Between my shadow and my soul

Mum for the night

My favourite cousin is over from Namibia for a week to visit his brother who was recently hospitalised with Guillian Barre Syndrome :(. We hardly ever get to see him and his family so his kids and I sat together the entire evening catching up and baking cakes while he and his wife ran errands. After we'd sampled the cakes, cleaned up the kitchen, watched some TV, I got them into PJ's and rigged the lighting in their room so the brother who is afraid of the dark and the sister that can't fall asleep with the light on didn't pummel each other. I finally got into the shower a few minutes ago, enjoying what I felt was a well deserved break. As I shook the shampoo suds out of my hair I hear a knock on the door. "Noojie Masie, Noorjehaan (we're named after the same person btw) is kicking off the blanket!" came a very sleepy whiny voice. I took a deep breath. "You guys are both very clever kids I'm sure you can come up with a compromise. Also I'm still going to wash my hair (a little white lie for a good cause can't be harmful) and will still be a while". Silence and the scuffling of slippers. It worked...this time


Passive aggressive fear
Enwraths your tongue into
A slithering corkscrew of hurt and anger
Seeking to etch blood from under my skin
But burning yours red with discontent instead


Resistance without gravity
that type of chest-swelling ill-gotten pride
from stealing freedom, fajr hifdh
making shoe-weapons infamous a decade
before the iraqi journalist
balancing on walls and ice skates
we are, were, are, were
behind my shoulder the smiling face
then her form spurts away
in time the rhythm falls into step
cheesecake dreams slipstream
in between
our jogging, twirling takkie-beats

How do you Know (It's MARRIAGE)

There's no recipe. But shouldn't there be signs at least. I'm not looking for anything, I have it all (Note to OH: In a non wanking way). Yet you should have a way of knowing. I don't.

Is it when:

The first impression at the first meeting is : "You are cute and I'm comfortable with you"

Hours on the phone whizz like a deflating balloon

After the call, you can't sleep.

After the call u feel content enough to sleep like a baby

He gets your messages

His replies trump yours

He knows things you don't

His one year objectives reach like yours

His jokes make sense

He has never been in a serious relationship. Like you

He reaches for the stars aiming at his potential instead of testing his limits by touching ground-zero

No one has all of these. What do I give up and what do I hold close to?
How did you Know?

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

I remember the first time I saw the word "masturbation". It was in the book Deenie by Judie Blume. Coincidentally I found out what the word orgasm means by looking up the word organism in the English dictionary for a school project. I figured they didn't refer to the same thing pretty quick. Back to masturbation, the book didn't really go into depth. It just said that Deenie found a place where she could touch herself and feel safe. I remember asking my mum about it and her brushing it off. You don't really want to tell your ten year old about these things. The reality is, that some of my friends did start menstruating at ten. And majority of the class didn't understand what it was all about besides being yuck and ew, which it definitely was. One of my teachers gave me the best advice ever, ALWAYS buy with wings. Her other piece of advice was, carry an empty chips packet with you to the bathroom in case you need to dispose of something. There were things happening to our bodies we didn't understand at that age. The body had innate knowledge but the mind did not. Things were changing. There were suddenly references to them in class in boy versus girl truth or dare contests. People chose truth more often not because it was easier, but because there was so much we hadn't been told and our minds fixated on.

I wish that at the time we had someone sit us down and explain and answer questions. Can guys see the girl's face in wet dreams was a popular one. The problems is, that if this need for information is not addressed, it can easily traverse a murky channel. Psychologists see clients for masturbation and porn addictions even more now that the internet has made such urges a click away to satisfy. And the prevailing psychological opinion on this is that both porn and masturbation can be healthy, when in control and used to further existent relationships. My personal opinion, based on my subjective values is that watching others engage in such an intimate act perverts the very beauty of the act. As one friend told me recently, that in the sanctum of marriage the mundane becomes marvellous, A simple touch which before marriage is a sin, is transformed after marriage to an act of Ibaadah, and a source of closeness for both spouses involved. Further, those with addictions say that the line between fantasy and reality become so blurred, that reality is no longer appealing. The resultant guilt and anger at oneself cause social avoidance and personal disgust. If kids don't turn to the internet for information, they will turn to one another and experimenting in things they don't understand, as evidenced by the 13 year old who became a father in the U.K.

Whether you are for, or against porn and masturbation, I think it has to be an informed choice. Most of those with addictions get introduced through magazines or tv shows during puberty, which leads to a lifetime problem. Even seeing a girl in a miniskirt becomes uncomfortable. Sex drive is, undoubtedly a blessing from God, which makes being human, or a dolphin something of a bonus. It is not something to be ignored at its prime, in fact during puberty it is extremely hard to ignore. Which is why I believe every teen should have someone to sit them down and explain the secrets and beuties of the human body. How they can be used, and abused. How they can be controlled and restrained. How they can cause happiness. How our brains, at the end of the day contain their pleasure centers, and need to be involved in the process of their exploration.

* Afternote: This also relates to my thouhts on restructuing the chronology of the education system which due to their greatness will be published when not in procrastination mode.

** Here is Naomi Wolf's much better articulated version.

I Promise Myself

To honour Her
Keep her womanly sensitivity
that her Mother taught her
in the face of abject disregard
Hold close to the coyness
Her sisters made homes out of
Live the visions her father saw
In her innocent immature eyes
And even when all of them are gone
Gone where she cannot show them
Even then, never let down her guard
Look after their presents, their dignity
Their beauty. No matter what any man
sees in her smile or any woman assumes
In her naivety.

sans butter

i increasingly see marriage as a transaction of...convenience.
to have biological kids, to share the rent
there will be smiles, some care
he'll make fun of how ridiculous u look with ur ski goggles
u'll say his rice comes out like smash
there will be yay kisses and occasional hugs of thanks
but no dancing on rooftops in ur pj's, or titanic eyes
there will always be a part kept to you, for you, only you
with God

Hopeless Idealist for Life!!

Excerpt from the Holy Qur'an Surah 94 verse 6
Translation: Verily with every difficulty there is relief

It's been a terrible week. I had a spastic colon attack, my best friend received the worst news ever, there were violent strikes at work, I had car troubles and my dissertation refuses to transfigure into a piece of paper signed by a Dean.

And then there was Today. How do I describe it?

The feeling I had witnessing the sunrise over O.R Tambo this morning was of invincibility. Not in the Fir'aun sense. But feeling like even if I collapse after ten k's, I tried. Nothing or no-one can touch me or fill me with self-doubt if I have the will to try. And the dissenters were many, all who care too much for me. I was not doing this to prove them wrong, but to prove my instinct right. A memorable moment was when i sms'd ZubHab, saying doing this with no proper equipment or training was impossible. His reply: "Your keyboard is messed up. Your last message has the word impossible in it".Unil one am this morning I was doubtful, bludgers, hurdling towards me. Then my Dad gave me a small yet so significant gesture of confidence. There was no turning back, then.

No training. No cycling proficiency. Yet I did 50k's. Partly because it started off downhill before the damn inclines. Waseem, on the last incline I was singing Burn, mother******, burn. But also because of Ayesha.

From the word go, she was game. She encouraged me when everyone else said I was totally insane. Thanks to her banter for a constant 3 hours, riding on the highway was an adventure that can't be rivalled. She changed a flat tyre like a pro all by herself in a coupla minutes. If there is anyone I want to go backpacking in India or Africa with, or go on the Amazing Race with, it is Ayesha.

Bleeding cauterization

Life's funny. Things and people change you, when they really don't deserve to. They're not worthy of affecting your life. But they do. It's no one's fault, really. Just a combination of misguided intentions, monologous communication, insensitivity, and coincidental circumstances. That's all. They didn't really MEAN to do it. I have to believe that. It's like when you're cruising and a pothole messes up your alignment. You can't blame your tyres, or your penchant for Reeha, or your sunglases, or the sun, or the trucks, or the tar. It's all of it and consequentially none of it. Yet your alignment is messed up, and in this case your skin is raw and burning. And it will be for a while. Just accept. Stay away from them if you can't be Civil. Make du'a for them. Carry on. I will.

Soundtrack 2009

Even when everything's a little fucked up, if you believe in God, there's always a reason to smile. A little. Inwardly..