I really don’t know…

Some days, I am a hundred percent sure that I won’t make it out of this hell hole. Other days, I bristle with enough rebelliousness to want to walk out right this moment, no heed to sense or money. Some days- most days- I retreat to my corner and lick my wounds.

We had a party yesterday. Twenty five people came over for lunch, two of whom I know at all. Just more people to show off for. My aunt brought the entire troop of her in-laws with her, each woman wearing at least four gold chains per flabby neck, and four fat gold rings per stubby fingered hand. And I truly hold them no grudge. It’s not like they showed up, we invited them formally. They were nice enough and simple enough, in fact some of them were downright sweet. The husbands, who I spoke to while serving the food and seating everyone around, were so normal that it threw me for a loop. I’ve literally forgotten how normal people can be, how normal families can be together. They kept insisting that we join them for lunch too, instead of scurrying around and serving. Because they don’t know the ground rules of our existence in this shithole. We serve. We clean. We usually dress up and keep the paper thin illusions alive. Usually.

Except facades tend to tear, as they are wont to. Two girls, one of whom isn’t twenty yet, can only fake so much after they’ve been forced to get up at 5.30 am to go for driving lessons (because if not at 5.30, then you don’t have enough dedication to drive a car, and so don’t need to learn anyway). After that you have to come home and pretend that the lessons were life-changing and/or you had the time of your life, because otherwise you too ungrateful to take them again, or study anything else, really. And if it’s just one or two things every day, you still manage. But things, in this godforsaken house, they tend to keep coming.

We wanted to shower and get presentable enough before the guests came, because between the house cleaning and helping the maids with the cooking, we’d gotten pretty dishevelled and food streaked. Obviously, we’d have to take turns, because we share one bathroom. We got our clothes ready and were putting the last touches to the living room, when the Decree came. Go to the Supermarket and buy soda. Okay, fine. That’d take half an hour but okay. Since Dad is always ‘busy’ on Facebook and Skype, we’d obviously have to. He can’t have us getting ready for a party now, can he. So we took the car and went.

Except ten minutes in, at the Supermarket, I turned a corner walked into my father. He’d followed us to the supermarket and spent the entire time eavesdropping on what we were talking about (specifically, whether or not we’d been talking about him). He jumped when I spotted him- clearly, he’d not thought that we’d spot him so soon. He babbled some nonsense about having forgotten to tell us to get chips, threw literally the first bag in front of him into my cart, and walked out again. When we came back home, mom told me that he was concerned we might be discussing him being unfair or something, and decided to go watch us.

And since guests had already shown up, there was no time to get dressed. In fact one of the grandma types even told us to go freshen up, but dad quickly interjected with a ‘my girls like to stay simple’. Or bedraggled, I suppose. We didn’t have a moment of peace till the guests left, the extra food was all packed and frozen for him just in case he has to leave soon, and the house scrubbed down to remove all traces of a party. Even then, even though I was dog tired and ready to pass out the minute I lay down, I couldn’t sleep.

I cannot tell you how disturbed I’ve been since yesterday afternoon. I keep replaying the exact moment I spotted him over and over again. It is just so viscerally disturbing, so bizarre. Even with the absolutely fucked up household I live in, it’s still way off the radar. When will this fucking nightmare end? I already double bolt the doors to my room before I sleep. I don’t shower or change when he’s in the house because I just can’t be sure. How am I supposed to spend every moment even away from home looking over my shoulder, to see if he’s come to spy again? Because now that he’s done this once, he will do it again, for sure. This man has a pattern. Once he loses his inhibition for something, it becomes open season on that front. And for the life of me, I cannot imagine more rules and restrictions that I already live by.

I barely have time for Facebook anymore, or for writing. I’m working the whole goddamn day doing nothing of consequence and everything of obsequience. I’m working like a slave, rinsing out bowls that are ‘still damp’ turning sofas upside down because my dad suspected ‘there might be some food under the cushions’. The three meals we sit down to eat are piles of food that would do a restaurant proud, but we can barely swallow down, because we have to ‘serve’ him while we eat and listen to him criticise everything from our faces to our personalities, the rest of the time. As if none of this were enough, he keeps clamping down tighter and tighter because he’s so sure, we’re trying to rebel on some front.

I.. don’t know. I’m twenty seven years old. I’m a doctor, and have an IQ that sits in the genius spectrum. I have love and friends and family but more than anything, I cannot breathe here anymore, and I’m afraid.

2 AM

I hear the Beast’s voice as I’m falling asleep
It seems loud in the distance, I can’t be sure.
I tiptoe past a silently opened door.
The hall is dark, the carpet muffles my steps, I feel my way to the railing 
And listen…. Nothing.
It’s not him screaming. 
Just a hallucination, some sound or the other. 
But I turn, and I see my sister 
Crouched on the landing, just as scared 
Nowhere in the world are there
Two other girls, so afraid
To leave their mother 
Alone with their father 

2 AM

©CM

18.12.2015 

IS This Who We Are?

IS This Who We Are?

 

 

 

 

 

Paris. Syria. Iraq. Karachi. Bangkok.

It seems there’s not a place left in the world that hasn’t suffered, that pain has truly become worldwide. That the worst of humanity walks unseen among us.That we should resign ourselves that death will come us unexpectedly not by the Hand of God, but by the hand of Man.
What is wrong with us? Is this who we are? A hundred and twenty dead in Paris. Bombers quickly reached Syria when France retaliated. Mali gets notched on the map in the interim period. At the same time, Turkey shoots down a trespassing Russian jet, with two pilots, whose bodies are shown off to the camera by insurgents, triumphant that the people carrying death to them were blown out of the sky. And I’ll bet you anything, anything, that they considered this some sort of Divine intervention for their side.

I don’t presume to know what God is planning for me, let alone for us all. I don’t think anyone can claim to know, unless they’re seriously demented. But that’s exactly what’s happening, isn’t it? ISIS, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, extremists here, insurgents there, they’re all Muslim. And according to them, this is all God’s plan. And people like me can go blue in the face explaining that this isn’t Islam, but let’s face it, we’re being drowned out by the explosions these people set off worldwide.

Islam does not lie in killing. Jihad is the most misused and misquoted word on the planet. This is not who we are. This is not us, these are not Muslims. Find me a Muslim who will not break down when he sees the bodies of the Syrian children, toddlers, instants, women crying over their ruined homes and families. Find me a Muslim who was not rendered speechless by the military school in Pakistan where each and every child was systematically executed, to teach the military a lesson. Find me a Muslim who is ready to blow up a mosque packed to full capacity for the Friday prayers, because he is Sunni, and the mosque is Shia, or vice versa. Find me a Muslim who believes any or all of these, who is ready to punish the innocent civilians walking the streets in NY or LA for what the army led strikes did, the politically motivated wars have done to Iraq, and Afghanistan. Find me a Muslim like this, and I will tell you, this is not a Muslim. That’s not even a human being.

Human arrogance does not lie in our negligence of our mortality. It lies in our assumption that we are a part of God’s grand plan to make the world kneel to us. That is exactly what these deluded mad men are doing. They strap themselves with explosives and walk into a room full of white people, and think that they have earned Heaven. That a choir of angels is waiting to pick up their fragmented bits and ascend to the pearly gates- No. If you believe in Islam, if you are as staunch and as thorough a believer as you say you are, then you know the price of taking a life. You take on every single one of the murdered’s sins, and while the dead go straight to Heaven, no matter what their sins, you will have to pay for them. Or do suicide bombers conveniently forget this bit?
What about this nonstop rhapsodizing about the glories of Jihad? We are NOT at war. The Islamic world is NOT at war with the rest of the world. Stop using that as a pitiful excuse to justify your madness. If anything, the Islamic world needs to be at war with themselves, to root out these weeds and throw them out.
The world has come full circle. Today there’s an exodus from the Middle East, instead of to the Middle East. Palestine still bleeds. Syria is bleeding. Pakistan is bleeding. America bleeds. France bleeds. Is this who we are? Are we going to be responsible, revenge and retaliation, for the extermination of our own race?
I’m not saying that blame lies with any one side. It lies equally distributed on ALL our shoulders. We have the Maharashtra government in India, which has imposed a ban on beef (punishable, on suspicion, by public lynching) in a secular country. That’s right, India is a secular country. And the ban has gone unchallenged by the powerful central government, even though it is essentially unconstitutional. And people are too afraid to openly challenge it in court. Okay, okay, I get it. Cows are sacred to Hindu people. But Hindu people need to realize that they can’t force their religious restrictions on Muslims or Christians. And Muslims and Christians need to to realize that it’s just BEEF, for god’s sake. Stop smuggling pieces of meat, stop smuggling burgers and curries across the border. Are you going to fucking die if you don’t eat beef? If it’s that much of a sensitive issue, then just fucking stop eating it! I know it’s not ‘right’, that it impinges on your ‘rights’, but can’t you at least be reasonable? And face it. If someone walked into a Muslim restaurant in USA or UK and demanded they serve pork because those are Christian countries, wouldn’t you be immediately offended? Muslims I know are just a stubborn, just as adamant in their refusal to compromise. Why should we compromise, they bristle. We don’t bow to a stone god, that’s ridiculous. Have you ever stopped to think what the stone-god-worshippers think of you? They think you have no god, that you worship the sky, that you’re a bunch of goat fuckers and child molesters who think blowing yourself up earns you eternal paradise. A guy I know once asked me why all the fuss about beef in the first place, didn’t Muslims understand how sacred cows are for Hindus? After all, didn’t we find pigs sacred and refuse to eat them? It took me the better part of the afternoon to explain that pigs and pork are considered unclean, not sacred, and even then he didn’t look entirely convinced.

 

This is our problem. We seek to retaliate, not to understand. We don’t want to acknowledge that the person sitting opposite us could worship a different God, and yet still be as good a person as we consider ourselves. Or even better. Our pigheaded opinions of our superiority, our divinity, this rabid belief that each of us worships the true God while the rest are all in the wrong. Does believing in God mean that you look down on everyone around you? I really don’t think so. As far as I think, believing is supposed to make your heart softer, not harder. We are all flesh and bone and blood. And if you think your religion tells you that your blood is worth more than someone else’s, you’re probably reading something wrong.
There is so much pain around us. There is so much anguish around us. We have painted our houses in our neighbors’ blood so that the curse passes us over. What did you accomplish, ISIS, by bombing France? What did you accomplish, Al Qaeda, with 9/11? You’ve earned the world decades of suffering, backlash attacks, retaliatory strikes. Like a stack of dominoes, world peace is collapsing. Governments rise and all, people come to power and leave, disgraced or forgotten, but everyone wrecks havoc, whether they carry a stately title or a cash award for info. A scant handful actually aim for damage control, but they’re shunted aside just as rapidly. And the monsters watch the show from their shelters, planning and plotting where to hurt next. Is this who you are? Is this who we are? I refuse to believe in this, that we could not violently refuse an association with the worst of humanity, whoever they bow to.
If you seek to hurt someone, you are wrong. If you choose to cause pain, you are wrong. Whether it’s one person or one hundred. If you aim to cause damage, cause death, you are wrong. If you believe that God wants you to, you are wrong. You are as wrong as can possibly be. You carry the burden of hurting everyone you have hurt on your soul. Whether it’s a guy who’s heart you broke, or a goddamn building you blew up, do you understand?
How will you even stand before your God?

How will you even face God?

Fortress

Fortress

I built myself a fortress
With walls of sound
Closed myself inside
Screamed at whoever tried
To drag me out
Bricks of words and mortar of
Anger
Granite where
the emotions should have been
But I made sure the decibels hid
All feeling
And naught of me could be
Heard, or seen
And I raged and kicked and fought
To be let alone
Sealed in the stones, in the fortress of sound
And I’d thought I would heal
But I didn’t realize
That I’d be driven to insanity
Trapped in the silence

©CM
29.04.2015

Night Terrors

Night Terrors

I was never afraid of the dark,
even as a child
I learnt very early that
The real monsters
Walk in daylight

I had no need to use
My imagination, when
It was stark- black and white
to see
Real monsters
Live in men

Men who are rotten from within

They keep feeding them
Putrid thoughts
Decayed consciences
False smiles and assurances
Mask the core of depravity
Their rancid leers give them away, but
Only if you look past
Their invisibility
Can you see?
Can you see?
Can you see how many monsters
Surround me?

And I’m grown up now,
but
I still seek the night
Because I know
The monsters wait for me
In the daylight

©CM
15.01.2014

Now I Lay Me…

Now I Lay Me…

I stand in the shadows, and
stare at my bed

That place has seen so much pain
I can’t even count the nights I’ve lain
In it, begging for mercy, begging
For reprieve
Because I believed it would worth it
When it came

But every night’s been
Exactly the same

I can’t count the tears it’s seen
The number of times it’s been stained
With salt
With blood
More streaks, but darker, with anger
With emptiness, with ache
I’m almost surprised it didn’t break yet,
Considering how much I’ve shook in it
But see
That bed is damnedly more strong than me
Because I drowned it, every night I drowned
I tore myself apart in it- and it still gives
Silent witness
To everything
That I’ve lived
It’s heard all that I was too afraid
To say, except in my head
On these nights, when I stand in shadow
I’m not sure if I’m scared, or eager
To confide in, to hide in,
My bed

© CM
11.01.2015