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