Cross-posted from: The Coven Speaks
Originally published: 27.03.15

By now, there are few people who haven’t heard of Zayn Malik’s departure from One Direction. News of his departure has been greeted with a variety of reactions, from the slight mocking of the band, to jokes that Jeremy Clarkson was taking his place, and from the fans of the band, genuine upset. It’s something that has become a point of mocking, and –in a more worrying aspect – a point of genuine derision.

Upset at band members leaving successful groups is by no means a new phenomenon. I was in junior school when Robbie Williams left Take That, and remember genuine upset between my friends. In a way, many of my friends entered a sense of mourning for the band they had been invested in since the band had first become famous. Even before the days of social media, the days of Tumblr and Twitter, there was that united grief for a day or two, before the class discussions moved on to other matters. Had the internet been as widely accessible in 1995, I suspect the Take That fans would have received much of the same treatment that has been afforded the predominantly young and predominantly female fans of One Direction over the past few days.


Splatter Days

Cross-posted from: Obscure and Unnecessary Drama
Originally published: 04.08.15
Paintings by Mehreen Shaikh
Sometimes I just crave a blank canvas to spill out everything that’s bottled up in me. Like a gush of paints and ink splatter. In no order or any sense, yet hoping you will read off your screens and nod your head,barely able to understand what I’m trying to say and still be able to say to me telepathically, ‘Hey, it’s okay, we all have our days’. Splatter days I want to call them.
It’s like waiting, endlessly for something you have no idea about. Like waiting at a curb looking for cars to pass by or in a hospital corridor at 3 AM with just the breeze of doors being pushed around. You don’t see anyone and it gets quiet again. You try to hear something familiar to you or something that holds a faint meaning. But instead, all you see is blank spaces. So blank, they make you feel all eerie inside. You see random people occasionally who’ve seen and dealt with the situation themselves or could be battling their own inner demons, handing you obscure advice. More splatter. You think you don’t need that advice till one day it all begins to resonate. Can you still call it a painting if it isn’t complete? Will it ever be complete?
I see mimes with all the upside down smiles, shaking their heads. No. They pat my head, trying to console me. There, There. They don’t convey anything more than that. They can’t. There is nothing left to be addressed. They know it’s my journey and I’m on my own.
I take a few steps ahead in the name of moving on. For the sake of moving on. Let’s try to collect more splatter – I can’t help look back again and again as I go forth. I move ahead a few steps more till I can actually walk by myself….. steady…….steady…….I look back lesser now…….but I still look. Hoping the deeply missed splatter shade will bloom on my canvas some day.

خُدا حافِظ

Obscure and Unnecessary DramaMehreen Shaikh, an Indian writer born and raised in Oman. Although I do visit my country of origin annually, I did spend a few years there studying. Not just academics but our society. Narrowing down further, I observed the relationship it had with women. I was brimming with observations and outrage. It took me a good while to tame my angst and harness it into proper valid arguments. Now I blog, where I feel free to rant about issues that I notice that most people would dismiss as minor but I know how the woman in that instance would feel. So many thoughts and so many incidents take place in a woman’s world that by no means are simple or easy to resolve.

Transcendental Campsite by @rebecca9

Cross-posted from: The Daly Woolf: An Uncanny Journal of Memoir, Poetry, and Cultural Analysis
Originally published: 25.06.15


It was here, beneath the Blue Spruce where I buried my feet in wet leaves, cold dirt. Where I sat on melting snow to listen for the song of the cardinal, where I closed my eyes to remember all that beauty, all that pain of those dying days.

After Jiminah died the cardinal did not return; off to another tree, a high wire, to sing an animal, a human, out of body into the next world.

Why must I leave this place where I have felt the miracle and madness of loss, of love and hate: That reckless duality of the psyche I’ve befriended, entwined within; a passage into countless breakthroughs. There is an emptiness now in the cellar of my being. It will travel with me and I will  avoid it with wine and sleep and useless information, but more often, I will tend to it like a child who has lost hope for the return of love.
Read more Transcendental Campsite by @rebecca9