Magic In Endings

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Bewildered her,
the scarlet sunset and bright falls,
the magic in endings!

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Puzzle

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Who she was, who has become, who she dreams to be, not merely questions but pieces of a jigsaw which when stitched together would construct her being. Retrospective, introspective, contemplative she grew. Carefully put together, an image appeared, each piece fitting well. Gaping in perplexity, she felt familiar yet unfamiliar with the image before her eyes, she blinked. It puzzled her, the unfamiliarity. She left the stitched pieces to reflect the dim light of the pale fluorescent lamp. A blue light scattered in the room as quietly slid the curtain to gaze at the night sky, it was blue, blue in the glimmer of the distant stars before the sky could be lit amber by a sunrise. Before the dawn, she woke up to a realization, her unfamiliar future resided in her dreams floating on the horizons in the sky of her will… she is… an open book of riddles even to herself!

 

A Quivering Voice for Zainab!

A young bud was blooming into a beautiful flower, as magically pink as a cherry blossom, her awakening must have been celebrated. The radiance of enchanting flowers of spring, be the Sakuras or Dahlias, enlightens the world with bliss and delight with kindling of hope in the powers of nature to rejuvenate, nurture and prosper. The scent of their delicacy is the messenger of joy which fills the polluted air with fragrance of purity. For what reason wouldn’t she be celebrated for, the little, delicate, fragrant, burgeoning flower they named Zainab?

Do you hear the resonating crash of thunder that burnt the little Dahlia from the land of Bulleh Shah? Do you see the blinding flash of lightening that cursed the little bud before she could ever blossom? Do you hear the deafening screams of the petals ripped apart? Do you tremble seeing the receptacle of the flower shredded of its petals, strangulated in mud? Do you see? Do you hear? Do you feel? You, the men from the land of a humanist, the tradition of your soil was to nurture the colours of life with care. What seeds of poison have you sown? So scarce are the fruits of your land that you have begun to devour the flowers of the heaven’s orchards?

They speak of dignity or pride to which are entitled those who are human, what dignity has ever a brute had? A predator drenched in the blood of a Dahlia draining it of its alluring pink, what a horrific face of a demon his human form has? Has a human name too, this varmint they call a man? A man? Were the flowers of the gardens of heavens granted the life to fall a prey to the rapacious creatures you hold parallel to Adam’s sons? The heavens scream a rejection to your postulate, hear if you have the ears to hear, you, the hollow skeletons without mortal flesh humans have as a heart, a heart that beats.

The quivering, naïve voice speaks, hear the echo if you can. Under question is the not the might of the raptors of the flowers of this land, but that of the landscapers. How worthless is the future of this nation for you? How cheaply do you tag the lives of the women and children of this land? Records have evidence of a continuous hike in the number of case of several kinds of child abuse across the largest, the most highly populated province of the country, seven hundred cases from the town which was the subject of a nationwide outcry three years ago when a child pornography scandal surfaced after ten years of silence of the villagers in the name of shame? Twelfth victim in a two-kilometer radius over the past twelve months is this little bud called Zainab? Does it not shame your human conscience that her reports have samples of a DNA of a predator already in criminal records? Your loud voices make tall claims of service of the people, a demon at lose victimizing our children is the evidence of your service? Riots erupt, the commoners speak, every sphere voices condemnation, cases are lodged, why is justice not served? The pedophiles continue to crawl out of their abyss. She would have been alive today if a single culprit was duly punished and made into an example. How weak are those empowered by the people of the land that the offenders have not been taken to the gallows? Justice! Hear the voice! Killing of those seeking justice in the land with no law will not silence the voice. It will scream. It will scream from beneath heaps of trash in the nooks of your cities. Justice for Zainab, justice for every Zainab, young or old, of her gender or of the opposite one subjected to child rape! How will justice ever be served?

Asks this meek voice, is humanity alive in the humans of this land? Will those, the claimants to dignity set forth the definition of a dignified man? To which low of morality can this society stoop? What breeds this lust? How much more blood before this thirst is quenched? “Women who don’t veil are victimized!” What sees that predator when he eyes a woman in veil, head to toe, as she crosses him on the pavement? Flowers attract with their fragrance; their enchantment is captivating. Is it true for infant buds too?

A society? An unruly mob of… dignified humans, indeed! Protest, this weak voice protests. Hear! Hear the bellows of every tattered flower if you can! They scream in your haunting silence too.

 

Zainab

What Interests Me?

It’s a typical April morning in Lahore, a pleasant spring breeze is blowing in the plain and the sun is shining brightly. Temperature will gradually rise as the day matures, but it feels quite good at this hour. It is pretty quiet in the house since it’s a Saturday which is primarily a weekend for all of us, except for occasional meetings, visits and events that is. The only two members who are wide awake are my father and myself. The head of the family is occupied, reading his favourite Urdu daily. I already know what the breakfast announcement would be today:  petroleum tariffs are being hiked. That’s the front page story for the day. Here I am, picturing the scene for you from the dimly lit living room of my house, with earphones plugged in and a nice mug of coffee that I made for myself. Presently the track “Paar Chaana De” by Noori and Shilpa Rao from the 9th season of Coke Studio is being played. Footsteps! Mother is awake as well, great!

Saturday Morning

I was surfing through various blogs on the internet yesterday and came across one where a youth from Australia has written about the thing she likes to do and what interests her. It was pleasant to know that she is interested in the sport of cricket and enjoys her athletics. She had enlisted about ten to twelve things of her liking and it was certainly a fun read. Her blog gave me an idea and I thought of making my own list in my next blog post which happens to be this one. I am not sure if I can manage a list like hers, but I can surely talk about my likings and interest.

Societies and Cultures

I am very interested in people and their ways of life influenced by the various social systems and cultural rites. It is always fascinating to learn about a new custom prevalent in the region miles away from my own. I have grown up watching a lot of National Geographic and have developed a habit to read from various people about their societies and cultures on the internet, I fancy interacting with them and learning from them about them. Similar to customs and traditions, I am interested in languages, all of them. I can learn and wish to learn as many as possible. I am a multilingual with command over Urdu, English, Hindi and Lahori dialect of the Punjabi language. I know some very general phrases and words from Sindhi, Pashto, Marathi, Bengali, French, Spanish and Japanese. I believe that basic etiquette is to express gratitude to everyone when they serve us, help and be courteous to us and so, “thank you” is the first word that I try to learn in any language when I meet a native. I can say “thank you” in twenty four languages and greet “hello” in fifteen different languages. I am willing to learn a new word, a new phrase and a new language altogether as long as one is willing to teach me.

History

It would be an exaggerated statement if I claimed that I know a lot, but I am very interested in history. I read whenever I have enough time, on the internet and the books available to me. I started reading on the Czarist Russia only this morning and I feel like I am pretty dumb and know nothing at all. Well, I’m certainly not taking that to heart because it’s better late than never to start and there is always something that someone doesn’t know… or I am being too kind to myself? In any case, I have embarked on the journey to learn about the time that has past and will continue on my path even if sluggishly.

Cricket

If I had some talent, I would have been a cricketer. I simply love the sport. I have grown up in a cricket crazy environment and developed interest in the game. Last week, on March 25, we celebrated the silver jubilee of Pakistan’s glorious world cup victory in 1992. It was an extravaganza, there were special transmissions and the match recordings from twenty five years ago were televised, “who rules the world?” started echoing at midnight and much more. We have won the 2009 world championship title in the shortest format of the game and were the worlds best the longest format for a brief period during 2016. Pakistan Cricket Team is known for its unpredictability, sheer natural talent and flamboyancy; the sport is simply not itself without the Pakistani flavour. Despite our inconsistency on the international level, the sport is followed like a religion in the country and I am certainly one such follower… it’s in the blood you see.

Music

I have a very peculiar taste in music; to make a confession, I like melodies which have a message to convey. A beautiful tune complimented by meaningful lyrics is what I prefer. Sufi music has its own charm for me and I do have a strong liking for a few hymns and kalaams. Perhaps, the taste has been developed because of interest in poetry and literature. The only person who shares a similar playlist in my circle is perhaps my best friend. Our music preferences are very similar and we do sing even if we shouldn’t. Gives a silly smile.

Military and Mystery

I love to watch animated series and military and mystery are my favourite genres. I love the ranks, discipline, organisation, strategic brilliance and fighting arts and everything else about militaries. I confess that I am yet to read from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but I enjoy mystery and detective series based on Sherlock like intelligence and deductive logic the most.

Uh, I think that’s pretty much it for now. I don’t know what else I can tell you about myself. This is all I could think of since yesterday. I should get going for the breakfast… yes, I love my food, and I’m a foodie because I’m a Lahori you see.

This will be posted after I finish my meal… Saturday morning meals are fun. Do share your interests.

Happy blogging!

Why Facts And Commentary?

Spring is blooming in Lahore, the season that we associate with new beginnings, when the colours of life fly across the vast sky and engulf the City Of Life. As the month of Chet is already nine days old and March is nearing its end, the colours of Holi have already been spread and the lamps of Mela Charaghan are soon to be lit, the rare sight of the Basant kites has also been witnessed by my city and so, I have decided to let my words bud into blossoms as well, cherry or peach, it is for you to discern.

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Waving my greetings to everyone, I am Zahra – the voice of Facts And Commentary. I have commented on this before; however, now that I have decided to fly again, this blog is a commentary of an observer upon the various facts… facts which are merely experiences that I tend to collect or perhaps, the philosophy called life. I chose to blog because interacting with people from diversified backgrounds and with varied outlooks is how I learn. I am usually not the one to break the ice and initiate conversations despite having some good communication skills nor am I the one to cage my ideas. One of teachers, a figure with much influence of me, is of the idea that we should indulge in an open exchange of ideals and thoughts in order to broaden our horizons and grow. I tend to agree with her. I usually converse with only a few people in a face-to-face exchange, freely, but I can convey much through writing. I can be quite evidential and statistical in my commentaries, but I can be quite animated in my casual elaborations too.  I fancy endeavours in poetry, if that is poetry at all, and I can play caption-the-picture to cultivate stories. I am a strange kind of a writer, perhaps, because I am myself and under my own shadows when I write, but that is precisely what compels me to write… to give words to my own thoughts. The reason to write is to learn and for the reason that it comes naturally; all I require is a mental space to write, a physical space has never been a need when I wish to write.

While my status is a subject to controversy and debate, I make yet another return; however, this time round it is in spring! It would be a pleasant to explore the reasons why you all write. Smiles.

Until next time, Happy Blogging!