I am not one for secrets, my spirited heart mischievously curious, has forever and always been open to new adventures. Its cheeky twinkle beckoned to doors unopened. One ancient rusty door, leading directly to my past which was very briefly opened but then promptly closed with firm hands definitively decisive. My colourful, vibrant memories of Pakistani lineage buried beneath dirty layers of racial stereotypes, gender disparity, religious hypocrisy and cultural repression. Yes of course, these lovely labels a cliché unfortunately rather true also. Would you believe the main perpetrators of this shameful distaste were my own biological family? Yes, you heard me correctly. My blood ties, my very own personal execution chair. JUDGE. JURY. EXECUTOR. All running through my gushing veins.
My only mistake: I fell in love. With whom? Should it matter? But, oh it certainly does to some.
My secrets undone today.
The humour behind this story, may not be amusing yet, but in time it will unfold as ludicrously hilarious. The thorns in my Romeo and Juilet-esque love story is no other than my villainous family. I would have thought, living in the United Kingdom in the 21st century would undo old historical ties to barbaric racist ideology but I was so wrong. This was no Hollywood movie where the credits would roll, then I would go on living a happy, peaceful life. Oh no. Not even in my dreams was I ready for this stormy awakening. I invite you into my vivacious world of insanity, to one day hear your thoughts. Unless, I really am the Madhatter and this isn’t reality at all.
Let’s begin with following the footprints in mud.
They will deliberately lead you to open a yellow door. Solidly strong in its silence it will stand. Amongst its breast, you will fall in love with a delightful charming garden basking proudly in mother natures beauty. Within this hidden gem mystical, you will hear the soft whispers of poetry. Undefined by the constraints of religion, culture, gender and beauty, you will meet a soul. Pure love in its heart. Open mindedness its brand unique. Laughter its secret remedy. Simplicity its message. And freedom its only one true desire. Beyond its layers of skin, its colour, its history or its memory. It is naked to its core. It hides behind no labels. It is unashamed to own its vulnerable insecurities. Unafraid of its failures as it is the only way, it knows it will learn growth. Flourishing in the knowledge that it is not defined by its historical disappointments. It can only move forward, one step each moment.
I embody this soul. I need no name.
I am not simply Pakistani.
I am not just a female.
I am not only a bloody Muslim.
I am not British alone.
I am not defined by my education, my employment, my wealth, my social standing, my material accumulations. I am NOT things that you can acquire as your property.
I am existence.
Once you see me, please take my loving embrace in altruism. I offer you only kindness and love. Nothing more. Nothing less. Beyond this honest encounter, you will find yourself standing in front of an enchanting river. The glistening coolness, inviting you with open arms. Don’t be afraid. Jump fearlessly as your journey has only begun. As you swim deep in this magical spell, you will awake to find yourself stood before a grand cherry tree. Open her bark door to grace the wind. He will greet you with a shy, smile small. His gentle nature enveloping your worries, a soothing sinking slowly into your soul. Take his warm hands, listen, breath, be still. He will guide you to light love, fall in love with his inner calmness. Dance to his heart beat, loud in the silence. He is my hero.
He is also another soul, seeking only the greater good.
He is not only Black.
He is not just American.
He is not a simple Man.
He is not a brainwashed convert.
He is not a product of his families past.
When you are fully nourished in his peaceful serenity, gather your strength. I warn you. Build your inner walls, firmly firm. Do not take down your armour as this next part of our star crossed love story is definitely not so peaceful. Hold his image in your heart and close your eyes tight. The whirlwind is coming for you. Even I do not, which door you will open. But open you will. Its just one of those moments. As the wind crashes in your deaf ears and your whole body trembles nervously, I remind you to find love in your heart. Then with a thud noisy, you will find yourself sinking in front of the watchful eyes of an aged oak door. Be quick on your feet, you cannot sink at this hurdle.
Behind this door you will find chaotic noise. It is the centuries old. This terror, stemming from long buried trauma. Trauma of poverty, born in the soil of a village in Pakistan. At the brink of war with India in 1947. Sadly, it began way before this. However, my memory unable to transcend beyond this. Trauma of slavery to the once mighty British empire. Trauma of deeply rooted religious differences. Trauma of separation from families that only forged patterns of patriarchy, power, superiority. Trauma of oppression to society, cultural binds and shameful buried secrets of violence, abuse and hatred. This is my villainous family. Behind its mask of civilities, educated post modernism, it really is an evil that lurks on the surface. All you need is to prod the sleeping beast, it will quickly ink you with its vicious claws. Its poison slowly killing you, yet you wont even know.
It is no secret, I was sexually abused as a child. Incest to be precise. I am mentally, emotionally, psychologically abused even until now. He was my biological brother. We are family. We were always Muslim. We lived in England. We are all educated professionals. Wait, you wonder where I am going with this? Well, these are the blood ties that call me to obey their demands of loyal honour. Yes, that’s my point. Behind this door are the horrors that guilt my heart into conformity. However, they don’t dare look in the mirror to see their inner guilt. An inherent hypocrisy breeding life into wounded souls. Here, we are at cross roads. My heart belongs to a beautiful soul. He is the flame burning my very own light. Then there is my blood song. My optimistic hope desires for their change but with each curve ball, my candle light is dimmed.
We are one of the same.
This is the sad reality that blind eyes fail to see. I was not born a white supremacist. But I was born into interracial racism. My light skin colour is of no significance. I am not above another. Long historical ideology of ‘whiteness’ deeming white as superior also runs in my bloodline. I choose not to ascribe to this. However, familial conformity rendering others ignorant. The serpent of hypocrisy lies dormant until its slumber is perturned by the unexpected. I poked it with my powerful, passionate love affair with a soul dipped in black ink. It wasnt deliberate, it was destined. It was the time to wake up and take ownership of our hideous truth. The polite niceities of religion falling apart the moment its cultural appropriation threatened. God no longer was gracing these paths as viciousness attacked, slandered and accused his character. Our giant mirror of lies cracking further. The earth beneath our feet dragging us closer to burning hell.
The mockery, you ask? Yes. We are stained in our own blood. Bleeding at the hands of daggers that we bury deep in each others hearts. Yet, we still find fault in others, justified with racist ideology, stereotypes fueling fear of the unknown. Choking in the cluthes of assumptions based on untruths unfounded. Drowning beneath pathetic layers of material consumption. And worst of all, living lies for the sake of cultural communal conformity, none of whom in reality give a fuck about us anyway. But you find yourself stained in this filth. The shrill enough to kill anyone. These echoes ring in my ears, even when I pray they fade.
He is not Pakistani.
How do we know if he is a true Muslim?
He does not speak our language.
He does not follow our customs.
He does not understand family.
He is not of high social standing.
He might be a murder.
He is not good enough.
Please take my hand, together we will exit this nightmare. The joke is on them. My soul loves his soul. Nothing else matters.
Let’s close this racist revolving door forever.
Farewell old family. Good day new one.