So I got nikkahfied (we signed our wedding papers) and wanted to share the big news here on my oldest home. It’s such an explicable feeling – like a precious secret, a divine gift. Alhamdulillah & mashaAllah! ❤ Rem in duas, k?
Calm painting isn’t for me. I paint madly. I destroy it when I can’t destroy the world. I love realistic, expressionistic, this and that art. I look at them all day. But for me, it’s all passion and fever. It’s what I used writing for. Poetry was a condensed form. Paintings are those but turned outward.
The first time I learned about abstract art was in grade 4. Miss Sadia taught us. I had no idea what it really was but I fell in love. This is…also where the abstract in my blog identity comes from. Random was for words, abstract was for art. randomlyabstract itself was bigger because it was all of me.
When taye-abba bought a huge canvas for his huge lounge and asked little me, “Maria do you know what this is?” I simply said, “abstract art” and he was so surprised I knew the term. Wo alag baat hai ke the painting had “love” written on it like a secret code jisay tab discover kiya jab taye-abba bhi nahi the.
Zendagi megzara. I used to love this term. It’s from the kite runner. Ouch that I used to read so many books. Now I mostly just give them away.
A cousin asked me that now that you’re getting married will you be throwing off your art supplies? I was like no? Like what? Allah na karay!
What else? Ho gaya ya aur rehta hai? Let me assess and get back to you. Laters baby!
Oh and until then, a work in progress:
Uffoh, such bilawajeh ka stress. Like not exactly bilawajeh, it’s my wedding month and all brides feel the same way agay peechay but if there’s one time in a girl’s life that is DEVOID of all that negativity (like anxiety or panic or pareshani or negativity or loneliness or some fear or some idk just fill the list) it should be her wedding. But actually it should be all the time yo. Stress comes only when it shouldn’t. When else would you invite it over?
جب کھڑکی کے اس پار چیخنے کی آواز آئی
تو لپک کر پہنچنے والا پہلا شخص
تجسس کے مارے آیا تھا
بروقت امداد کسے ملتی ہے
مدد کے لیے روتے ہیں تو خبر بنتی ہے
سب کو تسکین ملتی ہے
وہ جو خبر ملنے پر آتے ہیں
اپنا حق جتلاتے ہیں
ہم ہی تو اسے جانتے تھے
مرحوم بڑا بے صبرا تھا
م ع ۱۴ اکتوبر ۲۰۲۰
I saw you in a dream today. It was so unexpected. I think I am more shocked right now because I just now remembered it. It’s 12:33 PM as I write this sentence.
It was very real, ______. It was so real it’s a shocking REALISATION now that it was only a dream.
Dreams complete me because you don’t.
Dreams comfort me because you don’t.
It’s not a big deal. Of course it’s not a big deal. Damn me if I ever return to a non-returnee.
وہ دقیانوس ہیں کہ میرا کھانا پینا پہننا اوڑھنا سب اپنی مرضی کے مطابق ڈھالنا چاہتے ہیں۔
میں دقیانوس ہوں کے معاشرہ کے فرسودہ نظام کے آگے آج بھی زبان نہیں کھول سکتی۔
randomlyabstract is 10 years old and I’m 24! WHAAAT! I opened this blog today to write this very old, little to-do list sorta notebook I found from 2009-10 today and found this annual notification (this one being so special of course). Coincidence much because that diary mentions this blog as well and apparently I used to mention other stuff in it like my online activity, my school activity (aka which subject to prepare for) and more IMPORTANT things I had to jot down to remember sharing with whomever it concerned, etc. Like?
I love and hate this weird rush of everything that has happened in the past 10 years. It was a lot. I run a new WordPress-hosted website now but this place will FOREVER be home. ❤ I know that I feel like a stranger here sometimes and hurt myself by backspacing a lot of things I wish I could write but on the whole, I can always return to this part of my “self” and find solace in the randomly abstract world that it is.
We came there holding baby Ibad in our arms, family awing together at the three-bedroom space, girls chattering about which room should now be theirs and then suddenly screaming because there are pigeons sitting inside!
“It’s okay, it’s okay, we’re not shifting today. The house will be clean when you come.” Today we were only seeing.
And then it was. We kids don’t know how but we know who did it. Baba. Baba and some workers. Baba and some electricians. Baba and some movers. Baba and some van walas. Baba and some plumber, carpenter, chokidaars. We only found the house ready. And clean.
Today we moved again, baby Ibad now seventeen, and one of us little girls married with kids of her own. The house is four-bedroom big, and we’re awing at it even more, but the feelings are not so singular anymore. There’s fear, there’s joy, there’s tiredness, there’s a thousand thoughts and jobs to do. A full rain and rainbow. Even Baba is now old but with Ibad and some men, he has handled most of it.
And then we’re handling the rest. We’re coping with the sweet change but also with the monstrous rain, no-signals, no Internet, no cable for a few more days. We’re also trying to manage the inside of the house and unlike our childhood, shifting and moving requires way more work than it looked like.
Anyhow, it’s also very spiritually moving, this whole experience. It’s shifting perspectives, memories, and making space for new beginnings. So when chaos lifts, there’s ease nearby.
Hmm. Here because everyone else shunned ya out? Uh-oh. Okay, what brings you here where you’re not even real. But reality can be so scary, you know that already. Never judge anyone on fearing it. For not being their harmless-for-others untrue self.
Still so complicated, your sentences. Ew. Told you I didn’t like poetry. The f with you.
Acha what brings you here then? Go on, I’ll listen. Wow, ehsaan much.
I read this poem from twenty seventeen. Was going through my archives to find something to letter. I did pick a line from it that you see in the photo above. And then put the poem in the caption. Read it out:
When I should be elsewhere
I lay awake instead, and
Assemble a questionnaire in my mind:
Everything that I have now yearned too long to ask you, I would;
“This is going to be a very, very honest conversation,” I will say.
It’s our final friendly law.
A sudden surge of happiness like a reflection of seven colors on my sooted heart—
If you call me again I might at least find my name
And as we’re talking, I will ask— no harsh feelings, hey!— but why did you think it was okay to do what you did?
How many others have you scarred the same way?
Alas! In the back of my mind the colors shift
A curtain closes
Rubbing the drama away in one swift move:
How will I know if you won’t still be lying?
Idk if the ending feels as clear to me now. I remember knowing back then also that it was vague but for me the meaning was clear. How will I know if you wont still be lying, huh? Ajeeb matlab. Duh.
ANYWAY. I’m ranting to not think but I’m thinking all sorts of things. With so much speed that it’s hard to catch up. Painful that I can’t take your and your and your name. Matlab pagal hi bana diya.
Sigh. My bud-dua or yours? I remember this other poem — feels like another life when I wrote those but hey, — and it talked about the dua part will remain even after nothing else does. And then I think I mocked it in the same tone. I totally meant the mocking, you know? Because you’d think it’s a “good dua” while it might not be? And other meanings so f it too.
It’s such an important day I don’t want to use a wrong word. Especially when I’ve kept the decency salamat so far. eh tainting the image now? No please. Wont even dare.
Phew. All our issues and one. This late night. This needed apology. This lack of understanding. And not me. For once, I’m not the issue.
University has been one of my favorite experiences. Both studying there and teaching there. It has a special place in my heart.
We friends loved the landscape there. Before I got admission, I remember my cousin telling me on the phone that there was nothing “stunning” about UOK but that the nature of that place, the walls and the jungle, will get to the poet in me. That there was no perfect infrastructure but there was something I would be able to relate to, and I did fall in love with it so her words were cent percent true.
I remember writing in the weirdest spaces, solitary and among crowds. Exploring trees, languages, verses, people, art and spirituality.
Without trying, I also return to thinking about a specific room in the university and a specific person who has impacted me in a way – I guess I just cherish it all but wish I could do more.
A lot of things happened in those years. Things I wish I could pull down from my memory and put in words, like how Dumbledore caught a streak in his wand and placed in the Pensieve. Alas, such memories are so elusive. But also, I am not even trying yet. They are where they are.
And that’s how I deal with memories. Revisiting, but not entirely.
I want to say so much to you today. I want to thank you for your resilience and congratulate you for not giving up despite the small and HUGE oppressions women in our society face everyday. It’s not just strangers who try overpowering us, sometimes we’re silenced or ridiculed by the closest ones.
Happy women’s day to you. You are not a gaali, joke, puzzle, candy, debate topic, burden, issue. You are human and you’re precious. May you only find powers of goodness every coming day. 🌟
Putting my story in front of this huge canvas painting to appreciate the correlation between these two subjects — modes of art — and the spiritual connotation of each. “I will go where my soul takes me…” which I painted to show a juxtaposition of two realms, and a story showcasing the imagery of another world – with a dying man and a prophecy of eternity. ✨
When I miss you I simply return to the pond in the garden and stand there for hours. I see our reflection there, in the clear water, you standing right beside me your shoulder touching my shoulder, our entire wujood smiling. Melting in pure happiness. A sense of shukr, a belief of togetherness, an unbeatable satisfaction. No fear, no tear, and look at me now.
It’s suddenly so cold.
I’ll always miss you.
Will I always miss you?
I saw you in a dream. Again. How many times I think about taking your name but dust it off, it’s not possible. It’s not good. It’s not useful either.
I saw you in a dream again and it was so real. Like our two separate lives. Manind e Khushfehmi. I ask him “haal e shuma chitoray” and he takes his time. I imagine him opening a new tab. He searches for it and replies: “theek Alhamdulillah.”
I am already 4 languages down but it doesn’t create a mess in me anymore. The loudest is the language of art only. And some day I will tell you it was the soul’s.
Tum ho ke mai?
Ye batain saari jhoot hain ya sachh? Kia pata sachh keh kar dhoka hojaye. Kia pata jhoot hi sara sachha ho?
Tum samajhtay rahay tum maseeha ho
Kia pata kuch anokha ye qissa ho
Kia pata tum jis talaash per niklay, mai uskey dusray siray pe kharay jab tumhara intizar kartay thak jaun tou tum se kaheen agaay nikal jaun.
Tum samajhtay rahogay mai palat aungi kyunke tumhe lagta hai tum maseeha ho
Mera Maseeha mujhay tor kar jor deta hai. Lekin tumhe kia dikhata hai? Jhoot? Ya sachh?
Kia pata Uski Maseehai tumhe bhi lag jaye. Kia pata tumhe maafi mil jaye
Kia pata kabhi tum mujhay maseeha samjho.
Kia pata tum is uljhan se kabhi na niklo
All of the songs
All of the words
All of the art
All of the time
All of the dreams
You took away
All of the flaws now
What do I do
A part of my name was always in your name and this amazes me.
Tumhe phool torna pasand hai na? Tumhe sukoon milta hai. Aik aik kar ke saray pattay kheench daalti ho. Tum unhe masalti ho tou samajhti ho sari dunya ko round dal rahi ho. Hansi ati hai tum pe kyunke tumharay hi haathon me unki khushbu reh jati hai. Tum un se chutkaara tou nahee pa sakti jinhe khatam kartay kartay khud kaheen door nikalti ja rahi ho.
Mai unhe kahan khatam karney ja rahi hun. Mujhay tou maaloom hai wo in gulaabon ki tarha ke loug hain. Gulaab aur kaantay. Mujhay pehlay unki khushbu mili aur qareeb gayi tou kanton me ulajh gayi. Mujhay unse kia shikayat – aur na khud se.
Tumhe kisi se shikayat nahee na? Jabhi yun deewanaypan pe utar rahi ho. Khud ko in lehron me utaarti ja rahi ho jahan shor hi shor hai. Shor me khona chahti ho mujhay na banao mai tumhari rag rag se waqif hun.
Aap ko kahan bana sakti hun aap se hi tou sab maangna hai ab. Mujhay shor acha lagta hai us me rehnay dain. Mujhay isi shor me apni khamoshi chahye hai. Mai in lehron me itna door nikalna chahti hun ke agar in gulaabon ki thori bhi khushboo meri lams me rehti ho tou nikal jaye. Kaanton se rasta khoon ab tham jaye. Mai qabar nahi ban sakti in madfan phool kabaar ki. Mujhay in sab se bohat door apni dunya banani hai.
Dekha, wuhi baat. Tum bhaag rahi ho faraar chahti ho aur wuhi kar rahi ho jo har darpok insaan karta hai. Mujhay tum pagal lag rahi ho is waqt.
Some humans are your safe places. You confide in them and share your night and stars.
Some other humans are the reason you crave those safe places.
I am not sure where to start from or if I should even try. Today? Maybe later? But will words even speak? I met you last about one month ago at Binaat – our school reunion. It wasn’t easy coming there this time but I am so grateful that I did. I was so late, the hall was so full, every face was a stranger…. until I spotted you at the reception. Ah, Miss rizwana. You hugged me.
It was also the same day that you told me about your beautiful future aspirations. How impressed we were, how close in that moment. I told you that you are my favorite teacher.
There has been no one like you. You were what they call teachers second mothers for. I used to come and cry in front of you for the issues that were big for the sensitive little me at that time. You were the best listener. Always there. Always kind. Always beautiful.
I saw your funeral but i didnt see your face. But i can imagine it: angelic, peaceful. Inshaa Allah you are in a better place. May Allah fill your grave with noor like you showed light to us. May Allah bless you the highest ranks of Jannah and help us all become sadqa e jaariya for you. You will forever live in the hearts of so many people that love you. Your loss is so sudden but Allah loves you so much more than all of us.