Wish I could remember/Wish I could forget

Wish I could remember
the soft strokes of
my mother’s fingers
in my hair.

Wish I could forget
his hands,
strong as a tree trunk
But not so friendly, or kind.

Wish I could remember
The way you looked,
at the moon; and me.
And joked just to hear me laugh.

Wish I could forget,
the day you made me cry
like everything we had built
had fallen apart.

Wish I could remember
The pixies I would look for
Out in the garden, after
every Enid Blyton story.

Wish I could forget
The demons that I found
When looking for pixies
didn’t go so well.

Wish I could remember
the cracks in your voice;
and the way you look
when you read.

Wish I could forget
that I know how you look
when you are angry
or sad.

Wish I could remember
the way my best friend said
that I was the best thing
to ever happen to mankind.

Wish I could forget
the morning we both cried
Fighting, pain and cruelty.
And the desire to stop.

Wish I could remember
the patterns on your palms
Of lines that I simply
could not count.

Wish I could forget
the wounds on my palms
Picking pieces of broken glass.
Will you just stop loving me one day?

Wish I could remember
what not knowing felt like
why is wisdom
so painful to gain?

Wish I could forget
The never-ending coldness
of hearts that proved to me
how I could not save them, with my love.

Wish I could remember
The words of prayer, that you
whispered for me today
With tears in your eyes.

Wish I could forget
The terrifying things
that my mind screams at me
About the universe, and you.

For us,
everything hangs in the balance.
But high above in the stars
Someone is waiting
for us to just look up.

“Imaan, Umeed aur Mohabbat”

Pehle imaan phir imaan se umeed aur umeed se mohabbat.

Kahin parha tha ke muhabbat insan ko Khuda tak lejati hai- na mile tab bhi, mil jaye tab bhi. Lekin ye na bataya ke jab apni khud gharz se khud gharz mohabbaton mai bhi Khuda nazar anay lage, tou samajh jao ke khalqat nahi, Khaliq se dil jorr liya hai.

Kaaba ke darwazay pe bethe hum, ankhen kia poora wujood ashkbaar! Aur wujood ke har zarre se aik hi naam ki awaz aye, goya zindagi dour khari mazak urra rahi ho, ke bolo! Maang lo usay? Is se ziada Khuda ke aur kia kareeb hona? Lekin zaat aur zaban ne wujood ki aik na suni. Wohi multazim, wohi ansoo, wohi hum. Par naam na liya. Keh diya Khuda se ke jo Apko behtareen lagay wo ata karden. Ab maaddi cheezon ka kia? Koi farq nahi parta.

Shayad dil mai mohabbat Khuda hi daalta hai isi liye ehsas hota hai ke agar Khuda chahe tou aik nahi, das baar mohabbat chor den. Apne toote huay tukron aur jurri hui izzat ko le ke wahin ja bethen. Usi ke dar pe. Aur phir ro ro ke kahen, “sirf Allah, sirf Allah, sirf Allah!” Ab koi bulaaye zindagi ko tou hum bhi ankhon mai ankhen daal kar poochen, ke dekh, ay haqeer o na cheez, dekh! Yehi hai na wo imaan jiska tu ne imtehan lena tha? Ab jis imaan ki bina par hum saari dunya mai naak charhaye phirte hain, dekhen bhi tou sahi ke kia hai us imaan ki taaqat?!

Jab mohabbat sachi hoti hai tou Khuda se dour nahi le jati. Khuda hi ki taraf se tou dil mai utri hoti hai, kabhi azmaish tou kabhi sukun ban kar. Tou le le tu imtehan, jitna lena hai. Dekh lena, jeet hamesha imaan ki hi hogi. Chahe hanste muskurate ya kaleja kaat kar, hum imaan ko nahi haarne denge.

Ab zindagi hi nahi, mohabbat bhi dekhe gi, ke mohabbat ki kese jati hai.


Hello everyone!  I hope you liked that. It had been long since I wrote in Urdu so I personally enjoyed this post a lot! I would like to give a shout out to Shoaib whose Urdu prose series, one of my most favourite things ever written, is the major inspiration for the style of writing here (although this hasn’t even come close to his level).

Have a lovely day, week, month and life. Until next time! ^-^

THE RENEWAL (A SHORT STORY)

Hello everyone. I usually don’t write short stories because they end up being really graphic for some reason. This one below is no different. But I think no matter how optimistic we are, we need to still realistically acknowledge the world around us. So I hope you like it!


“Your body is a sacred temple and I want permission to it,” he smiled as he spoke.

She looked at the ground and smiled back as teardrops rolled down her cheek, one after another.

“Why are you smiling like that? Wait, why are you crying? Are you okay?!”

“Don’t worry it’s nothing.
It’s just that… No one ever asked before.”

He held her hands as she looked up to him; and the courage of the five oceans gathered inside one body as she opened her mouth to speak.

“They did not ask before they used me. They did not ask before they took my body like taking something off of a shelf whenever they felt like it. Not when they used me for their anger; not when they used me for their lust.”

“I know. But it’s okay now.” He tightened his grip around her hands and brought them to his chest.

“I have marks on my body of bruises that once were blue; scars from wounds that bled and the traces of hands that did not remember they had a God. I have the air from that locked, dark room inside my lungs. I have the sound of the man who whispered  “its only a game” in my ears and the man who screamed at the top of his lungs inches away from me, telling me I will be killed if I don’t shut up, if I do not stop crying after he beat me up. So shut up I did as they all got away with their actions.

I have been used over and over again and not one single time was I asked beforehand.”

“I know, my love, but I’d never use you. I am not them; even though I am a man. I did not marry you for that.”

“Then why did you marry me?” She looked back at him, replying to his gaze with a hopeful but afraid look in her eyes.

“Because… because you’re so much more. You’re more than the hands that made your skin go blue. You are more than the hands that didn’t know where to stop. You are more than filthy gazes and lies. You are more than forced obedience; or used goods.

Stars filled her eyes as he continued:

“You are human. You are kind, you are smart, you are gentle and mighty. You hold entire galaxies within you. You have no idea what you are. Not just to me but to the whole world.

So don’t you dare define yourself using incidents and people who do not deserve to even see your smile. You are not what happened to you. You are what happened by you. and I swear to God that makes you more beautiful than anyone I’ve ever known in my entire life. And your body, love, is not your prison. It is your home.”

 

“For the unthought thought.”

One of the most fun parts of being a writer is finding old little pieces of writing that you’d completely forgotten about.
I was clearing out my bag tonight and found a small crumpled up notepad paper, on which I had written this about how I was in a state of restlessness, on the verge of getting a new thought, yet I could not capture what the new thought was. Here it is:

“FOR THE UNTHOUGHT THOUGHT”

Come to me, will you? I have been waiting for a very long time.

Pacing up and down this woody floor and sandy shore. I have been running,

through water and the sky and the knowledge of my eyes. I have been asking,

the winds and the birds and the people with dim faces, looking up.

I have been soaring through the distance and travelling between worlds-

looking for you.

I have done everything and all that is in my power to meet you.

But you are the ignorant lover,
and I am your play toy.

You are the winter sunset,
and I am the blind man.

You are the largest soap bubble,
and I the eager child.

You are the sky,
and I am a flightless bird.

We both have perfect knowledge of each other’s existence; yet I just cannot reach you.

Perfectly capable of embracing the other, but you will just not let me.

“THE LEARNED MAN AND THE TREE”(DANCES WITH INSOMNIA #4)

THE LEARNED MAN

The becoming of the learned man is much like the growing of a tree.

For, as the soil has to be, before anything else, disturbed and dug up from all directions, so must he challenge his heart and destroy his ego, up until the point when he is empty and penetrable- his soul as hungry for his blossoming, as the soil from which the tree is to grow.

And then as the soil captures the seeds eagerly, so must his thirst be for gaining knowledge. Seed after seed, he should plant in his soul with no pride whatsoever over the knowledge he gains; for he knows that there are endless new seeds that could fall into his soil and endless words of wisdom that others have that he does not.

And as the signs of growth begin to appear outward, and he starts to become acknowledged for the wisdom he is gaining, by others and by his own self; he should take good care in keeping the pests of arrogance and impatience away from his plant. Because his only job that he has power over, is the watering of the plant; and that is the manifestation of his seeds. Much like how his knowledge is now to be used practically and his growth aided by good deeds. He is to now put others before himself and minimize his own needs and desires.

He should remember that he has no control over how much his plant grows and so he should never take measures of it. For the growth and measurement is the work of God, and every minute he stops to measure, is a minute gone without watering. And if he were to find that it is growing well, he would be captured by arrogance, and if he were to find that it has grown less than he hoped, he would become impatient and ungrateful; either way it will be his folly to forget that God tests you by giving, and God tests you by taking away and He alone knows how much you will outwardly blossom. So when you start quantifying the good that comes out of you, you interfere in God’s work and forget your own, thus ending up with nothing.

And then as his soul reaches the point at which he can give fruit, he should bow down and hang low his branches and humbly offer his fruit to the world. This fruit contains seeds for other plants of his sort to grow around him, but in a form that is more evolved than the seeds he had in his time of growth; for it is his own primitive knowledge but with the addition of his personal evolutionary adaptations that he went through in order to survive. Much like the fruit of the tree that withstood the harsh climate by adapting to it, and its seeds carry that forward; so shall the knowledge and wisdom he now gives to others be.

And remember that the tree never discriminates between people that come to it for fruit and shelter; so the learned man shall never turn away anyone who comes to him for aid. And the tree doesn’t withdraw its shelter from those who appear evil, it just shadows; so shall the learned man treat the supposed outlaws, the hopeless men that the world has rejected and sent away to rot. For as the evil man eats from the tree’s fruit, and sits in its shelter, his soul too, might blossom into a beautiful tree, and the once barren land shall be turned to green.

And what more shall you ask about the learned man, but this: He never stops looking for more knowledge and better seeds, even when he reaches the position to start giving fruit to others and spreading his knowledge, his roots reach deeper into the soil and stronger, searching far and wide with as much humility as the first time he came to learn. Searching for more and more and more wisdom and never letting pride touch him, because he knows that at any moment Allah commands “KUN” (BE!); “FAYAKUN” (AND IT IS). So as he gives fruit, he plants more seeds, and as the fruit is eaten he waters his new knowledge, and as his fruit grows, he digs up the soil again to renew himself.

“LOVE AND TRUTH”

There it was again. The same serene place in front and around him.

A field of grass spreading as far as the eyes could see. The clear blue sky with just the perfect amount of sunlight falling upon the grass to make it glitter like emeralds of the purest green.

A single tree- the same large one that he saw everyday- bearing gorgeous fruit on its branches that hung low; it seemed to be inviting him to eat and enjoy God’s gifts upon him.

He sat down in its shade and thought to himself of how desperately he wanted to find God. And to thank Him Almighty, for what He had blessed His servant with. Lost in his praise and thoughts of God, his eyes fell suddenly on what he expected to see, yet secretly wished against.

There she was, standing tall. Her feet sunk in the grass just enough to expose her ankles, being brushed gently by the ends of her white dress. For a second his heart beat faster, like it always did at this point in his dream; and he gasped. It seemed as though she became more beautiful by the day. More silent, and more mysterious. In one single glance, he felt his whole body wanting to walk towards her. He breathed heavily, and stood up.

“Why must you trouble my heart with the thought of my beloved?” He looked to his left and spoke with a voice that was loud and stern, but drenched with hopelessness.

“So that you can know that losing yourself in fantasies of solitude is not the way of life”, replied his nafs*; grinning. It knew it had once again interrupted the man’s perfect dream.

He looked back where he had seen her- she had disappeared. Just like the emeralds and the blueness of the sky. What remained was his body and his nafs, in the darkness of a summer night. The sheet he had been sleeping on was now wet with his sweat.

“I do not want anything to do with your way of life! All I desire is the way of God, to God. And therein I shall spend all the rest of my days.”

“So you will simply forget her? Are you so selfish? Have you forgotten what she means to you? What she makes you think when you lay eyes upon her?”

“Do not dare! Do not dare try to sabotage my love. You keep your filth away from her. She is too pure to be mentioned by your worthless tongue!” He was on the verge of screaming now.

The nafs creeped out of the shadows and stood right in front of him. “You cannot simply forget her. Have you left behind what she made you feel?”

“I have not forgotten a thing, you foul creature! I remember exactly what it was like to be in her midst. To have more of her than fragments in dreams. To hear her voice and look at her eyes glowing in the day and in the night. I remember the entirety of what you want to remind me of, bringing her into my dreams of spirituality, every night. I can never forget! I can never be selfish.”

“Then why have you distanced yourself?” Its voice shook the very walls of his poor home.

“Because I cannot deny the truth she holds in her very existence! I cannot! Her silence, her kindness and the heart that pounds inside of her, her very life- all of that speaks of but one thing: God! That is all! All that I see when I look at her, is God and no other. It is only Him that could create her. It is only Him that made her beautiful and filled her soul with gentleness. There is no other who could have fashioned the being she is. When I think of her, I think of the One who created- Al-Khaaliq!”

He paused for a moment and looked at his nafs. It stood frozen.

Who could’ve known that a heart that belongs to God could turn a desire that the nafs put inside it and the selfish wanting that made men yearn for the beauty of the world; into the most prominent and constant reminder of his own Master, his Allah?

His eyes were streaming with tears now. He held his hand over his chest, lest his paining heart would fall out.

“I cannot be with her until I am with God. How can I be content, knowing only the creation and being oblivious towards the Khaaliq? I cannot. I simply cannot! I have to seek The One, before I seek what He made from a clot of blood. I love the art but I have found that my heart belongs to Al-Musawwir: The Artist.

I was a mere traveler of time, until God brought me to her. And since then I have found myself only needing Him. As if that was His plan all along.”

He now looked up, his shirt soaked with tears. And he found himself alone; with only God and himself.

*nafs: The part of a man that creates worldly desires (greed, lust, jealousy, etc.). Usually regarded in religion and sufism as a wall between one and God.

“!جان” (Know!)

تو اگر جان لیتا کہ خدا تیرے لئے کیا کچھ کرتا ہے
!تو سجدے میں ایسا گرتا کے مرنے کے بعد ہی اٹھایا جاتا

Kafan mai lipta hua tera chehra muskuraata; ke “Dekh! Dekh aye khuda! Mai Tere ehsaano ka kuch haq ada tou na karsaka lekin koshish mai saari zindagi bita di.”

Magar tu tou ghafil raha hai.

Hamesha se, aur hamesha ke liye. Khuda ne tujh ko ghaltiyon ka putla banaya, tujhe azmaane ke liye. Ye dekhne ke liye ke kab kab tu hazaaron cheekhti chillati awazon ke beech apni rooh ki awaz ko sun paaye ga. Un ehsaano ko yaad kar paaye ga, jo Wo tujh pe karta hai.

Wo chahta tou teri jahaalat dekh kar tujh ko is zameen mai mila deta, jo din raat Uske hukum se tere pairon ke neeche thehri bethi hai.

Wo chahta tou tera taghaful dekhta, aur aik awaz pe ye asmaan tujh par toot parta! Yehi asmaan, jisko tu raaton mai tanha beth ke ghanton takta hai. Yehi asmaan, jis ki muhabbat mai tu giriftaar hai; aur jiske Khaaliq se na-ashna.

Magar wo ye sab nahi karta… Kabhi tu ne iski waja jaani?

Aisa nahi ke tu Uske azaab ke qaabil nahi. Aisa nahi ke tu ne gunaah se khud ko paak rakha hai.

Aisa hargiz nahi ke tu Uski zaroorat hai. Uski tou koi zaroorat nahi, teri kia auqaat?

Tere ashraf-ul-makhlooqat hone ne tujhe intekhaab tou diya par shayad ab tera zameer bhi rota ho ke is intekhaab se acha tou bay-zubaan, bay-aqal hona tha- jis naymat ne tujh ko Allah se dour kiya tou us naymat ka wujood hi kyun kar hua?

Tou ab jaan le.

Jaan ke teri zaat ab tak kyun qayim hai. Jaan! Jaan ke tere hone ki waahid waja,
ALLAH ki mohabbat hai.

Jaan le, ke Wo tujhse pyaar na karta, tou teri auqaat bhi rait ke aik zarre se barh ke nahi.

Par Wo tujhse pyaar kyun karta hai?

Jab tere saare ganday khayalat o harkaat se waqif hai tou kese tujhe teri maa se bhi kayi gunah ziada chahta hai?

Kyun ke tere paas tauba hai. 

Ab di tou ye bhi Us hi zaat ne. Par saath mai is ko apnaane ka intekhaab bhi diya hai. Jo tu ne khud karna hai.

Aur is intekhaab ko karne ki hidayat bhi Wohi de ga, bas tu ne uski chah ko sambhaal kar rakhna hai.

Us chah ko sambhalnay ka khayal bhi Wohi dega. Phir akhir kia bach gaya tujh mai?

Tu maang.

Tere pas dua hai. Aur dua se tou Qadr badli jaati hai. Tou maang; ke Us ka khazaana kabhi kam nahi hota.

Par dua bhi akhir Wo hi sunay ga…

“Tou tum apne parwardigaar ki kon kon si naymat ko jhutlao ge?” – Surah Al-Rahmaan

Dil sajde mai mar jaane ko na chaahe, tou aur kia chaahe?