2017, Poems and poetry, raw and rough

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.

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2017, By the roaring waves!, Paintings and Scribblings, Poems and poetry

Keeper

Secrets are gifts. They don’t belong just everywhere. A secret lives where lives Love.

I have my grandmother’s stories within me,
and my mother’s, and yours—
Why do I have yours?

I have someone else’s anger, a tragedy from another place in time
Where I wasn’t, where I’ll never be – except in the future of their past
that is already a memory
Numberless faces read out their stories and not one I could tell not to
Like I could not tell you

“I don’t want your stories!” I scream now when it’s too late—
Waking up from a dream, and sleeping into another
Why do I still find you near?

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2017, By the roaring waves!, Poems and poetry, Proses

Spots of No light

Everything is fine. Outwardly. Where out is the edge of earth I’m standing on; inside me is a lava. It’s ready to erupt but wouldn’t—you’d think my body is brave enough to hold it but really, it’s the sight of uncountable blisters already on my skin that quiet it.

Before me lie fields and fields of night.

I can’t make sense of it, but sometimes I run, telling myself it’s still some direction even if I don’t know it. Alas, I find myself back where I started, my struggle wasted on dark space, and my already tired limbs.

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2017, Event

The End

Tomorrow is my last day at university! That is, last class ever. And then I have like (last) five exams (ever) and a thesis to submit and then it’s all O V E R.  Khatam-shudd.

I think… I miss it already. I know I will. Ughsdsd.

 

P.S.

  1. The moon looks stunning sorts atm.
  2. I cannot explain anything about the university feeling yet but it was worth saving hence the post.
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2017, Proses

of invisible second chances

I could have given a better answer,  I thought to myself just a while  (longer than a moment,  shorter than minutes)  after having exited his room.  I could have given a better answer.  How many times we find ourselves thinking, feeling, living this — I could have given a better answer. Could – but didn’t.  And to learn to live with this little regret – one that amounts to literally NOTHING in the Grand Scheme of Things;  to painfully watch how it unfurls inside of you,  then finds a way out,  crawls on your skin until you are covered,  completely,  in its inglorious cobweb-y silver thread. You are itching. Continually.  I could have given a better answer, and I must stop thinking about it.

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2017

(s m a l l)

Sometimes you feel like pouring a bucketful of ice on your head or shrink  to the size of your toenail or drop pills into your mouth—whether to numb or to feel you cannot tell. And one day, one after the other, you want to do all three.

Words take their route from the heart to the fingers onto the screen, unsympathetic, only covering space.

What a funny way to fight.

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2017, Proses, Urdu musings

soliloquy

123

I could still show the pieces of your then-polluting, now-rotten heart, and prove to the world it was not I who was mistaken. I can also present myself as an evidence — a heap of mess, covering blisters caused by the burst of these emotions that never wait too long to spill. Ah, your name still holds magic.

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تمہاری یاد آج بھی زخموں پر نمک کا کام کرتی ہے۔۔۔ چاہے یہ الفاظ استعمال کے ساتھ اپنی وقعت کھو ہی کیوں نہ چکے ہوں۔ ہاں، جلتے پر تیل، زخموں پر نمک۔  اچھا خاصا تمہیں بھول چکی تھی کہ آج ڈرائیور نے کہا کوئی دروازے پر پھول چھوڑ گیا ہے۔  پھول تو تمہاری طرف سے نہ تھے مگر ایسا تم کتنا کیا کرتے تھے!  صدیاں تو بیت گئی ہونگی؟۔۔۔  اب کون سے پھول، کہاں کی خوشبو!  ہاں مگر پھول تو آئے تھے۔  میں نے ڈرائیورسے پوچھا ان پر کوئی کارڈ لگا ہے کیا؟  جواب ملا، ہاں شاید۔  تو میں نے اس سے گذارش کی کہ خود ہی پڑھ کے بتا دے۔  مجھے تو ان سے وحشت آتی ہے!  بیچارا حیرت سے دیکھ ریا تھا، پڑھ بھی دیا۔  کسی اور نے بھجوائے تھے اور بھجوائے بھی کسی اور کے نام تھے!  میں تو سن کر ہنسنے لگی۔  ڈرائیور کو کہا ساتھ والے بنگلے میں جو سارہ بی بی رہتی ہیں انہیں کو دے آوٗ۔  ان کے لئے آیا ہے اور دیکھو یہاں پہنچ گیا!  کوریر والے سے غلطی ہوگئی ہوگی۔  غلطیاں تو خیر سب ہی سے ہوتی ہیں۔  مجھ سے بھی ہوئی تھی۔

میں لاوٗنج سے اٹھ کر اپنے کمرے میں آگئی۔

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2017, Poems and poetry

all our issues and one

Sometimes,
When I should be elsewhere
Inside Dreams,
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?

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2017, Event

Life of a Happy Girl*

If you’re happy** and you know it and you really want to share it with your family, brace yourselves for comments like:

“What’s the great news? Are you getting married? Already found someone?”

Haha. You really thought I was going to announce just that in front of the entire family?

Then:

“Bohat mubarak ho!! Allah tumharay naseeb achay karay.”

“Ohhh I’m so happy for you! *Insert jhappi* Allah tumhain bohat acha miya de.”

“Haye that’s so wonderful! May Allah give you more success in this life and Hereafter. And may you have a great husband/ married life.”

“I am so happy about your success! Also I was just saying to your uncle that may you get a spouse like —. Then your uncle said, why not a spouse even better than —. I said yes, may so be!”

OH, MY, ALLAH!!! I am looking for presents not husband atm!!

* in a desi aka (blunt stereotype but) obsessed-with-shadi society
** about ANYTHING ELSE LITERALLY

*** not saying these are the only kind of responses cuz there’s an AMAZING variety but you get the point

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2017, Passages, raw and rough

Just Another Night – not.

I close my eyes and consciously direct my mind to rest. Settle, nerves. Breathe. It’s okay. And while they are closed, I let them see just black. Black that is absence but black that is peaceful right now. Breathe. There’s nothing to worry about, you know that. You are used to this.

The air is actually fresh and not bitter. There’s no weight on my chest, or maybe just a bit. Isn’t it funny how you have started to visualise him when he’s not actually here? Is it? However, this is just a phase and phases change. Like people change and well, they don’t come back like that. You will learn it with time. It’s been a lot but just some more.

Sigh.

Open now.

 

“You—you stayed?”

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2017, Passages

She held his little shirt in her hands for hours. Sometimes she would put it to her eyes, as if its warmth could soothe those burning coals. Then she would rub it across her face, inhaling its scent again and again, even though it was now stale red:  of dried blood. Most of the time she would just hug it, in grave silence or passionate tears, so she could maybe feel him there. And only if she could feel him again, hold his body, swear to God she would never leave! —God knows this. But he still called him up.

loss

Aside
2017, raw and rough

strang(l)e

A heavy mess you can’t vomit out.
A tight knot in your stomach that limits the entire storm starting from the hollow, constricting feeling in your chest, into this one body. And just inside, so only you can know its intensity and nobody else. Of course we can have universes inside us, sometimes it’s just a black hole.
Why is the air here not enough?
You created art and destroyed it just as soon, thinking, “Now it makes sense.” But what makes sense? — you won’t even ask that twice. (Hidden) 

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2017, raw and rough

kāˌäs

The  solid  mass  that  a  jungle  of  scribbled  lines  create.   That  shapeless  bunch  of  black  with  white  gaps,  that  disorderly  pen  creation.   That  is  what  anxiety  forms in heart.   Just puts it there on the floorthe weighty bundle of chaos. I  was  wondering  if  I  could  put this emotion  into  words  while  I  felt  it.  And  if  it  would,  in  any  way,  lessen  it.   Guess  it  didn’t~

harmonize

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2017, raw and rough

01:01

A shadow of a portion of trees falling on the road, moving continuously with the wind. And I see two yellow bulbs hanging from the lower branches. For no reason, it makes me think of you.

It rained recently. It was so beautiful, started something around five in the evening. The best, best part was the beginning. You stand there and look from your gallery, and it’s this powerful shower and this serene noise, and this washed green, and happy faces; busy, happy city. It’s the kind of chaos you want to melt into.

I have mixed night and day here in the writing. But it’s kind of like that these days. So mixed. I try and fail, cannot hold any end of this string. It’s not bad but it’s not good either. More like the “middle” of a process. Boring, slow, confusing, but not extremely pathetic. Because you know what comes from a thing like that and well, you’re looking forward to it…

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2017

of blue birds

the storm passes but the air doesn’t clear— the storm passes but the wings of the little blue bird have severed— the storm passes but the aftereffects are larger than the storm— the storm was grey and it leaves the whole world washed in that one color and it’s no more nothing else.

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2017, Urdu musings

وکالت

‘میں جانے کے لئے تیار ہوں۔’

‘تم نے خود کو ہلکا کرلیا ہے ناں؟’

‘ہاں! اور میں نے خود بھی سب کو معاف کردیا یے۔۔۔ سب، سوائے ایک ’

‘ایسا مت کہو!۔۔۔ اسے عذاب ہوگا’

‘پہلی بات تو یہ کہ وہ عذاب سے نہیں ڈرتا! اور اسے صرف بدلہ ملے گا، عذاب نہیں’

‘تم پھر سوچ لو’

‘میں اللہ جی سے بات کر چکی ہوں۔ صرف اسے ہی نہیں کرسکتی۔ ایک بوجھ اٹھا لونگی’

‘لیکن’

‘آپ کو اللہ جی نے اسکی وکالت کے لئے بھیجا ہے ناں؟ مجھے سمجھ نہیں آتا وہ اس سے اتنی محبت کیسے کرسکتے ہیں جب وہ ہی نہیں کرتا؟’

‘وہ تم سے محبت کرتے ہیں!۔’

‘انہیں میں منا لونگی۔ یا پھر آپ انہیں کہیں وہ ہی مجھے منا لیں’

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2017, Photography

Them yum moments

Brownies set in order. Photo for the weekly photo challenge: order.

 

You won’t believe just how many times I have tried posting for these weekly challenges but it would take me an entire week of procrastinating which, of course, left them useless. This one however, sounded too tempting to resist. Objects in order, actions in order, click click click thud – patternized repetition – check, sit, check, sit, check… and other things I have been thinking about lately to write.

So hello, chocolate no-chaos! Even though its arrangement speaks of neatness, something about chocolate says more craving. I got these made from Fresh Oven Bites* and honestly, they were the best I’ve had. Very inspired to bake with the same perfection one day inshaAllah!

(*wish they sent us bonus boxes for free publicityy…?..sigh p;)

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2017

Diary 474

About a day or two before it happened, I was thinking how Inaya and Abdur Rehman have shaped the meaning of love for me, or how, because of them, I have come to know this particular aspect of love, which includes selflessness as well as a very personal and real attachment. I was also missing her – more than I missed AbdurRehman this time – and had put a very cute photo of her on my phone’s lock screen so I could keep seeing her, though that made me want to pull her cheeks, and somehow, to pull her out of screen too. Her mom, my sister, hadn’t visited in a few days as Ramadan has started and it’s a pretty busy month for most, but then her husband dropped her and the kids one night so they could spend time here. Before that, they checked into a hospital for Inaya wasn’t feeling very well.

Over here they had dinner, we talked and laughed; I took my niece in my arms and she got really playful which was delighting, as it typically is with babies. Then, to cut it short, when bro-in-law left we started preparing for sleep. In our room, the lights were off, my sister tucked Abdur Rehman into bed and stood up for Taraweeh prayers, giving Inaya to us to put her to sleep. As it happened, Abdur Rehman refused to visit his dreamland without her even though he was quite tired. I was really really tired myself, so I sat on the vinyl floor by the bed and putting my head on its frame, closed my eyes while also running my fingers through his hair. You get the picture? It was all very normal and relaxed… when suddenly Inaya got a serious coughing thing, and her mom quickly held her, trying methods to heal. She was having trouble breathing and her mom was screaming and running now, I ran quicker to my parents’ room to call them and they came rushing frantically. We were all shaking and crying ourselves, completely in chaos, helplessly praying, watching, being. Please breathe, Inaya, breathe Inaya. Baba held my sister while my mom held the baby, trying to get her to breathe. She did, eventually, and they ran to a nearby hospital where her heartbeat was monitored then she was treated with a nebulizer. Before Sehri (late, late at night), all of them returned to their respective homes: kids and parents.

At Fajar, though, Inaya’s parents rushed her to a hospital again and this time her condition was more serious. Finally she was admitted into an ICU and there she stayed for two days (stretching to third) which was really tough. I don’t think I can rightly put in words the events or emotions of this phase.

When I went to visit her, through large glass windows I saw three beds, three babies, and with them, three moms in a room. On the middle one was Inaya, she had a drip attached to her, and breathing tubes, plus a monitor, and it was a poor sight – seeing her like that. She is hardly two months old. Her dadi and nano stood beside me and then just before us, she had another intense attack. The doctor and nurses hurried into action, a mask was put, prayers and tears were spent, heard, and she came back once again. This happened a lot of times in total though I only witnessed it twice – then, and another which was thankfully shorter. But the thing about each of them was that it shook us to the core. Every single time, it was a miracle to see life again when it had almost stopped.

AbdurRehman is a little more than three. The most heart-wrenching was hearing his voice break, and his eyes teary as he asked Allah taala for her. Indeed His rehmat is immense.

Inaya got discharged from hospital last night. She is  doing a lot better now infinite Alhamdulillah for that.

Without actually wanting to, some events leave with different understandings of things, people, and feelings. This was one of those.

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2017

Ex- Best Friends

He said I couldn’t tell him which color the skies were anymore, that it doesn’t bother him what I presented in class today or what my teacher commented, and it doesn’t matter at all if we never wish each other sweet – or spooky – dreams.

In fact, he said, I should talk to him as less as was possible from now on. Or don’t talk at all, if you will, please.

He stands up and leaves when he hears me bickering with my brother for not buying balloons. I turn to him and ask if he got me 21 candles and he scorns. Grow up.

Grow up? But I am growing up. And growing up, I have realized that I don’t need to say yes when I mean no. He doesn’t like it though.

When our first and only border came in between, we could not face each other for days. Because the silence in our eyes made the air sick, and our unstoppable laughter on lame-ass jokes hung behind them, hushed. It only made everything unbearably sad.

He says we cannot be friends either if we can’t be more. And I step back, back, and back. But it doesn’t seem fair that we will both disappear into a thin, black line on the horizon and never be able to see the other catching colors too. Or making them. Or breaking.

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2017

Fear, etc.

Brave was one who wouldn’t let fear get to them. But now you are trapped in your second nightmare of the season, waiting for it to end. And it’s taking your life.
Finally something worse happens in the story and you wake up with a jolt and a scream, then take long breaths. Find your phone and consider possible options – who could be awake at that hour? – because you need to text someone before you take the Walk of Valor to your parents’ room, scared and ready to cry like a five year old.
“I need support,” you say, and receive.

All day you try to forget it, and sometimes you do, but mostly it keeps coming back. It is when night returns and you lay on your bed once again that you realize what bravery actually means: It is sleeping another Night.

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