Her sun sets in the East

 When three; her best friend is the grass,

Silver stokes of pointy blades tug the cloth of her dupatta.

She draws an open life, two irises in the mud,

“Eyes are God’s to make,” says Baba jaan,

“Not yours to re-invent.”

 

Four; the water glows orange.

Its noisy layers embrace the surface of her toes.

She digs her fingers into its blue

& fishes for rainbow stars.

Baba jaan, come look. Look what I found.

Too late. It’s time for prayer.

She throws the stars away.

 

Five; she knows namaaz by heart;

Baba jaan recites a strange string of Arabic in her ear,

What does it mean?

She looks out the window thrice.

 

Six; wood is purple & trees are a crisp form of pink,

A melody of colours reside within her room’s walls,

Inside becomes her refuge; closed & open.

Baba jaan, I made this. Look, I made magic!

He tears the sheets she had whispered to,

“Don’t do this again jaan.”

 

Seven; she sees red polka dots in the sky,

But Baba jaan says that they are silver.

The wind allows a comfort warmer than the one at home. She dreams.

Baba Jaan brings her back

With crushed pastel colours he found beneath her bed.

 

Eight; she hides the paints behind curtains;

Secret canvases of her own refuge.

A green sunset glimmers in her palette,

Silenced with Baba jaan’s love,

Jaan, wear your dupatta.”

Jaan, stay in the house.”

Jaan, the sky is blue.”

 

No--

The sky is not blue Baba Jaan,

The sky is twilight’s shade of purple songs.

Why don’t you see that Baba Jaan?

Why?

 

Nine; though she begs her eyes to stay awake,

By now the sky is blue & that is that.

The dupatta is straight & that is that.

Baba Jaan knows,

She is a girl, & that is that.

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NAMAAZ: A muslim prayer routine

HARAAM: against God

DUPATTA: (in context) a scarf to cover the head; serves the same purpose as a hijab

BABA: father

JAAN: a nickname given to a loved one