May is the month of ever-growing anniversaries so I kind of don't know where to start. I'm turning 30 and writing my 100th blog post although, not gonna lie to you, some days it feels I'm 100 and writing my third post. #authorgoals
My head lops off the side of the kat, upside down, I close one eye and then the other, gaze focused on the mango tree in the distance. What is that on the branches? I entwine my fingers into the tightly strung rope at the foot of the charpai and lift myself up. Noon's piercing… Continue reading April Gratitude: The Motherland
I must be going soft in my old age because my recent journey to Azad Kashmir had me crying over the smallest things! Please be prepared for lots of sentimental ramblings over the next few weeks: I plan to take full advantage of this most welcomed end to my writer's block. A week before our… Continue reading A Little Piece of Heaven: our stay in A&JK
Simply not in the mood to write anything today. Hubby and I travelled to the 'motherland' over the Easter break and we've not been the same since. I left my heart in this place; I miss it sooooo much! So, all I have to offer this Saturday are pictures of my beautiful Kashmir...
Memories of you are like waves leaving the shoreline. Cracked sand. Trinkets, shells, and ocean life left behind. And these days are like out-of-season rain, I think of you but the cracks only half-fill. My heart breaks again. The 12 years since you left no different to the 12 years before. How do you console… Continue reading In Loving Memory Of A Grandfather
I've lived in Qatar for nearly 3 years so I'm pretty used to random people speaking to me in Arabic or asking if I'm a revert. When I tell them my family belong to Kashmir, this is the typical reaction: I find these moments hella amusing; having grown up in an area with 99.9% of… Continue reading Kashmir: 5 Things You Should Know
The one thing I am grateful for this month is something I pray was true for Muslims around the world. My gratitude post this month is accompanied with a lot of guilt for having the good fortune to live in a Muslim country that is both developed and safe for women. Not long ago, I… Continue reading Gratitude Corner: March
I have really struggled to find ways to express my feelings about what happened on March 15th. I know I'm not alone. I write this with a heavy heart and reluctant hands, I write this feeling like the least qualified, least educated, and least politically aware person out there. I write knowing it has been… Continue reading Articulating grief as a Muslim: what the New Zealand massacre teaches us
When Qiyamat comes, my mother used to tell me, when the day of reckoning comes: Don't leave your prayer mid way, even if you hear nothing but chaos around you, even if their cries make your very core tremble, and even if your heart wants to pull away, even if everyone else is leaving their… Continue reading 50 Lives
There are two women in your life So you'll forever feel torn. The first came later but she's the One. The last image on your mind at night, her sorrow eats you up. On borrowed time the arms of familiarity aren't an option, circumstances will steal her and you will find yourself broken - again.… Continue reading One Riddle – Two Women
wintery nights no more frosty mornings no more grey days no more teeth chattering the whole journey to work, no more darkness marking both ends of the commute, no more fed up with the 6th cup of tea, no more wet socks and numb toes, no more bad hijab day every day, no more dreaded… Continue reading Gratitude Corner: Fond of February
This skin, he says Fingertips trace the surface, flirt with a loose strand of hair, brush it away return to the groove of the neck I want to shower you with so much love that... Pause. The open window. Life scatters in: 5 p.m. traffic, the dusky haze of a setting sun, quiet rustling of the… Continue reading 2015
11.30 p.m. Teacher: I've finally finished marking. I'm going to bed okay? Spouse: Okay love you. Teacher: Love you too. 1.30 a.m. Teacher: Your homework is there. Spouse: (from behind the closed door) Hey are you awake? Teacher: Yes...I'm finishing my work. I'm finishing this. Spouse: Didn't you finish your work ages ago? Teacher: No… Continue reading Life of a teacher: a play of one scene
I tried bullet journaling for about a week and realised quite quickly that I'm no longer 15 years old with all the time in the world to colour and draw and remember exactly where all the bloody different coloured pens have disappeared to! But one thing that stuck with me is the concept of keeping a… Continue reading The Gratitude Corner: January
2017 was such a surprisingly successful year of blogging that I'm not surprised 2018 didn't match up. Right from the get-go, I had zero motivation. Reviewing 2018: Stating the obvious here but I didn't write much (8 posts to be exact) and one of the main reasons behind this is I had my mind on more important… Continue reading Three Year Blogiversary!
Well, I'm just going to keep this mega short and sweet because I shy! Heehee! I am officially back and raring to go! If you have been on this blogging journey with me from the start, you will know I closed the site for a while. The intention was to just shut-down and switch… Continue reading Look who’s back!
SHE, with the resilience of a lone tree flourishing in the midst of arid plains, visited only by the odd wayfaring bird, had weathered enough storms to be able to tell you something about the wisdom of life and HE was an enigma: the excitement of the chase; the hubbub of a lion hunting prey;… Continue reading Pronouns
Beti (n) pronunciation: bay + tea origin: South Asian vernaculars (e.g. Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi) definition: a girl or woman in relation to both or one of her parents; female child; daughter example: Aap k ghar beti huwi hai? Koi baat nahi, dua karo Rabb beta bhi dega. [You gave birth to a daughter? Never mind eh,… Continue reading Beti
Prompt: go to dictionary.com, the word of the day is your writing prompt. Summerize: (v) 1797 'to spend the summer'. From 1935 as 'to prepare for summer'. As the school year draws to a close, all I have been doing lately is organising and preparing for the summer, or to rephrase it according to the… Continue reading Summerize: memories and rituals
But you said It's not that I don't love you, it's just that you resemble her far too much You said It's not that I don't believe you, I've just known her longer And It's not like I distrust you, but when you speak I hear her words You said It's not like I don't… Continue reading But you said… (Poem)
The lovely Amber over at A PhD in Poetry recently shared her list of '7 books that had an impact on me'. I really loved reading the tag so I thought I'd join in (P.S check out her blog/follow her if you don't already, she's an insanely talented writer). I found it very hard to narrow… Continue reading 7 books that had an impact on me
See, ever since I could talk and read and write, I wanted to be a teacher. Everything I did revolved around teaching, and from what little my parents recall about me, I was a bilingual, fluent chatterbox with an overflowing imagination. What better way to channel it all than to teach? My cousins still remember… Continue reading A snapshot of a journey in teaching…
I know I am unceremoniously late but what can I say, January resolutions have never been for me. New Year eves just don't fill me with the kind of excitement that can convince me to give up my much-needed sleep. My celebratory text messages are never responsible for jamming the mobile phone network simply because they don't exist.
We live in an age where showing outrage on social media and passing around links for petitions sum up our efforts to affect change. We console ourselves by attending demos or putting photos up on Instagram and Facebook, then sleeping soundly because we have done our bit. And yet here I am, unable to do… Continue reading No Justice for Zainab
Read my One Year Blogiversary here. *** I was going to begin by asking whether or not anyone is still reading this blog but that'd be a redundant question seeing as many of my students are stalking following my blog. HI GUYS!!! It's my two year blogiversary! I've hit 15,884 views this year (quadrupled from… Continue reading Two Year Blogiversary
At night, a parliament of ghosts recline on her chest the ghost of Failures from the Distant Past the ghost of Every Deflated Hope the absent seat where the ghost of Snatched Innocence used to sit but these days it is occupied with a sign: 'Too wise for this bullsh*t, see ya when I see… Continue reading Day 31: Ghosts
It's better to be alone than in bad company but you seem to take it to a new dimension Infamous for revelling in your menace you have your cake and eat it too. You're bad company, and still they flock to you Tell me: why must the good suffer?
When you laugh that hearty laughter with your head knocked back and call me a funny cow. When you kiss my hands because they cook your favourite food. When you just know something's not right within milliseconds of looking at my depressed 'boothi' (mug) When you nurse me back to health (and even when you… Continue reading Day 29: Wedded
With just 3 days left to the October challenge, here's a status update. - I was a couple of days behind and managed to catch up to Day 26 and then bam! I'm behind again. T'internet has been down in our compound this weekend. Yay technology! -Why did I fall behind in the first place… Continue reading Day 28: Status update
I feel like today's prompt word is a sick joke I played on myself (cue the DJ Khaled memes). Either that or this October challenge was truly meant to be. I'm making fun of it now because after two years of living in quietude, I feel like I can talk about it as if it… Continue reading Day 27: a ‘battle’ lost
He necks the water. His shaking hands clutch the glass until his fingertips turn pale, entirely drained of blood. She remains motionless. Her two children clutch her legs. The television cable sits sprawled across the floor, claiming innocence of the crimes committed. *** Read more from the October writing challenge.
You were a January baby. I should have known then. I should have known you would clash with my May sensibilities. You, ruled by Saturn, would one day eclipse my entity. You, no doubt, would diminish all warmth held for you. Why couldn't I see? Because I'd prayed so fervently for you by the night… Continue reading Day 24: January
The Five Types of Mother In Laws
The succulent, sizzling meat has been garnered with wild herbs. We'll generously drizzle gravy over it just to really enhance the already-rich taste. A great addition to the dish, by the way, is a lovely side of veg. Roasted potatoes or some greens compliment it well but that doesn't mean you can't use more unconventional… Continue reading Day 22: Dinner
She took extra time grooming herself that day, causing annoyance to her siblings who grew exhausted banging on the bathroom door. Bathed in the scents of ittar, hands and feet stained with henna and kohl smudged in her eyes, she then proceeded to dress in her best garments: a ferozi shalwar kameez with a white… Continue reading Day 21: A blind date
How romantic! The perfect love story... I thought, Reading those enthralling tales of lovers long forgotten Forgetting God is nearer than the jugular vein & the unsaid prayer on my tongue's tip Was granted by the Giver who hears all Let me clarify, there is nothing romantic in these prolonged years of separation This grief… Continue reading Day 20: An unsaid ‘wish’ answered
Dearest loves, Change comes in many forms, but your betrayals are the kind of change my heart is becoming accustomed to. Yours no more, Z.
At the school gates, two girls were trying to sneak past the on-duty teacher. Zarmeene slowly sipped on her bottle of lukewarm water while observing their efforts come to fruition. A group of boys successfully distracted the teacher, sauntering past her with a hi-fi deck - resting on one boy's shoulder- blasting obscene rap songs.… Continue reading Day 18: ‘Tunnels’
dead leaves, the first signs of change are romanticized far too much their fiery colours and musical crunch welcome by all but I hate dead leaves dead leaves are like dead hearts dead beats and dead dreams dead hopes of growing into something better and brighter a vision unfulfilled a vessel unused dead leaves are… Continue reading Day 17: Dead leaves
You spend most of your life feeling everything with intensity - like the chafing of a raw cut. Your eyes pay the price of their negligence, they pay in pearls scavenged from your soul's deepest caverns And you pray to Him to just please, please make this go away. Once it's dulled, once you no… Continue reading Day 16: Tears
The clutter of my desk during a mid-week free lesson and the scribbles of To Do lists scrawled across my planner In the vocab list collated on the whiteboard and the unsteady handwriting of my scribe, struggling with the interactive pen In the half-drunk cups of tea and catching bits of banter in the staff… Continue reading Day 15: My kind of ‘Calm’
The only house with a light on at 2am is Amna's home. Rigid in bed, she's listening to the sound of her mother's sobs in tahajjud. Laying in bed is a progression from sitting on the stairs listening to her parents fighting, knowing the sudden silence means to run for help. Her father has sent… Continue reading Day 14: One ‘law’ for all
Under a shade in another world Next to the home of the first two We shall recline and relish memories Reminisce everything we've carried forth It will seem as though Time never built a bridge between us That the past is but a handspan away. Even after infinite infinities, we will reflect on this: Nothing… Continue reading Day 13: Never ‘Unwritten’
When you grow up in a place that prides itself in being a 'ghetto', when you are your parents' lone daughter and when you are considered the black sheep of the family, BFF's don't come easy. Growing up, I didn't have any BFFs. Of course, I had 'friends' or people I'd see every day in school but… Continue reading Day 12: My BFF
synonym: comeback, recovery, therapy. I know I'm a day behind but it doesn't bother me. Honestly speaking, despite the set back I feel great about my blog. I have, so far, been able to write regularly on a daily basis, even if the post goes up the next day. I've been productive, and working miles… Continue reading Day 11: I love ‘rehab’
For countless hours I rage My embers of venom ignite terror in the hearts of men Stand and marvel at the sight I am, the destruction I cause. Feel my fiery passion on the surface of your skin, like the suffocation of the grave embrace me My brilliance astounds you. I know no hesitation nor… Continue reading Day 10: Amidst smoke and ‘Fire’
In the UK, phones are definitely up there amongst a teacher's worst nightmares. Not only do teachers have to make sure students aren't using them in class, our pastoral duties require us to deal with an array of issues arising from social media platforms. Some lessons just feel like a vortex: you can see all… Continue reading Day 9: Teachers and ‘Phones’
These days you are nearer to me yet still far from grasp like the lingering perfume of a stranger passing by like standing still in an open field, watching f e a t h e r s floating by. *** Read more from the October writing challenge.
He's been standing outside for the past 15 minutes. He doesn't knock on the door. He doesn't know that I know.
The weathered hay stacks tremble ever so slightly. Night stirs and the day’s first light breaks through like the fingers of a lover, running his hands through the dark locks of his beloved.