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The battle of righteousness!

I sat on the ground
with my broken pieces
shattered around.
Blood was dripping from the sky
and Allah was watching me cry.
Tears were slowly streaming
and the winds were screaming.
The mountain I was trying to climb
to reach the heavens of desire and love
broke into pieces and I fell from above.

I hit myself so hard that I couldn’t feel my ache
was I that broken that it was impossible for me to break.
I was so alone that pain left me numb
I curled into a ball and waited for death to come
but it wasn’t death, pain, or light that found me all alone
it was an enemy who promised to bring me back home.

It was Satan who came to me wearing a vest of hope.
He sat by my side and gently held my hand,
“I’ve come to help you rise because I know no one will understand.”

The devil gave me his word and made me sit upright
the world is too selfish my love it doesn’t deserve your light.

“Come, we’re both fallen angels what do you say
hold my hand and we’ll make everyone pay.
The world does not deserve your mercy let’s tear everything apart
I will burn down the world just tell me where to start.
These so called people, they aren’t your friends
life is unfair so let’s make amends.
You took the right route, yet you lost the game
people have walked over you, so you do the same.
You were pushed down and no one came to your aid
It’s your time now, so take this blade.
Do what you want so you could go higher
burn down everything and do what you desire.
Victory won’t come to you
you’ll have to snatch it from someone else at every turn
let’s be partners and we’ll watch the world burn.
What’s a little hell compared to the hell you’re going through?
come to the dark side, let’s see what you can do.”

The words sounded so good.
Maybe I shouldn’t.
Maybe I should. “Do it,” a voice had echoed
“Don’t you dare,” another had said.
The battle I was fighting was taking place in my head.

There were bombs and explosions taking place within
and there was no one I could tell
people would say I was a sinner
and they would threaten me with hell.
How could I rise when I was drowning in myself
everyone threw judgments but no one would come and help.

Maybe he was right
if I was in darkness why should someone else be in light.
I didn’t understand.
what was the point of being righteous and just
if everyone else in the world was filled with hate and lust.
Everyone around me was living in a beautiful lie
if everyone was cheating then why shouldn’t I.
It was my turn to take
I was tired of giving
why did I have to be a saint
when everyone else was sinning.

“Because,” my Lord said.
“I made you different don’t be like the rest.
Ruining a life is easy but giving hope is hard
take the easier path and you’ll lose who you are.
I made you a leader yet you’re giving in to another voice
you were kind and just, because it was your choice.
Not because you had to prove anything to the people around
you can’t sink the world just because you’re about to drown.
The world can do whatever it wants
but don’t let it corrupt your response.
You’re brave, how can you let a fall dictate your way.
Iblees doesn’t care, he just wants to rip you apart
this crusade you’re fighting is taking place in your heart.
Being good has nothing to do with getting something in return
you, my aching soul of clay have so much to learn.
I know you’re confused and so badly torn
but this fall of yours is giving you another chance to be reborn.”

Smiling my Rab said, “I’m the one who pushed you
and this you should’ve known.
If I created you
do you really think I would leave you all alone.”

Poetry Book: Curing My Venom

Making ends meet

We’re six people, and we live in a two apartment bedroom. My dad drives a taxi and he works twelve hours each day to make ends meet. I work part time and I’m looking for a full time job. My older brother temporarily drives an Uber and he’s saving money to pay for a certification he needs. My younger brother and sister are in college and my mom is a house wife, who has diabetes, blood pressure and depression.

But we’re all blessed. We have our moments which end in tears and days of anger and anguish but at the end things turn out fine. We yell our throats out, throw fists, disagree and fight, and hurt each other. But at the end Alhamdulillah- we make it in one piece. Sometimes broken, sometimes tattered, but still we make it. We always do.

Coming to Pakistan we’re no longer the middle class or people trying to make ends meet. We become the elite. The upper class. Mostly because we have American passports which is messed up on it’s own and it’s a another story. But also because here people are deprived of basic human rights. Little children as young as seven are forced to work in people’s houses because they need to survive. It makes me sick and there’s nothing much I can do right now.

But I can narrate stories of women who’ve sat next to my mother and cried tears of blood.

From “my ten-year-old son died because we didn’t have enough money to pay for his medical examinations” to “my seven-year-old daughter works in people’s houses because we don’t have enough money to feed her.”

Stories about diseases that could be prevented with simple medication. Physical and mental abuse and how women have to deal with them with smiles because that’s what they’re taught. It’s okay if your husband hits you. It’s not a big deal. At least he has a roof over your head and he puts food on the table.

I’m not saying Pakistan is all bad. It has its issues like America does. But the people in Pakistan are loving and hospitable. They give when they barely have enough to eat.

One thing I’ve learned is that every person, regardless of nationality, religion and skin color has a story to tell. We’re all closed books with filled chapters reeking of tales aching to be told.

A woman whose husband married his brothers wife and kicked his own wife out with her two children.

A mother whose son left her on the streets.

Two innocent men of the same family being killed because of a political feud.

A woman bought from northern Pakistan to be sold as a bride.

A ten year old boy working as a dishwasher in a resturant.

I know all these people. They walk around me with smiles as bright as the sun trying to hide pain… but it drips from their bodies like sweat.

It’s so easy to judge, to throw hate, pass nasty comments, compare and envy… but its complicated to understand and comprehend.

Not everyone has a perfect life. What may seem like a bed of roses from far could be a mat littered with thorns.

What is love

Love is when your dad comes home tired from work at 2 am, but still takes you to the ER because you’re not feeling well. It’s when he tries to sell and advertise your book while driving a cab because he believes in you.

Love is when your mom walks all the way to your high school and waits outside with an extra umbrella because its pouring outside. It’s when your mom stays awake all night with a cold cloth on your head because you have a fever.

Love is when your older brother drives you to your college so you wouldn’t miss class because you aren’t feeling well. It’s when he’s willing to give up his pay just so you could get a new laptop.

Love is when your younger brother buys you ice cream because your mad at him. It’s when he’s willing to travel two hours just to see you.

Love is when your younger sister deals with your tantrums and smiles even when you make her cry. It’s when she gives you her shoulder to cry on even when she’s going through her own stuff.

Love is when someone special travels two hours just to give you flowers and chocolates. It’s when that person is willing to spend their entire life with you.

Love isn’t about gain or loss. It’s not a business. It’s a feeling that keeps you warm even when the sun refuses to rise. It’s the light that shines through the darkest tunnel. Love is when your heart is content and satisfied with whatever life throws at you.

The first date

The white-hot chocolate seems bland. It’s mixed with cups of sugar but my tongue can’t seem to hold onto the taste.

The cup is warm, and I wrap my fingers around it to take away the coldness of winter.

Part of me is wishing I didn’t come, but that other part of me, the curious one is glad I did.

He’s sitting across from me and I feel anxious, like my heart is about to deflate in my chest. He’s nice and calm but nervous. He sits in an angle and he drinks his hot chocolate within seconds, while it takes me forever to finish mine. When I’m half way done, I start peeling the paper wrapped around the cup to divert my attention from the thoughts erupting in my brain like a volcano to the paper dissolving in my hands.

I keep my eyes down while he keeps on tapping his foot.

“Give me three good reasons why I should marry you?” I ask him, not because I wanna know but because I wanna see his reaction. He’s taken back like an interviewee does when an unexpected question is asked.

“Just one.” He says. “I’ll keep you happy.”

The answer brings a smile to my face but I hide it. He doesn’t need to know how I feel. I want him to back out. I want him to say things won’t work out between us because I can’t seem to say it. Because I feel like I’m developing feelings for him, and I hate that. I can’t be distracted. I have so much to do. So much to conquer. How can I let a guy side track me like that. How can I get into a relationship when I’m so focused on getting myself out there.

“I’m not ready yet,” I say to him sneaking a look into his eyes. He blinks but smiles and that smile melts my heart. Butterflies in my stomach twirl like a tornado. In his eyes I see confusion mixed with doubt. I wonder what he saw in my eyes. Probably an egotistical girl who has no idea what she wants from life. Or maybe a stupid indecisive girl.

“That’s ok.” He says, and I see a glint in his eyes that I can’t make out. He’s not mad or angry. He’s as calm as an ocean on a bright sunny day. And for some reason that gets me mad. How can he be so calm when I’m over here fighting a war I can’t win in my head. What was I expecting him to say? Maybe some romantic Bollywood dialogue? Saying how he can’t live without me. Maybe a curse? Maybe manipulation? Something besides that calm smile.

It’s weird how some people come into our life and change our entire direction. He changed my whole journey. And he didn’t even know.

I don’t know what it was about him that pulled me closer to him. Maybe in his presence I felt calm and human. I felt safe and for an anxious person that’s heaven..

“I should leave.” I rise to my feet, and pull out my charger from the wall next to the table. I say this because it’s getting late and if I stay longer I’ll change my mind.

“Yeah. I can drop you off.” He offers as soon as we leave the star bucks. The cold air slams into my face like a wall made of bricks.

I smile and shake my head, “Taking the trains would be easier.” I lie. I dread taking the trains at night. Some don’t work and the ones that do work change their tracks or they stop mid-way. Creepy people, drunkards, and drug addicts, sometimes take over the subways at night- especially on the weekends. But going with him doesn’t seem right either.

His car is parked on the opposite side and I’m surprised he didn’t get a ticket. He said he couldn’t find parking and he didn’t want me to wait so he just parked it. I don’t believe him, but I smile to assure him that I understand his struggle.

I feel guilty. I made him drive for two hours, just so I could say no to him. But he doesn’t seem bothered and that makes me feel a little better.

“Bye.” I wave at him. He smiles and waves back. My heart sinks in my chest as soon as I go underground toward the R train.

I’m so confused that I take the wrong train to Brooklyn instead of Queens. It’s only when I pass DeKalb Avenue that I realize I’m on the wrong train.

I curse myself out and regret coming here to meet him.
I’m frustrated with school and my manuscript and work that I feel trapped. Like I’m suffocating. What does my future hold for me? Where am I headed? This is not what I had in mind when I left high school. It was to graduate college in four years. Get into med school. Start working. Buy a house and a car. Easy peasy lemon squeasy. Except the fact that I didn’t want to study medicine and it took me forever to graduate because I was side tracked.

Tears slowly start cascading down my cheek. I sit down on the bench as soon as I get out of the train and try to figure out why I’m hurt. Why is my chest aching like it’s physically wounded. Like I’m having a heart attack. Am I making the right choice? Is this what I want?

Two trains pass by and I blankly watch them. It’s the third train I sit on or maybe the fourth. Everything was a blur that I wasn’t sure what I was doing.

This was a choice I had made and now I had to live with the consequences.

I went home with red cheeks and an attitude my mom and siblings couldn’t understand. I cried myself to sleep that day.

Someone else’s dream

It took the earth 24 rounds around the sun for me to realize that I need to stop seeking people’s approval. That I need to start thinking and living for myself. That it’s okay if I make a mistake. It’s okay if I’m not perfect in every single thing that I do in life. That it’s ok for me to be human and act like one.

I’ve been too afraid to be wrong that I’ve missed so many opportunities life had to offer. I regret every second, every minute that I let fear control me like a puppet on strings. I regret it so bad that those same moments replay in my mind as nightmares when I’m asleep. But there’s comfort in knowing that I’m here. That I made it in one piece, or maybe in a thousand. But I’m still here. Breathing. Living. Existing. That I still have a chance to change things that are yet to happen in the future. The first step to solving a problem is to accept you have one. And mine is fear. It’s like instead of blood, fear pumps through my veins and clogs into my heart.

Life has so much to offer, but we don’t take those offers because we’re afraid that there might be a catch. That maybe if we take life’s offer life might take something from us in return. But why does that have to be a bad thing? Why is giving seen as something bad compared to receiving.

In order for you to gain something in life you have to first give. You must learn how to let go and how to surrender. I learned that when I was studying biophysical chemistry in college. I was holding onto a dream that wasn’t mine. A dream that everyone else had seen for me. A dream that I couldn’t see.

It was during a lecture on quantum mechanics that I realized I was stressing for all the wrong reasons. These tiny particle spinning around in circles, chasing each other did not put in the effort for me to be miserable. If electrons did as they pleased then why couldn’t I? The position of electrons depended on probability… wasn’t my life the same.

In that class I didn’t learn formulas or theories or hypothesis or names of scientists, I learned that suffering was inevitable. No matter what career pathway I choose in life I was bound to trip, bound to fall, bound to get hurt. But I also learned that I could choose my own suffering. I could choose how to fall and how to rise. How to tend to my own wounds.

Med school, being a doctor- as prestigious as it sounds wasn’t meant for me. Yes the title of Dr. is beautiful but the pathway that leads to it isn’t. That’s not the type of suffering I can deal with. I would most likely go crazy. Even if I do make it through med school, I know I’ll be miserable as a physician.

The probability of me being a successful writer is 1 out of a million and the odd that I would be that successful is low. But its something I can live with. I may not be making a shit tons of money and I may not have a Dr. label in front of my name. I might have to do part time jobs like I’m doing right now. I’ll have to face constant rejections. Maybe even cry rivers. But its something I can live with. Will I regret it? I don’t know? I’ll update y’all in a another ten years to let y’all know.