Pen and Our Lives

Every time I begin to write, there is a mad rush of emotions and ideas in my head and with all the words teeming in my head I can only commit to paper an insufficient ‘Hi’.


‘Hi’ a greeting to my pen for again becoming my companion in my journey to interpret that which has been a mystery long before anyone knew how to fashion a pen, recognize the impression of the ink, and appreciate its ability to knit a tale with threads from our insignificant and chaotic lives. I do not intend to undermine our lives when I call them insignificant but merely comment on the very short passage of time we all survive and hence comes the pen which grants our temporary existence immortality – immortality as can be boasted of by an ordinary being- immortality that should right be called ‘longevity.’

A Wary Heart

A broken heart
Hurts more than shattered glass,
And for long.
For long does it recall the pang of fear;
The fear of being broken once again.

It recoils,
Within itself,
Never offering itself over again to be crushed
Even if you promise it wouldn't happen so again:
I am a bad learner,
My heart not so!
For even when I release its grip from the scalding memory of the past
It folds unto itself in fear of another unassuming coal,
Another unexpected blow,
One more shattering,
And of many more.

Maqbool Sahab: Journey to the Next

He passed away on 10th Sept’ 17, 18th of Zilhajj. So silently. I got a message of his demise but I hadn’t checked it till the fall of dusk when I put my head on the pillow to rest. I had not anticipated it. Never anticipated it. That was the day to be merry. I had to get up after a brief rest and get dressed for an engagement celebration.
I was restless that day. Uncomfortable. But I had not anticipated that message. It was a significant day for me, 18th of Zilhajj, the death anniversary of Hazrat Usman Ghani R.A. I was lying on the bed recalling the love of the Prophet P.B.U.H for H.Usman Zun-Nurain telling myself that I will offer two rakaat as esaal-e-sawaab for him as soon as I get up. But then I got the message and I could not sleep. I lied there with tears running down my cheeks, and even as they dried up on my face I still stood frozen on the threshold of a new world where Maqbool Sahab had stopped existing. I have heard he had grown extremely frail before his death. At times …


Black. Black is beautiful for it does not require explanation.
It is the negation of everything. Absence of colours. Not an absence of meaning for I intend it for a purpose, the purpose being to escape.
Sometimes I wish for life to cease – end into the abyss of darkness, the blackness of my slumbers. Sometimes I wish to escape my identity – an identity awarded to me by others where people recognize me for my smile and joviality. I feel lost when that smile disappears and yes it disappears. Disappears for days. For endless, excruciating days when I do not know how to move forward, how to make sense of events and incidents for my identity has marooned me. That smile that disappears leaves me handicapped. Those days I lean on black, mirroring the wistfulness of my life when my mind exhorts me to be myself as if I am nothing other than radiance and positivity but my heart – my heart asks me to just stop – disappear, disappear into nothing and black is the best way for this to be.

Beauty Personified

In tribute to a person who though was only assigned to teach us academia but taught us so much more. This piece saw its first draft on 21st August 2017 when I had the opportunity to once again sit in her class and observe her interact with a new batch of students and see them as inspired by her as we still are. With love, for Miss Qurrat-ul-Ain Raza!
Define beauty anew! Define it through her; In how she sits surrounded by eager vessels Pouring forth her wisdom in words. Arousing the silent, slumbering minds with just an insight into the ‘House of Cards,’ That lounges so peacefully in their sight; the sight that has never till now been taught to tear asunder the weak foundations of all that has been layered in front of it for years. This ‘House of Cards’ she teaches them, is not all! She takes them by their hands, pulling them across the damping overcast pall And this theatric reveal of the world beyond all occurs in that room; Where I sit and silently observe, Observe unobtrusively a…

Helpless We Stand!

How helpless is the man in face of death, how humbling an experience this encounter is, for nature does not let you linger long on your grief, does not allow you to break away disillusioned from the temporal existence of the world. We may abandon food for a day, every morsel a banal lump enforced into our mouths, but within three days, the fog descends again, clouding our eyes so that we again forget our own inevitable demise that hogs our lifeline, cutting it short. Within three days, our baser desires resurface, gradually then growing into the hedonistic monsters that keep us so busy in the seek of the unachieveable satisfaction.
Yes, we cry. For long we cry. In vain we cry. Alone we cry. We cry commemorating the anniversaries of our grief - daily, monthly, yearly - we mark days on the calendar, the days we survived,the days our grief was not powerful enough to overcome us, the days life again won - and grief took a sideline. We count days and months of when for the others our grief…

Dissolving Boundaries!

Brought about by confusion
When we latch onto pain for so long
That then things stop making sense.
And from behind the veil of suffering, the word ache blurs into achay
Leaving me confused evermore
And I pondered over it
Over what tickled her to ask me to write on achay (nice) when I was in pain
Inattentive to anything remotely good around
And I tried unsuccessfully to blend the word achay with meaningful English words.
My efforts were comical-
Not sliding easily from the tongue
Struggling against the gulf of "irshaad" and "silence of anticipation;"
Two cultures;
One that appreciated talent with raucousness, appreciating, encouraging-
Satisfied with the artist knowing the art
Invigouring the mehfil with echoes of "waah waah."
The other culture more benign,
Silently beseeching the artist to preach
And through rapt attention they would learn,
Trying to master words as the artist uttered
Considering the talent not imbued from birth,
Or at least not limited to that
So they in…