Thursday, 8 December 2011

Metamorphosis


It is  hanging down from a fresh branch like an inconspicuous sac, camouflaged, quiet and mysterious. It is hard to tell what is going on for many gloomy nights inside that quietness and mystery. Its molten being is taking many forms through the continuously programmed battling of death and life, in the twilight zone of destruction and resurrection.


What a different being it was…born as voracious worm…undergone its juvenile shedding behind its ‘outer’….to grow more…into another ‘instar’…so different from what it is destined to be…. under the blanket of darkness…the chrysalis…!



Through dissolution…self-destruction and reformation, within no time its organs starts becoming distinct…its head and antennae…its legs and wings….and its eyes..!

Nature begins filling that empty canvas with the most spectacular and lustrous colors…interplaying.. projecting…intensifying ..like the view in a kaleidoscope !

The pain of death and the joy of new birth, is intermingled with the excitement of waiting hours…

It starts struggling out of the sac…holding it..pushing it…emerging…being born!!!

Its body is swollen with fluid..its wings short and shriveled…and a final push jerks the fluid out of its abdomen..into its wings…expanding and stretching them to their fullness..


And swooshhhhh…… the redness sets everything free………….

...

In the light welcoming embrace of breeze of the early morning, the newborn butterfly dries its wings and takes its first flight…flying over the envious gaze of flowers stunned by the delicacy and beauty of the marvelous creature flying over them..certainly ..a flying flower!

It flies higher and higher…a never tiring and a never ending adventure…absorbing the smile of the vastness of the blue sky…in its timeless journey…

Attracted by a sweet fragrance, it descends down slowly and gracefully in a garden full of blooming flowers and some youngsters..when it feels the brush of some fiber against its wings…and some of the amorphous color on them gets dispersed..

It is the net of the young zoologist…a deadly trap!

Horrified, bewildered,,,it tries to escape with all its strength…pushing hard for the sake of its life..but nothing helps!

The Youngman immediately puts it in a jar filled with a deadly substance.Very soon its vision starts blurring and the fluttering of its wings weakens. It goes into another deep sleep..this time…never to rise again…

That evening, the Young man wakes up from his nap and quickly pins his specimen’s body on a piece of Styrofoam. He starts stretching the butterfly’s wings when he senses a slight flutter and assumes he might be day-dreaming!

...

  His professor at college identifies the butterfly to be one of the rarest species and send it to the Museum.

The butterfly gets preserved into transparent plastic block…for…ever!


...

Some year after , a group of elementary school students visit the Museum to study Metamorphosis. A boy fascinated by the spectacular sight of the colorless block enclosing such a colorful creature..comes closer… touches the block with his eyes full of curiosity. And starts tumbling and fumbling it between its palms. Through his vision glasses he looks straight into the eyes of the preserved butterfly..the compound eyes..with many facets, blindly staring into the lucidity of the block. The boy gets mesmerized and feels as if those eyes were watching…asking questions…

What is in that block which has factually got preserved…a timeless beauty…an endless time…a mindless crime…an eternal pain….or just a biological process…???????????

Confused…the boy runs to ask his teacher…!



SW

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Blue Silhouette


A blue, candle was standing all alone at a wooden candle stand , placed in the middle of a small round table. Its wax was accumulating at its base like the many frozen tears shed in the memories of long-awaited moments of that ethereal unison. The moments which were paused between the loving gaze of their tearful eyes. They were quiet , but their silence was talking to each other. There was no question or answer in the mute conversation. It felt as if they had already been talking for centuries before and now there’s nothing left to talk about….


How desperate has he been for those moments to arrive, since he fell in love with her silhouette…!


He was new in the town and didn’t have much acquaintances since his posting . he had rented an old house used to once belonged to a famous poet.

One night ,at eleven past eleven, he saw a silhouette of a woman across the window , he used to sit and work . He peeped through the window and there was no one out there. He immediately opened the door and went out to look for her , but she was gone.



It happened quite a few times and stopped. Then every night, he waited for the silhouette to appear in the window, but it didn’t. Sometimes he had to struggle to sleep and even had to take the pills to help him sleep.So he deemed it as the hallucinations and forgot.

One night the silhouette appeared and beckoned him to come out. He immediately opened the door and went out. He saw a woman dressed  in  blue gown with her face hidden behind a delicately laced veil. She was gracefully stepping on to a paved path leading out- side the town.

He followed her as if he was tide up with a string .

It was dark and chilly night of December with  slight freezing drizzles .The remote hills were looking like many silhouettes of the women dressed in dark gowns , standing tall under the cloudy veil of the sky studded with twinkling stars.

She entered into a front lawn of a small blue cottage decorated with blue flowers and left the door opened behind her. He followed her inside the cottage. The cottage was furnished with old-fashion furniture. She led her into a small room up stair and sat on the piano which was  nearly occupying the whole room. She pointed to one of the two chairs around a small round table with a  candle stand in the middle. He sat down like a small obedient child.

She started playing a sad song on the piano. The song was so sad that it seemed as if everything in the room was crying . When the song finished she got up and sat beside him on the table with the candle crying in the middle. He could see the tears in her dark blue eyes. He wanted to wipe the tears with his hands but he felt as if his hands were frozen. The veil on her face was already soaked in  tears and was sticking to her delicate lips. He desperately wanted to place a gentle kiss on the delicate contour of her lips but he was too  scared to do so.

Both sat silently and it seemed as if centuries have swept passed. The window pans were picturing the  snow in frame.

 After a long time, she got up, brought an old book from an old shelf and handed it over to him, saying ‘The dawn is approaching” her accent was ancient and her voice was mellow. Then she pointed to the door.

He took the diary and sadly left the place.

Upon reaching his lodging, he immediately opened the book. It seemed like a diary with something written in beautiful hand-writing . Alas! He noticed that all the words were smudged in some dried liquid.

Next night he waited for the silhouette to appear at 11:11, but it didn’t. he kept waiting for the subsequent nights but no one came.

One day he couldn’t resist and asked an old watchman at the corner of the street, about the blue cottage in the woods. The watchman got shocked as no one seem to remember about that cottage anymore. The watchman hesitated to go there and told him about the route. When he reached there , he got shocked to see the condition of the abandoned lodging. There were no blue flowers in the lawn. The door was jammed tightly and there was no sign of life at all..

Disappointed he, went back and told the watchman the whole story, yet he hid the part of the blue book.

The watchman told him the legend of a beautiful young woman used to live in that cottage with her old mother. She used to hide her face behind the veil. One day a young man fell in love with her. He used to write poetry in her love and send her. He always wanted to see her beautiful face but she was hesitant .One night she invited her in her home. She asked her to sit beside her and then played a melodious song out of her own poetry written in her diary . Then they sat on a table with a lit candle in the middle of it. The woman had tears in her eyes and her veil was already soaked in tears, sticking to her delicate lips. He passionately removed her veil and was about to kiss her when he noticed her cleft lips in the light of candle. He became scared and immediately left her. After the incident  the woman never saw him again. It was said that she used to sit awake in even in the snowy night to wait for her beloved to send her another poem, but he never came back. One night she became seriously sick and in a few days died miserably. It was  said that her cleft lips turned blue upon her death. Her sad mother buried her in the front lawn of their cottage. People could still hear the sound of  piano coming from the upper story of the cottage.

That night at eleven past eleven, he  found himself alone in his room trying to read the smudged words in the candle light but there was no success!


He kept the dairy in the drawer and tried to forget everything.
......

One night he was sleeping when he felt as if someone has tried to wake him up.
He looked around but there was no one in the room. It was eleven past eleven , almost. Undecidedly, he went to look for the diary . It was still in the drawer.  He immediately opened it to read and tried hard to make some sense out of the smudged words but he couldn’t .He became sad and tears welled up in his eyes.

Then it happened that no sooner did a tear fell on the diary, than the words in the diary started becoming visible to him. He became over whelmed with joy and curiosity. Soon he was reading the enchanted poetry written with the depth of love. Under the spell, he got up while reading it and automatically turned towards the door.

It was dark and gloomy outside with no sign of stars on the cloudy sky. There were light heaps of snow melting in the warmth of March.

Unconsciously he reached in front of the blue cottage and stepped inside the front lawn. No sooner his feet touched the ground , than everything came to life. He could see the tufts of blue flowers smiling in the welcoming wind of spring.

He plucked a flower and immediately reached the door , opened it and went inside .He was not scared at all.  He could hear the sound of music coming form upstairs. He climbed the stairs in rush and reached the small room with the piano.

She was there, dressed in blue, absorbed in playing a beautiful song on the piano. This time she was also singing. Her voice was clear and beautiful.

 He stood near the door so that she couldn’t see him standing there. He was trembling with the joy .The diary fell down from his hand .With the noise, she turned her beautiful veiled face towards the door and noticed him. He leaned down and picked up the diary then slowly stepped forward and gave the diary to her along with the blue flower. Her eyes smiled in the dim light of distant candle ,with the pleasure of having read by someone.

“I have been waiting for you”. She murmured

He extended his hand towards her. Soon he felt the soft touch of her beautiful fingers on his .They were cold like ice. She got up and stood in front  him. He kept staring her deep blue eyes until he felt like being drowned in the sweet mystery her gaze. Then he gently removed her veil and put his warm trembling lip on her cold ones. He kissed her passionately while tears kept  filling his eyes. He was deeply in love with her and never wanted the kiss to end. In fact he thought he would be a happiest person if he happen to die in those moments of ecstasy.

The moments paused  under the spell of their soulful kiss……They felt as if they were sailing over the depth of deep blue sea...

When they separated their hearts were full of peace and glory. It was the magic of the kiss that the cleft of her lips was gone forever and they were blooming like wild blue flowers, freshly bathed in the night dew.

He didn’t remember what happened next. Probably he fell into a deep sleep or perhaps he actually died. When he woke up he found himself lying in a bed in  another room of the cottage.

It was drizzling outside. She was sitting beside him with the diary in her delicate hands She looked towards the window and uttered.”The dawn is approaching”. He didn’t want to leave her , but he followed his instinct. When he reached the door, he heard her saying “Thank you”. She was holding the flower against her bosom. Her beautiful lips were  without the veil and  were yielding a gorgeous smile.

No one knows for how many nights they kept meeting like that, but the house of the poet was also declared to be haunted since the mysterious disappearance of the  gentleman residing there!

People of the town found no sign of evidence of involvement of the ghost of the blue cottage..but they still assume that they are still meeting somewhere in the heaven of their  own world as the blue tufts of flowers still grow.. and… they can still hear her singing while playing piano , late night sometimes!!!!!!!






SW

Friday, 25 November 2011

Fire....Fire...!!!


The automated fire alarms were deafening!!!!!

Finally the  fire trucks came and went back ,declaring everything safe in the rental building. The building was new, the  fire alarm were extra sensitive and the management too skeptical! All tenants were equally careful and concerned about their new homes. Some of them knew each other already because they used to live in the neighborhood for years.
After a while the evacuated building started getting its resident back in place. Some neighbors gathered in the lobby and mostly in a small adjacent hall. Many voices were amalgamated like the smokes of different substance fires in a laboratory.

“These deafening alarms!!!”
“Ha!”
“ I hate alarms!”
“Me too..”
“People are irresponsible…”
“Who pushed the fire button..”
“Not me..”
“Which floor..”
“Not mine..”
“ Thanks we have a fire station nearby”
“ Everything is fine”
“Nothing to worry about”
“No fire signs”
“Thank God”
“God”
:“I don’t believe in God”
“Me too”
“We must follow the rules”
“Rules makes us safe”
“We must respect each other”
“Respect is safety!”
“Respect is in every religion”
“What religion!”
”I don’t like religion”
“ Me too”
“Too many religions”
“Diversity is divine”
“What is divinity”
“ I don’t like rules”
:“Me neither!”
“ Management is too strict”
“ I don’t like the manager”
“I don’t like the tenants”
“Who threw the garbage from the balcony!”
“Not me”
“We must recycle”
“This planet is full of garbage”
“This world is old”
“This world stinks”
“ Where to dump”
“ Buy less, eat less”
“ What to eat “
“What not to”
“Become vegetarian”
“waste, less”
“ Don’t keep more than you need”
“Feed the starving”
“Famines”
“Natural disasters”
“Un-natural disasters”
“Abuse”
“ Child abuse”
“Animal abuse”
“ Resource wastage”
“Save”
“ Cut down”
“Cut down trees”
“Ha!”
“Celebrate”
“ Cut down animals”
“Celebrate”
“Ha!”
“No sacrifice”
“What to sacrifice”
“Come down!”
“On the ground floor!”
“World is in peril..”
“This world is old..”
“This world is dying..”
“Pray”
“Do”
“Renew”
“Warn”
“Alarm”
“Alarms”
“I hate alarms”
“I hate warnings”
“What warnings”
“Global warming”
“Glaciers melting”
“Polar shifting”
“Traffic”
“Pollution”
“Polluted mind”
“Polluted Souls”
“We need rules”
“We need spirituality”
“We need religion..”
“I hate religion..”
“ Me too!”
“Religions make humans love each other..”
“Religions make humans hate each other..”
“Humans!”
“Humanity!!”
“We need humanity..”
“We need sensibility..”
“We need training..”
“It’s never too late to mend..”
“Everything is safe..”
“Everyone is fine..”
“Nothing to worry about..”
“Lull your self to sleep..”
“No it’s late”
“It’s too late”
“Time to wake up!!!”
“Alarm!”
“Warn everyone…”
“Help…help!”
“Press the buttons…”
“Buttons are pressed..”
“No fire stations nearby..”
“No management..”
“No one responsible..”
“Do something!”
“Fire…Fire…”
“Run for your life!”
“Be safe!!”
“ Run …Run …Run…”
“Run out of the hall!”
“Run out of the building!!”
“Run out of this town!!!”
“Run of the country!!!!”
“Run out of the World !!!!!”

".Run.................
".Ru..........
" R..
:"..

The hall kept on getting suffocated by the invisible smoke...

 

SW









The Loonie



It was a dull evening hour ,when he found a shiny loonie in an empty street. Finding it made his stomach growl immediately for he was a  poor little boy living in a confined area with the smell of hungry poverty growling in the streets.
 
Looking at the shiny coin made  his eyes gleam with a sudden hopes. He crossed the street and reached a bakery shop where he used to stand quite sometimes to catch the glimpse of mouth-watering bakery products. That day he hoped to buy something for himself to eat.


He wasn’t able to make a choice amongst so many eye-catching variety of the food, framed inside the display section.Just unconsciously, he was pointing and placing finger on the window pans, when he was noticed by the annoyed shopkeeper who beckoned him to leave the place immediately. The boy innocently waved at him to ensure that ,at that time he had money to buy something actually and wasn’t just fooling around.

He ,very confidently opened the door and paced into the shop with a grin on his smudgy face. He found the shopkeeper looking at him with a frown, already. He selected a pastry cake and ordered, immediately. When he was about to pay for it , he cast a last look at the shiny metal and felt as he was about to lose it in eating. With the thought , he suddenly turned away , opened the door and ran away, towards his cottage.

He wouldn’t eat up his coin , he decided, finally!

He didn’t tell anybody about the coin, at all. That night he couldn’t sleep properly for he was planning to buy something to play from the dollar shop, instead.

Next day he reached the dollar shop and started looking at the amazing toys he could buy for a loonie. The Car! How he always dreamed of sitting inside a moving vehicle!. The Airplane! Much better a choice , he would fly!!! No the color box! May be he could paint his life, too..The Pistol! No , no , How he hated killing people…!!!!

He became very sad.

No he wouldn‘t buy a toy for him! He would never ever be thinking of spending the money again. What if he buys a money saver , instead ..but then he would have no money to save … !!!

He looked at the loonie and felt as if he was really a poor guy. He went back home and put the coin  inside his pillow case.

That night he couldn’t sleep at all. He dreamed of a large shiny dollar which was rolling and rolling ahead him like a giant wheel. He was trying to catch it but he couldn’t. It started rolling faster and faster. At last it stopped and fell on the ground. When the boy touched it with his hand it opened up like a big lid and under it was a deep dark well…the wishing well !

He could hear the whispers coming from the dark depth of the wishing well..!

“Make A Wish….!”
“Make A Wish…..!”

He leaned forward to try to see through the darkness , when he heard a loud  whisper again. He became so scared that he lost his balance and fell into the well. While he was falling , he woke up!

It was the late night , everyone else was sleeping peacefully.

Next morning he took the coin in his hand, went out and dropped it in inside the rusty can held in the hands of a little beggar boy across the road!


SW

The Story Of My Stories


I don’t know if I was born as a writer or not, but yes one day I discovered that I could be one. It took me ages to find my self as a writer, though. Well it doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing at all through that time! 

When I was a child I used to get some pocket money from my parents, literarily 50 paisas. One day I happened to find a hawker selling used issue of “Buchon Ki Duniya” magazines. Hmmm..bucchon ki duniya means ..The Children’s World..I went to buy some candies, but my steps got frozen at the moving stall of that Children’s World. I actually got lost in the maze of story books and happened to find myself had bought two issues for 50 Paisas. That was the best shopping I had ever had at that age..11, 12.years nearly… 

You might think that I would have become completely lost in the kids’s world and would have collected a pile of used magazines in my little shelf which looked like a little stage of fairy land characters acting and living all over the place…Nun Nun No..Not at all..I read a few magazines and came to conclude that almost all fairy tales are alike with some alterations in characters , places and of-course happenings. So I immediately decided to write my story of a ‘regular’ Prince, Princess and a Jinnie.I  named after my Uncle :) who’s character I could never understand. He himself was partly a well-bred, well-dressed, well-educated human being , yet partly a hairy and scary Jinnie to me who used to talk in somewhat feminine way. His personality was full of mystery and fun. He seemed like a Jack of all trades to me , yet absolutely had mastered of none of them…

So I not only wrote the story , but printed and haha published it..in a form of a small book-let with relevant pictures drawn by my hands! I showed that to my Uncle who read it , encouraged it yet didn’t say a word about his name in the story..thankfully!

It would certainly be inevitable to know that ,that was probably my first and the last story book ever got created. The later hand books were the picture books with ballerinas dancing in them.lol ( I always pretended to be one, too!)

And please don’t think I never had had new books in my life, again. One of my great buys were a book of “Des Des ki Kahaanian” ( Stories from around the world) which got stolen immediately after I bought it from my school’s book fair, then was recovered. “Roosi Lok Kahaniaan” (Russian Folklores), which I bought from another bookfair and later another Uncle grabbed it for his kids and  “Thumblina” A hard covered, hard-paged fairy tale, I bought as a present for me for standing first in school,in  board examinations in grade eight. “I still HAVE that book with me”!

So after that I never tried to get published again lol. I pretended to be an occasional story-teller who wanted to see kids around her laughing at hand-made stuff.So I used to change the stories a bit on my own to make them interesting.



Being a science student, I never found a formal opportunity to read  English or Urdu literature, as you might had been thinking of. It was an experience of only kind of a bird-eye view to me. My first few reads were the parables of the Bible (I brought them from my convent school), Parables of Sheikh Saadi and Urdu ki aakhri kitaab lol by Ibne Insha, brought by my father.I also continued expressing my self in Urdu and English poems at the same time in my youth. I still have a few remnants with me.
My creativity started earning good marks in Urdu and English in school and college.At University I was the sole main writer and director for some entertaining skits and plays, in which I sang and performed as well!

In University some of my very knowledgeable friends introduced me to the world of Literature. It was just a pity that I found the experience undigestable for me.I kind of ran away from complicated formats of the world of story telling. I confined my self to simple occasional reading and simple story-telling to my kids after my marriage.I read some poetry  too ..my favourit Faiz Ahmad Faiz , Amjad Islam Amjad and Gulzar. In prose..I like Mumtaz Mufti..especially his “Samay ka Bandhan”!

When I came to Canada, the very busy life schedule dragged me far away from the world of fantasy. The only thing I used to write was the ’letters’ to my mother and the only pleasure to read was her letters for me. I used to tell her sometimes that I wanted to write, but I couldn’t.


Meanwhile I took an Art  program for two years. My favorite part was 'designing' which in my opinion, taught me about all the necessary skills which later helped me craft the stories, as well! :)

After her demise in 2006 , when I came back to Canada, one day I felt like writing and I wrote my first short story ‘Mitti’’ (Earth)  in Urdu ,in a go. It made me feel as if I was suddenly tuned to express myself ..so I wrote a second story “ Baatain” “Conversations” ..I wept and wept..after writing the story .I felt as If I had been talking to my Mother, once again! (Those stories got published later in an online magazine by the  publisher who liked them for their originality. It was the origin of Ana -My pen-name!)

Then a year later , an acquaintance referred me to the poetry of Khalil Gibran again.It was just a timeless experience for me. I read it with my eyes full of tears and it reached my soul. I felt as if I was not reading the book , but the book was reading me.It spoke to me about some secrets of life which I enclosed in my heart.It also gave me the composure to expose them. :)

  So the incident gave birth to my English stories and the poems and Saaya!

I remained sick and depressed due to health issues for a long time and had to discontinue. Now I have just been compiling my work on the blog spot. It’s almost done..!(Unfortunately I've lost some of my work due to a mishap!)


.Okay it wasn’t an attempt to drag you in my world of stories, but to make me able to see my work through your eyes :) As you might be able to infer, that I still live in my own world of simplicity in my imaginations and can’t write about the complexity of the issue. Still I hope you will be able to enjoy my work...
I humbly and heartedly thank my admirers and well-wishers…keep writing and keep reading…it's a beautiful way to discover and recover!!!!!


SW


In picture, it's a ballerina painted by me, 2 years ago

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Artist And A Clown



He was not a very good artist yet he was able to make some admirable paintings with the touch of his soul . The edge of his brush would work like a sculptor’s knife to carve the craft. His colors would blend a rainbow of expression on the heart of canvas. With his skill he was not only able to turn a natural view into an adorable piece of art, but to blow  life in his portraits. Actually his portraits were the main source of his income. Most of the other paintings were all stacked in a large closet behind a shabby curtain , inside his messy apartment. He new perhaps he would never be able to sell them.

There were filled and empty color tubes, bottles of oil and varnishes and dirty rags scattered all over the place . Some times he , himself looked like a piece of surplus item lying motionless on the floor .This happened when he had cast a last look on his finished art work and had signed his scribbling signatures at the bottom of it.

There was no room left to take a breath of fresh air in that arid place, except in the world of his imaginations!

The Artist was equally disappointed for his present and future , yet he was happy and content with life. Only he had to have a part-time job to meet his expenses.

One day he happened to visit a gallery , which was run by one of his old friend. He convinced him to add some spice to his artwork to make it commercially acceptable.

Doing so opened a new vista of hope and expectation.

It took some time , but he became quite popular in the town. .He had had to move to a better and spacious place. He had had to hire an artist  to join him to meet the excessive demands. His life became so busy that he could hardly find the moments of leisure to think or really imagine. He was not happy!

One day he went to an entertainment show to make him feel better and found an old artist friend who gave up his career to become a clown. They went to a coffee place and talked.

His friend still with his make-up on had a big smile touching his ears. The Clown asked him.”Why do you look so unhappy to me!” The Artist told him the whole story. 

The Clown listened to the story with keen interest and then he opened his painted lips once again.” You know my friend! I paint my outer self to entertain people, but you have painted your inner self…! You have become a Painter. You are not an Artist, anymore!”


SW

The Music And The Song



A Musician had collected a variety of Musical Instruments from all around the world. He wasn’t and expert player of the all of them yet he understood the language of Music they spoke. He believed the Language of Music to be a Universal Language of Peace and Harmony. He believed the diversity to be the beauty of life just like the seven motes of Music itself. So he  used to love all of his Music Instruments equally and tried to learn some of his favorite with the help of his friends.

It was a pity that the Music Instruments were not getting along with each other ,the way the Musician wanted them to be. They all used to quarrel with each other in the absence of Musician, everyone claiming that the Musician love and care for it the most.

The Musician was un aware of what used to happen in his absence .

One day he brought one of his friend who used to sing, who became so amused to see the collection of the Music Instrument at his friend‘s place. During next visit the Singer brought a beautiful Song with him and gave it to the Musician. Together they both worked on to compose a beautiful tune suitable for the Song.

It was pity that in their absence all Music Instrument started their fight again. They all became so jealous not only of each other but for the poor Song , as well.
 First of all they all didn’t seem happy on the arrival of a Song amongst them, at all. Second of all every Instrument wanted to be played  for the song instead of another.
 
The delicate Song was nothing but a message of Peace and Harmony in their world. It tried to settle the issue amongst the Instruments but couldn’t succeed.

That night when the Musician returned, he found all the Music Instrument with broken strings and keys and the Song was breathing its last!



SW