A Step

There are so many times we complaint, complain and give up. Curse. Blame. And do nothing else. Nothing at all to change the current circumstances. To change the present.
It feels so good to be in the crowd, to relate to people, to whine along with them that they forget their own identity. They forget that this whining can end simply by taking one step away from the crowd. By not following what everyone is. By taking that risk of being talked about, ridiculed and mocked.
But that comfort zone is too dear. To the extent that we sacrifice dreams for it.
Why could we not that that extra step, that one step of agony and reach out to our dreams? Why give up? Why not bear a little more pain and achieve it rather than sit down nursing wounds?
Someone has written,
“Bus itni si doori, yeh mai hun ya manzil
Kahan aa ke phoote hain pairon ke chaale”

But, instead of lamenting and crying on the wounds, could we not take a few steps further, achieve that we started all this journey for and then nurse the wounds. In Glory?

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Being a Girl

I talked of chains
How I felt my wings bound
How it was suffocating
Smothered, numb
They asked, ” Where are the chains
You talk about;
Who binds you, you seem free
The cage is just metamorphic”
I think the words over
Were they right?
Why was it that I felt caged?
What denied my wings flight?
No, the chains couldn’t be seen
They were just words, lingering
A collection of random events
The burden of ‘Izat’
Stereotypes bound me
The rules- how, what, right, wrong
The piercing eyes- disapproving, shaming
The label of being a girl!

Governed by Fear?

All of us talk of winning. Of how we want to achieve things. Dreams. We build castles. Fantasies at work. A beautiful imagination.

But when we look in our eyes, why do we find them empty? Why don’t our smiles reach our eyes? Why do our hearts feel empty?

We all dream. But we fail to realize them. We fail to work so  as to make them true. We listen to society, to people and think this won’t work. That building castles in air is a waste. Why don’t we listen to us?

We cherish our comfort zones, our images. Of how we live and what people think about us that we forget we had dreams. We think about what people would gossip about. not what our dreams on completion would look like. We focus on our position in society. Not the work that can realize our dreams.

Why is it easy to dream of a pent house. Why isn’t working for it that easy? Because our actions, our thoughts are governed by fear. What if? Maybe I lose what I have working for what I want! What if, this dream of being AVP instead of an employee costs me my health? My job? My everything?

Why do we repeat the things we have always done? They didn’t get us to our dreams. Why would they now?

Maybe we just need to take a U-turn. Drive to that crazy path we once shun because of our fears. Because we thought it was crazy. Because we cared about what the world would think. Fear. Maybe destination is not that far.

Maybe everything is waiting and we are not able to achieve it because we are fearful of extending our hand.

Is burning one’s hand not worth if that gets one to his dream?

Sadism

I sit on the window sill
Watchful
Observing his features-
Him!

He lies down
Tired of the world
Closed eyes
“O! To be free”

He speaks pain;
Of glass walls
Dreams right in sight
O! Unattainable

He seeks redemption
A way beyond chains
A bird in cage
Seeking sky

Thinking penance,
He jumps in fire
Engulfing

Now, he lay writhing
Crying in pain
“Let me out,
This torment

It drives me crazy
Ah! Lashes
How do I escape”

I watch him over and over
Trauma, tears
Changing expressions
Screeching

I indulge in his pain

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!

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?

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!

 

Sometimes…

Sometimes
All I see was blurred
the dreams, destination
Faux

It all seems too far
Unrealistic
A child’s jump, outstretched hands
attempt to grab the Moon.

Everything so far fetched
I, a mere spectator
watching
people shaping up my life

Water ebbed and flowed
down a seeking stream
So did my dreams
sometimes low, others high
flow in my blood stream!

Restlessness

Breathing heavily
Dragging my feet along
running away…

Along, I carry a heavy heart
grieving
devastated

Plethora of emotions
I cry
my tears, prayers!

Bleak hope of forever
of belongingness
depth of an ocean

I try acquiring it all
a sky full of stars,
a dream glistering

I look back,
flashes
The essence of poetry

Though only a moment
it seems forever
a dream cherished, well lit!

 

Of Freedom

They say, “You are free
The chains metamorphic
You don’t need to break free
You already are”

I thought how I had two worlds
One real, other fascination
How one felt like a cage
And other set me free

Yes, I could fly
Soar to the zenith I seek
I could be whatever
Behind the daydreaming eyes

Amongst consciousness and insanity
Lay a desire – suppressed
Why follow routine
Why be free in dreams only!