Till Next Time: Two Letters home


Dear Dad,

I'm sure you won't read this anytime soon. No it's not futile to write down what I would have told you on phone. It preserves our collective memory.

Since the time we last spoke I felt unease in your voice. I don't know how to tell you how strong you have been after mother left for heavens. You have to be stronger in this siege. I stand by you every time.

I have a lot to say; like how I am doing well in my studies; how I'm finding India too hot to bear, like I always used to. It's ridiculous that someone would take away my right of talking to you, but that's how it is. We will remember this forever.

I know the struggles of keeping the family strong may trouble you, but let's hope mother is praying from a very better place for us. She must be.

Dad, weeks have passed since we heard each other's voice. In this siege I wanted to tell you what I never could, that how much I love you.

We are doing fine. And yes I can imagine my home. It comes into my dream every night. The memory, particularly of home, isn't something they can erase.

With a salam to everyone in home, I will conclude this letter till next time.

There will be a next time Insha Allah.

Yours and only yours



Dear M.,

We have seen worst but we saw that together. We conquered everything to be together, to talk, and to listen to each other. We ended the incommunicado we had brought onto ourselves only to realise in a short span that they will part us.

I hope you are doing well. I can only hope. Yes you often visit me in dreams saying how beautiful it would be if we stayed together. We will be together, Insha Allah. No repression can kill our being.

Every day I open up our chat history and read from it like the poems of Hafiz. I hear those small audio notes. I stare at your photos. I cry my heart out, but M nobody understands the language of affection here. Nobody, just nobody.

In the hope that I have you read this someday, I'm writing it down in dead of the night while alternatively looking at your smile for inspiration.

We shall meet on Budshah Bridge where we had our last detailed conversation. We shall meet on banks of Dal on a cold wintry morning. I shall wait for that day to recite to you your favourite verses from Ghalib. 

I will write to you more often than ever. You are being missed.