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. XD

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.

Autumnal Spring

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Picture taken in my lawn today

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Central picture taken from my living room’s window, today. These leaves forced me to go outside in the backyard to take more pics.

Dews have long forgotten
Disparity of green and brown.
Breezes redolent of blossoms
Ride arid dusty gusts now.
Dispersal of wings above roof tops,
Discreet rather than discrete.
Echoes of chirping songs,
In their own commotions, drowned.
Her heart flutters with joy
Over cohesion of nature with within.
Songs of welcome are cried
For the novel autumnal spring.

This March, we experience an eerie spring. Flowers continue to blossom while the leaves continue to fall.

Lost and Seek

originally written on: 9th January 2017

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I sat down upon the oaken chair
To learn names of places I cannot pronounce
With a pile of books and messy hair
An atlas of unknown roads and towns

Though such knowledge was futile
All the paths would have led me astray
For my destination was a mirage,
So I ran upon the remote way.

I shut the books and failed the test
Frantically running with such zest
Behind a mirage, an only path
That was known to fill me with unrest

I pushed the oaken chair aside
Ready to recline in my creaking bed
But delusions bubbled up my mind
So I decided to write of you instead

Would you fancy knowing?
My cheeks glowed a sanguine red

First with ardour, then with anger
Funny how both start with ‘a’
I noticed, as I blackened the paper
And then laughed upon how you taught me
The importance of “gray!”

Then probably I shed a tear or two
Engulfed in my hues of blues
But soon smirked upon how this play of colors
Had no chance of amusing you.

A vision of your drowsy eyes
Melted down some dusty frost
As I lay on my bed with frozen sighs
Outside, in the dark, chilly night
Perhaps another star just crossed.