Monday, April 15, 2019

ہم درگاہوں کے مجاور

**The writing prompt had been 'platonic love'.**

Subcontinent is a hot climate region. The geographical temperament of the region reflects in its culture, its customs, its traditions, its mood as well.

Our spices are strong. Our festivals are loud. Our stories are intense.

Hum haal khailnay walay loag hain.
ہم حال کھیلنے والے لوگ ہیں.

We dance when happy, we wail when upset.

When we like someone, we love.

Bus, that's how it works.
Oscillating between extremes. Irrespective of gender, irrespective of our mutual unawareness of each other.

We move too fast to be intimate. Touch too strong to be tender. With all that who we've evolved as, all our senses are hyped. We expect and lose hope too quick. "we've forgotten how to linger. to drift lightly— be near to things and people and to not always touch. to appreciate how a thing will open toward us, in slow phases like the moon".

And since the only way we know of acknowledging others is by loving ... loving our way, we know nothing of how to inhale and grasp the essence of the other. We know nothing about connecting and building bridges. We know nothing about how to allow a passage of exchange of ideas, about how to make room for the other... We move too fast for it.

We know Sachal Sarmast. We recognize Anarkali.

Our love converses the way we do. Over the top.

And when it comes to loving, the best we know how to love is by building a shrine. Be the person dead or living.

انت مٹی دا مٹی

Today at the graveyard, for the first time I stopped to notice the names at stones.
Grave stones from 1933 to 2019.
Maakha Pehalwan.
Zahoor Illahi headmaster.
Haseena Ikram zauja Ikram Ali.
Dr. Wajid Hussain.
Major Abdus Samad.
Karam Deen khaadim daargah...

No woman had any distinction outside her relationship with a male. Men had relationships, associations, and sometimes their passions mentioned as their marks of significance.

Funny thing how we believe a stone to bear a witness to our significance, when we're no more.

Imagine how little it all matters now. The graves side by side. All mounds of dirt. All of them crumpled clay ... who knows at what station of 'Hast o Neest' now. In which state inside the earth!
Wilted flowers, faded stones. An uninterrupted quiet, punctuated by an old man reciting darood aloud walking through the grassy patches, or a sobbing young widow at a fresh grave.

Walking back from my parents graves, lying next to each other despite their wisaal 12 years apart, I kept thinking of who'd leave me in the ground. What'd my headstone read? Would my aulaad be like those dotting aulaads who have found their parents of no worthy identity than a mention of relationship with themself?
Walida of so and so. Walid of so and so...

Would I be fortunate enough to have a piece of land claim my being of clay? Would I be lucky enough to find my 'ant'?

Ant mitti da mitti...

Image my own. Of my own.