From Art to Heart
Six years ago, I met a doe-eyed Desi poet (who refused to call herself one then) on Instagram. When I scrolled through her posts, I noticed how passionate and considerate she was in voicing her thoughts with delicate words. And we instantly clicked, talking about everything from poems to life problems. I opened up to her about my first-ever written poems.
And even though they were as if written by a kindergarten child, she encouraged me, she supported me, and that’s what made me love her. She had probably seen many more extraordinary poems written by others, yet she still chose to help me, and through her, my words grew more and more beautiful with each conversation.
Three years ago, I received the news that left me in a state of complete devastation. Rahila Didi had gotten into an accident while riding her scooter during the kite festival. I refused to believe it. But as time passed on, the realisation dawned on me that she’d never reply to my messages sent asking if she’s okay. The realisation dawned on me that she wouldn’t respond to my informal poem drafts.
And our last conversation a few days before the accident was about how we had to meet up someday and have a debate over the many things we both are passionate about – poetry, life lessons, metaphors, female representatives, justice for the world. Little did we know the day would never come, at least not in this world. I hear people say “death is uncertain” often, but never did I actually believe those words until that day.
She’s one of the reasons I started posting my poetry on Instagram, which is why my poetry account exists. She encouraged me to do better. She’s an angel indeed. It’s still unbelievable that I won’t get to rant to her about my writers’ block, how she’d comfort me that it’s all-natural. She’s my greatest inspiration, and no words can describe how much she has inspired me to do better.
I’ll miss talking to her about how disgusting math is, about my past lovers, about how cats are better than people, and her comments on my posts. I know Allah has rewarded her Jannah (paradise), for she’s a soul loved by many. My dream is to publish my own book, and in case I accomplish my goal, I’ll make sure I dedicate it to her.
Rahla Usman. My angel and guider. An angel who protected fiercely and a guider who guided sincerely. Just knowing she existed in some part of the world, putting on smiles on people’s faces just like she put one on mine, was enough for my heart’s content.
Rahla Usman. A writer, an adventurer, a nature enthusiast, an animal lover. But most importantly, an inspiration. My inspiration.
Everybody wants to become a hero to someone—a father to his son, a teacher to his student. Everybody deserves a hero in their lives, and Rahla Usman became mine when she told me to write for myself before writing for others’ pleasure.
She taught me how other feelings are akin to ‘love’, which we often mistake for any different sort of immense emotions. Her words had a massive effect on me; I just had to listen. She was wise. From then on, I don’t blindly fall in love. I nudge, prod, and jab at my feelings. I question myself before admitting my feelings – is it really love? Or am I just longing for the attention?
She redefined my passion for art. Her words are like home to me. No matter how far I go in life, I will always return to reminisce the birth of my words within hers. Her death has taught me a lot of things, and one of the things is to express my feelings openly, to share my love evenly.
Most of the time, when someone dies, the person close to them starts reminiscing all their moments together and starts picturing the things they should’ve said to let them know about their feelings. This often results in them regretting not conveying their thoughts towards the other person earlier.
She has inspired me in ways nobody has, and I’ve always made sure she knew this. I always told her how much she encouraged me and how thankful I am to her, and I’m happy she knew that there’s a girl like me who is inspired by her.
This piece is dedicated to her, one of the most passionate women I know, to show the world my true inspiration and how great a writer she was.