My heart sings a different song

Prose : First Impressions arriving in London + LSE


They march, hundreds of them. They march together in unison.
The sound of their leather boots stomping against the concrete floor: Steady and strident.

They chant, hundreds of them. They chant together in unison.
The sound of their piercing voices ringing in the air: Loud and clear.

They drum, hundreds of them. They drum together in unison.
The sound of their sticks banging against the fabric: Forceful and resonant.

They glow, under the spotlight they glow. Their ray of confidence shines through shadows of doubt. My eyes are pulled towards them with an undeniable force I cannot describe. Magnetic, phenomenal, irresistible.

Their song is powerful like the thunder. It sweeps me off your feet. It has the force to conquer, to destroy, to put on a dazzling display that takes your breath away.

As they march by, I want to be a part of this troop, to wear this medal of glamour, confidence, and power. To shine. To assert. To belong.

I put on my boots and join the troop. I march with my head high and back straight. The sound of reverberating drums makes me feel tall and mighty. We march through houses, streets, cities. We assert ourselves as leaders. We present ourselves as a dashing, exclusive group. We are envied and admired.

I open my mouth to sing this tune of confidence. I wave my arms to drum these beats of determination. I stomp my feet to march this walk of prestige.

My heart sings a different song.


She wakes up, in a dimly lit room. Outside, the troop marches, the crowd cheers, the drum beats. She sings her first song.

Its a quiet melody. Hush, you hear it in this empty room. Its notes swings and turns in the air like a piece of long, white, silky fabric.
It’s a song of wonder and of fear.
Wonder for this intriguing world, its buzzing energy, its hopes and dreams.

Fear for this strange world, its lurking threats, its unexplored territories. Wonder and fear, for its people. The manifold, diverse inhabitants of this world

Outside, they start chanting with determination. The words cut through the air in a striking manner.

Inside, she sings her second song. It is a broken melody in a minor key, a poignant song. It is the song of one violin tune, standing alone. A single file of notes, weaving in and out. Appearing frail from afar, yet intimately rich in texture.

Her melody strikes every nerve of your body and brings shivers to your spine. It paints a picture of a frosty winter and imprints it in your bones. You feel it, all of it: the coldness, the despair, the pain. The music comes alive, it breaths at every pause, whispers in your ear, speaks to you, and wraps itself around you. Until you unite with it.

They chant glory and prominence. She hears affliction and loss. They march for prosperity. She cries for meaning. The reverberations of their chanting ring hollow next to her music: Loud, yet meaningless. Strong, yet intransigent. Brimming with will, yet has no trace of character.

Outside, they chant and march. Inside, she weeps and plays.
They celebrate the progress of the mind. She mourns the death of the soul.

After a final note, held long and high. She stops.
After the last anthem, the crowd outside also stops.
No more violin, no more singing, no more drumming, no more marching. There is silence. Utter, complete silence.

Tik, tok. You hear the moving pointer of a clock.

You hear the leaves shivering in the wind.

You hear some whispers.


And then, it starts raining.
It begins with drizzles, and then a shower.

Rain, a seemingly banal weather phenomenon, is actually quite impressive, when you think about it.
One tiny droplet of water. Two tiny droplets of water. Three droplets of water. Four. Five. Six. Hundreds. Thousands. Millions.

Today’s rain is millions of them. Falling at an incredible speed, they shoot down like arrows. They fall on the marching crowd, every single one of them. On their hair, eyes, nose, shoes. On their clothes. Inside their pockets. On their drums, their sticks.
The rest splashes against the concrete floor.

For the first minute, the crowd remained static, unmoving, and stayed where they were. Slightly perplexed. Still absorbed the impressive show of grandeur earlier, as if they were cast under some spell.

Then, some of them moved their hands, to remove water from their eyes. Some of them shook some water off their body.

Then, some of them opened their eyes wide.
Others opened their mouths wide.
Some lowered their head, signaling shame.
They looked at each other. They searched for the answers in each other’s eyes, when they held them in their heart the whole time. To their wild bewilderment, some of them slowly realized the truth.


When it rained. Tears of joy and relief ran down her eyes.

Her last song was acceptance. It was love. It was coming home.

She dances. Her movements flow in a seamless fashion. There are no abrupt stops, no impactful pauses. She simply moves, from one place to another. She simply moves, guided by her intuition, guided by love. Her eyes glow with tears. Fragile, real, and bittersweet.

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