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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Decisions! Decisions!

The future is intimidating.

That is all.

Flashbacks from the past

The fainted sweet scent of my mother's perfume.

A trunk overflowing with abstract paintings and un-finished stories.

A trampoline and squeaky swing-set in the midst of blinding sunlight.

A heavy backpack with gossip-filled notes jammed in each pocket.

A worn out copy of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", it's cover held in place aggressively by Scotch-tape.

An overused blunt black khol and a dozen friendship bracelets.

Avril Lavigne lyrics scribbled in the margins of text-books.

And -to this very day-
A stubborn anvil,
Anchoring a ship o' dreams,
Steered by Captian "Hope".

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Beware the Grim, my dear.

Lost in thought she treads along the sidewalk.
It's a foggy night, vision obscured by a smoky haze of uncertainty –how ironic, she says to herself-
A wary mystical silence hangs in the atmosphere like Charlotte's web.

Street lights flicker.
Crickets chirp.
Her breathing and pulse are playing quite the duet…a chorus of long deep breaths followed by rapid palpitations resonating in the frosty air.
Chirp. Inhale. Exhale. Lub Dub. Lub Dub.

All is quiet.

But alas! In that mind of hers!
Chaos unravels, a mad-house –if you may-.

"Contradictions" loudly debate their validity. Refusing all forms of negotiation or reasoning.

Each "Possibility" competes vigorously striving to outlive its component.

"Doubt" sulks in the shadows, and being the sly con-artist he's known to be, slips a banana peel accidently on purpose.

"Ambition" trips with a thud. Trying to regain what little dignity he has left, he leans on "Hope" for support. Standing tall, brushing off the dust trying his utmost to appear nonchalant, failing miserably –might I add-. He always was such a clumsy fool with his head in the clouds.

"Fear" echoes tauntingly, you can hear the smirk in his voice, shrewd with a dash of defiance he adds an "im" to every "Possible", tags an "in" to every "Capable"

It's a silent night.
Street lights flicker.
Crickets chirp.

But in that mind...Universes collide.


Every dream as fickle as a "Snitch", just an inch within her grasp.. while she dangles for the life of her on a Nimbus 2000.. gold luster gleaming in her eyes.

Friday, 9 September 2011

And… action!

The curtains have been lifted..
Our play has been fast-forwarded to a scene that takes place 10 years later with all the characters evolving beautifully from the opinionated intolerant adolescents they once were.

*****
Truth be told:
No stubborn mind can't be persuaded.
Heart-break and pain both indifferent to their victims, being the blind criminals they are; Ain't no mountains high, ain't no valley low that can harbor you from that duet.
*****

As for our adult characters…
Who take compliments and condemnations much lighter than they did at their early teens,
Who embrace the snarky remarks from elders and blow them off as easily as powdered sugar escaping the refuge of a skirt.
Who learned that you can outlive a lost a fight, and sometimes –yes, sarcastic 15 year olds in the audience- can also be convinced by the opponent's theory, imagine that!
Who see beyond the fa├žade of brands and the mirage of money-earned happiness.
Who understand that it takes a long time to build bonds with others, that the "good ones" are worth the hard work, time and sacrifice.
Who can detect the hidden agendas, plastered smiles and care-free pretensions.
Who know when it's necessary to remove themselves from the situation, let nature take its course and…. Wait.
Who are wise enough to confirm their 7-year old sister questioning if she could talk to "Boots" the monkey and "Swiper" the fox just like Dora the Explorer. She'll find out sooner or later that talking animals no more exist than do happy endings.

*****
Oh my have the characters of the play evolved. Very much so indeed.
*****

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players ~Shakespeare

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Babysitter in the house!

I have fallen in love... With a 5 month old nephew.

Whose world has so much left to discover,
Where unknowns outweigh in every situation.

Where socks are fascinating creatures,
And toes are even more of a treasure.

Where a smile is all that's asked from you in life,
And if you throw in a cute quizzical look with asymmetrically arched eyebrows; you are crowned king and worshipped by the entire household.

Oh how I envy your untainted purity,
Oh how I envy the caffiene- free , hatred- free blood that runs through your viens.

I know you're probably staring at me and questioning the whereabouts of this excited high-strung girl talking gibberish smiling from ear to ear,
You're thinking: I wish she'd move aside and stop blocking my view of this mesmerizing fan,, I really wanna see what'll happen when it stops twirling.

Oh dear nephew, I'd endure a handful of splinters rather than to tell you the depressing news: nothing will happen when the fan stops twirling. No fireworks. No raindrops. Nothing.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

It happens.

You were right.
I was wrong.

Life can still go on, ya know!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Don't judge a book by its cover

But really..
Since when have we not?

We get a glimpse of the multiple piercings in various locations and immediately think: Oh my.. this person's trouble.

We see an asymmterical, severely cut hairdo and we assume: Oh you're that type of girl

A loud trashy rap song bursts in the air as the phone rings and our eyes dart to the owner as she answers her call.. tsk tsk.

A girl sitting in the waiting room reading a novel. You make your mind about her as soon as you read the title.


Don't judge a book by its cover -we so often preach-

But really,
Really,
Since when have we not?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

All over the place

Unspoken thoughts hang in the frozen air.
Notions understood yet kept silent.

Your roguish hazel eyes have left me bedazzled with their charm.
They say so little however with an immense impact.
Like paws of a kitten on a newly cemented road.
Silently you stride along the sidewalks oblivious of the impression you bestow upon me. Unaware of my mesmerized reactions.

Your acquaintance has left me smitten. Feeble. Naive.
And although no prospect awaitens.. my heart still dwells on the endless possibilities.

Just endless.


Blow the candles out..looks like a solo tonight.. I'm beginning to see the light.
Blow the candles out.. looks like a solo tonight.. But I think I'll be alright.
~Hey Monday

Saturday, 2 July 2011

If I wish really.. really hard.. Will it come true?

You make it look so easy...
So natural..
Inherent.

But it's not... 
I've tried over and over..failing miserably every time.

I've been told "Practice makes perfect" and found that it's not always applicable. Nope.. Not always.

Like how French braiding seems effortless yet leaves me in a tassel of hair knots.
Or how playing the piano is merely a flow of fingers across the keys... Yet I can barely pull off a tune.
How simple it is to balance yourself on a skateboard..
Fix a computer glitch.. Heal a broken heart..
How everyone laughs at your punch line.. Is in awe of your impeccable taste.. Your undying devotion to life.

It's not easy what you do..
Though it may seem a second nature to you... You should know that you are special.. So very very special.

I wonder...
if I close my eyes and wish really really hard.. 
Could I do it too?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Memories twirling round and round.

Astounding how our subconscious holds on to certain memories; however irrelevant they may be.

Trivial compliments -3 years of age- still have the power to give your ego a boost when you're feeling blue.
Meaningless childhood nicknames can still trigger a grimace.

Nameless faces swirling aimlessly in the back of your mind. What was her name?!
Faceless names hanging by a thread, you yearn to remember their features.

****
A trip with your dad to Dairy Queen on a lazy Saturday afternoon..
Standing on the tip of your toes barely tall enough to see through the glass to choose an ice-cream flavor..
Baba kneels down and perches you on his knee, raising your eye level a few inches..
Even though he knew before-hand you would pick chocolate with sprinkles on top.

****
The smell of formalin while dissecting a cadaver with your friends -1st year dental students- reviewing for the anatomy final exam.
You are all lost in the confusing contents of the posterior triangle in the neck region.
"Are you sure this is the phrenic nerve, Hanan? I think it's the vagus." My friend questions doubtfully.
I tug the nerve and watch the diaphragm rise with my pull.
"It's the phrenic nerve. I'm sure."

****
If I could only mimic Dumbledore when he'd point a wand to his skull, drag out his thoughts and pour them into a stone basin.
Oh if only I had a Pensieve to re-visit my memories on a lonely night.

Dumbledore: "I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form."
Harry: "You mean... that stuff's your thoughts?"
Dumbledore: "Certainly."
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Friday, 6 May 2011

No more network at this end of the line

Just when I'm determined to start over..
When I persuade myself "this one is going to be worth the trouble, worth my time, worth my feelings"

Just when I finally decide that isolation isn't going to fix anything.. sooner or later I've got to let people in..

Just when I've -at long last- convinced my stubborn mind that humanity still throbs in many human hearts..

And I let my guard down..
Share my history..
Share my life..

I'm vulnerable once more to getting hurt by all those vicious antigens; hypocrites, frauds, two-faced back stabbing liars..

And boy did those antigens attack my immunity as hard as hell!
My host defense mechanism has aged far beyond my 22 years,, it fights a lost battle and can only hold its strength for so long..


But not this time..
No..
Not me..

This time.. I've loaded up on my vaccinations..
This time.. my antibody titre is sky-rocket high..

No more will I fall for your sly tricks.
No more will your pranks deceive me.

Even if it means I'll be destined to loneliness.. I WILL NOT be stung twice.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

With arms wide open.. welcome

I love that when I least expect it;

Hope and comfort bombard me,

Demolishing all doubt.

Devouring all skepticism.

Kindling candles of friendship in what used to be a dark locked up dungeon.

Ah.. Discovering a kindred spirit brings me utmost amount of joy!

Friday, 15 April 2011

But I thought you didn't..? Oh you do?! Guess I thought wrong

Aren't we all a medley of contradictions!
Each rule has an exception..
Each exception is silently agreed upon to remain silent till the end of time..

We fight for our values.. sword, tongue and pen.
We wear them as halos high above our heads in times of power,
And we grasp onto them with all our might when we're afraid of drowning in the sea of doubtful new fads.

We lose friends over our values, we shed tears.
Oh the enemies we gained fighting for what we believe in!
You confounded, sly, stubborn values.

And yet! When a certain someone comes along our path in life,
Blows you away with their charm.. you're caught off gaurd by their never-before-seen personality.
Not to mention a smile that turns your knees to jelly.
Then -and only then- do your values seem ridiculously extreme, old school and juvenile!
Slowly they creep out of the windows in your soul, silently so you don't sense their absence.

Sly, stubborn values.. how bias you are!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Diagnose carefully, I beg of you.

"I can feel your pain"
But can you really?
I highly doubt it.

You only see the surface texture.. the enamel of my personality.
Once innocently translucent,, inevitably growing more opaque day by day.

Have you any idea of the underlying dentin?
The abundant amounts of reparative dentin formed to prevent the cascade of harmful stimulants from reaching the pulp.

And what of the poor isolated pulp?
A traumatic experience could render it reversibly damaged, or -God forbid- irreversibly paralyzed.

You can veneer me all you want, but the dentin is still inside hard-headed and stubborn as ever.
You may bleach attempting to get rid of those discolored spots, and you'll find that as much as you overload hydrogen peroxide externally, internal bleaching rarely succeeds with me.
You can bandage the wounds with a thick layer of Calcium hydroxide, but the pulp still silently cries in agony.

The core of my being doesn't enclose a solitary layer... there are many.

Have you ever thought to dig deeper?
To treat the cause not only the symptoms?
Oh how I wish you would!

Monday, 21 March 2011

It's a small world after all

It's too early, and too cold..
Layla turns off the alarm clock and angrily kicks the broken heater..
Hurriedly she performs the fastest ablution possible under the freezing water, trying not to forget any steps.
Praying fajr in Syria in the middle of January was torture..
"Allah Akbar"
oops I forgot to wash my elbows.. damn it.
On her way to the sink she remembers that the mysterious Saudi guest her parents had been talking about for over a week is coming today.
"I wonder what they're up to?" she thinks drenching her elbows vigorously.
.......
A few kilometers away in Tabouk..
Coming home from college, sitting to a plate of traditional jareesh, Asma amuses at the gossip her aunt melodramatically discusses with her friend on the phone..
"He got married!"
"AGAIN!"
tsk tsk...
She stiffles a giggle, not wanting to believe that "mediocre minds talk about events" while "shallow minds talk about people"
Her mind was only perplexed by her ophthalmology exam next Wednesday,
"I better download the e-book from that Indian forum"
.......
Waking up from her afternoon nap, Fatma headed to the living room to watch news with her father, being an Iraqi and watching news was as depressing as it gets.. how about we listen to Fayrooz ya baba?
They both gaze at the screen with glassy eyes..
"Ya 6air.. ya 6iyr 3ala a6raf aldenya.."
Why didn't she leave to the states with her cousin when she had the chance!
.......
In Idaho..sitting in the bus on the way to her second job at a local deli, Mariam puts the bookmark in her book "The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar " and glances back at the lady in front of her..
Yes I am wearing a scarf.
Yes I am a Muslim woman from an Arab country.
But I am not a terrorist.
I did not kill your husband in Iraq.
After what she hoped was a semi-comprehendible eye-communication, she goes back to the poem;
"I know what the caged bird feels, alas!"
.......
Studying for her ophthalmology final exam in the sweltering heat of Mumbai, India..
Why do the neighbors' kids have to be this loud and obnoxious, why?
And seriously, could the internet be any slower?
Laila promised that she'd upload the e-book in the forum by tonight..
"I'm going to disconnect the WiFi modem and bring it to my room, ok?" she yells
"NO" says her 15 year old sister, "I'm downloading Aishwarya Rai's new movie"
"WHAT?! NO WONDER THE INTERNET HAS BEEN THIS SLOW, I SWEAR IF YOU DON'T TURN IT OFF THIS SECOND..."
Only her brother -Rasheed- would empathize with her in these situations, but he left to be a driver in Mecca, his college degree gone to waste.
.......
A few blocks from the holy mosque in Mecca, Reem hears maghrib prayer ring in the air..
Opening the window she wheels her grandfather's chair near it so they can both drink in the atmosphere..
"Do you want a piece of labanya ya jaddo? Rasheed bought them from "Soog Al-Hijaz"
A black and white pigeon eyes them from a rooftop hungrily.
.......
Walking through the markets in Casablanca, Morocco on a busy afternoon.
Where French and Arabic languages mingle divinely..
"Ya 3ammo.. give me a kilo of squash, ooh and a few of those eggplants too!"
Couscous for dinner tonight!
While her vegetables are being weighed, Noor hears the news on the radio.

People dying all over the world.
From Japan to Sudan.

Muslims all over the world suffering.
From Iraq to Yemen.

Lifting her head up to the sky she sends a silent prayer:
"Ya Allah only you can fix all broken. Only you can right all wrong. Ya Allah grant health to every sick man, grant patience to every widowed woman and grant forgiveness for every soul lost"

.......

Monday, 14 March 2011

Et tu Brute?

Amazing how we can say so much without the slight movement of our lips..

How simple acts can convey extraordinary messages..

I once read that "no communication is in itself a form of communication", that the "cold shoulder" of our childhood years can actually produce great change in character of others..

Bizarre how our subconscious can make us do un-explainable things, how the voice in our minds can be louder than the commotion of a lecture hall, how you can be surrounded by friends yet still be lonely..

Uncanny how when push comes to shove you discover what's really important, who's really important, who's not..
How when in crisis you unravel kindred spirits you had previously assumed to be commonplace, a look of understanding passes between you; et tu Brute?
Et tu?

It's time to be grateful; for family, for friendship, for health.
It's time to cherish what you have, it could vanish in a second.

Because whether you fall asleep with a smile on your face or tears streaming on your pillow, the sun will rise tomorrow.

So lay your head with a smile.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bitter sweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong

I'd rather endure regretting not saying something.. than the painful remorse of the spoken words doomed to float in memories forever.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Hawley Labial Bow

Firm grip on the 139 pliers, careful not to pinch yourself.
*****
He was determined to win the race.. to impress and to defeat..he wanted more than anything to prove them all wrong.. he'll show them.
Ironic how neglect can actually give birth to ambition.
*****
Curve the wire slightly so it adapts to the labial surfaces of the maxillary incisors, not too tight though.
*****
The look in her eyes was taunting, her lips never spoke ill of her condition but I could see them quaver as the doctor announced that it was time for her chemo. session.
An unwelcome guest in a beautiful home.
*****
Turn the wire gingivally as you approach the canine, but don't extend it too far from the gingival margin then turn it occlusally making a small U-turn.
*****
She was fuming with anger, everytime this topic comes up in a conversation she tries her utmost to get it through their thick skulls: It doesn't matter which region you come from in Saudi Arabia, your self-worth is the same, your value doesn't change regardless your genetic composition.
Sighing with disgust at how obscene people can be, she leaves the room.
*****
Bend the wire over the embrasure between the canine and the premolar, be judicious so it doesn't interfere with the occlusal plane.
*****
An hour of moderate rain can catastrophically damage one of the country's largest cities, lives were lost and memories were scarred.
A five year old had always lived to believe rain was a precursor of blossoming flowers, now rain has become the murderer of her best-friend's father.
*****
It's time for the tricky C-Clasp, take heed to start at the mesial line angle of the molar.
*****
The bellowing music fills the room, Filipino maids carry ridiculously heavy trays with strained smiles, brightly sequined dresses flashing on the dance floor.
The scent of jasmine flowers in this Southern Saudi wedding is intoxicating.
*****
After the wire has been adapted on the buccal surface of the molar, gently turn it over the embrasure, again it should be away from the patient's occlusion.
*****
Sitting in a conference room her mobile shines with a message from her son, he just sent her a picture of his new I.D., she smiles for behind that pseudo-mature gaze of an 18 year old,she sees the little boy wearing a thobe and shimagh frollicking with his sisters on the night of Halloween in Minneapolis,MN.
"Trick or Treat!"
*****
Adust the clasp on the hard palate then add the acrylic.
*****
Searching frantically for his grandfather's medication in the drawer, sensing a box-like object he pulls out a tape for Fayrooz from the 80's, taking a glance at his grandpa's religious beard he silently returns the tape to the back of the drawer.
"I couldn't find anything"
"It's in the fourth drawer, you'll find it, the fourth drawer not the fifth"
He brings the medications after making sure the fifth drawer shows no evidence of being tampered with.
*****
Now the retainer is ready to be delivered to its rightful owner...
At least when there are more uncertainties than absolutes in this world, you can be 100% sure of one thing: As long as your patient wears her retainer her teeth won't go back to their protruded position.
One less thing to worry about.