Death will always hurt the same

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I do not know how to quiet my mind

I do not know how to hush my soul

They are speaking yet words are hard to find

Nothing can ever stitch it back to whole.

I will never know perhaps. The answer will always be too blur and my irrational thoughts will always be too vivid. Perhaps my irrational thoughts will always appear too rational to me. This is perhaps the third post I am making about death. First it was Amjad Sabri whom I was connected to through just some qawwalis he recited. Then it was Junaid Jamshed whom I was so much more connected to, because of his inspirational speeches, transformation and naats. Then it was my maternal grandmother’s (nani’s) turn (whom I did not post about). The first two were not related by blood. The third one was surviving through those extremely feeble days of age when one has accomplished most of the goals if not all. It was still bearable. I had no memories with the first two people I mention in the post except that they were public figures. With my nani, I had enough memories, more than I will probably ever recall in life.

But this death….it just hurts so much. Or perhaps it always hurts the same.

First it is the drowning. You get the news and seconds later it is all going down. Not like someone pushed you into the ocean but more like you dived in and are making no efforts to move your hands or legs. Calmly, yet unwillingly you are going down down down into the the depth and darkness. Few minutes later, you are okay; you are not crying…obviously because it hasn’t really sunken down. Too hard to believe. Too unusual to believe? Then the realization strikes that it has happened. You will never ever ever see that person again. They are gone. Forever. Your mind produces continuous images of them lying dead, sleeping peacefully, eyes closed..coffin? This is when a deep and strong heavy wind of grief encircles you and just stays there. You sit with it, stand with it, move with it. And along with the exasperation of this heavy air the feeling of helpessness starts to cave in on you. You cannot do anything. It is as it is. Everyone has to die. All are equal in the eyes of death. You have no excuse to complain. Complain to whom anyway? It is no one’s fault. But I feel so hurt. Perhaps it is the only hurt in the world which you cannot blame over anyone neither yourself. It is just a hurt one has to bear.

In my personal opinion, there are two types of deaths or let me say deaths of two categories of people which hurt the most. People we are dependent on: emotionally, financially, in every way. We are so extremely dependent that it almost feels like one or more tendons of the heart are invisibly attached to theirs. Honestly could be anyone, usually your parents, siblings but could be an internet friend, best friend, husband, wife, teacher. Anyone. Just someone very very close to one’s heart. And then the second category is those of children and adolescents. No matter who the child or teen is, his/her death claws on the heart in an eccentric way. Simply because they have been just too young too die? Specially the ones who have been so enthusiastic about their lives. Have had so many amazing goals and dreams in their eyes and on their minds. They have yet to experience the viles and ecstacies of this world: heartbreak, graduation, betrayals, marriage, job…life. they have yet to experience life but it ends.

I try my best to not get too over taken by this phenomenon of death. Perhaps I am more disentangled when it comes to death. I realize it has to happen, I try to swallow the bitter tablet, perhaps with a little more ease. I am aware of the fact that, I could just die the next moment or tomorrow and I believe in the uncertainity of life. Of course it brings shivers down my spine to envisage someone else, someone very close to me..walking down that lonely aisle. But it is there and I try to accept it.

My cousin, 15 years old, student of 10th grade aspiring to become a doctor, one of the sweetest and competitive, patient girl I have known, Areesha, passed away. Medical problems? Sure she had them, ever since she was born. Those are the best excuse anyway. But she had improved, she was leading a healthy perfect life just like anyone of us, going to school and studying hard. She had to sit for her board exams this year and I am sure she would have aced it. But life..sorry, death happened. Six months ago, her health starts to go down, a kidney has failed and transplant is not possible. She’s bravely averaging three dialysis per week, nothing but astonished at the sudden course her life has taken just before the final exams. She insists to give her papers even though everyone knows her education cannot really continue anymore, at least not the normal way. But she was ambitious, she wanted to live, she wanted to live like everyone else, like she had been living for the past 14 years. Determined as she is, she buys four dresses for Eid. I am still moved by the level of conviction she had about living up until it came. She gives her Physics practical, upon returning home she calls her mother to bring along a gift from work because it is her friend’s birthday the other day. And she dies that evening on her way to hospital, the gift still sits on her side table.

Medically, she was having great difficulty breathing, they had the oxygen cylinder at home and she was still breathing from that cylinder in the car as her parents rushed to the hospital when she breathed her last. Actually, this was all the time she had to live in this world.

I do not have the emotional strength to talk about the beautiful memories I have with her.  How she always looked up to me as her elder sister. I cannot imagine to explain how she told me elaborate details of what subjects she wanted to choose in college or how she always appreciated me taking Psychology in A levels. All I can probably manage to type is that she had once said, ‘I want to be like you. You are my role model.’

Obviously enough the reason to write this is not exactly share the grief. How can it be shared after all? It is not to gain sympathies either of course, because hey she is gone. And although the real real most painful grief is what her parents are going through right now (her younger brother is too young to even understand I suppose) but it’s just awful. It hurts me. I need to write it out. I need to blatantly announce that once again I am left utterly hopelessly sad. Sad for her, sad for her parents-and grief stricken for her younger brother who was so close to her. I am wondering how would he sleep alone in the room now. And it is just more horrible becuase she was young. She was ambitious about living. She had dreams. Such deaths may not be a rarity in this world but it sure was the first such case in my family.

Can I say I feel so dreadful, with the thought of it could be anyone next. Anyone very close to me? That it could be me too? It doesn’t make me anxious or upset..but it just makes me so so rueful about the fakeness of this world and life.

May she rest in peace. May Allah grant her jannah. Ameen.

Marriage Matters

This is so important and needs to be understood by all those Muslims who take the whole marriage affair too narrowly (or rather seriosuly?). From the segregated gender roles of a husband and wife to the basic concept of marriage in Islam, there are a number of minor misunderstandings dotting our culture and values.

Muslimah According to Me

Salaam and jummah mubarak!

I am finding myself this Friday in a bit of a writer’s block, not really feeling any inspiration one way or the other on what to write about. So naturally, I’m just going to share my two-cents about one of those topics that is sensational no matter when you bring it up!

I once heard a speaker at a packed talk on marriage say something to the effect of, “if you want to sell out your class, either talk about marriage or jinn.” And it’s true, the most well-attended classes and seminars I have been to have all been on marriage (I have yet to attend something exclusively about jinn; it’s on my bucket list!)

I understand why people are obsessed with jinn—there is always a degree of fascination around the “supernatural” or the world of the unseen. We can’t see it except on rare, freaky…

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Disguised Murderer

 

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It saws through the ribcage
Savagely sawing, grinding the
Unyielding, weakening bones.
Breaks through the guarding cage.

Then hunts in the darkness, with rage
in its eyes; loath, scorn, contempt.
Searches wild-eyed for that which moans
Softly pumping; pounding, frightened flesh

 Now a twitching, throbbing hostage.
Inquires its last wish, speaking to it
In hissing, malicious undertones
The small piece of pulsating flesh
Begs for a last embrace.

So without a moments age
It plunges, dagger-like, sending
Spurts of blood and groans
translucent drops of pain on face.

It’s over. A silence descends onstage.
I clap, hoot, howl, enraged.
Then smile at the cruel deftness galore
Just a thought, unarmed-but fatefully yours.

The Uniquely Me Tag

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Alright so I couldn’t have been more boring since the past few months. But honestly you guys can’t blame me. What else can u expect from a girl with constant headaches who has been at home for 8 good months now and has to maintain this status of a couch potato for the next 3 months. Great! I do understand and realize that people going to colleges and universities these days are way more stressed than me, missing and yearning for a single week of relaxation and that I am going to badly miss this all as soon as university starts but trust me when I say this:

A gap year just gets too much.

Not that I do not feel like writing annnything other than poetry but I just do not feel like sharing stuff because my mind feels confined and restricted in different ways due to this unedning monotonous routine of life these days. Sooo, I finally decided to do something different. I have a few tags/awards in line and I was just delaying them for I don’t know when. But today I finally decided to do one of them!

The Uniquely Me Tag is an amazing initiative taken with the intention of boosting one’s slef esteem and self worth. It impells you to think about yourself, about characteristics which define you, which make you stand out and feel good about yourself. I was nominated for this tag by the awesome Kirithika who really has a little bit of everything on her blog. You must check it out because I always open her blog up when I am needing a random, casual, easy and everyday read. Thank you so much Kirithika for nominating me and giving me a chance to do something new after a long while.

So like with every tag/award (and me not being a rebel) let us post the rules:

1. Thank the person that nominated you for this tag and link to their blog (spread the love, basically).
2. Write as many things that are unique to you as possible: these can be things that you do, say, like or have that make you different to other people or let you stand out. It can be what defines you as a person, a little thing about you that is just simply youor something little known that you think makes you up as a person.
3. Nominate up to 10 bloggers or as many as you like; there isn’t a limit.
4. You can take this tag as seriously or non-seriously as you like; you can laugh whilst doing it or feel contemplative: this is about you, after all.
5. After you’ve written this and if you ever feel like there’s nothing to you but what other people have already said and done, look back to your post and remember that it isn’t true!

Okay so I do not know what type of things should I tell about myself but let’s do this:

1. I am kind. Is it something unique? Talking about the place where I live, yes. It is rare and unique.

2. I love small handmade accessories and if someone made me choose between a dinner and a handmade card, I would go with the latter.

3. I have an undying, unexplicable love for water. I love drinking it and just you know ‘waterrrr yaaay’

4. I have clashing peronality type and zodiac which makes me a paradox in so many places and of course a product of chaos. Perhaps that is why My Colours Float On a River of Grey.

5. Yes I believe in personality types, zodiacs, fate and everything rational people do not believe in.

6. I also strongly believe in rationality, logic and justice.

7. Stars and moons are so real to me. You will find their mention in most of my poetries.

8. I have discovered crying to be an amazing catharsis.

9. I find it difficult to give away information about me in definite bullet points because of my ‘very fluid’ personality.

10. My family desrcibes me as an extrovert and friends describe me as an introvert. I don’t know.

Alright guys so this was it. I feel better after doing this. I am more excited about reading Farees’s answers, I do not know why (or maybe I do xD). Anyways, I have more poetries and a serious post plannedvup. Let’s see when that happens.

Here are my nominations:

Fareeeees

Accidentally Inked

Tam

Saira

L

Saiz

Ambreen

Rizwana

The Girl Next Door

originally written on 20th February 2017

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Gloomy, in a blue chair
Sat she
With ivory black hair
Spread all over
Her hidden face

I tried to descry
Expression of her eye
But the opaque windows
Gave no hint
No trace

Alas, she stood
Looked my way
Stood there, staring
For a second or two

Then dropped her gaze
And turned away
Whispering, “eyes don’t always
Show what is true..”

Replaced.

originally written on the 20th of January 2017

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I will not lie to you
About what was
But neither can I shy away
From what is

For what was once only mine
Is now yours
And what you hold belonging of
I do miss

But casting ‘is’ and ‘woes’
Rues and bliss aside
I stand in the face of truth
With a valiant fragile heart

Decision now you shall make
Since I shall never hide
Of how it fell into place
And then how it fell apart

Though expect me not
A friend or foe
Those are distinctions for
Those way too naive

Beware! Do not fight me
For what I had to let go
I exist in a million dilemmas
I know how to survive.

Look Away

originally written on 17th January 2017

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So when your searching eyes, in the morning,
Set upon my tear-stained face
Let me not find in them
Such stark shadows of concern

For I reckon, I have reached
Such a point since beginning
Where your capricious, fickle pace
Has made me unlearn

All lessons of sentiment. Hence
I would fail to differ
Hypocrisy from envy
Oh dear, Dear concerned.

Hypocrisy I say, pardon
My poor skills to decipher
But have you ever seen fire
Perturbed for the burnt?

Just because you killed me
With kindness, does not make you
Any kinder, than a murderer
But killed me you not, just left me stunned

Envy perhaps, is a more soothing
Recourse. Since the clouds harmonized
With my eyes last night
And did something, you have always left undone

They cried with me last night
Unlike your eyes
Which only stare at my tear-stained face
With something in them, so difficult to discern
But-even harder to shun

On Your Birthday: Farees

Somewhere in the cold lands
Of Toronto
Canada
3rd April 2017

My bed
In sweltering heat of Karachi
(When it’s still officially Spring)
Pakistan

Dear Farees,

Sending you an e-mail was a retarded idea but even if you keep my preferences aside, I would still need your e-mail address which I seem to have lost in the junk of inbox mails. That would have required time and motivation, both of which I did not have. Former unavailable since I sat down to type this just a little time ago (with April 3rd approaching fast). And latter not present because the idea simply appeared retarded.

So even though, I have tried to keep this letter as conventional-looking as possible, it looks like I have already written past the introductory para without the least sign of Hi’s and How are you’s which we were taught to fit in at school in ‘informal letter writing’. But I believe that is okay because by experience I have learnt that ‘How are you’ is the most uninteresting question which you always find pretty boring to answer on chat but still do so with ‘yeah fine’ because of the fear of breaking my heart. (No you have no right to burst my bubble of fantasy even if that’s not the case).

Right, so where was I? Sending this letter, yes. I understand that I am not really sending this to you but I have no other, preferable option and if you think openheartedly, blogging it is just as good because this is one of the very few things (perhaps the only other than texting) which keeps us connected. There are a few things which I would like to clear to you before I move on to… I don’t know what because I am clueless where would this go. Anyways, so why of all things am I sending you this? Now instead of answering this with my long list of emotional reasons, I’d rather do it the way you prefer things:

1. I couldn’t have sent you a present. It wasn’t just possible-financially, physically, mentally.

2. I had to send you something! E-card, e-mail, virtual cakes were just too lame for my taste (though this might be too lame for yours xD)

3. I WANTED TO DO THIS!!

So the question ‘how are you’ although very boring and clichéd (since we talk everyday) holds great importance to me, not because how are you but because how you are. And sadly perhaps, with all your notions of narcissism, you often seem to forget or otherwise doubt upon this greatly.

You forget that you are velvet brown chocolate, melting to touch, sweet with a tinge of bitterness in the after taste. What you only seem to remember is the ‘bitterness’. Please believe that you are the entire bar of chocolate, not just a fraction of its taste. You doubt that you write better than great poets or writers or even as good as them. But your words are ablaze with the fire which erupts from the center of your pupils (if someone dares to stare close and long enough) when you are defending an opinion. I hope you believe in that fire of your words some day. Since they burn a hole through sheets of darkness in one’s mind, seething, burning their way through to the very bottom. That’s the beauty of your words. They sink in (though in a fiery way). And trust me, that makes them better than those of any great writers because no matter what masterpieces they create, they are useless to someone who cannot understand them.

But sadly what you only seem to find on your blog and at the back of your chemistry journal, are angry rants and dashes of epiphanies sent to a chaotic mind. It’s okay if you like to describe your work in such humble undertones. But please believe that you write masterpieces, better than many great writers….and although this is not a sensible thing to say…they are worth the emotional trauma (anger) you have been through to write them. Of course I am not asking you to be proud of your pain; it’s almost blasphemous for me to say that but I am only asking you to see that glint of light in all that darkness. No, I am not asking you to appreciate your pain and anger after what it produces on blank papers but remember how Virginia was scared of shunning her demons away for the fear of losing her writing streak..Please do remember to shun away your demons but also believe in that glint of light.

Am I preaching? No. Let us leave that to the prestigious preachers and believe that there was no hint of irreverence there. You are perfectly clean, white like a starched cotton shirt. But that doesn’t mean you are not that blotch of murky brown aromatic tea which you are addicted to with less milk and more tea powder. It doesn’t mean that you are not that shimmering silver and royal emerald green of the Slytherin. And it doesn’t mean that while being all of those, you are not the fiery scarlet and bright orange and even icy blue of the fire. However just like naturally being all of those diverse entities together, you can probably also be an engineer, writer and poet at the same time. Only that it may require a little more acceptance.

Acceptance, however, reminds me that you are more of a rebel. Which is great. Greater. Greatest perhpas. I am aware of your preference towards superlatives which probably brings me back to where I started from. Your first encounter with love when you looked into the mirror. Your narcissism. And believe me when I say that I love you for the love you have for yourself. I almost try to imitate, though I fail. But please, try to practice some of that love when it needs you the most or shall I rather say, when you need it the most? When pain seems to come endlessly from all sides. When it seems like a never ending fall. When it starts to feel shaky in front of people you always avoid talking about in your blog posts. When all of it seems useless. Probably that is where a little bit of that love is needed.

And I’d rather end this on what you love to do the most. Since it is your day? So I would leave this on how you love to disagree. Which you may be doing right now, shaking your head to whatever I wrote up there. I do so in hope that this may leave space for a letter in response where you have skillfully confronted with all that I have said up there. But then, (and this makes me smile as I write it), I shall never forget to mention another thing which you always do besides disagreeing. And that is to understand where I am coming from! And perhaps this is what has kept us hooked together for many are just great at doing the former. So I am still hopeful that you are able to understand when it comes to this letter.

Though you should also know that this is the first time I am doing something like this and coming from a Scorpio, it sure as hell means that you are special (to me). I really just had to add that in the brackets cause then again, who knows, haughty narcissistic Aries. 😄

Always loving thy loving self

Tehreem.

P.S: I went up to our very first chat to see how it all started and frickin got this far and it appeared that our very first chat was about zodiacs and you had been disagreeing about their validity (which you still do to date) and I was trying to tell you how they always turn true for me (which I still do to date) and we were disagreeing yet sending each other zodiac posts and laughing on them (which we still do to date) and I do not know if this does not expresses some of my bullshit mystic love towards you then what ever will!

For those who would like to see and and know Farees better, this is her blog address: https://fareesism.wordpress.com

A Winter Day In Karachi

An absurd piece originally written on the 15th of January.

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Shops are still sleeping with their shutters wide shut. It is 7:30 am as I speed past these closed shops and abuzz  dhabas with comparatively slower flashes of chai being poured from a big steel saucepan into small, murky, translucent glasses. This is a common site in Karachi at every commercial nook and cranny along side occasional stalls of warm clothes (being sold at very economical rates). Another treat to the eye are dry fruit and seasonal fruit vendors, infrequently lining up the footpaths.

I say ‘slower flashes’ because a rickshaw is still comparatively slower even at its fastest. Yet rickshaws allow a great deal of visual experience from either of its open entrances.

But its a winter morning and its not the usual kind of cold today. It’s not the mild, pleasant, characteristic-of-Karachi cold today (those who have lived here for a while would know what I am talking about). It’s different. Perhaps that is why the rickshaw driver has also taken measures and fastened removable doors at either sides. And although that obstructs my view of the world outside, I couldn’t be more grateful to him for this kind gesture of good will.

The cold today is silent, even merciless. It has forced me to stuff my hands under the long pockets of my woolen jacket as I sit completely wrapped up from head to toe. Its the apathetic kind of cold which discourages people from taking their hands out of their pockets to shake with others. Its the kind of cold which discourages people from stretching their chapped lips from one end to other. Skin around the mouth is too dry and torn and smiling hurts. Its the kind of cold when people avoid shaking hands with and smiling at each other and even though Farees says its nothing in comparison to where she lives (negative degrees of Toronto), it’s still a biting chilling, windy cold. And Farees understands. The kind of cold which would make you rather uncomfortable than cozy with your cup of coffee because the cold wind does not only lance through the nostrils but also blows away the warm vapour rising from the cup like the phantom of cold spirits.

And as I sit here in the rickshaw making mental notes for this write-up, fragmented verses of Rossetti’s ‘Winter-My secret’ are continuously echoing in my head: Today’s a nipping day, a biting day/ whoever shows, his nose, to Russian snows, to be pecked at by every wind that blows. And it feels like Rossetti wrote it for this day (though Karachi has never seen a speck of snowflake), but the poetry pretty much understands my state of mind. Perhaps to get a better idea of what I am saying, you could check out the whole poetry (with analysis) here:

http://www.cieliterature.com/winter-my-secret/

So where was I? Yeah, I basically do not want anyone to be pecking at my nose today. Do not want anyone asking how I feel. What am I up to. Nothing. I want to stay behind a thousand veils and blankets, hidden in the rickshaw for God knows how long, secretly observing the world outside from this battered plastic window in the rear of the rickshaw. Beautiful yet weak golden rays filter through my eye lashes from this translucent window and somehow I feel useless and content at the same time. Its the kind of cold which makes you believe there’s no purpose to life whatsoever but which also assures you that you’ll do just fine sitting in this rickshaw all day long without the need of speaking to a human or smiling to a soul. You can sit here all day with a poker face and peacefully succumb to sleep or death whenever it comes.

Why I write this? To acknowledge the cold. To recognize the power it has had over me, my mood, my behavior. To make me reflect over the coldness that resides within me, and even more strongly, give hints of the warmth that has been hiding in some crannies of my heart. So next time, if you are feeling like a detached, uncommunicative, stolid misanthrope- it’s probably not your fault, it’s probably just the weather.

 

The pictures have definitely not been taken by me and downloaded from google after a rigorous search because the day I wrote this piece on, I could harldy even take my hands out of  the pockets, let alone hold the cold phone to take pictures. However I have carefully selected those which were the closest to what I usually saw on the roads everyday in winter. It has only been an attempt of sharing some of the visual experience of Karachi winters with you guys.

Coincidence Of Fate.

originally written on 13th January 2017

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Today marks another spin
Of this doting planet Earth;
Round the ball of fire,
The haughty ardent star.

A revolution has been completed,
From when it had all toppled down;
When a revolution had incited-
Within my naive fragile heart.

Today it was, today it is
When you became a part of this world;
And it was this day
When you also entered mine.

Since cupcakes have gotten
A little too clichéd;
And the candle’s warmth
Has long left our lives,

I send you today
Something so different.
A miniscule of what I gathered
Over all this time.

Gray and dark, heavy clouds
I hope the cold wind carries them fast;
I hope the present arrives on time,
Which I send you from miles afar.

Your favourite ones, as you once told;
Emissary of the colds and heavy rains.
They’ll save you the drudgery of unwrapping
By unleashing what they can’t sustain.

And while you drench yourself wet,
Please do say a prayer or two;
For the dried salt trails,
That map my parched cheeks in rue.

For birthdays come and birthdays go,
But each time not a star is born
And this one clings so close to heart
For teaching and leaving me forlorn
That shooting stars are not wished for
But that they are only wished upon.