A Semblance Of Love

Across the debris of their hearts

The two souls sat down each morning

Sipping their semblance of love

The teapot sighed at the distance between the two cups

Now accustomed to the oceans flowing from their beings

And creating an unfathomable space between the two lips

The two lips which had breathed each other

Lay motionless in their graves now

The house silently mourning the death of their intimate breaths

A choked sob could be heard from the bed across the room

Gasping for a whiff of love under the weight of a mountain it now carried

You could see in its eyes that it was still inviting

Alluring and charming

But its beauty decaying slowly from lack of crumples and crease

The two bodies hungry to take a trip across the continents in those inches

Tugging hard at the two stone souls

Pleading for mercy

Their pleas travelling lengths and breadths

But failing to reach their journey’s end

Stuck in the traffic between those two souls

Now ready to embark on their daily distance of silence

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Proudly Brown

Do not be ashamed of being brown, my dear. Have you forgotten what you are? Let me help in reminding you. You are the soil that absorbs, you are the roots that secure, you are the stem that supports, you are the branches that selflessly accommodate and host many, you are the mud of which even the whitest of white is afraid to tread on. You are most closest to the earth than anyone can ever be. Then why are you ashamed? Next time do not cover your brownness with the masks of roses, milk and honey. All of these thrive on you to grow. Peel off that mask for you are that warm, powerful, spellbinding epitome of creation and growth.

“Proudly Brown” (The Colour Palette)

Asfa Mobin

Nikal to pada hun is raah par,

Shayad koi aawaaz suni thi maine,

Kya tumne pukara tha mujhe?

Agar haan,to zaalim bada intezaar karaya,

Nahin bhi pukara, to chalo bahana achcha hai,

Zang pad gaye the pairon par yunhi baithe baithe.

Haqeeqat nahin, chalo chhalawa hi sahi,

Ab chal pada hun to tumhare saraab ko to paa hi lunga,

Tum nahin,tumhara aks hi sahi,

Itna kaafi hai is sukhe dil ki tarawat ke liye.

Yeh pedon ke daal bhi jhuk jhuk kar maano kuch keh rahe hon,

Kambakht kahin yeh bhi tumhare aashiq to nahin,

Shayad mohabbat se kabhi tumne unhen chhua hoga,

Usi sirhan ko ye ab tak dil se lagaye baithe hain.

Yeh phool bhi kuchch jaane jaane se lag rahen hain mujhe,

Shayad unhen simat kar muskurana tumhi ne sikhaya hai,

Socha tha ki hawaaon se raasta poochch loonga,

Yeh kab pata tha ki ye bhi mere raqeeb niklenge.

Gumaan hai ki chalte chalte kahin qadam dagmaga na jayen,

Par ye zarur yaqeen hai ki yeh raaste bhi tumhare nashe mein hain,

Agar thak jaun main kuch der to

Yeh na samajhna ki ye dard-e-laa-ilaaj hai,

Bas do ghadi tumhare husn ka tasawwur kar loon,

Qasam se, is sehar me shifa nayab hai.

Ghana dhund bhi mera raasta kya rokega,

Tumhare gesuyon ki madhoshi mein use bhi paar kar jaunga,

Bas dhund ke us paar tum nazar aa jana mujhe,

Is buzdil ko himmat badi lagi thi woh zang mitane mein.

Poetry and art by yours truly.

{ “saraab”is the Urdu word for mirage, “tarawat” means moistness or coolness,”raqeeb” is enemy, especially in the context of love,”shifa”is cure,”sehar” is magic,”nayab”is precious or rare,”dhund”is fog}

FOREVER MINE

Here, I have come

Unashamedly again at your door

Not satiated with just some

But craving, wanting and dying for more.

While many kiss and seek refuge in Bacchus

It is you, my darling, who intoxicates and goes to my head

Your heady concoction both forgets and reminds

Of the many things said and left unsaid.

I can’t exactly remember when you first held my hand

Was I four or maybe three

When I first entered your land?

And you had just said, ‘You…are only for me.’

Yes, you are mine and forever shall be

I have often kept you safe and hidden

You were too precious for everyone to see

From the world’s roving gaze you were forbidden.

There are times when you appear all blurred and hazy

And I lovingly wipe the mist from your face

Smiling at the things we did like crazy

My love, I never let anyone take your place.

You take me places ancient and forgotten

You fill my senses with scents from faraway lands

You drench me in laughter like the sweet falling rain

You drown with me in sorrows washed away by Time’s sands.

You are my mirror, I have no desire for anyone

You show me what I used to be

You show me what I can become

And you show my reflections to become one with Me.

The seasons are now a little more tolerable

When your cool breeze mockingly challenges the sun

When your warm embrace transforms the winters into a fable

When your magical touch brings to life the dead leaves of autumn.

Sometimes I wonder if I should hold on to you forever

And let you die with me

Or let you flow like the river

So that you become my legacy.

In any case my dear, you shall be forever mine

Mine to sleep and wake up with

Mine to caress, love and pine

Mine to make new stories with, stories which are not a myth.

And so I stand again at your door

Not enslaved by any passwords or keys

Sepia,black, white or coloured…I will love you in any form you appear

My sweet beloved box of memories!

Image courtesy: merriam-webster.com

Lessons For Life

Dear people,

Your children are born good and beautiful. Help them remain that way. Before anyone and anything else, you will be the first educators of your children’s minds and souls. Be grateful for this opportunity, not everyone is so blessed. And yes, use this opportunity wisely and with caution because your children will see the world through your vision. Your vision will stay with your children, no matter which part of the world they chose to stay. Your vision can help in saving many deaths of bodies and souls.

Nature has made women stronger than men,emotionally and physically. Don’t raise your daughters with this belief. Believe me,it’s one big trap. Raise your daughters to be strong, but not strong enough to tolerate any kind of abuse and violation, emotional or physical at any phase of their life, not strong enough to throttle their anguished cries so that not even a small ‘uff’ escapes their lips, not strong enough to hide their wounds when they are burning inside. Don’t do that. Most of them pay with their lives because of this lesson. Raise your daughters to raise their voice whenever someone tramples their will. Teach them to say a loud big NO even if it’s her brother forcibly taking her toys. Teach them to say NO early in their lives whenever their minds and bodies feel uncomfortable or misused. This lesson of saying NO can save millions of precious tears of silent pain and suffering. Don’t teach them ‘Tum ladki ho, bardasht kar lena’. Never give them this lesson, it works like slow poison, believe me.

Don’t raise them to be damsels in distress. Life is not a fairy tale. Empower them emotionally, physically and financially, so that they can escape on their own horses. Teach them to script their own tale, of grit, courage and power but not without the ink of kindness and compassion. Else, they would be just roaring lionesses on the prowl. The world can also do with some love and care. Teach them to be a chameleon (a good one, of course), changing colours as the situation demands.

Your sons are strong and beautiful too. Raise them to be strong, but not cowards hiding behind the veil of their masculinity. By all means raise them believing in their masculine powers, but masculine enough to walk on their own two feet and fetch a glass of water for themselves, instead of ordering their sisters, mothers or wives around. Masculine enough to help a girl on her feet if she somehow stumbles and slips and not throw her further in the dark deep pit. Masculine enough to not fix a selling price of their brides.Masculine enough to sometimes display their strength in the kitchen as well. Masculine enough to make a cup of tea if the wife or mother doesn’t wake up early some days. Masculine enough to digest the burnt or soggy chapatis which often the mother or wife choses as her share. Masculine enough to shut up their egos if the wife earns more handsomely than him.Masculine enough to acknowledge the strength of each woman, and not boss,toy around or kick her according to his whims and fancies. Masculine enough to strongly accept a NO from a woman. And ladies, if you don’t give these lessons to your sons,then believe me, you will be the worst enemies of women. Funny, isn’t it?

But if you are indeed fond of fairy tales, read them to your sons. Raise them to be chivalrous and noble like the knights and princes. Teach your daughters to accept chivalry whenever it’s offered to them. Trust me darlings, you are lucky if you have been offered a chivalrous hand. Not many chivalrous men will be left on the face of this earth. A potion of chivalry even if it’s an overdose has not been known to cause any harm.

Here, I cannot resist adding a few lines on the skewed and botched discourse of feminism today. Feminism is not teaching your daughters to dress or behave like boys, it’s teaching them to raise their voices as powerful and loud as society as sanctioned for men, in every sphere of their life. And teach your sons to accept these voices with grace. A woman who choses hijab or ghoonghat of her own volition can be as feminist as a woman in a bikini or hot pants.If feminism is all about ‘my choice’, then please respect their choice as well. If style and fashion are parameters of modernity, freedom and progress, then I can think of many names who can win the regressive race hands down.

Teach your sons to look beyond a woman’s body. Teach your daughters the same. They are not merely bodies meant for creation, or roasting themselves in the kitchen all day, or meekly following the dictates of society. They are much much more than that.

Give your sons and daughters freedom, but don’t forget to keep an eye on how they use their freedom.

People, please raise both your sons and daughters well. After all both are the wheels on which this world runs. If one acts funny, then the world will wobble and collapse.

Raise them both to be strong and powerful torchbearers, leading the way on these dark roads, more than ever…NOW.

I don’t know if my words will be effective, but if they have managed to influence even a single mind, I will be a happy person. Because I have heard that even a small pebble has the strength to cause a ripple in the ocean.

Love and regards,

An anxious mother

PS: I know I have a tendency to write long letters, and I hence apologize

Image courtesy: depositphotos