Within Four Closed Walls

Original Digital Watercolour made using Adobe Photoshop

Four closed walls, shut me in.
The blue paint ripples under my touch.
I keep a door ajar, let the noises filter in,
But my white ceiling still keeps caving in.

Every morning, I stand tall on my toes,
Stretching out with my bare finger tips,
Taking notes, measuring the distance,
Between my head and that roof above us.

In the evening, my cat returns, purring softly,
Before she perches on top of the window sill,
Slipping past me, her tail wraps around my leg,
Outside, the yellow street lights flicker awake.

I wait for the phone to ring just then,
They will call they had said, at 7pm.
The clock beside my table reads 6:54,
I count the seconds, any moment now, I know.

At night, the bed gets hot, the tiles remain cold,
I roll over to the side and press my ears on the floor.
Noises of people sleeping, murmuring, echoes.
Tossing ans turning, they finally lull me to sleep.

The next day again, I stretch my hands.
Overhead the roof seems to have shifted,
One feet closer, I firmly place my palms,
Pushing it as far high as I can, though in vain.

My cat seems to have abandoned me,
No more I hear those faint scratches,
The window stays locked all the days.
I’m running out of maggi and milk again.

Going out is out of the question,
As the walls draw in when I leave the room,
Staring blankly at the computer screen,
I watch fantasy shows while day dreaming.

Sometimes, I fall asleep unaware,
Wake up in the middle of the night,
Confused what date or day of the week it be,
Sleeping sure comes now more naturally.

Three months I stayed, isolated alone.
With spiders and ants for companions.
I named them Henry the V, and Levi Strauss.
Waiting diligently only for that 7 pm calls.

Storms came and the trees fell down,
Billboards and banners were flying about,
Nature enraged, scowled down at Earth,
The fury of her wrath, left us stranded in the dark.

Surviving on bits of crumbs of bread,
I sat there holding my little ukulele,
Even as the winds howled outdoors,
That tiny thing in my lap comforted me.

Melodious tunes, rang out loud and clear.
My fingers trembling kept strumming along.
I knew not the notes or the chords to the song,
Yet from memories strange, it guided my soul.

I forgot since when I had stopped noting,
The room had shrunk to the size of a closet,
Barely fitting, curled inside it, I remained.
Closing my eyes, I could picture the green hills.

Days to weeks, and soon it was three months,
In total seclusion, how terrifying it was.
Until finally the box fell apart from inside.
Sunlight leaked in through the cracks.

And once again, I could stand up tall.
Once again, I felt the breeze in my hair.
I saw the familiar faces of my Ma and Baba,
And I knew my struggle had come to an end.


This poem was first published in The Times of Corona on August 11, 2020.

49 thoughts on “Within Four Closed Walls

  1. Both the artwork and the poem are beautiful! β™₯️
    I can totally relate with your words – I was in a different city for the first 3 months of the lockdown and was so relieved to get back home.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, we humans need the physical company even if some of us prefer to live alone. Such a long term isolation can wreck anyone’s sanity and mental health. Thanks for reading! πŸ₯ΊπŸ–€

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I have read your mail and will be responding to it as soon as my exams get over. Coursework can be such a hassle sometimes πŸ˜…πŸ™ˆπŸ–€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. I can’t wait to get done with it so I can be more active here. I feel sad I haven’t read the new posts by so many people ☹πŸ₯ΊπŸ–€

        Liked by 1 person

      • I completely understand! I’m going to be you in the next couple weeks. Midterm season 😭 but hey it’ll be good to have you back and you know, just be done with exams! ❀❀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yesssh. Omg. All the best. I’m in a way happy to know these are my last year last semester exams hehe. But yep the big wide world of academics is waiting like a shark to gobble this tiny goldfish (read me) up. πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ–€

        Liked by 1 person

    • It was meant to represent the persistent mental state of a few months actually, but it’s open to new interpretations I suppose. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Most welcome..Shruba, if you don’t mind please go through my post EVLIN – 3 parts are there. I would like to see your opinions there. Thank you πŸ™‚

        Like

      • I read them, if you want my honest opinion, I would say you have to work on your grammar and sentence structure. Your grasp on the language seems a little weak. Other than that, I like to read and follow the people whose posts I genuinely enjoy reading and learn new things from. Please feel free to unfollow or unlike my posts if you are under the impression that I do a follow for follow thing here. I’m sorry to break it to you in this way, but being a genuine reader means you have only that much time and energy which I’d rather keep for those whom I prioritize more. Nothing personal. Take care πŸ–€

        Liked by 1 person

      • No issues Shruba..This is a place where we can share our thoughts and imaginations. Being an optimistic person, I accept everything on that way only. None is perfect in this world, we learn from mistakes. Recognizing the weaknesses and turning into strength matter.
        Thank you and take care Shruba πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Then it lightens my heart. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone while still remaining honest. Thanks for being so open-minded. I’ll keep a look out, and appreciate whatever catches my attention. πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Part 2: Opening those closed walls.

    I believe the thoughts can equally be driven towards all of us because suddenly we were directionless at the start of the pandemic. Needless to say, you calloused your words perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Shruba. This is absolutely beautifully written. πŸ™‚ The spiders have names! Such perfection. πŸ™‚ I often name random things. One of my plants is called: George Harrison. lol. I have no regrets. πŸ˜› So much love. Keep sharing that lovely soul of yours so beautifully. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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