Today's selections: Curtain call on Sehri Tales 2023
A Prayer for Distant Departures
There were 32 October 4ths before this one. I could tell you that on October 4th, 1995 I was in Jeddah. Or on October 4th, 2015, I was in Boston.
But I honestly couldn't tell you about those days.
Seven days before October 4th, 2022, I discovered Young the Giant. Sure, they aren't the obscure band that lets you feel superior because no one knows them. But for those seven days, I listened to nothing else.
Seven days after October 4th, 2022, I bought an electric toothbrush, my first ever. I say this to you not because I want to flex but because somehow, my life didn't stop. Somehow, despite all the cracks in the air, the way the walls kept flexing around me; despite the persistent nausea, my life refused to stop.
And it felt like such a betrayal. Like I was wading deeper and deeper into the sea. I'd stuck my foot in involuntarily but the water kept rising - foot to calf, to knee, to hip; the cold biting its way up my body until it reached my chest.
And then I'd have to stop.
On the side of the road. In the hallway at work.
I'd have to wait for the sea to settle.
I think my mother believed in god. Not in the zealous, jealous way of fanatics and performers. She believed and hoped she'd find some measure of peace, somewhere.
In the other place, beyond the bourne and the curtains, I hope she's found some.
by Tareq Adnan
The show begins; candles lit
In the middle are shadows which never hid
A moment to remember, for it is so near
The birth of an astronaut freed from phobia
Little puzzle-like trauma, finally deleted
Switches and swishes, changes defeated
Turn on the lamplight in the lustrous old street
As for its last words, I'm afraid there is no longer any need
We've manifested the cash cows entering this lively night
Breathing celebrations embraced from our diary of might
Face us, read us through, drink with us like we're ghosts
We'll record the hurts and pair it with another song title
I'll name mine "Don't Be So Serious", then seal it with a sticker
You'll sing yours until the crowd finds you like glistening sugar
We'll totally drive them wild, with truth as our gold crown
And they'll surely come back for more when the curtains come down
by Shaikh Sabik Kamal
The glint of midsummer afternoon peeks through the curtains, falling over her bed; flickering and dancing in a swirl as she blankly stares at the wall, her thoughts going berserk like rippling waves.
"And what if one day we stopped talking? What if we just don't fit into our worlds anymore?" Her voice could barely comprehend the question she had just asked.
"That's the thing, we will. Eventually, we will drift apart. It is the very nature of being. But it happens nonetheless. We meet people, we get to know them, our lives somehow revolve around them and we cannot imagine ourselves without them. Then one day we see ourselves parting ways — in a manner we couldn't ever imagine. The best thing we can do is to enjoy this very moment we have here, now. " His expressions lie about indifferently.
"The only constant in life is change." He says.
The curtains swirl and sway in the summer breeze as the heatwave spreads throughout the city into her four-chambered walls — the reality settling in, what she had been trying to run from but it caught up to her nonetheless.
You meet them when you least expect it, like an untimely storm raging over this dustpiled city. And you let them go in an even unexceptional manner — like a quiet sunset engulfed by the tenth-floored buildings; unnoticed and unbothered.
"The only constant in life is change." She whispers, as the empty notification bar stares back at her.
by Maliha Tribhu