The Return of the Mysterious Dialogue ~ 2017~ Whither English Literature Teachers ?

mts treesNovember is the Autumnal month of writing.Desiring to put some thoughts on mean on the screen in MS Word  I kept looking at the screen for quite some time…the button on the right side of the screen showed 11’…Oh dear I have 11 drafts…incomplete’ and I wish to achieve a target of 50,000 words by the end of this month! a question raised but not answered…’when you will stop playing scrabble you will be able to achieve results’, I got this advice or rather a sort of final review…I must think about my word game seriously, it is non productive in the material sense though it does give the mind some exercise’ ..hmn

I will paint something first…and so My Paint was instantly on the screen…readers the result is before your eyes. I paint by intuition….’

So much to write and so little…no if I organize my time I can complete my tasks.I am surely really surprised at myself, do you know why? Is anyone listening? I am talking or thinking to myself, there is only One true Listener’ and I know He is listening…will I be able to write anything worthwhile? or am I just wasting my time?

A few days ago my phone rang, since the hour was odd I asked my husband to answer.A male voice was on the line but was asking for me…I found out that he was a very worried father…father of a daughter now a student at A level in a local school…the problem the daughter wanted to study English Literature but could not find a teacher, would I be able to help?

well I can try but first I must know how much the student understands about literature.
Talking to the student I found that she did have the basic knowledge that Literature means ‘novels ,drama and poetry’…I guess we all know that…okay dear but it is a long and hard journey,reading line by line word by word ,comparing contrasting and critically reviewing written works of famous writers,mostly dead and gone’…the second part consists of the living authors and poets who are currently struggling to record the good and evil deeds of humanity crowding the planet…

well madam please guide me I wish to appear for a CIE paper in about five months..five months? impossible…no dear at least a year…well ma’am please send me a task by email as I live so far away and cannot come so often…

neither can I …and then only two emails were exchanged…the task to explain the poem’After Apple Picking ‘by Robert Frost…hard to understand ? I thought’am do you know anyone who lives near my home who would be able to guide me?

‘I told you I have deep fears that Literature Teachers are fast becoming extinct..a rare species…retired , hiding…and English has ‘ need to improvement” and ‘come here ‘ has taken the new approach of ‘come closer’…it does mean the same does it?

well back to English Teaching’ about writing a book’ on ‘How to Teach English Literature? specially at O and A levels ? well

first Teach English Please….’

I heard all this … and I will pray for strength vocabulary repertoire and sentence structure and now away to the skies, back to duty….

I picked up my knitting needles as I finished reading the email..Madam I have dropped the idea of studying English literature maybe next year I am really really grateful for all your guidance…..

Yarn over’



A Story A Day ~ 7 ~ Landlocked,Home locked,Lockup…Lock down…Lock in…

“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”
― Virginia Woolf

Image result for landlocked                Image result for alice in wonderland language

‘are you preparing a grammar lesson? sounds like one…’up down,…out….’

well, these words do refer to positions and are known as prepositions of place but in our country English is a foreign language though many use all its forms..even slang…it is also called ESL….


yes, English as a second language…I will add my definition…ahem..English is a locked language..ha ha..see!

why locked and how locked? now languages are important means of and needs and wants…er..and so much more…..

‘well locked it is,like Alice…she was locked  in Wonderland…and so are we locked in Language in our land…English is ‘angrezi’ gullabi’ some call it pink…Queen’s English …BBC English…Court English..American English and now Singapore English…and so is all getting so entangled…so this makes my land ..a ‘wonderland’ doesn’t it?

Image result for alice in wonderland language I can even identify  Tweedledum and Tweedledee in my country….so that makes it even more adventurous…wow…super..thinking…ideas..hey I hope the cat is looking….

and so we are not so landlocked by land as much as by language…

‘this is indeed interesting…and then you must have a Queen too..?

well yes,sort of..a royal family we do have…I think in a free country we all are we are free..freedom is itself royalty, I believe…

no pack er..deck of cards for fighting…defending …protecting….’

well every one needs protection from evil of numerous kinds..evil is true and present everywhere….specially in sweet attractive pleasure giving things….so we have our mean guards….

and so you still say you are locked….

Freedom gained but enchained by language….and now we look for keys…keys to the door of freedom..the search is on….and so we are planting more trees to make a jungle, and then in that jungle we shall seek among the trees, the lost box of keys…in shady trees we might find peace,we will find peace, we will find fruit,we will find water..


yes we need to counter the DRINK ME’?

Drink…yes, Ah..but that you have found…whats that you say…ZAALIMA………pilaa de…..

hey see I told you we are locked……..

the Key the Key..the DRINK the to blame…….’

~ Queen’s Statue…Knitting An Ancient Art , Yarn Bombing ~ A Dialogue of Memoirs ~ 17

Rawalpindi-Memorabilia-Front-View-of-Queen-Victorias-Statue-on-a-Post-Card.-It-was-on-The-Mall-Road-Rawalpindi-Photos-Mementos-for-Pindi-LoversSee how grand on the pedestal high

                she stood,in stone..silent still no band

                Victorious Victorian,

                how long can one stand or rule the land?

                but She did, from far away

                In Freedom,her own,

                a Crown a Cape, a Gown 

In Gold yet cast down, as Ozymandias Pharoah  

                                                                              dethroned  from throne,all remain in the same stone….

Queen Victoria’s statue could be seen on a pedestal on the Main Mall Road of Rawalpindi Cantonment.I remember passing by it in our small olive green Fiat car to and from Saddar Bazaar…in the evening shadows I still have the stony figure’s shadow in remote recesses of childhood memory flashes…I did not know whose statue it was then…but someone important always could be seen like this, carved in stone, lifeless silent, cold and hard..frightening…it was just an object of sight seeing along with the grassy patches and flower beds on the roadsides…many years later..studying for my masters Degree in English I read about Queen Victoria..The Victorian Age, the authors and the poets and the grand relationship we had with the Majestic Queen…she was quite a personality….a great ruler… gone…there are two artillery guns …where once she stood….years of rule…nights so cruel…freedom enchained…freedom gained..freedom still sought regain…from another reign?….

Another night another time …
I have to complete my knitting projects …I must …its winter again…has it taken me so much time? what have I been doing? I wonder …knitting comes out of knitting’… nothing comes out of no stays there…any work untouched it will not finish …neglected? well not exactly…just a bit due to Summer and then the Fasts …and now some other duties and now novel writing…would you be able to gather so many words..thoughts …sentences…? and now back into the 1950s I go..remembering Mother her sister and sisters-in-law all would be knitting…by hand, no machines no sir…

yes I remember the magazine ‘Woman & Home’ this had beautiful knitting patterns… for me and my sister till we did not start knitting it was Nora and Tilly, the wonder paper cut out dolls in the magazine….
Paper dolls …and we would be so happy playing with paper…

and see who is knitting here…cary_grant_learns_to_knit_i Cary Grant…from acting to knitting…from knitting to writing…from needles to pen and from pen to paper…er..these is a screen….Cary Grant..on screen…oh well, knitting cannot come on screen can it..I mean on the 35mm…maybe I will make a real movie of Knitting…A Knitter’s Story….

‘Hi I am here and I hear paper, screen, film,  play tonite…hmmn great idea talking about paper…the one thing that is going out of use …it is becoming a ‘paper less society…but not yet…
Can we really do away with paper? No but my thoughts were on knitting dear…the skill is an ancient one and I was reading about the very first knitted garments were ‘socks’ and those too out of..cotton’ how difficult would it be to knit out of cotton? Wool came much later and how wonderful to see that there was Arabic script knitted into form…to ward of evil….
Not strange at all as..evil was quite spread out and mysterious …
This is what I found out…’The oldest REAL knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) we’ve got is ‘Coptic socks’ from Egypt, dating to around the year 1000 CE. There are quite a few fragments, all of them done in shades of white and indigo, in stockinette. Many of them have Khufic (a decorative Arabic script) blessings knit into them, or symbols to ward off evil, or both. All look really cool. And may I point out for the fiber-snobs among us, that all of the really ancient knitted fragments we’ve got are knit out of cotton.
Yes indeed, cotton. Wool wasn’t used for knitting until way later.
How soon we fall into a knowledgeable conversation. I look forward to knowing so many new things I am not able to absorb fully, but you bring them out so smoothly that one does not feel any hinderance…I mean you make it so easy…how wonderful you must be in class…
‘Now there you start again…and many say that I talk too much…
‘Oh dear I hope you don’t get caught like the ‘parrot’ ha ha
Now not again…I do feel bad when I hear this…but it does not matter …for I know that whatever I say is the truth…and Allah has gifted me…it is His Blessing that I am a teacher and He wishes that I may speak the truth and ,er…well. loudly too…
‘Ok tell me about the knitting…
‘Oh I love to knit and I have written a couple of poems and a story about knitting..”
Oh I must hear this one…
‘Well, I was sitting one evening and trying to sort out the entangled left over wool …and I thought
‘This bag of wool must be sorted,either used or shall I give them away’ these thoughts troubled me every time I opened the cupboard and set eyes on the entangled various sized colorful clusters rolled up in different shapes
‘These are left overs’ this green reminds me of my friend the one I met in the examination hall. She was knitting and that attracted my attention ’Oh she loves knitting too’ the dark green is from the pullover I made for my son when he was six years old…and then came the grandchildren….so soon.. I realized how time passes…we knit and knit and one day children too are grownup…no more babies…then the babies too grow up why have I saved these colored balls for so many years? I kept thinking…and then my heart said,’ don’t you see? they teach you values’
yes, the value of life…the colors the warmth, the love and the relationships
The memories of childhood are all woven into these fiber strands.
Each color has its own value like each child….and like these leftovers all preserved we have the good things the good memories the good deeds that will always bring color to the lives of the families.Each strand knitted into a garment brings joy love and tenderness.It strengthens the bonds of love and sharing and so much more…last of all there is the satisfaction of making something for a loved one, the joy of creativity and the blending of color and design…and so I love this basket…which tells me so many stories…and the blessings of the Lord …as I keep adding color to the basket.
Ah so wonderful…What joyful stories knitted into the basket…No wolf can take them away……………….
There was a boy in school, in class 7..he used to knit his own sweater..and that too of the school uniform..then all the girls would laugh…but now I realize he was doing good…and he must be quite warm too in that wool…
The first knitting project that we sisters started was also knitting our own school uniform sweater…it was fun..each one knitting one side and soon in a few days the sweater would be ready..the most difficult is the stitching part…but one learns
These days there are videos available and the internet has free tutorials and free patterns…
But no free wool….wool was the best Beehive I remember…the results would be like silk soft and smooth and the pattern! Just as the magazine said…and the tragedy now is that ‘Media is common but strange…half private half state controlled…it keeps showing till the rulers wish..then channels are blocked, sometimes for personal political reasons…and it is ..we can say…biased? Favorite…? Or sold …?
‘And the internet?
‘Well that too has its own priorities and causes and see youtube channel…is still blocked and I am one severely affected…
‘Hey how are not a movie fan or have you become one…
‘No no actually I was learning…
Ah the perpetual student..what exactly was your subject and er… are a Master of Arts and ..a Master of History and a Master of Language and a….
Oh stop please…it is my hobby …I get excited at times and so enthusiastic I start off with a great ‘giant leap’ but I never land on the moon ‘….ha I guess the first stage is the best throttle affected after that…it burns out…
Ha I get it..its your knitting….
See there now…two jerseys half leg warmer…one leg only….
The next year…ha ha
No Imust finish before December 22…
Ha a Christmas present…who is it another Grandma I know…or the …er the writer…no I will not say…
Oh no its for anyone who is lucky …I mean the lucky one to be with me when I finish it…
‘Oh so I have a chance
‘Oh you need one? I will knit one specially for you ….I am a special knitter er..hand knitter…er..a family knitter…well youtube  has lovely stuff but its ‘blocked by the state’..the reason was genuine at first but the reason for not Unblocking is according to many people not fair or justified…it is an encroachment of human rights or civil rights …or just Not Right…
So they are not opening are they..well lets see can I bring you some videos?
No no please I believe soon they will have to when the Big Change takes place…it always happens that with the change at the top there are changes all around …and so I have great hopes Insha Allah, yes there was one other thing I was anxious about…the Internet does tell you strange things…this term Yarn Bombing’…its all around…and …oh I can see the anxiety and the humor…it does tickle doesn’t it and then frightens you as well…
Well, I shivered a little I mean my wings trembled and I could feel that even with all my swiftness …and flying experience…this word gives one the Great Fear if I may say of the final moment…it becomes dark and red all over and the crimson flood starts flowing and the blue vanishes into the darkest of darks’  and the gigantic cave begins to open and the vault fills in with the loudest of screams….
‘Oh please Sir,
Ok I was just reminding and doing my duty if you will also keep on the track…and you will be grateful always for The Lord He hath His own ways and He Loves those who Obey Him….oh about bombing …and yarn…
Well yes it is…The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide. The start of this movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg, 37, from Houston, who says she first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom-made cozy…
What is cozy…something to warm but on a door handle…I…am not so familiar with doors for there are some special doorways in my line of life…er…
Well cozy or cozies… or tea warmer is a cover for a teapot traditionally made of cloth. It insulates a teapot, keeping the contents warm. Their use predates the invention of vacuum bottles as a means of keeping hot liquids hot. Tea cosies may have padded inserts that can be removed and washed.Some tea cozies are hand-knitted, resembling woolen hats…
Oh so you can also knit a tea cosy
Yes sure but isn’t it a grand idea….a tea cover on a door handle and then on and on to other things larger ones and there you go…with your yarn…yarn forward…yarn over ha yarn over anything that is the idea now I get it fully…yarn covering even a car and out in the open tree trunks and large benches…and
Even buildings …or dear there is no end to it but how exactly is it a bomb?
Bomb would be the excessive yarn that is used…and it is joined with the ‘Stitched story…now that was a movement also….The movement moved on from simple ‘cozies’ with the innovation of the ‘stitched story’. The concept has been attributed to Lauren O’Farrell](who creates her street art under the graffiti knitting name Deadly Knitshade), from London
You are a historian aren’t must check up Knitting in your own faith Ok?
‘I will Insha Allah….
‘And now it’s the time tick…er..I the bomb tick…oh ..Ok make me those wing warmers…wwhhhiiiiiiiiiinnnngggggg

Somewhere a cock crowed

Freedom is Not a Gift’ A Dialogue of Memoirs


14th August is approaching…it will come…and pass…leaving hopefully good traces

Sleep seemed to have deserted me …or perhaps I had let it go myself…to reside where it was needed more and there are so many places where so many people  are restless and…sleepless and so  many were …what times were those…so many stories have been told of those days and nights, happy times when the family had peaceful plenty dinner of boiled rice and night-long cooked meat and vegetables ,the dish called ‘Shab Deg’ and ‘the sacred excited festivity of Ramazan, with all praying together standing behind Grand Father’ and the Renaissance reading learning word building, and..when the roads were roads, one could travel by  finely painted Tongas led by horses with polished leather reins, at night one could see the oil lamps lit on the sides and the faint smell of the oil did not bother the sensorial system rather whiffed by like scented rose and I loved it…like a scene from a Sherlock Holmes adventure…

thus my thoughts rolled along the ocean waves of my memories when the random drifting was dipped by …

a slight sound jolted me slightly-it is my unseen night visitor, surely…somehow in my subconscious I too wait for the visit…

What keeps you awake ? or shall I say what inspires you to stay up? I hesitated then barely managed to say ‘fear’ and… and? love’ Ah love love Oh my … No No its not what you are thinking…far away from Romanticism and yet right in the midst of it..(aside)…’dying in its own too much’…

‘what is that ? ‘Oh nothing – its something Shakespeare said and I believe not all people can understand him or his words’ ‘yet another thought of what is the truth,or do I wait for someone or something…or is there a presence unseen in the room where I stay most of the time…I wonder..

Last month it was Ramazan the days of compulsory fasting abstinence tolerance patience and …training ‘every year this training period comes but wither any learning about tolerance or peace or kindness or… ‘this is August-the freedom month,hot but happy, a time to be grateful…but what is happening…freedom fighting is still going on…’what a mess -all together’ I feel so heavy and …confused

the heart is heavy,  what, wither Independence. Just a few years ago or more maybe, the family finally together in the new country would be gathered in the living  cum dining room, in the evenings -in winters it would be a game of chess or bridge after dinner

Summers were wonderful with home made ‘wooden bucket ice cream’ after dinner story telling or poetry sessions- a competition of reciting  Allama Dr Iqbal’s verses. This is what has inculcated the love of poetry in m….

I wonder why no one else caught this…? what?

the love of poetry only I seem to be suffering from what I can now define and call myself’

and that is?

‘ being a ‘scripturient’ …

‘poetry is an art and poets are born …

‘I was born in war …

may I ask something?

yes please I keep answering others -what about my questions? OK …go ahead…

why did you select this photograph of your leader?

Oh don’t you see? real leaders celebrate Eid Day with their people and our Great Leader can be seen here…

No but why the Eid pic…there must be another reason’ I know you are a Gemini and Geminians always have a double cause…a double…

Ok I… to share with you there is another reason…I have great respect regard and love for one sitting just behind the Quaid, smiling so happily with his eyes down,

who is he? handsome guy

He is …now was…my dearest Uncle …a great leader…my earliest memories are his dashingly stepping out of a light blue Chevrolet car all smiling (never saw him frown) and then a flash of a steam engine powerfully hissing to a stop and there he was standing in the doorway, all smiles, it was Winter I can still feel the warmth of his coat as he lifted and hugged me I was 6 or 7 then …life had begun happily in a new country…free as we all thought…we had been given a free country as I read later in school…The Colonialists left the Sub continent …divided…

and so the freedom day is just round the corner’

what is freedom -do you really understand?

well I have my freedom…I am FRE…F R E….Fre…

‘it is not FRE it F R E E free…

well I am the one who is free so I will spell it as I like it…this is the real freedom

Yes this is the real freedom’ but wait … who’s there?

The Free Spirit’

Oh, another lesson to be learnt before leaving…the lessons are always good…but I am FREE…do I have to listen?

Yes, Freedom means to obey the Law and The Greatest Law is the Law of The Creator’

Today I have …something you may not like…

No No I will listen,please….

Here goes…Cheer Up now

Freedom is not a Gift

Remember It has to be earned the hard way with great effort and sacrifice’

‘never a follower  freedom fighter be

nor keep a stick handy nor join a party

nor go to a restaurant or a food street

where unknown is the source of water and meat

make it neat keep it neat do not eat do not eat

do not stamp your feet, but  be loyal on the beat

Seriously? ‘Hey its freedom day

‘you will never be serious and that is why the country never progresses

I am serious now very serious in fact so serious I am considering to go find a rope …and take my freedom myself’

Now that is not fair’ –

well what do you know about fairness?

and justice?


and equality?


may be tomorrow night…and so we played hopscotch and marbles and if marbles were not handy the winter afternoons always had ‘walnuts’

‘walnuts became the marbles …

those were happy afternoons of Freedom…

Freedom is A Gift…Hope we can keep it safe…

~ Wars Whirling, Worsening World ~



All Lessons from the Heavens above

were of calm peace patience and love

Who created among  birds  the Dove?

Wars in the clouds war in the skies

what did man gain by all the Lies?

blood all over, all over cries’

weapons made for hunting food

were made all strong and good

iron sharp, defense understood-

O Peace where art thou fixed?

lost forever in River Styx?

Condemned thou  like Sisyphus?

twirling planets, endless encircle

shine shimmer forever glimmer

are they lights or tears that quiver?

swords flash  bullets splatter scrapers shatter

But what does it all to richness matter?

Silence stands silent,  loose tongues chatter

under the bridge hungry bodies curled

bags of  bones looted and hurled

wars murders meaningless unfurled

wars whirling , worsening world……………

Time for The message to Come again….

to relieve the misery injustice and pain

Till Thoughts Make Them Fly’ ~


images (1)Unsaid words remain unsaid

But words  never die, they are

never dead till thoughts make

them fly;

wars waged

meetings staged

dialogues exchanged

storms raged but

words remain cold

hold the power to be

bold and take control

words make some cry’ till

thoughts make them fly;

‘close your thoughts’ some say’

but still words do stay’

I get a dozen every Sunday

my thoughts wander go astray…

where am I ?  even I forget

while I think, I think…I pray’




~ ‘wither in peace’ ~


 a red folded layered pettalled form

tender sweetly soft scented fragile

unequalled embedded creativity

enwrapped in love, peaceful calm

in a storm, protected shielded

by green guards spread fanlike

side by side at a distance,

 some  sharp  thorns adorn

many will call it as a scented red rose

irresistable, lovely to be held close

What did she behold ?

visions, expand to reveal

 graces of Goddess royal

 Spring Flowers  Love loyal

scented aura wafting engulfing

mystifying soothing comforting

Creativity Sublime laid in humility

 bent down to hold and rose to raise

beauty color grandeur to praise

slim tender  twig, alive leaves

as petals shivered shook, to open

smile, tremble as if to say

‘I thought the horse fell and carriage broke’

hoping I lay, waiting for your audience

 O’ Your Highness’ now I can wither in peace’