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

Carpe Diem

We sat on our favorite spot at the beach; an old wooden stray log, covered with moss, damp as always, no matter how dry the weather was, big enough to seat four people at once. It was a secluded location, which mostly people never came by.

 

My eyes were on the horizon, where the blues of the sky and the raging water of the sea weaved together. Sometimes, they wandered off to the gray sea gulls, diving in the water empty beaked and coming out with a fish dangling in it. Or sometimes, my eyes found the nature in the sand, the crabs, the sea-shells, the sea-weeds, the jellyfish and what not. Sometimes I looked at the bare footed camel-men and horse-men, asking the people to ride their animals and to make their day by handing them some money to feed their families.

 

To others, it might have seemed like we were drinking in the beauty of the sea. As if we had this once in a lifetime chance, to observe the sea life, before we trudge back to the burdens of the city life. To others, we might have been just another couple, spending their day together, away from the crowded streets and talking about our future plans. Only, if they knew…

 

Her slender fingers were playing along the sand. She was unusually quiet, waiting for me to break the silence. She smelled of flowers, like always, a soft fragrance she carried, where ever she went. She wore a lilac colored dress, blending with the sea environment. She wore a hat to shield her face from sun and sand. At last, which seemed like an eternity, she sighed slowly and looked at me.

 

“Talk to me.” Her melodious voice entered my ears and made me smile, internally.

 

She was waiting for my answer. All this time, I had been processing the words to say to her. How best to say the worst, which would, finally, break her, break me and destroy everything for us. The world we had designed in our imagination, would be shattered to innumerable pieces, which could never ever be glued together, again. I couldn’t find the strength to say it. I couldn’t struggle with the words anymore, not any longer.

 

“We’re leaving.” Eyes, I kept on the horizon, distancing myself from her, from everything. I couldn’t bear to look at her when I said those two words. How would I ever forgive myself?

 

Her hand found my face. Slowly, her fingers started stroking me, tracing a path from my temple to the jaw.  I could feel every pore of my body tingling. She cradled my face and made me face her. I gained the strength, from her touch, to look at her face and finally, into her soulful, deep, umber eyes.

 

No tears, was the first thing I saw, and a heartwarming smile, playing on her lips.

 

“So, my dear,” she began, “do you want to spend these last moments in our about-to-shatter-world, weeping, moaning, cursing and despairingly watching the horizon?” Her hands clutched mine, inducing her usual aura of love and care inside me.

 

“I can’t help it.” I said shortly.

 

“You can.” She was probably unaware of the situation.

 

“I’ll be at the other side of this world, at an other end, unable to see you, unable to talk to you, unable to escape for these short-notice meet-ups, unable to breathe in your fragrance-’’ I caught myself. “It will all be very difficult and I don’t understand how you can be so calm.”

 

“I don’t want to waste my time moping. I knew this would happen the moment you told me a week back that your dad has decided and it was final. I knew you’d fight. I knew you’d argue, but I also knew there would be no change in his decision.” She replied, while caressing the palms of my hands. “I don’t want to you to be dripping with silence, at least not now. I wasn’t us to talk, I want us to make the most of our time. It will be difficult, don’t you think I know? It would be disastrous, it would be agonizing, but why to discuss our despairs now? This is the time to remember our happy moments, the memories we’ll cherish forever. The times of laughter, the times we thought our life was complete. I want you to remember those moments and keep them alive in your thoughts. Carpe diem, is what I believe in.”

 

“They’ll always be alive in my thoughts, you know that. But right now, I feel hollow. I can’t bear this emptiness. You’re here with me right now, and you won’t be, two days later. I can’t stop thinking about it and I don’t know how I’ll survive. After sometime, I’ll get busy; we’ll have to start over. It’d be a whole new life. What if I forget you, your smile, your cheerfulness, your whole existence? I don’t want that to happen.” I felt helpless; I was at a loss for words to express what I was going through.

 

“Remember one thing then,” her voice dripped with forced strength, it had always been her best quality and I adored her for her courage to face the hard times, “if you don’t want to forget me, you won’t forget me. It is as simple as that. What you want is all that matters.”

 

I knew she could tell I wasn’t satisfied. She knew I was troubled. My whole face was a mess. I knew I looked terrible. But what I felt like inside, was no match for this. Inside, was post-war scene. Heart, mind, soul, breathing, sleeping, no matter what it was before, now it was a picture of massive destruction and chaos.

 

“What do you want me to do? I can’t see you like this. I want you to be happy; I want you to be strong. I want us to laugh today and think about our last moments together in the times to come. Let these moments be our light and warmth in the dark & cold times. Let our smiles be the guidance to a new life whenever we feel lost. So then, my dear, tell me what should I do to make you cheer up?”

 

“You could at least quit being strong and stop fighting the immense pain you’re shielding behind your smile, shed a few tears and give me a reason to hug you close and murmur in your ear that it would all be okay.” I ran my fingers through her hair and felt their softness, probably for the last time ever, I thought.

 

At this, she laughed, my favorite laugh. Like many bells tinkling together, breaking a cold silence and warming every soul around it, with their perfect sounds.

 

“The thing is, my sweetheart,” she looked into my eyes, smiling broadly, “I can never cry when I’m with you.”

 

 

***

 

Like she wanted, she made the last moments perfect.

I remember her sweet breath, fanning my face,

I remember her auburn hair, shielding everything else,

I remember her coming closer to me, and closer still,

And I vividly remember, never wanting to let her go.

 

 

 

Envisage of mind

 

envisage

 

 

As I roam across the streets at nights,

 

Drinking the beauty of the starry lights,

 

Aside, the dejection, I heavily wave,

 

Bits of strength, I try to save,

 

Letting the cool, caress my skin,

 

Tuning out, the worldly din,

 

Visualizing your smiling face,

 

Feeling my heart, fast at pace,

 

I plunge my mind into the sea,

 

Of my own beautiful fantasy,

 

Opening all the windows to hear,

 

Your voice, a melodious tinkle of air,

 

As an eternity elapse, I wait for thee,

 

To miraculously transform before me,

 

From merely an envisage of mind,

 

To a beating heart, flailing to bind.

 

***

 

Image credits: http://wjlondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Pro-Teq-Star-Path.jpg

A platonic lover

A platonic lover,
Is what she craves,
Who wouldn’t want her,
For intimate love making,
Or to satisfy his own thirst,
Who wouldn’t mind,
If she wasn’t in the mood,
Who would simply enjoy,
Her company,
Who would love to cuddle,
Watch movies late in the night,
Who would take her out,
For long rides,
Who would be there,
In the day or nights,
Who would buy her little gifts,
To see her million dollar smile,
Who would hug her,
When they hit a rough time,
Who would calm her,
During pain and torments,
Who would hear, not her voice,
But listen directly to her soul,
Who would arrange little surprises,
To see her getting excited,
Who would enjoy her cooking,
And help her manage her life,
She worries though,
Is it too much to ask for?
Aren’t these simple little wishes?
She seeks no handsome prince,
She seeks no glory,
She seeks no wealth or riches,
All she wants is a partner,
A true partner,
Who would be her best friend,
Her lover,
And her guardian,
For as long as they breathe,
And beyond.

Yearning for ecstasy (Part 2)

NOTE

Part 2 is here! Feedback means a lot, honestly. I would love to know your views about this story. I am trying my best to sketch the picture of a typical Pakistani family, with my words. Please do read it till the end (the last three paragraphs contain words which I was dying to share in some way). Image credits have been mentioned in the end. Cheers!

***

fam

I walked to where they were all sitting, at a very slow pace. I sat at a lone chair, with the unknown family at my right and my own at the left. So every eye was on me now, naturally. Very comfortable. My mom was the first to break the awkward silence. “This is Maria, my daughter and Maria, they are our new neighbors. This is Arham,” she gestured towards the boy, “and they are Mr. & Mrs. Naveed.” “Hey everyone.” I suck at greetings. “So Mrs. Farhan left?” She was our old neighbor and honestly, she was a nightmare. I posed this question at mom. “Yeah.” She raised her eyebrows. Okay, no more questions, got the hint. “Your mom tells me you’re a…psychologist.” The pause was so pronounced, I actually thought Mrs. Naveed was struggling to say it in the most respectable manner. “Yes.” “It must be a tough job.” Mr. Naveed made an assumption, chewing a biscuit he had just picked up. I noticed my mom had put my favorite ones in front of these unknown guests. God. “Not much, I enjoy it.” I could actually hear what was going through their minds at the moment. It was evident from their expressions that Mr. & Mrs. Naveed were dying to say “WHAT THE HELL?!” “You enjoy being a psychologist?” Okay, I had totally forgotten about Arham. I glanced at him. His eyes were brown, wheatish skin tone and dark brown hair, totally messed up. And there was something else. A playful smile on his lips and curiosity, which he was trying so hard to hide through that smile, shining in his eyes. “Yeah I do.” I stood up. “I’ve got to do some work, so please excuse me now.” I hope I didn’t sound too rude. “And welcome to the neighborhood.” I added with a smile, looking at Mr. & Mrs. Naveed. I presumed that they were actually the ones who needed to be convinced that we were not a freaky family, after all & that their choice was good. Arham, I guess he wouldn’t have any problem in adjusting here. I walked to my room. Unfortunately, it opened to the lounge and whenever I open the door of my room, I always come face to face with whoever was sitting there. Sucks, big time, when you’ve to say hi to dad’s boring friends and there is no way of avoiding it. As I was about to close the door, my eyes, involuntarily (I swear), traced their path to Arham. He was marveling a painting I got ages ago, hanged in the lounge. Thank God, no awkward eye contact. I closed the door as softly as I could. At that very instant, my cell phone rang. It was my brother calling and oh shit, I forgot to call him when I had promised that next time, it would be me who’d call him. Sigh. “Hey Ali.” “Do I even have a sister?” Sarcasm, it runs in our blood. “Unlike you, dear brocteria, I am a busy person. Job all good?” He lives abroad and works in the field of microbiology. So now you know why I called him brocteria. “Yes. I heard Mrs. Farhan left. Is it true?” News move faster than light, in our neighborhood. I wonder who told Ali though. “Yeah. Was it reTina who spread the news? Did she tell you about the new family too?” Tina is our maid. ReTina, well, biology is fun. And my bro has her number, don’t even ask me how he got it. “No, I called mom yesterday. She told me everything. And while we’re talking about mom now, let’s discuss the real reason behind this call. She is worried about you. Why are you working on weekends?” Talk about being a brother who is only a couple of years older. “You know why. I enjoy working there. Why do you guys have to ask me the same question every time?” There was a pause; he wasn’t satisfied. “I like listening to them & you know that.” “I know that alright but this is not good. Take out some time for your own self, Maria. You can’t treat your special ones your whole life. You deserve a break.” I knew it wouldn’t do any good but I had nothing else to say, “I am honestly doing fine Ali, stop worrying yourself about me or anyone here. Mom’s getting carried away with her usual paranoia that I’m over stressing myself, I’ll talk to her.” After talking for a few more minutes, the call ended abruptly. Batter ended. I put my phone on charge, freshened myself up and made it to the kitchen. By now, the other family had gone. “So now you are good chums with her?” I asked my mom at the dinner table. “No, of course not, we don’t know them entirely, but they seem very well-educated and nothing like Mrs. Farhan.” I noticed the edge but let it go. “It was very obvious that they were judging me on the basis of my profession. Well-educated much?” God, this vegetable salad is so good. “Well, it’s a bit unusual. They don’t come across psychologists that often in Pakistan. And you know this yourself. So don’t fret over it. Their views will probably change with time.” Trust dad to be all positive. “Right.” For the rest of the dinner, we were discussing my brother, his work, the food, my mom’s suspicions about my work, etc. As for me, I was contemplating the importance & blessing of having a family. A number of my special ones, never had the chance to know what it’s like to have a good, decent, rules-oriented family. They had siblings to whom they had never even talked to or lost all contacts with them. Parents, who hardly cared about their children, or children, who lived with their parents but only wished them morning and night. Teenagers, who complained constantly of never having anyone in their family to talk to about their general “teenage affairs.” Or families, who had never had a meal together. It was so hard to hear these bitter stories, they literally brought tears to my eyes at times. How can families be torn apart like this? How can people let the usual demands of life get in the way of themselves & their family? How can people stop caring about the people they have a blood relation? How can people just kill these eternal, special and strong bonds? When ever I looked into the eyes of my special ones, I never saw them dreaming about money or riches or wealth or clothes or huge mansions. What I saw in their eyes was something which could be only brought to them by a miracle. Something, for which they would’ve to keep fighting and even then, they couldn’t be sure whether they would earn it or not, in the end. Something, which required patience, not only for a day or two, but sometimes, for their whole lives. They dreamed of happiness. They wanted to experience elation. They yearned for ecstasy. They wanted to feel loved. They wanted to know what it was like to have a life like I had right now. For them, this was the real happiness. For them, this was paradise. This was the miracle they were looking for. This was the miracle they would die for.

***

Thank you for reading! 🙂 Image credits: https://law.marquette.edu/programs-degrees/family-law

Yearning for ecstasy (Part 1)

NOTE

Okay so I’ve had this story on my mind for quite some time and I’ve decided to share some parts of it. Firstly, I can’t promise a perfectly good & complete ending. I’m seriously not good at it. Secondly, feedback means a lot. Positive criticism keeps me going. Share your thoughts with me, I love it. Third, this is going to be a story of typical Pakistani family, from a girl’s point of view. Romance & life is a bit difficult to write about. Please don’t judge me, I am really new at this. Fourth, I’ve mentioned the credits for the image used, at the very end. Final word, it won’t be too long. I’ll divide it into less than 5 parts and it’ll be done. This is the first part, I’ve tried my best to do justice with the story.

Thanks a bunch if you’re still reading. God bless you.

***

ponte da suadede

My whole life is surrounded by ironies. I am a psychologist, I work with thoughts. I can make out what you’re thinking at the moment by looking at your body language. I can tell your whole life story by only asking you a question or two. I can read your eyes, your face. I can tell about your personality by asking your 3 very easy questions (I might share them with you someday, won’t promise). And me? People find me very… difficult to understand. What I believe is that they don’t even try to understand me. I only crave acceptance. But obviously, people can only accept me if they actually know who I am as a person. What usually I experience is pure judgement on the basis of asking “How are you?” Okay, how can you even judge me with the reply “I’m fine, thanks.” People often complain why don’t I ask them in return how they are feeling. Well, maybe I don’t want to know. Duh. Maybe I’m tired of listening to people telling me their stories and I deserved a break over an evening tea with other people. Maybe, we could get over the pretentious formal questions and simply discuss the weather. Maybe, people would just for a second, put themselves in my shoes and think about it & the reason behind it. Well this, in turn, was connected with my so called snobbish attitude. Whatever. Thus, I usually failed to carry on conversations and I preferred to stay quiet. Also, ‘normal’ people, they bored me like anything. I’d rather listen to politicians droning on about their latest scabs than the people around me. At times, when I was having sessions with my “special ones” (they call them ‘patients’, I call them ‘special ones’), I imagined myself sitting on that comfortable chair, which I had bought specially for their comfort, with someone sitting at my own chair, readily listening to my ramblings. I needed a psychologist myself. But I didn’t have the time for it. I was so tight on my schedule most of the times that I couldn’t even have weekends off. People needed me and I, having faced the atrocities of life and having tasted bitter loneliness, could never deprive people of my company when all they wanted was someone who’d listen to them. All in all, I always enjoyed listening to my special ones more than anything. They always had a new story to tell me. Their thoughts intrigued me and I never felt bored. Whenever they smiled at me at the end of our sessions, I felt a surge of pride run through me. Their smile was the reason behind my smile.

I once went to Paquetá Island; it’s in Rio (Brazil). I made this trip along with my colleagues to visit some doctors and discuss a few issues. One evening, I was reading a book and chilling on my own, when one of my colleagues Erum, who is a great friend of mine too, knocked on the door and literally dragged me to this place. It’s called “Ponte Da Saudade” which I learned, was the bridge of longing. I, along with Erum, sat down at its edge, drinking hot tea, letting the fresh breeze fill our lungs, each engrossed in their own thoughts and longings. I kept my eyes on the changing colors of the sky which was honestly the most beautiful scene ever. I thought about everything I yearned for. But all that came to my mind was the yearning for ecstasy, hidden deep inside me. I let it resurface at that time, let the emotions wash over me, as we quietly enjoyed the serenity and tranquility of that place. The sun was setting, the water reflecting its beauty. It was paradisal. I wanted this yearning desire to be fulfilled. That’s all I wished for at that moment.

Today, when I entered my home, after a long tiring day with absolutely nothing on my mind except the desire of a good scrumptious dinner and a long sleep, I sensed there were some guests. I went to the lounge and there I saw a family I had never seen before in my life. A man, around 70 years of age, with his wife, around 50 years or so, with their son, who was around 30 years possibly, were sitting very comfortably on the sofa. As I entered, the lady’s eyes snapped up. It was as if she’d been waiting for me to come. Which now makes me wonder what my mom’s been telling them about me. Her son’s eyes were fixed on the tea cup in his hands. It didn’t bother me. My dad and the unknown uncle were busy discussing business. “MEN!” I thought and started to make my way towards the room. As I should’ve already expected, my mom called my name. Oh God. I was so not in the mood of listening to anyone tonight.

I walked towards them at a slow pace. This better be good.

***

Thank you for reading!

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimsk/132130554/

Life across the window

It was agonizing. Watching her with him. Every frigging day. A constant, never ending torture. It wasn’t my business. I know. But it was a habit built over the time. It was in my routine. Watching her across the window, while I brewed my morning coffee, while I scrambled the eggs, often blackening them in a haste to not let her get out of my sight when she picking up the morning newspaper. Then coming home after a long tiring day and watching her again, as I prepared my dinner. She watched the 8pm program regularly and often used to laugh, which was melodiously sweet to my ears. How I was dying to get near her, to sit beside her, caressing her soft skin, breathing in her scent, feeling her warmth, taking in her radiance… if only she knew! But there was this guy, who knew nothing about her. Why was she with him anyway? I had seen him watching other girls pass by when she wasn’t looking. It was obvious to me he wasn’t into her. She needed care, she needed love. He had no clue what she wanted. He was always dragging her wherever he went. I heard the other day, a heated argument, something I couldn’t just tune out even if I wanted to. She was crying. I honestly have no idea how I resisted the urge to just barge in to her house and smack the guy hard across the face and bleed him to death. She obviously didn’t want to go out but he literally dragged her in his car. It was a horrible night for me. Freakishly horrible. And now, today, I see them together again. But even a blind person can see how doleful her smile is. He is holding her hand, she isn’t even bothering to return it. She is staring at the sky, at the ground, anywhere but him, she isn’t even meeting his eyes. And why can’t he keep his hands off her hips? Can’t he see she is irritated beyond anything? Git. The way he is rambling about the game and not giving an eff to the silent screams evident from her face, it only acts like fuel to the fire burning inside me. I have to do something, I just have to. But on what grounds? I want to help her, I’m dying to… but how? How would I explain to her I’ve been observing her for almost an year across the windows, silently watching her every move. She would creep out and possibly think the worst about me. I can’t let that happen. I can’t afford to live if this tiny source of connection between us is lost. Not knowing about her entirely would be more tormenting for me.