I started my day with a cup of milk coffee and a book recommended by one of my friends called “Milk and Honey”. A few days back, when we had met in the playground, she had gone on and on about the writer of this book for two hours straight. And her endless tale of how this book helped change her life compelled me to borrow it. The cover of the book was black with two bees illustrated in white, titled “milk and honey” by Rupi Kaur. Its appearance was rather simple yet it weirdly fascinated me.
The book was divided into four parts; “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking” and “the healing”, respectively. I turned the page to read the first part.
“How is it so easy for you
To be kind to people he asked
Milk and honey dripped
From my lips as I answered
Cause people have not
Been kind to me. “
That was it. The above-mentioned lines from her struck me right in the heart. As if she had just put into words the one thing that I couldn’t explain to people. Even though countless people asked, my parents and me, I just couldn’t find the answer. I have always been kind, understanding, and calm towards people. Always looking for ways to help them. But the reason behind this demeanour always remained a mystery to me. So, when I read those lines it was as if she had taken a tons-worth burden off my shoulders by answering that question. And as I read more, the feelings that engulfed me couldn’t be named or understood. She was blatantly putting forth the words that I couldn’t, and that’s exactly what I needed to do for a cure, and that’s what people choose not to do because they’re afraid of the thoughts others may form.
As a child, the feelings of being touched where you feel uncomfortable is something hard to explain. Although it feels horrid and dangerous in your mind, you really can’t explain it in words. I was unable to say it. I was seven when it happened to me and of course, I couldn’t understand anything about what that person was doing to me and why I was feeling awfully vulnerable, but the thing that was more horrid was the fact that nobody understood it, not because they didn’t want to but just because they couldn’t, and so I stopped explaining and chose silence. Kaur’s book started with the bluntness of all the feelings that were hurting her and when I read them for the first time, it aided me in understanding what I was going through.
Once this understanding settled in, the first thing I did was try to open up to the people around me. I have been doing that for a while now and the way it has helped me is undeniably satisfying. I cry when I can, I smile when I can, I tell them everything when I feel like it, and I feel like I am starting to get better.
Kaur’s book is the reason I started writing. I started expressing myself in the most silent way possible because I was a silent kid. She taught me, gave me the courage to open up about my fears and also face them calmly. She has also given me a wonderful gift, the gift of writing which is the calmest way of expressing yourself and I am forever thankful to her for all of this.
The way I write and the way I paint and draw have all been influenced by her in one way or another. My book, for example, which I am in the process of writing, is inspired by her. The way she divided her book into parts, I could instantly imagine how the content of my book will be divided. She has influenced me to go on and to live a little more, to accept my scars and fears, and if I can’t forgive then good but live with it in a better way.
I think the simplicity in her work is what makes her writing more effective. The way she uses simple and silent words into making extraordinary pieces is just mind-blowing. And through time, it has affected my writing somehow.
She also focuses on issues in a family and how to overcome and grow together in it, about women and relationships, and the most important topic and catches my eyes, violence against women and children.
Kaur’s works always have contained snippets of how violence is inflicted upon children and women, how that affects them, and the kind of feelings one develops with these experiences.
Rupi Kaur has been a mentor, a listener, a speaker, and a great healer in my life. And I would recommend her works to everybody. They are just some things that I wish people would read about more.
Samparna Pattnaik is in grade 12. She has enjoyed painting since she was little and has always loved doing creative activities. She started writing when she was around 14. She may be sort of an introvert but recently, she started to open about her stuff and share her works and writings on her Instagram account.