It was my anxiety that I couldn’t get over. That stopped me from forming a strong grandfather-granddaughter bond with you. The anxiety was always there because of your authority, your lion like rage. The intellectual questions, my broken Urdu that made it impossible to reply. I was scared of being ridiculed. I was scared of being seen by you. I always tried to sit in the corner of the room where you couldn’t see me. Scared of your impossible questions, the first one I remember – ‘who is your favourite grandfather me – or your father’s father.’ How could you ask me to choose between you and my favourite person in the world? My mum always tried to encourage us to go visit you, but she didn’t understand why we didn’t want to go see you. It was all respect based on fear and that is despicable. I knew nearly everyone respected you out of fear. How you had been controlling. It all scared me. The first time I truly felt angry at you was when my grandad, my father’s father, my rock, my favourite person past away. I felt it should have been you. Not him. That was a terrible thought though, I should never have thought that despite anything.

Then I moved into the house, and I admit I did feel the dread of seeing you every day because of the anxiety I had every time I did see you. I felt so angry… you made me so angry whenever you talked about your self. Your achievements, the boasting, big headed stories. Your stories, I hated them. How you belittled other people, you even belittled my father. You repeated the same stories a hundred times, over and over and over and over. Like a broken casset player. You played those cassets repeatedly. It was partly your dementia, I worked with people with dementia so I knew how it worked but godamnit it, it infuriated me. I thought this was my chance to bond with you finally – but there was nothing there. Nothing personal, nothing to hold on to, nothing we had in common, just you and your old stories that I felt no pride or honour in listening to. I know the dementia wasn’t your fault… Dementia makes a person forget. And I knew you were just trying to hold on. Hold on to who you were, your life that you had lived, hold on to your memories, you wanted to not be forgotten. You wanted to pass on your memories to your family members so they remembered who you were. Selfish of me to have hated that when I too have a fear of being forgotten. I should have listened more carefully. Perhaps there was something in your stories for me, something my frightened ears failed to pick up on. Perhaps some day, I will remember.

You liked to have everything just so. An OCD – that made you put north, south, west, east on your table covers so that they were sitting just right. The table with it’s four children. The judges chair. The cassettes, your clothes that you had kept for many years. Your topees for night and those for days. Yet your table tops and sofas were always covered with your folders and papers. You were sorting your files out. You were trying to get everything in order. Sort everything out. But you went over and over the same files again. Sort of like me with my incomplete stories piled in my boxes. I wonder, right now, if they’re still in piles on your desk – did you get them just the way you wanted them to be? You wrote poetry. I always wanted to improve my urdu, I always knew urdu poetry was something special but I had not been able to. Perhaps that was what I could have discussed with you, I bet you never knew I too loved poetry. That one line you would say all the time, that I repeatedly forgot, perhaps one day I will remember.

You forgot my name all the time forgot who I was. I always thought this was another reason I loved my other grandfather more, because he named me and he always remembered my name – reminded me he named me. You hardly remembered… but when you did, it was always ‘Furkhanda Changa Bantha’ – Good girl. A rhyme you associated with me and that’s how you remembered me.

You collected clocks. So many clocks hung on every wall in the rooms of your flat. A little thing of yours I adored. You asked us once, why you collected them. Then you explained time is expensive, not to waste it. I think it was because you were  trying to capture time… And now it seems, like you’ve almost ran out. Are we reaching the last seconds soon? The two hands you kept up in long duas might soon fall, with the tick, tick, tick of your heart beat. Like the mighty clap of your hand on our backs. We’ll come together one last time for you, and then, we’ll break and scatter too – taking hours of your memory with us.

I’ve seemed to barricaded myself from feeling too much as I look at you, in your current form  – in this way you’ve never been before weak and vulnerable. Free of your troubles. The oldest member of our family, whilst I sit here with my daughter in my arms – the youngest member. I love you though, I do, because you’re still my Nana. You still gave me what is most important to me – my family. Your blood still runs through me, the blood will flow through many to come, and we, will remember.



Take It As Your Own~

One thing you might hate about me

is i love too much.

It might eat you up.

If you think you’ll drown,

then just let it in,

I’ll teach you how to swim.


I can’t promise it won’t hurt

’cause it’l hurt like hell.

Why keep a blank canvas

with no story to tell.


When you’re sailing through the storm

I swear you will feel it.

The rush of freedom, taste of something wild

A great handful of love and life –

When it comes, promise me you’ll steal it.


Take it as your own. 

Take it as your own so you never feel alone.

Take it as your own – and make it your home.


‘Cause we’ll love too much

and it’ll hurt like hell

but all the scars will make

a pretty story to tell~


when this troubled heart gives in
and love loses all its sparkle and awe
I’ll lose myself to this Music’s swing
I’ll catch each tear like every flaw.

If i find myself sitting in darkness
allowing myself to close my eyes and smile
Perhaps that will be my release
Weighty armour down, fragile for a while.

Exposed to my emotions, senses flared.
Troubled thoughts will find their own words
Anxiety is a web i know how to tread
A wave of my hands and they become birds…

see, becoming a queen is a state of mind
First one must learn how to breathe through the worst.
Within me, a tiny soul copies my rhythm.
I hear my shoulders crack as I push them back
Sometimes to conquer…
One must learn to surrender first.

Be Sensitive

They’ll always be unable

to handle your depth.

You’ll always struggle

with the weight of secrets you kept.


You’ll always be labelled ‘sensitive’

But that’s because you know too much

of how broken souls live.


Over-emotional, over-thinking

but it’s all over their heads

whilst you let it sink in.


You’ve travelled over every rainbow

of emotion from beginning to end.

And no its not always been a pot of gold

waiting in the hands of so-called friends.


Guilt rides through you when you share too much

when you break through fragile humans

with your poetry and your mind’s touch

But DO IT AGAIN, don’t you dare run.


Be that unapologetic ocean,

crash and roll and drag them under

Shake them to the core like thunder

Cause when you rise….


You’ll push them back up to breathe.

And in their hands they’ll grasp

sand or shells or pearls or magic from beneath.


No one knows it yet and sometimes you forget

that there’s more, skin deep? No, there’s always more

So let your bare feet sink in, let them get wet

Cause you, you’re that passionate kiss the ocean leaves upon the shore…


Promise me real and raw,

I’ll promise you it all.

Enhance me with your magic

’cause, who am I

If i’m not yours.

My mother never taught me

of heartbreak.

I learnt those lessons alone

from my mistakes.

But she smiled through pain

so i know that look

in your beautiful eyes.

I hear those whispered thoughts

that you give to the skies.

Escape if you need

a reason to smile

My sweetest friend, don’t you know

You’re strongest when you’re most fragile~

little butterfly

Two heartbeats in this shell of mine

my old heart trudges along

holding souls with yours young one

in my womb beating strong.

fast, hard and wild.

I always knew feelings were born in the stomach

Throb, throb, throb…

Two great rusting lungs~

24 years on and i’m still

trying to remember how to breathe.

May fresh air fill your jars

As you learn the rhythm for the first time…

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

I feel you and I’m breathless

knocking on the walls of my body

reminding me you’re there.

Warrior strength of mind I hope.

Colours and flowers in your veins

I hope you eat laughter and dreams

and let it flow in your blood.

Waiting for this soul to grace this world~

With one cry i know, you’ll show me what

True love and life is.

the ocean inside of us

I wrote this letter to you, to keep the jewels of our love beneath your pillow so they can guide me home.

I will visit you in your nightmares. I will meet you in the midst of oblivion. I will find you in your darkest terrors. I will make love to your demons until they loosen their grip on you.

I will enter your dreams, recite poetry to wake you up with our song on your hot lips.

I will dance down the universe for you to lay it at your feet. I will bow down the trees for you so you can rise. I will lose my mind for you in my search of finding you.

I’m lost in love with you, I’m lost in love with you, and I’m lost in love with you.

I know when you return to me you’ll bring my soul and mind back to me, so what do I have to fear?

I told you, my moon, you cannot hurt me, I do that well myself. Don’t worry, my love, I will make you my king. Standing between your legs my feet planted in devotion, I swear myself to you.

I will count the stars you took from my mind to make sure you didn’t lose any. I know you never would. I will whisper into your stomach like a breeze to see if you have extinguished the flames I gave to you. I know you won’t. I know you won’t.

Oh, this universe is playing games again but I won’t let it sweep us away. The ocean inside of us will rise. I swear to you, my tides will find you when you’re lost and all you want to do is hide.

Because the ocean inside of us will rise.

I’m lost in love with you, I’m lost in love with you, and I’m lost in love with you.

But the ocean inside of us will rise. I swear, we will rise.