Lal Shahbaz Qalandar

you may try to silence sound
but you could never still vibration
you may make us shed blood, tears
but it will only flavour that essence

how shall you mute us?
how shall you abduct the rhythm in our anthem?
each explosion only lends itself to the reverberation

yes, grief is selective
yes, mourning is a luxury
but recognise that each time
and every time
we shall rise
every whirl represents rotation
how shall you halt the movement of earth?

and
how will you destroy that which has no form?

***

February 16th, 2017 at least 70 people, including women and children, were killed and more than 150 injured in a suicide attack by ISIS on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Pakistan.

sehwan

My heart was heavy.

Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (1177 – 1274) was a Sufi saint, philosopher and poet. He represents love, beauty and togetherness. There is perhaps no other shrine in the country that captures the essence of religious syncretism like the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. In his courtyard, it feels as if the riots of Partition never happened, as if Sindhi Hindus were never forced to abandon their land, as if Christian settlements in Punjab had never been burned after alleged cases of blasphemy. The courtyard of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar represents a different world, a world that once existed but has slowly disappeared outside its confines.

sehwan2

However even before the echoes of the screams died down, and the last strains of blood could be washed off the courtyard, dhamal began once again on Friday morning. It was like it had never stopped. The world never stops rotating.

Read more
Pakistan suicide bombing: Why ISIS feels so threatened by Sindh’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine

A very famous Qawali has been written in honor of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and is called Dama Dam Mast Qalandar. There are countless versions of this song, one of which I shared in my post The Song of the Sufi. It is an anthem of the simple yet highest form of love, which is devotion. Today I share with you another delightful version of the qawali.

Finally, I would like to leave you with the thought that there was very limited and selective outrage over the Sehwan attack. Why do some lives matter less than others?

This poem is the voice of the Sufis, the voice of Qalandaris
It is the voice of everyone who seeks love, togetherness, beauty
This poem is my voice
Let this poem also be your voice
Spread the awareness

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Roses are Red…

Last year while at work in a mall, they were handing out roses to ladies for the Valentine’s Day weekend. I noticed these two roses, sadly discarded without a second thought. My attention kept wandering there for the time until I was done with work. As I was leaving I felt compelled to rescue them.

roses

One year later…

This rose found a new home in my Thesaurus and I must say it looks very pretty. What do you feel?

IMG_20170214_173851.jpg

roses are red…
…perhaps because they bled?

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loved my silence

it was not me you loved
but my words
and when i stayed quiet
i found you loved
my silence even more

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only meaning

and those who wrote verse
were thought to be insane
by those
who seek only meaning from words

 

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Moments of Meditation

where time is beyond meaning and measurement
when time has the ability to stretch or shrink
in between there and here
filled with the weight of emptiness
as stillness flows
and i am completely alone
alone, but complete

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questions answered

may your questions
never be answered

(by others)

(but only by yourself)

***

When I first started my blog, I had no idea how I was going to maintain it. I only had a handful of poems and visualising an empty blog daunted me. I asked a few people what I should write about and what was it that people liked to read about. None of those people answered my questions. For that I am so grateful, because I started to write about what I want to read and know and what I like to write about. So little by little, I filled up my blog but retained my own flavour in my writing.

I answered my own questions :)

(This blog is about me, and if it has touched you in any way then know that you are also a part of me)

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Here I Am

Where Are You?

Night after night

I watch the moon set

Stars going to rest

My eyes are burning

My ears are yearning

To hear your footsteps

Trying to locate them

In the heartbeats within

Where are you?

***

Here I Am

I am the moon that you wistfully watch

I am the stars that you gaze at, gloomily

I am the apple of your eye

I am within your soundless breath

I am the footprint of your steps

It is only in your longing that I exist

Let your heart beat only for me

***

This is a poetic interaction between Yagneshji and myself.

I read his post Where Are You and spontaneously my response flowed. He writes poetry so beautifully and I assure you he is a natural born story teller. Check out his blog and you will not be disappointed.

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The Lost Prayer

and my prayer was lost
within the scent of the jasmine
hidden in the swirling of dust
a droplet floating on the cloud

through the exhale of my sigh
i question if my prayer was unsent
or was it unheard
certainly unfulfilled
prayer after prayer lost
lost on the lips of another
lost like early morning dreams, vague

and when i stopped searching
for the prayer that was lost
and i stand still, prayerless
the dawn of a thought breaks

a prayer is not said
nor is a prayer thought
nor even felt
but searching within
i found the prayer…

i had become my prayer

***

I have a bad habit of jotting down my poems on scraps of paper if my notebooks are not immediately handy.
This poem was written many months ago and I came across the scrap of paper among many others early this month. I had decided to post it the very next day but for some mysterious reason I  couldn’t find the piece of paper though I had read it only the previous night!
My poem was lost, and ironically it was titled The Lost Prayer.
After much searching I gave up. This evening, just as suddenly as it had disappeared, I found it sitting innocently in the book I am reading. Very, very strange!
I wasted no time in publishing the Lost Poem…er I mean the Lost Prayer :)

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Time’s Legacy

the emptier the moment
the heavier it seems
time’s legacy
pertinent past to present
infinity’s inheritance

clock

This clock was made by young children
Photo credit: Alya Kassam
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embedded in heart

as the pulse is embedded in heartbeats
so the soul lies within drumbeats
in the beginning was rhythm
at the end…an unheard sound

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