Friday, 28 December 2012

An Apology

I’d like to apologize
For a crime so great
That it demands punishment severe
I am sorry
For being born
With the wrong chromosomes
In my defense, I wasn’t asked to choose
‘Would you like an XY or XX?’
‘My personal recommendation is XY,
It’s hot in the streets I hear!’
I apologize that my chest isn’t flat
And that my hips form curves
I do understand that my body
Invites attention,
In fact demands it!
So sorry if I didn’t take your crude passes
With a demure smile
But I know better now.
I apologize for my presence
In the public space
It must take a lot
Not to pounce on me.
So sorry that I provoke
The caveman in you
Every time I step outside.
I apologize for demanding
That my sister gets rights
‘cause, in the end she asked for it.
After all, it was her fault
That she was born a girl.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

On my brother turning 18....

 My brother, Shereef (chepsy), turned 18 two days back. This is a letter/poem-ish thing I wrote for him...

Dear chepsy

When did you grow up?Just yesterday you were my 6 yr old annoying younger brother following me around,sometimes pulling at my pig tails and now, here you stand, a foot taller than me, telling me you are a grown up!

At 18, you
now feel at the top of the world. 'Man, I can do shit now!' I was you
a few years ago and boy was it exciting! Knowing that I'm 'no longer a kid'
You can drive, You can vote. You can tell mom and dad 'Don't tell me what to do, I'm an adult now'' (Which will be received with a rolling of eyes and a cut in pocket money)

But let me tell you, chepsy, being 18 is more than that
much much more
While a driving license in the pocket is awesome and waiting to vote is cool too
18 is not just the year of 'Being legal'
18 is the year when you just wanna know
everything and everyone
whatever moves under the sun!

On freshly pressed dreams
you will set out to conquer the world
Bring changes galore
Cause a revolution,
Make a BANG!

But 18 has other plans for you my boy!
'Cause 18 will also be the year
when you realize that revolutions aren't easy
And Big Bangs might just end up as Small Thuds
18 will let you know
that even though you can vote
You don't see the point
'Do I choose evil 1 or evil 2?'
You will ask yourself.

18 will be the year you discover,
with each day you will unravel yourself.
Your opinions will be stronger
your decisions more deliberate.
You will choose what you stand for,
'Cause you know you wanna be heard.

18 will be exciting, fun and all the things you wished it would be. But it's up to you to choose which way you take to make it worthwhile.

I won't wish you a 'Happy Birthday'.
'Cause I wish for you, my annoying, not so little, 'chappal' A 'Happy Every Single Day of Your Life'
I wish for you luck in finding your way through this messy place.
I wish for your resilience, to stand up and dust yourself after each fall, just to try again.
I wish for you wisdom in choosing the right friends and hope you won't take too many chances before realizing that a true friend is not the one who will join you in doing something wrong, he is the one who'll smack your head before telling you 'Dude, You need to get a life.'
Today, I wish for you Love. Love for the goodness in yourself and others.
I wish for you gratitude for letting God get you to the place you are in now.
I wish for all your dreams to come true (because, believe it or not, that's one of my dreams too)

And to wrap it all up, I wish that even if you grow gazillion inches taller, turn green and sprout purple horns , you will know that I'll still be here, ready to give you a hug.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Just Stop

When you ask a question long enough it ceases to be one and just plays itself out in a loop like a broken record :
How? How? How? How. How. How.
Why? Why?  I keep asking myself. ‘Why?’ Why are we doing this to ourselves?  What’s so incredibly messed up in the brains of the ‘smartest living beings on the planet’ that makes us want to kill each other. To take down the ‘other’ and build a super market on his grave?

Bill Watterson said it right, the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it hasn't contacted us. If they do we’d probably shake their hands and stab them in the back when they sleep. Take their resources and pollute it till their kids starve into nothingness.

Sometimes I wish I weren't born. I wish I were the ocean or the sky...anything to stay away from this madness. But then I realize, this madness would still find its way to me. If I were the ocean they’d stain me with their blood; believe themselves purged by letting me bleed with their sins. If I were the sky they’d dissect me and make boundaries of me in the air, forgetting that I was never meant to be contained.
Sometimes I pray, really hard. You know that prayer when you just shut your eyes and forget about everything else around you? That prayer when you so desperately want something to happen that every atom, every cell in your body wishes for the same. I pray that we just stop.
Stop. Keep the guns down, loosen your grip on the enemy’s throat and just stay still.
Stop. Take a step back. Breathe.

And get out of your highly opinionated,  propaganda fed, socially conditioned mind and go over to the other side. I don’t care who you are- Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Pagan, Atheist.... Just get out of those self imposed shackles and learn to think, Feel and live the other person’s life.
Be him. Be her. Be them.

Be Jihad Misharawi who lost his 11 month old baby boy to a deadly strike. Be Mira Scharf who died, leaving 3 young kids, when commemorating the death of another. 
Be the people who live in fear every single second of every single day.

Just stop being you for a second.

Do you see it now? Do you feel it? His mother, your sister, their sons, Our daughters- Isn't loss still the same? Doesn't it still hurt as much?

So stop making pills of pain and feeding it to the ‘other’ because in the end the side effects will show on you more than anyone else.

Some links:

Thursday, 15 November 2012


‘What does grief look like, mother?’
I stopped midway
My dishcloth hanging in the air
Foam dripping off my tired fingers
Into the messy sink
As she looked my way.
What do I say?

Do I unburden my life
Onto her innocent shoulders?
Or do I just brush it away?
But our lives have been brushed away enough
By rulers and informers,
Swept under the carpet
Hushing our painful cries
as they stamped our graves.
So I said,
‘My daughter, come here, hold my hand’
‘Let me walk you through my life
And show you what grief looked like.’

‘Grief looked like your aunt Yasmin's hands
when they beat her chest
as she saw her little Amir
Get blown into insignificance
As he stepped out the gate’

‘Grief looked like my neighbour Karim's face
when they marched into his house
And raped his pregnant wife.’

Grief is now settled
in the corners of my eyes
Sometimes rolling down my battered cheek,
Before penetrating me,
Look at me,
Grief is me. Every Single Day.

Stained Stories

My mama told me stories
Of a time when it didn't rain 

When there were no walls
Or even shadows of fear
My mama showed me
Torn pictures, tinted brown,
Of a place so near, yet so far
A time removed
from this living hell.
A capture of what was
And never will be
Two little girls,
Arms intertwined,
Wide smiles warming the heart
But then she pointed to
A jagged corner with
A bloody stain and
Told me ‘They took her away’
My mama then cried in my arms
Just before they took me away

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I was 7 when you came to see us. You, a visiting relative, came stocked with sweets, toys and tales aplenty. My brothers and I loved you, for you added colour to our bleak, dusty existence. You enthralled us with stories from- what was to us, the biggest wonder in the world- the city. Rapt, we would listen when you described the big buses which can carry A Lot of people at a time and how it can drive without stopping (Unlike our lazy bullock). We would watch you with wide eyed wonder as you showed with your arms stretched wide, how wide the roads are and run, clutching the end of your kameez, giggling, as you showed us how the trains run. We laughed when you told us about the People Of  The City sitting on a chair to pee and felt sad for the poor Women of the City who have so few clothes to wear that half their bodies are left uncovered.
I was so amazed by you, that when you came that night and asked me to come outside with you, I gladly obliged. I still remember how dark the night was and how tightly I held on to your hand as we walked into the bushes. I couldn’t contain my excitement, anticipating what new things you would show me this time. I was already preparing to wake my brothers up after we went back to tell them that you had chosen only me to give this special gift. And mid-dream you touched me. At first my cheeks, then my tiny chest…then with your groping fingers you undressed me. You did things which my 7 yr old mind couldn't grasp. I lay there, biting down the pain and holding back the screams…maybe I need to prove myself to deserve the gift? Surely there was a gift?
And then, when you were done, you got up and left. I lay there, in the bushes, bleeding, waiting for you to come back with the gift. You never came back.
The next day my father found me, lying naked, next to the bushes. He rushed back into the house and saw that you had left. He came back to me and jolted me out of sleep- A light dream where I was playing with a pretty doll you’d promised you would bring me. He woke me up and slapped me. Again and again and again. Then he sat down and cried as he pulled at his hair. I wanted to go and hug him, ask him what the matter was- but I was scared he would beat me up again. I stayed there till his loud sobs turned into whimpers and eventually died down. Then he picked me up, took me inside and wrapped me in a blanket.
I have stayed in ever since.
You visited me often, in my darkest nightmares. I run and you chase. Chase me with a doll…till I fall off a cliff and wake up in tears.
Yesterday was the last dream I had of you. 9 yrs. For 9 yrs I haven’t slept without seeing you in my dreams. I yearned to sleep without waking up. Without tearing up. Without knowing that I am torn. Forever, unmade.
So here I lie, floating in the river, dreaming blissfully of things other than you. 

Disclaimer: This is not my story. But it is the story of thousands of other girls, in India and around the world. A story which repeats itself everyday, taking with it lives of innocent girls, burying their dreams deep below.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Unread

This is dedicated to Malala Yousufzai and thousands of other brave girls like her who put us to shame for our callousness as they tread fearlessly against atrocities. 

'The Unread'

It didn’t hurt
When you bombed my courtyard
Charring the peepal tree
Leaving a blackened swing
On a wounded stub.
It didn’t hurt 
When you scattered the roads
With severed heads and dismembered limbs
Colouring the streets red
Pumping the air with fear.
Then you decided
To hurt me, you’ll have to chain my thoughts
So you said I shouldn’t read
My eyes were for the home
And not for the ‘western dogs’ words
My mind was to stay confined,
Inside the four walls of ignorance
Too thick for resistance to penetrate
And make me think otherwise.
And then it hurt.
When you finally made me the unread,
Wilting midst the living dead.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

An incredible Bus Ride

A bus ride in India is no joke. It’s something each person wakes up thinking about, getting up half an hour earlier to beat the crowd. Skipping breakfast and rushing goodbyes, we march, as strong soldiers, to the nearest bus stop. With each step our resolve intensifies and an inner strength reveals itself as the big bus trundles in. The bus is a sight in its own right. A big sign painted in neon orange names it ‘Dolly’, its bright green paint is now peeling  off the sides, from the front bumper hangs a fancy accessory made of lemon and green chillies (To protect it from the evil eye). As it screeches its way to the stop, we prepare ourselves mentally. Even coming half an hour earlier doesn't give us any extra space. 

As the bus nears the stop one can hear the cries of the conductor, ‘Palayam, Palayam, Palayam’ ‘ A salesman at heart, he pitches the stops to the onlookers ‘Palayam verunno?’ ‘Do you want to come to Palayam? As though his calls might tempt them to change their destination and join him on this amazing trip to ‘Palyam’.  However, many are attracted by his calls and like bees they gather around the door, waiting for Mr. Conductor to let them in. There’s a second there, when everyone is gearing up for the climb into the bus, a second where the expression on the conductor’s face is like watching the face of Pharaoh’s soldier’s as the sea closed over them (I imagine). The conductor takes a deep breath and opens the door, upon which the human beings in the vicinity lose their humanity. We fight over each other, doing whatever we can to secure a seat.  Within seconds there are no empty seats only some smug passengers who continue to look so till their stop arrives. The not so agile passengers begrudgingly stand near the seats, their hands firmly grasping whatever metal they can hold on to. Often elbows contact faces of seated passengers which are then followed by not so convincing apologies which could just mean ‘Serves you right’. 

Soon the bus reaches its maximum limit of passengers. But for conductors here, Impossible is nothing. They squeeze in another hundred passengers till you’re no longer sure if your feet are your own.  You're engulfed in this mass of human flesh, of varying shades of brown. Your face might be in another woman’s armpit and your leg might be stamped on by a million passengers, BUT, that doesn’t bother you. You hold your breath and wait for the bus to start. Without a warning the bus jerks to a start, throwing naïve newbies onto the persons in front of them. The seasoned travellers on the bus give each other smug knowing looks, laughing internally at these ignoramuses, unaccustomed to the ways of the jungle. And then there are some mutated members of the menfolk who get on the bus ONLY after it starts. They get this twisted pleasure out of chasing the bus and then hopping onto it, only to hang on to the door till their stop arrives where they get down before the bus comes to a stop. Who said we Indians are boring? We make even bus riding an extreme sport. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Darwin came up with ‘Survival of the fittest’ after a bus journey here. Here, a moment of weakness can throw you out of the game. Hence babies, heavy bags and walking sticks are handed over to random seated passengers in a silent protest against their  momentary comfort. The babies and bags stay there till the owners reclaim them, without thanks, just before disembarking.  I often wonder, what if a woman gives me her baby and isn’t able to collect him before she gets down? Do I get to keep him? Or should I surrender him to Lost and found?

The most wondrous of sights in the entire bus ride is watching the conductor wade through this human mass shouting ‘Ticket ticket’. And this guy isn’t our average kumar, even in a crowd of hundred he knows which person is yet to buy the ticket. Unlike Moses, this sea doesn’t part for him, it needs to be swum through. And without a thought he does that, from the front to the back of the bus, this man with a mission sells tickets, not letting a single person escape without paying.

The bus ride itself is like a horizontal roller coaster, or more like the video games we had in the 90s in which we need to overtake each and every vehicle on the road. The bus driver, probably a former F1 driver, drives like there’s no tomorrow, wading in and out of a sea of pesky yellow auto rickshaws,whizzing by those pretentious ‘Innovas’, screaming at two wheelers which dare to come in his way, making sure that he hits each and every pothole on the road with force that jolts one's teeth. And never, not even for a second, does the driver take his hands off the horn. In his mind he’s probably thinking ‘Horns were made for honking, and honk I will’. This might be the most reasonable explanation for why we are called loud. We wouldn’t be heard over the horn otherwise.

Finally this ‘Dolly’ on wheels reaches the destination and to keep the climax as entertaining as the movie itself, the driver doesn’t consider slowing down before stopping. He just brakes. If only we Indians weren’t susceptible to inertia….

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Someone said it right; change is the only constant thing in life. Well, it holds true in my life atleast. Change of places, people, schools…have always been a part of my life. By the age of 18 I’d studied in 10 different schools. Yes, you read it right! Not because I was kicked out or anything, we just kept moving because of my dad’s job. 

Then once I was in college, I thought ‘This is it, for three years I won’t move anywhere’. But within 6 months I left that college and joined another University. This time, outside India.  The change was tough especially since I REALLY loved my class and teachers there. But I bucked up and soon found myself in the tropical jungles of Semenyih, Malaysia. Kidding, our Uni is just 30 kms from the city (Which feels more like 500 kms)

But this change was definitely for the better. I made lots of new friends, from different countries and backgrounds. I was exposed to a whole new side of academics, which I fell in love with. And I absolutely loved what I was doing (Still do!)

One year and a semester later I packed my bags again and this time found myself in the UK for an exchange programme. This time I knew I was getting back to Malaysia so it made things a little easier. Initially I spent a lot of the time complaining about the weather (which continued till yesterday) and pining over Malaysia. I really missed my crazy friends and couldn’t find anyone crazy enough to be with me here. I still remember, as if it were yesterday, sitting at the orientation and wondering how I would make through these 5 months in this foreign land.

Before a blink time has flown by and my time here is up. I’m writing this as I travel from Nottingham to London, where I’ll spend a few days before I fly to Malaysia. Sitting here, whizzing through the motor way, I can’t help but feel sad about leaving.
Today I woke up early, without an alarm. After the last minute packing I went to my University here for one last time. While walking till there, with each step I felt this heaviness in my heart, knowing that this would probably be the last time that I’ll be walking through these streets. And a weird thing about leaving a place is how when you know you are going you suddenly begin to feel attached to the smallest of things. Walking to Uni, I knew that I was going to miss the small yellow wild flowers growing by the side walk, I’ll miss the noisy geese picnicking near the lake, the fresh smell of grass as I near Trent building…These things which I’d taken for granted over the past 5 months now suddenly seem so important. I feel like holding on to something and then just stay there. ..
Today Allah gifted me with a wonderful day with the bluest sky and the fluffiest clouds, maybe as a parting gift. And I grabbed this gift, holding on to it, savouring each moment, ever grateful to my Lord who gave me this opportunity to come here and experience a different life. Really, he has blessed me in so many ways that an entire lifetime’s worship cannot even begin to cover what I owe him. 

It’s not just the spaces that I’ll miss, but also the memories with each place. And these memories were obviously created because of certain people who were with me there. I’ll miss our kitchen at Broadgate Park. I’ll miss seeing Yoonhee, Michelle or Taylare cooking up something delicious. I’ll miss peeping into Farah’s room, while walking to the kitchen, to find her cheering for some F1 driver. I’ll miss Sabine coming up to my room and asking some random question about her essays. The walk to Wollaton park, seeing deer up close, exploring the ‘Bat Man Mansion’ wouldn’t have been as much fun if Farah and Mac weren’t there (Bullying me). Waiting 3 hours at old market square, amongst 35,000 people, for the queen would have been a drag if my friends weren’t there with me, cracking royal jokes. 

My weekend trips to Widnes were made worth it by spending time with the most adorable family ever, whom I got to know so well in the span of those few days.
If there’s anything I regret about this stay then it’s not spending more time outside, exploring the place. I regret each wasted day, lazing in my room, when I could have walked around the lake or gone to see deer at Wollaton Park.  I regret the hours spent in front of the laptop when I could have been meeting more people, making more memories.

The people and places together made my stay here in the UK so memorable that leaving this place upsets me. It’s like leaving an old friend behind, not knowing if you’ll ever meet her again. I certainly hope that in the years to come I’ll get another opportunity to come back to my wonderful friend and fall in love all over again. Till then these memories will suffice. 

Friday, 15 June 2012

The joys of a solitary traveller...

I have always loved travelling. People who know me well also know how passionate I am about it. Be it the cultural treasure troves of India or the charming cities of Italy, I am up for it all! I’ve mostly travelled with my family and, after joining college, with friends. However, UK has been a different experience. Here I’ve had to travel alone most of the time. So far I’ve gone to Liverpool, Cambridge and London by myself and to Scotland with an organised tour. Initially I was a bit apprehensive about travelling alone. Being the chatter box that I am, I couldn’t fathom keeping quiet for such long intervals of time.  Plus there was the thing about taking pictures, who’ll take my pics? :D

But after travelling solo, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not all that bad. When you’re in a group you have to always make sure that everyone is comfortable and have to compromise to make everyone happy. Travelling alone eliminates that. You can move at your own pace without thinking about what anyone else feels. So I spent a lot of time casually strolling through the Kensington Garden which I know wouldn’t have been possible had I been traveling with my nature-averse brothers. Plus, when travelling with others so much time is spent clicking each other’s pics that you forget to live the moment you are in. Then what you remember is just the photo that you took, your memory sifted through a camera lens. This time I spent more time just looking at the places than constantly clicking pictures. I took a few good shots of the place and then enjoyed the moment and the place. After all, what picture can describe what I felt the moment I entered Rose garden? With the scintillating combination of different scents coming at me from all corners, and beautiful flowers in full bloom beckoning me to take a closer look, with bees buzzing in and out of red roses and quick squirrels playing hide and seek…. 

Which picture can do justice to the peace I felt then? What I remember of it now is fresh in my heart, where it’ll remain. If I was travelling with someone I would have missed the small things which I witnessed during this trip.
The journey without travel mates also gave me a lot of time to reflect. I was away from the internet, no friends, no distractions which gave me the mental time and space to actually sit and think.  And I can’t explain how precious that time is, when you can dig out your deepest thoughts and run it over with your heart.  When you can look at your past and dream about your future without any care about the present. I think about faith, about my relationships with those around me, about my studies…even the silliest of things!

When travelling alone I observe those around me. Sometimes while sitting by the window at a café I can look out for hours at end just breathing in the life around me. Yesterday I had such a wonderful time eating at a Thai restaurant, savouring the spices in the meal and taking in the scenes outside. Mothers pushing strollers through the pavement, occasionally peering into the pram, checking on their babies. Teenage girls returning from school, texting while walking, avoiding lampposts with heads down. Businessmen in crisp suits, with suitcases in hand, rushing home from work. Kids on scooters, racing each other, oblivious to their parents’ warning.  How could I’ve seen this if I was busy talking to someone over my meal?
It was as though life knew I was a bit lonely, so she gifted me a few snapshots of herself and love around me, just to keep me company. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Today I woke up dead

Today I woke up dead. My body lies immobile on the bed as my soul travels in and out of spaces searching for something. I can see paleness seeping into my skin. My wife is sleeping beside my cold body. She is unaware. How long before she finds out?

The alarm is ringing. It's on the bed side table next to me and I can't switch it off. She is opening her eyes now. Then, as always, she turns over to my side and embraces me. At the touch of my cold skin she recoils, a small shriek escapes her lip. I can see fear in her eyes. I can see thoughts of a shaky future whizzing through her mind.
Her hand’s inch forward again, propelled by a dying hope. She nudges me, shakes me harder and then the first tear escapes. Her cries agitate our baby who was sleeping in innocent oblivion which will continue for some years till questions about me rise in his mind.

Now my daughter is at our door, rubbing sleep out of her eyes, her hand still clutching her doll. She walks closer and sees her mother crying and then looks at me. She comes near and gives me a kiss on the cheek, which would usually make me growl and lift her into the bed, enveloping her in a bear hug. When this doesn’t happen, she does it again. I try to lift my hands, but not a finger moves. No exertion felt.

I am naked now. Some people are washing my body. My shame doesn’t bother them as I am just another body to them. They cover me in a white cloth and take me to my family.

By noon my family and friends are here. I can feel the moisture of tears in the air. I am now in the living room, in front of the tv.  I lie on the table. People come into the room, solemn, some holding back tears, some blank and some mustering false sympathy. My wife and kids are inside the bedroom. I wish to be with them, but they don’t seem to be willing to spend more time near my dead body. My son is crying now, probably startled by all these people. He is not a people’s person. Neither am I. I can hear someone walking around, with him cradled in her arms, trying to calm him down. That never works; he can sleep only when we are sitting still in our garden and sing a soft lullaby to him. I found this trick in his third month when my wife and I had developed large dark circles from virtually no sleep.

In batches they pray the Janazah prayers in front of me. I hope that they pray for a trial free grave for me. I know that I’ll be taken to my new home soon and I am too scared to even think what’s waiting for me there.

Soon some men enter the room and say it’s time. They shift me from the table to a flat stretcher. My girl stands there, silently looking on. My wife comes out then and hugs me, one last time. I can feel her wet face as she kisses me. Then her mother holds her back as they lift me out.

I am at the graveyard now. There’s the smell of freshly dug mud in the air. They lower me into the ground, gently, knowing that I can feel it. One of them enters the grave and positions me correctly. And then they place a slab on me. A blanket of darkness envelops me. 

I can hear the sound of mud being thrown over the slab. It gets stuffier and I can’t breathe. You may laugh saying I am dead, but I really can’t breathe.The pressure is building up. Now I can hear footsteps walking away, leaving me here. Alone. 
Then a presence. 
My results are out.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A second

It was just a second, maybe lesser, and things changed. Life turned upside down. Unhinged. And  Dia stood there a million little things going through her head. ‘Did I lock my door?’, ‘Did I keep the milk back in the fridge?’. Then the more important questions flooded her mind, rooting her to the pavement, her eyes fixed on the multiple television screens showing the same image again and again; a plane flying through a building. ‘ Sara?Amin?’. Her insides felt like lead, weighing her down. Then numbness spread through her body as she remembered Amin’s meeting with the board. And just like that the world turned black.

Julia looked out of window briefly while her class stayed heads down, faces scrunched with effort, their tiny hands attempting to make art out of play-doh. Her eye caught something whizzing through the air and then a terrible sound as she watched a hurling mass of twisted metal exit through it. She froze. The kids looked up, some of them already quivering at the lips while the braver ones ran to the window. She could hear phones ringing elsewhere. And feet, running feet. Anxious voices drifted in making some of the kids cry louder.
And then she got back to her senses. 'Sara, sweety, it's alrite stop crying' 


'Jay, I am running late.'. 'Yeah, I know it's important' 'But' 'But'. 'I had to drop Sara man'. 'Hey just buy me a few minutes'. 'Hello? Hello?..Jay?..Are you there?'

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


What exists 
in minuscule silences 
of the universe
when planets align
and stars cease
into hungry black holes
now content
for a moment
with the way things are
right here, right now
My forehead on the ground
the world behind
as I merge with the Earth,
a silent rebirth
In an urge to stay
to my purpose
which fires each cell
and what's within
to proclaim your name
night and day
Day and night
when oceans dry
and mountains crumble
into nothingness
and what remains is

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


You starved me
as I cried for help
banging my fists
on your conscience
yet, you turned
your back against
my frail frame
As you walked
towards the flame
knowing well
this money and fame
won't be there
when you need them
This power,
Your muscles and
toned body will be fodder
for worms
and then
you have just me,
your soul,
broken beyond repair.

image source:

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Today I woke up in Syria..

Today I woke up in Syria
to sniffles from a little girl
crouched in the corner
A human ball
in a ragged frock.
Her tiny hands
clutching a headless doll
which she handed me
with a desperate plea;
some food for a broken doll

Today I woke up in Syria
to a screaming woman
pleading life
for her husband
buried alive
as her son looked on
his face so blank
eyes now glazed
with unspoken terror
holding him in place

Today I woke up in Syria
to a sobbing woman
subsisting in an empty space,
in tattered robes, with
broken bones and
bruises blue
Honour lost and
dignity bled
by a uniform
meant to protect

Today I woke up in Syria
with blood on my hands
And no tears to shed
as I looked away
sending silent prayers on their way

A good job done...

A warm day
soaking in sunshine
The soft smell
of happiness
tempered with smiles
floating around
Bright faces
in bliss
which only ignorance sells
in large doses
Laughter, hitting corners
coming back
to the source
And off it goes
Till things fall apart
through cracks in bonds
struck hard
by jealousy and greed
Misunderstanding turning
Man against man
while the devil leans back
a good job done.

Static Flux

Buzzing crowd
whizzing cars
honking horns
beating hearts
pulsing blood
heaving breaths
rising heat
flowing sweat

Plastic smiles
fuller lips
bigger breasts
scalpel friends
frozen faces
botox fed
tightened masks
emotions dead

Static love
in constant flux

Heart in Transit

I was
a wandering spirit
seeking joy
in shifting images
and lethal fumes
living dead
in smoky planes
chasing shadows
of every desire and
unspoken sin
over mountains
crossing oceans
picking bruises
shedding tears
shredding soul
racing satan
to the pit
He found me
h a n g i n g
by a flimsy thread
and pulled me out
of moral death
dusting off
my tired soul
Blowing away
silent smoke
switching on the inner lights
Showering peace
long elusive
Reminding me
'Verily, in the remembrance
of Allah
Do hearts find rest.'

Friday, 25 May 2012

Liquid Despair

I slipped
and fell
spilling despair 
dark and murky
flowing freely
into crevices
of my mind
smooth liquid
stifling hope
slowly simmering
within then
gushing out
engulfing me
till your touch
on my face
vaporised every
last emotion
except love.

Rat Race

In another lifetime
I could've been 
a shooting star
trailing skies
passion unbound
A marching ant
scaling hills
following a friend
A water drop
swimming oceans
forming one

But here I am
A blip in a crowd
stuck in a mindless race

no end in sight
c h a s i n g
rocks, paper and metal
of value bestowed
leaving behind
tarnished souls
and broken hearts.
Dry tears refusing to come out.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Dear Lord

Dear Lord
Small things point me to you.

A frail leaf floating down
swaying sideways
settling down
And you tell me
that you know of each
such falling leaf
and more.

A silent breeze
with soft hands
smoothing my face
Easing in a smile
And you tell me
you send these 
peace scented gusts
just for us.

A young mother
embracing her child
holding him to her heart
whispering a lullaby
into small ears
till signs of slumber
make way into the tiny face
And you tell me
You love me even more

You let the small things
put the big things in place
A solved jigsaw puzzle
in space
You make the lock
and toss us the key.

You see us drown
and throw in the rope
You know we sin
and yet you forgive
Again and again
And Again
till the last breath.

And for that, 
I am a little more grateful
Each day.

Friday, 18 May 2012


I have big dreams
with jagged edges
folded neatly
and stuffed into back pockets
to take out when contemplating

life and it's lemons
in WC's and showers
In those micro seconds when
Life is not throwing her tantrums
I take it out and
spread it out on my heart
mulling over what could've been
what would've been
In another lifetime...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Don’t be my shadow,
Following me around when there’s light
To abandon me in dark times
Don’t be my footsteps
Going backwards as I go forward
to run away with the waves
Don’t be my scent
Reaching others before I do
To let them in on my secrets
Be my heartbeat
Keep me alive
With each beat 
Let me rise
Just to fall
in love with you.