The Him of Our Society

Every day is a new challenge. But the real challenge of everyday is to follow that one same aspect of your routine that you most despise. In my case, it is the walk. The walk, which might have been the best part of my day, had it come with different circumstances.

I wake up at the same time every morning and drive up the Mall Road of Lahore to get to my destination, the National College of Arts. I park my car behind one of the heritage buildings of Lahore known as the Tolinton Market and get out of my car, which is when my heart starts to race and my breath becomes heavier. Now is the time to cross the street filled with dark eyed, smirking men on bikes and rickshaws, staring and gawking at every passing female pedestrian, one of which is me. I know I have to walk fast, I console myself thinking, “watch your steps, don’t trip, don’t worry, it’s just a thought and a building to cross.”

I hold my bag close to my body, and stiffen my shoulders, as I start to walk away from my car and towards the first street. As I leave the parking lot I look towards the right and then the left to see all the cars, rickshaws and bikes. As the traffic breaks I pull my thoughts together and cross the street as fast as I can. Now and then I wish there was someone walking by me, a familiar face, a person who is safe. I look around to see if someone I know is close by and would walk with me to the NCA gate, but I catch the eyes of the men staring at my direction, scanning me with their dark piercing eyes.

My heartbeat fastens and I quicken my pace, I cross the Lahore museum, lowering my gaze towards the path and console myself thinking, “It’s just a few more steps.” As I reach the college gate and take the first step inside, my heartbeat goes back to normal, the horror is lifted. I can finally feel the air I breathe filling my chest and thanking God for the life ahead.

Over the past year I experience this every day and I feel like I may never get over this, but then I question, is it just my thought or is this actually happening? One of my professors once commented on this attitude of our nation saying, “our people are just prone to stare, we are a staring nation, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything if someone is staring at us. We just can’t get rid of it.”

I agree to the fact that we are a staring nation, and I myself sometimes get lost in a thought and don’t realize where my eyes are affixed while I am experiencing a metaphysical realm of reverie.  However, the women on the streets, going about their business in this part of the world are more likely to have their eyes fixed on the ground than the men roaming the streets purposeless, as they may seem.

This makes one wonder is it the clothing or the figure of a woman, which of these is so enticing, even though she is most likely covered from head to toe with no room to peak.

With literally millions of women, maybe even more than men in this world; so common it is to see ‘her’ moving past you every single day, then why is it that the ‘him’ of our society feels the need to hold a sociopathic stare as she passes by in the markets and streets?

 

 

Healing

A layer of metal under my skin.

A protection for what is fragile.

So you can’t tear my beautiful fin.

My heart and soul is bright and agile.

I healed myself by myself.

I healed all that was to heal.

You broke nothing, you should know.

All your efforts are a fail.

Do me a favour and ask youself,

What your words worth ehat you lost?

My heart and soul are synced too well,

For negativity to penetrate the shell.

If your vision told you the worst,

Why did you tolerate me thus?

For all so long you dragged me on,

Then I’m hanging and you’re gone.

But doesn’t it all matter no more

Since my life is so much better than yours.

Whatever you judge of me

Only be a reflection of thee.

Whatever you claim it is

Says what in your heart besits.

Now my heart and I are so free

Of thee and all other adversity.

I shall breathe the long and happy breath

Deep and relaxing it shall be.

I will live with a purpose and genuine beam,

This ignorance shall never make me scream.

TRY

You tried so hard, you tried consistently.

You say you did, but, did you really?

You seem unhappy, you are always depressed.

It takes the best of you and you claim to have panic attacks.

But all you do is ‘try’.

Why is it that you ‘try’?

You dont ‘do’ you just ‘try’.

You try to fight for what you want.

You try to fix what went wrong.

Is it that you console yourself?

Or is it that you actually ‘try’?

Because, what you and I, both don’t realise is that ‘trying’ is a ‘thought’ and not an ‘act’.

‘Try’ is a ‘barrier’, a ‘hurdle’, a ‘rock’.

So don’t you ‘try’, don’t you dare ‘try’.

Just do what you can, and then do what you can’t.

Do that which is ‘mad’, do that which is ‘bad’.

Do that which is ‘wrong’, do that what makes you ‘strong’.

Because whether you like it or not.

“YOU ARE DYING ALONE”.

Yearn

She is addicted. She is fine. She isn’t fine. She doesn’t know. Yet she knows. She cares. She is taken care of. She smokes. She breathes. She drinks and eats. Yet everyday her addiction increases, her heart beats faster, she tries to stay normal. But then she thinks to herself this isn’t normal. But what is normal, and what is the reason? She can’t answer that. She can only ask. She is superficial, double faced and very judgmental. She is kind, open hearted and loving. She is normal. Because normal is a word of great meaning.

From time to time, she has flashbacks. She judges herself, her memories and her life.  She thinks of all the things she has messed up. Everyone she has hurt. But there is no way to make things right, because time has passed, days have become nights. But little does she acknowledge how right now is.

She remembers all the ex-boyfriends she has had, and she knows there is no one she loved. Yet when she was asked if the words of the song playing in the background had any meaning for her, she had said yes. A yes that was confident. A yes that meant, “YES”. But the truth remains as it is. She had never felt for anyone. Or maybe she did, but her conscience was never ready to accept. Her conscience believed she was a sinner and a liar. And this is why, on this day, as she sat and wrote everything that was anything. She was imagining herself in a place that was beyond her reach and yet so close. It was out in the universe yet in her heart. It was in the arms of the man standing right next to her. “If only I was prettier, and better as a person. If only I could be something he would want. If only I had a heart which was pure. If only I was as smart and intelligent to be considered an option.” She knew she was better. Better than all people and all women in her sight. But she had a past filled with darkness. She was comfortable being there. She couldn’t step out of it. It was her home. And he was light. She had recognized the light way long ago.  Yet she opted for the darkness. She chose darkness. She slept with darkness. She regretted her existence and walked back in to darkness.

But now as she sits and writes everything that was anything. She has finally realized, she want his light. She wants to be his home. The person he would come back to and never want to leave. But she knows it is beyond her reach so she decides: “I will watch, I will attend, admire and care. But I will do all from afar and never near. I might not be in love now, I might be heartless now. But he is whom I want. He is the one I want to love. May I fall so deep and never return. This may be my wish and I will forever yearn.”

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The Statue by Khalil Gibran

Once there lived a man among the hills who possessed a statue wrought by an ancient master. It lay at his door face downward and he was not mindful of it.

One day there passed by his house a man from the city, a man of knowledge, and seeing the statue he inquired of the owner if he would sell it.

The owner laughed and said, “And pray who would want to buy that dull and dirty stone?”

The man from the city said, “I will give you this piece of silver for it.”

And the other man was astonished and delighted.

The statue was removed to the city, upon the back of an elephant. And after many moons the man from the hills visited the city, and as he walked the streets he saw a crowd before a shop, and a man with a loud voice was crying, “Come ye in and behold the most beautiful, the most wonderful statue in all the world. Only two silver pieces to look upon this most marvelous work of a master.”

Thereupon the man from the hills paid two silver pieces and entered the shop to see the statue that he himself had sold for one piece of silver.

 

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Khalil Gibran Museum at Bchare in Lebanon

Book Excerpt: For One More Day by Mitch Albom

She exhaled softly, “I couldn’t imagine a life without children. Once, I even… Wait. Let’s see.”
She guided me toward the large tree on the corner near our house.
“This was late one night, when I couldn’t sleep.” She rubbed her hand over the bark as if unearthing an old treasure. “Ah. Still here.”
I leaned in. The word PLEASE had been carved into the side. Small crooked letters. You had to look carefully, but there it was. PLEASE.
“You and Roberta weren’t the only ones who carved,” she said, smiling.
“What is it?”
“A prayer.”
“For a child?”
She nodded.
“For me?”
Another nod.
“On a tree?”
“Trees spend all day looking up at God.”
I made a face.
“I know.” She lifted her hands in surrender. “You’re so corny, Mom.”
She touched the bark again, then made a small hmm sound. She seemed to be considering everything that happened since the afternoon I came into the world. I wondered how that sound would change if she knew the whole story.
“So,” she said, moving away, “now you know how badly someone wanted you, Charley. Children forget that sometimes. They think of themselves as a burden instead of a wish granted.”
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