Destiny 

 

Destiny is such a strange thing

Some of us take the same paths

Twenty more are walking

All in a hurry to pass

The rest, and surge ahead

Treading on footsteps still fresh

Where the dust has not even settled yet

Repeating victories of our own imagining

But some of us stop, and

Carve roads of our own

Eschewing the rest, to

Where none existed

Hewn out of rock and stone

Scraggling through impassable terrains

Struggling to stand, then walk alone

Which is destiny?

Is the man who walks the beaten path

a man who cannot see?

If I burrow through a mountain for

My whole life

Is that foresight? Or tunnel vision?

What if the stream dries, halfway home

Before it reaches its destination?

Was that my part, or is carrying the pennant ahead, it?

How much is foretold? How much writ?

How much of myself do I follow,

what part do I create

What fraction is preordained, what value self made?

Have I chiselled myself for greater things

Or has Fate?

Because there are footprints behind me

And nothingness where I push through to

Destiny, you are a strange thing

And I don’t know, whether

Ambition or folly are winning,

But how much of this is me

And how much you?

(c) CM

30.09.2016

I ask to give credit,  I ask to lay blame. For every decision I chose to take, I can count two that I had to take- and even with my choices, where did the choices come from?

Who am I, to plan and scheme and chart my future? I don’t even know what I’ll have for dinner tomorrow night. Every time you switch the TV on, you hear of so-and-so number of people who were killed by an attack or killed in a retaliation. Did they decide to become a statistic? Did someone make them a statistic? Who made them a number? Am I a number, are you?

And what have I done, that I was allowed to live, and agonise over stupid things like what shoes I should wear today, when in some corner of this human hive, someone looked at the sky with flickering life for the last time? Am I worth more than them? I know I’m not. Luck, merest chance keeps us alive. Something unidentifiable keeps us alive. Master of my fate, captain of my soul- really?

I think not.

Whether or not you choose to believe in a higher power, believe in this. You are inches away of from being a statistic. You are a passenger, you are evanescent, you are inconsequential, you are mortal. You are small.

But you are not weak.

We choose what we leave behind. Even if we do not choose our options, we have some control over our choices. We are all here, and we are all leaving, sooner or later.

Choose what you will leave behind. That much, I think, is left to us to see. That much is not just destiny.

Love, love, and light,

Cookie ❤

Mud 

  

Mud 

I let my fingers root through the mud

Coaxing the water to flow deeper in 

Rivulets lost, over the rocks, splashing

Shyly glancing off the tender buds

I let my fingers root through the mud 

The earth had been waiting for me 

It’s been so long since I knelt in the dirt 

I’d forgotten that her warmth helps me not hurt 

She’d remembered, kept the imprints of my knees 

The earth had been waiting for me 

I sat, hands grounded, letting the sun wash over 

There were roses once, ivy, a slender, timid jasmine

I grew up climbing the guava, the mandarin 

The trees left when our hearts did, the flowers surrendered to clover 

I sat, hands grounded, letting the sun wash over 

Life is coming back, though, in trickles, if not floods

The earth had been waiting for me, knowing that I was slower 

So I sat, hands grounded, letting the sun wash over

 The veins of the soil run with something richer than mere blood

Content, I let my fingers root through the mud

©CM 

13.12.2015

Are you listening, God?

The fact of the matter is, I miss God.

I sit here writing this with a cigarette dimly glowing in the ash tray, an inch from a still glass of golden whiskey, and a fresh lungful of smoke- the irony, is not lost on me. But I’ll persist. I can’t wait to talk about this anymore. It has to be now.

For months now, my sense of loss has been growing. It’s like an abrasive tack pierced inside the wall of your heart. Time and movement help the wound grow, and moral stagnation helps the infected edges fester. I’m afraid that my spirit’s grown rusted, and I know why.

This is the precise reason I didn’t want to write about it, and wanted to talk to a friend about it instead. Too much explaining to do before I can get to explaining my need to be understood, and my edges are dulled tonight. But there is a decided lack of Muslim friends who are ready to talk  reasonably about the effects of ‘promiscuity’ and alcohol and living in sin on the soul. Indeed, I could name one, and not even another, who would agree to such a conversation without resentment and judgement lacing their tone. That implacability and refusal to bend, denial of the existence of another approach to faith, was one of the prime reasons I migrated away from accepting such ramrod people as friends at all. The lack of understanding, the lack of empathy, for something as basic and essential as religion or the lack of it in a person, was completely unacceptable to me, and still is. But in leaving all the stout and rabidly vocal believers behind, I seem to have left all believers behind, and it would take some looking to point to one of those who are dearest to me and do not take the concept of God with a pinch of salt.

I left those other people behind a long time ago. The ones who would point a finger at me because I’m ‘ungrateful’ and ‘disobedient’ to my demented father, or would shun me because I refused to marry the man who ‘ruined’ me, because in time, he turned into a monster too and I’ve had enough fucking monsters in my life for a lifetime. It mystified them that I could love to meditate in the morning, after praying. They rejected the idea as alien, and foreign. Some of my closest friends in our community were appalled that I could sit at a Hindu puja all day, when my mother’s best friend had her annual party, and like every year, I was there after dawn to help her prepare the masses of fruit and flowers. Those who can’t accept that I could sit in a room full of ‘strange’ boys but love them like brothers, and want to nurture them that way too. Those who could not understand how I laid my immortal soul down at the feet of an atheist, and how he raised me up to understand my God more than the religious monsters before him could have fathomed.

And none of them could even begin to understand how those seemingly godless men were my blessing. How each of us bowed to a different name and some, to no one, and yet, they make my life so full of meaning that I overflow with love. My days were and are blessed- but I miss being able to give thanks, because these are not the things I’m supposed to give thanks for.

I miss waking up blessed. I miss making my ablutions for prayer, sitting down with my earmarked and well thumbed Quran and flipping to my favorite verses for a quick read before I moved on to the parts I’d planned to read. I miss hearing a few lines of the call to prayer while on my way to or from work, passing some mosque or the other, and repeating them.  I miss those moments when I would hold back from swearing or unleashing a torrent of fucks on whoever deserved or didn’t deserve it, because I knew at the back of my mind that I would have to answer for it one day. I miss looking at the sky and knowing I was sheltered, Even though, at a stage, I grew to be constantly angry and bitter, resentful of the freedom God chose to gave to those who deliberately stifled me, and in turn, resentful of God Himself.

I don’t know how to describe this basic need, this hollowness in my head and heart, this absolute emptiness. Somewhere on the path to independence and fierce self definition, I stopped walking under God’s hand. I didn’t feel comfortable to take His name with a mouth that reeked of alcohol or smoke, so I stopped praying when I drank, and eventually stopped praying at all. It didn’t make the slightest difference in the quantitative analysis f my faith- indeed, I fought, argued, and debated more vociferously for the honor of my religion than I ever had in my regularly praying life. I used to make it a point to dodge talking about Islam at all. In today’s world, my belief is an expletive, and while I was NEVER ashamed, I was non-confrontational with those who wanted to make a scene about it, even while I blessed them and walked away. And after I stopped praying, I believed and believe more strongly than ever. I just never counted on missing the peace of a prayer mat so much.

And all the while, the deficiency kept building. These days, it’s become an almost physical ache. I deflect my mother’s questions as to whether I’ve prayed. She knows that I’m going through a struggle, and she’s letting me find my way out myself. I ignore my sister’s silent accusatory looks, because I was the only one who she respected, when it came to religion and practicing it. Other friends who I’d spoken to about this before, gave me some strange answers about a girl of my intellect being duped by these archaic Abrahamic religions, after which I never turned to them. I didn’t want to answer to anyone, and I didn’t have to, did I? so I stopped. I stopped and at some point, I realized that God had stopped answering too. I had been looking away from the lack of communication so determinedly that I didn’t see that it had stopped.

I can hardly complain about being forsaken when I walked away, can I?

A heart knows, a heart always knows. I knew His presence so closely, and now I know the silence. And I know that all I need to do is repent, ask for forgiveness and He will, He will, He always does. He loves His flock to come to Him willingly, rather than from fear of pain or fear of His wrath forcing the realization. And instead of watching from behind the curtain when my mum wakes up in the middle of the night to watch the Live telecast of the Friday prayers from Mecca, and bursting into hot tears and going back to bed, telling myself that this life isn’t for me anymore, if I just directed those tears to Him, He’d listen. It’s not as if He’s not already listening. I don’t even know why I picked up the laptop and started hammering away at it, it makes no sense to me. I’m half drowned in whiskey and the ratio of oxygen to carbon monoxide in the room has shifted a long time ago. But I was still mocking myself, and I think I’ve had enough of chasing distractions and hiding behind excuses. I’ve had enough of this enforced spiritual loneliness.

It’s raining outside. Are you listening, God?

Going Home

Going Home

Home is where the water tastes sweetest
Where the pillow, however thin,
Holds rest
Where the mind can finally breathe
And the heart slow down to think
Where the eyes can drink the
Peaceful dark, and
No matter how old in the day
Where the child, quietly hiding and seeking in the noise of work
Can come out to play
Home is where the brow
unfurrows
Where the silence grows
to crescendo
And washes over, again and again
Like a tidal wave trapped
In a mason jar
Some people build a house over it
Some find it in searching, wandering
Near and far
And I might not hang my hat in mine
-But it’s fine
My home is
wherever you are

©CM
21.05.2015

Rehashing an old ending. 🙂

My, my, this blog is getting really quiet. What is everyone up to?

Love and light,
Cookie ❤

The Buddha Again

The Buddha Again

I saw the Buddha in a rock
I didn’t want to stop, but he smiled
So I got off to say hi
Stood in the waving wheat,
At his feet, for a while
But we weren’t alone
anymore
So he went back to pretending
That he was stone
With his
Slanted eyes looking down
to four stories below
Looking around, granite faced
Placid, mellow
Roughly hewn features
Carved by the wind
He didn’t seem to mind
He was Buddha in a rock, in the sunlight
He was enlightened

©CM
04.05.2015

Waters -XLII-

-XLII-

Waters

Do not trouble me with
your eddies
With your ever ready
Attempts at
Turning my tide
Brewing storms, or
Your petty outbursts
Of rage
You cannot turn me

I am the ocean
You are a wave

‘Messages Off a Cigarette’
©CM
09.04.2015