Music Helps

I remained adamant to not acknowledge the fact that I was depressed, none of my so called ‘friends’ could catch a hint either. They ignored me & so did I.

Alright so coming down to the purpose behind this post, I want to share music that became my only friend at a time when I was just beginning to understand the dark side of emotions.

Black Veil Brides : Fallen Angels.
You can say that I was obsessed with BVB because I found solace in heavy metal rather than the morbid silence inside me. This song is very, very special to me.

Marina & the Diamonds : I am not a Robot.
Though I wasn’t a fan of pop music but this one song stuck with me for a long time simply because of the lyrics.

The Beatles : Black Bird.
Beautiful lyrics, simple yet powerful, this song was without a doubt my absolute favorite!

Miley Cyrus : When I look at you.
As magical as it sounds, the lyrics moved me in ways no other song could.

Pierce The Veil : Hell Above Me.
I was obsessed with this song for a really long time. I still listen to it at times.

Black Veil Brides : In The End.
Another one by BVB that dealt with the topic of death. I could listen to it on repeat for hours on end.

Imagine Dragons : Demons.
This song really moved me in ways I couldn’t comprehend back then. When I listen to it now, it simply makes me nostalgic but I’d never want to go back to that time. Ever.

There were countless other songs but these were on top of my list.

Thanks for reading!

The story behind a world record.

It’s a dream that many see yet few actually get the chance to achieve it. A common notion exists that only exceptional beings deserve something like this.

Were the 4,500 people without whom this achievement of mine would be impossible really that exceptional?

14 November 2017, a day marked in the history of International Indian school, Jeddah. No one will forget the batch that made it possible.

The scorched sun adamantly sucked our energy as we stood holding placards above our heads. Our hands were stiff with pain but we never gave in.

It was not surprising to hear that a girl or two had fainted due to excessive heat & dehydration.

As we stood on our marked spot there were apprehensions that dug their way in the back of our heads. Before approaching our school the party that organised this event made students of International Indian school, Dammam go through the same. But they tried & failed hence we were their second chance. Students were hopeful yet many held the belief that we were no different than our distant cousins, students from Dammam. It was a paradox in itself.

But the moment arrived that finally declared us the winners. Even though we felt weak & tired because Jeddah’s heat is no joke, there was a wave of shouts & hoots that shook the venue.

Soon excitement turned into something pointlessly ugly. Words cannot suffice to create a picture of what I saw that day but I will try my best.

The cloudless sunny sky witnessed the strangest downpour ever. It fell with a huge thud initially somewhere in the back. In the blink of an eye what followed was a havoc. Flying placards fell on our heads from all directions. Even though it lasted for about 5 minutes yet the feeling that we were in a war zone persisted.

My only self-defence was the placard I covered myself with to avoid getting my head smashed. While my alertness & quick thinking saved my head that day, many of my classmates ended up being hospitalized. One of my friends blacked out right in the middle of the ground.

Some said it was girls who started it all & boys simply decided to return the favour. All the victims of this horrendous turn of events were girls. Others believed that boys should’ve stopped throwing when they saw people getting hurt. Whatever started it didn’t matter as much as injuries suffered by these students.

The dream had come true with a nightmarish outcome.

In the end the scarred faces, bleeding foreheads, unconcious teenagers, flying placards, cursing mouths & angry youngsters marked us as exceptional beings.

A briefing about the world record :

Officials of Abeer Medical Group, a leading healthcare provider in the Middle East, joined 4,500 students of International Indian School Jeddah (IISJ) and their mentors in celebrating the fantabulous achievement of entering the Guinness Book of World Records by forming the world’s largest human mosaic“.

The students formed the largest picture mosaic on the World Diabetes Day on 14 Nov. 2017 as part of Abeer Group’s mass corporate social responsibility campaign against the health hazards of diabetes“.

-Saudi Gazette.

You can read the whole article here.

18 & melancholic!

Today was simply one heck of a morning!

I was sound asleep in my room when distinct voices woke me up. At first they were unclear but soon I could make out what my mother was saying on the phone, “Oh, how much did you get? What about Nameera?”, the last line was a signal enough for me to figure who it was & what they were talking about.

I leapt out of bed frantically. Days ago in my mind I had come to the conclusion that I’ll get around 76 per cent in 12th grade board exams. “Nameera, tujhe 79 aaye!? (Nameera, you got 79 per cent)” as much as I was hoping to somehow get 80 per cent beyond all odds, just the number ‘8’ followed by a zero would’ve made a huge impact on my mind. But 79.6 wasn’t bad either considering the fact that I did Accounts on my own the whole year round. I needed tuitions badly but I didn’t join any because I wanted to concentrate on subjects that were my strong point. Initially I did feel a bit low but hey, guess what? It’s my b’day today! Nothing could keep me down for long. Not when my parents got me THIS :

Every B’day I’d demand art supplies but this time I’m glad I picked something worth my time(not that art isn’t). Yes, it’s still hard for me to comprehend classics but it’s definitely not a waste of my time.

Coming down to the purpose behind this post, I’d advice students who just received their results like me to not fret over the past. Accept it & get over it. If moving on seems difficult, read a book, watch your favorite movie or simply flip through old pictures of your school days.

I’m sure there’s just enough room for you to grow academically & personally in the coming future.

Have a nice day!

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 soul inside you.

The soul has no color, race or class. It’s an element that fits wherever there is enough space to live. What happens when soul meets flesh?
Color, race, gender, community to name just a few. From being an element so unique to being put under countless labels, how do you think your soul feels? Or should I say, how do you feel?

You’re not your flesh or mind. Yes, your thoughts define your existence but it can’t outweigh the fact that you’re an element. The flesh that makes you feel inferior or superior because of its color is temporary. The flesh that helps you earn that green paper which carries great significance can easily tear your values apart but a good soul can help you cultivate them. The flesh that fills you with pride because it has been born under the veils of a religion that defines your self-importance and ignorance towards those born to other religions will only lead you through a path of fire into a pit of unending shallowness while a good soul can fill you with satisfaction to the brim. The flesh that has been born within a caste of the powerful will not be of aid when you’re buried six feet under the ground.

Remember, before you judge, begin to develop a sense of pride and cast out others who you believe are unimportant, you’re just an element like they are.

Yes, you’ve something in you that others don’t. But it’s not color, caste, religion, class or country. Your body simply decays into the bleak realm of the grave. How do you seek to fill the space that is your ultimate abode?