The Dawn of His Day

Ya Nabi Salaam Alaika
Ya Rasool Salaam Alaika
Ya Habib Salaam Alaika
Salwatullah Alaika

On this Milad un Nabi, God on the day of the birth of Your Beloved, more than any other day answer our prayers because they have nowhere else to turn to.

Light the candles of our hope, for no one else will.

Bless us with happiness and joy from your boundless treasures.

Shine Your light, for its dark in the world we live in.

And warmth, because cold surrounds us. We are frozen.

For the love of Muhammad (SallaluAlaihiWassalam).


Ya Nabi Salaam Alaika
Ya Rasool Salaam Alaika
Ya Habib Salaam Alaika
Salwatullah Alaika


Thank God For Little Pleasures – XXVII

There was a fire on the hills.

The stranger had appeared again amidst us. No one noticed the stranger, as people never do. He was waiting at the bus stand in a queue of people. It was hot, the heat drawing out like a centipede on his neck where perspiration trickled. He looked straight ahead. Behind him somebody was laughing wildly into a phone, with such abandon as if there was nothing wrong with the world. His world may be, how would the stranger know?

The bus stand was slowly filling  up. People came and went. Not a single familiar face. The stranger was glad for such things at times. It was an odd relationship with the city: there were no expectations, no pretences and so few disappointments. Both of them hated each other with the same intensity.

Tonight there is nobody. Just the stranger and a few waiters waiting for him to go away. The food is tasteless, like always. And the stranger is starving.

Up in the mountains, there is a fire. The ovens are burning bright and there is a feast laid out for no body in particular. The stranger is aware of it. Acutely, as he reminds his starving mind. He finishes his food, puts down his fork, pays cash to the waiter waiting with the bill and leaves.

The mountains are a pretty place to be in. The stranger considers his mind and the edges he has been drawn to. A draft brings the smoke of the fire to him. They must be burning roses up there. It smells pleasant, singed roses, their colour bleeding into fuel and their fragrance wafting in the fumes. Do they do that? To make the valleys fragrant. There are no breezes here, its all smoke and unpleasant.

The next bus is ten minutes delayed. The man on the phone is still talking.

Quietly he boards the bus and leaves. The city wails behind him. 

Thank God For Little Pleasures XXVI

The journey may be alright but the heart drives one home.

Heard of the traveller who lost his heart on the way? He lost it to the path. So he was never home. Like a moth attracted only to the farthest candle, he never stopped fluttering.

Never resting.

Thank God For Little Pleasures – XXV

There is nothing that nun-chai cannot accomplish.

Yesterday, when Francesca Recchia, Marryam Reshii and I decided to form the #NunChaiFanClub, the Koshur tweeples opened up their hearts to nunchai and buttered girdahs. The readers may know Francesca Recchia and Marryam Reshii from this previous post.

We have the whole conversation storified on the the Samavar blog. Please take some time to read it.

A few random snippets follow:










Thank God for Little Pleasure XXIV

To stay the homesick, homesick feet

Upon a foreign shore,
Haunted by native lands, the while,
And blue, beloved air –
Emily Dickinson

Eid Milad -un- Nabi Mubarak

12th Rabbi-ul-Awwal.

The day of birth of Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu alihi wassalam)

The days leading upto the auspicious occasion are busy in Srinagar. The Dargah is jam packed from morning to evening. There are special buses from Lal Chowk to Dargah just to ferry people. The devotees throng the mosque.

Twice a day the head priest will extend his arm out of the high balconies and show, in a glass bottle, the hair strand of the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). The crowds below have been waiting for this. A thousand arms stretch skywards and a million prayers are uttered. A million blessings on the owner of this strand. A thousand prayers for the man who possessed it once. From those who had been waiting for it. From those who had pined silently for someone to listen. From those who hope that their prayers will be answered. From those who never tire of their hopes. Teary eyed, burqa clad women, teary eyed pheran clad men.

Quiet lost souls. Faraway wayfarers.

Late in the evening when the seven o’clock local news shows the scenes from Hazratbal, people would again crowd near the televisions to see it. As the camera panned to the priests hand, even though barely visible, durood and salaams would be recited and silent prayers will be whispered.

To those who made it to Hazratbal in this chill and frost, may Allah increase your faith.

(With hopes that people who read this may remember the writer of these cheesy posts in their prayers)

Thank God For Little Pleasures – XXIII

Thank God For Little Pleasures – XXII

Ode to a Chestnut on the Ground

From bristly foliage
you fell
complete, polished wood, gleaming mahogany,
as perfect
as a violin newly
born of the treetops,
that falling
offers its sealed-in gifts,
the hidden sweetness
that grew in secret
amid birds and leaves,
a model of form,
kin to wood and flour,
an oval instrument
that holds within it
intact delight, an edible rose.
In the heights you abandoned
the sea-urchin burr
that parted its spines
in the light of the chestnut tree;
through that slit
you glimpsed the world,
bursting with syllables,
the heads of boys
and girls,
grasses stirring restlessly,
smoke rising, rising.
You made your decision,
chestnut, and leaped to earth,
burnished and ready,
firm and smooth
as the small breasts
of the islands of America.
You fell,
you struck
the ground,
nothing happened,
the grass
still stirred, the old
chestnut sighed with the mouths
of a forest of trees,
a red leaf of autumn fell,
resolutely, the hours marched on
across the earth.
Because you are
a seed,
chestnut tree, autumn, earth,
water, heights, silence
prepared the germ,
the floury density,
the maternal eyelids
that buried will again
open toward the heights
the simple majesty of foliage,
the dark damp plan
of new roots,
the ancient but new dimensions
of another chestnut tree in the earth.

Pablo Neruda