freedom is the freedom to choose whose slave you want to be.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pencil and paper, last night.

I am lying on my side on the carpet in Ammi's room, the hardness of the floor against my pelvic bone. I play with the three black hairpins that keep my boy-hair away from my face, two longer than one. I look out the door into the hall through their loops.

And in my room on the bed there is a mess of lifafas and books and I walk closer and am reminded of how a few hours ago in the bookshops my mind was reeling. God there was Ulysses on the shelves! And a collection of Saki but no Noon Meem Rashid and I vowed to one day pay for a book all with vouchers without having to pay even one rupiah but on the bed there are other books, from Faiqa's room. Faiqa who had made off with the bit of my makeup I forbade her to put in her bag, Faiqa who I messaged an angry ulloo ki pathi when I asked where's my blush and she replied I have it, I love you too. There's her cross-word book here and her lawyer-ly books I wanted to borrow on my bed, these are peace offerings and I want to go into her room where she still has the a.c on and I want it to be yesterday, on her couch reading out Wodwo to her from the 7th-grade Dragon Book of Verse, looking up from the page as I say 'what shape am I what shape am I am I huge' to see her half-smile with her eyes closed with post-aftari sleep and the ache in her stomach that is her life.

And in the car on the way back from an excursion where I saw two wild boars and a little piglet six feet away from me bang in the middle of the city, where Papa held my hand while crossing the road, and we went from ATM to ATM finding only ones that were too shady or just won't work, at a signal I see a baby in the car next to ours. And the baby looks familiar in the way babies make you think 'Doesn't he/she look just like xyz?' And I think that baby reminds me of how Yumna used to look eight years ago when all of a sudden I realise that the only image of Yumna as a baby in my head is from a photograph, not my own memory.

I am disappointed in myself, what am I if I can't retain the memory of a face, so what if it insisted on changing every weekend we met, what kind of love is this? And just a few days ago my heart stopped beating when I thought that some day, some day soon it seems, Yumna and Abdullah will forever be 9/10, 4/5 in my head, there will be no minute-by-minute accounts, first step, first tooth, word, day of school, slap, joke, roza, sleepover, everything will freeze, will I be as much of a Khala when I stop witnessing them in a flow, how will it be if I see them year after year, summer vacations perhaps, jumping years and experiences and exams and birthdays?

But my heart stops beating entirely too often- an ad on TV, a tightly-played Coven song in the middle of the night on a request show on the radio, stepping over a shallow stream of water in Jinnah stung by a too-familiar fragrance eyes fixed firmly on the ground. And all this seems really funny just now because an hour ago, when I was online, on the computer, I wondered: when will I write again?


Blogger Princissia said...

For anyone & everyone who feels like answering, here is my blog poll of the week: (give your thoughts)

"Which one you d prefer if you d have to choose between ur cell phone or internet connection?"

8:01 PM  
Anonymous mina said...


11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt a strange melancholy haze hanging over this post, quite sucked me in. I love the credo quote you have up there about freedom.

2:04 PM  

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