Wednesday, March 27

This ocean, the dawn, this shining bronzy hue,
They aren’t the poem, the poem are you

Wednesday, March 20

On the birthday of a very dear friend

Pink is the pretty spring
Gardens dressed in green
Jolly are the clapping leaves
Merry birds sing between
 Aamir, Eman and Yasmin say
Happy Birthday Jasmine
May Almighty grant you
All the best, seen and unseen

Thursday, March 14

Life is a battle front

Life is a battle front
and it's OK at times,
to stumble and fall
to receive a cut,
to get deceived,
to get exhausted.
What truly matters, is
keeping your head up,
your heart warm,
your passion alive
and never surrender

Monday, December 10

A Fairytale for Grown Ups (as well as for children)

Jack and Jill went out to forest. They collected berries for their mother, flowers for their grandmother and colorful feathers for their own play. They spent all day in forest and crammed their bags with feathers, flowers and berries until there was no space left for anything, not for even a single straw.

When they wanted to go home, it dawned upon them that they are lost in forest. This dawning was a dreadful one, as it happened in late evening. Trembling with fear and shivering with cold, they ran desperately in every direction to find the way back home but failed and night fell upon them. Well, it didn’t hit, night doesn’t hit when it falls but often brings trouble so great and dreadful that you wish it had hit you instead. They wandered in the darkness, wept and wondered where to go now. Night grew colder and colder, their little feet froze, tiny noses went red and fingers felt like made of snow.

At last they saw a small light far away, penetrating through leaves and shrubs. They hastened towards it, hoping it might be erupting from some fire that could warm them.

When they arrived at the light, they found it coming from a big window, of a very big house made of very big stones. They knocked on the front door of house; hoping owner of house will be kind enough to let them stay for a night.

First they heard a grumble “Who is disturbing me at this important night?” Then a dreadful person, with a long nose and typical face of magicians in fairy tales, opened the door and peeped out. “Hey, kids! What are you doing here this late in night?” He shouted.

“We have lost our way in forest; please let us stay at your house for the night. It’s too cold out there.” Jack begged.

“What? Let you stay at my house? No, no, no, no way!” Magician grumbled. “Don’t you know, in fairy tales, house of magicians are a dangerous place for kids. Besides, I’m preparing for a very important feast tonight and it’s already too late to finish all my work. I have waited my whole life to become the host of year, tonight is a night of honor for me and I can’t let anyone spoil it no matter how lost they are and how cold is it out there. Oh, oh, what this unpleasant smell is about? Something is burning in kitchen.” He slammed the door shut.

“Please, please! We are freezing here” Both children screamed and went on knocking the door with their little hands.

“I say, be off!” Magician roared from inside.

“If you let us in, we’ll help you in arranging your feast and we’ll not ask for anything from your dinner to eat. We promise” Jill implored.

This might have made magician think, for he opened the door after a while and bade them in.

He took them to a large room where chairs were arranged around a very very big table and table was full with many dishes and bowels, all hot and smoking. Between them, many vases with withered flowers were arranged. Those flowers might be red, pink, yellow, purple and white when they were plucked but now they all were lifeless, a pale brown, looking more dismal in light of candles hanging above the table without anything to hold them. Children saw that all and wondered but they didn’t ask anything. It was house of a magician and obviously it was supposed to host such oddities, besides, magicians get angry when asked about their magic and no one can afford to annoy their host when it’s too cold out there.

“Cooking has never been a problem for me!” Magician said. “My quick-cook-easy-eat spell can make a hundred pies out of one apple and one hundred glasses of juice from one orange but decorating the room is always a problem. I wish I could use instant-adorn-pretty-party spell but my magical powers are exhausted already. I don’t let other magicians know about it, they’ll laugh at my weakness therefore it’s necessary to perform every ritual of tonight exactly as it should be performed. Girl, you take these garlands to opposite wall and spread on those shelves. This is a special occasion and I want everything to be exactly where it should be.”

“What special occasion it is?” Jack inquired.

“Ho ho, this is the feast of heartbreak!” When he laughed, his laughter was like one thousand utensils in one hundred kitchens rattling together. “The holiest festival of melancholy magic, we the practitioners of mighty melancholic magic eat and party tonight, a party like no other.”

“What special dishes did you make for this party?” Jill asked.

“There are many” Magician said proudly. “There is the hurt-heart-paincake, bitter-betrayal-pie and torn-trust-porridge, to be served with special lost-life-hard-drink, everything is made with most malign elements of evil possible in the world, collected from around the world in many days, even with help of gather-great-everything-easy spell it takes days to gather all those substances.”

“Wow” Both kids exclaimed, without understanding what he meant by malign and evil “What do you do at party?”

“We eat and drink, until the hurt and the bitterness comes over us, the torn-apartness and the hardness stabs our hearts to deepest depths, then we cry out so loudly that no human ears can endure listening to us. When party reaches the climax, each withered flower on the table becomes a ghost and flies out of the window into human world. This is the time of year when melancholy magic is at heights of its strength. With the power of melancholy magic, our ghosts break people’s hearts, they make them forgetful of their promises and angry and weary and bored. They remind people of things not worth remembering and make them forget things worth remembering. They steal from post boxes letters written to end a quarrel, to start anew, to convey love, only letters meant to provoke the rage and tear people apart are allowed to reach their destinations tonight. Our ghosts whisper doubts in ears of people and block their ears by sitting in between when trust is whispered. Then, next year, on the night of heartbreak festival, in the home of magician who will be the host of year, we’ll welcome new guests, new magicians of melancholy magic, so do we grow in number year by year. Hey, we’re already late and you have got me in telling you stories? Hurry up, complete decorating the walls then we have to set up the table. Boy, hold on to this stool and let me I hang this painting on the wall.”

But jack couldn’t hold on to stool. When magician rose on his toes to hang the picture, stool got out of balance and magician fell backwards, right on the table. His head went straight into the cake, one hand threw the bowl of porridge on floor, the other hand turned the dish with pie upside down with a thud, jug of hard-drink fell down and soaked the whole table cloth.

“You little devils, you spoiled my feast.” Magician shouted when he realized what has happened. “I had spent all my magical powers for this feast and I’m exhausted already, from where should I make all these meals again, and, oh, oh, oh I have so little of time remained. Give me mine food back or I’ll kill you” Magician shouted and began crying.

At first kids were afraid and puzzled as well, magicians in their fairytales never wept but what else can you expect from a magician on the night of heartbreak festival. Then they did what kids do, Jack put his tiny hand on the shoulder of magician and Jill held a finger of his big rough hand. “Magician Uncle! Please don’t cry. Granny says hearts of children are full of magic, may be you can borrow some magic from our hearts.”

This was for sure good news because magician jumped up “Oh, I was taught this in my primer or magic, how forgetful I am. Though primer said this magic is a different kind of magic but I’m so desperate to keep my honor, any magic would do tonight.”

He took children to another room and stood with them before a big mirror. “This is the mirror of truth; it tells us how much magic a heart holds.”

Jack and Jill saw with surprise, their hearts were flaming with magic, they both had got big bonfires of magic there, while in magician’s heart it was a tiny spark, so small and dim that kids couldn’t see it until magician put his finger on mirror to tell them.”

“Now, boy you should stand on my left and girl you should stand on right. I’ll put my hands on your hearts, chant great-gift-melodious-magic spell and say “Give me your magic” while you’d say “We give you our magic, take these flames from our hearts and kindle yours own”

Children obeyed and they saw with awe fire in heart of magician rising up again. Magician was pretty happy to watch this as well. “Now, you can stay in the room but remember, don’t come to dining hall, not at any cost, I’ll arrange that all at my own. Don’t forget to put your fingers in ears when party started”

There was a big clumsy sofa in room where they both sat and tried to sleep. But it’s not easy to sleep in house of a magician, especially when you know a party is going on in the room next door. First, they listened to the sound of magician cleaning up the mess, then sounds of his chanting spells. Then they listened to door bell ringing again and again, one, two, three, four …. ten, eleven, twelve, they counted total thirty seven guests. Magicians greeted each other with strange greetings like “I hope this is going to be last year of your life”, “Hope to not see you next year”, “How are you?” “Oh I have been healthy for too long, happy I got a little sickness now” “Wow, how beautifully pale you are, your face was dreadfully red last years when we met”

Then party began, at first a few rituals were carried, a few spells were chanted and some big magician made a speech, wishing whole world to be brokenhearted and flowers of all world to wither, friends of all world to become enemies and lovers of all world to stay apart forever. When they started eating, kids shriveled at their places and waited for the cries and screams to begin anytime, they kept their fingers close to ears so they could poke them in the moment noise becomes unendurable.

But to their surprise and for sure to the surprise of everybody else, nothing such happened. Party went on and no cry reached their ears.

An anxious magician said. “What’s matter, I’m not feeling inclined to cry.”

Then another voice came. “There is something wrong with this food; it’s not cooked with right magic.”

Then they listened to their host stammering, he was trying to explain how he lost the food he had prepared for the feast and how he needed to borrow magic from some children in order to prepare it again. He sounded so funny that all magicians started laughing. Jack and Jill tried to stop their laughter but it was beyond control.

begun laughing at their own places while

“You fool” Someone cackled. “Don’t you know rules no 3456 of preparation for heartbreak festival? Never prepared the meal for this special night with magic borrowed from children”

Magician nervously said he was too tired to read after first 2370 rules therefore couldn’t read further. Everybody started laughing again, loud ha-has echoed everywhere in the house. Children are naturally attracted to happiness and happiness is naturally attracted to them, after listening to continuous laughter, they decided to join the party and went to the part hall.

There was a strange scene, room was totally different. Magicians were laughing, shaking hands and hugging each other, with each handshake, laughter or hug another flower on the table was reincarnated, brought back to life with original pink, red, purple or whatever color it was. Paintings on walls were also becoming alive and people in them were shaking hands, exchanging greetings and hugging each other. Jack and Jill were a little afraid but they were welcomed so warmly that all their fear vanished into thin air within moments.

“I want to thank these children for the precious lesson they taught us tonight!” Most senior magician said. “They have taught us that no matter how strong the magic of melancholy becomes, no matter how bitter the bitter-betrayal-pie is and how sour the torn-trust-porridge is, no matter how poisonous the lost-life-hard-drink is, the magic from heart of children can change it all overnight. It’s a lesson worth remembering forever. Claps for our little guests” and the whole room went mad with clapping.

“We’ll express our gratitude with a special gift, anything that our guests want, we’ll bring them. Speak, little ones, what special gift do you want?”

“We want to go back home” Both said innocently and room went mad with clapping again.

“This is another precious lesson, worth remembering forever, there is no gift on Earth more special than your home. Thanks little ones” This time applaud was so loud that they really put fingers in their ears.

Most senior magician chanted a spell and lo, Jack and Jill were both in blanket with their granny who was awake, waiting for them. She smiled when Jack and Jill told her their story and though children couldn’t see, the magicians in far away forest saw the heart of granny also flaming with the same magic, the magic that never fails and the fire those never goes out.

Tuesday, November 1

Tale of A (Not So) Beautiful Morning - (2)

Click here for first part of this story if you haven't read that already. 

The very moment I decided to remove the kettle from stove, another disgraceful fact was revealed, very shameful for a proficient man of house especially in front of critical eyes of a lady. Telling you that fact implies another disgrace, but as I have set myself to narrate those events, I have no other way except disclosing that shameful secret. The matter of fact is, well, I mean the truth is that there was no handle with the kettle.

The handle of my teakettle had left the kettle long ago after a fiery quarrel over the stove. History is a tricky subject to involve in such a matters if you ask me what caused that fiery quarrel, you can partly blame me for setting flames of stove too high and initiating the battle, but you can’t blame me for their parting. I had detected the odor of burning wood within 10 minutes of quarrel and took rapid actions to prevent the outcome but prevention is not an easy thing when a kettle and its handle have decided to part! Since then, I’m used to remove the kettle from stove by gripping its spout with help of a piece of cloth, and that piece of cloth was, umm, it’s even more inglorious part of truth, that piece of cloth was often one of my shirts needing laundry!! If you are by chance a single man living alone, I expect you to sympathize with me; otherwise you can smile, laugh, grin, scowl, frown or do whatever you feel like doing and continue reading.

She noticed my hesitation and before I could explain anything, pointed towards the corner of kitchen where the shirt that currently held the capacity of dishcloth lay! “You need that, perhaps …” That’s the most accurate definition of “Worst comes to worst” I ever got, if you understand what I mean!

Normally I’m a tidy person and like to dust off my dishcloth by hitting it with shelves but you know dispersing the dust in air in presence of a lady is not a much decent thing to do, therefore I decided to directly use it but the tea gushing from spout, more horrifically than BP oil spill this summer, wasn’t in mood of letting me accomplish my mission. I had begun to get irritated by that time, such number of humiliations before a lady in a single morning is enough to make any gentleman irritated, I hope you’ll be agree with me, a very little hope I mean.

In irritation, I called forth my commando skills to accomplish this task, without caring for the hot tea gushing from spout, I held the spout tightly with my current dishcloth and removed it off the stove with a sudden jerk, kind of swift commando actions those take seconds to complete! No doubt mine was a successful one, for one moment I thought I can really storm into window of, say, a room where a meeting of mafia dons is going on and rid the world of them in five seconds with my submachine gun or whatever they use in such actions and after another five seconds I’ll be freeing a very beautiful captive, comforting her “Don’t worry, I’m her! Danger is over!”

But a loud girly scream didn’t let my joy last than for more than one moment! Girls are prefect spoiler in every situation, really! I choked for a moment, like I have really stormed into a room where meeting of mafia don is going on but before I can do commando action, my heroine, tied with a chair, have yelled loudly and angrily “Dude, where is your gun?” Recovering my senses took somewhat longer than time spent in commando action but I was able to come back to senses finally and discover my kind annoyer Sarah rubbing back of her hand with palm of other hand and two very big tears in her eyes about to drop out anytime!

 It’s most inglorious part of story, hadn’t I set myself to narrate these events honestly, I could have said she was thrilled or surprised or bewildered at my successful commando operation, but the matter of fact is, a considerable amount of drops from hot boiling tea had flown off the angry kettle during my commando action and landed directly on the back of her hand, well, you can understand well what had happened!

I swear I didn’t know what I’m doing! You can’t blame me; we are never taught what to do if we have burned hand of a girl mistakenly. School and college teachers always insist on teaching us laws of Newton and theories of Einstein those have little value in world of such practical matters and this is a sad thing. We are left on our instincts to determine our course of action and instincts are said to be left over of hunter-gatherer age so it makes pretty much sense when our actions in such situation lack civility. I mean how you can expect a hunter-gatherer to know what to do when you have burned hand of a girl mistakenly. At first hand, it’s not known if hunter-gatherer were used to drink tea (Ever before that, it’s not known if they were used to have proper breakfasts) and even if they drank tea, it’s not known whether they had kitchens and even if they had kitchens it’s not known if they used kettles but even if they used kettles I’m 100% sure they had no office to be late and worry about. For all the lack of my civility, I blame hunter-gatherer man, who didn’t care much to explore manners of dealing with girls and left us in such dilemmas in the age when education system don’t know what we really want to learn.

Before you intend to punch in the monitor, pardon me again for my wordiness and let me tell you that for some moments I couldn’t know what I’m doing but when I realized it I was about to faint with shame. I was caressing back of her hand with my current dishcloth (My shirt, in order to remind you if you have forgot) and saying “Oh, I’m sorry, it wasn’t my fault” Though I could really not answer if she had asked who else’s fault it was. If this was an ordinary situation, I could make a good story about some ghosts living in my kitchen, determined to keep me single forever but it was an emergency and you know you can’t make good stories in emergency situations; hunter-gatherer senses don’t seem to have a literary taste! I have not told you the worst part though, the dishcloth, for being in use for more than one week, had absorbed a good amount of blackness and this all was being applied to her hand like a fine boot polish, I mean, really it had a good shine, rare for blackness of kitchen utensils.  

These were moments of utmost shame to me and were supposed to be moments of great resentment to her, naturally! But, for my surprise, when I looked into her eyes where two very big tears were floating moments ago, there was something else, something that you can’t name accordingly but can guess that it’s not sort of anger you are expecting. There was a pretty smile on her lips, the typical smile that girls have when they watch boys committing a folly in their presence but there was something more than that typical. I mean, when you see something typical you know it’s typical and you need not to feel anything special about it because it’s typical but when you feel something special when you are thinking it’s typical you know there is something more than typical.

Something that can make you forget that you are late for office and you have just lost your breakfast tea! Something that takes away the regret of a failed commando action even if you have stormed into a meeting of mafia dons without gun! Something that can make you forget that you are stood in small kitchen where a very stupid stove is still lit and a good lot of unwashed dishes and a shirt that is used as a dishcloth are telling of your clumsiness! Something that can make you feel like having had best breakfast of your life without having an actual breakfast at all! 

Something that can make you feel like you are walking in a garden on an endless carpet of green velvet, flowers of all possible colors and scents are waking from their night-long sleep and morning breeze is whispering into their ears just like, ahem, I guess you have understood what I mean; butterflies, fortunate butterflies those never have to worry about being late for office, are peeping out from behind the flowers they slept in (Hmm, I really don’t know where butterflies sleep but in my dream garden they sleep in flowers, using one petal as bed sheet and another one as cover) Something that scatters all over that garden like soft and saucy rays of morning sun, making you warm and as light and happy as a bird!

I’ll not pardon for my wordiness anymore, if you have managed to reach this far in this story it means either you have enough guts to tolerate it or you are enjoying it, in both case I don’t need to excuse. I just want to tell you that this sweet feeling had immediate effects, so much profound effects that I didn’t object at all when she also took almost half of sugar from jar after taking more than one dozen tea-bags from the carton and left the kitchen with a melodious “Thank you”. I have been smiling soberly all the time, but you can imagine how much soberness in a smile is left after all this! I bet it wasn’t better than smile of Tom when he is trying to act gracefully after a black and blue defeat by Jerry but she says it was very charming and beautiful smile, almost like a celebrity, though she never told me like which celebrity and I sometimes wonder if she means Mr. Bean.

When she left, at once all the humiliation vanished in thin air and I felt a wave of happiness, a intense feeling of joy that makes you feel like all that sunshine, garden, butterflies, birds and flowers are inside your heart and you are inwardly dancing around them. I threw the dishcloth-cum-shirt aside and rubbed my hands excitedly, and smiled and sung a song that had nothing to do with occasion, until an unpleasant smell told me that something has went wrong again and I turned back to find my dishcloth on fire, I had thrown it on stove in my high spirits.

Story ends here abruptly. You might be interested in knowing what happened afterwards and believe me I was much happier to tell you if there was really something to tell. But it proved to be much ordinary afterwards. We married after a few months and in these few months, no jealous lover tried to kill me nor did any kind of ghost or evil spirit tried to interrupt and give our story a horror touch. Neither a fierce father appeared to threaten me of breaking my neck in case he saw me around her daughter again, nor any mysterious friend told me an unbelievable story about her past. Nor did she told me one day that she is a CIA agent in fact and all she wanted is to extract some secret papers buried under the floor of my kitchen, nor did I have to tell her that I have been a contract killer in past whose name was symbol of horror in underworlds and I had to leave worlds of crime after some life-changing event and I was about to commit suicide if she didn’t enter my life as a purpose to live. I mean nothing really adventurous, interesting, horrific, tragic etc. happened. We simply married and are getting along with each other since then, I have never to worry about being late for office and she have never to worry about teabags or sugar in the jar, so we can say things are going smoothly! Though I still wonder if someday we’ll discover each other in completely new faces as Mr. & Mrs. Smith did. Hollywood can spoil your mind, really, if they don’t produce some funny too for the sake of keeping you sane, that’s only serious thing about them.

In the end, let me tell what caused me to write these events after years. For many days, she is asking me to buy her a new kettle because handle of old kettle is broken. Today I went to kitchen for something and found one of my shirts lay in corner of kitchen. The blackness it has absorbed told me it’s being used to remove the kettle without handle from stove!

Aw, you are laughing again and it’s your right, I also laughed so hard that it brought tears to my eyes!