Chained to Chores

Busy, bustling, daily chores
A life full of demanding more’s
Ah! The clock goes too fast
Just can’t do enough!

With hands full, I hear a call
A familiar, cherished voice
somehow it felt different
So wrong, painful

I look back, the source of the voice
Dad crumbling, drenched in sweat
something seems utterly wrong
the panic on his face

I run, trying to get a hold of him
save the fall, the anguish
But midway something hinders my run…
A chain round hand.

I try jostling it away
breaking free and going over
somehow seems too strong
Ah! What do I do…

Somewhere I comply, negotiate
I get timeouts and return back…
like a dutiful slave!

 

 

Difference

Remember the last time you said mother? Parent? Care? Oh! So much of concern. How you should be aware of their feelings, and how our lives should revolve around them? Remeber saying they should be the centre of our world? The very thing that we should be constantly aware of? Careful of? Mindful of?

Remember saying that our lives should be dedicated to their care, paying them back for what they did for us as children? Remaining indebted and trying to make things even. More out of the intent to repay their favours rather than out of gratitude…

Why could they not understand that gratitude is not always shown by doing as the other asks. Gratitude is not giving someone control over your life. Gratitude is doing something for that other person out of your own personal will. The way you want to.

But when it comes to giving up control and freedom; when they ask to specifically take instructions and do whatever they say, this is not paying back or showing gratitude. This is enslavement. Under the worst pretext available.

There is a great difference between gratitude and slavery.

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!

Elsewhere

autumn-kashmiri-slang-harud-250x250

My place had a season
Autumn
Leaves would fall
Fields harvested

Everything looked devastatingly cold
Greyscale
Devoid of any ornamentation

As if mourning
Some loss – unknown
Departure of beloved

Gardens, streets turned red
A sigh onto your every step
The hearts you broke along the path

Now, I stay elsewhere
The leaves don’t fall anymore
No signs of pain
No signs of life reviving itself

Value

On the streets
Besides destitutes
stood a cow
feeding on something

Enters a lady
feeds the cow sweets
Gurr…

A scorn, a scold
“Oh! How could you feed her this?
She deserves best
nothing else”

With tattered clothes, they looked on…

She feeds her some more
caressing
Across the street, some children
look on, yearning.

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!”

 

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!

 

Come Over

 

Look at the war, the turmoil
The way it affects you
A future awaits
Come over

What are you holding onto
Fear? Trauma
A bullet with your name on it?
Come over!

Tranquility awaits you
The grass is greener
Paradise,
Come over

I wondered if it was true
Far away, in exile
And yet paradise
The insistence, come over

Why quit for peace
And justice?
who would ensure that?
Bring back the golden days, come over

I stay back
Work, where others quit
Ensuring justice, brick by brick
I act rather than being a spectator
I won’t come over!

Pay Back

Whenever we see an unhappy couple, or a couple facing some problems, we hear them blaming their partner for this. “It was he who caused this”. “She is to be blamed”. Blah Blah Blah …

When we are in love, we tend to idealise the person, overlooking their negatives. But when we go on to long term commitment, their negatives start to appear prominently. They are no longer ignored but fought over. “Why are you like this?” ” Why do you do that?” “Why can’t you change?”

In such situations we tend to forget that only the other person can’t be at fault. A person has been like this for some 20-25 years and you suddenly expect them to change for you, just because you don’t like something. Why can’t we simply accept each other? The way we are?

The other thing wrong about our relations is blaming and then seeking revenge. “He did this to me, so I would act this way to repay him.” “She did such a thing. I will make her repent. She deserves it.”

Why can’t we treat our mistakes better? Why hold grudges? Why can’t we simplify things? Instead of repaying each other or making the other person regret their doings, why can’t we forget and move on? Why cause each other pain? Or are we all sadists, deriving pleasure of the pain of our loved ones? Of our partners?

The next time you think of punishing you partner in any way, think how many times you have been wrong and they simply let go, never making a fuss. Think of why you love them before thinking what they deserve.

Hearts are fragile and anger only hurts your own self!