The Curious Case of Darkness within


I didn’t believe in it for a moment

But I gulped down the wine of my own voice.

And then I wrestled with the darkness inside me,

Knocked it down, clawed at it, ripped it to shreds.”

The above lines are of a poem written by the famous Kashmiri poet, Lal Ded popularly known as I’ Lalla. In this poem she begins by recalling her own doubts about her poetry, despite of which she ‘gulped down the wine’ of her own vakhs. These manifestos of illumination gave her the strength to face the demons and monsters haunting her own soul, the ‘darkness inside’ that she confronts and does battle with.

We are all scared of the darkness. But more than the darkness outside, we are petrified of the darkness within ourselves. “Darkness” here could mean our sins, obnoxious habits or even our weaknesses. All of us have some secrets, history or story that we feel ashamed to share. We all have done things that continuously prick and peck our conscience.

Has it ever happened to you that while you were looking at yourself in the mirror, you didn’t like the person you were looking at the reflection? To sin is human nature but real greatness lies in overcoming that weakness of character and moving on with life, with a fresh start and bubbling enthusiasm. Like the lines of the poem above, we must “wrestle with the darkness” inside us, knock it down, claw it and rip it to shreds.

It is very common to be uneasy within our own skins. Experimentally proved, most of people wish they were ‘someone’ else. This mad obsession of being someone else traces its genesis to the fact that while we are shrouded in darkness, the life of that someone else seems all sunshine and perfect. It is not so! Just like us, that so seemingly perfect someone is flawed as well, fighting his own battles, maybe even more cruel and hideous ones.

What’s required the most is to cling on to a silver lining of hope. Here in the poem, I’ Lalla finds refuge in her poetry. Similarly you too can rejoice in things that brings you happiness. Cling on to a confidant, someone you can pour our heart in front of. Trust me, sharing helps. It is imperative to work on our weakness but it is no wisdom to forget our virtues all together. Doing so would leave us in an abyss with no possibility of coming out ever. Human psychology states that instead of being in a state of constant denial, it is important to accept yourself as you are and then build on your strengths and counter your weaknesses. Denying the truth won’t lead you any further on the path of self emancipation and mind you, self emancipation is what gets you out of the darkness within.

Learning from your mistakes, saying NO to people and situations that bring you down, trying not to indulge in swears and lies, performing a good deed every day and believing in the profundity of strength concealed within you can work wonders in transforming yourself from a dark, weak and gloomy person into someone who is strong, confident, easy going and happy. The greatest achievement in life is to be happy and if that is attained, you are complete.


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