I remember the sight of happiness

It came with people

It stayed in crowded rooms

That sight is now fading

It came with confidence

It stayed in self-esteem

It seems invisible now

I’m abandoned



Tied down by my own insecurities

Locked through paranoia

Unable to walk without a stick of anti-anxiety

Surrounded by a pool of my own self-confidence

That has come out in tears.

I have lost my own identity

My will to continue

My incessant desire to break free

Is now, a dead motivation.


Flirting With Death

So happy to be featured here 🙂




This is a very old poem, but is very close to my heart and is one of my favorites. I wrote this in the backdrop of the painful partition that India and Pakistan underwent.

There lay a million dead,
Thousands of children under-fed.
The fight seemed to be never-ending
Along with people, emotions were parting.

In this fight between races of human,
In the eyes, where the fires would burn,
Who knew what was the incentive,
Where was the lost motive?

Were we to unite or to fall apart?
With a barrier in every heart,
None knew where they belong,
Gunfires replacing the cuckoo’s song.

Tears of blood staining every cheek,
Relations growing small and weak,
Everyone ran and seeked refuge,
The last kiss, the goodbye, the favour huge.

And as We flirted with the grim reaper,
As our scars grew darker and deeper

View original post 55 more words

An Open Letter to Vocabulary.

Dear Vocabulary,

The idea of writing this letter to you came to my mind while completing an assignment where I stated something starting with “…when men” while referring to a general aspect of human nature.

It struck me, quite weirdly, what some sets of feminists often talk about — how you too (I do not know intentionally or not, willingly or unwillingly) have given in to patriarchy. It’s sad.

You are a child of language, language that all of humankind (at least we have moved on from “mankind”) uses to communicate thoughts and ideas and feelings. Yet, sometimes, using you puts men on a slightly higher platform than all of the other genders, because words like “guys” while addressing a room full of more than a single gender are casually used.

Also, while I do not want to take names, but in certain languages, a group consisting of varied genders is referred to, in masculine.

It’s ironical, isn’t it, how something that’s so diverse in its very nature entirely ignores diversity?

I’m guilty too. I often go to a group of my girl friends and start my sentences with “okay guys” or “bhai sun na..”

I sometimes feel that you are, after all, the biggest weapon all of us on Earth have, for you make our voices go loud and clear and also echo in minds, and while all of us are allowed some flaws, the position you hold, it’s time we work on the flaws and move towards making you slightly more gender neutral, for you really can’t afford the flaws.
Transform now.



Thoughts that come and go, but shouldn’t go.

What Exactly Do You Feel?

My friends once innocently asked me, what exactly do you feel when you have this ‘anxiety’ of yours?
“Have you ever seen a truck at the other end of the road when you’re at this end, and it is no where near you but you do not cross, worried that it might kill you? And then you stand there waiting for it to leave and when it does…. it’s already too late because it brought with it another swarm of vehicles and now you have to stand here for 20 more minutes before you can finally cross the road?
That’s how I feel with my entire life. Tears start trickling down my cheek and my nose and my lips at this failure of mine. Small failure, if you may.”

“Have you ever experienced a practice test that has absolutely nothing to do with your final grade, and you see everybody chilling about it and you chill for 5 mins to watch a video your favourite spoken word poet just uploaded, 3 days before the test?
Those 5 minutes give me all of the emotions you can ever imagine, I cry, I feel guilty, I get anxious, I declare myself a failure at life.”

“Have you ever waited an eternity for a reply to a message you sent 2 seconds ago? Within this time period have you run every conversation, every fight, every little mistake as a flashback in your mind? Have you heard a whisper “this friendship is dead”?
That’s how I feel after every short talk that we have, after every missed call, every unread text, every unanswered e-mail.”

“Every assignment that’s not even due until the next week, or the week after that, every competition that I have been selected for but don’t feel good enough for, every hypothetical story and every whatsapp message that I haven’t even opened reminds me I’m a huge failure, I’m not worthy of where I am, I do not deserve the people who love me and life will never be perfect for me.”

With all of this in my head, to their amusement, I only said “I feel scared.”

Love Letter to Patriarchy.

As a collaboration between Women’s Development Cell, Miranda House and Breakthrough India, a series of love letters was written to our beloved, ‘Patriarchy’.

I’m honored that my letter was posted on their website. 

Dear Patriarchy,

I’m good with words, but not words of love. I have never before written something romantic. However, I have been asked to send you a ‘love letter’ today, so I’m going to try.

Share this letter with a few people.

Share this letter with all of my guy friends who thought it was okay to ask me if I am ‘on my period’ every time something they said offended me.

Share this letter with all the elders who told me “well done on getting a good college, but you need to be careful of all those boys out there in the campus.” I really thought I shouldn’t be questioned on what I’m wearing because honestly, I just grabbed the first thing I could put my hands on at 7 in the morning.

Share this letter with all those random boys who thought it was okay to look at me up and down and scrutinise me in and out and then whistle.

Share this letter with all those people in the ‘fair and lovely’ ad who gave the young, innocent me unrealistic expectations about beauty.

Share this letter with all those who thought labelling someone a ‘lesbian’ or calling someone ‘gay’ is an insult.

Share this letter with the conditioned girl in me who felt inferior every time her best friend got asked out and she wasn’t, because you taught her that that is the measure to her prettiness.

Finally, share this letter with all those people who told me I’m too fat every time I wanted to wear a dress or a saree, and that only slim girls should wear that stuff.

Thank you, patriarchy. You taught me a lot more than I thought you could given that you’re something that should have been non-existent!

Every other human in the world.

Link to the post : https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155028124542510&id=163127752509

Quiet in the Heart. 

I recited this poem at a Slam Poetry Competition where I won the Second Prize. The theme for the Slam was “Refuge”
This is what I said :

Hi. She (the MC) already told you, I’m Shireen. I, uh, write.

Sometimes, there’s so much noise around us, in our surroundings, that we stay silent inside. While there should be a lot sound inside of us, we are unable to make it. That is what my poem is about.
It is titled, Quiet in the Heart.


Standing in the quiet,

The quiet only in my mind.

In the midst of the hustle-bustle 

Of a city, I once called mine.


Approaching me, I see an external storm

A storm I’m unwilling and unable to grow

Inside of me, internally,

Of stories I’m unable to tell, of tears unable to show.


I am now leaving

Leaving the house I finally owned

My car, my cat, my job

Trying to forget the life I had so slowly honed.


They term it — ‘war’

War that took no time to kill the human in me

And now I’m happily flirting with the grim reaper

Walking towards what I nicknamed the ‘hanging tree’


Yet, it’s all silent inside the heart

A heart I once called my own

But what do I possess now

Everything I held close is now unknown.


I do not know if I’m poet enough

Enough to word out my emotions

In a rhyming whirlpool of words

If I am ready to make you feel my burns.


Are my burns even painful

Painful as yours?

For your subjective pain,

Is much beyond my imagination, of course.


We are together, or so I want to believe 

Beliefs, although I have lost,

I hold on to this one

You and I are still together, but at what cost?

Wrecking Ball

I would not start by describing the calm I was sitting in before it started, because if I do, I will go too deeply in the details of the poem that was to be, but that is not anymore.
I will start from when I saw the sudden, swift movement of you, coming closer and closer; I will start from the shivering and the chills down my spine.
I will start from the felicity I could experience as the beginnings of your being fell on me; I will start from the smell that at first instilled in me nostalgia, like that of raindrops on mud, but then I realised I don’t like that smell. Not if it remains for so long.
I will start from the heavy wind that blew me off my feet; I will start from the electrifying feeling I had when you thundered into my life for the first time.
It was much similar to how, he too, came in, like a wrecking ball, trying to break my wall, that I built so carefully. I felt it shatter again.
It was a different reality now, unhappily happy, pleasantly dreadful, weirdly normal. It was what goes on inside of me all the time, but yet is sudden, un-looked for, abrupt, quick, hurried. 
It was a different poem then, because that calm was the calm before the unanticipated storm that you were, came in so gracefully and wrecked havoc without so much as a whisper in my ear.