A BANQUET WITH MY DEMONS

I saw fear huddled in the back with a hand pressed against his chin, altering the shape of his pale cheek. He looked beautiful tonight in a bow tie and formals, staring listlessly at the dancing duo, depression and insomnia going at it as though it was just the two of them in the gloomy looking hall with a high, ancient ceiling. Depression had a smile so wide that the corners of his lips were uncannily stretched whereas insomnia had her eyes shut while being swayed in exquisite motions that didn’t seem to bother her. Self-doubt was busy eating as usual; tonight the special main course served was his absolute favorite, confidence with a tinge of self-esteem. Anxiety played the morose violin that nearly put a sleeping spell over the guests. Fear had already dozed off. I slid in a chair next to him, watching, wondering, and thinking when a waiter drew beside me and offered happiness for desert. I took a bite, it tasted like my ex and cherry wine; I smiled. My friend sadness just joined the party! We sat atop the chandelier because it was my banquet and anything is possible here. She sang her mother’s lullaby while I wrote it down and together, we created poetry all night long as the demons of my mind busied themselves with celebration and laughter; fading a little as words set me free.

-Nameera.

 

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SLIVERS OF THE MOON

 

Last night when I went to sleep 
God spoke to me
He said the moon is a gift
For me to seek light
Even in the face of darkness

I said to him,
But that’s the problem
Darkness has no face
It just is
And it spreads
Without my consent

He asked me to look hard
In the mirror,
Within the reflection you’ll
Find the face of darkness
Look closely inside the eyes
And don't blink
Because the deeper you go
Down the spiral staircase between
The whites of your eyes,
The clearer it becomes

The reason you can see
All the stars and the moon
Even at night
Is because inside each of you
There’s a sliver of the moon,
God said to me
As I woke up,
Smiling at the part of me
Hanging in the night sky
Lighting up my side of the
World.

Exposed

In its internment,
My heart was on
Its knees, ever-
Ready to serve
The master’s
Command.

Be it burying myself under
A mountain of responsibility
Or diving in an ocean that
Was never enough to
Satiate your thirst for
Perfection,
I had my mind set
On fulfilling your
Wishes before
They had to
Travel up your
Throat & find a
Way to the tip
Of your acidic
Tongue.

Alas, I was no angel,
I had served my
Term long
Enough.

It was time now,
For me to kill your heart.

Labeled a thief, a murderer
For my crime,
They never saw the knives
Groped in my scars that
I exposed to you with
The only faith I had
In store.

You stole my faith,
I smashed your heart;
That makes us even
But they only see
Pieces of your heart,
What of the mistrust
That will forever
Reside in my mind,
Extracting my soul
Of the last thing
That keeps me
Alive – hope.

-Nameera.


A broken heart is almost always subject to metaphors & wordplay. As beautiful as it is to read words written for broken hearts, I’d like to draw your attention to emotions that also matter. Trust & hope go hand in hand, they’ve interchangeable consequences. We’re mere human beings, we break hearts & get ours broken by others. The least we can do is cherish trust. Hope isn’t everlasting, I don’t say so because I’m pessimistic but because it’s reality.

Trust is a treasure trove, every time you add little trinkets of hope, it grows.

Inertia

Purple curtains drape
Windows that are shut
So tight not even air
Gets through,
Aphixiated
Anticipated
Assimilated
I stare at a wall
For hours on end.

I’m laughing now,
Like a child he says
Because I bob my head
Back and fourth as fits
Of laughter distort my
Vision.

I’m happy,
Drowning in this moment
Flowing like spilled ink
On white sheets until
I reach an irrevocable
End,
I’m weightless now,
Almost floating in
Mid-air
When an arrow hits
Its mark,
Right on the black
Spot where time
And senses cease
To exist,
Where eternal pain
Paves a way for
Oblivion.

-Nameera.

The Mirror

They weren’t eyes,
They were
Windows to you;
A glimpse of my
Secrets.

No matter how hard I tried,
Pain had a way of making
Itself evident through the
Brown hues fading into
The morbid blackness
Hovering upon my
Existence.

They’re tainted pink & purple,
But exhaustion is always
Crystal clear.

Didn’t you ever feel,
Like you were
Looking in a
Mirror?

Maybe that’s why I
Could never read your eyes,
Because I wasn’t looking
Inside a window,
But at a mirror.

I never understood what I saw,
For I’ve never been
Familiar enough
With myself.

(It wasn’t you I was tired of looking at, it was me)

Shards of broken glass
Still pierce my mind,
But I’d rather be
Blind than give
In to expectations
That will forever
Be unmet.

-Nameera.

Apprehensions Regarding Bharat.

Hey y’all!
About 2 months ago I mentioned in one of my posts that I was going to talk about my apprehensions on moving to India. So, here it goes.

1. Nostalgia.
I don’t think there’s a way to avoid this. Every minute I breathe, eat, or talk there’s going to be an inevitable wave of nostalgia making me homesick. Though I’m sure I’ll get over it with time.

2. Time.
Okay, I swear to God time flies in India! Days seem longer than nights which is really upsetting to my routine since Saudi Arabia is all about night life. It’s always a major problem during Ramadan when I’ve to fast, time never passes quickly.

3. Papa Johns.
PAPA JOHNS HAS BEEN A FAILURE IN INDIA. Enough said. (Read Here)

4. Traffic.
Drivers rarely honk here unless of course we’re stuck in traffic. I go deaf when I’m travelling by road in the city in India.

5. Al-Baik.
This is a fast food chain found only in Madinah, Makkah & Jeddah (if I’m not mistaken) that most of us have been eating since childhood. No fast food outlet can replace Al-Baik. Ever.

6. Cotton Candy.
Okay so this is prolly just a figment of my imagination. Cotton candy is my favorite ice cream flavor at Baskin Robbins. The last time I tried it in India it wasn’t as sweet as it is here. I really hope it was my taste buds lol.

7. Competition.
So, growing up away from the country & studying in an Indian school we’ve been told by our teachers that students in India are way more competitive than us. We’re literally made to feel like losers.

8. Ice-rink.
Does anyone of you know of an ice-rink in India? Particularly in the North. Do let me know. Because I really haven’t seen/heard about one there.

Well, half of the points I mentioned above are irrelevant. All I can say is I’m looking forward to this drastic change even if it means that I’ll have to adapt to a new lifestyle.

And I didn’t feel the need to mention my love for the two Holy places that I’m going to regret leaving forever.

Thanks for reading!

In My Mind

Compliments -I’ve always loathed them,
I mean, can’t we just keep quiet?

Even Pablo Neruda would agree,
After all ‘Keeping Quiet’ was his dream.
Or was it just wordplay to soothe the senses and brighten perspectives?

It’s funny how I sugarcoat depression,
Making it taste like candy just so I can forget what self-hate does
To my tongue.

(Candy is sweet)

I’ve a strange resonance with Edgar Allan Poe,
Mind you, I don’t need melancholy to have a gothic soul.
But his words were the first,
To spark within me the love for all things dark and sad.

‘A dream within a dream’ how else would you define life?

While other girls look for ‘Fault in Our Stars’,
I’m content to watch spaceships dart right across the universe into a Black hole,
Where a concourse of time and space is relishing to the eyes,
On how devoted I am to the glories Of an idiot box.

I like to announce my carelessness,
Pronouncing each mistake with immense satisfaction.
I’m not a peach, I’m a nut,
Impossible to crack.
Impossible to chew.

(Alas! the irony makes me sigh)

Hurt me once, oh please do,
I’ll be kind, I promise you.

Hurt me thrice,
Picture me cutting you into pieces,
Unfathomable to the mind.

(I used to cut plastic dolls, you know)

-Nameera.


I’ve gone way overboard with free-verse poetry, don’t you think?

As some of you might already know, I mostly resort to writing poems with a certain rhyme scheme.

Well, for a little change I decided to go for free-verse poetry.

This is an epitome of letting my thoughts flow. I literally wrote the first thing that came to my mind lol.

Words Can Heal your Heart.

Your heart will give your life wings.

~Unknown

The above quote has always been my favorite simply because every time I felt like giving up I only had to take out this old artwork & relive the strength I felt while making it ages ago. In a moment all my problems would seem too small to fret over.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

~Confucius

A talent that not all possess is doing things with all their heart. Sometimes we’re unable to achieve few goals in life due to unknown reasons. But are we really working towards that goal? Or are we simply focused on the aftermath rather than putting our minds into the process?

Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed – there’s so little competition.

~Elbert Hubbard

Now do you see the answer to your ‘unknown’ reasons for not being able to meet your goals?

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

~Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama has rightly put into words the true recipe for success. Cleanse your heart towards others & lead a happy life.

There’s so little time & so much to be done. Instead of breaking hearts & fooling around take time to make others, and most importantly yourself happy!

Rape – An indelible blot upon society.

I feel agitated every time I watch the news. She’s disrespected in every possible way. Candles are lit once her eyes are devoid of light. In the spur of the moment the whole nation comes to know of her existence. I pray that this kind of fame befalls upon women no more.

After the deed is done myriad of posts are updated in the name of condolences & budding poets emerge. Words filled with sorrow & angst spread across cyberspace like a tsunami flooding the minds through heart-wrenching poetry.

As a writer I’ve done my bit too in order to erase chaos in my own way through words.

But times like these scare me. I can’t pin down the feeling that I’m not doing enough. No, it’s not my responsibility to save every woman from evil doers but it’s my worst nightmare. In times like these neither ink nor do candle marches suffice. While I sit here writing this under the cover of a peaceful night, darkness encompassing devious intentions engulf yet another life.

I can’t write about a prey falling victim to a ravenous predator over & over again. All the majestic names this country has bestowed upon her cease to exist as one word arises, ‘Rape’ – not just of her body but her soul, independence & spirit.

Give me hope to write & dignity to encapsulate my words. Rid me of my fear that lingers as names succeeding the phrase ‘#Justice For______” keep increasing day by day.

Before inks run out replacing blood, candles are distinguished for worse & dignity lost forever between hands that deign its worth, rekindle her stature by taking a just stand against immorality that has prevailed long enough.

Long enough.

-Nameera.

My Umbrella

It was one fine morning until signs of downpour marked the vast expanse called sky. Mr. X decided to take his umbrella along with him. To tell you the truth it doesn’t really matter if it’s raining or not, Mr. X always carries his umbrella whenever he goes out into the world. Firstly, it keeps him from getting sun burnt & secondly, it obviously protects him from rain drops. That’s just the way he likes his life; protected & safe. Every time he sees someone passing by without an umbrella over his head, he rushes over to the person & starts telling him the benefits & uses of walking under an umbrella, particularly the one he carries; a red one. Now to the strangers dismay, he doesn’t bother to find out whether he asked for his opinion or not. What if the stranger just wants to enjoy a little drizzle?
One day Mr. X, the man with the red umbrella stumbles upon Mr. Y, the guy with the green one. Both of them start arguing furiously about how their choice of what prevents raindrops from making them sick is righteous compared to the other. Amidst their ferocious attempts to bring down one another, the sky darkens & black rain drops fall on the face of earth. Each drop caters to a black ocean that consists of tides arising every now and then as umbrellas of various colors strengthen it. But this black ocean shouldn’t surprise you, right?

The colorful umbrellas I’m talking about are various religions we are born into. Some people like Mr. X & Mr. Y make the process of co-existing a tiresome one. Advices are offered to those who don’t share their beliefs or follow different paths. The black ocean of hate is the result of not letting our differences subside.


My inspiration for this post comes from a blogger who decided to share some of his personal experiences in one of the posts. Make sure you check it out & the blog, of course.

Even most people from my religion are biased towards others. I wonder why we can never put that aside and coexist. Interested people will join themselves, what’s the need to convert?

If there’s a message to be spread, it’ll spread by itself as people are observant.

We’re all human.

Let’s start believing in ourselves first.

Peace.

Bharath Upendra.