Author Archives: Bilquis Fatima

Those days when my Mom made my plaits.

Those were the golden days

When  my mother,  fondly  plaited  my hair

Standing behind me, while  the appetizing aroma of puri and chhole

 Wafted in the fresh morning air.

She would rush out of  the kitchen  holding a steel lunch  box,

 tucking it in my satchel , she headed towards the dressing table

Where I waited for her to  braid my  plaits, two smooth and immaculate,

Which didn’t suite  my taste yet had to  abide by a schoolgirl’s trait.

Smoothening  my hair, she would religiously advice with a distinctive flair

Of  how crucial was teenage  when one should  prepare to sit  for GATE

Keeping at bay, all insane thoughts of fashion and mate.

And when I fidgeted, with the slightest prod of the comb would warn me of getting late.

I  would absorb  the morning sun that  smiled through the curtains ,

Exuding  the perfect   amount of warmth and freshness,

and occasionally the mirror would reflect her  anxiety  behind her calmness,

As she braided blessings to ward off  evil eyes.

Those were the nights when she oiled my hair

Massaging in the wisdom of life that she wanted me to take care.

Combing away my fears, she enunciated the importance of nourishing the    roots,

Be it of the wavy mass on the head or a noble adulthood.

I would initially rebel at  being  made to sit still,

Then feeling  love  radiate from of her gentle fingers to my scalp ,

 I would give in, secretly  enjoying  the massage,

A pain, imagining  a world  without her one day, would then  implode    my heart.

Note: Puri – an Indian bread made by deep frying

Chhole – an Indian spicy dish made by chick peas.

GATE _ General Aptitude Test in Engineering.

Corona- A battle secondary.

Several mouths to feed ,
Leaking shelter to pay for,
Dues to be cleared,
To get the land that lies mortgaged.
For ages, he and his clan have been sinking in the dark sea of penury,
So Corona just remains a battle secondary.

Amidst suspending drops of death, he has to step out
Or else he and his kin, won’t get a morsel,
And their starving cells would soon be dead,
Making them immune to fear and dread,
For how could Corona kill the already dead?
So Corona just remains a battle secondary.

Beating the searing heat and thunderous rain, he struggles to earn some penny,
Lest his sister is pawned to the wealthy demons lurking around,
While silently he feels his pride shattering,
Seeing the famished body of his wife through tattered clothing.
Sanitizers and masks from where should he bring ?
So, Corona just remains a battle secondary.

The Unsaid Goodbye

The last embrace I often retrace
Straightening your cap and pulling your tie
You drew me close to whisper a lie,
‘See you soon’ you muttered planting a kiss,
Kisses that were my greatest bliss.

No goodbyes exchanged for that was the rule,
For the trip would be over in a blink
And you would knock before the spring
Turning around you walked away
And i kept watching your silhouette
getting smaller on the way
as your footsteps got silent in the night.

Counting the days I reveled in the dulcet aroma
of your skin that lingered against mine

But before the spring could witnessp
the next bloom
A tornado of ill fate left me marooned
When tring, tring rang the sonorous bell
And what followed was hard to tell

The storm gushed in, blowing the curtain to the ceiling

The chandelier crushed down ending in shards

Gloomy clouds blanketed the sky
And the rain howled shaking me to reality,

Thumping against the chest the heart cried

Entrapped in a conundrum stumbled my steps

Fingers dug deep striating the chest

As if to pluck out the bleeding heart
and mitigate the pain.

After eons, it seemed, they brought you.
Eyes turned into gargoyles seeing your remains
Wrapped in the highest honour
Waiting patiently to bid the unsaid goodbye

So valiantly you fought
To rid the nation of its hostile infestation
Deflecting all attacks valiantly
But this time they hit from the back cowardly,
When you started digging deeper in their track.
For no foreign enemy was in the file
But the very own fraudulent leaders in disguise.

Lyrics of Life.

The ambiguous ways of gentle life
Crying and smiling we survive.
Served are some, on silver platter
While some see their dreams shatter.

Life ,to some gives choices galore
It’s up to them to take or ignore.
Nectar hidden in petal bowls
Or venom hidden in toothed holes.

Life, corners some with numerous woes
No options but to bear the throes.
Yet, end the day with a thankful smile
For a grateful heart has no thoughts hostile.

The sanguine sun has to hide at night
For the moon to show its silvery light .
Extols and parables seem sometimes fake,
When to build one , the other breaks.

Ah yes! The callous ways of gentle life,
Where pain and sadness are rife.
Glorifying those that brag and boast.
Hurting the heart that cares the most.

Copyright © Bilquis Fatima


As darkness shrouds ,

the mind dissects the  night,  

 Rummaging through the scattered  

hills, valleys, foliage and caverns. 

Where  stoic  eyes lie wide open  on pillows

glaring    at the unfathomable  darkness,

giving   company  to the glittering

and not yet glittering  stars.

Riding on the wings of anticipation,

flipping through  distant shores,

I struggle to locate you in various destinations

Of the map etched in my mind

To quietly  slip through and  find    

a  remote corner  in a lobe of your brain

Or a space  in your throbbing  heart chambers.

God’s exotic gifts.

Who said that evil has taken over the world
Who said that goodness no longer prevails,
Just look at the flowers that bloom
In copious amount around the world.

The frilly dresses of invisible fairies
Upturned to absorb the blessings of the sun.
Enticing spectrum of colours they spread
Exuding fragrance of melifluous blends.

How we human do ignore
Entangled in our chores and woes,
The precious flora nature procures.
Verily God’s oeuvre for us to behold.
As petal by petal they unfold.

Relentlessly they bloom each day each season.
To thank the creator gives us many reasons.
Ending up in vases or in a lover’s tresses,
Or pile up on a saint’s grave, in pure veneration.

© Bilquis Fatima

The Mirage Called Love.

Under the silver twilight love walks away

The silhouette growing smaller

Disappearing  in the oblivion.

Leaving behind a  storm  of darkness.

Giving a feel of   a hundred arrows

piercing   at once

That’s when the heart looks inside the void

And wonders what had created the chaos

What  churned  the life for a lifetime

Pursuing   bliss ephemeral, 

Is love for real or just an illusion

Or mere delusion

Or fancy of a youthful heart

Or a myth of folklores.

For if love was genuine

Then why it proves  a  travesty

Doesn’t love make you smile,

When you first feel the vibe,

Exuding an aura of bliss and joy

Then why does it fade away ?

If  altruistic emotions are its creations

why does it wax and wane

and hides behind shades

turning into a stranger,

to the one whose space it occupied.

the weight of which felt ,

only once  gone.

Causing deep impressions, 

Leaving a heart scathed   for generations.

The Lady with Flowers.

Weary rough hands holding bunches of succulent stems
Soft ,fresh , brightly coloured flowers ,at one end                                                                                She fervently  beckons all passers by.
A screaming contrast to her faded ,crushed limping gown ,
Pallid face with poetry written between deep lines.
And pathos peeping from her ripened eyes
That unfolded tales of desertion and neglect .
The wafting scent of blossoms made me wonder
If her house ever scented of blossoms,
or  if she  even  had a house.

Spending her nights in the shade of old warehouses
And her days under the scorching sun
Dragging her feet for miles stopping at red lights
Offering the most beautiful gift of nature,
To sate the demonic hunger of her belly
That pricked her day and night .
Maybe cursing her fate or thanking her stars ,
For the resilience her feeble body, showed so far.

I lunged forward stretching my hands,
Grabbing the whole lot from her,
Presumably relieving myself of a weighty guilt.
Shoving some crispy papers between her stifled fingers.
Looking down at her filled palm
a stream of gratitude rolled down her cheeks
Probably for mitigating her pain.
I watched her abashed and benumbed.
A gripping consternation crippling me.
Verily ,is this all that one could do
To water the withering hopes
Of a mother abandoned by destiny.

Roses .

Roses often line up my memories

Perfuming my virgin nights,

As I gently touch the soft petals

Of roses that lined my garden wall.

I recall the summers, when waking late from my slumber

I darted towards the rose bed , still yawning

To greet them good morning,

Though the sun shone right above the awning.

Touching with finger tips, the petals of silk,

slightly furled, like frilly frocks up- turned ,

Secretly, I admired their sartorial elegance,

that often deluged my nascent mind with passion.

As rosy dreams coalesced in scented mist

The mysteries hidden within the furls, unfurled.

Disclosing the fate of the royal rose

which in its full bloom , is selectively plucked

And for its essence, mercilessly crushed.

Its shape and colour completely altered,

As tiny droplets it succumbs.

Filling the space of intriguing bottles.

Continues to spread its dulcet fragrance,

To leave others scented and exalted.

Many flowers in my life I saw

But from roses, a peculiar strength I draw,

remembering my grandfather

tending them with hands raw.

Who taught me that roses , their essence they retain,

No matter how powerful or debilitating the change.

Don’t You Wish

Don’t You Wish

Don’t you wish
You had hugged them more,
Embraced them once more,
Loved more , cared some more,
Conversed more , listened more.
Visited them more often,
Clasped feeble hands more often
Dined together more often ,
Walked together more often
Spent time together more,
Rubbed each other’s back more often
Planted kisses on loved one’s cheeks
And whispered more often,
“I love you deep.”

Flipped pages of books together
Cuddled with loved ones more ,
Sorted out medicines for the old
And placed them on their tongues
Held glasses of water for trembling ones
Showered your endearments more often,
Applied emollient on cut skins,
Of those who stood with you when hope ran thin.
Don’t you wish
You had blurted out more often,
Your heart’s feelings profound ,
Of how grateful you feel,
Towards each and everyone around,
Blessing you with love abound.
For even a fraction of this if you did achieve,
You wouldn’t be hurting so much
With regret and grief.

Now the times have changed for a while
But you can still dial
And whisper, you love them all the more.
Don’t you wish normalcy soon returns
And with all the wisdom learned,
You do all that you should have done ,
But left them undone.
A smile, a hug, a caress , a cuddle,
A pat, a whisper, a gentle touch,
And last but not much,
A thankful bow to the one and the only ,
Who blessed you with so much.