When I was four years old, my mother bought me this picture book about a little girl, who was named Tanu; my pet name. I couldn’t read, I was four, but I saw the pictures. The book had five lines in each page in huge fonts and was a collection of short stories where a six-year-old named Tanu, went about her day, as adventures.
That book was my most prized possession for five more years before I grew out of it and into St Claire and Malory towers. But I remember that book, I remember my parents reading it out to me when I couldn’t. I also remember never being satisfied by it, always wanting another chapter, another story; even though the book had hardly five stories and I had them all memorised. But I loved that book to pieces, after all it was the book of another girl named Tanu. Just like me.
Fast forward to when I am sixteen and falling down the pedestal I was put on, in high school. Being the stuck-up one has its consequences when things take a turn for the worse. I remember sitting on the floor going to make some very questionable decisions and not in a good way because I wanted more, of everything, with my back against the closet door and a book fell smack on my head. It was hardcover so you can imagine the damage to my head. I remember the wanting. I remember wishing, praying, begging for more. Always.
I can recount countless instances of books being a living, breathing entity beside me, with a beating heart and a heartbreak in its pages. I think those pages are the causes of my yearning. Desiderium comes from the poem ‘Desiderium’ by Richard le Gallienne. It’s an intense yearning or longing for something which is lost. I came across it while searching for synonyms of yearning for the title.
There’s this poem on Pinterest which says, ‘when the doctors cut me open, they’ll find a churn of black longing’. Most days, it feels like the black hole inside me swallows everything I throw its way. But never itself.
It’s a strange thing, living with a whirlpool inside you. How do you differentiate yearning and greed? How do you draw the line? How do you know it’s enough? Or not enough? How do you know when the lines blur, how the lines blur?
I sit and count my days on my fingers, one, two, three, but nothing is ever enough, nothing will ever be enough. It’s constant chase across the world hoping the veins of one city would finally break down and tell me ‘this is it, this is where you belong’; except it never does. Lines blur when I read something that shatters my world (at least that what I think fiction does) and every other person I meet is unknowingly climbing hurdles to pass my test and I pick them apart to see if the same blood flows in them as that of the character I just read and every time I think, ‘hopefully they’ll be enough’; they never are.
The thing about wanting is while it gives you enough to drown, it also becomes the reason you’re drowning. It’s also the reason why you can’t swim. Wanting has paralysed me in a state of loneliness because nothing and no one is ever enough and there are only so many mouthfuls I can swallow.