True Warriors

The things unsaid,
The words unheard,
The silence never felt
And tears unshed.

The whispered apologies,
Unseen grief,
Hiding behind the curtain
Of a beautifully hollow smile.

Read between the lines.
Read and unread,
To try to decipher
The hidden meaning.

Look for the signs,
Behind those grieving eyes,
For wounds and bruises,
The ones they try to hide.

The scars that mar their bodies,
A testimony of their survival.
These are the true warriors.
Fighting the monsters under their beds,
Both metaphorical and literal.

image

Doing my bit this women’s day. Speaking up against domestic violence. Please do your bit. In whatever way you can. Happy Women’s Day.

Learning to Love Myself

Love, I was starting to think that with you gone, I was gone, too. I wasn’t wrong to think that. I really am gone. The me who laughed for you, who wrote for you, who cried for you, who lived for you is gone. She died the day you left. But I found myself a new identity. Lost under all those layers that I put on to please you, there was a girl who yearned to live for herself, who wanted to sing and laugh and dance and write without having a care in the world. When you left, all those layers fell apart and the girl timidly stepped out into the world; Lost, scared and broken. But with each day that passed, she found her strength and learned to live. With your memories, without you. Until one morning, the pain felt bearable and she smiled, a real smile. And she laughed and cried and sang and danced. For herself. For the day you left, love, she learned to love herself. I learned to love myself.

A Forgotten Name.

She’d write her name with yours,
Write and rewrite.
Her name, it looked beautiful in ink,
Not really understanding your betrayal,
While in reality,
It bled.
Just like her heart.
The longer she stared at the ink,
The more red it seemed to get,
Until it too turned into blood,
Seeping through
The pages of her journal.
The pages of her life.
Stained and ugly,
She tried to wash those stains away,
Not really caring
That she was washing away her existence,
Until only a smear remained
On the leather-bound exterior.
It tells stories now,
Of a how a life was exhausted,
While washing away the stains
Left by betrayal.
Of how, even on paper,
She wouldn’t let there be any signs
That’d mar your name.
Of how, she loved you so much,
She washed away her name from yours,
Just so it’d continue to look beautiful.
To be beautiful.
Without her ugly existence.
image

The Unknown

You fall,
The abyss, so far down below,
Just a tiny speck of black paint
On a blank canvas.
The fall, it seems endless,
But you’re tumbling down
Faster than ever.
The dormant butterflies,
Quite rudely awoken,
Flapping their monstrous wings,
Roaring like a lion in anguish.
The nearer you get,
The larger it seems to grow,
A monster waiting open-mouthed,
Its razor-sharp teeth proudly on display.
Your heart beats wildly,
Threatening to break free,
The fear, at the sight of those jagged edges,
Making you lose your mind.
Images flash behind your eyes.
A life never lived,
Only spent.
Meaningless existence.
The fear, it grips your heart,
Paralyses your body,
Until it is the only thing you feel.
And then comes the dreaded moment,
You land.
A thump much softer than you’d expected.
You look around, wide-eyed,
Speechless,
And then an unexpected laugh bubbles out of you,
The kind that’ll echo around you for years to come,
Where tears stream down your face,
And you find it hard to stop.
Wiping the tears, you finally realise,
The unknown need not always be feared,
For, often times,
There’s nothing but our own minds
To be afraid of.

Not a fairytale ending.

“We’re better off without each other.” Six words and it took two years for her to gather all the courage to utter those and for the first time in forever, she wanted him to disagree with her. “I think so too.” Four words and she could feel her heart cracking again.
“I found someone. We might get engaged soon.” Another crack. This one much bigger, much more painful. She smiled. “Don’t you want to know about her?” Her smile grew wider, “How is she?” “You don’t want to know what she does?” She nodded, “What does she do? How is she? Tell me all about her.” With every word he spoke, she found how the girl was so much better than she ever could be. And with every passing second, it hurt more. He showed her a picture of them both, standing together. The way they both once did. And that was it. Her heart shattered, into a million tiny pieces. Time won’t heal her this time. She smiled. “Please don’t cry,” he said. She smiled wider, “I’m not. I’m happy for you.” He hugged her, she blinked, trying to not let the tears flow and closed her eyes, trying to memorise how his arms felt around her, how she fit just right against him and how his embrace never felt wrong.
She loved him. He loved her. But theirs was not to be a fairytale ending.

Love, we know.

“I’m sorry,” I say.
“I’m sorry, too,” says he.
“I love you,” he says.
“And I love you,” I reply.
“Don’t be an ass,” I say.
“Stop being a stubborn bitch,” he says.
I cry. He doesn’t.
He hurts. I hurt him more.
He is an addiction I try to run away from. I can’t.
I’m the fire he is attracted to. Despite knowing it’ll burn him. Alive.
Love, they say. Love, we say.
Love, they think they know.
Foolishness, we know.
Desperation, we know.
That need to belong. Somewhere. Anywhere.
Emotions, as raw as they come.
Honesty, the kind that kills.
Confessions, the ugliest form of intimacy.
Souls bared, metaphorical nakedness.
Hearts thumping together, limbs entangled, scratched backs, pulling hair, hurried movements, closed eyes, souls alive. Ecstasy.
Love, they say. Love, we say.
Love, they know. Love, we know.

image

Bleeding Colors.

We bleed in colors, framing our emotions in words. Leaking blue sometimes, painting melancholy. Sometimes gold, like the rays of the sun and all things bright, but more often than not, we just bleed in black and white, creating a thousand shades of grey. Trying to look at things in a thousand different perspectives.

image

What’s beautiful without a little ugly in it?

Love, they say, is omnipresent. Like air. Like God. But. A very big BUT, actually. The only way love can be omnipresent is if it’s just as ugly as it is beautiful.

I once asked someone I love, “What’s beautiful without a little ugly in it?” And he laughed. That was beautiful. We fought after an hour. I cried. He doesn’t cry. He lashed out. I lashed out more. That was ugly. That was love.

The digital age we’re living in allows us to see the world at just a touch of our fingers. Which almost always gives me a serious case of wanderlust. I love France. Paris, especially. The city of love, they call it. I always dream of closing my eyes and being stood in front of the Eiffel Tower, when I open them. Gazing up at it standing tall in all its lit up glory, wide-eyed and awestruck. That is beautiful and that is love. And then I imagine a particularly snobby French lady or an old man, passing by me and turning their noses up at my ‘foreign appearance’. That is ugly, but is that love too? Maybe it’s their love for their country, the pride that comes with it that gives them the excuse to look down upon someone just because they were different than them. Could it be so?

I see pictures of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and it brings tears to the spiritual part of me. I wish I get to pray there at least once before I die. I see the Palestinians climbing up walls and climbing through barbed wires just so they get to pray at the place that is deemed as one of the holiest. That is beautiful. But at the same time, I wonder why do the Apartheid wall and those barbed wires even exist and what gives someone the excuse to treat fellow human beings so inhumanely. Is that love too? Pride maybe? Too much pride, I’d say. That’s ugly, but they call it love.

Even when we leave the world politics and economical metaphors aside, love simply can not be omnipresent without it also being the greatest paradox out there.

Take a rose, for example, it’s beautiful. Especially when it takes on that ruby hue and is fully bloomed. You pluck it, putting an end to its existence and a thorn pricks you. Hard. Things quickly get ugly. That’s love too, I suppose. Nature’s way of showing love.

There are parents who stop their children from doing things they love and then there are parents who give their kids full freedom to go out and learn from their mistakes. Neither set of parents wants to see their child get hurt, but one of them chooses to be weak by enforcing restrictions on them, while the other chooses to be strong by letting their child fall over and over again and tending to his injuries with a smile on their face and tears in their eyes, when the kid eventually gets up. That is love. Ugly in one case, beautiful in another. But it’s love nonetheless.

“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves again.” I’m very forgetful, but sometimes, some things just tend to stay with you. This quote is one of those.

I’ve noticed things around me, things being done in the name of love, things both good and bad. Love for religion, love for money, love for fame, love for one’s family, love in its purest and most selfless form and I suppose the existence of ugly makes us appreciate the beautiful a little more. Even the best of us have a little darkness hidden inside us and the worst of us have the tiniest shard of light in our hearts, guiding us and it makes me keep thinking to myself, “What’s beautiful without a little ugly in it?”