Apple, Sixteen

Something I wrote listening to the song <Sixteen Going On Seventeen> from Sound of Music


We are young. Our hands paint stories on the silent lips of strangers, the corners of the mind reach their peak at every touch. Gentle fabrication is put to every word spoken, as delicate as a collision to the skin. Little do we know. Our minds, brittle as the frosty glass in winter season, mellow as the butter spread on your morning bread.  Our words are flower buds, holding ebullient beauty within, yet to bloom. Little do we know.

Sixteen, what a beautifully horrible word, dipped in such misfortune and misery, along with marvellous folly of youth. Utterly insensitive, we shine, and what lays below is callow candor. Flower petals in your hand, so soft that just a blow would shatter it, just a touch would hurt it, just a glance would desiccate it. An apple, its gleaming red so tempting, but what hides underneath is weak, yellow fruit.

Our time is ephemeral. So marvellously crafted, blooming and fading after a short while, shorter than a morning glory’s time under the sun. We are little glass cups. A small touch would leave handprints all over the glass. Transparent and hollow, we hold traces of our handlers. Fragile, alluring, it is so easy to break us beyond repair, into millions of tiny shards and snippets, as countless as the fragments of stars painted in gold and silver.

Inventors of dreams, our imaginations are full of unlimited possibilities. Nothing is impossible with a whimsical touch. Our words become real, our eyes hold the truth, honest and unfiltered. Our hands, they are blacksmiths, moulding dreams and blowing hope into it. Sandcastles turn into palaces. Old, tattered dresses turn into ball gowns.We feel. Our emotions are the purest, yet to be tainted by anything.

Everyone loves sixteen. Emotions culminate, spectacular mixture of senses, as sweet and pure as a young apple. Protected, it seems, exposed, it is. But everyone loves apple. And you’ll say it is always delightful to take the first bite of it, feeling the crunch, leaving irreversible teethmarks, vestiges of old humiliation and sorrow. When you are done with it, you’ll say, “Oh, it was just an apple.”


It is so easy to touch us, make us show what we conceal, just with a little chicanery of words. Your words are poisoned apple covered with melted caramel, seemingly sweet and tempting, endless, inaudible incantations of badness.It is so easy to make us look back, and we will flap our wings and return to the Earth. You’ll call us, we will listen, believe it, so shallow. Little do we know. What are we even aware of?

Facial expressions are mostly untrue, often used to disguise oneself, never to be shown to anyone. You reach out when we are flying low, and we hold your hand, fettering us, and locking us from ever flying again. You promised. You said you will patch up our wings together. Feather by feather, our wings lose power. Trust, hope, positivity, they fall. You’ll say again: “Everything is going to be all right. Trust me.”

Wingless, we are your game. We pray for the day to stay forever. Not even a stream of moonlight. The night fills the room, and the game starts all over again. Dices are thrown. It rolls to the other side of the board.  Your turn, it is always your turn. You are the king, the game master, ruling and crushing everything in your hands. And it is your turn again.Tearing our body apart into millions of glass-like shards, ignoring our screams and pleads of help. You said you would always be on my side.

When the night is over, we are glad it is, plaintively crawling over to the small passageway that leads to the other side of our world. What prevents us from going are the four cold, iron bars that stand between. We enjoy every speck of sunlight pouring over our face. Deluged with the only source of warmth we can ever find, we close our eyes, covering our ears. The cold whispers to us. The darkness wraps its filthy hands and bite at every inch of exposed skin. We close our eyes.

“But everyone loves apple,” you mimic. Take a scrumptious bite, with a fresh, crunchy sound, and toss it away once you are done. Oh, it’s nothing. No worries. It’s just an apple, after all. Apples are everywhere! Look, they are here and there. Apple juice, apple pie, apple tart, it doesn’t harm to ruin one. Toothmarks, oh, these things happen every day. Nothing surprising. No one will notice it. So hush darling, take one, take a bite.


We are young.


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