Thursday, August 4, 2011

Get your Totems fixed, its time for a reality check.

Life goes on even when a father lays his son six feet under. It points and laughs at you when you make friends with the wall and wonder. It tackles and pulls you down when you're already trippin' over. It just never stops. Gives in. Lays to rest. Slows down. Takes a breather. Its a never ending circus act, giving tears and laughs to the ordinary.
Life's short, shallow and even shit. Everyone's being heard, but only heard and not listened to. Its like Inception. A paradox. A dream within a dream. And you'd just keep waking up and realise that its still not the reality. Its still just a dream. But one day, one day you'll get that kick which would bring you back, to the real world. No more projections. Thats when life would really start. You were never born before. See you till then.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eternal Solace.

Wave after wave hitting the jagged rocks,
Spraying the salt water all over me,
I lick my lips and taste the salt,
I take a breath and smell your scent.
Your presence besides me
Makes my existence,
My hand covered by yours,
Says more than words ever can.
Your eyes searching mine,
Find the long lost answers
Of love, of truth, of hope.
Overwhelming emotions,
Dampen my eyes and
I look beyond the vast ocean,
And whisper the words in my heart,
For sure you know me inside out
There’s no need to say it out loud.
My heart is empty of all wishes,
For it would follow your soul,
Whether up as you flow with the wave,
Or down as it recedes.
Hollow before but not any more,
For your laughter fills me,
Your touch ignites a longing,
And your love, an eternal solace

By: Misha.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dead Ends: Episode 9

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. The final episode is here! For Episode 8 click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 9

(Part – 1)

Maheen is sitting behind her desk. Her skin is very pale almost yellow. Her eyes are sunken into their sockets. She is signing some papers. The veins on the top of her hand stand out against her skin like a blue spider web. Saima, the secretary, comes in looking rather irritated.
“Madam there is a mad hijra outside. He is insisting on seeing you. He says that you know him. He tells his name as Laila.”
“Send him in.” Maheen replies without looking up.
Saima looks surprised. She walks out of the door.
“You can go in.” Saima informs Bahadur.
Bahadur claps once loudly, “Fitay moun!” He mocks her.
Bahadur enters Maheen’s room and sits down in front of her. He is in his usual womanly attire of shalwar kameez with the duppatta dangling on his shoulders and make up plastered on his face.
“Salalekum!” He greets Maheen.
“Walaikumasalam. I don’t want you using such language in my office again.” She looks at him, scrutinizing.
“Oh ji don’t worry.”
“So… Do you need my help in something?”
“I just came here to see your fancy office. By the way, you don’t look very well.”
“I am alright. So how did you like my fancy office?”
“It’s not very fancy.”
“That’s good.”
There’s a pause.
“I told my girls to see your doctors at the clinic.”
“Excellent!” Maheen beams at Bahadur, “So are there improvements in any of them?”
“What about you? Did you go for your check up?”
“No. I… I don’t need to see them. I’m a HIV carrier you see. So I don’t have AIDS.”
“That doesn’t mean that you can’t get it in the future. And you can transmit the virus to other people.”
“I no longer offer my services to people.”
There is a long pause. Maheen stares at the papers in front of her and Bahadur shifts his eyes nervously.
“How did you… Umm how did you get here?” Maheen feels awkward asking something that had been troubling her since that day at the clinic, “I mean, why did you opt to be what you are?”
“There are no other options for people like us… We have to be like this if we want food to eat, a bed to sleep in and a roof over our heads. There is no choice. Do you think that I like being what I am?!” Bahadur’s eyebrows knot together, years of despair is clear in his tone; “no I don’t. I would love to work like a normal person, with a normal job. But nobody would accept us. Being a hijra is a curse! No sane person would want us to work for them, except just satisfy their urges.” Disgust is apparent on his face; ‘so all of us come together and live like sisters. We support each other financially… emotionally.”
“That’s true.” Maheen sighs resignedly. “But what if somebody offers you a job now? Will you take that job?” She raises her eyebrows.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just that.

Sometimes I feel like running. Wind in my face, a blank road ahead all for myself. Even if I close my eyes, I wouldn’t bang into anything.

If that helps to leave behind everything.. and if it really helps, I would like to run even faster. I would want to run till my limbs give up, the oxygen runs out and I am exhausted. Then I’ll just lay there thinking about oxygen and exhaustion and the annoying pain in my limbs because of the irritating lactic acid.

Just that. And nothing more. Just that.

I would want to run till the wind moving against me tries so hard to stop me and I’d still want to run faster than before. And every time that I am successful in defeating it, I would want to stop for a microsecond and look back and laugh at it. And then I would again want to run extremely fast, my speed ever increasing, that at one point I am no longer solid. Having left behind what made me substance, I’m just energy now, invisible, impervious, untouchable.

You can’t know I’m there unless you’re the force driving me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Play Doughs.

It might sound strange to you but I imagine people as play dough’s. Impressionable. Everyone leaves a mark; some deep, some leave behind just their fingerprints, curving and looping, touching your soul just enough. And with every touch the dough alters it shape, adjusting, changing and shifting.

We've all had our ups and downs. We've all experienced heart ache and limitless joy. All of it being the result of someone or something that interacted with us at some point in time.

I ask you just one question. Had you been where you are right now, without that tragedy that makes you weep at night? Or without that accomplishment that compels you to hold your head high?

You may not be at peace with yourself now, but we have this uncanny ability of ‘Acceptance’. Yes, accepting that what has happened; happened to make you who you are. Sculpting your very thoughts, making you, YOU. 

I am nearing the end of one chapter and turning over a new page of my life. It’s akin to coming to terms with my past; accepting all the bumps and craters of my play dough for the better and for the worse. And in that only lies happiness.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Funny thing about darkness. At first, it gives you creeps. Maybe because it steals from you the one thing that makes you feel you're in control. Your vision. It makes you lose your sense of power, of knowing your whereabouts, of whats to come..

But you eventually get used to it. You start getting familiar with it, and you realize how this is one thing in the world thats close to your skin. One thing you can be yourself with. No pretenses about to uncover, no fake smiles at the point of cracking, no holding away from the obvious, no holding back those tears that are begging for release.

And after all those years, you find yourself looking forward to it. That time of the day, where you can slip into the never ending tunnel of darkness and find yourself.. Or maybe lose completely.

Dead Ends: Episode 8

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks.There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For Episode 7 click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 8

Two years and a few months months later.

Maheen is standing in a huge graveyard. She appears very thin and gaunt. She is staring at a small grave that is located under a very old Neem Tree. Her hands are cupped in front of her; the duppatta is on her head. She is praying. She closes her eyes; a tear escapes and falls on the grave.
“Happy birthday my sweet girl.” She whispers.
She bends and places a birthday card on the grave and a long stemmed red rose.
She turns and walks away.

Maheen sits behind her desk and types on her computer. She picks her phone.
“Saima please come in my room.”
Saima enters with a notepad in her hand. Maheen looks up.
“I want the latest updates on the Transsexual AIDS project by this afternoon.” Maheen instructs, “I want to know everything from the room that was hired, the supplies that are required and the doctor’s who are treating the patients. I want to survey the area today. I’ll be going there personally.”
“Yes ma’am.”
“And tell one of our drivers to be ready by four to take me there. Inform Mr. Nauman that he’ll be accompanying me.”
“Alright. Anything else that I can do for you Ma’am?
“No that’s it for now.”
The secretary leaves. Maheen takes out a bottle of pills and gulps down two of them. She suddenly gets a coughing fit. She covers her mouth with a tissue. After the fit subsides she looks at the tissue. There is blood on it. She throws it angrily in the trash can which is filled with similar blood stained tissue papers.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dead Ends: Episode 7

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks. There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For Episode 6 click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 7

Maheen is in the parking lot of the hospital. She takes out the keys from her purse and collapses on the driver’s seat. She leans her head against the steering wheel and breaks down. She cries and sobs, her shoulders shake violently with grief.
She wipes her tears with the back of her hands and starts the car. Images are flashing through her mind, Sadiq holding her hand against his cheek, Sadiq spinning a bra in his hand, drunk; Sadiq beating her.
She accelerates her car out of the hospital and sees an addict by the road side. She stares at him. Suddenly it occurs to her, her eyes widen in realization. She remembers the welcome party that her cousin Eemaan gave her in America. Her memories play in front of her eyes like a movie; the skinny guy coughing and then administering the morphine and the syringe needle that pierced her lower leg. Her fingers tighten on the steering wheel.
A sudden pain shoots in that same leg and she jolts back to the present. She looks at the road. A woman comes running out of no where right in front of Maheen’s car. She hits the break. The car screeches to a halt. But it’s too late. The woman collides with the car, rolls over it and falls down from the side of the car.
Maheen quickly climbs out and rushes to the body lying there. She’s conscious but is moaning. To Maheen’s astonishment that body was actually of a man who is in womanly attire. She turns him on his back. His face is covered with make up. Blood trickles down his face from his forehead.
“Oh my God! Are you okay? Can you hear me?” Maheen is visibly shaken, her face pale, panicking.
Bahadur doesn’t reply. People gather around the scene. A beggar comes forward.
“Oye you!” He shouts at her, “you killed him! You rich people think that you can get away with everything!
“No! He’s alive! Please someone help me carry him to my car!” She pleads.
“Let me die… Let me die…” Bahadur mutters.
Two men come to Maheen’s help. They carry Bahadur and lay him down on the back seat of Maheen’s car. Her cars plush interior stains with Bahadur’s blood. Maheen quickly reverses and drives the car back into the hospital.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dead Ends: Episode 6

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks. There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For Episode 5 click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 6

Maheen is walking in the hospital. She looks at her watch. She is five minutes late. She approaches the receptionist who tells her to wait. Maheen sits on a sofa. She picks up a magazine about motherhood and flips through it.
“Mrs. Maheen Sadiq?” A nurse announces her name.
Maheen stands up and follows the nurse into the doctor’s room.
“Hello Maheen! How are you feeling?” Dr. Mehnaz, the doctor dealing with her pregnancy, asks.
The nurse leaves closing the door behind her. Maheen sits on the chair opposite the doctor.
“I’m feeling good.”
“Is anyone here with you?”
“No. I came alone.”
“Maheen… I’m afraid I have very bad news. It would have been better if someone from your family was here.”
Maheen stares at the doctor for a few seconds.
“I can handle it Dr. Mehnaz. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Do you remember when I told you to get a few tests done; I also gave you a list of additional tests?
“Yes I remember.”
“You said that you wanted all of them to be done on you.”
“Yes I did.”
Dr. Mehnaz stops and sighs, her gaze is on a sheet of paper that she is holding.
“Well, one of the tests listed there was of HIV/AIDS. Maheen the reports came in this morning. I’m sorry that I’m the one to tell you this. You are HIV positive, you’ve got AIDS Maheen.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What rain tastes like.

Eyes open and I am gazing out that window and still not seeing. Mind is empty of all thoughts, it’s a bliss rarely found now. Soul vacant of all expectations, a wave of happiness spreads through. Which I yet am unable to feel. And then someone along the way, points at a drop that fell from the skies.

How long was the distance that it had to travel from up there, I wonder? How much did it change, from what it was when born?

You think too much, I remind myself. That moment where all was forgotten; lost.

The drops form a trail on the windscreen. Pitter patter. Stubbornly, it drums down with more force, thrashing on mother earth.

What is it trying to prove?


I roll down the windows and let the cool wind in. It didn’t come alone; a few raindrops unable to stay tied to the gravity and pushed inside by the breeze did too. A slight shower the entire way as I watch the roads bathe, small bubbles burst as fast as they were formed, lights reflect off the street, rain falling against the occasional street lights.

And the scent of rain. Oh that sweet scent.

I feel good.

-Photo taken by myself.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dead Ends: Episode 5

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks. There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For Episode 4 click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 5
Two years have passed.

Maheen is sitting in front of the mirror in the master bedroom. She is genuinely happy about something. A smile lingers on her face. She dabs perfume on both her wrists and looks at the wall clock. It is 8 ‘o’ clock.
She walks in the kitchen, where the cook is busy preparing food.
“Sadiq will be here any moment. Is the food ready?” Maheen asks.
“Yes ma’am sahib. I have taken great care in cooking the food today. After all, it is sahibs and your first wedding anniversary.” The cook replies confidently.

Maheen goes back into her room and looks out the window. She is lost in thought. Her memories of the past two years are not pleasant ones. She remembers how she fought with her parents when they had forbidden her to marry Sadiq, the images flash through her head.
According to them, Sadiq was a wicked man who was not only cheating on their daughter but also cheated in his business. But she refused to believe them. Finally she had left her home and eloped with Sadiq. Her parents disowned her.
She remembers when she first caught Sadiq cheating on her. She had accidentally read text messages on his cell phone. She was deeply hurt but she had kept quiet.
Then one day, Sadiq had returned home drunk, spinning a bra in his hand. She had lost her control and slapped him with all her strength. In his rage and drunkenness he had beaten her up and locked her in a room. She had cried all night.

She jolts back to the present when she hears a car’s horn. The guard opens the gate to let the car in. She takes a deep breath and looks up towards God, her eyes closed in prayer.

That Place You Love.

Ever had that feeling when you wished that you could just run away?

Spacing out into your own self created world can be quite handy at times. For instance, there are times when you just can’t bear the insistent ‘yak yakkity yak’ of that plump woman standing next to you in a queue. But you’re too polite to shove a sock down her throat.

So, you create an imaginary world of which the details are so vivid and crisp, that to you it’s almost; almost real. The ‘yak yak’ is tuned out to subtle hum, barely noticeable. The frequent, automated nod of your head and the occasional ‘jee jee’ assures her that you are listening. Here, your ‘escape’ spares you a bad headache later on. Like I said, it’s handy.

Let’s take a grimmer scenario.

Sometimes it happens so that there is such an emotional turmoil within you, that the pain no longer just remains psychological but you feel it in your bones. This is when you prefer to ‘space out’. You recreate your happy events, something that made you truly, joyously happy. Or maybe you materialize a happening in your mind that never even occurred!  And you forget everything else. For in that moment you no longer live in reality. You escape. You flee from the world that you live in into a world that you ‘wish’ to live in.

Is it a wise choice?

Instead of facing adversity and instead of trying to solve the matter at hand, you flee like a whimpering dog to hide under a quilt of your thoughts. Or better yet, like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand; the only difference being that instead of sand, yours is buried in a cloud of imaginary bullshit.

I ask you. Is it handy here or more disabling?

There are people I know who despite knowing that there are tons of problems that they need to sort out, are still so disillusioned by their minds and their uncontrollable imaginary notions that they become clueless on how to set about solving their issues. They are oblivious to the point that they no longer know what it is that they ACTUALLY want.
This is when their thoughts and imagination becomes cancerous; actually damaging their reality. Disabling them; just like any narcotic would, only that the ‘high’ is short lived.

Why would anyone let circumstances dictate their lives? That’s a human being at best in his weakest form.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Sun's Affair.

That chilly air enveloped her,
Caressing as lips on skin,
From between the tendrils it flowed
And whispered in the deep confines.

Strolling towards that frozen sun,
The water licked her toes,
Orange hues and shades of blue
Beckoned, she wanted more.

Thigh high the liquid pierced her skin,
Her clothes a transparent halo,
Fading warmth and numbness grew,
Yet she strolled deeper still.

With finger tips she teased the water
As emerging ripples echoed
The tiny tides gave birth to suns
On that eerie icy lake.

Breast deep, her breath came shallow,
She knew not how to swim
Yet eyes fixated on that fiery globe
Burned to cure what has been wasted.

Transfixed, she sighed,
It was when the sun gave day to night,
In the lake where dawn was a fiction,
Where her truth softly wept.

Her mouth, gasping, pale and wet,
The water intruded her throat,
It was just her and the half dome of light,
Let the sun shine a light on her.

(Photography and poetry by Misha.)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Come out, come out wherever you are!

'Stay,hold and keep playing'
Forgotten vibes now
The chords have changed, the curtains unfamiliar.
Do you see what I see? Nah. Spotlight's blinding me.
You shuffle, almost without notice. Not a clutter from the audience in front.
Am I alone?
I gaze to my right;
'Stay,hold and keep playing'
Its not even a spectacle anymore.
Distrust heaving me down.
My work with the dangling puppets was much better, atleast recognizable.
'Stay,hold and keep playing'
It worked better with my last play.
Confident, and divine, I stood so proud that the crowd couldnt spot even a glitch of hesitance.
It was my stage, my audience, my theater.
So, just 'Stay,hold and keep playing'?
Make the curtains fall, the performance is over.
With a slight drag, you stand up and walk away, hoping there wont be any callbacks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dead Ends: Episode 4

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks. There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For Episode 3 click here. Enjoy!)
[Pssst… Apologies for such a delay in the post. Exams are around the corner, scavenging on my brain.]

Episode 4

Bahadur walks into his home like a zombie. He stands there at the door, watching his mother and sisters. No one notices that he has returned.
“Bahadur! When did you arrive?” Amma asks.
Bahadur just stares at her as if he’s gone deaf. His mouth is slightly open. His face shows no emotion.
“Uh… Yes… Yes I just came. Where’s Abba?”
“He hasn’t come back yet. He’ll be late.”
Amma goes towards the stove and stir’s the pot. A gush of steam makes eerie faces in the air.
Bahadur sits on the charpoy and Baji brings him a glass of water. She sits beside him while he drinks.
“What happened?” She whispers.
“Nothing happened.” He whispers back.
“Don’t lie to me! You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Did you get fired or something?”
“No. Leave me alone Baji!”
Baji eyes him, convinced that he was hiding something.
Bahadur lies down on the charpoy and rests his head on a flat pillow. Abba still hasn’t returned. His eyes are moist. He drifts off to sleep.

He wakes up in the middle of the night. Some one is softly knocking on the door. Bahadur stands up, rubbing the dust out of his eyes.
“Who is it?”
“Bahadur it’s me. Open the door.”
He opens the door and a weary looking Abba walks in. He throws the dirty cloth that’s on his shoulder to one side and walks into the bathroom. Bahadur sits down and fiddles with his hands. Abba comes out wiping his face with a towel.
“Are you hungry?” He asks Abba.
“No. I ate in the dhaaba.”
Amma turns in her sleep in the charpoy next to him. She snores quietly.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” The words just forced themselves out of his tongue.
“Tell you what Bahadur?”
“What you told Majid’s father today, why didn’t you tell me that?”
The towel drops from Abba’s hands. And he looks at his son astonished.
“How… How did you find out?”
“Majid heard you this morning.”
Abba goes near him and tips Bahadur’s chin up with his fingers.
“Come with me. We have a lot to talk about.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Criteria for Losing Yourself.

Booked history. Meant to learn from ?
You DO realise that you always end up on the wrong front.
Redeemed faith, love. Falter again.
You're fucked up. Dont feel bad. Its just you. Dang.
How. I ask, what number will you test ?
Yeah, just step on them. Have a damn fest.
Your levels have dropped to unseen depths,
How'd you be sought ?
So, just sketch on the dirt beneath you.
You dont give a damn, like you'd feel bad if it cheats you.
Wild smile. All your masks lay in front.
Pick one ? Clown another.
Soulless mortals, almost inaudible.
Heh. Blame ! It cannot be you.
Wild smile. Hysteria ?
Bleed it out.
So. You count rocks around.
Yeah, fiddle with them. They are diamonds, you fool. Not a crap mound.
Cry it out again. Its not like things would ever differ.
The mirror people would over power you. Suffer.
Laugh out loud. Laugh it out.
Press hard. Clenched fist, open it.
Fine, untampered dirt.
Bowed head. Sway away.

Maaz Tanveer.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dead Ends: Episode 3

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks. There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For Episode 2 click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 3

It’s the wedding day. Maheen is sitting in her room, in her gorgeous rust colored lainga. The top has no back only straps, which bind it together. She is arranging her hair.
When she is done, she stands up, examines herself one more time in the full length mirror. She is more than satisfied with the reflection.
She strolls towards Eemaan’s room, knocks on the door and enters.
Eemaan is sitting on her bed. Maheen sucks her breath in at the sight of her. She is adorned in a traditional blood red sharara. Precious stones are embroidered on her dress in intricate flowery patterns.
“You look absolutely beautiful.” Says, a gawking, Maheen.
“Are you sure I look ok? Because I think the man who did my make up over did my eyes. And I don’t think my lipsticks color matches my dress. And the dress, do you think it’s ok? And this jewelry! I told mom I didn’t want to wear these ancient things! But she says I have to and…”.
“Shush you… you are just nervous. Every guy in your wedding is going to envy Aamir!”
“Yeah but you’ll over-shadow me!! You look gorgeous Maheen.”
Eemaan’s mom comes in the room. For a minute she just stands a few feet away, watching both of them. Her eyes are moist. She comes near them and hugs them both at the same time.
“Eemaan, don’t you cry and ruin your make up ok? Maheen, can you please take Eemaan downstairs? The limo is here.”
“Of course Auntie! Don’t worry about Eemaan; I’ll take care of her.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Broken Moon.

Click on the image to enlarge and to read the poetry.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dead Ends: Episode 2

(This is a lengthy story based on actual facts. Episodes will be posted over a span of a few weeks. There are going to be NINE episodes in total. For "Episode 1" click here. Enjoy!)

Episode 2

Maheen wheels her bag out of San Francisco airport and looks around to see if anyone’s here to take her home. Right then a Lamborghini stops a few feet from her and from it emerges Eemaan, the 20 year old bride-to-be.
She is clad in a pink sleeveless top and white Capri pants, a glittering pink hand bag hangs from her shoulder and her long dark hair flows down to her waist.
“Maheeeeeennnn!!!!” she screams excitedly running to her in 5 inch high heels. She throws her arms around Maheen’s neck and kisses the air next to both her cheeks.
“Oh. My. God. Maheen! You have gotten so sexy in the last year! My, My! Look at that figure! How do you do it girl? If only you wouldn’t tie that luscious hair of yours in that pony or bun or whatever it is, guys would be falling all over you- But I heard some rumors about you and someone called Sadiq! Is it true? You must tell me all about him and you have to show me his picture! But we’ll do that later! For now, tell me how you’ve been?!”
 “I’m always amazed at this ability of yours,” Maheen teases, “how can you say all that in one breath and not let anyone else talk?”
“Come here you! Give me a hug! I missed you so much! Thank god you made it here.”
They both hug each other and remain in the warm embrace for a few seconds.
“When did you get this fabulous Lamborghini? Wait! Aamir gave it to you as your engagement present. Right?”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Half Past Twelve

Half past twelve
Can you see yourself?
Half lit faces
Incomplete stories surround
Half hearted smiles
Can you pick one to wear?
Half and a quarter
It should cease to matter