‘Ropes’ by Hrishik Subramani

The rope, woven of the finest silk, was pulled taut. The fibres which held it together began to
buckle under the force and the tension. It was weathered and old, but maintained its decadence
through years of abuse. It glimmered, like a gilded vine from some old, golden tree made more
striking with age. Now, it burned. It was set alight from both ends, bursting into an angry flame,
crackling with a passionate hatred long brewed by the knives thrown by the two who held the
rope taut. Both were excellent marksmen. They never missed and the knives and bullets flung
across the widening chasm between them and pierced their shields of emotion, propelled by
misplaced malice. These knives and bullets were wrought carefully from experience and
knowledge of the foe, moulded into the right shape through focus and forged with malice, for
they knew each other’s weaknesses.

It was their tongues that shot these fine bullets and threw those crafted knives. These words
were those that set the rope alight. And for what? A grave mistake, made by those unaware,
those fools who deem themselves master, those relentless machiavellians. Borders had been
crossed, boundaries had been discarded, and torches were thrown.

It was undoubtedly an unnatural conflict for civilised men, troglodytic in nature, simian in
mind. For people so eternally connected, from birth as brothers, a chasm so large cannot be
amended once those borders are crossed. Imagine for a second that you have grown up in a
coddled and comfortable family, where your needs are all acknowledged and your whimsical
fancies are fulfilled. Now imagine the pain and difficulty if that life disintegrated into a vast
abyss of emptiness of forsaken emotion. It would burn you as it did them, eat away at your soul
and leave but a robotic corpse in an obstinate desperation which is never satiated. That is why
you should not cross borders, they are defences that drown you if you break them down with
force, or collapse in on you if you break them from the inside. It will leave you in an island of
rubble barely floating amidst cries of broken men in seas of suppressed tears and the shrapnel
will keep moving towards your soul, otherwise unreachable: a skilled huntsman in your heart.

Friendship, kinship and community all stand at risk from this calamity. It is vital that we keep
within our borders, and cross them only when the gates are open to us. Words are the catalyst
and fuel is silence, contradictory and perplexing in its own way.

The ropes we have between us and those we care about need to be maintained well, cared for
and strengthened by strings of memories and shared experience and should never be corrupted
by the dark strings of knife-like words, nor by the silent fuel. Do not burn your ropes, for
loneliness kills.