Monday, January 11, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ ANJUM WASIM DAR

Today, my friends, we are pleased to be featuring the poet Anjum  Wasim Dar, who blogs at Poetic Oceans. We interviewed Anjum in 2014, should you care to learn more about her. Anjum lives in Pakistan, and her poems frequently contain prayers for peace.





Sherry: Anjum, I’m so happy to be talking with you again. What’s new in your life since our interview in 2014?  Give us a snapshot of your life today, won’t you?

Anjum: Dear Sherry,  ‘Change is the Law of Nature’ and so a great change of Place for me, a new city, as we said Goodbye to Rawalpindi, left our  small house full of sweet memories of family life, and are now living in a small town, Banni Gala, a few miles North of Islamabad. The weather is cool and the place is quiet and peaceful.  Just the ideal environment for creative writing.

The Grandkids are growing up fast, so it seems. With two grandsons, the communication is on Skype, as my elder daughter lives in United Arab Emirates.....a great change again…the younger ones keep visiting and, with them, I become their team mate for  a bit of cricket with the boys and art and knitting with the girl. So much love and ‘childhood return’ makes me cry at times. Allah is most gracious.


This photo was taken on our Eid Day ~ a Day of Thanks Giving 
after the Holy Month of Ramazan is over.

Sherry: It sounds wonderful, Anjum. Are you happy with how your writing has developed over the past year?  You have two books out – any plans for another?

Anjum: Yes, by the Grace of  The Almighty, I achieved the target of 50,000 words in November. The NANOWRIMO 2015. My Novel was based on my life in my adopted  hometown, in the frontier Province of Pakistan…My Father always loved the place, as it reminded him and all of us of our real home in Kashmir, still under Indian control… http://nanowrimo.org/participants/anjum-wasim-dar/novels/abbottabad-a-hill-station-that-was .

Sherry: Congratulations on completing such a huge project in such a short period of time, Anjum.

Anjum: This year, a page I wrote about Abbottabad was published by www.writing.ie  in their ‘Tell Your Own Story’  http://www.writing.ie/tell-your-own-story/a-hill-station-that-was-by-anjum-wasim-dar/ .  This motivated me and gave me a lead in to planning a long story of the time I spent with my parents,  the best  time of my teenage years…and so it became the ‘Memories of the Haunted Bungalow -12 Kakul Road’.



Sherry: It sounds intriguing, Anjum. Your family has lived a most interesting life. I can tell from your writing that the unrest in your beautiful country pains you deeply.  Would you like to tell us a bit about this?

Anjum: Yes, sure, Sherry.  I think our planet Earth is suffering from deep wounds.  Wars have been fought since time immemorial, but the tragedy is that ‘peace prevails,  but not for long’. My country  was born when people were killed on a massive scale. My family crossed the Kashmir borders in separate convoys, and reached safer grounds in the new land named Pakistan. We had a Ten Year peaceful time, but again under  army rule. It is called The Decade of Progress. Whether it was or not, at least there were no bomb threats or the war of terrorism. I hope and pray that this war comes to an end and fear goes away for good everywhere in the world, amen.

Sherry: Oh, Anjum, we join you in that prayer with all our hearts. Are you still painting?

Anjum: No, Sherry, nothing new in this field, as I had to finish knitting projects promised for my grand kids. No new additions to the loving foursome at the moment.

There has been more photographic activity; my camera pulls me to capture the  stunning Beauty of Nature, which strengthens my Faith and promotes my Hope for Peace, and  inspires the soul and spirit to write. But Ah, yes, a writing success  for Grandma…an edited version, reduced to the required 300 words made it to the Winner’s List at ... http://intergenerationmonth.org/story_winners2015.html  ‘Take Her Home,Lady’ and  Alhamdolilah. A cheque of 100$ arrived in the mail…a special gift ..at a time of miracles….Winning stories will be published online shortly.

Sherry: Congratulations on those accomplishments! Yay!

  

                          Views of Banni Gala, Islamabad

  
Sherry: Let’s look at your poetry, Anjum, shall we?

Anjum: Yes, Sherry,  I would love to share a poem I wrote during my short but historical stay at Nottingham,  in England, in the year 2003. I experienced three  events which  felt as if I was inside a big history book.

One was the Guy Fawkes Day, with fireworks, and, incidentally, it was the last one, then Halloween, I opened the door to a group of children and gave them some coins as ‘Treat’…wow, it was amazing…then came Christmas Time and again it was like a dream…the lights, the decorated trees, the festive look … Here are the lines I wrote…. 
       
Christmas Time, Christmas Time and Prayers

Prayers for peace, a peaceful refuge,
Welcome Light, with lights on trees,
Green and white, in coloured deluge;
Décor delight diversity diverted;
All hope one, all call one, All pray one;
Life to begin, or life , to cease?
Christmas Time, Healing Time and tremors,
Tremors of blasts, killing blasts,
Farewell Love, with flags on caskets
Red and Blue, in deathly solitude,
Sacred silence spirit severed;
All around flowers, all fresh now
All withered now, none in baskets;
Christmas Time Christmas Time and Salvation
Salvation, for every nation?
Salvation Eternal, end of turmoil in blood and sand,
Crimson and cream,
 a moaning scream, a shattered dream?
One for one, each kills one, one by one, till none is none.
Christmas Time, Christmas Time and Love;
Love for All, a Tolerant Love,
With Gifts garlands and Gatherings,
Silver and Gold, Young and Old,
the Brave and the Bold,
Weak and Strong, the Fighters for Freedom
for the World;
All with Love, All at Home,
None at WAR, Glad Tidings for All.
Amen .Amen .Amen.


Sherry: You have captured so well the longing for peace, which is especially strong at this time of year. This is a beautiful prayer for peace, Anjum.

Anjum: The second one I wish to share if from the year 2008.  Scenes of severely injured people, carried away helplessly, some lying on the ground, bleeding, screaming, collapsing, crying for help,  have left a deep impact on us as a nation. It is the Minister of Death,  a harsh reality, the truth that each one must accept,  for some it is peaceful, but - but  now so many die in one blast, so openly ,  so cruelly and  so suddenly?


Why time stops still
and the killer finds the kill
so suddenly coming?
why sharp is the strike
cutting like a knife
leaving us crying and bleeding?
why common places are becoming Senlac?
why life is like a race track?
who is fighting for what and for what winning?
Was this the lesson of our Lord so Loving?
why we dig but graves to fill?
OH People why don't you
see Proud Lucifer smiling
On top of the High Hill?
My heart with fear trembling
cannot for a moment be calm and still
hearing shattering glass and sirens shrill
Another blast another attack-
why Death is burning and black?


Sherry: You paint the scene so clearly, we can see it, Anjum, hear the cries of the people. We live in difficult times.

Anjum: With the third poem,  I wish to Honor You and All at POETS UNITED…It is an excerpt from one of my long stories..’Adventures of the Multi Colored Lead People’, a story of pencils by pencils and for the pencils. In Honor of All the Great Poets and Writers:

A  thought struck me:  Why not try to write my own song? I am born to be, meant to be, designed to be a writer! I must describe and decorate my own self soul with my own abilities. I should not wait for someone else to trace flowers for me. It is like saying to discover your own pencil self.  So I wrote a special song and I present it to you today :

How can I deny, O Dear Pencil
Without you I cannot reply

I look for you all the time
I hold you to even draw a line
I move you to form new words
I keep you and hold you close
I smile to myself when I see you lie
And if I ever lose you I cry,
O My Pencil
Without you I cannot reply.
O The writing and the written world
you  gracefully elegantly unfold
Making it possible for all tales untold
To see the myths legends fables of old
And the note the words of gold
In silver bronze embossed or bold
You make me feel warm in the cold
I buy to keep, you cannot be sold


Sherry: Anjum, how lovely, that you wrote a poem for us! Thank you so much! You remind me of Malala saying “One girl, one pen, one book, can change the world.” Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Anjum: Dearest  Amazing Wonderful  so Heavenly Inspiring  POETS UNITED , May The Almighty Bless you All with His Choicest Gifts: Peace, Pure Ever shining Light,  Best of Health  and Happiness  and may All the Good Dreams come true amen. May Joy be with you as You All Celebrate.  Wishing you a  Peaceful Peaceful Happy New Year …sincerely.

Thanking You All …from the depths of my heart…

Please accept my deep gratitude for another great  opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings  and supporting me my people and my country at this difficult time…you are a strong pillar of courage and inspiration. May Allah bring the Best of Everything  in you world for you amen amen amen.

Sherry: And a peaceful new year to you and your beloved Pakistan as well, Anjum. Thank you for this lovely visit, and your warm words. Happy writing all through 2016!

Another passionate pilgrim for peace, my friends, adding her voice to the conversation. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


29 comments:

  1. What a treat Sherry to meet Anjum and to read some of her fabulous poetry. I agree a beautiful voice of peace!

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  2. Wow, Anjum, I love your new portrait and the passion with which you speak. You not only see peace but also the Lucifer on the hill and our life rafts--the pencils or pens that we need to exist in this crazy world! I feel like I only see you on Facebook these days, but I know that when you tackle a huge work of prose like you did, everything else gets put on hold. Congratulations. And I am looking forward to reading ‘Take Her Home,Lady’ when it is published. (Thanks, Sherry, for another fine update!)

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    1. Dear Dr Susan Thank you so much for your inspiring encouraging and kind thoughts.It is a great honor to be sharing the amazing world of poetry with you and all the talented writers.You are and have been in my thoughts and prayers. A family get together in Karachi kept us away,and recently I have been offered a teaching job by a local school which is preparing to launch the IB Diploma Course program by the end of May 2016.I am sure you will enjoy the short story, the win' was a pleasant surprise.Allah is most gracious.

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  3. I am inspired by your dedication, Anjum, in tackling and completing such huge projects. I will think of all you accomplished in tackling my own writing projects this year. Thanks for allowing us this chance to catch up with you. And for your strong voice for peace on the planet.

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    1. Dear Sherry This opportunity for me is a miracle and a great blessing, a new life as a writer.It is your high inspiration the devotion dedication and love and of All at Poets United that has continuously motivated me to keep writing. I thank you all from the depths of my heart.May All be blessed with Peace Joy happiness and Good health.amen.

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    2. Thank you, my friend. We are very happy you are among us, and encourage you to keep writing, no matter how busy life gets! Thank you for your generous and kind good wishes to all at Poets United.

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  4. Passionate, heartfelt poetry..always wonderful to read! Great interview Sherry, as always.

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  5. What an interesting and enlightening interview - thank you both. I love the contrast in the poems shown here and the parting poem - it is always good to hear the story of the writer and their pencil.

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    1. Thank you Jae, my life is like 'pencils to the left of me, pencils to the right of me' 'pencils with me'they give the feeling of 'security guards'...Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  6. nice blog
    thanks for Introduce
    imagtalks.blogspot.com

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  7. The quest for peace often is found through a different lens. Thank you for your perspective of the journey. I think when we view nature we find peace in the quiet moments of reflection.

    Oh and may that muse always hold that pencil near to the heart!

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  8. What a beautifully rich interview this is, Sherry and Anjum! Congratulations on completing your novel and winning a short story prize! And indeed, may peace move forward in 2016! Thank you both for this fascinating read.

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    1. Dear Mary Thank you so much for your kind appreciation.It is an honor to be with you and all at Poets United.

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  9. I loved the interview, thank you Sherry and Anjum. It is perfect, so much horror all around, and still one dreams of peace...becautiful poems! Sweet '16!

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    1. Thank you Annell.May peace be with you always.amen.

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  10. So many dear poets Anjum being one of them. So thankful for your beautiful, hopeful words. May 2016 be a year where we pick up our pens for peace.

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    1. Dear Leslie Amen for peace. Thank you, for your most kind appreciative thoughts and words.May peace prevail everywhere.

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    2. Peace is the theme here at Poets United, in the months leading in to Christmas and now in the new year. With all that is going on, I know it is a subject dear to all our hearts.

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  11. Awesome! Happy new year

    http://shilpachandrasekheran.blogspot.in/?m=1

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  12. Sherry, thanks for the interview with Anjum, a peace-loving and compassionate poet. i truly loved the poem she wrote and dedicated to the community. :)

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  13. Thanks for the wonderful interview, sherry! Let there be peace between factions and religions; and peace between nations. Since hatred is created in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that peace must be constructed. Healing must begin...suffering in a cycle of violence and madness must end! Amen to that, Anjum....!Lovely poems, Anjum.

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    1. Thank you may peace be with you amen

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    2. Thank you may peace be with you amen

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