I am always late with everything
In saying something important,
In keeping a promise
In calling her,
In asking her to return
I am always late
In helping or
in consoling a friend
In meeting someone on old, ancient roads
I am always late
In being in love during changing seasons
Or in forgetting someone
I am always late
In saving someone before death
In letting someone know
was something quite different
I am always late
Muneer Niazi was an Urdu/Punjabi poet from Pakistan. In the video, it’s incredible to see most people in tears while listening to these simple lines, the simple devastating feeling of being too late. “Too late,” Diego Rivera was quoted in Marnham’s book, “I realized the most wonderful part of my life had been my love for Frida.”
This almost hasty translation from original Urdu is mine.
Last night, conversation with my 7 year old nephew went something like this:
“But I can’t do whatever I want”
“We can try”
“Yes … but I’d be dead.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means you’d be dead.”
I just had a dream that I am on my bicycle returning home late and my mother and grandmother are worried. I have an overwhelming sense of relief that someone is waiting for me.
I am almost certain where this dream came from. Right before sleeping, I was reading about Vivian Maier’s life: the brilliant photographer, discovered posthumously, who spent most of her life in relative poverty as a nanny. At the end of her life, she was often seen sitting on a bench eating something out of a can, mostly angry. No family, no marriage, no children, no friends.
Marilyn Monroe writes: “Alone!!! I am alone. I am always alone.”
While walking back home from the university one day, a small stretch of road was particularly empty and there was no one else except a couple just a little further down. I must have glanced at them for a couple of seconds before moving my gaze away but just as I walked past them, the woman suddenly screamed out in an angry tone: Daayan. It was so loud that I had to stop and look behind. Just as I did, the woman started looking the other way, as if the loud screaming was nothing. I was baffled for a second, then understood that she’d used the term for me.
Daayan, from the Sanskrit Dakini, is a term for a witch. Worshippers of Kali, they’re thought to bring destruction to men. The legend says that they feed on the blood of young men, and destroy everything that is good and holy.
They’re also an important motif in Hinduism, Bon, and Tibetan Buddhism, frequently depicted as the consort in Yab-Yum representations, as a wise teacher of Vajrayana Buddhism, as a practitioner of tantric yoga and rituals, as a protector and meditational deity. The figure of Dakini can also be found in Japan as dakini-ten in Shingon Buddhism.
I still don’t know why an absolute stranger, unprovoked, had the sudden urge to call me this. Did she understand something about me that I did not know? And in recognizing my inner darkness, did she recognize her own?
For, in the desert, there is a woman who thinks the only blessing is to know your own nox.
The ideal man
The sad truth is that men are boring. Well, most men are boring. Either they’re degenerate misogynist criminals, or the obviously good, the obviously-selfless*, the obviously-everything-your-mother-said-should-exist-in-a-good-husband.** Well, not my mother. But someone’s mother.
Both these so-called binary opposites are, in fact, one. In essence, in quality. They’re always the same. They do not change. In that they’re the true dead.
And good sense is to not venture where the dead wander.
*if you think you are selfless, you should probably seek therapy and find that self.
** Before you tell me, I already know that both these categories are false, and only an appearance, and hence all the more boring.
Do you look at an image or a painting and say: but I don’t get it. This is not how it actually works … the skull can’t actually dance, I have never seen clocks melt, and, my friend, tell me if you have ever met a man with the face of an apple?
Well, then don’t say that you don’t understand people dancing on the streets, bullets being cut into half mid-air, and why there is a flower instead of a kiss.
Back in college, we thought we were the coolest, because, of course, we were. We read the coolest books, wore the coolest clothes, had the coolest political views, we did not believe in gender, we bunked classes, we went to bars and lied about our ages, talked openly about sex, etc, etc.
In the hostel, one night we were sharing stories about the craziest things we’d ever done, we were still feeling pretty cool, until a certifiably uncool girl told us her story: she was watching a film with her best friend and her boyfriend, when the light went out due to some technical problem, and she took a moment to think about how attracted she’d been to her friend’s boyfriend, so without wasting any more time, she kissed him.
“You just kissed him!! Your friend didn’t mind?”
“She was angry with me for some time.”
“And your boyfriend knows this?”
She then said that she’d always wanted to kiss him, and that was the perfect moment, and if she’d let it go, she might never have been able to kiss him.
She didn’t want to carry the burden of an unkissed kiss.