A crushed heart of gold

(This poem was in my drafts since months and I have no idea why I never shared it here. I must say though, before any negative criticism makes its way into the comments section, that I am NOT a poet. Poetry has never been my forte, admittedly, but I did try writing a few poems in the last two years, mainly due to the urge to try out something different and experiment with my writing.)

***

He gave her a look, so deeply cold,

Eliminating memories, all them old,

A look that said, O girl behold,

To lords of evil, my soul is sold,

That gaze she tried so hard to hold,

Silently, watching his moods that rolled,

His anger paused itself to mould,

Into a hatred, so wild, so crushing,

Tearing apart, that heart of gold.

***

 

Image credits: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/9KHa_nSeVfE/maxresdefault.jpg

War of depression

More than half of the population nowadays is suffering from the terrible mental ordeal called “depression.” According to science, depression is a product of stress and anxiety. It gives rise to various kinds of personality disorders. It changes the thinking of a human being. The power of depression makes it even more perilous than a common person can imagine. It physically changes the size of the brain. How dangerous this depression is!

Depression is like a monster that awakens within you at the oddest of times, when you least expect it to. It is a sadness that weighs you down. It is a feeling that temporarily but frequently darkens your world. You would want to enjoy a certain moment along with others, but this depression will make sure you do not enjoy it at all. This feeling makes it seem almost impossible for a person to live their life like they want to. It attacks a person in the most monstrous of ways. It makes you loathe, it makes you hate, it makes you force a smile you don’t want to show, it makes you cry at the weirdest of times, it makes you envy the successful and happy people and it makes you totally different from others.

The number of people prone to depression is constantly on the rise. There are a lot of reasons behind this gradual increase. Depression is not restricted to any age or race. It is a disease that can attack anyone; from the beggar sitting at the side of the road to the model posing for Vogue. What makes a person depressed? Sometimes it has something to do with material issues, like lack of money, or failing business. Or it may have something to do with a childhood or family trauma, loss of a loved one etc. Whatever the reason, the effects of depression can be irreparable at times.

Depression is a strong force that most often, drives you towards negativity, even suicide. But it is possible to fight it off and ultimately repel its attack. It won’t go away, but you can decrease its power and control over you. Each and every human being who suffers from depression carries this opposing power within them. But not everyone is fortunate enough to realize that they too, hold the strength to stand up to this dejected feeling. Most people feel that this depression would never let them function like a proper or normal human anymore. They feel that with the advent of this lingering melancholia in their soul, there is no glow of happiness left for them to experience. I say different.

The only enemy of depression is a genuine happy moment which is very obvious, so to speak. But how to find happiness when you can’t see happiness surrounding you anywhere? Happiness is not a huge mansion that you would suddenly catch gleaming under the morning sky. It is actually, the faint glow of light at the end of a pitch dark tunnel that you have been exploring since days. That faint glow is ephemeral though. As soon as you reach it, move out into it, it will vanish. But, it will open a new door for you, a new area to observe. It shows you a different path and it is a guiding luminescence. Such is the power of happiness! But what do half of the people suffering from depression perceive it as? They become seized by the sudden absence of the faint glow. They become so absorbed in that light that they don’t bother to see what it illuminated for them.

To fight the depression, surround yourself with what makes you smile. What is that activity that makes you forget what you are sad about? Is it arts? Is it music? Is it cooking or gardening? Is it simply reading books or magazines? Whatever it is, make the most out of this distraction. Turn that depressive feeling into a productive strength. Work on your skills whenever you feel a powerful emotion. Work on yourself, on your personality. Immerse yourself into something that would eventually fade depression into nothingness and blow it into that abyss you fear so much.

***

Image credit: cce-wakata.blogspot.com

Who am I?

Majority of you have been following me for ages but I never got around introducing myself. If there IS a person out there, who ever wonders who I am, today is your lucky day. This anonymous personality is finally, NOT revealing the name but merely letting you have a peek into the private universe.

***

I am on the road to discover myself gradually, figuring out my whole life, learning about who I was, who I am and who I want to be.

I am trying to single out and read that entangled mess of thoughts in my mind. I am trying to differentiate what my heart and my brain desire.

I am simply a perfectly imperfect human, curious about who I actually am.

I am an explorer of sorts.

I am introvert who likes being in the shadow but seeks attention as well. I want to be heard, understood and most importantly, I want to change at least one person before I die; for the greater good. I want to bring positivity somewhere.

I love smiles and I live because this world holds a thing called “laughter.” It keeps me motivated and it is the only medicine I have ever found for the sorrows that linger around and within me.

I am that blinking star you see in the pitch black sky, but as soon as you try to focus on it, it disappears.

I love discussions and talks but I dislike socializing more than I can handle.

I am 51% religious and striving to take it to 90% before I permanently close my eyes.

I am a thirsty learner. I love learning about new things, trying out new things.

I am an avid art fanatic, though I am more inclined towards contemporary modern art rather than the classical art.

I love reading of course, and I read fiction of all types.

I love listening to the music that heals the bruised parts of my soul.

Writing is the only thing that soothes me. Writing completes me. This is the only way I get my thoughts across.

Good relatives; endangered species

I write this post, brimming with terrible anger and piercing frustration, with the hope that you, for one, would re-evaluate your self and try not to be a “jerk of a relative.”

When was the last time our so called “blood relatives” left us alone at the time when we actually needed them and plunged into our personal matters with their elongated noses at the time we needed to be alone? I would say, every-bloody-time!

There is a reason why Pakistani relatives are hated so much among our younger generation. And gradually, through heinous experiences, I have realized why it is so common.

It is because of one simple reason: Our relatives, generally speaking, love comparing our life with another totally different person and point out to us what charms we are missing out on in our life. Actually, let me rephrase it: present to our parents what a loser of a child they own and how many people have reached mount Everest in the past few years whereas their own is stuck feeding off their own nibbles.

I don’t get it. Really? All this “career craze” has gone to unbelievable lengths. Enough with this shit!

And I have some particularly badass comebacks and arguments for you “relatives.” You just wait… or not. Keep reading.

Okay first of all, please clarify because we are a bit baffled here: Are you “relatives” following the Eastern side or the Western side? Like for one, you want everyone in your family to work in multinational companies with a huge name and what not (just like the WEST) and on the other hand, you’d grind your child’s ass if they chose their own life-partner, totally out of your community, family or whatever (just not like the WEST.) What exactly are you on about, eh? Set your priorities straight at least, would you?

Years back, your own grandparents didn’t mind when you ate off of their tables or rather dastarkhuwaans and your women didn’t work. There was no concept of being independent and there was happiness, even then. So why is it such a huge issue all of a sudden? Oh, what did you just utter? “It’s the 21st century,” did you say? Oh-kay. Then what about that time when your own daughter said she wanted to wear a gown and your almost killed her with your typical Medusa-glare? It wasn’t 21st century at that moment or what?

I mean, not every one wants to work in a multinational company, don’t you get it? There are people still in this world who would want a simple job, less money but true happiness in whatever they are doing. Not everyone treasures money, like you money-hungry freak! Do you want us to spell that out for you or you know what I’m trying to say because I don’t know, you’ll probably tell our parents we are crossing limits…? (which you sure as hell, cross very often)

You don’t know anything about anyone’s life. So stop right there. Stop judging. Stop telling others what to do. You often teach others to mind their own businesses, why not try practicing it yourself first?

Your mere “good intentions” can break someone’s heart. No, some people don’t want, what you call your”kind advice.” And that’s because you are not kind. You try to bring them down with your words. If someone has chosen ARTS as their field, how dare you tell them to “choose something sensible”? HOW DARE YOU? Who are you again? A mere relative, right? You are not that person’s brain or heart. You are definitely not the owner of their soul. You have absolutely no right to tell them what they should do with their lives. You can’t dictate anyone’s life.

Keep your experiences to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are aged over 80 and have all the maturity in this world stuffed in your brain, if you break someone’s heart or bring them down, or try to create any sort of dispute when you clearly know it’ll cause trouble of some kind in that person’s life, you definitely are in trouble. It doesn’t do good taking advantage of your age, dictating everyone’s life, making “better decisions” for other people when they clearly despise it and expecting a leap into the Heaven. No sir/madam. That is not how it works. Your niyyat matters no doubt, but your words matter more. At least have the decency to explain your point in a way that is not mocking.

Every person is different, remember that. Every person has a story you can never imagine. We all hide our demons. We all smile like nothing’s wrong but we all have terrible stories, waiting to be heard or forgotten. We all have experiences that mold us into a person who is standing in front of the mirror. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone learns. To err is human, isn’t it? Let everyone learn on their own accord. Let people experience what they want. They can always change, whenever they want to. Sometimes, your niceness can tear someone apart. One mocking sentence, one jeering remark at their career choice and you can destroy someone’s peaceful life. You would leave their place, satisfied, thinking you have done a good job, helping others. When in reality, you have accidentally thrown a burning matchstick near a haystack in a wooden hut and now gradually, it will all burn into ashes. You don’t realize that, do you?

There are tons of people in this world, who have either chosen the wrong career, or the wrong life partner and now, even if they have parted their ways with that apparent mistake, it lives with them. It moves with them. It’s a part of their shadow. Wherever they go, their mistakes will be dug up, so often that they decide to stay within the confinements of their home, where they feel the safest. Don’t be so harsh that you drive such people into madness. There’s a limit to everything.

Yes, they chose a wrong life-partner. Yes, they chose the wrong career and are not pursuing it anymore. So what? Respect their decisions, would you? Stop asking “WHY did that happen?” Instead, start asking “HOW do you want me to help you now?” That, my dears, would earn you loads of fans.

What may seem like a useless life to you, might actually be way better than yours. You should keep that in mind. Also, learn to realize when your opinion is required. It’ll definitely make the path to Heaven much easier for you, trust me.

A chronicle of festive fervency

I had been sitting behind the steering wheel of my car, head resting on my hand, the front two windows open, since the last 10 minutes. The air around me was thick with excitement and everything, from the traffic on the roads to the confines of my house, was in a state of tumult. Eid was just days away and it seemed, just like it had always been that everyone postponed their shopping till the very last week. Of course, this was nothing unusual in a huge metropolitan city like Karachi. Here, odd was the new even.

It was sometime after 12 p.m. People occasionally threw an antagonized glance up at the sun, and it defiantly glared back, even more ablaze. Everywhere the temperatures were running high and tolerance was consistently decreasing. On the boundaries of the roads were vendors or thailay walay, selling a variety of juices, ice-creams, popcorns, gol gappay and the mouthwatering French fries, which nobody in their right minds would ever pass by without giving a second glance to. Ah yes, if not shopping, more than half of the people were around the stalls, filling up their tummies as if it was their last day on earth.

I had no intention of wasting my day in this heat, hunting for a pair of new sandals, which I didn’t even desire to buy in the first place. It was solely my mother-in-law’s wish that I wear a new pair of sandals on this Eid, as according to her, “This would be your first Eid with us, you should look fantastic and absolute gorgeous from head to toe.” No matter how much I protested that it would be an utter waste of money and I had already bought like 5 pairs of new sandals (against my will, of course) for my wedding, which was 4 months back, the old woman just wouldn’t budge. Alright, I know she cares about me with all her heart, just like a true mother, but these were the kind of arguments I used to have with my own mom, all the time. And this was definitely my fate that I had to spend the rest of my life, hunting for shoes and clothes a week before the occasion, when the old women finally noticed that I wasn’t prepared at all.  My second mom, that’s how I’d like to refer to my mother-in-law from now on, was in no state of getting up from her beloved rocking chair and leaving her knitting needles alone for one hour. Ergo, in the end, with much despair and an irresistible longing for the coolness of my room, I ended up driving – alone – to this huge shopping mall.

I decided to get out of the car and get over with this annoying duty as fast as I could. Finding the perfect sandal size for me is yet another issue. Back in the days when I used to go shopping with my own parents, it was a Cinderella-sort-of-hassle. My feet are… okay, I’ll just say it – small. It is a tragedy that is not a single more dignified term reserved for people who have feet like me! We used to spend hours, running from shop to shop, finding sandals that would fit me perfectly. And then there is another thing: I just wouldn’t set for anything less and therefore, I wouldn’t buy a “flat” sandal. Thus the hunt began again to buy a perfect sized pair of 3 inch platform heels. No wonder, this infrequent but entirely draining search, developed a kind of contempt for footwears inside me. Just for the record, I’m not to be blamed for this hate it is the nature’s fault. And now, I was dreading this trip because of the same reason.

I walked towards the entrance of the mall, at the same time, thinking of some reason to delay or completely cancel this search when my eyes fell on a young girl, aged almost 10. She was dressed in filthy clothes, probably the dirtiest kid on the streets I had ever seen. Her hair was light brown with streaks of golden color and she had green eyes, confirming that she was a Pathan descendent. My eyes saw the yearn dripping from her eyes to her body language, to enter the mall and have a look at the unknown world inside. But of course, the security guards being the toughest and the roughest, kept her almost 20 feet away from the gleaming glass doors. As occupied I was with my current dilemma, my eyes fell on her feet. The shabbiest piece of plastic (or was that rubber?) partitioned the ground beneath her and the soles of her feet.  I was struck with a sudden idea and I approached that young girl with a new spark.

“Hey, would you like a new pair of sandals?” I asked her in Urdu, hoping she’d understand. She didn’t say anything & just looked at me with wide eyes, clearly bewildered by my abrupt boldness. “Listen, I’ll take you inside with me and I’ll buy you a new pair of sandals… as an Eid treat.” I added with a smile. She smiled back. Win.

We entered the mall, the guards looked at me suspiciously but not daring to stop me. You can say, I was resolute that I won’t spend the money on myself when I didn’t need it, period. There won’t be any further arguments about it and who ever stands up against me or opposes me would face my wrath. Okay not exactly my wrath but more like my stubbornness. Anyway, as we made our way inside, I was suddenly aware of all the glances we were attracting. “Oh come on, she is a human too,” I tried to convey this message by means of my eye to a totally burger woman. This was unbearable and disappointing. I looked at the little girl; her eyes were looking at everything but the people. She was beyond awed. This made me smile inside. Human nature is funny; it always gets dazzled and tempted to the things which are beyond its reach.  Just like I get dazzled by bookshops. My husband looked at me the same way then, like I was seeing this little girl right now.

Finally, I found the shop I was looking for. I had learned two things in my life about this shop: Its splendor was not to be taken for granted & that you should’ve extra cash with you just for one pair of footwear. I stepped inside with the little girl after me. Her mouth was open and she was gaping around in a complete trance. Better to just buy her the stuff and not let her get used to it.

After almost one hour – yes, it was completely tedious because I couldn’t decide which sandal suited her best, but in the end, we found her pair of really cute blue colored sandals with multi colored flowers lacing its straps and guess what? The heel was 2 inched! As I paid for it, the little girl had no words to say but her shining eyes expressed what was going on inside her. She was about to burst with happiness. It made my day.

On the way out, I was thinking about my second mother’s reaction if I went empty handed. She would take it as a personal insult of course, that I had not followed her “command” but who cares, right? I had no intention of telling her this little secret of mine. I was happy that the money was used for a useful cause, be it just a pair of sandals, and that it made two people smile with pleasure & satisfaction. In other words, it made the aura of festivities around us more enjoyable.

Keep the seeds protected, but let the fragrance spread.

Keep the reason behind your sorrows hidden but share what you learned through them.

Guiding luminescence

luminescence

I fear the unknown, nor the unseen,

I only fear the unceasing evanescence,

Of the hopes & dreams, that I daily weave,

Each thread strengthening, my inner sense,

Turning the darkest demons, with every stitch,

To an imperishable ray of fluorescence,

It shall guide me, through the labyrinth,

Of life, from adolescence to senescence.

~~~

Image credits: http://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.2201801.1421975854!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_620/image.jpg