The Final Conquest

porch-1034405_1280

Perched on my favorite rocking chair in the wooden porch of my small house, I was swaying back and forth. A backward stroke of the chair, and dark shadows engulfed my charcoal skin. The magic of physical laws brought it back to its initial position and sparkling sunshine made my face glisten. Darkness after light… Light after darkness…

I closed my eyes to relish my victory. Years of protests, neck-breaking efforts, and innumerable insults had borne fruit. We were free at last. Screens of every gadget I owned were live with a single news.

“The feminist movement has destroyed misogyny once and for all. The last group resisting the change surrendered yesterday night after a heated debate between the two leading parties ended unanimously in the favor of women.”

It was a bittersweet moment for me as a thousand disturbing images flashed across my eyes.

Beautiful feminine features made hideous by the pettiness of male ego. Uncountable pregnancies aborted forcefully and an even greater number of forced pregnancies. People tearing one girl’s scarf and forcing it on another. Glass ceiling, domestic abuse, honor killings, acid throwing, marital rape, sexist comments, and varying shades of sexual harassment. I had seen it all, experienced it all, and fought it all.

It was now a decade ago when one of my male colleagues had said it in defense of his gender but the low blow still stung me. We were having our usual lunch break discussions about the increased surfacing of rape case. He said, “If somebody has a key and they find a keyhole, they insert it in there. That is natural.”

I’d wanted to smack his deplorable face but I acted exactly how my gender did when angered and triggered; calmly but sarcastically. “That means if I find a bat somewhere, I can hit your balls real hard with it because you know it’d be very natural too,” was my tart retort.

Looking back at it, I was burning with anger at the audacity of that piece of sh** when a small crowd disturbed my solitude by blocking the sun. There were other lights though — flashes and cameras. “Ma’am we want to interview you.” Journalists! I thought.

“Go ahead!” I relented.

“Do you think men are your enemy?” asked a kind looking bespectacled man. His glasses were slipping down his nose after every other second.

“No!” I declared, “My biggest supporter throughout the movement had been a man. In fact, it was his brilliant idea that proved to be the stepping stone of our success.”

“Do you mind sharing that secret with us?” he asked visibly thrilled at the opportunity of asking me questions and even more so at getting prompt responses.

“I would love to,” I replied, “It’s not a secret, really. Do you know how the biggest reform came when men began supporting our cause and safeguarding our rights?” I saw him nodding vehemently, which was a dangerous risk, considering the condition of his horn-rimmed glasses.

“The man I am referring to had advised me to teach the womenfolk to raise feminist sons and that I believe did the trick. The opposing party called us whores and the poor men who stood for us were called impotent or gay. My great mentor used to say gays and impotent men are much better humans than these pathetic excuses of men who lack even basic decency I’d chop off my dick any day if it made me such an arrogant bastard.”

“You talk about your mentor a lot. Why didn’t you ever reveal his identity?” It was a different journalist this time.

“I didn’t want him to get hurt,” was my curt reply.

“Does him being a man bother you ever?” asked the guy with the slippery glasses. Good question, I thought. Something bothered me about my mentor but his gender was not it.

“No!” I replied, “Feminists believe in equality and not female Supremacy. We advocate humanity.”

They wanted to ask more questions, but I had had enough and thus excused myself. I retreated inside my home. I needed to talk to my mentor.

“Why am I a man?” He asked me.

“You know why,” I said evasively.

“No, I don’t,” he said, “Is it because the world wouldn’t listen to a woman?”

“No, not the world! The women wouldn’t have listened to another woman,” I admitted reluctantly.

“So you created a visage of a man who ‘helped’ you?” He said in a fake deep voice.

I nodded and said “The world had ingrained women to listen to men for so long. Therefore, I used our psychology to bring us some happiness. I could have saved them from men but how was I to protect them from themselves?” My eyes brimmed.

“It’s all right! You did great,” My reflection told me in a voice that was a distasteful mockery of Liam Neeson.

I smiled at it. No longer was he a figment of female imagination — a man who understood.

Image Source

Originally published on Medium

Advertisements

Tell Me a Story…

Hello peeps!
Sorry for being MIA for so long. But the promise of a story still stands. It is not much of story and more of a jumbled up thoughts of a disturbed mind on a long sleepless night.
Without further ado, here you go:

The Miracle of a Dream

d1t57vk-42ba1991-a780-4216-b7e5-eeec082240e8

She was standing in a desert. Everything was barren just like her life. The meager plants had turned inside themselves for sustainability. The few rodents and reptiles had hidden under the many layers of glistening sand. Only the sun was abundant, busy drying each grain it touched. Why, she thought, even my dreams are empty.
A boy tapped at her shoulder. She looked around, slightly startled.
“What are you looking for?” He asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied truthfully.
“But,” he said with a smile, ” You never not know.”
“You mean to say we always know?” She said.
He shook his head. “No. That is not what I meant.”
When she continued to look baffled, he ventured, “Always knowing would be like knowing exactly what needs knowing. What I meant is you are never completely clueless. There will be some hunch…intuition.”
She nodded.
The next morning she woke up fresh. Her mind was made. She knew what to do. It was all clear in her dream. She will just trust her instincts!
She did. She told the one the one thing she had wanted to tell him.
Like all her hunches, decisions, and wishes, this was also wrong… terrible and utterly wrong.
‘Who should I trust if I can’t even trust myself?’ She thought. A life full of uncertainties was ahead of her, with death, the only certain eventuality!

Do read what Midu, my partner in literary crime has to say. Let us know what you think about our ramblings in the comments.

“A Life of Pretense” 

10732080996_3b9d641c68_o

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?

Image Source

 

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.

Image Source

You are not Welcome!

“Let me in for once”, came her voice from behind the closed door.

“No, you won’t stay for long. I will be sad again”, I responded from my side.

“I won’t leave you this time” was her empty promise.

“That’s what you said the last time. Before you left me for another”, said I.

“So you refuse to enjoy this one moment of ecstasy for the fear of losing it later”, She asked one last time.

“Yes, for you can’t lose something if you don’t have it in the first place.” I philosophized.
Her retreating steps, I heard with delight.

Happiness was moving away from my door.
With relief, I sighed.

Image Source

The Miracle of Literature — A Painful Plath

The Cover of my Copy of “The Journals of Sylvia Plath”

Until I had not read Sylvia Plath’s work, I had no idea that poetic thoughts could be realistic too. I had first met her in the year 2014. I was staying at my cousin’s place and she happened to have a copy of “The Bell Jar” — Plath’s semi-autobiographical piece of fiction. When I say I met her, it is not just a figure of speech. Reading her work is akin to meeting her in person.

2014 had been a tough year for me. I was being introduced to the sound that shattering dreams make. Those who are familiar with it would know how horrifying it is. While those, who like me have grown accustomed to it, might even agree that once you get used to it, this sound actually grows on to you. You find it to be a fine composition. In fact, it’s my favorite genre of music now and I have Sylvia to thank for it too.

I found out that reading her books was like watching pain turn into a physical entity — something that you can touch, feel, and watch as it shrieks with pain. You sense the hair on your hand standing on end, one follicle after another, as you read one word after another. Thus, to say the least, “The Bell Jar” had had quite an effect on me. Yet, 3 years later, I was only left with just a minuscule portion of its original enormity — just a minute sensation and not the whole torture of being torn apart from limb to limb.

As a result, I, rather unwittingly opened the copy of “The Journals of Sylvia Plath” that my evil friends had presented to me as a gift.

The rest, as they say, was history and it was quite full of tortures too. I have not even read one fourth of this insanely enormous book. Yet, ever since I have started it, each night, I end up soaking my pillows with a storm of tears.

How an 18-year-old-girl, that also dead for quite a long time, can have this kind of effect on you is nothing if not a miracle of literature. I believe it to be the power of words that are so intricately merged with emotions that telling one apart from the other becomes quite impossible.

This article is, but my tiny effort, to pay homage to a tortured soul who helped me accept my sorrows and my pains as my own.

P.S: If you are not already a fan of hers, here is an excerpt from the book to make you thirst for more (why should I suffer alone):

“Why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?”

“to learn that while you dream and believe in Utopia, you will scratch & scrabble for your daily bread in your home town and be damn glad if there’s butter on it”

“to know that millions of others are unhappy and that life is a gentleman’s agreement to grin and paint your face gay so others will feel they are silly to be unhappy, and try to catch the contagion of joy, while inside so many are dying of bitterness and unfulfillment…”

An attempt to copy the cover of “The Journals of Sylvia Plath (Yes I draw like a child would draw)

Riddle Me Out!

Image Source

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!

An Emergency Situation

Image Source

Fight or flight,
Are the two options,
Nature’s MCQs supply. 
But I see two more;
All of the above.
None of the above.
My pencil hovers,
On the latter two.

For I don’t want to fight
But flying away won’t work, right?
Thus I stay,
Dangling between the two.

I pumped myself to fight,
“Fly, fly!”, the inner me cried.
So I was ready to take off,
Far away from the sight of war.
“Come here, you coward”
I heard myself shout.

Now I stand
With one hand
evolved Into a spear.
On the other hand, gathers,
Uncountable feathers.

Some days I fight as well as fly,
Some days, however I just sit and cry.

On Imagining Sisyphus Happy =D

Too brave to die;

Too coward to be alive,

I am Sisyphus, with my stone.

Can’t despair; can’t hope.

Not knowing, not aware,

Still conscious of the flavors

I devour.

One thing I tell you; Once and for all.

My decisions- all two of them,

Do not concern me

or my soul.

Sisyphus (the stone feller as I am called down here in the underworld) is at your service. I know you know me. I am often discussed among the intellectuals. This reminds me of an existential joke I had heard somewhere:

What does one drunken philosopher say to another?

Am I, who I am?

And

Who am I? If I am!

That was not really a joke and by the expressions on your face, I can tell my ramblings are not having any impact on you. I promise that these were so eloquent in my head, this morning when the demons were talking to me. We had a nice chat but there was no coffee or tea and they were talking so fast. I had nothing with me to note down the wisdom they were bestowing on me except my lousy brain. How much one can rely on an organ, though?

This reminds me of another important point. You all have spent enough time on the earth to know how fragile the organs are. You do not need Sisyphus to break this one for you.

Do I see any acknowledgement on your faces? Very little! Let me explain. By the way, I do like the sound of my own voice so I will just ignore those hands rising and those faces shining with new found intelligence. I tend to have that effect on people.

Not really though I am a loser and this is the first time anyone is even listening to me. They adore that handsome French philosopher too much to hear me out. Being a philosopher, he must be insane too. Handsome and insane! The generous atrocities of God sometimes do baffle me.

Forgive the intrusion of my hooligans of thoughts. Let me continue my explanation:

You think you are special………that you are not a machine. You are a person with feelings and desires and all sorts of shit. Fascinating, right? Not really!

Here is a case for you:

Recall that friend of yours-the girl who was always brimming with energy. Just suppose a persona if you never had the experience of meeting someone like that. Anyways, lately she had not been feeling well and one day she discussed her ulcers with you. Trusting you enough to tell you that one of her organs was not functioning properly and a part of the ulcer in that organ had been cut and sent to a lab for a biopsy. Admit that underneath the several layers of sympathy, you will find yourself pondering over a new thought; are we humans or just a sample to be tested?

The answer is simple you are nothing but a set of mechanisms! You are part of a system and you shall be destroyed with its destruction.

Meanwhile, you are, too coward to live…………too brave to die!

“Roll the bloody stone, Sis!”

Shit! That’s him — my tormentor!

You see the sole purpose of his existence is to torture me. “Do this, do that”, is all he has ever said. In fact, there is never ‘that’. It is always this — rolling stone from one side and then from the other.

I will let you on my secret though. Sometimes, I decorate the stone with the color of my choice. It brings me as close to happiness as is ever possible in my case. Sometimes, I challenge myself and roll the stone fast enough to break my own previous record and the adrenaline rush accounts for some satisfaction in my stone rolling life. There are other times, when I just take delight in working at one push at a time. I cover my journey in a leisurely manner enjoying the uniqueness of my task without missing a thing from my surrounding. I have that much control at least, I think. That is exactly when my tormentor comes again with his shouts of, “Roll it baby and roll it fast.”

That does not make me happy at all!

And yet, there had been situations in my life, when I was allowed to continue shoving the stone as per my desires, without any interruption. You wouldn’t believe how terribly bored I was!

That was when I would look for him because I missed the troubles he gave me. I had no idea what pain he would throw my way next but as long as there was some unpredictability around me, I knew I could live.

This is how my monotonous task is driven.

You ask me if I am happy?

I say, “Yes and no.”

You ask next,

“What do I want?”

But I do not know.

Chaos, my friend is the natural course and way,

The desire to classify is yours yet age old.

It had travelled from one single chromosome.

I swear it was all straight,

And made sense,

but only in my head.

Now that it’s on paper,

It’s worthless and dead!

But

You must know,

I am Sisyphus,

And so are you.

Together,

we roll the stone.

Too brave to die;

Too coward to live.

Too tired to enjoy;

Too alive to give up.

Originally published on Medium 

As the Pink turned White

 

spirograph-1982563_640 The other day he was telling me that I could count on him. 

What a liar!

I have seen death. I know you can’t rely on mortals. No matter how nicely the fabric of their intentions is stitched, there comes a time when it is ripped off.

Sometimes, it fades too, that is, before its guaranteed time. It’s better to just throw the garment off. There is no point of wearing something so outdated and out of fashion. Something that has lost its hue.

 

“I accept you with all your shades”, he had said.

 

“What about the darkest of them ?”, I had asked.

 

“Especially those”, had been his reply.

 

I had refrained from making a similar vow to him. I was not going to accept the color of the morgue.

 

“What is the colour of the death?”, his daughter had asked me years after his demise, “Must be Black or Grey”, was her answer to her own query.

 

I had shaken my head violently. “It is the brightest pink”, I had almost shrieked, “because it stands out.”

 

She hadn’t heard me though. Apparently, death was colorless–transparent! She could not see me. Her dead mother.