Incessant Dreaming

It had been a few days. Hunger and lethargy floated somewhere amongst these transitions of conscious into unconscious, reality into dream, clarity into haze. A constant thump thump of the raindrops on the tin roof could be heard. A fragile hand tried to move in the darkness of the shabby hut. Was this real? Was it a dream? Everything seemed a dream these days. How long though? How long had this incessant dreaming been continuing? Who knew. And who cared. Because it was true! An insignificant being dying in a dismal hut of hunger and starvation. It didn’t alter the course of the universe. It didn’t hinder the path of the sun. And it didn’t stop this monsoon rain.

The much needed rain. The rain prayed for, the rain begged for.

Yet what good did it do to a dying being? A dying being incessantly dreaming. For the world refused to acknowledge the being as human. But even so, the being had no control over its being. The rain drops seemed to be getting bigger and bigger now. The humidity was suffocating. Soon they were as big as that listless hand. The humidity might turn solid any moment now. The rain drops were bigger than the cars by now: every single drop fell as if a bomb attempting to destroy everything on the face of the earth. And then amongst all the chaos: a thunderous knocking. The door was weak, perhaps weaker than the inhabitant, but it put up a good fight. The inhabitant swore and tried to convince his brain to convince his body to move. The pounding on the door increased, the rain drops got bigger, the humidity got more humid. The being was gasping for air, all the while thinking why was it so difficult to breathe when there was a deprivation of food and not air? The door must’ve opened. The being heard a loud bang where the door hit the wall. Or maybe the door fell down. It was so difficult to tell what was going on. Was this even real? If only reality and dream would distinguish between themselves! Even vision was a burden. And then it was no more. Black.

The being gasped for air until it gasped no more.


Writing prompt:

Incessant dreaming (day 8)

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Musical Undertones

Basically I have been attempting the November prompts, I just haven’t been posting. I don’t know why but anyways, here’s today’s. Even if I’m not writing a novel or anything. It’s just that I enjoy them. Anyways.


They tried to take her with them. They tried to drag her away from what would be her destruction. They all tried. She saw them, and heard them, but did not understand. They were vacating the mountains and moving to the plains.

The mountains would be bombed.

They wanted to save her — a fragile soul, delicate skin, big dreamy eyes, face like a nectarine. However, she wouldn’t have any of this. The threat of the air strikes did not worry her weary mind. She had worried too much for her young years. Father, mother — all gone. She had been alone for a long time now. The mountains were her security. She could not leave them. The souls of her family traversed these paths with her. She knew they were there.

They tried to console themselves. Her delirious mind would bring about her destruction, they said. She laughed at them as they turned around to leave. Destruction? No.

Her bare feet led her to the river that ran between the two mountains that constituted her village. She decided to go up to the bridge. In the middle of the bridge, with the river roaring furiously, she stood and stared. Eyes fixed on this massive water body, mind racing with thoughts better left alone. She remembered everything. Her father taking her hand, telling her not to be afraid as they crossed the bridge. Her mother, scolding her and sending her outside the house in the cold as a punishment. The men that came. The way she hid, paralysed with fear, behind the bush. The way the house was set on fire. But what stood out the most — the screams. She wished she could forget. But they never did stop. Bloodied screams in a blazing fire.

She saw the river. How beautiful! Her internal conflicts resonated with the rage of the river. Her heart was at peace at last. It seemed to her as if the river had turned stationary, and she (with the bridge) was accelerating backwards. She felt an odd sense of calm and serene descend upon her as the river dissolved her identity. She was losing herself, she was aware of that. But she wasn’t afraid. The river — a massive body of rage and fury, but with musical undertones. Blue and grey on the surface but concealing all colours in its cold depths. Apparently indifferent, but actually holding the secrets to all of human history. How could she be afraid? What had sounded like the wrath of the river was a melodious voice singing to her.

Yes, she was losing herself. But to her Beloved.

Her beloved embraced her with cold, open arms.


Writing prompt: Musical Undertones (day 5)

Plot Twist

The people were stupid. Very stupid. They witnessed the entire story with their gaze filtered by stupidity. Their sight polarised by stubbornness.

They knew what would have been good for them. They knew what had to be done. Yet they ignored it. They saw the story unfold with childish wonder, detaching themselves in the process.

Blindfolded by their selves.

They were ignorant. Ignorant, obstinate oafs.

So much so that, they didn’t even realise how twisted the plot was until Death came.

And shouted,

“Plot twist!”

And died.

Mounds of Dirt 

They lay there forgotten. The world passed by, unaware of their presence. Barely visible now. The grass had grown tall now. The vegetation didn’t seem to notice there was anything or anyone here. To the grass they were just heaps of dirt. Organic matter.

A boy walked past, whistling. Two other boys rushed past him cycling. Chasing a dog. An old woman carrying a heavy bundle of something on her bent back walked past too. A man with a saw overtook the woman with an impatient expression on his face.

The car tried its best to get through this busy market place as fast as possible. So many cities left. So many kilometres left before it would reach it’s destination. No time to waste here. But a horse suddenly pulled free from its owner and, in a desperate attempt to flee, ran onto the road. The car, however, missed it by a few centimetres. In confusion, it turned sharply to the left and stopped. People gathered around to control the rogue horse. The argument that ensued between the driver and the owner of the horse was not really understood by anyone. The city dwellers in the car could not understand the local Punjabi dialect. And the locals were confused by this city language.

They, however, heard everything. And understood it. They lay there, aware of their fellow beings wasting away in petty matters, matters that did not matter at all. Matters that would soon be forgotten. Like themselves.

In mounds of dirt.

Dear Laiba Fatima…

I can’t believe it. I cannot believe that you are actually gone. I remember the day Arub told me about that brain haemorrhage. But the surgery was successful and you should have woken up. They were waiting, you know. All of us were.

I remember when I heard you had fainted during that test at the academy. The doctors said it was a brain haemorrhage and they even operated successfully, but then, dear, why didn’t you wake up?

It’s true we didn’t know each other that well. We didn’t even talk much. But you were there, a face eched in my memory, a comrade from my school. And when I read that message a few hours ago, I was so shocked. Laiba? Laiba Fatima?

Oh Laiba. As I sat there shaking with disbelief, my body trembling uncontrollably, why is it that all I could think of was that smile you gave me when I said salam? You were probably the same age as me, but still you looked so small… as if you were only thirteen or fourteen.

I remember that straight ponytail with those curly hair. That gentle, delicate voice as you discussed the exam afterwards. Oh Laiba, are you really gone?

Sometimes I feel as if I will remember this time as the time when I had no time for anything else. Not even time to mourn Laiba’s death. I sat there, trying hard to control my trembling hands enough to practice those physics numericals. Guiltily, i knew i had to study for this test the next day but somehow I felt so guilty that the World was still moving. The tears dropped from my eyes as my heart tore itself into a million pieces. Laiba, Laiba, Laiba Fatima…

And what made me even more guilty was the fact that I stayed at those numericals. I thought of how you must have done the very same ones before me, you always did like to keep ahead. You were the one who had all the brains. The one with the good grades in everything. 

I wonder, Laiba, if I feel this way, then how is Zerish, and Zobia, and all of them? And to think nothing of your mother, that woman whom I have never met, nor heard anything of, but all the same, how must she be? Losing her seventeen year old daughter?

Laiba I don’t even know you well enough to know what your ambitions were, to know what you were trying to be in life. But now, does that even matter anymore? Does anything even matter anymore? The one truth of life is death. And that’s where you are now.

Laiba I wonder what you must be feeling right this moment. I hope its happy thoughts. I hope you don’t have to face any of the hardships after death. Ya Allah! I pray with the sincerest of all prayers that you give Laiba a place in your heavens. I pray that you forgive her her minor sins. She had a good character. Allah! Give us sabr and patience to bear this, especially her family and loved ones. Allah! We are in no position to question your decree, so we pray. Allah! Please accept this. Who else can we go to in such situations? Who else has the power to grant? Allah! Rest her soul in peace. Ameen. 

Silent Moments

There was a King who wanted to travel to a land, and he ordered that he be brought clothes to wear for the journey. He did not like the clothes he was brought and asked for other clothes, until he was brought what he liked and changed into them. He also asked that he be brought an animal to ride, but he did not like the animal and was brought another animal; he rode the best one among them. Satan came to him and blew pride in his nose, and the King responded positively. The King proceeded in a royal procession of horses, and he did not even look at his subjects out of pride. A man with modest clothes came to him and greeted him, but the King did not reply. That man held the rope of the king’s horse, prompting the King to order him,

‘Release the bridle. You have done a grave thing.’

The man said, ‘I have a need from you.’

The King said, ‘Wait until I come down.’

The man said, ‘No, right now,’ and kept his grip on the bridle of the King’s horse, until the King said,

‘Mention your need.’

The man said, ‘It is a secret.’

So the King lowered down his head and that man told him the secret, ‘I am the Angel of Death,’ and the King’s face changed colour and his tongue began to tremble.

He said, ‘Let me go back to my family, so that I might do some things and say good bye to them.’

The Angel of Death said, ‘No, By Allah! You will never see your family or estates again.’

So he captured the King’s soul, and the King fell like a brick.

“And the stupor of death will come in truth: This is what you have been avoiding!”

-The Quran (50:19)

(The above has been taken from a book by Abdul-Malik Al-Qasim named ‘Silent Moments’)