I have always loved code languages, for they allow me to mount prosthetic makeup on reality.
I’ve looked at them with a sort of reverence my parents reserved solely for flute-bearing, peacock-feathered idols, unaware that the shlokas they duly recited contained wormholes in logic that were all codes pointing towards the futility of religion.
Codes build me, bracket by bracket, a summerhouse away from the ways of the world; a world where the moist concrete of my tongue doesn’t have to sandwich itself between the ceramic of my teeth to say the word ‘no’; a world where nine blinks from a torch scream emergency better than nine stitches on a nineteen-year old wrist; a world where all I have to do to start afresh is insert a forward slash before my last mistake; a world where white is background and coloured is privileged; a world where my smallest achievement is honoured with a tiny variable and my largest sorrow is trivialised with one; a world where light speaks from a lighthouse shrouded in darkness instead of darkness speaking in the light of a computer screen; a world where it only takes two parallel lines to equate “Donald” with racist-homophobic-ignorant-hypocritical-brainless-motherfucking-maniac; a world where left and right and centre are different methods to arrange the same idea and not different ideas that inspire the same violence; a world where the root of most misunderstandings is a syntax mistake, not a mistakenly sent text; a world where I can cry and cry and continue to cry without losing the novelty of the act in a single loop command; a world where ‘gif’ brings to mind an army of images and not an army of bullies who love to pick on a guy with a lisp; a world where Fuzzy Markup Language is the only full form of FML; a world where every smile receives a response; every friendship receives double quotes; every love receives a home cocooned in two sloping roofs on either side.
A world in code will sometimes smother me with its predictability. The lack of adventure will pierce through my human skin carelessly mounted on a digital army of horses; a “Calibri”; sometimes, a million coagulated symbols of inflated joy and watered-down wounds won’t succeed in blending my scars into mehndi patterns. Sometimes, I will long for a human pulse under those fingertips instead of a thousand heartbeats that sound only when I trample on their springs, 50 times a minute.
Sometimes, a world in code won’t be enough.
And that’s when my pulse will alight a final time, on the Backspace key, never to release again.