To the man I love the most!

A letter to my father, Mr Shaukat Ali Azeem, who has become a beautiful dream now!

!پیارے ابو

کہتےہیں وقت سب سے بڑا مرہم ہےلیکن کچھ غم ہمارے اندر اس حد تک سما جاتے ہیں کہ ہمارا حصہ بن جاتے ہیں بلکل اس طرح جیسے قدیم درختوں کی جڑیں زمین کے اندر گہرا‎ئی تک پھیل جاتی ہیں اور زمین کا حصہ ہوجاتی ہیں۔ غم بھی جب پرانا ہو جا‎ئے تو دوست ہو جاتا ہے، ہماری ذات کا حصہ ہو جاتا ہے۔

آج 4 صفر کے دن آپ کو گئے ہوئےایک سال ہو گیا ہے۔ پڑھنے اور سننے والوں کے لیے تو یہ ایک معمولی مدت ہو گی لیکن میرے لیے ایک عرصہ دراز ہے اور اس چیز کا احاطہ کرنا آسان نہیں ہے کہ آپ کے بغیر یہ ایک سال کیسے گزرا۔ یہ کہنا مشکل ہو گا کہ اس ایک سال میں وقت برف کی طرح منجمند رہا یا لاوے کی طرح بہ گیا۔ یہ سال تو گزر گیا لیکن میں آج بھی شاید وہیں کھڑی ہوں۔ مجھے آگے بڑھنے میں ابھی وقت لگے گا اوروقت کی مرہم کو اپنی تاثیر بڑھانا ہو گی۔

آپ کہا کرتے تھے کہ دل کو دل سے راہ ہوتی ہے۔ جن سے ہمیں محبت ہوتی ہے یا جو ہم سے محبت کرتے ہیں وہ کہے بغیر بھی ایک دوسرے کے دل کی بات سمجھ لیتے ہیں۔ سو محبت کے لیے محبت کرنے والا پاس نہ بھی ہو تو احساس یا جذبہ کم نہیں ہوتا بلکہ مزید شدت اختیار کرتا ہے۔ ہاں! لیکن جہاں یہ احساس سکون لے کے آتا ہے وہیں اضطراب بھی پیدا کرتا ہے کہ جب انسان یہ سوچتا ہے کہ اُس شفقت والے ہاتھ کا لمس اب ہم کبھی محسوس نہیں کر سکیں گے، اب کوئی ہماری جیت کی خوشی میں ہم سے زیادہ خوش نہیں ہو گا، جس ہاتھ نے ہمیں انگلی پکڑ کر چلنا سکھایا تھا وہ ہاتھ ہم سے بچھڑ چکا ہے، جن میٹھے الفاظ کے حصار میں ہمارے بچپن کی راتیں گزرتی تھیں وہ الفاظ کہیں کھو گئے ہیں، وہ منظر اب نظروں سے اوجھل ہو چکے ہیں شفقت اور بے لوث محبت جن کا خاصہ تھی!

؀ساری خوشیاں ملا کے دیکھی ہیں

تیرے جانے کا غم زیادہ ہے

ابو! میں آپ کا شکریہ ادا کرنا چاہتی ہوں کہ آپ نے جذبہ خود اعتمادی کو میری تربیت میں اولین ترجیح دی، مجھے مضبوط بنایا اور زمین پر رہتے ہوئے بھی مجھے پرواز کے لیے پر مہیا کیے۔ اس مضبوطی کے ساتھ ساتھ اپنی خدا ترسی کی عادت بھی میرے اندر منتقل کی۔ میں نے عمر کے ابتدائی حصے میں ہی حالات و واقعات کے مثبت پہلوؤں کو منفی پہلوؤں پر فوقیت دینا سیکھا صرف آپکی بدولت۔ جو میسر ہو اس پر خوش رہنا آپکی شخصیت کا خاصہ تھا۔ آپ کا اخلاق، حسِ مَزاح اور سادگی میں اپنانا چاہتی ہوں۔ آپ اس کانٹے دار دنیا میں ایک مخملی دل کے مالک تھے۔ آپ کو شعلے کو شبنم بنانا آتا تھا۔ میں اپنے آپ کو خوش قسمت سمجھتی ہوں کہ مجھے آپ کی زندگی میں آپ کا شکریہ ادا کرنے کا موقع ملا۔

پیارے ابو آپ میرے دل میں بستے ہیں۔ جب آپ کی یاد آتی ہے تو میں آپ کی لکھی ہوئی ڈائری پڑھ لیتی ہوں جس میں آپ جوکوئی اچھی بات سنتے یا پڑھتے تھے محفوظ کر لیتے تھے؛ بظاہر واجبی نظر آنے والی چیزیں بعض اوقات کتنی قیمتی ہوتی ہیں نا جیسے وہ ڈائری اور آپ کے الفاظ میرے لیے گوہر نایاب ہیں ۔ آپ کا بریف کیس بھی ایسے ہی خزانے کی ایک مثال ہے؛ ایک عتیق جس میں یادیں قید ہیں جہاں وقت آج بھی ماضی میں جیتا ہے۔ اس بریف کیس کے بالائی حصے میں آپ کی اور میری تصویر ایک ساتھ موجود ہے۔ آپ کے ہاتھوں کی رکھی ہوئی چیزیں کتنے سکون سے ہیں؛ امن ان کا گھر ہے۔ آپ کے کپڑوں میں سے ایک یاد، آپ کا سرمئی تُسّہ (شال)، میں نے اپنے پاس رکھی ہے۔ جب اسے اوڑھتی ہوں تو خوشی بدرجہ اتم محسوس کرتی ہوں۔ ایسی خوشی جو آپ کے پاس ہونے کا احساس دلاتی ہے۔ دعا ہے کہ رب تعالیٰ آپ کو سکون کے شہر میں آباد رکھیں اور آپ کو شفاعت رسولﷺ عطا کریں اور اب جب ہم ملیں تو جنت کے باغات میں ملیں۔

آپ کی ڈائری سے آپ کے دو پسندیدہ اشعار جو اب میرے لیے حقیقت کی شکل اختیار کر چکے ہیں:

؀دن سہانے تلاش کرتے ہو

لوگ پرانے تلاش کرتے ہو

وہ لوٹ کر کبھی نہ آئیں گے

جو زمانے تلاش کرتے ہو

Translation:

Dear Father,

It is said that time is the greatest ointment but some sorrows penetrate so deeply inside us that they become a part of us, just like the roots of ancient trees spread deep into the earth. Grief too, when becomes old, becomes an ally. It becomes a part of our personality.

Today (4th Safar) marks your first death anniversary. It may be just an ordinary amount of time for people but for me it is a lifetime and it is not easy to articulate how this year passed.  Hard to say that, in this one year, time stopped like frozen snow or flew like lava. This year passed but I still stand stagnant and static. I’ll take time to move on. Time’s ointment has to intensify its effectiveness.

You used to say ‘love begets love.’ The ones we love or the ones who love us understand each other without uttering words. Even if the person you love is not by your side, the feeling of love does not fade away infect it catches strength. But where this feeling brings calm, it also brings restlessness when we pay attention to the fact that from now on we will never be able to feel the
touch of that loving hand, no one will be happier than us in our victories, that hand is left behind which once taught us to walk, those sweet words are lost which sheltered our childhood nights, those scenes are out of sight which featured purity of affection and unconditional love.

I
have seen all the happiness together

The
sadness of your departure is more

Daddy! I want to thank you for inculcating self-confidence in my personality, for making me strong and for giving me wings to fly as well as keeping me kind hearted. At an early age, I learned to prefer the positive aspects of situations over negative aspects all because of you. Being content with what is available was the specialty of your personality. I want to embrace your manners, sense of humor and simplicity. You possessed a velvety heart in this rough world. You knew how to turn the flame into a dewdrop. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to thank you in your life.

Dear daddy! You live in my heart. When I miss you, I read your diary in which you recorded what you liked; apparently the things which seem mediocre are sometimes so precious just like your words are rare gems for me. Your briefcase is also the example of such a treasure; an antique where memories reside and where time still lives in the past. The top of this briefcase holds a picture of you and me together. How peaceful are the things you kept in it with your hands; peace is their home. I have kept one of your shawls as a memory of you with me. When I wear it, I feel extremely happy; such joy which makes me feel you near me. May Allah Ta’alaa make you a dweller of the city of peace and grant you intercession of the Prophet (PBUH) and may we meet in the gardens of Paradise now.

In the end I am sharing your favorite couplet from your diary which has taken
the shape of reality for me:

You
look for the delightful days

You
look for the old people

Those
will not come back

The

eras you crave

Rama Lake and the Friends of Adventure!

Image credits: http://www.instagram.com/manzarnama_
*All images are subject to copy rights.

A place where water kisses the Earth gently and the greenish streak of the glittering water brings variety on the faces of visitors and their eyes shine of the same colour, their faces become a playground for the water waves and their reflection. Where the wind hugs you with all its allure. Where eyes collide with the sunshine majestically and the distanced ice covered mountain tops send a friendly wave welcoming people in their land with a silver lining around them. The sun is sending its light to the boundaries of these mountains from behind the clouds which make them glitter and shimmer with pride and purity. This place is called the Rama Lake located in Astore valley in Gilgit Baltistan situated at the elevation of 11500 above sea level, this lake is a rainbow dream. But How did we get here? Let’s dig a little deep before we dive into the waters of this lake.

Bon Voyage

In the words of Bob Marley, “Though the road’s been rocky it sure feels good to me,” we, the friends of adventure, started our journey from Chillas to Astore at 6.30 in the morning. Our ride for rest of the trip was Prado accompanied by the local driver Bilal bhai from Chillas (A very nice person who knew all the routes like a pianist who comfortable knows all chords). We booked it for three days; first day for going to Rama Meadow, second for Minimarg & Rainbow Lake, Domel and third day for reaching till Allah Wali lake from Astore. The four wheeler is a per-requisite for traveling to Minimarg (My next blog will cover the details for that). One person who must get a mention here is Mr. Usman Mirza who facilitated and helped us in all ways possible. He belongs to ‘adventurer treks and tours.’ We have done almost 7-8 trips with this travel company. He arranged this ride and other important details of this trip for us.

Cherries on Top of my Head

The distance from Chillas to Astore is approximately of 2 hours and 40 minutes. We reached Astore around 9;30 am but before checking in Kamran Hotel in Astore, we headed to Gorikot via Astor Valley Road which is 31 minutes and 12.1 km away from Astore for breakfast at Wazeer Mahal Gorikot. Under the shade of comforting trees we sat in a natural environment in the vast lawn of this hotel. There were literally cherries on the top of my head 😉 I plucked a few and made myself believe that I am in a mountainous region where I can satisfy my need of plucking fresh fruits from trees. Heading back to Astore’s Kamran hotel for checking in so that we can start our journey towards Rama Meadow and lake after a quick break.

The World Where Nature Lavishly Laughs!

Around 1 pm, our car started its journey towards Rama Meadow. Rama Meadows is located at the distance of 13 km from Rama Village in Astore district, Gilgit-Baltistan. The way from Astore to Rama Meadows is a heavenly abode. There are small houses on both sides of the road accompanied by tall green trees. The entire way seems a scene from a fairy tale where people live peacefully. There is no chaos and competition and nature lavishly laughs here in its true sense and the inhabitants laugh back. The more we move ahead, the way becomes more scenic. Although the road is narrow but evenly paved. Rama Meadows are lush green fields intersected by the road situated at an altitude of 10800 feet above sea level. The journey towards the lake continues but Prado and jeeps can only go till a certain point and after that one has to hike towards the lake.

To Hike or to Take the Horse?

We were very much determined for the hike but there were horses available too and people who got back from the lake advised us to take the horses instead of going on foot. We were already fatigued as the entire day was spent in travelling so we took horses. Four girls and four horses; felt like the ancient times. The lake was five glaciers away from us. The world from a horse’s saddle seems a different place; the first few minutes both you and the horse are struggling to adjust each other. The first half passes like this and the second half starts to become interesting because now you both have familiarized yourselves with each other. The trick is to push all the body weight backwards when the horse in descending down so that it doesn’t feel much pressure and when the horse is in ascending motion, shift the weight towards the horse. You both will become friends if you follow this trick.

From the Ashes We will Rise

We sat in an awe of the green, turquoise and blue waters of this lake. We ate, chatted, shimmered and became of gold. In the distance we saw the horses appearing to take us back, took the trash and started our journey towards the hotel. The rest of the story is a little melancholic. The stay at the Kamran Hotel, Astore was nightmarish and planned for two nights. They weather was hot and they only had a slow running fan installed along with its ceiling and the funny thing is this they offered us thick layered blankets with that meager fan which was an awful thing. We flung those blankets as much away as possible to the very end of the room. Suddenly there was a knock at the door and one worker of the hotel asked Madam aur kambal chahye (Madam do you need more blankets)? This was literally the icing on the cake of our frustration. One simple no at that time later made us burst in laughter for a long time. And I thought in my mind from the ashes we will rise; the next day and the next night. With this I wished good bye to my friends and to the hotel the very next morning.

This scenic fairy tale route leads to Rama Meadows.
Living and Loving the moment!
The Rama Meadows; enchanting and inviting.
This horse is my friend for next 1-2 hours 😉
And the majestic views start to show their majesty.
These glaciers need to be crossed to get to the lake. There are five glaciers between me and the lake.
The Rama lake is near!
Here we are ready to sit, chat and shimmer.

Guidelines on “How to Plan Your Trip!”

This is aimed at giving you an overview of the fare and fuel of the hired car. It’s better to hire the local vehicle and the driver. Hiring the Prado costs 10K per day; fuel exclusive. For three days, the cost was around 30k for us. We got the car with full tank. Then the fuel was on us and when we returned the car back, we were responsible for getting the tank filled to full again. So approximately for three days, the cost including the fare of the car and fuel was 45k. The horses which we took for going till the lake cost 1k per person. Although they start the rate from 1200 and you have to bargain a little.     

Chillas: The Colourless Beauty of Gilgit Baltistan!

The distinctive sun rays are piercing through the sky to reach Earth! It was a day to dream about: windy, wishful and scented with a streak of gold.

They say it is better to travel than to arrive. I recently traveled from Lahore to Astore, Minimarg and Domel; all beauties of GB. I will start writing from Chillas first as it is the gateway to reach other scenic destinations of GB. We three boarded Faisal Movers on 9th July, a hot Summer Friday, at 3:20 pm from Lahore’s Abdullah Terminal. I and the two younger sisters of my friend who is to join us from Rawalpindi also called city terminal. This bus takes people to Chillas; the dear and dry city of GB. Despite its hot weather, tourists make a stop here before heading to other locations. The journey from Lahore to Chillas is approximately of 14 hours which is nothing when the company is good. My friend has joined from Islamabad and now this has become the gang of four girls. The friend from Islamabad (originally from Lahore and resides in Islamabad) brought dinner; some Chinese food with noodles and extra gravy. We ate and I thought it’s funny that the noodles are less twisty than the ups and downs in our lives. The night intensifies, the journey continues and I think of this couplet by Kaleem Usmani:

Raat Phaili Hai Tere Surmai Anchal ki Tarah

Chand Nikla Hai Tujhy Dhundne Pagal ki Tarah

Translation:

The night intensifies like your dark apparel

The moon embarks a deep struggle to find you

The Dazzling Darkness

Almost all passengers are asleep and I, who finds it a curse that can’t let me sleep during traveling, kept looking outside from the window seat and saw the bus reach Dasu area where Diamer Basha dam is being constructed. Along the one side of the colossal Indus River, there is heavy machinery and construction material installed. Everything is quiet; the sky and the surrounding except the Mighty Indus whose splashes are getting multiplied with every passing second and are evident in the only light of the white stylized moon. This darkness, the wheezing of the heavy water splashes and the very less light all are casting a spell on me telling that darkness too can be beautiful, involving and deep.

Good as Gold and Dry as Dust

This spell is now transitioning from darkness to little light. Dawn, one of my favourite times of the day, is on a roll in full swing and I, sitting on the fence, am thinking what to adore more; the most beautiful time of the day or the grey, dry and colourless mountains which tell me that Chillas is near. The city of the colourless beauty is near. Chillas is good as gold and dry as dust. The vast Indus now somewhat quiet than the nighttime flows between the two mountains as a fountain of delight with a little gold reflected in it as the sun has started stemming its rays around it. It’s 5:30 am and Chillas is still 2 hours or a little more. The bus makes a quick stop at Summer Nala; the last stopover before Chilas and I try to breathe the mountain air with full enthusiasm.

Settling in the City

At around 7:45 we reached the not very chilled Chillas and the bus dropped off at the Pakistan Hotel which is on a 4-5 minute walk from Grace Continental Hotel but since we were coupled with luggage and there were all four girls and girls are blamed for packing more than what is actually needed so one can’t blame us that we had to have a cab to reach the famous Sanaaa Bhai’s (Owner name: Sanaullah) Grace Continental Hotel. After the buffet breakfast and getting the tantalizing tea, we checked in our room and hit the sack till noon. All over Chilas room coolers serve as ACs. Almost among all hotels, you’ll find coolers. They bring Chillness to not so chilled Chillas.

The Chillas Chashma

In the evening we left for a round of Chillas city, made a stop to pick some freshly fried samosas and started our journey towards the nearby Chashma (it was discovered during our last time visit to Chillas. This Chashma is not common among tourists) which passes from the city and we wanted to reach that point where it widely flows. In mountain regions the water streams look very beautiful from a distance but when you try to reach them, they can be dangerous because of their slanted edgy and full of stones boundaries. After spending much time in finding an even corner, we four finally reached down where the water could touch us and we could touch it. We sat with our feet dipped in the water, chatted, laughed and sighed in relief. Our voices felt mutterings of birds in the heavy flow of water. What on Earth could be more peaceful than this! We ate samosas as supper while sitting there in the flowing waters of that chashma and I felt completed, like a plant that has been watered.

Chillas at Dawn; 5:30 am glory! Sun rays springing up magnificently adding colour to the colorless canvas.
When the sun rays cover the mountains partially; some shine, others smile in shade.
Water and its healing capacity: I can sit here and hear the symphony of the singing water for hours without getting tired of it.
Samosa with a view: this tasted more delicious amid the refreshing view.

Guidelines on “how to plan your trip?”

Faisal Movers is a considerable option for going to Chillas. It offers online ticket booking as well infect for our trip, we booked online tickets and paid via EasyPaisa. Two executive plus buses leave in the afternoon on a daily basis and reach Chillas via Basham. The cost is Rs. 3050 per person. People going from Lahore change their bus once they reach Rawalpindi terminal which is also called City Terminal and board the bus going to Gilgit/ Hunza. Faisal Movers has installed bus-pads on the back side of seats which are good entertainment providers to entertainment lovers but a little more effort is required to maintain them properly.

To my father….

Three months, exactly, three months have passed since abbu left us on 22nd September, 2020. 90 days, ahhh, I have spent 90 days without him. This seems unimaginable. The time at the moment is 11:08 AM when I am writing this. Three months ago these were the final moments with him when I witnessed the diminishing glow of his ever-enchanting eyes while sitting beside him. His eyes sparkled for one second and their light was quenched the very next moment. 

My heart heavy with heartache and my soul bewildered with uncertainty thought with perplexity what was to come, what was to happen? Was this the day when he departs to meet his Lord? I leaned on the side table to see the date and the day. All my life this was the moment which I always feared. I never wanted this moment to ever arrive. 22nd September flashed on the mobile screen; the day which changed everything. There will always be before and after, with and without from now on…Nothing ever remains the same when a parent is buried. 

All his life he prepared me for this moment and always used to say:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْت 

“Every soul shall taste death”

Today when he is not around but his words, his experiences, his success stories, his failures, his attempts, his cautions, his carefulness, his modesty and simplicity all are with me. He sits on the passenger seat in the car with me which I drive, he walks with me when I go for a morning stroll. He is there to guide me in my decisions. He resides in my heart when I close my eyes every night to sleep and in my mind when I wake up every morning. He is in the air around me. He has become a dream; a beautiful one. 

To my father,

Shaukat Ali Azeem.

la passion!

Art used to be my favourite interest area being in school. At one point I even thought to opt it as my major in college. But then I was told things like Art only look good when others do it; you should go for a concrete subject/ field. As the things we don’t say haunt us, same goes for the passions we nip in the bud. Today I shake hands with my pencil again by removing the dust off the carefully kept sketch book from 90s in a distant corner of the closet. .

During this Corona lock down, I am going to do what I have always wanted to do. I am going to draw, colour and create the canvas of happiness for me. The shared images are the sketching of ‘the moonlight night’ where the moon reflects its light calmly in the water and a lone bird enjoys the scene. Perhaps we need the same calm in our lives today.

Love in the Times of Corona!

02-Parenting-factvsmythcorona-superJumbo

Say it before the walls of memories are cursed

That one apology which is devastatingly due

To the one whom you have hurt to the core

And never wanted to face the guilt in the eye

 

Say it before there is no silver lining

attached to the clouds

For that one intense meet up of the eyes

Which awaits its own arrival

 

Say it before there is all grey and no glory

That one confession you have held onto

To be revealed in the perfect moments of time

 

Say it before the oceans are infected with indifference

That I cannot mask my love for you anymore

 

For me, speaking my emotions is not my weakness

Yes! There is strength in utterance and endurance

 

Say it before water becomes mud

Say it with you grey becomes green

© Sana Shoukat 2020

A fragility of hope in the forecast today!

Hues
Image credits: http://www.instagram.com/manzarnama_

Some days we want to be merged in the hues of the sky. And some days we want to stand alone in a crowd full of people. A fragility of hope drizzles from all corners of the sky and pearls of gloom rest on the edges of our eyes. More and more gloom sets in just like more and more clouds fill in. Both the climates walk side by side. One of the sky and other of our heart. A painter’s brush will only paint blues and greys today. Meanings wear the clothes of hollowness today. Flowers do not look colorful today. Raindrops do not make bubbles on the face of the Earth today. And words will not be enough today because there is a fragility of hope in the forecast today.

The fears we do not face become our limits!

Brush_stroke_painting-sml-2

I recently read somewhere that “the fears we do not face become our limits.” And these limits at times become blades of reluctance we detest to touch. We often despise the difficult. We want to go for paved roads avoiding jumps and bumps. Why do we forget that difficult can be interesting and worth remembering too? Next time when you fear starting a conversation or taking a difficult hike, do not only look for cherries and berries along the way but cactus and thorns too. We get to learn more from the indifferent experiences than from the cheerful ones.

Embrace the curtain of uncertainty like a velvety melody. The ones who let their feet blistered by the burdens of the journey get to have their toes rest on the oasis of hope and lay their head on the bed of serenity. Their fingers get to run through the grass of happiness and their hands relax on the flowers of contentment. Go beyond the paved roads and dare to love the difficult. Life and living will become interesting!

A Lover of Sights – منظروں کی محبت میں مبتلا

IMG_E5188

We all have been through such times in our lives where we adore a hobby, a pastime or a thing but never really are able to do it. We adore it only from a distance just like we adore some people but only from a distance. One of such things for me was adoring the habit of the morning walk done by others. I only used to adore it, appreciate it and praise the ones doing it but then I fell in love with it when I started living it.

Bon Voyage

November 19th, 2019 was the day when I started driving this boat. Just like the novice drivers, I am nervous that would I be able to continue with it or it is just a passion of 2-3 days or weeks…I am still finding it out. Let me take you to a virtual tour of the society I live in. It has many parks. I choose the one nearby my house infect it is just some easy steps away. The time I have chosen is of 6:15 till 6:50 only to leave me with 40 minutes to get ready and leave for work at 7:30. The distance I try covering is of 3 km by taking four rounds of this park.

The Talk of Trees

The boundary from almost all sides of the park is covered with trees. While walking on the edges of the park, I listen to the leaves of the trees talking to each other. When they talk, they pour dew drops on each other in the same manner when we take a friend’s shoulder for solace and it gets soaked with the pearls from our eyes. The sound of the dropping of the dew drops makes me stop and listen with more attention. It tells me that nature is all about belongingness. It is one big circle which welcomes everything and everyone in its shelter.

The Whirl of Birds

In a garden when birds walk, it feels as if their tails are dancing and they have worn a skirt of serenity which moves gracefully with their tiny steps. The green grass is a carpet of smoothness for them. I become a bird too when I am in the mountains. My feet touch the ground but give me a feel that I am walking on air with the clouds making my eyes go wide with amazement.

A Kiss on the Forehead

Nature is my cure from routine. My ears need the songs of birds chirping. My eyes need lavishly green sights. My forehead wants a kiss of the breeze which makes nature reside in me in a tactile form. Such a breeze which does not only kisses your forehead but also puts a soothing hand on it and whispers in your ears that let us align ourselves in one and the same direction.

Jingles of nature mingle in my ears and I hear back the words of a friend who asked me that why good things/ habits do not last long. I hope this one (the habit of morning walk) does!

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One of someone’s flowerbeds!

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I wrote these words which you just read while sitting on that distant bench. I think next time this chair can be a companion as well.

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Let go of your burdens… Let the dead leaves drop.

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Saw this abandoned toy at the park; just as people abandon us or we abandon them. This is how we may look; lifeless and out of place for some time.

Deciphering Life….(1)

Deciphering life with words, regrets, love, deceit, prose and poetry. Nature and life are one and the same for me. Like a lover who takes pleasure in writing a love letter to the beloved, I take pleasure in writing a letter to the soul. Nature is my soul.

Like the dewdrops remain with petals, serenity with spring and a silver lining with clouds; nature remains with me as soul with body. While deciphering life, I have tried to blend poetry with nature; the best love letter in the making! These shots have been taken at the place called ‘Panjpeer’ near Kahuta in Rawalpindi district, Pakistan.

Here is a collection of a few favorite pieces of Urdu poetry along with a loose English translation.

1

رات پھیلی ہے تیرے سرمئی آنچل کی طرح

چاند نکلا ہے تجھے ڈھونڈنے پاگل کی طرح

The night intensifies like your dark apparel

The moon embarks a deep struggle to find you

Poet: Kaleem Usmani


 

2

وہ بے وفا ہے تو کیا مت کہو برا اس کو

کہ جو ہوا سو ہوا خوش رکھے خدا اس کو

نظر نہ آئے تو اس کی تلاش میں رہنا

کہیں ملے تو پلٹ کر نہ دیکھنا اس کو

Do not call him callous even if he is a deserter

May he find happiness beside all deception

Be in his quest if he is out of sight but

Be oblivion if ever an encounter occurs

Poet: Naseer Turabi


 

3

یہ جو ہم ہیں نہ احساس میں جلتے ہوئے لوگ

ہم زمیں زاد نہ ہوتے تو ستارے ہوتے

Drenched in the fiery feelings, we are

like the stars if not human-like


 

5

سفر ختم نہ ہو تو مشکل اور

ختم ہو جائے تو اور مشکل

An expedition coupled with difficulties is terrible

But no expedition is even more terrible


 

7

عمر رائیگاں کردی تب یہ بات مانی ہے

موت اور محبت کی ایک ہی کہانی ہے

Being wasteful with life, consequently, I learn

Love and death are synonymous to each other

Poet: Noshi Gilani


 

6

بھیگے رستے، ہلکی برفباری ، گہری دُھند

آج کا موسم ، دل کے موسم جیسا ہے

Misty means, beguiled snowfall, abyssal haze

The heart is as heavy as the weather today


P.S: Only those credits have been given which I am sure of. Please give attribution if you know about the poets and the listed couplets. You can also drop in your favorite verses and couplets.

The weight of unsaid words…

burden

Have you ever borne

the wait of unsaid words?

 

Driving on the highway of logic

And walking the road of rationality

 

In a sea of people, we pretended that

each other’s presence didn’t matter

 

Eyes were forced not to meet

Stares controlled and emotions coaled

 

Even the paths knew not to intersect

We lived the lie that things were perfect

 

Once again, sanity won and I

bore the weight of unsaid words

© Sana Shoukat