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Memories of my land

Farrukh Altaf

Those early morning thoughts are deep engraved in my memory. Just lifting my eyelids would enshrine me witness the delight, right in my bed, and outside from my room's window. There is undoubtedly something intoxicating in watching those snow clad mountains, especially when snow has retreated to their peaks, and sits on them like a white skull cap. My cousin sister's grandpa fascinates a similar one. That picturesque view never made waking up and readying for school difficult. No wonder the heaviest burden for now remains that of lifting my eyelids in the morning!

Everything about that place is extraordinary. Going out to buy the early morning dose from the local bakery would amply wet ones feet despite walking on the concrete path, by the sideline brush of grass, sitting adjacent to the path and bowing under its own height. Just like those bald uncles, whose hair on one side just refuses to part, and they ambitiously spread those few handful strands on their shiny surface. That dew is truly refreshing.

In that mesmerising land stand in grandiose the Chinar trees. I have always felt the two are made for each other. Embodiments of grandeur and royalty. The transition of seasons would bring a new avatar of those Chinars, each captivating me afresh. The crunch of its autumn leaves echo in my ears when I relish my favourite crispy roadside pakodas!

Have you ever caressed a velvet? There is a strange pull in it. You can't stroke it only once. One tends to glide the hand over it repeatedly, and even unknowingly, as if caught in a velvety spell! Such are the endless meadows of that wonderland. I would never get enough of it, gazing them left to right, and back again. The undulations in them would transcend me to childhood, into my mother's arms, whereby she rocks me to a lullaby.

For once the theories of plate tectonics and other geographical phenomena don't seem to be the reason behind those mighty, beautiful, perfectly carved, jewel like mountains. Frequently holding up high altitude lakes, which glisten within their distinct boundaries just like a droplet of mercury in our palm. I don't think that sight can be called beautiful, awesome, splendid or any other fanciful word. That would be unjust and incomplete.

I have always loved mangoes. The king of fruits. Surely, you taste a fruity kingdom in it. Relishing the mango isn't a standalone task anymore now. All along I am smiling, remembering each time enjoying them on the gushing streams of that land. Those boulders and rocks are the only hurdles of splendor one can encounter. Forcing the stream to a new pathway and presenting a throne to perch and enjoy those juicy mangoes. In retrospect I appreciate that specific choice of location, which had also provided a background hum from splashing waters, sheer vigor and ferocity of it, numbing the outside world to their unique tune.

As decorated perfectly as that land can be, it's decor, it's beauty, it's charm, it's aura and hence its memories are marred by random dark widespread patches. They exhibit themselves like a black spray paint, sprinkled over a beautifully painted canvas. Even the strong nostalgic emotions do not evoke a clear panorama. My neurons go haywire, and like any indiscriminate bombardment of bullets, they fire black dots over my nostalgia. Exactly the same manner replicated. Bombardment, indiscriminate, hazy, uncertain, devastating. Ironically, the recreated scene henceforth doesn't look like one covered by an ugly polka print, but those are the voids, the mini black holes, in the otherwise heavenly spectacle. The engulfed parts, sucked into the mysterious black hole, destroyed and erased, screaming for the minimum, that is at least to know, why happened, what happened?
They are the voids of freedom.
Freedom from bullets and guns.
Freedom from pellets and batons.
Freedom to live peacefully, with diversity and unity.
Freedom for stability.
Freedom for authority.
Freedom to say freedom.
I pray for my land,
May love and peace abound...


  • The cherished home and it’s beautiful memories fly me to my past and feel nostalgic. These words unfurle the canvas and imaginary brush slowly paint my childhood too in similar land. Sweat home!

    Altaf Hussain
  • The cherished home and it’s beautiful memories fly me to my past and feel nostalgic. These words unfurle the canvas and imaginary brush slowly paint my childhood too in similar land. Sweat home!

    Altaf Hussain

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