swAAs

India

A teen with a whim at sanity~
Joined: December 2022

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and I held my name to my heart and screamed like the waterfalls

January 24, 2023

When I wrote my first novel, the strength of putting my name on it was beyond me. The blurred images of the past came haunting by, telling me how much of a bad idea it was to declare my real name to the world. The pictures flashed faster- that day on the internet... revealing my real name...all I wanted was to make some new friends... but...

Amma told me that I was like the waterfall near our cottage. Under the faint winter sun, it would sparkle, bringing into surroundings to life. But the waterfall was supposed to be pure. It was a symbol of pristine innocence, a harbinger of joy.

I was never an extrovert in real life. I always prefer to stay back, to blend into the background. It was the lockdown that made me open up and pushed me overboard into online communities. I was no waterfall. I was just a pebble on the river bed, trying my best to co-exist. 
But the online community felt like home. So I did it...I did what I had never thought of doing before.

I did a name reveal.

Till then my poems had only come out with the ominous pen name that I used to fade into the background. Amma didn't like my pen names. She wanted me to use my own identity, my own name.

But I had my doubts.

And I was absolutely right.

The day I did my name reveal was like any other winter morning; cool with a flicker of fog everywhere. Poor me had no idea what was to come.
My hands shook as I turned on the phone which had been vibrating for an entire minute. A flood of comments had entered my post. For a second, my eyes flickered up with light...but then I read the first one in line.

"How dare you support the people who killed my ancestors! My parents died in his gas chamber and you have the audacity of bearing his symbol on your username?"

My eyes scrolled through the next one, and the next one- the light fading off my soul with every passing text. Something struck my eyelids, like a wet carpet - a fire put aflame.
Maybe I was being too sensitive, but those wild accusations broke my spirit. I went up the bars and clicked twice on the DELETE ACCOUNT option. The air did not seem so cool anymore. It felt cold. A thousand shards of glass grew across my skin.

"Why did you name me Swastika?" I asked Amma one day. Her eyebrows furrowed closer as she walked across the room to me. 

"I thought you liked your name?" she smiled.

"I did, but- " I could not go on. It felt as if there was something concrete in my throat. I gulped down harder.

Amma liked to paint the glass panes red. She told that it made the world look better than it was. I disagreed. To me, it seemed like the world was out to get me. Just because I was named Swastika.
The sunsets looked bleaker through the stained glass panes nowadays. My limbs tussled in the air, going to and fro as my nerves pulsated. The tinkering of silver came from the kitchen with the strong aroma of masala in the air, and I knew that Amma was cooking up something new. 

"Amma, can you come here for a second?"

Amma turned around, her broad forehead shining with perspiration. Beams of light flooded her face, brightening up the lines of age adorning her cheeks. "What is it?" she asked, lunging a part of her yellow saree over her shoulder.

"It's something important. Please Amma, I- "

"Something important can wait. I just saw this new recipe from YouTube and I'm sure you would love- "

"I'm changing my name, Amma."

The words had come out rapidly, almost like an ominous waterfall. But now as the echo of my own voice reached my ears, I could not help but feel like it was not my own at all. I looked up at Amma, at her open-mouthed stance. She stood there, blinking at me in question. I could not get another word out of my lips.

"You're changing your name," she repeated my words; as if repeating it would help her digest it. "You're...you're...but is it that bad a name? Swastika- it's a name for the goddess of prosperity. Is it that bad a name?"

"It's not a bad name Amma," I murmured, but could not look her in the eye. "I...they..."

Amma sat down on the icy cold floor. I stood there, like a statue, not having the courage to break the thick mist of silence that had set into the room.

"It was your father who suggested that name," she said suddenly, and although she never raised her voice it reverberated across the room with a tenacity I had never felt before. "He told me that you are all the riches we could ever wish to have. You are our prosperity." she let out a big sigh, and got up. "Well, it's your name. I guess you could do what you wanted with it."
My father seemed to be smiling down at me from the photo frame. His smile seemed a bit degrading, almost pitiful. 

My cheeks felt damp all of a sudden. The paper lay on the dining table. It was almost as if a drive was carrying me to it. I took the letter, and read it through. 
"They say I'm named after a killer Amma." I whispered through my teeth. "They say- " I could not go on. Amma had followed me to the dining room. Rubbing her hands in the pallu of the only saree I could ever buy her myself, she smiled.
"You are not a symbol of murder, Swastika. A sinner could choose God's name for his crimes, but would that make him any less of a sinner ,or would the God lose any of His greatness?"

I was sitting down on the dining table, typing into my laptop once again. Beside the laptop, lay two fragments of an affidavit for name change. 
As I logged into the website, a faint smile flickered in my lips. My fingers moved rapidly as I filled in the space for the username.

swAAs

the A's in my name held it as strongly as ever, just like Amma always did.

but she was leaving...

and I was melting into space...

she held me back...

now she was the one who lost the bet...

your grave still knocks at my door...

but your stained window panes live on...

I remember the wetness of your cloth...

as I bury my face into it...

Amma...

your name lays in mine...

and your shadows lurk my mind...

so when you're not near me...

I run into the woods...

I give into the pain...

and I hold my name to my heart

and scream like the waterfalls...

 

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51 Comments
  • Vered Maizlin

    Breathtaking! I am not one to be lost for words, but I am now. Congratulations on your win!


    5 days ago
  • MaD_mAx

    beautiful


    9 days ago
  • yoyo13

    Congrats


    16 days ago
  • tngbl.mmrs.

    Congratulations on winning the Peoples Choice award!! you have a beautiful name :)


    17 days ago
  • lady lantsov

    Wow. What an incredible piece! I really loved how you surprised me with the shift to the poem-like format; it was completely unexpected and refreshing. (I love being surprised in writing!) Congratulations, and thank you for sharing such an important, emotional piece.


    17 days ago
  • Savoury Flavour

    Congratulations!!!


    17 days ago
  • NightRain

    Also, swastika (or swaa) are you Tamil? I recognized Amma, so just a question :)
    Feel free to ask me if you need help navigating— I’ve been here for over an year


    19 days ago
  • NightRain

    Yesssss I love this!!! Psa for anyone reading this: Swastika is a Hindu symbol used in India for a long time; the fact is, it was stolen from us. Us trying to reclaim our symbol, or just using it, does not imply that we’re nazis. Like the author said, it’s a symbol (and name) for the goddess of prosperity. You’ll see it outside doors, on necklaces, and just about anywhere in India. So please! do not give nazis the power of being able to use our symbol to spread hate.
    Thank you.


    19 days ago
  • Writing4Life

    Absolutely stunning. Who knew a username could hold so much depth to it? (mine certainly doesn't!) This is such a beautiful piece <333


    20 days ago
  • Squishy!

    i think this is the most liked and most commented piece i have witnessed, congrats on winning, making history, and crafting such a memorable piece :)


    20 days ago
  • comeon123

    Hearty Congratulations!
    But is this a fictional piece or a true story?


    20 days ago
  • Holy_Grail

    Congratulations!


    21 days ago
  • madcap quill

    P.S. Welcome to WtW! If you have any questions let me know!


    21 days ago
  • madcap quill

    This is so beautiful, I love it! Your name is beautiful, it's sad that people corrupt beautiful words and cause people to hate them.


    21 days ago
  • Aurie001

    Almost brought me to tears. I would like to learn more about your name and history, if that's okay and not intrusive. I love the story you and your Amma share and you help tell. Keep on shining, Swastika


    21 days ago
  • solarflair

    congrats!!! I think this might end up being the most like piece on this site?? at least as far as I can remember. well deserved.


    21 days ago
  • IdaWaterman!

    This piece is beyond words….
    Congrats!!


    21 days ago
  • ❁ Lilies and Peonies ❁

    congratulations! this is a lovely piece and you deserve it!


    21 days ago
  • Somni Moonlight

    Every time I see so much as the bloody title of this piece, it inspires me. I swear, "I held my name to my heart and screamed like the waterfalls"? GOLD. PERFECTION. 'NUFF SAID!


    21 days ago
  • Helena

    CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You totally deserve it!!
    Also I just noticed your message to writers about showing you around, so if you have any questions about WtW, let me know :) (And welcome!!)


    21 days ago
  • Extraordinary me

    Congratulations.


    21 days ago
  • O-Zen

    Congrats


    21 days ago
  • Hello, i'm a candy shop of writin'

    Congrats!! Also, welcome to WtW!!

    ~Nora <3


    21 days ago
  • i.c.washer

    Congratulations!


    21 days ago
  • when_breaks_the_dawn_light

    Congrats! You completely deserve this.


    21 days ago
  • Eblinn

    Congrats!!


    21 days ago
  • Windrunner

    Congrats on winning!!!


    22 days ago
  • HighEntropy

    oh my isn't this a work of art
    congrats!


    22 days ago
  • skyfullofdreams

    Congrats on the award! This piece is definitely deserving of it.


    22 days ago
  • Night dreamer

    This is... utterly breathtaking! One of the best things i've ever read!


    23 days ago
  • Liliuokalani

    I don't always comment...but you earned this one. Your writing is stunning and heartbreaking I loved this sooo much...guess who got my people's choice vote?


    24 days ago
  • The Color Of Magic

    Wow, I LOVE this! Btw welcome aaannnnddd you totally have my vote. I am also looking forward to reading more of your work ;)


    25 days ago
  • ❁ Lilies and Peonies ❁

    This is amazing! Definitely voting for this


    27 days ago
  • Paisley Blue

    Absolutely gorgeous


    28 days ago
  • Tojo

    Ahh What a piece it was


    28 days ago
  • Equestrian At Heart

    Hi, I've been here for almost a year now, I'll gladly give you some great writers to follow.
    Jessica
    Coco Pebbles {Child of God}
    Kate (Kit-Kat Sully) {Child of God}
    AllisonHRedwood
    #LemonFanatic!
    Narniagirl
    Avacado
    _CatholicWarrior_
    and ScribeByGrace
    Have a gr8 day! Equestrian at Heart
    Ps. Adeos


    about 1 month ago
  • when_breaks_the_dawn_light

    This is extraordinary. Wow.


    about 1 month ago
  • wannabe-writer

    This is jaw-dropping!! The format!!! The words chosen!!!!!! Let me know if you ever want a review (though I’m not sure I’d be able to critique if your other work is anything like this), or need help navigating WTW.


    about 1 month ago
  • hi_mynameissol

    Absolutely stunning.


    about 1 month ago
  • Fireblaze

    It's absolutely incredible!! I love your ending and the words are soooo well chosen! Also: I'm new to WtW to!


    about 1 month ago
  • crystalline•galaxies

    oh, oh wow. this piece is incredible. you capture emotions in storytelling so well.


    about 1 month ago
  • Rain

    You have just earned my vote for the People's Choice Award m'lady. This piece was... Beyond words.


    about 1 month ago
  • AllisonHRedwood

    This is so beautiful! Welcome to Write the World :))


    about 1 month ago
  • Extrasweet

    Re: Of course! I'll make sure to review sometime this week. This piece is so beautiful, I'm not sure that you'll even need the review! XD


    about 1 month ago
  • Extrasweet

    Re: Hello! Welcome to WtW! I love your writing also. It's stunning. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, comments, or would like a review. I'd be happy to help!


    about 1 month ago
  • i tried to be graceful, okay?

    This piece is absolutely gorgeous! The ending is so wonderfully written, and so heartbreaking at the same time. "A sinner could choose God's name for his crimes, but would that make him any less of a sinner ,or would the God lose any of His greatness?" this line is my absolutely favourite.

    also, welcome to write the world! it's lovely to have you here:)


    about 1 month ago
  • am i screaming to an empty sky?

    Wow....this seriously made tears come to my eyes, and I rarely cry over writing...I love it. <3


    about 1 month ago
  • peppermint_tea

    this is beautiful!


    about 1 month ago
  • Jules_with_a_quille

    I don't comment here often, but HOLLY- that was incredible!


    about 1 month ago
  • B7

    NOO.... THE ENDING *sobs* TT_TT


    about 1 month ago
  • Eblinn

    This is phenomenal! Your imagery is gorgeous and the scenes flow into each other perfectly.
    "A sinner could choose God's name for his crimes, but would that make him any less of a sinner ,or would the God lose any of His greatness?"
    Incredibly well put.

    I saw that you're new here, welcome to wtw! Your writing is wonderful to read, I'm excited to see what else you'll come up with :) If you have any questions about anything, lmk!


    about 1 month ago