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Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

 

She was frantically wailing standing beside the open sewer; my son—-O’ Lord, my son, my son———. Her four year old son had slipped in the gutter which was full of garbage and trash giving out horrible smell. Her son breathed his last in front of her eyes. No one had the guts to pull him out.  He was draggled and soiled all over. The mother was aware that her son was no more. People from the neighborhood stood there watching, quietly, avoiding the grieved mother’s helplessness—–when——– a black shining limousine stopped by.

A handsome tall rich gentleman dressed in pricey white suit, got down. Casting a glance at the mother, sliding down in the gutter, he brought out the child’s body in his arms. Mother holding her grubby dead son tightly hugged him all over.

She forgot the man who had taken out her son from the gutter. He was the man who, she discarded to marry for his low status, few years back———!

 Image

Risking his life to death, he dragged the drowning woman to the shore.

Taking off her gold bangles, necklace, diamond ring and earrings,  let her go, with the flow of  the fuming flood waves, regretting that he could have satisfied his lust too,  if she was alive —————

He: “I want to touch you——!”

She: “Do you know it’s dishonest?”

He: “yeah, I know it is— I am married too—–yet—I just wanna touch you, feel you!”

She: “When——now?”

He: “yeah- now-this very moment——-now- please, I’ll die if you don’t let me!”

Considering his last wish, she stepped forward—- with a feeling of disgrace,  to fulfill his last wish——but——–he couldn’t touch her——–for—-he breathed his last breath!

He died——–!

With a heavy heart and feeling of guilt she went home—-but——–

Seeing her maid’s sandals outside her closed bedroom——-her guiltiness  lessened a bit——–

 

Many famous and distinguished personalities have commented on his outclass poetry, prose and paintings. Below are the names and their comments about Noor Muhammad Qureshi

Moti Lalwani (artist): “Carrara was the quarry for Michelangelo Water color wash is cararra for Noor. Noor means light and light means life. Life, that dwells in Noor’s art pieces. Art pieces which have been grown in the womb of time.

Calm—–cool—— peace—— silence—- solitude and joy simple landscapes—- or even water color washes.”

Sumeha Malik: “An ambitious artist and one who has made a niche for himself despite artists coming up every other day. We hope that there will be more such thought provoking series from Noor.”

Vali Haider Zakir (artist): “The destructive earthquake of 2005   affected everyone severely. Noor expressed his feelings through his art and receptive poetry.”

Professor Muhammad Raees Alvi (Registrar, Karachi University): “Noor Muhammad has depicted the melancholy of violent earthquake of 2005 in his art and poetry with brush and pen that every eye shed tears. May he live long to portray the life.”

Nahid Raza, artist and Principal, Central Institute of Arts and Crafts, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi:” Nor Muhammad Qureshi is based in Sind. He is teaching Art in Baluchistan. He works in multi-dimensions like poetry, Afsana, and Painting. Landscape and Calligraphy are basic subjects in his work. I wish he should paint these victims of earthquake as he wrote in his poetry.”

Fatima Surriyya Bajya, (writer): “one day in burning month of June when I came back from my  office I saw a man standing under a tree   near my home.  He was Noor Muhammad Qureshi. He handed a thin book and some cuttings of newspapers. We came inside my home. He wanted my review and comments on his thin book. But when I read it, I felt its colossal weight. It is heavier than tons of mountains and immeasurable for the human feeling of grief and misery.  Each and every page of the booklet is worth ready. It is full of emotions, knowledge and awareness.”

Nusrat Nasarullah: Mr. Noor Muhammad, 42 , teaches Art in Sui Model School, Dera Bugti Baluchistan. He paints, writes Urdu poetry, and acts in radio, stage and television plays. Noor Muhammad is tall, mild mannered and hardworking, so far held four solo exhibitions, including on the tsunami theme.

Dr. Ilyas Ishqui has same praise worthy feelings for Noor.

Qasim Jalali (GM, Pakistan Television, Karachi centre) “Noor Muhammad has given life to his dreams and observation in life through his poetry and paintings.”

Saif-ur-Rehman (Vice President, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi) “Noor Muhammad has very delicately expressed the pains of affected in with his brush and pen. His book is a historical, pictorial evidence of the earthquake of 2005”

Tajdar Aadil, (poet, author, and producer Pakistan television) “I am waiting to see how many hearts throb and step forward to lend helping hand to the ailing, now and always when needed.”

Wasi Haider, (artist, critic) “Noor Muhammad is a very sensitive man having a kind warm heart that feels the other’s pain just like his own. He is been successful in transferring his emotions though his art and literature.”

Ziauddin. A. Junejo “ the awesome power of the forces of nature which was unleashed against human civilization in which human beings were powerless has been depicted by the artist in paintings with great insight and accuracy.

Mr. Noor’s use of symbols is very significant. I am reminded of the Surrealist Masters such as Dali Gigantic tears painted by the Artist tragedy conveyed by these paintings.”

Professor Ali Ahmed Fatimi, (Allahabad University, India) “Noor Muhammad is a humane human. His restless soul and friendly nature motivated him to use his brush and pen to show to the world the agony of life.”

Syed Anwar Haider, (Sr. Member of Revenue Sind) “Noor Muhammad used very simple language to express his feelings in poetry and prose. Noor is a great human being who is treading on the highway of life with his aching heart for his fellow beings in pain.”

Naqash Kazmi (Poet) Noor Muhammad is multifaceted man. He has exposed and shook the hearts of us all to feel the bleeding humanity through his paintings and   writings.”

Yawer Mehdi retd (Station Director Radio Pakistan Hon. Secretary of Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi) Noor Muhammad has not only added treasure to Urdu literature he has fulfilled the needs of human sentiments.”

Professor Hassan Abid (Scholar) “basically Noor Muhammad is an artist but he has excelled his abilities equally in other forms of expression like poetry and prose besides paintings. I am sure his book will gain laurels.”

Iqbal Haider (Chairman Josh Academy Gallery, Canada) “In my opinion a true artist is one who feels the pangs of others just like his own. His simple easy languages leave a stirring impact on a reader. I am witness of his genuineness for I know him for more than a quarter of a century. I wish him long healthy life.”

His message is,

Love is the whole thing,
We are only pieces,
Love is the sea of no end,
We are a drop of it.

 

Noor means radiance. Can we see colors, rain, rainbow, flowers, and beauty of nature or the disaster of nature in its absence? No, we simply can’t.

Though Light has no figure but it gives form and color to everything that exists around us; in the sky, on the sky, in the depths of the oceans—–everywhere.

Noor Muhammad is like light. He portrays his heart felt experiences, good and aching, through his teaching, paintings, poetry, stories and calligraphy.

We too, see everything, but being not as sensitive, kindhearted, keen observer, creative and expressive like him, ignore and just pass by. He is a multifaceted humane human. He probes and picks the deep-seated ailments which are disregarded generally.

I am grateful to Majid, who introduced Noor to me through his books and brochure.  I had not known or heard of Noor before. But as I started reading his books Kachokay (pricks) his ardent observation of human nature started to unfolding.

I never read such a book earlier. It did prick me sharply. Honestly I felt ashamed of myself for being so unaware of the wounds that bleed that are caused by us, the society.

The second book is based on the tragedies of dreadful earthquake of 2005 in Kashmir and northern areas of Pakistan. Northern areas of Pakistan were known to be charismatically beautiful natural beauty. Breathtaking picturesque charm allured the tourists and the natives before October 2005. But it was brutally spoiled by the after effects of the earthquake.

Noor has very skillfully portrayed all in his poetry and paintings.

I translated some of his verses into English. And feel great pleasure that they are equally appreciated nationally and internationally.

He is diabetic. Got his toe mutilated in Liaquat National Hospital recently. I have not met him or seen him, but they way he talks to me on the phone are very cultured. May he live a long healthy life to enable us, to wipe tears of the ailing by his intuitive skillfulness?

to be continued

 

One house, in the neighborhood, was reserved for the guests, from Karachi. The house, where the bride lived was next to the reserved one.

A big hall was reserved for the ladies in bride’s home.

Akbar, the groom, and Neelum the bride, were cousins. They were familiar with each other. Nothing was new or strange for anyone.

Neelum was extraordinary beautiful. Any boy, who saw her, couldn’t resist falling for her. She had charismatic charm that attracted everyone, towards her. Many boys proposed her. But, she was made in the heaven, for Akbar only.  So the prince charming, Akbar came all the way from Karachi, to marry, his beloved.  Akbar and Neelum anxiously waited for their wedding bells to toll. They both had fondness for each other.

Akbar used to call her; Neelum Parri. Parri means a fairy in Urdu language. 

Before the formal wedding paperwork, Akbar’s mother called Rashida to bring her the suitcase of wedding dresses. Rashida brought the suitcase from the other room, and put it, before her mother. She took out the keys from her purse and unlocked it.

The moment she lifted the cover; she felt, wobbly and vertigo. She put a hanky on her nose. It was not only Rashida’s mother who sensed that putrid smell, but all ladies present there. Rashida was more sensitive, so she at once ran to the washroom, to vomit out.  The smell was so awful that it severely affected, on everyone’s nerves.

The dresses in the suitcase were all spoiled. They gave such grubby look and awful stink that no had the heart too even look at, leave aside to touch them. The other ladies left the room with their nose covered. Some feeling giddy, rushed to the washrooms. Rashida’s mother was in the room alone. She checked the jewelry boxes. Those were in the same rotting condition, diffusing the same stinky smell. Each and every cloth and every piece of gold were besmeared.

She sat there in deep shock. She couldn’t make out, that who did all this and why? Then, there she heard, a mewing of a cat.

Mother caught sight of the black tomcat, coming out from behind a cupboard. He licking his front paws leisurely, yawned, and glancing at mother, left the room.

There was something alarming in his eyes. Though she was a brave lady, having strong nerves, felt unstable. She went out of the room, to stable her shaky nerves.

Mamu was looking out of the window. Cool breeze on his face refreshed his mood. Punjab is very fertile. Clean clear environment, bright sunny day, children playing, women carrying water pitchers on head, cattle grazing in the lush green fields with snow clad mountains in the background, enlightened him. He remembered lines from William Wordsworth’s:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

But it lasted very soon. The fear of black tom cat, overshadowed, his dreamy feel.

He fearing of, some forthcoming, catastrophe was lost in profound thinking.

Finally, the train came to a halt at the Lahore station.  A number of people had come to receive them. They all boarded the awaited bus, cheerfully. The bus proceeded, to Samanabad.

None of them had the least idea, that, the black tomcat was also going to Samanabad with them. No one saw him on the station or platform. No one remembered him, or whatever happened in the train.

Creeping out from somewhere, he managed somehow, to, jump and sit on the roof, of the same bus. Now, he was very much there.

When they reached Samanabad, the black tomcat sneaked into the house, unnoticed, before anyone else. 


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