Blood Music 

I knew a man with laughing eyes 

Who thought the world could sing 

And in keeping with his philosophy 

He did everything 

He could, to make even the mute cry 

The seeing would go blind, not to see 

The songs people sang to for him 

Scarred their voices permanently

I knew that man with laughing eyes 

Too well, oh 

Too well 

And if only I could sing again 

Oh, the tales I would tell

But I left him, to his bone music 

Not far but far enough behind 

And ran into another man, headlong 

Who’d been waiting for me some time 

And he didn’t mind, my grave like eyes 

And the blood music in my head 

He’d learnt from a girl with laughing eyes 

That it’s better to have ones that are dead 

Now this man with dead eyes holds my hand 

And my lifeless ones sparkle too 

And it doesn’t matter, that we don’t sing out loud 

Because we have hearts that do 

© yusra 



But With Every Sin, I Still Want To Be Holy


I will  live again.


As fun as it is to quote nihilistic ideologies and punk bands, I’m afraid this post isn’t going to be a lot of fun- my apologies for that.


I stopped praying five years ago. Initially it was just the odd missed prayer. It’s not like I was extremely devout to begin with (Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day. I think I managed four on very good days). But I had never been detached from religion in any way, or for any very extended periods of time. Even during the drunken frenzy days post high school, the ‘party’ scene never appealed to me beyond a quick dunk in every once in a while. I drank regularly in my late teens/early twenties, smoked up every now and then- bizarrely enough, I didn’t smoke cigarettes back then- but I never strayed from religion. I never stopped praying, I never stopped fasting during Ramadhan every year. Till five years ago, I don’t think I missed a single fast during our Holy month. It wasn’t even conscious thought. It just was a part of life.


Then things started breaking up inside my head. The frequency with which I prayed dropped. The fasting stopped. My mother noticed, my family noticed, but they didn’t interfere. My mother htought it was just a phase, that it’d pass. But the disillusionment cemented itself. Life was unfair, God was unfair. I knew absolute shitheads around me who were living perfectly content lives while I slogged. Twisted people, cruel people, people around me who I knew were inherently bad, I saw them flourish, and my pit got steadily deeper. The unfairness of it all rankled me like nothing else had, it got under my skin. What was the point of praying? It didn’t do me any good. It’s not like I got one fucking thing I was asking so desperately for. Because mind you, I prayed, I really prayed very hard fr a lot of things. Even for things as fucking simple as a little peace in my life. And nothing ever came to me. And I just stood there, watching, as they came to everyone who I knew didn’t deserve them.


This steady decline coincided with two very significant changes. One, I started allowing myself to be a bad person. Two, I realised that looking for the bright side didn’t feel as good as feeling sorry for myself.  And I didn’t see the point of denying myself such a simple pleasure anymore. It’s not like my life was full of joy, so why the heck not do something that made me happy? 

Why the heck not? Why shouldn’t I feel angry about rude ass people I had to deal with? Why should I not wallow in self pity for a while? Why the hell should I always force myself to look for a silver lining in every situation? The simple truth was that optimism got too exhausting, and I got tired of carrying hope around. Hope was too heavy. 

So I let the melodrama settle. I let myself feel bad every time something bad happened, which was practically every other day. I stopped controlling my anger, I stop bothering to reign in how bitter and sarcastic I can be. I went from being a teddy bear to a teddy bear who’s full of venom, according to my sister, and she’s right. I stopped going out of my way to help people, I stopped being a nice person. I simmered and stewed and fell in love with my own darkness, and piled my bed high with misery, and slept in it every night. I stopped praying completely. 

I started binge eating again. I started cutting again. I became one of those fat girls who take up a corner of the room and don’t talk to anyone. I’d come home, pour myself a drink, write about how my life sucked, and cry myself to sleep. I forced myself to date a religious and supposedly normal guy, hoping that this way I’d be normal too, but yeah, that was another fuck up beyond all reckoning. And I was depressed. I was always, always depressed. So much so that I couldn’t even keep the facade up in front of other people. 

Life plodded on like a fly doing the backstroke through treacle. No one tells you how hard being bitter makes you. And I was always tough, but now I was stony. There’s a world of difference between the two. And at some breaking point while getting blitzed or blazed and living a thousand yard stare daze, I woke up. And I hated myself in the mirror with a newfound loathing.
It’s not like I ever liked how I looked anyway, but I hated this person I’d become. When my best friend told me that she’s pregnant, my reaction was outwardly appropriate but my first thought was, it should have been me. I should have been the one married to the man I love. I should have been the one starting a family that I’d love insanely. I was the one who deserved that happiness- it should fucking have been me. And all the reasons it would never be me came crashing down again and I just broke, I think I broke that day, but I was repelled by my inability to look beyond myself anymore. For the last few days I’ve become acutely aware of how self obsessed I’ve been. Antisocial, vindictive, angry, petty, depressed, perpetually sad and perpetually angry. 
I was heartsick. I have been heartsick for so long. I’ve been carrying around this feeling of being unclean for so long. The thing about prayer is, it cleanses you. It doesn’t matter what your religion is, I know my Christian and Hindu friends will attest to the same. There is a sense of liberation in being on your knees and crying your heart out to a God for help, for guidance, or in gratitude, there is a freedom nothing else on earth can give you. Accepting that a sin is a sin, that a blessing is a blessing, it helps calibrate that moral compass that seems to go askew so easily. Maybe I’m just weak, maybe I need to be reminded of what’s right and wrong more than other people, but I needed it. It took me years of not praying and forcing myself to look away from God to realize how much I wanted to look to Him. 
Religion gives my soul the perspective that love gives my heart. In the years where I lost God, I found love, and that happiness was incomplete. But I think I’ve found God again. Nothing I’m praying for is coming to me. Everyone around me is happy, especially the jackasses who really don’t deserve to be. My life could not possibly be crappier right now. And none of my prayers seem to be pulling through. 

But it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to feel bad for myself anymore. I’m loved by a beautiful man, and I’m blessed by the Almighty. I’m praying again, and I feel like opening my arms to the world again, even if slowly. I think that’s more than anyone can ask for. 



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
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


Bully Me, Yeah..


Please note- this post might be a trigger for a lot of people, so consider this a TRIGGER WARNING. It is not my intention to upset anyone. Please do not read ahead if you find eating disorders a sensitive issue.

I think I had just turned nineteen, the first time I ‘discovered’ Bulimia.

I had started seeing someone the year before, and the honeymoon phase had melted through, as fast as a snowflake on the beach. I was suddenly under a lot of pressure to lose weight, because Le Boyfriend didn’t think his parents or his sisters would be approving of anyone who packed on the pounds. In his words, “if you weigh this much now, you’re inevitably going to put on so much more after marriage.” Which should really have been my first warning sign, but, oh to be a fool in ‘love’.

I’ve always had a complicated relationship with food. I’ve written before how much father always force fed/ force feeds me, because in his head, as long as I’m fat and bloated, I’m safe from the prying eyes of the entire male population. To the extent that if I start working out regularly or start a decent planned diet, he goes out of his way to sabotage it. I kid you not, he starts banging on the door during cardio hour for stupid things like come-and-do-your-laundry-right-now or come-and-do-the-dishes or come-and-read-the-newspaper-out-for-me. It’s really that ridiculous a situation. When that’s not happening, he’s making these ginormous smoothies with say,two bananas and an entire glass of full fat cream and mountains of sugar, or random fruit and full cream and sugar, or buckets of repulsive KFC wings, or plates and plates of steamed rice, or entire bowls full of walnuts and pecans and apricots that he expects me to eat drowned in cream. I’m getting a little nauseated just writing all these down, because I know what it feels like, having to shovel all of it down under his watchful eye. Yergh.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy good food. I like eating out, exploring new cuisines, it’s all fun but within limits. I’m obviously not a fan of eating myself into resembling a beached whale, at every meal time. That’s what was happening though. Backed into this corner of Lose Weight vs No Losing Weight, I turned to Bulimia.

It really seemed like the simplest thing at the time. I would eat as much as I had to, wait for everyone to get distracted by random things after lunch/dinner, and go throw up. Throwing up is really not that difficult, for the record. All you need to do is stick a couple of fingers down your throat to get you started, that’s all. It was so uncomplicated, really. I’d go from what I thought of as ‘Tank Full’ to ‘Tank Empty’ in less than five minutes, and could be back out to eat the pile of dessert Dad would keep ready. And of course, repeat.

I was smart about it too. Had the whole ‘scientific’ approach to throwing up so that I would do as minimal damage to my GI system as possible.For example, drink a glass of water before throwing up and it all comes out easier, without bringing up any of the stomach’s mucus lining that keeps it protected. I wanted to get thin, I didn’t want to give myself an ulcer. I even used a bit of chocolate to ‘mark’ between the healthy meal and non healthy meal. Felt like common sense back then.

But it doesn’t work like that. It’s never that simple.

It worked fine for a few months. I dropped three dress sizes and my boyfriend though I looked good enough to point me out to his sisters. Their reaction was, “Are you kidding? That short, fat, dark girl?”. Which got him upset, so he came and told me all about it. That upped the ante, so I started throwing up more frequently, going from just after meals to after I ate anything at all. In fact, some times I would drink half a bottle of water on an freshly emptied stomach and throw it up again, to ‘rinse’ everything out. And I was still being smart, in my head. Drinking electrolyte solution from time to time to make sure my serum electrolytes didn’t go out of whack. My mum found it odd that I was getting my electrolytes checked out every other month or so, but the results were normal, so she didn’t think much of it.

That was still in the first year. I was down five dress sizes, looking thinner every day, garnering compliments from all around. My dad couldn’t figure out what the heck was happening. He thought it was my busy schedule and all the running around that was making me lose weight, so he started piling on the food. I started throwing it up even more often. to the point where I started spending half my time at home either in the bathroom or hunched over the kitchen sink if no one was around. Getting it all out, rinsing it all out. I was vaguely dizzy half the time, from the sustained low blood sugar from eating barely anything (I was still drinking plenty of water, I didn’t want my kidneys shutting down lol). But for the rest part,well.. I had fine tremors in my hands. I blacked out for the first time in my life. I was exhausted constantly, running on black coffee that blessedly has no calories. I didn’t care about any of it, I was thin. My boyfriend was even hopeful that his parents might not have a problem with me after all. I was gloriously thin. And then the arrhythmia started.

I started having these attacks where my heart rate would speed up, to an insanely rapid gallop. My throat would close, I would cough uncontrollably, trying to breathe, My pulse would be between 140-180, twice the normal rate. I would just sit or lie down wherever I was, and wait for the attack to pass. It often felt as though my heart would simply burst, like a feeling of constriction in my chest, and my ribs feeling like iron bands around it. All my veins would be popping out, you could always see each of them throb, visibly so in my neck and my throat. The wave would slowly recede, leaving me exhausted, barely able to get off the bed. My heart had just sprinted a couple of miles, even if the rest of me hadn’t. Just for a few painful minutes, though. Nothing I couldn’t handle. It only happened once in a week or so. I could take it. Till it started happening every day. Sometimes, more than once in a day. Even my mostly-oblivious-to-everything-wrong-with-me parents had started to notice that I was having a problem. My dad was inclined to dismiss it as attention seeking behavior (drama, to use his words), but even he couldn’t deny the fact that something was wrong with me, when he could see it. They took me to a couple of doctors, and then forgot about it. I didn’t though. I was waking up.

It had finally dawned upon me that no one was worth putting myself to such extremes for. Especially when the ‘someone’ I was doing it all for, had started harping about other things wrong with me. I’d stopped writing, to appease him. I’d stopped going out with the girls, talking to any of my online friends, talking to most of my real life friends. I’d basically stopped going out at all, so as to stay out of the sun. I wore a hoodie all day to minimize sun exposure, even. All through the summer too. Through his eyes, I suppose, everything was wrong with me. Everything about me needed to be changed. Well, he was fixing them, and I was getting tired of being fixed. I have no freaking idea why I was so obtuse, so blind to the fact that I was wasting my time, wasting myself for this person. But I’d started to see it, and once you start opening your eyes to the truth, there’s no going back to the illusion.

I stopped throwing up, that year. I stopped cutting myself because of him. I stopped doing everything I was being pressured into doing. I never got professional help of any sort. I doubt my parents would’ve gotten me any help even if I asked them for it anyway, so I figured it out myself. It took me almost two years to figure out the rest of it, but I did. No one who doesn’t love you for who you are, should be allowed inside your head. So I locked all the worthless people out.

The road to being thin is just a finger away, but I’m not taking that way anymore. I’m much happier taking the long, meandering road, with healthy food and minor accomplishments that I have to earn. The one with portion sizes and pound by pound weight loss that doesn’t even show yet, but that’s okay, I know it’s there. I’m much happier, period.

I’m still figuring things out, but that’s okay too. I’m doing it for myself. No one’s allowed to bully me anymore, yeah.

Hugs and cuddles (and supersize ’em!)

Cookie ❤

The Painted Smile




The Painted Smile



You get up early morning, to the clattering of dishes. 


Nothing’s breaking outside your door, or in the kitchen, but thrown about to within an inch of breaking. Just almost. Almost is where the smart people do their work. 


You edge the door open and tiptoe across the hall, making sure that you’re not seen or heard. The Dishes are a sacred ceremony. Crossing the High Priest in any way is an instant ticket to some good ol’ bloodletting. The Dishes should not be interrupted. 


You sneak your clothes in across the yard, surreptitiously sneaking your phone and an apple into your bag when ghosting through the living room. It’s the youngest one’s turn to be a bonded slave today, heck, even slaves probably had some rights back then. But, it’s not your turn, not yet at least. That’s good enough for now.


You wind up your unnecessary chores, being as invisible as possible. Your filing system would make a PA proud, and your handwritten notes and letters would put a typist out of a job. In the real world, in the cruel world, sawdust has more value. So you do your chores and keep your head down. Heads that are raised up get pushed back down pretty sharpish anyway. 


You change into decent clothes. As unassuming as humanly possible, since you’re terrified someone will see you, know you. Even more so, you’re petrified that someone will want to know you more than you dare show. There are things in your life no one should know. No one can know. So you paint a smile onto your face, and go about your day.


You paint a smile onto your face and go through the motions. Walk through the morons wrapped in their own worlds, stopping for those few people you can see right through. They have eyes like yours, they have painted smiles like yours. You know them, and they know you, but you cannot show or know anymore. Neither of you can afford it. 


You throw the ball around. You read, you eat. You laugh as often and as loud as you can without seeing overtly fake You pretend to worry about your toenails like the other girls. It has to be just right. You keep the smile painted on till it’s time to go home.


And then the paint washes away. Not tearproof you see. You stand and take the pointless yellings and beatings like a man, even though you’re not really a man. You’re a girl who comes shoulder high to one of the biggest monsters the world has seen, but still forces herself to look him in the eye. But you’re the closest thing to a man in the house, so you ball up and goddamn take it. 


You play the secretary, then the maid. Then the nurse. Then the counselor for the younger ones. Then a shoulder and a listening ear for the oldest one. Then you clean and feed and soothe the menagerie. Occasionally you find time for studying. All the while you hitch up the slipping painted smile back onto your face, ’cause the Monster thinks he’s being fucking adorable. Yeahhhh, hahahaha that’s so funny!


And then finally it’s time. The High Priest settles down to worship the laptop for the rest of the night, and you see your chance. You make sure everyone’s safely in bed, and you find your way to your own. No major bruises or breaks, it’s been a good day. You take a moment to talk to that ocean eyed beating heart of solace so far away, and he helps you wash the pain of another day off your skin, off your mind. He makes you chuckle too. Because he loves you, as broken as you are. You talk to your ocean eyed oracle too, she knows you through and through. They love you, and they make sure you know you’re loved. Which is why you love them so goddamn much. So much that they could break you completely, just by not being, but you know, you know, they never will.


You leave the painted smile on your bedside, you’ll need it tomorrow. Tonight you can sleep with a real one on  your face. 


Who knew? Turns out there’s a real smile alive in there, somewhere, after all. 

The Saving


The Saving

I really wanted to save you..
And I really did,
It’s true.
I thought that I would keep you safe
Sheltered. Cloistered.
Away from harm.
I thought you needed my calm.
From the pain,
From bitterness.
From yourself, when you’d confessed.
I didn’t let the sun touch you.
I didn’t let the moon burn you.
Took away all the ghoulish dreams.
Stole away the nightmares
When you screamed.
I thought that I would save you.

Then one day,
When it was done
After the fork in our road.
When I sat there, all alone
The lack of color spelt it out.
I did not want to save you.

I did not want to save you,
You were a lucky casualty.
I needed the pain for myself.
I wanted the pain for myself.
I wanted the burn, the licking flares
I wanted your screaming nightmares.

It wasn’t ever for you,
But me
I was the one who wasn’t free
I had no taste without bitterness
Without your shadows
I was Nothingness
When your thorns were no longer there
I spilt no blood
And lost my way
There was no way,
There was no pain
I would never
Feel again
I needed your tortured thoughts
For without yours I had my own
Without you I just couldn’t
Face myself
When I was alone,

I drifted in and out of fogs,
Clutched the keys to
Forgotten locks
The music pounded in my ears
Your crying wasn’t there
To drown it out,
Your hurting wasn’t there
To drown me out

Because I needed you
More than you needed me
It was me that needed
Setting free
And now that the
Quiet’s set
There is no one to save me.


Day 27 of NaPoWriMo, and we’re almost, almost there.

Have a great day, everyone. =)


Cookie ❤