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.
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 sent divorce… 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: In need of ‘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.
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.
I've been waiting an age. I need you desperately. Each time a tribulation stands before me, I'm reminded of how incapable my girl shoulders are. My mind wanders to you - no matter how many times I admonish it - wishing you were here to show me the right way and hold me up.… Continue reading Day 5: Lessons learnt from ‘Time’
Forget multi-tasking, I can't even do two things at once these days. I tried putting my seat belt on and instead, swallowed the chewing gum I'd only just popped into my mouth. So much for trying to avoid car sickness. For the rest of the journey, I could feel the ball of gum lodged in… Continue reading Day 4: ‘Candy Wrapper’, kind of.
The evening sun settling into my hair; brown eyes glittering reflections of Kashmiri mountains against the horizon. Nestled amid valleys of white gold, our small yet cosy home My own little vegetable patch Your vehicles of choice lined up outside Our children's giggles skipping across and under and over, the kittens, chicks, billy goats scampering… Continue reading Day 3: ‘Horses’, ghodiya da shonk
Before anyone could follow, she hurried over to a particularly crowded corner of her bedroom. It wasn't that she felt worried about what she was hiding, more that she didn’t want her secret hiding places discovered by others. Anyone could walk in and catch her; she had to move swiftly. Had she known the aroma… Continue reading Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale
They said they couldn't reach a point of compromise with you. That it was because you didn't seem to have that same affection for them, the kind that came so naturally to you for me. But I think they're liars. I think they saw too much of me in you to really love you; too… Continue reading Day 1: in praise of an ‘Angel’
Heyoh! Like I don't punish you guys enough by rambling on, I've decided to begin a 30 day writing challenge this October. Is it considered cheating if I've already sketched out some ideas for the first few days? I'm not worried that I'll stop after day 4 and embarrass myself (okay, I am a little… Continue reading October Writing Challenge
To our not so dearest, It's been so long since we last saw you, even longer since we last exchanged words. When was that, around 10 years ago? Maybe less, maybe more. We're almost ashamed to admit we've forgotten the sound of your voice, your movements and your mannerisms, and the presence of your being… Continue reading From the grapevine
It's been exactly 12 days since we returned to Qatar and things are going great, ma sha' Allah, ma sha' Allah! I've been back at work this week and you'd best believe I'm currently like the minion on the left with my perfectly coordinated outfits, hair done, and matching snazzy earrings. Even though I know… Continue reading Back to work
I'm back! Don't ask how long for because every time I announce my hiatus is over, it really isn't but I do have a plethora of excuses reasons for my silence on t' 'press. On Monday, we returned to Qatar after a very loooong 7 weeks in the UK. We were the last people we… Continue reading Greener Grass and Silver Linings
What price for those verdant valleys which my mothers traversed for fire logs What price for those babbling brooks that watered cattle and crops for centuries What price for the ever-fertile soil, the one they say delivers gold What price for the land my grandfathers walked away from with moist eyes, tight lips, even harder… Continue reading I See Kashmir Burning (Poem)
When school ended two weeks ago and I found myself with ample time to write, I envisioned myself as this super productive being who would tick everything off her To Do list while simultaneously updating her blog every third day. Instead, I found that actually, all this free time was counterproductive. Apparently, I write best… Continue reading On Writing: Finding the will to carry on
Like a star slowly ceasing to exist My voice is finally reaching your deaf ears My requests are being registered In the filing cabinets of your negligence The asking, the begging, the imploring: For the sake of God, the sake of the Last day At the expense of your Grave My rights, my needs, my… Continue reading I’ve been on your mind (Poem)
Growing up in a small family, I used to think Eid, birthdays, and special occasions should be about having as many people around you as possible. Even on normal days, I felt like a huge chunk of something was missing from my life but special occasions only compacted this belief. As children, we would get… Continue reading An expat’s thoughts on Eid
As teachers all around the world will know, sometimes it feels like the world might very well end but the academic year won't. The days drag on, piles of paperwork continue appearing out of thin air and the only thing propelling you onward is 'The Last Day'. We spend so much of our careers wishing… Continue reading Ma’a Salama (Goodbye)
She's my spine, you used to say She's my strength, you would say Is this how you treat a spine to bend it to the point where to configure it so that to suffocate it beneath to subject it to an angle, a pressure, a treatment, deconstructing one vertebra at a time forcing a biologically… Continue reading Spineless (Poem)
Okay...mmmhh, this is awkward. I had three blog posts drafted, waiting to be polished and then BAM! I got nothing. I can't post any of them anymore. Because of the current political climate, they're suddenly outdated and potentially risky to share. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing controversial in there. They're the same old info/advice/reflections… Continue reading I got nothing, or, Ramadan Kareeeeem
Yes I know, I know. It really is time to shake things up a little on this neglected blog of mine. So, here is something different: an interview with the most special man in my life about his experience (so far) of Ramadan in a Muslim country. Zoya: So we're a week into Ramadan and… Continue reading Ramadan in Qatar: a guy’s perspective
We went to The Mall of Qatar the other day, I spotted an artificial blossom tree which made me realise: it is officially May. I have this single, disconnected memory where I recall being very young, sitting on the floor and holding what I can only guess now must've been a deck of cards. The… Continue reading Month of May
[Read Part 1] I haven't done one of these living in Qatar posts for a while but I figured I've been here long enough to write a proper update as opposed to little snippets in other posts. Dearest hubby, my editor, proof reader, and biggest fan all rolled into one, suggested I hold off until the summer… Continue reading The Big Move to Qatar (Part 2)
I have been slacking a little on the blogging front. It's not that I have nothing to write about, in fact, for a variety of reasons, I'm functioning at a veerrrryy slow pace. The weather is heating up. It's 35 degrees as I write this and the thought of doing anything after a long day… Continue reading Not on strike, still very much alive
First off let me begin by saying a BIG THANK YOU to all you lovely readers and new subscribers. I hadn't anticipated this much traffic to my page after being featured on Discover, it is very humbling. I was nominated last week (I think? It's exam season so I have no concept of time) for this award… Continue reading Sunshine Blogger Award
Earlier this week it was International Women's Day and like all other days - Mother's day, Father's day, Independence day - it was difficult to acknowledge the day let alone engage in any discussions. You see, my problem isn't with the day nor with those who celebrate it, my problem is with the fight. Commemorative… Continue reading I’m an oppressed Muslim woman?
The cursor blinks expectantly. You wonder, shall I begin with I ‘returned’ home or I’ve been 'away’ from home? At the airport, we try muting our pain through feeble consolations. You will be back next summer, it’s just a year. No. I have holidays in January. That's good… I'll be back before you know… Continue reading Homeless daughters of a hybrid diaspora
I Home is the recipe of your sweet milky tea In the way you call me 'daughter' in 3rd person to fit the jigsaws of my 1st person piece by piece II Home is in a forgotten prayer coming true, the plea for a sister of my own. It is in your wisdom and sage… Continue reading Homebound (Poem)
When we landed at DXB on Friday evening, it felt as though we'd taken a 50 minute flight around the skies simply to end up back in Qatar. The similarities between the two GCC countries are of course many, so I wondered if we'd made a mistake in deciding our vacation spot. We stayed at The… Continue reading Dubai Stole our Hearts
Some people make it a pastime to make your life difficult, to constantly oppress you and no I'm not being dramatic by using that word. I mean it in its truest sense. You feel as though you can't influence their narcissistic behaviour nor its impact on your health and life because of certain circumstances: society, people,… Continue reading Letters from 2016
It was my one year blogiversary on December 13th! Yay me! I won't repeat the clichéd 'OMG I can't believe I've blogged for a whole year,' because as you're about to find out, I didn't blog for the whole year. In the beginning... When I started blogging it was to overcome writer's block and find… Continue reading One Year Blogiversary
From a young age, I was always fascinated with history and I especially loved hearing stories about perished nations. That strange blend of awe and terror never leaves you; in fact, I think I will carry it to the grave. Those people leading lives not too different from ours, people who formed some of the greatest civilisations… Continue reading Memories of an Empire: Museum of Islamic Art
Your tahajjud nights spent in An echo of prayers unfulfilled. The garden beneath your feet Dishonoured me. But since the day you vowed to curse me Allah has been so kind to me. [Photo credit: Souq Waqif]
Thankful... For a spouse like mine. You took every Thursday off to drive me down to uni. Even when it was your only day off in the whole week and even when you weren't feeling well yourself, you would accompany me on the journey and refuse to let me drive. Your selflessness meant that… Continue reading Passing with DISTINCTION!