The Medley

is a twice-a-year literary journal run by the students of Hansraj College, University of Delhi. It is a repository of stories, poems and essays sent to us from around the world since 2018.

White Block

The white expanse of the blank canvas stared back at me. It was pretty white, really. Whiter than snow but warmer than the empty pages of my pocket notebook. It was a peaceful white, not unlike the song of a swan.

My mind was blank too, like the white of the screen where I tried to type, but nothing came out. I wanted to write into the white, to ink it with black ants of the alphabet and breathe life and meaning through my dead words. Alas, I could not think of a single thing to write about.

I tried looking everywhere for inspiration but to no avail. I thought of the chirping of birds, of the freshness of lush gardens, of the neat little equations I had jotted in my pocket notebook to remember, but none of it seemed worthy enough to write about.

I thought of music and poetry that had moved me to tears and reminisced on the potency that words held, a dark contrast to my empty white screen where no words existed, and neither did any meaning. If I think about it, there never was any meaning to it, was there?

I moved on to my chores, helping my mom with her housework, and cleaning my room but my mind could not escape the futility of being unable to write on the screen. My messy room was cleared in a matter of minutes and yet millennia weren’t enough to mess up the clear canvas. What had all my education been for, then? After even nineteen years of existence, how could I not even come up with a single idea? Were all my learnings derivative?

Writing has always been therapeutic to me and yet I still struggle. Is that the way it is for everyone? Ah, the wrong question, I’ve been told that countless times.

I come back to my chair and stare at the white of the screen. It was a pale white, really. Whiter than the coffee pages of my childhood, but warmer than my sepia teenage years. It was a gentle white, not unlike the cloudy predecessors of a thunderous evening.

My mind was blank too, a mushy aerated white, like a coconut with sweet water that could never quench a deep thirst but served only as a cosmetic beverage to attract a curious customer. Alas, I could not think of a single thing to write about.

Did there exist inspiration out there? It used to come to me so easily, with little sparks igniting fires that would manducate the blank and fill it with a million hues in black strokes. It used to be easy, or was I just misremembering? The past was tricky.

I tried measuring time with words; time was absolute, after all. ​ It took me a hundred years to forget the past, and a million more to accept it. No, time wasn’t absolute anymore; that madman of the past had said so in tiny scribbles of his equation.

Not a single word could I regurgitate and my screen remained a blank white, not unlike the floor of my dreams.

Daksh Dheer

Daksh is a 19-year-old who is seen sitting on three devices for worrying amounts of time, profusing his love for mathematics from which he strings the poetry of logical ideas. He's very introverted, but try bringing up a lecture series with him, he'd instantly be your best friend. For him, writing isn't just a medium of expression and hobby, it is also an escape which he needs sometimes to make more sense of his own passion in the course he's wilfully fallen in love with, and it comes as rationally as an equation.