Innocence was our strength
Everything around; the drooping willows in the compound, spirited mulberries in the backyard and tempting pomegranates bending over walls in obeisance in the alleys were wrapped up in innocence.
Innocence was our strength. All I can remember, everything within was pure- pure as morning dew on golden petals of narcissus in early spring. Those ugly shades of darkness that gnaw at the soul were yet to invade us ‘our souls were full of light’ with no place for gloom and guilt.
I remember during those days of innocence, I looked up at mother of a friend of mine as my own. She was affectionate. There was some extraordinary power in her tenderness. I often slipped away from my home to the home of my friend. Not to allow even a rustle touch my mother’s ear, I stealthily opened the Tahase’ Barrh’ – main door to the house of my friend that closed with a bang and tenderly allowed it to close.
Finishing her morning chore, she started spinning finest threads out of pashmina on her yender – wheel. I had developed a great attachment with her spinning wheel. I loved watching the moving wheel, the kacham-keech sounded musical- I believed the wheel was singing song in praise of Allah.
It was full of excitement to see mouj- as I also called mother of my friend moving the wheel with her right hand and artistically lifting her left hand up in the air, holding tightly wool-ball between her thumb and principal finger and then deftly letting it down, like a spider with from the ceiling.
Sometimes she shared her childhood memoirs with my friend and me and referred to one of her living aunts, who had never taken food in traditional copper utensils, Kanz or tour and equally had never drank tea in light green porcelain cup that were known as che’npala but preferred terracotta pots and cups. For great saints of Kashmir having eaten food in potters’ pots, she looked at ceramic wares as blessed. She did not even like mentioning of copper and brass utensils as these were nothing but totems of hubris. Emphasizing the blessedness of eating in earthenware, she often said that patron saint and his disciples used to eat in ceramic pots. However, I never saw any one in our home eating in ceramic pots, not even during blessing seeking religious occasions –Khatamat, so did not know how blessed it was eating in ceramic pots. It was rarely we received Kun’door’ in ceramic plates.
Unlike many other neighboring localities there were no potters in our Mohalla. I had not even seen a potter’s wheel or a kiln. I was curious to visit some potter’s house. My friend’s this grandaunt lived near his maternal home that was ten minutes walk from our home. I often accompanied my friend to his maternal home in Khanyar. In the neighborhood of maternal home of my friend, there were many potteries- I remember two to three were just in the backyard. Potter shaping pots on his wheel thrilled me and many times, I imagined of sitting by his side and molding pots after pots. Many potters vended their produce on their shops or by putting kiosks outside the shrines in the locality on Fridays. I knew one potter in the neighborhood of maternal home of my friend; he had delivered cartloads of terracotta tiles at our home. I have very vivid impressions about glazed six inch by six inch glazed tiles square, hexagonal and triangular tiles mosaic green, yellow, chocolate color.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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