Discriminate not!

Why can’t you see
What I can be?
Why let your eyes
Dishonor me?

Don’t let my skin
Dictate my fate
My ugliness
Turn into hate

My accent may
Not be as good
I may not speak
The way I should

Your red passport
May reign supreme
My dark green book
In low esteem

In looks alone
We may not match
But hold that thought
There is a catch

Come close to me
And hear my heart
Could beats alone
Tell us apart?

The pain we feel
When love is lost
Discriminates?
No, it does not!

When fires burn
And ashes blow
The pungent smell
Don’t we well know?

The anguished wails
Of orphaned kids
You hear them too
With wet eyelids

When you bite on
Your tongue in haste
Do you not sense
The metal taste?

So why do you
Build up this wall
Why then, my friend
Make me feel small

Just look beyond
My darkened skin
And see the light
That shines within

When all is done
We are the same
There is no guilt
There is no shame

My nights like yours
Are filled with dreams
Of catching stars
And chasing streams

With this new thought
Let go, be free
And see me for
What I can be!

– Yousuf Bawany, Feb 2022

MUST. BE. ME.

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Unknown, I to thee
Unheard, every plea
Two ends of the sea
Too weak in the knee
What’s me if not me?
What else should I be?
I’m done being ‘we’
The past, I must flee
A tear laced with glee
My soul shall stay free

~ Yousuf Bawany, April ’18

Note: Life’s too precious to waste on individuals who drag you down and treat you as if you’re worth nothing. Now is the time to break free from their shackles, spread your wings, and embrace life in all its glory.

Unpredictable

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Kissed by a bee
Stung by a rose
Couplets and rhymes
All lost in prose

Cold red embers
Hot burning ice
All auctioned off
At lowest price

The pain within
In smiles, we hide
Wounds all healed up
Yet open wide

Moon lights the days
Nights see the sun
Wars fought in rooms
Peace held with guns

Castles for those
Fallen from grace
And for the good
Slums of disgrace

Deep seas run dry
Jungles lay bare
She’s burning up
And no one cares

Eyes open wide
No sign of light
Darkness engulfs
All that is bright

Blind men can see
The deaf can hear
The sensible
Don’t shed a tear

What’s up one day
The next it’s down
This world of ours
Is run by clowns

– Yousuf Bawany, July 2017

 

 

Weekly Photography Challenge: Numbers

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Numbers hold the key to some of the best-kept secrets of the universe. They determine order among chaos, sequences in seemingly random patterns, predictability in the unpredictable. The elegance of numbers is just dazzling and one cannot imagine a world without numbers. How else would we answer questions like ‘how old are you?’, or ‘how many stars are there in the sky?’ – the latter was a trick question to throw you off.

If you take a closer look, you’d be overwhelmed by the sheer number of numbers we have around us. Be it  bits of encoded information on your phone or your daughter’s birthday, everything is represented using strings of these digits; intimidating, isn’t it?

When I read this week’s challenge brief, I instantly fixated on a fairly simplistic interpretation of numbers in our life – the license plate (or number plate, as we like to call it in this part of the world). Presented here is a photo of a crankshaft vehicle I stumbled across in Coventry, UK – it also makes you reflect on how quickly things go from ‘in-style’ to ‘outdated’.

Age may not be just a number after all!

Metamorphosis

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Crawling you may be right now
But hold your head up high
It’s really caterpillars that
Turn into butterflies

– Yousuf Bawany