The Scenic Route

Dear friend, 


Two roads do diverge, at a certain point, in a yellow wood;

Do we take the one that calls out to us? Or do we take the one they all think we ‘should’?


Tie up your shoelaces; wrap up your headscarf: tonight and forever, may we always choose to take the scenic route.

Treacherous, at points, though the journey may be: may we battle all the elements, exhibit patience; the enchantment of the views will surely follow suit.


And it matters not how many have tread this path before us; it only matters that we commit to following our truths.

It matters not if we succumb to cliché, or if we are ‘different’; if we, at points, part with all considerations of rhyme,

For true beauty is not to be found in identical iterations, but in the order that can be found in utter chaos – if one chooses to look – to take the time.


Dear friend, 


You and I are not afraid of the dark, nor have we ever really been.

We surely have God to thank for this strength, and our own minds, and this, our wonderful Deen.


On the days when nothing at all is certain, the following things will undoubtedly call us home:

Darkness, the stars, Adhan, local mosque’s gold-and-blue panelled dome.


You are doing just fine, love. Even on the days when you struggle to get out of bed –

When meeting with the world again just doesn’t sound very enticing; when you would rather cease to exist instead.

And maybe depression will unfavourably make a bit of a comeback sometime soon; maybe the people will, again, simply not understand.

But this is the scenic route. [Like when, suddenly, in daytime, Hey, look! The moon!]: we have known its shores before, we have found ways to come to adore its sands.


Dear friend, 


Ideas of ‘smooth’ are quite boring; we were not made for that sort of life:

You take a slightly rotting apple, redefine it, give it new form through skilful use of carving knife.

We like the feel of friction, quickness, slowness, followed by the energy of a small breakthrough.

We are lovers of darkness and of light, of fields of yellow, and of oceans of blue –

alike. And as usual, it probably won’t make too much sense right now. These things only tend to truly come together

in retrospect.


Dear friend, 


The scenic route. Boots laced up, cloaked by the trees’ lowest branches. Rose-gold rings and splendid dark humour. And, Ameen, may we always be part of one another’s armour.

Sunglasses will decorate our eyes on some days; crystal tears, almost unstoppable, on others. But we rejoice in the fact that they are as much our own eyes on those latter days, as they were during the former.

Someday we will laugh at every single thing that did make us cry.

Standing atop mountains, the trail behind us, below us. It will all make sense: the why


Of every single heavy day; the shackles tied to our very minds,

All the twenty steps forwards, ten steps back. The feelings of progress; the unhappy rewinds.


My friend, you have always been, for me, an iron shield:

On the days when my mind felt like it was rotting; on the days when (in decay’s place) there were daisy fields.


And you and I belong right there – upon the scenic route.

On some days, our branches shall be cold and bare; on other days, we will bear much fruit.


But each day will be beautiful. Never boring – whether happy, empty, or melancholy,

I have been blessed: part of my armour is you, and the more fragmented landscape doth beckon me –


Moorlands, forests, and indented shores,

Peaks, and troughs, and muddiness galore!

And it need not be smoothened at all, not now, not ever:

It is we who must learn how to climb: in every season, amidst unfiltered sun, and right through gorgeous rainy weather.


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