Meanwhile Marmalade the sweet one, sitting in the lawn of her Pencil Cottage, could see part of the Street. The Shop ‘Chinese Pens’ was just outside her home. Once or twice the China man had come for a glass of water’ ‘May I have some water I need it for my Green Tea’ . ‘Ah Green Tea! Marmalade only knew the Black Tea. The British Tea or the Tea of England they called it, though tea leaves usually came from either Ceylon or now the country is called Sri Lanka, or Bangla Desh in the East of India, previously part of India, so much has changed in the world’. She did not know that a ‘pink tea’ also existed very close to India and Pakistan, in a land engaged in a ‘war for freedom’,Kashmir! Kashmiri people drank ‘pink tea with salt’ ‘yes, how do you make your green tea, is it green in color’ ‘No, no, it is light yellow in the beginning when the tea leaves are added to the plain boiling water, but some minutes later the color changes to orange brown. You can add cinnamon or ginger or fresh green grass’ if you wish…and …of course some sugar for taste. It is very good for digestion and good health and…ideas for writing’ ‘Orange, black, green, yellow, pink’ wow so many colors of tea, I could write a poem on it perhaps and become a famous Tea Poet’.
Oh , I heard of that, could you tell me more about this ideas for writing’ how does tea bring them on? I have to digest words at the most. I am made from orange peel’ and pulp’ ‘p and p’, hee,hee,hee, you know and some say it takes a lot of cutting peeling boiling filling rolling and singing’’
Oh Dear now what ? All eyes on the highest mountain peak K2 ?
No some one’s eyes are on some other fairy land ranges,cool calm and beautiful, where inspiration abounds everything is simple..er..just er..Oh Dear its so beautiful, its just poetic. Who? the place or is there a slim shining sparkling ..er..
Come now you are always looking for such objects, curiousity is seeped stuffed in you. Whose turn now? Orange are you ready?
“From the ashes a fire shall be woken” J.R.Tolkien.
J.R.Tolkien’s poetic expression stirred the ashes in the sorrowful soul, blew them away a bit, beginning to awaken the saddened muse , shocked by the killing wave of Covid 19 which struck harshly, crashing like a hurricane and suffocating like thick smog.
November dragged into December and a word flashed somewhere on the screen, it glowed and caught the attention: Christmas Poems”. Wondering whether there was still time to submit I texted a short query to the Editor, listless halfhearted attempt on my part, I had read the name which was the main reason of my setting eyes on the introduction. “Hmm in Canada, so far away” was the first reaction but soon vanished as the truth dawned, everything and everyone was so far away, in these times,it’s OK I guessed. The response was unexpected, encouraging, hopeful, and friendly, it made me feel special for it said,” for you,there is” Christmas time is a time of new beginnings.
I had written some lines when I found myself in the land of my Literature study.I felt as if I was walking on the pages of history,stepping on cobbled streets passing by dimly lit lamp posts, gazing in awe at the high castle walls, imagining Robin Hood and his gang hiding in the nearby forests,hearing shouts and cries of Aye’ and smelling the odd aroma of wine and beer, knowing that these were the common people’s drinks. Literary activity,word research, reading stories,instilled in the veins, found more injections of unbelievable realism. I submitted the poem, I knew the editor would like it, and so came the reply,”This is surely going in this issue”.I smiled to myself though the heart felt heavy.
افلاک کی وسعت میں تںہا ہی رہنا ہے نہیں چاہیے تھا دوری کا گماں کرنا
In the boundless universe a star, destined to be alone, magneted, in orbit swimming, should not moan,in its safety zone.
(Translated my own Urdu verses)
And so finding myself traveling through the tropics to far off lands , the power of words pulled me,all the way to WordCity, magnificently holy, clad in a white gown,elegant in speech and style,gifted in merging meaningful sounds on paper. Am I in my home town,where pine trees grow and snow falls,where skies are real blue when clear, where quietude fills the atmosphere in the morning hours and smoke from coal fire in small braziers, surrounds the huge iron gates of training centers and boarding schools, providing some warmth to the guards on duty.
Summer days and nights are different, though, more serenity prevails.
White cold blanket covers the green and brown but cannot hide the beauty within for long. “There is not a particle of life that does not bear poetry within it” Gustave Flaubert wrote in his time, and the quote led to more poetry : Inspiration glowed, the golden rays sent warmth to the dying ashes,a spark flew and suddenly there was light all around,as if the sun had cut through the nimbus cover…I heard the joyful laughter, I laughed a little at the humor, I saw the blood on the hand cut by the broken cup, I sensed the sorrow and loneliness and then I felt the soft finger tips of expertly composed amazing words of Wordcity . With respect and wonder I share what the muse created:
Just on the other side, just a few thousand miles across the globe,across the oceans,across the prairies, it is cold, set to become colder, yet it is absurdly beautiful, poetry expressed in blue,on rugged rocks, on sentinel pines, here beauty and severity go together.
I felt cold but strangely calm.My heart felt lighter as acceptance of Divine Will became stronger.A door closed to open another, from the hot sandy lands to the cool snowy landscapes poetry began to hum a new peaceful song, sweet in togetherness, warm with cohort collective fire.
The title attracted many aspiring writers.Exhausted, mourning the weakening of the Muse this was a hot spring of motivation. Music smiling leader using charming vocabulary inviting to write in a lovely illustrated form,I loved it. Though I will not be able to continue the creative writing process with this lovely group but I wish to share what I did manage to write in the pre course five days as part of the assignments.
My Wabi Sabi Story Life has been good on one side, but have been close to grief pain and suffering for many years.My faith gives me continuous strength and hope and whenever a calamity strikes I am reminded to look at those who are weaker and poorer,”things could have been much worse” “the revelry is temporary” “be grateful and you will have abundant, love comes in many forms and ways..so it was in virtual spiritual environment much joy came my way. Poem for the Team, My Friends and Readers Water mirror like, ivory silver smiled at, caressed , hated in stagnant filthy swamps its loss, mourned. Love the creative spirit in non creativity, like lotus in muddy pond tree valued green or brown- body and soul, split in bond Embrace all,cool or hot all here will be soon, gone circle will come full circle imperfection, – the mortal round
WRITE Your New Story 2021 Day 4 – The Beautiful “NO” for Taking a Stand for Truth and Professional Knowledge The First “NO” Desiring to attain a Masters Degree I kept struggling with traditions cultural norms. Private study efforts failed. Finally the admission to a post graduate college revealed the lack of justice to proper instruction. Asking for ” More” resulted in the 18th Century Dickensian reaction. But the “NO” opened the best door of the time with the best Professors and I attained the degree with honor and respect from the Punjab University being a student of the best Teachers of English Literature as Ms Shaista Zaid Ms Farhat Shah Mrs Nasim and Mrs Samina Nadeem. Thank You Dear Teachers. The Second Time
Imagine leaving a foreign university where I realized that I wanted to study a more challenging course.When I applied for a change the process of studies took the unexpected turn. Returning to my native homeland for a personal family commitment with a still valid study visa I was sent a “NO’ letter from the university.I never went back. As Allah’s plans are the best and he has better gifts for us always of which we are not aware of at that moment. I got the best opportunity to work in the field of Education and Service to the nation which was and will be my aim and purpose of life till Allah wills it to be. I was selected and appointed as the Principal of the Post Graduate Bilquis College of Education of the PAF Pakistan Air Force. The Management included two lab schools a) Montessori Junior b) Special Education School. One Hostel for 200 students. This was a Challenge a far better opportunity to serve the cause of education and it resulted with a “NO ” I have no regrets of not studying at a foreign university. Allah always gave me much better gifts honor regard and time to serve and share my knowledge and experience.
2020 ended on a tragic note an eternal separation a family broken.Oh Almighty Creator you know best the wisdom of life’s ending,the coming and passing away of the soul, the body merging with earth deep down. Those closest to the departing soul find tears sliding down the cheeks uncontrolled or silently hugging comforting each other, failing to understand the unknown timing, the unbelievable happening, today? tonight? tomorrow? What is this virus all over the world? Death striking everywhere, are these the days of judgement, trials and tests, the sudden calamities, the pain, the temporary separation as we all have to go in the span of time. Or humanity has fallen so low as to match with the enemies of the holy heavens and are being punished?
So many questions arise as we do not have the knowledge nor acquire it nor is there any right guidance offered nor will there be any messenger as the last one has come and left…but wait what do I see in the clouds what does the light show taking shape in the early morning sky?
There is hope as I look at the light getting brighter. I see a name of high respect, my heart and soul feels peace, yet I too am a mortal
The poet Dr Allama Iqbal wrote in his poem “The Philosophy of Grief”
“Grief is not distress, but is the soul’s silent song Which is locked in the embrace of existence’ harp In the depths of this world we part to reunite But we cry considering temporary parting as permanent”
But as we are humans we feel grief all our lives. May the Almighty forgive and bless all with mercy.
The sleek dark blue Mercedez Benz, came to a silent stop just outside the Nottingham Castle. Breathless I sat half numb, trying to believe what was in sight. Nottingham Castle walls solid historical magical mystical fort like, along side the cobbled street was clearly visible, ‘come,’ a voice startled me to reality.
I stepped out of the car on the cobbled street, walking slowly I felt like immersing each step deep in my memorable experiences, I was walking not on the historical cobbled street but on the pages of history. Not a soul in sight, silence engulfed the environment as we, my friend and I walked along the wall…presently the statue of Robin Hood came in view’ speechless I stared…for a while…’can we go inside the castle?’ ‘well, yes, this way’…soon we entered a muddy cave like small opening…set with small circular tables and small chairs -it was a cafe, people were present, young girls and boys, sharing laughing smiling drinking, I was conscious of light laughter, tinkling of glasses and some colorful lights , it was Christmas Eve…I wondered what Christmas would be like in the days of Robin Hood?
Outside the cafe it was biting cold. I tightened the long black coat and spent a few moments admiring the brave leader of the forest. A strange Christmas eve, yet one of the best I ever had.
Next was the beautiful ‘Ye Olde Inn ‘ moment to capture, my love of literature and history combined to present an unforgettable time , moving on the ground where so many soldiers, musketeers, poets, knights, may be maidens, squires lords and ladies had once passed…the year 2003 was a different age-the rest was all bound in words in the books , the people all gone , the stillness was frightening…’let’s go home’. On this rare amazing trip one cannot forget the City Centre.
Merry Christmas ‘ the lights said, ‘a lovely treat a dream come true. The Almighty made it possible for me to see what I used to read in story books’ Miracles happen and will keep happening. ‘Silent Night Holy Night’
At first there was pandemic panic, a state of semi shock unseen dangers unknown fears , the world under attack, some said God’s Wrath has struck because humanity had almost disappeared, innocent people were being suppressed raped and children bombed and killed, murderous deaths were rampant.Justice was denied delayed and ignored. The Corona virus spreading like wildfire sent people reeling falling breathless dying on the
streets taking cover inside houses.Little did they know how long they would have to stay in lock down.
Then Covid -19 in loud silence put its foot down..STOP Just Stop. The world stopped moving, the Earth,feeling lighter, continued to revolve,began to breathe, heavy smog cleared to reveal beautiful majestic mountain ranges and snow covered peaks in the Himalayan Regions and Northern Areas.
Did mankind show change in attitudes of pride and fearlessness? Perhaps not so much. Enjoyment pleasure filled activities hatred racism deception all seemed immune to Covid 19.
Earth’s trembling decreased.
I felt staying inside the house was more peaceful. I saw the early morning dawn break into glorious rays of bright light.I felt divinity around me. I felt the silence the stillness the quietude.
Walking on a road like this has always brought peace to the soul.Whenever there are moments of stress, I take refuge among the trees.This is a road leading to our ancestral village Sabz Pir near the main city of Sialkot.The Jammu and Kashmir border is not far.
This is the beauty of Northern Pakistan.Pine forests are plenty but not enough.
Spending time among these peaceful forests calms and soothes the soul.
Home has always been sweet and safe. Home is the best sanctuary.Our ancestors honored the home as a sacred space which provided protection and peace. We too can reawaken this sense of spirit on our home, turning it into a sanctuary which can heal the body, calm the mind and soothe the soul. It’s simply a refuge, a sanctuary, a place that hugs us when we walk through the door. May the world be a peaceful sanctuary for the humanity Amen.
With all the beauty around my present sanctuary is here…Alhamdolilah.
March 20, a date marked as the beginning of the pandemic lock down.It meant that everyone should stay indoors as outside were unseen deadly virus particles for which there is no vaccine nor medicine.Strangely within days many local medicines were reported as curing the fever cough but for breathing complications the affected needed to be hospitalized.
For me there was not much to worry about as the last three or four years life was a kind of lock down safe haven with peace and comfort away from the main humdrum of city life.
I knew my hobbies would help me pass the time.I decided to begin the long pending Quranic lessons on line.May Allah help to complete the study amen.
Family Tree also took shape more than 83 members joined the group and all four brothers families came together.Masha allah.
what happened to my Muse the writer in me became ill.Lost all inspiration after a few days.Initially wrote some poems and a couple of articles and that was all.
Analyzing the situation I found that whatever I was writing was not really beneficial for the common people.
My decision: Move away to write something worth reading
Only the Power of the Master can change the world.The world belongs to Him and we too are to serve pray and obey Him….
“La howla wala quwata illa billa.”O My Guardian Angel help me to see the right way and help me to do good,while there is time.”