Ambience . . . and the 6 walled Space

Haan woh  nahi khuda parrust, javo,  woh baywaffa saheeJisko ho deen o dil azeez, uski galli main, jaayee kiyoun   Deyr nahi, harrum nahi, der nahi, aasetaan nahi &...

Haan woh  nahi khuda parrust, javo,  woh baywaffa sahee
Jisko ho deen o dil azeez, uski galli main, jaayee kiyoun
   Deyr nahi, harrum nahi, der nahi, aasetaan nahi
   Baithay hain rehguzzer pe hum, gaiyr humain, uthayee kiyoun

          Startled for a moment by their (gaiyr's) inquisitive gaze – that forced me out of reverie, I continued to sit, adamantly, on the parapet of boulevard, unruffled, till those gun trotting men in uniform lost interest in my lone silhouette and left; my eyes  flirting with the dusky lake and the memories associated with it- that had resurfaced this eve on watching the centripetally reverberating ripples formed with water droplets falling down the claws of the pair of playful birds- gliding low on lake's placid face, some minutes before the sunset; when , alas, day time yearning…. for spending some beloved moments, in sprawled supine company- watching the white clouds caressing the azure faced  heaven somewhere on alpine heights,  … made me pine; and lake alone offered consolatory relief.

     Saigal's wine- laden  nasalized voice  materialized in the back of my mind and I began to hum in low pitch, with rebellious fire of prime stoked anew, the supra quoted couplets of Ghalib's gazal– of which the 1st quoted one is called bait ul gazal, by critics. 

       Weary I feel with futile resistance so allow me, dear reader ( -because such things have a exigency- rationale  of their own in creative writing of stream of consciousness genre that adepts alone can decipher), to recite the concluding words of a poem (- that I dedicated to British poetess Elizabeth Jennings on her death in 2002; courtesy: English Studies in India- journal of 2003) while we walk past the Nehru park point and I finally embark on the emerging topic:
    "…. That men like E.V. Lucas…//
 (- plotting my presence in catacombs of grief)//
… Are liars who speak// of your departure.//
 Here I descend the wintry stairs//
 To hide my body//
In the womb of your arms//
 O' Liz … and…see! //
 There comes   a l i v e //
 'The Face//
On The Wall'//
 Yours or mine //
 Who can tell? //
 Who is dead? //
 Who is alive? //
Who can tell? //
        Strolling at leisure, when I reached the building that houses presently the office of SICOP, my grey cells began, like the tramp's dart,   to throw a poser, (- why call it a building….verbal noun… when construction has been completed long back; and nobody is building anything worthwhile there now?), and worded a litany in Mock-Theatre style, having double meaning ( phayrus pethe phayre… kaarus phayre.. ) as many faceless-faces scurried past like Halloween-ed ghosts, beneath the leaf scattering wall calendars of three decades… because presence of  such offices in this ambient environs defies sense .

        All these words deyr, harrum, der and aasetaan denote a building of some sort and the distinctive term, baitul gazal,  connotes figuratively house/ home but denotes best couplet…… and one surmises about the empty space bound by bricks, stones and mortar on six sides… walling the void… enclosing the vacuity… and… calling this walled- void a house/ home…. How absurd is man's response to insecurity and fear…. Ponder on the historical burdens associated with these words: Baiyt ullah…baiyt ul muqadas…ahle baiyt… baiyt… but let us not tarry with annoying tardiness… or else my intended topic will not be transported to paper, dear reader (Vow! Coincidentally I now remembered these were the words; "tardiness of locomotion"; with which dictionary- walla Johnson had explained to a pigeon headed questioner, the meaning of word slow….of course with a mischievous glint in his eyes, – a replica of whom enquired yesterday from me stupidly why pen wielders write at all.)

     Well! Not only man but his God and deities seem pretty obsessed with this baiyt from day one. Cave dwellers of antiquity, pit dwellers of Burzhama region….humble gujjer doka type hutments, have dotted the path of evolution that passed through vistas  of  pagan Houses of Worship, temples, monasteries, cathedrals, churches, mosques and even-  'different sounding but same same'; Bahai Temples ( Lotus shaped more known)….. all built on grandiose scale, with huge investment of money, labour, skills and material ….all believe in tethering God and deities to the shackles of supplications and offerings for, at the most,  few hours  a day; keeping them idle for 90% time; none daring to use them in a more beneficial manner during non-worship hours for housing educational institutions like schools.

      Much has been inherited from the civilized world of yesteryears; Byzantine, Greek/ Hellenic, Egyptian, Persian and Mesopotamian… so talking about rich heritage and conservation/ preservation thereof in present day world is not an unheard subject yet the funds spent for this purpose by ever mushrooming NGO's have failed  to usher any noticeable change in utilitarian realm.

    Scientists say Ramopithecus man appeared 80 lac years ago and the present race of Homosapiens is just forty thousand year old. It appears that the area between 15 to 78 degree longitude and 7 to 45 degree latitude was the hub of earliest awaking of homosapiens. Crete, Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), Egypt, Ethiopia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, part of Indian sub continent and Russian-Turkman constituted the most fertile brainy area of our globe. A brief mention of the milestones that afford us a feel and understanding of antiquity seems pertinent.  Archeologists have divided pre-historic time on the basis of cultural progress and named 9000 BC as final Paleolithic period, when man was still a cave dweller, food gatherer and hunter while as 9,000 to 7,000 BC is termed as proto-Neolithic period. The final Paleolithic culture of Palestine, Syria and Iraq dating between 10,000 and 8,700 BC are mainly found in caves. Settled communal life, domestication of animals like goat, sheep, cattle, and horse began for the first time in Eynan- in upper Jordan valley and at Jericho, in Palestine; at north end of the Dead Sea, 8,000 years before the birth of Christ.

 In 7th millennium BC a high level of civilization existed at Catal Hayak, Turkey- whose achievements, in agriculture were great and the single room houses were built on slopes that could be entered only from the roof.

In construction field we seemed obsessed with / over awed by the great pyramids of Egypt—like that of Kheops, Saqqara and Giza but one shouldn't be surprised to know that none of them existed before 2,700 BC….and that a marvel has been excavated in Erida (pre- historic Mesopotamia) in the form of an imposing temple, dating back to 5,000 BC; wherein a prototype of "Ziggurat" or temple- tower can be seen… and cuneiform writing on clay tablets have been found in 1984 by British Archaeologist J.E.Taylor …. And the tower temple dedicated to moon god Nanner and goddess Ningal unearthed by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley in 1929 in Ur-also called Tell-al-Muqayyar,(mound of settlement); situated near Persian gulf, 120 miles north of Basra (Bagdad) …and in 1845 Ad Henry Layard discovered the city of Nineveh(modern Mosul) where, by the side of river Tigris twelve clay tablets were found by British archeologists that revealed the popular Epic of Gilgamesh. It is said that a military governor of Ur ruled from 2111-2094 BC under the name Ur-namu -whose carved stele stands preserved in university museum Philadelphia, along with other great findings . Third descendent of ur-namu was Namrood who ruled Babylon, Akkad (Babyloniai) Assyria, Nineveh and caleh. Evidences have led the experts to infer that world's first urban civilization dating back to fourth millennium BC existed in Mesopotomia-the cradle of multiple civilization-that existed between river Tigris and Euphrates. Readers would be surprised to learn that the most widely traveled prophet Ibraheem (a.s) belonged to this area. He was in fact the sower of civilizations, the great architect instrumental in transferring the technology of constructing causeways from Tigris-Euphrates to 6630 km long Nile; the orchard layer of Taif-75 km from Makkah who got the grafting material and seeds from Syria and Egypt—builder of Kaba including hujr- e-Ismail…who substituted the human sacrifice by offering ram and made pilgrimage a great legacy.
 More some other time ….space won't allow more today …Bye.

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