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.

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The Dark Side

I succumb to the walls,
Retiring all my beliefs.
My fears standing tall,
Dance upon my relief.

The ceiling is tainted,
As shadows pirouette.
Their tunes are painted,
Along hues of contempt.

This conjunction joining,
Two different parts of me.
Is a neat & willful catering,
To a darker side you never see.

-Nameera.

Death Note

(Made this shitty drawing when I was 13)

I wasn’t really into Anime but the one that I watched, well, I fell in love with the concept! Death Note was the most thought-provoking series I’ve watched. I loved every bit of drama, suspense, thrill & horror in it.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if such a thing as death note really existed. It would definitely take a toll on our morals. Everything would fall out of balance. The Godly powers that it bestows upon one can really destroy a human being, like it did to Light Yagami.

It could prove to be a help in getting rid of corrupt politicians & others but then again doesn’t killing them make us corrupt too?

We judge people for judging people because judging people is wrong.

It raised many mindful questions that haunted me for quite some time.

If we look at it metaphorically, Light & L could be seen as two sides of the same coin; two types of personalities we all possess. Let’s also not forget our demons or Shinigami. Sometimes, when we let the dark side get the better of us, it can prove to be detrimental making it impossible to get a hold of ourselves.

An Addition to my Art Supplies

Here it’s, finally completed!
This artwork, as is evident, is inspired by Rajasthan. The photograph also features my really old Rajasthani jewellery I used to wear as a child in fancy dress competitions & stage plays.

So, this is a post specifically about my true love, painting! I recently bought ‘Winsor & Newton’ water color set & to tell you the truth, it’s a blessing in disguise. The colors are just so vibrant & beautiful. Looking at them I could only think about Rajasthani culture which has vibrant colors imbibed deep within its roots.

When I was 8 I bought a water color set of a local brand to teach myself painting.

As you can see, it was time for my old pal to retire! 😀

Here’s what my latest addition to art supplies looks like :

Thanks for reading!

An Exploration

What’s art? Is it colors that are splashed on a canvas, poems brimming with metaphors or a heart-warming prose?

For me art is an exploration. Over the years it has helped me on a personal & mental level. It has carried my emotions in ways no human could have. I’ve been able to explore my inner self as well as my surroundings. From observing people’s expressions to the nature that surrounds us, I think painting has compelled me to do it all. Writing has been my outlet, teaching me to be independent. Sometimes even mere observations prove to be a source of exploration.

Art isn’t necessarily confined within a canvas or a notebook filled with words. It’s an exploration of who we are & where we are.

So, what is your means of exploration? What’s art for you?

It Came

It came like a soft breeze through the window, pushing past the purple curtain. Caressing my back it traced my flesh in a way that drowned me in melancholy.

It came as a melody so deep. Imbibing in me an incongruous longing for the past.

It came like palpitations as blood dripped from my wrists filling the air around me with dreadful silence.

It came every night,
And crept in my head.
When I tried to fight,
It stuck to my flesh.

The cold breeze,
Felt like your fingers.
When I was at ease,
And life was simpler.

It was a song,
Stuck in my mind.
Each lyric made me long,
For a life past time.

It came through words,
It came in poems.
Between pages of books,
I devoured to escape.

It found me thinking,
About only you.
Nostalgia came,
Through words
Lines
Quotes
Songs
Lyrics
And the cold
Breeze.

It came,
Unabashed
Breaking my
Walls.

-Nameera.

The home away from home

My mother received a call from her friend yesterday. So, we’re at her place today. It isn’t grand but you can’t exactly call it average. Three chandeliers lined across the ceiling are intricate in design. There were other women already present when we got there. All of them stood up as we greeted them by saying Salam followed by softly touching each other cheek to cheek, which can be termed as the Saudi greeting style, in a way. They’re all wearing burqas’ with different hues. The colors range from grey to caramel to black but sorrow has only one color; grey. Now, here comes the interesting part. The women here speak fluent urdu/hindi pronouncing a word or two with a heavy Arabic dialect. They’re Saudi no doubt yet they weren’t born one. It’s an interesting sight to behold but the purpose that brought us here is a grave matter.

My mother sits in the corner consoling her friend who just lost hope or in simple terms, a mother.

There are chocolates laid out on the table. The Arabic coffee (Qahwa) and dates are never missing in any Saudi house.

I see women from different walks of life share their stories. In a way, this is the only means to share grief in a home away from home.

“She would stir the Sheer Korma (An Indian Sweet dish) standing in the kitchen” says an old woman with a walking-stick kept by the sofa she settled comfortably upon. A dramatic pause on her part makes it seem as though her memory was failing her. “She would often quote the following as I remember well:

Eid ki sachi khushi to apno ki deed hai,
Tum humse door ho to apni kya eid hai.

(Translation : The true happiness of Eid is a gift of loved ones, what’s Eid if you’re away from me)”, she said, smiling satisfactorily as my notions about her memory turned out false. The old woman’s mother married a Saudi decades ago and never went back. Years later when she asked her mother to visit their family in Pakistan she’d simply answer, “What’s the point of visiting graves?”. Apparently most of her close family members were buried 6 ft under the earth. The only home left was where she was now.

As blessed as these people are with two homes & families scattered across two continents yet the painstaking truth seldom goes unnoticed.

People like us or as the term goes, expatriates see these converts in more than one way. Yet something that always bugs me most is patriotism. How do they decide which home to put their faith in? Or are they torn apart between two like I imagine myself in their shoes? Many of my questions have long gone unanswered but a few hints here & there in conversation always reveal their love for where they’re now but no matter what, the past still makes them nostalgic.

As one of her friends asked her where her mother died, the woman replied, calm & collected, “Rourkee” followed with a briefing about the beautiful state situated in the colder regions of India. “Is it close to Saharanpur?” Asks a lady wearing desi clothes with a pixie, quite an odd sight for a native of where she comes from but it’s pretty normal for us. “No, it’s close to Dehradun” a reply is made to acknowledge the query. The chubby woman laughs bobbing her head back & forth, “Like I’d know where that is!”.

The fact that they have no knowledge of states other than their own parents or grandparents place of origin always makes me wonder if they can ever have emotional ties with a place they’ve never seen, only heard of through stories & anecdotes.

“My mother was from Dehradun” exclaims the woman who had been listening to the conversation from across the sofa. Others nod their heads in acknowledgement.

Without a doubt the conversation drifts towards fashion. “My sister sent me stitched clothes from Lahore which removed all apprehensions I had had regarding my Eid outfit” says a woman with an air of relief as others agree with her.

As consolation, advice and stories went on, a young girl with eyes that resemble a puff of grey cloud in the sky waiting for downpour, offers coffee to those who want it. Few refuse, many ask her to fill their cups twice.

Without a doubt the topic of death arises & the fact that these days you don’t necessarily have to be old to die finds a mention yet again. “She would always cry when I came back here” says my aunt, her voice heavy with vivid emotions. “But this time when I bid goodbye, she didn’t shed a tear” she ends the note with a heavy sigh. Perhaps a mere sigh wouldn’t relieve her of the pain she’s feeling. I’m sure it wouldn’t.

The girl with grey eyes comfortably settled herself on the sofa in a corner, watching all her aunt’s hover around her mother as she wailed for her mother. Her skinny feet shuffle in a manner that makes her worry evident. With eyes fixed on her mother her lips part in silent apprehension as she moves her hands excessively.

“In the beginning of this year, she told me to hurry up & visit her otherwise she’d leave for South Africa”, little did the old woman realise where she was when she asked her daughter to pay her a visit. In the care of a son & a daughter in law, the frail creature was often visited by memories of a past she cherished deeply.

As I was looking out the window in the backseat of our car, I realised how much history everyone carries with them. The part that saddens me is that they know little to almost nothing about it. Some don’t even wish to discover their origins. A new life, a new country becomes such an integral part of their lives that what was once a place they called home becomes nothing more than a distant memory.

But what really is the point of holding on to the past, right?


I’m a keen observer by nature, not by choice. This prompt is not meant to hurt sentiments of any group in any possible way. I did feel the need to let out my thoughts about this particular issue. Being an expatriate experiencing a culture that I could live in forever if I choose to yet I feel obliged to not undermine the values inside me. Even though it would be practical to consider options like safety & a lifestyle I’ve been used to since childhood. But my choices are never governed by comfort or leisure.

I’m Indian by birth & choice. Maybe I feel this way because I’ve never actually lived in my home land for more than a year but I’m sure I can find my place in a country as diverse as India. My apprehensions about moving to India demand another post which I’ll make sure to keep short & concise.


P.S

Apologies for such a long read.

Ruins

He had entered lost territory, a place where no man has dared to venture. The place was in shambles with walls smouldering into blackness where memories bled at night as she closed her eyes. The grey atmosphere filled his lungs with despair and a longing for the warmth of sunshine. Instead of a garden of roses he found himself in a forest of thorns slowly consuming his conscience. Bit by bit he let her overpower him until his breath got icy and the cold in her soul latched itself to his heart.

The ground under his feet crumbled as she devoured him head to toe. As their souls became one, the castle fell into ruins.

The history was lost between pages of a book never written. Their bodies lay beneath ancient bricks with poetry carved deep within their souls, leaving flesh meaningless.

-Nameera.

The tide

I stood by the shore gazing at a tide from afar. It took ravenous strides in my direction trying to get past the ocean of perseverance and will. With one mighty roar it rose high up, almost tearing apart the sky with its magnificence. But with an insufficient dose of will it lost the fight. It was soft & faint, as it touched my feet. The shore could have been its domain but not all dreams come true.
Smiling at my thoughts, I knelt down to put my name in the sand. As my fingers traced each letter with precise movements, an uncanny sound caught my attention. The wave rose yet again, all the more mighty this time. I saw it tear the sky apart with one single blow. I retreated my steps as it advanced towards me. The ocean was no longer its enemy. It swept past the shore as swiftly as a predator grasping the prey in one go. My gaze fell upon the spot that beheld my name just a moment ago; now washed away with conquering tides.

I was no longer captivated amongst shackles of failure. My past along with my name had vanished within waters of time. I was free now, to dive & conquer.

The forgotten muse

You said that we were like piano keys, indispensable to each other. There was no doubt that without you I could never be complete. But the melodies we were after could never dance along the same tunes. The music that kept us sane was slowly fading with the mist of growing distance between us. In the end the keys fell apart, devoid of any color. I destroyed the piano because I no longer knew how to play along your song. I dragged my feet towards strange new instruments but none could really strike a chord inside my heart the way you used to. You found a muse amidst the clouds while I was left behind with a heart slowly drowning in deafening silence.