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TAKHLEEQ

This creation leaves me with the light fragrance of love, the gentle breeze that plays with her hair and the mischief in those eyes, those tipsy eyes. She seems like the lyric of my favourite song, playing in a loop every day of school, making me wistful, blind to the realization of the end of our time together. She stays with me like a warm hug, comforting me when the world seems too dreary to be true.

She was the oblivious to the storms waiting for her, struggling to make herself heard, hurt when her opinions would be undervalued and discarded. But she wore a smile, a facade hiding the pain she went through because Kriti ko Kabhi bura nahi lagta. She hid her insecurities in the garb of narcissism, which she never had. And while it entertained me to no end, I could never summon up the courage to ask how she was feeling.

And today I write to tell her, shake up her soul and make her understand that she is the most beautiful creation, khoobsurat takhleeq, as evocative as the ghazals she likes, as witty as the Shayari she reads. She is a wonder, capable of giving immense love and value to those around her. Even though she is sending memes at the height of evaluative apprehension and chatting away to glory, she has made a niche for herself in my mind and heart. The long line of suitors and her admirers made me laugh when the words of others had pierced my brain. She is my Hamdard ka tonic cinkara, a sweet melody, the sky with hues of pink and purple, the stream of water. She is my calm, she is my strength. And though I am extremely possessive about her, I wish to see her spread her wings and fly into the vast landscape in front of her, explore her potential and discover herself,

It fills me with emptiness when I think about the room of XII-A1 without the stupendous lessons by Ms Kriti Sharma, even the canteen bhaiya is worried about his source of income. It feels me with sadness, overwhelming me as I think about the days when the world was ours, laughter ringing in the school corridors. It makes me happy that I came across someone so genuine that she shines bright in a crowd, bestowing the world with her majestic smile and royalty. Your Highness, I will miss you sorely. You made my existence better, most importantly my jokes, though I have a long way to go.

While my mind fails to conjure more adjectives to explain your capabilities and tears fill my eyes as I wish you a Happy Birthday, I thank you for loving me so that I could love myself.

You are my Jaan. Keep this thought under lock and key.

Love,

Anhad

Brevity, Quill

WHISPER

It started with a whisper, a crackling whisper of resistance. It spread across regions, infecting the oppressed. It became the sound of the voiceless to fight for their rights. It moved people to stand up, it compelled them to raise their arms in solidarity, it burned in their hearts, it fired up their minds. It had slept soundly for centuries, showing up now and then. But this time, this day, it gained strength. It gave hope, embers of persistence. It made us speak, something we chose to ignore. But now, it resides in our resolve. It made us realize the world of inequality and injustice that we live in. It made us aware of the crumbling pillars of democracy. It opened our eyes to face the emaciated poverty-stricken strata, labouring on barren fields. It made us hear the wails of malnourished children, the victim of diseases. It made us feel the agony of traders and small businessmen. It made us smell the burning stubble.

It made us alive, ready to fight back. We, the people of India, stand tall, one for all and all for one.

This change started with a whisper, the crackling whisper of dissent.


    
Quill, Write Ups

HEARTBEAT

In a heartbeat I was thrown to the ground, beaten with iron rods on my head, my blood splattered on the pavement adorned with paan, red all around, saffron to be precise. In a heartbeat, the land I was standing on sunk into the ocean, taking my little hut on the mangrove with it, as the water level increased to a frightening height.

In a heartbeat, the internet shut off, rendering me incapable of communicating with my family, telling them that I was singled out and abused for being an alien in my country, unable to go back to my land and wander in my own Switzerland. In a heartbeat, the fish I loved to observe was there no more, dead in some forsaken corner of the Yangtze River.

In a heartbeat, my words started to reek of my religion, people around me looked at my clothes to ostracize me. In a heartbeat, I was going to die, the air in Delhi was not conducive for pranayaam.

In a heartbeat, I was devoured by beasts in the garb of teenagers, too shaken to protect what was left of me. In a heartbeat, I was slapped by my father, for going out into the streets to protest.

In a heartbeat, the drug I had taken made me forget my worries till death. In a heartbeat, my house was burned in front of my eyes and my father was taken by his long hair, stabbed multiple times.

In a heartbeat, so small yet profound, I ceased to dream, sleep, laugh and live. In this heartbeat, the world that was mine ceased to be.

Quill, Write Ups

THE ANGER THAT SEETHES WITHIN

Gunshots rake through Chatanpally, Telangana. The four accused in the gruesome rape and murder case of Disha are killed. There is a celebration all around and closure for families of other rape victims. This is the victory of good, this is justice

But what baffles me is the meaning of law and justice. Does it entail retaliation and revenge? Does it encompass taking the reigns in your own hands? Or does it mean a systematic and organized process of punishment and deterrence?

These questions swirl in my head while reading the various perspectives regarding this incident that seems to have been the final straw in the history of appalling crimes against women. While some hail this act, others condemn it as an extra-judicial killing. And still, others feel this to be the awakening of a new dawn, a safer world, a brighter future. But this incident is a grim reminder of the eroding faith of citizens in the state institutions of courts. It shows how the years of wait in the courtrooms, hoping for justice have led to the reduction of its legitimacy. Courts are perceived not as harbingers of justice but as a mechanism of enhancing the victim’s suffering by delaying redressal of grievances. The pendency of cases, reformative punishments and an exhaustive list of remedies for the accused, evident from the mercy petition filed by an accused in the Nirbhaya rape case a few days back, have marred the fabric of trust and belief of citizens in justice. This, in turn, has unleashed unbridled rage. It has been aroused all those times the charred bodies and torn identities were displayed in media, girls were ripped apart and killed for daring to dream big. The tolerance has given way to hellbent rage, a longing to right the wrong, to take an eye for an eye and restore order in the society.

It is a sad state of affairs that the inadequacies of the state institutions have brought us to this cusp where we all now become our own masters and rebel against order and balance. But who decides this order and balance, the state and its mongering mouthpieces, the opposition parties with garlands of onions adorning their necks or the academia which does publish reports and articles but is then gagged and underfunded? Or is it decided by commoners, who ride their pillions towards their offices every morning and try to maintain a facade of normalcy in the face of the breaking news they read which threw their age-old ideals and ethics out the window?

While answers may not be plenty, I can say that the present state of affairs is not welcome. It only heralds a darker age of brute force and fury which will burn our existence to the ground.

Write Ups

Independence Day

As our flag flies high, it reminds us of our struggle to secure basic freedoms and rights. It reminds us of our promise to honour our nation and vest free from the shackles of jingoism and aggressive nationalism. It reminds us of the trust it has in our ability to live in peaceful co existence and harmony. It reminds us of the love it has for every citizen irrespective of caste, religion and class. This flag, it flies high with the aspirations of its citizens to strive towards their best version. It flies high with the dreams of millions of Indians.

Quill, Write Ups

SENSATIONS

I can hear you.

I can hear your ragged breathing as you sit beside me and whisper in my ear to look at you. But I can’t. I would be beaten black and blue. Why can only I see you, I wonder?

You twist my arm and compel to turn my head and stare into your weary face. It hurts a lot. I break free and run towards my mother, she hits me hard and I fade away into a corner. These sensations pick at my skin and fill my ear with mumbles and cries, delusions of dead bodies and spies, push me into a dark tunnel where hopelessness resides. If only, someone could me help me.

Our mind is a labyrinth, long passages leading to the nebula of emotions and thoughts, a farrago of ideas. But when our mind is ill, our lives can turn 360 degrees. Mental health, unfortunately, can’t be locked in a box and thrown into a deep lake. It is bound to resurface, a burning issue in today’s world, affecting people of all age groups. But our society and its brigade of conformists have shunned the depressed, maniacs and paranoid, they are considered to be a blot on our “perfect” society. This irrational behavior exhibits an innate fear; the fear of the unknown. As we commoners are unable to comprehend the complexities of our mind, we turn our back to these problems, afraid that it will end us up in an asylum. But the world tried to restore order, it engineered psychologists and psychiatrists, therapists and life coach to facilitate the understanding of the mind and help people with mental health issues. But what the world couldn’t augur is that these messiahs would be ostracized too. They are labeled as crazy people who treat crazier individuals. This has resulted in mental health being reduced to a taboo. But this has the capacity to strike back with greater force, mental health is like an obscurus, our bottled up emotions can wreak havoc in this world.

So, I would like to extend a hand, to those who have shut themselves to this world. i would like to knock at the bolted doors of your mind, pick you up and help you stand on your feet so that you can do the same for others.

After all, happiness can be found in the darkest times only if one remembers to turn on the light.

Brevity, Quill

FURY

It is hot and boiling anger, born out of confusion, helplessness, and betrayal. It runs in my veins, on a pre determined course. It makes me wonder about the failing society we live in, it leaves me dejected when I glance at the mayhem that has ensued. It makes me weak in front of people who manipulate and distort the lives of others. It makes me impulsive and I take wrong decisions. This searing anger makes me a wild beast as I am unable to tame my emotions. This fury charges me up to wreak havoc. It blinds me to the subtleties of life. It makes me turn my back on hope. It fills me with fire to destroy myself.

And, I readily give in.

Quill, Write Ups

MA

The pain of the hot oil which spilled on your hand, that searing pain you endured, without a word and with tears in your eyes, a burn because of haste, to fill an empty stomach. The red eyes and yawns, those sleepless nights, when my aching body and agonizing cries were enough to keep you awake. The slender hand with firm fingers wrapped around my waist, supporting my stumbling figure, helping me walk after a long time. Those huge eyes, deadpan eyes, staring at me, doing their magic as a glance was sufficient to make me do my chores. Your death stare is indeed remarkable.

Delicacies galore, which I missed when you weren’t around. An assertive voice, supporting me through thick and thin, standing up for me and daring anyone to mess with me. Quirky humor, giggles, cackles, soundless laughter and a broad smile, a sign of how proud you felt when I first won a competition. Those endless talks on the couch, when I started confiding in you, those horrible mood swings when I banged the door of my room in your face, not realizing the sorrow it gave you, those beautiful moments when I cried and your shoulder was always there to support my frail emotions. You give all of your time to me, loving and caressing me, not understanding how difficult it makes the decision of leaving you and finding my own path.

I don’t need one day to appreciate you, I don’t need to put a status on WhatsApp to show the world how much I adore you. I don’t need to wish you a Happy Mother’s day because I strive to take care of you and love you every moment of my life. I wish to make your everyday special.

Brevity, Quill

JUST A BATTY BOY

I sit in a corner of the bathroom. My school uniform is in tatters. With a swollen face and red eyes adorning my appearance, I reflect on how I was bullied by a couple of seniors. They called me maggot and forced me to strip in front of them. I feel nothing but pity for these inane, fatuous bigheads. Another day in my life, spent in this bathroom, my closet, as I long to come out. But, the time isn’t right. It will take a decade more for acceptance to be served on the platter. I pick myself up and look in the mirror. All I see is a young lad trying to dream and live his dream.

With courage I smile, a farce which I hope becomes my reality. And with this hope, I will live another day and yet another day. Because you don’t need arms for freedom. You simply need guts.

Revolution has begun.

Brevity, Quill

REVOLUTION

I have been stifled for too long. My body has been beaten and raped. A lot of time has passed by, I don’t run carelessly in the meadows at the back of my home or steal apples from my neighbor’s orchards. I don’t laugh. I lay still and look at my reflection in this dirty mirror, it’s smooth surface shattered when he smashed my head into it. Like the broken shards, my face too reflects a million shades, a myriad feelings and a broken dream, its vestiges filling me with sorrow. I pick up my bruised legs and and wobble at the back of the room, my cage since the last five years. My nimble fingers deftly hold the sleek rifle, my experienced hands filling me with a blazing fire.

Revolution has begun.