Becoming the Islamabad Poetry Slam Champion, Pizza and the Winning Poem

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Hi Guys

Sorry for not posting in a while. I'm applying to grad schools WHILE doing my house job/residency so life's just getting a bit hectic than I had imagined it to be. Plus, applying to grad school involves a lot of crying and self hate.

So Last month, I won the Islamabad Poetry Slam and became the champion. When I started performing at slams regularly two years ago, I was already writing poetry. But it was after attending and interacting with other poets that I realized my poems were lacking something. They were personal, yes, but I think what my poems lacked was story-telling. They had the emotions, they just didn't have the story that created those emotions. So I started working on that.


At this fine April morning of the slam, i got into my blue shalwar qameez, and wore my denim jacket with black and white sneakers and decided I was gonna go and just see what the slam is like. I told my dad I just want to go to learn, and not compete. I had written my poem an hour before the bus for the city was leaving. I went to the venue a little early. I got there and had my pizza, and watched some 13 Reasons Why on Netflix on my phone. I was supposed to meet a writer friend there as well, whom I had encouraged to perform as well.

Anyway, long story short, I won. I was not expecting it. I became the Islamabad Poetry Slam champion.

What I learned is this - Stay humble and believe in yourself. Just go do that thing you have been wanting to do regardless of you being good or bad at it.

Here's my poem. Before you go ahead to read it, keep in mind that dentistry is becoming this HUGE part of my life now that i'm working as one. My writer brain is expanding and i've started incorporating the elements of the two paths to make this road that's just...not there.


Night Guard - A Poem


Every night before you go to be
You have a session where you think to yourself
of all the could have beens, and the should have beens.

Of all the dreams that lie submerged
That come out for air
Just then
Just when
Your body is about to go to sleep.

But with hopes, there's always fear.

Fear of missing out
Fear of standing out
Fear of being yourself
Fear of loving someone else.

Fear of Love.

Fear of being loved
And with that, fear of not being loved.

Your body doesn't know what your  heart and mind can do to it.
They're the ones who feel.
And the body is just a bottle of coke with mentos in it
when shaken
explodes in the most unexpected places

So you sleep
Unaware
That you grind your teeth.

See, the teeth are the hardest tissue in our body.
And they have their own structural innocence that is lost
As we grow, and they erupt.

And as we reach that stable point we think we've reached,
our teeth prove otherwise.

They lose their white coat,
and don stains of coffee and tea
some even erode,
Because our stomachs cannot handle what they see.

Broken dreams
Broken realities.
And how we've come to be

And just like that,
We lose our teeth.
We lose who we can be.

Not knowing
That the night guard the dentist prescribes is not for the safety of the relationship of our molars to each other
But our relationship to ourselves,
Our relationship to our fears,
Our relationship to our hopes,
Our relationship to our dreams.

So we can sleep
and dream
even when we're not asleep.

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1 comments

  1. AnonymousJune 06, 2017

    digesting your posts piece by piece. Its such a privilege getting to know you. seriously. Absolutely LOVE your poem. I dont think ive ever been able to read a poem and just been able to tap into something so quickly. like i always feel that its my life speaking.
    youre a gem!

    ReplyDelete