I won’t say I traveled far and wide or climbed those hills and things. No, but I met people and studied them to study you. I stopped to look at your personal things, and I tried sketching out your details.I wanted you back.
But I guess I am tired now.
And I guess I no longer understand you.
You are too grand, too far, too complex. I am too vain.
He had returned home after playing with his friends in the locality, and now his body rested before them in a still, lifeless state. How his mother would have cried on undressing his young dead son and how they would have put on a kafann… how the strong smell of kaafoor would have filled up the entire hall and his birth day would have played vividly like a film in his mother’s mind. How his first smile, first cry, the way he had so strongly clasped her finger, his first step, first sound, first meal, first everything would haunt their dreams from now onwards.
Dreams. He must’ve weaved a lot of them. Now that he had completed his second year at college, he might have planned the wildest and most unique of dreams. Things he would have blurted out energetically to gain encouragement but would’ve been told were impossible, and how we would have then promised himself to prove the world nothing was ever far from a man who tries…
And how his siblings would have begged his motionless body to please return; to tease, to play, to fight, to laugh, to stay.
How his father would have put on a strong yet imperfect cover on his feelings to look at his son, and to attend his guests and relatives. How he would have hugged his other children and tried unsuccessfully to console his wife, and how his lips would have trembled on the words of Imaam: Inna lillahi wa Inna Ilaihee Rajiiyuun.
It is not true when they say some people die before their time. Nobody dies before time. Death has no time, no time at all.
[Rest in peace Hammad.]
‘I was worried for you.’
“You needn’t be. I am okay by myself.”
“I know you are not. Nobody with red, swollen eyes is.”
“Oh, stop. That’s called sleep deprivation.”
“It’s called a hopeless-struggle-to-put-on-a-mask, silly!”
“Not even a term”, I replied.
The traffic is high
the night is dark
but the mad man
He runs madly
by the roadside;
his feet bare.
A bottle in his hand
and tears in his eyes
he drinks as he runs,
amidst anyone’s stare.
He is mad, so he is free
and no one questions
He can kill- if he likes
he may not, if he mustn’t
No chains bind him at all;
of reason nor responsibility.
Tears block his vision,
so for a moment he stumbles
but this doesn’t make him stop
or go against his decision.
The mad man keeps running
and the world begins to fade
the traffic soon dissolves
in a hazy, unknown shade.
No one knows where he ended
what his quest was, what he wanted
but they say in a planet of madness
only he had life comprehended.
- Maria Imran.
Related post: (In)sanity.
You will see me everywhere,
floating gracefully on the clouds
swimming fearlessly in the seas
I need no pillars to cling on to,
no rooftops, no floors to set my feet on.
I am a mermaid!
A ghost, an angel
a shooting star I am
the wish you count on it,
the desire you keep unheard-
I am the golden sand in time’s hand
the purple glow in a river’s flow
the secret in a book divine
the prisoner in a castle fine
I am everything-
I am everywhere
I am now, I am never
I am infinite forever.
You think you can get hold?
Like the sailors before you planned
they all died in my seas
swallowed by the deep.
Thirsty in my deserts
injured by my cacti
illusioned by my oases
begging for my mercies.
I am the shapeless cloud,
free to make my move
Noah’s faithful ark
a light in the dark
a legend adored
I am the minaret, the temple bell
the prayer bead, salvational deed
I am your past—unreachable
I am anything but your present.
- Maria Imran.
You were a colon
and semicolons you detested
I tried putting a comma there
like grammar lady suggested.
but our life, it seems, is an underscore
or an inverted question mark blotted
because whenever I ask for space
or try putting us back within a parenthesis,
you usually slash me―
This is not, however, how I had imagined
us to be. I always wanted a life smooth as tilde
a prime time together, never fearing bad weather
I wanted us to fight against negations,
but like a dagger kills relations
or a bullet, we died inside too…
It is a broken bar now, and it hurts
at the highest degree of pain.
Can we still back into space though,
or is it about time we put a full stop?
The night was dark and silent, and the citizens of the city of light slept soundly in their [un/]comfortable beds (which was considered unusual before dreams became their only salvation) when a gun shot was heard.
We had just entered that street then, in our car on way back home, when two men running madly came into sight. One of them had a pistol with him, the other was empty-handed. One of them ran to take life, another to save it.
He was running fast; as fast as one would if they saw their death coming at any second’s difference, and his enemy was running faster—as fast as one would when his thirst for blood had blinded all his other senses…
I was shocked: it was just like a hunter and deer’s game, except that both were unfortunately humans here.
Whether he killed him or not, I cannot say. It is actually useless to hope for the latter but…
Did they put his body in a grave when they found him the next morning? Does his family know yet? Of course they do. In a city where deaths become a statistic, it is so predictable where you lost your loved ones. But what of the police who were busy inspecting random passers a distance away? Did they notice how a car had reversed in panic at the sight of it when they were too, just an instant away from being targeted?
Death often comes like that. It becomes a tragedy for the killer, the final stop for the runner, and a lesson for the living. ..
سرخ گلاب کی پتیوں کو دھیرے دھیرے شاخ سے الگ کرتے ہوئے وہ اپنی ہی دنیا مین مگن تھی۔ دیوار سے ٹیک کئے، سفید سلک پشواس میں ملبوس وہ نہ جانے کتنی ہی دیر سے اپنی جگہ بیٹھی زمیں کو تک رہی تھی۔ آنکھیں دیکھو تو لگتا تھا برسوں کی جاگی ہو۔۔۔ چہرے سے بھی ایسی شدید تھکن عیان تھی کہ معلوم ہوتا صدیوں کا کوئی جوگ پالا ہو۔ یا پھر جس طرح کسی ملاح کو تمام کشتیان جلا کر اپنی آخری امانت سونپنے کی دیر ہو، وہ بھی اپنی زندگی کسی جھونکے میں کھو دینے کی منتظر ہو۔
تم یہاں بیٹھی کیا کر رہی ہو؟ میں کب سے دیکھتا ہوں تم اپنی جگہ سے نہیں ہلی۔۔ کس بات کا غم ہے تمہیں، کس مراد کو دل میں لئے پال رہی ہو؟
مجھے کیوں کوئی غم ہوگا بابا۔ خوشی غمی سے اپنے رشتے تو میں توڑ آئی ہوں۔ یہ بھی بھلا کوئی معنی رکھتے ہیں؟
بیٹے پھر تم یہاں قبرستان میں کیا لینے آتی ہو؟ مُردوں سے دل لگانے پرکونسا انہیں زندگی مل جاتی ہے؟ زندگی تو زندوں سے ملتی ہے۔ لین دین سے۔ تعلقات سے۔ جسم اور روح کو جوڑ لینے سے۔
بابا روح کو جوڑنا ہی تو چایتی ہوں۔ پر مجھے سکون نہیں ملتا۔ جسکا وجود بنجارہ ہو اسے کہیں پھول راس نہیں آتے۔۔۔
وجود زمین ہے بیٹے۔ زمین کبھی بانجھ نہیں ہوتی۔ دعا سب کچھ بدل دیتی ہے۔ ذات اور وجود میں دعا ہی پیاپبر بنی ہوتی ہے۔ کیا تمہیں زات کی تلاش نہیں؟
گلاب کا عرق اسکی انگلیوں کو لال کر ریا تھا۔ یا پھر شاید کوئی کانٹا چبھا تھا۔
Some people are like morning stars. They stand alone and they stand bright; not for once faltering to let their demons succeed. A soft, pinkish hue meets the dark blue at Fajar, and Rabbi calls His little, lonely creatures to come and find refuge. He is like, you don’t need to worry pretty one, I’m always all ears. Come, say, cry all you like, and I’ll mend this tiny heart of yours so that no one can break it again. Come to me so I may heal you, and trust in me so I may clean your wounds. Your battle has now come to an end, and soon the scorching light will tear this veil of darkness between us. Let all your fears and tears be mine. Let you be mine!
A quail sings from distance, but I cannot locate where. The sky is just as empty as the streets are, except for one bright object that is illuminating the entire blanket of night.
I learnt to hate.
I never knew how it was
to hate someone so strongly
but now that I do
I think I know…
It’s like… sipping a bitter,
that the taste wraps around your tongue
and burns it.
It’s like… bringing a matchstick
closer to your chest
and letting it create a hole
a red, blazing hole.
It’s like… being the rose yourself
that the lover crushes in his hands
seeing the fragrance melt—
the petals wither
in your own existence.
It’s like… praying and not receiving
Dying… and not dying.
It’s like panting breathlessly for air—
and blocking all pumps out yourself—
But is that hate?
Or did I just define
how it was
To miss you?
~ Maria Imran.
Do you notice, even today, how the clouds take form of a monster outside your balcony? Do you see the evil man, smiling slyly between a cigar in his mouth; the old woman bent with a stick and bread; the large, gigantically large bird in a flight? Do you see two teddy bears cuddling? Does it amuse you? Do you see a girl writing in a pad, a lamp lit close by, and some crumpled letters in a dustbin? Does it worry you how the newborn’s cradle swings empty?
Do you hear the nightingale singing? Do you smell Jasmines, and the night queens in bloom? Do you write poems? Do you paint it? Do you preserve your moments in a photograph? Or do you, at least, just inhale it in a way it etches in your memory to never leave? Do you think of me?