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

a man so weak

“Don’t take me there! You can’t take me there. I will see what you can do. You can’t make me go!” (loud. shouting. red eyes. fear)

[sirens, police, hospital, rods, chains, shouting, a crying baby, a crying sister, a life fading, fading, fading]

to

“Please don’t take me there. Please, please don’t take me there. I will listen to whatever you say. I will do what you say, I will be good. I will be good. Tell them not to!” (cries, weak. tears, begging. a man so weak)

[men from the hospital. a family that cares. a wife, away. a life that can no more be claimed]

to

“Don’t take me there. I will do. You can’t mak- Please. Ammi. Abbu.” (drugged, carried away.)

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2015, My Writings

If they find you.

“There is more and more I tell no one…”
~Jane Hirshfield

There is more and more I tell no one. It kills me how I’m dying.

You came to see me two months ago and I have been missing you ever since. Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I make a prayer for you to be there and then I open my eyes. Slowly. Expectantly. But then you’re never here. Nobody is. And you know, that always makes me smile. Because hope never tires, does it?
(It’s embarrassing too, to think what I have become, but I cannot just help it. I am waiting for you to show up.)

The doctors told me yesterday I haven’t got much time remaining on my hands. I said to them, thank you. I thought they did this so I could develop an understanding of my case and accept what was going to happen to me. One of them sighed and came closer to my bed, put his hand on my forehead and gently asked me if there was someone I would like to call. Oh, now I get it, I remember thinking. They want to know if I’m truly that lonely or if there might be just someone out there who would take care of my funerary customs and claim their relation maybe. Could someone like me be just that alone? All alone?

Yes, I wanted to say. I would very much like to see him. I am yearning to see him. If his image could be my last image and his scent my last scent, I wouldn’t want anything else in the world to say I died happy. But I cannot die happy. You are not here and you won’t come even if I ask them to tell you everything; that I’m dying in a few days, that I’m sorry, terribly sorry; because that is what I deserve. I deserve this, I do. I have damaged a lot of lives. I cannot change things back. I am learning everything here in this room–this hospital room– but I think I’ve gotten too late for lessons this time. It’s of no use.

If they somehow still find you please be kind enough to bury me with your forgiveness.

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2015, Poems and poetry

Sad whispers of the mo(u)rning…

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Move him gently

Anything might rouse him now.

No prayers nor bells

Nor any voice of mourning.

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells,

And bugles calling.

I should die, I think.

His face bears a wrinkled smile of completeness.

From this heart: all evil shed away.

But his sights and sounds; dreams happy as day;

And laughter?

Is he so hard to stir? Was it for this

That he slept at all?

Did he sleep at all for this?

 

(Written in response to Writing Challenge 201: Found Poem. This is a kind of poetry composed of words and letters you’ve collected from elsewhere, and arranged in a way that it gives a different message. Our theme for this was “faces”, which I’ve used in two ways. One is the face of this person in my family that I saw yesterday. He is awake but he is not awake. He is just….there. Second is the face of the greater thing that leaves us all helpless before it. Nature, death, disease. Anything like that.

Our assignment also included the task of adding a chiasmus which is a reversal in lyrics. I invented one in the last line. Apart from that, the words of this poem have been taken from four random classical poems of English literature including Futility, Beautiful Old Age, The Soldier, and Anthem for Doomed Youth.)

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