My father.

The house was warm.

The flooring was wooden, unlike the marble tiles in the other rooms. It wasn’t huge, but the ceilings were high and the fireplace seemed to take up an entire wall. There was always a fire burning. No sharp flames though; only burning coals that perpetually radiated the most satisfying heat that enveloped the other rooms.

The house was sweltering.

The floor was still wooden and there were steps leading up to the room too. The door was heavy and made a colossal clamour when banged shut. The fireplace was smaller, but the flames leapt up and out, licking the cherry-red bricks that lined the hearth and leaving behind a film of despairing ash. Drapes and oxygen were no match for the hungry blaze that devoured everything in its wake.

The house was ablaze.

it was purgatory. Furniture ignited and burned with a resentful, almost vengeful anger. No one could understand why. The inferno roared while the house cried, until there was nothing left. Rain fell on the rubble with a vehement sizzle and life reached out from under the wood.

But when the day grew dark and the moon sank, the floorboards glowed.

 

 

 

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To: My Fellow Introverts

Its 11 p.m. and I just got back from what I was hoping would be a significant improvement in my social life. You know how it is, all the right people are going and it’s the perfect opportunity to finally talk to them. You know they’re your kind of people and you’re pretty sure they’d like you. Of course, you’d actually have to speak to them first. Oh crap. Speaking. To new people. Your heartbeat quickens and you spend the rest of the day anxious about whether or not your tongue will choose to comply with your brain in the evening. Nah, you tell yourself, I’ll be fine, I’ll wing it and break all the records for most friends made in one night. Like an exam you haven’t studied shit for, but are still 100% hopeful you’ll ace. Its not going to happen. You ask your friend if she really wants you to come, cuz duh, you’re only going for her. High-key hoping she forces you, she says instead ‘Its totally up to you.’ Sigh.

Driving there, you’re pretty sure you want to turn around, and are fervently praying you’ll develop a rash on your face (yes, a rash, idk, my brain is weird, but isn’t that the whole point of this post). But that damned idealistic, overly-optimistic part of your brain is getting more excited the closer you get.

You finally reach (you want to keep driving forever and ever) and go, lets fuckin conquer this party, Khad. Cross the threshold, see The People, gulp, sit down, take out your phone and start scrolling through Instagram even though you’re out of data and your feed hasn’t refreshed from last time. Maybe you should say hi to people you vaguely know, yeah, lets do that, okay, HIii,,……. maybe you should speak up, yeah no, okay maybe when you make eye contact, why isn’t he looking at you, hey look here so I can say hi to you. nope. You don’t say Hi to him the whole evening. Ah look! You spot a Comfort Friend! (Comfort Friends are a specie that just somehow have the ability to let you be you, even if you don’t know them very well. I don’t know how to explain it, but you know when you’ve come across one). Friend hello talk to me and include me in this conversation and lift me up and tell them about how I was the inventor of the Colgate joke. Comfort Friend is having a bad day. Its okay.

You sit in your designated seat and don’t just listen to the others talk loudly and freely, but SMILE!! YOU SMILE!!!!!! Because that’s the only way you don’t come off as a boring bitch. You smile so goddamn much, your face starts hurting and eventually your head, and for some reason you want a cigarette even though you don’t smoke. Why is Friend so selfish!!!!!! Cant she see you’re uncomfortable and that you’re being, well, not you? Look at me!! You cant even say anything to her because you’re scared of being annoying and clingy and needy and you’re not her little sister?! Let her have fun without feeling like she has to take care of someone. Strangely, you don’t even want to leave, because of the prospect of what the evening might still have to offer. Ugh. Give up already.

The band starts playing and phew, instead of examining every line on your hands, you can finally pretend like you’re lost in the music. At least you look like you’re doing something. Right? You see the person you came for, sitting alone too, on his phone. Maybe he’s genuinely using it, orrrrr is he scrolling through his camera roll? Physical Barrier= none. Emotional Barrier= zilch. Nothing To Talk About Barrier= hell no, you know you two have so much in common from all the times you’ve stalked his social media. THEN WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM. I think its how to go about it. You cant just go up to him and say hey I loved your Instagram story about your hike the other day. You should seriously invest in a GoPro instead of having to worry about dropping your phone in waterfalls. In fact, I’ll buy one for you, because I fucking love your content and I think you’re super talented and don’t take this the wrong way, but I want you to mentor me, I’ll be like your shadow and I just want to learn from you and leach off of your brilliance because all I’m trying to do is develop myself, if that makes sense and- oh there’s pepperoni pizza for food.

The food relaxes your tensions considerably, and you purposely dump more than a couple of sachets of sugar in your chai, in the hopes that it’ll make you more chatty. It does, and you’re funnier and the control on your verbal filter loosens. You’re talking absolute crap now, and this isn’t you, but it doesn’t matter because YOU’RE TALKING. It lasts all of ten minutes.

People are leaving now, and the anxiety is back, coupled with regret and self-loathing. You had the perfect opportunity to make friends, but you blew it. You had the perfect opportunity to show them you were cool and interesting and funny and fuck there’s so much about you that you wish they knew and you know they’d like.

You come home and are completely and utterly emotionally drained. Sounds dramatic but you recount the evening on your blog, numb and stoic. You just want to sit by yourself, lock your room door and make your roommate disappear. The thought of having to interact with people at university tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. exhausts you like you’ve just run a marathon. How do the others do it? What do they talk about? When you look at them, its just this haze of… talking. You don’t know what they’re saying, if their speech has any substance (it probably does, you know they’re cool people) , but shit you wish you were like that. Maybe if you were prettier, maybe if you didn’t cover your head. You know you can look fucking stunning with your hair down. Would people make more of an effort with you then? You’re so envious and awe-struck and sad and there’s just one word for you. You’re a mouse. You always will be. No matter how many uncomfortable situations you throw yourself into, You cant escape this part of yourself. With your best friends and family*, you’re the version of you that you like, that you are.

I fucking love me. I love my personality and my intensity and the fact that I’m passionate about nearly everything in life and also my ability to just… simmer down and shut up. I’m also discovering that I’m insanely impulsive sometimes and I like how one cappuccino has the power to turn me into someone else. I do wish i was someone else, a lot of the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not boring or dull or stupid or a bitch. But what good is it if no one knows it but you?

*Not always. I’ve had my phase of family-induced anxiety too, but that’s a whole other post.

Exploiting Life

I pulled her eyelid up, revealing an eyeball that had rolled to the back of her head. She was so vulnerable, so defenceless, so generous. Her beckoning arms were spread out on either side, inviting me to loot and plunder. ‘Take whatever you want, take it all,’ her slightly parted mouth seemed to be saying and I was suddenly hungry. Ravenous, even. My stomach grumbled, as if apprising my brain to only be courteous and take what was being offered. No, it wasn’t just the polite thing to do- it was my right.

So much to give, so much to take, I drew out of her like a leech. Exploring, dabbling, lingering. Each action fed me, enriched me, but my hunger remained unappeased; the greedy thing wanted more with every bite. She was smiling now, and her eyelids would sporadically flutter. Soon, I grew tired and full. My appetite that had seemed insatiable vanished as hastily as it appeared. Had it been quenched or was I just indolent?

I unsuccessfully stifled a yawn and my eyes grew heavy. The pace of my breaths slowed and evened out. My heart was replete, there was no urgent matter to attend to. I stretched my arms out and surrendered myself wholly. I had everything to give, but nothing to lose.

 

 

(Disclaimer: after proof-reading this I realised it sounded a lot like rape. Not intended. Lol. Almost decided not to post it.

Incase you missed it, ‘she’ is a metaphor for life. I want to plunder life, explore everything it has to offer, and when I’m done, let someone else leach off what I’ve learned.)

Loss

Some say they’ll stay forever, they don’t want to go

They don’t want to lose you, that they would be stupid to

They’re sorry they haven’t been around much, but promise they’ll be better

They miss you.

But you understand, they’ve been busy, it’s okay, we’ll catch up some time

And you do. They don’t go, they stay, because even though you may not talk for weeks,

They still care, and hope to God you still do.

Others don’t even try. It’s not that they don’t want to; there’s just nothing to say.

Besides, they’re too busy. You’re the last thing they would worry about. There is nothing to worry about. Right?

My Love Affair with the Moon

It’s strange. Really strange. Some might call me a lunatic (get it??) but I pretend the moon is my guardian. My best friend. Whenever I feel alone (that’s almost always at night), I look outside my window and there it is, beaming (literally) at me.

I’m going through a lot of changes in my life right now; my likes, interests, responsibilities, perspectives, and specifically my transition from school into college. I even went to a dinner where I met my friends’ friends. Meeting new people is not my forte. Oh no. I get really awkward and uncomfortable. In situations like these, my head gravitates up almost instinctively, in search of the moon. If I’m lucky enough to be under the night sky, as I was that night, I’ll find it protectively above me, promising to always be familiar in a foreign situation. My constant.

But why am I so obsessed? Maybe its the notion that while the moon is sunk in the never-ending oceans of space,  it is still our own. It pulls and pushes the tides, thereby regulating weather and maintaining consistent climatic patterns. It controls cycles and guides instincts. Our Earth is infinitely dependent on this mass of grey rock that was a result of chance cosmic impact.

IMG_2911

Here’s a shot I got of the supermoon through my telescope on the 10th.

Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?

 

I really wish I wasn’t afraid of people. I don’t want to fear murderers, or rapists, or abusive husbands, or just people who laugh, people that don’t listen, specially people that won’t see. If I hear sounds at night, I don’t want my heart rate to quicken, I don’t want that sickly feeling in my stomach, and I really don’t want to feel helpless.

 

Music

‘Musica Universalis’ is an ancient philosophical concept that suggests that the balance and harmony of the universe creates a form of music, not necessarily audible. Something about the certainty of the sun rising from the East and silently setting in the West every single day produces a kind of symphony. The planets circling the sun, each in it’s own orbit, coordinated in perfect unison. The alternating of seasons, how each develops into the next. Everything seems to be in equilibrium, with not one element disturbing another.

Complimenting this perfect balance are the audible sounds of nature. The whistling breeze dancing through the leaves on a summer’s day, shaking the trees like rattles. The birds chirp louder in excitement, and the woodpecker knocks on the tree trunk faster. The flies buzz noisily around the flowers and a stream trickles nearby.

Somewhere else, a volcano erupts with a tremendous roar, as it spews out scorching lava that burns everything in it’s way. The ground trembles violently and things catch fire, then explode with loud booms. Its deafening, and one can feel the impact of the sound waves miles away. The trees ignite and burn with a savage crackle as the fire eats through them.

Rain falls and puts out the fire with a vehement sizzle. It gets heavier and heavier until it reaches an ear splitting crescendo- like the sound of a hundred chain-saws buzzing. Thunder rumbles, like they’re shifting furniture upstairs, and a flash of lightning illuminates the sky for a moment. It is the racket of nature.

Later, it is silent. The full moon makes sure of that. There is no sound at all. Everything is asleep. But then the chirping starts. The chorus of the crickets. Their song. It’s about the moon. The moon helps them find their way home.

At the rim of a continent, the waves gently lap against the shore. They swish and sigh and then burst when they collide with the rocks. The seagulls overhead squawk and complain while the fish underwater silently gulp water. The wind is loud and it roars angrily. A mile away, a rocket soars high into the sky and explodes into glitter with a bang. The people on the ground ‘ooh’ and ‘aahh’ and say ‘wow, wow, wow’. They sound like the sheep in the countryside and the dog that rounds them up. The fireworks crackle like the orange autumn leaves under a child’s foot.

A beetle scurries across the wooden floor, it’s gentle staccato sounding like the light patter of morning dew on the tin roof. A soul murmurs secrets and a brain throbs with a thousand voices that just can’t sing. A heart beats with a lub and dub, sending the rhythm in pulses across the universe, harmonizing with sounds to compose the symphony for Nature’s Music.

I feel like I’m in space. Black nothingness abundantly decked with stars, glittering, dazzling. Or diamonds scattered on black velvet, shining with a beautiful richness. There are so many, some in clusters, others evenly spread across the horizon, and their combined effect is a breathtaking sight that leaves me literally starry-eyed. But they aren’t stars, nor are they diamonds. They’re lights. And the backdrop isn’t space or velvet; it’s the Kashmiri mountains stretching up to the night sky, blending, merging and becoming one, allowing the lights to form constellations in the star-less sky.

My Favourite Place

For me, taking a liking to a place usually means it has offered me comfort and a refuge. A haven that de-stresses me and provides an escape from my reality and takes me to another world (no, i’m not talking about LSD).

A little bell tinkles as I push through the doors. A familiar, musky smell hits me.The smell of books. Old books.

Mr Old Books, a tiny book store squeezed in a line of shops and restaurants has been my favourite place ever since I learned to read. Inside is a room exploding with a myriad of worlds, all embedded in the pages bound by hard backs, or paper backs. This shop is my second home; a place where I can browse through piles of books for hours. The books are sorted into their respective genres carelessly, but i don’t mind; I like chancing upon a book that I usually wouldn’t notice.

The shopkeeper sits behind his desk. He’s a friendly chap but is usually too absorbed in his own book to take note of me, as I sit on the warm floor, surrounded by books. (It’d be the perfect job, wouldn’t it? Getting paid to sit in a room with thousands of books. Ahh.)

What I like most about Mr Old Books is how every well-thumbed book has been previously possessed by a complete stranger (I once found a train ticket stub to Haymarket, Scotland in one, probably used as a bookmark by the previous owner!!) I guess it just makes me feel like I’m part of a much greater universe.

Sometimes I’m just really grateful for books because they literally make you forget your worries and care about some fictional character’s instead. You just become so involved in the story, it’s like you’re Harry Potter in HP and The Chamber of Secrets when Voldemort takes him into the past and no one can see or hear him. That’s what it’s like. In my head at least. (I swear I don’t do LSD)

One of my favourite poems

Continuum

by Allen Curnow

The moon rolls over the roof and falls behind

my house, and the moon does neither of these things,

I am talking about myself.

It’s not possible to get off to sleep or

the subject or the planet, nor to think thoughts.

Better barefoot it out the front

door and lean from the porch across the privets

and the palms into the washed-out creation,

a dark place with two particular

bright clouds dusted (query) by the moon, one’s mine

the other’s an adversary, which may depend

on the wind, or something.

A long moment stretches, the next one is not

on time. Not unaccountably the chill of

the planking underfoot rises.

in the throat, for it’s part the night sky empties

the whole of it’s contents down. Turn on a bare

heel, close the door behind

on the author, cringing demiurge, who picks up

his litter and his tools and paces me back

to bed, stealthily in step.