Of Suns and Moons and Metaphors in Pairs

​And God made everything in pairs, like the earth and the sky, light and dark, the night and the day, me and you. Night and day is the perfect metaphor for us. Just like those other pairs; almost touching at some points, and blending beautifully where they do, but never one. The few moments in which we meet, we’re the pink-orange-purple-red marbled skies at sunset and sunrise. When we are apart, I’m like the stars against black; distant and beautiful. I’m like the moon, rarely whole. When we’re apart, you’re like the blue sky with pure white clouds floating through. You’re the sun with all it’s fierceness that sometimes hides when the clouds turn grey and cry raindrops. The moments where we learn to set our pain of being apart aside, I am a full moon , you are the sun shining despite the rain. I’m a blue moon, you’re a rainbow.

~ Broken bits of prose from the notes app on my phone (AKA Things I wrote when I was about to fall asleep)

Depth

​So many things seem deeper with time; worn dirt paths, thoughts, cracks… But the ocean doesn’t. The ocean seems more and more shallow, and safer, when you’ve lived so long in its depth. There are less undiscovered currents and caves, less to fear, less novelty. Maybe that’s why feelings seem to fade with time. Maybe they don’t fade. Maybe we get used to their depth so they don’t feel deep anymore. Maybe feelings are like the ocean.

~ An excerpt from a story I don’t know if I’ll ever write.

Home

Yeah maybe, but home can be nice too. Home is mama showering me with attention and making all the best food. Home is sibling banter and wasting each other’s time even when we all have exams on Monday. Home is parents worrying I don’t get enough exercise and forcing me to go on bike rides I actually end up enjoying. Home is hot soup that didn’t come out of a satchet. Home is warm showers and heaters and extra blankets. It is pieces of cake stashed in the freezer, because if anyone brings cake over, mama has to save me a piece. Home is an attached bathroom. Home is having a room all to myself and still not being alone. Home is putting out a pile of clothes and have them freshly washed the next day. Home is me complaining how behind I am on everything and parents complaining that I don’t study enough. Home is me announcing that I’m out of cash again. Home is empty Nutella jars waiting for me to lick them clean.

~ About that time I wrote something I ended up quite liking, while I was half asleep.

 

I cosied up in bed sleepily after praying Fajr. I checked my phone and twitter out of habit. I had a message from a friend asking why I went home every weekend (I WISH) when hostel weekends are so fun. The above passage is what I typed out, but before sending it, I copy-pasted it elsewhere, and sent a normal length text.

An Open Letter to Terrorists Who Claim to be Islamic

You’re definitely not dear or respected so I’m going to get right into this. I get that the entire purpose of your existence is to spread terror. But you see, your atrocities have not caused this nation to be consumed by fear. When you attacked a school, we didn’t stop going to ours. When you attacked a university, we didn’t drop out. You attacked a park, but that won’t stop us from going to parks. Terrified? We’re angry and absolutely appalled. We are sickened that you targeted a school in Peshawar, that you targeted children. And then Bacha Khan happened. And now a park in Lahore. Yes. We are at war. But children aren’t even supposed to be collateral damage, let alone the actual targets of armed attacks. Schools and parks were never meant to be battle fields. And nations weren’t supposed to be so used to loss that they only mourn like this when the worst happens; when children are killed. You’ve caused our mourning to have degrees. We, as a nation, seem to be subconsciously controlling the amount of pain we let ourselves feel, based on the nature and degree of the transgression against humanity.

People were never meant to be maps or places. But I am Peshawar (though we didn’t quite say it like that then), I am Paris, I am Ankara, I am Lahore. Am. Not Was.

And the pain reduces to a dull ache. Until the next attack. It consumes us, but we get more and more desensitized to the pain. I grew up in this war. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t being told to pray for my country.

You know, I’ve been told to pray for Pakistan all my life. And I did and do with all my heart. But in a different way than I’ve prayed for Palestine all these years. Palestine is wrongfully occupied. Pakistan has been free. Terrorists like you, well, you’re diseases and pests. Something we need to get rid of. You’re leeching off of us but it’s not the same kind of war as in Palestine. But a couple of years ago, I read with horror that Israeli bombs or missiles or something had been dropped on a park on Eid. Children died for being outside playing, and celebrating. That was so terrible. I’d never thought that would ever happen here. You murdered kids and families who were out celebrating their religious festival. How dare you? Just because they followed a different religion than the one you claim to?

You give Muslims a violent image. You are the reason that Muslims have to be apologetic for murders and massacres they did not cause. They aren’t allowed to mourn the loss of human lives because they need to be defensive first.

I don’t know why you call yourselves Muslim. Islam condemns murder and suicide and harming people. The orders for war were to fight BACK. Muslim armies weren’t allowed to attack first, even if two armies stood face to face in a battle field. And children. The Prophet (PBUH) loved them. How could you harm beings so innocent?

We have vowed to bring you down. And we win against you every day. We win with every smile. We win with every child who goes to school. We win with every person who lives. We win every time a Muslim and a Non-Muslim share a kind word. We win whenever a doctor, with the help of Allah, saves a life. With every life you take, you kill all of mankind. It’s in the Quran. And with every life we save, we save them all. We’re winning all the battles, so how can you even begin to think you’ll win the war?