Happy place


When you’re banished from your happy place, when you’re told to pack up and move

Never to return to the winter land of dreams, I say you agree to a last dot on that text. It’s open, it’s clear, it’s as dark as it can get

Turn to yourself, you’re your happy place, and if ever things may shift in gravity, that’s okay too, but come back home for warmth they took

Come back home to find your peace, come back to your happy place, in your heart, it resides, not any place away from.

Witness


The worst part of life … Is believing in the person who made you question your existence

Because she said … And you believed like a fool, playing the tricks and their monopoly

And I said … Don’t do it for it’s clear as day what it means to play and you’re not cut out for it

Then we both … Saw as you crumbled to the ground, even the last will left your body, in despair, you chose to let go.

Never saw each other again.

You were tired. I understand that. You needed to go. I understood that. And you were meant to leave me here. I was counting on that.

The worst part of life … She knew but didn’t stop. You knew but you couldn’t stop. And I witnessed it all. And mourned.

Canada skies


I look at you and it warms my heart, who knows why, what are you to me, it’s not been long, it’s been now and now

But what I know, is you warm my heart, I could step back and I could bring the redness home

But it’s the lukewarm waters that get to me, send a shiver down my spine and I know it is not what I seek

I deserve better, of the tulips that grow along the path I walk by, to find you. It’s the Elmo, lying sideways by the last step of my neighbour’s street.

It has to be more than a shrug when eyes seek your face, from morning to evening, at every turning point. Call it fantasy, I call it love.

But it will die if left outside in the rain. It needs more than a less-than-willing hug, just to ease the restlessness and not the pain

What I need is more than what you’re capable of and that is okay, I deserve better from the universe, fate has to be kind to me some day

Bending my back to reach your standards is not the answer I want, I wanted to reach the skies until the world looked small with your arms wrapped around me, in assurance.

I thought I knew what I was doing


The summer I witnessed reality was hard to live through. A bubble of ignorance had burst and laid bare the plight of what I couldn’t understand, even if I tried at that age and time.

No one called, and time passed and, as is decreed for the human mind, memories dulled and faded, making way for newer experiences.

They weren’t great either but nothing I couldn’t live through every year, but lightening struck and took my keys

Got locked inside my own cage, my own prison in making, years passed, time took a toll and just like that, I aged years ahead of time

Now the mirror is kind to show me love, self love or hubris, who can tell anymore?!

And as you watch me struggle through life, it’s easy to blink, it’s easy to forsake my beliefs that tend to shake your core.

It’s okay, you’re afraid, I will step back as I always have, for it doesn’t do to seek lukewarm bonds when something better will come in time, with patience

I thought I knew what I was doing and it would have been great had it worked out, but you see, reality has no conscience.

It tears asunder your heart and lays bare the secrets that you locked away, for the world to mock, see your shame, see you for who you are.

Halfway Home


It started as a trip to the stars but the jump fell short, I think.

It’s okay, that’s life and go on to dismiss, what I felt, what you felt, what was a halfway house

Dreams are not reality and why we escape into them, is one to escape life

I am.

Like a train wreck, I ran into the wall, came to an end, the journey which was promising to start, of spring, of blossoms, so white and warm

But alas, it’s Autumn, when I open my eyes to you, it’s red, it’s brown, it’s dark and it’s not my crown.

What I hopes was a fairytale is just a chapter meant to forget, I’m the child who broke the vow and it’s a form of temptation to redeem self, which I rejected on behalf of you

And now I stand alone, again, right where I began, hurt. And yet, no reason to be, no explanation is needed, is all I could say to pacify the dying crowd

Dispersed after the spectacle, witnessing my foolish prank, believing in the trick that it was a gift, gutted into confetti, surprise!

And just like that, I find the truth, hidden behind closed doors in the wake of a light, a book than I so wanted close.

Cracked Windows


It’s a solemn day that I imagine you’re here,

I tell you of the days you missed and of the days I missed you.

We’re here together in my dreams, finding solace in a companionship that has lasted long

Faithful to the end, our friendship did thrive but fate had other plans

It’s your birthday and I want to write something for you.

Remember you everytime I turn the page, your words ringing in my ears

The laughter to brighten up rainy days

A ray of sunshine streaming in from the cracks of my tinted windows.

Picture perfect


There comes a moment in one’s life when the picture becomes complete, the last puzzle fits and you get to see what all it’s been moving towards, all the plotlines and all the drama, it all meets at that picture.

Gazing at it, you’ll know why what happened in the past and how you overcame the good and the bad to be where you’re meant to me. I’ve felt it and so have you.

I often wonder where the power comes from, something to cherish, something to live by. And it all comes together one day. And you’re filled with an immense sadness, like regret?

I wouldn’t know, I’m still looking for missing puzzle piece. Life doesn’t make sense until I find it. Till then we binge on food.

I don’t have many thoughts these days. I don’t think anymore. Day in and day out, there’s a creep on my balcony as I watch over my shoulder every time I take a turn.

I get a dreadful text message that has my coordinates. And I wonder when the torture will stop, when the harassment will stop.

This world does not belong to me, I do not belong to it. We’re strangers sipping red wine in the backyard where you hid your funeral. I attended. And so did they.

I felt sorry. They were there for free lunch, I believe. I prayed for your joke and I hoped it’d be a dream that I wake up from, holding water, not wine. Holding you, not divine.

I see incomplete pictures and I wonder if they’re beautiful. I hate that they are. You see it too and yet you don’t look at me. I’ll be your picture if need be.

Crossroads


I’m at the crossroads today, one I had been looking for a long time.

I am alone, just as I’d anticipated and just as you had warned me.

The path that I followed was harsh and the one that I will choose is hard.

I remember what you told me, I remember it with every fibre of my soul.

You’re not an inspiration, don’t mistake my words

It’s a lesson learned, to stay clear of the essence of you, remotely connected.

What I found endearing, was a red flag of toxicity, until I tasted it on my tongue

And how I burned.

I’m a phoenix, I rose from the ashes to a new beginning

What will you turn into when you burn? I wonder.

It’s March already!


Can you believe it that two months of 2021 have already gone?

It just struck me today, while I was minding my own business, that we are way into 2021 and it’s no longer a new year. I am yet to make the mistake of writing 2020 instead of 2021. LOL. I seemed to have made enough mistakes to remember what to write now.

But that is beside the point. Time is flying by and before you know it, there will be a couple of grey strands of hair sticking here and there and you’re wondering where the “green salad days” were, that were promised?

Just like the forgotten prince that was promised in Game of Thrones? Remember Azor Ahai? Yes, I am still mad about the ruined storyline. No, I will never get over it.

We are still wearing masks and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

Anyway, thoughts for today … I want to be … What do I want to be? I honestly have no idea. I used to … Once upon a time but now … It’s a haze. It’s nothing.

I want to go back to Existentialism that I once read about, brush up my skills on Kantian concepts … I’m sure I’ll find them more relatable now.

What about Nihilism? I could get down with that as well. Once I know how much I know and relate to, I’ll share my thoughts.

Watch this space, folks … Or not.

Overthinking February 15


Today, I was asked to write about what I think, it could be anything they said.

Anything? I thought.

Usually, I always have a penny for my thoughts but, at the moment, my mind came up blank, like a printer without ink, spitting paper

I wondered what I could write about. Anything, they said.

Anything? I thought.

I’m afraid to voice my thoughts. They’re too grave, too dark to share, an odd look inspiring words will spill what sanity I hold

It’s an important day, it’s an opportunity to declare, what I have always wanted to say. But do I speak into the void? Do I speak my mind?

I’ve been saying the same things again and again, now they’ve lost meaning and yet I can’t stop, like the runaway train, crossing through valleys, cutting through mountains

Again and again, the agony doesn’t go away. What mirage is this? Why, even after so long, do I find myself right where I began?

Never moved an inch, imagination it has been, life until now and the reality is stuck somewhere between the pages of a diary I may once have filled with ink that I have run out of.

So do I take a pencil now, and write? Anything? I thought.

Happy birthday, papa. You’d have crossed 60 years by now. We’d have celebrated with a cake and candles, maybe some balloons and lots of wishes for your long life.

Life gave up before we did, sometimes I think we still wait for you to come home, announcing as you would, voice resounding in the hallway.

I’d rush downstairs to see what you’ve brought for me. Chocolate truffle again? I’d eat it with happy thoughts.

Happy memories, with a sprinkle of bitterness. Years have passed but nothing has changed. Except everything, and yet nothing. The pain doesn’t leave me, the longing doesn’t go away.

But most of all, the nightmares are here, they’ve always been here. Sometimes you’re in them, and sometimes I’m alone. And sometimes when I cannot sleep, I overthink and over eat.

I’ll go to you when the weather is nice


I’ll go to you when the weather is nice. A good story. A calm, slow paced romance mixed with reality and a bit of stretched drama which doesn’t get overbearing.

It’s warm, ironic because it’s cold season in the narrative. And it makes me feel warm. Interesting storytelling technique. Really good looking actors playing deep and complicated characters.

I would half wish to have as boring and amazing life as depicted in that story. Life would be fun if I was watching it in 2D, I’d be safe in the seats

I’ll go to you when the weather is nice is a story about longing and one-sided love that stays hidden inside the heart of a boy who turns into a man without ever confessing his love.

It is a story of a girl coming to terms with her reality and complicated relationship with her family as well as finding love in a long lost friend who had always been watching from the shadows.

It’s about a domestic violence survivor and a defence that goes way too far. It’s about accepting the mistake and paying the price, lawfully and lonely.

It’s about betrayal of a friend by a friend and the hope that they can make peace. Sometimes there is nothing to salvage and in that moment, it’s best forgotten for the sake of all those involved. It’s a tale of learning how to forgive.

It’s a story of a mother who accepts a child not from her womb, gives him a home and nurtures him into what he is today. It’s a story of resilience that is a gift from the support of family. It celebrates love.

I have started to re-watch it a second time. It’s just like a lullaby. Soft, well spoken dialogues and deep, deep feelings of complex characters comes to play. It’s a reality mirroring the drama and I love it.

Remember you


Yesteryear was something, I tasted poison that I didn’t know I had in my veins. And if you don’t believe me, watch me dry up like dried mangoes, ready to be jarred and barred.

Believe me, if you will, that I have forgotten the direction your wind took that summer, when I followed suit, eyes on the kite, fluttering in the wind

The wind was on my side, it seemed, holier within, and it was good until a point when it was not.

I did not want to hurt, I didn’t choose this. Now I pay the price of someone else’s vice. That is okay because it’s you. And if you had remembered, I walked miles in your name. But that’s okay.

Now I walk for me, and have come far, but I have forgotten what existence is. Won’t you be a doll and come home, to remind me what I wanted to forget yet couldn’t let go.

If I saw you somewhere, passing me by, I would stop and stare, commit you to memory of a feeble mind, asking for a solution

I often think what I would say if paths did cross, I am sure I will regret it to the earth’s end.

The fog has descended into the night, dark and moist, see it, taste it on my skin, it’s cold.

Reminder, of the void inside my heart that bleeds without a wound, hurts without pain, flutters when it feels your wind

Never felt so lonely than today, never felt so desperate for some news, I wonder

Why is my nose elsewhere, when I can’t even see the path laid ahead, funny how distraction worked too well, enough that I forgot myself in my quest to remember you.

Let’s bargain


I do not know many heavy words, I may not know what I think is right but speak these words out loud, you may begin to understand

We can give value to human life, we can take it away, it is our legacy, it is the order of the day.

Growing up, you saw what we saw, and we were all scared

You were afraid to speak up, we were afraid to break.

Surviving is a skill we all learned when we were wet behind our ears and yet saw what left trails of trauma

You continued to watch in horror as darkness engulfed us all, we continued to scream as hell ruled supreme

Screams echoed across the moutain tops as the white snow turned crimson, it’s a beautiful world you said, heaven on earth, you said

No blame, O powerless being, you are being threatened and held hostage as you roam the streets, tweeting sorrows about the bloodied, defying land you so cherish

Meanwhile, being culled, like camels in a desert, shot for being too many in a land too valuable

So put a price on me, if you can, and see if you get what it’s worth. I will be watching too, as you put your soul into the bargain

Which part of it do you intend to forsake and what will you take along to the grave, I will stand by and watch all the wealth you accumulate.

I know not many phrases to impress your mind, but I know enough to say that the land you molest is divine.

Saints have laid down to rest under the shade of trees, prayed for the innocent, and atonement of greed

It’s a land we’ve torn asunder and it’s the land we betrayed.

Who are we but mere mortals who can only watch the fires burn, it’s not us who can defend the turf

The new dawn will come, the reckoning that was promised, the injustice will be dealt with, the tables will turn.

Losing


Every day, like a death toll, counting wings, clipped one by one, holding close, like clouds soar, raging on, the fires burn

After the rainy season ended, it felt like anger would brew and spill like lava but it was calm

Like looking over towards the horizon at the beach, while laying in the sand, soaking in the sun

It was quite as the fires subsided, with nothing but ash, yet something survived still or so I thought

We’re born into debt, we’re born into a sentence, to serve till the day we end.

And that’s how we invented hope, hope. Hope. Hope. I hear it ever so often from the mouths of those who believe.

I believe, or so I am made to think. Do I?

I fail. I was born to fail and I keep failing. I tell the truth of what I feel, the others call it kufr.

So, we all live a lie, collectively, consciously, lying to ourselves and others

Lie. Lie. Lie. Lie. Steal from others what doesn’t belong to you and call it fair, is what you do.

Avenge and burn the grounds around so nothing remains for you’re destined to lose. So lose everything anyway and let not them tell you “I told you so”.

 

 

 

Letter from I to you


I first thought, I’d write you a letter, that I would wipe the years and clear my head and write to you.

Dear you, I would begin, and go on to pour out my heart for you. But the pen wouldn’t move.

I want to ask, have you been well? Do you ever think of the past?

Does your morning sun smile for you? What about the wind that caresses your skin?

Do you walk by the gardens and sigh for a tragic love, like I do?

Did you change much? I dare not ask about me.

Every day, I fight the thoughts of you, they cling to me like perfume, a lonely scent of the morning cold

I have thought and thought of what I’d say if I ran into you on a random day

Would I hold my head high and walk by? Would I stop and greet you with a smile?

Would you recognise that battered face, I wonder. I hope you don’t. Forgotten memories are the best ones to keep.

Life has shrunk into a bubble of hope, no, longing for something, of memories that once used to be reality

I would write to you and tell you about my days and how hollow are the nights that even the velvety darkness doesn’t comfort

Sad love, one that never stood a chance against the fair and just world, naive and foolish king gave away the kingdom for his love and we fight for trivialities

It’s supposed to be a letter from I to you. Could you be I or could I be you? Don’t overthink.

Falling petals


There is a window by the door and if you look through, you’ll see what I love to call a fall

As you fall with me, I ask you to look further down the rabbit hole, whizzing past the images that you ignored last summer

One by one, as you look through, the window grows taller as you are being written down

Let’s fall together, tumble through words to make sense of the world

I’m not so sure if we’re in the same one or are we somewhere else, a place where I get to call you my own

I will not deny, I will get caught by you watching me watch you, with the wind shadowing your every move

I could say, we are romantic but isn’t tragic more fitting, for nothing is real

An inverted mirror. A ceaseless call for escape, evasive of punishment, with you, without you

Like petals falling, as Autumn draws near, moments pass and down they fall

Like us.

Memories: Pet Society


I do not recall the exact year, but maybe it was 2008 or 2009 when I first logged on to Facebook. To make friends? Lol, no! I was a nerd. I wanted to play a game that Facebook was hosting during those days. My sister used to play and I was hooked watching her play. So I wanted to try as well.

I remember using my yahoo email ID to make an account. I do not remember my first profile picture but I remember what the first thing I did when my feed was set up.

Pet Society.

It was the game that got me to Facebook. Of course, it was followed by Crazy Taxi and Farmville. But Pet Society was the real deal. During those days I was a Twilight fan and of course, I named my pet Bella.

Bella was a lucky pet. To this day, I don’t know what breed or what kind of animal she was. But my guess is a bunny. Anyway, Bella had a two-storey house and it was fully furnished. If I didn’t log in for a few days, she would have flies around her. Hahaha, the game was pretty creative.

No matter what, people never believed when I told them why I joined Facebook. I don’t know why it is important. But I remember that game very vividly. I was invested the same way streamers are invested in their games these days. I used to do it way before it became cool.

But what is the point of it? This memory. Trivial … Not important but it was a milestone as well. Fleeting moment in the long stream that is slowly winding down the mountain to meet the ocean somewhere.

Marking it as my own. A coping mechanism. A distraction. A denial filling with inconsequential moments. Glorify the common, the dismissive ones.

A year later, they shut it down. It was a personal loss that no other game similar to Pet Society was able to fill. I play scrabble these days. Meet me in the battlefield someday, guys. We may end up becoming friends.

Lol. I doubt it. But what the hell. 😆☺️

Love, was it?


Life is walking towards me, riding the air, closing the distance in between

Death is walking towards me, surely and constantly, with a purpose it seems

And I, watch and life and death walk towards me without tiring

But why does my heart flutter? What is it that I am hesitating?

Could be the end of all that I know, an existence of compromise?

Could it really be the end of me? Or a new beginning?

Love, was it?

Endure, maybe I will, for the sake of what comes next

I shall greet them warmly, shake hands and be on my way.

It was hidden in the smile all along, and now I see

What was a puzzle, now I know

This walk is what it was all about, this moment is why I lived so long.

The tears that fall, from the heights of her eyes, into the depths of her face and collect into her collar bone, I see.

A sad spectacle we all witness, as I contemplate my fate.

Love, was it?

There is a chill in the air, winter is settling in.

Where will I find my cherry blossoms?

A promise made to meet when the first snow hits the top of her head, soaking into her hair like white fairies

I would witness life and death.

Memories: Diaries


I have been writing as far as I can remember in life. My first diary that I remember having is signed by a nine-year-old optimistic bundle. I.

The diary was fancy. Dad had bought two, one for me and one for my brother.

It had a blue cover and four coloured page sets that divided the diary for different purposes.

The first section, blue, was for my poetry. The second was for prose.

Third section was for art and fourth is too dense to recall.

I signed it with what handwriting I had then. To be honest, it was not that bad. I may have published something about this diary some time in the past as well.

*Some five minutes later* here you go … I found the post.

https://shifanaseerpoems.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/journey-down-the-memory-lane/

It is a special diary. I have kept it with my as far as I can remember. I wrote about everything on it, there is even something about coffee and tea. 👌🤣 I envy those thoughts.

I still have it. Although, I don’t visit my home anymore, I know it’s there in the top drawer of my desk which used to be right next to my bed.

Now the desk must be in the attic. And so is my childhood. A vague cloud hanging on top of my head. A memory. A good one. Before all hell broke loose.

Since then, I have had many diaries. I’ve written a lot of stuff. And stored them in different pages. I used to have a travel diary, a poetry diary, a diary to write my novel ideas in. And to everyone’s surprise, I also had a hate diary. Although, I had to get rid of it because it’s too dangerous to have such thoughts on paper. I never started another.

I have a special relationship with my diaries. I had one which I started in 2007. It was a calender journal of sorts. It was beige or brown in colour. I don’t remember exactly.

It had my first 100 poems I wrote with all seriousness of a budding poet. With time, it became heavy with words I was too young to carry but it bore the burden well.

Years went by, and 2011 was the year when I started writing on this blog. For a while, I coordinated between my diaries and this blog. But ultimately, digital won me over. It’s convenient and accessible.

🤷 guilty.

I never was the ‘Dear diary’ kind but I always had more than three to write in at some point or the other. And they never started with formalities.

No honorifics. Nothing. Brute, angry language for a long time.

Memories


During school, in my sixth grade, we had a class project. It was to make a glass painting. For someone who is not very artistic, it was a great opportunity to make something that could be displayed.

It was an exciting time and I was excited. I specially had glass cut and made into squares so I could paint different things on them.

I still remember using tracing paper to jot down the art. And copy it using the glass paints and outliner. It was not that difficult, even for me.

I remember being proud of it. I remember flaunting the new “skills”. And I still remember how on the day of the exhibition, my painting which was that of a bunch of grapes, slipped from my hand and hit the concrete of the assembly grounds, vertically.

It broke just like the screen of an iPhone breaks when it falls vertically on any surface. Irreparable damage. The painting was lost. And I had half an hour to go for the exhibition.

What a loser.

I remember crying in the line as we were being herded back into our respective classes. It was winter time. The chill was in the air and I was hugging the packet which had my broken shards, now useless.

My teacher’s disapproval, my disappointment and disgust at the clumsiness, it all pooled into the pit of my stomach and I was sick with it.

The day went by, and I was made to dump the now useless Shards of my masterpiece into the dustbin. It was dangerous.

And so was I.

I made other paintings afterwards. They were all shown across family circles but none made it to the exhibition in that sixth grade class.

Regret.

Starry nights


Poets over the time have romanticised sleeplessness with so many emotions that a lot of literature has focussed on the unrequited love and lovers’ dilemma

A simple, realistic life scenario doesn’t sit well with the fantasy world of fiction writers. Am I being scornful? Maybe.

Or maybe I’m just irked at the fact that it’s already 4:36 am at the time of writing this particular line and I am far from sleepy. What injustice is this?

Aren’t the eyes tired of staring at the world, spewing enough hatred around that they want to claim the darkness too?

Urgh. It’s frustrating. I wish I could sleep soundly and wake up fresh for once, without a headache.

Count sheep they said, fool your mind they said. Nothing works for the stressed mind for its filled with stuff even I don’t understand.

The post was supposed to be in third person but I’m used to adding I everywhere.

Yes I am experiencing lack of sleep and I blame all of you.

Starry nights, I see stars from this part of the world. Tiny ones, flickering in the distance. But where I come from, it’s a dull haze, all day every day. People have forgotten what stars look like

Looking for stars there is like squinting your eyes at the TV without glasses. Lol. Guilty.

Hence, here I am … Not sleeping. Hating on the world for ruining the mood, for fantasising sorrow into the star-studded nights of the Middle East.

Skin


Brazen and rough, coarse to touch, dry to feel and suffocating to breathe

Fighting to escape, yet clinging on to save, a lifeline, a prison to stay in

Lately, the restlessness

settling into a comfortably uncomfortable phase.

It sounds funny, even while thinking this particular thought.

Uncomfortable in my own skin.

It irks me, this skin that I wear and wear I do, so comfortable and snug

You couldn’t tell us apart, this cover and I, every day, and the night

Sleep, no, toss and turn, while sweating underneath

Icky, not okay with what is for a prisoner, sentenced for eternity into this skin, comfortable and snug

The skin keeps the heat in, the cold out. Uncomfortable under the collar

Scratching, collecting under the finger nails, disgust.

Leaving lines of red, like rays across the sky during sunset

Colours dance, the sweat breaks and there go the fireworks

The source of the end, where the darkness lurks

2021: The Year Of Hopes


It’s 2021! The new year is a time of excitement and possibilities. We are hyper aware of time passing us by. And the uncertainty of a new beginning.

The beginnings are timid this year. I am not sure about other people making resolutions this year but I sure as hell did not make one.

2020 was supposed to be THE YEAR for me. Laugh out loud for a minute there. You can also opt for RIP for my peace of mind.

Anyway, the pandemic brought its own challenges and heartache and with time, I adjusted well to the mask on my face. It’s like my face now. No, it is my face now.

Wow.

A sea of masks if you’re brave enough to venture out to a mall for a change, as a cry for help, tumble into H&M and panic buy some clothes because how else will you keep your spirits up? You have to live through another day to wear that new tee shirt, duh!

Thats what life is all about now. No money and lots of expenses. We’re all on our way down. Hold up, let me rephrase, I don’t know about others, but I sure as hell am circling the drain.

I think I am doing okay. Maybe. But I’m plagued by indecision as you can clearly see the direction this discussion is taking. Is this even a discussion? Am I not just speaking out to the void that is the world? Or maybe, writing out? 🤣

Moving on, I am hopeful that the worst is over and we just have to pull up our socks and prepare for the winter that 2020 has brought with it.

2021 won’t be warm enough. Maybe 2022 … But what do we know? Life is weird. Who even can understand what the hell is going on in the universe! The more I think, the more pissed I get.

Yes, you’ve guessed it right, I have a lot of time on my hands these days. And I am utilising it efficiently. 🤣

My point is … I don’t know what the point is. The post began as a philosophical one … Where I was supposed to vomit out some teachings of Confucius or maybe some tricks I’m trying to learn about how to unclutter the mind. It’s working, clearly. 🤣

I wish I knew what my role is in this stupid play that we play every day. Believe in things that we don’t see and hope for things that may never come. I’ve been waiting for a long time. And I am still waiting for salvation but all I see is desert in front of me.

Mounds of sand … Sand dunes … Shifting shapes, blowing away in the wind as I try to collect what I hope I have, like the camp fire’s flickering flames in the middle of nowhere.

I have some experience in camping and I hated it. I missed my bed.

I saw some fireworks. I may put together some silly, stupid edit of a video for it. Judge me.

I hope your year started out well. And I hope it continues to be either exciting or plain uneventful. Both scenarios are acceptable at this point.

Goodluck, may 2021 be in your favour.

Mountain Tops


I never liked the mountain tops, staring down at me as I gaze up at them

Seemingly arguing away our day, glaring as we wound around the busy way

Nauseating turns, spinning tales, hidden in the valleys, the cascading rivers

Always in a tussle, to burst free of the bundles wound around my legs, the weight tied around my shoes and a heavy heart

Left and right, wherever I turn, I see the pointed and rounded ends, blocking light, some

There’s always another slope to climb, another fire escape.

Walls


It started with a drawer, and grew into one where all the mess would go

Day after day, slamming away the wheels, until the wood gave way and the springs turned loose

Growing like a tree or was that weed … I can’t remember but

It grew into a closet and a closet now I had, to unburden, to hide the mess inside

Neatly stacked walls and corridors I built, a castle of nightmares drawn in pretty red

The mess turned to chaos and the chaos was stored inside, it grew like a cancer, engulfing my castle

And now it’s a whitewashed room, I see. And I sit with it in my dreams.

Outside the door, guarding or hiding, who can tell anymore

Never ending days


What is that God awful sound, is my first thought every morning,

Cranky thoughts, having slept just few hours before day break

The morning begins angry, like a crow cawing to itself, overlooking the world, a narrow lens

Thus, mounts the bitterness for having to battle voices inside the head and outside

Demands, requests, socially sanctioned responses and so on,

Miserable self falls further down the rabbit hole,

Meanwhile, autopilot ticks off one item after another, in the hope of some relief at the end of the dark tunnel

Every day is “one of those days”, can’t-handle-it moments I face and handle and move on

Thus, phase by phase, I see my day through all the way into the night

But I continue, deep into pitch darkness, ticking off boxes, one down and another down and I still go on.

I can’t stop for a break but I hope I would crash like that cheap hard disk so I can just lay my head a moment by the side

And sigh a deep sigh of relief, my feet won’t start as I curl up on the sidewalk

Traffic blaring in my ears as eyes become heavy, exhaustion feeds me, I see

The world called it a day, mine refuses to bid farewell, it’s stay earns me praise, it’s presence grows on me like a weed

Adulting


Why would I start now when I know I won’t make the mark?

If I had to choose between truth and a lie, would I choose a whitewashed lie?

Or would it be the bitter poison to corrode my heart in a beat, a heap of ashes, borne from my choices

Wrong turns around the road, like the traveller gone astray in the mountains of somewhere

I try to write and I keep writing, words don’t cut it so why should I try?

Everyone hides in their walled castles, manned by what nots on all sides

I could name them all for you, one is my companion, called something something

It’s the pain of the pinky toe, it’s the flutter of a love letter lost to the wind

It’s the heavy burden of nothing, and ‘I’m fine’s that I hold on to

Dark and Dingy


Welcome to the cave of my making, I am the lord and the life here

Irony sits by me as I envelope myself in the velvet darkness, drowning and revelling at the same time in a self-inflicted misery of the acutest kind

Should I be kind to myself after falling through the seven circles of hell? Or should I turn into a modern-day Faustus?

If I could, I would find sympathy for my soul which is tormented from the moment I open my eyes

Its all well and good until I step out the door, as the outside draws near, I recoil from inside

You have nothing to hide, its all there in open sight, if you care enough to see

I would point it out to you but, its dark and dingy

You have lost your way, and so have I, and now I am comfortable in my twilight zone.

Level with me


A bandaid won’t cut it, it goes deeper than skin, it’s erosion at its very basic.

A flood.

Is it empty? Is this a void?

Sinking to the bottom like the RMS Titanic, slowly but surely

The compartments below deck are filling up, brimming with salt, icy water

Then it’s fluid, not a void

Spills from each compartment of my heart, one into the other, filling up, brimming

Eyes that have seen, too much of what has been

Todays, yesterdays and the day befores, all lose meaning as the time drags on

Ungrateful for the slow end? Am I?

I get to say goodbyes? Maybe, if only I liked farewells

Too bad.

I still pack my bags, and wait for the water to level with me.

Level with me.

I stare at the one fluorescent light in the corner, I stare as the pupils dilate and I see nothing but white noise

I pray, now I drop to my knees and hold my hands to my face

I try to recall what my prayers are, I swear I knew them by heart,

Like a panicked student in the examination hall, I frantically look at the whitewashed walls for answers

A stubborn wall faces me, as the fluorescent light dominates my vision

I wonder


I want to write a story. A simple one. Maybe a love story, the way I want mine to be. I often think how I would begin. What would I start with?

How will it end? I often think about the end.

Parallel lines never meet but they go on, side by side, always together, never changing directions

Intersections bring differences and with that, separation.

Forgetfulness is a habit, one I choose to fester with thoughts that I ought to forget but cannot

So intersections, and separations and maybe a hook to lure in the reader

A twist, an evil fate, a sinister plan to defy what’s owed.

And so it would go.

My end would be happy, always happy endings, like rain on a spring morning

Like the warm Autumn sun, aware of the time flying by, but soaking in while it lasts.

While it lasts in my memory. The end will be happy.

I wonder if I will ever be …

Wisdom of words


We battle with it, in our minds, to find the right choice, to put across our point

Words, as easy as it may seem, elude us when we need them the most

Leading with wisdom, words come in all sorts, some well read, well spoken and some just out there, thrown in random

Find meaning, if ever there was one, in words, for no one gets the point anyway

So why bother with the wisdom of words, that you so articulately explained at dinner yesterday

Conversation flowed and so did the wine, one started getting heavy, and one was getting light

As the stars reached their peak, you hit your very low, forgot the way home, the world became really slow

Dragging over the hedge and across the road, you form your first coherent words

Patiently, we wait as you struggle to unscramble your mind

A mistake, that only you could define

But finding wisdom in words isn’t easy, you see

The meaning always seems to be within the grasp and just when you think you got it, it flees.

Talking to a unicorn


Pick a random day, a random time, it’s always a sour mood, a deadline.

Care not for what others say, you’re in your bubble and that’s where you’re going to stay

Every day, the unicorn comes and laughs around you and tries to make a joke.

You laugh and you laugh and you laugh some more.

The day ends and it stops, silence descends on the mountain tops.

If you’re silent enough, you could hear the Echoes of thoughts spoken before

And the unicorn laughs with you.

A random day, a random time, you walked up to the top and held out your hand.

It will pass, like a cloud, drenching you in rain, for another dry pasture that never knew it came

The unicorn flies away, with the horn held high, a lesson for life

A funny little story, on a random day, at a random time.

Keeping you alive


My dad was a unique man. He had unique ideas, different thinking, calm and indifferent attitude, and on the whole an easy-going person. It was natural for him to shrugg off anxiety and deal with issues.

I often thought, while growing up, how he did that. He would not get angry unless really provoked, and even so, he would be more silent than up-and-about.

I often think about his approach to situations and people, and I wonder what he would have done or said if he were in my position.

I have no feedback. It’s a silent line for me, but I often ask, in the hope that I may have inherited some of his quirks.

I wouldn’t know either, even if I tried. There’s a blurry line between fiction and reality. And I often lose my balance.

With a black-coloured, rectangular radio, a small antenna on top right which would expand to catch the range

He would walk around the house, humming, or sometimes silent, find a quite corner of the house, usually my room, and curl with a book

He would often say, “The world of books is a maze. You can get lost in it and I don’t mind wandering through the pages.”

I always understood.

I never talk about it much, but he would buy me books, by a dozen, and challenge me to finish them all in a week, for instance

The loser would have to buy the next batch.

I never lost.

And he knew I never would.

Times have changed, now people wait and watch for me to fail. But that’s okay.

Dad used to believe in “forgive and forget” policy. He would say it keeps heart light and mind free of negativity

I never agreed. We were never on one page either.

Balance was always about to tip.

But he would always call out my name, when it was dark, to see if I’m okay, I wonder why I forget

What it’s like, to be remembered, after you’re gone, no trace but the memories in their minds.

And I remember, I remember to keep you alive. Thats what I do.

Through my thoughts, my smiles and my life, I’m keeping you alive.

Set in stone


I often think why I run away from places, from people

Why I shy away from a pat on the back, a celebratory hug

It’s all too easy to pack my bags and leave, leave behind all those who care, leave behind a foundation set in stone

Stones take time to fade, they wither, corrode, turn to dust with time but they stay

So be the stones that surpass the human timeline, be timeless and stay

Stay for what you’ve been asking for and hope that it will come your way

Run if you must but bookmark the past for your peace of mind, turn the pages to read the best bits

Those don’t come often

Find warm people, to make the cold go away, bring some cheer into the cold, hard heart set in stone.

And maybe, you’ll know that the wind is always on your side, taking the essense of stones, one layer at a time

Carries it to distant shores that you’re meant to traverse

That the Sun is your ally, beaming down every day, hoping you’d open your eyes to a bright sunny day

A Woman Untethered


What are you so afraid of, I wonder. Is it because she’s got wings so bright, it will burn your eyes?

Is it because she has no leash around her neck, and won’t sit when you come running with a treat?

Or is it because she shines so bright that your fragile, dim mind refuses to acknowledge for fear of being overlooked?

So, I wonder, is that why you do it?

The magic to possess, to ruin and decay the force of nature?

You tell her how to smile, how to dress, how to talk, how to impress

Married, she must come with an expiration date or else be subjected to social isolation

“Maybe, she has a flaw! Her teeth look odd.”

“Something must not be right … You know … down there!”

“She won’t lose weight for her big day?! How will she look nice then?”

“Not fair enough, I want the kids to be like foreigners …”

“Can’t cook?! What has your mother taught you?”

“Don’t go out wearing this jeans, I can see your legs!”

“Your shirt is too short for this ocassion. Go and change. We’ll wait.”

“Please wear a scarf in front of your chest or else everyone else will say she’s inappropriate.”

This is off the top of my head. The list goes on. Many would nod their heads, many would shake them

I think with a pen in my hand, dropping my words like bullets on paper,

Why are there such massive and inbred structures in place to cage one bird?

The untethered woman is a threat, she challenges what you hold dear, control and power

How dare she question what you set in stone, how dare she demand her right, reclaim her life, her humanity

So full of venom, your dark veins are, you hold her down, and cut those wings and leave her in a cold, dark grave

Is that why you’re afraid? That she’ll come knocking one day, rising from the box, that you made

How long will you gag, O mighty oppressor, and tell her it’s for her own good?

You deny, deny, deny through ages, her right to live as she wants, you dictate in the guise to protect,

Ironic, for you are the real danger.

She is untethered, she’s got the wind on her side, rustling trees and the rising sun

Sell the lie to your own kind, that what they say about Angels, nothing but statues, choosing to die with a smile, in pain

Dare she love, out of bounds, stone her to death for she raised her head!

Cut the tresses, that entangle you so, raise desires but instead kill the source, how dare she entice the man kind

Cloth her body, but stare at her so, make her feel naked, isnt that her purpose?

A painting on the wall, a flower in the dying pond, lacking lustre, a rusting iron sword

The world is dangerous for a woman because the man has no control.

Women need to be protected because they’re fragile, but the world you built was meant to break every bone in her body

And yet she stands, raises generations and after generations, a martyr, an icon of love but abused for she is denied

Her existence, her choice, her identity, and her voice.

A smile is all you remember from the past pictures of women, not one mentioned in history for things that she once may have done but we will never know.

Almost forgot


Hey, you know, I almost forgot what it was like, the lingering taste of bitter medicine

which turns the teeth and your tongue yellow for a bit, a reminder of the poison you just drank, willingly

The bruise, that dark purple bruise that has now turned yellow, like a fading sunflower in a sunless meadow, hurting

The longing, that grew every day into this huge ball of burden on my chest, that I carry to this day, unwittingly

The accusations and the blame, levied on the innocent, I almost forgot the injustice, the systemic bullshit reasons

I almost forgot that summer when you were you, a lively young thing, roaming the fields of joy

But now, hope is dead and details are slipping, I am not sad, I am bothered

How do you tell someone to stop waiting, to give up on the breeze that was never meant to blow in your direction

You’re a wandering cloud, on a dark, dark day, sending rain to her who doesn’t have an umbrella.

I almost forgot the dress that got wet in the storm that you brewed, hot under the damp green grass.

Now that memory stirs, I retreat into my shell for how can you do anything but smile under the shadow of despair.

When people die


When people die, where do they go?

Do they become the tears that incessantly flow? Or do they become flies, that sit by the window?

Hoping for a chance to go back home

When people die, I often think where they go

Body decays, sure, but the soul must live on?

Does it entangle itself into the clouds or maybe the lightening, if vengeful?

Do they turn into the rain and bless the harvest season?

Or do they just exist with us, in a parallel world, devoid of anything and everything under the smoldering sun

Why are we scared of death when life is the ultimate test

History is witness that existence is a punishment, a burden to bear since the dawn of time

Piece of me


Had you ever stopped to gauge what was left behind, a sombre scene in a torched meadow of the past

A bombed soldier lying in a war zone, like clouds that gather in the sky around the sun

The hurt you left behind, engulfed the fire within

Witness the ashes, mounds of gray up in smoke, a price for your mistakes

My patriotism, your hypocrisy, and both when together, a recipe for disaster

Had I known when I signed away my soul, that you would barter away what I so lovingly offered

Love need not be in your heart for me to call you my own, but you’re more than that

A devil with a desire

To possess,

To hold, to destroy,

To ruin

But marr if you will, the castle of my dreams, snatch away the happy ending, turn laughter into screams

I still stand on the rubble of your making, setting in stone your cruelty

As if I didn’t know any better than to hold on to you,

Holding on to the pain that razes me like a bare blade, cuts infinite

You’re a piece of me, my dynamite.

It’s okay to not be okay


Sometimes, it’s okay to let things slide, to not feel fear of falling out of sync

A perfect schedule can sometimes fall behind a chat with a friend outside the office doors

A laugh in between serious lines of work, a chuckle spilling coffee across the white, marble floor

It’s okay for things to not be in order, hair all over the place because you woke up late!

Heart racing to catch that bus. Quick, firm steps, trying to keep calm.

It’s okay to not be calm. It is okay to not be okay.

You find it easy to hide, rather than confide. It is okay to smile and still feel a turmoil inside

Confused emotions? That is okay too. As long as you fall into the rhythm of footsteps, unrelenting

It’s okay to speak in negatives and still find hope in battered thoughts of dismay

It’s okay to cry if feelings overwhelm you, the wetness may heal you, even if temporary, it may be a rainy day somewhere

And if you choose drought, that’s alright. Night will eventually welcome you into its cool shade.

The moon will share stories of those lying awake at night, just like you.

And you will find comfort, in your own way.

Because its okay to not be calm sometimes. Life is hard so do what makes it easy for you.

It is okay to not be okay.

Where I am …


I have walked a long and winding road

Full of disappointment and shattered hopes

Night arch fades eventually, and the day breaks

And yet the tormenting night stays atop the mountain side

It is all good, until it’s not

Moments like these, come drifting with the clouds

Mocking, wading through, one blink away

No sense of relief, of security, it’s a state of mind

One I have come to terms with, no peace for the lowlifes

Striving to shrugg off the high ground

If I escape today, if I can manage to sit through the rehearsal without making a sound

A cry, I fear, will escape my lips and it is with the same honour

I hide behind the face of a clown

How belittling this sorrow makes me feel, a punishment for toeing the line

The line you drew for me.

I remember asking for freedom, for release that I was denied

No.

I cannot forget the empty eyes, like orbs staring into the broken ones, without empathy

Like stone, like ice. I fear I gave you too much credit.

Not much to begin with, but now I know where you stand and it’s not near where I am.

Distortion


Time is flowing for everyone but me, it seems

A tree without blooms in the spring, winter without snow?

Or am I looking at the distorted reality of mirrors

Is it me or my reflection that now seeks the world’s pleasures, yet trapped

What is this idea that has taken seed, a lost cause of despair

Lifeless branches, wailing in the wind, a hurricane in the making

A silent storm brewing under the dark clouds

Happy birthday, Blog!


Hi there. It’s been nine years since I started this train of thought. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to end any time soon.

New experiences, fatal emotions, scandalous hyperbolic lines and all too much hatred for this world.

I wondered what I should write on such a happy occasion. I’m not sure if it’s a happy thought that I’ve managed to consistently dump darkness on WordPress. Lol.

But it’s something, something worth it.

So, here’s to many more such years of torment!

Anywhere but here


Love comes knocking now and then, and here I sit on the steps

A doorway to nowhere, never been anywhere, I hope and wait for it to open

Anywhere.

Love comes bearing chances, bouts of happiness that I choose to forget

In the hopes that I would be spared, the stick that whips through the air and strikes into the heart

Through and through.

Come what may, miserable as the past days, I am still holding the floor

Hoping to have the last word

But love comes knocking, now and then, in the hopes that I would understand

But stubborn as my soul is, sorrow is multifold

Fear of unknown, a box I keep, treasures hidden, away from the door that I hope will lead

Anywhere but here.

Giving Up


It never hurts as much as it does when friends give up on you.

Come as it may, like a bus you were late, as sorry as it sounds, the passengers didn’t wait.

An apology, amendment was it too late? That no way of redemption did you seek in my wake?

Be as you would, I wouldn’t dream of asking you to be as you were

A friend, a harbour and a safety net.

Am I failure or did you really fail?

It’s all a matter of perception, thats all I can say.

Firsts: Started a podcast


From the vault: Call it a product of lockdown or just an avenue to get out of the rut, but I have started a podcast along with a long-time friend. Before anyone gets all excited about it, let me explain that it is about Harry Potter and dialogue reads. We have only published two episodes of 10 minutes each so far.

It is called Knockturning Heads. LOL, yes, I came up with that name. If you know, you know.

During the episodes, you will hear Abeen and Shifa reminiscing about the past and trying to recreate some of it in the crappy present where the world is dying, one day at a time. Call it our coping mechanism?

We have many plans for it. Since it is the first time either of us are doing something like this, its pretty much a shot in the dark but I am hopeful we will improve and get better and more creative in terms of both content and technical knowhow.

In case anyone is interested, here is the Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/show/708h0W5UHFKzZWSHxevBz5

Dark and Dingy


Welcome to the cave of my making, I am the lord and the life here

Irony sits by me as I envelope myself in the velvet darkness, drowning and revelling at the same time in a self-inflicted misery of the acutest kind

Should I be kind to myself after falling through the seven circles of hell? Or should I turn into a modern-day Faustus?

If I could, I would find sympathy for my soul which is tormented from the moment I open my eyes

It’s all well and good until I step out the door, as the outside draws near, I recoil from inside

You have nothing to hide, its all there in open sight, if you care enough to see

I would point it out to you but, its dark and dingy

You have lost your way, and so have I, and now I am comfortable in my twilight zone.

 

Time stops still


I don’t feel the need to write about suffering anymore, your absence made it all go away

A chat in the mirror, and a few tears later, in a wonderful boat I sailed, to more calmer waters

Or so I hope, for storms are always lurking near the horizon, waiting to pounce and sink the ship

I don’t feel the need to wait for love anymore, the hardships made it all disappear

A good long look at myself and you, and I knew it was the right decision, even with poor execution

Or so I choose to believe, with time that has passed and the years that will come to pass, I hope to give up the burden I was forced to carry

Mind over matter, I choose seasons of different colours, to bring me back to life, every time past sneaks me away to darkness

Where time stops still.

Floating


You feel like you’re drowning, be it in work, or life

You’re overwhelmed all the time, with time spinning out of control

It’s all very well, it all makes sense but did you ever wonder how far you drowned

Are you still drowning? Or have your lungs given way? Don’t hold your breath, I say

If it seems too dark for you, turn away, close the page and dream happy thoughts, for these lines aren’t for you

If you’re still here, then hear me clear

You float. Thats the stage you’re at. And nothing but the waves can move you wherever

You’re immobilised, possibly filled with salt water, presumably dead.

Inside?

You exist, but you don’t. Nothing really matters, the water laps at your sides, corrode the skin,

You feel nothing with your head in the water, not breathing, you’re just floating

Floating through life.

Battle Cry


When all is lost, spiralling out of control, despite the efforts, the hope

Cry for help, silent gulps of air, you try to breathe and keep the moisture locked in your eyes.

But the strain moves down from the eyes to your voice, and a crack can be heard when you say ‘I’m fine’

Fill the cracks with everything you got, a smile would work best

Hear the battle cry, fight to hold the tears in, speak too fast, talk too much,

Distance between your heartbeats just keeps on increasing, the horizon that can never be reached

Desperate. Too cardinal for polite conversion

Cover up the leaks, hide the weakness, as the reservoir threatens to break

Give up with a smile, feel the tear in your voice, cherish the lump in your throat

Act, quick! No one will know, fill the crack as always

No one will hear the cry anyway, you’re locked away, by the window

It’s a sound proof room, it’s a silent film. Spectators will cheer for the well behaved caged animal.

Spike in stats


I received a notification from WordPress this morning. It was about a spike in the stats for the blog.

It’s been a long time since such a notification was received and I was intrigued. I unlocked my phone and opened the WordPress app. And I realised, that one post had maximum views.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/shifanaseerpoems.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/teachers-day-my-fathers-day/amp/

The moment brought a rush of memories. For one, I remembered it was Teacher’s Day tomorrow.

I remembered why I wrote this post and that was another can of worms I opened today.

I’ve always given the analogy of a circle to describe misery and sorrowful thoughts.

And my thoughts have been the same for years and years.

Recently, I have been called out over my attitude towards Life. And I think they have a good point. But I’m stuck in my loop.

How do I even catch up when I’m busy running after my tail?

Anyway, it’s a day to remember all the teachers who made an impact on my life. And dad has been one of them.

Happy Teacher’s Day!