A Story A Day ~ 9 ~ Bridge Bridged and Abridged Memories ~ Is Life a Game of Cards ?

 

478Image result for bridge of card game

‘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

A Story A Day ~ 7 ~ Landlocked Home locked,Lock up, Lock down…

“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”
― Virginia Woolf

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‘are you preparing a grammar lesson? sounds like one…’up down,…out….’

well, these words do refer to positions and are known as prepositions of place but in our country English is a foreign language though many use it..er..in all its forms..even slang…it is also called ESL….

ESL?

yes, English as a second language…I will add my definition…ahem..English is a locked language..ha ha..see!

why locked and how locked? now languages are important means of conveying..er..thoughts and needs and wants…er..and so much more…..

‘well locked it is,like Alice…she was locked in Wonderland…and so are we locked in Language in our land…English is ‘angrezi’ gullabi’ some call it pink…Queen’s English …BBC English…Court English..American English and now Singapore English…and so on..it is all getting so entangled…so this makes my land ..a ‘wonderland’ doesn’t it?

Image result for alice in wonderland language I can even identify Tweedledum and Tweedledee in my country….so that makes it even more adventurous…wow…super..thinking…ideas..hey I hope the cat is looking….

Image result for alice in wonderland language

and so we are not so landlocked by land as much as by language…

‘this is indeed interesting…and then you must have a Queen too..?

well yes,sort of..a royal family we do have…I think in a free country we all are royal..as we are free..freedom is itself royalty, I believe…

no pack er..deck of cards for fighting…defending …protecting….’

well every one needs protection from evil of numerous kinds..evil is true and present everywhere….specially in sweet attractive pleasure giving things….so we have our cards..er..I mean guards….

and so you still say you are locked….

Freedom gained but enchained by language….and now we look for keys…keys to the door of freedom..the search is on….and so we are planting more trees to make a jungle, and then in that jungle we shall seek among the trees, the lost box of keys…in shady trees we might find peace,we will find peace, we will find fruit,we will find water..

Water?

yes we need to counter the DRINK ME’?

Drink…yes, Ah..but that you have found…what’s that you say…ZAALIMA………pilaa de…..

hey see I told you we are locked……..

the Key the Key..the DRINK the DRINK..is to blame…….’

attend a wedding dinner..you get all food ..freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..think about this…….

For POETS UNITED ~ Midweek Motif ~ Woman’s Day’~ What Day Is It ? She said…

12125-img_0061  What day is it she said…a holiday’

can I go and play? where do you want to go?

Oh just outside no where” and why?

well,just like that”

No, a Baba will come and get you

put you in a sack and take you away’

‘why Mama and who is that Baba?

Dont ask silly questions,stay inside,you are not going anywhere’

“how much I love to climb the tree or just stand by it and feel the rough bark,sometimes smooth,sometimes dark, and I can swing and lean and feel like a queen ,all rich and free,as I hold the tree’ she thought…

and lay down…closed her eyes and began to dream…what day is it?

Woman’s day..what does that mean? day means work I know and night means pray’

‘night is scary night has screams,night has pain night has fright,night has no peace’

baba ? I wonder what is he like? and why will he come? am I made of gold? am I so rich?

where are the diamonds ? are they in my eyes? where is the silver ? on my arms?

No but I have simple clothes,no velvet robes nor diamond necklaces’

what day is it?  weekday..

‘Go finish your work’ and don’t say you are hungry and be quiet’

‘why did you ask for more” ‘ no more for you ,its for the boys’

well,what day is it?

not my day she thought…not today or any day…no way…no say…no day..

just me..and I only wanted to play…can I not even play?  Oh Dear..

then I must be a toy myself…now I know…why I can’t be bold…and I must do

all..as I am told…….

what day is it?….who knows……..

 

 

 

A Story A Day ~3~ Feline Friends Appear’ The Name was Yoda’

So much can be written about these friendly felines of my life.I wonder often about the purpose and the reason.There always is one strange mysterious having a metaphysical connection…supernatural communication,unknown protection and spiritual companion….and ,well…..

Today my story is about the cats that come by themselves.I have named the latest..’Allah Ditti’…Later I came to know that I should call it ‘Allah Ditta’….the real name being Yoda’…..

There is one here too’ I heard my son say…’where? …hardly a week in the new house and a grey cat appears in the porch…’she seems frightened…I thought…at first but day by day as another week passed she made her place in the small back porch…a regular visitor…the pictures below show the cats that appeared in our house in Rawalpindi…we left the place in 2014 December …severely cold winter that gave me partial pneumonia…but also recorded a family get together-dinner…

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I have long known that cats have always been close.They come by themselves and keep watch,guard and try to communicate…the photographs below are recent…October 2016..14589699_10154585636700747_7498798443233540404_o img_20170117_152236_577

we shifted to a third house in this area near Insaf street …people say we are IK’s neighbors and IK does not know…maybe some day I will walk up the hill for a visit….one day I noticed the limp…she was cared for with milk and a soft cushion…she stayed till she felt better…I was so happy to see the cured leg…and how she was happy too…rolling on her back with joy purring loudly …wanting to play more and more….and so one day she pushed her way inside the house…Oh dear’ this cannot be allowed..I felt sad for her..but somehow it made me uncomfortable….

I noticed that she would sit outside the door on the steps…then on the car bonnet..happy and satisfied…but we did not own it ..Yoda had to be home where she belonged….and so one day the neighbor’s son came and carried her away

I have not seen her for the last two days….strange but I am missing Yoda …

how is it that a small animal can be so loving soft and playful….and human beings….well….strangers are around too….

A Story a Day ~ Trees Houses and Nests~

img_20170107_132232_538  Two different trees.Each has one nest.

The  trees along the dividing wall are three in number,the same as in our house in lalazar Rawalpindi.We planted more than four just outside the front wall but only three survived and grew along with the family.It was our own house.There was no one to disturb their growth except nature itself.Once or twice some stray goats came in the lane and nibbled off the small green shoots but that was all. img_20170105_143419_473

This is 2017.I am thinking about 1990.Time never stops and will never even slow down…and so the trees grew and so the birds came settled chirped sang twittered prayed in the early hours…hopped all over the terrace in sunshine in rain in the heat and in the cold…shivered but perched still and silent with no complaints…waiting for the storm to pass…they built nests  and kept them as homes for long….

…these trees were my company …they gave  support cheered  provided shade and protected…

strangely there are trees just inside the wall in the house we are living in now…but four in number and line…one more than in our previous home

and then…the coincidence….that a new member has come in our family just a couple of months after we moved in…

trees and birds live with us…they are alive…they are sent by nature on a purpose….

                           

 

short story slam week 59, Wheat and Maixun, Nature in life, December 15, 2016 to January 1, 2017—Nature Creates for Love and Life…’Let’s Cut the Grass’

Image result for spring wheat field ‘lets cut’

what?

‘let us cut the grass its getting too tall

the leaves also fall and cover the place

spoil the grace,dirty the space…’

‘no,but …it is so green and fresh and full of life’

it causes no painful strife,to man or wife,nor cuts back like a knife’

‘life has to end anyway and whats the use of grass, we cannot eat it nor cook it,nor do we keep animals here that could be fed with it’

‘well you could cut and take it to some farm or farmer who may need it for his animals’

well, who will take all that trouble,it takes so much time…and I cannot spare that’hmm’ well you can go ahead and cut…up… then clean up also….I am going inside to read and have a cup of tea,its kind of getting cold’

Thoughts strongly strike the mind… why do we have to spoil natures work,nature creates for us ,loves us,makes the world so colorful and amazingly beautiful..if only we had the sight to see all this..our inner lives are alive no more…hearts so cold, feeling less, utterly empty of emotions…is it just me who cares? is my heart and spirit alive ?

Nature is amazing beautiful creative giving, blessing all the year round…and our return for its gifts? ……………………………………………………………………………

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we love to hold the stems,we love to be with flowers

we love all the colors we love all the grass…we wish to

stay close and yet look at the stars …

Life is nature, as we are, whether on Earth or the Sky …

No no please don’t cut the grass…we are here just to pass

a good time a short time not long to last,but to complete

our duty our task…

No No don’t cut the grass….

it gives warmth it gives heat,it cools it greens

it is fresh and when it is brown it gives seed

and above all it gives us ‘wheat’ as food to eat…..

wake up its time let’s go into the fields……………………..

 

Stranger Still…All the Slippers?

                       This ‘stranger still’ story began in the 195os

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No security issues or problems or requirements. Oh really?

Yes,the house was never locked not even the rooms only a few boxes or a couple of cupboards were,and I don’t remember any key stories either’…except…er..jeep keys…and a rather big stylish key which was used to windup the ‘chiming clock…Image result for chiming clock

what lovely chimes would ring out every quarter…quarter of an hour…well?

well what? so what is stranger still then?….we kids had access to sweets candy drops..yummy…and we were happy with a couple at a time..what tasty lemon drops they were,and strawberry and mulberry apple…and such lovely colors..the purple was so royal..red and….Oh come now..’assorted toffees’ the round box was a tin..decorated with flowers and fairies.

ah,the sweetness of childhood…it was so free,so carefree…and now…stranger day by day

well,what happened way back…no locks no guards no keys….

yes,in Summers we slept outside the house..in the late..1950s ..on charpoys ..the four legged sleeping bed…woven with cloth bands or ropes ..and even plastic threads quite later…

well…?

one night ..a warm summer night…the family sat talking sharing stories,counting stars and then dozing, sleeping relaxed…no one felt anything,nor heard any particular unusual sound..and early morning…?

what what early morning…

anxious wide eyed somewhat smiling..Oh dear…

no one could find their slippers or chappals or flat sandals’…

eh? what? …no slippers….everyone awakening had a surprise..no slipper near the fourlegged cot…

search began…what a theft if it was a theft..but who would want slippers of all the things..well..who knows or who can say…

I must share a fact that water had to be stored in those years..as it was rationed…with time…and for various needs it had to be saved..in that house..father had brought a large barrel like iron ‘drum’ we called it…and guess what…

‘all the slippers sandals chappals were seen dumped in it’…who did that?

…..strange..someone was roaming silently circling all the beds ….oh…….

What Stranger Story Than This…The Pair of Slippers’~

‘I need to change..er..no..maybe get a new pair’…these are now almost four years old…hmm, though they are still in good shape’at least to me they seem so…or maybe I try to convince myself….’how long since I had that major surgery…? How we roamed the night before check in at the surgical ward…one bazar to the other, to markets in and out of shoe shops looking for that one comfortable pair…some slippers were hard with tough soles..some heavy,some pinched,some looked extra large, some were the crossed ones which give me the cramps. ..finally after three tiring hours I finally decided on one
‘ thoughts kept drifting in the inner recesses of the mind.’They look OK ,a bit larger in size for me but this is the best at the moment. No more time now…Image result for rubber slippers
For many days,I had these slippers in and around the changing options but somehow each passing day had its own activity. We were preparing to shift premises, from a flat to a more cooler floor living…day my daughter was to land in from Dubai was also drawing closer.
‘Mom would you be able to settle…I mean set some rooms by the time we come..? Oh I know dear don’t worry, you can keep our KIA till you get your Corolla or..whatever..
Oh well, what will you do? Oh we can coordinate time on weekends for groceries or maybe once during the week’…and so it was all settled.
Slippers’ slippers….’No Elves and the Shoemakers around ,eh? the new premises were surrounded by thick greenery,some trees and many bushes..’bhang plants’ all along the road….well..shh…shh..and so the green KIA was driven away to stay with grand children…
Time passed and the search for the new car began too…prayers for safety …and precautions from car thieves said…finally the hidden vehicle was found checked and bought…in between there is another story..but that will be a separate chapter….
Now as it happened there was a pair of brown slippers in the back foot space of the car.

‘Oh whose slippers are these?..’Not mine,not mine,certainly not mine….no one claimed them…they were in the car…no one knew who put them there..no one knew when and how they came to be there…strange…the slippers were new…but lying open..I mean not in a bag.. ‘Dear have you asked the kids?…Mom yes a number of times,no one remembers,neither their father…well…lets keep them for some days and we shall soon find the owner..’
The few days went by.Few more went by..till the new car arrived too and our dear dear KIA green also came home…with the slippers still inside…unclaimed…
Three days is the given time period…more than that had passed.
‘The miracle…the slippers were sent by the Divine Will..they were sent…they came…they were brought..because someone knew I needed a pair..a lighter one for quickly tiring feet…
Thank you O Almighty Allah…for the gift…You are the Greatest the Most Merciful the Most Gracious….

For Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie ~ Wordle #125 “October 17th, 2016” ~

 

‘Precisely’ she remarked,her mind far away from the subject.

‘Oh please close the window,its cold and the cold… its creepy, creeping in from the dark shadows outside. ‘November is creeping up to…this time of the year is quite like the ancient magical mysterious …er….She shuddered at the thought.Shuddered a bit lest her friends languishing now in their comfortable sofa chairs around the circular table,might see through the pall,the shaded cloak she had draped round her shoulders,a uniform she had adopted since she had the vision and the secret revelation…No No it was not forged…it was real…a reality denoting the fact that ‘Mediums do exist’ in these times…

She was calm now…’Well, friends,who’s next?

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‘Your deal’ a soft voice said. The cards lightly hissed on the green felt table top.Equal distribution felt like a ‘rationed quota’.Sinister game afoot.The thought again was secretly terrifying.

‘Would she be able to find the clue,now that the cards were all out?

The moment had arrived.To play the Pneumatic she would need all her inner strength.

‘No time to skulk now’

‘I wish to show’ she declared.’her eyes were moving towards the slightly drawn curtains,towards the window, as if expecting someone…’

Chimes rang. ‘Ah 11 o’clock’ …There …aces…four…and you have the three Kings….’

I got it… its true…3 plus 4…is equal to 7 …it is the 17th and its October….

17th of October 1905

Revolution…A revolution ! She leaned forward to collect the cards,and as she did she felt a pull at her cloak….Oh Oh what…?

 

Precisely’Dear Wake Up’ It is the 17th of October…what a lovely cool morning….

Lets have breakfast….

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For Jingle Poetry ~ Bluebell Books Twitter Club Short Story Slam Week 54 ~ In Freedom…

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In Freedom There is Fear
When a close and dear
one, is no more,

In Freedom there is blood
When All you made in life
Is washed away in flood;

In freedom there is sacrifice
When all you claim and own
Is taken away without a price;

In freedom there is liberty
For many just a statue
fights, no rights, nor equality;

In Freedom there are letters
promises and false hopes
soon you are in iron fetters;

In Freedom I was born
I never saw my land
I long for its beauty
In dewdrops shining
In the morn;

In Freedom there is a gift
treasure not and you find
it floating by and adrift;

In Freedom there is easeImage result for fish swimming glittering
calm and harmony, hold
it strong for eternal peace.