How do you describe a grief for a person you haven’t met in 10 years or weren’t best friends with, but it just sits heavy and hurt in the middle of your chest for more than a week now but you do know they meant the world for their family. You remember their gentleness, their distinct humor, their goodness, their simplicity and a tear rolls down , just like the rain drops on this window glass. I remember the teenage girl with twinkling eyes and contagious laughter, I haven’t met the wife and mother she became in last decade. Our well being was communicated to each other through our families which are neighbours and friendly. We were always keen to receive news of the other and wished only goodness. Her sudden passing has shook me deep, out of the autopilot mode my life tend to switches despite my continuous efforts to be more mindful many times per day. Gratitude has changed my perception of Life, the abundance people are yearning for is already present in our lives. We only need to see and acknowledge it. Gratitude which is so many layers deep is what I wish to explore now. The news of her passing has made me more mindful and grateful for each day I am able to spend with my loved ones, see them, hear them, respect them, acknowledge them! None of the next slice of day is guaranteed, death is just round the corner watching us play the life game and just like that it will blow the whistle and say Game Over, Time to go.
I often wonder if Colours exist in real Or is it something that eyes conceal Of the Universal light.
With its mystical part, a reflection starts. eyes and brain process , ascertain. What we truly witness then Is a magic, a joy We call it colours.
Have you wondered if we all could see a different colour for the same object? We would end up fighting, arguing and siding up with those who see what we see! We are always validating our perceptions, our realities with others. We side and get along with people who match our energies , our thoughts and perceptions just like the colors we see. On the other hand if we couldn’t see any color , the world would be a boring colourless place , Isn’t it? I am so grateful for all the colours. What are you grateful for today?
P.S: Can you tell my favorite colour these days? 💜🟣☔
Eid for me always bring the Nostalgia of childhood Eids celebrated among the shade of my loved ones whose towering sheltering presences kept us off the life’s heat.
Ab bas Eidey aati hai jaati hai lekin wo bachpan wali Eid nahi aati.
( Eid now comes and goes but the Eid of childhood never comes)
I remember the night before Eid was a long one, I could hardly go to sleep in excitement. Arranging my dress, shoes, bangles putting up Henna on my palms at night before Eid and trying to sleep with hands up in the air. Once I woke up with Henna design tattooed on my face along with my hand because I accidently put my hennaed hand on my face while sleeping, Talk about embarrassment and an Eid Nightmare as teenager, full Eid day was spent in hiding my tattooed face with my hair flicks and watching it over. I have some Eid Dress disaster stories too at hands of the most sought after people around Eid Mr.Darzi or Darzan ( Tailors) sometimes my Eid dress arrived squished and wrapped up in a small cheap shopper delivered just before we were leaving for Moradabad to see my grandparents at mercy and kindness of our thoughtful Darzi or Darzan nevertheless made my day.
We have always travelled on Eid to visit my grandparents, both of my grandparents maternal and paternal lived in the same city and we were lucky to celebrate with both of them. We had lunch with my father’s family and dinner at our Nana’s house and in between the two, Eid memories etching in my mind forever.
My dadi ( paternal grandmother) had her signature style chole ( chickpeas) and Qiwami sewiyan( sweet vermicelli) served with Imli Khajoor ki chutney( Tamarind and Date chutney) and Dahi Phulki ( Fried Dumpling in a yogurt sauce) , the standard offering for anyone visiting her to say Eid Mubarak. We ( kids) always stuffed ourselves with it and not waiting for the elaborate lunch of Biryani, Kebabs and Qorma. Her Qiwami Sewiyan were the sweetest thing I ate in the world, it could be renamed as Death by sugar until I tasted the Arabic sweets dipped in honey and crying Calories. I could never finish my bowl and she didn’t like it, everyone else loved it and waited for Eid when she sets her foot in Kitchen to cook them. When my husband visited her first time, She was delighted to cook her signature dessert for him which he devoured and asked for more.
My Nani was a great cook and loved feeding people, anything she cooked even if it was not good for her own liking, it was still great for others. I can still remember the taste of her Kebabs which she served with Imli and Pudina Chutney ( Tamarind and Mint Chutney), you can’t keep a count of how many you can eat once she start serving you from pan to plate.
Nanihaal or maternal grandparents’ home or the time spent there have a special comfort and place in one’s heart and mind, so does to mine and I often wondered why? Are you more loved here or is it because your mother is more loved here, may be because nobody judges her in her own home where she grew up, you love the importance thrown at her and how everyone kept asking her what she wants to eat or bring the things that she likes? You love the carefree laughing person she becomes once she is with her parents and siblings within the love fences, she left to create new ones for you as a child.
So that was from my Eid Pandora Box, What memories did you have from your Childhood Eid ?
When you are sitting in the nature observe it too ! How everyone is just busy and happy doing their things. Bees buzzing around, birds flying and chirping, wind blowing , some flowers opening at sunlight and then closing again at sunset. The climbers and vines finding their way through the walls and support using their sensory receptors , their natural springs coiling around the wires sometimes multiple times as per the support needed by their delicate stems until they are stronger and ready to move to next wall. And here I am untrusting my natural inner sensors who are constantly telling me who I am, That I am strong, I am worthy and I can do it, that there is Allah’s support available, just close your eyes, see through the inner eye and coil around your rock and support system that trusts you, supports you and nurtures you!
I was looking outside and getting lost while all I have to do is adjust my compass and look inside , because that’s what I always do ! I always look inside for my way though, that’s where I find my answers and support.
Dont change your course because it works for others, what works for them might not work for you. You know what is best for you and how you do things. Trust your sensors , do it your way.
Let it rain inside of you! The water of life Gushing through The dried veins, Rushing to an awaiting heart. To quench Its thirst, wash away Its dust , so your soul shines through Like a succulent’s Shiny leaves . And then bloom Your inner lilies and lavender that heals.
These Rangoon Creepers or Madhu Malti flowers are deeply ingrained in my childhood memories of my grandfather’s house! Playing with these flowers, making necklaces,earrings, bracelets ! Sometimes even sucking out their nectars excitedly before we made our master art pieces and flaunted around, in the house all day along in summer holidays of May and June when rest of the cousins also gathered and we all made a cock a hoop about it. The creeper was planted by my father, I think I inherited my love for greenery from him.It grew over the years from staircases up until the Edges of verandah of the first floor kept as residence and the ground floor was for vocation. As children we hopped, jumped , skipped the stairs sometimes one, sometimes two of the poor old stairway whose cement was chipping away with our incessant nonchalant self invented games. We almost slept on these stairs making it difficult for family members to pass by. I have clear memories of my father working in the workshop always shouting at Pappu and Afzal to move their hands faster, the two apprentices who never graduated and remained apprentices for life. My grandfather calm as usual , sitting in his office which constituted of a takht( long broad bench like a single bed) set with an office table with his essentials and writing something in his notebook, he always used fountain pens and I always awed at his handwriting. The weekend was much awaited to have a leisurely breakfast of Hot melting in Mouth Jalebis from Babu Ram Halwai whose shop was at a stone’s throw and the famous Daal served in pattal (disposable plates made of dried leaves). It is still a great breakfast combination in Moradabad. The weekend also meant blaring doorbell ringing at ground floor and someone from first floor needs to go and open the doors. It was usually the kids who were sent for the job. We couldn’t have minded had it been once or twice a day but it was once or twice every hour and each time someone leaves, the doors needs to be closed as well. It was two sets of wooden doors that needed to be opened and closed by vertical kundi(latch) on first one and a horizontal kundi(latch) on second door. The Rusty smell of those latches, old door knobs, the scent of flower’s, the sweltering heat, the boiling water from tanks, the long days, watering the plants, the cooling of floor by sprinkling water, the cool touch of moon on the chandnis(white bedsheets) spread out on the beds in open, still beckon me and how I would go back in time just to open those doors as many times without complaining to see my childhood summer and my grandfather Writing in his notebook one more time.
Loved it , Totally recommend it. Thanks to the Author for writing this. You got me home through this book, the roads , monuments, and paths of my childhood, stories I grew up with, the language,food. Everything made me so nostalgic of Rampur I grew up in.
Book plot: It’s a historical fiction based on life of a Nawab Shams of Royal Estate of Sherpur( names changed here) in India who was notorious for his debauchery, he was kidnapping young, beautiful girls and even married women and putting them in his Harem forcibly. One such unlucky women was Feroza who was strong, defiant, determined and gave Nawab some tough time. There is also a parallel story of Dantangoi ( story telling) ongoing by Kallan Dantango which is a fantasy story inspired by real life events at that time and a contemporary timeline story of Ameera who is great granddaughter of Feroza .
The scene setting , description , narration is on point, very well researched.
Jamal is Pakistani Canadian Author and poet. She has been writing since 2000, this book is her inaugural collection printed.
She is a blogger, a DIY crafter and works full time at a local non-profit that serves children. Recently, she has won poetry competitions on WordPress and allpoetry.com. Her poems have been published in literary magazines both in Canada and Pakistan. For her debut collection Its past midnight , she collaborated with a local artist Hira Noor Instagram @hues_by_hira to create illustrations for her book.
Find her latest work on Instagram @thecraftedwriter.
Plot: The story is set in Pakistan’s Punjab Province .Farishtey a young girl is main protagonist and story teller of the book. She is a strong woman who finds herself in middle of her life’s unthinkable pit of nightmares. She is a daughter of a wealthy businessman man who deals in real estate but who is also a narcissist,misogynist husband and an abusive father. She still has to discover more of his ugly truths. There is budding romance in the novel between Farishtey and Faizan . Ali her brother is great character in book which I love. Love the character of her mother too who she keeps remembering in flashbacks.
Trigger warning: There is sexual abuse , physical abuse and rape.
The story is strong, gripping .I couldn’t put it down until I finished the book. Yes it was intense, dark in few parts, hopeful , romantic in other parts . Emotional rollercoaster, no less than a movie. I love how author has described misogyny and harmful effects of patriarchy through her main character. It was like reading my own thoughts. Makes a very good read , Congratulations to the Author , doing a great job, this being her debut novel.