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

When You Were Loved

When every dream
has turned to dust,
and your highest hopes
no longer soar.

When places you
once yearned to see,
grow further away
on distant shores.

When every night
you close your eyes,
and long inside
for something more.

Remember this
and only this,
if nothing else
you can recall—

There was a life
a girl once led,
where you were loved
the most of all.

– Text from “When”,  in Lullabies, by Lang Leav

En Route to Gaustatoppen

Gaustatoppen, considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain in Norway, towers above the town of Rjukan at an altitude of 1883 meters (6178 feet). The views from the top, as well as along the route, are stunning, and on a clear day, hikers can see one sixth of Norway from the summit!

The mountain is a popular destination for Norwegians, something I got to experience a few weeks ago. There was a constant stream of people all along the route. So many that there was a queue.

Many parents had brought their children along, the youngest ones walking, only three or four years old. Many of the children were crying and begging their parents to be carried, or simply refusing to go on. Most of the parents were ignoring their cries and telling them to keep going. This is something they simply had to do, and crying or yelling would definitely not help!

So en route to the summit of Gaustatoppen, with a backdrop of majestic Norwegian mountains, I got to witness the meticulous efforts of some parents to transfer what they believe to be core Norwegian values to the next generation. It was interesting to see how parents will always choose what they think is best for their children, no matter how much the little ones oppose.

Sad Things

Why do you write sad things? he asked. When I am here, when I love you.

Because someday, in one way or another, you will be taken from me or I you. It is inevitable. But please understand; from the moment I met you, I stopped writing for the past. I no longer write for the present. When I write sad things, I am writing for the future.

– Text from Lullabies, by Lang Leav

Winter’s Sunset

There’s something wonderfully sad about a winter’s sunset.
It deadens the pain, the melancholy of regret.

A fleeting moment of calm surrender.
And ephemeral beauty.

Captured in an instant.
Forever preserved.

In the vast darkness of my heart.
A tiny light deserved

Your Hand in My Hands

Your Hand in My Hands

When your hand is in my hands,
when my words are in your words,
we could get lost just walking like that.

When your breath is in my breath,
and solitude is close to us,
I put my head on your shoulder and fall asleep.

I wake up in your love,
and win by losing to you.
When you get upset, I sing to conciliate you.

My breath is complete with you,
without you there is no fulfillment.
You are my love, with you the season turns to spring.
When you are here I am at peace,
and when you are not, I despair.

My love, just tell me what more to say to you, what do you want to hear?
Everything could keep going on like this,
we keep meeting this way,
but this will only happen when you’re here.
When you’re here.

(Original in urdu by Ali Zafar from his Album Masti)

Days of the Past – Part 2

Days of the Past 2

I remember the moments now past.
When hope was closer than despair still.

A friend could be called to talk about anything and everything.
Or for no reason whatsoever.
Life was good even when it made me weep.
All those small happy moments were mine to keep.

I remember before. Way before. In the past.
When the world lay at my feet still.

Hard work and dedication would always count.
At home or in the office, rewarded in generous amount.
Sky was the only limit, and just like a magic spell.
Everything always turned out well.

Days of the Past 1

Last Night in Jalalpur Jattan

Last Night in Jalalpur Jattan

As I am praying alone in my bedroom, the electricity suddenly goes out. Complete darkness. I cannot even see my feet where I am standing. I continue to pray, in utter darkness. A distant generator starts up. A dog is barking far away. The occasional car or truck passes by on the road just in front of the house.

I finish my prayer and just sit quietly on the prayer rug. It is warm, must be over 30°C in the room, more likely closer to 35. The darkness feels suffocating, and at the same time strangely calming. I know my way around the room. And I know my mobile phone is on the bedside table. It is charged so I can turn on the flashlight app. Still, a strange kind of panic is floating just below the surface of my heart. Suffocating. I need to get out!

I walk upstairs to the roof. Electricity is back, and I see lights in the buildings across the road from our house. The evening is clear, and a gentle breeze makes the weather just perfect to be outside. It is quiet but for the occasional vehicle driving past the house.

The sun is setting and the partly overcast sky shows a graduation from deep blue to orange. Beyond the houses across the road I see green fields stretching out into the hazy horizon. This calm and fresh evening is my last here in Jalalpur Jattan before I head back to Norway. A perfect evening setting the scene for a sad goodbye. And I wonder when I get to see this sight again.