Just as I stood poised to take the bow, be showered with words of praise, for the applause to come, few random, unexpected words lodged themselves in my head, making all accolades bitter. The casual remark, not even meant for my ears directly, had pierced through several tongues to reach me. And like Rama's arrow that found its mark on Vali's chest piercing through seven large trees.
And yet, what was it? Though it pins me down to despair, can I pin the speaker to those words? For nebulous and ambiguous, the syllables change, the words change, the very meaning changes as different people hold the words in their tongues before pouring it into another ear, adding their own thoughts, words and syllables to it.
Am I that? That which someone implied? Or that, which others suggested? Or that, which I think I am?
When my very character is not the same, cannot be comprehended wholly, can those fluid words have more weight, more character, be understood better?
How then do I dislodge it? How do I let the bullet not poison my blood, my mind, my very soul? How do I swim above the overwhelming waves of grief and disappointment, smile truly, not just bravely, hold the eye, not shy away, nor accuse nor pity?
I remain I knowing I am this, and that, and sometimes even that other.
I remain I knowing through all this I am one - true to myself, and not untrue to others.
I remain I, letting my breath fan the fire of my soul and burn the garbage.
And it is then that the bullet is burnt, dissolved, dislodged and yet the poison touches me not.