Archive for September, 2013

Peshawar 22.09.2013

September 23, 2013

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My friends were there

Praying to God

My people all bowed

Asking for His blessings

For them and theirs

And for Pakistan

Everyone there was mine

Children mine

Girls mine

Boys mine

Youth mine

Mothers mine

Fathers mine

Old aged mine

All on their knees

Singing hymns

And saying ‘aamin’

Sunday best

Dresses and mood

Happiness and mirth

All of this earth.

And a deafening sound

Heat, pain, fire around

Disbelief, flying metal

Sky rending cries

And another sound

Adding to the din

Limbs and clothes

Shoes and sandals

Sobs and groans

Silence and moans

My people all

Shattered and torn

Asking where if the God

They had just invoked

Another story,

Another lament,

More photo-ops and

Media to comment

Three days to mourn

Then back to work

The usual drudge.

The night falls

Silence reigns

An occasional sob to show

Life exists in deathly throes

To cry the names of one

Who will never return,

Home, left torn.

The question again

Raises its head

Where is the will

To stop this bloodshed

Or do we wait

With bleeding hearts

The dawn of another day

And dread the next news

Of man’s hatred?

 

Sunday 22nd September 2013

09.45 pm

eyes

September 14, 2013

26-eye-pencil-drawing

un-satiated

open wide, looking,

fluttering in that last

moment of knowing.

the eyes wait

for a glimpse

of the beloved.

willing the mind

to live a bit longer

wanting the heart

to beat one more time,

glazed but fixed

at the bend in the path

the last excuse to live,

nurturing the hope that

the bends hides

the face of the beloved.

fluttering eyelids

faltering breaths

vacant vision

grayed and shot

with tentacles red.

hope longing to see

one last glimpse,

lost!

 

Ajay latha nai’o akhiyaan da chaa,

tu thori dair hooar baith ja!

September 14, 2013

6.45 pm

‘ajje latha naeyo akhian da chaa’ NFAK

September 14, 2013

‘ajje latha naeyo akhian da chaa’ NFAK

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan rendering the epic ‘ajje latha naeyo akhian da chaa’ in his grand style

asking the beloved to stay a while, as the eyes are still not satiated with looking at the beloved!

hidden path (poem new here, but from february!)

September 11, 2013

letting go

or discovering

unlearning to learn

rediscovering anew

a passage of rights

of sorts, uncharted

less known for us

the path strewn

with nettles

pebbles so small

that wound the feet

small droplets of blood

marking the path

for those who follow

to know they are

not alone

attracting also

the insects

like hounds to

the smell or

primeval instinct

of the hunt

the odor of fear

picked by the

keen nose

straining at the

leash for the

hunters whistle

so the uncertain

hidden path

future unknown

but pain certain

beckons,

come.

 

 

7 February 13

09:55 am

My Reminiscence of 06 September 1965

September 6, 2013

Monday, 06 September 1965, was a special day for me, the first day of first year in Edwardes College, Peshawar. Ready to be made first year fools of, I cycled to college in a smart and fresh college uniform of white shirt and militia trousers. Apprehensive, a bit fearful, and dreaming of a future that only boys of 17 stepping into college can dream!

We were given a few jumps in the ground and a run round the quadrangle of the hostel, and then herded in to the hall for the principal’s address. Dr. Phil Edmonds strode on stage followed by the faculty, and Titch (his white poodle, that went everywhere he or his wife went); we were awestruck to see he was wearing the same college uniform that we were all wearing. We never saw him wearing any other dress during college hours throughout the four years we studied there.

Regular classes with orientation in each class then started, and at 12 we were let off.

Cycling back, I was surprised that there was no traffic on the roads, an eerie silence as if a calamity was waiting to happen with bated breath!

I reached home, and contrary to the hope that my mother would be standing on the door to receive me, I saw my younger brother rush out of the house and shouted, bhai, come quick, India has attacked Pakistan, President Ayub is about to address the nation. I almost threw the cycle down and ran into the room, surprised to see my father there also. He had come from the office to watch the address and reassure us that things were well, and Pakistan would be safe!

Later that afternoon a ‘fatigue’ party from the unit came to the house, and dug an air raid shelter in the walled compound on the side (the compound was bigger in size than most plots on which we make houses today!). For the next 17 days, every time the sirens went off to warn of an air raid, we would go down into the shelter and wait for the clear siren before coming out again. We even had two big shrapnel’s from bombs on two different occasions fall in our compound (I wonder where these would be now in fathers store, till mother was alive things like these, and other mementos were kept carefully!).

Edwardes College remained open for all the 17 days of the war in September 1965, and after and it was studies as usual!

Some of us friends then decided to become part of the war effort, and our contribution was to go to the Peshawar railway station, just across the road from Edwardes College, and help load stuff, like Jerry cans of petrol, eggs, and etc., in trains which were then taken down country for supplies.

Heady days, the few of us army brats, had a special place in the hearts of all, because our dads were fighting the enemy!

Today, when I see the fragmented and disheveled state of things in Pakistan, I feel sad – not only for the times when the people stood united as a nation, but for the loss, disintegration, insurgency, extremism and what have you, that has divided us into factions, with a loss of Pakistani nationality.

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