Tag Archives: love

Life is a rat-race

Why is it that we get so trapped in this rat-race of life that we forget the beauty of living? Why is it so hard to just be happy? Maybe because at a young age we’re taught that if we don’t run fast enough, the world will leave us behind. But what’s so bad about that? If being left behind means you’re happy then why is that an issue? Why is being ahead of the race so much more important than being satisfied? Why are we all at war with one another when our end goal is to be happy… to be content?

The crossing line we’re all trying to reach is like the horizon. It’s unattainable. No matter how fast we all run, no matter how much effort we put into our legs, we won’t ever reach that horizon, then what’s the point of making ourselves miserable?

We all have our own journeys, our own pathways and our own pace of running. Love, it’s time to screw the world and everything in it and live for yourself. Because what is gone won’t ever come back again.

-Words I say to myself every day

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

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The killing…

I grip the knife in between my fingers as tightly as I can. My palms are so sweaty that I’m afraid the knife will slip through and clatter on the white marble floor. After every minute that passes by I rub my hands on my pants, trying to remove the moisture that’s gathered on my flesh. I inhale sharply but quietly making sure to not make any sound with my uneven breaths or with my tiptoeing.

He’s peacefully sleeping on the king-sized bed with the blue bedsheet. His chest is rising and falling as he loses himself in his slumber. I envy him for his tranquility. How can he be so calm when he’s caused a thunderstorm in my chest? Sleeping like that he looks like an angel who’s here to make the world a better place, but when he’s awake even the demons run away to hell. His brown hair is covering his forehead and parts of his eyelids, and his bulging muscles are ripping through his white t-shirt. His stubble has been growing for the past few days and he hasn’t put in the effort to shave.

Unlike our small prison-like-cages, his room is as big as a children’s playground. The walls are different shades of blue, each one changing its hue with the reflection of the sun. On the left there are sofas with a glass table in the middle and on the right there’s the bed where he’s lying. Ahead there’s a balcony from where you can see the city buildings tower on top of each other.

I inch closer to him until I’m standing by his bedside, hovering over his head. His eyelashes are so long, and his face looks so innocent that I’m convinced he’s not the monster I’ve seen in him.

Maybe he’s had his reasons. The voices in my head try to reason with me, but that part of my chest that’s bleeding in red says otherwise. I’m trying so hard to convince myself that he’s not a bad person, that maybe he still has a part of himself that cares.

But he kidnapped you. Tortured you. The thoughts swirl in my mind like a tornado. He killed Sammy and Nate and Anna. And what about all those other children… what about Kenny. What about Aly?

But he fed you, didn’t he? Another voice yells at me.  He was just following orders. Katty said he’s incapable of feeling emotions. He’s mentally ill.

“Slit his throat.” Becky’s voice is cooing in my ears with such clarity that I’m convinced she’s standing by my side.

“No stab him in the heart.” Mickey is yelling at me.

I raise my hand and hold the grip of the knife, above his chest with so much force that my nails dig into my flesh.

I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.

If I kill him, I’ll be the killer. What difference would there be between us? But he killed good people and I’m killing the bad people. Does that make me a good person, or does that make me a murderer like him?

I lower my hand a little to retreat, but all the memories pulse through my brain, reminding me of every ache he’s put me through. The time he burned my hands, the time he whipped me and Esha with his leather belt. The time he shot Nate in the chest. The time he…

Before the thought can erupt through my brain, my arm plunges straight down with such force I didn’t even know I had. I hear a crack, a moan and then wheezing. His eyes fling open and perplexed he stares at me like a stray cat. When his eyes process what’s happening, he tries to jump out of bed but fails miserably. I quickly pull the knife out of his chest and take a few steps back in fear. His shirt, the bedsheets, my hands everything is painted in red. Pressing onto his wound with both of his hands he slides off the bed and tries to make his way toward the side table. He opens the first drawer and rummages through it. He’s looking for his revolver. Hamani said she took it and hid it in the back garden beneath the mango tree. When he finds nothing, he tries to jump toward me, but I take a leap back and he falls on his stomach. Blood soaks the carpet beneath him.

“I will kill you,” He says through his clenched teeth, expanding every word. I watch him bleed for a while, and very slowly I take a few steps toward him. He’s breathing heavily now. In his eyes, for the first time, I see anger dressed in fear. A tear drips from his eye and cascades down his cheek.

Guilt takes hold of my body and I start shaking and crying like an infant. I drop to my knees and my grip on the knife loosens making it clatter on the floor. I don’t want him to die. I don’t want anyone to die.

“Go call Mike. Come on please.” He says pleading. “I’ll protect you. I promise.”

Part of me wants to believe him and unconsciously I rise to my feet. But as soon as I spin on my heels the door bangs open and Hamani comes rushing in, covered in blood. She has a slash on her cheek, and I see fire dancing in her grey eyes. She pulls me back like a lioness does to her cub and pulls out the revolver she hid in the garden.

Before I can open my mouth, she pulls the trigger and the bullet cuts through his head. Blood pools around his body like a small puddle formed after rain. The loud bang paralyzes my body and I start sobbing.

The last thing I remember before passing out is Hamani saying, “We have to leave before the other gang members come.”

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels

 

The snake and Nano’s Alzheimer’s

“I had Hindu friends.” My Nano (grandma) who has Alzheimer’s says, wiping away a tear that rolls down her cheek. She looks at me and smiles. “A few of them we’re Sikh and Christian too, and we would sit on the roof, on wooden cots and talk until the sun sunk behind the horizon, or until my father came home and shooed us all away. After the partition, we all just separated.”

I hold onto Nano’s hand and sit by her knees. She doesn’t remember me, but she knows I look like someone she’s supposed to know. She gets frustrated when she doesn’t remember so I play around with her, telling her I’m the cleaning lady or a neighbor or someone who is here to steal the metal plates that Abu (grandpa) bought for her.

It’s her glassy eyes that make me feel guilty. Her lips wobble and her eyebrows knit together so I spit out the truth. And as soon as I do that she smiles and kisses me on the cheek. She tells me how much she missed me, and I want to say the same thing to her, but I’ll end up crying. So, instead, I ask her to tell me about her time when the British were here.

“They were nice. Very just…” she says, and I see pride forming in her eyes. She remembers certain things like they happened yesterday, but she’s forgotten everything else including me.

“This one time, after the British left and when your mother was a child…” Nano giggles. She tells me her tales, again and again, each one having the same people, but new plots. “It was late at night and I had to use the bathroom. During those days we didn’t have toilets, so we had to go out in the fields to relieve ourselves. At night all of us women would gather together at a meeting point, and we would walk towards the fields. Now the fields were empty, and they were scary. The fields were far away from the village, so it was usually a long walk. The wind would make these weird noises that would make our hearts crawl. So like any other day, holding our oil lanterns, we walked to the fields. The grass was as long as my knees, and it was hard to walk, but we managed to get deep where no one would see us. We separated and took our spots. Now as soon as we all settled down, this girl, my friend started screaming, and we all jumped in fear grabbing our trousers with one hand and the oil lanterns with the other. ‘Snake’ I heard someone shout. We were all so scared that we… we… we.” Nano pauses and looks at me with confusion contouring her features. The wrinkles forming on her forehead deepen and she asks, “Who are you?”

“Nano!” I try not to sound frustrated, but anger coats the softness in my voice.

“I’m your granddaughter,” I tell her for the umpteenth time. Nano’s not paying attention to me anymore, she’s too focused on my cousin who’s slamming the door because my youngest aunt refused to give him money.

I slowly slip away and go to Mama. I tell her Nano’s story and she laughs confirming that it’s true. “I have my own story to tell, but yes… all the women ran away, and a man came and hunted the snake and killed it.”

“No….” My aunt says frowning. “That’s not what happened. The snake was a female who had taken the form of a snake. Her husband was killed by Chacha Akhtar, so she came back, and she bit him while he was sleeping. Remember…” She says to mama as she holds back her laugh.

“Yeah and Abu (father) used that stone to suck out the poison” Mama is wheezing so hard that water leaks through her lashes.

“The stone is probably in the old house. Remind me to go get it later.” Auntie’s still laughing.

I blankly stare at them, not knowing what childhood story they’re talking about, but it makes me smile knowing that I’ve reminded them of a memory they both had forgotten.

“Alchemy… Herbs…” Mama says trying to explain the whole concept of the snake-stone-story to me. “Chemistry” she finally breathes in disappointment, as if Alchemy is something we’re taught in school. I ask her about the stone but that requires a story of its own.

Nano has Alzheimer’s, Mama’s story seems too boring, so I go with auntie’s version.

Photo by Burak K from Pexels

Bargaining with loved ones

If I am ever broken
and I am unable to walk
will you carry me in your arms
and tell me I am strong?

If I am ever broken
and I am unable to fly
will you raise the ground
or will you bring down the sky?

If I am ever broken
and I am unable to see
will you be my image
or will you leave me to be?

If I am ever broken
and the world is laughing at my despair
will you be my wings
and take me away from here?

If I am ever broken
and people are toying with my heart
will you be my glue
and stop me from tearing apart?

If I am ever broken
and I am unable to speak
will you be my lips
and help me heal?

What if I’m not broken
but I need you by my side
will you walk with me
or will you leave me behind?

What if I am okay
but I still need your hand
will you give me courage
or will you leave me as I am?

What if I just need you
without any reason
but I’m scared to admit
will you walk away
or
will you stay for a bit?

Cover picture from Pixel

Poem from ‘Curing My Venom

I’m drowning

Sometimes I get scared
and I don’t know why
but I want you to embrace me
and tell me it’s alright.

Because I trust you
more than I believe in myself
maybe because you become an anchor
when I’m crying for help.

Just don’t ever let me go
or the pieces joining me will shatter
tell me I am important
because I feel like I don’t matter.

I need you to praise me
and tell me what I am worth
because my mind is in chaos
and I feel like a curse.

Please don’t say anything
that will bring me down
because in this cruel sea
you’re the reason I haven’t yet drowned.

I’m not drowning. I think?

Poetry book: Curing My Venom
Read it for free on booksprout (limited time)

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels