River Story



Back to wilderness

The traffic starts diminishing as i start walking away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Gradually shops and homes start looking less lavish and i see more children playing in the streets.

Then the mesh of roads and streets vanishes and i find myself walking beside the weather beaten rail-track that reminds me of the British rule in the subcontinent. This track was laid by the British to connect far flung parts of “The Golden Sparrow” to ensure constant supply of food in the times of peace and the soldiers to fight for the crown in the times of war.

The decades old track swirls around the rocks and hills – bridges upon the chasms and tunnels through the mountains where the options to route it through an alternate path are limited.

I try to walk upon this track like an acrobat with my arms wide open and my legs trying to balance my wait on the narrow carbon steel until the track takes me to the other side of a small river and from here i take a right turn to loose myself in the wilderness.


The yellow blossoms on the acacias, the white blooms on the shrubs and wild flowers welcome me here.

The wild red berries have started to ripen – i collect some of the fruit and fill it in my side pockets to eat them after giving them a cold water wash at the nearby stream. As i move ahead i see a proud dandelion – with its bright yellow petals – all set to say hello in an awesome demeanor. A worthwhile prize for anyone who leaves back a soft couch or a bed to visit him in the wild.

I go near him and bow my head down to pay homage to the little beauty. I am glad that the meeting with him was so deep that i didn’t even think of taking his picture. I was lost in his charms.


After that encounter I walk forth and come across some more plants and flowers that are still nameless in the book of my vocabulary. Still, i feel a connection with them. Being unfamiliar with their worldly names don’t disconnect me from them. For somehow i have got a connection with all the particles and atoms of this universe.

As bedil says,

na ba sahra sarey daaram, na ba gulzaar sodaye

be her ja mee ravam, az khesh me balid tamashaye

Neither i seek the solitude of deserts nor i am greedy for the colors of the world – however when i go to wilderness or visit a garden i see my reflection in the things that comprise that place.  

I come across the doves which make a whistling sound when they suddenly flap their wings against their bodies to fly away. Every now and then they do so to perch upon another tree which appears relatively safer to them. The little bees are busy in collecting nectar and the beautiful butterflies are kind to the visitors for letting them look at their colorful wings from as near as any one can get to them.

These are a few things that i see and there are many things that i think about and feel while across this stretch of land. Sometimes when i get heavy with the loads of thoughts, i want to be a buffalo with a calm mind, walking behind the others of my kind with very few things to worry or care about.



I’ll conclude with a verse where Rumi writes a beautiful wish in one of his ghazals:

dar do chashme man nasheen – Ae Aan ke az man mantari 

Come and stay in my eyes – You! who are more me than myself

Nature soothes and cures me. I feel myself ready to visit any place where i can have a profound conversation with the nature. As for some of us nature is the remedy for all our pains and problems.

Sunset and sunrise are two marvelous exhibits of nature that recur after every twenty four hours. Light fills the earth with power and then it vanishes to give it time for rest. To watch these amazing events, reminds us to be like the sun that burns itself to render life and light to the earth. It also tells us that great success cannot be achieved without enduring pain.

In the beginning of Masnavi, Rumi explores the essential connection between pain and art. He draws our attention towards the flute and presents a case that the tunes emanating from the flute catch our heart because they carry the grief and yearning  of the wooden stick that was turned into a flute.

A part of a tree is separated and put under the mercy of sharp tools that make it hollow and carve holes into it to give it a form that is known to us as a musical instrument. When an artist blows air into it and moves his fingers on its holes, the separation from its source, the stress and mutilation that it has endured and the elegance that it has achieved by going through all these hardships resonates in the form of a melody.

The key is to endure with elegance.

Courage to face the changing winds and reading the signs of the time helps us in understanding the dance of love. We start seeing that universe is intoxicated with the wine of love and once we free ourselves from unnecessary burdens, all that is left in us is love and kindness.



Staying up until wee hours

When it starts getting dark outside and mortals get tired of trying to justify their existence in this world, most of them come back to their abodes to  refill their bodies with the food and get ready for the next day.

Once done with the dinner, they pick up their gadgets or watch the broadcasts and media streams until their eyes start twitching and they fall asleep.

However there are some people who cannot sleep even if their eyes are twitching and their bodies yearning for rest.

Either they are insomniacs or the ones who are lucky enough to encounter deep moments that are worth staying awake for.

Our bodies are designed to sleep after staying active for some hours. If we work at night, our bodies need rest during the day and vice versa however sometimes our mind is so active that it prevents us from unconsciousness.

Here are some results of my consciousness, scattered in the sentences written below:

Probably its in the nature of human beings to get bored. We get bored of TV channels, our phones, weather, places and people. And still there are some entities which stay interesting for us and we never get tired of them. These entities can be good or bad for us. For instance a smoker never gets tired of cigarettes even when he knows that every next smoke drags him closer to his death. We can stay awake with some people every night and on the contrary we might find ourselves looking for reasons to sleep or do something on our phone instead of expressing our views and ideas to some people. In short our choices and amount of control on ourselves influences our life.

Life is an interesting stage and we ought to play our roles well. We can’t rely on the scripts provided by the director as life requires us to be spontaneous. Whether its day or night, we should thank those streams of thoughts and moments that light up the lanterns of wisdom in our mind. Wisdom gives us the courage to detach our soul from selfishness and all such diseases which make it heavy. Once the soul is unburdened it rises up like a cloud. After all, it’s easy to run a marathon if you are light on your heels. During such times our soul steps up on the ladder of realization and we start seeing the things in their true form. Our grievances start melting, our grudges start vanishing and all we are left in our heart is love. The love for all the humanity. The love for all the living and non living things with the knowledge that all the things that exist in this world are a part of us.

At these late hours of the night i have no doubt in the fact that I have a connection with the trees, the mud, the people belonging to any color and race and everything that exists. And to honor that connection I should always do good and think good for others without expecting anything in return.

It might happen that you’ll be misunderstood – your good thoughts and best possible arrangements might not bring the desired results for you and others because you are only one of the billions of human beings living on this earth and everyone acts and feels according to the level of their mind and soul.  However if your intentions are good and selfless, peace will be your reward.


Where are my pencils?

Probably they would be in that shoe box where i gathered all the the paint brushes in a plastic bottle before moving to new room.

Why am i thinking about them today?

It’s happening so because once again the world has baffled me and i feel the urge to seek refuge in art.

I want to let the strokes of pencil spread some of my thoughts on the paper. I want to compare the stories told by color soaked brushes with the ones that i paint on the vast canvas of my mind.

What’s reliable? This night? No. Nay Nay.

The morning that is about to take birth? Neither.

How true a truth can be and how false a lie is? We can only imagine as it’s all relative.

Our likes and dislikes – our assumptions and expectations – they are relative to our set of experiences and the cobwebs of uncertainty tie our heart so bad. Hence sometimes we are so bewildered to differentiate between right and wrong.

In such situations only our soul can serve as a mediator – if it is in peace then everything is alright.

If it is not in peace, we need to take some steps to get peace.

After all we so dearly wish that peace for everyone who passes away – without realizing that it is equally important to live with a peaceful soul.



Life on the go

Two old guys are sitting on the plastic chairs arranged besides the footpath. These are set here to attract customers by the nearby milk shops and street vendors that sell shwarmas and burgers in the evening.

In front of these guys, there lies a table where a small speaker connected to a phone is placed. It is relaying famous songs from old films in the air. The old music is capable of touching the hearts and i am also enjoying the soothing tunes and deep meaningful poetry.

Its not a quiet place, as they are sitting between a busy road and a street full of cycles, pedestrians, beggars and cars trying to make their way through the crowd.

Loud horns, numerous voices and many sources of disturbance seem to have no effect on them. Their hands and heads occasionally move with in synchronization with the music showing their admiration for the composition and vocal chords of the nightingales of old times.

I order a glass of milk and take out a notepad and pen to write down about this scene but i can’t look down on the paper as there is so much to observe around me. I see various people attached to each other with diverse relations, i see smiles and sorrowful gestures, i see people left alone by their loved ones and society, i see poverty, i see extravagance,  and i see these carefree old guys listening to their favorite music in the middle of a noisy bazaar. A bottle of cough syrup also lies on the table but i don’t see or hear any of these guys coughing.

At that moment, the call for evening prayer emanates from the loud speakers mounted on the high minarets of a nearby mosque – one of the guys turns off the music but they keep sitting their. Prayer call stops after a while and they turn the music on again.

I gulp down the glass of milk and pay the bill – pick up my bag and start walking towards the sports club.


Shared domain


The sky is not mine

neither the birds that try to traverse its vastness

with their beautiful wings


That road is not mine

which i push under my feet

to reach the room where i live


That car can’t be mine

some company has made it for anyone who’ll pay for it

so do the chocolate and the pizza that i cherish


The air

that fills my lungs

is not mine

as i just found myself breathing in this world one day

i didn’t bring anything with me

and i won’t take anything from here

not even the words

so what exactly is mine except the way i feel?

probably the little desires that bubble in my restless heart

and nothing else

as somehow i share everything with others