My satisfaction ever after?

Lost. Lost was all I was. 

In the folds of my walnut brain
The indistinguishable twigs and stems of my veins
In the darkness that followed,
In the pool of blood,
On the skull space so hollow,
As I quiver mid-air as if shocked by the air - Lost.

Lost was all I was.

 I knew deep down what direction was mine. What road had shone the brightest for me. What path was mine and what gave me more than what no money, power or status could ever amount into giving me - Satisfaction. The pleasure of being satisfied. 

But I also knew how hard it was going to be. How untraditional it was. That it will demand of me what no money, power or status could ever demand - Honesty. The honesty of hard work. The uncorrupted involvement of each and every cell of my body. And the honest emotions that would reflect in the heat of my face and the beating of my heart every time I walked that one true path that always signalled me towards it. 

But I was not ready. The path was giving by all means, but it asked for too much. In short, I am not a risk taker. I am not bold. I do not have the courage to give more than I can bet on taking back. Coward, I thought. Is that not what a coward means? 

For years, I veiled my cowardliness under the consolidation that it was shyness. Shyness. But the only times I questioned this notion was when I longingly gazed the path - the path that was for me.

It used to talk to me, only rarely, but in manners that made me aware of the vibration of every atom around me. Sometimes saying things that were too, too honest. And really real, too real to take.

It (the path) honey-whispered things to me,  

‘No’, was my only comeback.

I shied?
It talked.

‘No’, was my only thought.

It talks more when I am alone. Growing softer each time it calls me out.

Does the path you walk do that to YOU? 

Does it talk lovingly? In a way that reminds you of your mother's tender smile, or your younger sisters shimmering, naughty but pure eyes. Does it call you out in a way that shows consideration, consolation? 

Can a life choice do that? Has it ever done that to you, or am I the only lost stranger.

Does it smile without smiling? Call you to dance, when you both can’t? Summon a beast in you, the addict if you may, as if knowing your passion more than you realize it yourself?

‘NO!’ I shout.

The path… my sweet path, stays quite. Quite until I become quite enough to hear it again.

Is your path as patient? Does it give you the vibe of being your ‘satisfaction-ever-after’?

My humanly appetite asks more of it, much, much more. I ask of promises of comfort - the comfort of this world. The ease of being careless and carefree. Why is it disapproving of my weary complains and to the idea of giving up. Have I no right to lose it once in a while? Why do you swell on the idea of me hurt and tired?  Worn out and jaded, as exhausted as I can ever be. Why will you not allow me short cuts and ways that are easy? Why are you, my path, so stubborn on making it so damn hard? 

And there, it does it again - smiles without smiling. 

I stand - lost. 

Lost, as I always was.

That one Donkey and her muse.

23rd June, 2014.

Dear Diary,

Even though I have just invented you for this post, today you're going to be my close companion and listen to one of the most beautiful instances I've ever witnessed. 

But before I start narrating, I need a name for my story. You'd be surprise that even though a name to a story is nothing, for the story is the meat; it often takes a lot more time to come up with one. Often more time than itself a story ever takes. At least to me, that has happened quite often. Nevertheless, after thinking well and hard, I finally decided on one.

I’ll call my story:
That One Donkey & Her Muse

It all happened one dreaded Monday afternoon. To be fair, all Monday afternoons are dreadful. So uhm… let me rephrase that.

It was a casual *wink wink* Monday morning - dreadful and tiring. I had just given my last paper and was on my way back home. To make things worse, Mr.Omnath (our van driver), decided that’d he’d give Monday a run for its money, and took on the enormous (read: idiotic) task of dropping girls who live poles apart in the city, in one go. Imagine the pain I felt when I realized I’d be more than an hour late to my home than usual, all because my uncle could save some petrol.  Oh and by the way, I live approximately to a 15 – 20 minute drive from my university. THE AGONY!

Not to forget that it was painstakingly humid, and the girls, all cramped up like 20-odd pearls in one clasped oyster, didn’t do any good either. The only thought making the heat of Karachi and my miser van uncle’s miserable maneuver any bearable was the fact that I had a month long semester break waiting for me.

Some 40 minutes later, after some girls had been dropped off and after I had dozed on and off during that period, I opened my eyes to the locked away alleys of Karachi and what I was missing on. The beautifully old crumbling structures, all those small windowed homes, the lazy laughs of men in the market, the swell sight of happy kids bidding school goodbye, the leemopaani  wala (lemonade) serving the old and young… oh, how I could write an endless story on Karachi. But let that story be reserved for another day. For now, let’s be back to the story I am currently telling.

Dear diary,

This part is where it gets beautiful. But before that, it gets ugly.

 Life’s like that. Is it not?

Anyways, returning to the ugly. Our van broke down.

Yes, yes, it did. The Monday Curse is no myth, I truly believe now.

Whatever little ray of hope was left in me, died and I wanted nothing more than this day to end.

But then the beautiful happened:

There, a few feet away from where I stood, was a parked ruined cab.  It was damaged, dusty, and the yellow and black on it was now peeled off, exposing its corroded and dented body. And right there, was where I saw her. That beautiful little donkey, tied to her cart from behind, with her chin resting motionless on the trunk of that dented taxi. Her kind eyes were shaded with big, soft lashes, and they looked very tired.

Its' odd how we so often forget how beautiful these creatures are, just because they do the work for us that which we ourselves don't/can’t do; or maybe it’s' because we’re so fond of seeing them, that they just become ordinary to us. In any case, for me, there is merely ordinary by perception.

The scene of her chin resting so subtly cooled my heart. And even from a distance apart, I could sense she had rested it just hard enough to not let the taxi feel her weight. To her, maybe it was living. To us, maybe she wasn’t.

‘IT’S FIXED. ALL OF YOU GET BACK IN!!’ our uncle yelled.

With that, we walked back; I, a little hesitantly. She then looked longingly at me for whole two seconds before I broke eye contact and found myself behind the doors of the van.

 I wanted to sigh, but before that could happen, I noticed a school going girl trotting by. In her red and white checkered frock, she was bouncing merrily with her water bottle swinging off her right shoulder.

Our van was struggling to start at this point.

She stopped some two steps away from the donkey. Tilted her head to the right, and with furrowed brows, looked thoughtfully at her (that donkey).

“Come on…work” said Mr.Omnath in a pressed agitated voice.

By now, the little girl seemed to be moving close to the taxi ; still looking thoughtfully at her new friend. But the friend was  unmoved. She was still immobile and looked weary. But the little girl knew what to do. She kept her water bottle down. Took her bag off, stood on her toes and placed it on the dented roof. Reached back to the water bottle, opened the cap and let water fill it.

“FINALLYYY’ roared our uncle simultaneously with the engines.

We started to move, but I could see the donkey move her head closer to the girl’s hand.  She drank from it slowly, as the girl managed and failed to stand on her toes, and stroked the top of the donkeys’ nose as much as she could.


P.S. This one's dedicated to Zeba, from Zeba Talk. For being the little inspiration <3; Thank You.