The Bridge – Paras MehtaJune 21, 2016
Conquering fears. *Sigh*
I ain’t conquered shit. I just embraced what I had to and slayed my insecurities. Conquering fears? I feel it is just disillusioned term..a term much synonymous to what sounds too tough to achieve – “Self Acceptance”.
Now how many of us really go hand in hand with self acceptance? You? Really?
Would you embrace the demon chained down in the depth of your insecurities? Or you keep feeding it with your insecurities..just like I used to.
Would you really accept the pervert or psycho or sadist or tyrannical or distressed or messed up or misogynistic or hate mongering part of yours? No..you would rather prefer escapism and say you never were that. You’d rather prefer saying – I ain’t that..I would never be. Or even.. you’d say..might be,Nobody’s perfect and we grow. Well,let me tell you,that’s a bag full of bullshit you are feeding your soul every second you are breathing. Don’t worry. I did the same for 20 goddamn years. I even went to the extent of jumping off of a goddamn bridge. Yes.
To begin with..my fears. I was always afraid of being alone,being cheated,being betrayed,being hurt,being cornered. I was afraid at the thought of facing my fears. I never accepted myself and lived in a make believe skin that molted every year into an uglier being,thanks to the lies I kept feeding myself.
I was a regular kid,enjoying cartoons of 90s. Pokemon,beyblade..you know all that right. Well..first change ushered in on 25th June’09.
When Michael Jackson died. I was never a die hard fan,but his death..took away a part of me. Someone whom I never knew that deep,impacted me. I feared losing people from this point onwards. However,i overcame the fear of being too good. I embraced that yes,i can be humble,good and dying soon because being overtly humble would be a better choice than die being cruel. I realised that life..is real short. I need to do something. Didn’t know what. But had to. Make a change. My family background or friends,nothing resembled of that sort which could’ve encouraged me in this venture. I held it within, with the FEAR of being called insane.
Life rolled on as I hit puberty. Adolescence took over. I fell in love. Long distance relationship was the first of any kind of relationship I had. I grew fond of the map of India and heart is where Gwalior was. 1 year,yes..and I felt like I’ve seen it all. Sacrificing things and taking risks,goddamn. Did things I had never done before. And there came a fear. FEAR OF Losing her. I overlooked her every mistake,every wrong deed and kept embracing the girl with the masquerade,not the person beneath. Soon,I fought back. I stood for myself. I felt like I almost got over the fear of losing love. Fell in love again. Years rolled by. Crossed states(right from West Bengal to Maharashtra) for sake of love.
And then Engineering happened to me! Pune became my second home. This girl was from Gujarat,for whom I came all the way to Pune.
Not more than 3 years and I realised a voice saying –
The good news is,you came a long way.
The bad news is,you went the wrong way.
This girl cheated me over 8 times in 1.5 years. Times when I fainted due to too.much shock,panic and drop in blood pressure,palpitation. Right on road. And she walked out on my lying unconscious self. People,strangers came to.my aid. God has plans. A doc was passing by and stopped to help me. I was taken to Sahyadri hospital nearby. she HAD to come there. but as they loaded me in the elevator,she left. She said I’m pretending. she shouted,”Natak bandh kar. Go to hell. Ek laath maarungi” when I feebly told her to stay. I was admitted to ICU.
And see? Dad had came to Pune to surprise me,and he got the surprise. As he got down,he got a call that I’m in ICU. He rushed in. I recovered. I reconciled with her after her then-present boyfriend cheated her.
And i kept forgiving her. Times I caught her red handed and yet trusted her innocence. And then it happened. She broke up with me. Cheated yet again. And my world came crashing down. Broken into pieces,i had no,support. Nowhere to go. I didn’t love anyone,not friends,family,just her. I had no good friends,at least I didn’t let them enter my life. It was just her. I couldn’t share. My academic records worsened. I stopped attending college,phone calls from family or anyone. I suffocated. Tired,i went to her college. Begged her not to leave. And then,yes. I was slapped. Slapped in the middle of the road for telling her,”Hey,please don’t leave. That guy won’t do shit for you. He is using you. That bastard is playing you.” Yes. She slapped me. My world stopped.
I sat by the footpath. As if my soul escaped right at that moment. All my belief in goodness,loyalty and everything nice escaped right through the cheek as her fingers lifted from my not so bruised skin.
I could feel it. I sat. I got up. Smiled. Told her goodbye. Plugged in my earphones. Random songs playing on my Sony music player. I kept walking. I was 40 kms away from.my hostel. No one knew anything. My phone was switched off. I reached a bridge after half a km. of walking. Crossed the safety railing. And was at the edge. I wasn’t even crying. I was emotion less. No soul. I could die with no soul. Swear to God,i was half an inch away from that leap. And my headphones blared “Beautiful” by Eminem. I hated Eminem since childhood for he insulted my idol Michael in a track.
I don’t know how the track got there. Must be my room mate
And I heard that line “Don’t let em say you ain’t beautiful. They can all get fucked just stay true to you”.
And I sat. Sat at the edge. I cried. Silently but my insides screaming as my senses were creeping in amd my soul coming back. Yes. I breathed life again. I walked back. Took the train back to shivajinagar. Bus to Swargate and then Sinhgad road. I locked me in a room. Cried. Couple of days. I googled up suicide counselling in India. Called them. Hung up twice cuz I couldn’t talk. And then I did speak up. Words came out and so did tears. They held me up. They called me back the next day. They kept talking. A lady was handling my case. Jasmine was her name. They called me at their office. I went there to find this slight elderly lady. I went in and touched her feet. She had saved me. Her organisation saved me.
I sill have their number saved as “Angel”.
They talked me through. The moment I walked out that door. I had accepted myself. Accepted the reality. I changed.
Now? Now i know who I am. An engineer,placed in L&T. However,I found solace in Hip Hop. I started writing down everything I felt. I started soul searching and realised..Goddamn. I love what’s inside. I found something to live for.
Music touched me. I started writing. I met with more rappers and formed Pune Hip Hop Renaissance. Everyday i had something to look ahead. To do things that even I wouldn’t have imagined.
I started rapping. Shows. People. Audience. Paid for music. Got on Radios. Got over newspaper with my squad. Acknowledgement. People respecting and loving me.for who I am. Found brothers. Found my family. Found my friends. Love was always there,i just didn’t embrace her.
I love what I’m doing more than I fear death. Cold vices of death nearly had me. But I said,”Not Today”.
My heart beat kept reminding me I’m alive and I’ve a dream to chase.
I experienced life. Pune city loved me.back. I had my first blind date,i loved myself,stopped depending, first smoke,first drink,first high,first show,first time I got on Radio,first time I went on Newspaper like Times of India(Pune Mirror),I found my passion,first time.i touched lives of people who didn’t know me. People out there who could relate to what I said and found themselves without going through the torment I did.
That’s how I conquered my fears and became what I am today. Few months back,that Gwalior girl came into a relationship with me. Played same trick. Thought I’m the same. Broke up. And nothing affected me. Cuz I had found my peace. I didnt depend on her this time.
Cuz I told her, chasing dreams are way more important than a girl who’s not sure of her presence in my future.
I realised what’s money without happiness. Or hard times without the people you love. Your fears,are the demons you create. You need to tame them. I’m a Piscean for f**k’s sake. Emotions influence me a lot. Do believe when I’m saying this. Find your purpose of life. Find it. And your fears will die of starvation. Stand up for yourself. Fight for everything you believe in. And.dont regret a thing. Even if there are regrets,learn to live with em,accept em. More u deny,more it feeds off of it.
You were your scars and weakness as.yoir medal and shield,your battle against fear is half won.
All this time I’ve been strong. All I hope that I stay strong and my belief grows stronger. Stop living with demons as they keep inviting more. Always know..you won’t be able to have anything till you love yourself. ’cause “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours”.
~Paras EmJ a.k.a Paddy(Pune Hip Hop Renaissance)