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Of Little Things

Well, I’ve been going and on about the University Hostel in my recent letters and phone calls, but can’t still get over it.

It’s beautiful here, I love the hostel for exactly the same reasons many people hate it- I love it for the slow network, for the window opening to a landing filled with trees and light golden sunlight filtering through it, for the coexistence with nature, for the unidentified blue bird with the red throat, for the little creatures stalking around, even though it does get me worried at times. Growing up in a metro, deserts and seas and skies being the only refuge I had, these are luxury (I do love the other life too). I love a slow life, eating from small-scale vendors, travelling in buses, rickshaws and trains, and for the most part walking, at times the modern lifestyle serves as disillusionment, especially the rush behind fads. My vote goes for minimalism, life without the burden of money. For slow, beautiful, normal lives.

But I loved it most early in the morn…
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...and the struggle goes on

I got married at 21, fairly young, and to the first proposal. Let’s not pretend I love to write about it on social media, so forget this.
Growing up a rebel, I hated lavish stuff- I hated, and still hate weddings, too much jewellery and makeup, a too glossy dress, and dolled-up couple with watery eyes in front of a million paparazzi-inspired photographers. I hate how weddings are intentionally show-off stuff. But obviously, surviving a wedding day is the easy part.
When I got married, I was seen as this naive NRI girl who doesn’t even understand the courtesy of giving seats to elders, because apparently NRIs don’t know basic manners. So, all the little fights during our Milkah period were made into huge hyperbole and justified with my so-called ignorance, because I didn’t know anything. For a girl, already surprised with marriage, which I believe every girl is, it made it harder. That was the first lesson I learned, to not let people interfere into that special bond you share, no matter…

Elitism and Literature

I’ve been told more often than not that the vocabulary I tend to use when writing is simple, lucid, easy to understand. It’s always alright if ‘difficult’ words are peppered, though difficult is relative, but not at all when the whole thing sounds like some draconian effort towards the sunrise of non-comprehendability. I’ve always been a campaigner of literature, literature as something for the common man, literature for the the spread of subjectivities and passion, literature not restricted to the elite. How often do we find though, that intellectuality is flipped over to the culturally elite, when it should be the other way round. When the primary aim of intellectual capacity of any person should be to spread exceptional ideas to the common man. We do find a lot of velvet-coated stupidly being spread around a lot though, among the so-called elite.
     When I first started writing (for someone other than me), I remember searching for words that were strange and unused in our day…

Being 24

Technically, I turn 24 today.
It's scary when I think about it. 24 winters. 24 summers. 24 Ramadans. 48 Eid. The tingle, that we all feel, as life, like fine grains of sand, slips through little spaces between our fingers even as we keep holding on to it in tight fists.
Each birthday I keep looping over the same thought.  I'm 24, I'm old, there's so much to do. I haven't done anything. I'm 23, I'm old, there's so much to do. I haven't done anything. I'm 22, I'm old,.... Notice the pattern?
I don't believe birthdays are useless, but they're not an excuse for celebrating. Birthdays are the perfect benchmark for reflection. To see how much I've changed, for the good or bad. To figure out where I stand in the rat race. To reflect and redefine life as it ebbs and flows.
24 is, perhaps, a beautiful place to live in (I think that every year). I'm at that point in life where formal education has begun to get over and hyperventilating life beg…

Going Right

I was colouring with my little cousins today morning. Amen, 6, was obviously an easy one, he knew which colour to choose, the alternative if one colour wasn't available, the space where he was supposed to and not to colour. The younger one, Hemin, 3, was, let's say, not exactly easy.  Those who've had youngsters at home will understand me well, they don't get angry, listen to us quite well, but don't understand why they have to do something that we tell them to do, even though they have wonderful ideas of their own too. This little kid kept saying he wanted to colour with 'blue' even after I kept saying that particular part of the ball was yellow; kept wanting to colour on the picture printed as a model for them to look at to as they colour even after me repeating that he doesn't have to colour something that's already been coloured. However careful I am at comparing both of them, in the end I did tell the poor little one to look at how beauti…


This post, my first post in religion, was something due since a while. Recent triggers for writing was mainly a conversation I had days back, and far back on someone questioning me on life’s purpose; the second one which I answered with perfection, and the other which I felt hollow and stubborn in attempts to justify my view. Basically, I’ll talk about Salah.
     Growing up, I think I’ve been asking questions more than any kid. Unsatisfied with the answers people around me gave, I looked for them myself. I think delving into books was one way to overcome this deficiency. Nevertheless, I grew up believing that everything has a rational explanation; some more thinkable than others, some at a higher level of human understanding, but still explainable. What worried me most was the way people approach religion- something purely mystic, unquestionable, placed in some unknown realm of the mind. The worst part was questioning why religion was unquestionable. It still worries me, religio…


I usually think of myself as quite undriven by presumptions, but like every one of my polished thoughts about myself, this too comes tumbling down with multiple aporias.2 days back, I began reading The Shadow Lines. For those of you who don’t know, I usually take time when reading books, not always reading, at times closing the book and thinking walking around, talking to people about things related to it, creating deceiving philosophies, relishing each aspect at my own pace, the slower the more I love the words. I’ve yet half of it to go, so that would explain how much I like this particular one.
Interestingly, I began The Shadow Lines as part of challenging myself to reading a book I’d find boring, which turned out to be the opposite. The last time I put down an Amitav Ghosh book was in 11th Grade, it was The Sea of Poppies, which I think I left halfway, I thought the excerpt from The Calcutta Chromosome I had read around the time to be overwhelmingly challenging, so wanted to get m…

To Perdito, with love

Dear Perdito,One thing we're all taught from the day we were born is love. You remember the day you wobbled out of your mum's tummy, you remember how for a moment, even the doctor who was quite used to babies looked at you with love, you remember that way before that people gazed at your mom's bulging stomach with tenderness all through her pregnancy, never, you wouldn't remember, but it's too easy to think of that as what happened. At times I think that we are too engulfed in the beauty of love, and that's what blinds us, we're asked to love, but never by how much, never to whom. These remain among things that we've got to figure out as we get along in this world.Perdito, you know something, at times I think of love as the same as fire. We're fascinated by its beauty, yet too afraid to capture it within our soul, afraid that we'd store it in the wrong places, give it to the careless ones, we're afraid of love as we're afraid of the fier…

The Vegetable Cutters

The paint peels
sad streaks and pouts
near the kitchen sink, the stove and the work area.
It tells me tales of tears miraged by onions,
mostly hollow ones
that stand emptiness
of blades grooving over surfaces
rough and smooth, jagged and flurry,
as they cut
and cut and cut and cut
as the knives and scissors,
sharp and blunt
begging for masterpieces
which are always slow.The cuts are always slow.The cuts are slow
because masterpieces are for heroes
not crouching heroines,
the pressure is high though,
unconscious and never deliberate.I hear a rhythm as the knife goes
ctuck, ctuck, ctuck
over and over
as mum gathers veggies into salads
or aunties julienne them into ramen noodles
or the master chefs at the hostel mess boil sambhar or rasam
evenly into bits and pieces
which make me think
if they're cutting through their souls,
bit by bit
for ever and ever.At the dining table, though,
they're undistinguished
the carrots they cut,
because in the end,
no one can find it
different fr…

Wiser Mornings

One habit change I’ve made in the past year is waking up early, by early I mean really early- about 3 hours or so before sunrise. I’ve always been a morning person, all nighters make me tired even if I make up for the hours lost in sleep. Growing up, I don’t remember any night where I stayed awake after 10 even those frequented by exam goers; neither do I remember waking up very late except in unavoidable circumstances. 
     I think the whole concept changed as I moved to India and my internal clock found it difficult to adjust to the workings of the day, added to the fact that me and my cousin always had plans for ‘after everyone sleeps’. During my Farook days, even this changed. I woke up really early at the hostel, not as early as now, the earliest phase I guess was 4:30. On my defense, it was really difficult to avoid everyone and go to sleep early. Sleep deprived, it took at least three months for me to get a consistent sleep pattern. Before that, I’d find myself waking up a…