May 16, 2012


By Zoha Jabbar

I want to ink my words onto your skin,
trace it first with my fingers,
then my tongue,
tasting the poetry.
Perhaps the words will penetrate
the surface and sink in
to be printed onto your very core.
I want you to feel the truth
in every stroke of my pen,
to know that every curve of each letter
has been drawn in earnest.
My thoughts don't sound right
when spoken out loud,
I stutter and pause and am
at a loss for words;
but written down they mirror
that which is deep within me.
I want you to see that side of me,
and not mistake my pauses
for hesitation or uncertainty.
The love I feel has a clarity
that you cannot possibly imagine,
for not even in the
deepest recesses of your mind
have you begun to comprehend
its depth.
I express myself best with ink,
and so I will ink my words onto your skin.
I will imprint my desires
and passions onto flesh.
Then I will write you a poem in kisses
that reflects the joy you bring me.

May 9, 2012


By Jaza Aqil

And they are fighting again. They are such a dysfunctional couple. I really don’t know what he sees in her.  How can he bear the stench of rotten eggs around her?  And that voice of hers, so loud, so in-your-face; it’s like having someone’s feet, fresh out of overused Nikes, shoved up your nose. But no, he can’t smell her voice. He only sees how attractive she is. What with her oh so skinny legs and perfect nails and velvety hair...velvety my foot! More like a burnt chicken’s feathers. Oh my God what is she wearing? Those jeans are so tight it’s like she has dyed her legs blue. Okay. No. Must stop thinking about it. And him. Him. I can hear his voice in meek self defense. Even though I think it’s pathetic the way he puts up with her, right now his voice sounds so warm. It’s the tantalizing smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins, with a hint of cinnamon. No. NO. Focus, Anna focus. Okay, so what problem are we on? 23. 23 is such a soothing number; a soft, pale blue; quiet, tranquil …like a lullaby. Wait. Hold on. What? What is Mr. Brown doing? That’s not the answer. I can hear the quotient whimpering for help. Okay, this needs to be fixed. Yes. There we go. All better now. Wipe that smirk off your face Anna; Mr. Brown probably did this on purpose just to catch your attention. Look, he’s smiling now. If he weren’t my favorite teacher, I would probably hate him for these torturous moments. He knows I can’t bear the heart wrenching cry of an incorrectly solved problem. Oh great. I can see them again. They’re making up now. Rotten eggs and blueberry muffins do not go well together. It will only result in ugly, nasty vomit. ANNA. Yes, sorry, back to numbers. Numbers are simple, much simpler than people. They are stable. Dependable. Be it the orange zero, or the green eight. The soft yellow of tens and twenties can soothe me on any day. Unlike numbers, people are just so complicated. Their words, their actions contradict; they cannot be defined in solid, primary colors. No. They exist in shades – there is never a definitive line separating the good, the bad, the right, the wrong in them. It’s always so hazy, so complicated. Numbers on the contrary are soothing, pleasant to the senses, appealing to the eyes, the nose, the ears. And that’s why I can always turn to them. Every Math problem is my very own symphony; a perfect blend of all that is harmonious and effortless in this world. I tried to explain this to that dense therapist the other day and she didn’t get it. Twittered something about how I must be an artist since I connect with colors so well. A double degree from Yale, you would think she would be more insightful than that…but no, apparently I’m the one with my brain messed up. I told her art is just as confusing as people. The one art class I ever took perplexed me with its shades and lines and textures and sketches. Yellow is never just yellow to an artist. (Or so the teacher had said) No; there is marigold and dandelion and lemon yellow. There is yellow at dawn, yellow at dusk, yellow at noon. Yellow used to be my color for him. It was the warmth and protection he brought in to my life. Till he met her, that is. Since then I can’t identify what shade of yellow he is. Numbers don’t betray like that, they don’t abandon me. Eight will always remain green and zero, orange. But apparently, according to the therapist I’ve got it all wrong. Art is full of colors, not math. Apparently, my senses are all jumbled up. The way I see things is incorrect. Something to do with my brain being messed up she said. What did she call me? Yes, a synesthate. Yes.That. The word has such a pungent sound to it. Just because she has a medical term for the way I perceive the world, doesn’t make it any less natural.

May 6, 2012


By Izaan Hasan

Q. Write the opening to a short story called "Fat". In your writing you should try to create a sense of mood and character.

He burst through the door, all four hundred and fifty pounds of him. He scanned the room and its occupants, staring each one of them down to the ground
“Who ate my chocolate?!” he screamed.

Instantly, thirty accusing fingers sprung into life and pointed in the direction of a skinny twelve year old named Wong Ding Chi .The scrawny child started quaking in his tattered boots, shaking so fiercely that he fell down from his chair. In any other classroom, the children would have burst out laughing, but not this classroom. Not when the Supreme Leader’s son was in the room, that too all four hundred and fifty pounds of him.

“Give me back my chocolate!” the over-sized watermelon of a child shouted.
“ I . . . I . . . I doesn’t gots its,” Wong Ding Chi blurted, fumbling with his words. The colour had drained from his skin .He had heard stories, stories of how the “great fat-one” would eat servants whole if they did not please him. Wong Ding Chi did not want to be eaten alive.
“You don’t have it, eh? We’ll just see about that. Guards! ”
The word had barely left the child’s mouth when two lanky, crew-cut uniformed men burst into the room. Their faces showed no emotion, but they did tell a story , a story of war, of hardship, of sacrifice and of separation.

“Take him away! Strip him down to his underwear if you have to! I want that chocolate! “

The guards willfully obliged, dragging the wailing bag of bones outside. The teacher stood aghast. He was helpless. He could do nothing to save his star student who had once again become the victim of the class’s jealousy.

A tear trickled down her left cheek. She wanted to do something, to speak out, but she was powerless. She knew better than to interfere in what had now become ‘a matter of the state.’

As a child, the teacher had never seen, much less tasted a chocolate so she had no idea what the fuss was about. She sat down on her chair with her head in her hands, whimpering softly, hiding her face from the rest of the classroom.

The wails of Wong Ding Chi echoed throughout the school’s corridors. No one could save him now. The students sat motionless, some cried, some were shell-shocked at the events that had just unfolded, some were having guilt pangs about pointing towards Wong Ding, others were trying to leave the horrendous episode behind and move on. No use crying over spilt milk.

When the school children came out to recess, they saw a bony child dangling by his underwear from a flag-post where the Korean flag was fluttering just minutes ago.

At the base of this flag-post stood two guards, ever-vigilant and ever-ready. Between these two men was a bench on which a child the size of a mini-truck sat. The child was happily munching away at a bar of chocolate that he held in his bucket-sized hands. Kim Jong Un was happy, all four hundred and fifty pounds of him.

Twenty-five years and a loss of two hundred pounds later, Kim Jong Un stood waving to his people from his bedroom’s balcony. His father had died, Kim Jong the second was now the new Supreme Leader of the Communist Republic of North Korea. His old man had taken far too long to die. But power was finally his. It had had to happen eventually.

“You called, your Lordship?” inquired the defense minister.
“Ah yes, Defense Minister. I was wondering last night, Father spent all his life building up the country’s nuclear arsenal. Why not use it, let’s say, against our lovely neighbours , the South Koreans perhaps? “
“A . . . as . . . as you wish, your Supreme Lordship.”
“Excellent. Begin the assault next Tuesday. Not on Monday. Mondays are always such unlucky days .But first things first. Could you hand me that chocolate that’s  on the dresser? “