Mother. I laid down beside her; gazing with intent curiosity. She was applying her morning cream, a minuscule part of her daily regiment of self-maintenance.

"Why do you always pull so much effort on your appearances?" I asked.

She said, "What's wrong with pulling an effort to age gracefully?"

I thought, "Well, it's not working. You're not aging gracefully at all. But majestically. Aristocratically."


كفـرت بجنسـيـتي

كفـرت بجنسـيـتي و ألحدت بالوطـن
تجردت عن الهويـة و الاسـم و العنوان
هـأنا ذا: متغـطرس بدائـي و إصراري
أقر بكفري و إلحادي عن دولتي و لا أبالي
أشهــد أن لا حياة لمن لا يؤمن بالحرية
و أشهد أن وطني مجمد في جبل من حديد
فيا وطني،
تقبلي مني عناد, و تقبلي مني إنــكار
إنني بما بين ترابك و سماؤك خائن غدار

It took me just half-an-hour to write that poem. It took me a week of reluctance to publish it in this blog. I saw a YouTube clip of Zaynab Hifni talking about our country (yes, yours and mine and hers),
and these words just popped out of my head in Arabic. I know it’s very badly written (can’t be a great writer in ALL my languages, can I?), but you get my point.

(I imagine you shaking your head after reading that poem,
saying something like:
"يا بنت الحلال, اعقلي")


…Chingku, chances, children, chips, pens, patience, pain, prayers, principles, pardons, passion, clothes, convenience, confidence, country, control, companionship, curiosity, care, cameras, kisses, faithfulness, friendship, friends, Flexi phone, dollars, dogs, diamonds, diaries, Dubai, …
How much more to lose until the past ceases from recognizing the present?
…Valin, virginity, beliefs, recipes, jobs, 081510894035, grandmother, Gandhi, Rini, Titi, trust, tokens, beautiful books, borrowed things, Jai, headphones, houses, homes, honesty, opportunities, open doors, underwear, Uki, earrings, in laws, accounts, access, Amman, memories, men, words, watches, wirids, lucidity, liking, love, leniency, trust, sobriety, secrets…

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