There are days
When this skin feels unfamiliar
An uncomfortable spotlight Of judging eyes
On those days
I hug myself closer
Look towards my feet
Take solace in the even ground
Pray steps aren’t miscalculated
That steps aren’t forgotten
Into an oblivion of thoughts,
Thoughts I wish my subconscious
These dark nights of unforgiving thoughts
Are the worse.
You should know
How I know
That even among friends
My fingers fumble
And words that come out
These clothes on my back
Help in the hiding
The nipping and tucking
I still feel foreign-
Those scrutinising eyes
Tear them apart
Till all that remains
Is rag and bone
I’ll suck in my stomach
Nibble on my food
Afraid that they’ll associate
Size with portion-
This stomach of mine
Has been trained,
Trained to restrain
Pen me a fat girl’s guide
To surviving in this world-
The alien in me yearns.
Here’s the thing, adults love to remind us of their good old days and how we will never know the blessing of being tech free. However, what they fail to remember is that we too grew up without tech. At least my generation did. We had Sega but we also had playing under the sun. Regardless, my childhood was nothing like the one of my nieces and nephews. They will never know the sheer the fear of that dial-up connection sound. To this day I get goose bumps if I ever hear it.If you wanted to use that worldwide web, it needed to be through the devil’s ringtone. And you had to make sure that your parents never heard you calling him. Not that you would have hell to pay, but you just wanted to avoid the conversation and lecture that followed whenever you used it to play games. So, to control our internet usage, my parents would invest in those dial-up internet cards. They had an x amount of hours in them and that package was supposed to last you till the time you actually needed it, never mind the fact that your project wasn’t due till another two months. That package needed to survive till the end of the year. Let’s get real though, that never happened. Our parents should have anticipated that it would be a miracle if it even lasted till the end of the week.
Fast forward to the end of the week where you have finished your dial-up minutes and now must let your mother know. Or at least somehow sneak out the house without her knowing, run to the nearest store and buy an exact replica of that dial-up card without her ever realizing you were gone. Fat chance of that happening. So, instead of choosing either of the options, you went with the third option; don’t bother telling her and just live without that internet till your project rolled around, feign ignorance, and blame the card manufacturers for the faultiness when it wouldn’t work.
But, those dial-up connection days were scary. If you wanted the internet you had to somehow mute the dial-up tone that reverberated in the whole house, pray that your parents went deaf in the moment and pray again that no one needed to make a call till the next hour or so. Hey, this was a time before cell phones could be used as an alternative mode of communication. That landline relationship was still going strong at the time. Now, you try a bit every day to somehow keep the spark alive.
Still, nothing compared to when the telephone bill came rolling at the end of the every month and you were never the one first one to have a look at it and prepare yourself for jhar that would follow. I swear that dial-up connection really knew how to betray. If there was one thing that got my father going about that bill, it was international calls and internet usage; they might as well have been one entity. They fell under the same heading of, ‘why the hell is the bill so much?’ And the follow up threat of, ‘this is coming out of your pocket money.’
Well, thank God for wifi and thank God for our own parents’ dependency on it. They’re glued to their phones just as much as we are, if not more. How we survived the age of slow internet astounds me everyday.
If you must know
Is eyesore white
A failing attempt to prove cleanliness
And a single crack
Weaves its way
Along the wall
The only colour in the room
Is a blazing red
It screams out in pain
At the merest contact
Of a tush
Your weight ain’t no indication
Of its agony
I might as well be a palmist
For the lines on its rubbery surface
Reveal an unwell life
Today life consists of falling in love 140 characters at a time and proposing through status updates. Your friends, popularity and likeness are measured through the number of likes and comments. Every aspect of your life is infiltrated by others and so, how could religion stay far behind.
Social media has always had its highs and its lows, and while it has worked to salvage misconceptions and ideals, it also has worked to create unnecessary fear and hate. Don’t tell me I’m going to Hell just because I scroll past the Holy picture that you’ve shared. Don’t promise me Heaven if I do continue the chain and share it. None of these outcomes were ever in your hands. And our piety cannot be measured this way.
Instead of being pious in the eyes of God, you work to appear pious in the eyes of the world. And then follows your innate need to flaunt this piety making others out to be sinners in your eyes. Religion should not be measured through the horn that you blare all over your timeline. The sheer volume of your voice does not constitute anything. This itch that you constantly feel to ‘save’ people only proves the kind of person that you are.
#Blessed has become more a part of our lives than the simple, private act of thanking God of bestowing His blessings upon us. Don’t recount your blessings by making it a public matter because it brings into question just exactly what you’re trying to prove and show to the world. Religion has never not been complicated and we’re all in the midst of learning, always will be learning. It’s hard enough loving yourself but when people make you out to be sinful, it becomes all the more difficult.
Religion has always been this beautiful, private relationship that we have with God. Don’t make it perverse by attaching multiple partners. The power lies in the silence of a voice that requires no sound. God ain’t your trophy wife to show off to the world.
There is a belief that I stand by,
that there is something waiting at the end of the line.
All these tests and tribulations can’t be for nothing.
The belief that even though what appears to be the end of the road, shouldn’t be. I haven’t finished running this race, even though often enough my lungs give out and the air foreign to my tastes, but still. I want to stand firm in my belief that there is something else waiting for you.
The sea never stops lapping at the shore even though each time the pull is stronger, a reminder that the comfort it yearns for is always yanked from its fingertips. And yet, it keeps coming back like a lover that can never seem to understand the word ‘no’ because his heart is no longer his.
I want to believe that good things come to those who wait and that patience isn’t solely a virtue rather a gift that sets us apart from the rest because we refuse to give up knowing well that the milk will always come to boil.
I remember anxiety and hope. Complete opposites yet always together. The heart never forgot to crave the sun after the storm.
And I don’t want to believe that God forgot to set out an adventure for me. I refuse to believe that he didn’t plan for my greatness. And I pray that He still believes in me and has something wonderful in store for me. Something I could never even imagine for myself. Something that brings me pure joy. Something that leaves me successful and prospering in this life.
I’m starting to think the art of chasing dreams should come with a manual – ‘Chasing Dreams for Dummies’.
It’s our imperfections that make us human and the fact that we try to perfect these imperfections that we become even more human. And nobody ever said that beauty was attained without a little bit of pain.
This was a thing that we had been putting off for some time, more so because my mother was apprehensive and needed to get multiple consultations before going through with it. But safe to say after three months of teeth that clearly didn’t know which way was up my wisdom was pulled out.
Did it decrease the level of intelligence and wisdom I had attained over the years – despite popular belief, no. However, what it did leave me with was pain. And pain demands to be felt.
Quick update: my face resembles that of a monkey or a frog, whichever way you want to look at it. Except you’ll never have a look at it. Now that is wisdom, my friend. Or maybe, more appropriate to our culture, I resemble a betel leaf chewing individual who just can’t get enough of a taste that is bitter and sweet at the same time.
Still, I’ll raise my glass of warm, salty water to the teeth sealed away in a container (which I still haven’t disposed of, mind you) for not doing their job and to the dentist that DID his job, quite marvelously I might add.
To think that I started this blog when I was 17 and now a 104 posts later I am 20.
Yesterday, I turned 20. I am officially straddling the neither a teen nor an adult intersection. One foot firmly planted in 19 and the other slowly inching towards 21.
And when my phone blew up with ‘Happy Birthday to you’ in that sultry Marilyn Monroe voice (yes, I was trying to be ironic) at 00:02 I was happy. Birthdays always make me happy and then when through squeals and big smiles my friend asked me if I felt old I didn’t know an appropriate answer to that question. In all honesty it was only 4 mins into my birthday and the number hadn’t quite branded itself onto my skin. Still, I don’t quite know if I will ever have an answer to that question. Maybe when I’m old enough to shy away my age that would probably be the time I’ll be able to say, ‘Yes, I officially feel old.’ All I can say right now though, is that maybe I’m a bit wiser and maybe I’m not.
I’m not going to start belting out ‘G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S in my best Fergie voice but I feel it. I do. Like my body is making room for a year of interesting things. Like things might actually come together and there is a power surging through my bones that’s making my heart beat just a little bit faster and my fingers tingle as I type this out. As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, there is something different in the air today. Like a jolt of electricity that, in true cartoon form, shakes you all over.
And I’m ready. There is this new hope burning through me and a sense of invincibility that’s giving me a power I thought could never be mine. This time around life is going to be different. This time around life is looking optimistic. This time around I am ready for whatever life decides to throw towards me.
Maybe this is what I needed.
Maybe this is exactly what I needed.
Animation: Loek Vugs