Monday, August 31, 2009

Accidents Happen

My dad always says that when you're on the road and driving, you need to have two eyes in the back and two in the sides of your head apart from the pair you already have. No one has that many eyes nor is it possible to have that many but what Dad means is to keep your eyes and ears open and not be distracted while driving.

So it was no surprise on Saturday night that a motorbike rammed into my friend's husband's car.

Her husband was out of the city and so she'd asked me to stay the night with her because she didn't want to stay alone. Since she can't drive very well, I was the driver for the night and for Sunday.

Even though it was the fault of the motorcyclist but I have to admit that I was distracted and disturbed. I was only saved serious injury because of the way I was parked. If the motorbike had rammed into the door then I would have been in the hospital. The angle of parking also helped keep the motorbike driver out of the hospital though he was coming at a very high speed.

He had scratches and I'm sure his body must have ached badly once the adrenaline cooled because that's what happened to me too. A policeman came and asked me to forgive the person. He must have been 23 or so and looked so miserable and I knew he'd be too poor to pay for the damages or anything.

On top of that my friend was in a shock as her husband would be mad at her. I had the car fixed. We sat waiting in it while the guys fixed the dents and the broken light. Obviously, the job wasn't good. We got home at 1 am (a very late time for both of us). I couldn't sleep for many hours due to the pain. It was both psychological and physical. I was feeling bad that I had been distracted and didn't look properly at the road. I could have killed the poor guy. I don't care what happens to me but the thought of hurting someone like that is a terrible one.

In the morning I was experiencing the effects of mild whiplash. My arm is still hurting. I didn't tell my friend because I didn't want to worry her any further. Yesterday before going back to my place, we went to pick her husband from the bus station. When we reached my place, he went around the car to see if something was wrong.

It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life and I haven't had that many I guess. He was suspicious and I felt so bad lying that nothing had happened. Knowing that he'd proverbially kill his wife made me feel less guilty about us lying to him but still.

When I talked to my mom yesterday, she kept asking if every thing's okay but if I tell her she'll not only get worried but then I'll have another issue to handle. Why did that happen? Was I distracted? What was I thinking? What's wrong with me? Why am I always lost? I can't answer these questions. I do know that I am definitely not driving anyone's car again. I can't take these risks with other people's life even if it's not my mistake.

God forbid if something happens, nothing will be left and I will only have myself to blame. So there goes another thing from my life. I can say this shamelessly that I'm feeling very sorry for myself and thus wasting my time rambling on the internet instead of working.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lost Between the Lines

(This one was only ever for you because you're the only one. I only ever said those three words to you. They don't mean anything of course. Now I know why you were so sceptical when I sent you this poem. You were always sceptical that I could love you. Was it a compliment or an insult? I don't know. I know this: You're the only one I loved, as much as I did and with so much nervousness, innocence and shyness.

You were right. You never said those words ever first but I did. Now everything is really lost. Now there's static and there's such a distance that you will only cover upon my death. Perhaps just as well. Because I said I love you first. One of my many many sins. My endless punishments.)

Tomorrow I will talk to you
I have thought of every word
I want to say
I have written things on a paper
And now I am looking at them
This is not what I meant
When I said that I love you
I meant more than that!
Try to understand
These are the feelings that are
Stuck somewhere
Feelings lost between the lines
Lost in the static of silences
That have come between.

Now I am talking to you
I have forgotten what I want to say
I have mingled sentences
and minced some words.
The look of surprise in your eyes
Has me confused
I am saying I love you
But I mean more than that...
When will you understand
There are the feelings that
Want so much to come out
Feelings lost between the lines
Lost in the static of silences
That have come between.


Birth of the Living Stone

I was dead
the day I was born.
Why was I born?
why all the pain?

This is no time to ask questions
This is where you cry.
Unwrapped from the holiest of wrappings
All I had on was
Placental remains and blood.
Go and clean her nurse
If you please will.

Why all the pain?
You almost died that day.
Why the anger now
Your love turned into hate.

I was born
Naked, and without a gun
Or I would've ended the misery.
That's to put it without pun
as you like it
So you like it.
It would've been me in the end.

Ignore? Ignored the pain
But deep down you liked it.
Ride it this time
Don't let them ride.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Wanderer

There must have been a hole in the sky
From where I fell
Because tears filled its mourning eyes.
Not coming to life until dawn
And then the never ending journey begun.
Once a full moon and then
A whole sunless course.

And yes, up there
That Master, the Great Puppeteer
Me dancing to His tune
A melancholy move
Chanting indiscernible notes
Moans and painful cries
Heard over a blue moon
Remind people of what lies behind.

The whole world moved to complete its eccentric turns
Wounded and vain, I walked without direction.
Alone I came to this world of mocking loneliness
And alone I went on this dreary road.
No one to cry over this writhing pain
And now not even that sky.

Where I walked, the earth became grey
It's supply bosom dried
The land weary under this pain
Twisted time and again,
Still carried my weight.

People stood and gazed for some moment
Seeing me burn in my rotten fate
Then again buried themselves in their mortal cage.
I dragged on with a shameful face
For making filthy, the heart of the mother
With unholy games
But it is her that brought me
To my restless wandering
And I even forgot when it had begun.

Lying naked on burning sand
Vultures circling above the head
This is me: the wanderer
A soul embodied in despair.

And now lying in the lap of the earth
With face to the sky
I wonder if ever this wandering will cease.

Waking up, find myself in another world
Coming to life in the darkest night.
Once a full moon and then
A whole sunless course.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Forlorn in West: A Heart Broken by East

Sitting all alone
In New York
in a jazz bar
Way past midnight
With a drink in one hand
and tear filled eyes.
I look out
At dying traffic
And blinking signs.
In the background
Someone tries to sing
For those of us
Foolish enough
to stay behind.
I think she's singing
'Why do you have to be a heart breaker...'
She's ready to go
The make up is wearing out.
I look at her for some time
and think,
'Yeah, she got soul'
Then look at
The snow falling outside.
How many seasons
Since it snowed in New York?
I see it reflecting colours:
Red, blue, yellow and green
I think of the time,
I think of the times
I had thought of being here
But never alone.
I think of the times
I wished to call
Someone my own.
But sitting here
I just watch things go by.
Slowly even the bartender is gone
Someone says it's time to close.
I have to leave.

Down the empty streets
No walking hand in hand
No cabs to catch
No hurrying home
Because no one's waiting.
Snow falling on bare head
But I am oblivious to the cold
There burns a fire inside of me.
The cell phone is off
For who will call
There is no one there
Who would care?
Slowly the wind is catching speed
I pull my coat to my face
I wish someone would hold me close
To keep the cold away.
Suddenly I'm in a hurry
To go back to my empty place.

In the cab
An Asian driver
Chatters away
Absentmindedly, I listen.
The ride into Manhattan
Or out of it
Can sometimes be so painful
For some, because of the memories
For me, the lack of them.
The cabbie talks of back home
I ask him where he belongs
And even though he answers me
It's lost on my ear when
Something outside catches my eye
A man walking all alone
Down the street
Dark hair and brooding eyes
Seems like I've known him
Long time before
He passes by
And then he's gone
Like everyone,
When you pass corners
And lose track of what's behind.
I pay the fare
"Keep the change"
The cabbie waves with surprise.

In the elevator
All alone
The bellboy has left
Long gone.
In the midnight hours
There's no mystery
Just a sorrow that
Envelopes this building,
which I call home
And the silent cries
of tenants long gone
Their souls haunting
The very foundations
of the place they reside.
No one to kiss hurriedly
And then only to be caught,
With a face
Reddened more by love
than embarrassment,
By someone
that lives next door.
No, there is no one.
I'm all alone.

With trembling hands
I open the door
Move outside,
This 5th floor balcony
New York in all its
Man made glory.
No one to share the view
In this apartment I chose
With utmost care
And decorated with all my soul
All the hours spent
Searching, selecting, setting
Painting the ceilings and the walls
Since there's no admirer
In the bedroom
No lover awaits
With open arms
To hold me tight
To never leave out of sight.
With a sick feeling
I watch myself
in the bathroom mirror
Sunken eyes
Half drowned in tears
A heart floats forlorn.

Dressed in a black gown
I sit on the deck chair
And look at the half moon
in the misty sky.
Light a cigarette
and wait for dawn
Too late to sleep
To early to morn.
Think of the times
When there had been
Voices in this world
Now the whole place is covered
In silence and snow.
Far away in the night
Sirens scream
Then all is still.
In the distance
Long Island is just a shadow
Illuminated by lights
And where is Central Park?
Where I jog every morning
All alone
No one for idle chat
And when I come back
There's no one to tease
With the smell of fresh coffee
No talk of breakfast in bed
And no one to fight
Over the morning paper.

Beautiful New York mornings
Beautiful New York nights
Spent all alone.

And then I come back
to the present
Back in my chair
As the first rays of sunlight
Kiss my face
And rouse me from light sleep
And the first
Morning birds come out.
In some downstairs apartment
A canary sings
Perhaps a 'Sonnet to Freedom'
I smile a sorrowful smile
All knowing
Nodding my head in
Understanding and admiration
and think,
I am not alone after all.

(24th September 2001)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Will Marry a Tree

When I will find not a companion
Someone to lean on,
A shoulder to cry upon,
I shall marry a tree.

It will give me shelter;
The leaves will be my clothes.
In the summer,
It will keep me from the heat.
I shall drink its sap to quench my thirst.
In winter,
Its leave will cover me.
It will keep me safe from harm...
Its boughs shall be my house
And near the top,
When I shall sit
be able to see
Far and wide, the countryside
And the ocean too.
When I talk, it will listen to me
And patiently.
When I sleep, it will sing to me
The breeze's lullaby.
I will talk to it in whispers
The way it would talk to me.

When I am old and dying
I will come down and lay on the ground
I will sleep in its bed
And be a part of it.

And when I find that tree
I will certainly name it thee.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Epitaph

Every day you grow dearer and dearer to me
It's crazy!
You are going far away, every day.
Wherever you fly,
Take care of your heart.

How will we take care of this,
Bird of Spring,
My illness and your departure?

Over the blue mountains,
and above the Golden Tower
I search,
Second, third: sadness,
Thunder and rain.

How happily the candle of life burns in you!
How happily it shines.

I want to stop writing to tell you
The words I should say:
How I love you,
Endlessly, Wordlessly, Selflessly.

Oh God!
What will become of us, of you?

My jewel,
My flowers in spring,
My water in summer.

You are my daily light:
Moonlight, fire, dawn and dusk.
Firefly and all.

You are the Light of my eyes


Sunday, July 05, 2009


I might love but I'm not beholden to it anymore. I can't apologize for what I feel. How do I know that God loves me? I just have to keep on hoping and believing. Perhaps I don't even care. Perhaps I just want to love Him in the best possible way.

Perhaps I have moved beyond men & women and just want to look at mankind.

Do I need what I gave away freely? Was love not given with an open heart? When you give, aren't you supposed to forget? Why would you keep a tab on feelings? How can anybody?

I am just looking into myself and finding myself happy without being sorry that I loved or for whatever I gave. I love but it doesn't matter who or what.

It just is.

I just am. Alif.

Some couplets by Bulleh Shah from a song by Sayein Zahoor & Noori

Parh parh ilam te fazil hoya
Wei kade apne aap noun parhya nayein
Bhaj bhaj warrna aen mandar maseeti
Wei kade mann apne wiche warrya nayein

(Learning all that knowledge has made you wise
Oh but you never have the time to read yourself
You run entering your temple and mosque
Oh but you have never entered your heart)

Larna roz shaitan de naal
Wei kade nafs apne naal larya nayein
Bulleh Shah asmani udd diyan phharro nayein
Je jeira ghar bheitya onoun phharrya nayein

(Quarrelling with the devil every day
Oh but you never fought your ego
Bulleh Shah stop trying to catch the ones that fly in the sky
You never caught the one who sits at home)

Basein karyoo yaar
Ilmoun basein karein oh yaar

(Stop it my friend
Stop this (so-called) learning my friend)

Ikoo Alaf tere darkar
Basein karyoo yaar
Ilmoun basein karein oh yaar

(You only need one Alif (the first letter of the Semitic (Arabic, Hebrew and probably Aramaic?) and Urdu languages)
Haq! (righteousness/right)
Stop it my friend
Stop this (so-called) learning my friend)



Nein mein jana jogi de naal

(I want to go with the jogi (wandering ascetic))

Jo na jane haq ki takat
Rabb na de vei oss ko himmat

(He who doesn't know the power of right
God does not give him strength)

Hum mann ke darya mein doobay
Kaisi nayya kya manjhdhar

(I have drowned in the river of my heart
Who needs a boat, (getting lost) midstream does not scare me)



Bas karein ho yaar
Ilmoun bas karein ho yaar

(Stop it my friend
Stop this (so-called) learning my friend)



No Fireworks )):

Happy Independence Day to all my friends and family from the USA.

Living with COPD

Life is such a joke sometimes that you have to laugh it off. One has to live and breathe and do everything in this short little time.

I was having an okay time in life, not too good and not too bad and then something happened and the plane went down and something broke inside me or maybe it was broken already and I just felt the broken edges trying to pierce my insides. May it be any reason, you or shall we call it love or happenstance or rose by any other name etc but I stopped living. It was like being suspended in time but with the time passing.

Seeing my x rays for the first time with those lungs like maps meant nothing to me until the doctor explained that mine are like that of a 40 year old smoker. Innocent that I was, I said, but I don't smoke. It's not smoking, it's something else. You have to be more careful than the rest. I didn't give a damn because I suppose when you're in your early 20s, everything is bullshit and you're so high on life and friends and university and colors and trees and driving fast and listening to all sorts of new music and experimenting with that music and trying to discover yourself and God and forgiving and forgetting that you just don't give a damn about a couple of badly scarred 40 year old lungs inside the body of a 20 year old.

I'd been away from the internet for long and away from everything and I started thinking, why has it stopped me from living life. Just because you weren't there, why did I stop breathing. I couldn't breathe anyway.

The realization hit me that it was almost (less than) a decade ago that I was given that black & white plastic picture of my tattery breathing sacks and I wondered if my lungs were 50 years old now. So I remembered that I started smoking to kill myself and I smoked on and off without any conviction of addiction (because other than you, I never got addicted to anyone or anything) and it hit me that now my lungs must be older than just 50.

A person like me is not scared of death, just what they're taking to the next world and what they're leaving in this one. I have known it for more than a year now that I don't have much time and I didn't want to give myself the false sympathy nor take it from anyone about 'making it' but something happened and I wanted to live!

I think it was the hope that you'll come back to me. I kept that flame alive in my scarred body parts. Young old body parts. I used to cry when someone young died. I never wanted anyone to cry when I was gone (the delusion that someone might remember me long enough... ah!).

Then the flame left and I thought what am I? Am I an empty shell? But I wasn't. I have too many scars, killing scars, pustulating scars, itching scars. I have things to show for my journey, shorter though it may be than others but what does it matter.

So at first I faked a laugh. It hurt my lungs. It really did. I coughed. It even made me huff and puff. I couldn't breathe or maybe I was used to the feeling of not breathing so much that I just didn't want to anymore.

But when I actually heard my laughter, I remembered how I used to laugh. Even I used to love my laughter. I, who never much loved anything about myself, used to love my laugh and enjoy it. I was encouraged and I laughed again and again and I smiled to myself. So what if you don't love me anymore and what if you wouldn't care if I died? You won't even know it until I was gone for many many months. Perhaps many many years.

That stopped the laughter but I wasn't going to give up. I wanted to capture that essence. The crazy essence. People still tell me I look like I'm 16. I heard it in the gym that I didn't look a day younger than 18. Someone didn't want to talk to me when I came back from England because they thought I was just 14. It used to make me feel worse not because it couldn't make me happy that everyone thought I was so young but that no one could see how old my heart and lungs had become and how I had let everything wither me so much.

No more. I realized that I don't want to be old. It's been my goal since I was a kid. To die young. I wanted to be the literal member of the 27 club. How Gothic! No more. I love nature. I miss it. I miss that I was lying among pines and listening to the sea.

I miss writing poetry that was based on other people's emotions. I miss writing at all. I miss looking and seeing. I miss talking to my friends. I'm afraid that I've lost them to this old young self. I miss drawing and painting and playing. I miss being quiet, calm and collected. I know that I might not regain any of that but I want to get that essence back. I know it's somewhere inside me, lost though it may be.

That essence is needed for the happy survival. To not pretend anymore. To not wait anymore for someone or something that won't ever arrive. To just be happy in the small things. To listen to my happy self. To leave the darkness behind or to meet it when the right time is there.

I still get sad. I weep more now but I don't hate myself for it. I let the sadness roll off me and like waves leaving me clean and pure. I cried that I was just an innocent. I wept that I was just a baby when I met you. I didn't know anything. Someone had been cruel to me when I was a child but I still didn't understand it. I forgive! I forgive!

I must learn to forgive myself too. The blood of the innocent is on my hands as much as anyone else. I suppose more so on mine than any others. I love myself too.

Now when I laugh, I mean it. It's not like the days haven't been tough but just to hear my lungs making an effort to do something nice is good. When I come home, I wash the stains of everyday. I don't let them ruin my being. I want that when I cease to be, I don't have to carry them beyond this world.

Scars are okay but stains are not.

Gut nicht!