My Entangled Thoughts

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I can’t speak for other people because their minds are not on the list of places I had checked into but my own thoughts, I have visited often. Thus, I know the questions that arrive in this desolate place I call my brain. They used to be simpler and consulting a parent, a friend or a teacher sufficed. Yet, they grew complex. I can’t say on which exact date the change happened. All I know is that now, I have queries with no answers.

The people I used to look up to are as much confused as I am. When they had no replies to my wandering abstractions, they silently accepted me as their own.

“Congratulations! You have crossed the threshold of black and white. Welcome to the Grey zone where everything is muddled up,” they informed me.

I cannot turn to them with my pleas no more.

I have learned to ignore my mind, my conscious, and its ramblings but it continues to gnaw and nag me. When the tossing and turning of these contemplations chew away a chunk of my brain, I go to Google. If natural intelligence is failing me, I try artificial intelligence. If nothing else, it kills time. Afterward, I am left with a hundred new types of hopelessness.

The familiar wave of despondency engulfs me. I smile. The exhaustion takes over my senses and I sleep. My brain, however, stays awake bringing me fresh thoughts from the realm of horror to ponder over in my dreams. Sometimes, the audacious bastard brings forth pleasant fantasies of a time to come or a few cherished moments from the times gone past. There is nothing wrong with the latter as long as you are asleep but the moment, the first surge of consciousness hits me, all the niceness melts into a sharp tinge of longing that slowly settles into my mounting melancholy.

The hustle of the day conquers my being and the cycle repeats.

Knitted cross-stitches,

Ah! Painful itches.

A spider’s web hanging,

Intricately from ceiling.

Intertwined earphones,

Decaying set of bones!

Inosculated boughs of a tree distraught.

How nasty are my entangled thoughts!

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“A Life of Pretense” 

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I laugh a lot. People take me for a jolly person. it is rather sad that 90% of my giggles are to please my fellows only. I do not restrict my insincere show of emotions to laughing. I have cried for others too. Some of my tears were genuine, others? not so much! If I ever disclosed which was which, I would risk my credibility as a human being.

Heck! I have even pretended faith. Not a long time ago, I had been into madrasas and Majalis. I had been a part of congregational prayers more often than I would like to admit; it was all action-no feeling. The one emotion, however, that I truly felt is agitation. When anxiety hit me, I was alive.

I have pretended to be alive for several years. One day, I decided I should be able to feign death. Thus, knowing it would end up in a failure, I ventured forward. I went to bed and slept. 16 hours later, I was disturbed and forced out of my bed. I couldn’t tell them I was dead for that would kill the purpose. I persuaded a doctor to admit me to a hospital, but they didn’t declare me dead either. I knew in my heart I was more dead than alive but it was easier to pose life than the demise.

Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am” so I stopped thinking, and that robbed me of my anxiety. Now, no part of me was alive, and they continued to believe in my existence!

My final thought, which is a proof I had lived once; why is the world so apt at calling your bluff of dying but not of living?

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The Demise of the Fittest

‘Super’ is what they called me
‘Magical’ was how I was described
when all failed, I was the one who survived.
I saw my fellows wither,
For they could not compete
against the changing times.
‘Unfavourable conditions,’
they cried
Then said the world ‘Goodbye!’

I endured it all,
season after season.
I grew stronger,
With every passing obstacle.
The harsh weather didn’t cut me through
And the head wind lifted me high!

It was the loneliness
that has stung the worst.
But since I had suffered a lot
and adapted according to my fate,
the nature gave me a mate.
We reproduced and multiplied!
Best of the genes, we passed on,
for my counterpart too was
a breed quite high!

Sooner than I’d liked it to be
The time to depart arrived
‘What was the point of toiling through
if at the end of it all,
I had to die?’
I philosophized.
The Reaper,however, yawned
Disnterested in my thoughts.
It had a job and I had to oblige.

My only solace after my demise:
‘I had done well in life’
There was a progeny
most likely to succeed
In the world I had left by
‘In my future generations,
I will live forever’
The consoling thought
made me smile .

In the Afterlife, I met my old colleagues
It bemused me to see them so satisfied.
I spent time watching over my kith and kin.
While those losers sat and enjoyed.
‘It is because they have no one,’
I smirked day and night.

Then it happened that shook me through.
The word for which I lived and died,
with a bang, it was destroyed.
What were my troubles for?
The extreme pains I had gotten by.
The world for which,
I had planned and strategised
Blew away
Like a puff of smoke in the skies.

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Good Night! Sleep Tight!

The advancing night was scary,

I dreaded sleep, not the nightmares really

Opening eyes to another hopeless day

Was the thought that terrified me!

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Image Source: Sadequain’s Original Work at Frere Hall, Karachi

 

 

 

Tea Strength, Birthdays, and other Depressions

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When I was a kid, my dear mother ensured I stayed away from tea. I guess, feeding milk to their children is an inherent trait in mammalian mothers, which does not go away even when the child’s suckling days are over. Like any other good mom, she force fed me a glass of milk. Being a thankless turd, what I had on my plate never satisfied me. I made faces. “It smells,” I used to complain.

Besides worrying about my health, my poor Mama cared for my happiness. Thus, she added flavor to my essential dose of lactose. Terms such as Ovaltine, Cocoa Milk, Milo, Chocolate and Vanilla Milk entered my vocabulary and the ingredients holding these names, my body. I surrendered to my dairy-laden fate but still coveted my mother’s chai.

Then I grew up a little, and she allowed me a few drops- the ones I got for dunking my rusks in her precious tea. These scarce droplets transformed into a Doodh Patti, which after passing through various dilutions turned into my first cup of a strong tea. I was 14.

It only got worse after that. With every passing birthday, the tea granules increased while the whitening agent decreased. The concentration was according to my energy requirements.

It continued that way until I hit the quarter-century plateau. After that all went downhill — three cups of strong tea a day reduced to two moderate ones. I was growing soft!

Tea, my magical potion, gave me strength. I needed the strength to fight off the obstacles that came in the way of my dreams but at 25, I found out I had none! When you lose your aspirations, the extra stimulation doesn’t do you much good. It only fuels your depression.

There was no point in consuming an exuberant amount of tea, only to lay awake at night, resting against a pillow made from the wool of anxiety, under the blanket of melancholy. As a kid, I watched a lot of Popeye-The Sailor Man. It made me wonder had Olive died, would he still eat his Spinach to defeat Brutus. I don’t think he would and I am Popeye with no Olive in my life. Brutus hit me and I couldn’t care less.

Today is May 8th, my birthday. A long time ago, this day used to awaken dancing butterflies in my stomach. Now, the butterflies are dying so silently that I don’t even feel the urge to mourn for them. I’d rather drink my diluted tea. It won’t stimulate; just sustain. Indifference has prevailed!

Blankness

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Staring at a blank paper,

I started my journey.

It was interfered at times,

With the hysterics of my words.

A few thoughts, unconcerned.

Then it was a blank screen

I stared at a while.

Key after key I pressed at times

To compose some random lines.

I am still staring though.

No words or thoughts had helped me, so.

A blank life stares back at me.

An eternal abyss, I have to see.

Rebellion

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They wanted me to rebel,

against their atrocities,

which they committed,

mainly to provoke me.

I knew they were wrong,

that they needed to be stopped,

Or Brutus would once again

finish Caesar off.

But I also knew their wants

and to rebel would be to conform.

To accept their expectations,

To give them the control.

And thus, I feigned

Indifference.

because not rebelling at all

Was my rebellion.

Inescapable

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I am the thought
You thought of
When there was nothing To think.

Not because I was insignificant.
It is what matters the most,
That a coward like you is afraid of.

I was a part of you.
And you preferred others over yourself.
So you let me wither away.

Remove the appendix
Its useless, you’d thought.
This appendix, however, was the only immunity you had.

The Plague got you
in the end.
And I am glad.

Mutual Consent

Hey!
Let’s make a vow.

To break the one,

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We’d agreed we’d never break.
Let’s shatter into a million pieces,
the promise of never letting go!

 

What do you say to it?
Giving up on each other,
once and for all!

I promise!
I won’t come back to you, tumbling,
If you give me your word,
You will never show me your face, crumbling.

I promise!
Your name, I won’t ever mention,
If you stop begging for my attention.

Erase your existence,
around my presence.
And in exchange, I promise,
Silence, eternal!

So what do you say?
Actually, no! Wait!
Don’t answer even THAT.

Originally Published on Medium

Riddle Me Out!

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And once upon a time,
I was a piece
of a jigsaw puzzle.
But not the corner one —
that is always unique.
I was more of a left mid one.
And there were many others like me.
Thus, I was
Easy to misplace.

The child to whom I belonged
Threw me away
out of neglect one day.
The sweeper swept me away
Into the dustbin, I dwelled.
Until it was time,
for the waste to be taken away.

The garbage truck
was almost at the door.
The family has put,
the dustbins in the streets
I will be incinerated, I believed.

Fate, however, had other plans
For a stray dog came running
I was stuck in a piece of meat
And was taken away by the beast.

He ran away with his prize
Took me along too on the ride.
The mad guy didn’t look around,
and crashed
straight into the truck on the road
There was a banging sound!

I was thrown away, once again.
This time I landed into a gutter
But not quite so!
For I was stuck in its grill.

Nobody paid me much heed.
Autumn, Winter, Summers,
and then Spring reached.
Coffee, ketchup, acids,
All of them, I tasted.

Then one day,
a guy came along.
He opened his zipper
and peed all over me
while humming a song.

Stinking me was still stuck.
in the grill of a dirty gutter.

Then I saw a hippie
He was walking towards me.
“What will he do?”
The thought frightened me.

He was glancing
everywhere
Up and down
Left and right
As if he was searching
for treasure trove.

‘I am not what he wants’
I thought.
Yet his gaze lingered on me
He kneeled down and picked me (?)

He whiffed and smiled
To my surprise!
In his pocket,
I was taken!

Now I sit,
as an art piece.
Considered the best
in the gallery.
The artist has made me a celebrity!