Mother always used to tell me, “Be careful who you choose to love.” I used to shrug her off, as if it’s a choice. Love for me, always happened just like that. You can’t choose who you fall for, you don’t get to decide who your heart wants.
But you see, mothers are always right. Right now, I think what she meant was not to be careful who I fell in love with, but who I decided to stay with. Because staying in love, in a relationship, in a place is always a choice. You can’t choose who you’ll fall in love with, but you can always decide whether you want to stay or move on.
So now I tell myself, be careful who you stay in love with; don’t let a weak soul destroy your strong heart.
since I last saw you
and you last saw my smile,
not the smile – smile
but the genuine one
the one that makes me feel strong.
since I last heard from you.
You seem to be lost now,
not screaming my name anymore
or telling me what it is that you want,
I remember that time vaguely,
when you were trying to tell me something
but I got busy
every time we sat down to talk that talk
there was always a phone call I needed to attend
mom wanted to have a chit,
he was there waiting for me
I think I stopped listening to you from that day,
when I needed to listen to people around me.
since the last time I took you out for a coffee or road-wala tea
and 140 days since we last hung out in Mangalbazaar,
staring at the red bricks patterned asymmetrically
And now, standing alone in the road,
I seem to miss your voice shouting my name
screaming of all the things that went wrong
and making my stomach churn and my gut turned
Now, I am left wondering where have you gone.
If you hear me,
which I am sure you do
for you are still inside
filled with rage, hiding from me
I want you to know I am sorry.
And that I want you back
because life seems empty without you,
the rain doesn’t feel the same
I am lost without you
Patanko mo:mo doesn’t taste the same.
I am left half dead,
life lost its meaning when you lose your demon-self
everyday I tell myself
not to fall asleep before you,
but I do.
Hence, I miss the chance to count your breathing
and see you sleeping soundly.
Everyday I wonder
about your dreams as a kid.
Did you also think you could save the world like me
when I was in Grade six?
Did you also want to travel around the world
or fight the evil with the words?
but every time I ask,
you either keep mum or change the topic
to how my hair is messy
and my hands are dirty
and my face is unwashed.
Everyday I feel curious
to know whether you see a beautiful and strong woman
in the mirror
like you see the dirt and dust in my hair and neck
Everyday I want to know
how it felt
to grow up with men who pampered you till the end
who cooked your favourite dishes
and sewed your favourite dresses
and to come to live with men
who talk about women empowerment
make their mothers, sisters and daughters independent
but then want their wives
to cook and clean and wash and wait for them.
For having at least one man you could always count on,
you could always go back to,
who was your hero.
For the men in my life,
are never there when I need them
Is this what you wanted your life to be?
The little girl who threw tantrums when her dad got home late,
to turn into a woman who would always sit and wait
for her husband and
for her son.
Is this what you dreamt of?
To settle down and have a family
and put them before you.
Everyday I wish to know
the broken pieces of your dreams,
and the missing pieces of your soul
so that I could search, find and mend your life as a whole
for you to live them all over again.