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.

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.

,,

I hear you’ve been saying,
That I’m never there for you.
I’m sorry for not staying,
Others were waiting too.

I hear you’ve been putting blame,
On me whenever you mess up.
But know that I’m in a race,
Against hours, seconds & minutes.

I see you undermining me,
And I give you chances incessantly.
But you never seem to believe,
That I won’t wait, I’ll leave.

I know you still don’t get it,
But soon enough you’ll realise.
When your days become unfit,
You’ll call me by my name- Time.

-Nameera.

Colors

All the colors she’s living,
Black, tangerine & pink.
Is his majestic giving,
For as long as he lives.

Once death meets man,
She’s stripped of her hues.
Bangles taken off her hand,
She sings the lonely muse.

Pushing her into the fire,
They send her away to him.
Colorful bangles she admired,
Now pierce her naive skin.

With wrists covered in blood,
The fire wraps around her.
The death of a man she loved,
Becomes her ultimate curse.

-Nameera.


The practice of Sati was quite common in India till the British invasion.

Even though it was initially tolerated under the colonial rule, protesters like William Carey(Chritian missionaries) & Mohan Roy(Hindu Brahmin) led to a ban on this immoral practice where a woman, on the death of her husband would commit suicide by burning herself, whether she wanted to or not.

The red sindoor on her forehead and in the parting of her hair, one of the signs of marriage, is wiped clean. In some cases, all her jewellery is removed and her glass bangles are smashed. Other traditions, that are thankfully becoming less common, include shaving the widow’s head and giving her a ritual bath, after which she may be forbidden from wearing colourful sarees. She will only be allowed to wear white or pale colours.

_The Quint

Even though all or most of these practices are illegal now yet it’s not uncommon to hear about the prevalence of such rituals in rural areas.

Apparently with the death of a husband a woman loses all rights to live a colorful life.

-Nameera.

Fire

You don’t always see it,
Sometimes it burns within.

We often carry it inside,
Rather than letting it subside.

Did you ever in your life,
See it spare anyone alive?

Half dead, half flesh,
It creates more than just a mess.

But you still you set ablaze,
Your soul to grow in haste.

Let it out of control once,
And it will burn you wholesome.

-Nameera.

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.

Island

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.

-John Donne.

Not every man is an island,
Some befriend their isolation.
Society on the one hand,
And conscience on the other.

Not every man is an island,
Choices have to be made.
That day these green lands,
You must leave & set sail.

Not every man is an island,
Some live the path they take.
For now, alone they stand,
With their waters at stake.

No man is an island forever,
One day their loneliness ruptures.
As prescribed by laws of nature,
They give, they take and remember.

-Nameera.

Online Condolences.

Flags painted on cheeks,
As widows silently weep.

An updated profile picture,
After the soul is lost forever.

An article posted online,
While little children whine.

Rage brings people on streets,
But bombs drown their screams.

Vivid photographs capturing pain,

Yet innocent lives die in vain.

The painful echoes of their screams,
Appear on our mobile phone screens.

As we type away in the night,
War engulfs another life.

-Nameera.

Self-Growth

What is creativity? Well, its definition goes something like this.

Focus on the synonyms above- imagination, innovation, originality & individuality. These are elements that make one creative.

I think self-growth is the most basic kind of creativity that we’re all inherently capable of. We’re constantly creating ourselves. We re-create ourselves as we break.

The canvas we’re working on is life. What makes us different is the tools we use for growth. Not everyone can use a brush to paint strokes of color. Some of us are more habituated to using a pencil for a more crisp outcome. Hence, the rate at which each one of us grows differs too. Some learn to paint early in life while others still struggle to find their right colors.

So, keep growing in your own unique way. Don’t sketch along the same lines as others, your life should be your artwork.

Invent yourself through tough times & experiences.

India VS Pakistan

I think Indians are way better than Pakistani’s considering the fact that we’re all so diverse & straightforward. All our neighbors care about is hurling insults at us. They can’t help but put the blame on India no matter what the situation be. They’re racist to the core. I’m pretty sure the points I mentioned above should suffice to prove my Nationalistic Pride.

Don’t you agree with me too? No? That is great. But if you do, please keep reading.

Growing up in a country other than India or Pakistan gives you enough exposure into various cultures & ways of life. I’ve met some of my family members who left India for Pakistan during the partition decades ago, in this foreign land.

Being an Indian, what comes to your mind on hearing about Pakistan? To tell you the truth the first thing on my mind is my childhood friend who is Pakistani. We literally grew up together. People would often mistake us for sisters. We studied in the same school till 5th grade. We often had little fights as children over India & Pakistan, both of us trying to prove our country’s better. As we grew older we would discuss at length about our cultures & similarities.

I remember going to my cousins place. They are from Lahore, Pakistan. My uncle would get quite racist at times. While all women would talk about clothes & fashion I would sit on a chair in the living room listening to men talk about politics. The fact that my uncle completely ignored was that we were Indian yet he would go on incessantly insulting India. My dad never said a lot during these conversations. He did speak when my uncle wouldn’t stop. But he was always polite.

Some of my Indian friends fathers support the Pakistani cricket team because they’re Muslim. It makes me laugh every time my friends vent out their angst against their fathers at school.

I think cricket is one game where people should support their own countries. It is abnormal to support some other team based on their religion.

Besides sports there should be no place for segregation of this kind. It makes me sick to see people with such mindsets.

One of my Pakistani uncle even said once that why was Pakistan made. At that time we simply laughed. But later I realised it was wrong. No country is perfect & neither are its citizens. Statements like these shouldn’t be uttered. It’s wrong to say such things about ones own country.

I understand that India & Pakistan were separated from each other. Putting blame on one another is useless at this point. Who is better than who, kon kiska baap hai? Notions such as these are of no help.

True nationalistic pride lies in firstly, respecting your own motherland and secondly, giving the same respect to other nations as well.

I was also shocked when one Pakistani, on realising we were Muslim said, “Oh, you’re Indian Muslim?”. I suppose that reaction was out of ignorance but still it was quite unexpected.

I’m an Indian Muslim and a proud one. I don’t hate Hindus. My Pakistani friends have had misconceptions about Hindus but I always tell them that they’re people too, just like you & me. A mere difference between religion doesn’t make them or us monsters.

At the end of the day, there are good people & bad all around the globe. You can choose who you want to be. It’s not religion or nationality that influences their nature, it’s their thinking & how they see other human beings that makes them good/bad.


All the incidents mentioned above have actually happened. I’ve seen people with different viewpoints which I respect because they’re free to speak their mind. However, so am I. The only purpose behind this post is to depict how we’re not really that different. At the end of the day we’re just people, bones & flesh on either side of the border.