You know the sea and the desert. The strong and the still, the deep and the numb. You know the spaces between a set jigsaw puzzle, and say you created it with a lot of love. But it was only a part of your drawing, and hell emanates from each of those spaces, and the distance is too much to bear. For everyone. And for me.

Midnight call.

Hello. I need help again today.

How many people ask you for help on this very day?

Well, hey, don’t put down the phone during any minute. I have so much to say.

I feel like crying today. I feel like crying a lot. I don’t know. Remember that person?

You know, I was very happy today. I was very happy until later when this started. You know, I would have closed everything down, shut myself to the sweet escape but right now, I am talking to you. Because I’m so done with running away. I run to reach the same place every freaking time. I am so done.

Hello? Please say something else. I know you get me. I know you understand. I am already breathing, I am not dying. And by the way, I can never actually commit suicide, like ever. Inshaa Allah as well but like never.

Okay, I am listening. But I am not done yet?

You listen to me. I wrote my first poem today. It was so painful it was exhilarating. 

You listen to me. I wrote my last poem today. It was only painful.

You listen to me. I never intended to take it all so seriously.

You listen to me. I miss every dead person on earth tonight. I can feel the graveyard wind inside me. The sad laughter of the sister killed for honor. The sad laughter of the struggling maid. The sad laughter of the parents of the raped child. The sad laughter of the fallen bird. The hollow dread of a Justin Cronin novel.

I haven’t read in ages. I have a viva tomorrow. Remember I told you I loved exams for their distracting power? I don’t right now because it’s not working.

I can hear his chair creaking. I know he is sitting in the last room by the staircase with a pack of cigarettes. You know I hate cigarettes. But how would you know? You’re just a therapist. A listener, that’s all. A dead phone line.

Khatam Shudd

Darwaza khula chora tha meny. Chahtay na chahtay nazar uth uth ke jati thi, wehem ne dil ko yun muthi me jakarr rakha tha ke sirf takleef milti thi aur us se bhagnay ka koi tareeqa samajh hi nahi ata tha. Tum se bhagnay ka koi tareeqa samajh nahi ata tha.

Mujhay lagta tha tum aogay.

Jantay ho, har ahat par chonk jati thi. Har shor pe tufaan uthta tha. Sab bikhar jata tha, mai samait’ti thi aur phir bikhar jata tha. Maine bohat koshish ki ke jo umeed phool nahi kaanta ho, usay zabardasti hi sahi kheench kar bahar nikal dun. Apnay aap ko bacha lun. Lekin mujhay darr lagta tha ke aisay zakham gehra hojayega. Aur ab nazar ata hai ke khula chornay se tou ye naasoor banjaega.

Click clack

Just thinking about each letter and writing either the first thought or some important/unique memory associated with anything starting from it. You can do it too 🙂

A. You might rot in hell.

B. Weird memory just made me laugh. You were annoying and someone else noticed too. Even teased me about it.

C. In my first school ever. Probably one of my earliest memories. There’s a corridor type thing. There’s your name. There’s your embarrassment.

D. You and your brother. How old were we? Five? Climbing the gate to the garden after school. My sister and I were afraid we would get caught. You two were so used to it. It was amazing in the end.

E. The phone call. The news of death and not knowing quite well how to be dramatic enough to express that it mattered a lot.

F. Letters. I didn’t know I could do the letters thing with you but it was kinda supportive.

G. A flashback, a horrible cry like in the book. It was a little bit of enormous back then.

H. The walks, the talks. One casual debate when a stranger passed a hilarious comment causing us to stop in our tracks. Your death glare. Then that time a cat popped up beside you out of nowhere. I remember fun and warmth.

I.I felt safest here. More than I do in my own city.

J. It’s always hurtful when someone you’re so close to cannot be happy about your success, and cannot hide it as well. I know it wasn’t your fault but it wasn’t mine.

K. When we were vulnerably honest about some ideas, emotions, and even public issues.

L. Trying not to. It’s hard because somethings we just have no control over. Like can you decide what to or what not to see in your dream?

M. Helps me draw. Sometimes needed to shut out every other voice.

N. Senior ex-friend lol

O. Someone else’s hell perhaps

P. Most things I’m passionate about

Q. Respect. Admiration. Aur afsos.

R. Wonder how moms mostly just know which friendships are unhealthy. You are good but as I grew up, I understood what I got saved from.

S. I spent a good time to end up with a no-line

T. Player

U. Physics and Chemistry classes, sharing a hands-free and listening to one of our favorite songs that I can’t recall now. We were so close. But we’re all also so temporary.

V. Last year, so typical. This year a joke

W. Thank you for lending me your watch during exam!

X. Where we get stuck in name-place-animal-thing game?

Y. The Kashmiri poem you sang. I shared an Arabic/Persian mix.

Z. The most special meet-up in a city that was neither mine nor yours. From this place right here to several memes, poems, problems, and some promises.

half a string

On the third floor of the building, halfway through the long, long corridor were two connecting stairs. When we sat there, the sun was almost setting. We felt tired, and another mix of emotions with no particular name. A feeling of togetherness, a feeling of uncertainty, of hope, of struggle, of what it meant to us. Everything. It was like we were on one of the most important points in our respective lives, one that didn’t have much to do with the other — in fact, nothing — save for the fact that we were friends. And we were in it together.

We knew it was either a dream-come-true situation or nothing. We could have it, or we couldn’t. But there was also a third case.

“Maybe, it’s for only one of us. The other will return and later on say that they know it was for the best. They will sound very convincing, will ask you to actually believe them that they are content, that it doesn’t matter, that they’ve realised the wisdom behind ‘why not’…”

“But it won’t be true.”

“Yes, it cannot be. Know that deep down it will hurt them enough to never say a word about it. That something will shatter anyhow.” The same happened.

But there was also a fourth case.

all that

a g i t a t i o n

This time of the year you want to give up. You are so done. You could pack a bag and scurry off to the hills or something… even though this wasn’t what you wanted. But if you could find peace in any form you’ll want to go after it.

You are happy. You are laughing. You are making others laugh. There are fun sounds and dramatic gestures and such a sacred feeling of gratefulness it scares you.

You can see the mess. You know what it is even when you’re tapping your fingers on the keyboard pretending you can’t find the word you know you know the word, you know it’s called s t r u g g l e and sometimes it’s a name and sometimes, it’s a silly count of all your poems you never had the guts to share. When you end a day and begin another, you pat yourself on the shoulder because you can cut one on the self-help calendar in your mind, now it’s just 37 more days. After that, you will probably come up with another idea.

I wish I could tell you your burden is not your own but everyone’s collective burden is hell so yours is yours alone. Though there’s still some hope because – oh, I don’t know. But there is a heaven as well so there should be.