But that is not how things are. That is not how life is. That is not how people are. And that is not how you should be.
Listen to me. Listen now. Stop whining and lend me your ear – the right one. Now listen, once and for all – though I shall not hesitate repeating it for you all life long, whenever you might need to hear it – and I know you will. As will I. Nasiyaan, yes? So listen here.
Childhood is good. Golden, for most. And they later lament growing up. But dear God, if we were not to grow up, what would we do of our childhoods? We absolutely had to grow up so that our childhoods might be of some use.
For some, it is not good. It turns them blue forever. The strong ones turn the blue into a brighter shade. The weak ones let it dim, further dim, into grey. Even weaker ones ink it black.
Childhood is gone. It had to go. It came to go, as all mankind. We come to go. But between coming and going, there is a lot to be learnt and taught, a lot to do, a lot to let happen. So learn. And teach. And let life happen. Then learn more. And teach more. Learn by evolving, teach by being. Do something. The world will not accommodate you by itself. You have to make your own space. Criticize all thoughts, yes. But do it for a purpose, take something from it. Don’t do it for the sake of criticism, don’t do it for the sake of uniqueness, don’t do it for the sake of rebellion. Do it to actually do something.
And please, do something. You cannot let things be. It is in your power to bring a change. Do something as small as voting, or as big as introducing a reformed educational system. Don’t just badmouth the politicians, or politics itself. Do something about it. We write, we think, and we read. But what do we do? Study, if you’re doing that, but think, and plan on what you’ll do when you’re able to. And take my word for it, you can always do something. You’re small, but you make the universe. It is people like you who do great things, things that impact the world.
You cry about people wronging you. And you cry about people being ignorant of your affections, ignorant of the world, ignorant of people. You cry about people coming and going. Rise above that. Hold your heart. Look to those who are with you, and there are always some who are with you. And when no one is, He is. People are people. For others, you are people. It is okay. Rise above that. Life is about so much more.
You cry about messed up circumstances. Take my word for it, circumstances are so much worse in our heads than they really are. So don’t think too much. You’ll only tangle the wool more. Settle on something which gives you peace, and hold on to it. Faith gives you peace. Hold on to it. Circumstances don’t shape what happens to you, how you deal with them does. So deal. All will happen as you want it to, if you can hold on long enough.
And you. Stop crying. Pull on a strong countenance. Move forward. Flashbacks are flashbacks, don’t let them deprive you of the present. Sad thoughts are your own thoughts. Don’t let them dampen your spirits. Don’t indulge them. Do not.
Take that chair, pull it out, set your head down on it and think hard. Only five minutes. And then leave the seat with a plan. They tell you planned lives are boring. Don’t believe them. You can plan blank spots too.
This is how it is. But don’t believe me. Go now.
It was a cool November night, unusually mystical atmosphere. The universe seemed anxious and excited. It was apparent in the restlessness of the wind, the impatient tremors of the leaves, the contrasting stillness of the sky. Nature seemed to be waiting.
Oh look. Look at that woman stepping out of the car, sporting a swollen belly with much difficulty, but oh look at her radiant face! Look, oh look! The universe is holding its breath. It seems to be in sync with the woman’s breathing- as if already treasuring the baby she holds in her womb, already cherishing him in a veiled cocoon.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
Do you hear that? A baby’s wail. The mother’s sigh of relief, her silent tears streaking her face, the sheen of perspiration on her forehead. See? That woman gave birth to the universe’s gift. The nurses smile. The father rushes in. The baby acknowledges his mother and father with a curious, quiet look. His eyes. They are a microcosm of infinite hopes and dreams, of simmering passion and smoldering determination, clashing with fate. They hold wonder and greatness within, colliding with all odds. See that look. His parents are gazing at the baby boy in wonder, and he bears that look, as he would for the rest of his life. A faint smile plays on his pink baby lips, so subtle, as if he hides the secrets of the world in the void of his mouth. The universe smiles back, a slow and rueful smile. Nature had been waiting for this baby. He shall be a great man, insha’Allah, but greatness does not come easy.
Happy new year, Baby. May the 22nd be the best so far, but lesser than the rest. May you get everything you wish for, everything that is good for you. May the world become your canvas, may you write the stuff of eminence on it, may you change lives. May you find your purpose and fulfill it.
May you be a revolution.
Look up in the sky; the Sparrow and the Canary
The Sparrow and the Canary met over a pond
They stared at their reflections and wondered upon
How the Sparrow saw yellow and the Canary saw brown
Here I write there story as the fly across town
It needs not flowery words nor delicate strokes
It needs not lengthy books nor layered cloaks
It is pure and true, and flies like the birds
It is earth, fire, wind and water in thirds
The mackerel sky tells their tale
The seven seas, the waves, the sand, the hale
All wildfires of the world burn in their passion
There resides the story, free of one nation
And here flies the Canary, in wing the Sparrow
It shall test you, it shall challenge you.
It shall tire and frustrate you.
It shall stretch you, it shall wring you.
It shall dismay and disturb you.
But remember darling,
It shall reward you, help you grow.
It shall afford you your dreams.
It shall indeed taste sweet in the end.
It shall bring you to me and me to you.
If it tests you, you have the strength.
You have the wit, the fire in you.
If it stretches you, you always have a home.
You have me, and in me, all the space.
Take me- I am your bed and blanket.
I am your storm and rain, your breeze.
The spark to your fire, the water to put it out.
I am your home- come live in me.
Stab. Probe. Twist. Wrench. Withdraw.
Let a kind hand smoothe the skin and place a bandage.
Lift. Pull. Slowly. Expose. Touch. Press.
Let the blood flow again and feel its warmth spread.
Insert. Trace. Caress. Burn. Swirl.
Let your finger swim in your wound and dip into well-deserved pain.
Extract. Resist. Stab again.
Peel off the bandage.
Insert, hook finger.
Stifle your sobs.
You deserve it.