Daddy’s Promises Left Unsaid

Today is 23rd July, 2013. It is Er. Shakeel Ahmad Salman’s 18th death anniversary today. He died in the year 1995, the year I was born. He was 35 when he was killed. I wont reveal the circumstances of his death since we live in a disputed area and I dont want to end up in jail for that. So on his death anniversary, I would like to remember him and tell you what he really was. How much his death affected our family. How much we all miss him and even after 18 years, we still feel his absence.

He was my maternal Uncle. Even though I never got the chance to meet him, I have the deepest regard, love and respect for him. That is because my mother who was quite attached to him used to tell me about him. She remembers almost everything that she shared with him. He was called as ‘shakujaan’ at home. He was an electrical engineer from REC, srinagar (now known as NIT-srinagar). He was quite accomplished in his job and was on his way to a higher success had fate not intervened.

The best part about all this was that my dad, Dr. Naseer Ahmad Laway was Shakujan’s best friend since college. I am not sure if they were together in school or not but they became best of chums in college. Then dad was married to mum and their friendship flourished. 

The photo below is of Shakujan (left) and my dad (right) and was taken on 22nd July, 1995. This is the last how Shakujan looked before he died. 


Shakujan was an obedient son, a supportive brother, an amazing father. But the tragedy struck on this day, 18 years ago when he was killed and all his endeavors were left unfulfilled. When he died, he left behind a young wife and four kids. The youngest were twins and they had just turned two. I was 3 months old. It was the first and the hardest blow to my family. We never talk about it but we all know how much better it wouldve been if he’d been alive to see his kids grow up to become such fine, young people. It is sad he never got to buy them their 18th birthday present. He couldnt be there for their first bicycle ride. He couldnt be there when his son first learned to drive. He couldnt be there when they graduated from college. He couldnt see his twins starting their school. He missed it all and we were forced to do it all without him.  


We all miss you and its still not enough

The longing for you, the pain of your absence

It was cruel and it was a tragedy 

Something which is hard to live with 

Time only shows us how much we missed 

How much we lost, how much we couldve gained

By your love, with your support 

We all miss you, even after all this time

We really do!



Hard To Say The Final Goodbye

Seeing you getting old, seeing the sparkle diminish from your eyes
The dark truth lying at the horizon, looming forth with the speed of light
Years passing in a rush, trying to hold on to seconds
Dreading the moment when you give up
Throw this life in our faces and go
Leave me alone and alone here to mourn
Not caring if I still needed you, nor believing if I told you
You had a mind of your own, a spirit of the moon taken on loan
Seeing you getting old day by day
Getting weak, getting feeble, getting in the way
We battle with eyes, to stay or not to stay
Mine reflecting plea, yours determined
You wont bend, neither will I
Not prepared to say the final goodbye
I refuse to accept that you are old
For me you will be the same forever,
For I am too weak to let you go
As life leaves your body, with a speed so deadly yet slow.



Let it slip, let the water slide
Beneath, above, around, beyond
Feel the silky touch, the gentle caress
Feel the ripples, the waves
Feel that stinging in your lungs
The gulping of the huge quantity
Let it twist, let it drag
Around and around and around.
No one to haul, no one to rescue
All blue, all dark
Just the harsh tug of the currents
Dragging you to the depths
Tied to the weight of your sorrows, you drown
Down to the deep, into the abyss
On and on, a bottomless pit
Thats how you drown, thats how you end.

The Tale Of Three Brothers 3/4

Cadmus Peverell

Cadmus, the second Peverell, a man naive enough
Had once loved a girl
A beauty very famous in his county
Was on the brink of marrying her
But before that, Death had claimed her
Turned bitter, he had gone mad with grief
Without her he had no life, no relief
Being in possession of the resurrection stone
A gift from death itself!
He wanted her back and so he set off
He travelled back to his home, where he turned the stone thrice in his hand
And Lo! There she was, in her elegance and beauty
His heart leaped with joy and he rejoiced!
He had got back his beloved, his bride!
But something was not quite right
He wanted to touch her, wanted to feel her
To know she was real
But she seemed sad and cold
And no matter how much he tried to touch, to hold
It wasnt enough
For days he watched her, for nights he longed for her
Driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself
So as to truly join his love!
Then came the Death with his wicked smile
More sinister than the most
Proved that he was more cunning
As evil as ever, took the second brother for his own!

Shifa Naseer

The Tale Of Three Brothers 2/4

Antioch Peverell

Antioch, the first Peverell, Master of the Elder Wand
A man filled with the lust to empower, to defeat
Travelled far, savouring the power, the leash!
He, who favored revenge and deceit,
Sought out the one with whom he had a tiff
Battled with him, as fierce as the wind on a high cliff
With Elder Wand as a weapon, he won the duel and slayed him
Later boasted of his victory, while drunk with power and gin
He went to some local Inn 
Revealed the secret of his wand,
As he wanted to be flattered and fawned
Ah! Such a silly mistake, a foolish deed!
Proved to be unworthy of his wand, indeed!
The same night, at midnight
As he lay, drunk and dead to the world
Some thief stole his wand and slit his throat!
And so the Death, with its wicked smile
Rubbing his hands together in sheer spite
Took the first brother for his own
As it was foretold and had ever since been known!

Shifa Naseer

Departed Soul

Lying, face down, towards the rugged, coarse ground
Enveloped in my miseries as I lay
Erasing all signs of sanity, all pale like the coarse sand below
I recall, I remember, I bring it all forth
My pain, my loss, my salvation
The cause for my exile, the root of my shreds
The day when the foundation shook
When my heart took leave and ran off
To the desert, into the unknown.
Empty me with an empty chest
I grieved for the snatched soul, for my shattered hope which could never be whole
That day my exile began
And I continue with my punishment
I continue to tread on thorns
I burn the soles of my feet
I walk the road of fire
Carrying my miserable self forward
My misery, my companion
We all mourn the deaths, the departed souls.

Shifa Naseer

SKIMS, Soura

The hustle and bustle of the hospitals is the same as a super market. But the main difference is that joy is replaced by worries, smiles replaced by frowns, food replaced by medicines. Rest all is same. People walking with hurried pace, back bent low with tension, carrying their appointment cards, whispering words of prayers.
Patients being wheeled away to different departments.
Amongst all this chaotic atmosphere, an old lady in typical kashmiri attire was sitting on a wheelchair. She was looking at nothing in particular.
Her eyes were vacant. Her lips were dry which she kept on licking in order to moisten them. She had a bundle of blankets in her lap. She kept staring at something. She had a crease of worry etched on her forehead which didnt lessen at all, not even when a nurse came and wheeled her away.

Rounding a corner, a man was puking water continuously. A younger lady, most probably her daughter since she was quite young, held his head as he vomited on the floor.

Rounding yet another corner, another lady was being wheeled by two men, could be her sons. She was middle aged, judging by her looks. She had a drip attached to her left arm. It was purple there. -_-

This particular hospital has a very depressing atmosphere. The clean floors, the white marble, the white walls do nothing but depress a person more.
Death lurks in every nook and corner of the hospital. It is scary. The labyrinth of corridors and lobbies. A maze. A depressing place. No one smiled. Not one.


Shifa Naseer

This Might Be It

I wait for the final verdict
I chase the passing seconds
Urging the time to flow smooth
Uneven breathing, so shallow, so low
Fear gripping my heart as I choose to ignore
The inevitable fate that awaits
I know in my heart
The truth is being served hot
That this might be it
That this might be the end
Of my joys and my sorrows
Of my destiny and my fate
The pages blank as the story ends
Looking death in its face
As I brace myself to embrace
The truth, the lies, the dark and the light.


Shifa Naseer

The Aura

Surrounded by the dark mist
Black and bold all around
With the greenish touch to the smog it brings
From dying hearts, it springs.
The aura.
Grabbing those who do not know
This shadow, this invisible foe
Gnawing at the souls, sucking life from the core.
Spreading wide, this mist, like tide
Leaving no place for the souls to hide
The feel, the setting gloom
Like death.
The mist, my home, my birth
I live in it, I breathe it in
I survive it, I die in it
I exist, I do not live
I smile, I do not reflect
Like monotonous.
The aura in my soul
The aura in my body
Seeping through.
Like a murder.

Shifa Naseer

Spooky Evening

Sitting on a bench, not far from me
A little girl of six or eight
Helping a worm in the ground to get free
Even though the night was descending
I sensed the feeling of withdrawal
But the girl only dipped her head more
To help the worm out
Wearing a blue jumper, her hair all long and pretty
Splayed out around her
Protecting her from the outside world
She sensed my gaze on her and looked at me
All the warmth drained from me
I shivered from the effect her gaze had on me
I couldnt let my eyes roam away from her
A picture of utmost vulnerability

Who was she?
Her eyes which said a thousand stories
An insight into her tiny heart
Busy helping the worm, digging with tiny hands
I closed my eyes to capture her to my mind
To let the picture remain
Of her help, her pain
The stars were out and it was late
I glanced at the ground again just to glimpse her long, shiny mane
But the ground was empty and the hole was dug
I looked around for her but I was alone
I sinked to my feet as I felt the chilly air
I crawled to the hole and looked inside
My name was there etched into mud
With the worm dead, crippled like a bud
I freaked out and ran away
As far as I could from the place
Pledging to never return at dusk
It was spooky for the girl was gone
And the worm was dead
But her passion he sensed
And his name she remembered.

spooky indeed
spooky indeed

Shifa Naseer

Dread Creeping Into My Heart

Slipping away with every tick of the clock
My peace, my hope of survival
Disappearing fast from my heart
Leaving behind a cold vacancy
Dread creeps in from my spine
And filters into my heart
Grasping every nerve with its deathly grip
My screams die in my throat
As I freeze there
Nothing left, not one ounce of hope in me
Hazy and shocked, I can barely see
Losing myself, my heart is now a stone
A hollow stone filled with dread
Of losing, of gaining
Of hearing, of saying
Of dying, of living.

Mirza Galib : King of Urdu Poetry

ye na thee hamaaree qismat ke
wisaal-e-yaar hota
agar aur jeete rehte yahee intezaar
tere waade par jiye ham to ye jaan
jhooT jaanaa
ke KHushee se mar na jaate agar ?
eitabaar hota

These are my favorite lines of Galib. These lines are so deep that it leaves one pondering forever. It is fit from a romantic point of view where a lover longs for his beloved. It may be fit in the religious sense too. A devotee calling out to his divinity. Each perspective is more enthralling and interesting than the other. Each idea reflected in these lines is beautifully displayed in the most mannered of languages: urdu.


Kahu kis se ki kya kiya hai
shabe gam buri bala hai
mujhe kya bura tha marna
gar ek baar hota

These lines touch the heart. In these lines, Galib has intricately displayed one’s emotions to which one can easily relate.

Galib was a renowned poet of his time. He still continues to rule urdu poetry filled with love and heartbreak.
Truely a legend : Mirza Galib.

Shifa Naseer