Poems, Thoughts

The 7th Day

what’s with this restlessness

every night

that doesn’t vanish by morning

when the sun rises

you’re happy

to be alive

to be able to move

but you leave your house feeling a little sleepy and moody

and get to work with a drag

but you leave your office feeling relieved

and look forward to dinner at home

and the following nights seem all right

mornings thereafter seem slightly better

but finally on each 7th day

the restlessness arrives again

that lasts till the morning

you get to work with a drag and yawn every hour

but you’re relieved when you step out of the door

and then all seems fine till

that 7th day

why

 

– Parveen Maghera

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Thoughts

A Confession

This has been bothering me for many months, and I guess it’s time to come to terms with it.

I don’t know what I’m praying.

Every night, before I sleep, I pray … but the words that come out of my mouth are just mere words written in Gurmukhi script of which I have no idea what they mean — at least 99% of them. But I still continue to chant them each night without fail because it has become a routine, and the thought of not doing so meant that some negative sanction will befall upon me, my family and friends.

I always pray for something at the end of the prayer — something that comes right from the bottom of my heart. But is that enough? Do I need to say the prayer words from the bottom of my heart too? How is that possible when I don’t even know what they mean?

I know what my religion is about, its values and beliefs, at least most of it. And I believe these are preached through the prayer words. But is merely believing in the religion enough to be truthful to it? Must you know what the prayer words mean?

I have a list of meanings of the different sections of verses up in my room. It has been there for more than seven years. But as much as I try to remember them, I fail to do so. But that won’t make any difference if I don’t understand the words in each verse right? Good thing is, I understand the meanings of those sections of verses, and believe in them because they reflect what a human being should be. And these are universal!

Whenever I go to the temple, I read the English translations of each verse that are usually displayed on the big screen, just to make sense of my listening to the prayers, and being there. Some of the hymms, however, are easier to understand as they are geared towards my native language, save for a few words of the script.

I wonder if I am battling with this alone, or are there others out there feeling the same?

Am I really the only one? :/

I know this sounds pretty crazy, and it’s really a confession. And I’ve finally let it out. Forgive me if I unintentionally hurt any one of you.

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Poems

Who Am I

That’s the lady I want you to be
Momma whispers into my ears
I take a step back and turn away
That’s never going to happen
I say
But momma insists
She never fails to push
Papa doesn’t care
The sister tries harder
I leave for school and I see her again
I can’t smile
A girl calls my name
Another mocks it out loud
Look at her colour, they say
But I look at theirs
I tear and run away
Momma whips out my favourite tea
She says it’s only going to get better this time
If I became that lady
But that’s not going to work
I repeat myself
And that state of mind
Brings about a repeated wave of torture each day
But today I stand firm
And look at them in the eye
I’m beautiful too, I yell
I’ll be that lady
I promise in front of them
They stand there confused
I leave with a smile
Momma is surprised
I hug her tight
I’ll be that lady you said momma
She wipes away a tear
And pulls me in front of the dressing mirror
Yes momma
I’ll be that lady
I say
Pointing at my reflection
My newfound confidence made me grin again
When I adjusted my hair for the first time
In front of the reflective glass door I pass by each day
The girls come by
I give a confident glare
They look down and walk away
I breathe with pride

Who am I
People ask me now
I tell them
I’m just being the girl in the mirror
Why don’t you?

– Parveen Maghera

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