Literature And Other Musings

So I Wrote a Monologue…

You feel bad for me obviously, why else would you be here and – let me get this right – you’ll spend the rest of your evening talking about my issues with people, “I don’t know what’s wrong with her” and “She just won’t listen to me!” and I’ll sit here thinking that what I really want to do is throw a party with a huge banner that says, “Hey, maybe, you don’t really know me!”

You’re just here because I haven’t been talking to you and you need to feel wanted– still waiting in this vague hope that something great will happen to your life, something that will make you feel whole, someone who will understand just how…fragile you are…

You were the ink stains on my fingers, you were the pieces of a story that I was trying to write and I tried. The truth is I tried… so hard! And right now I’m so angry and I’m so, SO sad and I’ve felt so hurt, for such a long – long time. Things change with rage and I’m not – I’m not bullet proof.

Artist: Muhammad Zeeshan, UNTITLED II

Artist: Muhammad Zeeshan, UNTITLED II

But I’m also not a papier-mâché puppet, I am not a metaphor, and I am certainly not you. So you can believe everything your stupid, dull functioning senses tell you to! But don’t you ever feel bad for me. Next time you want to tell me something important – don’t. If you want to share some dark, ugly secret –don’t. If you want to tell me that you love me – don’t. And if you ever have this ridiculous idea that you have me all figured out – you don’t.

You are the issue, you are the problem: You tell everyone these tall tales, amuse them with pictures of you spinning around in an empty room.

They know what your favorite color is, what makes you laugh, how absolutely wonderful you are…
But really, does anyone know you at all? ”   


(So I wrote this monologue for a class assignment and we had to perform our artistic pieces as well – surprisingly, I had a lot of fun doing this monologue. The back story that I developed in my head was about this young woman who falls in love with a man, only to discover that her love is not reciprocated because according to the man, “You’re so amazing. I hope I find a girl like you,” and she understands that he will never love her the same way she loves him. That he will love a girl “like her,” but not her, never her.

Here she expresses her anger directly to him at his inability to understand her, to know her –  exposes his shortcomings and faults and in the process, finally realizes that her love for him may not be as permanent as she had thought. Comments and criticism shall be welcomed!)

Literature And Other Musings

Details Unknown

Creds: Sher Ali Khan

Creds: Sher Ali Khan


You are the ink stains on my fingers

and the light pressure of my pen on the paper.

You are the pieces of a story that I’m trying to write; painstakingly collecting, and plucking them from your shadow.


You tell everyone tales about your wonderful adventures, amuse them with pictures of you spinning around in an empty room.

They know what your favorite number is, what makes you laugh and the precise shade of blush on your cheeks.

but sometimes I wonder, does anyone really know you at all?

Literature And Other Musings


Artwork by Zubeida Agha

Artwork by Zubeida Agha








Sometimes, you are afraid.

The “what ifs” hover over you like some form of suspended confetti. Pieces of paper ready to slice open a fresh wound. You taste blood in you mouth. Sharp. The smell of copper.

Ink drips from the pen as you pour your anxieties on a crisp sheet of paper. What will the future hold? Am I worrying too much? The ache is a fungus festering for years. All over the canvas of your mind.

You dab perfume on your neck. Prayers on your lips.

He entwines his fingers with yours, and touches the crease between your eyebrows. Our words tremble with hope.

Literature And Other Musings

Howl’s Moving Castle – Book Review

I was fourteen years old when I first came across  Hayao Miyazaki‘s film “Howl’s Moving Castle” featuring the faint inducing, swoon worthy, I will marry his voice talents of Christian Bale. Since I’ve previously enjoyed the films churned out by Studio Ghibli, I decided to watch this one as well.

And Oh God. It was twuu luv.

And hearing Christian Bale’s voice come out of the computer animated – albeit gorgeous – Howl was as if somebody hath given me squirrels from heaven. U SO DAAAMN FINNNNE.






The movie is based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones. It follows a young woman, Sophie Hatter from “the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility exist.” The book’s synopsis informs us “…As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes, Sophie stayed in her father’s hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery.
Now Sophie must seek her own fortune. Which means striking a bargain with the lecherous Wizard Howl. Which means entering his ever-moving castle, taming a blue fire-demon, and meeting the Witch of the Waste head-on.

The book completely drew me in – so much that I was eating my lunch in front of the laptop screen (and that hasn’t happened to any lucky book with me in over a century, I think) I loved the detail put into the characters. Sophie, as an old woman, was bossy and cantankerous – and altogether badass. She kind of reminded me a little of my mother because of her obsession with cleanliness. Howl sums old Sophie up in this dialogue:

“Yes, you are nosy,” said Howl. “You’re a dreadfully nosy, horribly bossy, appallingly clean old
woman. Control yourself. You’re victimizing us all.”

LOL. If I try saying this to my mother…Yeah. No.

What I did find jarring was that Sophie seemed to accept her “old boned, frail” self without much flinching. I mean, if someone turns me into a ninety year old, I’ll find that, oh, I don’t know, distressing, maybe? – even have an apoplectic fit or nervous breakdown.

The fiery fire demon, Calcifier was such an entertaining character – he had some of the best lines in the book. He continuously badgers Sophie to find a way to break the curse (He and Howl are connected – and he is also the reason for Howl’s power and manages the moving castle) However, we are shown intermittently how Calcifier considers each member of the Moving Castle as his family. I liked how each of the characters displayed their flaws so openly – made it much easier for me to identify with them.

And now Howl – I’m so glad that the movie tried to stay true to his book character because he’s such a whiny, drama queen with an effeminate air about him, and that’s exactly why I love him. There is no mysterious hero lurking in the background, no asshole trying to flip ludicrous pick up lines, no Gary Sues trying to fit into the picture. Nothing. Howl is sunshine (I’m legit serious, y’all) He had flaws, but he was also sweet and Sophie and his bantering was, at time, hilarious.
Really, these wizards! You’d think no one had ever had a cold before! Well, what is it?” she asked, hobbling through the bedroom door onto the filthy carpet.
“I’m dying of boredom,” Howl said pathetically. “Or maybe just dying.” – Howl’s Moving Castle

I like how there were some subtle romantic inclination between them which grew as the plot advanced. Another dimension of Howl’s life is presented in the form of nieces and nephews and a sister – which was absent in the movie. So boo.

The writing is simple and flows in a fluid manner. It would be impossible for me not to compare it with the movie though, the film version cuts and improvises several scenes from the book. What I didn’t like was how Sophie viewed herself as plain and ordinary in the movie while in the book, she doesn’t seem to be suffering from any complex. I get it, it’s Disney we’re talking about but seriously, this running theme of “I’m soooo uglaz” needs to be toned down a little.

Also in the book, I felt that the ending was little rushed, that the romance didn’t quite pan out the way I had pictured it – yeah, I’m still enamored with the cute romantic scenes in the film. And Christian Bale’s voice. GIVE HIS VOICE TO MEHH.

The movie takes several elements from the book to carve out a different story than Jones, and both of them have their own charm. Read and/or watch this right now.

Literature And Other Musings


I am okay.

Something slithers around my legs, brushing against my ankle. Briefly. Slowly. The sun is setting behind me, the shadows crawl all over the walls. You ignore me in your search for perfection. You have traveled the entire length of the world, hunted in the brightness of the stars, stomped on the craters of the moon. Just to feel it in your hands, in your palms, between your fingers.

Photo Credits: Artwork by Shakir Ali

My head, too awkward for my body, so heavy for my heart, weighs less at the equator.

You will never look at my face, you will never know how the evening sky folds itself into me in a blaze of color.
Perfection lies some 25,000 to 28,000 light-years away.