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….

                           

 

Tale Weaver #99: A Dickensian Christmas 22.12.16…December Travel Tale…A Dickensian La Mode

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Spatra  was no more.His body a mass of flesh swollen and cold.Strange apparition, enshrouded, quite an unusual length scary sight. Spatra was in heaven.He was good,secret giver,helper friend and much much more. Why it had to be in December?

A month of miracles but dates set long ago have been declared controversial.Do we have nothing else to discuss than dates of births and deaths? again I wonder…but death is a reality and ‘ghosts and spirits?…well

It was in a December that I had the chance to spend some time at a cousins place.Breakfast of boiled eggs brown bread and hot tea became unforgettable and so did the treatment of the education commission…my hard earned masters degree could not be recognized because it had my husbands name on it ..alas ..again…the question…why did I have to be a ‘back to college mom? but why not ..I have the right to education haven’t I ?but studying with husbands name?  a crime…

External heat and cold had no influence on the commission.Names matter, not the students hard work.My spirit was alive for learning but my paper did not prove it..so let it be  my ghost in me…Commission ‘ Commission…Ah Uncle Scrooge…it beats you…I know that I know English..the commission does not care…I will haunt them in their paper dens…I will…I must…rain snow hail shrouded it… but wait..it did not snow in this city…neither heavy rain fell specially  his year the days passed as dry as dust..hmm..God is unhappy…no rains in December….’iced offices’more icy than Murree snow

But what is this?

I walked and walked and walked,my heart heavy as Spatra was no more to console…my thoughts astray, eyes contacting other sights..the eyes took control of the heart…but ‘question me not as to where have I been my eyes deeply painful at what they have seen…my city  unclean…How could I greet someone in this mess…silence sealed my senses…

I stepped on trash rough paper and ….stones.I bent down to peer at something familiar… they were real bones’…whose body bones were these..ruthless is everywhere,hatred,target killing Oh, I looked around again…baleful eyes…I saw stray cats dogs, cows and goats…they winked sadly or blinked …visions of the brutal butcher’s big cutter zoomed …..my purpose was – a bookstore…my company on the road became stranger…I dragged my feet  stepped off the footpath as it had ended…I found myself at an open space,dusty dry and sloping  unevenly making an unguarded entry to a dwelling..’katchi abadi’ it was known as and people called it so…’squatter settlements on urban public land’ to be exact..where poor people resided in tent like structures…or “Jhuggis” meaning poor neighborhood or slum . And the actual dwelling  called as “Jhonpra” meaning a Hut.

if school were good I would’ve stayed on the beat and felt peaceful…do kids from these ‘jhuggis go to school? ”question me not please for I have no answers…have no words for humans living as campers and fumbling empty tins, bags, bottles and cans, and live without food,water, pots and pans, what a life !

In sight came a small group of kids,  roaming happily in another empty space…unwashed faces, hair disheveled, fingers impatiently scratching away repeatedly in the thinnest of naturally growing strands, a home for the tiniest of insects found …but strangely happy smiling and giggling shaking shoulders…shaking away hunger,  hopeful ignorantly at play… stopping dead in their dancing stance and again come the questioning looks..’what are YOU doing here?

and I asked silently…..’what people are these are they refugees ? do they need passports and passes please, question me not …I want to be at ease, there is more than eye can see, the ears can hear, figures grow the world thickens.dirty more than a place of Charles Dickens..

‘question me not for what more I see, people hit shot killed a girls bleeding body, am I awake is this real I ask myself, why can’t I reach The Book on The Shelf?

Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so, that people ran about with flaring links,cutting the pitch dark environment,no bells rung, for in a place of few churches bells would ring only on special occasions.’No faint misty smoke of burning coal in small metallic ‘braziers’ coal is expensive..it makes the rich richer…Ah the hard work of laborers in the coal mines…

fog is getting denser…cold is getting colder than the ice pole…people stranded on airports bus stands, and amidst traffic …

I wonder if the nurses teachers and doctors got their pay checques? they were protesting …who is being paid on time? The new man in place of Sparta…Wazan … is like…like..reminds one of Uncle Scrooge.He thinks he owns all the cash…hides the keys…’go away,come tomorrow…’  but office time is not yet over’ ‘ it is for me’now go I said’

‘knock knock’ I said ‘go’ who is it”..’Your friend Sparta’..Open the window’..’Sparta but you you…er…no longer’….’Well I am here’ I want you to do something real special for me..I have seen your place in heaven..it is right at the edge you may fall into hell any time..unless you..so I have come to help and warn you’…

You are not real?…Humbug, humbug…..

Come I want to show you something…’

Frightened and shivering he crept towards the window..’humug’…the voice said again..Come’ the window crashed open and Soon Wazan found himself flying over the mansions, one his very own…soon they reached a fortress like structure..’Oh a jail..who is here?..’Take a look’… the look through the small window near the roof revealed a prisoners cell..there in chains stood Wazan’s son’…a Judge was speaking..’and this punishment for the rest of your life is for your fathers brutal disregard of the state law’..’you have to stay in this dark cell for the rest of your life,all your property has been sealed and money accounts frozen’…’\no \no wait don’t do that oh please…’They cannot hear you’\time is up’…

I …I ..will pay the checques tomorrow..\call \off the strike..\call the doctors nurses teachers staff where is everyone..it is so cold…Coal Coal’

wake up sir, its time for office…

Oh Oh I breathe..what day it is ? Pay Day Sir’..hurry hurry I must be on time today..

The servants at first puzzled,quickly turned around…..

The sun shone brightly…the fog had lifted and people were quickly forming lines outside the window….as the large signboard said’ Come \collect your pay’ \its pay day today’

\a dream or reality?  Yet to see….

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?

Image result for medium spiritual

‘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.

 

For POETS UNITED Midweek Motif ~ Conquest’ – I Came, I Saw,I Wrote ~ What Was Conquered? Conversations With An Unseen Confidant ~ 2016

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One sunny morning after a quick breakfast
of hot tea with toasted bread and omelette
we set off to the Green  Hills
so close,so peaceful,so purifying so serene
so I am falling…falling short of words,
so I will just fall in step
the green  Classic car,now quite used to
become a ready-for-action,family friendly,
performance inspired vehicle pulling itself
comfortably up the curvy road
allowing the guide to steer it to the top.

Slowly the four wheeled green among the greens
curved as the road turned twisted and went winding,
till there was no road…we had reached the top..
amazing peace ,incredibly sweet scented pines,
needles carpeted the small open spaces
between the tall elegant graceful trees-
sturdy solid and powerful like Life Guards
fixed in the ground studded with large
and small boulders.
Quietude could be felt.

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This, a conquest? a wish to be in serenity
peaceful cool without fear or terror.
There are such places on this beautiful Earth.
If only we seek move and search…if only….

Great soldiers brave and bold came saw and conquered
rode over plains and hills,fought and killed and felt honored…
‘Ah but that is not the real conquest’ O peace seeker’
Oh who is this? then what is pray let me know
Now that you have found and heard the voice of my soul’
‘Listen,it is the power within you, in your inner self
the Power of Faith,the power of Will over Desire’
Let not your desires rule over your self’
‘Who is a great conqueror then?
One who is able to control emotions,anger and hate
One who has learnt to serve others,with patience and love
One who has learnt to obey the Truth,the duties of real life
Above All One who has learnt that Giving and Forgiving’
leads to serenity green, eternal bliss …
where are Alexander the Great Pharoah Ozmandias
and King Odysseus of Ithica- so many more?
What did they conquer? They came they saw they fought’
Others came saw wondered and wondered,pieces of metal
they found in sand and stone,the Conquering Kings wore…
and all was history…all will be history…green will be brown
Then all was silent.
I turned…I saw the trees, ‘these will stay…I have to go’
My spirit free…a conquest of my self …I wrote…
as raindrops turned into falling snow…

For Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Blessings ~~ Sound Sleep No Pain ~

sound sleep no pain, on the fresh green grass
I have walked and lain,lush sweet scented

trees swinging gracefully I have seen,felt
the sun with the breeze cool not too hot,

feeling alive after grief and sorrow,losing
dear ones,but getting more with morrow

eyes to read books and see,hearing music
of the spheres, birds gliding chirping

flowers smiling,children playing laughing
singing,joyful pleasures spreading, and yet

there was day and night fear and fright
as I also lived with loss of speech and sight

helpless to help one with no help or sense
nor remedy for the agony that followed hence

life is a blessing with no shoes,if you have feet
to walk and legs to stand, a family to love

and prayers and grace from above, freedom
to write and food enough to share

then I may say that one is blessed, countless
graces are more than this,we cannot count

many we miss…so if there is enough and
life is not tough,add more chairs to the table

open the doors of your heart and soul
to truth honesty loyalty and enable

other lives towards being stable, give
and share and be grateful -Pray for All

so ye be more blessed before the final fall…..

 

 

For IGWRT ~Fireblossom Friday “Perchance To Dream”

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it was getting dark,the car moved on giving small jolts ,the road was bumpy

in the back seat I felt exhausted, the wedding ceremonies are so tiring…when are we going to wed in sober and simple manner..one does get married even then…well, Oh No..the road is blocked..a large boulder is visible in the semi darkness right in the middle of the road…

‘son be careful..the road is not clear ahead’ I put my hand on his shoulder as he slows down a bit….

a sudden jerk…’Uh where …sleep perchance to dream..there’s the rub’ can roads be more safer…

what is it son..why have we stopped?

Mum dear a long vehicle has slipped off the road ..space for turning was not enough..the highway police are clearing up….

real? dream or a vision…

we were safe by the Grace of God