May you be the Groom

while driving around one day, dropping a cousin at her place this song came up on the stereo. she told me that she used to listen to Abida years ago in medical university all nights. she confessed she sometimes never understood a word but still listened and transcended to another peaceful world.
even i confess that i sometimes too am listening not getting a word but the tranquility prevails. Today is my mother’s birthday. when she loves me i see the lyrics of this song in her eyes. i have nothing to give back to her but ten thousand million prayers and a smile.
“Shal ghot thiyen” means “May you be the groom.” i wish i could understand the whole song. the lyrics are very captivating as the song moves on.

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Yeats’

I bring you with reverent hands, the books of my numberless dreams…. my favourite by W B Yeats!


some may have blamed you that you took away

The verses that could move them on the day

When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind

With lightning, you went from me, and I could find

Nothing to make a song about but kings,

Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things

That were like memories of you–but now

We’ll out, for the world lives as long ago;

And while we’re in our laughing, weeping fit,

Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit.

But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone,

My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone


  i bring you with reverent hands

The books of my numberless dreams,

White woman that passion has worn

As the tide wears the dove-grey sands,

And with heart more old than the horn

That is brimmed from the pale fire of time:

White woman with numberless dreams,

I bring you my passionate rhyme

                                                                                     


dance there upon the shore;

What need have you to care

For wind or water’s roar?

And tumble out your hair

That the salt drops have wet;

Being young you have not known

The fool’s triumph, nor yet

Love lost as soon as won,

Nor the best labourer dead

And all the sheaves to bind.

What need have you to dread

The monstrous crying of wind?

 


sweetheart, do not love too long:

 

I loved long and long,

And grew to be out of fashion

Like an old song.

All through the years of our youth

Neither could have known

Their own thought from the other’s,

We were so much at one.

But O, in a minute she changed–

O do not love too long,

Or you will grow out of fashion

Like an old song


Few lines by Hassan Dars

Sindhi, in spite of being my mother tongue, i know a very little about.i can speak very basic Sindhi but i cannot write a word of it. a teacher once told me that you a master a language when you think in that language and i certainly didn’t think in Sindhi.whenever some relative of mine speaks a difficult (difficult according to me, of course) word in Sindhi, i strike him back with an expression of oblivion. however, i have realized the sweetness and richness of this language from the folk songs my ears have perceived, from ancient poetry of Sufi saints of Sindh, from Shaikh Ayaz, from Hassan Dars.  here are few lines by Hassan Dars translated to English.

 


My village, though quite old

in it glares my love like gold                                                                                                 

after sunset we met in a barren temple                                                                                      

To cut through my heart                                                                                                                

thy shrill voice ample


Sindh is like shadow of the beloved                                                                           

reflected on the deep sub-soil water                                                                               

Much as an idyllic dream that fills                                                                                          

as a reverie in the eyes


in the court of the Naked Sarmad
in this land of accusations
i am your Abhi Chand
same Abhi Chand
in this fading evening of a city
in front of the library
of your nakedness
filling the cup of pain
gulping it down
and feeling worse
this admission to desirable nakedness
and the fate of love
dark alleys of torment
my luck lines got crushed
under a throne
and time that beats in
the chest of the night
and the season mourns over
its own sorrows
but I cry for those feet
and the morning that was extinguished
in the hem of your shirt
i cry for all the oppression
i am like a withered branch
you, a vast jungle whose silence is loud
shakes everything
i a small dying plant
you a storm
typhoon
an earthquake
that shakes every heart
in this immense world of yours
i bring a little offering
my little offering of my little name
gulping down from
whatever was left
of your pain
i am your same Abhi Chand
i am your same Abhi Chand


in every man’s heart,
the leap of a mare
each man has a bit of an ocean
every lover has a bit of a beach
on every beach
there is longing
and in the heart of every longing
there is a rising tide
every man has a thought
years and centuries panting
behind all the news and all the views
always a burning word
in every man dances a peacock
in every man dances a thief
every age comes dancing
with swords floating down one’s throat

every age, its own puzzle


The Hope & The Reconciliation

it was the busiest time at one of very lively roads of the city.both lanes of the road were packed with cars creeping slowly like a snake. a woman carrying a baby on side of her hip was trying to the other side. two more children of hers, a boy with dirty hair and unwashed dark brown skin but glittering eyes and a girl with sad countenance bearing a scar which looked fresh, strolled behind their confused mother. A new bakery was inaugurated, giving free sweets to its potential customers. The mother rushed to get there in hope to fill the bellies of her children who had not tasted food since morning. Not getting a chance to make it across the road she walked in an unstable gait towards a man standing nearby waiting for the traffic to slowdown, her children moving like a balloon in hands of a child running happily. the old lady at the milk shop had told the mother about the bakery and the sweets. “will they give me four packs for all of us?”,she had inquired. “they will serve you whole bakery, dumb fool! go! hurry now”,the old lady had barked. A fast car honking  fiercely whooshed  away, leaving little boy alarmed. there was less time. with every passing car, the mother’s heartbeat increased and with every sight of the bakery her hopes heightened. “why didn’t the wrinkled face bitch tell me earlier?”the man moved a step to cross the road and waved hand. “At last, but there is another lane to journey through”. the man put his hand back into jeans pocket, when a shining tri-wheeler turned in his direction. an exchange of words, the man climbed in, tri-wheeler disappeared in  flowing river of automobiles…

“I love you”, she whispered loudly. He didn’t respond, eyes fixed on the windscreen, one hand on steering wheel the other on the gear box. Suddenly he pushed the accelerator to the floor, not shifting gear until the engine roared noisily. Three small vertical lines originated on his forehead just between his thick eyebrows as he saw the road block ahead. Punching the horn strongly, he cried out,”and i live you!”. She closed her moist eyes and a drop of tears travelled from her eye through the smooth white cheek to her lip and fell on her beautiful hand. After fifty minutes of traffic noise, her silent weeps, the brakes, the clutch, the accelerator, they reached the highway. There had been an accident , the driver was seriously injured. reportedly, a woman trying to cross the road had come in the middle suddenly. the car had turn turtled but the driving was breathing. The road remained blocked for almost thirty minutes. the wrinkled face old lady at the milk shop picked up a flyer from the scene with bloodstains on it:“grand opening on 9 december—— Bon Appetite—– bakers from France”.

The night was amazingly cold. the weather had changed so drastically, just like their relationship. the cars on highway were few and far between. moon lit the road magnificently and the combined effect of the coolness , moisture on the glass, far away flickering lights, music, roar of the engine, sound of the tyres against the road, the horrifying flow of wind through his side of the slightly open window glass made the surroundings mysteriously beautiful. There had been no flow of words since  his angry expression of deep love in the traffic jam. “I have to pee”, she said in low tone. He pointed to a road sign reading: Gas Station, 7 km ahead, without saying anything.

whenever they had fought, he was the one to reconcile first. he was the one who always made amends irrespective who had started first. he never liked the relationship strained for a long  period. he missed her. she was there, sitting in their room. she was there, staring at the tv. she was there, cooking. she was there, sleeping. yet he missed her. the absence of presence, the distant nearness, the apparent disappearance killed his insides. he felt his apartment like an abandoned palace. he would go, stand behind her and whisper in her ear, “i live you”, she would turn around and with moist eyes say, “i know”. a little body language and the morning is as happy as a love story’s end. this had not worked this time. hopes were lost……………………………………. green and blue logo of gas station appeared after few kilometres. they stopped at the gas station. “make it quick”, he barked.  she stepped out of the vehicle. cold wind made her shiver. she wrapped the black and brown shawl around her, one of the two gifts she liked the most that his mother had given to the beautiful bride. the huge platform of the gas station made her feel small and lonely. the toilet was at the corner beside the little shop.as she passed the shop she heard voices of men speaking an unrecognizable language. one man became attentive and peered out of the glass giving her a thorough look.  a slim lone woman at midnight! a female! a female! she caught his eye.

unexpectedly, the toilet was well-lit and clean, except a wall. the wall was full of graffiti. graffiti of red coloured paan-spits. resembling blood………………………he stepped out of the vehicle. lit a cigarette while reading the no smoking sign. the fuel tank was already full. he tool a deep breath full of nicotine, exhaled and kicked a stone lying on the ground  powerfully. it hit something few yards away; the thing moved away.  it was an echidna, invisible in the darkness. he stood still for a minute and let out a relaxed breath. as a child he always loved long distance travels by road. he remembered jumping out of the intercity bus when it stopped for gas. especially at nights. he would hold his dad’s hand  and walk towards the near by dry fruit monger and buy peanuts for mom, sis, bro ,him and dad. he would then walk over to the bus driver and ask what speed was he driving at and how long would it take to reach the next city. he would look closely with narrow eyes in the far-stretching darkness to find any signs of life, especially the red eyes ! the gas station used to be a safest place for him at those moments. an oasis in the gloominess of night….. footsteps, it must be her, turn around!

a man in black shalwar kameez and sleeveless jacket carrying a green coloured tea kettle and three infinitesimally small cups on a silver dish giving a broad grin said,’ “salamalaikum sahab chai piyey gaa?” (sir will you have some tea?). “nahin khan sahab, bohat shukria” (no, thank you). he loved tea. the man went back quickly. ten minutes had gone and she had not returned. he walked towards the toilet, passed by the shop, heard voices in unrecognizable language, caught eye of a man peering through the glass. she was there. white as a ghost. the lock was not working. it wont open.  i pushed it hard and the door just broke. calm down, calm down. you are out now, i am here, i am here, let’s go. they walked, towards the car, passed by the shop, did not hear any voices in any language, did not catch the eye of any man peering through the glass………………wait! keys are not jingling…………………………………………. oh thank God the car is still there.

35 Kilometers later

No, please don’t! No! No!! Leave him alone, she cried.

he is dead. they shot him. his hands are tied together. the thick white ropes are now red! his wrist-watch shows 3 in the morning! he cannot hear her cries now.  he is lying in middle of a clear land with the boundaries made of  wild plants. two cars parked outside the make shift rendezvous place. a 4×4 Nissan Patrol. his Toyota Corolla. they touched her. he moved. they shot him.

engines ignited. headlights glared his half-open brown eye!

she killed the baby. they killed him.

Pleasurable Imperfection

no one likes irregularity. neither do I. i have irregular hair. i have irregular thoughts. a friend of mine has irregular nose. my sister has irregular cell phone. my cousin has irregular teeth. no one likes irregularity. i wanted to write without hindrances. i wanted to sleep one night and wake up next day to be known as  like of Franz Kafka. i wanted to imagine. but i had irregular thoughts. no one likes irregularity. neither do i. i wrote one day. two pages, just two. only if ecstasy could stand strong. man of my stature would not resort to failure.i wrote therefore, but irregular things…….my favourite lines from books i have read..it was pleasure to be imperfect, it has always been!

 

we all gazed back at the manor, as one watches distant smoke clouds and waits for the flames to appear.mortality is not the preserve of only the old. and in doing so we discovered that greatest lovers are not those who are blessed with constancy and sameness but those who never stop changing. Those with the gift of being different people at different times! empathy is not enough, we have to share the sacrifice in some fashion.we struggle to free ourselves from one prison only to submit ourselves to another. man is a restless being engrossed in his ideals to the point of forgetting everything else, capable of inflicting pain on himself in his ceaseless quest after fresh scopes for self expression.you are not who you see reflected in the mirror you are who you see shining in other men’s eyes. the world survives by those who have generosity of spirit  but is owned by those who have none. if your heart is not deceived by the mirage,be not proud of the sharpness of your understanding, for your freedom from this optical illusion is due to your imperfect thirst.The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry