The Other Me

The Other Me

The clock struck one. 

Pitch dark, death-like silence; but for my alter, it was the perfect time. I wanted my other self to appear.

 I sneaked into the living room ensuring that my footsteps didn’t interrupt the cosy sleep of the inmates of the women’s hostel.

 My robust ‘other’, bouncing and leaping, let out a peculiar and creepy laughter. 

“Tone down,” I whispered hastily, then checked myself.

Did I really want to curb its sprightly presence? Didn’t I bask in the charismatic presence of the tempestuous ‘other’? I had read about the fantastic existence of the alter ego and how it manifested itself by creating that extra space to discover and liberate the hidden potential. 

In the dim-lit room, I stood gazing at the mirror that showed the hazy ‘other’, longing to unleash itself. I knew the moment I let loose the bridle I would witness Shiva Tandav and I would be submerged in Roudra rasa.

My ‘alter’ was driving me towards the hidden me. It was pointless to stitch the fragments of past memories that had pinned me down; infertility, unsuccessful marriage and the consequent social disgrace had all impoverished me. My alter seemed to rescue me from the disastrous situation.

From being a docile, accommodative person to becoming Rudra was a journey that none, including me, had imagined. 

It was a voyage through the troubled seas.

The meek, self-effacing me finding comfort in the stormy, roaring alter ego was both thrilling and mortifying. The hidden dynamism was undeniably enticing but the manifestation of the same could be socially unacceptable. 

My thoughts wandered from self to the other, like a swing swaying……

The mirror swayed as the passing breeze gently brushed it. Roudra was eager to take over me. Would I let it happen? Should I yield to this temptation? Could I afford to lose my original self? I clasped my fists trying to control my urge to allow the ‘alter’ to possess me.

The battle was becoming fierce and I was torn between the two vying for supremacy.

‘The other’ laughed and said, “I see the spark lighting up your face.”

A gentle taunt?

 “My turbulent past has given you the chance to emerge from the gloomy corners of my life, but the roudra roopa is terrifying. The power that you have, to thrust yourself against all odds is contradictory to my original self. How do I cope with the contrasting identities?”

The unsympathetic rejoinder shook me to the core, “You glorified self-abnegation, you willingly allowed life to bypass you. The stormy manifestation is not to obliterate your original self, it is to awaken the benumbed sensibilities, to make you break the shackles that have curbed your inner abilities to surface. Let not the world say again, ‘Frailty, thy name is woman!’

“Let the inner strength release the caged self. I shall merge with the original you.”

My insecurities fading away, my poised alter merging with the original….  renaissance!

The altered me said, “You seem different.”
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3 thoughts on “The Other Me

  1. That a Shakespeare quote could be thus
    altered was the biggest revelation and it has altered my understanding of Frailty and Woman. It is not just the narrator but even the reader who returns from the story altered.
    One begins to feel different. Ego and alter ego merging can only mean sublimation for the narrator who obviously is a woman, though the narrator does not give away the identity except for that one quote.

  2. At some point of time the alter ego breaks free. How and when it does it is brilliantly brought out by Shashikala. Would have been great if the concept of Rudra and Roudra is explained as a wider audience may not be aware of these words and their significance.

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