Le seul et unique

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Castle: “How do you know when you’re in love?”
Beckett: “All the songs start to make sense.”

A tear rolls down my cheek as I listen to Boyce Avenue’s “Never thought”. This seems to occur as many times as I listen to this ballad. The first time it happened, I prayed. Begging, crying uncontrollably to God, to never take you away from me.

There’s a strange addiction in love. So sweet it could poison all your senses but still somehow leave you begging for more. True love isn’t just as ‘deep as the oceans blue’ or ‘as high as the skies above’, it’s spiritual. It sweeps you off of your feet. Gives you a strange courage. A feeling that you can conquer the world as long as you’re holding your beloved’s hand.

How the sound of your voice can calm the wave of disproportion inside of me. How you telling me you love me can lift me up to the surface even from the darkest of pits. And how your arms feel like home, my sanctuary, I might never be able to comprehend entirely. But I guess that’s the beauty if it. The sense in the nonsensical. The calm in the chaos.

I don’t just love you a ‘whole lot’. I truly, deeply, madly, in-every-sense-of-the-word, love you. And I always will.

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Eternal and unbound

Colourful plastic sacks holding your breath. God knows since when they were considered an appropriate décor item, but they were. The tradition continues till today, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t adore them myself. Dozens of them, fill our room. Inflated and vibrant, embracing every object they come in contact with. I stand there looking at the room. Balloons all around. Brilliant little lights illuminate the room. Rose petals arranged in a heart on the bed. The wrist watch you loved but didn’t buy, wrapped and nestled among the red delicate petals. The teddy bear I couldn’t take my eyes off because it reminded me of you, sits against the pillows. Glittery stars caress the walls as they hang from the string on which I hung our most favourite pictures of us.

Weird creatures, us humans. We find comfort in isolation and will do anything to make ourselves believe we’re fine on our own. Like Jane Austen rightfully puts, “It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us”. Hell bent on I-don’t-even-care and I-need-none-but-myself, little do we realize how wrong we are in assuming that man was ever made for such an arrangement. People were meant to be loved and cared for. And every now and then someone comes in your life, falsifying your beliefs. Altering your outlook. Paving way for a new and better future.

All of a sudden, you’re not you any more. Your priorities align themselves accordingly. You find yourself smiling at the most random occasions. You laugh silently at the little lizard behind your desk, because it reminds you of how you both chased one down attempting to touch its tail. Since him you’ve loved doughnuts more even when you thought that impossible. You can’t look at a Mehran the same. Stars seem brighter, the moon lovelier. You find strange happiness in things you once found cheesy. You start doing random things like making lemonade in the middle of the night at the behest of your beloved. You kill your stubbornness and go as far as devouring turmeric in milk. (It tastes a lot worse than it sounds, trust me). Because “suddenly it’s not gravity holding you, it’s them”.

I was of the belief that love like ours exists only in fairy-tales. That something as deep and beautiful as this was meant only for animation and imagination. But this is here, this is now, and by virtue of the Lord’s decree, this is eternal.

“Loving someone who will have you and love you right back with just as much ferocity is far more valuable”. Hold on to them and never let them go. Cherish them and love them more everyday. Because when you’re old and grey. Ailing and wrinkling. If you’ve a lifetime of priceless memories with the one you love, you’ve won at life.

I take the freshly baked cake out of the fridge and put it on the counter-top for icing. I look out the window and spot a pigeon on the branch of a tree we planted when we first built this house. I watch it grow taller and deeper at the same time. ‘Done’ I look at the cake, satisfied by how it turned out. I lay it on the table along with the doughnuts, chocolate croissants, kachoris and samosay. And a bottle of Pepsi. I smile to myself, exuberant and euphoric to the core. It’s your fiftieth, but I am just as excited as I was on 13th of August, 2015, twenty-four years ago, waiting for the clock to strike 12.

Quaerera

‘What have you done for me?’

Glycine is a non-essential, optically in-active… I try to focus solely on the black printed ink in front of me. After failing to do so for the nth time, I decide to put my thoughts to words.

‘What have you done for me?’

6 words, 20 letters, one punctuation mark.. yet confine within themselves, the weight of the galaxy.

What have I done for you? … What have I done for him? I wonder and think out loud, questioning myself again and again. What have I done for him?

‘Nothing! Nothing at all!!’ My mind retaliates, while trying to mend my silly heart. ‘I’ve done nothing!’ It coaxes with a palpable hint of a counterstrike.

To me it’s astonishing and slightly overwhelming, how much of an impact you’ve had on me and my being.Sitting on those hard punishing wooden benches, in the humid and suffocating halls, trying to make out what the teacher is saying. Never quite being able to, because my mind is elsewhere… It’s back in my room, on my bed, spending countless hours on my laptop, without a care in the world. I try to take notes, but every now and then a thought traverses through my saturated mind, gently, but intense enough to force an ever-goofy smile to spread across my face… all the while, my hands, unknowingly trace out the initials of your name.

So what exactly have I done for you?

Intentionally, maybe nothing much.

But subconsciously, I’ve given you a constant place to reside. In my mind and in my heart.

Without even trying, you’ve taken over. And even after trying, I couldn’t and can’t keep myself away. I haven’t ever pushed you away. But being scared, I have tried distancing myself. And the primal reason for being scared is knowing how influential you are.

Realizing soon though, how that wasn’t possible, I gave in. Surrendered.

The answer,

‘I haven’t done much. But I have re-dreamt my entire future just so it could be aligned with yours..’

Twinkle twinkle little star…

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are

Shining above in the clouds so high

Illuminating the sky, like a firefly

When the fiery sun is set

And the grass with dew is wet

You glimmer and shine with all your might

Twinkle, twinkle all the night…

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Sitting in my room, staring across the starry sky, I fix my gaze on one. With a sparkle so mesmerizing, it’s almost unreal. With a shine so bright, you could catch it with your eyes closed… just like I practice every night…

Close your eyes. Reach out towards the sky and count to three…

1, 2, 3…

I clasp my hands together as tight as I can, fearing if I loosen my grip, it’ll slip out.

Hold it near, keep it dear.

It has almost become a ritual now. A habit. Silly maybe, but reassuring. As long as I keep my hands closed, you’ll be here. And if not, gone in a fraction of a second…

I have grown to love the glimmer that your light possesses. It seems perpetual at the very least. Like all the darkness in the world isn’t enough to dampen it, let alone make it fade away. Your light is a different kind of warm… like an embrace of a loved one.

And what makes it so great is that among all the stars, I can somehow call this one mine. For as long as I have my hands tightly clasped around you, no one can take you away, not even the little star on your left, or the slightly larger one on your right. Or the star a little down below, that always seems to be conspiring to steal away my light. But as long as I have my hold, I won’t let it.

I shut my heavy eyelids, as I start to drift off to a peaceful slumber. Hands still clasped as tight as before. Careful not to let even a little bit of it go. And I dose of…

I wake up to the sun shining in all its glory, high overhead. And in my state of drowsiness I notice my hands and my light’s gone… I hurry to my window, and gaze up above. I frantically search, in the hope of finding you again. As I almost start to lose hope, I see you… High up above, in the clouds so high. Like a diamond in the sky.

I smile as I see you with your unmistakable light… I smile inside and out, as I see you smiling back at me. I smile as I get up, and start preparing for the day ahead. I smile as I know, you’ll be there wherever I go.

Crossroads.

What do you do when someone makes you feel wanted, while your whole life you’ve lived under the impression of being too ordinary to catch a passer-by’s eye? How do you react when someone you’ve never met, touches you in a way, you’ve never been before? What do you say to someone who goes beyond himself to try and prove his reverence to you?

No matter how many movies you’ve seen. Regardless of the number of Nicholas Sparks’ books you’ve read. Irrespective of the ‘quotes on love’ you know by heart. It catches you off-guard. In the most beautiful sense of the phrase.

But here’s the flip side, you’ve never been here before. All your previous knowledge was based on a work of fiction. This, this is very much real.

So how do you react?

You smile.

In the sincerest way possible. You smile because you don’t know what else to do. You smile inside and out. Letting yourself believe, even if it is for a split second, that this is real. And it’s for you. You smile because you’re happy. Flattered even. Overwhelmed maybe, but touched.

But you do much more than just smile.

Every time you smile, you make a little prayer. A wish for a change of heart. A hope that some day you’ll be able to do more than just smile. A prayer that one day you’ll be able to reciprocate. To give something back to the person who made you feel special.

Maybe out of a little empathy. But mostly because you want to. Deep down every girl wishes to end up with someone who makes them smile at their worst. To have someone around whenever life decides to trample you. Someone to catch you when you fall, to wipe away the tears when you break down. To listen to you rant on about your boring routine. Someone who’s there. Someone who cares.

But when you’re asked the reason of why you hold back, you give a shrug. You run a million things through your mind. Explore the gyri and sulci of your brain, trying to reach a logical conclusion. A conjecture at least. And you find none. Maybe your brain has been habituated by the circumstances that surround you. Maybe conditioned to not trust a gut feeling. Brick-walled by priorities. Maybe, because you simply are unable to fathom the existence of such an emotion. Maybe because a traumatic episode in the past has led you to separate life from fiction. Taught you to look beyond the visible.

Still the little girl inside of you prays. She still believes in fairy-tales and happy endings and forever-afters. So she prays. She prays and she smiles. She smiles and she hopes. She hopes and she prays…

The four-lettered weapon of mass construction.

“Note one thing down, you’ll remember it when you fall in love; A girl never forgets her first love. Everything and everyone after that is either forced or a compromise”

Love. The eternally over-rated and/or under-rated four letter word.

The reverence that launched a thousand ships and burned topless towers. Historians may have coined it to be Helen’s fault, but it was the sentiment to blame.The ardour that poisoned the minds and hearts, (and blood vessels, gastric tract, liver etcetera etcetera) of the two innocent souls from the Shakespearean play.The emotion that causes nothing but distress.

I have a different understanding of love. The purest form of love is God’s love for his creations. No matter how sinful, how seemingly insignificant. He loves His creations equally.

Love is parents forgiving their spoilt children. Love is those spoilt children crying after repentance and seeking the embrace of said parents. Love is for siblings. The idiots who are both sworn adversaries till the end of time, and your daily cushion to crash on. Love is for animals, for a vehicle, for a painting, for a piece of clothing, an accessory even.

Love isn’t just “patient and kind”, love is diverse.

And to this diverse spectrum, which I’ve taken to to understand this unintelligible term better, I’ve added another category.

Love is for friends. For a few of them at least. Those who pick on you on your face, and defend you behind your back. Those who are the punch-bag of your anger. The channel to vent your frustrations. The moral support you need from time to time. The partner-in-crime. The shoulder to cry on. The pillar to lean on.

If Allah asks me, to pick a person to fall in love with, and have him reciprocate that, I’ll want him to be one of my friends. They mean the world to me. I go beyond myself trying to keep them in my life forever. I even allow selfishness on my part so that I don’t lose them. And Allah knows what I go through knowing I’ve hurt them.

Oh and…

“A girl not only remembers her first love forever. There’s little she forgets in the first place. Be it a love, a pet or a friend. Especially a friend.” 🙂

From Earth, with love.

They say a father is a daughter’s first love. Little do they know how much of an understatement that is.

January 26th, the day that changed my father…

I always admired the courage, the valour, my father possesses . Like they are his to claim. He is a man of principles and moral values. From humble beginnings to an acknowledged man, my father’s story was one to inspire. Hearing him tell tales of his childhood, I grew up believing anything was possible. As long as you had the heart and soul for it. Watching him everyday, tackle the daily grind with such passion and dedication. He’s always been my Hero.

Fast forward to today, 30th January…

4 days after the tragic loss of my Grandmother. My Dado. Baba was her special child. Apart from being the oldest he was the child, mothers brag about to their friends. He was the child mothers dream of having. The child who grew up to be the man that is my father.

I see him, eyes swollen. Choked breaths. Eyes that have lost their shine. I see his tears and my heart breaks into innumerable pieces. Somehow, like Superman with kryptonite. Except my kryptonite is both my biggest strength and weakness.

I wish to tell him, everything will be fine. I wish to hug away his sorrows, the way he does for me. I wish to tell him, his mother would’ve wanted him not to cry, but to smile. Smile because she was finally laid to rest after battling a disease for years. But every time I see him in this state, I die a little inside. Words escape me. Tears betray me. I was his ‘Sher’. His brave girl. I’m not supposed to cry.

Time heals all wounds, but leaves enough scar tissue behind to keep on reminding us. We’ll forever have this void inside. This untreatable wound. That can only be reduced to a scar over time, never to disappear.

People leave us, but their memories remain. Being the first grandchild, I had her undivided love. Something I can almost brag about. I played Doctor with her, years before even qualifying for one. I promised her I’d become a real Doctor and treat her off her illness. Now that she’s gone, I feel like I’ve broken my promise. Like I was unable to keep my word. Unable to save her.

But then, in the end we’re all pawns. On this temporary chess-board, being played by fate and destiny. Nothing’s a coincidence. It’s all part of some big plan. For my Dado, I can surely say, fate was unkind at first but she’d been rewarded with children who became her wings. Children who strengthened her. She died a loved woman, not just by her family, but by every one she had ever met.

I find my solace in prayers. I pray to Allah, may He grant my father the patience to bear with this loss. May Allah return the shine back to his eyes. May Allah allow us all, to be the strength he needs. And May Allah reward my Grandmother with the highest of ranks in Jannah. (Ameen)

I can almost feel her up there… looking down at us. Proud. Happy. Content. Finally relieved. She had fought a losing battle, yet still emerged victorious.

“Don’t pity the dead, pity the living”. It’s shaking, how true that is.