Games at Twilight

There are times when you want to rant. Then there are moments when rants fail you, words fail you, and disbelief is followed by a dull ache, a sense of reality being too much to cope with. Where did you go wrong? you wonder. People all around you are doing the same things, speaking the same language, asking you the same questions, giving you the same replies. They’re all cast from the same mold- and you? You couldn’t be more different if you consciously tried. And you don’t know if you want to be.

Why is it so hard? Where do all these people learn to behave, speak, answer, act like robots? Social pressure to conform can be a terrifying thing, and each time you strike a wall, you wish you’d learn not to, but then you’ll always be like that- yourself. They’ll laugh at you sometimes, envy you sometimes, gang up, but you’ll be alone- in a crowd of hundreds, you know you’ll be alone. They won’t understand you. They can’t. Loneliness can be an even more terrifying feeling- like hurtling through a tunnel with no control. Why are you like how you are? you wonder. They’re friends, some of them, but none of them will ever quite understand how you feel. Sure, you’ll laugh along, you might even connect to some of what they’re saying. But a part of you will know you’re alone. You’ll try to make it up to yourself- tell yourself you’re special and that they won’t understand you because they can’t think like you can- but deep down, you wonder.

Each time, you’re drawn to the same kind of people, you make the very same mistakes over and over again. You know you’ll fall; it’ll be the same regret and pain all over again- but you’ll do it anyway- because you know you can’t walk away. What kind of fool does that make you? You don’t know. You dislike such probing questions- the ones that torment you deep into the night, when you’re lying in bed grappling with your sense of self-worth, with your definition of you.

But are you really all that different? In each of our solitary minds, we’re all as different as chalk and cheese- but in ways that we will never know or acknowledge, we’re all the same. We’re all complex, we’re all simple, we’re all misunderstood, misjudged, mistaken. We all want love, but not too much of it, respect, appreciation, wealth- just enough to be happy, and a little more- a set of friends who know when to hound us and when to give us our space. Our minds are playgrounds where we experiment a little, fall and hurt ourselves, grow and master the little games we play at twilight. We’re all incomplete. We’re all human beyond ourselves. We just express ourselves in startlingly different ways. You and your most hated enemy, the object of your pity, the person you desire, the people you love, the group you’ll never understand- you’re all so alike you’d be frightened if you knew just how much. That is the truth of mankind then- you will never grow close enough to some not because you’re afraid of the differences, but because you’re terrified of what similarities you may discover.

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5 thoughts on “Games at Twilight

  1. Humans have such grand ideas about themselves, which is very unfortunate. It takes either enormous intelligence or sincerity to see what you do not know as something you do not know. What a mocking fight between the ego’s self-preserving instinct and the innate nature of the human core to become boundless!

  2. Aren’t we all really alone in this world… we come alone and we leave alone… its the little space in between that we pretend to be in company, pretend to be multiple… but in truth, deep down, we all know that we are as alone as we arrived and will leave … it is this pretense, this moment’s mimicry of life, which makes us what they call “social animals” … i don’t know which part is more true here… the social part or the animal part…

  3. I could relate myself to what you have written. There have been times, when I have felt this way. It just brings loneliness & distress.
    Thanks Ramaa for sharing it! :):)

    Thank you for reading, Prerna.
    – Ramaa

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