Astha Singh is an 18 year old college student with a major in English Literature. She loves music, art, dogs and long uninterrupted conversations. You can find more of her work online on her Instagram, @asthhaa, or on her Tumblr, @uponthisearth.
5:45 pm; You’re sitting on the windowsill and watching the world through the blurry window. It’s been raining for two days now and we’ve made this little cottage our home. I know that there’s something about monsoon that makes you want to play our playlist over and over again. I wonder what will become of me when you’re gone but these songs are still inked on every part of my soul. You ask me why I talk to you in metaphors these days and I want to tell you that the truth of us often sits on the tip of my tongue but struggles to come out in easier words. I want to tell you that it’s not just about the truth being unsettling, it’s your silence that comes after. I know it will break my heart. It always does, you always do. When I told you that these incessant thunderstorms will be the death of me, I meant the thunderstorms inside me. The ones that I battle everyday. The ones that you don’t try to hear because you only want to see my sunshine. When I told you that, for me, the glass is always half empty, I wanted you to know that I was drowning in it and that the glass was also me. You told me that poets are complicated human beings. “They twist every conversation so immaculately that you, sometimes, have to spend nights trying to find the bigger meaning, the emotions behind the words.” I think we’re just scared and I don’t want you to know that so I tell you that I like hiding behind metaphors. “I think it makes me sound less bland.” You believe me. I know you’ll never understand these conversations anyway.
A Conversation between Astha Singh and Courtney Felle
1. Thanks for talking with us, Astha! This piece has a vulnerable, honest, raw tone, almost like a diary entry or stream-of-consciousness from the speaker. What makes such personal writing effective?
This write-up actually is very honest and personal. I write whenever I find myself feeling low. The words flow naturally, then. I actually started writing it at 5:45 pm on a very blue day when it seemed like the world had drained me of all my happiness and energy. I wrote one line and then two and the words just started flowing out after that. It was like days of anger, sadness, confusion, and frustration were finally finding a way to come out. I think it is very important and helpful to write whenever you’re feeling that way. I think it takes a lot of tension out of you and what can be better than being able to turn your broken heart into art.
2. I especially loved one line that comes in the second half of the piece: “When I told you that, for me, the glass is always half empty, I wanted you to know that I was drowning in it and that the glass was also me.” How do you take old imagery, like a half-empty cup, and recreate it into something new?
Whenever we’re drowning in sadness or loneliness, we’re ultimately forced to think about how empty we feel on the inside, and sometimes it is our own selves that are the reason that we don’t come out of it. On most of my blue days, I’m reminded of how pessimistic I can be and how instead of climbing up from this long pit of sadness, I keep letting myself fall further into it. It’s like I'm trapped inside my own mind. Hence, the half-empty glass reminds me of myself.
3. In prose, dialogue is typically formatted in its own paragraphs, separate from other text. However, you keep the conversation between the speaker and their love interest together with other description and imagery here, making it push and blend together. Why did you choose this formatting style?
I don’t think I have a very convincing answer for that. I don’t know. I’ve just always liked it this way. I love the flow and the continuity. It’s all really satisfying to me, that’s all.