‘Family seated at the dining table talking in low voices, some smilingly with heads bent ,dinner long over but not the togetherness…’Bridge’ the word I heard clearly…and then the shuffling …after some tense moments of silence…’two spades]…three hearts’…no bid’…my first understanding of the word ‘bridge’ rested as a game played with cards, a game deeply engrossing and serious…as I remember family sitting quietly as elders held the colorful paper pieces and for long sat together…it was more of ‘being together,being quiet in the presence of elders,following rules and maintaining discipline…’bridge’ as a game kept the family together…’bridge’ I understood years later,was a game that pushed away feelings of loss,heaviness of separation, trials of migration and was an expression of gratitude and peace…the time was a just after the great divide,the great event,the emergence of a new state and the terror of the mass massacre across the newly created borders…we remember we should remember …memories of those who sacrificed all…’bridge was a bridge to strengthen relationships, in a new country…a new togetherness….
Bridges around the world have become famous for their design and grandeur.Amazing achievements of human endeavor.Many unfinished and broken have left scars upon the great feats.
My travels across the Northern Areas of Pakistan enabled me to see walk across the suspension bridges in Gilgit Danyor Hunza and Nagar. travelling in a CJ5 Toyota it was scary but a solid sturdy drive.This was in the 1960s when cameras were not so handy.
Many bridges are still needed and in recent times my experience brought before me the Korang bridge…overflowing in heavy rainfall,blocking traffic, drowning kids and at the same time giving relief to buffaloes,dusty vehicles and picnic goers…well..life has variety and nature has unending blessings….
where is the bridge? which way do we go or come by….
you have to cross the narrow bridge,
the bridge open from both sides
oh dear,is it dangerous ? no not really,
drive carefully and you will be
fine,do not look left and right’
you know the rules,you must abide…
why do bridges built once are left incomplete? risky
people walk,not all have cars,many go on donkey carts
too heavy for buses or trucks to pass,dogs and sheep
and buffaloes saunter,rather dip in to clean their parts
peering peeping at all who pass or standby to wash cars
buffaloes find peace in water,as sheep find in passing
donkeys find in crossing continuously,no stopping
drivers find peace peace in clean cars, dogs in running
after vehicles, and I just watch and try to gather joy
that I believe is visible for I see the freedom
in little acts of life, cleaner safer lighter feeling
peace it is peace it must be,peace for the day
peace ..maybe ..all the way, on the way,on the bridge