Completely Baffled


Far-reaching and far-seeing is our soul. The only truth that exists. The invisible core.

We swim the oceans of confusion, skepticism and worldly distraction. We are addicted to pleasuring our ‘ego’. We are deafened by constant states of meaningless ‘noise’. In this noise we forget to see, to reach, and to touch. Yet the soul does this for us with such clarity, even though our rational minds may deny its existence. It makes us dance, write, sing, and paint involuntarily. We call these talents ‘gifts’ or attribute them to active cortical grey matter. But what about those individuals who lack so called ‘intelligence’, have an organic brain disease or an underdeveloped brain and do not display normal patterns of behavior, yet are profoundly talented artists, writers, visionaries, musicians or acutely sensitive empaths? There is something inside of us that is far more intelligent that our mere organic existence. A throbbing pulsating energy that is not alien to us, but closer to us than the jugular. We are proudly ignorant and we claim to be an ‘enlightened’ race?


These arms are far-reaching and far-seeing. We cannot begin to understand their visions unless we begin to let go of two dimensional thinking. Let us think in 5D or even in 7D….what is stopping us but the fear of the unknown. Let us envision parallel dimensions and multi-dimensional realms where anything is possible, where we can overcome any obstacle, where we live our ‘dream’ self and integrate it into our daily material lives. Let us try and let our soul walk beside us, rather than remain that ‘tiny inconspicuous inner voice’.

Let it all be silent. Hear nothing but your heart beat and follow the patterns. Flow with these songs, dances and rhythms till you are completely baffled. Paint like a blind man paints his dreams. The soul communicates to us strangely but honestly. Be not fearful, be not agitated when it speaks but simply follow the ancient rhythms until you are completely baffled.

Only then will you become completely aware.

©Ansul Noor
‘Letters to my Soul’
Author of Soul-Fire, A Different Kind of Garden, Sacred Hauntings and The Invisible Rose (coming soon)

The House


There is a house upon a hill.
Solitary does it stand and no bird sings.
No one knows the time and age of its darkened wood,
and the lane in which it stays forlorn has no name.
Aging vines of yesteryear climb with encroaching stealth,
and weeping willows shed tears upon the ashen grass.
The garden of neglect is quiet now and unkind weeds hiss.
The spirit of life in cobwebs is trapped,
and smiles in shadows of a past are seen.
Footsteps slight and voices frail,
are the dust that on the floor form,
a thin layer of antique thought.
The house throbs even though ages have gone by.
It still lives to see the light of joy.
It is ‘alive’ with a soul and heart,
and carries the heavy burden of memories,
in those splintered dusty arms.
Houses starve and cry and slowly die.
They feel and pray and hurt and fall.
In every grain of damp old wood,
there is a foreboding tale or secret love, entrapped.
The creaking doors in pensive moods lie awake,
and musty words in corners wait,
as unwary wanderer in this forest dim,
raps on the door in uneasy state.
Whispers from all places within do call!
The dust in clouds of welcome move;
“Come in dear wanderer on path unknown,”
“And I shall light a fire for thee,”
“Years have passed since I have lived,”
“And weary I have grown for speech.”
The wanderer with pale white face,
trembling hands and unsteady gaze,
with wild flight the path does take,
never to return to the lane with no name.
And so the house forlorn retreats yet again,
to the realm of loneliness.
In dying breath it wishfully hopes,
that wanderer true with pure intent,
will sooth its waning hopes to rest.

Ansul Noor
Book- Sacred Hauntings – A Supernatural Book of Poetry


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The King and His Four Wives


Long long ago in the times of the shifting sands and whispering desert winds, there lived a majestic king with his four wives in a dazzling ancient city of a bygone era.

He loved his first wife more than his life and lavished her with jewels from the highest mountains, satins and silks from far off lands and other exotic treasures beyond imagination. There was no gem or precious Attar that she did not own. She was also given the most luxurious and ornate castle to live in. She spent her life in decadence and splendor.

He loved his second wife more than anything and could never be without her. He took her with him on all his travels to other lands. She accompanied him everywhere and both were inseparable. She was given a splendid castle adorned with the most breathtaking garden that existed.

He respected and admired his third wife very much, and did not make any decision without consulting her first. She accompanied him to all important meetings, announcements and proclamations. The king did not budge unless he had her approval. She resided in a stately mansion with a fine stable.

Now the fourth wife, well, the king did not love her one bit. He had forgotten she existed. She became his shadow; a nameless, faceless, voiceless speck of existence. She gradually became forlorn, frail, lost her health and sat in the corner of a bleak and cold room that had no windows. Her clothes were tattered, her feet fissured, her limbs skeletal, her face like a pale sheet, the color of a waning moon. She lived in that bleak unforgiving cell all her life. A dark damp room where pockets of musty air hung listlessly.

But she loved the king most of all and she loved him selflessly.

Years swept by and king was now an old sickly man. He knew his time of death approached like a wolf waiting eagerly upon a wounded prey. But he was scared of being alone and unloved. So he declared that when he dies, his body must be buried with one of his wives, so that he won’t be alone and unloved.

He asked his first and most beloved wife if she wanted to be buried with him.

She vehemently denied and said that she can never give up this grand lifestyle and be expected to lie under a pile of dirt! She further added that she will immediately remarry after his departure from this world.

The king was heartbroken beyond words.

He asked his second lovely wife the same. She shook her head disapprovingly and told him that this was impossible as she still has many more lands to see and discover and it would be such a waste of time to lie under that very same spot with him for eternity. She scolded him for suggesting such a vile and selfish thing!

The king sighed and quietly left.

He now approached the third most respected wife and asked her the same. She was sympathetic and for a while, reflected thoughtfully upon his question. After a brief pause she told him that she will agree to be with him and give him company after his death, but only till the edge of the grave, not within it. In a demure and gentle manner, she told him that his idea was highly impractical, one that would result in the premature end of a useful life- namely hers. Also, there must be someone to look after the internal and external affairs of the kingdom once he is gone. But she agreed to do her best, make all the necessary burial arrangements and be by his grave side until the dark earth envelops him.

The poor king said nothing, but looked gaunt and rather hopeless.

He slowly retreated to his castle- and was now a completely broken man.

A tiny, faint voice from far away drifted up and through the marbled hallways and was heard by the king.

“I agree to be buried with you my beloved husband, I cannot imagine this life without you, and it will be my greatest joy to lie eternally beside you.”

The king hurried towards the voice and to his horror saw a skeletal and wasted woman standing in one of the cells in the cold dungeons below.

She was his fourth wife, the queen he never bothered to know or love.

He looked at her and wept a river of tears. How foolish he was. All his life he neglected this sacred and loving woman. How cruel he was to let this kind, generous woman starve away in a cold dark cell. If only once he had looked her way. If only once he had given her a tender touch.

If only…

She was the only one who loved him purely. He wept until inner oceans overflowed, but alas, it was too late.

The king died the next day and his fourth wife was buried next to him.

But she was happy as she lay beside him forever more…

First Wife:Your Body
Second Wife: Your Heart
Third Wife: Your Mind
Fourth Wife: Your Soul

An Adaptation of a Parable
By Ansul Noor
All Rights Reserved

The Ant


Once upon a time there was an Ant.
And towards the horizon it did stroll.
It never felt the path but simply walked,
blissfully oblivious of the casting shadow.

The Ant did walk,
and the shadow waited.
Now both in silent murmurs talked…..all the while Horizon watched.

Ant cried: “Eeeeee”
Shadow welcomed: “Oooooo”
Ant gasped: “Eeeeeeee”
Shadow smiled: “Oooooooo”
Ant smirked: “Eeeeeeeeeeeee”
Shadow warned : “Ooooooooooooo”

The forest stilled. The mountains slept. The clouds softly peered. The rivers leapt.

Horizon rose and spoke to Ant: “Why must you walk the path in daze, when truths are found right under your nose?”

And now the Ant did wonder why….and saw the shadow that it cast….

Alas, it saw the truer path….

Ansul 1998
‘Ant Tales’

The Awareness Plant

Reprint from Sedona Times Newspaper , October 29th 2009, originally written in October 1999

There is really no intellect involved in structuring this statement. The illuminating reason for this discussion stems from the total belief in impermanence. It forms a solid foundation for building inner tranquility.

When we are young and our thoughts are just a seed, we remain in a state of care-free oblivion. We don’t even feel the need to germinate. But, as time walks forward, the saplings reach upward. The more they reach upward, the deeper the roots gain grip of the deep earth beneath.

Therefore, awareness grows bidirectionally- and this is how the buds of realization begin.

The plant of self-realization follows an individually random growth pattern. It may take months, years or a lifetime to blossom into the petals of wisdom. Many variables are involved in this self-evolutionary process. Some variables can be controlled such as our ability as human beings to learn, adapt, rationalize, make conscious decisions, evaluate and analyze. These remarkable innate forces enable our species to maintain internal homeostasis under enormous emotional, physical and spiritual challenges.

Slowly, over time, we develop the ability to bend destiny and fate. Yes, it can be done, and don’t let the critics tell you otherwise.

We all make mistakes, we are not perfect and we are certainly not completely ever sane. But with time, we learn to categorize and classify our mistakes. We learn to transform negative experiences into positive feelings and elevate our ‘self’ by setting new standards of belief, by letting in change. We take practical steps by evaluating the situation at hand and letting our inner voice become our strongest guide. It’s a constant evolution- no one ever said it would be easy. Instead of letting our emotions run haywire, we are now able to mold our actions and show them a productive and constructive path.

We are the custodians of our emotions, our reactions and decisions. Only we can ‘tame’ ourselves. One untamed human being devoid of a conscience can wreak havoc on millions.

We must strive to evolve.

Wisdom brings change.

Acceptance of the inevitable is one such change. Dealing with loss, sorrow, illness, pain, poverty and daily life events in a positive manner is another whisper of wisdom.

When dealing with life-threatening or life altering situations, we are now able to deal with it- something which we were unable to do before.

We now view life as a natural progression of events with impermanent consequences. Death is the only permanent fact, or is it?


I have noticed these subtle changes. The slow metamorphosis. I don’t fight it anymore, or deny impermanence. I accept it. Perhaps now I am the plant, reaching upward, up into the sky where my true home lies. I am growing outwardly and inwardly. Without self-realization we will perish in the fires of confusion, ignorance and enter into the viscous cycle of regression.

We must never allow ourselves to regress. Whatever the obstacle, the handicap, or the level of difficulty, we must never allow ourselves to fall into the static trap of self-pity. Life is precious because it is fragile.

If we allow ourselves to remain in a loop of unchangeability, we will definitely shrivel and wither away. The roots will dry out, the stems will weaken, the blooming will never occur.

As soon as you start feeling the inner universe vibrating; tune in, listen, release yourself from all worldly preoccupations and let the leaves soak in the buds of wisdom. Don’t fight the change, rather welcome it. At first it might seem that you are entering a new realm, an unknown dimension, it might seem apocalyptic;but in actuality it is the opposite. It is peace trying to sustain your conscience and your unconscious world. Embrace the change humbly for true wisdom is remarkably humble. We cannot be wise unless we are tolerant to change.

Suddenly, I feel that this life has shrunken and fits neatly into the palm of my hand. The inner eye is now open. The flower blooms and the petals disperse themselves into the air like wisps of incandescent joy.

Birth, death, death-birth, after-life, all beautifully impermanent.

Why spend our days living in a spiritual drought when we can spend it watering the plant of self-awareness.

Why let this plant die and wither away only because we are bound by ego, consumed by negativity, or chained to conventional thinking?

Nothing is permanent- this is what makes life, this moment, this magnanimous second so precious.

Oh…..I can see it……the plant is now about to bloom.

Ansul Noor
Author of Soul-Fire A Mystical Journey through Poetry

Head – Heart

There’s a yearning to dance
And thus create a whirlwind
Yet the beloved is not around
To partake of the ecstasy
Because the only time given is the present
I did and do dance in the head – heart
Albeit intermittently
When I pause for breath
There’s agitation of the head – heart
That time is limited
In the sea of timelessness
So I asked the beloved
What next
Where do we go from here?

Asad Mian

About the Author

Asad Mian MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the Aga Khan University. He developed the Biloongra series of bilingual books for children, a venture that started in Houston in collaboration with Bookgroup. He is a regular contributor to the Houston Inner Looper and the Express Tribune newspapers. He is author of ‘An Itinerant Observer’, published in the US and available through Amazon and Liberty Books.

Asad tweets as @amian74 ( and blogs at


Yesterday I wanted to ask
The beloved for some understanding
But I wasn’t quite sure how
So with a heavy heart and heavier eyes
I walked into my garden

It was raining outside

To seek refuge
I walked to the side of my house
I had the urge to run my hand
Against the wall of my house
It’s a rough brick veneer

It gave me the earthiest sensation

It grounded me
And it curbed the downpour
I looked up at the sky
And then I let my heart approach the beloved
Today I got the answer

Asad Mian

The Hike


How easily we communicate our thoughts through writing or art. We just pick up a pen or a brush and we are on our way.

What about the days when the human race could not write or paint?


Clouds billowed above me and the skies were tinted a purplish blue as winds picked up from the North – it seemed like a brittle wintery wind from New Mexico was sweeping over the Northern Arizona landscape. The mountains and rivers beckoned and enticed me. The air wore the scent of an approaching storm. The landscape blossomed and gleamed. Despite the warnings, I headed out to seek magic, because one never knows what marvels lay in wait for those who seek.

I put on my hiking shoes and loaded my knapsack with goodies and water. I was ready to brave the unknown. It was a good one hour drive from my place to the Petroglyph Heritage site in Sedona, Arizona. I had heard of this mysterious place from friends who were members of the local archaeological society.

Sedona is a rugged ancient city that is circled by giant Red Rocks (sandstone and limestone) that are rich in iron deposits. You can always expect the unexpected in this sleepy little Western city that is tucked away in the far corner of Northern Arizona. Hundreds of secret canyons, unexplored trails, desert forests and caves form the heart of this strange and mystical city which is also a haven for New Agers, Peace Seekers and Mystics. It’s interesting how the Cedar and Mesquite trees gravitate towards the Vortex hot spots of the Red Rocks; the trunks are twisted and gnarled as if struck by some unseen force. Locals say that the powerful Vortexes are the reason why the tree trunks are twisted in such a bizarre fashion. There is much speculation about the so called Vortexes of Sedona. It is indeed one of the most beautiful places in the world mainly because of its untouched, unique and diverse landscape. They say that a Vortex can be felt and never seen. Many theories and legends surround the mystery of the Vortexes. The most accepted theory is that a Vortex is a circling of spiritual energy that radiates from the core of the earth itself. There is a masculine and feminine component to the energy that reflects the masculine and feminine sides of human existence. The energy is said to have different effects on different people. Every experience is unique, which is what lends this place an enchanting Camelot-like feel. There is vibrational stillness to this place. When you stand in a hot spot you will know it. There is ultimate tranquillity. The shape-changing vistas might startle you at first. The Red Rocks seem to change many times a day. They never look the same. They are alive. They all have faces. It is an incredibly humbling experience. As a friend of mine once said, “Here, I and the Raven become one.”

Here in the pristine solitude of Nature you will be reborn.

And so I arrived at the V-Bar-V, Petroglyph site in Sedona.

I was speechless. Tall ancient trees, dark clouds looming above and winding paths leading to nowhere. I started the hike by emptying my mind of all thoughts thus allowing the spirit guides to show me the way.

I was now walking with the spirit guides of the Hopi and Sinagua tribes that inhabited this area thousands of years ago. I felt unusually energized and joyful – like I was going home. Strange. There was a sense of wild abandon as you hiked this ancient trail. I felt rejuvenated. As me and a few other fellow hikers climbed towards a steadily narrowing path the trees canopied above us and a gentle stream gave us company.


After about an hour of moderate level hiking we arrived at a dead end – abruptly.

There in full view were layers of red rock, angularly cut, hidden deep within the canopy of trees. For a few moments we just stood there – mesmerized. The rich golden-red-ochre colors against the canvas of green was like we were all standing in a living breathing painting. The surreal landscape was painted by an invisible hand. But, the real journey had just begun.

At first I thought it was an extension of Red Rock country, until you peered closely. In a few moments the initial surprise was tamed by curiosity. Slowly but surely I saw it. An ancient canvas of rock. Shapes, figures and symbols started dancing around me and after a while I was encircled by a symphony of symbols. I was here. This was it. This was the site where the ancients painted their dreams onto the natural canvas. I took out my camera and started clicking away, trying my best to capture every bit of this natural wonder. After the first few clicks, I realized that I should stop and pay homage to these ancient artists who had taken great pains to record their lives for us to see. It is then that the symbols started to talk. Every inch of this rock canvas had a story to tell and every story was nothing like the other. They were almost one thousand petroglyphs divided onto thirteen rock panels (almost like chapters of a book).


It became clear that the ancient tribes that dwelled here were ‘dry farmers’ and ‘gatherers’. Geometric symbols were a dominant part of the pictographs and petroglyphs. One could almost envision an ancient irrigation system of some sort that connected a river source to the rest of the farmland. Ploughs, fork like objects were another prominent feature, indicating the existence of farming practices. hike_3

I then noticed a whorl-like symbol that either could be indicative of a Vortex or as many experts say, it is the representation of the Winter Solstice, an important event in the lives of these peoples who depended on the crops for sustenance.

Another interesting feature of these petroglyphs was the abundance of animal symbols. In every rock chapter I noticed figures of coyotes, deer, antelope, rabbits, lizards, snakes, mountain lions and other wildlife scattered in or around the geometric motifs. Yellow-ochre, sky-blue and deep brown pigments had been used to accentuate certain features, whilst other drawings were simply chiselled into the rock using specific implements.

Rock drawings can be found in various sites all over the globe – perhaps your region has one?

This was their life story that they painstakingly wrote for us to see. This was the book of their life and these symbols were their letters through which they could mark important events and record history as they knew it. This was a story ‘before’ writing and every word was a powerful reminder that the human race is a creative one that itches to tell their tale.


Every story is worthy of respect and every story is worthy of being told. One does not have to be an expert, or a bestselling author or a celebrated painter, all one needs is a burning passion and the deep desire to tell a story.

Pictographs and petroglyphs are considered primitive forms of art, but to me they hold profound messages from a race of people who lived purely, bravely and truly. They respected Mother Earth, ate from the bounty provided, were not greedy and listened to their inner voices. They were the original storytellers who pined to tell their tales even if it be in the form of rock drawings. They saw magic in everyday life. To me, this ‘rock’ book was a bestseller.

I learned so much in just those few hours. The ancient ones unknowingly inspired me forever.

What story will this generation of humans leave behind?

Ansul Noor

Copyrights – 2015

The Animal Within


‘Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains’- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract)

I am sure many of you have experienced this feeling-one of being drawn to certain types of animals, certain wild and ancient places and the yearning to return to a simpler way of life.

I have experienced this ever since I was a very young child. Growing up in big bustling cities where one is surrounded by throngs of nameless and faceless city dwellers, one yearns for simplicity, sincerity, and most of all peace.

In this connected world- we remain disconnected. In a city of millions- the heart is forlorn. We remain clueless and lack inner joy, even though we have it all, we remain ‘poor’. We have reached the pinnacle of success, yet we feel ‘empty’. Something is missing- yet we cannot identify it.

The yearning begins- an ancient calling to connect to the wilderness within and the one that lies beyond.

If you let yourself become calmer, listen to the tiny voice within, you will soon realize that the REAL you has never really emerged. It is dormant, like a seed waiting to germinate. It takes a lot to know your ‘self’. Often a lifetime of searching is required until your reach that sincere spot of self-realization where the REAL you resides.

However, the moment of realization can either be spontaneous, like a flash flood, or one that slowly advances, like a patient glacier. Time is of no relevance, since the soul does not know time. Curiosity is the fuel that keeps the mind wondering and the heart alight. Slowly the soul emerges and starts to walk beside you, like an honest friend, guiding you to connect to your true self.

Native peoples and tribes around the world have never doubted this power- The Power of Nature & Animals. It is the only truthful source of life and learning. It is a pre-historic guide, predating religion, culture and civilization itself. It is one that we fail to accept or recognize either because we cannot understand it, or, we are too immersed in the drudgery of daily life. Often, to learn something, we must first unlearn, only then can true knowledge be attainted.

Perhaps some of you have noticed that when you sit alone by yourself, mind uncluttered and senses released, you start ‘seeing’, ‘feeling’, and ‘absorbing’ more acutely. The same backyard becomes a magical place where anything can happen. When you free your mind of useless clutter, you will attune yourself to the sounds that really matter.

I’m sure many of you will relate to this incident, one of many that I have experienced. An experience no book can ever teach me-one that is pristine, inspiring and mysteriously revealing.

I remember that day vividly. It was a cool September afternoon, as I was sipping herbal tea on my porch, that I heard a swooshing sound behind me.

I did not move, yet my thoughts raced. I could not decipher the nature or source of this sudden shuffling swooshing sound.

Few minutes lapsed.

There in front of me, proudly perched on the branch of a Pine tree, was a majestic Hawk. It eyed me carefully. It wanted to show me something, I did not know what, but it just sat there, looking at me intently. An hour passed and the glorious Hawk just sat there, watching over me and my mountain side house.

A spirit guardian?

The watchful one?

A protector?

It was an inspiring moment. I felt an instant connection to my wild and beautiful feathered friend. It was as if it had come to spend the afternoon with me- comforting me in my quietest hour. A sign to the weary mind that ‘you are not alone’.

Animal totems are an important aspect of our spiritual life and this is where we really start connecting to our REAL selves. ‘Anima’, from which the word Animal is derived, literally means ‘The Breath of Life’ or ‘The Soul’. Therefore connecting to our animal side is pertinent to spiritual progression.

These days one can goggle anything, but I speak from a highly personal perspective. It is these personal experiences that create real time awareness. Every experience is worthy of respect and recognition since every experience is unique.

There are many known types of Animal Totems. Some help you balance your daily life and provide practical answers to more mundane dilemmas. Other Totems are spiritual and mental guides- adding richness and wisdom to your spiritual self.

the animal with pic

There are numerous books on Animal Totems- find one which you feel is right for you.

I have complied these questions, see if you are connected to your animal side:

  • Do you feel drawn to a certain animal?
  • Are there times that you feel you are living an empty and disconnected life and as soon as your pet comes and lays in your lap- these feelings vanish and you feel calm and relaxed?
  • You have vivid dreams of jungles, green pastures, and see creatures and animals congregating around you and providing counsel.
  • You have felt that animals are your friends, or even your mystic teachers.
  • You respect, honor and love wildlife.
  • You feel sad when you see harm come to an animal.
  • There is always a part of you that connects to various animal traits; you can identify yourself with certain animals.
  • You abhor animal cruelty and feel that harming an animal is the greatest sin of all.
  • You revere animals and all life is sacred to you.
  • Wildlife inspires you more than anything else and the allure does not fade.

Have you discovered your animal totem yet?

Ansul Noor


Nameless Faceless - Painting by Ishrath Humairah

I was put in Jail for a crime I did not commit. For no fault of my own, I was imprisoned, tortured and ridiculed ever since I can remember. My only joy rested upon a tiny ray of hope that filtered through the window of my dismal cell. It caressed my cheeks as I lay listlessly in the bare two dimensional room, showing me more tenderness than anything or anyone I had ever known.

It is that very ray of singular hope that sustains me. It is the only meal I need to survive.

As a child, I remember only one emotion animating my existence; it was selfless love. I innately adored, befriended and loved anyone I met. My earliest memory is one of wanting to give gifts to other kids. I was acutely sensitive to my surroundings and sensed things others did not. Would I be considered egotistical or vain if I were to say that I was an intuitive child? Or is that also a part of my condition? After so many years of confinement, reality seems unreal. But, yes, I was a sensitive soul.

I was also a trusting child, never suspecting anyone, only believing in the goodness of humanity. Was I naïve to think so? I wonder.

You are born pure and sincere but this judging world starts to creep upon you, soon enveloping you with poisonous vines. You try and escape from this deadly grasp, but soon, you are helpless, trapped and suffocated by the tight unforgiving grip.

You try to escape- it’s not easy.

Early on in my childhood I realized that I was different. Whilst all the other kids were fooling around, I was memorizing numbers, learning the capitols of the world, solving mathematical puzzles and humming complicated tunes. I felt alienated because whenever I tried to convey these interesting and exciting facts to those around me, they would all make fun of me or call me weird. I was deeply hurt and confused, since to me, these amazing facts and figures engrossed me completely, so I could not understand the premise of this untoward backlash.

Slowly, over time, I became somewhat of a loner. Yet, I still tried to win friends over by giving them my toys, hoping against hope that perhaps they will not make fun of me if I appease them.

This plan of mine worked, but was short lived. Soon they became bored with the toys and the friendships became a facade, where I was the gullible clown who had nothing to offer but my toys. No one really bothered to know the ‘real’ me.

At a time and in a country where there were no schools or institutions for ‘gifted’ or ‘special’ children, I was enrolled into a school that all the other so called ‘normal’ kids attended. Come to think of it, these so called ‘normal’ kids were the ones who displayed an abnormal fascination for putting someone down.

I excelled in academics, got straight A’s in Science and Arts. It was never proud and I never wanted to be a Mensa kid, but I was intensely curious about life, about the natural world, about the cosmos, about everything. It was simple as that. But they found yet another excuse to poke fun at me. “Oh there goes that weirdo.” The whispers pierced my eardrums.

Wildlife, geography, history, science, there were so many facts I yearned to share with others. But no one cared; they only stared.

My intelligent mind learned to cope with the cruel glances and thoughtless comments. I simply used to smile, shy away and tried hard to completely forget the incident- but how can one forget a cruel remark? It was interesting how I started developing self-coping techniques to block out negativity by constantly repeating the lyrics of my favorite song silently in my head. This was a useful trick that prevented me from being inwardly hurt on a daily basis. It was a part of my survival kit. It worked, for a while at least.

I noticed something odd. I could hear sounds and voices from long distances. At first this startled me, then, I gradually became used to this extra-sensory perception, if one can call it that. I also perceived colors and objects differently. Often, I saw a spectrum of hues in an otherwise apparently barren landscape. I floated upon a grand sea of curiosity and life seemed so beautiful when I was immersed in books. I could enter in and out of this imaginary world where people were kind and the sun shone bright. Actually, until today, I still do not understand why people judged or ridiculed me. I had not hurt a fly in my entire life.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking to myself that perhaps they perceived life a bit differently than I did. What appeared normal or interesting to me, was inconsequential to them. We are all unique individuals and so we all perceive life differently. I still think that the world is a beautiful place, where every single person is gifted in some way or the other. Labeling or judging someone is simply an act of ignorance and supreme cruelty. One can never fathom the complexities of another mind, therefore it is wrong to judge another indiscriminately.

But then, I’m branded a weirdo, a loner, a derelict of normal society, so who really cares about what I think.

As the years progressed, my boisterous enthusiasm became jaded by intermittent and inexplicable bouts of melancholia and fatigue. At first I thought I was unwell and that there was something wrong with me. I went for a full check-up and was given a clean bill of health.

This was mystifying and highly disturbing. Because now, I had started doubting myself.

Rather insidiously, I noticed that I was unable to concentrate in class. I felt that everyone was staring at me. One day it became so bad, that I ran out of class and sat in the hallway with my head bent down. I tried to figure out what was happening to me, I was dumbfounded and lost at sea.

The new semester ushered in a new me. An introverted and wounded person with no lust for life. Ignorance is a monstrous thing only because it makes an angel look like a demon where there is none. I started to sit at the far back end bench of the classroom, away from crowd, away from the steely eyed looks, away from it all.

Years passed and my energy waned, gradually the spark within me faded, and the ability to hold a normal conversation died.

I was born inexhaustibly happy, but now I am inexhaustibly sad. An unending cloud of darkness hovers above my head, erasing the last speck of hope in me.

Family, friends, acquaintances…..have all become nameless, faceless, hollow masks that I cannot and perhaps do not want to recognize. I’m afraid of what I might find behind the mask. They failed to ‘see’ the real me, so now, I do not care to ‘see’ them. I have become an anonymous shadow – the shadow that is me.

Very soon, I was forgotten by the world.

Mental illness is a jail sentence for the one who suffers.

There is a small window that occasionally allows in brilliant dots of light.

And when those brilliant dots illuminate the dark shadows, they reveal profound depths that are so very beautiful. It’s like walking into a dark dull cave by candle-light. Look up and you will be dazzled by undiscovered uncut diamonds that are waiting to be found.

But how many of us really care or dare to care?

Unfortunately, even now, in our enlightened age, people stigmatize those with mental or other poorly understood illnesses. They fail to understand that this condition can be treated and like any other affliction can be managed by proper intervention.

The most important aspect of this malady is lack of awareness leading to lack of compassion.

Very often, people are misdiagnosed and treated unfairly by the medical community itself leading to mismanagement or to a complete lack of management.

Mental facilities are notorious for treating their patients like inmates.

The result is the wasting of a precious human life.

So folks, my story was not penned to gain sympathy or win approval and certainly not written to gain popularity. I am already serving a life sentence for a crime I did not commit.

But, I penned this story because I wanted other’s to know that they should not judge someone because they look or behave ‘differently’. They should never let go of their humanity and keep the candle of compassion burning. If you notice that someone is sad, alone or perhaps just needing a moment of your time, try to reach out and comfort them, instead of shrugging your shoulders and walking away. It’s so easy to walk away.

We are all beautiful unique individuals. We each have so much to offer.

Keep someone from serving a lifetime of solitary confinement.

Help someone escape from the prison of mental illness.

Most importantly, hold on to your compassion, it’s the only emotion worth anything.

Are you ready to walk into the cave and save a lost diamond?

-The Shadow that is Me-
Dedicated to a childhood friend.
By Dr.Ansul Noor
2015 – Copyrights

Image Credit: Nameless Faceless – An abstract painting by Ishrath Humairah