The walls of her room were devastatingly beautiful.
The girl was a mystery. When she was furious, she wrote. When she was ecstatic, she wrote. When she was despondent, she wrote. When she was stressed, she wrote. When she was lost, she wrote. When she was content, she wrote. And yet, writing occupied very little time in her life. Reality was, she wrote on her neurons; there she wrote, erased, scratched, and rewrote, letting only her mind know. She wrote new endings, better beginnings, and middles of her liking. She made every story, her story. She spent so much time nestled in her mind that often, her neurons had to push her out.
And that was when she wrote on actual paper. Paper was therapy. Paper was her solution, her ointment, her bandage, her balm. It supported her exhaustive thoughts when her mind could no more handle her. But there were times it failed to understand her. That was when she turned to the pencil, and worked it on any surface available-the soft graphite bore her thoughts bravely.
And that is how those walls came to be.
The beautiful flower
Had grown up
Pampered and loved
To one day
Be plucked apart.
Its faith fell
Its bubble burst
It was dejected
But then the
Bestower of such inhumanity
Gently wrapped it
In beautiful paper
In soft layers
And sprayed it
With calm water
Young and naive
Dared to hope again.
The beautiful flower
Grew up all over again
When its veins
Began turning black
And its beauty
Bestower of such kindness
And threw it away
In gravel and mud
Where it never hoped again.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who took everything seriously. She was the epitome of a good girl. She was very intelligent, and confident in her social skills. Everyone loved her. She sometimes did outrageous things, and was chided for them, but most of the time she was a well-behaved girl.
In school, she was known for her extraordinary intelligence. Her teachers loved her. She always topped in all of her classes. Her school was satisfied with her performance, her parents were happy, her friends respected her, almost revered her. Then came a time when everything changed. Her school changed, teachers changed, courses changed. Her home changed, her friends changed. Everything she knew was no more. So to cope with it, she changed as well. The epitome of a good girl changed, and the change didn’t work out for her so well. Her performance in school lowered, her parents worried about her, and she had no friends to call truly hers. She needed to feel something other than disappointment in herself. Her company lured her to new ways, ways which distracted her from life as it now was. She was no more a good girl, she did things she would have formerly been ashamed of. She had her first crush, and wrote her first love letter. Her love letter was found out by relevant authorities, instead of the intended recipient and she was in trouble. She was ridiculed by some of those who got to know of it, and some others sympathized with her.
She felt very lonely at that sensitive stage of life, and was even more disappointed in herself. She began to hate her new self and wished she could be her old self again, but she couldn’t remember who she used to be. So, knowing nothing better and being very confused, she fell into her first depression. She was still a school girl, she was too young to be depressed and to know of depression. Her performance at school and at home depleted, she constantly felt like she was falling, or being sucked into an abyss and she wished she would hit the bottom of the abyss quickly. At least then she would get some stability in her life. She used to do this all day. She became a robot. She went to school in mornings, attended lessons absent-mindedly, returned home and went to bed. She thought of herself, her shameful acts, her disappointing performance everywhere. She thought of people, their sharp tongues and judging eyes. She thought of life, and slept in disappointment.
Then one day her depression lifted just a bit, allowing her to think with slight clarity, without judging herself. She went to school that day with resolve to live again. She found a confidante, poured her heart out and asked for help. And the confidante helped her to her utmost powers. Slowly, the girl regained power over her life. She began to ease out of her robotic life. She lived again. Her performance improved, and she felt lighter, happier. Barely a year went by before tragedy struck again-this time in form of repressed memories. The girl had flashbacks of forgotten ugly events from her childhood. She had new flashbacks every few days and knew what she was now remembering was the truth. And so she fell into a new misery. She knew what caused the memories to be unleashed, she had enough knowledge of human psychology. What the flashbacks reminded her of, was too big, too ugly, for a girl so young and naive to deal with. She fell into her second depression. This time, she was reluctant to get help. The memories repulsed her. She felt disgusted by her own self. Yet she knew she was innocent. And still, she hated herself. She stopped taking care of herself, and her health along with her performance at home and school, deteriorated. One day, her old confidante summoned her and asked her what was wrong. The girl just shook her head and left. She couldn’t let anyone know. Everyone would hate her, as she hated herself. She couldn’t bear more. At least in this depression, she had friends. They didn’t know what was wrong with her but she did get short periods of relief and light laughter with them.
An event at home, and several chidings in class one day, decided her future for her. She went to her confidante and told her everything. Well, she told her almost everything. Her confidante almost cried with sympathy for the girl. She promised the girl she would always be there for her, that she need have no qualms about coming to her about anything. She assured the girl that whatever happened was in no way the girl’s fault, that she needn’t feel such repulsion to herself. She told the girl her secret was safe with her. When the girl left her confidante’s room that day, she felt like a new person. She felt as light as a feather. Once again, she began living. Her performance improved, she became a happier person. The flashbacks did not stop, and the girl did occasionally get depressed over them, retreating into herself, but she always dealt with them in a braver manner and was soon herself again.
Time flew swiftly, and school ended on a happy, memorable note. The girl had deep memories associated with her school, she was sad at leaving, but she had learned everything came to an end. That was probably the happiest and the saddest fact of life. The girl went on to college, and made new friends. New friends had new ideas of friendship and one idea went wrong. It went so horribly wrong that the girl fell into her third depression. This one was more discreet, more concealed than the others. And it went on throughout her college years. This time, she couldn’t go to her confidante. But this time she had bigger help. She had faith. A wavering faith, but one that the girl held onto for dear life. She also had her confidante’s advice, and faithful friends. She had experience, and she knew what to do. So she slowly pulled herself out, and life went on. Her depression ended, leaving her stronger than she was before.
All this while, the girl grew as a human being. She had her dreams and aims. She had ideas on how to make the world a better place. She had a passion for fixing people. She had talents which she wanted to put to good use. Her dreams were a bit far-fetched, but the girl saw possibilities that others didn’t. Her life had taught her valuable lessons. The girl knew never to give up. So she carried on, and hoped for a good ending. Her story didn’t end there, but then, not every story has to be complete to be completed.
Lonely days and lonely nights
Make me wish wish all my might
Someone here would share my time
Share my dreams and share my fears
Make me smile and just be mine…
Read my mind and help me find
All the bad and all the good
All the things that make me wild
Take control and make me good
Make me pure and make me true
True to Him and true to all…
Give me hope and make me shine
Make me happy, share my time
Lonely days and lonely nights
Make me wish with all my might
For someone who would share my time
Share my dreams and share my fears..
Lead the way to paradise, take me far from hell-it’s cries
Gain me pleasure, not His wrath
Make me one of the Beloved
Lonely days and lonely nights
Make me wish with all my might…
There is this place
It’s called Palestine
It used to be pretty
And peaceful and lively
The people lived as they do
Then there came to be this place
It’s called Israel
Which is basically Palestine
But mercilessly occupied
It attacked Palestine
And took over most of its land.
So now in Palestine
Or what’s left of it
Where there used to be quaint houses
There’s just a lot of rubble
With broken and burnt doors, utensils and limbs
Jutting out from underneath.
Where there used to be bright smiles
That could light up the world
There now are tears,
burn marks and bloodied cuts
That can rend any human heart
Except those that are not human.
It is a war, not between states
Not between races, nor between fates
Nay, this is a bigger war, one of faith
At least, that is how it started
But now, it is between
human and non-human.
Tell me, please
Is it human to kill innocent people
For the sake of self, and the sake of hate?
Is it human then also, to remain quiet
And watch such tyranny be?
It must also be human, to point guns at 4 year olds.
And by this definition,
Humans of this world, humans that feel
Are not humans at all, because they care
And those that don’t, well
They’re humans at their prime
The most evolved of them all.
Israel, I salute you, a salute full of mock
At your utter humanity, and benevolence
Your bombs when they land
With the cheers of your people,
And your guns when they point
At 4-year old terrorists; surely they can kill.
Palestine, I stand with you, sincerely
Your children, your people, your land and your peace
Are my children, my people, my land and my peace
Their bombs when they land, make my prayers fiercer
Their guns when they shoot, make my eyes water
But know this, Palestinians, we are one.
So when they shoot you, I bleed
And when they bomb you, I ache
When they hurt you, I feel the pain
And when you cry for help, I pray
We are blood, we are one body
We are the Ummah, we will rise.
Until then we pray, we pray and we try
Dear Palestine, stay strong, stay firm…
Help shall come, in ways unimaginable
Do not weaken, and do not grieve
You will overcome them, if you are true believers
Allah has promised, and His promise he upholds.
If you don’t listen to it, it’ll pull at you.
You’ll try to get free but it’ll be everywhere.
You’ll try sating it with small morsels but it will not be fooled.
You’ll resort to ignoring it then but it’s cleverer than you know. After all, it has had a good teacher.
You’ll try negotiating terms with it, try to win it over, but it will not budge.
You’ll try presenting justifications to it, in vain.
You’ll plead to it then, to let you be, try explaining your helplessness, but it will not listen, it will not soften. If anything, it’ll become more persistent.
You’ll try burying it, and bury it you will. You will succeed. You will not hear it after that. But it’ll leave a nagging feeling behind. Discomfort, unease, a black hole-a void.
Bury it you will, but at the price of your character. Of your morality. Of your good sense. Bury it you will, but at the price of the one rock you could always count on to point you in the right direction.
And even then, you will be forced at one point, to dig it out from where you buried it…
It will not leave you be.
In the end, you will surrender. You will submit.
You will attain peace.
If only you had done this all those years ago.
Maleeha grew up without a father. On a cheerful, sunny afternoon of her fourth year, her father had passed away silently, in his sleep. The doctors said it was a painless, natural death.
Maleeha was sleeping between her parents at that time, under the single, whirring fan of their bedroom, on a lazy Sunday. The echoing sound of Azaan for the Asar prayers roused her from sleep and she blinked to adjust to the sunlight filling the room. She tilted her head slightly and reached out to tap her father’s shoulder. Her father was a light sleeper and usually a gentle tap on the shoulder was all that was needed to wake him up. When he didn’t open his eyes and squint at her in that usual, funny way which always made Maleeha laugh, she hopped on top of him and kissed his cheek. Surely, that would rouse him! And then when that didn’t work either, she decided it was time to pull out the bigger guns. So after stealing a quick glance at her oblivious mother, Maleeha started jumping up and down on her father’s tummy. A few seconds of that woke her mother up, but her father remained asleep. Suddenly, a wild thought came into Maleeha’s mind and her eyes widened mid-jump. She stopped and leaned down. She put her head on her father’s chest, where just two days ago he had told her his heart was. At that time he had pulled Maleeha close, her head on his chest, so she could hear his heartbeat. She had told him that it was her favourite sound in the entire world and asked if he could please record it for her so she could listen to it on their new computer. And he had laughed heartily. Then he had told her she could just put her head to his chest when she wanted to hear it. But at this moment, when she put her head to his chest, she heard nothing.
After listening to silence intently for a few seconds, she asked her mother if hearts stopped beating when people slept. Her mother told her she was probably listening at the wrong place and called out to he husband that it was time for Asar and he needed to wake up. When he didn’t stir, she called out again and shook him. Still no response. That was when she became worried. She pulled Maleeha off of him and put her own head to his chest. No heartbeat. She checked his pulse where there was none. She called out to him again and again, in disbelief and panic, frantically. She shook his arms. Tried again in vain. After a few minutes of this, she just lay there beside him, holding a weeping four-year old Maleeha, trying to think. But what does one think and how, when their husband just dies all of a sudden, after a promise of taking them out in the evening after waking up?
Eventually, Maleeha asked her mother what they would do now. Her mother got up and called her brother, told him, and then lay back in bed with Maleeha snuggled close to her. The child showed more maturity than could be expected of a four-year old. Her father had died, and she was trying to be brave about it. But for several years after that, all she could think about was that she only got to hear her favourite sound in the entire world once. And that she could never hear it again.