In between the waves

“Please inform them in Lahore.” “Sure, Baba. Have a safe journey.” She said after tucking him into the window seat. ‘Seat #2’ it said in black. She was glad it was in the front. He won’t have to walk too much to get off. “Tell them that I’ll be there by 8:45pm.” “Sure, Baba.” She hugged him and ended up hugging part of the seat. She went to stand with her mother. The mother and daughter walked to the other side of the bus. Two eyes followed them, and as the bus made his daughter and granddaughter momentarily disappear, he brought his eyes to ...

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Always remember

“What’s my name?” “My beti.” “But what is it, really?” “My pyaari beti.” “Do you remember me?” I can almost hear you reply – only vaguely.   I watch you every day, In that same seat that you always occupy – With the sun glinting off your bald head. I watch as first you give up your laughter, Then your listening, Then your talking, Then yourself.   As I sit across the room, And become heavier and stronger, I watch you become weaker and smaller. I watch your appetite shrink, And the only food you truly want Is kept away from you, near the sink. It’s meant to protect your health, To ensure you don’t get confusions or even possible delusions.   Delusions of ...

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She was life whispered into poetry

The bright yellow rays of the sun spilled into the room. Kedar sat by the window of his room as he thought about Aizel — the woman he loved. Aizel was beautiful. Her dusky gold skin glimmered in the sunlight, her dark hair carelessly tumbled about her shoulders, and her dark brown eyes twinkled innocently. She was life whispered into poetry. Kedar could look into her eyes forever. Her eyes were profound— they encompassed all the beauty that there was in the world. And all that he saw within them, he put down in words. Aizel made him a writer. When he ...

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Kashmir: Don’t ever call this valley a ‘paradise’

Let me tell you a tale, a story filled with reality. Kashmir destroyed by tyrants and their cruelty. Where women are assaulted and children are not spared. The rulers are the murderers and the ‘security’ men feared. Pellets to blind, tear gas shells to choke you. Jails to languish, bullets to kill you. They’ve empty hearts, their blood is cold. Some among us are theirs, their faith is sold. The children of ours, tormented and in trauma. Then they’ll try to fox you and do all the drama. A little boy, they inserted needles into his eyes. Slapped, tortured him and then came up with lies. India, the most tolerant is what they call themselves. But tales ...

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Silent cries and whispers

She looked through the box as though she were looking for something, some specific piece of information, but couldn’t seem to find it. “Amitriptyline 25mg” it read, bold and vivid. The name seemed daunting enough to prevent her from swallowing the capsule, but she knew she had to. So she unfolded its packaging, fetched a glass of water and finally placed herself on the couch with the medicine in one hand and the glass in the other. She kept the capsule on the tip of her tongue and tried multiple times to gulp it down. It just wouldn’t work. Her body felt ...

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Wake up to sleep

I drew a portrait, And called myself an artist. When I did not have time to draw anymore, Did I become any less of myself?   This skin shedding, This habit leaving. This growing up, This looking back, The self is here. Oh, but look! The self is missing from itself again.   I misplaced myself in time. You are now trying to erase yourself from the past. It just won’t do. This filling of flesh into tomorrow, Leaving today, to tuck itself to sleep, Alone. But wait – Don’t leave just yet. Stay for a while.   Tell me, What did you learn? What did you bury? How did you grow into yourself again? But more pressingly, Did you love? Did you breathe in the green today? Did ...

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They were each other’s “meant to be”, but not “forever”

Souls have no concept of time. No clocks. No calendars. Age dilutes us, makes us only watered down versions of ourselves. All of us become a little misplaced, a little lost under emotionless, bleached beams of the sun. But these old souls… These speakers of a forgotten language… Resiliently seek the missing half, as if written on each other with permanent ink. Continuously counting constellations, forgetting boundaries and reaching for the stars as they reach for each other. With “his” madness rumbling in “her” heart… Dangerously hypnotic, wildly naïve… Yet equally distant. Equally impossible. These two souls were each other’s “meant to be”, but they were not each other’s ...

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What if there really is no end?

It was a dark night, there were no stars or moon in the sky. A little boy was lost in a labyrinth of little streets. He ran from one street to another, and then to another, and then to another— there was no end. But there has to be an end. There’s always an end. He was unfaltering in his pursuit of finding an end. He was out of breath and felt sparks of searing pain in his legs, but he still ran. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.  His body screamed. He had been running for a long time. What if I had been wrong all along? ...

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Dishonoured

For every person, there is one emotion they can never handle with ease. For me, that emotion is anxiety. As I stand amidst the neon lights and blaring music, my hands are sweating profusely and my eyes dart from corner to corner in search of a means of escape. My heart is clogged with a lump that threatens to emerge in the form of tears. The atmosphere around me is so loud that I feel my own personality melting into the beats of the drums. But no matter how much I wish to, I can’t drink away the troubles of ...

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You in your sleep, me in my wakefulness

You are sleeping… And a part of me wants to wake you up Just so I can see you smile That smile you save for me You don’t yet understand, But maybe one day you will… That with every passing moment, My belief roots deeper Never diminishing, only growing With every smile, every glance Every sigh and every word Yes – you are sleeping And I’m sitting here… imagining the unseen. The sound of you breathing Cheek resting against the pillow The curl of your fingers Arm folded under the sheet Cosy warmth of your body My heart wells up As I resist the urge… To whisper in your ear And drag you out of your dream But no, You’re ...

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