Archive for the ‘mother’ Category

Back Home Blues

April 27, 2016

An essay i read on 27 April 2016

A hectic week of buying, sorting out and ticking off of the list, and packing; with farewell dinners and teas thrown in for good measure; found me sitting in the GTS bus for a journey to Abbottabad, with the proverbial pae’tie (tin trunk) and canvas bistar bund (bed roll) loaded on the top of the bus – yes in those days of non AC Foton and Daewoo busses the luggage was carried on the roof top rack!

And so on the evening of 4th June 1969, I reached Abbottabad, got into a waiting military truck along with a few other gangly kids for the 15 minute or so ride to the Pakistan Military Academy.

The next many years were spent serving between Somiani on the Arabian Sea to Siachen, the highest battle ground in the world and having the best of times.

Home was the sarkari ghar allotted – setting it up, decorating it, living and entertaining in it, till the time came to pack and move and the process restarted.

In all this setting up homes and moving from city to city, somewhere at the back of the mind was the picture of “back home” – the home I left in 1969 and visited once a year every year, meeting the permanent inhabitants of that home, my parents.

Welcoming us as they would do guests – who would soon go back to the alien world they came from and life would come back to the normal without such intrusions.

Of course there were unscheduled visits back home also, deaths and marriages called for our presence – obediently following the rituals returned to our life outside this cocoon of our youth!

In all these changes the only constant being a flower pot with a money plant planted in soil which like the money plant was taken from the flower bed back home.

And then as they say life came full circle and it was time to finish the business in alien lands and return home.

Roots tugged, I now wonder if it were the soil calling the money plant or home calling me?

Visions of walls with antiques, paintings, artifacts and rooms large enough to accommodate the whole house that we had lived in flashed in my mind. An empty nest was easy to pack for having lost my better half and knowing back home was also without the mother was hard; yet knowing I would be welcome to the home of my youth, missed for forty seven years but not acknowledged for fear of nostalgia intervening and making life difficult.

And then the off white walls of the house and the memories, and the laughter of days gone by, and the mischief filled hours, all started to pale before the reality of life back home; where once my youth thrived now lived a lost in nostalgia old man who responded to my calling him Daddy with a smile, and occasionally with stories of an age gone by.

And “back home” was no longer the colorful and joyous memories kept alive for forty seven years, but back home was blue.

I could not sit and enjoy things happening around me, because nothing happened unless I did it. Reality.

Reality also was that now I was no longer the same gangly footloose and fancy free boy of 1969, but a weather beaten experienced and rubbed on the wrong side by life garrulous, grumpy getting on in years man.

Reality was being called uncle or sir gee in shopping malls as I took time to read labels to see if the ingredients were good for me or not.

As I sat and thought about rediscovering home, I wondered if I was somehow thinking of and writing about what a few years from today my children would be experiencing when they came “back home” from their sojourns in foreign lands?

And I cringed, and wrote about rediscovering home.

Only this became back home blues.

Blue Ice

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malala

October 26, 2013

i thought i had posted this here when i wrote it, and only today found i have not:

————————————-

at fourteen she has

so much to live for

but surely not

a bullet in her head

to show the cowardice

of those who can not

stand up and face

a girl of fourteen

because her stand

in their face

makes them afraid

of an idea that she represents

and which may

cast doubts among

the professed guardians

of a religion to which belonged

aisha the wife, all of malala’s age

nasibah steadfast at ohad

fatima the daughter of muhammad (pbuh)

mother to hassan and hussain, wife of ali

zainab bint ali too among the names

umm e kulsum wife of usman

and a list of brave

learned, revered women

negated due to their deliberate desire

of ignoring history and narrative

of fourteen hundred years and more

taught, recounted and remembered

but they in their narrow interpretations

seeking to create a cult militant

ignorant, short on truth

long on hate of things that

go against their desire of leading

without opposition

neither ijmah nor questioning

where the khalifa got the cloth

to make a full shirt

or having two lamp with oil

from the state and self

for work and leisure.

and all this threatened

by a girl of fourteen

wanting to be like

the women of Islam

taught to her by her teachers

ingrained in her mind by parents

practiced by her daily

seen happening in life

and a bullet to the head

to end the life at fourteen

hanging to life in a hospital

by a tenuous thread

are the perpetrators

so afraid now

that a fourteen year old

that too a girl

becomes a threat to their edifice

made like a house of cards

one voice of a girl

against all odds

October 10, 2012

11:53 hours

Peshawar 22.09.2013

September 23, 2013

Image

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

National Women’s Assembly

December 13, 2012

13/12/12 thursday – a very well spent day

participated in the women’s national assembly, jointly organized by insan foundation trust (http://www.insanfoundationtrust.org/object.htm), aurat foundation (http://www.af.org.pk/index.htm), and UN women.

the first session included talks by women survivors from all five provinces of Pakistan, and AJK, the narrations moved the audience to tears on more than one occasion. security concerns led to some of the narratives being made by the women from behind a wall, further highlighting the of threat scenario to some of the religious sects and minority populations in Pakistan.

in the second session, women parliamentarians from all provinces talked about their experiences, hopes, and aspirations about the future of women in Pakistan,

the third session was for the launch of the CEDAW shadow report on Pakistan.

over all the day was very well spent and a learning experience.

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

Behtar Pakistan an Azm e Alishan presentation

November 4, 2012

please click for the latest episodes, i will be a panelist on the program on 17 Nov 2012

http://www.azmealishan.com/behtar-pakistan-season-2-episode/episode/2

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/

greetings

August 5, 2012

as i go about the chores of life, i find more and more people not replying to any form of greetings that should pass between people when they meet. my thoughts on this surface in these jottings.

please remember to return the greeting, if you do not offer these first, when you meet anyone in your daily life. and recollect how even passerby’s in the street or in the mall aisles abroad, always have a smile, a nod of the head and a hello for us, irrespective!

 

callous

uncaring

have we become,

not bothering

even to answer

a given greeting

ignoring the simple

wa alaikum as salam

do we do this

to save our time

thoughts and breath?

or have we lost

the lessons learnt

walking on our knees

seeking love in greeting

in our childish voices?

or in the rush

of life to

head on meet

destiny, we forget

the simple

assalam o alikum

is to save us

from doom

02 august 2012

1 am

PTSD and Pakistan

July 6, 2012

some attention being paid to the subject at last.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/356397/pakistan-becoming-psychological-pressure-cooker-say-psychiatrists/

http://www.crescentpost.com/2011/05/exclusive-the-ptsd-pandemic-in-pakistan/