Rose

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To the girl, who smiled through all the odds, who had my respect from day one, who had my love as I came to know her. This was the only thing I could consider giving her as a memoir, because I knew, Art, she would keep it close to her heart, it was like her breath. And I gave her something that she asked of me, something of mine, which I believed she needed more. I pray that it guides you and show you the light in the darkest of times.

Black. Blue. Green.
Black is you. Your underlying soul. Solid and strong. Not the usual vulnerable and depressive, solid and strong.

Blue is your love. The glittering waters and the crashing waves have your attention, every single time. They listened to you all the while. They hugged you when you seeked.

Green is your future. Peace and prosper. Nature and the wild. Just like your untamed heart, hair and height. May you scale more.

Believe girl, in you. Because you are the music that’s too good for some, but right in for you. Because you are the breath, who is free and strong enough to show the world, what you are made of. Because you are one, when set on, can conquer the world.

Let it all go.
Live. Love.

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Alternate Realities

My soul transcends through alternate realities.

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My body , my mind, my emotions are a mixture of my reactions to these realities, because of which at times, reaction for one reality comes to the forefront in another reality, messing up at times.

There is one, in which I live for the majority of my time. Where my body works, mind flits through different responsibilities, my heart beats, in a foreign city, among unknown faces, and new friends, where at the end of the day everything is fine yet foreign.

Then, there is one, in which your studies still awaits you, your old friends litter around, where your insecurities and worthlessness poke their heads in. Among familiar surroundings, people whom you call best friends, at the end of day, when you lay down to sleep, you still wonder why you feel so lone, so out of place.

Then, there is another one, which consumes your whole heart and soul, where you have your family to be comforted, you have to be the strong one, wipe away the tears of our loved ones, deal with your own pains in anonymity, put up a brave front in front of them and keep telling them, everything will be fine, when deep down even you are scared. Where you can’t even dream or plan because of the shadows of the evil which has made the future bleak.

We all have alternate realities which we fail to realize.
We all have different roles, different faces, different emotions in a single moment, only a shift of reality separating them.
We are not a single person, we are a culmination of different people living in different realities.

Ghost of a Past, Glamour of a Present

I was watching Dubai on TV today. Dubai, is a 2001 Malayalam movie, starring our very own Mammooty in its title role.

Well, that film was filmed in dubai for its three quarter portion, but the Dubai in the background is unrecognizable. Its surrounded by clear mountains, buildings not even a quarter of The Khalifa’s size, being given a prominence of picturing the ‘big city’. That Dubai, 15 years younger, was just emerging, with its purity still in place, just like any other Middle Eastern city. But then, the face of Dubai changed. Glittering skyscrapers, posh cars, glamorous lifestyle equals Dubai now. It had successfully taken its name on the list of the world cities, until it lost its lusture. There used to be a time, when I always bugged my father to take us to Dubai for a family vacation. I used to religiously follow the TV programmes featuring the Dubai Shopping Festival to take my share of the colourful cities. In those programs, I saw expat families like mine, enjoying their life in a colorful world, in contrast to my mundane restricted life in a country next to UAE. My innocent eyes saw the glitter in their eyes, the love in the togetherness, bits and pieces of the whole world in a small city. I remember I would tell myself, that some day, I would go for the festival and buy a little something from every country’s stall. Well, that dream is still unfulfilled. My eyes has never witnessed the wonders of Dubai from land. Witnessing it from the sky, everytime you fly in Emirates airlines, with a connection in the Dubai Intl Airport doesn’t count.

So I was just wondering, how much that little city called Dubai transformed within a span of a few years. At times I wonder, if my little city, which I so dearly call home, would transform one day, to one that I would never be able to recognize someday. The thought scares me. The congestion in Batha and Hara, with its buzzing streets full of expats, small residential buildings and shopping complexes that are food to many. The roads that sell various things and sellers who run at the very sound of the Baladiya. The yellow trucks with yellow uniformed men, who clean the city when its residents are still waking up from their slumbers and going back home to rest after another day. Olaya, our developed part, which houses our dearest 2 towers – The Faisaliyyah (The Needle Tower) and Kingdom Tower (The Necklace Tower), the posh hotels and restaurants, that seemed to exist in another world, so different from mine. Malaz, another semi developed area. Deerah, with its traditional markets and mud structures and the court, majestically standing amidst the mud structures. Naseem, with our schools and quite residential villas and vehicle showrooms. And many other smaller parts unique in their own way. The malls, with its splendid infrastructure, bringing the world to us. The masjids, around every corner offering moments of peace. The main cross bridge in the Road, its been a part of my life since the day I started understanding things. We crossed it, daily twice, during our commute to and fro the school. That croos bridge with its swirling road, used to take my little mind wo the world beyond the worls infront of me.The parks with its date palms, lining the lanes, kids fearless, the bullies in the slides and swings waiting to push us around or scare us away. The 20 riyal pizzas, Qubs, Shawarmas, Broasteds, Kabsas and Mandi, that became the taste of our tongues, warming our plates, filling our stomachs. Everywhere you look, you can see people who has embraced the land odf deserts, put their faith into the blessed land of the two Great Mosques, to fill their stomachs and save their families back in their homeland.

 

The Riyadh that I knew and lived in was never the glamorous one filled with malls and brands and posh lifestyles. It was the Riyadh of the parched hearts, struggling to stand on their two feet to support their families, home for kids like us, whose parents hated the dryness and lack of the greenness, that they so closely held dear. For them, this was a place of livelihood because of no other choice, and for us, home. That shaped us to what we are, that consists of little bits and pieces of our being and memories.

That was the Riyadh, where the yellow uniformed street cleaners were underpaid, the cleaners of the two Great Mosques considered blessed, where you see expats, working their life away.

That was the Riyadh, which was hell, for the thieves who were punished severely, people beheaded publicly due to which crimes were less, for people who were wrongly jailed and punished with no money to pay the government to free them, no people to fend for in a foreign country, no love to be showered, treated like dirt by some Saudi, years and youth wasted away, bearing the harshness of the sun, toiling.

Like any other city, it is filled with secrets and pretenses. Secrets, of expats, royals and the common men. So deeply concealed.

It’s a land of tears, of lives lost in the face of fate, souls shattered in the name of livelihood.

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That’s the purity of it, this multi-facetedness, this mix of people, culture withing the strong realm of the traditional culture and I am sure, you will see this in every major cities in the Middle East. Even beyond the glittering city of Dubai. This might have been the face and soul of Dubai once, before another face of glamour came into the forefront as its tag. And I wonder  ,  10 years down the lane, if Riyadh would be the same place that I lived in. That I grew up in. Will it lose its purity, its real face?

Only time will tell.

The mundane little things

In a distant memory, like the vagueness of a dream, I see my mother in the kitchen, making dinner since my dad never preferred rice at night. I see her rolling out the chapattis, perfectly, asking me to cook them. I see her lightly admonishing me, while I burnt some of her prefect chapattis. I see her ladling the batter on the large tawa, dripping in drops of ghee, to make the most delicious dosa which she gently served hot into our plates with the potato masala that I was so fond of. I see her, content, battling her fights, yet with a smile. I see my father cribbing about how our clothes are never in the shelves and how we would never put them away even if we had enough storage. I see him controlling his laughter when we crack a joke and he tries to be all serious. I see his tears, hear his wavering broken voice, while he narrated his childhood to us. I see the wistfulness in his eyes, the little boy, who was recounting the last memory of his father. I see the pride in his eyes, after he came to know that I topped in 10th. I see the disappointment in his eyes, in my decision to opt for architecture. I see the subtle happiness and acceptance in his eyes, after three years, when he sees how well I am doing my course. I see him, a reserved soul, battling the world, providing for us all the comforts, yet with a determination.

In a distant memory, like the vagueness of a dream, I see us all sitting in together with a plate of food in our hands, watching TV and commenting on various things. I see us all, travelling together, in our car for grocery shopping. I see us waiting for my dad in his office, for him to be free, so we could go out somewhere. I see him paying the money for a new dress that I bought. I see us all eating a packet of qubbus and yogurt for dinner, together.

And now when I pay my bills, I miss his presence. When I travel alone, I miss the time when I had to bug my father to take me out. When I drive a car, I miss the rash driving of my father. When I eat my food, I miss the taste of my mother’s cooking. When I see my siblings, I miss the time when we were pulling each other’s hairs for the most silliest of reasons. When I see a loving home, I miss the togetherness of a family.

Family is a different feeling. Each moment, each fight, each tear and each smile that we share as a family can never value up to anything. Savor it all. Be it your mom’s cooking, a dress washed by your mom, ironed by your dad. Anything and everything that they do. Because when each day ends, you grow a little bigger, a little more responsible.

It is only when you go away from the cocoon, will you realize that these mundane little things were some of the greatest things that you could be blessed with.

The mundane little things are the most special.

 

 

 

 

Yourself

And these days I live in my thoughts. Everything that’s happening around me is peripheral. They just register in my subconscious mind, never reaching in. But the things in my head, deep down, is what I wander through. It’s a journey in there, you know. And quite a strainous one I tell you.

The hurdles are much more harder to cross, because each time I defeat it, it’s me myself who loses. Each time I rejoice being victorious, it’s my own eyes that cry. Each time I succeed in finding a new path, it’s me, myself who loses the one that I have been travelling. It’s the life of a vagabond in there. Just travelling, with no care for anything or anybody else. As  peaceful & cheery as it sound to be, there are still little pockets of darkness that you have to tread – cold, bleak and dreary.

It’s all in all a reflection of what I see, what I hear and what I touch. It’s a world within the world, with it’s own summer and winter. A world that’s much more harder to tread, much more darker.

A world which sucks you in deeper and deeper when you try harder and harder to escape.

It’s your own mind.
It’s your own thoughts.
The enemy is you.
Your self.

The Imperishable Light

Copyrighted

 

O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

– P.B. Shelley

Even in the darkest phase of our life, there is bound to be a slit for us to see the light. To guide us throughout.

Even to face the darkest of your fears, you need to fill your heart with the light of hope and determination.

Even amidst the worst situations, there is always a light. A reason that urges you to live.

Even in the worst kind of pain, is a light – A Smile, which would brighten up yourself and everything around you.

Even in the darkest part of your brain and actions, there is light – a little voice that voices out whats right and whats wrong – the conscience.

 

And if you let the light cease to exist, you kill your soul.

And if you let the light cease to exist, you are no longer a human.

And if you snatch away that tiny light from anybody life, Oh animal! You have no heart.

 

***

Smile.

Open your eyes.

And see the light.

For its always there.

Its just waiting to be seen.

For hope never ceases to exist.

 

The End.

I have been walking and walking. I have been observing. I have been reading. I am desperately trying to find something. But I guess its just come to an end. Yes! The end has happened. The end of Good. Have you by chance come across what am searching for? Show me. For I am searching for something called Humanity.

Too much to ask?

Yeah?

I thought so.

Every morning we rise to hear the shocking cruelties faced by innocent people. Violence. Violence. There is always silence after it. Because everyone is too frozen to react. Only one thing goes through their minds – What has the world come to?

What happens around me scares me. Well its not just me. Everybody is scared. The world’s turned to a dangerous place.

Parents are worried. They cant send their children anywhere. Because danger lurks around them. Animals are waiting to tear you apart. The sense of freedom is lost. For fear has replaced them.

Every day we hear news of shootings by a psycho, innocent girls raped, fighting for their life. But is all that fighting to leave worth it?

I am an Indian. But it doesnt make me proud. True, am a part of a country full of culture, traditions and life. I am part of a country which has one of the best Constituion and has been termed one of the best democracy. I am part of a country where you have all the freedom and rights. For a stranger, it might be true. But I see the reality everyday. And its too far from the ideal democracy that its being called.

I see the news of a 3 year old who has been raped. A wife who was publicly raped and made to walk around naked. Nobody is spared. Be it a new born, a small girl, a teenager, a wife or a grandma. Are you a woman? Then beware. Being born a girl can be the biggest mistake in your life.

I see a girl who was gang raped for nearly an hour by 5 men, fighting for her life. She is a brave one. But I am scared for her. Will the society ever treat her the same again? Will she able to live like a normal girl?

That girl lost everything that she had. Her dreams, her ambitions, her life, her chance for a happily everafter. Everything was snatched away from her. She saw her world turning upside down within a few minutes.

I salute and respect her for her strength. Even after being in such a critical condition, she is fighting. She is fighting for the remnants. Hopefully, she will be able to build up everything she had again. For there is always hope.

There is always hope.

Or I would like to believe there is still some good remaining around us all.

Ironic? I know.

But there is always hope.

Hope.

Because there is always God.

The Almighty.

 

P.S. : The girl who was 23 years old and fighting for her life died on 29 Dec. May she rest in peace and find the deserved happiness in her afterlife. She was too good to live in this world full of evil!