After all, I only have my eyes

Le de ke apne paas faqat ek nazar hi to hai…

(Sahir Ludhianvi)

Sahir Painting

I generally try to avoid adding whole posts that are simply a lengthy duplication of what (little I have read of) other great thinkers, writers and artists. Obviously, this is not because I do not value their creations, and certainly not because of any delusions of grandeur where I believe my words are more significant – far, far from it!

I feel my simplistic and amateur writing has some value to myself. It is extremely personal and depicts my world at particular moments in time, as seen from my eyes. This space, like my other creative endeavours is a mingling of my memories, experiences, feelings, observations and dreams – my realities from the past, present and future.

However, once in a while, I come across literature, or an anecdote that I find so truthful that it connects with me on an emotional and even spiritual level. It speaks to my inner most self in such a way that I feel the words are the unspoken thoughts that I could not express due to my limited talents. It is those time, that I am compelled to share it and the feelings of longing and love that they arouse within me. Continue reading

Intoxicated in Love

Laila and Majnun

Many of us may have heard of the legendary and timeless love story of Qays and Layla, popularly known as Majnun Layla. It is reported to have been composed by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi as well as Amir Khusrow later on, and many others who have interpreted and been inspired by it in different cultures. The love that Qays has for Layla is such that it surpasses the boundaries of mortal love, and he becomes known by the people as Majnun – meaning the mad or possessed.

Here is one of the anecdotes which involves Majnun and the Praying Man that I came across many years ago and which I have presented in my own words. Continue reading

Age and the Loss of Innocence

A beautiful, poignant piece of writing about how our childhood sense of innocence slips away from us.

Written by Jeff Coleman – a modern literary fantasy author.

Innocence of Youth

Innocence of Youth

There are those exceptional moments in life when you experience crystal clarity in thought and purpose, when all is as it should be, when all is right and good with the world. But those moments are rare, are few and far between, and they almost always occur when you’re young. As a child, you didn’t have time to formulate your own beliefs; instead, your world view hinged on the beliefs of others. The innocence of youth is a wonderful carefree time in which the mind and the heart are free from the burdens of autonomous thinking and responsibility.

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Ghazal and Qawwali: The Gifts of Rumi, Khusro and Ghalib

Yes, there is truth to the idea that Ghazals and Qawwalis are the passions of the old.

Despite my limited proficiency in Urdu and my complete ignorance of the intricate differences between the different forms, I have seized the few chances I have had to attend such gatherings. Each time I have been surrounded mostly by the older generations.

I think this may be partly due to the frequent use of complex Urdu or Punjabi poetry which is difficult for the generally linguistically-challenged generations of today – myself included. It could also be because there is a greater focus on the lyrical value of the words sung, rather than simply emphasising repetitive foot-tapping musical numbers which appeal so much to the mainstream. But mostly, I think it is because of the deeper existential and melancholic themes that dominate the poetry – which appeal to older people who have perhaps had the gift to reflect on the past experiences in their lives, unlike the naive and inexperienced younger generations.

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20 years on – Remembering Massimo Troisi…the sweetest postman that ever lived

Embrace the poetic nature of existence, and allow it to guide us on the unpredictable journey of life and love.

2014… 2014…why is this year of ANY relevance? Then it struck me. It was the 4 that stood out. 2014 marked 20 years after the release of one of the most romantic and melancholic films ever made – Il Postino, and even more importantly, 20 years after the untimely death of its star – Massimo Troisi.

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You Are Alive…So Be Alive.

A great day to be alive

STOP moaning about that job that you hate, when so many around you are jobless. Have the courage to walk and do something you love, or to shut up.

STOP weeping over your wage, when so many around you are starving. Your greed and desires are endless so learn to be content.

STOP screaming at the rain, the snow or the heat, when so many around you lay dying and trapped in hospitals. Embrace the sensations of the seasons on your skin.

STOP squandering away precious time over your cars, your ipads and your remote controls.

Take a walk… Listen to the birdsong. Feel the breeze across your face. Smell the blossoming flowers.

You Are Alive…So Be Alive.

Sameer Ibrahim