the social media platforms, the what’s app groups and the general dynamics of socializing did not wait even a day to use the pandemic as a stage to announce how they were/are coping and the achievements they made. I made none. I struggled with so much that i have lost language to express the trauma I have been through.
and that has brought me to crossroads of choosing trauma over self. over dependency on relationships that are part fantasy part reality over hardcore reality that hits in the face every morning, all day and all night. I have not had the strength , both physical and mental to sit and concentrate on anything.
tenacity is not a blessing.. it’s what I do when I have no choice. seldom have I had the choice.
the social media is now becoming one of the reasons I feel low and high at the same time. I feel seen and unseen. I feel lost and found.
it is the place I found quasicinis under my own rubble.
it’s not incorrect to say that i lost myself there too.
so, where do I go from here. I think I return to myself. to see myself. to find myself.
anyone around for a good story from my nano’s days? I recently ordered knitting and crochet needles and yarn. online ofcourse. and I’m going to learn via YouTube the art of passing time during this pandemic. so, when the needles and yarn were ordered, I felt this warm feeling and went back to the 80’s when nano and I shared lives, room and common readings. Back in those days there was no concept of a ‘separate’ bedroom especially if you were a girl aur woh bhi without a sister. nano and I grew up together. literally. I was 5 or so when she came to live with us after my nana’s passing over and her sons all gone she not wanting to go where they were, we sold her house in Karachi and brought her to live with us. We shared a room wherever we were posted and in between times spent in shelters or mess were always one room for nano and me. I was haunted by her wherever I went. if I was baking she would be there.. it was that buzz in the ears that never leaves. and you live with the buzz. the buzz is your security, a comfort zone that ..yeah..I’m buzzing.. that constancy of just being there. that’s what nano was for me. as I grew up, she grew older… it was like a constant stream of life.. she would always keep herself busy and made sure I was busy. If she was knitting I was too. if she was walking, so was I. if she was watching the 8pm drama on PTV, sure enough I was there. when I grew busy with college and later on work and then more studying, nano got herself busy with a new hobby: crocheting. in between her namaz,quran and her evening walk, she was constantly crocheting. patterns of flowers strung together like a starry night. she kept the finished ones tucked in her big old almirah. whenever someone came to visit her, she would take one out and give it to the person. the crochet was made to fit one dupatta, and so the next time the same person visited her , she would show how her dupatta was now encircled with nano’s crochet. and nano was glad. it brightened her face and flushed her cheeks. the art of giving was mastered by her.i was an apprentice in the making and the year came when she became slow. I would walk with her in the lawn, and we would do bait baazi (an antakshari of ashaar 😬🙄) and she would crochet, but everything was slower now. and we vaguely spoke about stuff and she cautioned me about my fiery self(she was right) her best advice came one evening while we were sitting in exasperation to the load shedding.she was calm and I was raving. she said..keep yourself busy and stop thinking with your mind, work with your hands d. keep going back to it d dang.. the crochet stuff arrives on tuesday❣
Still nights have become quieter and a city that never slept has resigned itself to a stillness filled with fear. Dreams are mirroring the stagnation of days and the days are endlessly turning, recoiling from everything that held a familiarity to living. Some say this may be the end of the world while others insist a new world is evolving. If it is the first then one has little to do but wait inside disinfected bodies but if it is the other then one is helplessly at the mercy of what that new order will be. Will we ever touch each other again? hold hands of those we love or brush off invisible dust while touching a friends shoulder? Those endless conversations over tea at the dhaba where we would contemplate the future of our dreams have been shut down. The bun-kabab wala has left for his village. The khokhas have closed…the city died and no one came to its funeral.
The new world order ; you have to roll it on the tongue to say it so you get used to it like saying 9/11 took the longest to get acquainted with the asian tongue. The new world ; what will it be like? Will sunsets always be virtually shared with strangers on Instagram and these argumentative thoughts be decided on Twitter from now on? Give virtual hugs and do zoom medications to ease the anxiety? Fear. It is a multilayered word which digs its fangs into the depths of one’s being; the more the body fights it, the deeper it embeds itself.
It is May 2020. We have been in a limbo for three months now. The strongest have become weak and the faithfuls have become staunchly. No one is right anymore and neither is anyone wrong. Living in an upended city, halted by fear, everyone is waiting for mercy. The question of who will deliver this mercy is of no significance in these dystopian times, as long as mercy comes. It could be god, godot, or a vaccine. we all look at the bluest of skies and cry at the beauty that looks back. For a few moments we find relief in the birds and the skies, the trees and the butterflies that have returned but then we cry at the misfortune of not having the allowance, the permission and the lightness of being, to go out and walk freely.
It is not the elements we fear. It is our own kind that provoke fear and we squirm, step back and recoil when someone comes near. Some of us will die of the virus, others will die of hunger but the absence of touch and the presence of fear will kill all of us. The morning after the lockdown was announced the city gave birth to a new one. It was a stillbirth and no one heard it and no one buried it. The stench now lives in each one of its inhabitants mortifying life, cheating on death.
we all wait hopelessly for mercy in a city that died of fear.
Dee is from Lahore, Pakistan. Loves dark nights and old trees.
i have lost time and everything that held meaning to it.
dates, days, weeks, months have all become impossible to keep track of and so I have let go. I measure my days and nights with the sun rising and setting. with the giggling of my daughters or the birds chirping.
letting go is easy. you just flop down and say the words whateva.
if its going to take giving up, letting go, and rewinding the body clock then that’s what we will do and we will wait.
Not the agonizing wait where you cringe and recoil because everything around you has changed.
it is the letting go where you leave the shadow behind and walk on… without judging the moment, without turning around to look one last time. looking ahead is not easy at this time but it is the one choice we have over falling into that mindless pit of whys.
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“I don’t create poetry, I create myself, for my poems are a way to me.” — Edith Södergran
the songs are screams inside now and the hollow men are preaching on media smiles are few but they have not disappeared completely in these times of hysteria can one tell the difference between sanity and insanity so sing dance smile cry and tell me you are not ok and I’ll tell you neither am I nor are the flowers without touch or the grass without bare feet I’m measuring my hours by the cold april which was warm once and the jhumka baal that has grown wild nights are long days longer what day is it today where did I misplace my glasses when did I last see you~
“In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.” ― Bertolt Brecht
i have taken to walks in my lawn and some yoga on the mat alternating them for a routine can be tiring in these times. sitting after dark am reminded of brecht and other writers of years of reading for i am unable to read these days. but grateful for much. the stars can be seen after a long time. city is quiet and i can’t and don’t want to complain. just being. just being.