Not Just Yet

Perhaps I read into it more than there was,

Perhaps my loneliness got the better of me,

Perhaps I didn’t feel myself fall,

Until it was too late to turn back time,

Too late to turn away from how I feel.

I tried to push the emotions aside,

I know I pretended to be blase and unmoved by you,

And yet, pieces of my heart were quietly chipping away,

To reveal the liquid longings of my soul underneath the solid mildew.

I suppose it is useless to deny,

That my heart was always pulled towards your side,

That first time we sat together and you turned and smiled,

And I barely managed to keep my head held high.

So good did I become at fooling you into thinking that my feelings were reciprocal,

That I fooled myself, too, into believing that I had none.

So good did I become into pretending to be a friend,

That it was too late to turn back time when I finally discovered I wanted to be more to you than “just another one”

Just another friend to talk to. Just another friend to relate to. Just another friend to laugh with.

And yet, I know you better than most others ever will.

Those masks you wear have never worked on me, and never will. I know you too well; and I call you out when you try to fool even yourself.

I know I misread the signs when your chocolate brown eyes would fill with amusement, and something mildly reminding me of affection sprinkled with respect? It was no more than that. A lot less that what I preferred to imagine it to be.

No more. No more of me throwing myself down everytime. No more of me forgetting myself each time my heart cries out to be privy to your thoughts. No more of me being giddy with new-found affections. No more day dreams and no more nightly musings.

I am done being smitten. Well, not entirely. But, from now on, I will keep my affectations to myself instead of letting them control me!

It is time to get back a semblance of my previous self-esteem… and self-respect. Stop fawning over something that is not yours to own, oh drowning heart. You must not let your imagination run wild, in pursuit of something which was never yours from the start.

Do not let your hopes blind you to the reality of your life. Stay firmly grounded so as not to run after dreams made of candyfloss. We can only hope and pray, and yet, sometimes, things go astray and that is the will of the God to whom we pray. Allah ho Allam!

And as I end this tirade, I would just like to say, that I may be schooling myself from falling down again; I may be putting up barriers for my self-esteem to take support against; but I do say with very little regret, that as of right now, I am unable to bid you adieu. I find it difficult to suddenly say farewell to our many years of friendship and deeply connected understanding. I cannot say goodbye to you. I will one day… but not just yet.

 

 

Ana Ayesh Iw Mosh A’ayesh

This is not a poem, though god knows I’m emotional enough to write one at this point. When I first saw the Ruiyah, I woke up confused. I thought I had mixed up two different people; mentally changed a scenario in my head from how it should actually be, because of increased contact with one compared to the other.

Two years on, I am faced with the blood-chilling prospect that maybe, just maybe, I did not change anything at all. The Ruiyah was exactly like it should have been…down to the last T. And now this horrifying scenario looms ahead of me, completely taking over my mind. My soul feels trapped, as if shackled to the ground – frightened of what is to come, yet helpless to change it.

What am I to do? I know what is coming. I have seen it. But how does one mentally prepare oneself for the possibility – total loss, soul crushing pain… Where do I go? Who do I turn to?

Regardless of how much I feel as though I am hurtling towards the edge of a cliff, facing a bottomless pit; as the image slowly grows larger than life, taking over me; I have to ask myself: why did I see what I did? Why did God show me that particular Ruiyah?

Was he trying to warn me? Mentally prepare me? Am I supposed to do something to change the end result – but how can I?

Inaha Makhtuba. It is written. I am so afraid. I know what is coming. I want to change it. I want to stop it. How can I?

Oh Allah, take care of me. Twasa Fia.

Numb This Pain

One of those days

When I would gladly do anything

Just to numb this godforsaken pain.

It haunts me

Eats me from deep inside my soul

Slowly, one teardrop at a time

Until there is nothing but a hole

Where my soul used to be

My eyes are blank

Dark with the pain of loss and sacrifice

Here, in this world,

I stand alone on the sidelines

Afraid to reach out

For this ever present fogs makes it hard to see

Afraid to feel

For fear of awakening the pain

Which is ever present inside of me.

Today is one of those days

When I would gladly do anything

Just to end this godforsaken pain

I know the cycle

I have become used to it

Like a druggie on coke

I know how to use my sorrow as a shield

Filled with laughter and Happiness

Yet, inside, there is nothing but broken mirrors and smoke.

There is nothing inside of me

But broken dreams and shattered hope.

There is nothing inside of me

That is reminiscient of the light of days past

Nothing inside of me

Which does not remind me of the vast

Darkness enveloping me.

Everywhere I turn,

Everywhere I see,

There are reminders of who I used to be

Yet, this pain refuses to die

Always in the background, a solid thumping ebb…

It’s slowly eating away at my life,

My heart is broken,

Every turn feels like the point of a knife,

Slowly turning inside of me.

One of those days

When I would do just about anything

To make the pain go away.

A pain which is now a very strong part of me

It has enveloped me whole

I know not what happiness is…

I’m used to this dark cave of sorrow

Will I be able to fight for what I want?

For my dreams. for my future –

For what is left of me?

Numb this pain…

And we shall see.

First, I have to numb this pain….

Dark with the pain

Vulcan’s Flames

Why can I not forgive you?

Everything seems to be fine

The dust is settled and the beating of my heart has gone steady

I have convinced myself that this is happiness

This is as good as it gets

And I am fine….

Until suddenly, something happens

Something that reminds me of the past

Of what true passion means

Of what it feels like to be truly alive

And the scabs on the wounds of my heart

Which I so painstakingly covered

Begin to slowly scratch themselves away

The tearing of each piece of skin as painful as though I am on fire

Burning alive

Unable to breathe…

Able to do naught

But go up in flames

As my anger begins to consume me

And I struggle to contain it.

Afraid to prematurely burst

I do not want to estrange you.

Still, after all of it, I still care. So much.

Then why can I not forgive you?

Why can I not completely put my life on hold

Kill my dreams – and breathe only for you.

Why does my soul and heart cry out

Why do I so desperately want to be me?

And the saddest part: even after all these years, you still don’t know me.

Still don’t know who I am.

I don’t know whether to laugh at the dark humor of it all

Or cry at my helplessness

We can’t both be happy at the same time

Either you can be happy – Or I

I think I’ll choose misery each time

Because I care about you that much

No matter how much I die inside

Yet, there will come a time when I will have completely died

And you will no longer be able to affect me

Will no longer be able to influence my decisions

Will no longer be able to wrench my heart from inside and twist it until the blood vessels burst

Because I will be dead

And the dead cannot be affected by the whims of the living

When I will be dead

Truly gone from this world

And nothing you can do will ever be able to hurt me again

Because I will be dead…

Far, far away from you

Pakistan And The “Woman” Problem

Image
Credit: Adam Zyglis

Today is a very sad day for all of Pakistan. For all of us as a society. A rape victim who set herself ablaze on March 13, before the Bet Mir Hazar police station in protest against the police report that favored the main accused and helped to set him free, died at 9am this morning.

The 18-year-old first year student had been returning home from college on Jan 5 when she was set upon by four men and allegedly raped in a deserted area. The Medical Superintendent at Nishtar Hospital had stated that she had sustained 80 per cent wounds on her body after she set herself aflame – adding that victims with 50 per cent wounds rarely survive. So it was no surprise that she succumbed to her wounds soon after the incident.

I have no words to express how I feel. There is rage, shock and pain surging through me – but no surprise. None at all. For this is not the first time a woman has been crushed beneath the misogynist wheel of Pakistani society. We might love to brandish our “Islamic” status and scream ourselves hoarse declaring the nation an “Islamic Republic”, but truth be told we are no better than the so-called “savior cum rebels” of Congo that deal in child soldiers and declare women their war prizes.

Recently, a 40-year-old widow was gang raped in Muzaffargarh on order of the panchayat. Her crime? Her brother’s alleged love affair with a woman from a high social background. She was then paraded naked through the village before her humiliation was declared complete and the boiling blood of those avenging their “good name” was somewhat satisfied.

Given the constant religious fervor that has our society in its grips – let me ask you: what Islam is this? which Islam in the world teaches such barbaric laws? For the religion the Prophet (pbuh) taught almost 1500 years ago had, at its core, respect for women and the sanctity of their rights as individuals and human beings. Take a look at this article by the Islamic Information and Services Network of Australasia if you doubt this claim.

Women in Pakistan, however, have no status. None at all.

An investigation in 2009 carried out by journalist Iftikhar Ahmad in interior Sindh and Balochistan regarding honor killings and panchayat rape cases uncovered very disturbing evidence regarding the mindset of tribal and interior society with respect to their women. When asked by the interviewer whether women could kill men for honor, 95% of 20 the men present  vehemently denied it, stating it was wrong. Yet, when asked why a woman could be killed for the same, most could come up with no solid justification for their answer.

That is, until the leader of the tribe looked the interviewer dead in the eye and said in Balochi “women are like flies. If a fly is hovering over your food, you will kill it, won’t you?”

Suffice it to say that the interviewer had no idea how to respond to that rhetoric and simply stared back for a few minutes as if flabbergasted by the whole concept before finally rising to the occasion and moving on to the next question.

This past week has been filled with major shocks for the female population of Pakistan. The country’s “BOOM BOOM Afridi” stuck a major thorn in his backside when he jokingly remarked that Pashtun women should stay in the kitchen because their cooking skills are unparalleled. That careless statement of Mr. Afridi’s might have cost him a large fan base, if the outrage that resulted from the leaked video is any indication.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) recently also issued two fatwas hot on the heels of one another which had the entire nation seriously questioning the advisory body’s worth. The fatwas went as follows:

1. No consent is required by the first wife if a man decides to marry a second time.

2. Laws prohibiting underage marriage are against Islam and should be changed. (Apparently, they are of the opinion that while marriage between two entities can take place without any proper age barrier, the rukhsati ceremony must only be done after puberty is reached)

While a recent law tackling domestic violence was passed in the Balochistan Assembly, namely Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection Bill) 2014 – the only other province to do so after a similar law was passed in the Sindh Assembly in 2013; there is yet to see considerable change in the rights and circumstances of women in either of these provinces.

As rights activist Fauzia Saeed, said in a telephonic interview with me a couple of months back for a project I was working on, “our patriarchal society does not recognize women as individuals but rather as property. If a mature woman leaves home of her own accord, a case is registered by the in-laws or her family in the police station stating her status as that of a ‘run away’. They fail to recognize that a woman above 20-years-old is her own master and can make her own choices; she is not liable to anybody. She has the right to walk out and declare her own independence if she so wishes.”

The nation’s number one newspaper Dawn released an article detailing the statistics of violence against women in Pakistan in 2013. According to a world report by the Human Rights Watch detailing Pakistan, hundreds of reported incidents of honor killings took place in 2013 alone – with the unofficial number unknown.

Is it any wonder, then, that our society is heading backwards in time? When even the police officer or inspector on duty closes the rape case(s) by conducting his own investigation instead of recording an FIR and going through the proper channels; thus preventing the case to ever get to court, let alone provide the victim with an avenue for justice. Those who try to intervene and fight for the right of the victim are told, in no uncertain terms, to back off.

If it is a case of domestic violence, the victim’s supporter(s) is asked to mind their own business (sometimes even threatened) and told “not destroy a beautiful home”. I ask you – what home? Homes are supposed to consist of love and equal rights for all, with mutual consent, support and trust on both sides. No matter what the social class, 99% of the “homes” in our society are built solely on fear.

Our society’s habit of turning a blind eye to atrocities over the years has made it immune to the cries of those that face the pain. A rape victim, instead of being supported in her endeavor for justice, is asked by her own family and “well-wishers” to remain silent and not besmirch the reputation and name of the family more than it already has been.

Now, given the recent events that have been unfolding before our disbelieving eyes, is it any wonder that the world at large declares us to be 200 years behind times? When our women are not safe on the streets, when the high walls of a house are used to hide the cruelty and subjugation faced by the women it “protects”… When prosecutors utterly destroy rape victims in court during their race to win cases and when even the judge(s) can be so insensitive as to comment “this sounds like a 007 movie” after a rape victim has finished narrating her ordeal… I ask you: what is left?

I would love to go on and on about the myriad of incidents that have taken place where rape victims have been left on the sidelines of society to dwindle away to nothing or where women have suffered domestic violence and sexual harassment , only to learn that the entire system is rotten to the core.

As a society where walking on fire is considered a normal and “accurate” trial for judgement, where panchayats can order gang-rapes without any fear of law or god, where acid attacks on women and children in reciprocation of “disobedience” or “free will” are accepted as a part of society, where MPAs can rape women and children and get away scot-free and where the media focuses on the victim instead of the perpetrator – we are headed in a downward spiral.

One  can only hope that with the recent developments taking us towards the stoneages, our parliament and law makers retain some of their sanity and not introduce laws that are as barbaric as those in neighboring Afghanistan.

Yet, even in the midst of such chaos, there are angels that walk the earth in the form of WAR, Bedari, AASHA, Panah Shelter, Bilquis Edhi Home and many more. They fight for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves, unafraid of the consequences and regardless of the power of those they stand against. It is because of such institutions that the rest of us still have faith in this country and the hope that one day in the future, we will have managed to light up the darkness.

We may have moved ahead in some areas, considering that we also have women in the army, the air force and the workplaces. And while that in itself is a huge accomplishment, there is still a long way to go.

I Have A Problem – It Is Love.

ImageI have a problem. A very serious problem that must be controlled. Immediately.

I feel driven by it, my whole world stops when I am confronted by the one weakness I cannot stand up to – I cannot fight this! I need help. Desperately.

What is this problem, you ask? This problem, that makes my heart thump louder than it ever has, makes my blood pressure rise until there is a ringing in my ears and my stomach drops to the floor – in a good way.

What else? It is love.

For when I come face to face with the one thing I love the most in this world, I have to have it. For one can live without everything except love – and money. Money makes life easier. So much easier. Especially if you have a love like mine. A love that consumes, makes me go mad with desire, makes my hands tremble when we touch… when I feel the softness of the skin, and the perfection of the body.. makes my eyes well up with tears.

The shivers that go down my spine upon contact… the way I feel when my world stops and it is just the two of us, alone.

Have you never felt that way?

I will not believe you if you tell me that you have never once felt such a strong connection with shoes. Everybody loves shoes! You cannot have your own life if you do not care about how your shoes affect your entire wardrobe.

Whether you are into heels, flats, platforms, pumps, boots, evening wear… and even (god forbid) crocs – shoes give each and every one of us that individual identity that we spend a lifetime searching for. They can either make you – or break you.

I have never understood women who buy their clothing and other items before finally landing on the perfect shoes to go with them – how on Earth can you possibly build a wardrobe top down? Do you not realize how important shoes are for you? They give your feet personality… they complete who you are.

If you’re like me – and I seriously doubt that, because really, there can only be one me – then you know exactly what I am talking about. You know what it is like to walk into a store and look around at the options, feeling indifferent and not at all in the mood to waste money on things that you cannot imagine yourself in.

So what if that olive green bag with the beautiful bronze handles is one of a kind? So what if the open-ended stilettos will go very prettily with the dress you just bought? You cannot imagine yourself wearing open-ended stilettos – for really, those plump toes will take a turn for the worst where your wardrobe is concerned; I honestly do not care if you are a size 4 or a 40. Nobody looks good in open-ended stilettos. Nobody.

And you especially know what I am talking about when I tell you that when my eye alights at the perfect shoe, which is beautiful and perfect from every angle and you just know that you have to have it otherwise your world will never be the same again – and when you put it on for the first time, you want to cry because you are so happy, because you found your shoe – because it speaks to you… because it is you – and you cannot live without it.

And so, no matter how expensive that pair of shoes is, you will go through hell and back in order to purchase that pair because you cannot live without it.

Do not ever expect others to understand how you feel. When you explain why you just spent 8000 bucks on a shoe… why it was something you had to do and they look at you and say “you need help”  – do not care about that, for they will never feel the same connection that you did. They will never go through the life changing experience of finding and being able to own that one thing that truly speaks to who you are!

Do not be afraid to follow your heart… for, like a loved one said, “where shoes and lingerie is concerned.. money is no object”. Amen.

In Love With A Shia

Dear Self-Righteous Uncle (Or Aunty)

My name is Noushin. I am a twenty-something, independent Muslimah living in Pakistan. I love to go to work every morning and (god forbid) use my brain in order to make even more money than I already have, working in a male-dominated industry. I like to read and bake brownies whenever I get the time from my horribly busy schedule. I especially enjoy waking up sometime in the middle of the night and praying to God for peace, success – and ever lasting happiness with the one I love.

Yes, that’s right: this Muslim girl is in love.

Haram, you say? Well, don’t take a breather just yet because I’ve decided to tell you something about him. I’m feeling all emotional, you see – especially since people like you believe people like him deserve to die. Apparently for no other reason than his being Shia.

Yes. He’s Shia. He is also a direct descendant of Hazrat Ali, and thus a very passionate devotee of the faith. And since I myself am a direct descendant of Hazrat Hasan I can’t help but agree that this might just be a match made in Heaven (literally).

Being on the “other side of the bridge” as people love to tell me, I have come across many ‘friends’ who’ve tried to warn me of the inevitable consequences of my actions. I can just imagine your eyes widening with horror as you read this letter… well, don’t stop now; because I have only just begun.

He belongs to the “Twelver” or Imami Shia Islam – which means he believes in twelve divinely appointed Imams (including Hazrat Mehdi). Oh wait. We believe in Hazrat Mehdi too, don’t we? For a minute there, with all your righteous screaming, I had quite forgotten that bit.

Yes, he only has one Kalma – the basic one which we use to revert others back to Islam. How many of you even remember the other five, if I may be so bold to ask? I’d be surprised by a show of hands, if any of you even decided to risk embarrassing yourselves in front of others. Do you even know what they mean? – or do you like to parrot whatever your Maulvi Saab taught you when you were in the first grade and feel proud about knowing even that much?

Did you know that he participates in the Maatam every year – just like Shias all over the world. And yes, it is terribly scary for me, because I can’t bear to think of him being in any kind of pain – but I respect it. And I don’t go about brandishing slogans asking for blood unlike some of you.

Since you have obviously come straight from Heaven, with an Angel by your side and the Holy Book branded into your heart, let me assure you that if loving a Shia makes me “wajib-ul-qatal” – I am very happy to go down that road. And I would gladly do it all over again.

“There are so many other men in the world – why a Shia?”

I’ve been asked this question so many times, I could simply scream. The world might be divided into two major sects for you, but for people – women – like me, who actually have a brain, it is a much much bigger place.

He might be a host of things that you do not approve of – and, quite frankly, I don’t care about – but one thing he is that you will never be is a great human being. He is warm, kind and loving; with a compassionate nature and a quick understanding. His eyes reflect the man beneath, who is quick to empathize with another no matter his station in life. His laugh is carefree and comes from deep within his chest, and I especially love to watch that quick smile that flits across his face with the adorable dimples that appear on either side of it.

He believes in my dreams – perhaps more strongly than I do. He supports me and guides me when I need guidance. He prefers to laugh at himself rather than at others and is quick to use humor to deflate any issue that might be turning a bit heated.

He is one of the bravest people I know and a firm believer in giving each his due. He also hates seeing another feel the brunt of injustice – even if that other is a Sunni brother.

Unbelievable, isn’t it? A Shia who is also a human – and a wonderful human being at that.

Did you know that I also recently attended the funeral / namaaz-e-janaza of a mentor of mine – who, by the way, also happened to be Shia? Yes, he was a Munafiq – exactly the sort of person you lot love to stay away from.

He was also the most inspiring man I have ever met; a true leader. One of the best journalists this world has probably ever seen, his sharp wit and lover-like take on life and its trials never failed to impress upon those around him the value of the man himself. Even though it has been nearly a week since he passed away, I still find it hard to write about him. Possibly because for me, he and his work will never die.

The Editor of the biggest newspaper website in Pakistan, he affected everybody he came in contact with. Musadiq was special, a unique mixture of the curious and the wise. He was a journalist, an artist and a musician – a combination as rare as the man himself. And he was fearless; never once in all the time that I knew him did he ever complain about the cancer that was slowly but surely eating away at him.

He would talk about it as though it were happening to someone else, joke about his inability to have chocolate, his favorite form of dessert,  – and then steal a few away saying “the doctor won’t know, will he?”

He was always ready for a laugh, and his soft voice held more authority than your righteous anger ever will.

Hold on. I’m a Muslim too – I know I said that earlier but I feel the need to impress that little fact upon you again. The ethos of my faith, however, advises me to let others live in peace. I cannot judge another unless I am perfect – and nobody is perfect except Allah, right?

I may  not be the best Muslimah in the world, but I definitely strive to do my best to be a great human being. You should try that sometime; it’s really not that hard. It just requires an open mind and an acceptance of others as they are – away from your itty bitty comfort zone.

Try it sometime.

Until then, don’t bother telling me what to do with my life and who a real Muslim is – unless you genuinely want to be fighting to save yours.

Now, if you don’t mind, I have plans to make. I am hanging out with a close Shia friend for lunch and then will probably go out for dinner with my Shia lover. My friends are so Shia it’s amazing. Sometimes, we discuss religion, sometimes we discuss life and everything else which we deem important.

But you know what we don’t discuss? Bigots like you who love to get more attention than they deserve.

Don’t ever come up to me and tell me who is right and who is wrong, because what will happen next might not be what you expected.

Sincerely sitting happily hand-in-hand with a Shia,

Noushin

You Only Get To Live Once

Life; it is a funny thing. One moment you’re hurtling along a particular path heading towards a certain destination – and another, you have nowhere to go. Fate has a funny way of announcing its presence: when it is least required and most effective. Many of us tend to forget the hand of Fate that waits for the perfect moment before dealing the deadliest of blows; we forget that destiny might be changeable with hard work, but it is still written in the stars.

So much has changed in the past year. People, circumstances.. everything. Life is not what it once was; that carefree laughter and days filled with enjoyment and fun – now, responsibility sits heavy on the shoulders, its weight bearing down on me like an oversized helmet sitting astride the shoulders of young boy heading into his very first battle. There are so many decisions to make -options to choose from… but only one sure path that must, and can, be taken. For contrary to the beliefs that blossom in the bosoms of  many an adult in our (I hesitate to use the word “backward” ) society, sacrifice is not the ultimate path towards eternal happiness and success.

The generations that have come before us (our parents, and forefathers) have always bowed down to the rules put before them by their elders. Out of respect and love and consideration for the age and experience of those who came before them. Whether the choices made for them by their elders were what they wished for or nay, they would obey out of obligation. Quietly live the life that was chosen for them, with or without their consent, and sooner or later turn into their forefathers as well.

I come from a very different generation; with a mindset as broad and thirsty for knowledge as their’s is myopic and afraid of change. I do not believe in sacrifice; for each individual must lead his own life according to his own rules – the ones who came before him were born during a different time; the ones who shall come after us will be born for a time that we shall not be a part of. Then what right do we or any of us have to dictate the choices of our young? We must learn to trust their judgement; to trust our values that we have instilled in them. Led them have their lead and choose the path they wish to tread to make the journey of their lives both eventful and full of happiness. For you only get to live once; why live a life of somebody else’s choosing when you could be living yours?

The Zing Factor

bride

It’s 5.35am and I’m lying in bed, unable to sleep. The silence of the house is thick enough to cut through, with the occasional snore passing through the door of my bedroom. How is it that people can sleep so fitfully when there are so many things in life one must needs accomplish? And so little time. But all that for later.

2013 is surely the year of weddings. I have about ten weddings to attend in a single month! And the year hasn’t even reached its first quarter yet. It’s as if everybody is rushing towards the finish line; with marriage being the ultimate destination. Each person must marry as quickly as possible to ensure a healthy and fruitful life. I suppose that is the reason why half the student body got engaged in the month following graduation. The other half is following suit now.

But why is it that in our society everybody rushes into marriage  Isn’t this supposed to be the most sacred of all institutions? Are we not supposed to be stuck – yes, I used the word STUCK – with that one person for life? That is a really huge commitment, just by the way. Has nobody thought about that?!

I can understand why most girls would get all excited and jittery at the prospect of a wedding. Their wedding. I suppose it’s the fancy dresses, the expensive gifts, the celebrations and the guests that come from all over the world to take part in your happiness. The spotlight and its alluring promise of everlasting happiness and social approval must surely be very tempting.

But after the fanfare dies away and the last of the guests is gone, everybody moves back into their own little lives and expects you to do the same. Then what? That is the moment you realize: you made a mistake.

And it’s too late to change anything. You’re stuck. For life! Congratulations.

I’ve seen so many marriages happen in my lifetime. None of them has lasted forever. I think the major reason for this is that none of the couples have ever felt anything for one another more than a certain level of fondness. A majority of the weddings that take place in our part of the world are arranged (yes, very archaic is it not?). Only a handful of weddings have taken place for love. It is considered a taboo to fall in love with someone and decide to choose a partner for yourself. That is supposed to be that parents’ job.

But please explain how this works in favor of the children. The parents are not the ones getting married, are they? It is us, getting ready for slaughter at the altar. It is believed that fondness is enough foundation for a wedding.

 But fondness isn’t enough to build a life together. Fondness isn’t enough to help the other reach their dreams. How can you respect someone if you realize that your fondness was only skin deep – and once you got to know them, you don’t want to be with them any more because they’re all wrong for you? And once respect is gone, nothing is left. Nothing.  But it’s too late by then. The engagement has already taken place. There is no dating world in my side of the globe.

The guidelines of the 18th century still rule some parts of our lives – major parts, such as marriage and womens’ rights, etc. Families are involved in the union – not just those two. Though you might feel as though this happens in every marriage  it is more important in the West that the couple be happy together and in love than it is for the families to approve.

I’m not saying that marriage without approval of the elders is okay. All I’m trying to say is that there should be more to a marriage than social standing, money, caste, skin color and creed. There should be real happiness, not the one that comes because you’re excited because you don’t know what you’re getting into and you’re hoping crazily that it’s the right decision. But happiness that comes from within; because you realize that the person you’re marrying is the one in all the world who is made only for you – and you for him.

bride and groom

I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at the ceiling right now, wondering what the hell I’m babbling about. But isn’t it true? Can you honestly tell me that you have never, in all your life, wondered who it was that you are meant for? Who is that one person on this entire planet that can make time stop when they look at you? Who is that one person who is just like another part of you? The other half of your soul; the one that completes who you really are – makes you whole? The one before whom everything – career, society, everything – just pales into the ether. Who is that one person who you are meant for?

Most people don’t believe in the “zing factor”. You know – that first time, when you look somebody in the eyes and time stops. Everything just goes into standstill mode – and you just stare, because you have no idea why but your brain has suddenly turned into mush and you realize this is it. This is the one.

But I do. I know the zing factor is an honest part of this world. Only very few people are lucky enough to find it – because they are patient and willing to wait for their time to come! Most of us just hurry it up – we don’t believe that love, the way it’s described in books and poetry and depicted in theatres and movies exists in real life. But why not? It’s because we’re scared. A love that powerful – it’s the only thing we know that is akin to magic.

And what humans don’t understand, we choose to either ignore or obliterate. And what scares us must be shunned and left in the darkness forever, never to come into the light.

But why are we scared? Is it the possible hurt that can only come from loving someone as deeply as that soul mate who is meant for you by God’s own hand?  But hurt is everywhere. Everywhere.

Is it not better to be hurt at the hands of the one you love more than anything in this world – by the one who defines who you are – rather than be hurt because you were an idiot when you believed all those fairy tales of love and you realized later that you made a mistake by jumping too soon and you should have waited it out instead. Should have waited for the zing.

And what happens when you’re married – possibly with children – and one fine day you bump into that one person in all the world who is meant solely for you? What happens when you zing with a complete stranger and you realize that you’re already married, already have a family – and you’re stuck. You can’t reach out and grasp the strings of love to pull them towards you – your hands are already tied by the bonds you so recklessly made in your hurry for a happily ever after. And you have no other choice than to let love pass you by.

I can fathom no more painful an end than to watch the one you love walk away from you into the sunset, possibly into the arms of another to get the happiness that you were unable to give them. So for all those people out there I’d say, wait. Wait for the zing to happen. It will happen in its own time – when the time is right. And yes, you might be feeling lost and alone and suffocated in your little world – but don’t let you parents or family or society push you into making the biggest mistake of your life. The mistake that could change your life. Adversely. Forever

Wait for the zing. It will happen. And when it does, you’ll know you’re ready because love never comes to people unless they open themselves up to it. And when your eyes lock with that perfect stranger (whether he’s handsome or ugly) and your brain melts into mush and you feel as if you’re about to heave the contents of your stomach out, you’ll realize that the wait was worth it. All of it, the taunts, the social gossip and the constant rejections you were forced to both give out and endure as a consequence of your parents’ constant badgering to choose a partner from the long list of “choices” they have chosen out for you from some obscene list in their heads that makes those bachelors eligible for you, without even deigning to understand what it is that you want in a life partner… All of it will have been worth it. Because the wait will finally be over. The zing will have taken place – and you will know who it is that was meant for you and you alone. And that is the moment you will realize what true happiness feels like.

Trust me. Wait. You’ll thank me one day.

Once and For All

You’re here because of me

Not because you want to be

The love i have for you is so deep

Very different from the love you have for me.

You hate to see me cry

Tears in my eyes you just cannot abide

But you are beside yourself

Trying to rid me from your life.

Let me make it simple for you

You are scared, of being alone.

You fear you shall walk away –

never to look back at what was once yours.

You may feel afraid

of the lightness of that burden when it lifts

But let me tell you, that staying here will not make it go away…

You must take the first step –

or let me lead the way!

I am scared too,

More scared than you will ever know.

For you see, unlike you I have no where else to go

No one else to turn to when my world shatters

My world – which is only you.

But I know for certain,

Staying with me will not be easy to do.

You wish to be far away

With some one far more interesting than you current boo

And i am willing to let you go –

I am willing to risk my happiness to see you smile once more

I wish you all the happiness the world can give

I wish it to lift you in its arm and cherish you

I wish you to return to that place of bliss…

that was once ours.

But no more; No more.

You wonderful wonderful man

Can you not understand?

Happiness cannot be given to every being

It is something to be shared –

and if you can’t share your laughter with me

Then we are most definitely not to be!

Take courage, don’t be afraid of the past

It can only haunt you as long as you let it last

For I, too, am afraid of the dark

But I am willing to let you put out the light

If it will brighten your face with that gorgeous smile

I love to bits!

I hold no grudge against you

Neither anger or resentment.

I just wish you find that contentment

Which your dark, sparkly brown eyes are so feverishly searching for

Something to put you at peace – I wish I had done the trick

But so it was!

So be calm, old friend; for friendships can never fade.

Do not be afraid of being alone for a bit – I’m here

And in deep waters, the man must atleast once wade…

To check the strength of his spine – or if he has any at all

Don’t be afraid to look into that mirror tomorrow

and promise to break it off.  Once, and for all.