Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I just want to write…I’m not sure what it is that I want to say for the sole purpose that there’s so much inside, it’s hard to decide what is worthy of penning. Drawn by a lifetime of habit to keep so much inside my heart, only for it to explode not in alphabets, but strokes and aimless scribbling. A blank sheet of paper stares me in the eye, so clean, crisp and unblemished. I take the pen in my hands and am overcome with an immense feeling of control. The kind of control that feels questionable. I wanted to hurl out my insides on that sheet. I draw a line diagonally across the page and I look down at how ugly it suddenly looks. In my mind I equate it to knocking down piles of bricks in a construction site. I put down my weapon for the fear of knocking down the very little I have left of my sanity and tell myself that tomorrow would be better.

Next morning, I found myself in the jest of it all once again, walking briskly along the sky-scraper clad street feeling claustrophobic. I could have sworn that just two months ago, the structure that stood in front my eyes was nothing but a reckless jumble of bricks and ceramic tiles. But now here it was standing tall amidst an arrangement of lofty structures in an effort at winning a non-existent competition.
I walk into one of the upscale coffee shops that line the street. It looks empty from outside and for a moment I begin to think that they’re closed. A beam of soft light shines over the cash register and I decide to let myself in. I’m greeted by a very unenthusiastic person behind the counter and I place my order. In an attempt to seem discreet and more importantly not to come across as what I feared to be freaky, I watched from the merchandise shelf in silence as he dragged himself to the coffee machine. A mug with a picture of camel caught my attention and I tried to reach for it when I heard the barista call out: “Tall, skinny vanilla latte!”  I walk over to the counter and picked up the coffee.
It’s foggy outside and I heave a sigh of relief at the thought that winter is around the corner. It’s on days like these when I moan not the inconvenience that this fog enveloping the city is about to cause, but smile at the relief of what it holds for us ahead. I confine myself to the table in the corner and continue staring outside the mist clad window. At times it’s hard to believe that this is the city I’ve spent most time than I’d probably spend elsewhere. This was the ultimate abode that my heart cheated me into believing otherwise yet my brain fought at comprehending. And amidst all this internal conflict, there was no plausible way of deciding which side to pick. Perhaps there wasn’t a side to pick.
To think of barren terrain converted into a haven is equivocal- almost contradictory to the rule of nature. Camels that inhabited these very surroundings now grace coffee mugs of foreign franchises.
Fierce sandstorms hit this city so often in an attempt to test whether this man made face lift can withstand the tribulations of nature’s ardor. After all one blinded by smoke and mirrors is susceptible to misconstruing the inconspicuous loop holes that the unquestionable laws of nature entail. I was born and bred in a city that refused to accommodate me into their family. Like any human being, I lost my privilege to chose the moment I was brought into this world, and now I’m no longer worthy of any prerogative. Then again that is the very essence of man’s callousness; in desperate times seldom do we stop to think of the consequences our actions would entail. We’re a people bewildered by eccentricities yet we fear accommodating them in our lives. A people defined by the walls of division we’ve erected between us. One moment we view diversity with awe, the next with hatred. A justification of conceitedness. How often do we stop to question the legitimacy of these walls?  The walls that engulf not only insecurities and fear, doubt and hatred, but love and hope. A medley of anomalies that have seeped into the cracks of these structures yet the walls still stand tall without putting up a fight.
The fib that we all learn to believe when these walls are still erect is that we belong in spite of the clamor of questions that cloud our minds and despite the pent up feelings of despair we’ve accumulated inside our hearts. We’re no longer shackled physically by our masters and shipped across the seas against our will; our masters are the devils that our own feelings have created. The shackles are the fear that grips us numbing us to protest against everything that these walls stand for.
I reach for the journal inside my bag and open to an empty page; I hold the pen firmly between my fingers and press the nib against the paper with all my might. At first it creates a dot and I keep pressing harder it spreads in concentric circles filling the page and I think to myself “the circle of life”, one vicious circle after the next until. I stop with drowning in a sense of relief and a broken nib. I whisper to myself “No tomorrow won’t be just another day!”