“Snowflakes and Tears”

“Snowflake and Tears”

Amid the countless clouds that wander,
Dancing upon the horizon-
Above the waves and vales,
A solitary cloud sighs
And sheds;
Up in the heavens;
A tear-
Meeting the parched earth
As a crystallized snowflake.

—-Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

 

This poem has been inspired by a poem written by a gentle soul, Brother Mueen Kanwar, “Snowflakes to Tears”. Please click the link below to read his amazing poem.

https://mueenkanwar.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/429/

 

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Prayer

Prayer

Hands spread out
In front of her visage
She calls out the Lord;
The Most Merciful of all.
She hears the cry
Escape her lips
As the tears stream down
Bit by bit.
Shoulders slumped
Face soaked
With salty pearls,
A realization
Suddenly unearths.
The lips curve into a smile
For she remembers
Surah Najm
“And it is He who makes you laugh,
And He who makes you cry.
And that He will give death, and
He who gives life.”
Consoled and calm
She forgets her strife.
With renewed vigor
Her eyes sparkle and shine.
For the believer,
Everything is a sign.

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

“Stranger in the Town of Love”

Faces merry and bright,

Cuddling lovers in the arms of yore,

I watch them all…

With my own artillery of

Dusky eyes and cold sighs.

Years have passed and I still remain

A stranger in the town of love.

Giggling children

Cheery smiles

Pouring forth from

Toothless smiles.

Mothers looking on

With a mix

Of annoyance

And pride.

And I still remain-

A stranger in the town of love.

—Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

 

 

Karachi

“Karachi”

Who travels by tram
In the old city
Of Karachi?
The ancient tracks bearing
Trash amidst
A dilapidated locality.
Wafting through
The waves of stink
The tracks
Speak a silent history
Of the old bustle of life.
Where life was valued
And things not left to ruins.
Yellow bricked buildings
Of the Victorian era
Were still cared for.
White sheets hung out to dry…
Narrow balconies in
The Saddar area,
Probably didn’t leak water
Of dubious origins;
Whether it is from the water tankee
Or used and filthy;
Cascading over urban terrains
Reaching your being
As you had to trudge along your destination.
The urban geography
Still had parks and clearings
Where children would play cricket
Without fear of breaking a window pane;
Before they disappear to escape the offence
And subsequent financial strain
Incurred by an angry neighbour.
But my city, is still breathing and alive…
It bears the scars and ruins of the splendor
Where once the octagenerians thrived.
The city of Edhi and his dedicated wife,
The city of philanthropists;
The city that houses many tribes
Foreigners and locals
From Afghanis to Bengalis
And the migrants from all tides.
Where one can sip doodhpati
At a dhabba hotel
And enjoy a crispy warqi paratha
With a thaal of malai
Either with friends
Or with family.
Shop for books
At old book stalls
Smelling in the fragrance
Simultaneously;
Of printed word
And smog.
The city I call home;
The city of lights.

—–Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

Inspired by the old railway tracks near the Tuesday Bazaar in my city and a few other things..

“Figs and You”

Our conversation

One Friday evening with you, my dear friend…

Evokes the image

Of the holy fruit “Tiin”,

Sworn by the Lord

In a surah of the Quran.

A fruit,

with a natural sweetness

And numerous benefits

For its consumers

Irrespective of their belief;

It caters a wholesome goodness

Unlike the artificial flavours

Abounding on the glittery shelves…

The “fig” and your sincerity,

My dear friend,

In its wondrous plainness

Are oblivious to the saccharine syrup

Of fair-weather friends.

 

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

 

Dedicated to Hiba Khan. Love you ,dear sister, for being just yourself! 🙂

 

 

“Curse of the Shami Kebabs; The Rishta Aunty”

 

” Curse of the Shami Kebabs: The Rishta Aunty”

As she engulfed
The Shami Kebab,
Stuffing it deeper
Into her oral cavity…
The Rishta Aunty
Said to me conspicuously,
” Lose weight ,
And rejoin the trade,
People demand
A girl; haseen and fair.”
She looked me up
And she looked me down
Her eyebrows
Knitted into a frown.
She took another bite
Of the meaty treat,
And I started to retreat
Into self-conscious defeat.
So I stand no chance
At all , after all.
She’s going to search
The haseenas, et al.
Intelligence, or
Perseverance,
Has no importance
Of course.
They
Require a lady
Without a trace of remorse.
No emotional scars,
And especially
Not physically marred.

Then she took
To relating her tale
Of her daughter’s
Wedding laid to bare.
And I kept thinking
“Must I hear?
Should I care?”
The Rishta Aunty
Then disclosed the dread
That after her daughter’s wedding ,
She felt the empty nest.
And kept cursing her decision,
Indeed, a terrible test.
Unconsciously my eyes
Traced the path
To look at my mother’s expected wrath.
But instead,
My mind reeled a few steps back,
Realizing what a horrible , horrible mess…!

[I deliberately excluded
And cropped
What I think should
Had gone to the halt.
From my abode
Right up to Malir Halt].

I’ll have to include the gory details
Of my gori friends
All discussed
At great length.

My cousin sister’s rishta was discussed,
As I looked at the rishta aunty with disgust.

It’s me right here
It’s my house, you see…?
Can you stuff that
Pretty please?

And stuff she did
Two whole Shami Kebabs
And a couple of bites
Of biscuits with crumbs.
Drowning them down
With peach fruit punch.

So, ladies…
It’s for you to see…
Always keep a pic of
Whoever- you-know-and- please,
For when these ‘ladies’ do the rounds,
You might actually get to be the next ” rishta aunty in town”!

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui ( 2017)