Anxiety

It’s that time of the year again. Summer. Sweat.

And anxiety.

I went to sleep really late last night — half one, or maybe later. Seven thirty I was up again, that weird feeling in my legs back again. The feeling I call anxiety. Oh well, getting up in the mornings is quite refreshing, yes? No. I spent the entire day wasting time. Plugging in my earphones, listening to nothing, wandering from this room to that. I didn’t even clean today, which is unusual. However, I did wash my part of the dishes. But that’s pretty much it.

There’s nothing I did today which would make me proud of myself, or even satisfied. I don’t know why I’m like this. I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to, I haven’t been exercising, but most importantly, I haven’t been writing. Two weeks I spent in heavenly bliss, each day so inspiring I could’ve written fourteen books, but I was too tired. And now, I’m back home, washing dishes to fill up time, and I’m not writing? If I don’t write then I will forget, if I forget it will be as if I never lived, and that will take me back to depression. Not as a relapse as in the mental disease, but the seasonal uninspired me that visits twice a year.

Anxiety. Of what? Perhaps it is time for me to face it, and I do need an audience, so hear me out. Anxiety of the future. Someone told me not to think of the rest of my life, but just set small goals like five year plans. This, although wise, has triggered off another train of anxiety. What if, after five years, I am as now, a nobody? What if I never accomplish anything in my life? What if I never achieve the one thing I want most in life — influence? As stupid as this might sound, I want to change the way things are. My country has been through a lot, and we are trying to improve the “international image” but let’s face it. Things are far from ideal. We have a long way to go.

As I write this, the ex-prime minister of my country is being arrested at Allama Iqbal international airport. Can you see my point? A thing you should know about Pakistanis — we’re always on the roads. If we’re celebrating, the roads are blocked. If we’re mourning, we are on the roads. If we’re protesting, you get me. The mobile networks have been switched off. The entire nation is glued to the T.V. screens, where no transmission of the arrest is being shown. But we’re still watching, hearing the anchors say the same things over and over again. My country is in chaos. Security personnel everywhere, trying to prevent trouble, trying to keep the peace. There are protestors still, I can see the roads on the tv as I write this, but at least it is contained.

Two blasts have been recorded so far. One in Peshawar, leaving 30 dead, one in Balochistan, leaving 70 dead. I’m not particularly an Imran Khan fan, but something he said has stayed with me. Something along the lines of an increase in terrorist activities every time Nawaz Shareef is in trouble. 100 people in two (or maybe three?) days? 100 is, for us, just a number. A number so meaningless nobody is talking about it. Mubashir Luqman’s saying there’s approximately 7-8 thousand people in protest. Well, I’m glad. We prayed and prayed for this man to face the consequences of his actions. And perhaps this is it? Who’s to know.

What does the future hold? A question that might just give me a nervous breakdown at some point. I could tear my hair out, and not just metaphorically.

What does the future hold? The corrupt prime minister has been flown to Rawalpindi to jail, along with his daughter. So what now? With elections so close, I really do not know. Who can say? But please, please, dear God, make it something good, my people could use a break. Perhaps you’d like an insider view of what it is being Pakistani, in real life? I could give you one.

What does the future hold? For me, I mean. What will I do? A little girl asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I couldn’t answer. All I could think of was my dream of becoming a dictator, but could I really say that to her? I’ve tried talking about this with multiple people, but so far nobody can take me seriously. Lol. Perks of being me.

But now? What does the future hold? Will I make another mistake? Will I regret my choices (provided I get round to making them) for the rest of my life? Will this blog grow? Will people read this far? Who is to know.

Dear God, the world is messed up. My country, which is all I have, is messed up. Life is messed up. So please, please, show us all a way. Give us a miracle. A Quaid-e-Azam-Allama-Iqbal-type miracle.

If I’ve bored you, I apologise. But perhaps you will be excited to know that the Rock in the River went to the River with the Rocks? Not the river that inspired this blog, but any river is love. I’ll come back soon, I hope. But for now, send  me (and my country and the world) a prayer! We must not lose our optimism for the future!

In urdu we say, “Umeed par duniya qaim hai.” The world exists on hope.

I’m off to make some tea, before my mum takes off her chappal (I joke). Who knows, if all else fails, I might just open a dhabba! (Please we all know I make the best chai)

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Tales of a Sunset

As we were leaving Islamabad, it was almost maghrib. I had been dreading the long journey ahead. Tedious hours of just sitting in a car! Drivers everywhere, travelling, travelers, stressed about their destinations. The road between Islamabad and the M-2 was still under construction. For a split second, my gaze wandered to the sky. The split second turned into aeons. It was a watercolour painting. A perfectly blended painting; yellow gradually fading to pale yellow, pale yellow turning to a forget-me-not blue. Red streaks across where the clouds were closest to the sun, reflecting fury and rage. Grey streaks above the red, where the clouds were impermeable to the ferocity of the sun. A tiny silver crescent just beginning to peek out shyly.

Amongst angry drivers and big machines drilling away noisily, there was a calm. Amongst the chaos that is found on these roads on a Sunday night (as people return after the weekend), there was a sort of serenity spread out on the world. For a moment, I forgot my stress. Everything that had made me so tense this weekend, and that everyone had told me to let go of, I now realised was worthless. I “lived in the moment”, as my sister had been telling me to. Traveling never brought out the best in me, but today nature itself brought me relief. My face relaxed. Although there was no one I had to convey my joy to, although all this was just a feeling in the very depths of my heart, a tiny smile took over. Since winter departed two days ago, and spring had not yet entirely come, the trees were still dried up, leafless, lifeless. Perfect against the backdrop of the sky, a postcard.

We were now on the motorway. The red streaks were fading away as the blue slowly took over. Here, trees lined both sides of the road. The trees had leaves. Green fields spread out for miles on every side. It like was one of those expensive paintings one would expect to see in a huge victorian mansion. It was getting dark. The sky was always the hero. Trees silhouetted against a sky so intricate. Sometimes a hill came, sometimes a huge rock outlined against the sky, all seeking attention, all failing against a sky so beautiful.

Every second looking out of a moving car changed the scenery. Every second the sky and the fields and the silhouetted trees made a new masterpiece. Every second it showed the craftsmanship of the One behind it.

It was Him. Allah. He was the Artist. He was the Art.

The shy crescent now shone quite boldly. The red disappeared entirely, the wrath of the sun wrapped up by the gentle blue of the night. In the distance I could now see lights; villages and small towns located at intervals. Eventually the light blue turned to a rich, royal blue which had no place for yellows and oranges. Only the silver of the moon or the distant stars could conquer a sky so overpowering.

It was strange to think of this sky. The same sky shone over refugees, over starving, diseased children, over mourning mothers, over depressed and oppressed people. The same sky shone over crime, hate, injustice and intolerance. And yet, it was this same sky that painted a picture for me, for my peace, stretching for miles and miles across. It was this same sky that inspired poetry.

And I rested my head against the window; once again worries returning to my tired head, dreading all that was to come, the night clouding my thinking and wrapping around my head.

A Wish.

In a land of absolute normalcy, and nothing out of the ordinary, there was a girl. A girl who was completely normal, ordinary. There she was, in class that day, the 20th of October. The professor droned on and on, but her fragile mind was on other unnecessary and unimportant things. The girl was nostalgic. With her heart split across three continents, this wasn’t an infrequent condition. There were smells she longed to inhale and voices she wanted to hear. There was a certain temperature of the air she wished was there.

She thought of waffles and shortbread. She thought of flavoured yogurt and freshly made finger fish. With beans. And sweet corn. And flavoured water.

She thought of a house that would be warm and comforting against biting cold winds. She thought of the maternal presence in that house. She thought of the last time she had hugged her. The way her short plump figure had completely encompassed her entire being in a split second. Perhaps she had not realised what she was to the girl. If she had, she would’ve held on longer. She thought of all those times she had woken up from unpleasant dreams to find a familiar, comforting snore gently rock her back to sleep. She thought of all the times she had been fussed on upon, the many summer holidays spent in ignorant bliss. The way her grandmother had tried to make the most of the every meeting, to somehow cover the distance of an entire continent.

She thought of a tiny bundle of joy, blessed with the most beautiful smile, barely a year old. She thought of her niece, the way she giggled when she was thrown in the air. The way her smile melted the hardest heart, the way she spread love and joy indiscriminately with just her presence.

There came to her mind an old, fragile-looking man too, with endless grace and dignity. A man who was a living miracle (literally). A man who was the most splendid example of resilience, hardwork, determination, and above all, will power. A man loved and respected by so many, but she considered herself so lucky to be loved by him. A man she looked up to, her grandfather. Countless times that old wrinkled face had smiled upon her, as if her insignificant being was actually the source of his pride. A brown face, sometimes appearing in her memory sitting in an intense Punjabi sun, other times laying on a pillow, sleeping in front of the fire, cozy against the frost outside that so many Punjabis yearned for but never experienced. Most of the times, though, he was either dressed in a three-piece suit, or a crisp shalwar kameez, actively pacing about, never a dull moment. The best storyteller.

There were other memories on this continent, some personal, others not as much. Her wandering mind, however, moved to another continent, one she had never been to, but which contained a piece of her heart. A family, more beloved to her than belgian chocolate, if chocolate was a scale. A family she hoped to see again, soon. But the prospects looked dim.

Finally, the third continent. The continent she currently found her physical being on. A land containing almost all her memories, some sweet, some sour. A land where she was thankful to still have some of the people she loved and cherished. Her paternal grandfather, a man with unwavering faith in Allah. The most patient man she had seen in her life. Born to be great. And that was what he had achieved. Though not as expressive as herself, he had loved them in his own way and shown it. She knew him by the words: bravery, wisdom, chivalry, gentlemanliness, discipline, tolerance and trust. A man of endless dignity and grace, a man she looked up to. A man was respected greatly and deeply by everyone. A man who taught how to respect, simply by showing it. A man who led by example.

She was still nostalgic. She wanted to have everyone and everything within her grasp. She wished it was so. But at the same time she knew she could not be ungrateful for all that God had already blessed her with. So, she said a quiet, heartfelt prayer and thanked Him for all the blessings she already had.

The bell rung. She was forced back to Earth.


This prompt came along at the right time.

Vacant Stares

The river, it flows

Reflecting images in its course

It gushes forth, every second

A new image

Images never seen by humanity

Images the river hides

Images. The rocks’ secrets.

Of everything that took place

But wasn’t ever seen by eyes

The eyes that

When witnessed miracles

Nature’s greatest

Blinked.

And turned away

Often looked down

At artificial screens

In the presence of Grandeur.

So nature, in revenge,

Feeling insulted

At something the Creator

of the moon created

Being rejected,

Took away their sights

So that they never saw

And all that remained

Were vacant stares


I know I’m not doing these prompts everyday, and BELIEVE ME I had some pretty cool ideas too, but I just didn’t have the time! Also, I love how they make me think! It’s so fun. If you haven’t tried this already, why don’t you check it out here? Also, I’m doing two different prompts at the same time. So you can check out the other one in the previous post.

Check this one out here:

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2017/10/01/october-writing-prompts/

The Journey Beyond

There are several underpasses in the Canal Bank Road. I know only nine, and for some unfathomable reason, I seem to have memorised all their names. But that is beside the point.

If you take the bus every morning, and find yourself on that road at half six, you will be forced to observe every little detail every single morning. It doesn’t matter wethar or not you want to, but the fact remains: it is impossible to sleep on that bus, hence you rely on your observations to keep you amused and, well, awake.

However, it is a completely different experience in a car. A smooth ride, noiseless, peaceful, no sudden jolts attempting to disintegrate your vertebrae. You could sleep if you want. When you pass through an underpass, there isn’t much of a spectacle. Just another bend in the road, though downwards.

On a bus, though, it is quite an event. Keep in mind, the windows of the bus are always open, unless there is a particularly difficult passenger who insists to torture all those other people who were not fortunate enough to get a window seat. Along with the not-so fresh air and dirt and toxic fumes that come in, there is, also, a whole lot of NOISE. Not just the traffic outside: motorbikes, tractors, trucks, cars, rickshaws, vans, wagons(yes in the early mornings all these vehicles are allowed too). But also the constant sound of the bus itself, its engine roaring consistently, never letting you forget you are in a bus. However, on the road, these noises are an open environment. Spreading out in all directions. Nothing specified, no collectivity.However, passing through an underpass is a quite different story. The sounds, now confined for a moment of time within the walls, reflect back and provide you with a collective impact. Bouncing back, they combine at the epicentre: that instant in which your bus passes through the centre of the underpass. For a brief second, (that is, if you are awake), you experience a strange sensation. A sensation that I could never truly justify with mere words. A combination of frequencies that were never meant to be combined. And if you overthink it like I do, you shall experience a weird sort of contentment. As if the universe revealed some of its secrets to you.You want to stop right there. Stop time itself to live an eternity in what is a split second. Perhaps because you dread the monotony of “routine”. Perhaps. But you know. You know.That you must venture into the journey beyond.


This would’ve been better suited had the prompt been “overthinking about petty things” rather than The Journey Beyond. But oh well. Heh.

Dandelion Dreams

Her days stretched ahead of her, monotonous, uninteresting, dreary. Her eyes saw the same pictures, her brain comprehended the same words, her tongue rolled the same letters. Her ears detected the same frequencies, her nose picked up the same smells, her fears feared the same fears.

But then there was her mind.

Her mind soared, desperate to not be ordinary, soaring the heights in the sky. Her mind delved deep, deep into the secrets the oceans never revealed, deep into the secrets of life itself. Her mind heard the untold stories of sold fragrances. Her mind felt the softness of flower petals, it rolled in green fields feeling every blade of grass give birth to life anew.

There she was.

Chasing, wanting, desiring, following, caressing.

Little did she know.

She was dreaming dandelion dreams.


*sighs* I know, I know, nothing quite special for today. But hey I still did it so that counts as a plus, eh? And yes, I didn’t do anything yesterday because (a) I couldn’t think of anything and (b) I had no time. And it will probably get even more irregular, folks. Sorry 🙈

Anyways, this amazing prompt was here:

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2017/10/01/october-writing-prompts/

Pink Persuasion

That was them, dark

Being darker still

Rolling about,

Without form.

Then there was a crack,

And there it came, the Light

Pink. Like diamonds.

Making them,

Scatter, then dance

Becoming lighter and lighter

Until the demons finally

Were no more

And all they needed

To leave my heart in peace

Was the tiniest bit of

Pink Persuasion.


Another post for the October writing prompts.

Check it here: https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2017/10/01/october-writing-prompts/