Daylight

Daylight is the kind of hope fumbling for words simply because you don’t give her enough space to expand her lungs and search for the sun rays like an infant trying to pronounce the alphabet.

She’s waiting on the other end while darkness covers you head to toe, she calls out to you while you lay asleep, possibly. Daylight stuffs her mouth with grapes until her days are sour enough to forget you. She sleeps with her eyes wide open, she dreams about your sleep while you lose it bit by bit. Every night she calls out to you from the shadows. You see demons instead. Every night she weaves epiphanies out of the blankness but you’re too focused on all the things that slowly suck the nectar out of your peace; it’s a withering flower now, bowing low and deep, buried inside its own existence.

What do you do when your own body is a grave that engulfs you whole?

One day you wake up and realize that it’s past midnight. You notice that it’s the hour of the demons, like they say in the movies. You shrug your shoulders, smiling at the odd thought. But isn’t it odd that you’re suddenly awake? Why did sleep arrive in the first place when this was supposed to be the end, you staying awake and wondering all that you are at this moment. Then you think of all those things that happened and died out halfway through. Would it really matter if they hadn’t taken place at all? I mean, it would probably affect your self-growth. But does He have to make growth so hard and giving up so easy? Who is this He I refer to anyway? Then you remind yourself that it was this very prospect of how things usually are that made you want to stand up to them. What if giving up wasn’t easy? What if complaining all the time actually solved all the problems? Would you really be who you are today?

3 AM is not an end, it never will be. It’s the exact moment of finding, oneself, the truth, God, love, sleep – who can tell? It can be anything you want it to be. It’s not the hour of dark things that lurk in the shadows, it’s the hour to wait, to wait for daylight.

Daylight will come, she’s almost here. The grapes were never sour, they were bittersweet and so is your life. Daylight is yours, embrace her too.

Your body isn’t a grave but a precious gift of nature. Flowers grow on it, they grow deep inside you and all around you. If you close your eyes and smile, they bloom. Do you notice how your breath is a sign of so many things, it could be the soft breeze, the harsh winds, the gentle tides, the rustling leaves, buzzing of bees, the plop of a frog, a butterfly flapping its wings, a cats purr and the silent drizzle – the sigh of nature is forever looking to brighten up your day.

You’re not lost, you are home so carry yourself with love and faith.

-Nameera.

Image credits : Unsplash

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

YOU

The metaphysics of my existence circumvent the physiology that reeks of me. My nose, my ears, my mouth and my hands are tales that hum Mozart across park benches on a windy afternoon. There is a moon that grows in the middle of my chest, it grows until writing feels like playing the piano and my fingers move across the keys that have the power to contain and redefine me. Philosophy is the muse that often makes me wonder if we are mere thoughts of the universe, each one so unique and different. What if the distant universes we never see are the worlds we create inside our heads? I’ve always been a subject of my ruminations not because the idea of my being is the only element that lives to entice me but because there is so much we leave to an outer perspective, forfeiting the vitality of looking beyond our reflection. We are mirrors learning from each other, recreating the same habits confined by normalcy but the moment we look beyond and beneath, a universe of differences unfolds like a mighty wave. That is who I am and that is who you are, a mighty wave, set aside from every reflection that you have ever come across just as others  have too. But you were always flowing with a unique rhythm, a whole different energy that defines only you and no other.

MY FIRST HEART BREAK

A burglary happened on your lips while you had your eyes closed. Maybe that’s why kisses are stolen these days, not planted. You say heart breakers are bullies who will never be happy again, tell me, what do you truly know about being one? We can be poets for all you know, making you cry out to your pillow with metaphors that confuse you because you just don’t want to face the truth. Confusion is the antonym for courage, the courage you lack because what will they say upon finding out that you’ve broken hearts before? It all started when I was thirteen, broken and in search of true friendship. Every person I liked already had someone else, being second choice was a dagger I had been carrying in my heart forever. This was my heart and it went right through it resulting in cracks that resembled a thunderbolt; a mute thunderbolt, one that inhaled and exhaled pretending life was a yoga exercise where some days you ace it or you don’t. It was all about the chance we took and the one we lost. I saw people finding a best friend, I caught myself staring in the mirror, telling a lonely reflection that all she ever needed was herself. People blamed me for being full of myself but I ask them now, where were you when I needed you most? When I, instead of hiding my true feelings and confusing you; told you how much a friend would mean to me, where were you when I wore vulnerabilities upon my sleeve? You were busy finding creative ways to judge me so I left because I was mean, arrogant and evil. You were shy, kind and hopeful but I wasn’t so I packed my luggage – emotions I mean and left without a dagger in my heart because by now, you had broken it in two.

When I was thirteen, a girl in my class broke my heart and today I liberate her from the tangled mess of my thoughts. She’s free to go, and I’m free to use the lessons she taught me. Thank you for being my first heart break, I hope yours would skip a beat right now so you can know that once upon a time; you were one of the reasons why I wanted to stop mine.

Heart breaks can come from friends as well, it doesn’t always take a boy to do it.

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!

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.

6 Arabic Proverbs To Live By

Bidding farewell to this blessed month of Ramadan is never easy. Yet, the time has come to move forward & hopefully practice good deeds for the rest of the year, not just wait for this blissful month to give time to Islam.

Here are some Arabic proverbs that are, in a way pieces of advice, a word of caution we should keep in mind.

🔸اجتنب مصاحبة الكذاب فإن اضطررت إليه فلا تُصَدِّقْهُ.
“Avoid the company of liars, but if you can’t, don’t believe them.”


🔸احذر عدوك مرة وصديقك ألف مرة فإن انقلب الصديق فهو أعلم بالمضرة.
“Be wary around your enemy once, and your friend a thousand times. A double crossing friend knows more about what harms you.”


🔸اختر أهون الشرين.
“Go with the lesser of two evils.”


🔸إذا قصرت يدك عن المكافأة فليصل لسانك بالشكر.
“If you’re unable to reward, then make sure to thank.”


🔸أشد الفاقة عدم العقل.
“Lack of intelligence is the greatest poverty.”


🔸إصلاح الموجود خير من انتظار المفقود.
“It’s better to fix what you have than wait to get what you don’t have.”


Thanks for reading!

Source.

Barren

She’s the desert he left,
For greener pastures.
Losely tied weft threads,
Dismantled their stature.

Winsome eyes once bore,
A dream now distorted.
They saw a family of four,
But her fertility retorted.

Society labelled her ‘barren’,
Restricting her existence.
With falling tears she is laden,
Asking God for repentance.

Her shreiks reverberate,
As She yearns for a baby.
His utmost hatred sedates,
The mind of a useless lady.

Her precious heart,
Is never their concern.
For not playing her part,
She will always be shunned.

-Nameera.


If a woman is childless, does she become unworthy? If she doesn’t have the ability to give life, is it permissible for the society to torment her mentally?

What will you do if your daughter, sister or wife is barren? Would you rather let her drown in guilt for a cause that was never her fault or stand by her side?

If the purpose of a woman was to only give birth & ensure continuous survival of mankind, then they would be no more than a baby-making factory.

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.