i wonder why with every passing day the world seems more distant. it gets unfamiliar with every sun passing away. with every rotation the earth feels more away from its axis. unable to stand. as if losing the balance. the ground. its solid ground that kept everything so intact. and everything gradually bit by bit falling apart.
the earth now feels in a constant state of mourning. like a widow. no like a mother. who keeps losing her children. to circumstances unknown. to reasons unimagined. her healing hasnt started yet. because she hasnt stopped losing her kids yet. and theres no healing for her. theres never a healing for a mother who loses her children to circumstances unknown. to reason unimagined. theres only grief. grief that multiplies with time. grief that becomes her language then. mother language. grief of which now her house stands on. she doesnt call it home. it can never be a home. its something like a portal to suffering. a mere grief house. like her heart. and our earth. grief is her synonym now.
i dont know but death of a literary giant always hit differently. so close yet distant. what do we do with this feeling. that we cant put in words. words that have their own demise then. a funeral of words. stories. poetry. books. a funeral of literature. where the only word left alive to mourn is grief. it is bound to hit different and deep.
i dreamt of a gathering. so heavenly so divine. poets eveyrwhere. poets i read growing up. poets i studied growing up. omer rumi hafez khusro fareed waris bhulleh shah and their likes. exchanging wisdom. exchanging words with wisdom. faiz nasir sahir keats shelley derwish naguib agha shahid and their likes writing back to their lands. ode to their respective homes. yes homes they never had. there was rabia emily sylvia eliot maya christina amrita weaving words with emotions.
it was so sublime. them all together. there were so many words lingering. but what remained so prominent was the aura they had. they all had. something beyond languages they had command on. beyond the nationalities they were born with. beyond any confinement of physical world.
what was there that kept them so united. i believe it was their grief. grief. that was their common language. grief. their nationality. grief. their home. their abode. grief they so heartily wore over their hearts. grief they wrote so eloquently. grief they walk down their streets with. grief they drank down the tea houses. grief their eyes were so accustomed to.
the world was slightly better a place with them. because they shared its grief. they were holding its weight. its burden. with them gone turning to stars. the earth has lost its balance. its grief has piled up so much that it made it lose its balance. every time a poet dies the earth dies a little more. it moves further way from the axis. it leaves the world off balance. breaks its harmony. its peace. its silence. every time a poet dies a language dies along. leaving the words hanging in the middle never to be read again. every time a poet dies the earth dies a little more.
opened twitter after a while and was dumbfounded with the news of terror attack on maternity hospital in Afghanistan. absolute horrendous massacre of new born babies and mothers whove suffered the pain of nine months just to be greeted with such barbarism. you have to stoop the levels so not worthy of humans to even think of murdering children, let alone new borns.
taliban have always proved how lowly how absolutely not worthy of being spared or shown any mercy. there must have been a special hell solely made for them. for the crimes they committed. and the burning fire that too must have been enraged of their horrific acts.
if God is displeased with this land he has legit reasons. if his wrath let the world die on its own he would be so right. if the sky decides to break apart and wreak havoc and turns everything to dust it wouldnt be so wrong. if the earth is so adamant to shatter what is left to ruin whatever remains it wouldnt be so unfair. if the world decides to die unhealed a painful lonely and silent death it wouldnt be unjust but a deserving act.
but you know whats wrong. whats unfair. what the world doesnt deserve. our awful silences. and empty laughters. and deadly ignorance. and blatant callousness. and us being alive and so content with life. when life is absolutely being so nasty so unkind so cruel to others. where normalcy returns only for a down payment. and beat the hell out of our people. with whom we might not share our nationalities. our race. our religion. our culture. but with whom we are so bounded by. humanity.
i hope kabul forgives us one day. us all. our silence. our laughter. our ignorance. our callousness.
even if it does. i wont. i wont forgive our silence. our laughter. our ignorance. our callousness.
because when people die because of someones silence. someones laughter. someones ignorance. someones callousness. they dont just die. they die a thousand deaths. they dont turn into stars to flicker later on for the people they left to mourn. they dont turn into flowers to bloom for them. they dont turn into poems either to be read aloud. they simply become ruins. shattered dreams. unfinished poetry. they simply turn to statistics. so dreadfully unjust to turn humans into numbers.
you know what happens when people lose hope. they become fearless. nothing on stake. nothing to lose. anymore. and what happens when people become fearless. they stop caring. and when people no longer care nothing in this whole damn world matters then.
i dont care if the world remains this way. still and at halt. upended. i no longer care if it dies unhealed.
i no longer worry about our pale skies. about the dying sun fading away before half light. or the mighty mountains crumbling in fear. or the rushing streams drying out. or the gasping stars losing their paths.
i dont care if the world dies unhealed. like us.
or if its story remains incomplete. like ours.
i no longer care if its poems remain unfinished.
or if its sunsets go unnoticed.
or if no one writes back to it. or if its letters remain without postage. without address. unnamed. like us.
or if the hatred so engulfing it. eats it away.
or if the garb of hypocrisy it wears so proudly. taints its very appearance.
or if it loses its own self in awful vengeance. to hold its power.
people walking around you. people you were so accustomed to meet every now often. people you wake up with. people you grow up with. people youre emotionally involved with. people. your people. cease to exist. just like that. without proper goodbyes. without any goodbye.
no its not just they who stop existing. its the whole world they were part of decides to show how things are so different without them. how theyll remain so different without them. because theyve stopped existing. disappeared. now the sky wont be as blue as it is supposed to be. now the birds no longer sing their morning songs but keep humming the elegies. now the sunset would lose its hues before even being noticed. now the world around you moves but in silence. in dead silence. you pass by several streets. and more streets. and you keep walking but you dont stop. because you cant stop. because you dont know how to stop. because those who walked you down the streets have disappeared. now you dont know how to stop.
how easy. within a blink of an eye. that easy. and people are gone. and you keep staring at this parting. questions. so many lurking around. full of remorse. regrets. keep pounding. was this really the parting. the letting go thing. or was it something to dwell and nurture inside of you. the separation. the final goodbye without any goodbye.
so how you cope with it then. knowing things would have been better. slightly. the last phone call. the last meeting. the last dinner. the last walk. the last laughter. the last prayer. the last argument. if only we knew they were the last. we should have known. we deserve to know.
no one deserves to die without their final goodbye. at least those left behind deserve to have their say. how theyre going to survive with heavy hearts then. how theyre going to move ahead then. their skies wont be same again. not even blue. their sunsets wont have any color. their birds wont even sing for them. because they were just a final goodbye away. and it made the separation way to distant to even imagine.
life. more unjust than death itself. death. turns everything at halt. stillness. around and within. void. life. it moves on. keeps moving on. death doesnt let you have your final goodbye. life. it doesnt give you enough time to mourn over your final goodbye. because life goes on. just for that very little moment you want life to stop for you but it doesnt.
how terrible it is to find that life goes on when you are being left behind. with your final goodbyes. sometimes all you want from to stop for a moment. everything. to freeze. to stay silent. to remain empty. emotionless. life. it must stop for some moments. for people like us to mourn. make amends. to settle dues. to let go. life must stop for us. and it pains me more when at my worst im reminded of being alive. life goes on ha. no. it shouldnt. it should have stopped. for me. for my tragedy. it shouldve mourned with me. it should have shed some tears with me. it. should. have.
and once again im writing to you. mere words. you call it. empty hollow and deprived of meaning. words and mere words. you keep calling them. and i keep writing to you. even though you never write back. i know youll never write back. you can never write back. but ill keep writing to you. to your wretched streets. to your empty cities. to your pale skies. to you grim nights. ill keep writing to you because the ache the burden of unrequited love unabashedly forces me to keep writing to you. mere words for you. for me my heartfelt longings.
it is one of those days where you once again made me feel how unwanted and unwelcome i am. in this land. in our land. do you even know how it feels to stand alone. at margin. alone. knowing the country that should have been your refuge. your shelter. your haven. that should have been yours. is nothing but an absolute prison cell. a cage. an absolute hell. dimly grave hell. where our stories are written in tragedies. tragedies that legit go unnoticed. like the sunset on a busy road.
you know what i feel. what i felt in all those years ive spent living here against your desires. exile. that living here feels like youre treading on the road to exile. mehmoud darwish says on the road to exile, the traveler is the city. but in our case. you wont even let us carry our city with us. you dont let us have your fragrance with us. tell me how we will survive. when you dont let us have even your memory with us. tell me how we will comfort our hearts then. when you dont even let us have even this vague sense of belonging. please for the sake of our forgotten love tell us how we are going to live in peace then. throw us if you want. but at least allow us to carry our cities with us. your fragrance with us. allow us to have this sense of belonging with us.
you cant love us back, can you? you can never embrace us with open arms. you can never feel for us what we feel for you. your eyes dont shine like ours on your mere remembrance. because youre blinded by spite. you were taught all the wrong lessons. and you kept humming them until they became your beliefs. i still cannot understand. keep failing to fathom how can someone be this ill fortunate that out of all things so bright so beauteous so full of affection still choose to hate. and that too the ones already marginalized. lurking at corners with shattered hearts. with eyes swollen and weary souls. petrified. how can one hate someone so much that their mere existence is threatening. threatening what? your grand edifices of hatred and prejudice? on whose aid terror, your only ally, reigns freely?
im not here to fight. not even complaining anymore. just to tell you that im tired now. im tired of you not accepting me and my people. im tired of your indifference and indignities. im tired of reminding myself that our love will one day transcend your hate. im tired of reminding myself that one day my country will hug me back instead of pushing me away. im tired of waiting for you to come and take me back from the state of despondency. im tired of constant deprivation of love and affection by you. im tired of reminding myself i havent settled my dues yet. im tired of asking my heart to hold on for a while. things will get better. im tired of being hopeful. it has eaten away everything and has drained me out. im tired of not being loved by you. im tired of being shunned by you. im just tired. my soul really hurts now. its weariness is so burdensome that im afraid it might not leave any room for anything. but this wont happen. you know why. to love you has never been an option to us. we didnt choose to love you. that you and your love became part of us. it grew with us. nurtured with our longings. now it is incumbent to keep it nourished. to keep it from wilting. from withering away like our hearts. you know why? because it is painful. so painful to even imagine. to cut loose your body part. that too so willfully. you wont understand it. because you never allowed us to become part of you. but we did. and we did so utterly because of our stubborn hearts.
i dont know if my words will have any impact on you. or maybe i do know. they always fail to move you. my failure. but i need to tell you few things. things we are accused of without given a chance to refute. even murderers are allowed to defend themselves before the very law they are guilty of violating. you can call us whatever you like. kick us out from wherever you like. kill my people if that quenches your thirst. but never even think of us selling you off. never in any world imagine can we think of trading your love for anything no matter how alluring it appears. deprive us of anything but never i repeat never strip us of from the love we have for you. never can we even in our wildest dream can ever think ill of you. thats something we havent learnt. to stop loving you. something we were not taught.even if you dont reciprocate our love our longing we will keep treading on the paths of those who were slain in broad daylight because of their vulnerable hearts.because we are so awfully filled with your love.