The following is a work of fiction.
I look at the mirror and see a stranger staring back. I keep looking, trying to grab at the threads of perception that seemingly keep tying themselves into knots. Images flash and memories tug at my heart. I take out the rubber band and let my bun unfold into long tresses that reach my waist. I put the rubber band around my right hand wrist and touch my hair, coarse yet full, and bring some of it to the front and let it lie there. I take a red bindi sticking to the wooden frame of the mirror and apply it on my forehead, high above the point where my eyebrows meet, higher than where other women put their bindis or sindoor.
With something akin to joy, I exclaim- "oh this is me! I'm still alive."
Now with everything having changed, my physical appearance is my only anchor- it keeps me grounded, and centered, and sane. It tells me that I might still have fragments of my old self intact.
I know that I'm not the same though- no illusions there. I am no longer the woman I used to be, and I stopped fighting against acknowledging it long back. Fighting against those waves of emotions that threatened to drown me in their blackness demanded energy that I no longer had. I gave up long back, and now I'm one with the blackness.
I have given up trying to fight the urge to escape into sleep or tears everytime the nausea of a life that could now never be hits me- I am my sleep, and I am my tears.
Happiness seems to be a ship that keeps going further and deeper into the ocean, sinking in size and slipping into the horizon while I remain standing on the coast watching it go. I have neither the will nor the energy to go after it. I lost a part of my self when I lost my love, and since there's no way that he can come back, I count my days here on earth till there is nothing left of myself and I can find him again in the nothingness he has dissolved into.
Yet, having a glimpse of the self I recognise in myself makes me want to push the bindi a little higher up on my forehead, just where he liked it.
I stare at my reflection in the mirror. I notice the wrinkles on my forehead, something he wouldn't recognise. I clean the corner of my eyes with the end of my saree and blink a few times, clearing my vision. I see myself. It feels like eons have passed since we were last together but at this moment, my hair and my bindi just as he liked it, I have a sense that he is around.