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

Night Creatures

All the night Creatures crawled up to my desk ~ & I wondered…

What Creature am I in their language? The one with the touch of Death or the God with untimely sunlight ~ as bright as a snowfall in the raging summers?

They keep coming back, I don’t think they’ve a name for me.

Sometimes, a shadow looks like my Father hiding behind the door,

At other times, it metamorphoses into an old hag that laughs at me while I read the ‘Articles’ of the ‘Constitution’ aloud…

& Even the night Creatures laugh – at a nameless horror; but I only defined ‘Democracy’, I only swallowed a slice of cake and brushed aside this noisy mosquito.

It was the only one pricking at my skin instead of laughing – when I (defi)n(ed)

D – E – M – O – C – R – A – C – Y.

– 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

Rape – An indelible blot upon society.

I feel agitated every time I watch the news. She’s disrespected in every possible way. Candles are lit once her eyes are devoid of light. In the spur of the moment the whole nation comes to know of her existence. I pray that this kind of fame befalls upon women no more.

After the deed is done myriad of posts are updated in the name of condolences & budding poets emerge. Words filled with sorrow & angst spread across cyberspace like a tsunami flooding the minds through heart-wrenching poetry.

As a writer I’ve done my bit too in order to erase chaos in my own way through words.

But times like these scare me. I can’t pin down the feeling that I’m not doing enough. No, it’s not my responsibility to save every woman from evil doers but it’s my worst nightmare. In times like these neither ink nor do candle marches suffice. While I sit here writing this under the cover of a peaceful night, darkness encompassing devious intentions engulf yet another life.

I can’t write about a prey falling victim to a ravenous predator over & over again. All the majestic names this country has bestowed upon her cease to exist as one word arises, ‘Rape’ – not just of her body but her soul, independence & spirit.

Give me hope to write & dignity to encapsulate my words. Rid me of my fear that lingers as names succeeding the phrase ‘#Justice For______” keep increasing day by day.

Before inks run out replacing blood, candles are distinguished for worse & dignity lost forever between hands that deign its worth, rekindle her stature by taking a just stand against immorality that has prevailed long enough.

Long enough.

-Nameera.

Damsels in Distress of Social Media.

I don’t understand why some teens only stick to love & heart break poetry, particularly Indian teens at my school. It’s common to find so many wannabe poets setting up Instagram pages to only write on these two topics. It gets mundane after few posts & even cringe-worthy. This doesn’t imply to all new poets out there but it does to a few of them, as far as I’ve noticed.

Poetry, in its most basic sense, is a means of self-expression which is lost somewhere along the lines of these clich├Ęd topics. Why not write about self-growth, nature, etcetera?

On a more positive note I’ve seen people explore once they’ve established a page. They learn gradually.

On the other hand what undermines a good prose/poetry is its grammar. Why not focus on honing your grammatical skills first?

Some people use big, fancy words that seem to have come straight out of the dictionary. Their only motive is to add some salt to their writing but it still ends up bland, why? Well, the trick to improving your writing style is to keep it simple. There are no restrictions on using fancy words but make sure they meet their purpose.

Look up the meaning of the word you’re about to use & its examples. Try to incorporate it in your daily vocabulary. Don’t just sprinkle them on a prose, try blending it in.

To give life to your writing you need to really understand the word yourself before simply looking up its meaning in the dictionary & using it abundantly. Is the word an adjective or a noun? How do you use them in a sentence? Figure these questions out before making mistakes & posting them online.

There used to be some sort of English club at my school. I can’t even remember the name or what it exactly was. Anyway so it comprised of writers of my school. The one who started it was a prolific writer at my school. She was a straight-A student, always perfect. But what lacked perfection was her writing. Her poems were really good, as far as I’ve heard and she did win a lot of prizes for them too, so it must really be something. But when she began posting her stuff online, I was shocked. I had high expectations but after reading her work, I could observe nothing but grammatical errors(Minor but noticeable), love/heartbreak poetry & improperly constructed sentences.

Writing can be your only outlet, I agree. But make sure it defines you, not love, hearbreaks & sadness only.

Keep it simple & efficient.

Happy writing!

FemiNazi’s

A very quintessential trend has come into existence that stems from Feminism which, as most of you are already aware of, has been a movement led by women when centuries ago they were still fighting suppression, which is unlike the actual movement.

Equal rights were, without a doubt earned years ago but hints of suppression can still be found in today’s ‘modern’ society.

Well, let’s generalize first and then come to the point. What is the younger generation like today? If I’m not mistaken, we want to prove our point without taking into consideration whether we’re doing it the right way or not. We feel the need to justify ourselves when patience & silence can do it way more efficiently. There’s passion, aggression & disrespect but for all the wrong reasons. On top of all this there’s lack of in-depth knowledge but everyone has something to say whether or not they’ve done their research.

I’m not against feminism. But I don’t support Feminazi’s destroying the whole purpose of a peaceful movement that seeks to bring equality between men & women. If he can, why can’t she? Is the question that has been answered. Now, you need to find a method for implementation.

Bringing your male counterparts down isn’t an answer. It’s simply repeating history, making them go through what you did decades ago. Provided that we differ in our physical strength history can’t entirely be repeated obviously. But such useless attempts to bring equality can take a toll on mental health which, both men & women are prone to.

Let’s rephrase the questions according to this century, What really is feminism? What is the suppression women went through decades ago & what is happening right now? Are all men the same? Does having an anti-male approach really help? Will proving one gender’s superiority over the other cater to a solution?

I think what we need now is Global Equality. Even if men & women are equal there are so many grounds on which we remain separated namely, race, religion, etcetera.

Uploading statements like, ‘All men are the same’ as soon as news of a rape victim appears on your screen is not feminism. What are you willing to do for women & equality in the real world, where real problems exist?

It’s easier to show support, hate & sympathy online. The advent of technology is inherently an advantage without a doubt as long as we know how to deal with life, movements, equality & gender issues when we go offline.

A year without social media

It’s nearly impossible for many of us to put on hold our lives on social media & focus on ‘real life’.
While I’ve seen people balance both equally but one day or the other, our life on social media slowly begins to take control of how we deal with day to day situations.

Do you find yourself taking pictures of food before eating it? How often do you end up taking shit load of selfies rather than enjoying yourself? Don’t you see your classmates uploading photos of their notes only before an exam?

I once remember going through my Instagram feed a day before exams. I think we had the Social exam next day but a girl posted a picture of her studying from her Science textbook. Her friends trolled her in the comment section. But who knows, she might have finished studying for tomorrow’s exam & began preparing for the next one.

I’ve been annoyed more than once when I go out with my friends & I can’t even take a bite of the food because they need to take a picture of it. I take pictures of food myself only when I’m not extremely hungry but it almost never happens! (I’m not a foodie but when I go to my favorite outlets all I can think of gulping down the chicken, pizza, whatever is In front of me).

Taking pictures has become a mandatory part of maintaining life on social media. It’s not a bad thing since pictures tell a story of their own. You can post about your whereabouts as well but it becomes tedious for your audience if that’s all you ever do.

Life without social media has taught me what really matters in life. It’s not recognition or success but how you prioritize tasks & work towards achieving them. The former will follow if you’ve put all your dedication, hard work & smart work.

I know sometimes it’s impossible to not check those notifications for even a day or let alone a minute. But please do give time to real life. It can do wonders, believe me. There’s a life beyond the mobile phone screen which you’re missing out on.