Mothers

Away from all these conspiracy theories reside our mothers.

The mothers who send their kids to schools even when they know they aren’t as safe as they were once.

Over a hundred mothers saw their little kids for the last time when they went to school on 16th December 2014.

There are mothers who are embracing the dead bodies of their young sons; in police uniform, military uniform, and also in no uniform; on a daily basis.

There are mothers who see their sons dying daily in the desperation of meeting the basics.

These mother get hurt daily.

Yet they never ceased the process of reproduction.

They give hope at the breakfast table and clean wounds at dinner.

Perhaps we inherited it from the fearless mother Fatima Jinnah.

Now I know why mothers in Palestine never stopped having kids.

It is not about death.

It is about life.

A Man, A Woman, & A Daughter

He saw the sleeping woman along with her daughter.

12 noon. June. Ugly weather.

Like others, he moved ahead. But that voice, the inner voice, that echoes in his brain like shrieks, didn’t let him move.

He had to come back from a mile.

He stopped his car.

Embarrassed.

Who is looking at him?

He called the woman. Why is she here? Why not at home?

The typical questions people with homes ask people without homes.

She told a typical story. A story such people usually tell. Liars. Lazy.

He gave her money and requested her to go where she lives. Then more money. He requested her to not do that to her daughter. She asked for a lift to a nearby stop.

All this happened because of a three year old daughter of hers. Or his.

That little girl. Playing around her sleeping mother. Clenched his heart. His moves. His time. His whole day.

His whole life.

And during all this, he didn’t dare look at the young girl. He couldn’t. He tried to look in the rearview mirror, but he was not that brave. He was a coward after all.

He remembers the whole episode. The words. The scene. The area. The temperature. The embarrassment. The time.

He remembers the feeling of being well-off equalizing the feeling of a sinner.

He remembers when the two worlds collide.

But he doesn’t remember the face of the protagonist of this episode. He couldn’t.

He is a coward.

He was afraid of seeing “her” instead of “her”.

Her. Who?

Cheat

His plan was simple. To cheat and get caught. And to be dumped by his wife. Simple as that.

She caught him. He confessed. She left. That was very easy for him.

To end the relationship, he chose the easiest path. He gave his wife the commonly-accepted-reason to end a relationship. And she did leave.

But what if she hadn’t?

Well that would have been double the fun. The crime would be “accepted”.

Yes you got the message right. But don’t get the messenger wrong.

Majority cheat because they cannot control themselves. And the rest cheat because they want to “control”.

You are Expected to be Present but…

No. you shouldn’t be doing this. Then what? Hmm. What is expected of you? Do that.

What your parents expect? What your friends expect? What your wife expects? What your kids expect?

Just do that.

You are expected to come home after your job. Directly. Do that.

You are expected to spend most of the weekend at home. Be it lying idle on the bed. Just do that.

You are expected to smile even when you don’t want to. Behave. Smile.

You are expected to laugh when you are the butt of the joke. Ha-ha. That’s it.

Get up early in the morning. Breakfast. Office. The ugly bosses. Yes. Do that. And don’t take lunch break today.

Come home on time. If there is work, inform. Don’t miss it. After the spanking from office, it’s time for home.

You are expected to pretend that you are waiting for the weekend. Excited for the weekend? Yeah.

Weekdays pass quicker. Monday is like the best day. But don’t you dare tell anyone, you abnormal human being. Friday is the non-nicest day of the week. See, my grammar!

Wake up. Sleep. Alarm. Snooze. You are late. You bloody…

You are expected to enjoy. Movies. Cricket. Football. And you actually enjoy these shits.

You are expected to yawn at long philosophical boring articles and books. But you don’t. Your six senses are only active at that time.

You are expected to date. You date. Then you are expected to marry. You marry. Then you are not expected to date. You don’t date. You are expected to carry on. You carry on. You cannot carry on all alone. You are dependent. You hate group tasks. There is a reason. But we don’t accept that.

You are expected to close your eyes when you kiss. You must moan while having sex. A little at least. Shiver. Orgasm. Have you had an orgasm? That is not an MCQ. The only answer to happiness is yes. What amazing sex you had. But you were thinking what the hell is that?

You are expected to love. But what is love? Is there a universal definition? Is the paradigm of love the same for all? Is there any metric to measure and rate it? No! Then what the hell is that? Is respect love? Is care love? Is empathy love? You are a loving person I guess. Yes you are. But if love is to get clingy, to look in the eyes, and to kiss regularly, then you are not in love.

You are not in love.

You are not present.

You are not in the moment.

You are not here.

Where the hell are you?

Lament for your sickness, and God won’t grant you death

It was a story about an old merchant, who lived a seemly and God-fearing life with his family, and went once with a comrade, a rich merchant, to the Makary.

Having stopped at an inn, the two merchants went to bed, and the next day the comrade was found murdered and robbed. The bloody knife was found under the old merchant’s pillow. The merchant was tried, punished with the knout, and, having had his nostrils slit, was sent to hard labor.

And so ten years or more go by after this affair. The old man lives at hard labor. Duly submits, does nothing bad. Only asks God for death. Good. And the convicts got together, a nightly thing, and the old man was with them. They started talking about who suffers for what, and what he’s guilty of before God. They began telling: this one killed a man, that one killed two, another set a fire, another was a runaway, so he did nothing. They started asking the old man: ‘What are you suffering for, grandpa?’ ‘I, my dear brothers,’ he says, ‘am suffering for my own and other people’s sins. I didn’t kill anybody, or take anything that wasn’t mine, but even gave to beggars. I, my dear brothers, was a merchant; I had great wealth.’ Thus and so, he says. That is, he told them how the whole thing went, in proper order. ‘I don’t grieve over myself,’ he says. ‘God, that is, has found me. I only pity my old woman and children.’ And so the old man wept. In their company there happened to be the very man who had killed the merchant. ‘Where did it happen, grandpa?’ he says. ‘When, in what month?’—he asked everything. His heart ached inside him. He goes up to the old man and—plop at his feet. ‘You’re perishing because of me, old man. It’s the real truth. This man is suffering, lads,’ he says, ‘guiltlessly and needlessly. I did that deed,’ he says, ‘and put the knife under your head while you slept. Forgive me, grandpa,’ he says, ‘for Christ’s sake.’”

And the old man says: ‘God will forgive you, and we’re all sinful before God, I’m suffering for my own sins.’ And he wept bitter tears. And what do you think, little falcon? This same murderer denounced himself to the authorities. ‘I killed six men,’ he says (he was a great villain), ‘but I’m sorriest for this old man. Let him not lament on account of me.’ He declared it: they wrote it down, duly sent a letter. This was a far-off place, it was a while before everything got done, all the papers filled out as they ought, to the authorities, that is. It went all the way to the Tsar. Time passed, the Tsar’s ukase came: release the merchant, give him a reward, as much as they decided. The paper came, they started searching for the old man. Where’s that old man who has suffered guiltlessly and needlessly? A paper has come from the Tsar. They started searching. But God had already forgiven him—he was dead.

(War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy – Page 1062)

With All Due Respect My Lord!

My Lord! You don’t know how much I’m going to love You and You cannot imagine the passionate sajdah that I will offer right on that moment of reunion… that sajdah which is better than a thousand nights of worship.

With all due respect my Lord! You cannot imagine it because you are not me.

Because you are not a human being

Because you are not in pain

Because you are not me, like I’m not You.

This is a relation between You and I

I ask,

I bear,

I cry,

I serve,

I accept,

I bleed,

I weep.

And You?

You give,

And forgive.

Just give me!

And forgive me!

Prelude – Walli’s Life of Parallel Worlds

The newspaper said “200 years ago in 1814, a man named Walli was killed while standing against strict tax regulations by the Company.”
Wrong! I saw that incident and it was me who died. But not for standing against the Company. Anyways…
What if I tell you that I am on my deathbed now in 2014?
And what if I tell you that I have to die once more in 2174 while saving someone from The War? That someone is The One for whom I am travelling through all the times of parallel worlds…

Pride & Peace

You are finally here to bury the old man. He was always proud of you two. You gave him pride. He always wanted the three of us to be best in our fields. You became an admirable doctor, and you became an immaculate broker. You two made the name in your fields and the pride for the old man.

He wasn’t proud of me because I wasn’t a genius in education or in career. I didn’t do well in studies and hence ended up as a cashier in the local convenient store. The good news is I got promoted and now I am a shift manager. Don’t sigh! I know it’s nothing as compared to your career hierarchies, but for me it is something.

When you two finished your studies, you moved out as there were not good opportunities in our town. You pursued your careers. While you were gradually ascending in your careers, the old man gradually went down in his health. He became lonely, though I appreciate you were used to come twice or thrice a year which was very kind of you in your extremely busy lives. I know it is tough to find time even for our own children today.

Anyways, old man was diagnosed with the kidney problem, which gradually increased his time span on bed. I looked after him as much as I could. All my time was for him after store hours. I gave him company and he was fondly used to talk about you. We were used to talk a lot about you. You realized his dreams and gave it veracity. You were pride of his life.

I don’t have much to say. I shared days and nights, sorrows and laughs, high times and low times with him. But I was not the pride of his life. I know why but I was unable to satisfy myself and became resentful slowly but surely, I’m repentant. I was with him, I lived with him. His hand was in my hand when he took his last breath; though his pride was associated with you.

But I got the answer today. As soon as I saw you I got my answer. There is no issue that you two were pride of his life, which I wasn’t. But I got the answer for who I was for him. I was peace of his life. He didn’t say it ever but I know now.

A question I am left with is either pride superior to peace or contrariwise? I don’t know the answer yet. But I’m sure I’ll get the answer someday. Let’s go now. It is time for funeral.

Peace for the old man!

Tragedy

At 2:00 am in the morning, he opened his draw of side-table. There was a pack but only one cigarette left. Whole night and one cigarette made him depressed.

He went to the balcony. Due to load-shedding it was pitch black time and cold breeze was moving with light creaky sound. He moved to the corner, put cigarette in his mouth, and lit it. It was strange as cigarette didn’t burn properly and fire was gone. He did it again and same thing happened.

He moved back to his room, took the cigarette in front of laptop’s light and it was the filter which was all burned… the last cigarette was gone and the whole night was left.