February 18, 2018

Reflection of my moon

by , in
Last night, your faded memory came to me,
As in the wilderness, spring comes quietly,
As slowly in desert, moves the breeze,
As to a sick man, without cause, comes peace!

The moon of my night, an oasis for my deserted soul and a heavenly shelter from cold buffets of life, was my mother. It was a scenic day glittering with the serene sunshine in the blue sky. That day, she had completely recovered from the demon of hepatitis. The vivacity of life was sparkling in her eyes. The omen of life had totally exalted her to a novel perseverance. She had grabbed the silky life with her caressing hands. The life to her meant her children.
The moon of Ramadan was surely an omen of joy for us. We had scheduled our sister's wedding. In that reference, my father and mother were to leave for another city. I bade them farewell under God's heaven and saw them off. "Life is going to be beautiful," I smiled to myself and went to the bed.
Suddenly at midnight, violent knocking at the door woke me up. Something wrong alarmed me. It was my cousin at the door. "Where are uncle and aunt?" he asked. "They have gone out of station," I uttered. I saw a cruel prophecy residing his eyes.
"What has happened?" I inquired. "There has been a horrible accident on the highway."
"Don’t you dare say that!" I tried to say, but my lips refused to cooperate.
"The woman died on the spot," he continued. I couldn't listen any further.
My heart forgot to beat, my eyes forgot to blink and my ears forgot to hear. It was as if someone had poised my brain. The surrounding air started thundering. Unable to feel, numb and dumb, a tear was finally blessed down my eyes. It broke me to prayers.
I knelt down to call Him. I asked Him to turn this news false. I begged, "May she live today! Don't snatch life from her too early, too shortly!" At that time, I realized how cruel life could get.
Then, the real news came, shattering my heart into a million pieces, that a heavy truck had torn her poised body into pieces. The poisonous venom gushed into my whole being, paralyzing my soul and my urge to live, like a tumour budding inside me which would engulf my whole existence.
With a torrent of tears, I could see my mother parting from me. I knew I was going to miss her caressing hands, her warm lap, her sincere rebukes and her each and everything.
It has been two years, they say. It has been countless centuries for every second is merely a wall of distance from her. Until now, I have achieved all that she dreamed for me. Nonetheless, never was any achievement so colourless and meaningless.
I have learnt to live without her, but with her reflection. The way a sea can never get the moon but is happy to be with its reflection. I can feel her around me; sometimes smiling, at times snubbing and at times, praying for me. 
Allah has taken away His property but He has also blessed me with her strength and her memories.  Even if on the worldly basis, she is no more with me, I can see her in all I see. I can feel her everywhere, encouraging me to live and succeed. I can hear her whispers saying unto me,
"My beloved speaks and says to me: 'Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come.'"

- Farzeen Javaid (Class of 2021)

February 02, 2018

Beasts of Burden

by , in

Just heard a patient groaning:
“These doctors are all beasts!
They overcharge then kill us,
And then enjoy their feasts!”

I smiled sarcastically
At the overall I wore,
At scars I got to win it,
At the awful pain I bore.

They wonder how we changed,
Once cream of the nation,
I’ll share some reasons why
We get this accusation.

Ever touched a human bone?
Oh no! It gives you frights!
We can even sleep with them,
Studying in pre-stage nights.

As they enjoy bridal showers,
Alive with lovely melodies,
We work in autopsy rooms-
Examining assaulted bodies.

They shout when their dress is dirty
With a little spilth;
We’re in the pathology labs
Hands dirty with their filth!

Expecting baby, they take rest,
Buy clothes and baby carriages.
We travail in labor rooms,
Preventing their miscarriages.

We see a patient breath his last
But We're too busy to cry,
For there's a patient next in line
Whom We just can’t let die.

And if we take a ten-minute rest
In a thirty-six-hour toil,
“Murder!”, “Cruelty!”, “Negligence!”
We sigh- at this turmoil.

Frequently, we hear humans
Threatening to abate us.
We, the beasts, stand unarmed-
Wondering about our status.

Then they attack so horribly
We get disfigured and fractured.
Yet, seminars are held where
On humanity, we get lectured!

When we raise our voices,
Through media, you react!
Declaring natural deaths as
Expiries by neglect!

Hoping in hopelessness,
Breaking down, we stand!
All to give these “Humans”
In their hourglass, sand!

Now when they call us beasts,
Then maybe, they’re right
For we are the Beasts of burden-
Ploughing yet beaten, day and night.

Maryam Ejaz
(class of 2020)

January 30, 2018

The Sprauchled Breath

by , in

"I could not explain my worth,” she sighed, "I could not present the truth." "Why did the evil win?" as answer-less as an ancient rock. 

Her truth, though a whimsy for all, had started devouring her soul from her beating corpse. Being nourished in the hands of delicacy, she had begun to feel herself as a loathsome, putrescent soul. For her, the mirrors of reality had sprinkled the chaos of virtuality.

She had begun to look for her peace by plunging in abysmal depths of thoughts. And the beauties of life seemed a chimera for her. 

But, what was the truth she could not present to the world? What was the bad event that was absorbing her peace? What was the flood that turned her morose?
At such a young age, what was the cumber that was growing with her?
She just used to hum some lines all the time as she roamed lonely in her aisle of sorrow....

 "Weather was in rage and the clouds turned black...
Oh! The sun chose to spread the sorrow in the sane...
 That sudden serious gaze thrilled the norm in my soul;
 and the rays of hope riddled the threads of my peace."

A writer since a long, but now, she felt helpless to quote a single word; tremors straying her from holding the pen in her hand. She could not accept the fact that her strength was being challenged but helplessly, she could not rise to the level above it and got sinking deep into the bitterness of the aura. She was helpless!

A girl, who tried  to love even the odds of society, had now a stained heart with the developing hatred for everyone around. 

The love from everyone seemed to be a mere begunk to her.

"Why these episodic nightmares?” she used to ask herself. “Why do my scary dreams come true!" Now, even the fairy dreams were nothing more than nightmares. She was scared of sleep and she used to wake up whole night, staring at the sky, at the moon and the stars and used to wish if there was some path that went to moon where she could spend her rest of breaths.

In the foggy winter mornings, she used to cry under the voices of muezzin, heavily, as if never cried before and then with swollen eyes, she used to speak in her heart:

 "There is a need, O lord! I need it. I love you, I promise. Your blessings to me got captured by evil. Now, it is more than a decade and I am tired. Present it to me, not as a blossom but as a way to you." 

And then she used to lie down, close her eyes and croon with herself…

“I feel death soothing my lips;
From the distant narrow edge;
In my distant breath,
And then censoring the good out of me.”

Her hopes, though less; her patience, now trampled and soon, she decided to end her trial. And, with the heavy heart, on a piece of paper, she attempted to quote her last words:

To the charlatan scenes of world, 

I write to you, not as your votary but as your nemesis. Your abstractions are perfect to intoxicate a pure soul but your gladdened heart will soon burn in the gross!
Good bye!

And, with her closed eyes, she placed the sharp scalpel on her wrist and the blood washed all!

"This is what I got to know about her," he smiled and had a sip of cold coffee. 
I was numb, I could not ask more. As an interviewer, I felt weak for the first time since my first interview. 
He understood it and after placing the cup of coffee back on table, he took a pencil out of the pen holder with an eraser.

 Then, on a sheet of paper, he sprauchled some lines with pencil in his hand. 

Then, he asked me, "Can you erase this slumber in some minutes?"

"Yes, it is a pencil mark," I replied eagerly.

Then, he sprauchled in the same way with a ballpoint pen and asked me, “What about this one?”

With confused mind, I responded, “It is not possible to erase it like that.”

With a sigh of vindication, he said, “This is what troubled her internally. She felt her soul as stained with the drops of evil which could never be erased. She had begun to ponder on the thought of being a ruined lot!”

“What was the guilt that turned cataclysmic in her life?” I asked desperately.

"She was abused. She was molested by a person of her day to day dealings; a person who put her into dilemma of respect and honour when the dolls used to be in her toy house and she used to cry for her missing dolls; a person who made her entangled in the wires of dark and a person who made her hate herself when she could cherish her floral frocks." 

"As she grew up, it never escaped her mind and  she used to paint her feelings out on a sheet of paper and used to assume her life in it." he exhaled and looked out of the window.

“Did she ever speak about it to anyone?” I asked.

“To her fiancé.” 

“And, how did he react? Did he break the bond?” I asked.

“No, but he turned out to be the worst form of that animal whom she had already faced in her childhood,” he sighed  and continued, “And this made her reach to the conclusion that her impetus was lost forever . . . and this is what laid her to rest."

He continued with his anguish, "Everyone is busy in this world, like a busy bee buzzing in her nest but working with heft. Some stories bloom from the memory packs for centuries like the moral story of a lion and a rat but some stories, which should even be more moralising are dug into the gross of whim."

 "Though being molested before her adolescence, somewhere, she had started to grab that strength to live the world; to adapt herself to its atrocities until another person; an another person, her beloved fiancé, who was the first person whom her conscience trusted to speak to, grappled this right from her and blazoned her dignity into pieces," he sighed.

"I remember when I talked to her on her death bed, she spoke to me as if speaking for the last time, as if she knew that this is the end decided by the world for her."

 "And, I still remember those tears rolling from her cheeks as she said, ' His efforts of love towards me, his promising hopes to deal with crests and troughs of the life, together and along, turned into the subsequent events of humiliation, soon after I tried to present my bitter hidden roots to him.'" 

 "And, I still remember when I saw her breathing her last, her face showed a smile of relief as if she was murdered the whole of her life and now, was entering the phase of forever relief," he exhaled.

“As you said earlier, this could have been moralising. So, what are the morals with which you want it to be presented to the society?” I asked.

I will just say that I wish if in this society, people chose to be the real educated ones and not only literate. There is no fun of such big blooming degrees when you can't differentiate the right from wrong and the innocent from accountable. " and with this, he concluded.

Nowsheen Jan 
(class of 2020)

January 25, 2018

The Essence of a Prayer

by , in
Barkley, street no. 14, Copenhagen: half sunken sun, appreciating the scenery of the morning light accompanied with the wind of the closely located bay. Fatima yelled from her room, went downstairs, quite angry at her maid who took her back to the world of reality from the overnight slumber mansion. 

“I am getting late, quickly go and fetch me breakfast.” She ordered; not with anger but with impatience. 

Then, by her own, she walked through the hallway and toasted the chicken that she loved the most. She wanted everything to be perfect that morning as it had the special aura of her success. A special morning for her and why not? She had always been dreaming of it.

Agatha Medical College, the top medical institute in town, welcomed her with its bowing maple bushes and the blue cerulean sky having the inn of archangels. The moment, to her, was overwhelming when she walked for the first time through the gateway of the college; sinking deep in the imagination of the upcoming doctrine in her life. After the orientation ceremony, the students were to move to lecture theater to take the first medical lecture of their lives.

The first lecture was given by a professor of Anatomy; a woman with dark complexion, half sunken eyes. She graciously created the impression of being the serious and laborious lady in her field. And, then after a minute or two, Fatima slipped easily into the fairy world with the lullabies of the professor. Suddenly, an impulsive sound, full of terror came ordering her to return from her nap. And in that head-down phase, she jolted with fear thinking of the archaic from the professor. Then, with some strength, she gently woke up, sneaking at the professor between the backs of students in front of her and felt a sigh of relief when she got to know that the girl next to her was being pointed.

Another two hours of that day seemed to her even more unpropitious as it was her first entry to dissection hall and she kept on moving her eyes with the minute hand of the pendulous clock on the lifeless wall of the dissection hall. And, the final two hours were even more unfavourable as it was the tutorial time; the interactive session between a couple of students and the professor. And the teacher kept on pointing at each student asking questions from the morning lecture.

On reaching back home, a half-dead person was entering through door. Without uttering a single word, she went to her room sobbing and staggering. A row of warm tears moistened her cheeks. With some strength, she drew up her lifeless body from floor, performed ablution and prostrated in front of the one who had remedies for all her queries. She was distressed. She never expected of this much awaited day to be so cumbersome. But, at the end, after the defeat of her beautiful imagination, she found Him as the real ray of hope and mercy.

And then, she felt happiness and peace even after such a day of macabre! 

Mehreen Khawaja  (Class of 2020)

January 20, 2018

Positive Vibes

by , in

Every time I stepped forwards,

The world dragged me backwards.

I wanted happiness;

They gave me despair.

For finding one reason to smile,

They gave a million reasons to cry.

I yearned for positivity;

They filled me with negativity.

I cried, but no one listened;

I shattered but all this never mattered.

But after every night,

Comes a bright day,

When the storm ends

And the sun shines.

When flowers sprout

And birds chirp all about.

When the world doesn't matter

And we collect our pieces,

Sticking them together

With hope and determination.

With aims and goals

With love and positivity

We make us better in this dawn,

Stop mourning for what's gone,

And love what you have; live on.

We become the sun to our moon,

Answers to our questions,

Catharsis to our guilt,

Inspiration to our aspirations.

And that's when we realize

The purpose we comprise:

To spread love.

To spread happiness.

And never to circumscribe


- Nida Jaffar (Class of 2020)