Colony

Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

نکال لایا ہوں ایک پنجرے سے اک پرندہ
اب اس پرندے کے دل سے پنجرہ نکالنا ہے
عمیر نجمی

You have convinced me that I’m someone that cannot be loved as I am. The mirror does not reflect my own image. Instead, it only reflects the words you whispered each time you saw me. How odd it is to not see myself in the mirror but only see the image you carved of me. Every time I go past mirror, I can only repeat the spell you taught me “mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all”.

How odd it is, that when we’re given love, it does not stay with us as much as manipulation does. When they compliment me, I can hear nothing but lies. It’s as if they’re on a mission to make me feel better out of pity. Compliments make me feel sick to my stomach. How do I tell these people that regardless of how sincere their love is, I’m still مقروض of a past friend who gave me love like the kindest thing they almost did.

The love does not stay with you as much as toxicity does. Does the mother’s love heals the pain of bully’s bullet? How does a child train their heart to understand the difference between toxicity and love? With all this poison wrapped in candy paper, you cannot convince the kid of the difference.

You offered me your love like the English offered their generosity to India. Like the E.M Forster says, “India likes Gods, and Englishmen like posing as gods”. You landed on my port and realized that I’ve lacked love so much that if you will befriend me, I will trust you with my whole land.

Of course I did trust you with my whole land. I allowed you to “civilize” me. It was only when I saw “It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful” post on internet that I realized that it was never my responsibility to be anything that world wants me to be. Like the colonized, I have long forgotten what was native to me. I speak the language you taught me. When I walk, I can only hear you saying “that’s not how you walk” and when I speak, I hear your laugh from five years ago.

I’m unfortunate as my countrymen in our state of needing acceptance. Just as my countrymen are convinced that they’re not pretty in their own unique identity and are desperate to be the definition of colonizer’s definition of beauty, I too have forgotten my own uniqueness.

Seventy years after the colonization has ended, my countrymen are still writing papers on the identity crisis. My land can still feel the after shocks long after the earthquake has ended. You’re long gone. I’m trying to not cry on my way back home when they compliment my eyes.

-Falaque

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