Wednesday, December 9, 2015

my brain twirls gently between throbbing membranes, interlocking
spider veins, steely tendrils to hold
it in place.
my face
an empty spot
between the faces of others in photographs,
the blank space i wish i could fill,
but cannot erase.

i look at ghost albums displayed
frivolously
at my windowsill.
still moments of shock, surprise, shared
passion,
i will never feel.
locked, Pandora's box, my
heart,
concealed.

Pearl

he was always bemused to see
the calm oyster shrivel
in the face of the slightest purple
sunset.
and he always wondered how the dark inside
could be more comforting than the paler
blackness of the skies.

said the oyster to her bemused audience
the dark inside may be more frightening, but it and me are
well-acquainted, closest friends
these past few years.
the vast expanse of the sky is yet an unexplored
stranger, and fear
shuts all my doors,
even the ones through which the light may come.

sepia pearls are born, not out of beauty,
but out of the coal black fear.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

For better or for....


At 9 and 20 and in-between,
All I was told was
to grow up. Not told,
Insinuated
By words fought between mom and dad, siblings
Needing helping hands, life
Got too big too soon, and
I was 40 
On my 22nd birthday.

 
By some twisted stroke of luck, I
found myself in a picture, big
Doe eyes staring back with naïveté
Unrestrained, unknowingly seeping, my
guard was down (Iron Warrior).
I blindly pursued this child. Only now reclaiming
A childhood my heart didn’t believe it was
Worthy it deserved. This
Brown, soft, doe-eyed girl
Who sang and laughed and skipped and survived
On a diet of cotton candy and crepes, no
Holding back.
 
Today my life has brought me back at
The precipice. The screams are back but
They’re all on the inside. The
Little girl bobs in waves of
Confusion, helplessness, the
Sheer unfairness of giving it everything
I have,
Without acknowledgement, more
Criticisms, contempt.
She
Is almost lost again to my naked
Eye, I
Wave frantically, reaching out
Holding out both hands but
Adult arms restraining
Me back, I
Can’t touch her defiant
Fingertips. No life-vest, no
Lifeguards, this
Time I feel I have lost her
For good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Battle-weary

She says to me in the car
Pointing at the woman
'Omg, she has so much cellulite! It's Disgusting!'

Later at night, he
(Twain of her core, sprung
From the same two souls)
Kisses my cellulite away,
Says
The cross thatch on my hip
Is as beautiful as any
Battle scar.

Demarcation


i could start this story
and say that it began this morning in the kitchen,
but perhaps this narrative was better spun
some sixty odd years ago
the mitosis of a nation
(1947 )
created these demarcations
seeping into the narratives of
mine, yours, ours,
today.

my
mother had warned me
cautioning,
'soch lo
beta, they
are Punjabis
and
its not Just Geography'
I
starry-eyed child of the world
argued with her over perpetuating labels,
perpetual stereotypes, and
'let's please
get 47 out of our system
already'

it's just a number.

numbers.
when one nation cell split
into two,
7,226,000 of me
had walked into
new labels,
and new homes.
(not easily forgotten)
who is to say
those each individual stories don't
continue to shape the narrative we
now spin on this tiled floor,
you 'othering' me as we
other-ed each other all those years ago?

i had assumed that since we
both sand-grain in hue, vehemently
opposed to injustice, inherently
poetic in nature, tone, spirit,
both sip
our chais with pleasurable urgency
love
the crunch of well-fried chicken,
and fault Pakistan
the minute wheels touch tarmac, yet
lovingly call it Home,
we
had overcome those labels of old-yore, hairline
differences between us compatriot and now, in-law
brethren
yet,
the disdain i
am failing to forget, barely
concealable in your words as you
commented on my khaliz
urdu, and said
'you're so weird, bhabi'
i now realize
that 1947, the number,
still rings its tolls
between you and i.


it is my numbers today
that make me victim now
to the labels you unknowingly
afford me and i wear,
among them
'migrant, muhajir, urdu-speaking....
'weird'.
(it will forever be
sawa eik, to me
and not, one fifteen')


i could fault you with that dear brother
(in law), but brother still,
that you have borrowed this 'freedom of speech' to
call me out,
better from your adopted west
over the 'aadab and tameez'
more emblematic of people of your own color.
that
there is no shame i speak
urdu proudly and that maybe
if my words were punjabi you
would have found them less foreign.
but
maybe 47 and its
subsequent narratives,
are so ingrained in our
sand-grained
bodies, these
accommodations, 73 years later, will never reach
the red heart core of
you,
the core
beneath my labels
identical to yours.

.......................

i
will console
the starry-eyed child in my heart
we still have years left
to dream
years left to not
let the numbers define us
anymore.
..and since by no means am i bereft yet of all that is beloved by me, contained in your embrace,
i will persist in soldering on even in this bright sunny gloom of summer days..
if only it would suffice to spew out precious nothings as odes in your wake, and to end the matter thus, confined to some dark forgotten corner in rust caked memory.
or to carve your name as a bronzen emblem on shivering bare blue skin.
were it sufficient if i was to seal your lips on an eternal canvas, paint color motes drawn from corals of sunsets, the pinky hues of tissue and flesh from petals of amaranth.
to end the matter thus and call this evidence of love. accolades of you reverberate in every miniscule second of waking consciousness, and be it enough of you.





Somehow it is
never enough.
i write poetry with my words.
you,
with your (infinite) kisses
how do i burst emotions onto paper? Rage
to turn plain white sheets
to embers, glowing like eyes, heart of coals.
the fear of personas restrains breath
footsteps and i am mocked
for being incapable of making decisions.
(by the very same).
disrespect of existence common and (not) understood, perpetrators
loved and loathed at the same instance, time
as shellshocked as body, soul,
mind,
as incapable of thought as molten ice, gotta
freeze this raging fire to survive.

a blog in verse

(this is
a first)

disaster-struck i am
bewildered once again at
why my soul, uprooted,
is restless, unendless
ly hurt by hacing
to familiarize itself within
newold four walls,
learn to call it Home,
(easy for some) but
it is my 9th move afterall.

i
had found solace
in Loneliness, the
unique requirement
of answering no one, relying
on myself, unencumbered
of social inclusion;
i
set my own rules, found
Joy (such a fool)
transitionary state of being
(i had forgotten) now
unused to public criticism;
i
feel attacked, violated, my
space non-existent;safety
of exclusion (mind soul all)
compromised; i
cannot prevent the
protesting insides.

do
i have right to be
angry? ungrateful
child; bonds of love
wish best even if
method unjust; Adjust.
your time is limited after all,
marriage itself is a new
war.

consolation is only
words (as is
criticism but) my anger
is undettered; i
do not wish (do not)
want to move.
it is not the liberty of
lack of curfew (i do want no
wrong) just
having to constantly
explain
myself; thoughts, feelings,
actions, behaviour; i
prefer instead to
kill the soul not feel at all.
old bitter at 21, they say
eeda, learn to have fun.




where to
begin? end of
beginning? or
beginning of end?
i
will not defend my
callousness; crime in itself
to release, unleash; people
(deserved, undeserved), having
cause is still unjustified.
(i do not wish to hurt) but
is it a right to fight?
for who i am, or think i am,
person
not allowed to become, person
already dying, undone?

forget eeda forget,
all that is said,
all that is told, uphold
patience, think
threefold of action,
control
tears anger hurt.
learn life's rule;
Ad-effing-just.
lumber
isn't just a word. it's
a state of mind, a
chosen preferred attitude
against life.wonderful
what the affix 'ing'
can do to words.

forward
doll, unroll your spirit from this hole
unfold wings springs make this
scream
mind vomit yellow yellow yellow
daisy blue lavender
don't hesitate; fate brings people together
or
rips them apart some
words needs melodies to proceed
like seal the deal,
heal and
feel-
ing is not a good thing baby...over
sensitivities will not break you free
proceed not with this idiocy.

may i remind you
nay, may i remind you?
caring too much is Not a good deed?

freed
soul: someone bitter callous cruel
shelled
on top. there is no value
for love, will you
wallow in love when
wallowed-out loves
are enveloped in grief?
please.
reap the benefits of distances to keep
speak nought of ill but drill
patience and kindness, naive happygood words
remain unheard. unheard. unheard.

Alien (ated)


Internal Retrospection necessary
Soul workings gone
awry. Dysfunctional
my mind, behaviour.
Unintentional arrogance?
is that the deterrent
averted eyes, change of focus
from them-perhaps
its all in the mind.

Come full circle, Eeda, you
are yet again on a lonely table;
someone else's leftovers for
company; fool yourself it was
your company (wasn't)
upgrade from school bathroom
perhaps, but
i still want to hide my face.

ugly child worthless child
brilliant mind, designed
for lonely space, empty
unfulfilllable.
no competition? lack of
matching wavelengths; you
look up at every voice
hoping it was directed at
you (wasn't).


Illusion Illusion Illusion of mind
confined
in these membranes- walls,
space
no one can enter, space
i cant escape.

i wait
for the one man who hasn't stood me down
loves
me for all the crazy.
only hope
keeps me afloat.

...........
the doctor of brains tells me he does not know how it is;
can i capture it how it is, can i say it how it is?
when all else fails but for the tears, he says. be a student. that comes first, right now.
i protest. but i am also a daughter!

you will always be a daughter.
(you are a student first)
it is this capitalism that they inject in my bloodstream, coursing like poison, but also the antidote to the grief at home.

things have settled down in a plastic,contained sort of way. bound in strips of clingfilm and social gatherings; we are a-okay.
..........................................................

my brain twirls gently between throbbing membranes, interlocking
spider veins, steely tendrils to hold
it in place.
my face
an empty spot
between the faces of others in photographs,
the blank space i wish i could fill,
but cannot erase.

i look at ghost albums displayed
frivolously
at my windowsill.
still moments of shock, surprise, shared
passion,
i will never feel.
locked, Pandora's box, my
heart,
concealed.
i was a girl, except
when they removed my ability to move, disapp
roved my right to excuse myself
from discomfort.
i was a girl, except
i was silenced, licensed
to be doormat, eternally, not
speak for my sanity.
i was a girl, except
they disrobed me of my human essence, vul
nerable in their presence, na
ked and shivering, ash
amed, at their mercy, a-quivering.

i was a girl, except
now, i am a woman.
without choice, without consent,
enforced role, profuse grief
no room to breathe.



-up and down it goes, where it stops,
ain't nobody knows.
he was always bemused to see
the calm oyster shrivel
in the face of the slightest purple
sunset.
and he always wondered how the dark inside
could be more comforting than the paler
blackness of the skies.

said the oyster to her bemused audience
the dark inside may be more frightening, but it and me are
well-acquainted, closest friends
these past few years.
the vast expanse of the sky is yet an unexplored
stranger, and fear
shuts all my doors,
even the ones through which the light may come.

sepia pearls are born, not out of beauty,
but out of the coal black fear.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

pieces.

-on a business degree...

i'm
taught the obvious,cemented
in vacant crevices.Chase
they tell me.
chase and compete.
chase and
kill. primal
instinct. utter animals,
disturbing.
humans as dispensable
rats(race).
mockery of life
i
refuse
to chase, follow,
overtake, stab
in the back, smile
at my step ahead.

stroll by my side instead, i
persist, there's more to life than just
this.


-on a sense of acute lost-ness....


''sense of purpose'' forgiven self.
forgotten. 'Purpose'
Direction.Dictionary definition.
Lost, life explanation.
consquence of an aimless
pursuit when
unclear of who/what/where to pursue.
unworthy
of my time and energy and yet
i
run
circles circles purposeless circles.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

your tone remains consistent mellow purple
mauve lilac lavendar
the subtle shades insinuate
your anger, displeasure.
.
i await bated blue breath
for the calm the storm or even
being stuck in your epicentre.
.
callous caring can indeed
be worse than cruel indifference,
or overwhelming love.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

reflections.



pitiful obsolescence of my presence in your life, i am
the extra letter carelessly tossed in, typo
my existence, use
less, in words, sentences,
feelings.
All the king's horses, and all the king's men
couldn't put Humpty
together again.




My baby,
I wonder what nightmares darken the insides of your eyes
enclose your eyeballs with
swirling black anguish.
I watch you for hours, scrunching
eyelids tight,writhing
in white bedsheets as if you
unconsciously wrapped yourself in bandages
(before the war even began).
And I
too far to calm you with whisper
voice, or touch.


My darling, I wonder
what grotesque, appalling ordeal could possibly
make you whimper, so.
Your barely audible moans
chills the marrow in my bones, stiffens
fingers, blood. 
And I
too far to translate
screams to symphonies, laments
to lullabies.


My love,
you say your nightmares involve
me.I wonder what you mean.
Could love horrify the soul
into pieces, asleep? I
will not leave.
Do not allow absences to frighten,
fracture souls with fear.
When I
too far to suture pieces together,
Too far
to remedy,
repair.