Tuesday, 12 July 2016

But that was not the last of it.

There was light,
Laughter… and pain.
And that was
The last of it.
There were no cries
No pain.
Yet the floor was
Red, as though
Painted with
Dismember limbs
And broken seams.
Unattended dreams,
Of you and me.

There was light,
Laughter… and pain
And that was
Not the last of it.
There were cries and
Broken sighs.
The blood seeping
Out, as fast as
The breaths
That were dying out.
There were shrieks,
And yet silence
From you.

-Momina Latif.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Bone China and Tea Tags.

Dainty teacups make me anxious.

There I said it.

I’d drink tea out of enormous mugs,

And Styrofoam cups,

With tea tags dangling

Like tiny ornaments.

But tea cups.

Ah, no.

They don’t help much.

There’s always the possibility

Of the precious china shattering,

The unamendable beauty

Of these fragile handled bowls.

And all that clatter.

Oh! That clatter.

So much like a tiny heart.

So much amiss.

Clattering and dainty,

Fragile yet loud.

And to be handled with care...


Sunday, 10 January 2016


When you are standing on the verge of experiencing loss, you lose your hold on sanity, nothing seems certain. It's like ripples that have been generated in the calmness of a lake. Like pendulums striking one another, willing an activity to take place.

Except amidst all that activity you find yourself still. Paused amongst chaos. Bent to the verge of breaking. Nobody knows but your Internet history is a record of the infinite articles you have read of the virus that infects your life. Your phone, a web of notes you've scribbled to hold on, trying to accept loss. You seek corners and get away from crowds and yet at times you want to lose yourself, will yourself out of the silence that withers you inside. And then there is you staring down the fourth storey, contemplating options.

And yet you find your eyes dry even though your heart weighs a ton. Loss. Loss takes away bits and pieces of you and leaves you with marks like hollows under your eyes and the inability to cry, to feel. It leaves you with a strangeness hard to decipher. It steals you of feelings and cripples you of life.


Sunday, 8 November 2015


I drift away. Inside suffocating train carriages that overflow with people one minute and are hauntingly empty the next. The voices echo regardless of that. The scenario is a constant blur of buildings merging right into the meadows, glimpses of sunsets somewhere and black clouds of smoke rising from the various brick kilns that dot the landscape. Sometimes a sheet of fog to obscure your vision, so perfect. As if nothing beyond exists.

I drift away, sitting on a crazy ride, right before emotions clash. The world is a bokeh of lights, through my eyes. Not a thing is clear besides the feeling of being seated surrounded by people who mutter incoherence. And then, exhilaration, excitement, fear, regret and wills clash as if it’s a war for life. And it is, in a way. Even the colorful bokeh of lights spin into a crazy whirlwind that shows patches of light. Hanging upside down, spinning 360 degrees in a constant struggle to breathe and live with an aching body and a spinning head.

I drift away in darkened rooms that are illuminated only by the light that escapes the huge screen casting shadows on the faces that cower in fear of the horror that suddenly flashes on the screen and shakes their hearts violently. They turn eagerly towards each other to make sure they are in the same company and no one has turned into the dreadfulness on the screen. It’s a futile reassurance, but one that satisfies.

Through all, I catch glimpses of myself, through my own eyes, not caught in reflections of mirrors, but rather that of the mind; staring out the window, hanging upside down, screaming my lungs out and staring blankly at the screen. Just glimpses that last for a split seconds, before I lose myself in the crowd.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Un-contained Crescents

She let goes through words,

That cascade over on paper

A mess of ink, 

Spilling over and un-contained,

Discreetly patched.


Crescent shaped scabs, adorning

The edge of her palms.


Monday, 11 May 2015


The little girl sneaks into the kitchen, rolls up her sleeves, washes her hands. She silently draws out a bowl and sieves in the flour; making a tiny well she lets the water fill it to the brim and then continues to sort through the flour with it, kneading it into a firm dough. 

She drags the flat pan onto the hot stove and her tiny hands begin to roll out balls of dough, flattened and placed on the hot plate. Her hands burn. Her dupatta chafes her neck, overhead the fan spins in lazy circles, sifting through the already hot air. Her eyes seek the time and nervousness beads on her forehead. The mistress doesn’t appreciates late service or burned chapattis. 

Her back aches, her head hurts. She places all the items on the grand table, bowls of different dishes set across it, gilt edged crockery and shining cutlery. Everything is up to perfection. Except perhaps that single burnt chapatti with a side of lentils, served on the broken plastic plate, awaiting her in the kitchen. 


Tuesday, 24 February 2015


An assortment of bottles,

A pot of well brewed Chai.

Long stemmed glasses,

And a dainty little tea cup.

Filled to their brims,

And then refilled, again.

They sipped at their addictions

And he drank in her sight.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Dying Night, Broken Sighs.

It was only in the very last wee hour of the morning that slumber began to even tingle her senses. It drew her out of her reckless stupor and begged to be not cast aside, like an innocent yet irritating child, it tugged on her sleeve until she finally looked up from staring at the blank screen, where a sole tiny vertical line blinked with no words on either side of it.

She drank in her surroundings; the many sheets of paper with scribbles lying on her left, and the three mismatched cups lined alongside her right, each with a similar rim of brown liquid floating at the bottom. The ear phones lay abandoned, a little far away, faint music still escaping the tiny holes that adorned it. The laptop sat in her lap, waiting, the screen flickering back to life after every fifteen minutes as she swiped her finger impatiently on the mouse pad.

As the light started filtering outside, past the dark curtains of the night, and the stars stayed on for only a few eyes, her fingers flicked. Words poured out of her as her hands flew gracefully over the keys, knowing where to press; as if they had reached a familiar place, as if they had reached home. And her eyes fixated to the screen, watched on as the word after words materialized, marking the blank space. The silence, now replaced by the excited and impatient click of the keys, applauded in the seldom silence of the symphonies of the typed words.

While the sun began to rise, the colors of dawn began to cascade upon God’s canvas and the stars began to hide for the day, she typed away. She stared at the screen, the silence had been broken, and words had paved their way once again. She smiled out of sheer bliss, looked up at the sky, as the last of the stars faded away.


Monday, 8 December 2014


A distinct rapid beat starts building up in the background, tugging at the corners of my slumber. As I forget moment after moment that precedes it, it becomes more prominent; a nagging sound that rises in tempo. Chasing me as if it were a demon, deafening and irritating, swallowing me in its continuous chatter, like that of a thousand teenage girls' shrill screeching.

My finger interrupts the water flow, sending tiny splashes all around that collide with the porcelain sink and bounce up.




Warm, finally.

I splash the water up, thawing my frozen face, eyes shut against the warmth. The next time I put my hands under the tap, formed into a bowl; the water's too hot. I pull my hands back, as if they are a cold crystal bowl that might suddenly crack and shatter under the heat. I gently push the tap towards the colder edge, the water following my demand, once again comes down Luke warm.

In a drugged haze I complete my daily rituals and step outside. I watch myself change in the dim morning glow. I am not inside. I sit at the edge of the bed watching myself slip on the socks and then the flat pumps on to my feet. Then as I stand before the mirror I join myself, watching, as I grab a kohl pencil dragging it underneath my eye, looking through half closed eyes, a blurred vision.

I am being called down, voices. Several ones float up to me. Bouncing against me and drawing back and then repeating their motion. It’s awful. I shut my eyes against the commotion as if losing sight of them dancing around me would lose their reality.

When I open my eyes it’s gone. The voices precede but visually they are no more. I look at myself, willing myself to move. It takes me a moment to realize that it’s gone too. I am no longer outside my body and I stand there staring at my reflection. My eyes rimmed with black. I stare dumbfounded at the mirror for ages before realizing it is me who ought to move. Regardless I look around me, searching for the self I won't find.

Foot before foot.

Left then right.

Left then right.

Then at some point I stop moving as if stuck in motion but the floor continues to move as if slipping underneath me like an escalator belt. And I stand there completely frozen. So sure of the floor's movements and those that are supposed to be mine.

I feel sick. I hold an apple in my hand and there's a teacup before me. What am I supposed to do? I put the apple gently on the table. It wobbles on its uneven bottom, threatening to fall on its side and roll off into the distance. It doesn't. It stays perched at an awkward angle. I peek inside the teacup; empty with a shallow rim of brown liquid at the bottom mocking me.

Someone comes up to me. As I look up from scribbling at the page before me their lips start moving, rapidly and their eyes follow suit. As if animated by their words and yet I hear nothing. Nothing, but the dull echo of white noise. Suddenly their eyes change looking at me curiously waiting for something. I am in an agony of my own. What am I to say?

And then I feel my lips move although I hear nothing but they smile and run off. I look down at the page before me partially filled with letters and words. Slowly they form an incoherent mess, drawing closer, in on themselves; an untidy mass that moves from the center of the page to the edges ready to leap at me.

My sudden movement causes the chair to clutter to the ground and the sound of the crash is so deafening as if it might tear apart my ear drums. Somehow, resembling the drag of nails against a wall. It draws to a screeching halt and I look at a sea of faces all lost in the confusion of the moment, eyeing me.

I run. The footsteps echo even in the crowded space. Cold sweat trickles down my forehead. Slowly sliding down as if in slow motion.


The sound echoes. Droplets that fall and the sound rises in the silent atmosphere.


Constant and badgering. Willing me to move and yet I don't. My legs, as if swollen and frozen solid. My eyes blink.


And then darkness again. 

My eyes flutter open. For a moment, I thought I'd forever be lost in it. Enveloping and welcome but hauntingly scary. I will them to stay open. Pictures play before me. Everything continues to jumble and unbundle before my eyes. A moving image put on repeat; weary and blurred. With darkness edging closer from its infinite ends. Closer, closer, closer.

A moment of peace. Silence. As if things are paused, voices suspended and then the nagging continues.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Unheard Pleas

In the middle of the night,
She hears whispers and pleas.
Knocks on her door
As she further retreats
Inside her blanket
As if, in a coffin seized.

Footsteps draw near.
Fingers clutching her,
Through the thin air.
"They are coming!",
She shrieks,
To all those near.

But there's no one to hear.
No one's around,
No one's here.
As hands lock around her,
And her fate bounds her.
Her miseries chasing her,
Till her very last scream.