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Dearest Asma

Dearest Asma,

It seems strange writing a letter to you when you are right here in front of my eyes.
But some voices of the heart are not quite able to travel uphill to the lips and it’s better to let them stay in the comfort of the ink. And since you know your mamma quite well, you will sympathise with my rusty lips.

You must be wondering what this letter is about. It’s for you and what you have blossomed into. All mothers are proud of their children, but what I feel for you is more than pride. It’s gratitude for letting me wear this crown of pride. Like all new age mothers, I tried to flood your hands with everything that didn’t caress my hands.
But you always kept your small head above the waters, never letting those indulgent waves reach your head. You never put your feet down for something for which we would have to drag our feet. You always opened your hands for giving, never training them to seek something in return. The world lived in your tiny hands. That was more than what I had gifted your hands with, and I cannot thank you enough for overwhelming my hands with pride.
Even as a small child, you always thought of others before yourself. Today, when I see you taking care of your younger sister, I know that she will always be taken care of when I am not there with you two. The way you silently bear her tantrums or her every minute complaints speaks volumes of the gentle petals of your heart. Or when your eyes well up when she gets a good hearing from me or your abba leaves me with no words for the limitless boundaries of your love.

When I see you playing with our house help’s daughters, I am relieved that you have learnt the lesson of humanity so young. At a time when your friends have a good time throwing casteist and racial slurs, you chose to give them a slice of humanity.

Yes,you are fond of princesses and fairy tales, but you have never grown up to be a damsel in distress. In fact, you have turned out to be the knightess without any armour for those around you. You are among the first one to give your hand for help every time you spot a signal of distress. I am sure the birds flocking in your garden will bear witness to your kind heart.

Your love for books amazes me to no end. This is your only fancy, and your parents are only too happy to leave you with this legacy. I hope that someday you see the letters of your own name sitting in pride on a cover.

I can go on and on singing your praises,but I know that you will not like it, the modest little soul that you are. But there’s one last thing that I want to say. You have built your own sky, with your own stars, sun and moon, giving away enough lights to warm hearts, and I can only pray that you continue to draw rainbows with your love and kindness.

From your mamma who has been blessed with an ocean inside a drop.

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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

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}