When past makes a detour, it’s almost as if we’re not ready. We’ve tried to let go of things—no matter how pretty, how beautiful–and it’s been excruciating. They sting—reminding us of what are made of: shy smiles, coconut flavored candies, board games, anxiety attacks, pure glee.

For some it wanders—the past. For others, it comes back, like it’s written to connect the dots that we didn’t understand as kids. Things we had to let go but weren’t ready to do so. So past makes a comeback. For closure. Only, past is not as we’ve always imagined, not as we have lived. Is it playing with us? Are we hallucinating? It’s an old trick. Only Past would know.

Past has gotten old, just like we have. Twelve years older. But past is happy. Proud. Past is proud that we had to go through him, and just when we were getting used to his presence, he had to leave. But Past is back now. To commend, to applaud, to tell us that he would not desert us again. Past now has wrinkles, instead of worries, all at their perfect places. Past has learnt to smile more, to tell more and is more eager to listen to what we have to say. It’s been more than a decade since we lost contact—or since he decided to flee—but he is not here to stay either. Past promises to visit again, with more surprises—but this time with future. Soon past would become our future.

Things would change. No more chasing little girls playing, no more nursery rhymes or hide and seek in the shades of trees, no more peeking from windows too tall for our height. When past decides to bring in future, all the leaves would have shed, October gone, welcoming the onslaught of early snow and December. Future-past would bring campfire and melted snow, grown up kids, their eyes filled with amber and glow.

Past has promised that things would change, because once again we’ve opened the Pandora box that we had buried under heaps of sand.

But this time, things would change. We would keep our hopes but we won’t let past dictate our show. Past has the choice to come but we won’t mind if it decides to change its home.




It’s a mirage

There are songs that you listen to, that shape your memories; there are people who constantly make their way towards you—directly or indirectly, sometimes even forcefully—to shape your lives, both positively and negatively, even so that they might be the force of a constant distraction in your lives, but you need to focus. You need to focus on good things, the positive energy that comes from waking up early in the morning to pray fajr, even though you might have slept at three in the morning—for you need to realize that you’re not doing it for the sake of making the Almighty happy, you’re doing it as much for yourself too.

Our jobs suck most of the times, we don’t get along with a lot of our colleagues, but we need to find that one ounce of motivation that makes us go to work gladly every morning—be it the smile of the guard who greets you at the gate or the lady guard who you sometimes help financially to make her ends meet, or that one colleague who brings you video games that you could play when the boss is not around, or that group of people who you have your lunch with.

Life is not always easy as we might like to think for other people who always have their way. You would look at their social media and find them smiling and having fun but no one knows if they’re doing it for public validation or a general show off, none of which is healthy. Adulting is a tough task—for people like me it’s a 24/7 job that you’re constantly struggling with, trying to ace it following the ‘fake it till you make it’ mantra. And s much as I would want to deny it, we are not young anymore. We are neither fresh-out-of-college-graduates nor 22-23 looking forward to settling. And although we are still looking forward to settle, we are basically nowhere. Our dreams are yet to be fulfilled, love of our lives to be found, careers still in a phase where we are in a dilemma of whether to switch or to get going with what we have. We are so confused. And while we are acing some of the job interviews and getting into that school for post-grad education we’ve always wanted to get into or getting told in some family gathering by teenagers that we are their inspiration and asked by some youngsters to speak at their college as a motivational speaker, we still tend to underestimate ourselves. Why are we so confused?

Is it a quarter-life crisis? Our parents are our friends but sometimes their wants and our needs don’t match. The books we read inspire us to write but what we don’t have is time—no time to catch up with friends from college who we miss constantly but are embarrassed to admit because what if they have moved on? We don’t have time to listen to that song that friend the other day recommended us to listen or that article they shared with us thinking we would appreciate the genius of it, the book we borrowed from that friend who never minds is still lying on the bedside table because ‘who has time?’

Why has time become such a lMirage.fulluxury all of a sudden that we don’t have? We have money but no time to spend that money, and honestly when I say this, I’m not exaggerating. We keep on procrastinating, on planning that trip, reading that book, cooking that great recipe, baking that cake, eating healthy and working out, gifting that whatever our friend liked the other day but couldn’t buy, what do we have if we don’t have time to give ourselves and our loved ones?

We are going after all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. Most of us. Career plans. New job. Progression. Happily ever after. It’s just a mirage. What we are, where we need to be, is here. Right where we are. And that is where we need to make amendments.




PS: It’s a rumbling, only a slight reflection of a chaotic mind. 

Artists and Romantics in Retrospect

Author’s note: This piece of writing is more of a catharsis process and in no way compares myself to any of the esteemed artists—current, from the past or those who are yet to come. Everyone has a right to disagree and this piece does not represent the point of view of all artists. This model of writing is just a way of expression. 11133838_10155450122540080_5814690203861610219_n Artists are the most romantic of all people. And by ‘romantic’ I don’t mean the lovey-dovey romantic. The best definition I’ve read of ‘a romantic’ so far is in Tell The Wolves I’m Coming Home, where Uncle Finn explains the same to his niece June, “A romantic, you barnacle, not the lovey-dovey romantic. Being a romantic means you see what’s beautiful. What’s good. You don’t want to see the gritty truth of things. You believe everything will turn out right.” And perhaps that’s what is wrong with us. The ultimate flaw. We believe that everything will turn out right in the end. We beautify the simplest of things. We see beauty in the ugly. We glorify the dead. We exaggerate the darkest of nights and brightest of days—the ones that may be blinding other people. While others may just be having a cup of coffee, we portray the scene as ‘sitting by the unclean window on a cloudless dark night, stirring the cup of foamy coffee thinking about a thousand things that he might have said, but instead having remained silent and regretting later as always.’ Artists observe a little more, ponder a little more and regret a little more—perhaps. And perhaps that is why their final pieces, their works of art are usually great pieces of fiction and fiction only—little to do with reality. For them when two young people are in love they have to enjoy a cup of coffee each, sitting by the fireplace and watching a movie, or having an intense conversation when they can totally sit in the same room, work on their own while silently communicating—there is nothing better that explains love between two people who could tolerate each other’s silence. We complicate things, simple doesn’t work. We have to make farewells painful, sunsets excruciatingly beautiful and sunrises underrated. Our writings and paintings try to capture the originality of the seasons and various times of the day according to the moods of the characters we are in. But we forget how the Creator has made it rain the same way for the one who has gotten his heart broken and the one who has just fallen in love. Artists try to shade every piece of their art with their romantic mood they are in—filling their own colors in sadness and in mourning, brightening the mood of happiness and celebration—but maybe people don’t need colors to express themselves of how they feel. Maybe they only need to say it, sing a song that relates, dance it out or even store that memory in a corner of their heart. Artists like to express themselves in their originality—there lies the real problem. Also we think in retrospect. That is our favorite tense—when things have been said, steps have been taken, regret has come over and everything has passed, we reflect. Things look more beautiful in retrospect—harmless, painless, black and white. Clear as crystal. Only we couldn’t see those things as clearly back then. And building on this phenomenon, we leave it up to fate that things would turn out right. They always have. They always will. We question, ‘how bad could it be?’ Certainly if it’s not as bad, it has to be beautiful.