11.1.2018

I tell myself that this is the last time I am pushing myself so hard – and yet, I find myself doing it, over and over again. What is this ideology that tells me I’m only worth existing if I am working? I know this is wrong, unhealthy, and the road to burn-out. Yet, I…

Limits on empathy

If human beings could understand each other’s pain perfectly, then we wouldn’t seek Allah’s understanding, compassion and mercy. It’s the limit of empathy that keeps us in search for something that transcends the material world into the spiritual realm. When we are misunderstood by the human beings around us, we recognise that one can never…

royalty

A small memory to share on this fine afternoon: My mum was telling my mami (Bengali for uncle’s wife) about my childlike association with royalty. At six years old, I had self-proclaimed myself as a princess and therefore assigned my father as the king. With mock sadness, my dad had commented, “But I am dark-skinned….

constructive beauty

As I grow older and closer to the culturally constructed ‘marriable age,’ I find the dialogue around beauty to be more prevalent when assessing girls for marriage. I am reminded of concepts of privilege, of prejudice, and often, dismissal when I hear those conversations. To dismiss a girl for a pretty face, but not a…

21

In three hours, I will be turning 21. I may have written about this in the past, but the few days around my birthday are rather sad for me. Birthdays become a concrete date for me to measure my progress; as someone who is committed to change for the better matched up with the flaw…

All the Butterflies in Our Cage [NaNoWriMo 2018 Project]

In 2018, I restart the regular intense, word dribble that one calls National November Writing Month. In the month of November, we write 50,000 words on a brand new novel project – I recall completing the challenge a few years back, but the result was on a project that I now deem unpublishable quality. But…

untitled

  Conflict ensued even as you fought against the machine; you felt like your resistance was futile because they looked over your head as they fought one another, almost as if you didn’t exist. Sometimes you wished you didn’t exist. You were neither a shield or a peacemaker. You were the child of their flesh…

rarity & beauty of existence

‘How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.’ – Saturn | Sleeping at Last In between spirals of existentialist thoughts – usually following the pattern of ‘how absolutely strange that only when we learn how to live, we die’ after recognising I am turning 21 this year – I come back to this song…

remembering you

I finally appreciate why Islam asks you to protect your heart, because even with one that overflows with the remembrance of Allah, there’s a small scar with stitches in the letters of your name. And I am left in a paralysing duality of choosing whether I choose to stay with all pieces after you broke…

on childhood friends

Recently, I had gotten in touch with a childhood friend after 8 years. We attended only one term of primary school together – I move around a lot; that would be around 10 weeks together. To the objective third person, that barely looks like enough to truly get to know people, but one thing I…

Handling Critiques – A guide for writers

You pour every drop of love into the written piece. It will charm, inspire, provoke thought, and more. But when you publish it online – on a critique group or site for aspiring writers – you receive a comment that reads like one of the following: SkaterGurl89: I admit to cringing at the phrase ‘petal-covered agony.’…