Category: Others

The Door Stays Open

Fear saunters in like that uninvited guest
who wants to be centerstage at every party.

Constantly sniffing for food,
it wonders where the joy of the party went,
and while pestering the host for drinks,
it cajoles your intestines out and becomes

the manifestation of your worst nightmares,
alive only inside your consciousness
but consciously everywhere you look.

Fear saunters in and refuses to leave.
The door always stays open…

Go now, please.

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.

I wonder, I wander

And then, I wasn’t there anymore. I don’t know. I might have been floating in the sky somewhere above Morocco, or I could be resting on the clouds above the Jamia Masid of New Delhi, I might have been sitting right beside this form of me, but I wasn’t here, this wasn’t me. So I began acting like someone who’s not really here, absently doing things, answering queries unconcernedly. I’m not even here so why bother. Except, to other people, I was here, this was me, and I should have acted like myself. How could I, when this wasn’t me, really? How do I act like myself? Act is what we do, in reality. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”, as the bard puts it so eloquently. So here I was, worrying about how I should act when instead, I should have been worrying about where I am, if not here…

Where am I? Morocco, New Delhi, Karachi saahil, my own home, or have I passed away entirely? Is that why I cannot function the way I am supposed to? This “supposed to” creates a myriad of problems for me. I have this stubborn, twisted muscle which makes me want to defy every “supposed to”. And when I do that, I end up defying all accepted forms of being. And then…. well, then I end up existing everywhere but here. What does it mean to not exist? Does it mean being dead in all senses of death? Does it mean being dead in the heart? Does it mean being wiped off the face of this Earth? Or does it mean doing things not apropos to world?

I’m wandering off-topic. But then, there is no topic. I’m not here. Only this world requires  a topic and a label on everything. I’m not here. I need no topic. But I do wonder where I am, and who this “I” is that I keep on referring to. I do wonder.

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.

 

Thoughts >Identity > Human

Have you ever thought of how some things are everything and nothing at the same time? I find it strange. It is strange, obviously. And have you thought of how almost every statement can be justified in one way or another? And that many opposite things can actually equal each other? If you’ve thought of these things, then have you thought about what purpose this serves? Thinking. What does it do? Especially thinking of such perplexing things.

.

13_3

And it is He who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers; and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” {Ar-Ra’ad:3}

.

It’s becoming common these days to find people, especially teenagers, thinking about deep matters; coming up with philosophical theories, twisting simple phenomenon into some unfathomable philosophy which might even be very impressive. But what use is it? Does it help us discover the universe? Does it help you get closer to the Creator? Does it help you in this world? Does it do anything but make you a mysterious complex character who others observe in awe? Maybe it does. Maybe. We could even come up with some very profound logics to this. I’m not here to judge that.

I just think there are better things to ponder upon than triangles that could begin from one point or from two. Who created the things we twist into philosophies? Why were they created? What’s the purpose of stars? What’s the wisdom of seasons? Why are humans the way they are? Why isn’t everyone the same? Wouldn’t everything be better if we all had the same capabilities and weaknesses? Wouldn’t the world be fairer if everyone had everything they wanted? Then why not? Why is there any evil at all in this world? Why do infants die? Why does war exist? What is disease for? Why is the universe the way it is? How come everything nature has created is so perfect? Who could’ve thought of such complexities that the world possesses? And then who could’ve created such fine detail? And then who could manage so much in such a balanced way? And then…. Who could destroy every single thing to ever exist in the universe? What are angels? Where did they come from? What is religion? Why do we need it? Why does the world contain proportions of everything? Who could think of all of this? How did it happen? WHY did it happen? The world that we live in, does it actually even really exist? How do you know everything isn’t just a figment of your imagination? What is this time that we so believe in? Why does death come? What comes after? Humans couldn’t just exist once to vanish forever, could they? Nothing that is something can ever really become completely nothing. Or can it?

We’re humans, and there are two things we do subconsciously and constantly. Breathing, thinking. These two things actually affect each other largely. Our breathing rhythms affect our moods. Our emotions influence our breathing rhythms. Point being, we can’t help thinking all sorts of things, but our thoughts do eventually become our words which might become our acts; directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. I remember when we first got a TV in our house, I was afraid of it. I think I was 12 or 13. Then I began watching it, and used to think the shows won’t affect me, after all, I’m only watching them. I’m not doing anything of the sort. But I did watch, those things imbedded in my thoughts, and eventually I was confident enough to just joke about them, and then they seeped into my acts in such an unnoticeable way, I couldn’t even put the blame on the TV.

Hence, thoughts > words > actions
And I might go as far as to say: actions > identity

So then basically your thoughts make up your identity, your personality. You can’t stop thinking, and you mustn’t. But think good then. Think of things that give you something to live for. Think about where you are, and what you’re doing there. Think about why you are where you are. Think about how long you’re there for, and how long you’ll live for. Think about whether you’re ready to die. Think about life, and whether your life is good enough.

Think to find yourself. Think to believe.

~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.

 

Humans fly

Have you ever seen birds fly? How they flap their wings and then hold them still mid-air? After having done their part, they let the wind carry them. Still they do not relinquish control completely. They control their direction, steer themselves the way they want to. Even though they depend upon the wind to carry them, they do not let it control them. Such intelligent creatures they are…

Have you ever seen humans live? How they breathe in and out, and let nature do the rest? After having done their part, they hand themselves over to nature and to fate. They relinquish control. They take a silver platter, decorate themselves with achievements and degrees, and hand themselves over on it to fate, for it to do with them as it pleases. Very few of them control their direction and steer themselves the way they want to. Very few of them step off the silver platter and make fate follow them. Of course, they depend upon nature and fate truly does control them. But isn’t that why they’ve been equipped with such intelligence and the right of self-determination? Isn’t that why they’ve been given a will to do as they choose? Why then, do they cower in corners, clutching on to fate’s pinkie for dear life? Why do they not hold its hand firmly, and steer it into the direction they want to go? It would follow. Surely, it would follow, for it has no choice. It is chained to them. It is not the other way round as humans have mistaken it to be. But of course, if the jailer hands the keys over to the prisoner, that is how it shall be.

They believe, while relinquishing control, that they are free. Why do they not scoff at their own naivety? The word “free” they have made up to delude themselves. They have tried to define it in dictionaries. When will they figure out, freedom is not to be defined? Because to define it is to confine it. And confining it goes against every definition that they have tried to place upon it. When will they realize that freedom exists only within themselves, and can not possibly exist in any form anywhere else? Within themselves, they have a funny freedom. They have been given a “choice” to be free. They’ve been given the choice, and then a permanent, overbearing partner called fate. Fate has been given a plan which it follows to the dot, which is why it can be overbearing. But it is also permanently chained to humans. And humans have been given a choice to be free. That is the plot twist. Humans have the choice to pull the chains in their direction. And fate, being its overbearing self, will always follow. It is a prisoner to these cowering creatures of high intelligence. It can be manipulated. Of course, it will still follow its plan to the dot, but humans can interfere. Humans can exercise their freedom within themselves. Humans can fly too.

~Moniba Mehboob

Palestine, Oh Palestine

There is this place
It’s called Palestine
It used to be pretty
And peaceful and lively
The people lived as they do
Everywhere else.

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.

~Moniba.

A nobody

A nobody is
a person
of no importance.
But you, my dear
are important to me
as you always shall be.

So if you’re anything
you’re not a nobody.

But if you insist
on being
a nobody,
well then
I’ll humour you.

And say
you’re a nobody.

But allow me
to elaborate.

You are a nobody
bent on being
a somebody.
And the only thing
stopping you
from being
Somebody,
is nobody.

And hence,
we deduce,
that you
are a nobody
that is a
somebody.

Beautiful albeit damaged
by life.
Strong albeit afraid
of yourself.
Strange albeit familiar
to me.
And very
Extraordinary.

Yes, you’re a nobody.

~Moniba.