Fantasies & Fiction

There’s a fantasy, at the surface of my spine

It flutters into your arms like a Gothic Romance choking on its own saliva

I spill the rainbows that you planted in my bladder ~ an acid leaves my body crawling on all fours,

There’s a lullaby growing in my belly & with every kiss, you extract a note from it until every syllable is infused with your name

A name this territory knows all too well, a fantasy that speaks my name like it’s the only poetry that matters; the only fiction worth realization.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

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!

Quotes/Art

I was going through my phone to look for inspiration from my old poetry & quotes. (Try doing it if you run out of ideas for posts, it really works!)

I found some of the old art I doodled on my phone & a few quotes. I thought I’d share it with y’all 🙂

>(It says ‘Shattered’)

Thanks for reading!

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.

Pride

By river Styx He swore,
To let him have his fate.
His son’s pride had bore,
A ripe fruit so very late.

In a manner quite haughty,
He talked with might & will.
Telling friends how mighty,
His father, the Sun God is.

They refused to believe,
The word of a mere child.
In angst the boy heaved,
A sigh marked with pride.

All he saw was the Sun,
His golden opportunity.
To avoid being shunned,
From his meek company.

His mother showed the way,
To her son’s death wish.
To not venture & stay,
Was her last, unheard plea.

He was more than glee,
To see his blood arrive.
The son, deterred uneasily,
Demanded for a ride.

Now this ride, you see,
Was not a simple one.
Helios was no more glee,
For he had come undone.

He had swore by river Styx,
To grant his inane demands.
Now that everything was fixed,
The boy wanted the God’s stand.

In the end he lost control,
And fed himself to the flames.
No flesh of his was left to mourn,
He burnt in the name of fame.

The fruit so very ripe,
Was all he left for us.
A sickness called pride,
Will never be enough.

We’ll want more & more,
As it lures us into it.
The end is forevermore,
I swear by river Styx!

-Nameera.

A year ago I read a book on Greek Mythology titled, ‘Stories of old Greece & Rome’ by Emilie Kip Baker on Project Gutenberg. It’s a really good book for beginners, just so you know.

The poem is based on the following mythology:

“Phaethon, challenged by his playmates, sought assurance from his mother that his father was the sun god Helios. She gave him the requested assurance and told him to turn to his father for confirmation. He asked his father for some proof that would demonstrate his relationship with the sun. When the god promised to grant him whatever he wanted, he insisted on being allowed to drive the sun chariot for a day. Placed in charge of the chariot, he was unable to control the horses. The Earth was in danger of being burned up and, to prevent this disaster, Zeus was forced to strike down the chariot with a thunderbolt and kill Phaethon in the process.”

Source.

The problem was that Helios swore by river Styx & hence he couldn’t deny what Phaethon wanted.

The lesson to learn from this story, as I like to think is that pride usually blinds our senses & logic. Sometimes, to prove ourselves right we end up burning in the fiery flames of reality much like Phaethon.

The questions we need to ask ourselves today are:

What are we trying to prove & most importantly, to whom are we trying to prove?

In the grand scheme of things what matters is how we lived our lives, not how we let pride drive our chariot straight into the blinding light & crash it headlong into flames.

A Joke

When did jokes become,
An inherent hub of racism?

Why do inane gender roles,
Have to play a part in jokes?

About equality you preach,
Yet your joy lies in racist memes.

His eyes are so narrow, you see,
He surely has to be Chinese.

An accent so very deep,
Must be an Indian, I believe.

Their crimes have been perceived,
Because slavery led to thievery.

Communities are on the brink,
Of destroying their binding link.

But one crucial link surviving,
Is the reason you’re still laughing.

Don’t you feel a fiery hole,
Burn in the middle of your soul?

Are these words really funny,
Aren’t they a bane to humility?

This poem may not be perfect but the issue for which it has been written will forever be a great concern. How often do we come across jokes targeting a certain section of society, color, race & gender?

We all need something to laugh about to destress. But does it have to come at the cost of racism, sexism & colorism?

Hypocrisy & stereotypes are two most disgusting loopholes in our society that people turn into jokes & laugh about.

It’s not funny to degrade someone because of who they are. Stop laughing at these so called ‘Jokes’ before you end up becoming one.

-Nameera.

Gasoline Addiction.

There are so many things to be addicted to- drugs, alcohol, cigarettes & people. But guess what my addiction is? Gasoline.

I find myself sniffing the smell at a gas station every time we stop there. There’s something about the smell that makes me happy to an extent that I don’t even want to leave.

I got curious today & decided to look it up. Now, everyone knows that smells can trigger memories in our minds. Similarly, the smell of gasoline reminds some people of a happier time like their childhood which elates them.

The smell of gasoline can make some people nostalgic for their childhood, says Dr. Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist with an expertise in smell and taste.

Is inhaling gasoline harmful? Yes, it is, that is if you place your nostrils directly into the vat of gas as it can induce euphoric feelings.

Considering the fact that Petroleum is made of Benzene & other hydrocarbons(found in glue, paint), Benzene exposure is likely to cause blood cancer.

But there’s nothing to worry about. You’re not going to end up with cancer every time you stop by a gas station unless you decide to get a sniff up close.

You can read more about it here.

Damsels in Distress of Social Media.

I don’t understand why some teens only stick to love & heart break poetry, particularly Indian teens at my school. It’s common to find so many wannabe poets setting up Instagram pages to only write on these two topics. It gets mundane after few posts & even cringe-worthy. This doesn’t imply to all new poets out there but it does to a few of them, as far as I’ve noticed.

Poetry, in its most basic sense, is a means of self-expression which is lost somewhere along the lines of these clichèd topics. Why not write about self-growth, nature, etcetera?

On a more positive note I’ve seen people explore once they’ve established a page. They learn gradually.

On the other hand what undermines a good prose/poetry is its grammar. Why not focus on honing your grammatical skills first?

Some people use big, fancy words that seem to have come straight out of the dictionary. Their only motive is to add some salt to their writing but it still ends up bland, why? Well, the trick to improving your writing style is to keep it simple. There are no restrictions on using fancy words but make sure they meet their purpose.

Look up the meaning of the word you’re about to use & its examples. Try to incorporate it in your daily vocabulary. Don’t just sprinkle them on a prose, try blending it in.

To give life to your writing you need to really understand the word yourself before simply looking up its meaning in the dictionary & using it abundantly. Is the word an adjective or a noun? How do you use them in a sentence? Figure these questions out before making mistakes & posting them online.

There used to be some sort of English club at my school. I can’t even remember the name or what it exactly was. Anyway so it comprised of writers of my school. The one who started it was a prolific writer at my school. She was a straight-A student, always perfect. But what lacked perfection was her writing. Her poems were really good, as far as I’ve heard and she did win a lot of prizes for them too, so it must really be something. But when she began posting her stuff online, I was shocked. I had high expectations but after reading her work, I could observe nothing but grammatical errors(Minor but noticeable), love/heartbreak poetry & improperly constructed sentences.

Writing can be your only outlet, I agree. But make sure it defines you, not love, hearbreaks & sadness only.

Keep it simple & efficient.

Happy writing!

FemiNazi’s

A very quintessential trend has come into existence that stems from Feminism which, as most of you are already aware of, has been a movement led by women when centuries ago they were still fighting suppression, which is unlike the actual movement.

Equal rights were, without a doubt earned years ago but hints of suppression can still be found in today’s ‘modern’ society.

Well, let’s generalize first and then come to the point. What is the younger generation like today? If I’m not mistaken, we want to prove our point without taking into consideration whether we’re doing it the right way or not. We feel the need to justify ourselves when patience & silence can do it way more efficiently. There’s passion, aggression & disrespect but for all the wrong reasons. On top of all this there’s lack of in-depth knowledge but everyone has something to say whether or not they’ve done their research.

I’m not against feminism. But I don’t support Feminazi’s destroying the whole purpose of a peaceful movement that seeks to bring equality between men & women. If he can, why can’t she? Is the question that has been answered. Now, you need to find a method for implementation.

Bringing your male counterparts down isn’t an answer. It’s simply repeating history, making them go through what you did decades ago. Provided that we differ in our physical strength history can’t entirely be repeated obviously. But such useless attempts to bring equality can take a toll on mental health which, both men & women are prone to.

Let’s rephrase the questions according to this century, What really is feminism? What is the suppression women went through decades ago & what is happening right now? Are all men the same? Does having an anti-male approach really help? Will proving one gender’s superiority over the other cater to a solution?

I think what we need now is Global Equality. Even if men & women are equal there are so many grounds on which we remain separated namely, race, religion, etcetera.

Uploading statements like, ‘All men are the same’ as soon as news of a rape victim appears on your screen is not feminism. What are you willing to do for women & equality in the real world, where real problems exist?

It’s easier to show support, hate & sympathy online. The advent of technology is inherently an advantage without a doubt as long as we know how to deal with life, movements, equality & gender issues when we go offline.

Apollo 13 : A Failure

Was it the unlucky number 13 or the sudden change of a crew member?

Not really. It was the oxygen tank that exploded.

All they could do was gaze at the moon & wave it goodbye. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to traverse all the way across the universe to mark ones name in history? But one explosion in the space craft put an indelible end to their dream. It was sheer failure.

They should have been forgotten. After all, they never set foot on the moon. That’s what their predecessor, Neil Armstrong was known to the world for. But against all odds, they were remembered. What for?

They were remembered for their journey, for their failure & courage. Having strength in a time when you have leaking oxygen with a broken space ship that turns out to be your only vehicle, you only chance to travel through unending blackness back home.

The astronauts engraved their names in the books of history. Apollo 13 was known, despite its failure.

(Left to right : Lowell, Sigwert, Haise)

There’s a life lesson to learn from this true story. You don’t have to let your failures define you at all. There’s insurmountable courage in accepting them. But once you’re back home, safe & sound among people you love, you’ll know what really counts in life. Maybe the moon was never meant for them, maybe it was the journey that was supposed to mark their victory. You never know what’s rightfully your goal until you achieve it. One goal leads to another, which might happen to be yours. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying, not even when you fail. You’ve to get back home, remember?

These are few of my favorite quotes from the movie, click here to view more.

  • I’ll be walking in a place where there is 400 degrees difference between sunlight and shadow. I can’t imagine ever topping that.
  • I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the Moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?.
  • We have never lost an American in space, and we’re sure not gonna lose one on my watch. Failure is not an option.
  • You never know what events are to transpire to get you home.

P.S

My inspiration for this post was the movie called ‘Apollo 13’ based on real incidents starring, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton & Kevin Bacon.