Aaj.

Aaj, mujhe jee bhar ke rone do.
Mere aasmano ko aaj barasne do,
meri zameen ko aaj ubhar ne do.
Iss kajal ki aaj, lakeeron ko mit jane do.
Mere badaalon ko aaj, baras jane do.

Mere khayaloon ko aaj, toofano ka ek kamra ban janedo. Meri saansoon ko
thartharata hua, parinda ban janedo

Aaj, mujhe jee bhar ke rone do,
Mere aasmano ko barasne do,
Iske toofano ko aaj sambhal ne do.
Besabab inn boondon ko aaj phir,
Phisalne do.

Mere khauff ko aaj, mere nazron ke sheeshon par jhalakne do.
Meri cheekh ko meri sehmi awaaz aaj, bann jaane do.

Aaj, mujhe jee bhar ke rone do,
Meri dhadkano ko aaj gunjne do
Inki aahat ko aaj, Mehsus hone do.
Bewaqt, inhe sambhal ne do.

Par aaj,
aaj, mujhe jee bhar ke rone do

I’m not an open book.

I am not an open book. My cover wasn’t designed for your rough fingers to run over my embroidered sides, or for your uncertain mind to ponder over, for you to rest your head on only when it was comfortable. I’ve been flipped through numerous times. My spine has been stroked by many. My pages have been gazed upon multiple times. The folded corners of my pages have left lines, lines that run like scars from the top to the middle. Scars, that won’t go. My ink soaked pages, have been marked with your coffee stains. You wreck your brain, making countless attempts to comprehend my meaning. Your fingers run down my pages, they have memorised my edges. Your mind knows my fragrance. You start to recognise your teardrops that my pages have absorbed.
Frustrated, you keep me aside. You pull at your hair wondering how easily someone else had read me, had held me, had understood me. Your fingers, they tremble, your hands shake. And you stare at the paper cuts on your fingers, and carefully, once again, keep me aside. ◦

Rain.

The rain fell on my window pane,
making its way through, comfortably.
Some drops, remained, clustered.

It blemished my view,
but cleared my vision and I saw,
people in their truest forms.
Slightly distorted and blurred.

Some had their arms open wide,
embracing the rain as it touched their skin
Some stored the droplets in their clenched fist.
While others turned their backs to it.
In fear, that it may wash their mask off.

But I stand still, and once its all over,
I wipe away the drops that clustered on my lashes
and let myself return to normalcy
but the storm, continues.

Lanes.

I visit his city sometimes,
passing by the lane where he lived.

That dark, obscure lane.
At the corner, still stands
the lamppost.
Flickering, almost diaphanous.
Where we last met, before he left the city.

On that warm summer afternoon,
I remember.
I stood there, registering in my mind,
every feature of his. He, doing the same.
As I slowly looked back at him, we smiled.
And without saying another word,
turned our backs to each other.
Still stealing glances from the corner,
of our eyes.

I still go there sometimes,
and just stand there.
His fragrance, still lingers.
His voice, still echoes.
Wrapping myself in the warm threads of pashmina,
without turning back,
I walk away.

Threads.

Have you ever had that feeling when you wear that warm blue sweater, and those small threads hang down, and you feel a rather destructive urge to pull them out, but you stop yourself because you don’t want to ruin it?

That’s how it feels.

I look at you, and I fight an irresistible draw. I want to hold your hand, and softly whisper to you, telling you how much I love you.

But then I know this urge might ruin all that exists between us, so I stop myself from pulling at these threads.

My hands tremble a little as I try to stop myself, just as my eyes don’t stay still while I talk to you. It’s the only way I can avoid eye contact.

And then years later, when the sweater is old, and the blue color has started to fade, rendering the sweater almost useless, I will pull the threads.

I will pull at them with care. Slowly and deliberately.

And maybe then, the sweater won’t look that bad, and I might wear it to sleep to keep myself warm. It will, I suppose, keep me warm much like the way I’d imagine your arms wrapped around me on a cold December night.

And you know what?

It might just fit better than before.

-By Rifa Vanoo.
Edited  by Harnidh Kaur.

Saansien – Rifa Vanoo

Aankhien bhi kya karti hai,
Bin kahe yeh sab kehdeti hai.
Waqt yun aise tham sa gaya hai,
Teri aankhon mein joh dekha hai, raha hai.

Teri saansien, meri aankhien,
Karti hai, kuch baate.
Unn baaton mein chupi hai,
Humari woh yaade.

Teri saansien, meri aankhien,
Karti hai, kuch baate.
Unn baaton mein chupi hai,
Humari woh yaade.

Yaade bhi kya karti hai,
Dhundle se sapno me rehti hai.
Ab kuch baccha hi nahi darmiyaaan toh,
rehke bhi kya rehti hai.

Teri saansien, meri aankhien,
Karti hai, kuch baate.
Unn baaton mein chupi hai,
Humari woh yaade.

Teri saansien, meri aankhien,
Karti hai, kuch baate.
Unn baaton mein chupi hai,
Humari woh yaade.

Baatien bhi kya karti hai,
Unkahe se lafz yeh kehti hai,
Ab kuch baccha hi nahi darmiyaan toh,
Kehke bhi kya, kehti hai.

Teri saansien, meri aankhien,
Karti hai, kuch baate.
Unn baaton mein chupi hai,
Humari woh yaade.

Teri saansien, meri aankhien,
Karti hai, kuch baate.
Unn baaton mein chupi hai,
Humari woh yaade.