All posts in the Literature category

First Hour

Published September 14, 2014 by sidmary

At what fortunate hour

Did the clock if Life

Begin its tour?


Was it yet dark

When life began

With the singing of a single lark?


Or was it day

bathed in golden light

By the sun’s first foray?


Was it as the sun’s descent began,

That trees first breathed

Upon new-born man?


Or did stars twinkle in their hold;

Young and smiling, as they watched

The magic of Life unfold?


Alas! sad Truth!

We cannot know!

We cannot know for sure!


But if I were

To make a guess

Upon the hour


Then I would say

It is the time

Of launch of day!


It was I think, at first light.

The purple blend of coming day

And going night


That man first breathed

And clouds first swam.

Trees first stretched

And birds first sang.


And God above,

looked down and smiled.

And life began.

–Sidra Maryam


Published July 21, 2014 by sidmary

When I look up at the sky

I look for clouds

That will rain,

And blur the boundaries

of countries





and pride.


Because across them brethren,

We are one.


But for now-

As bombs rain down on you,

demolishing mosques,schools and homes,

tearing apart limbs and families,

Orphaning infants,

drawing excruciating screams from mothers,

And only raising your spirits further-

I writhe and scream in pain,

And shed tears from a ripped and tortured heart,


by boundaries.


Bombs rain down on me

Leaving no landscape unchanged.

I see my limbs tortured and spread about me,

Each aching and screaming.


Because beneath the fences,

The land is one.


We look up at the sky,

For clouds

That will rain,

And smudge the boundaries

Into one terrain…

–Sidra Maryamchild

Annihilation in Love

Published February 8, 2014 by sidmary

By Ameer Khusro from Persian:

man tou shudam, tou mun shudi…

man tan shudam, tou jan shudi…

takas gawed na bad-azeen…

man deegram, tou deegree…


Let me become you, and you become me…

Let me become the body, and you become the soul…

So that no one hence can say:

That I am separate (from you) and you are separate (from me)…


-Sidra Maryam

Forever is a Lie

Published October 8, 2013 by sidmary

( I wrote this for an exam for descriptive writing. so the following tends more towards description that narration. The reader is most welcome to attach to it any story that his/ her mind may fancy 🙂 )

“Forever is a Lie,” they say, but it depends mostly on intention. I look around at the lonely, desolate expanse around me. It is bare and brown as far as the eye can see; varying shades of brown: a dusty brown at the ground; a slightly darker, watered brown near my feet…The occasional color is in the delicately placed flowers in the position afore mentioned- and a dulling, browning green on the few trees scattered here and there. Even the walls of this wide enclosure are brown, and color lives primarily on the sky which, too, now its losing its azure to a stormy gray.

There are mounds here. Human sized, horizontal mounds rising gently from the ground and falling back onto it symmetrically. Occasionally, the eye spots a mound smaller than the rest, and the lonely heart spins another grieving story over my own.

A browned, autumn leaf is blown gently to my feet by a highly compassionate, or else greatly sadistic wind. It is hard these days to figure out who is sincere and who makes fun of you- but this leaf reminds me that I have to leave. So I do.

They buried him here last month. My son- who promised that lively summer day that he will stay by me forever. He must have believed, as conventional, that parents die before the offspring- but again: ‘Forever is a lie.’

I am a few feet now from the most beloved mound of earth, but I can not see it except for a blur of brown topped with white, red and green. The leaf chases me with an urgency- the wind is perhaps my friend, after all.

So I carefully maneuver round the other such stories- all colored the same brown now. I step out of the enclosure into an impatiently waiting, black Corolla, and fall limp on the passenger seat. My walking stick rests idly and upright next to the perfect smoothness of the dashboard. Everything here in fact is smooth: the driver’s face, my wife’s expression, the cover of the seats, the rolled up windows- the only exception being my rough, shattered heart…

The road is smooth too, and following it, we head out of the city which I promised my son I would never leave. I promised I would stay here forever, and yet I leave here forever, because forever is a lie.

The graying clouds gather overhead at last. I can not hear them past the closed windows, but I can see them- and they gather, not stormily, intimidatingly, or frighteningly, but gloomily. And I can hear them now, pelting raindrops on the windshield, and the roof, and somewhere deep down, on my broken self…

In this tumultuous monotony, I leave…

–Sidra Maryam

lux ex tenebris

Published July 24, 2013 by sidmary


and the tearing of Heart.


and the tumult of Mind.


and the regret of Knowing.


and the unrest of Ignorance. 


and the failing of Thought. 


and the restraint of Chains. 


and the shattering of Soul.


and no immunity to pain…



and the warmth of Love.


and the satisfaction of Truth.


and the power of Faith.


and the healing from Freedom.


and the perfection of Imperfection…

–Sidra Maryam


Abstract (Photo credit: fireflythegreat)

Dandelion Wish

Published March 8, 2013 by sidmary

English: Detail of a dandelion seed

English: Detail of a dandelion seed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They say that when you see a dandelion seed,

All white and angelic,

Flying about you,

Reach out

And hold it gently in your palms.

Then close your eyes,

And make a wish,

And blow it away.

It will carry your wish unto the heavens

Where it will be fulfilled.


But that old woman with wrinkles,

Who used to work on the fields all day,

and who hummed as she worked;

She told me that is not how it happens.

She says that when you catch a dandelion seed,

Then close your eyes, make a wish, and blow it away,

The seed flies to a foreign land

Where it falls

And then grows.

And when it grows, insects make their homes beneath it.

And when they protect them from danger,

They pray for the person who blew the seed their way.

They pray that their wishes come true,

So they do.

–Sidra Maryam

Ten Seconds of Rain

Published January 15, 2013 by sidmary

An unusual thing happened today. Actually, living in Pakistan, a number of unusual things happened today, but this one that  struck me was a short spurt of rain.

We were sitting together when a noise from outside surprised us. Slightly spooked out, I went to investigate, and lo and behold: it was rain! (And something least expected at this time of the year.)

We looked out the window and the rain ended before our eyes. It may have lasted a minute a the least, but as my sister put it, it was as if only ten seconds of rain.

Such stuff happens I guess. Odd miracles now and then to tell you that life’s not normal. That each day, each ten seconds is a worthy bargain, and that theres a rough beauty and miracle in every off hand happening/ thing that craves a look and an appreciation. I wonder what hapened in those ten seconds round the world: some death, some birth, some love, some hate, and some plain wonder and appreciation….I think I chose my ten seconds well 🙂

May each ten seconds rain happiness and blessings on you…


–Sidra Maryam

January the First

Published January 1, 2013 by sidmary

December is the end of happenings. Consciously or unconsciously, I wrap up everything I started that year. If I have written my goals somewhere and forgotten them, I take the pains to go through them again. I draw up a list of all unfinished books, and try to hurry through them before December 31st…

I take a look at what happened in my life, my country, my family, and it often surprises me how so many changes went unnoticed by. I skim through my diary and see how far I have come, and thank God for having given me another good year of life to learn and make memories from…

But then comes Jan, as we nick the next new month, and there’s loads to start all over again. Resolutions to make, targets to set, lessons to apply…and I realize that the end of one happening is only the beginning of another.

So whoever was this man who started the calender, I think he did it so that we could continue in our endeavours with renewed zeal and motivation and keep track of what has happened and why.

I know half the world did not expect to make it to 2013, but now that we have, lets make it better than ever before…

Happy January the first. 🙂


–Sidra Maryam

Kinds of Pains

Published December 30, 2012 by sidmary

There are kinds of pains you can feel:

It can be sharp:

So that it stabs you and pierces you.

Then relieves you and makes you bleed.

Then recurs, and leaves slow-mending

Scars on your heart.


It can be suffocating:

So that when it envelops you,

The world feels too small to breathe in;

So that you feel that the only escape

Is into the realms of another world

Where you may finally breathe.


It can be tearing:

So that your heart rips apart,

Yet no one appears to know.

And you yourself have to cradle it,

And stitch it together with inexperienced hands.

(So that it pains more.)


You may know other kinds of pains too,

But this pain that I feel:

It’s deep.

It is all around you, and goes into you.

It swallows all that is,

So that you sink slowly. eternally,

To the bottom.

It does not pierce your heart,

Nor tears it through,

Nor suffocates you:

No, it just swallows your soul

And you die.

slowly sinking

— Sidra Maryam

On Books and Reading: (esp. Fiction and Non-fiction) -2

Published December 14, 2012 by sidmary
Fiction Stacks

Fiction Stacks (Photo credit: chelmsfordpubliclibrary)

From ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ by Thomas Hardy, I once and for all understood truly the status that Islam gives to women. The mere idea that women are a posession or can be sold is obscene, and the custom was yet prevalent in England in the 19th century. I understood why Muslims have been commanded to spread the message of Islam and peace; why they are supposed to put only three options to others: to accept Islam, or accept the government of Islam or prepare to fight. This is because however successful a society may seem to be, there are always problems, always oppression at some level or the other, to some people or the other; and Islam has got such comprehensive laws regarding every social, political, economical as a matter of fact all sorts of problems that it alone has the true ability, if followed truly to erase oppression from the world. Selling women was a form of oppression, and one that Islam deals with excellently by instilling faith and condemning irrogance.

‘Paranoia’ was a more contemporary novel by James Finder. It focussed on the corporate world of America and opened my eyes to what happens generally in business the world over. It was about how lying and cheating and immoral behaviour is taken as ‘strategy’ and actually appreciated when it benefits you in business when all it really is is stooping low to the level of animals without any morals or values. I concluded based on what I have always read in non-fiction that anything based on cheating is destined to decline. I now believe that all corporate business is doomed if based on such ‘strategy’ and that since the American economy is based on corporate business, it should take warning. This is because I have read that false foundations don’t endure.

The thing is that fiction and non-fiction compliment each other. What you understand from non-fiction, your belief on it is strengthened from fiction. My interest is social sciences and religion, and I find plenty to affirm my faith and endorse my beliefs in all that I read. Non-fiction plays a separate and important part, and fiction plays the other separate and important part. There is no comparison. What matters is how you read what you are reading. You can have a defensive mindset and you will find fault with everything you read. You can have an analytical approach and you will understand more than what even the writer intended you to understand. Then you can have a critical approach and you will see for yourself what is what is true and what is false in what you are reading. You will know what to believe in and what to filter out of your mind.

All sorts of reading makes your wiser and smarter, but only if you choose your books wisely and read them with the proper approach. To those who condemn fiction, there is no basis if one gives ample time to non-fiction. And to those who ignore non-fiction altogether: life is greater than stories can teach you and reading of non-fiction is essential to be able to understand it.

Lastly, to all book lovers: happy reading. May you all have a long, successful and beneficial reading life. 🙂

–Sidra Maryam

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