It’s been a while…


It's been a while -

It’s been a while –


It’s been a while since you

Felt much. Laughed much. Cried much.

It’s been a while since you

Cared enough. Hugged enough. Understood enough.

It’s been a while since you

Jumped up. Aimed up. Flew up.

It’s been a while since you

Prayed some. Gave some. Took some.

It’s been a while since you

Stumbled across. Dashed across. Slithered across.

It’s been a while since you

Dropped all. Hated all. Forgot all.

It’s been a while since you

Stood straight. Thought straight. Looked straight.

It’s been a while since you

Made sense. Wrote sense. Ate sense.

It’s been a while since you

Dreamed big. Imagined big. Hoped big.

It’s been a while since you

Broke standards. Upheld standards. Ignored standards.

It’s a while since you

Kept it simple. Absorbed it simple. Smelled it simple.

It’s been a while since you did anything.

But in that nothing you did everything.

It’s been a while since you lived like that

But what’s the point if all you lived is that

It’s been a while.

It’s been a while.

Two friends



Once there were two friends, Love and Respect. They considered themselves equal and inseparable. But deep down, Love secretly felt superior. Respect always felt this strain on their friendship. It chose to remain quiet.

Years passed. Lives changed. Love crumpled in the tough tides of time. It’s skin sagged and limbs trembled. It lay shaking in its feeble condition, as life’s clock ticked into oblivion. It longed for its soul-mate. Respect.

Love had gone far in life. Perhaps too far. And once it crossed the sacred realms of its existence , it began to burn in its own hateful fire.

And that’s how Love was lost, forever. For now it knew what it meant to lose Respect.

What ‘Being Human’ means this year

So this is what ‘being human’ means as 2015 comes to its slow, painful end. So this is what it means to breathe the 21st century brand of oxygen.

Waking up to war. It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are or what side you’re on. It’s something all of us have in common. We have always kept it alive. It lies dormant for some, while for others it never goes away. No one is truly safe. A heinous act of a handful of people promises to hold the rest of humanity responsible. So hey, please do not complain when someone harasses you at the supermarket because of your skin color. Or if you secretly wish to change your name because you share it with the recent terrorist shown on television. Their war is our war, whether we admit it or not. We are all in it for the long haul.

Being inhuman. We care, but never enough. We see children dying all around like crushed dried leaves.  We hear about a child witnessing the mass murder of forty of his relatives. We hear about ruthless killings in schools. Nothing but some stingy bytes on the social media and a few tears are attributed to them. We read about hostage situations, bomb blasts with riveting interest and then go back to writing banal grocery lists. Because hey nothing’s wrong with that, life goes on. Right? What does it matter if it happens every day to someone exactly like you,  but thankfully not you?! What does it matter if plastering bloody and gory images of war on social media feeds our self-righteousness, our need to feel better about ourselves? Oh we feel. But never enough, never the right way.

Being Hypocrites. Where some lives are more important than others, based on where you live and what you look like. Where not having access to a 500 dollar handbag is as much a cause for tears as not having money for food. Where money used on new monuments and buildings can sustain over a thousand refugee families for the year. Where celebrities  wear the most expensive brands and undergo surgical procedures, and then talk about ‘being yourself’ and finding your ‘inner beauty’. Where the more people talk about women’s rights and feminism, the more the world objectifies women as nothing but sexual beings.

Being Paranoid. We see to believe, and then we poke our eyes out when we don’t see what we want to see. We play tag with our schizophrenic selves. This new world of ours runs on conspiracies.  It’s not even our fault because anything and everything is possible. God is a convenient entity we dig up when needed. Otherwise our ego plays the omnipotent role splendidly. Religion is and always has been the easiest scapegoat. But every act carried out in its name is based on deceit. Ghosts don’t scare us anymore. It’s those rotting corpses hanging in our closets that drive us insane.

Being fearful. The world’s economy thrives on our fear. Fear for – life, home, family, job, success. Fear of – failure, death, loss, loneliness and everything else in between. So they invented insurance. Assurance that we gulp down like pills to make us sleep at night. Car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, accidental insurance. Too bad there’s no insurance for forgetting how to be humans. But then, why would that scare us?

Being Sick. Diseased, rotten minds, bodies and souls. Almost everyone is suffering from the plague of a complicated life. Measurements, standards and parameters define our existence. And not love, laughter or sorrow. Finding contentment is harder than finding life on another planet. We wait for life to happen the way we want it to. And then one fine day, we wake up to realize all the waiting and stress wasn’t worth the trouble. We have stopped breathing. And it’s going to take a lot more than an electric shock to wake us up.

So this is what it means to celebrate a new year, every year.

Being Hopeful. Nothing else dresses up our wounds. Delusional, magical, unreal spasms of hope that come and go on their own accord. Every year, misery and death join forces to draw out every last drop of life from us. But hope always comes to the rescue. So we pray for a new and happy year. We wish for a new and changed beginning.

Holding on to hope can’t be easy in these horrific times. But if given the choice between gut-wrenching hopelessness and a faint pulse that promises better days, we always choose the latter.

We hope, because nothing else makes sense.

We hope, because nothing else makes us feel human anymore.




Read if you must. And pray tell, if you understand the rings in my tree.

Credits: Zeeshan Sultan

Credits: Zeeshan Sultan

What does it all mean? Every now and then, it taunts me. Pokes me. Sneers at me. Reduces me to nothing. A silent voice in my head that beckons for more; in life, from life. Telling me that I have it all, but then I don’t.

It’s not about shuffling my deck of ingratitude. Thankfulness resonates in every move of mine. But am I not allowed to question? To probe at that silent voice that sets forth an all too familiar set of actions; of sulking lips, furrowed brows and a restless heartbeat.

Is it that I don’t write enough? Or try enough to extract meaning from random symbols? Pray enough? Or deep enough to connect with every word I  speak of. Is it that I play it blind? What good is sight in a world of blind people?

Is it that I find people inconsequential? Their worries inane. Their feelings fake?Because those who have genuine problems, don’t stand naked for all to see, but clothe themselves with dignity. Because those who really feel, don’t need to prove anything.

Is it that I love making excuses? For myself and from myself. But then those who don’t, DO. And I have my excuses, so I don’t, DO. I fear anonymity. I shiver at fame. But I crave both. And work for none.

Is it that I smirk at life’s predictability? Where people die, lives go on and nothing truly matters. Where as long as our stomaches are filled with greed and thirst, everything is justified. If everyone is right then who is wrong? And I am right, but why do I feel so wrong?

Is it that I despise ego? But even more so, those with none of it? Yet I have tons of my own. Enough to make me draw meaningless conclusions and point my fingers the other way. Enough to disappoint myself. The most.

Is it that I don’t matter? Beyond what I am supposed to do, or say, or think. Because there is a lot that I am supposed to do, while a lot that I’m not. So where does that leave me? Forever in self-doubt. Forever confused.

Is it that I don’t believe in standards any more? Of beauty. Of success. Of piety. Of evil? Standards are about limits. But you can’t limit beauty. Or measure success. Or restrict virtue. Or cage sin. So why stoop to lowly levels of definition? Why not rise to infinity?

That voice hasn’t gone away yet. I don’t think it plans to any time soon. It will continue to knock on my dormant existence, making sure I don’t die without a question in my head.

And God knows. Like the rings in a tree, I have many questions.