An old kitchen tray…

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Recently, I’ve been thinking about the presence of some old things in my home. There’s this silver ladel of my great grandmother on which the year 1941 is inscribed.

There are also some old pictures which are hanging on the walls of my home but my association with this tray in kitchen is different.

With made in England inscription on its backside, the tray is more than thirty years old. It is a long time but the colors of this village looking scene are still bright.

In these past thirty years the tray along with other things in my home made frequent travels with us. First we were living abroad then here in this city we moved quite a lot. During this time when most of the things lost their strength this tray along with a picture hanging on the wall of my lounge retained their vigour.

My association with this tray is different.

For me it’s a reminisence of my carefree time. As a child I would look at the scenery and would think about the presence of people inside the homes. I very much liked to think about what was happening in those homes, I would imagine the presence of rooms with beds and kitchen inside.

There’s lot of work going on in this picture, as rooster and hens are busy in eating so do men and woman are busy in their work for living.

I admit, I have almost neglected this tray for some new trays have replaced it and it’s not in use much unless we have to place some ten to fifteen cups on it which is not a usual occurrence but yesterday when I was reading ode on a gracian urn by John Keats, I thought about the scenery on this tray.

Keats’s in his poetry asserts that art is permanent while human life is mortal. In his poem, the beautiful image of a boy playing music for his lover remains unchanged on urn and so does this scene of village on this tray in my home.

These days the tray is not much in use and for the sake of taking this picture, I scrubbed it hard. There were some tea stains and once they were removed, I hold it in front of my eyes and looked at the busy people in scene.

In these past years lot has been changed in my life. I’ve lost some people who were closed to me. Though, in their lives I didn’t realized their importance but once they were gone I understood the importance of relations in life.

From all good and bad experiences of my life, I’ve learned that though life is about work and struggle but at the end of the day we can’t ignore our loved ones. This is what this picture tells me for I can assume that during the day men and women remained busy doing their work and once on getting back home they’ll find relief in the company of their loved ones…

Before we’re able to understand the importance of people in our lives, sometimes life ends. There’s nothing more beautiful than to end my post with these beautiful words of Valadimir Nabokov, he writes

“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

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Shimmer

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As the sea shimmers in the sunlight so do the words in darkness of night.

The word shimmer reminds me of Wuthering Heights, the book whose abridged version, I read in my college days.

Last year, I chanced upon the book and finished reading it in ten days. The novel with its complex psychological characters and soft flow of thoughts is my all time favorite.

The daily post asks us to write something about the word shimmer which takes me back to an interview of a Canadian actor. Sergio Di Zio shared a little secret about his reading habit.

He explained that while reading any book, he’s in a habit of taking notes. So whenever he finish reading book, he not only writes his thoughts about book but also writes about the environment in which he read it. Jotting down thoughts in this way, he keeps record of his own memories.

From that day on, I have also started practicing this routine and whenever I read my thoughts at the end of books, it gives me a strange pleasure.

For me it is a precious feeling which reminds me that words are powerful because they joined to form a thought which can bring “shimmer” in our lives.

Here is a note from a book Whuthering Heights.

“July 18, 2016

It’s 12:40 p.m, I started reading this book on second day of Eid. It’s a journey of ten days which could be less, if I didn’t get under weather.

Reading the book was an unforgettable experience.”

Now reading this note reminds me that how I caught flu which got so worse that I was bound to bed. It was late in the night on July 18 when I finished reading it. It was a hot month of summer. At night, I couldn’t read the book in bedroom for the lights were off and others needed to sleep.

So, while everyone slept, I sat outside in sitting room and enjoyed reading the book in the calmness of night.

You see a single note can remind you of a lot of memories. Memories are precious and what’s more beautiful than saving them at the end of a book and that too in your own handwriting.

I very much like to see the shimmering rays of sunlight in sea. I can’t visit sea because it’s not in my city but rereading these notes in books is my sorce of getting happiness which brings shimmer in my life.

This post is written in response to daily post Shimmer

I like grapes

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Previously, I was trying to write that there are some slight issues with my laptop but now I’ve edited it for I can’t help  mentioning truth here. These days my laptop is facing lots of issues. It not only gets heat up but it also starts vibrating when I try to move it while its on and in order to soothe my nerves and relax my mind, I’ve chose above picture as my desktop background.

I like green color and I like grapes. This past week when I was getting tired of looking at the appearance of my blog, I decided to change its header image. I selected a picture of a bunch of grapes with a background effect of bright sunlight shining through them. Yesterday, my sister was looking down in spirits. She normally shows no interest in my blog and when I asked her to have a look at my new header image, she came with reluctance and the moment she saw grapes, a refreshing smile appeared on her face.

Two weeks ago, mother wanted to watch some movie on my laptop and when she looked at the above picture of green grapes on my desktop she exclaimed with joy that it was a lovely picture.

It’s interesting that how a mere look of some refreshing pictures of fruits can bring smile on our faces and this very moment when I’m also smiling, I’d like to share this new tagline of my blog.

Probably you have heard it before but I need to remind myself this message that with sweet and sour experiences, life is full of colors.

Proud Mother

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The lady cradling her new born child in a picture is my mother and the other woman whose arm is visible as if she’s pointing at something was my grandmother. I can assume that my grandmother was looking anxious about the head of the newborn which was quite high in my mother’s arm.

It was the warm and calm day of March 1982 when this picture was taken.

There are many old pictures in my home but I like this most. It has this magical sensation that every time when I’m down in dumps, a look at the sunlit veranda and the mere glimpse of the shades of leaves on the wall behind my mother, rejuvenates my soul and sensing the pride in the eyes of young mother and feeling the confidence in her posture makes me smile.

Standing in front of Pomelo tree and holding her first born child, my mother is looking proud of herself.

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Morning newspaper

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When I was in school a weekly page in newspaper was reserved for kids. All week, we kids remained excited about reading stories in it and on Wednesday when the page was published, I and my sisters used to argue that who’ll read it first.

Those were the days when my father without reading newspaper couldn’t finish eating his breakfast and as routine become habit, this practice of taking breakfast along with reading newspaper becomes a norm and much like a morning dose, it is necessary to start a day in my home.

I remember that special bamboo stick magazine rack that was placed in our drawing room.

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I wish I could have an original picture but this Google image is very close in resemblence

It served us for nearly seventeen years and it’s only been lately that my mother like most of women who find it hard to get rid of old trash, mustered up her courage and let go off that crippled magazine rack, for the worn out rack lost one of its leg and when a new magazine rack replaced it, a debate erupted in my home.

In the presence of high speed internet, my parents are of the view that there’s no need to purchase printed edition of newspaper but every time when the idea is proposed, my younger sister, who after getting from school lies on couch and enjoy reading newspaper gets angry and, we all agree that as internet connection is not always reliable so it’s better not to stop the routine.

Now, it’s been some time that nothing has been said on this topic and yesterday while dusting off the furniture, I noticed the magazine rack which was filled up to its brim with papers. I sat on my knees and as I got myself busied in arranging newspapers, I recalled these lines from Wilbur’s poem

Richard Wilbur  in his poem “After the last bulletin” writes

After the last bulletins the windows darken

And the whole city founders readily and deep,

Sliding on all its pillows

To the thronged Atlantis of personal sleep,

 

And the wind rises. The wind rises and bowls

The day’s litter of news in the alleys. Trash

Tears itself on the railings,

Soars and falls with a soft crash,

When Wilbur talks about the worthlessness of news that become a litter on next day, I can recall reading that the Independent newspaper has called an end to its print edition after three decades and had gone online only and while arranging the messed up pile of old newspapers, I feel sorry about the loss of all news which has been arranged and published with great effort but it only took fraction of time before the most prominent news in the paper lost its vigor.

And, when daily Independent has decided to put an end to its printed edition, there are still newspapers which are getting published and despite the fact that morning news becomes worthless in evening, the same effort of gathering and publishing news is performed the other day.

To cap it all, I can say that when news is collected and fresh papers are published, it depicts the very fact of life that as new order replace the old one,life continues to move on.

A post of reminiscence

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This picture was taken in early 1960’s. Those were some early day of my grandparents’ married life.

Writers mostly avoid using adjectives in their writings but my grandmother was such a beautiful, kind and caring soul that for the sake of her, I can write hundreds of adjectives here.

I remember those long winter nights when we kids used to snuggle on her bed and while reminiscing about her past she would get sad but as the dreariness of cold night tried to cast its spell so did she, for while narrating stories from her past, her voice remained firm and calm.

At the time of her marriage, she was young and naive but in all her life she remained thankful to her husband who taught her to read and write. At times, when she was in mood she would tell us that due to her fair complexion she never cared much about doing makeup and would feel contend to have Tibet snow cream and red lipstick as her only makeup accessories.

Staying at home and taking care of seven kids, she didn’t find much time for herself and whenever my grandfather would buy clothes for her, she would gladly wore colors of his choice.

She was admired for her far-sightedness. In all her life, she never saw the face of school but learnt a lot from her experiences. Once, sitting with my sisters, I was joking and praying that something bad would happen to my old mobile set so that I could get free from its burden when she heard me and in her strong voice interrupted and said,

“Mobiles are not meant to show off. There only purpose is to receive and make a call.”

Such was her vision about life and such was her simplicity that despite all difficulties in her life, she remained thankful to the blessings of Allah Almighty.

The day she died, I thought that life would never be same and today after one year when I have finally found some time to sit and contemplate, I’m wishing that something might have changed but everything seemed to remain same.

In all these past months, I wanted to stop and take rest but as weeks melt into months and months are turning into years, I’m finding little and no time to contemplate.

Life is cruel, it goes on and so do we.

The things that do attain love

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The love of parents for their children is unconditional. There’s no jealousy involve in this relationship and my mother never forgets to mention it. She’s very right in reminding us this message again and again, for we the children often forget it.

The other day, I was reading the poem the things that do attain love which somehow reminds me of a large collection of pictures in my home. There’s this vivid memory from my childhood when my mother would dress us in nice and colorful clothes. Those were the days of photographic film cameras. Mother didn’t want to waste that film. So, she asked us to clap or laugh.

The whole exercise was meant to make the picture memorable and when all the pictures were taken, the film was sent to develop and then the long hours of wait started.

That was the pure and unconditional love and “Henry Howard” explains it in these words

MY friend, the things that do attain

The happy life be these, I find:

The riches left, not got with pain;

The fruitful ground; the quiet mind;

 

The equal friend; no grudge; no strife;

No charge of rule, nor governance;

Without disease, the healthy life;

The household of continuance;

 

The mean diet, no dainty fare;

Wisdom joined with simpleness;

The night discharged of all care,

Where wine the wit may not oppress:

 

The faithful wife, without debate;

Such sleeps as may beguile the night;

Content thyself with thine estate,

Neither wish death, nor fear his might.

Neither wish death nor fear his might: this is the most beautiful message here. Do you feel the same? What other message in the poem do you like?

The picture in my home

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All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost

(J.R.R Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring)

When my mother asked me to clean the dust from the picture, I realized that it’s been a long time that I had stopped noticing it.

This scenery is hanging on the outside wall of my parents’ room. I’m not sure but I think that it was in 1992 that my mother brought this scenery along with two other pictures.

I remember one was a scenery from some Northern areas of Pakistan and other was a picture of a vase. These past years saw us changing home thrice. The ups and downs of life left its impact on our belongings.

After living a life to their fullest, two of the three pictures got worn out. Today, two new pictures have taken their place but this one still exists in our lives.

As a child my observation of this picture was different. I used to take a refuge in its calmness. In those days I wished to take a look inside a hut. For me there was a magic in the reflection of large trees in the water and the white sky with the tinge of pink color looked beautiful to my eyes.

For a long time, I wished to sketch a picture like this. And, today when I’m a grown up girl, I’m amazed that how could I forget such an innocent desire of my childhood. As a child my heart was pure and my mind was relaxed but now the germs of revenge and hatred have blackened my heart.

Today, I’m not relax but I’m restless. Never ending desires and wishes of my life have left me tired.

I don’t believe in keeping regrets but there is one in my life: I wanted to conquer the world and in order to reach the moon; I forget the simple pleasures in my life.

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Day 2: Quote Challenge

Many thanks to Deb author of the blog onceuponahotflash for nominating me for this challenge.

 

 

Camp Candy

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Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and open any page. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration.

This word “Camp” reminds me of a cartoon series of Camp Candy. It was a story of a summer camp where children remained busy in doing their fun activities.

The camping adventure in the beautiful surroundings of mountains and the comic dialogues were all meant to be our refreshing dose. We children loved that show and after doing homework we used to gather in our TV lounge. It was also a time for evening tea and while we ate our evening snacks, the joyous theme song started to play.

Those were some simple and colorful days of my childhood and I’m feeling really happy to find these lyrics of the theme song.

The flea bites,

The bee bites,

The bark of tree bites.

The quietness of darkness

The stories told by firelight

The long nights

The food fights

A summer made of memories,

At camp candy!

The moonlight,

The sunshine,

The rainy days and wet nights,

At camp candy!

Attock:a bird’s eye view

Attock formerly known as “Campbellpur” is a small and beautiful city of lovely people. Maybe it’s my natural inclination towards my maternal family but I’ve always felt nostalgic feelings for this city.

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Road covered with Sheesham trees (Pictures near Attock city)

I can recall all those pleasure trips to my late grandmother’s house. In those days, the eight hour long journey usually left us tired and by the end we used to make our mother annoyed by asking repeatedly the same question

“How much time before we reached?”

For me, the very names of river Haro and the light grey Kala chitta mountain range hold a sweet scent of love and care.

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Kala Chitta mountain range
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River Haro

In my memories, my grandma’s house thrives as a warm and cozy place which wholeheartedly embraced the large family of more than thirty people. The veranda was large and in that sunlit place of home, we children remained busy in playing for long hours.

In front of the house there was a market. There were some shops of cobblers and all day long we could hear the hammering sound of their tools but in the evening as soon as the color of the sky turned black, the loud bang of shutters announced the closure of market.

In the small city of Attock, people wake up early in the morning and when the sun is still yawning, the city streets burst into life.

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Beautiful view of city

Attock is a city of largehearted people where residents are tightly knit with each other.The educational institutions in this “home of gunners” are best. This is a land of brave people and I feel proud to be associated with this city.

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Writing 101: A map as a muse

photo credit: pictures.org.es