Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Portrait of Mother !

This article I read in "THE NEWS" of 4th July 2010 by Umber Khairi. And I just cant get the spell of it out of me even says like that...

"A portrait of a corpse has won this year's British National Portrait Award.

Dephne Todd's "Last portrait of Mother ", depicts her recently deceased mother, painted in the refrigerated room of a funeral parlour. It is a strange portrait; the subject is dead and frail and her skin is pale and yellow, yet the painting manages to evoke a sense of life and morality.

Painted on two canvases put together as a sort of step formation, the portrait is neither very large nor very overpowering but it does have the quality of staying with you long after you have actually viewed it, and it does resonate in one's memory.

The portrait is almost like one of those 17th centuary still life works, which incorporate a sense of decay into an artistic composition - with fruits rotting or worms crawling into the picture's space. But there is no rotting in this portrait; here the emphasis is on the fragility and frailty of the old person's body. As you look at it, you think of people - especially PARENTS - who you are unable to really help as age sinks them into the physical deterioration and plonks them on to a sickbed where you can but stroke their hand or prop up their pillows.

There has been some adverse reaction to the pertrait. While some people have found it macabre, others have criticised Todd for "exploiting" her 100-year old mother in death.

But Todd says her mother gave her permission to do the portrait last year, and some people talk of the pisture as a "devotional portrait."

The actual picture is not very good in visiblity as I took it from my mobile from the newspaper. I search the websites but couldn't get the picture.

Anyhow, I dowloaded another picture by Dephne Todd :

Dame Janet Abbott Baker
by Daphne Toddoil on board,
198736 in. x 24 in. (914 mm x 610 mm)

Given by Daphne Todd, 1988NPG 5987

I know I am loose my mother. It is a universal truth that we all have to die one day but seeing someone aging and dying especially when the one is your parent is

I am not ready to let her go. I am not ready to even think about letting her go. I am not ready to live without her. I am not ready to see or feel or meet without her. I am not ready to progress in life without her. I am not at all ready to age without her.

I am not all....hmmmm......

Friday, July 9, 2010

Golden Era !

Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
There were times when I used to envy my brothers because they can go outside late night almost midnight to get the books from the street corner libraries.
Sometimes, when I blackmail them by crying and sobbing they took me too.
It was almost 3 X 4 space under some apartments’s step.
And it consists usually Ibn-e-Safi’s books.
The librarian was a young man of 21 years…may be.
And he was famous of his being so stick on returning the books. His name was Sagheer Bhai.
The Library got some rules:
1: You cant take more than three books at a time.
2: If it is a new book of Ibn-e-Safi , you cant keep it more than two days with you.
3: Only on returning the books you already have, can take the new books.
If you violet any of the above rules, librarian has the rights to cancel your membership.
My brother got the membership of the library by paying only 25 rupees.
That library served as a meeting point too.
After the long hectic day Karachi-est meet there and talked about so many things from politics to games…from cinema to religion.
The library was so small that no one can stand in it.
Librarian has the list hanged out the door and everyone used to search his required books and then order it to Librarian.
He used to go inside and take out the books for the readers.
It has few benches and pews outside on which people used to sit and entertain themselves with the hot discussions of that time.
And then it became a fashion to young boys to establish a library soon after they are old enough to manage it.
“I tried to establish one too….” Shafique Sahib said with twinkle in his eyes.
I have noticed so many times that whenever people talked about their childhood…they got twinkle in their eyes.
“ Well….soon after when I collected 100 books, I didn’t wait and asked my father to let me open my own library.” He goes on with smile on his face.
“Then I clean the garage and place my 100 books there but as I was only 9 years old I had no idea of how to lend books and didn’t asked for any deposits to safe my books from stealing or “never returning” lead to once given never returned scenario.
And soon in almost three to four days my all books were gone with no idea where and who had took them.
This gives my father opportunity to close down my library”.
hmmm….I am sorry to hear that Shafique Sahib…you have my deepest sympathies.
My beloved husband told me that he followed one of his uncle one day, as he was fond of him and found him always missing from home in evenings.
One day when he went to meet his uncle and didn’t found him asked about him and was told that he can find his uncle at Nagan Chourangi on such store.
When he reached there he learned that his uncle owns the small library and was busy in reading.
His uncle refused to meet my beloved husband as it was his reading time and asked him to come some other time.
“Uncle has such a small libaray but I saw people coming and taking books from him.”
The fashion…or the custom or the pattern of having these small libraries starts when Ibn-e-Safi has started writing for young generations.
His books were so famous and so very acceptable to the common mass of the Pakistan that the craving to have his books read led so many people to open up such libraries.
I can only imagine that golden era when all the city were full of such small libraries and young
generation was so into the reading habit.
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency—the belief that the here and now is all there is.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kaghazi Phool !

Yeh loag pathar kay dil hain jin kay
Numaish-e-rang mein hain dubay

Yeh kaghazi phool jaisay chahray mazaaq uraate hain aadmi ka
Inhay kaash koi yeh bata day maqam ooncha hai saadgi ka

Inhain bhala zakham ki khabar kiya-Teer chaltay hoyee nahi dekha
Udaas aankho mein arzoo-Kaa khol zaltay hoye nah dekha

Andhera chaya hooa hai in kay aage haseen ghaflat ki roshnee ka

Yeh gulshan mein jab gaye hain bahar hi lootne gaye hain
Jahan gaye hain yeh do dilon ka karar hi lootne gaye hain

Hai dil dukhana hi in ka shaiwa inhe na ahsas ab hai kisi ka

Mein jhoot ki jagmaati mehfil mein aaj sach boolne laga hoon
Mein ho kay majboor apne geeton mein zehr phir gholnay laga hoon

Yeh zehr phir mita day nasha gharoor mein doobi zindagi kaa

Yeh kaghazi phool jaisay chahray mazaaq uraate hain aadmi ka
Inhay kaash koi yeh bata day maqam ooncha hai saadgi ka


There is nothing quite as painful as going to a holiday party full of five hundred people dressed in aptly stiff suits and grand clothes.

I saw them and talked with them and they responded to and in turn asked questions.

So they seemed like they were human.

They breathed...hmmm

They ate....hmmm

And I assume they had pulses...too...

But beyond their trite quips…intellectual banter and plastered smiles….

I wondered…was there anything more?

Were they really human?

It was amazing.

These "people" "Kaghazi phool" they were completely hollow.

Empty walking things that appeared to be humans...but were in fact not.

Is this what greed…lying…cheating and disloyalty did to a person?

Suck their souls and leave only a collection of self-important anecdotes in the husk of their former selves?

In one of the more interesting five-second conversations…one of the seemingly human things shook my hand and asked…"What may I ask is your name?"

"HR" I replied…forcing a smile.

"Ah HR" she replied,

"What a remarkable name!"

"hmm....thanks," I replied...thinking it was quite unremarkable.

I looked around the lawn and realized the gray-haired woman probably never encountered HR before otherwise she must have long ago moved forward.

After five or six-hundred of these short conversations…I realized my initial conclusions were correct.

But I became even more curious.

How did they do it?

Were they really this vapid….through-and-through?

Were they at one point…real humans who became the un-dead?

Or were these real humans posing as the un-dead posing as humans to blend in with the un-dead?

Soon…the mind-numbing effect of the party coupled with the numbing loud music gave way to a headache.

I was feeling pain -- this meant I was alive.

This meant I was at least can I prevent myself to become "kaghazi phool"???