film Love, Simon was scheduled to begin to play in a quarter hour. As we sat down to dorky Coca-Cola ads, I contemplated what my friend had told me over text a couple weeks ago. He had said something along the lines of, “It’s hard to keep a constant secret. When you’re finally able to be yourself and stop hiding from the world, it’s like you can finally breathe again.” It was the first time in a very long while that I felt understood in the essence of my heart. Throughout my life, I’ve kept to myself deliberately. Maybe I am afraid of discovery, maybe I don’t want people to have anything to do with me, maybe I have this unreasonable fear of dependency and emotional ties embedded into my heart. I have only hung out with “friends” my own age twice, as in, twice when I was around five years old in the hawkish presence of our respective families, and the only non-school sponsored party I’ve ever been to was the birthday party of a classmate back in kindergarten. This was all before I had found out something was inherently “other” about me.

I have a horrid case of what I myself would call relentless ambition. Nothing is ever enough to satisfy my quenchless thirst for perfection. My level of self-esteem and self-acceptance is directly correlated to my most recent achievement and my ability to keep my mind busy enough to not think, to not worry. A typical conversation with myself sounds like: A 1600 on the SAT? Nice, but what about the next AP Chemistry test? Perfect grades? Fine, but what about making money? A great online job that makes a shit load of money when I want to? Sweet, but what about emotional intelligence? Oh, right, I don’t have any close friends. Fuck. Right. I’m an absolutely worthless piece of shit not worth people’s spit who is destined to be forever alone and miserable through no fault of others but rather through my own social ineptitude. Right. Fuck.

Or something of that sort. You get the idea.

But last night all that fell away like the layers of a peeled onion, leaving nothing but the sweet heart of the pungent vegetable, the essence of my bliss. I loved the movie, and while I had to explain some sections to my mother, who does not understand English when spoken too fast, I enjoyed doing that too. Granted, taking my ultra-conservative mother to watch a film about a gay guy coming out might not have been the best idea for mother-daughter bonding time, but I also wanted to see her reaction. (Yes, I know, classic emo teenage girl.) To my pleasant surprise, she enjoyed the majority of the movie, but was utterly shocked to see the crazy party scenes and the makeout sessions.

We walked out of the theater with all the other eight people in Auditorium 6, desperately needing the bathroom after the long film. Walking back to the car, we couldn’t have been happier. I knew I still had an entire essay in a foreign language to write after getting back home, but I felt I could finally face life’s demands again without killing myself just that much more on the inside. I kissed my mother good night when she went to bed, and for the first time in a very long time, I told her that I loved her. But before settling down to three solid hours of essay-writing, I opened the window and looked up at the stars, also for the first time in a very long time. Breathing in the green grass that surrounded our ground-floor apartment, I whispered to the heavens, “La vie est belle.”


Don’t Take Your Health for Granted.

Full stop.

In today’s day and age, science has advanced to a point where many people do not worry anymore about their day-to-day mortality risk. And I was one of them, until today.

As a 15-year-old living in the U.S., my biggest quotidian worries are grades, extracurriculars, my social life (or lack thereof) and, of course, a certain someone of the opposite sex. So, it isn’t surprising that I 1) don’t drink nearly enough water, 2) am in a state of constant emotional misery and stress, and 3) have a horrible sleep schedule.

And all this takes a physiological toll. I have had stomach, digestion, and stool issues for the past six to eight months, a cold for the past three weeks, and sporadic dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness, chest pain, and nausea. Yes, yes, a lot to handle at once. But long story short, all this culminated in a vomit session today halfway through a difficult-ass test, and, thanks to the powers that be, I was allowed to go home for the day.

So my mother drove me to the hospital, where they did the usual weight measurements, blood pressure and heart rate measurements, etc. Turns out my heart is racing at a speed that is too fast for my age, probably because of the above-said factors. According to doctor’s orders, I should have one sound chunk of sleep instead of breaking it up into two naps, drink a HELL of a lot more water, and always have a snack in my bag just in case I pass out.

The doctor recommended a counselor center to me, saying that 50 to 60 percent of all Americans at some point in life have issues with stress, anxiety, and depression. I probably have issues with all three.

Well, such is life. I’ll do a more artistic post when I feel more in the mood for it.

an apology to start 2018.

Sorry that I told you to fuck off in 2017.

Sorry that I told you to go to hell.

Sorry that I told you that you were a good-for-nothing idiot, that you were not even worth my while listening to, and that I told you all that and more out of my own twisted frustration with myself.

Sorry for not being able to see the good in you or anybody. And sorry for playing stone, never emotional enough for you to realize that my fucked-up obsession with perfection goes even harder on myself, that this faulty walnut of a brain turns inward too often to only see the flaws of its own proprietor in exhaustive detail to the point where I can’t bear but hurt myself and would more than thank whatever merciful being would come and put an end to this flawed existence.

Sorry that I would rather bear the hatred, the rejection of every living being than the self-hatred of my one self. And I’m sorry to be willing to go to great lengths to be hurtfully honest at least once in a while in order to please my own perverse obsession, almost sadistic, and be sometimes so honest that my bluntness has hurt you. And I’m sorry that at the heart of all this bullshit lies the fact that I, the true, depressed Sukanya, must emerge at least once every so often from underneath the leaden, suffocating mask of the eternally sarcastically jovial Suk to breathe in order to not asphyxiate and perish forever, forgotten as a mere punctuation mark in the history of me.

Sorry, mother, for being such a bitch to you. Sorry for not having been a better daughter, sorry for pissing you off, sorry for not acknowledging often enough the sacrifices you make without which I would not be here today…

Sorry, father, for not having forgiven you sooner. Sorry for not having realized that you are human too, and that yes you fuck up, and that yes you have emotions too.

And I’m sorry to the empty void in my chest that people would call a heart. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, for dragging you over whatever jagged rocks I could find just so that I could feel something for once. And yes, I’m sorry, sorry, sorry for not having realized sooner that I was just dragging over rugged terrain an airy cavity whose leaden contents had so long ago been emptied out over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

And I’m sorry to my empty tear ducts. I remember in my eternal numbness having used you once, maybe twice, this entire past year.

And I’m sorry to my body. I’m sorry for taking my anger out on you instead of taking care of you as I should.

And I’m sorry to all of my readers for not being able to be more positive, not being able to share happy stories of butterflies and unicorns or even deeply revitalizing ones of human redemption. I’m sorry that reading my writing has depressed you and probably made you question your existence.

And I’m trying to change in 2018, but I’ve tried so hard to constantly change and reinvent myself over the past year that I’m tired, fatigued that my efforts have borne no fruit, exhausted at faking a smile, a laugh, a pointless conversation when my true mind is twenty thousand miles away in Hades.

And I will keep trying, I will keep torturing myself through false extraversion and my cursed mask of jovialness just out of self-defense, just so that people don’t think I’m as socially inept and antisocial as I truly am.

And so I shall trudge on, on, on, with every year deeper into the mired, incomprehensible labyrinth that is life, farther into my self-inflicted torture, farther, farther, farther…

A Rainy Day

It rained on the park bench. And a drab, dirty, miserable at that.

It rained on the homeless man laying upon it, every fiber of whose being shuddered at the sound of every splattering drop in the drenched coldness of despair.

It rained on the fallen, forgotten crabapple, half-smushed by the feet of pedestrians past.

It rained on the back of the dead, rotting squirrel corpse in the middle of the road. In its eternal sleep one may discern even a relieved look, as if it had finally escaped the burdens that haunted it in life.

It rained on the dirty, discarded shoelace chewed up by its owner’s pet Pomeranian.

It rained on the schoolchildren flinging mud at their smallest classmate. Without seeing them, one could never imagine a look of such sadistic malice in such synergy with faces so young.

It rained on the garden of the corner café, meshing the cozy, toasty aromas it emanated with the fresh odor of fallen rain on newly-cut grass.

It rained on the lovers held together by nothing in common but a shared fear of being alone. They kissed desperately, almost as if to drown their sinister thoughts and impulses in their passion.

It rained on the rapturous newlywed couple walking hand in hand from the local church, oblivious to all but their nuptial bliss.

It rained on the half-naked unemployed man reading his eviction notice as he walked, glancing up only to glimpse at the town millionaire’s white house. But he didn’t linger, no, he didn’t need any cop fining him for disturbing the peace on private property.

It rained on the mayor, ruining her thousand-dollar pantsuit and frizzling her neatly-tucked hair.

It rained on the law student suddenly awake from an unintended nap session on his shared patio with three other students. A tort law textbook turned to page 208, now with ink running down the page, falls from his lap as he stands up and slaps his own face to commence another evening of heavy cramming.

It rained on the aspiring musical actress running home from catching a break in the café, eager to resume her vocal training with a new Hamilton songbook.

It rained on the cemetery, eroding the barely-legible epitaphs engraved on the sunken tombstones of the forgotten deceased of times long past.

It rained on the smiling widow watering her petunias. Has she found peace at last?

It rained on all our hearts.

No Time to Write?

If you haven’t realized, I have been posting a lot less frequently as of late. Again, school has started, and I may not be able to post as often. I’ve got too many hard classes and extracurriculars. Also, my posts may not be as high-quality as usual…which I personally despise, but whatevs. But I try to keep posting at least once a month, just to force myself to write something.

But, also, a reason I have not been posting is that I have been working on a potential play, so…there’s that too. It will be growing up. Hopefully I’ll be able to post that soon.

So, yeah, here’s sort of an update on what I’ve been doing for the past couple of months, and…see you next time???


We Grew up at Midnight.

The streets are empty. The night is dark. The earth is quiet save for the sound of my own footsteps, meandering through the darkness. I’m kept from falling by nothing but the soft moonlight drifting through the clouds. A couple of stars twinkle in the sky, beckoning my eyes upward. I walk with no aim, no purpose, no reason, save that of pure escape. Now, walking is not a means to an end. It is its own end.

Tomorrow, I’ll have officially seen fifteen summers. So maybe I really haven’t seen enough to judge. But I get this feeling that maybe, just maybe, I’ve seen too much. Of human kindness, human ecstasy, human ambition, human frailty, human sorrow, human hatred, human revenge…humans in general.

And I realized that many people hated me. But I also realized that having one or two people who loved me and a dozen who hated me is better than having nobody at all feel anything at all toward me. The ones who love me make up for anything and everything the ones who hate me can do or say toward me.

And I found out that no matter how hard you work behind the scenes to achieve the amount of success you have, people will step up shamelessly to defame you, crying “dishonest,” “cunt,” “unworthy.” But I also found out that the only reason these pathetic bitches slander other people out of pure spite and jealousy is that deep down, they’re the ones who feel the most empty and unworthy, and only mind others’ business in order to feel better about themselves. And at the end of the day, they’re the reason behind most of the pain, envy, and hatred in the world.

And I found out that the ones you loved and were so good to might be the ones who end up fucking you over. But I only wish that didn’t matter. Because though I shall always remember that “love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside,” how much does it take for one to realize that love indeed is not all you need?

And I realized that I am unconsciously selfish. But it’s not even my intention that I get all stuck on the nitty-gritty and forget sometimes to reach out to others. For what is the point of existence beside to minimize suffering and maximize happiness for every life we touch?

But despite all this, I still have no idea what I’m doing. I still have yet to figure myself out emotionally, socially, mentally…I am anxious and depressed, socially inept, and though people think I’m smart, goddammit I fuckin’ ain’t, at most things. It’s just that many people equate smartness with good grades. Let’s see how wrong they actually are in 10 years.

So I don’t know how to deal with people; goddammit, I don’t even know who I am, what I want to do with my own life, let alone how to enter the lives of others. And I guess that’s okay. I may not grow up at midnight; I may not grow up at twenty-one; I may never grow up. But that’s okay…or so I hope.

An Ode to Talkativeness [Random Rambles]

The more you talk, the better you feel.

I used to be silent, thinking that the more I talked, the more annoying I would be, but then I realized that everybody hated me despite this (or, rather, because of this). So I was like, fuck it, this strategy sure ain’t working, and reading this article cemented my inkling that, no, it really wasn’t working. So I began to talk a bit more. I started by talking to people who didn’t intimidate me, and people with whom I would like to be friends. Then my circle of talkativeness widened, and weirdly, the more I talked, the better I felt. Also, the more I talked, the better I was at talking and having a more interesting personality.

My depression, though it still exists, has not come back to haunt me in the form of suicidal thoughts. My anxiety, though it still exists, has ceased to give me nightmares and panic attacks every day. Though I still get nightmares and panic attacks, they have been toned down and occur less frequently.

I guess talking is just a way to distract yourself, at the end of the day. But you can also make friends along the way, and I guess with mental health issues, the more you can distract yourself healthily, whether it be with schoolwork, work, activities, or hanging out with friends, the better.

I don’t mean that talkativeness is good without bounds – once you hit a certain level, you do get annoying. But I guess if you realize you’re being annoying by talking too much, then that probably means you haven’t yet hit that level. If you’re really annoying, then you don’t ever realize you’re being annoying.

Moreover, a byproduct of being talkative and faking your happiness is that at the end of the day, you really become happier and less vulnerable. Numerous psychological studies suggest that the more you smile, the happier you are. Also, people who are more talkative and less marginalized in society get “fucked over” less – assholes are a bit scared of happy people with lots of friends, might I say.

So, yeah, I guess this concludes my “random rambles” this time, and I now have to go back to being productive. I have a PowerPoint due Tuesday about McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials, and I cannot procrastinate more…see you next time.