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Sunday, October 13, 2013

What a joy it is to connect with yourselves!


What a joy it is to connect with the self… I was in my storage to clean out the stuff… while at it, I sank into old memories looking at things… found the negatives for the family pictures from the seventies.... my daughters “fluffy” and her Tiger painting when she was five… Bhagvad Gita in Urdu, Picture with Waheeda Rahman, Tippu Sultan’s brass but- one of the two made in his bi-centennial celebrations and  Mina’s horsey wood frame. Then I found my note book I wrote in the late sixties … 42 poems and 23 short stories in all!

I was way too eager to read my writings from 40 years ago, and wanted to see how much I have advanced since then…. tried to read while driving, then I remembered totaling my Jaguar, Park Avenue and BMW and said to myself,  No! I did not mind dying but did not want to disappoint my wife and my kids for stupidity – particularly when my grandson learns what happened. Now, they are going to be on my tail and wipe out my safety record. No tickets in the last four years!

So, I  decided to go to Apna Bazaar Restaurant and read there.  I was rather surprised that my recent write up on evolution-creation was identical to the one I wrote in 1971 called “Taqleeq” i.e., creation in Urdu language. Felt so good that I have been the same for the last 42 years… but also felt bad that I had not improved! 

I told my friend about this, and he said “I have not seen any change in you; you’ve been the same pluralistic guy all your life.” He reminded my weekly visits to Buddhist temple, and Hindu Temple to join in the Bhajans (chanting) besides visiting the Mosque on Fridays – and he suggested to write about it. He and I started our life journey on parallel paths, and I am happy for him that he made it much bigger than I did, and that at times has driven me to catch up with him. He said, his first published peace was in the same year as mine – 1971.

Between 1976 and 1993 – that is seventeen years of time, I don’t remember writing anything substantial. I just cannot believe this. But then I published News paper from 1994-2001, and lost all the copies in archives…. So did not record any of my articles. Then in 1999 I started blogging at Sulekha Indian portal and have about 1000 pieces there and in all written over 2000 pieces and most of them are published in major news papers. I was written up first in Dallas Business Journal in 1991.

I wrote another piece called “Hubbul Watni – Patriotism in Urdu” on December 6, 1971 and sent for publication to some M.S.E. publications…cannot remember who it was. It was about the 1971 war between India and Pakistan.  I was worried what I might have written, was I hostile towards Pakistan?  I know I am not hostile towards any one, or any nation (except the severe disappointment with fellow party members like Ted Cruz) for the last 25 years that I have been in the public square.  My grilled fish got cold while I anxiously finished the item. Thank God, my inclusiveness was there some 42 years ago. I felt really good about it.  I have been able to influence and ready many people to be inclusive. 

I cannot claim that I initiated inclusiveness in Dallas – but Asian News was the first local paper that was inclusive of all religions and all subcontinentians –that is people of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Then Asian News Radio was the first all inclusive radio as well. Now after twenty years, almost all the radio stations are inclusive, even those who were not at the beginning.

My poems were of romance in the beginning but moved on to social issues and the poet Sahir Ludhianavi has greatly influenced me in my writing.  He was pluralistic and inclusive of all faiths and traditions in his poetry.  I did not write poetry since 1977, but have resumed again since we held the Mushaera (poetry session) on Pluralism in Urdu and Hindi.

Government has no fault was the theme of the poem I wrote on May 28, 1972,  it was a satire on socialism, I still hold the same views, somewhat anti-government or lesser control on the public and greater freedom for the individual,  that makes me a solid Republican- the original ones (not the tea partiers)  but not like our honorable Senator Ted Cruz who does not respect our systems and the laws of our land.   

Then came the point of exhilaration… I could not hold myself with joy, when I read my poem that I wrote on November 9, 1971… that has similar words and ring as in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s hit number from the late 90’s.  Aap say milke hum kuch badal to gaye…

Hum un shoukh nigahon say wafa ki tamanna kar baithay,
Shoukh e deedar may diwanagi ki intiha kar baithay;

I built up lots of hopes from her smiles
intense desire to meet her made me crazy to no end;

Kabhi sanjeeda rahte, kabhi muskurate, kabhi gunguna detay
Un ki ek nigah e karam ke liye hum kya kya kar baithay;

sober at times, smiled at times and hummed at times with joy
just for her one merciful look, what all did I do

Rah-e- deed na bani Shakeel to tasavvar may basa liye,
Tasveer bhi aisi bani key, khud ko bhula kar baithay.

Could not find a way to visit her, so I housed her in my mind,
the image became so real that I forgot myself.

Thanks to Faiza and Fahad for doing all the work at storage, we cleaned up about 20% of the stuff…   and need to sell some stuff and give away some and retain some. 

I am happy this evening with the connection I had with myself.  Do you connect with yourselves frequently? Try, it is absolute nirvana!

That’s it for now.

Mike Ghouse

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