Don’t be afraid.
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
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?
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
the emotions should have been
But I made sure the decibels hid
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
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
Live in men
Men who are rotten from within
They keep feeding them
False smiles and assurances
Mask the core of depravity
Their rancid leers give them away, but
Only if you look past
Can you see?
Can you see?
Can you see how many monsters
And I’m grown up now,
I still seek the night
Because I know
The monsters wait for me
In the daylight
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
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
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
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
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,
Dream Diary I
I dreamed that I was dying.
I was almost dead, and the stars were spinning around me in the sky. And I couldn’t breathe, and I saw your face, and the breath rattled in my throat, slowly throttling me from within. And I was choking, choking back screams and air, and yet completely immobilized.
And I was dying.
And then there was nothing, nothing at all. The night ebbed into a room as the waves of darkness receded, a lone table and chair in the center of the room. I could hear children squalling, from somewhere not far away, and I knelt in the center of the room, gripped within stone arms of fear. In the calm of complete dread, and fear.
And then you walked in.
Shifting shadows on your footsteps, menace and hatred dripping from every aspect of your twisted smile. I could see the blood dripping from your fangs, your jaws methodically snapping empty as you retched regurgitated air, shades of the walking dead trailing behind you. They had been people once, people I knew. You’d been a person once, a person I’d known. I could see nothing but the demons in you anymore. I could see nothing but demons anymore.
She was chanting, walking the edge of the room and chanting, shrieking and cursing in words that crawled through the air, through my ears and into my skull and gnawing through my brain, words as alien as a green sky and a red ocean, and yet they meant so much, so many things, each more terrible than the one before. Venom, liquid venom in that voice, in your voice, in the screaming babies, in the dying moans that pervaded the entire room, like a smog of despair and malice, suety thick, bogginf my lungs down with every black breath I forced in, as the cacophony erupted around me, dancing to the beat of some madman, the heartbeat of some gargantuan monster from the bowels of Hell, and I clapped my hands over my ears, staring around frantically, and our eyes met. I saw you.
And I knew it to be you.
This, this nightmare, this. This was your fault.
It was always you.
So I woke up.
No more am I slave to your fickle moods. No more am I your emotional punching bag. No more am I anything to you, but you are to me.
You are a lesson, and that is all. You are a failure. A miserable, weak, snivelling coward of a man who never learnt how to treat a woman, how to cherish a girl, how to love a human being other than yourself.
You never learnt to acknowledge, to appreciate. To be grateful.
And I no longer concern myself with any of that.
You were a nightmare. And I’m no longer spending my days sleepwalking through life.
Because I woke up at the right time. And you are still the nightmare you always were. But I am awake.
And you no longer exist in my waking dreams.
You can no longer poison my life. You are nothing, to me.