Baby Elephants

My earliest childhood memory is of me cutting my birthday cake. March 1996, Kasaragod, Kerala. Four years old. Surrounded…

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

What do I struggle with?

This post is a difficult one to tackle. One because to write about this I will have to…

On Friday morning I woke up to the news that my father's mother, my velliumma, had breathed her last and returned…

Romantic love is overrated.

Romantic love is overrated. There I said it.
No I am not a bitter person who's suffering from a severe case…

ON THE LAST DAY BEFORE FLYING BACK TO RIYADH!

On the last day before flying back to Riyadh from Uganda my mother and I went to Protea for lunch. Located at a beautiful…

Dear Baby

When did you learn how to fly? Cause it sure looks like you have taken off. Today marks 8 months of me as a mom and you…

I LOVE STATIONERY, PAPER, JOURNALS AND BEAUTIFUL PENS

One thing people close to me know about me is that I love stationery. I love paper. I love pretty journals. I love beautiful…

The Blooming Rose

If only we'd stop each time and smell the rose.

If not that at least slow down to watch it sway and smile

Do you dream of all the lives you could have lived?

Do you ever wonder what would have happened had you not made that particular choice at that particular moment? On some…

 Live and love

This time in Uganda is different.
I am seeing things through Z's eyes.
Well, I watch her eyes. How they…

The ten year challenge reminded me of this from a few years ago

We moved to Jeddah for a year when I was in 11th grade (ten years ago). One of the first things you have to do on arriving…

Dear Papa and Mamma,

Tell me, which day was it that you assigned my future for me? What about me made you feel that I can be a good doctor?…

Seeing My Mother Through Different Eyes

Growing up I used to dread the PTA meetings. Not because I was a poor student-I was stellar, even if I say so myself…

Road tripping with parents

My family is a family of seasoned road trippers. We’ve lived out of boxes all our lives so a few days on the road…

THE DAM INSIDE MY MIND

The dam inside my mind, which has been holding in all the ideas and inspiration for some time now, has begun leaking,…

To Madina.

One of the hardest things about growing up is leaving your parents to live somewhere else. It wasn't easy when i…

To Madina.

One of the hardest things about growing up is leaving your parents to live somewhere else. It wasn't easy when i…

Dear Baby Z,

You are 7 months old today. You are now a full fledged baby, congratulations!

Two weeks back your grandparents…

A bit late

A bit late in putting up my 2018 reflections post but better late than never eh?
2018 has been the most significant,…

6 months of motherhood: Taking Stock

I have always loved babies. What's not to love about these cuddly little cuties (except during their projectile poop…

Dear Baby Z

You are half a year old today! I can't believe you are six months already. It's as though you were a fragile…

7 things to teach your kids to raise independent and confident boys and girls

7 things to teach your kids to raise independent and confident boys and girls

These are based on observations…

 Why do we do it our kids?

Imagine you go to a new city with your family. You are having a great time with them. All of a sudden a stranger comes…

Dear Baby Z

Congratulations on your 5th month on planet Earth. Hope you are enjoying your stay with mamma and uppa. It's getting…

Reasons I think you should / shouldn't be getting married for

Reasons I think you should be getting married for :
You will always have-
1. Someone to ring your phone when…

Dear Daughter...

When down,
With your shoulders straight, chin up,
Go out and jump into puddles and
come back to me…

My father is a

I want to share with you one of the most important things I learned from my father (after decades of him trying to teach…

When I was younger

When I was younger, people in their 20s awed me. They seemed young but not immature like teens my age. And they were…

#LettersToSelf

On unkind days, be kind to yourself. It sounds easy, but it isn't.
Do not attach your worth to others'…

 We are with you

When I was in 10th grade our class got a new class teacher. Priyanka mam. Ours was an Islamic school in Bangalore and…

You see me here?

You see me here? Eyes glazed from lack of sleep, punctuated by dark circles. Skin and lips dry because I forget to drink…

The transition into motherhood

The transition into motherhood is exciting and nerve wracking all at once. It changes you in many ways. It makes you…

Me Too

Me Too

That evening
This morning
Decades ago
Just now
-Still fresh-
At home

Latent Rage

I believe that most women, irrespective of race, religion, caste or creed, go about their lives with latent rage building…

Meanwhile, here's my grandma saying peace out.

She is a peculiar character, my velliamma. From the time I remember she was fond of keeping a jar of candy or toffee…

Dear Baby Z,

You have been earth side for four months now. Four months of making our days better. You have made your parents tired…

Dear Baby Z,

You are three months old today! Where did the time fly? You are no longer the wee little thing I was scared to hold because…

Circles Of Love

I don't remember a time before my younger brother was born. All my childhood memories have him firmly attached to…

 Manbabyism

I am the doctor that detects bullshit and I am here to diagnose you.

If you say you want round rotis (like…

I can go on but I don't think it will ever end

When you remove the patriarchy tinted glasses forced on you since childhood, a lot of things begin to clear up. You see…

Thoughts on India's Independence Day

Thoughts on India's Independence Day
--------
From 2016. Not much has changed.

--------

Just the way you are.

I've had a love hate relationship with my body. With my teenage years riddled with a lot of insecurities and acceptance…

EVERY DAMN PERSON WOULD FAIL!

If there existed a mandatory aptitude and competence test to become a parent, human life would cease to exist. Because…

Dear Baby Z,

You are two months today!
In this month you have doubled in size mashaAllah. You seem to be on the taller side…

Three years of marriage

Of getting on each other's nerves
Of fighting over the silliest of things
Of going to bed angry and waking…

Motherhood is guilt!

Motherhood is guilt. After overwhelming, overpowering love, guilt is what defines motherhood. I did not expect it to…

Dear Baby Z,

After 42 days in your home country you have come to another land. To a home where you won't really be ever fully…

Dear Baby Z,

You are a month old today. Not a new born anymore!It is fascinating watching you. I can spend my whole day looking at…

What's changed since having a little human come into my life?

My schedule. It's not until you are bang in the middle of it that you realize how much physical, emotional, and mental…

Dear Baby Z,

Today you turn one week old.
In this time you have fed probably a bazillion times, familiarizing mamma with sleep…

To the mothers,

To the mothers,
And daughters who became mothers
To the girls who
Grow up and
Go on to say to…

You aren’t alone in these choppy waters.

Some days can be more overwhelming than others. Especially when you are bang in the middle of adulting. There’s…

What's in a name?

What's in a name?", asked a lovestruck Juliet. If she was Indian she would have said "Lot's in a name.…

The Door That Caused Rape

Father,

You told me the streets weren't safe
So I stayed inside and watched
your son spread his…

Five Ways to Improve Your Language Skills

'How do I improve my speaking/writing skills?' is a question many in my inbox have. I thought I'd write down…

Chai-losophy

The other day I was stirring in some sugar into my chai and thinking about life, as you do. As I looked at the swirls…

India

Listen,

India
is not a woman
let alone a benevolent mother
draped in the tricolour,
head…

Wordlessness.

For someone who aspires to be a writer, the worst thing that can happen is to run out of words. To have unruly thoughts…

For Umma

To the mothers,
And daughters who became mothers
To the girls who
Grow up and
Go on to say to…

Cycle

The girl looks out at 
rain, straining to hear
the pitter-patter as it hits 
the window sill,

Moving Beyond Motherhood

In her lifetime a woman takes on a range of roles. However, it's her roles which are in relation to others (most…

Rage-For Jisha

Rage

We are the women
you undress with your eyes
and then you wonder why we don't smile wide 

No.

No is not a word.

Not at all.
No is a period with no
Brackets in sight.
No is a sentence

Layers

My skin is a wheatish brown
my grandmother tried to make pale
with talcum powder-white face.
An in-between…

Why Bookstores and Restaurants are Basically the Same

Bookstores and restaurants evoke the same emotions in me. Well, more like feeeeelingsss. It's a bewildering concoction…

Why We Write

Time and again I find myself wondering why writers write. What is it that makes us gather words and attempt to weave…

You've Got (Hate) Mail

Allow me to explain 

the politics of hate.
Let me give you a taste 
of what it means to…

Celebrating Love

Trigger Warning: Extreme Cheesiness. 

Passionate, blood spilling, soul spinning, mind boggling love has been…

Asian Remedies

The best thing about being born into an Asian household is that you can actually live your life without ever seeing a…

Letters Written Never Sent

Darling,

A year has gone by without you by my side. After 35 years of being one with you, I spent the last one…

Muslims Get Depressed

'True Muslims don't get depressed' he thundered off the mimbar. "If you really believe in Allah you…

BOOM

Boom
Go the blasts from
indifferent bombs
in distant lands and
echo round the world
when…

How do we discuss our bodies?

The other day I read a beautiful, heartfelt article on how we should talk to our daughters about their bodies. The gist…

The Connector in Our Midst

Yesterday I met one of my father's Airforce course mates. If you meet them both, you'd be surprised at how they…

The Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord
Once cut
Dangles
From the navel
Till it dries into
Forgotten anatomy

The Big Little Things

Once upon a time, in a far away land, lived a people who did not care for the Little Things. They cared so little for…

The House

The House was a spectacular sight. Even in the yellowed photo I carried around, it stood tall and proud, reveling in…

A Train Ride Across India

Would you like to accompany me on a train ride from Jabalpur to Bangalore? A journey from central India to South India?

Jabalpur Diaries- Part 4

After the excitement of our morning trip, we were famished. And there, in the dusty under belly of Central India, was…

Jabalpur Diaries-Part 3

I spent the night before twisting and turning wondering whether the noise is a tiger growling or someone from the nearby…

Jabalpur Diaries-Part 2

Today morning we were received by Colonel Seethi and family (Fathima…

Jabalpur Diaries- Part 1

I am blessed to have an uncle in the Indian Army who gets posted to amazing places that you wouldn’t think of visiting…

10 Reasons I love flying (Not)

List of things I enjoy about flying, airports, and travelling in general, in no particular order.
1)The hair bun…

Confessions of a chocoholic

In four years of University I gained lots of beauitful memories and 10 kgs that wouldn't budge. 10 horrible kilos…

Countering intolerance at a personal level

For the last few weeks, no, months, I have been mulling over this trend of rising intolerance in different parts of the…

Contain Terror

The other day I heard someone say,
Why don’t they keep terror in their corner,
And not let hate escape…

For A Hurting World

I have been saddened by the deluge of bad news the last few days. Innocent lives have been taken away so cruelly- In…

A Poem For My Daughter When She Asks, 'Don't we belong?'

It’s not long
before my daughter asks
‘Mama,
don’t we belong?’
How do…

My Big Fat Indian Shaadi

Some of you wanted me to write about my shaadi. So here it is, my Big Fat Indian Shaadi. ?#‎ShaadiDiaries?

Dear World

Dear World,
If you could stop
Spinning
For a second-
Just a moment-
We need to talk,

Dismantling False Hierarchies

I grew up in different parts of India, hearing different languages, breathing different cultures, befriending different…

Dead Meat

Dead Meat

At his death bed
He said
‘I have no beef with you
Dear neighbors

Unladylike tales

I walked into marriage ready to become (or at least act like) a grown up. I own a human now! I mustered all the grace…

At The Last Gate

The war 
Took mama’s arm and 
three walls of our little blue house.
The journey

Just Being

For a long time I carried around this notion with me that spirituality is something separate from real life. I though…

Leaving Me Behind

The past few days have given me a reality check. A close friend lost a loved one, and I felt her pain. I can't imagine…

Dear Daughter

A jumbled, tumbled upside-down, inside-out, all-over-the-place poem for my daughter (If I ever have one someday) to read…

I Don't Need Your Saving

After ages I watched a movie that spoke to me. 'Arranged', a 2007 film, explores the evolving friendship of two…

Chai

What holds India together? No, it is not Bollywood. Or cows. Or Masala.

It is the divine drink- Chai. Chaaya.…

#MuslimApologies

Every night before sleep

I swallow little pills of apologies,

Regular doses so I can doze,

See dreams…

Castelmezzano, Italy

Here I present a tale of epic proportions where a Desi girl with her very Desi parents set out to conquer the harsh Italian…

Words

Something that all languages have in common is that they all possess reservoirs of lethal words designed to hurt. Often…

Uppappa

One of my highlights from the Kasaragod trip a week ago was the quality time I got to spend with my grandparents. Well,…

Eid!

EID! 


Alhamdulillah, we are almost there! After almost a month of fasting we bid farewell to this…

The End of Ramadan...

Today is the last Friday of Ramadan. 27 days have flown by. I entered Ramadan with so much hope and many prayers, like…

The Same...

You said these domes invade your skies,
And my clothes offend your freedom
Which you so cherished.

My Beloved...

My beloved,

To call you that, is an injustice in itself, for loving you is not an active choice where you are…

Ramadan and Family

There's chaos at home with mum dashing back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room, making sure the plates…

Just A Date?

I have been fasting the whole month of Ramadan since the age of 11 or 12. Before that, my Ramadan was mostly of half…

Why fast in Ramadan?

Ramadan is around the corner again! Naturally, Muslims around the globe are excited about this month and eager to welcome…

The Girl Who Locked Away Memories

I remember the girl who forgot... 

They spoke often of her, of how she travelled lands seeking moments to…

Leave No Love Behind

And so it begins,

an osmosis of hate

Saffron~ Green~ Saffron

Dripping Red again.

Here, Breathe…

Seducing a City

Getting to know a city is quite like seducing someone. It's an unusual comparison, I know, but if you really want…

Hunger Strikes

When hunger strikes
Bullets become morsels and 
The war rages on,
The cause forgotten as

Look Inside

O man, you set forth to chart the seven skies,
seeking that elusive light,
night and day and night tumble…

Conversing with familiar strangers...

After weeks of poring over books and journal articles in my dingy room (without actually registering what I am reading),…

On Writing: Part 2

(When I feel like I should be writing something, but can't figure out what, I usually end up writing about writing…

That Moment

There are some moments in life which are so vivid that they etch themselves into your being. Moments so fleeting that…

Let It Go

On cloudy days, when gloom prevails
and shoulders sag with the weight 
of the world and its many folds

In Conversation With Old Age

I looked old age in the eye,
caressed her many wrinkles and
let a tear slide by
I took her frail…

Implode

Blinded in Bliss,
I traded my dreams for yours because
The world ended
where you began
Your pleasure…

On the subject of writing...

It’s been long since I’ve written anything significant. The truth is, I am afraid. Afraid of not living up…

London Revisited

So here I am, on a cloudy Monday, seated on an old wooden bench facing the Thames. I feel different things- excited,…

I

Fiery,
I swam across bloody oceans
seeking that elusive shore
where dreams run free

A Nightmare

Sometimes you pray that dreams don’t come true. As I did today. I am usually a good-dreamer (?) and wake up mostly…

Aromas from Home

I grew up in a Nomadic family. Well, almost. Having a parent work in the armed forces meant living out of the boxes throughout…

Enough Now

'Enough now',
said his innocent eyes,
'Hand me down grenades
which explode mid way

Some thoughts

A lot has been going through my head. So much that I am unable to figure out where one thought ends and the other begins.…

A Muslim's perspective on God

I have shied away from writing anything in detail about spirituality or religion for a long time now. Faith is something…

Family

My slightly weird family of five is un-settled. Literally. Dad's jobs never let us stay in one…

End

The end was near. Voices hovered over my head. Time is running out, they said.

'Wait', I said, It's…

D for Drama

Oh come on now! You never saw this coming? I am Indian (and me) how can I not write about drama?

On the…

C for Chocolate

My name is Nazreen and I am a chocoholic.

There. I said it.

It all started when I was still an embryo in…

B for Bollywood

I do not take well, to the question where I am from. We have moved so many times that there is no 'permanent'…