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Perfectly Flawed
Dissent: Volume 6 of the Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing

Perfectly Flawed


Yesterday was the day days should be made of. I woke up with a beautiful human lying in perfect symmetry, breathing in perfect harmony, mumbling in perfect harmony, drooling in perfect harmony, hallucinating in perfect harmony. Perfect seemed to be the word of the day. Perfect is a word most people are afraid to use because of its, well, ‘perfect’ connotations.

The day was more cinematic than five Tarsem movies put together. The drums humming, the guitars strumming, the shakers shaking, the clouds battling, the moon begging, and the road bragging as I packed my bags to descend on my perfect journey. ‘Waka chaka waka chaka’ was the whisper that followed every footstep. I am scared mostly of my perfectly happy state of mind. The top is a lonely place full of empty souls parading their loaded lives. But I love it here.

Helter Skelter: Perfectly Flawed
Is it possible to be so perfectly elated all the time? Is it snobbish? Photograph by Joy Datta.

Is it possible to be so perfectly elated all the time? Is it snobbish? I have started realising that happy people don’t have too many friends. I guess nobody wants to hear a happy tale. A fairy tale!

The drums hummmmmmm’d louder as each minute flew by. I could not sleep. I lay awake listening to Susheela Raman crying on an empty canvas. Acrylic tears mixed in with laughter and an occasional vodka shot.

I had everything, even my molars were perfect! That was the story I convinced myself of and fell asleep smiling in my perfect dreams.


Today I woke up to the same human but somehow didn’t find the harmony or the perfect symmetry. The mumbling had turned into screaming and the drool had become quite disgusting.

Today, instead, I felt like a perfect loser. I realised that ‘perfect’ love is judgmental and insecure. Love may be possibly the only enemy of love.

The ‘waka chaka waka chaka’ turned to whiny chatter with each step. Some say love is beautiful and some say love is a virtue. Some say it sucks and some say it’s overrated. I have been a believer and an atheist. Love is the obstacle we all like to conquer to feel good about ourselves. Love completes the “perfect” picture.

Love is… as worthless as the comic strip. Yeah, I can be pretty “perfound” when I want to be!

I sat at a local café staring at the half-empty iPads of the half-full cups. Even their fingers were ugly. Did I look the same to them? Are we just a reflection of what we think of others?

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Every mom wants their child to be perfect, every teacher wants their student to be perfect, every employer wants their employees to be perfect. Every plastic surgeon wants their patients to look perfect. Every moviemaker wants the perfect opening. All you hear is Perfect Perfect Perfect! In an already stressed-out world, too much stress on a word that is imperfect to begin with.

We place ourselves on a pedestal after a single victory. We think the game was invented just for us. Play one and get two free. We become invincible and start thinking success gives us wings. We go through humans like plastic chess pawns and wonder why we have no friends, just co-workers or acquaintances. Our ‘perfect teeth’ smile the ‘perfect fake’ smile. So this is fame? This is what we do to appear perfect to the world? Is it worth it to pose ‘happy’ (who the hell invented this pose?), wearing expensive clothes and selling an idea of perfection to the world that does not exist?

A battle I fight with myself everyday, as one half strives to be perfect (‘coz mommy would be so happy and people would love me for my achievements and only when I have achievements would I really Be Somebody) and the other just wants to sit on a Bullet with my torn jeans and ride on the rooftop of the world, with no one around to judge me in my perfect world! Oops, there goes that word again!

“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.” — Winston Churchill

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