Posts by Aqeela Naqvi

who am I?

Posted on June 17, 2019

Who am I? Three simple words. One weighty answer. The response to this question which rises, deep, visceral, immediate from our bones, reveals more about ourselves than anything else we could voluntarily disclose. The labels with which we choose to identify, and consequently to accept as being accurate descriptors for the beings that we are, tell us how we see this world. And the strength with which we cling to them, tells us how we see the next. How do I answer? Am I my profession or education? The degree hanging on my wall or the job I perform — do I carry it with me everywhere? There is a big difference between working as a teacher, lawyer, businessman, or mechanic… and being those things. There…

my guide

Posted on April 26, 2019

my heart’s rapture holds the momentwhen I first glanced upon your facewhen all that mattered disappearedand you remained there in its place   when we first met, you did not speakyet until now, your voice I hearand though the miles stretch out farby the soul’s standard, you are near   I came to you in summer’s heatwith weary limbs and aching solesupon your doorstep I then fellfeeling, at last, I had come home   resting your hand upon my headyou wiped my journey’s dust awaywith you I sat, you marked the pathfor one who’d wandered long astray   above us rose a blooming moonits light extinguished all the starsand it was then I realizedI am there only where you are   for years, the…

80th and 1st

Posted on January 4, 2019

John Steinbeck said, “Once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.” Oh, how right he was. I was lucky enough to call New York City home for the past few years, yet it feels as if those years lasted a lifetime. I truly believe there are certain spans we cross during our lives which, through experience, if not through time, cause us to age more than others. For me, this was one of those times. When I first came into the city, it was with the fresh, bright-eyed, shy wonder of one’s early twenties. When I left, it was with a steadier gaze and firmer feet, the weight of understanding that sombers the…

this is not about you

Posted on October 26, 2018

When I think of the great artists of old, I lower my hat to them in respect. In their musings, sculptures, paintings, and art — there was a craft. What made the Greats great was their desire to create at the upper threshold of their ability, despite knowing that such an endeavor would require time, perseverance, discipline, and accuracy. Create exquisitely, or do not create at all, was the mantra. This art is not about you – it is about something bigger. These days, however, the desire to dedicate oneself to a single skill, to work on it in seclusion, day by day, slowly, precisely, carving, cutting – hammering away at marble from twilight to dusk until a visible form begins to emerge –…

thoreau, on social media

Posted on September 28, 2018

“Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. […] When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from…

there is a tale

Posted on September 10, 2018

there is a tale that aches the heart whose telling tears its seams apart a thousand years of flowing tears which call: ya Hussain   there was a band of noble few who left behind all that they knew to fight the fight of dark and light their chief, al-Hussain   of young and old their party made both valiant men and women brave with noble brows this noble vow til death! ya Hussain   with scorching days and bitter nights the barren desert marked their plight the wound struck first — the children’s thirst their cry, ya Hussain   the enemy in thousands came crooked their cause, lowly their aim blinded by greed prepared their steeds to kill… ya Hussain…   the river…

what matters most

Posted on April 22, 2018

There is a surrender that happens at the peak of life, and another at the edge of death, and the two do not weigh the same. There is an abdication when the first glimmer of light is seen on the horizon, and another when the last glimmer is about to fade, and the day between them is not the same. And how you spend the day matters. It is said, “To be pious in one’s youth is the style of prophets; in old age even the cruel wolf gives up his cruelty.” What matters most is what you choose to do when you have everything to lose. What you choose to give up when it means the most to do so. When you decide,…