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A Feeling of Sonder - Response to Word Challenge

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.


Brenda Arledge our fellow hubber is regularly providing us with words to inspire and encourage us to use them in our creative writings and she is doing it very regularly and in a sustained manner which is definitely a matter of praise and accolades to her.

There are some uncommon words or rather rare words or words that many people do not know and it is indeed very difficult to use them. Some of these words are so obscure that we have to search for them in the dictionary or other reference places to know their exact meaning as then only it is possible to use them in our creative writings.

I remember when I was doing my graduation then one of my friends asked me if I knew a word spelt like 'honouraficabilitudinity'. I simply told that I didn't know about it. Was it there in the dictionary? I was told that yes it was in one of the editions of the Oxford dictionary.

In my curiosity, I asked what did the word mean. I was told that it simply meant honour! So, the lesson I learnt was that sometimes the uncommon or obscure words might not be very different in meaning from the available words and that could be one reason why people are not using them.

Coming to the word challenge, for week 35, Brenda has provided us with a very unique but uncommon and unusual world 'sonder' which incidentally I am hearing for the first time and while going through its meaning in various sources came to know that it precisely means - 'the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own - populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness'.

After going through that small literally exercise, I have now tried to use this word in my following poem to depict the story of a person who thought he was the only one born miserable on this earth while the fact was that there were many like him and many more were more miserable than him. Once he comes to know this fact then he becomes a normal person and starts struggling in his life as most of us routinely do.

A feeling of sonder

I always thought that,

I was the unfortunate one.

While everyone else enjoying life,

I was the unfavoured son.

There are people who talk pleasantly,

with friends and strangers.

But when I talk to them,

They simply show me their cold shoulders.

I felt myself the most unhappy,

And the sad person on this earth.

I was not getting any success anywhere,

And found me of no worth.

My life became a pitiable thing,

It made me frail and fragile.

My sleep was disturbed much,

My efforts were all futile.

I started taking walks in the dark nights,

Not knowing what else to do.

And then it happened,

when I encountered this ghostly hoodoo.

He was looking very sad,

And each of his eyes had one big tear.

I felt sympathetic to him,

I talked to him without any fear.

He told me that once he was very powerful,

But destiny had something else in mind.

His master was unhappy with him,

Then he was punished and fined.

I know everything I can see everything,

I know about you all dear.

But I can't do anything and am a shadow only,

You would not realise my fear.

He finished telling about his plight,

But my mind was agog with thoughts.

Even a ghost could be so helpless,

Then what about the earthly naughts.

I realised that I was not the,

Only person suffering on Earth.

I got a feeling of sonder,

And revitalized my worth.


© 2021 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

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