I’m like that woman sitting on the floor with her hair in her hands, her expression that of a lost baby, sifting through photo albums of the past and present and future, her thoughts screaming in confusing frustration. She does not know where she is, neither can she guess where she is going. She knows not who she is, only has impressions of who she was, and of who she might perhaps be someday. But she knows not when. She’s stuck in a tidal wave. No forward or backward or sideward. No direction. She’s just waiting for the wave to wash her ashore. But this waves seems endless and eternal. She has no choice but to go with it; floating drowning. Toppling, tumbling, trying to carve out a way through the wave. She lifts her hands to separate the waves, the floorboards are solid.
Some people pass as time passes. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, their memory passes too from our minds as our thoughts pass. But some people are so precious, we keep retracing their memories consciously so we may never sin so much as to be able to forget them. Some people mean that much, so much that time cannot erase them, time does not even slightly alter their presence, and even if it attempts to, those people beat time.
but did you listen?
you had no reason to listen
you were at the top of the world
you always did remind me of icarus
but did your wings melt?
they revelled in the sun
glowed brighter, flew stronger
but did you have enough?
you had no concept of enough
you were going to have it all
and all was not defined
but did you bother defining?
disorganized lines were your thing
you just kept everything jumbled, lines overlapping
so you never had to deal with yourself
you never figured it out either, did you?
no, no, neither did i.
dear icarus. i love your wings. never melted. just froze hot.
i never knew i was capable of darkness
not until it seeped out of me
in ways i could not put a stop to
and seeped out with uncontrollable pace
sometimes it was visible only to myself
other times it was blatant and red
i never knew it was there though
not until i was shown the charred pieces of my young past
until i saw i had a heart which didn’t just beat but bled as well
until i realized that years get darker as sun gets familiar
i didn’t know i was capable of darkness
i didn’t know until i decided to know
or maybe it wasn’t there before it was
maybe i invented it
maybe everyone invents their own brand
maybe mine was darkness
should i sell it? would you buy?
there are black moons under your eyes
black streaks on your cheeks
black teeth marks on your lips
black wring marks on your neck
black scabs on your shoulders
black blood dried on your stomach
black dirt in your fingernails
black veins on your feet
you have a black soul
there’s so much blackness
that i see nothing but light in you
nothing but light
you are an angel
If given the opportunity, I would dig a well with my bare hands tonight. And it would be better than facing the possibilities that loom ahead.
How would it be better? Wouldn’t it really be the same? You’d have to face the consequences of that; Dirty fingernails, stained hands, lost mind, hallucinations in the soil. It might even become a grave instead of a well.
You posed my dilemma better than I did. It’s death either way.
It’s death every way. But there are better ways to get to death than digging a well with your bare hands.
Pray, do tell. And the well was metaphoric.
Even so. Even more so. Buy a spade, get some appliances to help you dig, and then dig. Take your time, let the digging soothe your mind. Then begin placing bricks and make the boundary. Place the bucket, attach a rope, let it swing. Go get your water.
Hah. Okay… And what if the spade is bent or breaks half way through the digging? What if the appliances are excessively slow? What if the digging destroys my mind? What if, in the end, the well never takes shape?… What if, by then, all water dries no matter how deep I dig? What if, when I’ve built the well, the water never comes, or I’m not alive enough to fetch the water?…
If we were to “what if?” so much, we’d sit still and just breathe in one place because what if we’re not able to savour the next breath? What if our next movement kills us? What if? Well I’d at least die content if I had tried to build the well. Death will come every way. Go big or go home.
Our mind is confined to the what ifs. That’s the reflex arc of human mind. We’re trapped. We just go round and round in the whirlwind of what ifs, and it often ends up destroying us. It’s only when we’re through the storm that the wind settles, and even then, new winds begin to rise almost instantly.
We confine ourselves to the what ifs. We can go past them and actually solve problems. We don’t have to keep on banging the latch when there are ways to open the door ourselves. We just have to get up. Go through the door if nothing else is possible. Because in the end, it’s more about our own determination and strength rather than the opportunities we were given and resources we had.
It’s easier said than done. Uplifting words make situations seem brighter than they are when really; the sun isn’t rising anytime soon.
Uplifting words do a lot. Let them affect you. If you’re deflecting positivity, chances are you’re deflecting most good things when they’re trying to get to you.
So… No well?
No well. Go book your tickets.
My mind doesn’t think like that. It still thinks we’re friends. It still reaches out for the second coffee mug. It still thinks fondly of that animation we watched together. It still absently makes me wear that chain you bought me for my birthday. It still thinks we’re friends. And it still adds your name to the recipient list of collective texts I send. It still recognizes your name as only your name. Nobody else can claim it from my mind. It’s your name. It still thinks we’re friends. And it still holds a grudge over the incomplete autograph you wrote me when we finished school. It still holds you to the promise of completing it later. It still digs up your name when I desperately need someone to cry with. It still expects you to show up when I’m sick. It still sometimes hopes on you, when I run out of change for the rickshaw. It still thinks you’re my friend. My mind doesn’t know. It doesn’t know. And it makes me cry that it doesn’t know. It still thinks you’re my friend. It still plans to build that underground tunnel from my house to yours. It still wants that Singaporean rice. It still thinks you’re my friend. It still thinks. It still thinks. And yours… Has ceased to think.
I have never been one for writing about events, but two days ago, my brother got married and I felt it deserved to be written about. I would’ve embellished this post with photos, but it seemed to go against the decorum I try to maintain here on my blog. I sit in my room this evening, relaxed and all done with the wedding rush and reception worries, completely left to myself, free to muse upon details of the event and in a pensive mood which usually means the beginning of a storm in my thoughts, so I seek to calm it with writing. On the 30th of January, my brother got married to a wonderful beautiful girl. I had waited for that day since I was a schoolgirl, and I used to fantasize about my brother marrying one of my friends, and then all of us living happily ever after in one home. I imagined I’d sit with his wife on the stairs of our house and talk about random things all revolving around my brother. I’d tell her his stories and she’d tell me theirs. All of those girly sisterly ideas. Over the years, these ideas matured and I stopped giving much thought to it when I realized just how complex these matters are and that I do not have the complete understanding of them, neither do I have much interest. The dream of seeing my brother married happy and well always remained. And now that it has come true, I do not know how to feel, really. I am immensely happy for them. When I heard my brother say “Qubool hae” (equivalent of I do) over the mic, I was overwhelmed and had tears in my eyes. And then when I saw the couple walking down the ramp, with my brother helping his bride down the way, I couldn’t help but smile like a lunatic. Perhaps my emotions seem like an exaggeration, only I know how true this is.
The wedding was beautiful, everyone was merry, the bride looked gorgeous, and the groom looked dashing (and very much like a groom, which I had previously doubted for some reason). But all of this is superficial. We had a new member in the family. She came home with us. We talked for quite a while, and long after everyone had retired, I lay in bed thinking things over. Hoping and praying they’d be happy together, wishing that my parents would be calm and happy as well, and that everything would remain smooth. I waited for the morning very impatiently. I wanted to see them together. It made me so happy… Alhamdulillah. Now I realize I sound like an obsessed sister, but no. Outwardly, nobody could tell I felt all of this. I guess I didn’t know either- it’s only when I’m writing about it that I know… and writing just this much feels enough.
Here’s to Bhai and Bhabhi, I wish you the happiest, most fulfilling life. I wish you everything good. I wish you bliss and togetherness of forever. I wish you two find the answers to the questions that you are, in each other.
Note: A collage poem, is the literary version of a collage. Poets select a source text or texts — anything from traditional texts like books, magazines and newspapers to more nontraditional sources like product packaging, junk mail or court transcripts — then excerpt words and phrases from the text(s) to create a new piece.
The extent of my desires was plain to see
No, upon no account in the world
Don’t make her wait
Find in death our reward, find in extinction our wage [Inner voice]
Make you his wife? No my dear lady
It will then become like giving up alcohol [Life]
I have you, it’s all right
At one time, in one place, in my soul [Death]
There was mad resolution in her face
It’s gonna be alright. It’s not the end of the world. It’s only a visit. [Death]
Explanation: The speaker wants to commit suicide, his inner voice urges him to do so, Don’t make her wait. That would be the union of the man and Death, personified as a female, and one mustn’t keep the bride waiting at the altar. Life, or the design of Fate, denies the right of betrothal to Death. Death tries to console herself; Life and Death are partners. She’s still bent on having the m,an, and so she consoles herself; It’s gonna be alright. It’s not the end of the world. It’s only a visit– Ironic, coming from Death.