Death

Death does not arrive
with an appointment
Death comes over like
a forgotten crony

Banging your door at 3am,
drunkenly stumbling to
Find the latch, giving you but
A moment’s notice, because death lands

Unannounced, unwanted, forcing
you to acknowledge its existence
Forcing you to enforce your
Ideals of hospitality and forget routine

Guest above all, guest above all, guest above all

Death does not care
For the movie you torrented
Or your daughter’s school fest
Or even that book marked at 281

Death only cares about itself
It bursts into your life owning everything
Hollowing out your existence and taking
Over your belongings, your cardinals

Death becomes the unexpected companion,
Accompanying you as your plus one
To every outing, from the market to the gala
Shadowing you and eclipsing all

And when death leaves
You are left to pick up the pieces
Not knowing in what dusty corner
it left behind its dirty laundry

When death leaves, you sit down and assess
Not wanting to address the silence that screams

When will death return?

x

Overwhelming

Lovingly

Recognize

Freedom, From Aleppo

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To a world that never cared
Enough for us,
Drowning us in a sea of disdain

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the struggles that kept us alive
To the celebrations that
Danced among our bodies

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the oppression, the hate
That stifled us
Took away what was ours

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the massacres and genocides
To the rubble and ash
To the cowardice and despair

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the false promises
And the pretenses of haven
That led us to believe in a future

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To a world that refused to
Accept we were hurting
To a world that refused us

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the hate, the apathy, the prejudice
To the people that wrongfully took
Over our mantle and bred in the wave of
Fear and violence that you projected

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the futures of our children
To the futures of our hope and dreams
To the futures of our loss

Today, we bid our goodbyes
To the violence and destruction
That we now considered
C’est la vie

But most of all,
Today we bid our goodbyes
To the controls on our freedom,
The claws that threatened
Our very existence

We bid our goodbyes
Knowing that we were free
That till the end we didn’t
Let them enslave us
That we got what we had always wanted
That our freedom was worth the fight

We bid our goodbyes to
A world that had
Long forgotten us
Yet, against all odds,

We bid our goodbyes
Hoping, that you remember us.

X

Last night, I saw a video that shook me to my core. A teacher in Aleppo was filming his goodbye video with the militia 300 meters away. He talked about how the world had ignored them, how the UN did not care, it was satisfied with the loss of their lives and the destruction. He said that the violence had become normal. He hoped that even now, the world would take action, to ensure that the children of Syria have a future. He ended by saying that even though they would fall, they would fall knowing that they were, that they got what they wanted- freedom. He hoped that the world didn’t forget them.

When I first learnt of the Syrian Civil War, I was 14, and was hopeful, and rather ignorant in thinking that the conflict would resolve in a year or so, if not a few months. Today, I stand on the brink of 18, and still continue to hope that this conflict will end. But I also hope that we never forget the atrocities, because when we forget, we lose what makes us human.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fajplusenglish%2Fvideos%2F859307937544048%2F&show_text=0&width=400

Bespoke
Flee

Nostalgia II

Nostalgia is finding a brother through shared love for music
And a best friend through 1 am chats.

It’s late night talks about secrets and stars and dreams and hopes.
Arguments over the best movies and worst bands.

It’s finding a twin in a sea of strangers
A polar opposite twin, but a twin nonetheless.

It is car rides filled with background music and deep talks
And messages that know just the right thing to say.

It’s 3am phone calls and 9pm letters
And words that make your day.

It’s burdens unburdened in tiny cafés, on days that just don’t last long enough
And vows of protection, for better or for worse.

It’s a decade filled with hate and love, loss and victory and shared joys and pains
And guiding voices through all those times.

It’s making a promise that no matter what, you’ll always be there.
And even on days when it feels like everything is crumbling,
And you’re no longer a part of each other’s lives,
You’ll always be one text, one phone call, one email, away.

Because that’s what Nostalgia is, it’s memories that last forever.

 

X-X-X

Nostalgia I

Crimson River Part III

Oh, how she wished
To see something
Other than the frosty white
That covered her surroundings with all its might

Her keen grey eyes
Spotted all
From the grey cat that tore her frock
To the grey men that tore her land

Oh! How she wished
To see something
Other than the frosty white
That covered her surroundings with all its might

At night, she heard a private concert
With carpets falling from the skies
And brick grinding to rubble
A concert indeed, just for her lucky ears!

Some mornings, she hit the jackpit
Where she awoke to see
The frosty white that covered her
Surroundings with all its might

Replaced by ashen grass
And charred lands
How the white had some colour
And no longer a pale pallor

But one morning,
Oh! What luck she had
For the skies blazed orange
And the frosty white that covered her
Surroundings with all its might

Finally wore a rouge blush.
Chased by brown dots
Her grey eyes found the black hollow
And alas, her wish was granted

As she joined the crimson river. 

Ghost

 

X-X-X

Third installment in my 3 part series titled Crimson River
This one is about a civilian killed in combat
Do read parts I and II

 

Crimson River Part II

They sent us off
With promises of glory
‘Bearers of Victory’ they called us
Upholders of righteousness.

We fell like 10 little soldiers
Until there was but one
The one they called the victor
And honored with metal.

The one came home
And thought, ‘Alas,  can sleep without
The music of bullets, the symphony of
Bazookas and the orchestra of tanks.’

Little did he know that those
Sounds were etched into his eardrums.
That instead of his pulse reminding
Him of his mortality, the cacophony
Would remind him of his impending doom.

The grass that once used to be green
Now flows red.
The crimson river he sees
Every time he closes his lids.

He was sent to stop the glacier
Which is perhaps why
His hands are forever icy
His bones forever numb.

But the thing that keeps
Him up at night
The things that made him wish
He woke with amnesia

Are the grey pools
And they way they were drained
And replaced with
Blackness.

Ghost

X-X-X

The second part in my 3 part series titled Crimson River
This one is about a war veteran with PTSD
Do check out parts I and III

 

Crimson River Part I

Gazing delightedly at the dark clouds
She said, “Look! Blue rain is about to fall!”

Silly girl, we chided.
Didn’t she know that rain had no colour?

Lost in her own mind, she was
Always seeing color where there was none-

Purple trees, ashen flowers, green tongues
But the most striking was the red grass;

“Crimson,” She would whisper
“Spattered all over the earth.”

“Crimson.” She would shudder
“Crimson rivers flow through the lands.”

So it was no surprise
When she called the rain blue.

But floating through the brazen skies
The rain did fall blue.

Ghost

 

X-X-X

So this is part of my new 3 part series called ‘Crimson River.’
I’m not sure if it got conveyed, but this is about
a war veteran with schizophrenia.
Do read parts II and III

Aren’t Ordure and Odour the Same?

They cover their noses as I walk by
As if my very stench is polluting
One whiff and they bring out the gangajal
But do I not smell exactly like them?

They complain about my impurity
Yet ,they don’t let me even touch the tap
Tell me, how then am I
Supposed to become pure like them?

My child is not allowed to sit on the desk
They say she’ll contaminate the others
How is she supposed to learn
Through closed blinds and latched doors?

Or are her textbooks
The broom and dirt underneath
Their feet? Teaching her that
Her worth is all that she can clean?

I can’t use the same teacup as them
The cracked mould is all that I have
Broken like my unbending spine
Are my coins worth less than theirs?

My shadow, oh what tales they spin.
Its crimes are worth too many
A broom hence is tied to my back
To pay for the sins that my body lacks.

They say I am impure
My very existence a blight on their souls
But aren’t ordure and odour the same?
For me they are.

Who am I, you ask?
My name is one they use often
“Ai municipality, come clean this!”
They shout as they walk out of thatched doors
“Ai municipality, come clean this!”
Is what I’m forever christened.

Wind
Punishment
Unstoppable
Dramatic