No clouds, no stars, no poetry. No artificiality. Nothing sad, nothing good. Just plain feelings. No union dances, nothing in ecstatic motions, nothing to give pain. No hollow words or worlds. No cuts or bruises, nothing purple. Nothing red, vibrant, orange, yellow. Nothing dark or black either. Nothing about the unattainable ‘you’ or the challenging obstacles or the dried pens or broken canvases. Not even about the cold wintry nights or the absence of moon. No, nothing about December either even if it fills you with something… like, something. No somethings or nothings or somebodies or nobodies. No, no. No screams, tears, not even silences. Stop announcing everything. Stop bothering even, stop letting it bother YOU. Stop stopping even. Stop stopping the stopping, stop thinking the thought thinking of the thought thinking thinking of the thought. Woah get lost!
Shaikh Ayaz was a twentieth century poet, born on 23rd March 1923 in Shikarpur, Sindh. He is considered one of the best poets in Pakistan, and his work has earned him respect from all over the literary world. Having complete hold over English, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Hindi languages, his code of preference remained Sindhi, which gave him great fame in the province. He has also translated some of Shah Bithai’s poetry, and for him art and literature were ways of searching ‘beauty’. A very interesting article written by Nazeer Lughari in a local magazine published last Sunday talks about the poet’s personal life and includes scripts of his famous (and oh so poetic) Urdu letters and wise, soulful talks.
In one of his letters, he writes about Sukkur; a city where he spent his early years. He begins it with a complaint about the hot and dry weather which the city is famous for, but soon we see him reminiscing old and better days which gives a nostalgic touch to his writing. He beautifully says:
His letters show a glimpse of his own personality: poetry that runs in his veins like blood, a unique perception of life, and a wisdom that comes only with experience. While reading them today, I found myself in complete awe of the beauty they carry. Posted below are excerpts from my favorite letter, the complete of which can be found on next page:
- Poora din zindagi ki tag-o-dau me guzaar kar aaya hun, ang ang toot raha hae. Maaloom nahi, poora din kon nigal gaya? Waqt, iss mahol me kisi azli diyo ki tarah lag raha hae. Abhi sham ne Neel-kanth ki tarah neelay neelay par phalaiye haen. Neel-kanth hamaray ilaqay ka mash’hoor parinda hae, aur is ke mutaa’liq riwayat ha eke wo hamesha kisi Paras ki talaash me rehta hae.
- Mae jab bhi sham ko neel-kanth se tashbeeh deta hun, tou meray zehan me na sirf is ski tanhaai ka ehsaas hota hae, balkay is ki neelahatt bhi meray zehan me hoti hae, taham mae mehsoos karta hunk e meri har sham bhi kisi Paras ki talash me hoti hay. Kisi na-maloom narsa hasti ki justuju me, jo meri sanson ko mukammal sona bana sakay. Ye justuju mera mazhab hae.
- Wehmon aur tazabzub me uljha hua mazhab meray liye man-gharat aur khayalati kahaniyan haen. Firqabandiyan aur zahirdaariyan meray liye khud-faraibi aur khuda-faraibi se kam nahi. Khushk ikhlaqiat ki baat meray honton par aik shararat bhari muskurahat lati hae. Behshat aur dozakh, gunaah, sawaab, haraam, halaal ki behas par mujhay hansi ati hae. Hansi jo muskurahat se namo pati hae, aur qehqahon me phalti pholti, sari kaainat par amarbail ki tarah phailti jati hae, aur kainaat aik kinaray se dusray kinaray tak gonjti rehti hae, meray qehqahay, zamaan aur makaan ki sarhadon tak ja pohanchtay haen aur meray azli sawaal aasmaan se bijlion ki tarah hanstay hoye poochtay haen. “Aey raaz-e-azal! Mae ne teri pur-asraar hasti ko rawaaN dawaaN mehssos kia hay. Mae ne tujhay kalyon ki khushbu me soongha hae, jang ki awaaz me suna hae, shafaq ke bheegay rangon me dekha hae. Maasoon haseenaoN ke rukhsaaron me dekha hae. Amrat mashroob ke har ghont me chak’ha hae. Aey raaz-e-azal! Tera ehsaas meray wujood ki haqeeqat hae. Aur tera wujood meray liye haqeeqat ka ehsaas hae. Ye meray ham zaat, ye insaan tujhay kiyun mehsoos nahi kartay? In ko kon behkata hae. In jhooti kahanion ke tanay banay kis ne bunay haen, jin me un ka zehan ulajh gaya hae? Ye na wafiq loug apnay irfan se waqif kara rahay haen. “Aey raaz-e-azal! Teri soorat hi husn aur haq ka maiyar hae.” Phir qehqahay, halkay aur phusphusay hojaty haen. Meray chehray par se muskurahat kam hojati hae aur mera sar jhuk jata hae, tapp tap kartay kartay aansoo meri ankhon se behnay lagtay haen, aur mae aik lamhay me sari insaan zaat ke liye sadyon ki ibadat karleta hun.
- Meray is maslak ka koi autaaryaarshi nahee hae, iske mus’haf kitaab, pothiyan pastak nahi haen, ye faqat duzdida nazri do jhalkiyion par mabni hae.. Shayad tum samajh sako ke har duzdida nazar aur jhalak me kaainaat ka konsa raaz hae?
(Random post/ Urdu letters/ because December. Nazeer Lughari’s published article can be found online on the paper’s official site: http://magazine.jang.com.pk/detail_article.asp?id=25665)
When poetry becomes a disease,
and people all too untrustworthy
When a million ideas begin to inspire,
but they all sound just so clichéd
When you are finally barefoot
but the land disappears from below
Or when you’re ready to take flight
but above you spans a sky no more.
Commas, slashes, colons, fullstops:
knives, daggers, tight knots, stones.
When promises lose their sanctity–
of forever, hope, “Forever, I hope.”
There is no use finding meaning, see
Life keeps pouring death into bones.
نحوست اس کو نہیں کہتے
جو تم کسی کے گھر جاؤ
اور یکے بعد دیگرے
کوئی آفت گرجائے
کہ برتنوں کا کھنکنا
یا جھولوں کا ٹوٹ جانا
تو اٹل ہے
جب ایک ہی دیس میں رہتے
کبھی ہندو کبھی مسلم
کبھی ’کرسچن‘ کبھی سنّی
کبھی اہلِ تشیع
کبھی بت کے پوجنے والے کو
کبھی رب کی کھانے والے کو
کبھی بچے کو کبھی بوڑھے کو
کبھی عورت کو کبھی بیوی کو
مار دیا جائے
صرف یہ کہہ کرکہ
اسکا مذہب میرا نہیں
یا اسکا اٹھنا لکھنا پڑھنا
میرے اٹھنے لکھنے پڑھنے
سے مختلف ہے
اسکے بستہ میں جو قرآن ہے
اسکا ورق ورق الٹا ہے
یا اس کے گلے میں
مسیحائی کا جو ہار ہے
میں اسے پسند نہیں کرتا
سو میری پسند اور یہ میری زمیں
میرا ہے یہ گھر میں اس کا امیں
یہ منحوس یے‘۔’
Dedicated to the Christian couple mercilessly killed, and others dying in ‘the land of pure’. Bloodlust is boundless; it surely doesn’t bother categorizing before bringing you to your coffin.
Sitting on your comfy armchair, one day, you will not find peace. You will have everything you ran after, everything that you thought completed you, everything you left the previous ‘every-things’ for… But what you won’t have will be peace. Comfort. Inner harmony, no.
It’s okay to be realistic and responsible rather than passionate or dreamy when it comes to making important life decisions. But “for what it is worth, let us attempt to cherish our human imperfection.” You failed there.
And one day, it will return to you. The pain one inflicts upon others always finds a way back to the giver. It just does; that’s how life is. And with that faith, I can rest in peace. I actually think I will find solace in this thought, and the courage to move on, because I know one day you will know. One day it will hurt you just like it hurt me today, and though I know what a better virtue forgiveness is, I don’t plan to forgive you. Not now. Peace is the last thing I’d want to give you. Prayers, I still might.
Doesn’t she look happy dancing in the rain with a heart so gay and young? With a face like that of an angel, and the floating gracefulness of a goddess, her own feet unaware of where she might put them next; she could perhaps be the luckiest in the world!
Like a wild flower in full bloom, oh, how she fills the air around her with the aroma and affect of her. How the stars sparkle in her presence and the earth stops to the rhythm of her steps! And how everything, in an unseen felt way, bows down to her—in respect of her happiness!
See how she flutters her wings and holds out her arms to fill in the falling rain in the cups of her palms, and then brings it to her lips to drink from it; as if it were a divine goblet! Or an elixir, pouring which will quench her deep thirst, and free her of all that torments her soul…
But it scares me to see her so, and I can’t really explain what I find unfitting in this picture. Maybe it’s in her eyes… which are grayer than the sky above her, or her laughter which doesn’t quite seem real. There is something in her tone that hints betrayal, something about her shadow that keeps dissolving minute by minute.
‘She must be a carrier of love’ is what I thought of her before. But maybe, as I now realize, it’s an injury better than that. Maybe, as her façade weakens and reality takes over, we won’t find a trace of what we see now. And for all they will know, she would be a girl who died dancing!
So this is my favorite guy:
AND IT’S HIS FIRST BIRTHDAY TODAY!
Here’s to celebrate this one year of aani-hood (khala/aunt/aala wtevr) which has been full of joys and love, Alhamdulillah.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HABEEBEEEE <3
Apparently fixed on the ceiling, those stone-like eyes kept staring into nothingness and the worlds beyond it. The fan whirred slowly, like the clock ticked short taps, and the heart pumped liquid in and out. Everything moved in its own circle of existence, performing the allotted functions steadily and uncomplainingly. But even then, it felt like the world had somehow turned upside-down, and the fan whirred only to mock in its own given voice, the time moved to show how invaluable every other being before it was, and the muscle pulsated to define how the gods-on-earth were only too frail and fragile; not being able to keep anything from working or breaking—even their hearts.
Once unleashed, the mind traveled speedily into the fields of green and gold where the spark in one another’s eyes had signed smilingly the invisible yet undeniably substantial contracts of always staying together. It wandered farther to the streams of crystal blue waters where hands were held and oaths were repeated before angels of the world, and names were carved on rocks as well as on every atom of each other’s being. Tracing back the swift walks made across sand lanes and muddy roads, it came to rest only as the image of stars dancing as they were that night appeared on the retinas, and the sharp smell of white roses made their way through nostrils to the insides, causing currents to run down one’s spine.
How does it happen that a seemingly small wave envelops an entire universe in itself? How does Destiny fail Desire every time, and dreams turn to dust before reaching the realms of fulfillment? Why do the once saintly carriers of love blaspheme the very sanctity of it – leaving souls insecure and shattered forever?
Soft rain began to pelt against the room’s window bringing back the detested realizations of reality, and with a single tear that rolled down mournfully, all wounds were washed away until next time…
Originally posted on Warm Nights and Cold Fires:
The fact that I was dead was indubitable. I was stuck in a motionless body, the smell had surpassed unbearable some time ago and I had absolutely no sight; my eyes were far too gone for that luxury, I think. Or it could’ve been the dark. I try to shift myself to a more comfortable (albeit just as dead) position before I remembered I was, well, dead, and stuck in a motionless body.
I know that the beetles were at me now. The maggots had come and gone, and the worms and flies had had their turn too. It was time for the beetles to rip out little bits of damp, cold deadness and scrounge up what little was left of my flesh. I settled into nonchalant disregard as the insects did their work, tickling the remaining few threads of my consciousness that had managed to somehow still stay attached…
View original 507 more words
With aching hands and tired feet
this traveler shuts her eyes to sleep
her thoughts she packs in mind’s backyard
but yours it seems she can’t conceal.
All night through she thinks of you
as the sky dresses in cobalt blue
and silver moonlight washes earth,
to another dream her heart gives birth!
Your name she whispers a hundred times;
flutters, her soul in those heavenly chimes
smiling she submits herself in space
as sleep takes her in its mystical embrace.
(14 Sept, 2014; 2:15 a.m. Maria Imran)
When I shut my eyes to sleep,
you appear like a tear
at the corners of my eyes.
I try to wrestle away your thoughts
by shoving aside our memories,
struggling in vain to distract myself
but I give up
and they stay.
Get out of my mind
come in front
because I’d rather that you
bother me where I can see you.
If I fall asleep, it’s you that I dream of.
If I don’t, then there’s no escape
from the haunting reality;
the shadow that is you.
Like a ghost you follow me
everywhere I go
and no amount of light
can scare you away.
Get out of my mind
come in front
because I’d rather that you
bother me where I can see you.
Like a parasite you cling onto me
or a perfume that doesn’t wear off.
You are Everywhere
and you are Everytime.
تم نے آبشاروں کو چپ ہوتے دیکھا ہے؟ کبھی کبھی اپنی تمام شان و شوکت میں بھی پانی ساکت ہوجاتا ہے، آوازیں ماند پڑجاتی ہیں۔ پھر وہ بہتا نہیں گرتا ہے۔ ہلکے، ہلکےـ صرف کسی حکم کی تعمیل کرنے کوـ مگر سنو، پانی بےجان نہیں ہوتاـ یہی بوندیں جب پتھروں پہ پڑتی ہیں تو انہیں توڑ کررکھ دیتی ہیں۔۔۔ سوراخ کردیتی ہیں ان میں۔ پانی خاموش ہوتا ہے مگر اسکی بوند بوند بلا کا شور پالتی ہےـ ایسا کہ جاننے والے پر ہیبت طاری کردے۔
تم نے پتھروں کو ٹوٹتے دیکھا ہے؟
Tum ne aabsharon ko chup hotay dekha hae? Kabhi kabhi apni tamaam shaan-o-shokat mai bhi paani sak’t hojata hae, awaazain maand parjati haen. Phir wo behta nahi, girta hae. Halkay, halkay. Sirf kisi hukam ki taameel karny ko. Magar suno, paani be-jan nahi hota. Yehi boondain jab patharon pe parrti haen tou unhay torr ke rakh deti haen… Sorakh kardeti haen inn me. Paani khamosh hota hae magar iski boond boond bala ka shor palti hae. Aesa ke ‘jannay waly’ par haibat tari karday.
Tum ne patharon ko toot’ty dekha hae?