Stockholm Syndrome

By Rachita Panda

“They make a desolation and call it peace.”

Agha Shahid Ali
Held captive inside the fortified city of thoughts that stands defenseless without them. 
The city's a wreck, dilapidated;
the walls of the fortress tarnished by the stains of imprisonment. 
Imprisonment of the inhabitants' emotions.
The wells have gone all dry after witnessing a deluge of wine,
that supposedly replaces the water of grief that's not allowed to moist those eyes. 
The land is barren, because the chaparral of love got choked by that damn silence. 
The atmosphere seems to be the carcass of of the fragrance of the cake you wanted to bake. 
As if fragrances have a life. 
It's cold in there,
because the sun refuses to show up in the morning
because the hues of red and orange and the tinge of occasional crimson and pink
couldn't really overshadow the bold blue. 
The clean rivers have gone dry
 because the cascade of pretense that they're taught to show, 
is, after all full of lies, and lies don't flow in sacred rivers. 
The birds don't chirp, 
no you won't even find anyone who hymns
because every time an inhabitant got assaulted, 
he chose to shove his shrieking voice into his throat;
because every time his heart broke, the other person made a joke,
hence every time his heartstrings got plucked too hard, 
he tuned them to still play music, when, in reality,
they wanted to break. 
Without breaking, how can you grow again?
Even fire doesn't exist in this wrecked city,
because every time a man jumped off the high raised fence,
others didn't even care to think why they had to light his pyre.
The lights are out and there's no electrician available,
because hey, who's scared of the dark? 
Who'd have paid attention to learn to bring the lights back,
because even if they did, no one's scared.
And the roads are miserable, 
because they couldn't bear the weight of the vehicles driven by rage and fury.
Funny how these dwellers are actually refuges in this city,
trapped, held captive, broken, unaware, 
that they can climb the fence, run away, set their souls free.
Unaware that beyond silence there exists a talk,
that will help them keep love.
Unaware that beyond the fence, they could be men, people. 
Unaware that beyond this city, there's a world that's true, 
a world that expands into the Universe 
that only wants you to take care of your heart,
unaware of the existence of rain, and of the fact that
a dance in the rain mends a heart way more than a glass of wine. 
Unaware that their lovers don't really adore their mustache and beard,
more than their souls, unaware that even they can find shoulders to cry on.
Unaware of the fact that they could be free from their undiagnosed Stockholm syndrome.  


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