Happy Women’s Day

On this day, I want to celebrate trust, dependency and sensitivity.

It’s a blessing to be able to rely on friends and family. As a woman, I’ve seen a considerable level of criticism/unwanted suggestions coming my way because of my choices in life. However, these pricking truths are not the only facet to my life. It is also true that I’m blessed with amazing people that I can trust. And over the years, one biggest life lesson that I’ve learnt is the importance of sensitivity & vulnerability. They have their own beauty, their own poetry to convey.

People will always condition women to grow through such tough phases that independence becomes their sole aim. But I beg to differ. Independence is not JUST about handling your own finances, traveling solo, being able to take your own decisions or wearing clothes of your choice. Have you ever thought about dependency with a straight mind?
I do not mean to convey anything negative by this. What I’m trying to say is that maybe dependence doesn’t really have to be looked down upon so passionately. Maybe there’s a truth to it we aren’t taught to acknowledge. Maybe our society has upheld stupid convictions for so long, that some words just sound absurd. But this doesn’t have to stop us from defining their meanings in our own terms, right?

My mother always tells me that Allah says, it’s wrong to blame time – as in – how people say that this era (referring to time) was better than the one we live in today. So, next time if somebody says ke hamare zamane mai aisa kuch nahi hota tha, then remind them that people have always found a way to do whatever the hell they want to. Good and bad people have existed since the beginning of Creation. Things have happened exactly the way they do now, except that the means of doing them were different.

And just because today is different, it doesn’t have to be wrong. You can still trust people, if you’ve been betrayed before. Give those who are really trying their best a Chance. You can still be an independent woman, a happy woman, a vulnerable woman, an ambitious woman, a hopeful woman, and a woman who depends on her family and friends & reciprocates their love.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

On Writing

Writing for a purpose, specially one that’s for a long term, can be so difficult to provide an impetus to. I’ve been so frustrated and annoyed at myself for the past few months. I was in a similar position at the beginning of the previous year, but it was for all the different reasons.

And I honestly love writing about writing, you know?

I’m not making much sense. Also this is yet another pms-ing rant haha, in case it wasn’t obvious.

I want to write for myself, like I always have. But I also want to share myself with the people that inspire me and vice-versa. We all have some inspiration to offer to each other. It’s beautiful.

Life is beautiful, we should write it more often.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

of independence & french fries

i grew up as independent as the roof on my head,
but i still needed the walls to float

i sometimes feel like the plants sitting
outside my window,
just observing my life
maybe this is just an astral lie
or maybe im a stray dog looking for a
shed to sleep under

im a window breaking a thousand times
just to come to terms with this strange insult that is growing
in my poems

im the eye balls rolling on the ground
and disappearing under the carpet, a
divorced paper waiting for a signature

significance,
i like big words and synonyms, i wish i
could find one for my brain
i wish i could nurse the soil that
weakens the bold cracks that are quick
to assume the joy in
every dark shade
of life

this out of control window to my soul
makes me want to fall into a sickness,
i can’t name it tonight
it’ll be a different poem tomorrow

let it fester, let it fester like the fading
smell of french fries on a wintry afternoon,
my little revenge lives every season but
in winters, it eats me

i wish it would chew me too but it eats
me whole
(greedy bitch)
in a stomach, i write about a heart
pretending to be my roof

i write about the bliss sliding under my
clothes, it’s too cold for it to come out, it
sleeps

i grew up independent, inside myself
i grew up, in as much space as i could
take and they could give,
i outgrew
i died;

in the throat of grief, as she drank sobs
to encounter cracked ceilings and
disfigured djinns coming out of their
holes in my bedroom wall

french fries in the rain,
and a cup of tea, please.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Of Women & Moonlight

A land that pushes women to the stature of a Goddess

Is also adept at pulling them down when necessary

This reminds me of necessities that arise out of despai

A colony of ants climb the hills that reek of sweet sanity

Between my knees are bruises that never healed

Between my palms are lines of sweat that never left any empty space

‘Push, push, push’ – “It’s a moonlight wailing in birth and blood!”

How do I tell them,

That it’s the moonlight wailing at the prospect of illuminating silently, humming songs of anger that sound like sweet sanity?

It’s another bitter Goddess biting her fate, watching the poison take nefarious shapes in her throat

Until the day she takes back her throne,

Until then there’s only a sip of hope.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

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The Scream of a Deaf Girl (Short Story)

The wind never talked to me but she used to always tickle my stomach while I’d laugh like a maniac when I was a little kid. Sure, I had never heard her but she was my best friend. I think we both understood each other way better than most people would. They never heard me and similarly she had been rushing past deaf people all her life. Sometimes, we’d just sit quietly and look at all the people raving endlessly about things that never made much sense to either of us. I still remember the way she raged against my bare back that day. She carried my screams all the way down to the basement but no one came. She raged endlessly while my confused senses called hormones started to run and hide in blazing terror. He said he could hear the wind too but he lied. I know this because he never saw her drop the wooden tool box on his head as he ripped my dress apart, he never saw her until his head was smashed open and he lay on the cold bedroom floor, looking up at her big fluorescent eyes and illuminating body; he murmured something before death carried him far, far away from me (us). I think he said my mother’s name, our mother.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

Skin

Your skin tastes like mumbling blue berries trapped inside sea shells, skies falling upon your collarbones
Did you really believe that the weight of this world could shatter you?
You carry butterflies inside your stomach
You love like tomorrow is but a fable
Tell me, do you not shudder when you think of the end?
Maybe heaven really is a beginning,
A strawberry stream flowing through the crevices of the wild forest that you are

Your skin tastes like a scream splattered across the wall
It’s red and soaked in wet sheets
There’s a sickness drowning you until you can’t breathe
Mother, I see how the heaven under your feet often makes the earth beneath it slip away
The clouds shake while God’s laughter echoes in your eyes
My first poem is your name, your name

Your skin tastes like an oration pleading for hope
A lullaby that sleeps over my chest
The winds carry my whispers and I feel your smile against my lips
My breath is a wild goose flapping its wings against a chest that has only known heaviness
How do you get used to feeling this light?

Your skin is my home, the window that is always open, the curtains that will never be drawn, the door that will never be locked and the poem that only begins

Your skin tastes like heaven falling in love with herself for the first time.

-Nameera.

Far Away

Grey furniture in a room full of colorful walls

Black being the most significant constant

I look at the skies like a naked painting organizing itself by evening,

With the last stroke of the sunlight

I watch my sins flutter upon valleys with foreign names

My body parts morph into my mind

I am my mind more than I am anything else

A grey piece of furniture that completes me

I speak in butterflies and cherries

I see in sunlight and wind chimes

I’m far away, deep within, unfurling at the hem of my openness.

-Nameera.

Life

Isn’t it strange how we don’t even notice the moon go down on her knees and the sun coming up with its golden stories that the birds chirp across trees and windows and balconies?

Isn’t it strange how some flowers bloom today and some wither away simply because it’s not their season?

Maybe this strangeness is what we call life but never really know how to define it.

-Nameera.

The skies are wilting leaves

Today it rains like petals falling from above

Flowers of heaven shed their eternity

The earth laughs in cyclones and hailstorms

When she claps her hands forests are laid ablaze

The fire slowly subsides when the windows are shut

And doors forget what it was like to be laid bare, naked, open

There are flowers growing inside our minds

Our bones are nature’s kiss

And this flesh is a long lost wish,

Drowning in the reality that comes with it.

Nameera.

Staircase to Earth



Hell.

All this time, he spoke to me in varied hues of oranges and reds. He whispered in flames that burned my head, he moved about in a curfew that swept my need for fresh air. I am a tree, with a broken heart carved on my stomach. The knots of insomnia tighten around my thighs until I bleed Eve’s sin. Unholy birds perch upon my nape, they think my darkness is a home they’ll never find again.

Heaven.

The flowers here grow even more cheery while I paint them. They look like promises of something I haven’t seen yet. They whisper poetries that make no sense. The sun shines brighter than before and I can look at it, gaze into its soul. The moonlight becomes a passage to ballroom where love dances with fate. I watch it, I admire it from afar. I’m good here but so far away. Where is it that my bones ache to be?

Earth.

Home. Love. Life. Trauma. Death. So many colors that come without our choosing. If we chose black, white unfurls at the edge of our existence. If we chose red, green finds a way to our heart. We bind prayers upon our foreheads and paint heaven and hell. Our deeds paint us in either of the two. I sleep under a blanket of warmth, I’m in love. My bones don’t ache anymore. My bones say I’m home ~ on earth.

-Nameera.