Wrong - An End to Darkness

'I did not do it.' She said helplessly. She was unable to convince them, and her defeat was being reflected in their eyes. There she stood in front of the disciplinary committee, feeling like a raged doll. 14 years of education in an institute, and it all came crashing down for a mistake that never happened. Allegations saw no time. Her tears were useless now; her spotless record was useless. She was dirty. And what was her crime? Being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Today when she recalls the dark times, no tear comes pouring down. A place which was once her second home is now just a building. All the memories, all the moments, all the friends, everything is dead for her. And she has no regrets. None at all.
She had left the library, walking towards her next class, tutorial class. It was all random, just like the previous days. Only that was the last day, and she was unaware of it. Sudden harassment from her teacher made her go all reckless and she rushed to a place she wasn't supposed to. And then the typical mentality kicked it. She cried, she screamed, she tried to convince them all but up to no avail. It was all over. A fabricated act, and she was awarded with a huge punishment.
She had grew up there. That is the only thing that tingles sorrow within her. Rest is all good. For she knows how cruel this world can be. A friend had once said: 'This world is not for good people.' Either she was a good person or else this was not her world.
Where ever she went, she could feel people staring at her. Not just stare. It was as if they could see beyond her clothes, beyond her body, beyond her soul. She was a hot topic for quite a time, and might still be. Darkness no longer scared her. It was peaceful to stay alone. A girl who was so full of life at a time was now scared of life. And the worst of all? Not even her family supported her. Flipping back through the pages of her life constant beating, checking, tortures and what not, was the main headlines, even failed attempts of suicide were flashing within. She secretly laughs at it now. For she thought this defined her. She thought she had to be evaluated on the basis of how people evaluate her. Even constant psychotherapies failed to bring her back. Friends and foes were now a same category.
And then, one day it all changed. In the end, it becomes okay. That's the beauty of us humans. We break. Fall apart. We cry. We gasp. We think nothing will be ever in place. And only one questions reverberates in our minds: 'Why me?' And then we think we won't survive this. But we do. We get up every time. We get over broken expectations, lost relations, forgotten friendships, no love, incomplete dreams and what not! We collect our shattered pieces and we try to stick them back together. That's the beauty of us humans. We find a new beginning every time, with or without the broken pieces. She found her new beginning. Only this time she wasn't alone. She had this firm believe in fate now. She got ruined and yet she got the most beautiful reward of her patience.
He heard it all. All her mistakes. The allegations. Her crimes. The real ones. The false ones. She exposed all of her scars to him. Both. On the body, and on the soul. And you know what happened next? She married her best friend. A best friend who came when she had decided to end herself. And actually she did end her self. It was the end which was evitable for a new beginning awaited her. That is how fate plays with us. It makes you suffer. It tests you. And then he awards you in the best way. Some go astray, and some on the right side. Only she earned a double reward. It was her rebirth with her better half. Everyone gets their new beginnings. She endured it all, and now she has a person to celebrate her new life with. And as far as people are concerned? Well, they are gonna judge either way. So why not just create our own world instead of trying to adjust yourself to the old one.
He was her world, and its all perfect now.


Kiss - A blur

"Somebody stop the fire!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. Silently inside me, a chaos was starting. What had I done? A group of people had formed in front of my house. I could hear the sirens of fire brigade vans a few miles away. But, how could I do this? I saw fire kissing her kerosene soaked body. And all I did was stare. She yelled and I stared. She yelled. And I just went. She yelled. And I let her. She yelled. And I did it.
Flashbacks haunt me today. Died laughter and gloominess have found home in the deep chambers of heart. A heart that dreads this life. Locked up in the cell, I am unaware of time and weather. Its only degrees of sadness and regret here. Both of which are increasing. They are crushing me. The moment I close my eyes I remember it. And I yell.
Husbands and wives do fight. That is a part of their relationship. Never should I think that she will leave me, for me she loves me more than anything, she used to say. Only I was a little too obsessed of my love. She was extraordinarily beautiful. We both let go of our individual dreams and then we built dreams together. Our dreams. All was good. Everything was in place. Everything was spotless until that one day. Bars around the bare walls laugh at me. They laugh at my fate. I scream and their laughter increases. I loved her. What was so wrong in that? Why can't I get another chance? Why can't I undo that day? Why can't I have her back?
It was a usual day. She woke me up. Slightly brushing her lips against mine. A soft moan escaped my lips. "Wake up love, breakfasts ready." 3 hours later we were moving towards the office building, from the parking lot when a man's voice stopped us. "Excuse me Miss?" "Yes?" "Could you please tell me where can I find Mr. Simpson's office?" "We are heading towards the same building, we can guide you there." "That will be great, thank you." With that we had a company. She wrapped her arms around my neck, closing our bedroom door. "What should I cook for dinner, love?" She whispered in my ears. One second she held me, the next second I grabbed her wrist and pinned her against the wall. "What the hell is wrong with you?" "What association do you have with that man!?" "Ryan, leave my hand." "I want an answer!" "You are gone mad." "Why did you escort him to the office?" "I did? Ryan we did! You were right there with me. Only I left him there and you have been escorting him all this time in your mind." Things happened too fast for me to comprehend. With shaking rage, I slapped her hard. How could she talk to me like that? No sound came from her mouth. She just stared me with bloodshot eyes. I swear, even at that moment she was beautiful. My bipolar disorder took everything away from me. I could have hugged her. Grabbed her right there. Beg her to forgive me. I could have kissed her. Instead I stared at her.
"You are a liar!" Still she was quite. "YOU ARE CHEATING ON ME!" Still no answer. "You won't be going to the job anymore. You are gonna stay locked up here." Still no reply. "Talk!" Tears were streaming down her face. Outrageous, she headed towards the wardrobe. Throwing garments at the bed she was yelling at me. "No matter what I do you are always gonna blame me for things. I am leaving." "Going to him ain't you?" Why didn't I just shut up? "What the what?" She stared at me in disbelief. "I just asked?" Placing hands on her hips she said: "You know what? I am. And I an gonna sleep with him too. Serves you right." That was it.
Why did she say that? I know she was just playing around me. Punishing me emotionally by saying those words. Like every other women she expected me to grab her by waist and tell her she is only mine. Apologize to her for I had treated her bad. Kiss her. Hug her. Instead, I burned her.
I remember blurred details of it. Going to the garage. Bringing the kerosene can. Pouring it over her. Her feeble struggles. Soaking the entire room with oil. Spreading it in the entire house. Her running after me. Begging me to stop. Her heading to the door, to escape. My grabbing and kicking her in the stomach. And then. Burning her with the lighter. Not even once did I say I loved her. That is how my world collapsed. Sweat and nightmare is what wakes me up today. I tried to stage the burning but the clues were too obvious. The burnt body was obvious. The row was heard by the neighbors, and me being the killer was obvious. A killer.
This sounds insane, right? A petty issue like that and a severe crime like that? But that his how it is. My retarded mind took her away. The hypertension and her words took her away. But most of all I took her away. Its a trait in us humans. We carry things like hatred and rage within us. Instead of love. Had I remembered her love for me, I would never have had such an attack. They say they will shift me to a rehabilitation center. But I don't want that. I want her. I want solace in her arms. Get her back to me. Get her back to me.


Cut - A Thousand Unspoken Words

The act of cutting one's self is regarded as an act of crying silently. Numerous people walking besides us suffer from the urge of killing themselves and we just effortlessly fail to realize that. Sometimes the problem becomes so unbearable that they are left with no choice. And if it prevails, it ends up being fatal. What they fail to comprehend is, suicide does not end the pain, it just passes it on to someone who cares.
I had a friend. He had just joined school two months ago, migrating from a different city yet he was already every one's favorite. A friend who was so lively and full of milk of human kindness. Never had he rejected help whenever he was approached. Many people he regarded as friends, used to approach him when in need, never did they include him in their celebrations or even come up to him when he was in despair. He was like a life safer for everyone. And he never complained. That is why it hit us out of the blue when we came to know about his untimely death. His suicide.
Things were all gloomy out of a sudden. The sky looked black too. I just could not believe it. It took me a week to regain my senses and understand what had happened. And his story made me hate myself and every other person who said he was their friend. Because he was suffering from ultimate pain all this time and we just did not even care to notice.
This lose made me realize that we, human race have failed as humans. Humans have a heart. But today, do we even have something close to a heart? We have become so selfish that all we care about is self love and self care. Self care is important. You can not serve from an empty vessel but too much of it is cunning. He was in severe depression. The continuous thought of failure had left him heartbroken. Then the sudden death of his parents and his little sister took all his strengths away. Two years of ultimate torture it was before he finally could not take it anymore. But never did he tell that to anyone. The unspoken tale was written in the patterns of cuts on his forearms. His uncle, who brought him up after his parents departed thought a little change of city might prove beneficial but he left us all mourning.
His death raised a thousand unspoken questions and problems. When I recall the most darkest time, this thought just dawns upon me every time that we need to act human. We need to judge people beyond their physical appearances. We need to look into their hearts and make them see that every one suffers. One way or the other. But it is unfair to kill yourself and make others question their existence. It is painful. It is very painful when you see a friend lying motionless and you could do nothing to save him. The memories haunt you later. And you just pray for this one extra second in the past so that you could just hug him and tell him that this shall pass. But its all gone now.
I could not solve this problem. I could not even realize this problem in time. But now that I have, I have sworn not to let any person in my circle to feel alone and helpless. The ultimate solution to a huge problem like depression is to make the person talk about it. Talking heals, just like time. Everyone has a best friend. Be it from their peer group, any family member, parent, siblings, spouse, teacher, pen friend, anyone! All one has to do is, listen to them. If they have no such dilemma to suffer from, they are ultimately blessed. But if one senses any slight sign of it, its not hard to ask 'How are you?' And if they say 'Fine.' That's your first clue.


And It never Came

Followed by dried sea weeds, he could see the path going towards the old squeaky wooden cabin beside the pier. Misty coldness carefully stirred with familiar scent of the sea,sightly sulphuric, rang a bell in his old mind. He cracked open the old door and went inside.
The warmth inside at once engulfed him and a voice struck his ear. "Giggles." How could he ever forget the mischievous giggles yet marvellously beautiful in its own way that always filled him with happiness. It seemed like yesterday when this could satisfy his desire for a complete day. Everyday.
A few sharp squeals drove him out of his world and he looked around. Wooden walls, termites infected with structurally patterned webs in the corners above with a few rats following the floor lines, all of it never made him sick. Armed inside the worn out coat he was wearing, out came a packet carefully wrapped. Unwrapping it, he took it out of his wallet. His long thin index finger dug in inside, revealing a little shinny metal, followed by the thumb in support. He moved it closer to him, eyes drenched. The golden metal old yet shinny with a small blue stone in the middle happened to be a ring. Their ring.
The air around was trapped in his lungs as he inhaled the sweet scent, the scent only he could smell out of the ring.
"Please come back early today, I have a surprise for you." "Honey i'll try my best, just this little extra work and we'll have enough for the next week." It was just another day when early in the morning he left for work but he never knew that upon returning a surprise would change his whole life.
He knew he was late so he rushed back to their cabin just beside the pier on the beach. "She must be waiting." He thought. "Hey she must be your wife, come, over here!" He heard a loud voice and followed it bewildered. And there was her world. She was lying on the sand, eyes closed yet a beautiful smile on her face, reddish cheeks, lips dried yet carefully carved, perfectly shaped. And then reality cascaded upon him and he scanned the other bodies lying around. Scattered garbage, wet sea weeds, destroyed wooden structures. "What is all this?" he asked himself unable to process anything. A few voices struck him which he over heard while returning, not much he could recall but a few words. "The sudden sea wave has left a few people drowned this afternoon, no safety measures were taken by the government, there's a tsunami warning." he could recall it all yet know nothing at all. Bending down on his knees he touched her hand, their wedding ring was still in her finger.
Eyes shining, the ring was still in the middle of his thumb and index finger. For 25 years, he waited for the tsunami that never came; that took his evening surprise from him; that he knew he would never know about. Just Today felt so different for him, he could feel calmness inside as if he would soon know the surprise she told him about. Wrapping the ring carefully again he walked outside the cabin and rested near a large rock. Cold yet cozy enough for him. The sun rose high up in the sky, a crowd could be seen standing near a large rock with a body of an old man lying next to it, drenched with the sea water, cold but it only seemed as someone sleeping carelessly carefree after a long time. Finally they met.

By Mohammad Ahsan Ahmed Jan



Life never grapples with anyone. How ironic it is, we take precautions for the most astronomical problem, and its the most atomic problem that defeats us. We plan of overcoming the tsunami and its a gas explosion that destroys us. We take treatments for cancer and its an accident that kills us. We pray for our loved ones to be with us forever and its a broken expectation that breaks us.
I, too, had dreams. Small dreams and big dreams. Not about being a princess or conquering the world. Just about conquering myself. Conquering hearts. Earning an identity. Its been ages since I am wrestling with things. Its been long since I have been searching. Searching for the place where I belong to.
I feel like a leaf lately. Its like I do everything important for survival of my plant, my family. And its the root that snatches away the credit. No. Not just credit, all the importance too. Why? Because the plant stands on it. But what about me, the leaf? What if I stop working? What if I let it die? But.. Can I? I feel for the leaf. Its a female with a him. And roots are a male with a her. And here too, the female is worth nothing.
"Mom! Stop acting so melodramatic" "Mom, please. You are embarrassing me." "Mom! Its my life my rules. Stop bugging me" "Mom. You know nothing. Stop telling me." "Mom! I am not a baby anymore."
My children are my flowers, and I am the leaf. I care for them. They come home late, I wait for them. They don't eat in time, I wait for them. They are getting into suspicious activities, I care for them. My flowers are too fragile, I don't want their beauty to fade away. But, my identity as a mother is lost.
"Stop interrogating. Don't be my mother." "You are my wife. You have no right to ask questions." "What is it to you?" "I don't sit home worthless like you. I earn." "Its your duty to do my work."
My husband is my stem, and I am the leaf. I love him. He needs to reach office in time, I take care of him. He didn't like the food, I cooked again, I take care of him. He earns, I save, I care for him. My husband is my world, and I am lost in it. But, my identity as a wife is lost.
"You don't have to study. Marriage is important." "Daughters look good in their house. And that is your husband's house." "You are not our son! Don't talk about job." "Learn cooking." "I am worried for your marriage, you are already 21." "Eat less, fat girls get rejected at first sight."
My parents are the roots and I am the leaf. I adore them. They spent their life raising me good, I want them proud. They struggle for me, I want them proud. I want to earn for them, they disapprove it, I want them proud. They don't like the idea of me studying longer, I want them proud. They want me to get married earlier, I want them proud. My parents borne me, I owe them my life. But, my identity as a daughter is lost.
"Girls don't do this." "You are a girl, have some dignity." "Such a characterless girl. She was talking to boys." "What benefit will study bring to her, she will end up being a housewife eventually." "She is so fat." "She is so dark." "God! She is not even pretty." "She is not a boy."
This world is a tree, and I am the leaf. They judge me for my looks. They judge me for my sex. They judge me for my appearance. They judge me for my age. They judge me for my activities. They judge me for being a woman. They neglect me for my dreams. They neglect me for my intelligence. They neglect me for my intentions. They neglect me for my spark. They neglect me for being human. The trees won. My identity as a woman is lost.



"Mama. I did it." The words were still hanging in midair and the triumph was already emerging down her cheeks. Tears of happiness. There stood her daughter: eyes twinkling, chortling like anything. All the trepidation had evaporated. She feverishly stepped forward and embraced her daughter hard. Both of them were crying with happiness. Both of them were proud of each other. Both the mother and the daughter were the kings of the world.
He had always wanted a daughter. A daughter he would raise like a queen, not just as a princess. Only he knew how difficult those hours were. White walls surrounding him, her wife screaming with pain, the time was just crawling. Last time he saw the time he could have severed he had counted infinity. Then the door finally opened. She looked like a doll. A feeble creature. Her dark pink lips were carefully craved into perfection. The closed eyelids were tinted with a faint pink color, the color sometimes the sky turned into the evenings. Those rosy cheeks and the cute little nose; she was nothing but a dream. This novelty was a blessing.
But you see, even they got played by fate.
One night, the three of them laid in the bed. She kept on shaking him. He just wouldn't move. The little one thought his Baba was playing the little game. Pretending to be asleep, so that when he would open his eyes all of a sudden, her giggles would resonate his ears. "Baba?" He never replied. Leaving his wife and 13 months old daughter, he just departed from the world. Just like that.
"I want her to become a doctor." He would tell his wife frequently. "She is a little too small for that, sweetheart. Maybe she has other plans. Let her grow up?" She replied. "I know. And I would like to see what does she come up with. Just don't ever make her stop. Let her fly high." "Why would I stop her? Besides you are there to guide her." "We can never rely on fate, love." The conversation still made her heart cry.
16 years ago, when her daughter came up to her one night, she could see his reflection in her eyes. She laid her head in her mother's lap. Gently stroking her hair, silent tears were cascading down her cheeks. "Mama, I will work hard. I will study night and day and I will fulfill Baba's wish. I will become a doctor." A sudden realization dawned upon her. "Sara, I never told you that. How do you know your father's wish?" "Mama, I have had more doctor sets than teddy bears all my childhood. How wouldn't I not know?" She laughed a little, staring at her beautiful face, she couldn't help but think, their daughter was truly a priceless gift.
She had sold all her gold. She wanted nothing but her husband's wish to be fulfilled. For their love for their daughter was eternal. If he had been here, he too would have encouraged her to do all she could to help their queen shine bright. She was their happiness. Their strength. They made her out of love, their responsibility.

She stared and that degree. Wondering how happy her husband would have been. She could not even imagine. Beaming and staring up high, with her daughter wrapped in her arms, she whispered, "We did it love."


Breathe - No Sin Is Bigger Than His Mercy

The sun rose like a king, relishing on his throne. The cool breeze blew away my worries. It was like I was just gifted my eyesight back. As if the invisible clenched hands just given up on suffocating me in those deadly chambers. I was free. I could breath. The redemption was finally made. 

25 years in prison had taught me a life time lesson. But this freedom had taught me something entirely new. We humans are prone to mistakes. Some of us commit bigger mistakes, bigger sins and some of us are merely suffering of our petty deeds. But in the end, no sin is bigger than His mercy. You just need to call Him out. Rest is all assured.


A Forgotten Liability

“Assalam-o-Alaikum! Pakistan Broadcasting Service. Hum Lahore se bol rahe hain. Teraan aur chaudaa August sunn saintalees ki darmiani raat, bara baje hain, tuloo-e-subhe Azadi!”

Mustafa Hamdani announced the foundation of our very own Pakistan being laid back on August'14th 1947, 27th of Ramadan.

Pakistan, our motherland was the dream of many of our prominent national heroes. A dreamland of solace and happiness. To relive that memory Independence Day is celebrated annually.


Its Living That Scares Me To Death

The thought of survival in such a victimized planet sounds insane lately.

I call it insane not because we are continuously under the threat of death. Who knows, maybe a natural cause would make me leave you guys today, or maybe a gunshot is likely in this era of terror? But does it scare me? Is this enough to make me run away from dying? Nah.

Dying is easy. Its living. It is living that scares me to death.



She uncoupled herself from her imagination and dragged herself wearily back into the real world. Her hard work did not collapse this time. She was happy. She had finally uncovered the vast hidden area within herself. She no longer was a shame for herself. She had reborn. For a second, they both stood motionless, each reading the dawning realization in the other's eyes. That is when he curled his fingers around her. The new her was ready to face the world. The rumors that once defined her were nothing but a nightmare. And it was over. The change had worked. And she was ready to conquer the world with him.


Autumn Breeze

The soft breeze was swinging her hair. The beautiful eyes stared right into mine. How could someone be so breathtaking? Her lips had this delicate shape of a half crescent moon. The redness of her cheek gave me sweet chills. The slight shiver of her body made my heart go feeble. I was surely falling for her. I was walking into a mythical world of my own. A world where she belonged to me. In this fragment of moment everything was perfect. Just me and her and the light autumn breeze.


Destruction – A Feeling

Time had stood still. Or maybe it was ticking by. He was standing the same spot for what looked like centuries. The beautiful canvas of his family had shattered into bits. His flesh was staring right into his streaming eyes. His lips moving. Moving but producing no voice. Mute. It took several heartbeats for him to understand that his voice was coming from a remote land. A place he dreaded. What was happening? Was this man really his son? What was this dilemma that has posed by? The comprehension came too fast for him to comprehend. Everything had backfired.


O! What A Wrenched Enemy Who Dares But Fight The Children

Time stood still for several heartbeats. TV screens were flashing the same trend of casualties; it was not crossing 50. But why were the families of our APSAC still anxious? Why there were was those repetitive footage of morning being played in the afternoon? Why was the media quite? What was this mute misery about?


With Love, From Syria

To The World, I hope this letter reaches you in the best of your health. As I am on my last legs, not sure whether you even remember or not but it just crossed my mind that maybe I owe you an apology. I know you are pretty furious at me, I am sorry for the unknown. We were friends earlier, but I don’t know what just happened in a blink of an eye. I don’t know what happened that you starting attacking and bombing parts of me. No, I am not complaining. Not complaining at all. I am just sharing; sharing the ghastly feelings inside me. I am down and out, pal. I am being wiped and smashed daily, every second of every moment. I feel so wrenched and demoralized. I just wish the ground would swallow me up. It hurts. Every inch of me hurts. It is like I am being wounded on the same spot, my heart. At least I deserve a break, no? I was peeking at one on my organs the other day, and you know what? I look so terrible. The paint was peeling off. I was all black. I was grim with dirt. And I had this weird smell of neglect-tion. I really need a shower I guess.


Remain Silent Or Should We Protest?

It takes a fraction of second for the human brain to taste a scenario but it may take some extensive moments to react; to grind the problem and to digest the effect. When implications come too fast to comprehend majority of the people prefer to use the invisible weapon of silence against an abject dilemma. But sometimes that weapon fails to earn the title of victory or else pacify the jeopardy. Then one needs to do something. Placing evasiveness aside, showing adversity.