‘Bottle Like People’

‘بوتل جیسے لوگ’

سنا ہے ہزار آنسووں کا سفر
وہ بے بہا نمکین آبشار کا گزر
شروع اک ننھا خدشہ مثل صفر۔
بوتل جیسے لوگ بہت
خدشوں کو اپنے میں بھرتے ہیں
سنیچ سینچ کر اپنے غم بھرتے ہیں
آہ و الم کی شراب کشید کرتے ہیں
حتیٰ کہ ڈاٹ دور تلک پھٹتی ہے
رنج کی چاشنی لہو لہو شراب انڈلتی ہے۔
چیخوں اور غصہ کی متلی پھر
اک بار پھر ‘سکھ’ میں بدلتی ہے۔

‘Bottle-like People ‘

The journey of a thousand tears,
That cascading fall of salty water,
Begins with a single fear.
Bottle the fears
Stuffing and shoving
Every bitterness
A flavour –
Like aged wine.
Till the time comes
Out pops the tightly held cork
Effervesence of emotions stiffled.
Rinse and wipe your mouth,
Afterwards like a good purgation.

Advertisements

To Whom it May Concern

Something I wrote yesterday but didn’t share…

Shyd k teray Dil mein utar jaei meri baat.

*Thursday, 8th Ramazan*

A few hours before I go to get my mother discharged from the hospital, I try to purge my feelings. Wipe my mouth after the acidulous vomit and carry on with the daily chores…

Alhamdulilah for the less-read and simple people. Because of them, the world is still functioning.
Two kinds of people have let me down; the religious lot and the intellectuals.
The religious are more concerned with matters that they think are more worthy of earning reward. Like charity. Like fasting (for it is Ramazan, ofcourse), and praying and reciting Quran. And taraveeh. All noble acts.
I’m reminded of a few Surahs and ahadith SAW highlighting the importance of being there for a Muslim brother over all these acts.

But I think I’d refrain- for ofcourse if it *ever* mattered, these self-proclaimed Ustadhs and Aalims and brothers and sisters, the proponents of Islam would be practicing it.
Islam hasn’t let me down. It’s Muslims. But I guess it’s okay. For these very Muslims have let their brothers down in other dire situations. Syria. Burma. Myanmar. Palestine. Kashmir. Watch the faces of these brethren while you chomp on your popcorn.
Me? I’m just a small fry.

Coming to the intellectuals…
The so-called visionaries. The ones who change the world. But sadly. They change their own little world. Discuss ideas. Post a few bookmarks. Post a few books. Engage in intellectual discourse for movements that never touched their own lives.
But- if someone they know of is suffering with severe illness or in need of blood for their mother’s surgery the next day, oh they’d rather contemplate on the intracacies of poesies of Jaun or Ghalib sighing over lost-love.
You know what is the malignancy of our generation? Indifference and advanced education. Why do I say this? Highly qualified intellectuals, I’ve observed, have a selfish attitude. ” The *Me* Syndrome.”
Mujhe yeh mil jaei.
Mujhe yeh na kerna paray.
Mujhe Kia Mila?

Did these well-read individuals- the custodians of literature and language, ever consider doing any meaningful action?

Think. Think some more.Keep contemplating while some one you might know, gives up on life.
On hope.

So, to the intellectuals and the religious lot:

Allah Kisi k kaam Nahi rokta. App Nahi honegay. App k bajai Woh Kisi ghair se kaam ley le ga. Charity begins at home.

Good afternoon.

The ‘Never Ending’ Car Ride

The ‘Never Ending’ Car Ride

Strapped by force
In the back- seat of a car.
Going to a destination
That’s been told
‘ It’s not too far.’
‘ We’ll be there, before you know it
And have a picnic
In the park.’

Little does the ‘little one’ know,
The lapse of time
For boredom easily grows.
Insipid interiors
Memorized to every cranny.
Even the hair strands of Mommy,
Visible from the back.

“Are we there, yet?”
You cry out.
“Not yet, dear-
There’s a distance to go.”
Traffic on highway.
Cars and lights.
Take their shape into
Mirthless skies.
Scorching heat
Sweaty palms
” Can we turn the AC on?”

“Are we there, yet?”
The mother sighs.

And the child
With no reply
Learns to distract himself.
Sings a song.
Count the trees.
Pick out shapes
In the fluffy clouds.

“Are we there, yet?”
No reply.
So, the child drifts off to sleep.

Sooner than he knows,
He’s out again.
Unbuckled,
And carried in arms.
Carried off to the destination,
He had waited and dreamt for so long.

Once awake,
He will play again.
With butterflies
And gaze at rainbows
And raindrops
That he can taste.

The journey of life, my dear-
Isn’t too long.
You keep asking
“Are we there yet?”
And you’ll be at the park soon.
Run, skip and laugh
With your friends in joy.
Paradise is only a patient car ride away.

©Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

Photo: Dubai ( 2011)

 

 

Pompeii

Pompeii

How much time lapses
Between decades
But one glimpse
At a lover’s face
And the heart travels eons,
And traverses time.
Emotions gone cold,
Are stoked anew.
As sweltering volcanic ash,
blows away the blows of time.
Mt Vesuvius bellowing
The hot flames of fire
For memories embalmed
Over the Mediterranean earth,
Countless times.

© Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

Picture credits: Google images

 

Lessons from the Birds

Lessons from the Birds

Have you not seen
The birds flying in a flock?
Held in mid-air
Soaring on the air currents,
By Al Rehman?
Have you not seen…
That when one is tired
And flies low…
Leaving his position
Of the leader of the flock,
He glides back
To fly in
Another’s tutelage?
But doesn’t give up.
The air pressure decreases
As does the strength.
Taking turns
To migrate to a favourable place;
Their destination.
But they don’t ever give up.
They remain;
A flock.
A team.
A pack.
So, when your brother is hurt or dismayed
Pull up your socks
And be there.
For one good deed
From you is all it takes.
A few kind words
To help him get back up.
A dua …
To raise his ranks.
A shoulder
Onto which he can momentarily rest.
Perhaps, this little deed will be the one
That puts you in Paradise.
And let you hear the words
“Razi Allahu Anhu wa Radu.”*

©Dr Hafsa Siddiqui (2018)

 

* “Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.”

“To the Ones Who Only Pray”

“To the Ones Who Only Pray”

I’m not innocent Maryam AS
Who bore a child and faced inhumane slurs
On her chastity.
I’m not Yusuf AS who fought against desire,
And won after seeing Burhaan from Him
While Zuleikha tempted,
Tearing at his shirt.
And, I am not Adam AS
Whose loneliness
He saw and blessed
With a loving companion.
A desolate, woman
I am buckling under
And struggling to get back on my feet,
Half-heartedly.
And to the ones who pray;
I’ll tell Him
On The Judgement Day
To question those
Whom I approached for help.
“What did you do when
My slave came to you for help…?”
Will your answer suffice that:
“Lord, we prayed for her. Nothing else.”
Remember.
For I will, too.

©Dr Hafsa Siddiqui (2018)