Monday, February 13, 2017

And so, it Began

Prelude to Part I

December 2005
The sky was a dull shade of light inky blue. The earth flurry as it lay covered in sheets of silvery white ice, after the first snow of the season. The trees were bare with none but tiny droplets of cool melted snow. He was sitting in a tiny room inspiration-ally self-named the “Chamber of Secrets” hidden behind rows and rows of wooden cupboards that housed an array of untouched books in the library of the Victorian Primrose Hall now known as Primrose Local Academy. The room like its occupant and nature lay bare; a table with four chairs and the sparse ivy on some windows the only adornment to the faded yellow stone.

There was nothing striking about him at first glance, he was an ordinary guy of seventeen with nerdy looks and a silent smile. Yet he was someone who enjoyed the soft camaraderie within his circle of friends. Being a rather quiet day with nothing much to do, he immersed himself in the world of John Keats in a world of romanticism and introspection; letting the piled up stress from weeks drain away.

She was trying to be inconspicuous as she made her way to the small alcove but the slight tapping of her feet on the wooden floor gave her away. No sooner did she invade the serene room a sheepish smile tugged the corner of her lips, having stumbled upon him. Not really embarrassed but surprised to find him there of all places.

“Fancy seeing someone here!” she exclaimed abruptly.

“Not really surprising assuming you are a placid soul like me, who loves to escape from the cacophony of the classroom every once in a while”, replied he.

“True, though I guess retrospective would be the more apt word to describe me”, she responded before continuing “I don’t always come here seems like I always have to search for excuses to get away from my gang of girls, fifteen year olds’ can be utterly nosy when they wish to be.”

They were strangers in a sea of familiar faces, from her age he guessed her to be his junior although he was stunned to know he didn’t know her. Being based outside the outskirts of the city beyond the small town of Shimla, their academy was relatively small where everyone knew everyone making privacy an alien concept. He was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to fill the gaps and converse, to get to know someone from the scratch. He continued,

“Life is a riot of emotions where I ended up drifting from one shore to another gliding with a gamut of ideas only to realize, life is blue. I love the colour blue; to me it means abundance, loyalty and prosperity. However, I learnt it carries within itself a sense of trust," saying this he paused for a while, not knowing how to put to words his feelings. Feelings that were buried in deep. It was strange that she didn't try to fill the silence with words, but continued to wait. Wait patiently until he began speaking again, " Trust that once gained should not be dwindled but multiplied like prosperity. It is hard for me to open up to people, let alone trust and yet here I am on lazy winter afternoon being open to a stranger.”  

She settled herself in the chair opposite to his and ruminated his words for a long time. Brooding over what he said, trying to organize her incoherent thoughts. Unlike him she was an extrovert or so she thought, until she shifted locations and settled in this tranquil place as opposed to the fast paced city life she was used to. Contrary to him it was appreciation and admiration that she craved.

“All throughout my life blue was a source of serenity but with the passage of time gloom has started taking its place. People drift away, leaving memories. It's not their fault it's just the way it all works nonetheless certain reliance fades. Trust and trustworthy, do you suppose they are mutually exclusive events despite originating from the same source?”

“Nostalgia can be a gnawing ache hard to let go”, he returned his gaze to the now dark skies pondering.

He resumed a few minutes later, “How can one be trustworthy if one doesn’t believe in the concept of trust? Trust is like a secure blanket that surrounds us in a place that we consider our safe haven whereas trustworthy is assuming someone to not break our trust, our cocoon and guiding us.”

 A non committal shrug was her only acknowledgment to his response.

She was feeling stupid as if a layer of her had peeled off with just one random conversation. She stood up abruptly brushing the non-existent lint on her jacket; she spoke in a hopeful yet guarded voice “I’ve always desired a friend with whom I could revel in quiet companionship, until now I didn’t think my wish would be granted. I liked this time we spent together in soft solitude Yasin”, said she his name gleaming from the head boy batch pinned on his chest proudly.

He gave her a genuine smile, as she introduced herself as Ayah and they walked their separate ways.



-Fatima

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Phantasm




Icy winds sailing through

Seeping into
my very bones,

Cut open,
my soul

Howling now they pass
From me towards you.

....

Afloat you lay,
Drenching in the frosty rain

Tearing like the red sea,
Feeling the raw pain

Spurting water
Gasping for air,

Bleak eyes gazing with solace.

...

Shivering
Teeth clenched

I wake up from the daze,
Chilling the rolling fears

Wrapped in a soothing caress
The fog slowly drifts away

Awaiting warmth
I lie with you in December days.

-Fatima

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One Step At a Time

Dear Student,

"To be a part of a child's life and celebrate his every little success forms the greatest moments of any teacher's life."

There are days, more like moments when you are downright confused, messy and in a haze of a crazy spiral mess. The more you share the more varied views or advice you receive. And if, you are not completely sane and in one of those moods it affects you the most, dampening your mood and spoiling your day. It's not just you whose affected but the people you hang out with; your colleagues and if you're a teacher the worst hit party are your students. They bear the brunt of your mood swings. But is it right or is it mental? It would be unwise to say, you're correct and blame your students for everything, "Hey I was stressed out and you added to it" or "It's all your fault, kids these days I tell you no respect for elders or teachers." et al. I mean it's easy to jot down excuses and blame others, why do we not look at our faults? It could have been us and not them.

From the past one week or so, I've been listening to this; "You're too friendly or you care too much. It's okay to care for your friends and family. But there is a line between a student and a teacher. You shouldn't be friendly with them, at least not outside the class and blah blah." End of story what all that yielded was;
1. Not to be friendly to students.
2. Only be strict.
3. Do Not Care, there's a line that divides you.

I freaked up, big time. On one hand I've had some exceptionally awesome teachers, who went on caring for us like we were their own kids. And the best part was, they loved us; loved me, were friendly & caring, heard us out even if they couldn't help us and always, always gave us advice; not the bookish one but of their own experiences. And I realize we respected them, still do and even remember them, are in touch with them, if not all some. They taught well, maybe they weren't perfectionist, no one is or maybe they were. But they respected us, us students. And looking back now, I don't remember how they taught me or if, they ever made a goof-up in class, what I do clearly remember is, how they made me feel. Heck, they didn't even lose hope in me when I and my so-called friends thought I was a lost cause. After all, all we need is a bit of love, hope & lots of faith.

And today I finally took the courage to ask my mum, "Hey what kind of a teacher were you?" And you know what she told me? "I was friendly, caring; I was new obviously so it was not a cake walk everyone is at one point but I maintained good relations both in and out of class. Experience and perfection in teaching comes with time, when delivering a lecture. But friendliness it should be there from the start. And what you need to have is patience, lots of patience."

This reminds me I read somewhere, "It doesn't matter if your student is 5 years younger to you or 15, he or she is your student & if you treat them well, they will treat you well, and respect you." After all to gain respect & friends one should be the same. You get what you give.

There will be hundred's of people who will advice you, but only ten will truly do and mean it. So today, my confusion has resolved and I'm sorry for being mean and selfish and for being angry when there was no need, anger is never the solution. I love you guys and that's it. I've loved every single student of mine that I've taught till date and In shaa Allah will do in future too.

And an ending quote, "The best thing about being a teacher is that as they grow, we grow with them."

-love, Fatima


P.S: The opening and closing quotes of this letter are from, Make A Difference page couldn't help but share.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Solitary Solitude


















Walking through the woods
I sometimes feel so alone
A void engulfs and the air stills
With none but just the sound of my boots.

Trodding the barren road
I cross a shallow stream
Submerging grief and kindling dreams
Listening to the sloshing sound of my bare feet.

Strolling a bit further down
I reach the end of the narrow trailing route
Pondering, the silence slowly flows
Hearkening to the whooshing hush of my sitting knees.

Reaching the cold rock lastly
Towards the untouched horizon, I see
Watching the sky mesh in shades and hues
As I lay down to rest awaiting a day anew.

-Fatima

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Betwixt


Dark night with cool air
And there she lies with void bare..

Lonely and muddled as midnight moon
She shies away in the starry gloom..

What is it that numbs the pain
She searches the antidote now blase.. 

Spring summer autumn and snow
She welcomes them all, all the same..

Longing hoping for moments unknown 
She wishes for warmth in the passing rains..


-Fatima