Pandemic Memoirs~2020

Allah created a beautiful world and handed it as a supreme gift to mankind but
Alas! Mankind perhaps has tried to be Man King. This is a constantly changing world, migration displacement,wars,freedom,protests,human rights violations, racism?
Writing about Life, gratitude, family, beyond the normal and remembrance of the Supreme Creator, the purpose of this Blog has moved on in the form of stories,poems and anecdotes.

As miracles happen all the time, and nature speaks to us let us be grateful listeners and gather joyful learning memories that may sustain our spirits as we look back and read later on.

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March the 20th marks the beginning of our lock down period.The following days were strange, fearful,anxious, scary and panic filled at times yet not intensely isolated due to the presence of digital contraptions,we were connected with the world, but the world was not connected with us.

In January we had sold our troubling car, it had given its lifetime service to our family.Walking to the nearby market for groceries was already the practice as if God was preparing us for the coming event.The only marked difference was that the atmosphere inside the house had an aroma of dettol disinfectant. Taking off shoes just inside the main entrance had become a forced conscious habit, previously totally ignored. Home felt like a neat clean home, as the slogan became common, “as safe as houses, as sweet as home”
With children married and living a retired life we were already in semi isolation and with the giving away of our personal car we were in a state of quarantine, though a willing one.

The holy month of fasting was peaceful and gave profound opportunity of prayer and meditation.

A grandson turned 14 and the occasion became the first “whatsapp” birthday-no hugs no gifts no cake, sad joy in safe distance.

For days I tried to write but I did not have the energy to tap my thoughts on the screen and preserve the strange moments. Today is the 12 of June 2020 , Day 72 of lock down, my soul and spirit has almost accepted the life of restriction, precaution and to do with whatever is available.

Another Pandemic Covid 19 gift for us is a pet African Grey Parrot which belongs to my daughter’s family. They went for a three week trip to USA when they returned the Corona virus had dug its claws and so Captain Parrot stayed on with us.

More to share,soon. Insha allah. Stay Safe Dear Friends.

For Lens-Artists Tina Schell’s Challenge #95 – ALL WET ~ And When It Rains ~

Rain is Nature’s Miracle and A Blessing
and He it is who sends down the rain...." Al Quran Islam, Muslim ...

What a beautiful challenge Tina Ji. I hope and pray that All my Lens Artist Friends are well and safe.May the world soon be free of this deadly virus and our dear precious planet be restored with all freshness nourishment and richness of all kinds for all life.amen

Water in all its forms is a profound blessing, when I discovered the challenge I immediately thought of ‘rain’. We live in the hilly Northern Areas of Pakistan where we have plenty of rain throughout the year. The concept of swimming is more in a man made water reservoir or a canal than a proper swimming pool which is a luxury in our society. That leaves the blessing of rain which is fully enjoyed  by children specially in the hot weather.
The first image is of children happily getting wet in the lane just outside our house in Rawalpindi City. I took the shot from the terrace and asked them to smile – my grand children sharing the fun with the neighbor’s kids.

                Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.     Bob Marley

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The following images are of a roadside car wash. On way to the city of Sialkot we stopped to get a quick spray for our jeep.My husband and I sat inside the vehicle. It was a rare occasion to hear the powerful sound of the water touching the solid iron body.

 

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Last Year while returning from the Capital city of Islamabad we encountered a severe rain storm. The solid metaled roads did not disturb the traffic, but the heavy downpour made the drive cool and colorful. I clicked the mobile camera as we passed the main road. Sharing some results of that dark rainy night. It has become a ‘Night to Remember’ for we have not been able to make a trip to the capital since March due to the lock down.

Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain,
there would be no life.                                 
John Updike

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With profound gratitude to Almighty Allah for All His Blessings

CLOUDS BRING THE RAIN AS A BLESSING: Quran 78:14 | Siraat-e-Mustaqeem

Honoring All Nurses, a poem and its backstory by Anjum Wasim Dar

Thank You Respected Jamie Dedes

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Photograph courtesy of Jesoots.com@jeshoots, Unsplash

“It is impossible to describe exactly what I learn, though I know it lies somewhere between science and art. It is all about the smallest details and understanding how they make the biggest difference.”  Christie Watson,The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story



Anjum wrote me that she’d penned this some years ago. It was originally published in the Pakistan Times. She’s dusted it off in light of the current COVID-19 travesties and the heroism of nurses in response. I value her wish to honor those compassionate health care providers who are putting themselves in harms way for the greater good. / J.D.

The day is near its ending
The sun is slowly sinking,
The black veil of night is spreading,
Covering the day’s golden gown

Air outside is cold, but she is ready
With her cap, cape and coat,
Pen and red pencil…

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Random Thoughts ~ The C-19 Virus 2020 ~New Year Drizzling Continues Amid Fears ~

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He who creates chaos, also has the ability to create peace.                     Suzy Kassem

January fast faded away,racing in the last week as if in a bid to block the cold. Keeping it to itself not allowing the chill to delve deep, but every year it is the same, so what’s new in the so called new year? Fear? Threat? Examinations? Fear of the unknown, threats of the price hike, threats of fraud by obstinate fraudsters who will not succumb to rules.

Oh, can be, a lot happening on the social scene,  can be just the mild routine, except the rain hail and snow and for those who love to sit by the fireside…er…I mean the heater, the one that heats up with LP(liqud petroleum) gas, if the supply is flowing or else by the e-power and that too if no load shedding exists.

Well, some of the key words circulating  briskly, globally and becoming the focus for major activity were the following :Environment, Climate Change, Go Green, Greening, Planting, Cleaning,Trash Collection.  The list is endless, people making efforts to clean up the self created mess, dumps, removing or trying to remove plastic waste from waterways seas and oceans, some protesting against ‘fracking’ , some protesting  for their native land and freedom and raising their voices basic rights.

Families targeted with endless bombing,  blasting, pellets, human blood flowing freely,mixing with rubble of shattered buildings…
red blood, perhaps the only freely available liquid in the world…
Continuous innocent killing in Palestine Kashmir Afghanistan Iraq and Syria, leading to a brutal sudden lock down eight months ago, in Kashmir a land locked disputed state, which crushed trampled obliterated the right to life itself…

Dearth of good leadership left room for cruel criminals to  keep on plundering looting illegally controlling, putting a deaf ear to  cries and slogans  of ‘we want freedom’  by thousands…pandemonium reigned, war had become a way of life, culture roamed on the streets openly, human congregations gave  glimpses of modern day Laputa.

Western border skirmishes  had claimed precious lives,  tension increased but showing restraint and knowing the strength of the enemy proved better tactics for response. And the rain continued  and clouds thundered as lightning flashed and broke the mysterious darkness of the lengthy nights.

Winter moved to February and Lo the calendars revealed the Leap Year. And then something happened in China- home land still reeling with a lot of social disturbances when Corona Virus news arrives. Gradual lock down began and fears spread.

Last Day Out before Lock down

Friday the 20th of March was our last visit out to the nearby bank branch.
As I write this the calendar shows -the 6th of April -Corona -Covid 19 now a pandemic all over the world -no one paid attention to a cruel forced lock down in one country-now the whole world is staying behind closed doors.
Fear reigns as death sweeps.

For Lens -Artists Tina R Schell’s Challenge #90 ~ Distance ~ I Never Felt the Distance Before ~

Distance’ a concept close to my heart and soul, often the subject of my poetic expressions  touched the strings of the silent harp. In a time of forced distancing for survival one realizes the values of spaces in togetherness. I felt quite ‘distanced ‘ from My Lens -Artists Friends for reasons unavoidable, but I thought I must make an effort to join the link and lessen the virtual distance, wish well’ to my friends far away and send prayers of ‘ stay safe and stay protected’
My photographs from the archived albums are linked by one of my poems on ‘Distance’, I wrote these lines when my son left for UK for further studies and later to Denmark.
    

I never felt the distance before nor sensed the silence in the room

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When love is true and distances long, no absence can ever break the bond;
And now I know,  how  love of nature divine  is, unfettered pure and fine,

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How one so close, can be so far away,  no one can show, no one can wait
To stop and pat and wipe your tears away;

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And now I know how   Allah  blesses us with His uncountable gifts
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Why faith and peace is strong,
my dear, in distant land, you are with me, each day, short or long

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Time moved on and time moves on
Time is just and fair, I know… I wake up with a start,
You are forever in my heart, your helmet heavy in your hand,
I see you, standing there.

May Allah bless All Children and keep them safe well fed and protected from all evil. amen.

 

 

 

About Cars ~ A Page from 1993 ~

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It was in the year 1993 when newspapers and I mean news in paper, or to be more precise printed on paper, the Editor opened a debate “Should cars be banned from cities?. It was quite appealing and set me wondering.

The title and the invitation to write both brought nostalgic memories. My own Rawalpindi was a peaceful sunlit city, moderately warm during summers and lovably cold during Winters,many years ago. Looking down the memory lane I remembered the hand-in-hand pairs walking from our school, the Presentation Convent, to the Plaza Cinema to see some of the great classic Motion Pictures; the tonga ride to school and back was a wonderful experience, the shining leather bridle and reins, colorful ribbons by the horses ears,clean and freshly painted carriage and the loud clanging of the bell inspired a lot.  The clippety cloppety speed of the horse was so balanced, one could…

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For ~ Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 87 ~ Reflections ~ Reflective Connections ~

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

The Reflective Action Approach in life is the wisest as it leads to amicable solutions of common problems.It creates options suggestions and a variety of possibilities for design, structure and creative planning.
Reflections in photography show the opposite matching view which appears enigmatic attractive and sometimes much better than the original.
I found photographs with reflections in my albums and folders, taken by my son while on short trips to Frankfurt,  Germany. Further discovery was of some shots which I took on occasional rainy days, in 2016 in Lake View Lanes area in Bani Gala, a village 15 kms from Islamabad.
The photographs reflect images made by rain water as we live far away from any sea or the ocean. Islamabad lies at the foot of Margalla Hills, a smaller range leading  to the majestic mighty Karakoram Mountains in the Northern Areas.

Reflections from Frankfurt

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Airport

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Reflections from England

In front of the Jubilee Campus Library Nottingham University  England in 2003.

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Reflections from Bani Gala  by the River Korang    Islamabad   PAKISTAN

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Reflections on the Terrace on a Rainy Day

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A View of   River Korang     Bani Gala      Islamabad

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For Lens-Artists Tina R Schell’s Challenge # 85 ~ Treasure Hunt ~ Golden Pieces from Pakistan ~

Exciting suspenseful variegated challenge. Searching for the  golden items my treasure chests revealed the following precious pieces. I must admit that for some the choice was difficult but for some there was only a single image. So behold ‘My Dear Viewers and Readers

Sunset  in the capital city Islamabad
Jinnah Avenue Main Boulevard  Islamabad

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Over the Margalla Hills.             Islamabad

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Double Rainbow Bani Gala      Islamabad

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A Mountain landscape  Baluchistan  Province Pakistan. 

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The Church        Mall Road  Rawalpindi City     Pakistan

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Bird   Over  Bani Gala      Islamabad

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Common Sign   Funny Style        

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Unusual  Place  Saidpur  Village    Islamabad    Hidden Ancient Temple

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EXPRESSIVE    or     NOT Quite ?

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS  Family   Assets  

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GREY AFRICAN   PARROT     RARE  BIRD     Staying with us these days

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The image of a young enthusiastic democratic citizen of Pakistan who
had decorated his bicycle with his favorite party’s flag and poster.
Election 2013

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Knitting   Afghan Squares  One of my favorite projects.
Nearing completion.

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FINALLY   The   STREET PERFORMER
In our culture The Monkey Wala’ is seen performing his show.The monkey
is trained to jump bow roll, jump through a ring, go -a-begging, Greet or Salute
and play dead. These performers go from street to street, play the ‘Dug Duggee’ a small hand held drum, which announces their arrival.
Kids can enjoy a brief treat right at home.

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The ring can be seen on the floor and the small drum beside the blue bag.
The monkey has his head on the floor.

I hope these images prove to be worthy of the treasure hunt. Thanks to  All Lens – Artist Friends who inspire and keep hopes alive and make life meaningful.

2020 ~ Memoirs and Random Thoughts ~ Signature and Prayer For Peace ~

The  ‘anchor’ that stays fixed in the never ending oceans of ink, enables the journey we wish to make down the memory lane.

Being a regular reader of Writer Granny’s World I have received profoundly beneficial guidance for the writing process. A quote about memoirs is of special note and I share it here for my readers:poster--lessonMemoirs are a great source of inspiration for writing about events that brought joy and everlasting happiness and feelings of solace and peace.Yet at the same time there are memories of events that made us cry,experience loss and tragedy. The loss of a loved one, a parent, a child or a very loving friend.
Memories of good times, picnics, moments of achievements are those that create peace.We need to remember so that we may be grateful. Moments of recovery after an illness and the following moments of offering prayers of thanks to the Almighty.
One rare occasion of an award in my life was the miracle trip across the oceans to be recognized as a Poet of Merit in 2000 in the great country USA.
The moment I wish to focus on was when I signed my name on the laid out roll of paper, with the title:  World’s Largest Poem for Peace. 
The paper roll was laid out in one of the large halls of Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington where the 10th International Convention of Poetry was held.
It is now the year 2020 The world has seen many cold blooded killing, bloody meaningless wars , terror attacks in concerts,beaches,on roadsides and in mosques. Peace? a word, a desire, a wish, a cry, a demand, a protest, a poem? but where is it? and who will make it, find it,  create it, implement it, prevail it,spread it all over the world…

and how? Can we achieve it through words and poems ? I believe there is hope but not without sacrifice.We need to roll out more paper rolls, make more sincere pledges and make more and more people to sign in their promise for it.

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Maher Zain sang about the Good Hope in his song ‘Insha allah’ and now he gives us this beautiful message. Gratitude to the One Creator for PEACE and Happiness
The setting of this lovely prayer is the wonderful amazing continent of AFRICA

Let us all join hands and put in our share of doing the best for peace on Earth.
Come One Come All.

 

2020 ~ Memoirs and Random Thoughts ~ The Lady from Calcutta ~

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‘Write about the things that surprise you.’ 
                                                              Joyce Carol Oates

February 3, brings the loving memory of my Mother in Law often clad in a sari, named Akhter Jehan meaning ‘Shining Star’ she was truly a loving shining star. The pillar of strength for the family after the great Partition of 1947. In 1941 she was welcomed  into the family at Srinagar (Indian held Kashmir) all the way from Calcutta  (India) where her elder brother   serving as a Senior Officer in Posts & Telegraph Department  was stationed at the time. It was a historic wedding as the bride traveled across Northern India and in view of that special event I have named her as The Lady from Calcutta’. 2020 again feels like a surprise for it is twice my birth number. The day my Mother in Law would surprise me with a lovely gift. The surprise was the way she would wrap the gift with colorful ribbons and silver paper. Her gifts always brought great joy and expressed her profound love.
I found her very loving caring an excellent cook , an accomplished knitter, organizer, motivator, and gifted with a powerful singing voice. May the Almighty bless her with a place in Jannat ul Firdaus. ameen.

Her favorite flower was ‘ Nargis’ she loved the sweet fragrance of the white and yellow plant growing with a thin straight stem.

A bunch in her honor.

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2020 – A double birth number, just the one for a Gemini star.The year 2000 brought the miracle poetry award which caused a journey across the seas and oceans,over mountain ranges and four states of North America. One Poem and  a unique journey’ what if 20 20 brings two journeys? Well, a return trip to USA is a dream come true, but only the Almighty knows, He has His own plans and His plans are the best.
This year like 2019 seems to be a ‘writing year’, but to be hopeful it may bring publishing opportunities too. Looking at the number 2020′, it seems  a unique number, two plus two is equal to four, now let’s see 20 is divisible by 4 and 2+2 is equal to 4, if we leave aside the 0s, anyways 0 is of no value on the left but on the other side it is uncountable, at least I am at a loss’ Ah loss’ , what a unique word with terrible implications, tragedies, weaknesses, depression, disability… again the term ‘disability stands out as one of the Themes for writing’, on going with the theme of ‘Illness’.  And with ‘Illness’ we follow ‘Struggle for human rights,freedom, justice and fairplay.

I feel honored, and I must thank Honorable Jamie Dedes The Poet by Day who has continuously  helped guided encouraged and supported me in writing, ever since we shared our love of writing specially poetry. To use a phrase from her amazing poetry
‘kept me anchored’ I feel ‘
Memoirs  keep me anchored to the pen and paper. They are filled with love adventure joy travel friendships awards surprises stories anecdotes poems and so much more.’,

and so I begin this year with a different title and I hope I will be able to share interesting stories with my readers.
Insha Allah.