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When you spend your life juggling between paper plates and plastic cups, in a world where disposing is easier than preserving, is permanence really a gift or a curse instead? I spend most days building homes. I could call myself an opportunist, because I spend my days looking for broken walls to rebuild in a…

Privilege

I come from privilege, from a people who could read signboards in languages that did not pronounce home in a way that felt welcoming, languages that started from the wrong side of things, as if to only build up halfway, creating a divide no bridge could ever bring together. My father was the first teacher…

Fistful of Dreams

We share a bed, finding new games to decide who sleeps in the middle each night, everything ranging from rocks-paper-scissor to a simple roll of the dice. The winner gets to choose the sleeping positions for all three, and we are yet to learn if this victory comes laced with privilege or irony. The right…

Secret Pockets

There is only so much you can learn by stripping a person down to their naked soul to see what really hides within flesh and bones. Try taking the person out of the clothes for a change, let the folds and creases tell stories of tears and laughter long lost in their wrinkles. You may…

Stagnant Waters

Imagine living life on a treadmill, walking miles only to wipe off the starting line in vain attempts to reach the better life waiting 3 feet away. Imagine each step closer taking you two steps behind, up until a point that you can’t pinpoint a beginning, waiting for a corner in the street to make…

Let’s Rebel a Little

The first time you witness your country at war, you ask yourself whether war is just another game the gladiators left for us to play, and we, with our need to outdo generations, forgot that blood baths are not another name for spa dates. The second time you witness your country at war, you ask…

Thor, You Say?

I call my hammer a paradox, because on the days my arms feel like they will fall off, are the very nights my family falls asleep with their stomach’s full, which is to say, a hard day’s night is more pleasing than painful. Each morning, I pass this poster on the corner of a street,…

327 Footsteps

Some distances best not be measured. I walk the same path every day, constantly juggling between paradoxical commands of following railway tracks and steering clear of them, hoping to find a new pothole to jump over, a fresh puddle to hop into, and a by road to discover something new. But my daily adventures are…

Rustic Cages

There are stories behind locked doors like these on every corner, this one, for instance, bears the weight of lost loves and abandoned fortunes. Tariq travelled 15 hours to reach these then brown doors in the middle of the night, with nothing but his wife Sameera’s hands to hold in his palms. They built themselves…

Flightless Birds

The average mind can process 200 words a minute. Mine, on the other hand, likes to take its time, likes to wait for the syllables to feel familiar in my mouth, which is not to say that I can’t swallow three books whole in one night, but that I’d rather let the words roll around…

Aeroplanes for Fingertips

When the rains come for our house again this year, I will know I have turned four. My mother tells me I woke amidst the rubble like a phoenix, with a smirk on my face that deemed me invincible, because if nature’s wrath couldn’t destroy me, I doubt anything will. I have spent every birthday…

Pins and Needles

Isn’t it ironic that aspirations can be measured in numbers, held inside the nooks and crannies of folded palms, only to be mixed into bowls of social constructs? But who am I to question the rationality of imagination anyway? My weighing scale lives life on the edge, oscillating between dreams and realities like a pendulum,…