Video

Dadi’s Garden

I wanna go back 😭. I spent the first six years of my life here. This specific window led to my grandmother’s tiny garden. Every once in a while she would have it opened to tend to the plants. We both would stand on this side of the window watching the plants being watered or the guavas being picked from the guava tree. Thank you ammu for opening this gate for me that day. The rain, the atmosphere, and the vehicles on the street both heightened my emotions and brought back many beautiful memories. I am going to cherish this moment forever. And thank you for keeping dadi’s garden flourishing all throughout the years ❤️❤️, even though it has changed quite a bit…. the jackfruit tree has gotten smaller and the guava tree is no more. Even in dadi’s absence, I feel her presence every time I’m here 😌.

The Voices of Despair

Bullets flew past me as I crawled through the paddy field. I saw many fall down in front of me but I could do nothing to help but go on. I reached the bank but wasn’t sure if I should cross it. Hearing men coming my way, I slunk back into the field and waited. I stopped breathing for a minute and nine seconds in fear that they might hear me, capture me, and kill me. Nothing was left and there was no where to go. The only thing you could do was go forward and pray that you stayed alive for one more day. A group of soldiers were on the road laughing and talking in their language. Their boisterous voices were full of filth and hate. Anger boiled inside of me. I wanted to take them down right then and there, but they were too many. They heard a noise from a little ways away and followed it while I took the chance to get out of there as fast as I could.

The only way to move about was at night. It seemed as if I had been walking for miles. I was tired and my feet were cracked and dirty. My stomach growled. The road was pitch black and the moonlight wasn’t helping me any. Eventually, I lost track of the road and landed back in the paddy field when I felt a great excruciating pain on my right toe. I screamed silently for fear of the Paki cops finding me as I blindly tried to remove the thorn. Unable to, I kept on walking as my foot bled. I had no choice but to go on. I don’t know how much longer I walked but after a while, even the pain seemed to go away. After what seemed like hours, I saw something off in the distance, like a light flickering, and then it was gone. A few minutes later, I saw it again and this time I figured it wasn’t just in my head. I headed towards it and found a small house. I limped my way to a tree and wondered if I should get closer. What if the soldiers were using it as a base? But what if they weren’t? What if it was just a normal house with normal people inside? I could get help. They could tell me if they saw my family. 

Taking a chance, I limped across the yard to the front door. My heart, beating more times than I could count, stopped right there as I pushed the door open and ten thousand voices shrilled, resonating through my body and into the night.

 

^^This is a recount of my father during the Liberation War. It was about the time he became separated from his family when Pakistani soldiers stormed his village and they were forced to leave everything and flee for their lives.

Standstill

My mind sends its message

And my voice gallops,

Suddenly coming to a halt at my lips.

And it stops

unable to reach its full potential.

It stops at my lips

Because it’s terrified of your eyes,

So wide,

So vivid,

So real.

It’s scared to be heard.

It falls short and just crumbles on my tongue,

Falling out in pieces.

SORT IT OUT

It’s like my mind is telling me

BRACE YOURSELF

THE WORST IS ON ITS WAY

Deep Waters

And then it begins.
Molten lava wedged in between
The crevices of my heart,
Piercing reddish orange.
The words from my mouth stumble out,
Tripping and falling,
Causing the others behind them
To miss their step
And come to a full stop.
Twenty one and half pair of eyes
In my direction… Lying in wait.
My words take too long to recover,
But there they are.
Still.
Waiting.
I wish I too could look them back in the eyes,
All twenty one and half of them.
I wish I too could watch them as they watch me. Intently.

S   I   L   E   N   C   E

A shadowed hand strangulates
As I struggle to escape from its grasp.
I…can’t…breathe!
My lungs burn as if I’ve been running,
Far too long,
As if I’ve been held captive in a closed room,
The water slowly climbing up
My feet…
Hips…
Chin.
My hands reach out in desperation.
My hands reach out into nothingness.
Take a deep breath.
Inhale…
I can’t
Exhale…
Do this…
I can’t.
Inhale…
My breathing and talking are out of sync,
My brain can’t seem to make up its mind.
Should I breathe first,
Then talk or talk,
Then breathe first.
It tries too much.
So much…that ultimately
I’m the one who gets stuck in between.

s   i   l   e   n   c   e

Everything stops.
The eyes, the thoughts,
My words.
They stop coming forth,
But my body still doesn’t respond.
My ears steam out hot air,
My cheeks flush against
The calmness of the room.
Show me the way out.

Metal Butterfly

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I noticed my little butterfly clip holding on to my mirror today. It’s been there for the past 9 years but I always just pass by it in my mind. I remember when I first got it… A gift from ma and baba. I wore it a few times but then stopped wearing it for fear of waring it down. But that was a long time ago. But ever since we moved to a bigger house, it has been holding onto my mirror since then. I took it down today and admired its light wings on metal springs.