Dark Clouds

Dark clouds have turned day into dullness. A magnificent wind blows, entering this window and exiting that window. It is so dark I cannot read, yet I have not switched on any lights yet. The darkness corresponds to my mood. For days now, weeks, the weather had been the same: either oppressive heat with unbearable humidity, or continuous rainfall still with humidity. Why should I call a continuous rainfall “still”? It was so. Everything was still. Days rolled into weeks, weeks into months, and yet all was still. Utter monotony. I sat on the floor, amidst cotton amd nail polish. Looking out, seeing the hours while away, away to be lost in monotony. People ask: are you well? Yes, I am well. Well enough. I have everything I could need and more: monotony. An unchanging routine with no chance of excitement. No prospect for difference for another year or so. People are dying around the globe, death visits the neighbors and here I am. Perhaps the most ungrateful of them all? Perhaps just human? Books find me a way to escape: sometimes the past, sometimes in lands so far from my eye and yet, as soon as we come back, the sameness returns, the circumstances are still, our ways uninterrupted. We have done so much and yet nothing. Looking out I see a freshness in the green of the leaves but I know as I leave the house in accordance with my routine, I shall come back to find even that stale with dust. Sometimes the rain intensifies, sometimes it calms down, sometimes it even stops. I know I have a lot to do and not enough time, yet I know if these words are not penned down they too will be lost in the vast expanses of my thoughts. Just like yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. When I prioritise something above words, I am punished by their loss. Yet writing deprives me of words too. This is sometimes pleasant: no words to think of, a clear mind, a consciousness. However, sometimes it has the reverse effect: I am overburdened with words and they keep forming until I have no alternative except to put my mind at rest: sleep. But all this does not relieve me of the current monotony. Seeing the time, however, I realise that I have nothing new to offer to anyone. I am NOT depressed, or upset. These feelings have now turned into cliches and irritate me to an extent that is unbearable. Perhaps you wouldn’t understand, but try living your entire life with the female species of this society… particularly the Homo sapiens. Felis felidae would make a nicer alternative for this society but that has other problems and anyways, I have yet to write about that another day. Anyways, as I was saying, I am not upset or anything, I am just tired of the same sameness that engulfs my world, even though the Earth is in chaos.

Until next time, stay hydrated.

Rab Rakhan. 

(P.S. If you happen to be a female of the species mentioned, please do not be offended, I was referring to the females found in my society that I face. Just like when I do my post on the females of Felis felidae, I shall be referring to those of my society too. I should add that this post reflects my mood for this passage of time, and that almost none of my posts reflect my “permanent” moods or stances on anything, if such a thing exists. Also if there is someone genuinely depressed or upset, you have my sympathies. I was referring to all those people who have turned this into cliches. May Allah bless us all with His bounties. Remember me in your prayers.)

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. 

Days

There is no concept of dates in this place, just days. Endless days.

Malignant Monday spreads like a cancer through Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sanity Day.

A continuous whirlwind of days and days – wrapping around you, engulfing you, and then, finally, strangling you. Suffocating you.

“Dates” are unique. Dates are specific but days….. the sameness and monotony overcome all senses of reason and logic. So you find yourself swimming in a vast water space, with no sign of shore.

 


Or ranting about ‘days’. What is wrong with me?!

Dew Drops

Her eyes wandered off, leaving the book in her lap deserted. Her eyes looked, unseeingly. She saw neither the huge buildings and houses, nor the luxurious shopping malls on the way. What she did see, though, was that leaf about to fall off on that majestic tree. That white puppy, wagging its tail, running off to the unknown. The trees as they awoke and greeted each other – a greeting heard by her ears only. That bird, the sun shining off its beautiful grey-brown body, flying past hastily. She gulped in the fresh morning air greedily.

A last glimpse in freedom.

The bus took a sharp turn and she had to grasp the handle bars to maintain her balance. The bus conductor turned around and faced her suddenly.

“Do you have a bus card?” He asked harshly. She nodded dumbly.

The bus stopped suddenly. A few girls alighted from the bus. The ones who were standing sat down quickly before the bus started again. She closed her eyes. She didn’t want this to end. Because if this ended, then that would begin. And she did not want it to.

She tried hard to hold on to this moment. She tried her best to stop time, somehow. Somewhere, somehow, she would be able to. She could but she couldn’t. Somewhere in space, perhaps, time would listen to her. All she needed was the speed of light.

She opened her eyes. The trees on the canal bank flew past her. She knew the next turn would be the last… for now. A sigh she had been holding in for so long escaped her lips.

She looked at the time. Half-past six. The roads were almost empty. She wished desperately that somehow when they reached the college, she wouldn’t have to go in. Instead, maybe she could roam around these road ways, discovering places she did not know before, exploring the unknown, the adrenaline rushing through her veins…

The bus was stopping now. Her friend tapped her shoulder.

‘Let’s go. This is campus 1 and 2,’ she said softly.

She nodded. And then got off the bus. It had begun.