Monday, October 12, 2009


But I, being poor, have only my dreams.
I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

- William Butler Yeats


Seven months ago, I met a man.
He was tall, handsome, well built and possessed a quiet confidence.
As I watched him, palpable was the unspoken strength, quietly emanating from him.

Seven months later, he is now my fiancee.

I have spent hours and days with him.
I have learned vast amounts, both about him, as well as myself.

When I close my eyes,I picture his smile, slightly crooked. off-center.
A perfect foil for his personality.

I blink and my eyes rest closed once again; this time...I feel his arms.
I feel at home,safe and secure in his warm embrace.
I breath deeply and immediately am enveloped by his scent, a smell that signals to me that I belong.

In but a few days time, I will be his wife, Insha'Allah.

I have fallen in love, deeply and fully.
He is my beacon,my bastion,my anchor,my moor.
I offer my heart and my body, with a promise to work alongside him towards success in all endeavours.

Ours is a journey but just begun, one I look forward to undertaking with every fibre of my being.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Your eyes held me as a lover, I was loathe to blink lest I break that contact
Your arms rocked me as a child, one who was infinitely safe and secure
Your words soothed me to slumber, when the world and my inner self were both at war
Your pride made me feel as if I was most beautiful woman, though I was far from that

You sat on your haunches and came to a stop
I watched as you effortlessly bent down.
I couldn’t help but watch you perform that most personal of all conversations.
As your head touched the floor, I was fascinated by the practiced, measured, calm movements.

I realized that though you spoke few words, each one was meaningful.

Your spurts of energy hinted at the carefree stubborn child you’d once been.
I watched it all, I watched you … fascinated. My heart, mind and soul catalogued each new revelation replete with the emotions and minute details of each instance.

I sit here now, remembering it all. I riffle through that catalogue, patient and happy with the memories of you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Grey Matter

I wrote you a love letter on a black paper with a black crayon. I let my feelings linger in the air before they tickled my finger tips and initiated repetitious scribblings of a beating heart.

I listened to the humming of an ancient song coming from your ageless soul. You could not read my letter, you said. A blank page against a dark sky. Not even the stars would smile.

I wrote you a love letter on a white paper with a white crayon. My tongue hummed your song, the melodic buzzing filling the cold air. I dotted my i's with tiny hearts, found new meanings for overused words. What was the meaning of love, anyway?

I watched as you kicked freshly fallen snow with your bare feet. You could not read my letter, you said. A blank page against a cloudless sky. Not even the birds would fly overhead.

I'm writing you a letter on a black paper with a white crayon. The stars smile dotingly, the birds chirp unrecognizable tunes. Still, you cannot read my letter.

I suppose I just ran out of things to say.


The Fourth Go-Round

Each strand, black as night, silky in its luminescence. My fingers reach of their own volition, hungry to brush them from his forehead.

I will sing you morning lullabies
You are beautiful, and peaceful this way
I know you have to close your eyes on everyone
Let me help you, I'll sing you to sleep
With morning lullabies

- Ingrid Michaelson

The car shakes, the lights filter while we hurtle towards the numerous stops-each a destination for a traveler with his or her own story. My eyes transfix upon his face and the innocence radiating from his slumbering visage.

A flutter, a hand flung carelessly over his body.

May you always be so carefree, so effortlessly peaceful and may you be as happy and beautiful whilst awake as you’ve shown to be in slumber.

As I disembark, I turn…I look back and smile. This is the end of the road. It is the fourth year of a memory that reminds me of the loss of you.

The sun shines, the air is sharp. My eyes blink and I begin the walk towards my destination.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Peebles gleam bright and clear at the foot of my vision.

I close my eyes and re-open them. The air, crisp and clean surrounds me, The crystal purity of the lake envelops my attention.

I grasp the cold steel of the writing instrument.

I look down at the paperwork that mars my vision.

My gaze drifts and lingers on the crystalline lake. It’s quiet, restful and patient. It beckons me to come play hookie from reality; to submerge myself in the purity and acceptance that I cannot find elsewhere.

I hear the scratching and then its done. I stand up, I walk forward. I hear the rising and then the steps recede.

I close my eyes. They reopen of their own volition. It’s over.

Reality no longer interests me. I want to play hookie.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rishta Diaries-Candidate Two Part Eight

I open my eyes and I’m at a loss. I’m lying on the bed and I feel dirty. Suddenly, I remember the memory of falling down, the feeling of nausea and dizziness. I look down and realize I’ve wearing a white shirt and pants. I don’t remember changing. What’s going on?

‘I changed you after cleaning you up. Farid brought you up here and we’ve been quite worried.’

I look over and the sudden jerking motion has my head spinning. Its hard to focus as everything is wavy and the nausea is back.

‘You rest, I’ll have Priya bring up some broth.’

I close my eyes and listen as my future sister-in-law leaves the bedroom.

The next time I wake up, Imran is there. I see him standing at the foot of the bed reading over some documents.

‘What are you reading?’

‘Oh,hey! You’re awake! Let me pop out and let Farid know,’ I’m left alone as Imran leaves hurriedly.

Why isn’t Farid here? Shouldn’t he be the one I’m waking up to rather than his sister or his lawyer?

The door opens, I see Farid walk in.

‘Good evening sleeping beauty.’

‘What time is it?’

I attempt to sit up and immediately my vision blurs.

‘Lay back down. No need to be a superhero.’

‘You know your attitude is starting to wear on my last nerve.’

In response, all I get is the raising of one eyebrow and a smirk. It’s no longer attractive. Thanks to this man, I’ve now started to cause myself harm. This is definitely not a good thing.

I see him from my prone position walk up. He sits down on the bed and stares at me. I refuse to break eye contact nor will I be the first to speak. Let him do some work for once.

‘Gulzar, that spill you took may have addled your head,however,I’d like to have a discussion with you once you feel better.’

‘Go ahead. Say what you will. I’d also like to discuss a few things with you.’

‘Great. So, I know I’ve not been around and leaving you at the airport couldn’t be helped. However, I’ll be inshAllah around for the remainder of your stay. If your game, I’d like to drive to Southern England with you and perhaps then go into France for a bit. What do you think?’

‘Farid, it’s great that you want to show me the UK,however,I’ve come to spend time with you, your family and acclimate to your lifestyle. Trekking here and there, won’t really give me a good understanding of what life may be like should I agree to become your wife. I’d rather stay in the Greater London area and become better acquainted with you, your family, your work and your neighborhood.’

He looks at me in silence for a while. I look back, patient awaiting his answer. Finally, he leans in, smiles and says, ‘fair enough. Debden and London it is then.’

‘Farid, thank you for understanding.’

‘No worries. You get some rest. I’ll be back soon to check up on you.’

The next few days go by with me stuck in bed. I don’t see much of anyone other than Farid’s mum. Her lilting soft voice and patient nature as she keeps me company stills the disquiet within my mind about potentially fitting into a Sunni household. And surprisingly, she’s open and quite witty as well! She regales me with tales of Farid’s shenanigans growing up. She tells me about his first girlfriend, a Pathani who he fell in love with at the age of 16. They attempted to run away and get nikkafied at a local Mosque only to be refused by the Imam there. The next day, after keeping his father up all night with why he felt the Pukhtoona and him should marry, he showed up at 9am on her doorstep to ask her father’s permission to marry. The girls’ father refused to listen to Farid without Farid’s father also there to discuss the serious subject of the joining of two families into one. He asked Farid to come back once both fathers were agreeable as such a matter should only be engaged in amongst elders. Two days later, having worn his father down, Farid showed up at his love interests home to achieve his desire. After discussions about the age and ability to financially provide for his daughter, the Pukhtoon father agreed to the match with the understanding that a nikkah could be done immediately, however a final ceremony would ONLY occur after Farid’s graduation from University. Farids father and he,leave to begin preparations for the next days nikkah. 10am roles around and its Jummah. Farid, his dad and mum, his sisters and younger brother all show up to the home of his soon-to-be bride. The door opens and there stands his future father-in-law. Immediately, an ominous cloud overtakes the joyous occasion. Evidently, early that morning, the girl and mother had been sent to Pakistan so that the girl, Farid’s future wife, could be married to a proper Pathan rather than a water downed Pathan family that associated itself with Indians andbelieved in ‘love marriages.’

I look back appalled that such a thing could happen, even 19 yrs ago in a first world country. Farids mum, with a look of sadness, and in a soft whisper leans in to inform me that such a thing did indeed happen, and not just once but twice to her eldest son.

I look back curious wanting to know of the second situation but too embarrassed to ask. She looks back and laughs saying that my face gives away too much and that my curiosity may indeed land me into more trouble than I may ever want to admit.

‘Remember one thing my soon-to-be daughter. No matter what you’ve encountered in life, the man whom you’re engaged to, has a story and a nature which no matter the circumstances, won’t allow for him to stand still nor bemoan fate. He’s a strong one my Farid is, however his pride won’t allow me to admit how hurt he’s been by others. He’ll need not only your fire but also your patience for you’ve a very hard road ahead of you.’

I look at her with a sad smile. I understand her and feel a draw to her. However, I’m still mostly a stranger to my fiancée as he is one to be as well. InshAllah,he and I will be able to overcome this and be as successful as both his mom and my parents hope so.

After 3 days spent abed, I’m finally able to move downstairs into the library. A room, masculine in its leather, dark woods and green painted walls, I enjoy the natural light that floods it no matter the time of day. I’ve begun spending the majority of my waking hours in this room, waiting for my leg and head to fully heal.

The combination of books, visits by Imran, Farids sister and their mom alleviate the sense of stir-crazy that overtakes me now and then. The easy camaraderie of a family rallying around its sick member infuses the interactions and we’ve finally, us 3 women, have gotten to share not only the past but I’m starting to learn facets to each character and a hint into the person who will one day become my husband.

I’ve noticed that Farid tends to be gone about 14 hours a day. He leaves at the first sign of light and returns once darkness has blanketed the day. He comes in to spend a few minutes with us before he excuses himself to answer correspondence or dress for dinner. I’ve also noticed that both ladies tend to act more formal when he’s around. I’m still somewhat of a stranger so I file the observations away in hopes of it aiding me into understanding the complete picture of my future meeya(husband).

A week after my uncermonial landing at the feet of my absentee fiancée, I’m finally fully healed and anxious to be out and about. The weather, for September, is quite nice and with just a light shawl one can be quite comfortable while out. During the day, I leave out with Farid’s sister and mum and return in time to be home and dressed before Farid returns. I’ve two weeks left of this month’s visit to England. I’m now comfortable around both my future sister-in-law as well as my future saas(mother-in-law),however the limited interactions with my future husband have me quite impatient.

One evening, after dinner is over, I remain seated, unsure how to broach the topic of requesting more time for Farid and I. I’m lost in my reverie and don’t realize that the rest of the party has begun to exit out of the dining room. Farid, ever watchful, looks over at me with a bit of curiosity and impatience.

‘Is there something the matter?’

‘Huh? What? Oh, yes. I’ve 2 weeks left here and while I’ve become quite settled and familiar with your family, home and London, I’m wondering, when do I get a chance to spend time and get to know you?’

‘I’ve been waiting and giving you the time you need to acclimate yourself. I figured,once you were ready, you’d let me know. I’m surprised it’s taken you so long to be honest. However, now that you’ve initiated the subject, let’s discuss it then. Again, I’d like to say, I think it’d be best if you and I took a bit of a holiday. Away from London, away from Debden, away from work and away from family. Are you open to the idea?’

I look across the table. For all intents and purposes, there sits across from me the epitome of a British Asian gentleman. However, he’s really not very well known to be. But,I’ve resided in his home for the last 2 weeks. I’ve eaten at his table for the last 2 weeks. I’ve spent time with his family and him and on my third finger sits a ring that many in this country don’t make enough in a year salary to afford. He’s been nothing but proper and gentlemanly. So…why not?

‘Sure. Let’s go down to the coast and into France.’

‘Great. I’ll make the arrangements and we’ll leave within the next few days.’ He gets up, walks to my side of the table. He leans down and kisses me on the cheek. His fingers replace where his lips have been seconds before. I feel the warmth and connection. My heart races and my eyes cannot look away. His fingers are gentle, soft and comforting. His eyes are soft and yet there’s a fire there. He smiles and slowly his fingers fall away from my face. He walks out and I’m left with a giddy feeling.

Finally, I’m starting to feel at home. Less of a stranger and more a family member.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Phone Call

I called you today. I stared at the phone throughout the entire day.

Even when my body did other things,my soul and my heart turned to the phone.

The ring,each and every one, more shrill than the last felt like fingernails on the chalkboard. I held my breath yet no one picked up. The voicemail started, the drone of the computerized female voice...reminded me how much a stranger you have now become.

My eyes slowly shut and the tear that was held at bay slowly fell. It was warm and slow. It caressed my face as it marked its journey down. I felt each nanosecond of that journey and yet, it too, like you, left me.

I put the phone away and forced my body to walk away.

It seems like an eternity since I heard that voice. The depth, the cadence and the soothing quality, I miss it.

I miss you.

My heart beats,my soul is alive and yet I ache.