The Liebster Award!

It’s an honour to finally get nominated for this award, many thanks to Fariha of thoughtfulhues for nominating me! Make sure to check out her amazing, thoughtful blog. I’m sure it’ll be worth your time.

The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers who they think need encouragement and recognition. It was started by The Global Aussie in 2011.

The rules for the 2018 Award are as below :
• Thank the person who nominated you
• Display the award on your post
• Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blogging
• Provide 10 random facts about yourself
• Answer the questions given to you
• Nominate 5-11 other blogs for this award
• Ask them creative and unique questions of your own
• List the rules and inform your nominees of the award.

My passion for blogging:

Without a doubt what all bloggers have in common is a flair for writing. Hence, words are what fuel my passion for blogging. Besides this I also love coming across like-minded people who share my views. WordPress is a bliss for someone like me.

10 Random Facts About Me:

  1. My hometown is near Jaipur, called Tonk in Rajasthan. My great, great, great grandfather was a Pathan from Afghanistan, Amir Khan & he used to help Rajputs fight against British. Later on the British gave him the title of Nawab & the princely state of Tonk where he finally settled.
  2. I like gothic fiction a lot. The first book I read was ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker that remains one of my favorites till date.
  3. My hobbies include painting, writing, watching movies & reading.
  4. As much as I like being an extrovert, I’m never petrified at the thought of being alone.
  5. I’m an only child but I’m not a spoilt brat & I don’t spend my parents fortune recklessly as the stereotypes go.
  6. I love exploring old buildings, castles. One such place is my aunt’s place, she lives in one part of the castle which is equally divided amongst the many children of the Nawaab (He had more wives than he needed).
  7. Even though I can socialize well my friends know nothing about my personal life. I’m a very private person.
  8. I struggle with expressing emotions which makes people think I’m cold.
  9. I can be unforgiving & ruin your self-esteem without feeling even an ounce of guilt. But it takes a lot to infuriate me.
  10. I love spending time in a library or a stationary more than anything else.

Fariha’s Questions :

1. What is your fondest memory?

One of the many that I can remember at the moment is making short films with my dad. Even though they were extremely unprofessional 😁but I always had a great time making them! I played a magician once, inspired by Harry Potter😂

2. Team Coffee or Tea & Why?

Team ‘Cold’ Coffee to be more specific because I don’t like tea.

3. What is the most courageous thing that you have ever done?

For me it has been accepting the fact that I don’t have to stop respecting myself just because I’m different.

4. What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is debating. I’ve made my friends cry over silly debates just to prove my point. I can get aggressive but it’s never personal.

5. What’s the biggest challenge about blogging for you?

So far I’m doing just fine but I guess in the near future I might lack motivation to go on. I can’t remain hooked onto one thing.

6. What three items would you take to a desert island?

Water, survival kit & a magic lamp to get back whenever I want to.

7. Would you rather watch a movie or read the book ?

I’d rather watch a movie. If the genre is something that appeals to me then I will read the book.

8. What is the one battle you struggle with daily?

Getting out of my bed.

9. How do you aspire to be a better you?

I want to stay focused on my goals, believe in God & always respect my parents.

10. What is your favourite family tradition ?

I think it has to be Eid celebration because it brings the whole family together from every corner of India & abroad.

Here are my nominees:

Bharath Upendra

The fault in our brains

doses of ever-i-thing

The Realist

notthetumblrgirl

EST : 2013

Fawad Hassan K

This is it for now, I might nominate more bloggers later.

These are my questions for you :

  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
  2. What does your name mean?
  3. What are the top 5 songs on your playlist?
  4. How far can you go to prove yourself right?
  5. What would be the title of the book about your life?
  6. What was the easiest life-lesson you learnt?
  7. What makes you apprehensive?
  8. How would you define yourself?
  9. Who is your favorite author?
  10. What is more important, emotions or logic?

Thanks for reading!

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Mine

Art, words & poems
All are mine
Except for you.

-Nameera.

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!

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.

Memories – Lang Leav : Review.

Lang Leav is an internationally bestselling author and social media sensation. She is the winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award and coveted Churchill Fellowship. Her books continue to top bestseller charts in bookstores worldwide, and her collection Lullabies was the 2014 winner of the Goodreads Choice award for poetry“.

From eye-catching illustrations to extremely soulful collection of poems & prose; this book is bound to make you feel more than just nostalgic.

The beauty in simplicity with which Lang Leav communicates with her readers is commendable.

The central theme revolves around love, loss & heartbreak. It evokes forgotten feelings and thus the title ‘Memories’ is more than justified.

Now, coming down to cons, I’d say every book has some. Speaking from my personal viewpoint I must admit that for a person who is not into romantic writing (books or poetry) it can get a bit mundane. But yes the first time I picked up this book I read each & every word in it. The second time few poems began to seem repetitive. Nevertheless her ability to put down words with such simplicity & deep meaning must not be undermined.

For a person reading her collection for the first time, I’d say it’s a bliss. This was my case as well. But while skimming through reviews on Goodreads I found many readers complain that some of her poems & prose have been taken from her previous two books- Lullabies and Love & Misadventure. This aspect made the book quite repetitive & mundane for people who have read her previous books. Yet I didn’t feel so.

Would I recommend people to buy it?

Yes, in a way I would even if you’ve read her previous works. Though the experience would be less enjoyable if you’ve to read the same thing over and over again. If this is her first collection that you’re going to read and romantic poetry happens to be your cup of tea then go ahead without second thought.

Would I buy her next collection?

The one that recently came out is ‘Sea of Strangers’. I was excited about it but I think for now I’d prefer delving into other genres. I’ve had enough of love poetry. I might end up picking up something by Edgar Allan Poe. Hence, I wouldn’t buy it for above reasons. But I’m sure it’s as enthralling as her previous work.

Here’s a link to reviews on Goodreads : Memories

Click here to visit her website.

Before signing out I’ve decided to share some of her amazing poetry/prose collection :

These are just a few of my personal favourites. There’s a myriad of her work that will keep you hooked for quite some time.