Jaan-E-Maan

‘Girls like you’ your mother says
‘are going to be disappointed a lot.’
She’s chopping coriander so fast that her hand is a blur
and you’re 12 and you’re standing
like a tremble, grubby knees and tear stained cheeks,
an offering in front of her.

‘Why?’ Your voice is a quiet shake.
She puts the knife down and calls you ‘jaan’
she holds your face in her wet hands,
you don’t flinch because this
is what love looks like
she kisses your forehead like forgiveness
‘because you mean what you say,
you think other people are the same.’
She tells you that she spent four years
trying to learn their language
but people ask how you are
and walk away before you can tell them.
‘I’d rather be silent.’ She says.
‘At least being quiet is honest.’

You’ll come home seven years later
wearing your heart like a bruise
on the inside of your sleeve
‘mama,’ you’ll say, voice like a thunder crack
‘he said he loved me, and I believed him,
I shouldn’t have,
I think that he lied.’
She’ll be older then, but she’ll kiss you
just as tender, just as birdlike.
‘Is it my fault?’ You’ll ask.

She is half lioness, half woman. She is all roar.
‘Listen to me’ she calls you her soul again.
She says it in your language so you know
that she means it.
‘You are so infinitely tender,’ she takes the frown
of your face in her hands and holds it carefully

‘People will not always know what to do with that.
You can’t ever be sorry for the way you loved,
You can’t be sorry for who you loved.
Don’t ever let them bend you backwards
don’t let them make you hard or bitter.’
Her voice turns into a growl

‘You did not get this from me.
Somewhere inside of you there is rain.
Somewhere in your stomach,
something beautiful is growing
and it is infinite.
Don’t you let them try and take that from you,
you are open and you are a flood,
someday someone is going to want to die in you.’

   – “Jaan-E-Maan” by Azra Tabassum
(via 5000letters.tumblr.com)

(Jaan-E-Maan means “My Dear” in Persian and “Darling” in Urdu language.)

(Daily Post: Vanish, Sacred )

Permanent Scars


About 8 months ago I participated in a badminton tournament, semi final was one of the most intense match I ever had in my life. I dived on the concrete pavement multiple times. By the third time I already knew my knee was bruised and bleeding. Logically I should have stopped but illogically I continued to dive the next fourth and fifth time anyways, knowing all too well it’s gonna hurt like hell once the adrenaline rush dies down. Now, there is a permanent scar on my knee. I look back and think why did I do it to myself? I mean the dive was not necessary (who intentionally dives on a freaking concrete pavement anyways? ) I had hurt myself by the first two times.  I should have avoided (and I easily could have) the next multiple dives. But I continued to let it hurt me. And in the end that’s what I was left with; A permanent scar.

Few weeks ago I was looking at it running my finger over the faded mark. It made me think of all the other times we let others hurt us over and over again. Is it because we think it will start to hurt less by I don’t know, the 10th time? Or is it because we think they will stop doing it at some point? But they never stop, do they? They continue to strike just the same way, pounding, beating. Each strike stinging harder than the one before. Until our heart cracks under the merciless blows and cries for help but we carefully hush down it’s screams, telling ourselves that this pain is worth it. Heck sometimes we even tell ourselves we like it. The worst part isn’t that they hurt us or continue to do so after we have almost bent over backwards to make it all work, the worst part is we let them do it to us. We let them. And it always, always ends up doing more damage than good. We somehow convince ourselves we deserve this pain, we convince ourselves that pain is unavoidable part of it all. We become more and more accepting of it until one day we wake up and realize how we are permanently scarred. And it’s too late to do anything about it.

We think it makes us somehow pious, better than lot, because we are doing such a high service by holding on despite of all the pain and hurt. We consider letting go a loss. I look back and wish I knew this back then, that sometimes holding on makes you lose more than letting go ever does. Because then it all becomes a cycle. You sacrifice, surrender and lose; even yourself in the process. And for what? Nothing is worth losing pieces of yourself and certainly not to the pain. Not by any chance, not by far means. Not ever.

I can only hope, that we learn not to let anyone hurt us so much so that it leaves permanent marks on our chest. So that with every breath we aren’t reminded of how much of ourselves we lost while all that time we were a standing witness to our own destruction. I can only hope, we love ourselves enough not to let anyone do that to us. I can only hope, that we heal. I can only hope that we learn to forgive ourselves because we all eat lies when our hearts are hungry. And let light enter us through the broken gaps. Because if anything, we deserve it; Light, Love, Kindness, Healing.

“If they must go then let them leave. For they cannot take back the love they never gave you. The one you deserve but never received.”

– R.M.Drake

(Daily post: Relax, Construct)

A Chaos Within

(Chaos: This week let’s embrace disorder and it’s creative power.)

There is this moment before the heartache. When you know it’s coming. It isn’t there yet. You don’t even know why you think it’s forthcoming but you feel it in your bones. Like your soul has felt it coming from miles away.

This moment before the pain is about to hit you and you know it will devastate you. It hasn’t arrived yet. But you know it will. And you know it will open the wounds again. The wounds of decade that took centuries to heal.

You prepare yourself beforehand. You are sure of its factuality. So there is this night, where you lay on bed and you don’t really know why your heart is sad. Neither do you know why you want to cry. But you do.

And then all of a sudden there is this moment of realisation that this is you mourning for what’s about to become of your heart. Which is already hanging through the gallows waiting for the final call to its execution. The strings are cut one by one with which it hangs firm and it slowly looses grip. And you know it’s about to fall. It hasn’t fallen yet. But you know it’s about to. You already know. And there isn’t one damn thing you can do about it. It’s inevitable.

It will come like a tide of the ocean that slowly builds. The more it gets closer the more ferocious it becomes, and you know you are going to fucking drown. You try to save breaths, prepping yourself for the impact. But you know no matter how well you’ve prepared yourself, the tide is going to come and it will break you. Like beads off a pearl necklace; You will spill. All the pieces of yourself that you put together one by one all this time will spill…just like that. Like they were never stringed together so tenuously to begin with. Like they had always been so haphazardly splattered across the floor.

Though none of that has happened yet. But you feel it coming and you know it will happen. So this night where you are trying to make sense of why you still can’t find peace? This is the calm within the storm. Where you know the storm will soon reach the core of you and you will be blown to smithereens.

And so, this is you; grieving.

We Bleed (To Transform)

(Transmogrify)
img_20150410_175947

I don’t know what it is about blood. We claim it’s a bad thing yet we can’t stop bleeding. We let others wound us over and over again until gash is a foot deep into our soul. Sometimes we wound others and get wounded in the process.

We clutch tightly to barbed wires of emotional attachments and walk on the burning coals of expectations. And by the end of it when we fall on the ground profusely gushing and wounded to our core, we make promises to ourselves; never again. But as we all know, promises are made to be broken.

The wound is by now infected because you didn’t take care of it well. You didn’t suture it on time and you didn’t put the bandage when you should have. You just let it be; as a reminder of all the things you loved that ruined you.

We fall back onto bed made of thorns of disappointment, exhausted. And bleed some more. We bleed until we can’t. We ache until every muscle in our body refuses to ache anymore. We suffer until pain itself screams in pain. Until the infection has spread onto every small vein and down to our very bones. Until we find ourselves disintegrating- crumbling, decaying, withering.

But,
How else could we have become anew,
If we had not first become ashes?

Let’s Make A Change

(WPC: The SunShine )

“Let me tell you something: no one is going to look at you, broken and shattered 
and think -
damn, you are beautiful.
No one is going to come pick up your broken pieces off the floor and
 assemble them into a beautiful whole.

Hell,
 you won’t even look at yourself and think – 
I made broken look beautiful.

You know why?

Because all those writers lied to you.

Yes, 
all those with their poems of scraped knuckles and 
blood dripping down chins, 
pomegranate songs and loves that ripped through you like 
hurricanes.

Liars.

So you and I, 
we are going to make a plan.

You are not going to romanticize days when your brain tells you to smash that mirror,
You are not going to romanticize the lover who doesn’t understand you 
but still writes about you.

Here is what you are going to romanticize instead:
You are going to romanticize the first day of spring,
Its gentle hands all over your body,
Lifting you up until you are as light as a feather.

You are going to romanticize the tea and honey kind of love,
No hurricanes, 
but sunshine that builds you up from within,
That helps you make it through the worst days.

You are going to romanticize gentle hands of a friend 
in yours,
Telling you that it is going to be okay.

Because it is.

And don’t trust poets, 
we’re no good,
 we love pretending that our jagged edges tantamount to a beautiful disaster, but in reality – 
there isn’t nothing beautiful about shaky hands holding a cigarette and 
empty eyes staring at the cracks in the walls.

You know what is beautiful, instead?

The days when you can look at yourself in the mirror and smile, 
scars and all.
Music that makes your soul flow like a river, 
books that offer comfort, 
families flocking together like overgrown birds to keep you safe and warm,
 friends that give you strength when you can find none, 
lovers who make you laugh through tears.

Baby, 
from now on 
you are going to romanticize healing;
Honey dripping down your fingertips,
August nights that stick to your skin, the day you find your purpose, 
long car rides and singing so loud that no one can shut you up now.

Bad news: 
no one is coming to save you.

Good news: 
you can save yourself.”
– Lana Rafaela (via wnq-writers.tumblr.com)

( Daily Prompt: Millions )

Where The Heart Is 

(WPC: Local :Show us where the heart is.)

Home is in the infinite space surrounding the sky.

The hotel room was surprisingly clean, two single beds were joined together to make it a bigger bed against the wall. The interior was comparatively simple, with green carpet and plane white walls. Two arm chairs with a table in front were placed opposite the bed. It wasn’t very luxurious but it was fulfilling his purpose for now. He gave out a tired breath and let himself fall on the chair. The chairs were conveniently placed closer to the window. He looked at the deserted road at 12 am which still showed a hint of night life as few cars passed by. The summer wind was softly blowing through the windows and onto his face. He closed his eyes to take it all in. Her face flashed in front of him as soon as he closed his eyes. The vision of her hair being softly caressed by the same wind that was now touching his face. Damn, what did this woman do to him, he cursed himself. As clock ticked by, with his tired eyes, all he could think of was her. In all the hours, in all the minutes, in all the seconds she had captured his attention. There was something about her. He couldn’t figure it out and it was killing him.

He felt frustrated, he wanted to hold her tight with a strong grip and ask her to look in his eyes so he would know what exactly she carried beneath those alluring lashes. He wanted to tear off the skin she was wearing so he could see underneath, the soul she was carrying. Despite his best attempts he couldn’t figure out who or what she was. This woman was driving him crazy.

He took out a cigarette from his pack, there were only two more left. There would be none left by morning he was sure. He wished there was something stronger to drown his anxiety. But for now cigarettes would do too. He took out a lighter, burned his cigarette and inhaled a long puff and slowly exhaled it out. Watching the smoke make patterns in the air and then dissolving in the summer air by finding escape through the open window.

This woman was like smoke… Mysterious, beautiful and a killer. She was killing him softly, with her infectious laughter and her enticing eyes.. The way she would touch him, ever so lightly and then disappear in the crowd. And he like a madman would follow her around. Trying to catch another glimpse of her allusive beauty. God Damn, this is getting out of hand he thought to himself. He was probably no good for her or maybe she was too intense for him. He didn’t know anymore. All he knew was he wanted to see her again. He wanted her fix like an addict. It was like this woman had completely taken over him. In his veins, in his blood, in the air he breathed, she was everywhere. She was all around him. He wanted to hold her against the wall, pin her and kiss her till she would beg for forgiveness for all what she made him feel.. If only he could do that. Taste her lips. The lips that lied with a smile. If only he could look deep in her eyes. The eyes that usually betrayed her smile.

By now the cigarette pack was empty, dammit he needed to stop this, he thought. At least they should have lasted till morning. But the thoughts of her were too distracting for him to notice how poison was filling his lungs all this time. He sighed and moved to the bed. He slept as soon as his back hit against the bed.

He dreamt about her. As always.
And he realized that he could never have her as the day dawned upon.
But he knew that in the night he could have her thoughts.
She was a wish never to be fulfilled,
But a dream that could always be seen.
And so he dreamed. As always. He dreamed.


(Flâneur  )

18916-her-eyes-said-what-her-mouth-couldnt

You There

It’s in the way she moves,
Softly, firmly, quietly,
Like she doesn’t wish to be spotted.
Slipping through cracks,
And disappearing into the crowd.

It’s in the way she laughs,
So ordinary, so familiar,
Yet a contradiction to her eyes.

Her eyes, so profound-
Seemingly an abysmal nothingness,
Yet containing everything.
Everything that needs to be known about her.

(Daily Prompt: Flattery Radical Authenticity )

Moon, Ocean and Her

(Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O )
20141021_164701_android-2

She dipped her toes in the water to check the temperature. Today the water was warm, not as cold as the other nights. So inviting. So perfect. Ocean spread in front of her endlessly, her eyes gazing into infinity, catching nothing but darkness and with it moon- lit like the last flame after the candle has almost completely burned.

Waves, oh the waves. She heard them calling her name, in the far distance. Enchanting. Dancing. Welcoming.

She sat on the steep rock, her toes still dipped in the water.

Wind, oh the wind. She felt it embracing her. Seeping into her bones, sending chills down her spine. Hair at the nape of her neck deliciously stood at its touch. Enveloping her being.

But the moon, oh the moon. She looked up, was silent today. She was expecting it to beg and plead. But there it was, as quiet as the infinite space surrounding it. She’d be lying if she said it didn’t hurt her. Moon and her had a thing, or so she thought. Her heart fluttered, her stomach churned as she kept gazing at it, as if somehow it would break its silence. The water was now up to her knees.

“So we are doing this huh. I see. You are not going to say anything? After all this time. Nothing?

Well no problem…I have a lot to say tonight anyways. Or would you rather have me quiet and say nothing?”

The water rose upwards about an inch, from her knees to her thighs.

“Hmmm, so silence it is then.”

She laid back on the steep rock, looking up at the sky. Mapping out stars, in hopes soon there will be one of hers up there among constellations too- hopefully closer to the moon.

The water was soaking her back now, it was rising fast. She smiled, as bright as the moon itself. So heartily that for a moment stars dimmed their lights to let her shine. She knew. She just knew; The moon wanted her too. And that was the whole truth.

In that moment, peace came. A tear as heavy as the gravity itself fell down her face. Carrying more pain than salt in an ocean itself.

The tide came & took her away,
Orchestrated by the moon,
For it wanted her too.
And so that,
It proved.