32 posts
  • i_faha 9w

    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
    -- Maya Angelou

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    31st December, 2020


    Finally we're here at the curb of a new year. Technically nothing really changes. But, it's always a good time to retrospect and introspect. Without the 31st March deadline, we'd have never have taken the pain to analyse our financial health. It's only logical, that we also need a deadline to understand the real time picture of our holistic health. And to me, that has always been the last day of the year. Cuz, hey we have always been royal procrastinators.

    Keeping that in mind, here's the 2020 recap of a few of my fav lines by Mirakee writers, but I'll keep their names anonymous so you can hunt for them at your time. In no particular order, here we begin.

    1) He came out of the shower and said, I'm not beautiful. It was eleven thirty five. I think I will remember.

    2) The past I left behind has put a sprint into it's marathon, and caught up to me.

    3) Distance changes everything, and as is often so, there is no distance greater than time.

    4) Now what do we call this? Closeness or a constraint.
    We just made love. And you still taste the same.

    5) I was sure I would find many people to undermine me and leave me empty enough. I never needed you for that.

    6) It was confidential. But I'm confessing.

    7) Last night, a pretty thought came to me. But I forgot to write it down, and now it is gone forever.

    8) Bundle up your sheep, lock up your farms,
    Can't blame the wolf, you gave him the chance.

    9) You know I'm in love with you because you aren't.

    10) We ran to each other when our souls bled, and our hearts felt too empty. And the rest of the days, we weren't so in love.

    11) Mom got me a pretty necklace, and I tossed it into the neighbour's stew.

    12) Why do many potted plants wither early? Maybe even they dread dependance.

    13) If your friends let you be, then they aren't better than foes.

    14) We take forever and say nothing.

    15) To erase is pretty sometimes, just like wiper blades on a wet windshield.

    16) Strip the best poetry off its signature, and it becomes an ordinary oblivion of words.

    17) Watch how many people leave, when you start choosing yourself.

    18) I dont feel sad and you have no idea, how sad that makes me.

    19) You needed someone to hold your hand in the night, and let it go in the morning.

    20) they lashed the tongues off their doorbells, for they sit by the door waiting for the mailman to arrive.

    I guess, that's it from my end. Summing up this bittersweet experience with a haiku.

    Blunt, genuine words,
    Some bring us closer,
    While others bring us closure.


  • i_faha 9w

    And again there are no words. Words exist that can, used by a poet, achieve a dim monochrome of the body's love, but beyond that they fail clumsily. My love flowed out to her, hers back to me. Mine stroked and soothed. Hers caressed. The distance - and the difference - between us dwindled and vanished. We could meet, mingle, and blend. Neither one of us existed any more; for a time there was a single being that was both. There was escape from the solitary cell; a brief symbiosis, sharing all the word.

    John Wyndham

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    30 December, 2020


    So, I guess.. That brings us to our final milestone. Calls for a muted celebration. Let's clink the glasses and raise a toast one last time to our favorite memories.

    Ideally I'd have loved to collaborate with you over this. With your technical finesse and my creative fluidity, we could have been exploding chrysanthemums in an otherwise gloomy night sky .

    Like a firework, we are gunpowder behind our shells. All it takes is a bursting charge to short our fuse, burning dust onto a black canvas like blooming flowers in a garden.
    The world claps and goes encore. But only we know, how we must destroy parts of ourself for each dazzling performance, before we're reduced to nothing.

    With the array of contrasts and complexities we bring individually, the union of our art would have been a motley of our divergence. A kaleidoscope of yin and yang, a palette of zing and tang, a jugalbandi of Rehman and Gulzar. We could have interspersed into each other's words like a gelatinous colloid.

    But, have you noticed, when we would have liked something to happen, we often travel a great extent acting diffident towards it, almost repelling it .

    It's probably my only regret that I never made any conscious effort towards a literary symbiosis.


  • i_faha 9w

    Life, as it is called, is for most of us one long postponement.
    ~ Henry Miller

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    27 December, 2020


    Sunday. The official lazy day. Well, people like me, we don't need a day that allows us permission to tuck our arms under our heads and unwind into our imaginations. But, there's something about this day that brings out the sloth in me.

    For the longest time, I let myself be misrepresented within the brackets of laziness, when in effect, it would be more accurate to call myself a procrastinator. Without deadlines, it's always been hard to rein in my efforts onto the task at my hand. I dilly dally between distraction and demotivation, looking for keto recipes when I could rather work on my fledgling project. I could complete an analysis on character development, but I end up researching what's trending on twitter and Netflix.

    Even now, when I know I'm writing these letters to you, I keep pushing the hours till it's panic o'clock. I wonder why, when I thought I enjoyed writing. I do, except the beginning.The beginning is the scariest, when I'm overwhelmed by the mountain of a task in front of me. And I scamper around the mindblock because it looks scary and impenetrable like an iron door. But as I nibble into the idea like a reluctant mouse chews off plastic, a clearing tears itself through the mound, for me to crawl across into the food for thought.

    However, I take solace in the fact, that this roller coaster of a year has taught me to switch my procastination from passive to active. The things I procastinate with, may not be urgent, but they are still important. I realized I need this grandfather's clock to cuckoo eleven times inside my head, to spring me into action with a thrust of momentum before the twelfth.

    Do you know see why I had to candidly announce my closure towards you? Although the reward in this case is not at all immediate, the consequence of my procastination would have been a punch to my self respect.

    Without the deliberate deadline, I'd have passively dragged you around as a muse for the next decade or so. And you and I both know, that it is what is because we have allowed it to be so.


  • i_faha 9w

    “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
    — Erica Jong

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    26th December, 2020


    I write. And most of the times I write lazily - the words lying around in the sentence like a teenager slouching after school, with an adjective thrown around by the door and an adverb strewn in the hallway, a comma lost under the couch and a quote missing it's other shoe.

    The words seem sentenced to a death by vagueness, hanging around the corner, with no clear meaning or method. When I pick them up for examination, they feel tight and uncomfortable like a man waiting to get his prostrate checked.

    But then, when has it been easy to feel snug while being frisked for flaws? Especially, when they ain't the graceful kinds, like a mole under the lip. It's more like premature baldness. No matter how hard one tries to overcompensate, the lack simply supercedes, making it all feel like a dishonest set up.

    No depth, for the thought to dive into. No strength in the words, to stand up by themselves. At times, they seem noisy like a rickety chair. At other times, decked like a bride on her husband's funeral.

    Only once in a blue moon, do I actually revel in what I've written. It's when you strike something brilliant and intense in a single sentence, that a page of prose couldn't have justified. And I just couldn't resist sharing one of those with you, like an eager child clinging for acceptance.

    "The difference between
    space and distance
    is as vast as
    the difference between
    solitude and loneliness.
    One is a choice,
    other a consequence."

    Space - that ironic word, which wedges an iron wall between us. Although I understand and respect your need for it, I just wanted you to come outside with me for once and take a look at this chasm that you demand. It might seem condescending, to illustrate the same with yet another wordbomb, but I can't think of a better way to justify myself to you.

    "We need boundaries,
    to give our space a definition.
    A bubble is just air otherwise."

    L o v e,

  • i_faha 10w

    But for now, let me say,
    without hope or agenda,
    just because it's Christmas—
    (and at Christmas you tell the truth)
    to me, you are perfect

    ~ Love actually

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    25th December, 2020

    Hey hey hey,

    Merry Christmas!

    Isn't this festival so special? Right from my childhood, I always looked forward to Christmas. Maybe because it is full of warmth in the middle of winter, or perhaps, because I studied in a convent school. And Christmas in a convent school stirs something deep inside your heart. It felt like the only time of the year when all the nuns of our school, let their hair down. The echoes of carols resonating in the air, the secret santa gift exchanges, the celebrations, the cakes, the marzipans, tinsels, buntings and ornaments, cribs and candy canes, all culminating in a weekful of holidays and new beginnings.

    I also happened to work in an office with predominantly Catholic staff. It reinforced my admiration towards their chilled out temperament, no nonsense demeanour, respect of personal space while still coexisting in a close knit community. The whole of Christmas week, we barely worked. It was almost as if universally, everyone put their feet up, and instead caught up with each other. A well deserved break from the year round frenzy, to share the last few days in togetherness and gratitude.

    With such high spirits in the air, it feels wrong to taint it with any melancholia. And in keeping the tradition alive, I want you to accept this little gift box of appreciation.

    Unwrap the shiny metallic sheet to discover another layer of kraft paper under it. Tear it open and you'll find another layer of construction sheet under it. Strip it to find a fourth layer of bubble wrap below it. And under it a film of cellophane (on a side note, did you also enjoy crinkling cellophane paper into a ball). Go on and peel the layers one by one.

    Haha, it's not really a prank. Just a symbol of you. Unwrapping you layer by layer, is what I've been doing all this while. Sometimes you are cold and metallic, othertimes, parched stiff and brown, occasionally nifty and delicate, and only exceptionally, transparent. But whoever is the lucky one who is patient enough to unravel you, will discover that at the core of you, beneath all the layers, hides a little boy, who craves to be acknowledged in the eyes of the people he loves, who yearns for a heart that would celebrate him for the unique piece of flaw he is, just like the crystal of rose quartz, I hope you'd rummage, from under the rubble of wrappers.


  • i_faha 10w

    Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.
    ~ Chuck Palahniuk

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    24th December, 2020


    Do you really fear anything? Death? Sickness? Spiders? Shame? Rejection? Santa Claus?

    I fear driving. I tried twice and gave up both times. Every time I look at an approaching truck, it feels like that monster would jump lanes and run straight into my future. Every time I look at a child jaywalking with his mother, it feels like he'd suddenly curl into a ball and roll under my wheels. I fear, that I wouldn't notice, the delivery guy cutting me from the wrong end. What if in that moment of panic, I hit the accelerator instead of the brake? But there's one thing I realize, that I'm not afraid of getting mangled; just frightened of accidentally murdering another. That's too much of a burden to live with.

    I also fear blindness. If I could, I would rather be dead, than blind. It seemed like I'd push blindness to the bottom of the list of debilities to live with. But the more I frisked myself with a fine-tooth comb, the more I feel resolute, that I'd rather keep a working head, until I'm definitely dead. With what I can see inside my imagination, I might survive the darkness outside of it.

    But what often tethers me down, is an irrational fear of being a disappointment. I do not know where it stems from, but I can clearly see it for myself, that it has often been the backbone of my bad choices. I set myself up for failure with such a delusional goal. I forget that I'll never be enough, even if I go out of my way to give my share of happiness to another. If nothing else, it only ensures that I'd end up on the wrong road.

    -which brings me back to you and me. In my humble opinion, this is the numero uno reason that withdraws me and perhaps you, into our respective shells. Atleast I don't want to let you down, ever, where I'm incapable of rising upto the expectations of your 'idea of me'.

    Does it now make sense, that I'd rather not know, if I ever failed you as a muse, as an afflatus, as a stimulant. I'd rather relinquish this title, of my own volition.


  • i_faha 10w

    I don't stop when I'm tired. I stop when I'm done.
    - David Goggins

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    23rd December, 2020

    H...... . . . e . .y...,

    You know what, I'm exhausted. You may have already noticed that I'm dragging myself through this. Now that I'm at the fag end of this purgatory, my resilience is starting to crack. I'm threatened that I'd shatter under the pressure of your tender love notes, that I find nestled in unexpected corners of our home - sometimes between the couch, sometimes in the fridge, like an old, dried half of a lemon.

    You tell me, that I don't need to do this anymore - squeeze myself into symbols of permanence, when in the grand scheme of things, we are as temporary as an ice cube on a palm . But I do, I do need it for myself, if not for you.

    Every word now feels like a resistance. Every thought, a revolution. I have to scoop out every last bit of idea that I have of you from inside my soul, and wring out every last tear, too. I have emptied out mostly everything I've ever felt with you. And now I'm left with nothing. No grudge, no anger, no expectations, no love, just nothing.

    It feels like moving out of a home, our home, with me sitting in the middle of emptiness, with all these memories packed into corrugated boxes, still writing letters to you. The windows feel naked without their curtains. The walls look pale with melancholy. The leaves of December are falling off one after another. They are already carrying away the packages, one by one along with them. They want me to hurry. They are waiting downstairs for me. But I can't decide if I should bury you or burn you.

    I thought about it and it feels too overwhelming to burn your pretty face. With every heavy alphabet, I'm burying this corpse of you, that I had been carrying for so long. It felt too precious, to allow it to be turned into dust. But with termites of time chewing away its edges, there is little left to salvage anymore.

    I had anticipated most of this. In fact, I literally hoped for it. This fatigue, this weariness, this ache in my bones that finally depletes me of you. I might crawl through the last lap, but I will pull myself through, somehow, anyhow, from between these lines, to outside the box.

    - Eff

  • i_faha 10w

    If you don't heal what hurt you,
    you will bleed on people who didn't cut you.
    - Unknown

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    21st December, 2020


    You know, I've always prided myself in being an intelligent woman. How did I not see this coming then? Why do I let you control me, like a remote(ly) controlled toy? You press the right buttons and I wag my tail like Pavlov's pooch. You throw me the bone of contention and I prance towards it, shred it to pieces and bring it right back to you.

    Why is that we women, who are otherwise so strong that we can endure hours of labour, suddenly find ourselves weak and wobbly kneed under the intense hold of men like you? What do you even give us? Then why does it feel like such a big deal when you throw us crumbs? Why do we meticulously decorate our Christmas trees with your red flags?

    When you don't arrive like Santa, we throw a fit like a disappointed child. And end up apologizing for the emotionally charged outbursts, ourselves. Why do we not see, that we are systematically being triggered? And when the trigger is pressed, it's not the gun's fault to explode. It is the intended effect.

    If I'm so smart, why don't I learn the lesson? Why do I still feel proud and victorious, when it's finally my turn on your carousel of passing interests? Why do I allow myself to be caressed by your breezy touch, even when I'm aware that'd you soon leave like a typhoon?

    I choose to ignore my spidey sense, and keep donating you the benefit of doubt, even when you never asked for it, even when you've bluntly confessed to your wilful neglect. I tell you, it's my very own condescending ego that allows me to falsely believe that I am somewhat special, that I am different than the run-of-the-mill barbie dolls, who have plastic inside their heads. Just because I can think, I end up thinking too much of myself, often to my own detriment.

    All these other nice men, disappear, under the dense fog you cast in my head. All these nice men, have turned into a monotonous 'Himmatwala', since I've been shawshanked by you. They are probably tired of being invisible, but they never complain. They patiently wait, outside my window, on chilly nights, hoping I'd invite them for coffee and they'd pamper my tantrums. All of them only seem like spineless wussies. And I toss them out, like dead flies.

    Before shutting the window, I still look for you. One fine day, I happened to look into the binoculars, the other way around. And I watched myself, turning into you.


  • i_faha 10w

    Sometimes I reply to myself, on your behalf.
    Self sustenance done right. ��

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    20th December, 2020


    20 days. 20 letters. 2000 times, I've wanted to quit. Nobody honestly cares about a damn statistic or my personal streak of masochism. Hell, nobody would even actually notice if I did, not even you, except maybe a kind reader or two, but they'd understand. I should quit. I am being weird now. I'm taking it way too far. I don't need to embarrass myself or vilify you. It's not cool. I'm not a unstable teenager anymore. I've a reputation to protect. What do I think would happen after the last letter? Would the Gods of writing step out of heaven to stamp me with their approval? Would the teaspoonfuls of validation by my contemporaries ever plug the years of holes in my self worth bucket? Would my children ever appreciate the letters, I wrote to a man, who was not their father? Would these words atleast whisper loud enough in your ears, that I feel heard and understood, for once?

    Okay, quit. But are you sure of, what are you trying to quit? If its the analysis paralysis, then run, girl, run. Free yourself. I'll even open the revolving door for you. If you're itching to quit the fantasy, atta girl, but have you built enough of a grip on reality to pull yourself out of the virtual quagmire. Or you'd only be running in circles, back to me. Before you quit, ask yourself the hard questions. Are you trying to quit poetry because there is nobody in the audience seat? Or are you already scared of the ugly truth that has begun to manifest itself? Are you disgusted coming face to face with your own repulsiveness? Or are you wanting to take the easy way out? You want to run away with your tail between your legs, before the world has a chance to notice that you forgot your average lines. You've come this far, not to come only this far. You know, I'd prefer you to be a loser, than a quitter. Which one would you rather be?


  • i_faha 10w

    After effects of binge listening Ritviz ��

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    19th December, 2020


    Today feels like one of those days when the sun refuses to come out from behind the clouds in my head. Everything feels a little dull and gloomy, inside my heart. It smells a little frowzy in here, like the peach jacket I unpacked yesterday, from the suitcase underneath the bed.

    Outside my window, it's a different story. The beams of sunshine tiptoeing through the ledge, are reflecting a soft rainbow on my wall. I am just back from my morning run. There was a pleasant nip in the air. The contrast of the cool breeze against my perspiring skin gave me such a morning rush. The high was only amplified by sharing closed, elevator space with the hot gentleman from 11th floor.

    Even after such a perfect start to a lovely Saturday morning, I can't seem to figure why my momentum has taken a sudden dip. Oh no, no, no.. It's not my period talking. It's cruel and unfair, you know, to invalidate every pastel emotion of mine in the bloody red bucket of PMS. But, what do I complain against? I'm part of the same society that squashes sensitivity in men, like it is a blotch of color on the pride of it's macho boys.

    Talking of colours, there are these days when I get overworked by the riot of colours all around the place like a kaleidoscope of butterflies crawling inside my head. Like today. My brain feels like a psychedelic dumpster with these butterflies on weed. The chaos punctures into my skin like the annoying, untimely brum-brum-brum-bzzzzzzz of a drill machine. Ugh, the noise, ugh, the loud splashes of colours, make it fuckin stop! Can't you make it all stop smelling like sugary char of cotton candy? Can't you shut down this party in my head?

    Just let me be, captured, seized, paused like a vintage black and white photograph. Let me curl by the window, like a kitten on a rainy day. Do not ask me if I'm hungry. Do not ask me why I haven't left the bed yet. Tell my mother I do not want to speak to her today. But tell her not to worry. Aren't you good with words? Just explain it to her that I just want to be left alone - quiet in a world of muted colours, where unhappy doesn't mean sad, and quiet doesn't mean sorrow.

    And you. Could you also tell yourself not to barge inside my head, and lounge in that rocking chair by the corner? Its annoying creak alongside the incessant taps of your shoes, makes me want to jump outside of my head. Can you fathom how ennervating it is, to be under the nonstop surveillance of your ghost? If not anything else, can't you just make yourself stop?


  • i_faha 11w

    18th December, 2020


    What are you writing about, today? Where do you find your cues? I find mine, when I'm never looking for them. Sometimes in a groggy dream, often during chores. And by now, I respect them enough to understand, that when they knock like unbidden guests, I better rush to open the door to them and usher them inside, make them feel comfortable in the first sentence that comes to my mind, give them a few cookies to munch on, and trap them to slow cook in my drafts.

    Only when I intend to spend more time with them, do I let them loose, and they run around like a bunch of kids scampering home after school. I have to stand there like a guard, drilling them into a single file, ensuring that they safely reach home in the right poem.

    After 18 days of writing woody prose, I was itching for the clink of rhyme. And I rummaged inside my drafts, to find a little fallen trinket, to adorn the curio I'm handcrafting for you. Hold it in your palm, and fidget with it a little. Perhaps, it might jingle the right bells for you as well.


    Choluteca Bridge.

    'Build a bridge, the best one you can!'
    Honduras commissioned, the engineers of Japan.
    'Build a bridge, build it state-of-the-art,
    Build it indestructible, that it never falls apart.'

    'Let nature sneeze or blow her nose,
    Build a bridge, still firm on her toes.'
    So they built a bridge, an engineered miracle,
    a symbol of man's genius, its permanence antithetical.

    For nature had some devilish plans of her own,
    with Hurricane Mitch, she had Honduras torn,
    Roads were razed, and bridges erased,
    but Choluteca Bridge, still stood there, all alone.

    The winds of change, blew with such brute force,
    that the river underneath, was pressed to change her course,
    streams of her swell, broke into troughs and ridge,
    and she surged and gushed, now, besides the bridge.

    A bridge to nowhere, a bridge to last,
    to a shape shifting future from a redundant past.
    Superstructing answers, while the questions dissolve,
    the one who survives, is whose bridges evolve.


  • i_faha 11w

    A part of me did not want Richard Parker to die at all, because if he died I would be left alone with despair, a foe even more formidable than a tiger. If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker.
    - Life of Pi

    “I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
    - Castaway

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    17th December, 2020

    Oh hi,

    I didn't expect you to turn up today, after yesterday. But you're here, even if just secretly, with a whiff of eagerness leaking out of your face, like a tendril sprouting out from concrete.

    Speaking of expectations, I often wonder what is it that I even expect from you? Honestly, I don't know. I have no satisfying answer to this. I have tried attacking the problem obtusely, acutely and rightly, like a scientist fiddles with his lab rat. And every inference is still a failed experiment. Or maybe I don't like the obvious conclusions, and keep looking for a better theory.

    I've dwelled on a hope, that if my curiosity is quenched with an absolute certainty, I would stop being so thirsty. But I've considered that it might also fling me into a vacuum of pointlessness, where my mind could rupture against the pressure of nothing. Perhaps I'd survive if I suit up with an armor of detachment. But would you ever want that, considering how you equally contribute in keeping these cinders from turning to ash.

    Then I've mulled, if I should stir the embers and let it burst into a gentle campfire. We could roast some pineapple with honey and rum, and call over a few friends for a bonfire party on a starless night. But, what if your hot friend decided to get cosy over your shoulder after a drag or two. Am I sure, my seething envy wouldn't come spewing out of my mouth like a ruthless dragon, incinerating our leftover connection into smoke. Evacuating you over a charred aftermath makes me feel gutted already.

    Every road of thoughts I tread on, I end up on a dead end. And I loom, stranded in this no man's land like a deer separated from it's herd, running hither and tither, swerving towards danger or doom.

    I am not sure how, but I somehow ambled towards the only tree in this vast expanse of my chaotic mind. And I will sit under it and write, write to myself, till I unravel the knot I find myself in. And the more I think I about it, the more it seems likely, that some days you were meant to be my Richard Parker, and on other days, my Wilson.


  • i_faha 11w

    डूब गए जो सुना हैं
    सारे तेरे डेरे आते हैं
    दिल के चुलू में बेचारे
    डूबकिया घोटे खाते हैं

    ~ बहने दे, रावण

    #hindiwriters #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    16th December, 2020


    आज बस यूँ ही मन किया कि कुछ हिंदी में लिखा जाए । लगभग बीस साल बाद मैं कोई खत हिंदी मे लिख रही हूँ। गलतियाँ तोह खूब होंगी। पर उन्हें रहने देना। बस आज टोको नहीं, मुझे बहने देना।

    ज़्यादा वक़्त नहीं लूँगी क्यूँकि हिंदी मेरी थोड़ी लंगड़ी है। और तुम्हारे जाँघों के बीच मेरी टंगड़ी है। अक्सर मन किया कुचल दून। फ़िर तुम में और मुझ में क्या फर्क होता । तो अब सिर्फ अपनी भड़ास निकाल कर, मैं चल दून।

    सुना मैंने कि तुम्हे मेरे खत पसंद नहीं आये। या यूँ समझूँ कि तुम्हे मेरा सच पसंद नहीं आया। सच होता भी कुछ ऐसा ही है। लाख गिरा दो, तोड़ दो, बिखेर दो, या मरोड़ दो , फ़िर भी टूटे शीशों मैं अपनी ही परछाई, हमे चुभने लगती है ।

    जैसे मुझे चुभती थी, तुम्हारे भेजे हुए वो कागज़ के फूल। खुशबू कुछ मेरी संगिनी की इत्तर सी थी, और कांटे काफ़ी नुकीले से। आँखों से उतर कर सीधे दिल में अटक जाते थे, मानो जैसे पाप्लेट फ्राई की आड़ी हड्डी हो, या मेरी खिड़की पर अटकी, पड़ोसी की चड्डी हो ।

    नहीं, नहीं, इसे मेरी रंजिश न समझ लेना। मेरी बूझ को मेरी बंदिश न समझ लेना । चाहे आस्तीन में छुपे बिच्छु हो या अल्लाह मियाँ के बकरी, बस ये समझाने आई हूँ कि शेर केवल मजबूरी में वार करता है, मनोरंजन में नहीं।

    जाने से पहले, मेरी हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं स्वीकार कर लेना । सुना मैंने यह भी कि अब निपुण लेखक बन गए हो। थोड़ा इंसान भी बन लेते तोह क्या ही बात होती ।


  • i_faha 11w

    Here's a blast from the past for you!

    He could preach the Bible like a preacher
    Full of ecstasy and fire
    But he also was the kind of teacher
    Women would desire
    - Ra Ra Rasputin, Boney M

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    14th December, 2020


    Guess why I'm so pumped? 'Cos it's dead silent outside, punctuated only by the pitter patter of an unseasonal December mizzle, and it's blasting music inside my ears. The air is frigid, but my soul has been thumping, my toes have been twitching and my fingers have been tapping word after word after listening to the same song for the nth time.

    Music is trance. It's a myth that people assume meditation as sitting crosslegged under the Bodhi Tree or the yoga mat waiting for enlightenment to envelop them like a blanket of calmness. My happy hour of meditation is when I'm washing a sinkful of vessels with Alexa for company. The peppier the song, the shinier the outcome. Infact, what was once a dreadful task has turned into therapy, just with a shift of perspective and the right song.

    I don't have many favourites. Whenever a particular song knocks at my heart, I welcome the fella and play it over and over and over until I subconsciously remember each pause between its beats, every timbre, every texture. Often, I play the same song for weeks on end, until I don't stumble upon a new one to replace it with. I'm kinda passive and resistant when it comes to discovering new music. They have to come find me .

    Music is a powerful mood changer. It can lift us up and also hurl us into the pit of despair with equal ease. Ever made the mistake of listening to a blue song when you've been feeling kinda grey all over? Bummer. Over time, I developed a rule of sorts, for myself. I generally listen to music which sits at the opposite spectrum of my current mood. So, if I'm feeling low, I'd play something with a beat and a thump. And only if I'm feeling high or atleast stable, would I dare to play something soft, sad or delicate.

    It was only this year that I discovered Baroque music. Too often, I do not know the names of these artists I'm listening to. Later I end up realizing that I just heard Bach or Beethoven . I find Baroque music really effective in channeling my focus, to swiftly enter the state of flow, when ideas and thoughts start humming in my ears and I can isolate them, swat them with a mosquito bat and smash them onto paper.

    I also have a secret playlist of songs that particularly remind me of you. I reserve them only for occasional use, for those moments of loneliness when I want to escape into you. I plug the pods into my ear, turn off the lights and there you are, a fuzzy silhouette, inviting me into your welcoming arms. Quite filmy, no?

    I don't consider myself as one with any particular knowledge or taste in music. I don't even know the difference in its genres. I only know how to use it to as a tool to hypnotise myself to a better state of mind. I only how to use it as a countdown timer to breeze through chores. I only know how to shut the windows, crank up the volume, take off my shirt and forget that the world exists for the next 3 and a half minutes. What a rush!

    And I only know Hozier.

    I'm heavily influenced by his art. The rawness in his music, the meaning to his words, his poetic intelligence, his haunting voice, his honesty, his humility. And his hair that looks just like mine . His music is my standby, my go to, to whenever I want to feel edgy and 'woke'. I am too ignorant to lavish the right adjectives, but his music has an edge that cuts through my lethargy and I feel driven to rise like a wounded lioness.

    What is your equation with music? It's really hard to come up with right words to describe its magic, ain't it? I can only think of this quote by Aldous Huxley, which sums it up beautifully. "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."


  • i_faha 11w

    No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away. - Terry Pratchett

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Still with me?

    Read More

    13th December, 2020


    Today is the 13th.

    I have a penchant for the unusual things - for the uncommon, unpopular, unloved, untapped, understated feelings. Perhaps, that's why I also like you like the number 13.

    But, did you know poor 13 is considered unlucky, because it couldn't live upto the perfection of its predecessor, 12. Poor chap got gunned down for being odd. Such a tragedy.

    As an ode to the agony felt by the misfits , I wanted to write about something eerie today. And I picked, death!

    After having met the Grim Reaper in my childhood, I never saw him again. And with every falling leaf of the calendar, it only feels like the inevitable is waiting right across the page. Like I'm walking closer and closer towards him by the second, and I don't know who he would pluck away from my life this time?

    Every time I wave my sweetheart off to work, I wonder if this is the last time I'm looking at his dimples dig deep into his chin. Every time, I send Junior for soccer practise, I wonder if the ball would fling him away from me. Every time I watch my little cub falling gently asleep, I wonder if I wouldn't pretend being frightened by his adorable 'bhow' in the morning. Every time I hug my mother, I wonder if this is the last time I'd smell my home in her. Every time I rant with my best friend, I wonder if this is the last time we are gossiping over tea and philosophy. And then there's you.

    You realize this right, we aren't here for ever? And one of us shall outwin the other, in the race to death to as well. I hope I'd beat you like always. But don't you cry, like a sore loser, behind your grumpy facade. Be the stone wall you always were. But let the vines grow in your backyard, let the wild flowers bloom and creep up over you with the beauty of our favorite memories. Let little children climb all over you. Show them your cracks. Let them scribble the names of their first crushes.

    But, but, but, before we even get to grief, we've got a problem. A logistical one at that. How do you suppose we'd learn of each other's escape? Haven't we gotten used to the dead silence? Maybe you'd assume that I finally learnt how to move on. Maybe I'd think you are back to being yourself.

    I wonder how it'd feel to finally be forced to let go of the last tinsel of hope. Would we drown or would we float? Would I still write you poetries, knowing that you won't read it anymore? Would you stop pretending like you don't care whether I'm here or there?

    We need a contingency plan. A way to let the other know, that we've quit for good. And perhaps a treasure box, with all the letters that were never sent. Add to that, a solid reason to grieve. What are you going to tell the world, that you are grieving the loss of someone you never had? Or perhaps the death of the hope, that you never will.

    And in case you wished you could immortalise me in a grand graveyard like Shahjahan did, then don't fret. Don't build me an epitaph, just write me a drunk poetry like Bukowski, and then sing it like Hozier would. Let the ripples stay a little longer.


  • i_faha 12w

    I'm fired up and tired of the way that things have been

    - Believer, Imagine Dragon

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    9th December, 2020


    Have you been stung by the passion bug yet? Ikigai, purpose, life mission, inner calling, many names, same trap. I've been sitting by my mind all through this year, waiting for the bells to ring, but it's only been one hotch-potch of clutter and chaos.

    There are a variety of things I enjoy working on but I have absolutely no lucidity, on which one I must pursue. The only clarity I can envision, is that if I discover the skill that I must hone, I will put in the work to master it. Hard work doesn't faze me anymore. The decision fatigue, from not settling for the seemingly best choice in the moment, is what tires me out.

    My efforts are all over the place and I can't seem to find the sweet spot to channelise my energies on. Without that kind of focus, it only feels like I'm always running out of time. Is it only me or have you also felt like this?

    So far, I am looking at it as yet another puzzle to decode. Just like in a game of sudoku, I'm hoping to arrive at the right answer, by the method of elimination. I know what I don't want to do and I should keep trying the things that interest me, till I learn otherwise.

    In a way, I consider myself lucky that I have no pressing exigency to work a 9 to 5 job for my basic needs. Back in the dank days, I always sold myself this sob story that I don't have enough freedom or time to do, what I want to do. That I'm whiling away my intelligence, my skill in a set up with no clear challenges except staying alive, happy and sane. Clearly, I underestimated the perils of a purposeless existence.

    Managing a home is a full time job especially with young kids running around. However, when I looked beneath it's surface, I figured how we lie to ourselves to stay insulated in the bubble of comfort, occasionally pointing fingers on destiny, to avoid taking responsibility.

    I'll show you what I mean. I have 24 hours to work with. Let's assume I sleep for 8 hrs. I know that's a joke but let's give me that buffer. An average job lasts an 8 hr shift and I'm gonna start there. I analysed it. Even with all the cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and managing schedules of everyone at home, 8 hrs should be enough. The challenge however is that my 8hr shift is staggered throughout the day. There is no clear beginning & end to it and therefore the alloted time chunks leak into each other. It's one heck of a challenge, but with enough discipline, I still have another 8 hours to identify.

    Let me now eliminate personal time, time to eat, time to play, scroll, converse, phone calls, exercise, meeting family and friends etc. On an average it should take about 3-4 hrs. That leaves me with the last 4 hrs to find.

    In his book Mastery, Robert Greene says that it takes roughly 10000 hours of apprenticeship, for us to master a skill. That could mean practise of about 4 hrs for the next 10 years. Seems like a lot of time, but for once, I'm ready for the long haul. I just have to make it sustainable for me to do this on a day to day basis.

    With no excuse for time, let's head back to the original question, of how to figure where to hit the hammer? It is said that the clues to our most natural inclinations are revealed in our childhood. As a child, we did all those things we were drawn to, before society drew out a different trajectory for us.

    That brings me back to the drawing board, to unearth some clues from where I can begin to join the dots. As a child, I always loved puzzles. What bigger puzzle can I crack, than to figure out what I'm meant to do in this short time on Earth. And then get it fuckin done!

    Anyway! What is your story? Are you clouded by ambiguity or can you see where you're headed? Somehow, I can sense the restlessless in your soul and the dust in your eyes. Just like me. Perhaps you and me, we were never meant to be friends, but rivals, to push each other in this pursuit of mastery. So brace yourself to accelerate on the fifth gear. It's gonna be one hell of a ride. On your marks, get set, go!


  • i_faha 12w

    One week down. 3 more to go.

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    7th December, 2020


    First things first. I love your voice. Even when I am left with just a vague memory of it.

    From the little that I remember, it was salty like the evening breeze across the ocean. It was gruff, like a stubble grazing an inner thigh. It was curt, like the collar of a freshly ironed white shirt. But it was also warm, with no resemblance to your aloofness.

    In other words, it betrayed everything you tried to be and opened a window to everything you hide. Our sixth sense can pick up the slightest quiver of a voice. And I don't know why, that night when you spoke to me, I felt I heard an undertone of disappointment. Almost, as if I had let you down. I never found the courage to do it again.

    On the other hand, I have this squeaky, child like voice.
    It sounds like an annoying version of the Marilyn Monroe one. High pitched and whiny.

    I realised this when I had to record myself while learning a new language. I sounded dreadful. Have you ever heard your own voice? Don't you think we sound so different when we hear ourselves inside our head?

    I always felt repulsed whenever I heard myself talk. It felt detached to my identity. Like it was somebody else talking. Like nobody would take me seriously for squeaking like a high pitched mouse. Like everyone is pleading me with puppy eyes to stop screeching. Eeeeeeeeeeee.

    I almost considered it my destiny and never once thought I had a choice about it. It was only during the 'Ludo with voice' phase of the lockdown, when a friend casually mentioned that I speak through my nose, that I finally stumbled upon my diagnosis.

    I never realized that we can speak through the nose, the mouth and ideally, the larynx. One google search lead to another, and two hours later I found this Rs. 499 Udemy course promising me my deepest, sexiest voice with 30 days of training. Even if its a dud, I don't mind giving up one pizza for it. Working on developing my deep, sexy voice is my priority vanity project for the first quarter of 2021.

    The other day, I came across an article about how Sigmund Freud, the famous psychologist, would seat his patients away from him, facing backwards, focusing primarily on their voice with no distractions. It was an 'aha' moment for me, considering how much of perception control and observational vantage points, we leave to chance.

    Science reveals that our voice indicates our personality, our sociability, trustworthiness, and even height. Ugh, the height of my ignorance in taking my own voice for granted.

    Infact, I'd go ahead and say, that your voice has a stronger personality than your looks. Not that you don't look attractive. Just a lot more cuddly and softer than the image, your voice projects. Guess, you may have to build the personality to match. That's some feedback for you based on first impressions.

    In today's time, texting is obviously preferred, as it's the most convenient mode of communication and the easiest to get away it. You can just heart someone's text and round off a conversation. And even better, keep a text unread (or read) for months with no real consequences. Not answerable, cos I can't hear you and you can't see that, I'd rather read the cat fights of Kangana Ranaut and Diljeet Dosanjh than respond.

    Voice conversations, on the other hand are more authentic, where we can hear a lot more than what is simply said. The shallow breaths, the excitedness, that extra second of pause, the mid conversation sighs, the wetness of a voice, the breathy suggestiveness. All of that is lost behind the smileys of a chat.

    An emoji can't capture so much personality in an icon. But, it's a great alibi, and now I can't even type without using an emoji to punctuate and highlight the tone for everything I say.

    Infact, I had to write a whole letter to tell you that your voice has immense sex appeal. It's almost natural for a person attracted to you to imagine your raspy grunts in the throes of passion. Did I do that as well? I guess, I don't need to answer myself.


  • i_faha 12w

    Busy day! Gotta make a better plan for contingencies.��‍♀️ But we made it to letter no 5, well in time.

    #writersnetwork #mirakee #31letters

    Read More

    5th December, 2020


    Do you watch porn? What kind of porn do you pick? Or maybe you've outgrown it. Well, with your skill, you could be writing yourself, your own erotica. But then, what good is predictability in porn? It's like tickling yourself . Doesn't work. Perhaps, if you ask me nicely, I'll write one for you.

    I've never been too attracted to porn. It always felt mechanical to me, with the whole focus on the act than the subtle quivers of expressions. But I guess, that holds true for most women. It's the emotion and the vulnerability that does us in, while men are mostly visual creatures. You should thank God for creating us like that or you'd have to turn into a hairless dolphin, to turn us women on.

    Anyway, if I'm not barging into your privacy, do you have any unusual kinks? Good grammar and wit, are mine. It's pretty cliché but also mandatory. No wonder why we're here in the first place. I also have a thing for collar bones, deep voices and defined jaw lines. Men who take care of themselves, physically, emotionally or intellectually are always interesting to know. And finally, a man who is so engrossed reading his book, that he doesn't once notice me. Always works.

    After years of invisibility and shrinking myself, I finally discovered a breakthrough while gaming. I created this alternate ego with my gaming alias, who was everything I was too scared to be. She wore my insecurities like a crown of thorns. She was bold and beautiful. She would slay men and eat them up like buffet breakfast. She was obsessed with being so fucking good, that you couldn't help noticing her. I created the beta version of my own dolled up monster. In short, from the sizzling pan I now fell into the fire.

    For every time I was made to feel small and ugly, I wanted to come back dazzling like a million bucks. I learnt to own a room with charm. I studied seduction like I studied physics. More than often, it is dark territory and considered amoral. However, I always tried to stay ethical, careful not to hurt anybody, quietly filling my validation bucket, and leaving without a mess.

    It's strange how at the root of every obsession lurks a repression. We want, what we can't have, especially if someone bullies us into it through their tears or our fears. The conservatism, the orthodox beliefs, the gender inequality, always kept boiling under my skin. The scars never surfaced, but my insides were peeling with an acidic fury. And I found out by accident, that pain is rocket fuel when you learn how to use it.

    Contrary to popular belief, seduction is not about the body. It's about the mind. It's not so much about a tit, but about the *idea* that one can unclasp it, unravel it and watch it bounce.. It's hard to look away from imagination. Seduction is an open window, with sheer curtains flying, evoking curiosity, inviting another into this playful universe like Marilyn Monroe's skirt.

    Talk of sex, and the morality sirens come blaring. It's more nuanced than just sex, but a game of will & power. It is a potent skill in the social context where one can control the vibe of a room, or even a nation. Charismatic leaders are master seducers.

    And with such a strategic game, available for study with wide open legs, how could I reduce myself to watch some dumb porn.


  • i_faha 13w

    4th December, 2020


    So, what's your opinion? Can men and women be friends? Just friends. Without wanting to jump inside each other's bed.

    Well, I'd say attraction is inevitable, when there is palpable chemistry between two people. There is no denying that. Everything else is a lie. In most bonds, at least one of them feels very strongly for the other and hence sticks around. It could be challenging if not impossible, to not let it affect the bond, when neither of them have a strong relationship to pull them back, from jumping over the fence.

    I know, I know, it's the age of 'No Strings Attached'. But how is it sustainable? Do you think, humans aren't meant to be monogamous? Can you imagine the circus we'd be in, if it weren't for that. It's one thing for a few of us to break this rule, but an entire species going bonkers with the bang bang, could wreck havoc on this planet, as if we have less problems already.

    I wonder then, where does one draw the distinction between a friend and something more. Usually, the chemistry is already there in the mix. You can't be good friends with people you don't connect with. That part is sorted. Which could only mean that the two of them are not compatible enough, in that moment, to take the leap.

    Just like you and me. By now, I'm safely assuming that you sense this connection as strongly as I do. And we deny it, for whatsoever reasons. Feels like a shame to blow away what we have, for what we can't have.

    Looking at it, from a different perspective, these kind of friendships bring so much to the table, without the burden of making 'it' work. If we can make it past the sticky phase, there's a good chance that this friendship can bloom and fill our lives with a musty fragrance. We can be who we are without the baggage of trying to impress each other. Ironically, it does just that.

    No wonder, most of us are closer to our friends, than our family. I remember how my mother would light up when the neighbourhood aunty would visit. They had so much to discuss in their hush hush voices, and how they'd suddenly burst into laughter or tears. I'm not sure, I noticed that spark when my parents were together. Overhearing their boring conversations, I wonder how was I even born? Nor can I imagine telling my brother all these icky things about me. Hell, he might just disown me for being a person of my own.

    Friends with benefits is kinda the middle path, the millenials say. Feels like a scam to me. I belong to the old school group which thinks, 'friends with benefits are neither.' Too many complicated, mixed feelings, packed under the garb of chill.

    Well, this is simply my perspective. Your experience and intuition may suggest otherwise, which is completely rational and fair. Yes, often there could be too much of tension to deal with or a feeble hope that simply refuses to fade. Whatsoever it may be, let's break this down into possible options and weigh them for their worth, mutually.

    You may or may not agree with me, but I strongly believe that the ambiguity of 'maybe, maybe not' is worse than actually moving out of each other's radar for good. And this whole idea of writing you 31 letters, is to help us organically arrive at the right conclusion.


  • i_faha 13w

    2nd December, 2020


    I hope you're mad at me for stirring the shit pot in full public view. Like I said, you deserve a whack every once in a while. And I couldn't let go of the opportunity to warm your bottom.

    Well, honesty is good. But it's no so much about what one says, but how one says it. And you kinda suck at the, how. You only do blunt. Maybe, someone lied to you that it turns women on, when a guy is sassy and somewhat evil. Perhaps it works on young, naive lassies. But I'm a grown ass woman who can sniff the subtle difference between overdone sass and true confidence. I let you get away with it, only 'cos your intelligence has a wayward edge. It is usually inconspicuous and rare to spot. It's not the everyday intelligence you'd find in the library of a law school. It's the backhand intelligence of a con man.

    You have a way of sticking around things that drive your curiousity. However, like all good things, curiosity has a shelf life that decays with time. Consequences get predictable. Circumstances stabilise. And there is no real thrill left in figuring out what you already know. Makes sense. Well yes. Except I don’t agree, that you should treat people as objects of curiosity. You see the problem word, right? Objects.

    You can't just pick a person up, place them on a pedestal, prod them, play with them, amuse yourself till you're bored of them. It's wrong. However, you try to justify it to yourself.

    On the flip side of curiosity, lies routine. It's not easy for most of us to constantly live in a fight or flight mode. Routine saves us. Predictable comforts us. And while we would settle into this routine, you detest control & stability. You prefer the chaos, the havoc, the mess. Have you never wondered if the continual stimulus that you seek is turning you into an 'experience junkie' living from high to high and numb between?

    Maybe, I should call you a butterfly, one who gets bored of the prettiest flowers in the world. To think of it, pretty flowers can be boring. What do they have except beauty? Try kissing a cactus and perhaps, you'd spring life. That green thing is a cheeky fucker with crazy boundaries. Your type.

    Having said that, your courage in making difficult choices to stay true to your self, is enviable. Going against the grain, you've built a six pack character, pulling yourself up against conformity, and pushing down mediocrity. And your aura pulses with nerves of steel, won the hard way. How do I even tell you to lose it?

    But the one word that probably defines you the best is unconventional. I'm not sure, if it's your defense or your style. Try as hard as you can, but you cannot really camouflage your unsettled nerves under aviators & full beards. I hope it makes you somewhat jittery, when I can see through your stonewalls. My drunken enthusiasm outraging your privacy with graffiti cans in neon greens and hot pinks.

    However, your abnegation is finally rubbing off on me, and here I am writing anonymous letters to you in the middle of the day, instead of the quick and easy access to your inbox, when darkness sets in.

    Guess, I've begun to enjoy this old-school way of one way communication. Atleast, you don't get to break my heart once again.