Dead Close Up.

Three days ago, my sister-in-law lost her father-in-law. I do not know much about him except what my SIL used to say about him. I met him on two occasions. Both the times, I found him to be a smiling man, with a lot of knowledge and seeking for more. I found him to be someone who recently discovered the sweetness of Faith. He had a good aura to him. He seemed fatherly to me.

He passed away three days ago. A sudden shocking death at the end of Friday prayers. An attack snatched his soul from his healthy body. He was never on medication.

Death doesn’t tell everyone and come.

I along with my husband’s family, went for condolence. His body was brought from the hospital to his wife’s maternal home. We went there. It was a big roomy old house.

As I entered the central room, there were women. His family and relatives. Sobbing. He was laid on a single cot, wrapped in clean white sheets. My heart trembled immensely. I had never seen a dead body. I saw him that day. They had uncle’s face uncovered. I couldn’t look at it. I just couldn’t. His wife sat beside him on a chair, crying inconsolably. Their daughter was sitting at their feet crying.

I did not ask my eyes to cry. The tears came on their own. I couldn’t look at uncle’s face above his nose. I just couldn’t see his eyes. Closed as they would be. He appeared as if he was asleep. I went and hugged aunty. I asked her to pray for him. And pray for herself too. For patience. I was crying from my heart. I didn’t care what anybody thought. I had met uncle only two weeks ago. Smiling and discussing how bad politics in the country had become. And now he was here lying before me. Not moving. I couldn’t take my eyes off aunty.

She was saying that he always gave strength to her, and now he himself weakened himself to death. Why?

As I sat a few chairs away, I was hoping with all my heart that uncle would get up and laugh and say Ha! Ha! I was just messing with you all. But he didn’t. He just lay there. Still. They covered his face with the sheet. And aunty kept crying.

You marry a man, with no idea about the future. You leave behind everything for a new beginning. You hold his hand, and mould into a lifestyle that syncs you both to perfection. And then one day Poof! He is gone.

When they lifted uncle to take him away for his last rituals, I wept again. Fresh tears. Where are you taking him? Why? Bring him back and ask him to wake up. Aunty needs him.

Later in the night, in the comfort of my bed, I couldn’t sleep. Death doesn’t scare me. You are going back where you came from. It is just what death does to those related that tears me apart. Everyone moves on though. Only those who really loved and cared would find a hole in their lives that no amount of consolation from anyone can fill it for them.





For a few days lately, my soul feels jailed inside my body. I cannot express this with anyone.


I have created such strong walls around me, and I have enclosed myself completely. The only One who knows everything is God Almighty. I don’t really know how, but step by step this concrete wall has grown very strong and very high.

I am feeling all this, because I was chasing a dream. I still am. I did all the work I could. Now it’s upto God. To fulfill the remaining half of it. I have been praying a year for it. Nothing has budged since then. My hopes are beginning to crumble. I am desperate. I cannot give up. I don’t want to give up. It is all I want right now. Since a year actually.

I am looking for one sign, one silver lining, one, just one thing that will tell me that it is going to work out. I dislike being kept in the dark. I hate darkness. I stumble till I find light.

Like I said, I fell in a pit long ago. I have to find a way out. It is so hard. Mostly, because I am counting completely on God to help me.  What my belief is, I did some things by my own judgement. I trapped myself in doing so. My rationale told me to rely on God. Because God never makes mistakes. So that’s what I did. That is what I am doing. I just have to have patience.


I have always had a lot patience. Heck, I lost a lot of things in my life because I decided to be patient and keep mum. Now I wish I had done something back then. This has totally messed up the concept of patience within me.

Usually I always have answers. God has always always answered my questions. My faith is unwavering. It is just this thing. That I want. That is not happening. And I need to know when and why.

I cannot explain, but there is this feeling of being like an uncomfortably stretched rubber band. It is going to snap. Horribly. And it is going to hurt. Terribly. But I want answers. Or things to happen.

Waiting is horrible.

I really need help. To get out of this gum. I am trying so hard, looking so deep. I cannot find the break I am looking for. I have literally no one who can do a thing about this except God.


Tunes of destruction….

I avoid listening to songs.

Since my childhood, my father has insisted on keeping us away from music and films, read bollywood. He gave religious reasons for this. Naturally, teenage is an exploratory age. I ventured on the other side. I listened to songs on my friends mp3 players and walkmans. Sara, Sumaiya, Safia and Shabnam, they must have hated me. I always took away their gadgets to hear songs whenever they brought them to school. Later I realised I should have my own. Saved up my pocket money and got a Geepas silver Walkman. Got my own headphones. I was even bold enough to tell my dad that I was listening to hip hop songs.
First I hit the english songs. They didn’t mean much to me. Just good tunes that help speed up my car while racing on the pc. They also helped the summer mornings. Radio 101.2 FM Bahrain. I even wrote a poem for the DJ !!!!!

Somehow, I crossed the threshold and fell on the other side. The side of the Hindi songs….. hindi songs built my world, and then, just like that, destroyed it.

I was a book reader. I still am. I love mysteries and thriller novels always caressed my heart. And somehow, when I couldn’t get my hands on them, I came across Romance novels. I shouldn’t have.

Romantic novels and hindi songs are a very deadly combination for a poet and wanderer like me.

See I am not a single layered person. I am A freaking deep ocean, that has layers and layers of depth. My soul is a jungle. So much of it is unexplored. I find a new side of me each day. And I don’t know if it has something to do with my gender or genes or I really don’t know what, but I yearn to be understood. All of my layers, I want to be understood.

Beech bhawar mein daale na
Aar rahi na paar gayi
Kuch ishq ki mauje le doobi
Kuch hijr ki andhi mar gayi

Tum jaane nahi ye dard mera
Ya jaan ke bhi anjaane ho
Tum jaane nahi ye dard mera
Ya jaan ke bhi anjaane ho

Ik pal yeh lage apne ho tum
Ik pal yeh lage begane ho

Everyone I knew was in love. I wasn’t. So I just stuck to songs. Sad songs. Of loneliness and betrayal. All my friends spread across the globe. They had a hand ahead in life. Somehow, I felt left behind. Way behind. There was not much I could do. I used to escape in the virtual world. Of poetry, racing and novels…and songs.


It took the voice of Adnan Sami, KK and Atif Aslam, to create that imaginary world in my head.

Meri neendo ki…khwabon ki…hai kasam…tu aaja…

And all of the Emraan Hashmi songs.

I despise them now. Because it is a lie. These are just fancy words of a lyricist, sung by someone with a gifted voice, musicians and better looking actor and actress. They don’t mean a freaking thing. It was all in my head. And it all shattered.

Woh lamhein…woh baatein

Koi na jaaney

ki kaisi raatein

ohh barsaatein

woh bheegi bheegi yaadein

You know, this is what I used to do. I had songs playing on my laptop or my walkman, I would be doing Accountancy balance sheet and stuff. And then some lines would tug at the threads of my heart. I would pen them down in a corner.

That stage of my life. I wish I could go back. And undo it. That stage of my life dug deep into my soul. Left a lot of places empty. Wandering hearts make great poetry. I wrote. A lot. I penned a lot of poems. To me they were filled with feelings.

Do pal rukaa..khwabon ka karwa…

Aur phir chal diye..tum kaha hum kahan…

I am trying to reminiscence now. It is disturbing me. I am unable to fight my emotions. I lost my internal war. Reality hits a person so hard. It hit me. Really very hard.

One fine day it all fell apart. Me. My dreams. My romantic thoughts. My ideas of ideal-ness.

Har khataaa…. ki hoti hai..

koi na koi saza..

ghum likhey ho khismat mei…

to bann hi jaati wajah…. 

I watched as everything shattered around me. Then I took a deep breath. Picked up and fought for what I wanted. Tried to fix everything back to how it was.

blown away.jpg

A mirror reflects clarity. When it breaks. You can try to fix it. But it is going to have its cracks. In my words : Mei tootey cheezon ko phekney ki qayil nahi hu. I fix things and continue.

But do you know? Things look much clearer now. Much clearer than when things were all well. I learnt. I fail at times. But I finally learnt to put my mind before my heart.

One fine night, amidst thunder and rain and darkness, amidst candle light and loneliness, I buried. I buried a part of me. I crushed that thirsty, wandering part of my soul beneath my feet. I crushed it with my knees. I let the light die. I watched it die. God knows my eyes swelled like balloons that night. But it was all worth it.

I am married in a house where songs are played often. Each tune that I used to hear in the past held different memories. Some of love, some of nostalgia and some of hate. When the new songs get played, they don’t mess with my heart anymore. A big high five to my brain for killing that part of my heart that used to do that, that used to mush me up. Even if the tune is way more romantic, loving or endearing. Nothing can mess with my heart.

Except. The old songs. Like today. I came down from the terrace and walked into my house, a food plate in my hand for feeding the kids. There was a song running on the tv.

hai kyu tadapp ..yeh kaisi saza

tu kyu mujhey aaj yaad agayaa.

teraaaaa…meraaa rishtaa…puranaaaa…

This song brought back all that. That flashback. It hits me everytime an old song comes along…Don’t mistake me for being hard hearted. I am not hard hearted. It is just that I have begun to take things at face value. No need to delve deep. No need to accelerate things. No need to mess.

I fell from each mountain that I climbed. But I got right back up and climbed another again. All thanks to God. I left behind the world of songs. Long Ago…A very long Ago….

Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Sataao
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Rulaao

Dil Badal Bane Aankhein Behne Lagi
Aahein Aise Uthein Jaise Aandhi Chalein
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Sataao
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Rulaao

Gum Le Ja Tere, Jo Bhi Tune Diye
Ya Phir Mujhko Bata, Inko Kaise Sahein
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Sataao
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Rulaao

Abb To Iss Manjar Se, Mujhko Chale Jana Hai
Jin Raahon Pe Mera Yaar Hai
Unn Raahon Ko Mujhse Paana Hai
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Sataao
Toh Phir Aao Mujhko Rulaao

No. Never again. Learnt my lesson the hardest way possible. Never going back to that part of the world. That part that lifts you to an imaginary world, and when you reach the summit, it kicks you real hard. You fall, face first down to the low mud, broken, defeated.
I will never give power to negativity, destruction or villains in my life. Never. Songs. Never. Anyone else play it. They won’t tear me up again. They have dried up the oceans of my tears.
Maybe dad shouldn’t have let me have my will. Or maybe on one of our trips, told me about falling prey to imaginary feelings that ruin happiness and peace. Maybe someday I shall sit with my kids in their teens and try to tell them about this facade-filled world. Where everything good is virtual and everything harsh is real.
Never. Songs, Never…….


What is a home? Where is a home?……

I was just scrolling through facebook, mindlessly. That is when I came across a very nostalgic video. It just broke the dam that was holding my emotional tears safely.

Ghar yaad aata hai mujhey…..

I miss home. That’s what it is supposed to mean. The first thing that flashed in front of my eyes, was my parental homes of Saudi. To me those homes are the closest meaning to home. We lived in different apartments. We changed a total of 5 houses. Each have their own nostalgic memories. Out of them one had my whole childhood.

Kehta hai roz mann mujhey…

Ghar yaad aata hai mujhey….

I miss that house the most. To me that was the most memorable home of my whole life. I went to school from that house. I learnt to read, write, use a computer, cycle, skate (yes I cycled and skated in KSA right through my teenage), rode buggies, jumped in the mud pools at school, made sand castles by the beach, flew kites at cornich, collected sea shells and hail stones, ran through the rain, enjoyed swinging away into the nights, counted the stars by lying on a mat….and so many more memories that I cannot even count.

Woh garmiyo ki raat…

Woh jaadey ki baat….

I miss those full blast a/c mornings. So comfy in the bed. Heck, me and bro sat playing Need For Speed on chairs wearing our blankets like huge coats.


The winters? The cold washroom seats…the orange heater light that never flickered. I used to wear a grey sweater, then my dad’s blue jacket that had a brown fur lining inside. I sat infront of the white rotating heater.

I miss those car rides. Those long family drives along the coast with the windows scrolled down, the wind blowing in, ruffling the fabric of my niqaab. And the drives with just me and dad, simple peaceful trips to the clinic or to the exam halls or for those accounts classes.

Sabh sataata hai mujhey…

Ghar yaad aata hai mujhey….

I gave it up. Me. I gave it up. In the name of Love. I gave up everything. Left behind everyone I loved and who I knew would love me back and be there always.


Chaah kar bhi waqt wapis mod nahi saktey.

Chah kar bhi waha nahi jaa saktey.

Chah kar bhi woh yaadein phirsei nahi jeesaktey.

Chah kar bhi laut nahi saktey waha….

I miss my brown blanket with white dots and brown flowers, and DIANA written in white on one corner.

Jin dino mei raha…

barso tak….

ek hissa unmei mera bhi tha….

phir waha rehna hai mujhey…..

ghar yaad aata hai mujhey…..

Even though I want to, I can’t turn back time. Can’t go back to that age, to that place, to those people, to my people. Home.

But according to the place I come from, a girl’s home isn’t her parents home. Her home is where she is married of to. Really? Wrong people. Wrong. There is no home in this world at all. Atleast that’s what I think.

What is a home? A place where you come to find peace and belonging…apnaapan. Maybe I can never find this feeling ever. I left my parental house to find my home in LOVE. I found a house. With people in it. But I didn’t find home….No I didn’t. I didn’t find a home.

Home was not with my parents. It is not in my spouse. It is not even in my kids. Where is my home?


Mujhko bata mera dar hai kaha maula…

Jogi bada mei…phirta rawa kinna…

I am so well aware, that peace, love or belonging is never found in a person or place. It is found in the self. Maybe some day I may look at this blog post and laugh. Or maybe would nod my head and continue to cry. Maybe, just maybe I want to find a place called home. Because I learnt home can’t be a person. No not at all. It has to be a place.


Bhatkna padega..

Pata nahi kabh thak…

Tabh thak ghar dhoondna hai..

Aur jabh thak…

Ghar yaad aata hai mujhey……

(  : Link to the video I came across on facebook)

Note: Non-italic lines are my own.

Drama Series: Tum Kon Piya?

I often watch TV serials/ dramas. Both Indian and Pakistani. It never mattered to me who is acting or how. What beholds my heart and eyes is the thought, and feelings centered in the series.

Among the many that I have watched and loved, I watched TUM KON PIYA?  (Who are you love?)


It is a completely heart wrenching story, based on a novel. I had my own questions about how things developed and eventually ended. But then I realised, they tried to make this as realistic as possible. And true, sometimes fate is cruel to even the nicest people on earth. The concept being that the afterlife is a Supreme court, that makes the best judgement in favour of the good over the evil. The evil is always defeated. Sometimes people get a chance to repent over their misdeeds. Some don’t.

That is what this story is about. A doting father, single handedly raising three beautiful, well-mannered and ethically strong girls. On the other hand, a prestige loving, affluent and money minded couple also happen to have a completely humane and loving son.

Elma and Ramish. Two people whose love isn’t normal infatuation. Their love is heavenly. You don’t have to be together to love someone. This is a kind of love of human life. Not love for beauty. But the words are PAKEEZAH (Pure) and Hamdardi (humane).

Due to the immense arrogance of his parents Ramish never gets to marry Elma. She is wedded into a family who has no value for her, except being a maid for them and saying yes all the time. Elma’s weakness angered me a lot. She didn’t stand up for her rights. Maybe some people are like that, soft and gentle, the world can trample over them. The moron she gets married to, Zarbab,  is understandably obedient to his slightly-wicked mother, but is shamefully cheating on his wife throughout the relationship. Not totally his fault. He couldn’t convince his mother to marry him to his lady love either. Sadly, I found the culture very unfair, where parents delve right into the matters of the heart thinking they know it all. All three families had the same concept here, the parents thought they were doing best for their children. It did appear like that for a while. But eventually a man lives with his woman. If he doesn’t like her because she is not his choice, then it is just a SAMJHAUTA (compromise). That totally defies the concept of marriage. But sadly, that is mostly how it turns out in the Asian subcontinent. No, I am not painting everyone with the same brush. But whenever this happens, it is truly heart breaking.

Elma never gets to marry to Ramish. The IZZAT (respect) that her father wanted her to live with was the very thing that destroyed her life. Her sisters stood by her side always. And Ramish never let anything come in between his humble nature of keeping up with promises. His big heart gave shoulder to so many weeping hearts.

Waqar Ali: The doting father. He brought up his daughters with good moral values, endurance and a high sense of humbleness. I truly admired his nature of holding self respect above and beyond money and greed and cheap talk. He taught his daughters only about love. Never about the evil around the world. Maybe that is why Elma couldn’t fight back. She just went on enduring everything.


Elma: She was the flower of the movie. The pure rose, very loving very caring. extremely obedient to every relation. Very humble and forgiving. I felt very bad for her. Her afterlife will be successful, but she endured a painful life.

Seema: Elma’s second sister. Fate was on her side. Her life moved on like a cream on the cake. Always caring for her father and sisters.

Neha: Emotional, strong, loving caring youngest sister. She sacrificed a lot too. She eventually married Ramish, sacrificing her dreams of love and her own family, just so that she can take care of her sister’s son Afnan and also being able to serve Ramish’s aging mother and father. All this in trying to return the immense favours endowed on them by Ramish.

Zarbab: The lover of Juveria, but husband of Elma. The most spine-less character in the series. A man who gets flowed away by other’s commands but unhappy because he doesn’t like where things are going. A man of no weight, no sense of responsibility. The only thing that held him good was utmost obedience to his mother. His punishment in the end: He lost his mother to cancer, his love Juveria destroyed him because he couldn’t fight for his love for her, his brother Arif destroyed his relation with his wife because he didn’t trust Elma, he could never think clearly, and in the end, his own son refused to accept him as his father.

Sharafat: Mother of Zarbab, Arif and Sobiya: A hardened woman, who brought up her children under tight financial situations that made her biased and extremely critical and controlling. She completely controlled Zarbab, ruining his marital life. Destroying trust, the concept of mother’s love, unfairness, in her fear of being abandoned in old age. Because of her partial love, she couldn’t nurture Arif well, who turned out to be a complete brat. When liver cancer hit her, she realised her mistakes, made it upto Elma, but died disturbed for her kids. She tightened finance on her children and made them count for every penny. In the end, when she needed money the most, she didn’t have any. To the point that her kids had to sell the house for her medication.

Sobiya: A good girl, obedient, a little naughty, but good natured.

Arif: A jealous, spoilt to the core brat. He completely disrespected his mother, betrayed his brother, completely destroyed Zarbab’s life. Didn’t let him marry Juveria, and then broke him and Elma apart. His punishment: his wife took all of his money, share in the house and abandoned him. Because of his deeds he ended up become insane, leading a painful life in the mental hospital, screaming at Elma and his mother to forgive him.

Juveria: A sharp minded modern girl, who loved Zarbab dearly. She did everything she could to win him, to fight for him. But everywhere she ran behind Zarbab, he only left her in the middle and ran away. It felt very nice in the end, when fate sided with her, she got a comfortable independent life and someone who was ready to hold her hand without hiding away.

Muzzaffar: Ramish’s father, utterly scheming, business minded, calculative. Someone who would go to any extent to what he wanted. He forced upon Waqar to divert Elma away from Ramish by degrading Waqar in the worst way possible. Everything that Waqar eventually did was to save his self-respect. It took Muzaffar too long to realise his mistakes. It took time him too long to realise that he had utterly ruined his son’s life and happiness.

Tamkanat: Ramish’s mother. A lady with only her head held way too high. Her words, her thoughts, her decisions worse than mud and dirt. She gets partially paralysed as her punishment. She eventually recovers, then decides to mend the life of her son which she broke apart.

Sumbul: A practical minded girl, who got attached to Ramish, but when she realised that his heart belonged to Elma, she strengthened herself and bid him well. I felt sorry for her. Her feelings were played with, only because of the arrogance of  Ramish’s parents,

Ramish Hassan: The true hero. An extremely well-played character. An example of humbleness. A rare gem that stood by for so many people who weren’t his own. His undying sacrifices to mend so many lives. His pure love for Elma, beyond the love of flesh or companionship. If people should be, they should be like him. Always there for those who need him. Him his priorities always sorted.

TUM KON PIYA: The question that Elma and Ramish want an answer for. The reason behind their pure love, that gives them strength in each other to fight in the jungles of their respective lives.

This series made me cry. I cried a lot. A lot. It moved so many strings of my heart. It made me want to be strong. It made me want love with all my heart. It made me want to stand up for the good and be harsh for the evil and not it creep in. It made me want to be humane. It made want to be righteous. It made want to do something for my parents. It made me want to love my life partner and give him all the happiness in the world. So that he shouldn’t have to wander lost in this cold world.


Movie: Congo(1995)

Tuesday was a dull day. Droopy winter afternoon, light-less room and health feeling down, it took a movie to charge me up. Swapping channels led me to a movie called Congo.

I love mysteries and adventures, and this was just the genre of the movie. It got me enthralled, with a tea cup in my hand the whole movie with my jaw dropped, I had a great time.

Its about a diamond mine near an active volcano that is protected by a species of vicious looking monkeys. They are more like gorillas. Their job: safeguard the mine.

But more than this, the movie was about feelings/emotions, pure and humane. The instinct to survive and to save in times of horror and peril.

The gorilla that has been petted, Amy, proves to love his caretaker as if he was his mother. Keeping her own fears aside, Amy fights the odds for his keeper. It also showed the undying bond that the keeper had with Amy, always by her side no matter what people say. He even put Amy before his life.

This movie also stood for human values. The lead lady is sent on a mission into the deep uninhabited jungles of Congo, Zaire. Supposedly to find out if her fiance/fellow colleague is alive. She and a team of skilled individuals, delve deep into the feared city of Zinj. There, they learn of the horrific deaths of the people who tried to reach the diamond mine. Including her fiance. A lot of their team members die at the hands of the scary-looking blood-thirsty gorillas, only due to the greed of the mine digging fellow team mate.

Greed is a horrid thing. It becomes even more deadly when it is held above human values. The archaeologist leads his fellow mates right into death’s mouth, only because he wanted the diamonds.

This movie was nicely directed. The entire movie circled around the mysterious city of Zinj. And the guardians of the mine. The horrifying death bodies reveal that they had seen something dangerous and scary. And really, the gorillas were so monstrous looking, they got me on goosebumps.

I don’t know if my write up would inspire anyone to watch the movie, but my whole point, is that the movie was a great one. I was totally engrossed.

My Tuesday evening ended with an awesome barbecue session  with my hubby, on the terrace, watching the sunset and a yummy chicken!!!!

Penning problems.

January 1, or actually January 2 12:00 a.m

I have been harboring a lot of blog posts in my head. I found it hard to find the time to type them down.

Its just been a new year beginning. They say if you build your present with the bricks of a tomorrow, then you aren’t building anything new. I am trying hard to begin not just each year, but also each month with a fresh start. Everything is alright except a few nagging issues. One of which has carried over to this year. My mobile phone is infested with a pathetic virus. I downloaded an antivirus, called Malwarebytes. This app detected a Trojan Spy Thief. Two files that I am unable to uninstall.

I have a Lava A79. Its not been even a full year since hubby gifted me this phone. Everything was fine until two months ago, I really don’t know what happened, I started getting pop up messages about strange game installations. A while later, these games started getting installed automatically. Scariest part happened, when I started recharging the balance of my phone. The game apps get installed an deducted 20 bucks straight out of my talktime balance.

This is utterly creepy. I am being charged for games that I haven’t installed by myself. It is like a plague.

Here is what I tried doing to solve the issue:
1) Looked up the internet for solutions. They don’t work. One solution was to put my phone on Safe Mode and then try to remove any unknown looking app. I tried. There is no unknown looking app in phone!
2) Transfered all of my photos and videos from my SD Card and formatted it. Then placed back my media on the SD Card.
3) Reset my PHONE!
4) Created new gmail ID for linking and syncing my phone.
5) I thought maybe my SD Card is infected. So removed my SD Card, making my phone dependent only on internal memory.


The other issue is, that our home wifi router is fixated in the hall. My room is the last one in the house. Very low connectivity in my room. It is very annoying that I cannot use the internet in the comfort of my room. I use my cellphone when I am not doing house chores. That is when I am in my room. It must be the most minor issue on this planet. But it frustrates me.
1) The modem/cable cannot be extended.
2) The router cannot be brought forward in the middle of the house, because it needs to be connected to the PC, which again cannot be moved from the hall.
3) The PC cannot be used for internet purposes, read Blogging, because it is toooo slow, either due to virus or I don’t know what other PC problem.
And oh, that low connectivity disappears to NO connectivity every night at or after around 11 pm.(I have to type my blog posts and post them later).

Hoping to find the solutions to these very soon. These tiny issues are like tiny worms, gnawing my a part of my brain slowly, driving me insane on mini step at a time.