Eid-Al-Fitr Mubarak 2022

Another Ramadan has come and gone. A sure sign of the relentless passing of time. As always, it’s been a time of trials and tribulations. Of sincere prayers and deep reflections. A time of lucid late evenings and tired early mornings. And, as always, a time of failure and of success.

Today, on the eve of the last day of this holy month, I pray that I get to experience another opportunity to seek the ultimate benefits of my prayers together with my loved ones yet again.

May Allah accept our attempts in the month that has passed, and grant us the opportunity to improve our efforts in the future. I wish all Muslims a happy and blessed Eid al-Fitr!

Imperfect

The landscape lay before me like a painting.
If there could ever exist a perfect painting, that is.

But no human creation could possess such beauty.
Such blend of form and function.
None.

Taking it all in, I saw the final photograph in my mind’s eye.
A beautiful piece of art, able to stir in the viewers heart,
the same emotions that I felt inside me.
A frozen moment in time,
capturing forever the brilliance of the scene before me.

It pained me though, to realize that I could never make that happen.
How could I ever capture the grandness of it all?
The smell of moss in the air.
The sound of grass rippling in the water by the gentle breeze.
Then softness of the ground.

No matter how good the gear,
or how advanced the tools,
I would not succeed.
No, a photograph would be but a poor portrayal of my experience
of nature’s magnificent spectacle

Snow

Pure, fresh, pristine.
Having arrived just a few hours before,
it was waiting for us as we stood at the trailhead.
A clean white carpet draped on the forest floor,
inviting us in.

And we walked.

Hard as rock. And unforgivingly slippery.
Treacherous under a thin blanket of powder.
One misstep and we’d be on our backs.

We kept walking.

Brittle as glass.
Cracking easily under the weight of our steps like fine china.
A crisp ripping sound in the muffled forest air,
and then quiet.

We pressed on.

Soft, as the finest Egyptian cotton.
Cushioning our feet as if walking on puffs of cloud,
high above the forest floor.

We continued walking.

White turned gray and then black
as the day surrendered to dusk and then night.
Darkness descended upon us,
erasing the difference between the ground and the sky.

Like walking in nothingness,
the only sound we heard was the one of our own breathing,
and our footsteps on the black snow.

And we kept walking.

The Photographer’s Moment

Heavy rains were forecasted for the entire day, and that is exactly how it started on that August morning as we found ourselves gearing up for the hike.

The Norwegian summer can be unpredictable, especially this late in the season, so even though we had been hoping until the last minute to see an improvement in the forecast, we were fully prepared for a wet and windy experience. Although that could be an adventure in itself, my main concern was missing out on the view from the summit if the clouds did not clear.

Luckily, we only saw light rain as we made our way up, and the winds drove most of the low hanging clouds away by the time we reached the summit. As we were standing at the top the sun broke through, giving us a spectacular show of shadows, light, and color, fulfilling the promise of “the finest vantage point” in Luster!

This is when the photographer got his moment, the image was made, and all hardship was forgotten.

The Mountains That We Climb

In life, we all have our mountains to climb.
Our bidding is to keep going, even when times are grim.
With prayers and effort, and a firm belief.
We long for that breathtaking view from the summit.

Once there, we may realize,
little do we understand the grand scheme.
Such unexpected is life,
that it never ceases to amaze and surprise.

The Dreams We Never Had

Sometimes in life, we have dreams.

Some can be achieved if we work really hard,
pray from our hearts,
and are fortunate enough to have just that extra bit of fate on our side.

Some are so big, we know they’ll always be outside our reach.
Yet we hope, and we pray.
And we carry them inside us, safeguarding them as the years pass by.

Sometimes in life dreams come true.

It may not be the ones we expected,
or knew even existed.
We find ourselves on top of a mountain we never climbed.

My Heart Sinks (whenever I remember my beloved) Part 2

When he sulked, time sulked, the whole universe sulked
What can I say, I have no words, this parting has beaten me down
Maybe he forgot my memories, but who can forget him?

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

How do I console my heart, I can’t bear the loneliness
This is what I got in return for love, the world is laughing at me
Without him, the emptiness of the courtyard takes a bite out of me

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

If my lord returns home, I will celebrate a hundred times
Holding him in a tight embrace, I will hide him beneath my eyelids
The wise have told the truth, no one should ever fall in love

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

Original in Urdu by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Sunday Blues – Darker

Sunday Blues - Darker

Last Sunday we set the clock back one hour. The end of daylight savings time is a sure sign of the arrival of autumn. Even though there is still the occasional day where the sun feels warm on my skin, the chill has definitely arrived. The days are getting cold. The nights colder.

But it is the darkness I dread.

There are remedies for cold and wet. But none for the darkness that seems to escape its prison deep in the confines of my heart, and spread out, threatening to extend the night indefinitely. Suddenly all about me, I see the shadow that  I carry locked away inside me. And I feel it within and without.

And all the lights, become mere ephemeral spots of joy in the gloom. My Sunday blues, it seems, just got darker.

My Heart Sinks (Whenever I Remember my Beloved)

My Heart Sinks (Whenever I Remember my Beloved)

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved
My dearest lives far away, would someone bring him back?

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

My heart’s desire is not with me, with whom shall I talk?
To me, nobody is like him, to whom shall I open my heart?
I keep begging but I am powerless

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

I keep going to the roof awaiting his return
If the one who left ever peeked into my sighs
he would not have left alone, who can reason with him?

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

Original in Urdu by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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