Why can’t I touch happiness anymore?

Sweeta Durrani’s poignant reflections and poems describe her pain as a mother who had to flee from Afghanistan and was thereby separated from her children.

It was 3 hours and 25 minutes past midnight when I lifted my head from the pillow. I couldn’t sleep as the sound of raindrops kept hitting the window reminding me of years ago – how excited and how happy I was when it used to rain. The household used to echo from the sound of my childhood. Swansea rain hits differently from rain back home. 

I pulled back the curtain in the room to see what the raindrops wanted, why are they there and why is my heart so restless?  The heart of the sky, the rain, is also impatient and restless, and keeps my own heart company.

Dancing for Freedom: Silver Pendent designed by Sweeta Durrani

  1. Forced migrants are people who have been displaced from their countries of origin by war, lack of safety, and persecution and who are seeking sanctuary.  An asylum seeker is a person who has applied for refugee protection and is waiting to be granted refugee status. A refugee is someone who the government has decided meets the criteria for a refugee according to the 1951 UN convention on Refugees.

At one point in my life I could touch happiness, taste the rain droplets of love and family on my tongue. It has been 2 years 6 months and 3 days since I last saw my family. The rain here triggers depression. Perhaps it is because my family are not with me, perhaps it is the rain itself, but I cannot enjoy the rain as I once used to. 

For a moment I felt like picking up my phone and checking in. But I knew that if I opened Facebook I would only be met with news about Corona – the statistics, the death rate. Twitter would be the same. I turned on the radio hoping for something light to take my mind off of the rain. The 4am BBC World Service – the news was serious, new restrictions, more lockdowns and all the time corona, corona, corona.

I turned the radio off, grabbed a pillow, buried my face in it and cried with all my might. Each tear fell in sync with every raindrop – every hardship I endured, all the nostalgia and memories, the feeling of being useless, how empty I felt. 

I allowed myself to wallow for a moment. Then I got up again, turned on YouTube and put on my headphones so I wouldn’t disturb the neighbours (it was pre-sunrise after all). 

You came here from the city of sun, an old afghani song sang to me Az Shahre Korshid a song that I believe was written for me and my mother and my family, a song that matches the rain back home and covers the sound of the rain here. 

I danced with all the strength in my body. I danced so much that my soul flew. Little by little I disperse myself into the air and join my children, Saha and Mehran, they show up and lie next to me. It is with their image in my mind that I fall asleep. The raindrops lightly hit the glass and I gain strength to fight another day. 


I feel you

In every drop of rain

With great tenderness 

I see you

In the bright morning lights 

With glow-light 

I touch you

In the soft coastal sands 

With pristine nature

I catch you 

In the fresh morning air

With deep breaths 


I’m stuck inside an aquarium        

No reliance here. 

No ground to walk in.,

No sky to fly.                 

On the other side of the glass                

a precious part of me                 

Grows, gets taller                 

For years I have been struggling.                

I need to touch her hair,                

To kiss her face, 

To hug her body. 

This is a gradual death ,               

My silence an unheard cry.                  

Every moment 

this breaks down 

All the cells in my body.

No one knows, no one understands.                

On the other side of the screen, she is young, beautiful.

I’m stuck here, old and broken                 

Sweet Dreams

You are my 

Sweet dreams in the morning 

When I think of you 

I feel like 

A dandelion in the wind

Like dew for blooms 

the scent of jasmine

sunshine on a cold day

Gentleness after rains 

You are the

best feeling of my life

Sweeta Durrani

I am from Afghanistan. I came to the UK 2018, now I live in Swansea. I have two children (Mehran and Soha). I have a degree in Economics.  I am a jewellery designer. I designed the dancing for freedom pendant. It was the logo of my company:  a symbol of a woman’s freedom that I always fought for. My life has been full of ups and downs. I have been separated from my family for more than 2 years and worried about them all that time especially with the coronavirus. They are now in Pakistan. That’s why sometimes when I feel down just writing like short stories or poems makes me feel better. I hope that my family will come to join me soon.


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