Sunday 1 April 2018

The Scarf- A Small Untold Love Story

A flying Scarf, fell down at his feet.A puff of Jasmine fragrance was in air.Before Arshad could  lift the Scarf, a quivering hand lifted that Scarf.She was Anjali with her parents.An exchange of eyes with amour.He saw Anjali after a gap of 10 years.

Arshad was coloring the last touch of brush on a Sun set painting.Sun was slowly setting down behind hills at other end of Naina Jheel.

A sunset  after all, is welcome  scenery for anyone who’s having a bad day. It tells that finally, today whatever woes went away through will end in a few moments. This colorful Sun set made Arshad to forget that ,” behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story”.

Arshad lifted his easel, paint boxes, brushes and handed over to helper boy to carry upto his guest house. He was posted in Nainital as Forest Officer.

Sitting on cane chair, Coffee mug on small round table was getting cold, Arshad was inhailing aroma of some memories for which he wished To roll back the clock and take back all sadness.A screaming titehri flown away some where in thick forest.
A nock at door. His orderly was at door with a small box, “a lady has given this box for you”, and he told him.For his surprise,there was a letter without address.The mysterious lines in Hindi:
“Zindagi yun bhi guzar hi jati
   kyon tera rahguzar yaad aaya”. 

Sure it was Anjali. Next two days he searched her at every tourist points of Nainial. He went upto, Bhimtal, Saat Tal, Naukuchia Tal, Bhawali and even Jim Corbett National Park.

The forgotten tales were surfaced.The Auditorium of Abdulla Girls College Aligarh. He was representing his Suleiman Hall in Annual Inter Hall cultural function. He was there to recite his story. Anjali a singer she presented” Rana Akbar Abadi 's” ghazal—

“Sunate hai ke mil jaati har cheese dua se
ek roz tumhe mang ke dekhenge khuda se
Jab kuch na mila hath duao ko uthakar
phir hath uthane hi pade humko dua se
Duniya bhi milli hai ghum-e-duniya bhi mila hai
woh kyo nahi milta jise manga tha khuda se
Tum samane baithe ho to hai kaif ki barish
woh din bhi the jab aag barasti thi ghata se”
After Function ,they chatted each other on Story and ghazal; they performed, on tea table hosted by college. 
Anjali get up from chair ,but her Scarf fell down at his feet.“Your Scarf”------“Thanks”.

It was the one epic moment that gave him a lifetime agony.After that day, he interacted with Anjali in many cultural functions of University. She was from Moradabad and student of B.A in Abdullah Womens College. In Aligarh, she was living with her widow aunty. Arshad was from Bareilly and student of Msc.

One fine day of the autumn vacation, Arshad reached station and was in ques to buy railway ticket from Aligarh to Bareilly. He found Anjali in ladies line.Those were the days when Reservation system was not smart and advanced as today. Bareilly passenger was steam Engine and used to stop at every station.

They boarded in same compartment. Anjali has to change train from Chandausi for Moradabad and Arshad to keeps his journey continue for Bareily in same train.He helped Anjali in shifting her luggage from Bareilly Passenger to Chandausi-- Moradabad passenger.

Love is a delicious feeling that is a mixture of many emotions, attitudes. That is why it is said that the best language to express love is silence, if any, that is the sense of love human mind, which is not meant to be heard but to understand.

They were student of same university, so start and end of holidays were common.They felt at ease and comfort with together. They developed a silent harmony that at every holiday they will travel in Bareilly Passenger, and will wait at station for other to come. At return journey both will wait for each other at Chandausi Railway station.

Slowly the seed of endearment sprouted among them.They used to exchange festival pakwans and sweets with each other at Chandausi railway station.They never wanted the end of this three hours journey.It was their passion.This waiting and travelling together continued for two years.

In one long summer vacation journey at Babrala railway station, a group of boys and girls with musical instruments entered in the same compartment.After siting with comfort on seats, they started playing with musical instruments singing....

“Chale aj tum jahan se hui zindagi parayi
Tumhe mil gaya thikana Hume maut bhi na ayi
O door ke musafir Hum ko bhi saath le le re
Hum ko bhi saath le le Hum rah gaye akele

Tune vo de diyaa gham bemaut mar gaye Hum
Dil uth gayaa jahaan se le chal Hume yahaan se

Suni hai dil ki raahe khamosh hai nigahe
Nakam hasarato kaa uthane ko hai janaza

Charo taraf lage hai barabadiyo ke mele re
Hum ko bhi saath le le Hum rah gaye akele”
All passengers were mesmerized by the lyric, but Arshad was agonized as he saw that Anjali was weeping, tears were dropping from her eyes.
Anjali stepped down at Chandausi station,“I will not return again to continue my further education”, she told him. Why?
“My parents want this, they are suspicious about us”.Arshad was disheartend hearing this news.Both were feeling uneasiness.

Her train was was coming on other platform, for which she has to cross over foot bridge.Reaching at top of bridge ,she turned back ,looked at him, cleaned her wet eyes with her scarf and dropped it.

Arshad ran to pick that scarf, but his train whistled.He turned away towards his compartment to board in.His train was leaving palate form. Anjali was still standing over stairs of foot bridge ,at one point she disappeared from his gaze. Arshad wished to weep and cry in agony.He stroked his head with compartment window.
At 5.30AM Bareilly passenger reached at  its last stopage “Bareilly” to  finish its journey .

The journey of Arshad was continued, last stoppage of destiny un-known.After completing his, he joined Indian Forest Service (IFS).He was posted in Nainital as Forest Officer.He started painting ,to express his emotions.”Sun set” was his most favourite Niche of painting.
Today he was painting a “Setting Sun” at Nain Jheel, when the Pink Scarf the identity of Anjali fell down at his Feet.

After 40 years.
Now Arshad was an internationally recognized Artist.His paintings were exhibited in famous Art Galleries and get auctioned in Lacs.
He was in France; to attend an international conference on Art.His painting works were on exhibit at 59 Rivoli Art Gallery of Paris.Next day was fixed for inauguration.

After four days, he opened his eyes.Sister kept her hand full of love over his fore head,
“So—you are now awake, that is good”.
Sister --where am I? You are in ICCU.
What happened to me.Heart attack?

After two days, he was shifted from ICCU to other room.His wife Farhat was besides him reciting Holy Quran.Sister enterd in room and told him that a lady wants to meet him she was also admitted in iccu the same day with you.To day she has been discharged.
His heart tossed inside his chest to break; blood boiled in head and a second heart attack was….He was dazed…

Anjali was at door, Pink salwar with green border and same Kolhapuri chappals in feet, parting hair line without vermilion, Neck without Mangal sutra.

“I am Anjali from Moradabad,  A great fan of Artist Arshad Saheb ,I live with my younger brother,who has settled in France and works as a Charted Accountant “.

Farhat offerd her chair to sit.”Through media I came to know that Arshad Saheb is here in France”.After some time,his brother entered in room.”My brother has paid yours bills too”.Anjali told and raised up the chair.

Her scarf fell down. Scarf was again fallen down.

“Your Scarf”, Farhat told her.


Anjali turned and said—“Chandausi aur Aligarh ka station ab bhut badal gaya hai, bada bhi hogaya hai.Bareilly passenger train ab Aligarh ke platform no 4  par khadi hoyi hai”.

Story written and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram ,photos are taken from Net with thanks.

Zindagi  ke  safar mein  guzar  jate  hain jo  maqam,
woh   phir  nahin  aate,  

phool  khilte  hain,  log  milte  hai
Patjhad  main  jo  phool  murjha  jate hain

Woh  baharon  ke  aane  se  khilte  nahin
kuchh  log  ek  roz  jo  bichad  jate  hain

Woh  hazaron  ke  aane  se  milte  nahin
umr  bhar  chahe  koi  pukara  kare  unka  naam

The End

Friday 23 March 2018

Magh Bihu and The Bihu Dance:The Festival of Assam.

Festivals bring respite into our busy and daily hustle bustle of life.Festivals revitalize a new light and hopes in us. Bihu is set of festivals, the most important festival of Assam. Bihu is  three different cultural festivals that are celebrated in different times of the year.People of Assam commemorating the change of season in accord with the Assamese calendar. Assam, one of the most beautiful states of India, known for its tea gardens, lush green forests and the mighty Brahmaputra River. The warmth and friendliness of Bihu is what makes it one of the most loved and enjoyed festivals in India.

The origin of the word ‘Bihu" is said to be from the Sanskrit word ‘Vishu’. However, according to some, “Bi” means “to ask” and “Hu” means “to give”. 

                                                                         Brahmaputra River in Assam.

 is celebrated not once, but thrice in a year in Assam? The three types of Bihu in a year are: Rongaali Bihu or ‘Bohaag Bihu’, Kati Bihu or Kongaali Bihu and the last but not the least Magh Bihu or Bhogaali Bihu’.

Bohag Bihu is also known as Rongali Bihu.
It is the first Bihu, which marks the beginning of Assamese new year in April and is celebrated with grandeur to welcome the spring.This festival coincides with other Indian Festivals, namely, Baisakhi, Sankranti and Chait.

Bihu Dance
It is celebrated for a week and the whole environment is filled with happiness and merriment. Laddos and varieties of Pithas are made on this occasion and Jolapn is the main delicacy which people eat on this festival. 

The first day is called “Goru Bihu” and on this day, the cattle are taken to the river or pond to clean them and offer prayer. This day is celebrated on the last day of the month.
Bihu Dance
And the next day, which is known as “Manuh Bihu” and on this day people wear new clothes and celebrate this festival with vigor and enthusiasm. During Bohag Bihu, Bihu Dance, the famous folk dance of Assam is performed on Bihu geet. 

Kongali Bihu or Kati Bihu .
This is the second Bihu and is most sober of all three Bihus. Kati Bihu is celebrated in mid-October, when the crops are growing but the farmers’ granaries are depleting.

To protect the maturing paddy, cultivators whirl a piece of bamboo and recite rowa-khowa chants and spells to ward off pests and the evil eye. During the evening, cattle are fed specially made rice items called pitha. 

It’s a time of solemn solidarity and hope for successful harvest. On this day, tulsi plant is planted on the fields to seek blessings for prosperity and protecting the paddy from being affected.On this day lamps, called saki, are lit on the tips of bamboo poles in the fields, as a guide to spirits. 

Lamps are also lit in the gardens, especially under tulsi plants, and in the granaries.Farmers also chant spells to ward off negativity and pests, praying for successful harvests. Cattle are fed especially prepared items known as pitha, made of rice.

It’s a time of solemn solidarity and hope for successful harvest. On this day, tulsi plant is planted on the fields to seek blessings for prosperity and protecting the paddy from being affected.
Magh Bihu also known as Bhogali Bihu
This is third Bihu, a harvesting festival celebrated in the month of Magh of the Hindu calendar and mid-January of the Georgian calendar.It is the period when the hard working agricultural folk of Assam sit down to reap the benefits of their labor. Everyone celebrates the festival with great fervor, right from the smallest of villages to the big towns and cities of Assam.

This festival is mainly a feasting festival because the granaries of people are filled with grains. This is basically the season of eating and merrymaking.
On the eve of this festival, which is called “Uruka” is celebrated with grandeur and people get together for feasting. People construct Meji and Bhelaghar, a makeshift cottage, inside which people feast. 

Next morning, people offer prayers to the Fire God and several sports are organized like cock-fight, buffalo-fight, Nightingale-fight and Egg-fight for the entertainment of people.

The Bihu dance is a folk dance from.
 This joyous dance is performed by both young men and women, and is characterized by brisk dance steps, rapid hand movement, and a rhythmic swaying of the hips in order to represent youthful passion. Dancers wear traditionally colorful Assamese clothing.

The Bihu dance is performed in conjunction with traditional Bihu folk music, played with: the "dhol", similar to a drum; the mohor singor pepa, a pipe instrument made from a buffalo horn; the tala, a cymbal; the gogona, a reed and bamboo instrument; and the toka, a bamboo clapper.

The songs (bihu geet) that accompany the dance have been handed down for many generations. The subject of the lyrics ranges from welcoming the Assamese new year to describing the daily life of a farmer.

However, the underlying goal of the dance remains the same: to express the desire to feel both pain and happiness.

 Music is a vital part of every folk dance and the same is the case with Bihu. There are many instruments that are utilized during a Bihu performance namely a dhol, pepa, Taal, toka, xutuli, gogona and baanhi. Not even one musical instrument can be ruled out of the list as they all play a pivotal role in producing the traditional tunes for the Bihu performance. A traditional Bihu performance is eye catching and worth cherishing as it recites the happiness and heritage of the Assamese people.

The energetic dance steps and quick hand movements define the Bihu dance of Assam. But that is not all as any folk dance is incomplete without its costume and jewelry and the performers of Bihu don the traditional Assamese attire. This dance is performed usually by the young males and females to show their joy and merriment on the arrival of spring season. A lot of vibrancy can be seen in the dance outfit of Bihu and that is what depicts the genuine spirit of this dance form.

Music is a vital part of every folk dance and the same is the case with Bihu. There are many instruments that are utilized during a Bihu performance namely a dhol, pepa, Taal, toka, xutuli, gogona and baanhi. Not even one musical instrument can be ruled out of the list as they all play a pivotal role in producing the traditional tunes for the Bihu performance. A traditional Bihu performance is eye catching and worth cherishing as it recites the happiness and heritage of the Assamese people.

Photos in this blog are taken from stock photos available on net and with thanks to photographer of these photos.

. I am sure after reading this write up, you will fall in love with Assam and people of Assam.