Dark Grey: A Poem For a Girl I Once Knew

You have to agree
You and I – dark grey
I try to get along
You decide to stray 
I say I feel blue
You decide I’m okay
I plan to start
You make me stay
I often wonder
what makes you tick
I freak out
I’m sure this is a trick.
You dig what I bury
You relax, I want to hurry
You reason with me
‘Shades of life, don’t worry!’
And yet you are amused
By the way I carry on
I tell you I am back
But you know I was never gone.
You know I’ll be here
Confused. Scared. Still trying.
You know I’ll be giving reasons
That even I’m not buying.
You are so sure
It makes me mad
But then again, I think
Maybe I am mad.

From bright yellow to blue,
To bruised purple of the heart
I am waiting for an end.
Yes, I am a work of art.
It might be funny,
But you have to agree
I’m the one
Who’ll see this end.
Not you
You will smile at me
Be proud, probably
Be ready for the next turn
Just dark and grey like an ending.
You will be there.
And me? I hope to live.
I will mix colors all day
Reds, violets, golden. And Black.
Not scared anymore of Dark Grey.

Aditi Mathur Blog

This is a poem I wrote in 2006. 
And the entire Fifty Shades of Grey
debate reminded me of the times when grey meant something else. 

It was a
different time, I was a different person and I wrote this for a class mate who was going through a tough time. She went into a
deep depression that changed things, changed her. Before the incident, she was all about colors. She painted a lot, and her hands were always stained with acrylics or spray paint. Afterwards, she gave up. 

I see her life in shades. Depression
is still a taboo in our country today, carrying the same amount of stigma as
Domestic Violence, and the same fear as AIDS – so she didn’t get or take
any help. I didn’t know any better either, I was young and
self-obsessed and I missed the signs. 

Which is what haunts me. I should have known better
though. I should have. 

One day I had casually asked her if she’s okay, knowing perfectly well that she wasn’t. She shrugged and said ‘I’m okay. I’m fine. I just wish people would stop asking me. ” I nodded, made a silly joke and changed the subject. She dropped out of the class a month later.

Now, whenever she comes up in a conversation or in my mind, I feel a lump of guilt throbbing inside me, but there’s no
redemption here. Other than writing about it. Which I did later that
year, when I heard she was cutting herself. Words cannot explain how
much it broke my heart. I haven’t seen her since January 2007. She is
not on any social network. I didn’t know her well enough to know about her
family or even her address. Common friends we had, are of little help. What would I do now even if I did find her? So now I just remember her at random
moments, in shades. And I hope she’s okay.

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author. Traveller. Blogger. Talker. Eavesdropper.

3 thoughts on “Dark Grey: A Poem For a Girl I Once Knew

  • Vikram Karve

    (July 7, 2016 - 3:41 pm)

    This poem really moved me. Depression is such a personal thing. One doesn’t know what to do.

  • Smita Patwardhan

    (July 7, 2016 - 5:07 pm)

    “Dark grey” moved me and many more I’m sure. Depression is a very dark and lonely place to be in, but professional aid, definitely helps. I’m saying this from personal experience. However one and one’s close family must not hesitate from seeking help on time. Earlier the better. It’s the “taboo” that needs to be fought against. I’ve heard people say things like “Psychiatrist ke paas sirf paagal jaate hai” and my answer to them was “Agar takleef hai to jaldi psychiatrist ke paas jao nahi phir paagal jarur ho jaoge”

    • Aditi Mathur Kumar

      (July 10, 2016 - 12:38 pm)

      Thank you Smita. And you’re right, this taboo should be fought against because in India, they say things like ‘snap out of your depression’ like it’s a voluntary condition. Makes me sick. Hopefully things will change with people like us, who talk about it. Hugs!

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