Questions for Ourselves


TheSouthAsianIdea Weblog

By Anjum Altaf

— Does God love everybody?

— Yes.

— Are you sure?

— Of course.

— Then why do YOU hate so many? Are you bigger that God (NB)? Has God (NB) created some just so you can indulge your passion for hating? Has God (NB) told you there are some you can hate even though He loves them? Is your God (NB) the head of a political party?

I haven’t come up with this. It’s how I read Mr. Bloom in the chapter identified as Cyclops in Ulysses.

Look at it yourself (lines 1480-1520 here) if you don’t believe me:

“God loves everybody” and aren’t we told to “love your neighbours”? And if I listened to God and loved my neighbour and my neighbour loved his/her neighbour wouldn’t we end with “universal love” which is “the opposite of hatred,” of “insult and hatred” which is…

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All That Was Once Before

The strength I gather from all around,
Seems to wane as I tread past these shores,

The dark alleys I pass by,
Seem nameless as there are no doors,

Each place has its moments,
But all seems silent when all remains living,

Even though I still have affection,
For all that was once before 

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An old man was sitting once,
Waiting for a call,
Or any word from a friend,

A letter of happiness,
Or any sound to make him content,

He waited all the time,
Bright days or dark nights,
His desperation grew as silence reigned where sounds crashed before,
People were all around and now it was him,
Or maybe he felt that way since a great part of his life got over so quick,

He cajoled himself to sleep only to wake up in sweat,
Nightmares were even in darkness,
No monsters came by even from regret,

His thoughts narrowed as his heart grew heavy,
He looked young but was growing old by the minute,
His eyes could reflect the anguish,
The fire that once was, now racked in pain,

But it was pain he couldn’t explain,
He never needed someone,
Why the urge now?
Why was someone so important that something bugged him now?

In his thoughts, the old man remained lost all day,
Wishing for an outer body experience,
Wishing it all became okay,
He was so comfortable with himself,
What happened now that it changed his way?

That was a thought that eluded him for now,

I had seen this old man for quite a while,
Saw him as he gave in to life,
While his posture grew bent,
While he resigned to his chair,
And stayed there throughout the day,

He mentioned he had dreams and he thrived in ambition,
Passion drove him and he sought love like anyone else,
He had been foolish, he had been naive,
But he had a good heart,
It made me sad he had grown so old and given up like this,

Old man, old man,
Someone’s calling out but he doesn’t respond,
Old man old man,
Why isn’t he saying anything,

Old man old man,
I feel a tug on my shirt,
Old man old man,
I look down and see a child,
Old man old man,
Why are you always lost in your thoughts?

Wake up.

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The Question on Faith

Faith is good,
Trust feels great,
It’s a strong feeling,
When everything is going your way,

But when time gets old,
You got scars apparent on your face,
You start to find out,
Wasn’t that easy what you took in your stride,

God of this paradox,
Savior of jesus,
Creator of judas,
There is something for everyone,

For the sake of a better way,
Taking pictures of a glorious day,
How do you do today?
What’s about this day that takes your breath away?

Living amongst Brutus,
Dreaming for Caesar,
Cuts like a knife,
When you realize you stood for empty promises and hollow chances,

There is a time for finding out,
When the executioner gets his chance at you,
When you stand at the guillotine,
Even you didn’t work for your best,

Something’s shine and sway you away,
Hi Mrs. Jackson, I am going away today,
It’s okay I know where I am going,
That glittering I see is the end of the tunnel,

Hollow words, hollow words,
All that glitters is not gold,
The scars need to come,
It’s not a deserted road,
It’s a forest with thorns along the way,

But the factory of faith keeps running,
Learnt to run, fell short to swim,
The cliches continue,
Did I let you know?
I am still on my way.

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Happiness and The Wind

A whiff blows by,
Suddenly I sense you around,
A feeling in my heart,
Joy unrestrained,

Melancholy aside,
Happiness remains,
Surfing on waves I’ve never been,
The journey is close to its end,

In this state of bliss,
I can’t see beyond today,
The future looks fine,
Through the storms I’ll come out alive,

You might not be here to stay,
But you come around more often,
I’m surfing by your shores soon.

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The Lost Generation

Where are we standing,
Broken homes,
Unsettled questions,
Seems like we have more time to ponder over the uncertain,
The future is not narrow but it’s made to be that way,
Still lingering in our past,

Childhood memories bring out the melancholy,
Pestering past,
Irritable preset,
Stigmatised futures,
Is this what we have become?

The last train home stands at the platform,
Smoke chugging, it’s there to take you somewhere where you are not forever alone,
In our teen spirit, we forgot what it meant to be alive,
Captivated by our madness, falling to pieces,
I wish you nothing but good fortune,
But I am scared for myself,

At my age, questions of faith arise too often,
Maybe I linger where I’m not supposed to,
Maybe this is my way to search for answers,
Revealing what I think so I can connect some dots,
My jigsaw remains unsolved,
But my words are not ceasing,
I might be out of breath but I know enough to not stop breathing,
Not right now,
It’s easy to give up I know,
But staying still won’t take me to places to where I wanna go,

The mantra for my generation,
Consumed by the subliminal altercations,
Help me while I help you,
It’s a collective effort,
There is no I or you,
It’s us,
We have to get through

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Stop, Wait, Rewind

Stop the  motion and rewind,
let’s go to the places we despise,
Salutations for the brave,
Who had to bear the brunt on their souls,

Survived the onslaught,
But living frugally nonetheless,
Let’s not fuck around with meaningless words,
Let’s not abandon you in this sea of snakes,

The trip down memory lane was for the good,
Not to lead you astray once again,
You and I share that memory,
Breaking promises and broken ideals,

Trapped in a crescendo,
Ah, the twilight of my cliches,
Draw your dreams once more,
Even out of spite,

Forced positivity is good for the soul even,
The only way you retain some spirituality to survive,
The search for identity remains a question,
But you are getting somewhere,

The actions and the beliefs have an end,
You just have to begin,
And you are well on your way,

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