Letters…

I’ve written letters ever since I could write.  Some page length others just plain drawings and my grandmother was the sole recipient of them all. She kept them all safely, in a brown paper bag I had decorated for her, ironically adorning it with trees. When she passed away I was lost. Having being the first grandchild albeit the only granddaughter, we had shared a strong bond. So, two nights after her burial I found myself in her room. Her smell still lingered on the pillow and I lay my head where hers would have been. I don’t remember how long I lay there, that is until my eyes caught the sight of a brown paper bag, safely kept atop her shelf. I brought it down and carefully opened the bag, afraid that it would disintegrate at the mere touch of my hands. And there before me were the countless letters, drawings and small tokens I had ever given her. This happened to be every Friday. For me going through all the letters, the bad spellings, sloppy handwriting and hilarious drawings, made me realize that I still loved letter writing. It gave me hope, courage and strength that I could not find anywhere else. It helped me overcome my grief and cope with the loss of my grandmother. But in the end it managed to bring me even more close to her.

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a love letter…to myself…to you…

You’re not alone,

I’ve been pushed around and I’ve fallen down on many accounts. I’m not a stranger to bruises; trust me I cringe at the sight of them. The pain is familiar and somehow whenever I get back up from the ground, life pushes something else my way. And it hurts far worse!

What exactly has this life promised us? That if we work hard we’ll get where we want to be. That there is always a silver lining or that the grass is always greener on the other side. But has it really given us a reason to believe in all that? If you’re wondering what the answer to that is, I don’t know myself.

The truth is: life has it out for us. It will always have it out for us. But that’s not what it’s trying to do. I’ve met life and she said that there is a reason behind her actions. What she does is for our own benefit. She’ll kick us, bring us pain, and show us that maybe living is not worth it at all. But behind all her actions there is that hidden meaning. You know how they say, ‘you make a mistake, you’ll never make it again,’ it’s TRUE!

Life is mean. But life is good. She will trap us in this impenetrable bubble but make a small crack on the ceiling. This crack is the only way out. We break through that crack…we break down the barriers of life and prove to ourselves and her that we are stronger than she thinks. That it’ll take more than impenetrable bubbles to keep us locked in.

So, stay strong. You aren’t alone. We’re all fighting against LIFE.

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me…

Mud caked my hands and rested within my nail beds. Beads of perspiration rolled down my face and I wiped them away with the back of my hand, leaving a trace of dirt in its wake. The hot afternoon sun beat down on me as I surveyed my hard work. A hole the size of my head lay before me and right at the bottom, half tucked in the ground was a bone.

History is a kaleidoscope of lives long forgotten, tucked away and just waiting to be found. Buried deep within the contours of modern life, they hold something new all the while being something old. An upturned rock to the coffin in the ground means something. Every detail holds a story more breathtaking than the last. Whole cities like Pompeii, while completely destroyed by the brutality of a volcanic eruption, left behind a bottomless pit of stories waiting to be told.

My fascination with history and the buried life started with when we first studied about the Evolution of Man in school. The way the primitive man lived his life, from the pots and tools he used every day to the hunting techniques. From the first flame every made and the simple clothes made of animal hide. I drank in every picture, every word that existed in the encyclopedia at home. My fascination grew with time. Books and the internet helped me travel from the Indus Valley to the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Mayans in South America. Reading about their lives brought about a hunger in me, a flame that could not be extinguished.

I remember afternoons, just lying in bed with my grandmother and quietly listening to stories about her past, life before Independence and the advent of Pakistan as a country. I remember her telling me about being present at the funeral of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and my mind making up scenarios through her words. I tucked away every detail safely and imagined myself in her shoes from time to time.

History set free my imagination. It brought to life characters and worlds that either lay dormant for years or never existed in the first place. Books and authors brought about the existence of fictitious places that seemed real. Captain Nemo found existence of the city under the sea, and Atlantis became more than just a legend to me. Shakespeare made Julius Caesar more than the man he was made out to be.

In my recent trip to Turkey I was more than ecstatic about visiting the ruins of Troy. To my own family the place seemed barren with only rocks lying around depicting where the buildings and houses stood. But as I stood among the ruins, the whole story played out before me. I saw the buildings in all their glory; the street urchins beckoning me to buy their goods, the Greeks walking alongside me and I saw myself adorned in their clothes. I saw the Trojan horse enter the city, everyone asleep in their drunken stupor and later watched the city burn to a crisp.

In history I found stories. Authors retell them according to their own depictions. In history I found myths and legends. They bring to life figures never known to exist to man before. In history I found life. Very much like the one we live now, only simpler.

 

August

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August failed to keep me happy. At least i was remotely enjoying myself (if you count getting bored everyday) and maybe the lack of rain was bad, but i still enjoyed the countless hours of just about doing nothing.

August brought fasts. Of which i have one more to go… (this wasn’t the downside)

August brought heat. Sweltering heat. He was all hot and cold, man! Such a hot mess. Made me believe that it would actually rain, only to blow away the clouds, making sure that the sun beat down on my face. 

NO RAIN! (did i mention that?)

Heartbreak. No, not that kind. That is definitely not the only kind of heartbreak, people. Prospects of having a fun final year…seems to be getting bleaker by the day.

Life…yeah its finally catching up to me. This race is coming to a close and i’m all out of breath now. Running for 18 years, winning mind you, but now ‘life’ has used up his last piece of energy and is finally catching up.

But August did manage to keep me a tiny bit happy. Just a tiny bit. How? Holidays.

13 more days of this month. What do you think? Good or bad?

life…

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It’s strange

It starts from a single touch

Travels the length of your body

Your toes curl under

Stomach churns

And fingers tingle

It was never supposed to happen

The game is dangerous

Lives are lost

Souls forgotten

Martyrs remembered

The scars are there to prove it

But wars are still waged

Some battles are meant to be fought

Won even

Others erode away

Empty and broken

But what is it really

Why do they continue

On the perilous journey of life

Chapter by chapter

Line by line

They shatter

A million peices scatter

Only to be stuck back together again

Why not just give up?

Let the scars be a reminder

The story etched on to your skin

To show the world

Of your battles within

Keep them from hurting

From striking out again

Their touch isn’t feather

It does not flow away like the river

But peels away your skin

Inch by inch

So that the memory of the pain remains

And you know what to expect

Is it not easier to die?

To finish rather than continue

The story can be endless

But the pen is in our hands

We write our fate

As pen penetrates paper

Words scream out

You are your own destiny

You are what makes this life yours.

Who am i?

The days to finally address the question have come. Who am i?

All the years of your life lead up to this question. But what if i don’t know who i am even after all this time? How can you sum up your whole existence just under one heading? Add the title to your story. What if my story isn’t as interesting as yours? Or anyone’s for that matter? How do i get people to read about me? To find out that i’m pretty interesting too…all i have to do is find that spark that makes me ME!

‘Think of what you would like to be doing in 10 years’ time?’ I. Don’t. Know.

How does one know? What if what i decide changes along the way? Then what?

All i know for sure is that i want to make a difference. But, don’t all of us want that? How do i set myself apart from everyone?

What if i don’t have a defining moment in my life? At least one that makes a difference…

How does one find them self?

hope

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
― Margaret Mitchell

Yeah, it happened. And I wasn’t expecting it. It brought out something in me that I didn’t know existed. I mean, sure I was depressed for the whole afternoon. Cried myself to sleep and when I finally woke up I didn’t even bother getting out of bed. I reflected. And reflected. But when my eyes began to water again, I shot out of bed. No! I wasn’t going to wallow in self-pity. I had to get a move on. There was a time for tears and a time for reflect. But now it was time to move.

It was at that point that I decided, instead of just getting depressed over the situation I could get a move on and try to fix things. Sure, it was a huge setback. But somewhere deep down inside of me I knew that it was a hole I could definitely climb out of, no matter how deep it might be.

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

 

Three Alphabets

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Tomorrow

Tomorrow brings the truth

It all comes down to the three alphabets

Three alphabets decide your faith

They decide whether you’re good enough

Whether what you did last semester paid off

Cramming

Stressing

Crying

The laughter died down last night

The broth of despair bubbled deep within

What the future holds

Nobody knows

It’s like closing your eyes

Spreading your arms wide

Let yourself fall

Without the prospect of a parachute

Or a hand to catch you

Those three alphabets

Can soften your fall

Or widen the black hole

Where the ground can’t come fast enough

The heart thuds

Thud! Thud! Thud!

The breath hitches

Until breathing becomes a chore

The air can’t fill up the lungs fast enough

Breathe

In

Out

In

Out

Stop stressing

Keep calm

No, don’t pull your hair

Count to 10

1

2

3

4

It’s not working

Because those three alphabets is all my brain can think of

All my brain can decipher at the moment

All my brain wants to hold onto

When I desperately want it out of my head

Help!

Those three alphabets hold my future

And what might or might not become