Archive for the ‘dance’ Category

culture of silence – blog post in the newspaper Nation

February 28, 2015

A little over five years ago, I needed to talk to someone, anyone. I needed catharsis to find if the doubts, fears and guilt I faced were mine alone, or I was part of a larger group with similar issues.

And I found myself stonewalled at every step.

No one was ready to listen to me. Every one found sanctuary in an age old cultural and social desire of not discussing any issue that questioned the beliefs and norms – of acquiescing to what is happening – something that is so deeply entrenched in us with years of “teaching.” In plain words, one must accept misfortune in silence in the hope that time will heal wounds.

culture of silence – new blog-post

the smile

November 3, 2013

as i walk
life’s thorny path
treading softly,
to lessen the
thorns prick.
yet leaving a red
footprint to mark
the passage from
one to the other step.
till along the way
eyes closed tight
against the pain
as i put my torn and tired
foot on the ground
i felt not the thorns
but a gossamer soft
cooling balm,
healing the pricks
shocking me to open
my eyes in disbelief.
to see standing there
an ethereal smiling vision
multihued diaphanous dress
wafting in the cool breeze
turning the thorns
into spring blossoms!

28-10-2013
8:14 pm
on bus between lahore and islamabad, crossing the salt range

‘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!

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.

Image

Shackles

March 18, 2013

Shackles

Shackled

To the peg of life

Shackling

To a state

Torturous

Defiling

Denying

That what is wished

Leaving no place

For desires

To be had

Thoughts to bloom

Just a void

Where wants should be

Granted

Wishes Given

Desires acceded to

But the schemer

Of schemes

Has schemes

Which defy thought

Leaving another void

In which we

headlong fall

Crying unfair

But the schemer

Turns another leave

Of his book of schemes

Shackling more

The shackles

Called desire!

March 16, 2013

23.44 hours

Voices

March 10, 2013

I am not me

But the voices inside

Which haunt me

Waiting for their turn

To be heard

Over the din infinite

Silent, yet eloquent.

And I drown their voices

In unnecessary chatter

Not wanting to hear

That what they will say

For they may have

Something that may

Break in an exact extent

The serene circle

That I have

So painstakingly made

Around me to keep

Away, precisely such voices

From telling me

And making me brood,

Am I wrong?

*

*

March 10, 2013

2:45 pm

dawn

December 18, 2012

a deep troubled slumber full of

tossing and turning in the night

dreams disjointed and flitting

unconnected and rushing

unremembered shadows of darkness

peeking from behind unknown slats

chasing each other till it was dawn.

and the cacophony to challenge

the faithful to a lot better than sleep

erupted from loudspeakers all round

vying to drown the call of the other

intruding blissfully on the state

in which the night had passed

finally spent and tired of the fitfulness

i turned in bed and slept,

oblivious.

17-Dec-12 6:45 PM

new poem – untitled

November 30, 2012

omnipotence
presence
all-encompassing
supreme
lord of being
and all that has been
or will be
how can one
comprehend
the depth
or breadth
of the sway
at His disposal
when one can not
even know
the deep dark inside
of one’s own self
hidden under a sheath
a thin sheen
dulled by time
dust and grime
running after what
should be in our watch
forgetting what is for us
to be in the scheme
made on the day when
He molded the clay
to form till eternity
all, to obey
remember
exalt
but mortals we
not doing and
wondering
what went wrong?

23-Nov-12 6:58 PM

Life Goes On

September 4, 2012

Life Goes On 6.

best depiction ever!

this was Pakistan also

August 13, 2012

we were a tolerant, caring and loving people. then something went wrong – Allah’s wrath visited us for the sins of intolerance, please see these links for the stories – what we were and what we have become are two entirely different planes!
http://dawn.com/2012/02/09/also-pakistan-2/
http://dawn.com/2012/05/24/also-pakistan-ii/
http://dawn.com/2012/07/26/also-pakistan-iii/
http://dawn.com/2012/08/09/also-pakistan-iv/