Naked

‘Naked’

And to my mother’s ears, it’s ‘Blasphemy’. I wonder what’s more suffocating, the fact that I am Naked and a mere reflection of her or the fact that she’s had her eyes closed this whole time?

The society is the most illusionary mirror to ever exist. It shows you what you desire, but at the cost of negligence to your own needs. But here’s the catch, it only ‘Shows’ you this understanding that you possess. One single deviation can render you hopeless and so, the question remains; How much do you actually understand about yourself and this so-called ‘Society’?

You see, you’ve got to choose between the two. I choose to strip off of my regularities and give in to this maze of infidelity, I coincide with complicated minds and irrepressive hearts. I’m swinging through the gallant aspirations over to a newer side of things. It’s like a constant dalliance with the impossible heights.

I see my home right here, not up there when I say ‘Heights’. I see it on this ground and between these people. I want to run away sometimes, yes. But I think this distorted mirror has its own gravity that pulls you in, helplessly.

‘Naked’ – Blasphemy? I think freedom is but an unfiltered mind, a careless yet considerate human. When you choose a path of irregularities – it’s neither a garden nor a parched land that have been walked before, it’s a whole new world where you might even fly, who knows where possibilities end, right?

But without taking off those hideous reflections that you’ve been borrowing over the years, how can you expect to let your wings breathe?

-Nameera Anjum Khan

D I V I D E

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The gap between my teeth widens
I’m six years of carelessness and a body clothed in flesh
My flesh is skin and a human anatomy I’m yet to understand
My flesh is carrot juice and French fries
My flesh is a subtraction of the numerical, perhaps the only confusion in my life
My flesh is unafraid and knows how to breathe in and out without having to give it a second thought
My flesh sees other flesh like mine and that’s where the story simply ends
Years later my headscarf has another story to tell
The bindi upon my forehead tells yet another story
And just like that, so many stories gather themselves at the periphery of my existence
My best friend dabs my cheek in pinks and greens
My best friend waits more eagerly for sewiyan than I do for Eid
Do you like horror stories? I do too
I think we all enjoy a little thrill in this mundane existence
We’re all looking for something out of the ordinary to provide forethought to
What if that horror isn’t fiction anymore?
It is as real as the red bindi across your forehead and as dark as my black Hijab
It has its horrors that transform streets into a war zone
Cities into hell
Cold winter mornings smell of gunfire that echoes through these lanes
But do you know what sounds worse than that? The silence
That is the scariest story of this divide
It isn’t secluded to bloodshed and cries for help and hunger and poverty and dirty politics and differences and awkward means of reaching out to each other and change in perspective and the birth of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ and ‘He’ and ‘She’ and a myriad other pronouns that have been put to shame
It is the silence that has followed this divide
The lack of a proper noun to voice concern
The lack of a proper noun to replace the wrong
Because black will always remain black no
Matter what shade is forced upon it.

Image Credits: Photo by Alex on Unsplash