Category: Memories

1094

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.

Cease

10632577_722920407773833_2292413215271502586_n
Photo Credits to Mahaah Azeem

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.

To THE cousin

111220108277

 

You know who you are,

You know how much  I value you. You know how much your support means to me. You know. And guess what? We’re the same age again, for the next eight days. Hugs?

Remember the childhood years? That game of touch-me-not at Barray abbu’s old house, the kidnapping plays at Taya’s house, the monkey bar on his terrace and our antics of climbing it, the cousins who pretended to throw us off the railings there? Do you remember playing hide and seek with the elder cousins? Do you remember all the nicknames I gave you? I’m really sorry for the offensive one, although you did get me scolded for it :p Oh, and do you remember the mummy in my room’s store? 😀 It’s still there. Come visit someday, it has missed you. All those night stays, the pleadings for night stays, the ijtemaai duaaen for my father forgetting to pick me up from your place on his way home from office… and those two times that he actually did forget!! 😮 Oh and remember the times you and your younger sister stayed at my place, and you’d both be sad for the first few hours because…. well, you know why. It was infuriating. Oh well. I loved you then and I love you now. You two were the sole reason I begged to be transferred to campus IV of our school. We fantasized we’d play in the basement in recess time, but school brought with it quite different times.

And then we grew up. There was competition for five rupee coins, there were new friendships and petty disputes over them. I apologize for those, I admit I was incredibly shallow and inconsiderate. And it hurt you. I’m sorry. In that period, there was confusion and lots of changes swimming about everywhere. It changed us as well. And for sometime, our relationship was in the background. But it was revived, no? The bathroom meetings on the ground floor? And… ahem, remember that singular exchange? 😀 Oh and remember the time I got a new haircut and I was so excited to show you, I opened my hair and arranged it in that specific way, outside the bathroom, and Miss Zarqa came along!! 😮 We were scolded. And the spelling bee!!! I can never forget that. I remember how I explained the phonetic symbols to you and Fizza. And how we memorized the spellings for typhoid and haemorrhage, and how much we loved pronouncing hullabaloo and bootee. And all the free periods we got to practice, just the three of us sitting outside to study spellings. I still blame myself for getting that spelling wrong in the regional rounds. I over-complicated it. I remember my reaction when we got our matric results, and I was envious. I admit that. I didn’t even congratulate you, and it brings tears to my eyes. But I did hug you and congratulated you at school early morning the next day. The damage was done and I was extremely in the wrong. Forgive me if you can? For all those times?

And then school ended, college distanced us. Your anxiety in those two years, and my depression; we bonded differently. Different colleges and different subjects after having studied the same subjects together, for six years, our desks almost always near, for there wasn’t much space in the classroom either :p I missed you.
Remember that one crazy night at my place when our fathers went out of city? We watched a movie, and then theorized every lunatic idea that came to mind, lying beside my bed on the carpet in the dark for so long, we ruined Einstein, and made a joke out of philosophy where everything was nothing and nothing was everything and bananas and feet and darkness and Lord knows what. Conclusion? Birmingham Asylum. Electricity went off, my mother came to talk to us, and we sobered up.

Sobering times followed as university came along. Same institutions again, we began to meet almost everyday, and found the solace of silence in each other. We found colliding and conflicting passions, favourite spots and baffling philosophies. As different and as similar as we continue to become, you still are the best cousin, and my rock. We have something different, don’t we? That kind of comfort, I can never find with anyone except you. Too sappy? But i’m being honest. See, I even wrote you a love letter 😉

We’ve changed drastically, and we keep talking of changes. All the changes aside, you need to hear what’s coming. You are a fantastic person. Your thoughts, your words, your strokes, your expression of everything and your extraordinary ability to feel (reminded me of the theater society, and need for “empathy” :p). Whatever life may have brought, you’re still that amazing person. You might not see it, but everyone else does. Have faith in yourself, as I do in you. Love thyself, as I love thee.

We believe in the process, remember? 🙂

Yours,    
Moniba.

Grandma with her crooked fingers

Grandma with her crooked fingers
Told me all her secrets
She could not speak, she could not hear
Her fingers spoke, her eyes heard all

Grandma with her crooked fingers
Told me to always walk straight
Crooked things she said are bad
Unless they’re crooked body parts

Grandma with her crooked fingers
Told me to always speak straight
Crooked words she said plant doubts
Unless they’re crooked with natural fault

Grandma with her crooked fingers
Told me to always work straight
Crooked ways she said dig graves
Unless they’re crooked by form

Grandma with her crooked fingers
Told me how to live a life-
With her crooked ways and crooked words;
In a not-so-crooked manner

~Moniba.

It will

You can talk about it

You can mutter, you can grumble

You can complain, whine and curse

But you cannot change reality

It will remain stamped on your forehead

It will pollute your blood, your air

It will drill holes into your dreams

It will puncture your lungs

And take you to Oblivion.

~Moniba.

Notes to People of the Past

telllie

 

Respected ____________,
You were right, I did it for attention. But it offended me deeply when you said it, when in fact I should have realized you were giving me an easy way out. Almost six years later I realize this and find closure. I’m sorry for the way I reacted. I am indebted to you.
~Moniba.

Dear ___________,
I think of that day every day. It has been almost nine years I think. I’m burdened with guilt. The fact that I can never apologize sickens me. You were my best friend at that time. I should have known better. I hope you’re happy wherever you are now.
~Moniba.

______________,
I forgive you. I know why you did what you did. I understand, although I obviously don’t approve. I forgive you. I hope you’re doing as well as you seem to be doing. I hope you understand my reaction as well.
~Moniba.

Dear ___________,
I don’t know you anymore. I just remember your name, your face, the time we spent together, and the monkey-bar incident. I hope you think of me too.
~Moniba.

___________, ___________, and ____________,
I was a child. You shouldn’t have done what you did. Every day I think of it and try to justify your actions, and I often succeed although I know it was wrong. I can’t say I forgive you. I don’t know if there’s anything to forgive. I don’t know what that constitutes. Just know, it affected me deeply. I would’ve been an entirely different person had it not been for you.

~Moniba.

Very dear _____________,
All of us miss you. I wish I could’ve thanked you when you were still here. I have fond memories with you. I still haven’t thrown away your gifts. I don’t know if I ever will. You’re missed, but you don’ need to worry. We’re all okay here. I hope you’re in peace.

~Moniba.

 

In weakness is your strength, and in strength your weakness

Exactly four tears trickled out of her eyes.
“I want to be brave, I want to be brave, I want to be brave,” she silently chanted to herself. You’ll be the bravest person on Earth if you let yourself cry right now. “No, I can’t. I won’t. I’m stronger than this.” Holding back tears isn’t strength. It’s a weakness. It means you’re not strong enough to see yourself vulnerable. “No, I’m strong enough to see my vulnerability and patch it up. I will not cry. That will only increase the intensity of these feelings.” And what exactly is wrong with these feelings? You have done nothing to be ashamed of. “I…. I might have. Why else would I be here? I must have done something. Something I don’t remember. It must be my fault somehow.” There is nothing wrong with your feelings. You did nothing wrong- not there anyway. You’re allowed to cry. Be strong. “How does crying make strong?!” It shows your humanity. Unfeeling human are not strong. It is those who feel with a passion that are strong. Numbing yourself does you no good. It makes you weaker.

“I am not numb.” But you will be. “No, I try very hard to feel everything with a passion,  so I do not turn into an unfeeling being.” Unfeeling being? “Well, yes. Unfeeling human seems to make no sense.” Ah yes, you try to feel everything with a passion. Everything but that which you need to feel. “That is not true.” Isn’t it? “No… I’ve felt it too much for too great a period. I feel that it is now time to let it go.” Let it go? Of course. But by suppressing it? “Suppression is defense.” 

So by numbing yourself to those certain feelings, you’re letting go of them and hence defending yourself? “……yes.”
I see. Cowardice is strength. “You don’t get it….” Oh, I don’t? Why must you assume so? I understand you perfectly.
*silence*
Sometimes the biggest feat of strength is to not be strong…. “I am strong.” Then why do you feel the need to not let your feelings intensify? Isn’t that weakness? “No, that is maturity. That is control over self.” Oh pish posh! You need to get your concepts straight.
“Why? Maturity is learning to control feelings, learning to differentiate between the significant and insignificant ones.” Exactly that. Except, that is not what you’re doing. You’re being immature by insisting that you’re being mature. 
*sigh*
“I’ve spent years feeling it. It hasn’t helped. Now i’m trying to let it go. Let me let it go!” If you were really letting go and if you were really convinced of it, you wouldn’t need my consent. “I’m not…” -Look. Just feeling it is obviously not enough. Feeling too much or feeling too less isn’t going to help either. Honestly, crying for the sake of crying won’t help. But neither will numbing yourself.
“What then?! What do I do?!” Letting go is a lie. Nobody can let go. Not unless there’s something incredibly powerful behind it. So let go of letting go. Cry. It’s okay. Deal with it as it comes. Be strong.

But then, once you’ve cried, brace yourself. Excess of anything is harmful. So it is with strength.

 

“I wish, I wish, with all my might…”

fairy-dust-fairydust-glitter-junel-pixie-dust-sparkles-Favim.com-90040

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…

~Moniba.

Lost times, lost people

I have a friend. She holds on to stuff. To the past. She saves them and looks after them as if her life depended upon them. She doesn’t let anyone throw them away. Not even when her drawers have no more space in them. No, the past stays with her. I ask her, why? And she says, well she doesn’t say but I assume, that it’s because she feels if she throws the stuff away, they’ll take the memories with them. As if throwing them away will somehow lessen their importance. And even if there is no significance to the memory, if the object tends to make her even a little bit nostalgic, she’s keeping it. So you can imagine, all sorts of scraps of paper, and beads, and diaries, and threads, and buttons, and letters, and small things are stuffed in that drawer. Paper chats from school days, and college days, letters from friends, acquaintances and relatives, useless drawings and doodles by self or friends… Diaries full of offending comments by people, lovely text messages, amazing narrations of amazing events, memorable conversations with random or dear people… You name it, it’s there.

I find her habit rather silly. Because I believe we should let go. We can only start living today if we let go of yesterday. It is true that our yesterdays make our todays, but that does not mean that we start giving them so much significance that they slowly and eventually seep into our todays in ways that may affect our tomorrows.

I used to be like that too. Saving pieces of paper, tissue, and filling up diaries of events that may or may not matter and then save them, keep them dear to life. But I realized then,  that those things are only cluttering my mind and cupboards. That I need to clear space to let new experiences take their place. That I need to let go of people and make space for those who might actually matter. So I cleared up the boxes, emptied the cupboards, and threw away the useless scraps of paper. I am currently in the process of clearing my mind too. Erasing negative emotions is proving to be very hard. And letting go of people? Lets just say… It’s too easy to let go of some, and way too hard to let go of some others. And it isn’t possible to just tell yourself to hate one and love another. Not if the heart isn’t willing to. But that wasn’t really the point of this post.

The point is, it’s good to de-clutter.