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

A Sigh of Freedom

The distance is a mist eddying upon my thighs

She plays the lyre that resembles eternity

Grapes have been growing around my wrists

My feet taste like oranges swallowed by the steps they take

The portrait of a holy tomb stares at me

I feel my shoulders turn into minarets

My stomach morphs into a call to the right side

This voice is God’s omen raining down on my face

I look up to the skies and I see blue skies free from the politics I’ve left behind

The earth behind me wails in the echoes of hopeless civilizations

I don’t rage anymore

I’m free from your shackles, I was always my own call for freedom, love and acceptance

-Nameera.

Open Up

When they say, ‘Open up!’ what I see is the picture of my heart running like a wild goose in a jungle of confusion. It often steps in a puddle of familiarity but slowly, that very puddle begins to wet its feathers in droplets of shame. How could I’ve been so reckless? Did they really need to know that? So on and so forth, goes the troubled web spun by my mind. It’s hard to breathe with the weight of my insignificant over-shared life. I’m a generous listener but not a generous talker and this often puts people in a motion of self-doubt but they’re really not at fault here.

When they say, ‘Open up, you owe it to us after all this time!!’, what I hear is a call for a reason to hold on. Sometimes, it even rains like a warning over my bare head, the drops tapping on my mind to make the move. I still contemplate trust like a child toying with food until it turns cold, sour and hard to penetrate. I’m still the insecure six year old who never grew up, don’t you get it?

When they say, ‘Open up, it’s your last chance’ I hear yet another reason to strike off a name and turn goodbyes into an untitled poem.

The Question Mark

I remember the
Colorful question
Mark in my old
Sketchbook from
When I was 13
A clueless rhythm
Shook me to the
Core while the
Sea failed to kiss
The shore

I stood still
My feet crushing
The sand underneath
Waiting for answers
Then in the distance
I watched the sun set
Birds flying toward it
The sky was a remant
Of its presence and
Maybe I am too
A remnant of a
Purpose hiding in
Plain sight,
Dressed in white
Like a pilgrim awaiting
God’s call
My colourful question
Mark is a rainbow turning
Prisms into miracles.

-Nameera.

The Cure

Gold like honey dripping from
The tip of your tongue
Willfully made a way
Down my throat
Through the
Chipped lips
That never
Seemed to
Bother you.

Your enigmatic daisies still
Sit intact, crowning my
Strands like precious
Gems favored upon
An ocean of
Black.

The fragility encompassing
Each beat of my heart is
Afresh beneath a battered
Chest as blood rushes
In dismantled parts of
Me at your
Fingertips.

I’m the disease spreading
Across your body,
With surity my hands
Manoeuvre unholy
Territories within
You only to find
Myself standing
Face to face
with my
Fears.

Masked behind an antidote,
Your true colors showed
When I found solace
In your arms.

You were the poison;
Conniving and dismembered,
Trying to find your place
In a plague, don’t you
Know diseases will
Forever be
Dislocated?

We can never belong,
We can only eddy
Around the pool
Of normalcy
Like a mist,
Deranged
To the
Core.

(Who says diseases don’t fall in love? When they do, till death do they part)

-Nameera.


I was very little when I watched Cleopatra. I never understood the story back then but after watching it again few years back, I fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor. Her portrayal of Cleopatra will always be my favorite.

Exposed

In its internment,
My heart was on
Its knees, ever-
Ready to serve
The master’s
Command.

Be it burying myself under
A mountain of responsibility
Or diving in an ocean that
Was never enough to
Satiate your thirst for
Perfection,
I had my mind set
On fulfilling your
Wishes before
They had to
Travel up your
Throat & find a
Way to the tip
Of your acidic
Tongue.

Alas, I was no angel,
I had served my
Term long
Enough.

It was time now,
For me to kill your heart.

Labeled a thief, a murderer
For my crime,
They never saw the knives
Groped in my scars that
I exposed to you with
The only faith I had
In store.

You stole my faith,
I smashed your heart;
That makes us even
But they only see
Pieces of your heart,
What of the mistrust
That will forever
Reside in my mind,
Extracting my soul
Of the last thing
That keeps me
Alive – hope.

-Nameera.


A broken heart is almost always subject to metaphors & wordplay. As beautiful as it is to read words written for broken hearts, I’d like to draw your attention to emotions that also matter. Trust & hope go hand in hand, they’ve interchangeable consequences. We’re mere human beings, we break hearts & get ours broken by others. The least we can do is cherish trust. Hope isn’t everlasting, I don’t say so because I’m pessimistic but because it’s reality.

Trust is a treasure trove, every time you add little trinkets of hope, it grows.

Inertia

Purple curtains drape
Windows that are shut
So tight not even air
Gets through,
Aphixiated
Anticipated
Assimilated
I stare at a wall
For hours on end.

I’m laughing now,
Like a child he says
Because I bob my head
Back and fourth as fits
Of laughter distort my
Vision.

I’m happy,
Drowning in this moment
Flowing like spilled ink
On white sheets until
I reach an irrevocable
End,
I’m weightless now,
Almost floating in
Mid-air
When an arrow hits
Its mark,
Right on the black
Spot where time
And senses cease
To exist,
Where eternal pain
Paves a way for
Oblivion.

-Nameera.

The Mirror

They weren’t eyes,
They were
Windows to you;
A glimpse of my
Secrets.

No matter how hard I tried,
Pain had a way of making
Itself evident through the
Brown hues fading into
The morbid blackness
Hovering upon my
Existence.

They’re tainted pink & purple,
But exhaustion is always
Crystal clear.

Didn’t you ever feel,
Like you were
Looking in a
Mirror?

Maybe that’s why I
Could never read your eyes,
Because I wasn’t looking
Inside a window,
But at a mirror.

I never understood what I saw,
For I’ve never been
Familiar enough
With myself.

(It wasn’t you I was tired of looking at, it was me)

Shards of broken glass
Still pierce my mind,
But I’d rather be
Blind than give
In to expectations
That will forever
Be unmet.

-Nameera.

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!