The Fallen City

Have you ever heard the sound of your heart breaking?
I have.
It sounds like the entire city falling down
Like the walls holding up your heart gave up,
Maybe that’s why you can hear your heart thump so loud.
And on lonely nights,
You can sense a sea of hopelessness wash over you,
Drowning the fallen city
and you.
You wonder how you could drown in something that’s inside you,
when swimming had always been your favorite lesson
But maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn to breathe again
You’ll survive.
Hearts are fragile things
But I promise it won’t drown this time,
Because you’ll teach it how to fly instead.

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Ice-cream

I was just a kid when I found out the meaning of life. We were seven years old, and Alice and I had gone off cycling while having a heated argument. I was convinced that matching rubber bands and T-shirts and shoes were boring and she was indignant that I had pointed it out. In our tiny little world of right and wrongs, we hardly realized that this was the preview of what life was going to throw at us a few years from now, when we were going to be adults and fight to death trying to prove ourselves right and the other person ignorantly wrong.

So we went anyway, pedalling our way down the street till we reached an ice-cream shop. We forgot our pains for a moment of ecstasy when we looked at each other and eagerly hopped off our cycles to buy an ice-cream each. Once we had the ice-cream in our hands (mine chocolate and hers vanilla), we did not just begin to eat it, we SAVOURED it. The cool taste melting in our mouths, relaxing tensions and sore muscles in our agile bodies from cycling for too long, the flavour exploding in our mouths evoking an unbridled happiness within, and our argument being forgotten, we both laughed at each other’s messy faces, ice-cream drawn like a badly applied lipstick around our faces; we were best friends once again.

And that’s when I realized what the meaning of life was: It was all about finding the ice-cream wherever we go.

The story of the storyteller.

Seven wonders, seven wonders of the world. Seven wonders of mine, when seven wanderers set out for freedom. All seven rejoiced, looked up at the seven stars with seven prayers in their eyes. The sun from seven sides beaming at their shadows of night. As the curtains slipped from their minds of wonder, reality struck it’s thunder bolt shine. Breaking their destinies of freedom into seven pains in disguise. Each set out to find their broken pieces, with threads of hope to sew them fine.

One shed tears to the Gods and built a shrine.

The second built a house of magic and filled it with wine.

The third turned the hourglass and invented time.

The fourth found his treasure of gems stuck in rhine.

The fifth built a society and glorified his crime.

The sixth entered the scene and turned sublime.

The seventh climbed the hills to watch the Heavens burn, and built his wonder once again to turn.

The café

I wish there was a cafe where we could drink up feelings

where waiters would come to take our orders 

And we’d say, ‘I’d like one bottle of melancholy please.’

And they’d serve it with a little extra sadness served with complementary poems by the side 

because that’s their favorite, top selling combo of the week

Ranking after shots of heartbreak of course

And I’d sit here in this sad cafe and order a happy drink

A glass of love, if you’d like,

And I’d drink to your name,

glasses after glasses,

Until I was drowning in it

Once more. 

Dear Hermoine

Dear Hermione Granger,

If anybody asked me who I looked up to, I’d blurt out your name without a second thought. You made studying look cool. You made answering questions in classes look like the easiest thing in the world. You taught millions of little boys and girls who knew you understand that education is a powerful thing if you let it be yours, if you love it, if you work for it. You set an example as to what being a ‘badass’ truly means (in the cool kids terminology). For you showed us that bullying people didn’t mean being cool, being rich and showing that off didn’t mean cool either, and that when enough is enough, you taught us to STAND UP to our bullies and punch them in the face if we have to, like you did.
But you taught us a lot more than just pronouncing ‘Leviosaa’ as ‘LeviOsa’, or excelling in O.W.L’s and N.E.W.T’s or reminding us that getting expelled is worse than being killed. You taught us loyalty. To our friends, to the people we love, and to goodness. You taught us bravery. You made some pretty difficult decisions in life, but never once did you question them for your own selfish needs. You showed us that to be beautiful like Fleur Delacour might seem like a nice thing to be, but to be like YOU, now that is something else entirely. For we all know that Harry and Ron would have never made it so far without you. We all know that every Harry needs Hermione and every person in life needs someone like you by their side. And if there IS no Hermione, then maybe it’s time for us to become one ourselves.
Yours faithfully,
A nerd and
your greatest fan.
(Always)

The beast of the skies.

A loud noise boomed across the horizon and from the skies wizzed an aeroplane. I got off my cycle and looked at it, as it made it’s way. I looked at it hard, till it turned into a speck of dust. My eyes were failing me, so I looked at the bright sky under the comfort of my hand.

It trailed two streaks of white clouds as it disappeared with the stars. I got onto my bike and forced my tiny legs frantically down the pedals, in a failing attempt to reach the majestic marvel. My bike trailed down the hills clumsily, as I stubbornly continued to grasp my reach.

The front tyre gave in to the unforgiving speed of my desires. I fell down face front on a narrow stream entering a forest, wiped the mud off my face along with my hope to reach the aeroplane. I gazed at the sky for one last time, a sharp ray of light winked back at me. I smiled at myself and dragged my cycle home.

This was the first time I’d seen an aeroplane.

Parallel Universe

The day started like any other day and went on as normally as it could, before I realised something just wasn’t right. The day was way ‘too normal’. Like, if you have noticed, every day, no matter how boring it is, has something different about it. The sun shines a little too much maybe, your mother makes coffee instead of tea, the sea seems calmer, little things like that. But today, everything was absolutely the way it was supposed to be. Nothing was out of place. And that was an extremely unsettling feeling.

“Mom, is something wrong?” I asked, as she served me scrambled eggs for breakfast.

“Mm? Nothing’s wrong, sweetheart,” she said sweetly. Something about the way she said it was strange. I pushed the eggs aside and walked out of the door. She didn’t even notice me, or seem bothered. It was at that moment that I began to feel scared. My mom, on any other day would have been angry, or at the very best, disappointed. But there she was smiling sweetly to herself and going about with her daily chores like her daughter had not just shown a rare act of rebellion.

I turned around and walked further to the sound of the sea. One good thing about this place was that I could be with the sea anytime I wanted. The sea never failed to calm me. Yet, when I reached the cliff, my favourite spot, with the sea stretched out below me, I realised that even the sea was acting strange today. Except… there was a starfish a few metres from where I was standing. I released my breath. Finally there was something different about today. Maybe I was just overthinking after all.

Relieved, I stretched out my hand to touch it. But before I could touch the golden-brown starfish, it suddenly changed its colour to electric blue. I drew my hand back sharply and gasped. Could starfish do that?

“Oh, I see you’ve met my pet then,” a voice said. It was deep and husky, like a grown up man. Shocked, I looked around for the source of the sound but could see no one, except a dog sitting by the cliff. The dog looked at me with its wise old eyes as it knew exactly what I was searching for.

“Hello human, this is a rare occurrence,” said the voice again. Except… except… the voice seemed to come from the Labrador sitting in front of me.

I sprang back and yelped. “You… you can talk?” I asked, or at least, tried to ask. My voice suddenly was incoherent and only a series of repetitive noise. “Meh… meh meh meh meh?” was what it sounded like.

“Sit down,” said the dog calmly, “and don’t panic.” I tried to scream but only a series of yelps came out of my throat.

The dog sighed and trotted up to me. “I said; don’t panic.”

His gaze pierced straight into my eyes and I felt the need to listen, much like how dogs listen when we look at them and say, “Sit down.” The irony.

“You seem to have crossed this boundary line,” the dog said now that I had settled down. “The line between parallel universes, I mean. You’ve heard of them haven’t you?”

I nodded mutely.

“There are many such lines in the universe. Don’t worry, it keeps changing. Today just happened to be the day when this cliff was that line. Tomorrow it will be different, so don’t come back here expecting to see me again.”

I listened, fascinated, as he went on, “We hail from Kukur Planet in a different universe. Our world is kinder. More loving, and much less selfish. We don’t cage or enslave other beings. We are, of course, more intelligent than you humans but I’ve been told that in your paradigm, we must not reveal that, lest it hurt your fragile egos.” He paused and wagged his tail, “It has been such a long that I encountered somebody from another universe. Anyhow, it was nice to meet you, human.”

I whimpered, “Are you leaving now?” but all that came out was tiny squeaking sounds. “Aren’t you adorable,” said he, as he patted me on the head, “I almost wish I could take you home. But I need to go now. I can see the line disappear.”

I nodded, and with a sudden rush of affection, kissed him on his nose. He looked a little startled, but pleased, like how a human is when a strange dog licks him for the first time.

“Good bye human,” he said and his wise old eyes were the last things I saw before everything turned black.

**

The next time I woke up, I was in my bed, my mom looking over me worried. “Mom,” I croaked, surprised to find my voice back.

“I’ve been worried sick about you. I tried waking you up but you just wouldn’t even though you were breathing,” she said, her forehead creasing.

“So I’ve been asleep since last night? I’ve not woken up at all? Not even to… um, eat your scrambled eggs?”

“Of course not. Scrambled eggs, honey? Why, I haven’t cooked at all today. But if you want to eat, I’ll just go make them for you immediately, sweetie,” she said. She felt my head for fever. Having found that there was nothing wrong with me, except for my apparent hunger, she left the room quickly to make the scrambled eggs that I was asking for.

I put my head down in the pillow again. Had that really happened? Or had it been just one crazy, realistic dream? I could still feel the coolness of the dog’s nose when I kissed it, I could remember its rich, deep voice and envision his wise, grey eyes.

But no… how could it be real? It must have been a really vivid dream, that’s all. I was just about convinced when something caught my eye.

I had been left with something that would remind me that magic can be expected even in the most normal of days; an electric blue coloured starfish.

The old man in my mind.

A cloud of smoke was rising from the ridge across the hill, the smoke had a familiar fragrance of memories. Memories so striking, one could lose themselves to them and teleport to the ridge of their days of life. Ridges attract attention, the ridges of the body define beauty, the ridges of nature define it’s course, the ridges of the mind define it’s experience.

On the ridge an old man puffs magical clouds of realism grained with the herb of life. He looks at the stars in the sky filled with daylight, the moon peeking its head through the blue melody of sunlight. He slides the bone vessel into the pouch of the voices, as it cools down the cracks in his soul fill the interior with echos of emotions.

He stares at the moon and disappears with the clouds.

An Ode to my Past Self

I was looking through some old pictures and it suddenly took me back to my school days. Days when I was an awkward faced teenager with braces on her teeth, struggling with self confidence, and like all other teenagers, wanting to be ‘cool’ and ‘popular.’ I sigh because I was naive (who wasn’t when they were growing up?), but that’s okay, because I’m pretty sure everybody has made silly mistakes in the past, mistakes that would make them groan and laugh at themselves. 

I remember trying so hard to ‘fit in’ but I just wouldn’t, like an odd piece of a puzzle awkwardly sticking out, at least that’s how I felt. Maybe there were others who felt the same, maybe there wasn’t. The point is, I tried to deny who I really was, this incredibly book loving person and a quiet ambivert who’d use words as a form of escape, because it just wasn’t cool enough, because cool people were pretty, popular and almost always had boyfriends. 

But I laugh now, because my struggles as an awkward teenager came to pass, and I needed that to grow into the person I am today, just like my future self needs me now to turn into her later. If I could give advice to my old self, I’d probably tell her to be herself, as cliché as it is, because there IS no better way to say it.

Be yourself. Be the girl with her awkward braces. Be the girl who reads. Be the girl who takes studies seriously. Be the girl who has her silly fun doing silly things. Be the girl who sits for hours with her guitar and her classical music notes. Be the girl you are.

For when I look inside, I still have that girl inside of me, the girl who loves reading, writing, classical music and also the girl who takes her studies seriously, and still feels like an awkward face out of all the other pool of beautiful faces. The only difference now is that I love the girl that’s there, because without her love for books, how would I go for adventures all in my head? Without her love for writing, how would I ever be able to tell somebody how I feel? Without her seriousness in studies, even though that’s considered ‘uncool’ universally, how would I ever dream of repaying my parents back?

But most importantly,

without her, 

how would I ever find myself 

and the people

who love me?

The Yazidi Girls

One of the saddest things to hear is the horror stories we wouldn’t even have thought of in our wildest dreams come true. Such is the story of the Yazidi Girls that your heart is bound to break at all the cruelty this world has to offer.

I had the opportunity of meeting Ms. Mawahib Shaibani, who is an Art of Living teacher working in Syria and Iraq to provide trauma relief and support to refugees and victims of war, and other two Yazidi women of Iraq who had gone through countless struggles and sought solace in the help offered by Ms. Mawahib Shaibani.

When the ISIS attacked their village at midnight, they killed all the men and took away the children. “The girls were taken and collected in a hall. They segregated us and kept the pretty ones for the soldiers to use as their sex toys. We were raped and abused every single day,” one of them spoke. She talked of 12 year old girls who would be raped by around 20-50 men, and sometimes even more, countless times over and over again.

Yet, somewhere down the line, with the so-called ‘end’ of ISIS, these girls could escape. Unfortunately, not all of them were so lucky. Out of the 6500 girls that were captured, 3500 are still missing. “Help us,” she said, “Help us bring our girls back. Spread our stories. Let the world know.”

The very least we can do is cause an uproar in social media. Let the world know what is going on, lament over it like we did for the Paris attack, fight to get them back like we’ve fought for gay rights, get people involved like how they got involved in the #MeToo campaign, and for once, use the social media for good.

Please, we owe humanity that much.