I grew up reading Harry Potter books and getting #1 in spelling and maths tests. Not science tests, that only came to me years later when I started to bunk school and open up to the wonders and horrors of the world around me. For that, I thank my eternally mischievous and transformative friend for whom I trusted as a kindred daredevil. I believe this is more of a story of me becoming an us. And by us I don't mean my former best friend, I am referring to those around me, those close enough to see and those so far away, I never have and may never see in my life. Because me was always easy. A comfort zone sign-board. Posted and stretched around me for miles like an electric ring-fence protecting my pamper time thoughts, biscuits and exercise.
Growing up as the son of refugees.
I didn't realise what it was. But there was that sense. That raw vein that hemorrhaged, the word broken into the air. I didn't realise that my dad hated me for reading my favourite low level imaginative fiction instead of the very real books about inhumane struggles that were taking place elsewhere in the world, while I mumbled over my weird bodily reaction to the weather like wearing jackets in the summer and walking around in the drenching cold with my shirt open. My life was much simpler then, simpler, but not easier.
Their trauma leaked into my upbringing in a way that...
I had a very vivid and strange immersion into what it means to feel dark and lost early on. I'd come home from school and I'd wish I didn't exist as I washed away my sweat. It wasn't that I didn't work hard - I was the type that would catch the same pen 10x in a row before putting it down or else carry on till I got it right - poor motor skills meant that I was compelled to train. No, it wasn't the lack of effort. ...ricocheting and echoing across the corridors of my life... I think it might have been my first loss of love or my understanding of what love was. It was like cracking a coconut, then realising there was no shell or even bits inside - wth? what? where's the coconut? That is what it's like to first become aware that you're broken. It makes no sense yet resounds with the sound of a thunderstorm. Sporadic. And with flashes of lightning so fast you can't even tell if they're there. Yet the storm blasts on. ...leaving me with the deja-vu feeling I always got when things are ending without leaving behind the things that needed to be said... This is the story of how a me became a we all in order to find I.
P.S. This is my postface. A concerned citizen.
I found I, as for the we? Well, that doesn't matter, and here's a sneak peek of what's to come if it ever does come on here. My name is Lakshan, and I am a Tamil, and an activist (I cringe at the word), but I am one thing that is beyond all of that - I am a human being. Have you ever stood somewhere really high like an 11 storey balcony and looked up during a thunderstorm? I have. I like my science, and here's something I saw - whenever a tremendous burst of thunder smashes through the sky, just around that place, even if everything around is as opaque as the Weasley's Peruvian instant darkness powder - clouds lift. They lift and the sky clears up that little dark patch where the lightning hit. That's something you learn, growing up as the son of refugees.