Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Scritch khrshhh. I scrambled a poem about my cousin’s wedding that I had just attended. I put the notebook in my bag, remembering that people had advised me not to wear a shalwar kameez at the airport.It was in casual attire that I bid my farewells. Amongst a mixture of ecstasy and uncertainty, I looked back into my father’s eyes.
In my mind, I was suddenly twelve again. The ambulance lights flashed on the circumlunar walls of the mental asylum on the way from our house to the hospital. I received solace only in my ventilated father’s moving eyes, screaming every time they stopped.
I stood in the hospital garage. I’d just seen a lady come out of the ICU. Her only means of communication- an inaudible shriek, tears and a shake of the head. Someone unknown to me had just died. On the other side was the green glow of the Subway logo. I saw a kid trailing behind his father, focused on his foot-long.
My mind was a tempest of thoughts. There was disbelief. There was numbness. Then, I was blank. I looked at the hospital. I looked back to Subway. For reasons indefinite I thought “An empty stomach celebrating a scarred heart”. That is how my first poem originated. In the ensuing days all I could do while worrying was to try to complete the poem. It gave me temporary purpose and then it gave me much more- reason, solace and a deeper appreciation of the world.
Strip krikkk. Travel two years further to getting beat up for defending a friend in class. Repetitively. Poetry can move people but I assumed it was a futile endeavor to melt the heart of an all-teenage boys class where dominance was the value and bullying the norm. I was no victim. Pain was more juice. Yet upon mocking their efforts, I stumbled upon another aspect of language-it can move people- everyone just heeds to it differently. I had goose bumps when one of my old aggressors dropped a tear on my poem.
After coming back to reality I entered the tell-tale world of the Writers’ Program.
Between the lines found the social animal as well as the masochist within me. We were twenty teenagers living in tangent worlds, joined by our love of entering multiple worlds, sometimes the same ones.
Auzzz Khua. Secrets from across the globe gave me more to dote on and when I became overwhelmed with it all I expended nights in Currier hall’s backyard- laboring as I wrote an English symphony which imitated the melody of Bangladesh’s national anthem, creating a limerick representing the arya tara dance, solving puzzles in the form of ghazals, eternalizing my feelings when Imtishial showed me her diary, recreating the bubble inside that would burst into a rainbow of cultures.
This is what I brought back. I sit right now in a desolated, unfinished building; I have shelter yet I can see the open sky above. When I open my notebook I merge my love for isolation with my love for company.
Ushhhh. Flipping through the pages opens memories : nights spent with policemen guarding MNAs’ houses, visiting my uber driver’s village, drinking chai with them at local dhabbas, listening to my new companions’ miseries and ecstasies, singing their favorite songs. I open up to them with language.
My work does not victimize. I am no longer the boy who cries when he is hurt or hears a tragedy. I’ve become the boy who transforms emotions into poetry, who escalates stories like a desperate lover. My friend who killed his father now sprawls across a page, creeping into letters and forcing children to kill their fathers. I am the boy who attempts to shock people with their own tragedies. Who puts emotions into a page. Who uses hyperboles to transmit rawness. The boy who loves to be changed and aims to change through words.