Do you know how many nights I’ve spent twisting your English off my tongue? I do not take pride in your English. I want to stumble on my words. I want to speak with an accent so thick that it requires silence. I want you to struggle to understand me. Realize your English is not superior. Your English does not equate intelligence. Do not compliment me on how well I have accepted colonization. I do not want your pat on the back. I was forced to learn this language. I didn’t choose to. Your English disconnects me from my people. I am deaf to my own sacred language because of your English.
Your English has done nothing for me.
If you’re happy in a dream, Ammu, does that count?" Estha asked.
“Does what count?”
“The happiness—does it count?
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (via rabbrakha)
I miss hearing the adhan at consistent, dependable intervals throughout my day. I can almost still hear the rustle of curtains as a shopkeeper disappears into a back room to pray, can almost still feel the vibrations from so many murmurs as men made their way up the same old streets at the same old pace towards the masjid. I miss the shared experience of blissful grogginess in the middle of the night; I miss watching lights slowly flicker on all across the street as Fajr Adhan rang clear across Karachi for all to hear.
I want to go back and thank the man that ran from one alley to another each night, pounding on doors shouting, "utth jao, Fajr ka waqt nikal rahaa hain!"
I crave the protection of so many folds and loose ends, the comfort of draping myself in the cotton cloth designed for movement and security. I miss being able to stare unabashedly at street vendors and smile widely as I pointed to the fruit I wanted.
My ears have been so desperate to hear a stranger address me as beti, daughter, or bibi, sister. I miss the world where language left no room for unfamiliarity. Every person was apna.
I cried the first time we drove through Karachi after ten years and I saw house after house with “Masha’Allah" painted over the entrance. aankein taras gayi thi, deen ko aise har jaga dekhne ke liye.
I don’t have the words to describe that feeling of being so finally and completely at ease, so at peace with your surroundings, with yourself. Pakistan is no paradise, and I make no attempts to glorify its society, standards, or government. It is not perfect, but it is the only image in my schema for the concept of home.
You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.
Miriam Adeney (via aestheticintrovert)
I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself.
I tear myself apart to please you, please him, please them all and then numb the fractures with the electric buzz of approval, of praise. I am so simply defined: people pleaser. desperate for praise. doormat. pathetic. My friends joke that I’m an “aunty magnet”, always so readily available to help, prepared to rip my lungs out of their cage if asked to. I need this, though. I’m nothing if I don’t give so readily. If I don’t offer my self up to the masses, how will they know I exist?
I just want someone to smile and tell me they’re proud of me.
I want someone to say that I don’t need to try so hard, they’ll like me whether I do things for them or not.
I will drive you anywhere and I will give you anything you want and I will listen to you for hours and I will do EVERYTHING in my power to help you and love you and give you what you need, to give you what I think will make you notice me.
It’s not even about wanting everyone to like me best. I just want some recognition, for people to SEE me. I am invisible, an afterthought, and I guess I feel that by trying so hard to please, I might finally be on the same level as everyone else around me.
I don’t feel good enough for anyone, not even for myself, and I guess I cope with my sense of inadequacy by seeking the validation of others. I have ripped myself to shreds and hastily bandaged the wound with praise but I am worn so thin, and so exhausted. For just how long can I scramble to do everything and be everything?
you became like the coffee,
In the deliciousness, and the bitterness and the addiction.
Mahmoud Darwish (via imnotchaste)
We’ve been taught a woman’s body will cause men to sin. We’re told that if a woman shows too much of her body men will do stupid things. Let’s be clear: A woman’s body is not dangerous to you. Her body will not cause you harm. It will not make you do stupid things. If you do stupid things, it is because you chose to do stupid things.
I love when it rains. I love unmade beds. I love that little gasp someone takes when their favorite character dies. I love how, when a person is drunk and you ask them a deep question, they become completely honest in that one moment. I love when people cherish the spaces between their fingers. I love when people stay. I love how, when someone doesn’t know how to use a camera, someone else will come up behind them, wrap their arms around them, and hold the camera steady for them, teaching them. I love the look in people’s eyes when they first wake up, because they look lost. And then familiarity reappears, and it’s magic because it’s as if they’ve found home again. You see, each of us can write a list of the things we love, and the list can go on for quite a while. But how long do you think it takes for someone to say “Myself”?
Mackenzie E.B. (via imnotchaste)
We took such care of tomorrow, but died on the way there.
Warsan Shire (via thefortunatemuslim)