A Telenovela About Self Love

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There is a scatter plot
Of uncorrelated achievements
Oh I’m a jack of all trades
And there exists,
Braided through them,
A deep-seated contentment
A sense of self
A hint of esteem
And yet –
Yet
It is difficult to melt
That tincture of self-doubt
And a sense of inadequacy
For it is difficult to ignore
The unkempt words of the crowds
The jerks of all creeds
Who inspire such insecurity
That fleetingly
I wish I could forever stay
Wrapped in a cocoon
Of deluded disillusionment
And of uncertain certainty
All the while drowned
In the shallow pool
Of narcissism and vanity
Because
A certain uncertainty
Billows in the recesses of my mind
And overtakes the instincts
Until it eradicates all logical predilections
For languishing in the comfort of
Calculatedly and systematically stretched boundaries
However, Necessity turns my paranoia to adrenaline
Breathing new muscles into my languorous capabilities
And so, sees,
Dollop by dollop,
A regain of my pride
Tempered by time
And resistant to those crowds
Prejudiced
And preening with mockery
But all the while, not unlike them,
I too am walking
The fine line
Between pride and vanity

– Akanksha Gupta (poem only)

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Ordinary

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Life is a story

If mine, I’m the main character

I’m the best actor you can find

In a pool of daydreaming narcissists

The rest are sheep; everyone that is

The occasional leader that pops up is not excluded

Though being a political animal,

He hadn’t even been included

But then I’m an idealist

Who picks apart the black and the white

I am also a cynic

Who caresses the gray left behind

But really, I’m a pacifist

Too concerned about my lazy behind

To actually pick up the chalk

 

But on the occasion that I do

I fill the canvas of my mind

With a cartload of chalk dust

And find beauty in the abstraction

The reality, however, causes an infraction

A world that never existed, shatters soundlessly

I feel free for a while

Without any labels, self-perceptions

Or impressions of any kind

Tis an alluring experientialism

In which I find freshness and novelty

And drown deep into it

Until the need to breathe supersedes

So I shoot up to the surface

And gulp lungsful of perceptions greedily

Some unaltered, some modified

And to study them

I dive

Back into the pool of daydreaming narcissists

 

This oscillation between radical worlds

Makes me teeter at the edge of normalcy

A piece of sanity dislodges itself

And pours uninterred into poetry

So do I call myself a poet now?

I suppose

It has taken years of writing

To gain confidence enough

To label myself

They say labels are empowering

Powerful and powerfully flattering

I say they are downright frightening

The standards they define

Mutate the potential

Garble the mind

Gradually I find myself

Changing my perception of me

A change should be welcome

But I find myself swimming

In a pool of doubts

Barely staying afloat

There are days I’m flailing

And those when I’m sailing

But I know I’m failing to hold onto an identity

 

At this interlude

You do recall

This is but a story of my life

And I, the lead actor

And thus, it is no wonder

That the plot does often twist

Into self-gratifying theatrics

Where victimizing myself

With labels

Gives the story

As though a drug-induced high

Whose hangover leaves me

Feeling like an unsung hero

But when you peel the layers off of me

My core is like everyone else; ordinary

 

By Akanksha Gupta

THE ERA OF NARCISSISTS

Every day I look at you

Are you ‘you’ or ‘me’?

The more I look the more I feel

Like drowning into thee

 –

The ocean is too full of salt

The pond full of algae

The river neither is enough

To contain the vanity

 –

“O Mirror, Mirror where are you”

T’is a charming irony

Those that wish to find you not

Are the ones blessed by thee

 –

In their eyes I see myself

Reflected differently

Am I the way they look, or

The way I look, at me?

 –

The answer is too simple

Yet they cannot see

Permanently are they blinded

Thus narcissistic-ally?

 –

“O Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Does beauty speak of me?”

First the Queen, then Narcissus

A fairytale reality

– Akanksha Gupta