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
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.
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. 🌟
Of course. What else would you expect from a December-born, all-feels Maria who is still writing on randomlyabstract, her blog of 8 years plus.
I remember the time we got these drawers made when we shifted to this house. It felt SO special, having a personal space. SO wow, you know. And then we got locks on them. I told the locksmith to do his best work on mine. I found it all so stunning that I kept sitting there, talking, looking, checking if mine was the best. (My lock got faulty before anyone else’s btw. Such luck!)
Khair. I used to be obsessed about that drawer and the stuff in it. I couldn’t throw things. Even today my family asks me before throwing away kachra that they think could be ‘useful’ for the crafter. But friends’ chit-chats, over-emotional letters of that time, Urdu poetry so sad I find it worrisome now, my personal personal personal diary that I would probably treat as a treasure then (because – let’s face it – I’ve been a sensitive kid. Also the middle daughter. I was convinced that I was hated by EVERYONE mashaAllah. And then I liked to write. Imagine having ALL of that still present despite the diary wanting to very much rest in peace now.) And then other things.
A lot of things, I imagine now, want to rest in peace. So I have brought out my drawer, one I had stopped caring for long long time ago, and started cleaning it. There’s stuff I put up on my insta stories as a last tribute, and for the other personal bunch, I know I cannot leave it so easily unless I’ve at least preserved them in writing. Which is why I am here.
But how these streaks enfold.
There is light!
It’s a heart of gold.
God, is this where you meet?