Naked

‘Naked’

And to my mother’s ears, it’s ‘Blasphemy’. I wonder what’s more suffocating, the fact that I am Naked and a mere reflection of her or the fact that she’s had her eyes closed this whole time?

The society is the most illusionary mirror to ever exist. It shows you what you desire, but at the cost of negligence to your own needs. But here’s the catch, it only ‘Shows’ you this understanding that you possess. One single deviation can render you hopeless and so, the question remains; How much do you actually understand about yourself and this so-called ‘Society’?

You see, you’ve got to choose between the two. I choose to strip off of my regularities and give in to this maze of infidelity, I coincide with complicated minds and irrepressive hearts. I’m swinging through the gallant aspirations over to a newer side of things. It’s like a constant dalliance with the impossible heights.

I see my home right here, not up there when I say ‘Heights’. I see it on this ground and between these people. I want to run away sometimes, yes. But I think this distorted mirror has its own gravity that pulls you in, helplessly.

‘Naked’ – Blasphemy? I think freedom is but an unfiltered mind, a careless yet considerate human. When you choose a path of irregularities – it’s neither a garden nor a parched land that have been walked before, it’s a whole new world where you might even fly, who knows where possibilities end, right?

But without taking off those hideous reflections that you’ve been borrowing over the years, how can you expect to let your wings breathe?

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Fantasies & Fiction

There’s a fantasy, at the surface of my spine

It flutters into your arms like a Gothic Romance choking on its own saliva

I spill the rainbows that you planted in my bladder ~ an acid leaves my body crawling on all fours,

There’s a lullaby growing in my belly & with every kiss, you extract a note from it until every syllable is infused with your name

A name this territory knows all too well, a fantasy that speaks my name like it’s the only poetry that matters; the only fiction worth realization.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Happy Women’s Day

On this day, I want to celebrate trust, dependency and sensitivity.

It’s a blessing to be able to rely on friends and family. As a woman, I’ve seen a considerable level of criticism/unwanted suggestions coming my way because of my choices in life. However, these pricking truths are not the only facet to my life. It is also true that I’m blessed with amazing people that I can trust. And over the years, one biggest life lesson that I’ve learnt is the importance of sensitivity & vulnerability. They have their own beauty, their own poetry to convey.

People will always condition women to grow through such tough phases that independence becomes their sole aim. But I beg to differ. Independence is not JUST about handling your own finances, traveling solo, being able to take your own decisions or wearing clothes of your choice. Have you ever thought about dependency with a straight mind?
I do not mean to convey anything negative by this. What I’m trying to say is that maybe dependence doesn’t really have to be looked down upon so passionately. Maybe there’s a truth to it we aren’t taught to acknowledge. Maybe our society has upheld stupid convictions for so long, that some words just sound absurd. But this doesn’t have to stop us from defining their meanings in our own terms, right?

My mother always tells me that Allah says, it’s wrong to blame time – as in – how people say that this era (referring to time) was better than the one we live in today. So, next time if somebody says ke hamare zamane mai aisa kuch nahi hota tha, then remind them that people have always found a way to do whatever the hell they want to. Good and bad people have existed since the beginning of Creation. Things have happened exactly the way they do now, except that the means of doing them were different.

And just because today is different, it doesn’t have to be wrong. You can still trust people, if you’ve been betrayed before. Give those who are really trying their best a Chance. You can still be an independent woman, a happy woman, a vulnerable woman, an ambitious woman, a hopeful woman, and a woman who depends on her family and friends & reciprocates their love.

-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

The Scream of a Deaf Girl (Short Story)

The wind never talked to me but she used to always tickle my stomach while I’d laugh like a maniac when I was a little kid. Sure, I had never heard her but she was my best friend. I think we both understood each other way better than most people would. They never heard me and similarly she had been rushing past deaf people all her life. Sometimes, we’d just sit quietly and look at all the people raving endlessly about things that never made much sense to either of us. I still remember the way she raged against my bare back that day. She carried my screams all the way down to the basement but no one came. She raged endlessly while my confused senses called hormones started to run and hide in blazing terror. He said he could hear the wind too but he lied. I know this because he never saw her drop the wooden tool box on his head as he ripped my dress apart, he never saw her until his head was smashed open and he lay on the cold bedroom floor, looking up at her big fluorescent eyes and illuminating body; he murmured something before death carried him far, far away from me (us). I think he said my mother’s name, our mother.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

Under the Crimson Moon

“So, why do you work here?” She hung her head & stared hard at the plate, with the burger sitting still upon it. He followed her gaze & realised that she hasn’t even touched her food yet. How long have we been talking, he wondered.

“I had no other option” she broke the silence in a metallic voice. Her sudden change of voice surprised him to some degree. He fell into deep thought, as was evident through his closely knit brows.

“Would you like to order something else, sir?” He looked at the face of a smiling waitress. Her eyes were too far apart, he noticed as was his wont. The brown hair lacked texture unlike her counterpart sitting right across him at the table. “No” he shook his head, “Are you going to eat it?” His eyes focused on the woman he had been talking to for about an hour. Her lips parted as though she was going to say something but not a word escaped her throat.

“Creep” the kind, average looking waitress said aloud. “Excuse me?” His puzzled expression didn’t answer much queries since the waitress had already dashed away from the two of them, taking frantic steps & disappearing behind the counter in no time. All this happened too fast for him to take into account how uncanny things were that night.

“Wow” he rolled his eyes feeling awkward about the inexplicable little encounter. “It’s okay, she’s always like that” her kind smile burned a hole in his heart. It lingered upon her sweet face for more than a minute & then turned into something horrible. The more attention he paid, the more he felt confronted by the plastered smile across her face. She stared in his eyes listlessly. He thought he saw her pupils expand, almost devour the white space around them. The smile she wore was getting devious each minute.

It wasn’t too late to notice the change in his surroundings but he didn’t. The creamy walls of the restaurant looked dirtier than they had upon his entrance. A pall of dust & hunger hung in the atmosphere, making it too hard for him to breathe.

“I should get going” he could sense an unusual fear & the need for some fresh air stirred within him. The lights began to dim. “So soon?” she tilted her head to the right in an unnatural position, mirroring inhuman ways. “I still haven’t had dinner yet!” She displayed her white set of teeth as her smile definitely looked wider this time, stretching from one cheek to the other. Placing her clenched fists upon the table, she let out a hiss. He held his breath & froze in his chair. A concourse of all things insane & wild, thirsty for blood mingled right before his eyes.

The woman rose swiftly & cackled with her mouth wide open showcasing saliva dripping down to her chin. Her sharp fangs were an accessory to that unholy smile. To add to all this, the lights began to flicker incessantly doubling the doze of horror he was to endure.

He inched back in his chair, his best move so far. “Are you ready for dinner, Jim?” She could smell fear all over him. His whole life eddied like a dark mist around his head as his eyes closed & he slowly fell into a deep sleep.

“Jimmy, boy wake up!” Was that gravel in his mouth? He could also taste a bit of grass. “He was too heavy for me to drag” he heard a voice that sounded unusually familiar. “You just had to turn him over & drag, sweetie” He heard his father speak. “Don’t call me that, you’re not my father!” The familiar voice retorted. “Alright, go get some water” he heard footsteps stomping away in a direction he couldn’t make out. “Ghost, fangs” the words he managed to utter sounded like an apocryphal story, too insensate to believe. His father leaned over him with a pleasant smile, though it seemed quite incongruous considering the situation. “Its okay, I’m here now” were the last words he heard before retiring in his black castle of disquietude.

The ceiling was unlike any he had seen. It wasn’t his bedroom, he knew that for sure. So, where was he?


I never imagined myself writing a Vampire fan fiction yet here I am shaterring all my previous notions. For some reason, I’ve always disliked fan fictions. I don’t even like reading them. But I suppose Carmilla & Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde along with one of my favorite horror movie ‘Crimson Peak’ was all it took to get down to writing this piece of fiction wholly inspired by some exceptional characters.

Thanks for reading!

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.

My Secret Superpower

It was another normal day at school for a 4 year old. Suddenly she felt the urge to get out of the classroom for an ordinary stroll in the hallway. The little girl often found solace in being alone. So, she took the teachers permission to go to the bathroom.

A minute later she was peacefully traversing the path to her destination. The classroom, the bathroom & the hallway of the school looked something like this.

So, as you can make out from this terrible looking illustration, the two places were really close. But she decided to take the long path as depicted through red arrows.

Walking alone in the hallway was too normal. Her gut feeling told her to do something unconventional. Hence, she started running feeling the soft breeze on her face feeling somewhat like a flying super hero.

All would be fine if this other girl hadn’t been running in her direction. She was probably carrying some important news for a teacher which explained the hurry. But our protagonist had no idea about a human child she was about to encounter at the corner(?¿) of a round hallway.

As fate, luck, destiny, Satan & God would have it, they did have an encounter. It was more like a discovery for the girl who was heading to the bathroom.

The scenario was something like this, I couldn’t include details because as you must have figured out by now, I suck at making stick figures.

Yes, they literally collapsed into one another! But the strange part was that only one of them was hurt. Not only was she hurt, but she went back flying inches away. The other saw her fly in the air with her own eyes while she felt not an ounce of pain.

Pretending to be surprised she smiled on the inside thinking of her invisible red cloak. She noticed the other human lying on the floor.

Her forehead turned red. But she somehow carried herself & walked away. The other girl, still amazed at her recently discovered super powers went to the bathroom & then to her class. The incident was on her mind the whole day long.

That girl was none other than me. For a day I got to be a super hero. I even told my mother about it, unable to let out a word properly due to excitement.


Moral of the story : I need to buy a graphic design pad because my LG Stylus 3 can never be a substitute for it. In fact, no phone could be a substitute for a graphic pad. 😁

The Golden Swing

She was very young when her mother left her. Her father was a very busy man, after all the job of being a Nawaab essentially involved many things from taking care of myriad of wives that come with their own set of children. Administration work kept him away as well.

So, as the tradition goes she was put in the care of trustworthy nannies who did each & everything for her. She grew up playing with the children of her caretakers, her only friends. The outside world was never her concern hence wisdom dawned upon her after a long, long time.

Every time the Nawaab visited his beloved daughter, he’d bring her gold coins. As years went by her collection grew. One day her friends gave her a ground-breaking idea, “Nanni, why don’t we plant a gold tree in the garden?” the idea appealed to the young girl. Now, every time her father brought her gold coins she & her friends would bury it in the ground hoping for a golden plant to sprout from within the soil.

Years went by but the plant never grew. Yet the coins went missing.

Her sky blue eyes gleam as she talks about her special swing, the seat of which was made of pure gold. Our eyes open wide with wonder as we picture the golden swing in our heads. Though somewhere in the back of my mind I had a doubt regarding her honesty but those eyes told me otherwise & I felt obliged to believe in my grandmother.

She literally had a golden childhood.

Shapely Shadows

I fiddled with them for quite some time. But something was wrong with the key hole. The keys just don’t seem to get along with it tonight.

I dragged my feet to the bathroom, exhausted after the days work. The leftover pizza from last night was my only dinner. Leftover, the word stayed with me for more than a minute.

I grabbed the remote & flipped through channels on the tv. Gulping down coke devoid of gas made my taste buds loathe the liquid I forced myself to consume. Isn’t that what we do to ourselves as years go by? We are deliberately stuck in a life we never chose.

A movie airing on tv brought back memories. “Watch it” she said, “If you want to”, with glistening eyes that were telling me to watch her favorite movie, not asking.

With nostalgia written all over my face I was reminded of the halcyon days.

The phone buzzed on the table while I stared at it listlessly. I saw her name appear as it buzzed endlessly. Every little thing weighed me down tonight, drops of water in the kitchen sink clashing against the cold hard metallic basin, lights on the mute tv screen but most of all it was the buzzing phone.

She must have stopped calling after myriad of calls like she always did, I told myself as I woke up at half past 12. I switched off the tv & checked my phone. There was only one missed call at 9, when I might have fallen asleep. I felt stupid for believing that she cares.

No one does. I stared at the shapely shadows dancing on the ceiling as I lay on the couch. My whole life flashed in front of me, all chapters at once. Then my mind jumped to the future. I see myself excelling at the job I love. The picture of a perfect family with two kids living in the suburbs warms my heart. But perfect is just a word. What if the future is happening right now?
We collect pieces of souls & give some as we break apart. Our time, soul & heart is never truly ours. All we have is this life.
This life, I said aloud as the ceiling turned red. The shadows seemed to welcome me in their realm. You belong with us, their voices echoed in my head. They hovered around like a black veil where no light can shine through.

You belong with us, my fingers caressed the cold, hard metal I could free myself with. My salvation.

I can hear it buzz now, do it. It’s too late, do it


“Hey, call me when you get this. Look, I know we’ve our differences but let’s talk it out”, she left a message after the beep.

Sunshine poured in through the window lighting up the room like never before. The morning had devoured all shadows with the dawn of a new day. But the shapely shadows will rise again every night, as hope fades into the darkness. As long as there’s light, you’re safe. But it doesn’t last forever.

The mint green couch was painted with a dark red hue. It looked extravagant in the sun light. He lay with a hole in his head which was very small compared to the black hole he had been harbouring inside his soul all this time.

The drops of water in the kitchen had seized, the tv didn’t light up anymore, and she finally left a message for him. Nothing weighed him down anymore.