Thursday, January 12, 2017

Silent Screams - A Page from My Diary

Dear diary,

Sometimes I want to scream and shout. I want to cry out loud and let my tears speak my story. I have so much to say but I choose to stay quiet. This is going to gnaw me on the inside. The words that don't come out are carnivores that eat away my body and soul. It hurts to make those people understand you who once used to steal the words from your mouth. When such people who know you like they know their favorite song turn into someone who starts questioning your every action, it feels like they're hammering you down. But pain is a very private feeling. Nobody can understand it. Not a single person can understand what you're going through. It's yours and only yours to keep. It's the only thing you have that others won't ask from you. This pain is going to take your life away and, mark my words, the moment it'll be sucking your last breath out of you would be the moment when you would be hugging it like a toddler hugging their teddy. You'll get buried under it's weight. And nobody, not a single body would understand what you're going through. 

I wish I were you. I wish I was a thing that people used. At least they would't have anything to complain about me then. At least I wouldn't have feelings even if I got crushed under someone's feet then. I wish I was a thing that people used and didn't complain of. I wish I didn't have these feelings that sink my heart and drown my soul. I have so much to say but I'll only let the tears flow out. I'll let them be my words.

Love, 
Yusra 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hollowness


It’s scary how lonely one must feel even in a bustling crowd. It’s strange how loneliness makes you hear nothing but a piercing silence even during head-splitting noises. What’s even more hurtful is the kind of loneliness brought along with the detachment. It’s shattering to miss one’s own self after detachment from someone so close, so attached with you; they take pieces of you away with them as they head to the opposite direction. How disengaging, how disenchanting it is for loneliness to come near to a person. Even loneliness itself does not want to stay alone thence always finding someone to get attached to. And oh how devastating it must be for one to feel lonely even without the detachment? How lonesome it must be for a person to have someone so near to them yet so far away. How lonely it must get as you hold your hand out to touch them but feel nothing. It’s the sickening loneliness that hauls vacant, craved feelings along with it. What would a smile feel like placing itself one one’s lips but not transferring its effect down to the pits of their heart? How much time does it require for the happiness to show up in their eyes? If the eyes don’t smile, is it even safe to say that one is happy?

And to top it all, what if one has no other choice but to choose the loneliness, the sadness, the isolation for oneself? How much time would it require to label them with ‘the one who is submissive to pain’ or maybe a ‘masochist’ if they remain true to their sad feelings? And exactly how many seconds would it take for the world to label them as a hypocrite if they choose to plaster their face with exactly opposite to what they feel?

If one could measure the hollowness of views and opinions, how deep would they go to finally measure the worthless hollow voice that came out to get listened but never got the required attention?

Living with loneliness is one thing but does the loneliness also die with us, or does it get worse off afterwards?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Memory (Circa - It's Inception)

The street of my memory had no dead end but my cowardice had once shut its gate, bolted it tight, and threw a latch on it. This was to make my memory numb and lame so that it would forget to walk and travel through my head. There stayed this memory for a long time. Although it could not walk, its presence made my head heavy. To get my attention, it would jump up and down, throw tantrums like a spoiled kid, and create a cacophony of indiscernible sounds in my head. But I had locked it shut for a purpose and I was not going to open it. My head was growing heavier and the noises were getting too loud for me to function properly. It turned out that it was as stubborn and resolute as my unchanging will to open it up. I was at a war against myself and the battle was taking place upon the battlefield of my brains inside this shut, bolted and latched gate of the forbidden land of memory.

One day I got tired of this mayhem. I was getting old, my hair was growing white, the wrinkles were getting deeper and more than once I heard the crackling sounds in my right knee. My consciousness was getting more irritant and sensitive. So I decided to open this latch and get done with it once and for all. I did not know what would happen. I was unaware of what would become of me. Because of my ailing body and frail senses, I was even prepared for it to take away my life. I had to do something to keep it from shouting. It left me in wonders to know how it never grew old enough to go quiet like me.  I was amazed to know how vigorous it had always been through the various folds of my aging life. It was staggering for me to comprehend how much more intense its energy would become once it would get its way out. I wasn’t sure if I was able to absorb the consequences, the repercussions of this move I was about to make. Maybe it was the time to play my trump card. Maybe this was the moment. So I quietly took a ladder, climbed up, and walked toward that rearmost compartment of my brains where I had pushed back my hapless memory. I went there and quietly undid the latch. I unfastened the bolt and opened the gate once again. The hinges of the gate made a creaking sound for opening up after a long time and it hurt, it hurt so badly in my head. The gate had only opened a crack and I felt a thud, like someone pushed me down. After that, I felt tiny footsteps all over me. I knew what was happening. The memory was making its way out fiercely and spreading like cancer in my brain. I tried to get up but I was under the weight of my memory. Helplessly, I lay down there for hours and hours and let my memory go every which way it wanted to go. I was possessed by it. It was similar to what I used to read in the books about people getting possessed by an evil spirit. It spread like an ivy plant and took control of me. I could do nothing except watching it as it played itself like a film from the very start. I lost the track of time once I started watching it. I knew every character of this movie already. I knew how it was going to end. Watching it was a déjà vu but that made it all the more captivating. I kept on watching it time and again until I realized that the authoritative memory that ordered me to keep on watching this movie was nowhere to be seen now.

I got up and looked for it. I searched for it in every nook and corner of my brains. I was now feeling strong enough to get it by its collar, push it back again in a dark space, and lock it one more time with a stronger latch and an indestructible bolt. Surprisingly, I was feeling its presence but was unable to get a hold of it. I was running in circles like a madwoman playing hide and seek with herself alone, looking for it to show up. Where was it? It was there but it wasn’t there at all. I ran, twirled, fell down, got up, and ran again in search of it. After following the same pattern a hundred more times I realized that once the memory gets etched in your brains there is no way, whatsoever, to get a hold of it. It’s going to be there, not only as a memory, but as a part of the brains itself. When the memories are urged to stay put, they, without your knowledge, turn into a matter of the convoluted brains and stay there as an essential part. My memory was afraid of getting locked up once again so it protected itself from me by making itself indestructible.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

After Hardship, Ease - A Prose on 'Yusra'

Man has always ordered his brain to comprehend all the missing things in his life more quickly than the ones that are already present there. It’s our selfish nature that likes hoarding all that we don’t have while withholding thanks to all those things that are already present and getting neglected by us. Man is afraid of difficult times. He likes his being to be kneaded and wrung out of life all because he doesn’t want the difficulties of his life to elevate. Little does he know that to escape one hardship, he is just engrossing himself in another. And the ease, where does it get lost? Or is it just a part of the cycle?

Upon encountering difficulties while handling the ages of my life in this world, I seek refuge in the manual– The Qur’an, to get the proper instructions for living this life. This is the only book whose Author has written the deepest sentences in the simplest forms. The only book I have read over and over again. The only book that I read every day and I still come up with something new in it on a quotidian basis. There is another strong inkling that has adhered me to it. This book, more than once, has my name in it. What’s more riveting is that I was told that my name was chosen from this very same book. So whenever I see my name lying in the pages of this book, I stall the recitation and get tempted to soak in the meaning of it. I stare at it and admire it. I feel ecstatic on the mention of my name in the Holy book.  It makes me happy to know that I’m reading my name as the word of Allah. I feel exalted to know that Jibraeel carried this word from the seventh sky all the way down to this Earth and presented it to the prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wa’alihe Wasallam).

But to get the meaning of life and in the quest of ease, I ended up interrogating myself.

‘Yusra’ in its true meaning means ‘ease’. As in, easing the path or easing out a way. Come to think of it, in the long run, we all want our lives to be spent in ease. We earn money because we want to bring ease to our family. We cook food because we want to bring ease to our taste buds, our stomach, and our health. Even now I’m finding satisfaction, bringing ease to my soul while doing what I like to do; writing. We all are basically in the need to ease the hunger of our body and soul. So if my name is ease, what my Creator sitting above on His glorious throne is expecting me to make of it? He must want me to bring ease to people's lives? I'm not the tiniest bit of what this holy book is about. Not even the zillionth part of a speck. But as I see my name in between the pages of the Qur'an, it makes me want to at least integrate the standard ethical and moral requirement that I, as ‘Yusra’, am supposed to portray. I ask myself whether I’m doing justice to the name I am bestowed with. Am I the ease the Qur’an talked about? Somewhere in the back of my head something tells me that it is my moral obligation to do justice, no matter how infinitesimal, with the meaning of my name.

Ease is mostly mentioned with difficulty which makes me ponder over how we would never get to taste the beauty of ease, if we don’t swim through the ocean of difficulty to get to it. I take it as a real life example and realize how true it is. How truer the concept of ease becomes after surviving through a difficulty. But this is not what the difficulties and hardships in our lives are all about; the trial, the difficulty always brings something as a lesson to you. I just want everyone to know that we are not supposed to whine about the hardships all the time. We need to learn the lessons that these hard times bring along with them. Like they say, “you either learn or win.” I wish we all would become fortunate enough to be able to gather the knowledge and learn more through these inevitable hardships. 

Who hasn't seen hardships in their lives? Who hasn't felt like drowning into an uncertain ocean of difficulties? But then again, aren’t we all still here, surviving and living this life? We have come up to the surface after drowning inside the deepest oceans of hard times. We have learned to breathe again. We have seen the difficulties and we have encountered the ease. This life is a big, giant trial that we’ve been made a part of. It’s a trial because we are here without our consent. We are here to survive and come out chaste without letting down our defenses in front of the guilty objects lying there only to make our will to win weaker. Don’t mind the bruises that you’ll get, wear the scars with a pride. Just don’t let the cuts and bruises received by this world bleed the life out of you. All I know is every difficulty, every single incident of my life has taught me so much that I always ended up thanking my Allah for all the things I never had and for all the difficulties that locked their horns with me. I'm thankful to Allah for not easily giving me the things I yearn for because I want to earn them. Once I'll earn them, I'll take better care of them because getting something easily has never the same value as getting something you earn. And I'm thankful to Allah for all the hardships because every difficulty has just added up another slab of iron and made me stronger. All I know is, every difficulty makes you a better, a more learned and dare I say a more fortunate person. Had these strains not affected me, I would have been a different person. Every hardship opens up the lock of one of the many doors of my mind and doesn’t let my thought process to catch the rust. All I know is that you learn from practical experiences. The rest is just education mired in our brains without learning. To me, education is not akin to learning. How many educated people do you encounter in a day who, very spontaneously, use the swear words? Many of you would be surprised to see that I’ve quoted such an example. Many of you would think I’m a naïve who doesn’t know the art of living. Well, this might be a very naive example for many of you but it sure is the one that vexes me the most. I believe that using bad words is just a downgrading and disparaging act which, for the record, does not make a person 'cool' and only shows how impure a person’s thoughts are. Education alone does not chisel your character, it's the learning that needs to hold hands with education and walk along with it.

Even if nothing of this makes sense or isn’t convincing enough, there is one thing that puts my heart to rest like nothing else. It’s the fact, the knowing that when Allah, the greatest of the authors, the Almighty, has said that He will bring ease to my life then I know that He will. He will because He said so. The sincerity of my Lord’s words calm the storms raging inside my heart and I am put to ease in an instant. If this works for me, I believe I have a duty to tell all of the agitated hearts and minds out there that they will find peace and that their life will witness harmony.

My curiosity and fondness for seeking the lost ‘Yusra’ made me pick up the verses from the Qur’an in which my name was mentioned, and I put their Arabic and English translations together with the references. I want to view these verses everyday and try to become what the Qur'an has wanted me to become.















Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Relating Life

On a mid July summer day, with an anticipation of getting welcomed by an unbearable blow of heat, as I brought myself under the summer sky, I was astonished to get welcomed by a delightful blow of cool breeze instead. I started collecting the dried clothes from the clothesline with my freshly washed hair getting hugged by the gentle wind under the July’s scorching sun. I realized that for a mid July summer afternoon, surprisingly it felt acceptable, even if for a few moments, to be in the sun. Although the big shiny round sun on a hot dry day didn't fail to show its presence by showering down its afternoon heat, the cool breeze actually made it bearable for me to continue doing my chores.

And, although for a very brief moment of time, it felt okay to stand under the sun.


I could relate the weather to my life a lot at that moment.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love Story

“She is mine and mine only. Not sharing her with the universe.”

These words hit me when I heard them coming from a friend, who, very recently, has become a father and was talking about his little girl. Fatherhood can be overwhelming but the happiness I could witness in his voice was priceless. I couldn’t help but think how my father would have felt about his very first child. It’s amazing how fathers protect you with an unconditional love. I have always seen this beautifully uncanny relationship between fathers and daughters. It’s all because of their absolute love that the daughters love them back with a mutual feeling. But no matter how hard we try, we can never level up with the care they bestow on us. I get upset when I see the children betraying, deceiving, or using harsh words for their parents. These are the times when I want to take them back to the point when they came into this world and had the protective arms of their mothers and fathers around them. My father always says that the love between the parents and their children is a one-way traffic. He says it doesn’t take long for the children to forget everything their parents have done for them. This is a sad reality. But it never lessens the love our parents have for us. I claim to love my parents more than anything else but I know their love can never be requited by me the same way they have always loved me. But at least I can try to minimize their grievances. Unconditional love is a beautifully natural thing that I believe only parents can acquire for their children.

My friend’s one simple sentence saturated with his sincere emotions has made this love story of his one of my favorites.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sewn Up

The words in your heart must not be left to wander, they must not be left to go awry. They like living in the hearts, not on the lips of people. Your words are not stray entities, they have your heart to dwell in.

I've let these lips of mine speak up when they had every right to stay quiet and now I'm paying back for all those times when I opened them up to let my words flow out. What actually failed me is the fact that when I made my words flow out, I wanted them to go and stay at a better home than my heart but unfortunately, they never got invited for staying anywhere. The idea that a heart other than mine could take better care of these words is now ridiculing me, with its laugh echoing in my heart and jabbing in my mind. I never realized that I was making these words homeless. I failed to see nobody is kind enough to provide them a shelter. They always keep my words on their lips, never in their hearts, drifting them away at random directions.

Opening up your lips is so easy but it takes a lot of strength to seal them and I have sealed mine for I know they have made too many of my precious words homeless. I know the current state I'm in is nothing but the curse these words have put on me for they are now bereft of a home after having the luxury of residing in a mansion once. So I've decided to take care of my words. I'll let my heart be their eternal abode from now on.

I've realized that these words have a natural habitat and it isn't the lips but the heart.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Distrust

The darkest and gloomiest edges of my existence found you and shared with you my darkest, gloomiest and murkiest self. It showed you all of the contusions, all of the scars, all of the wounds of my soul and let you put the healing balm on them to watch the flowers bloom on my wounds.

But to my shock and horror, you scratched them even more by displaying them out to the ruthless world without thinking twice. You displayed myself to people, making me believe that my first and only try at trusting people was the biggest fallacy of my existence. Now I shiver with terror whenever someone wants to take a peak on these wounds because the memory of what you did to them is too thick to leave me. The distrust is an obstinate phenomenon and it won't leave me no matter how hard I try. You couldn't grow the flowers on my wounds but the lesson you taught me about the distrustful nature of human beings would remain with me forever.