Masks and Us!

We constantly think about our images. What people think about us. What they perceive us as. And we often yearn to be in their good books. Likable.

For attaining this we often mould ourselves. Change to fit the other person’s description of good. Become someone they want to see.

This leads us to paint brushes. We carry them along. Everywhere. All the time. Different kinds and shapes. And we use them as per the person we meet. Happy, sad, agreeable, domicile. All kinds. We become everything.

But we never ask ourselves why. Why do we want to be liked. What would happen if they don’t? Are we so afraid to stand alone that we choose fake? Or are we afraid to be real? Do we fear facing the real us? Do we know the real us?

When was the last time you did what you wanted to do irrespective of what people would percieve it as? What was the last time you saw yourself?

If the answer is a long time back, or never, ask yourself. Why?

Call to Freedom!

FotorCreated-9I have seen dreams die
Youth crying, panicked
“I cannot see a thing
What happened to my eye”

I have seen sleep stab
Flashes, nightmares
Face in palms, crying
“Where did my peace go”

I have seen mournful weddings
No songs of joy being sung
Groom was shot on the way
“Where did his promise go”

I have heard kids wonder
“Everyone comes with parents
I go alone, with my mother
Where did my father go”

I have seen women
Half widows
Not even a grave to cry
“Where did my husband go”

I hear a mother lament
“He was all I had
Peace to my heart, light to my eyes
Where did my son go!”

I see a procession, a funeral
children mourning
I hear people sloganeering
“Azaadi, Azaadi, Azaadi, Azaadi!”

 

Underprivileged!

There were kids-playing
No luxury of toys
a folded papercup
a slipper in hand…

They played barefoot
The joy of even playing
life of less previledged
of poverty, hunger, deprivation

They roamed streets,
selling
sometimes even begging
search for a meal.

Nobody to care for
an affectionate hand on head
They, their own guardians
they themselves the children!

Burdened

I feel bound:
The notions of right and wrong
Family: pride, expectations
Plans, future endeavours
Izat

Life felt like a lonely room
Dark, gloomy
Mystery of what approached
Apprehension

Sometimes I saw light
Hope- maybe
Oh! How I wanted to fly away
How I desired solitude

I sought sky,
In all its glory and its doom
To open my wings, to fly
But in this cage, secluded corner
I just felt broken, and so alone

Blunder and Pain

They talked freedom
how they had had enough
Tyranny, Monarchy
sought an end

They start out, seeking
fighting their way through
somewhere religion creeps in
Blunder?

A line drawn on religion
supressing minority
threatening, depressing
Inhumanity?

Fleeing home,
protecting
bleak faith
Kashmiriyat stabbed?

Fear in eyes
Tears
Years going in vain
Exodus!

Along, people in procession
slogans booming
“Asi Gasi Pakistan,
Batav Ros Ti Batnev Saan!”

He is a Human Too!

tufail-mattoo3

Talking of home, peace
the beauty of my place
the calm,
Paradise

We somehow reach conflict
the tug-of-war
nobody ready to give in
the dilemma of rope!

I narrate how, every year
we lose sons to bullets
how, abruptly
our streets are painted red

How, out of blues
a pellet hits your eye
How, in an instant
the world turns black!

I explain the mass graves
AFSPA, PSA
Tufail, Zahid, Wamiq Farooq
their graves asking for crimes

Fake encounters, promotions
disappearances
Half-widows, orphans, posthumous
Machil!

Crackdowns, rapes, torture
Papa II, Mama II
Bullets, pellets
Teargas shells!

He asks, “Why are you silent
how can you bear someone
barging doors
killing beloved

Why don’t you retaliate
fight back
serve them as deserved
An eye for an eye!

How could talks help
why yearn for justice
why empty handed
missing rifle…

How could you just sit around
mumb over blood bath
does your blood not boil
Are you so weak at heart?”

How could I explain
I have closely seen pain, death
and when I kill
does his family not die like mine?

Everything is Fair in War!

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“Everything is fair in love and war”

Everyone is well aware of this statement. About how there is nothing defining right and wrong when you have an enemy and a goal to achieve. How no one cares about right when there is a war.

But is victory that important? Is it some epitome of forgiveness that once we achieve victory everything else would fade out? Would our atrocities clean out? Would the blood on our hands turn transparent?

And if so, then are our everyday struggles not war for us? A new battle, a new challenge everyday? Should this philosophy of everything being fair not be applicable there as well? If for being declared a university topper I need to cheat, why should that be deemed morally incorrect? Is this goal not a war for me? And does the society not itself justify the means used in a war?

War or peace does not matter. What matters is whether what we do is justified. Going out killing someone just for its sake is not fair. Having impunity and shooting people around to abuse the power is not fair. Whether it be a war or a conflict, nothing can be beyond a human. Nothing, no victory is more important than a human life. And yet it is the human life we value the least.

It might take a lifetime to put this thought into our politicians’ minds. What is the value of a piece of land without its inhabitants, its culture? And when occupation of land does not matter, why have borders? Why divide ourselves? What high does this wall of separation give us?

Why could we all not co-exist. Peace. Imagine the amount of money this would save us. The amount of work that could be done when the military finances are redirected. Why should there be any need for military and nuclear weapons. Why should we stand against each other?

Sometimes it seems easier being an animal. No set boundaries. No visas. No weapons. No gunshots or blasts. But we were created humans. Superior to every other species that ever existed. And yet we are the only species that stands against each other.

Is the pain of a lost son not same for mothers of warring nations?

 

Blessed

Someday, after inkling
I had prayed
“May my hands have work
plethora”

Dreaded by the emptiness
nothing to look up to
feeling useless
zilch

Heard somehow, blessed
fixations, meetings
appointments
Toiling

People pitied
“Oh! You work too hard
Relax, look what you did
to yourself”

They, with fears and inhibitions
unaware of pleasure
dopamine rush
The fun, excitement
Bliss!

 

Desires

I was listening to someone
talking change
How your dreams, your why matters
How it all falls in place

I look around
people with money on mind
how they desire
banknotes!

I wonder, WHY?
was this motivation?
A session for searching self?
I find myself crying!

My heart is somewhere else
Somewhere weaving verses
listening to dreams
A literary paradise

I peek at this sea of people
craving security, finances
I feel lost
I belong elsewhere

I crave that music, verses
delicate, woven intricately
piercing one through and through
An aura of peace.

I want to cry my heart out
the devastation, heartbreak
I sit silent, pretending
lowered head, dilated eyes

A mere physical presence
My soul, peace somewhere else
The inability to freeze time
insanity of desiring forever!