Tuesday, May 28, 2013

O breeze

...in this direction, does my darling prince live
from this direction, blows a fresh and cold wind...

Sublime and familiar. These words, and the melody.  My soil... the place where I come from. Place where simplicity is beloved and being together is considered sacred... where lovers are never loud and giving is the only way to seek... where someone's trouble upsets you, and his/her happiness makes your day. Where most powerful always becomes the host, the entertainer.. and being good is the most cherished, delightful  possession....where success belongs to everyone, and quiet confidence still thrives.

My love.. the more I talk to you, the more I feel.. that you belong to this place.

Monday, May 27, 2013

..another conversation

And here we are, a typical Dutch afternoon, dark pouring sky, hundreds of students around us from over a hundred nationalities.. [well this is what they say, I have never tried counting myself], our individual project meetings scheduled in about thirty minutes:

..and then she goes

‘Oh I saw her picture, I think she is really pretty’

‘Yeah?… I think so too!’ I surely do.

‘I like this black bean sauce… ever tried? My first attempt to redirect conversation.

‘..you never told me how you guys came to know each other’

‘You really wanna know that?’

‘Duh?’ Raised eyebrows.

‘Well… I used to read her blog’

‘She writes?’

‘Yeah..’ and hers is the only blog I read.

‘And so do you right?’

‘Call it rambling rather’ That's me, always!

‘..yeah yeah’

‘And where does she study exactly?’

‘Near Boston?’

‘She got an scholarship too?’

‘Yup!’  Oh I am so proud of her.

‘And what is she gonna study in Amsterdam?’


‘Ohh…’ She is thinking, has she found an other connection?

Few minutes of silence, the only Chinese among us, our food, prevails.

‘Noor..?’ ..and here she goes on again.

‘Yes, sweetheart?’

‘You know.. it all seems so nice to me’

‘Yeah I know you like Chinese’ Lameness takes over.

‘Nooo, I meant what you have with her and how you talk about her’

…okay so she wants to talk about this more.


 ‘Yeah… from how she looks and whatever I know about her… I feel she’s a really good 
person, and you two are a fine match’

‘..really? But only an hour back you called me an idiot!’ But she did!!.

‘That you are! But seriously.. you know that you stand out right’.

‘No I don’t, tell me? Rather ‘educate’ me’. I wink.

This time she ignores me and goes on

‘..and this whole idea of being together in Amsterdam, Paris and all these places, far away 
from home doing what you love to do…sounds soooo perfect.’

‘...yeah … still few months to go’

….she does not reply.

‘So Noor, would you be doing your thesis in Amsterdam then?’

I look at her, such a broad smile on her face.

We will see.’

We both laugh.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


"The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned [from Crete] had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."

As the time slipped away, and moments, one by one carved their way toward infinity… as decayed timber, broken images, and withered underfed impressions were replaced, as sight of one shore was bartered for anticipation of the other, as we, and the ships were reconstructed part by part… something more than the structure, less tangible but more perceptible also changed. The necessity to exist, and its relevance with the reason, widened up to a point where it all became insignificant. And then there was nothing but a small black dot marking the end of journey. Deathbed; you have finally reached the other shore.

What if all the planks and images and impressions could be gathered and used to build a second ship, or the second you; the new, the older, the earliest of you? Would you recognize him?  

Quite often I think about my grandma. How when reminiscing, her wrinkled face would lighten up, and then within a span of few minutes, how that broken smile would evaporate… unforgiving facts always resurfacing, trials becoming more visible and more unsettling every time. When my father passed away last year, she would fondly talk about his childhood, how good he was in school, what food he liked, how early in his life he started working… difficult to calm her down then; and to contain her tears.  Some day she would talk about her husband… With a twinkle in her eyes, she once told us, ‘tumhara dada mujhe kuch kaam karne nahin dete they, sab khud karna hota tha unhein…’. And then she went quiet, lost in nothing but recollections and endless voids.

Parents, husband, siblings, son…

What is our capacity to lose?

Is there a limit?
‘My breaking point is fast approaching…I am there, it is here.

I will not rise again.’

I might not know it all, but I do, that you have been hurt. Your trust broken, trounced by insensitive and inconsiderate mediocrity around. I say this because we are connected in ways difficult to verbalize, but so strong that I can almost tell every time when something goes wrong with you. There is nothing more important than your happiness, an expression I can and do revisit several times, every single day. My idiocy, my eyes, pearls, smile, short hair… my singing, this blog… devoted so naturally to make you smile. And when you do, my world lightens up. When Kafka mentions endless togetherness, without interruption, and a grave to clasp and hide… I think about you. Rumi’s sleepless night, and Faiz’s night of union, and hundreds of other lyrical illustrations… they all come to life when you are close to me. As Hafiz had foreseen, I find myself asking today… how can I be more kind, how can I love more.

You don’t feel like talking, and you are exhausted…but all I want you to know is that I really love you. That you are a beautiful, beautiful person, who knows how to love, and to respect relationships. That yes your experiences have shown you the other side of it, but you deserve all the affection all the love. Because this is what you give out to the world.

I do not want you to be, but even if you are going down, I still wish to be with you. As what we have created together, I believe in all my sanity, has that strength to bring us up again.

No matter how much time it takes, it will bring us up again.

I miss you tonight.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

His willingness to put trust in people, his extraordinary sense of hope… or perhaps I should say, everything that is about him, can be explained by the extent and manner in which he has suffered over the years. Paradoxes, beliefs so fluid that lasting mutilation is improbable… they always get back to where and how they belong. For him, being trusting is as, if not more important than being trustworthy, and being loving is as desirable as being lovable.

Do you know how it feels when a mother gets slapped right in front of your eyes? Your mother.  And as she comes closer you can see those finger marks on her face... a sight that cuts through, humiliating you in a way that you almost become numb. Deadened. Emotionally so charged but thoughts completely anesthetized. And then the sweltering tears burn on your skin for years and years to come. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

“Only do not forget, if I wake up crying
it's only because in my dream I'm a lost child

hunting through the leaves of the night for your hands....”

Monday, May 06, 2013

Are you listening?

Saturday, May 04, 2013


When two particles meet, or two objects say two billiard balls, the result is almost always predictable; a distinct arrangement of position, velocity and mass. Simplest of interactions where either nothing ever changes or changes radically in a way that it never becomes the same again.  How different it is with us? When two people meet, their encounters and the outcomes, depend almost every time on the path that they have taken to arrive at that point. By this token, the subjects may not be at the center as they are not independent in the truest or any possible sense. How they think, perceive or feel is, in one way or the other, always tied to their histories; intricate and not so stochastic. My history, inclusive of all the roles that I have had to play, real or fictitious, revolves mainly around passion, pride and pain. Or perhaps this is how I think of it.

This love that I have for you is not all fantasy.  Experiences, those innumerable encounters may not give me the liberty or desire to paint a perfect picture. As I have come to understand over the years that, acceptance of each other’s imperfections is the best gift we can share; and that we may have our own struggles, those moments of insecurity, disconnection and unrecognizable agony.  Every time we are together, we as subjects remain no longer as important; our interactions, these daily stirring encounters take up the center stage, transcending us to a place where words and phenomena such as fantasy and perfection become somewhat insignificant. Acceptance becomes so easy here, a process so natural. There are times when I can identify patterns, cues that we may have taken the same path. Times when I feel that this is one thing, more than any other, that connects us so beautifully. Times when I feel that our histories do recognize each other; that they smile, and that they want to make love. I don’t talk about it often, or perhaps not at all, but there are times when what you say and how you love makes my heart smile so hard, and makes me so happy that I could cry. Every inch of my body yearns for it. Every dimension of my existence, be it passion, pride or pain, feels so coupled; satisfied. And let me say this again… my love for you is not a fantasy. You and I are here in a very real sense. Few days back I said that I want to take you away and just disappear. Yes, but not in the sense of hibernation. For how we are, we will not be able to love and reside in peace while our cities and people burn. I want to go out and face the world with you; live with you. See the world, and make an impact.

I get really scared when I think about losing you. I never mentioned it, mainly because it would have brought both us down, but I have dreamed of it more than a few times in last couple of weeks. You being away… and that intense, palpable pain.

Coming back to you every night is like coming back home.

I don’t want to be a wanderer all my life.

I get exhausted.

I really don’t want to.

I love you. With all that I have.