The sun rays are shining down on the streets of Rotterdam, to be precise piercing through the debris, to strike the blood doused ground. Not more than 23 minutes ago, the Dutch troops had everything under control and were defending their port from the German forces. Buildings were reduced to ashes and the bombings had set the sky ablaze. Human remains were left scattered, thousands were dead in a war they weren't fighting. Amidst the commotion, a lad of 19 years, with cobalt teal colors on his chest was crashed against a collapsed bookstore.The badges on his uniform were slightly visible as the blood gushing out of his arm was drenching him, he could breathe for only a few more minutes. Those around him were all dead, he knew the air in his lungs wouldn't be enough to take him miles in search for help. He was bound to breathe his last, and what broke him more was that he had orders to be delivered to the navy regiments to hold their fire till further directives. The river of Meuse was now in red, he recalled his captain's unwavering words,
"Till you catch a glimpse of your nation's flag high up in the blue yonder, don't let your guard down."
those words made him want to fight till the last beat. He had no enemy around, no army to fight, no strength to pick himself up, yet he wanted to fight. He was helpless, clutching on to a piece of crippled paper, with most certainty held his last command. No longer could he hear the air raids, or the emergency sirens. He wanted to ask forgiveness, he wanted to apologise to his mum for not being able to return home to take her out to the annual fair, in the nearby town after the war. As a young child, running in his grandpa's barley fields, searching for the perfect apples to take home for the supper's apple pie and listening to the old tales of Lange Wapper were what made him wonder if he could too cross towns in a leap. He wanted to become a baker and start an outlet to make his mum's stroopwafel recipe famous.
Appointing time:14:30, 8th May 1939, Amsterdam
were boldly written in the letter, he received just a month after his 18th birthday. He was called to defend his country in the world war 2. He was given a Dutch mannilicher, a service riffle to take down anyone who went against the colors he wore. Horror struck he was, the day he killed a man who tried to save his nation. Though Netherlands was neutral in the war, it didn't stop the Germans from invading, the war became intense and even barracks were attacked. Thousands of civilians dead for the aspirations of a few, who were oceans away from the mayhem.
*the last bomb was dropped to destroy the Dutch naval base*
The loud thudding of the ground made him shudder and he let out a faint cry. He could feel his body getting stiff and numb, he coughed to let the oozing blood out of his throat. He leaned his head back, his eyesight was fading and a tear rolled down his cheek. His eye caught from afar a group of soldiers running towards the ruins, the heart of the city was in. Slowly a few started running in his way. He clutched the paper tightly in his fist, though it was of no avail, he knew he would discharge the duty he was given. He slowly closed his eyes. A week later, his mum got a letter about her dead son, Ruben who died on 14th May 1940, in an air raid by the Germans on Rotterdam.
A memorial for those who lost their lives in Rotterdam bombings is found even today in Netherlands. Millions of teens who lost their lives in both the world wars might have had dreams of their own.
Confined to a hospital bed with broken bones, ghastly bruises on my head and blood on a drip. A lady, maybe in her 20's slowly walked up to me, she had a scrutinizing look and was deep in work. I wanted to ask her about how I got here and more, but I had no strength in me to utter a word. Flashes of the night before strike me hard, it was date night with my love, we had plans. The crimson red sky gave way to the starry night, and the gentle breeze was playing with her locks. We were on our way to the venue, and I was tensed, held it back for long, I had to go down on my knee. Stomped the accelerator to coincide it with my heartbeat, She was free, free from everything that held her back. I lost control of the wheel and there was a loud thud, my world spun around and embraced silence. I was lost, lost and drenched in my own blood, in a wreaked car, she was no longer by my side. Tense voices bring me back to the reality, I slowly start to pass out into deep slumber. Days later, my eyes reluctantly open up to the truth, heard them say "she might have lived, if she was inside." My mind starts to question me, was it my fault? she would have lived though, wouldn't she? If only, had I said the four words I needed to, "Put on your seatbelt", no.. it's all on me! Pang of guilt engulfed me, I was surrounded, by my demons mocking my lifeless existence. In pain, I cried, cursed and wished but all in vain, trapped in my own body, I had no reason to try. Months passed by, I felt suffocated and clustered, death is the only beautiful thing left that I desire. I want it bad, I want it fast but life isn't done with me, It imprisoned me in my own unavailing form. I'm nothing more than a breathing corpse, waiting for life to leave me from it's clutches.
I hear a great deal of whining from men and women alike. How women empowerment has taken a wrong turn when it has become all about sexual liberty and whims and fantasies of a woman. Where women are being brainwahsed into believing that sexual expression is their empowerment. They go on to preach how real empowerment is education. Yes it is. And sexuality also is. Sexuality does liberate and empower women. Because it is the one thing that has been the cornerstone of female oppression. Because more than anything, the female sexual organs... Both primary and secondary alike... have been used since time immemorial to curb her voice. To shove her opinions down her throat with a sip of shame. To make her churn her dreams in the mortar of kitchen with the pestle of guilt. Her uterus has been conferred the responsibility of perpetuating her husband's kin, even though she might not be having her physiological needs met. She might be in a terrible state of health. An infertile woman was considered worthless. Because what good is a woman if she cannot give an heir to the family. So when a woman demands the right to decide, whether she would or would not have a child... Because it's her uterus... Her body that is supposed to nourish and carry and rip her pelvic bones, to deliver a life... It's her liberation from being just a machine for delivering a child. Her vagina has been labeled the gateway to male pleasure. Her mind has been ingrained with the idea that sex is something a man needs... And a woman provides. It's a favor she returns to the man when he makes her feel loved, safe, protected... and has her social needs met. So it's liberating to see women demanding to choose, their partner of sex. Demanding consent before being touched. It's liberating to see women accepting and celebrating their right to pleasure And by stating that... I, in no way promote the glorification of animalistic instincts. It's not about having sex with every man she meets or every woman she desires. It's about having the right to choose. When, with whom, how and why she'd have sex. Don't bring up the example of women who are pilots, doctors, writers, designers. Tell me what do you do when they speak of their sexuality or physical needs Do you listen... Or do you push them into the pit of guilt. or do you preach... Tell me how do you react when she chooses to deny a kiss even after a year of dating. Do you respect the choices she makes for her own body... understanding and respecting the fact that being your wife doesn't make her your property. Or do you just clap for her successes in society... as a marker of your hypocrisy... Because in a patriarchal society, you can quite easily, force her into sex and marriage and pregnancy... without her consent. No matter what might be her achievements... At the end of the day... you have her in your bedroom... Forcing your manhood on her femininity. So don't tell me feminism shouldn't be about sexuality. Because if seeing a pair of breasts, still makes you uncomfortable in your pants... you still have a long way to go before you learn to respect her body and her choices about it.
I find myself between the rails of a railway track. A train passes by, on the adjacent track. I look in horror at the ragdoll shredded to pieces. And await the arrival of wheels on mine. Minutes turned to months... I'm still here. No train, no passerby in sight. It has begun to feel like home. Although I'm aware... someday a train shall come, and that will be the end of everything.
I still remember the day he sat with me... narrating the story from his childhood. How he used to be the favorite cute kid of his extended family. I couldn't help but sit there smiling, looking at him. Not because of the story, which in itself was amusing... But mostly because it doesn't happen often, that he speaks. Most of the time, I'm the one who speaks and he listens. I still am enraptured by the sight of those beautiful eyes lighting up like a thousand stars. The excitement in his voice... still fresh in my ears. As if he was swinging on the tides of time, squealing in thrill and joy. The way he flapped his hands in the air... and how he tilted his head back as he burst into laughter. I remember him gaining his composure before beginning to narrate another tale about his co-workers. The events of the party last Saturday night. How he cleaned his room and washed his clothes. How he had the best sleep he had in months, after stuffing his tummy with his favorite dish. My eyes just followed him... His lips... His eyes... everything moving in rhythm... perfect sync. As if his soul and body were having a waltz. The tone of his voice... The rise and fall of his pitch... How he changed expressions while speaking. In that moment, I wasn't even in my body. I was in another world... In another time... I was floating. I noticed myself... I was laughing with him. I was swaying in his energy. That day I realised... Why he'd always let me speak. Why he'd listen to the same stories I kept repeating again and again... without ever interrupting to tell me... that he has heard that before. Listening to someone you love.... talk about something they love, they're passionate about... Is a feeling of heaven on Earth... The river that flows through them... joins the stream that your heart pours. And in that moment, it's a beautiful confluence of emotions and experiences, of two souls united in love.
I'm tired of these happy people. With their positive, vibrant personalities, encroaching upon the silent and still existence of a sad soul. Happiness is so exhausting. All the glitters and glory, merry and music... constant stimulation of senses. Where do I go... To find a tribe of gloom stricken comfortable souls. With no desire to act, look or speak. Too tired to meet and greet. Too broken to dream. Bring to me or take me there. The land of beautiful gloom. Silence, stillness, sadness, separation and breathtaking solitude.