Archive for the ‘romance’ 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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written on the wall

February 14, 2014

0As the much hyped government Taliban negotiations, make headline news, allegations, counter allegations, conditions and counter conditions, go on, the people are left in a state of disbelief, for talks and bombing, killing, goes on in parallel.

Do the dead and wounded and those who survive care for the outcome, or want as decisive an action as the extremists undertake?

 take a breath

deep if you can

or even shallow

as you always do,

feel the pain

the scathing burning

acrid taste of burning

tearing down your throat

smell of flesh, clothes and wood

tinged with explosives

even as you look away

and cover your nose

the throat tells you, you have

just been exposed to

a bomb blast.

and as you run

you stumble and fall

shocked to see

beneath your feet

shattered humanity

bleeding, torn, incinerated

and you stand in shock

and one thought

why us? rises

above all in your mind

and you wonder if the

negotiations touted as the

mother of all talks

will have any effect?

and even if they do

will the result of these

bring back the humanity

you just stepped on

back to life

forgetting

forgiving

reliving life

being able to love

once again?

and you can see the

writing on the wall

seen by all

but those who matter

confused and unsure between

containment,

elimination,

conciliation,

oblivious to the pain,

loss, suffering and feelings

for they have not suffered

hiding behind their high walls

long convoys in duplicates

moving along different routes

jammers, rerouting traffic

and all spent on the

alter of expediency, the

dead, maimed and wounded

unseen, unsung, unheard.

change, for the sake of your people

your mindset, and realize

and eye for an eye

was written for such as these!

February 13, 2014

8:16 pm

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!

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

School of International Law – Follow up interaction

December 2, 2012

we had a follow up on 29 Nov, to the 04 Oct, interaction with students at SIL.

well attended, and great interaction session, the students came prepared with the questions i had sent, and their search was in the right direction.

the questions answer session was intense and informative, and i found this group of youth to be fully aware of the ill’s of extremism, and active in “Saying No to Terrorism”

Image

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