The Battle

The devil in my mind gives a hiss,
It says just give this battle a miss.

I turn to God and ask, "why choose me?"
HE replies, "The strongest warrior fights, hence I chose thee!"

For each time there are 2 battles which we fight;
One in our minds, and the other which tests our might.

So, yes it is these battles which helps one grow,
They teach us how to handle whatever life will throw!

So instead of questioning, let's accept them with grace,
Look within yourself - you have the strength to conquer and find solace.

Whenever we are faced with a difficult situation in life, we have to wrap our heads around its degree of severity first. And then our physical self gets into action. In essence it is a battle within a battle. 

This is a dedication to my sister Hena who valiantly fought her battles and exited gracefully. You will always be missed 😦

Illustration by Kishor Mistry. Thank you

Jannat

It is about 5.30 in the evening. I sit in the balcony of our house which overlooks the main road, reading a work of fiction by my favourite author.

The sun by now is mellow enough and I bask in its soft illumination as it starts setting in the horizon on my far left. The light is perfect; neither too harsh and neither too dark and hence I know I can continue reading for at least another half an hour to 45 minutes in this light.

In between the reading, I cast my glance at the traffic on the road in front and below me. 2 -wheelers are rushing by, some of them honking un-necessarily even if the road ahead of them is clear. A delivery guy in his ubiquitous orange t-shirt worn over a dark full sleeve shirt, zigzags past a couple of cars aware that a hungry customer waiting for the order might just get impatient and call him anytime.

SUV’s of varying sizes, in all their masculine grandeur and shiny metallic hues roar past the smaller vehicles, as if courtesy their bigger size they have the right to own a greater share of the road!

One of them as large and menacing as a shark, glides through the traffic threatening to devour anything which comes in its way. It is a millionaire’s toy and the setting sun’s golden rays hits its gleaming white exterior, reflecting off in admiration.

Every time a vehicle zooms past the median which divides the road equally into 2 halves, like a ridge slicing an apple fruit at its middle, the bougainvillea plants growing within the median rustle and move in the blast of the air which hits them.

Away from this mad rush on the black tarred road, a masked, middle-aged man in knee length shorts walks on the red coloured, weather-coated pavement meant for cyclists. With him is his fierce looking Alsatian dog whom he has taken out for a stroll.

Though the master seems intent on completing his walk on time, the dog is more relaxed. It is wagging its tail and even stops for a brief moment to bark at a street dog, who in its rough, dirt brown coat and lean frame, looks like a poor cousin of the well-groomed and well-fed Alsatian!

Overtaking both man and beast easily is a lady out on her evening run. She checks the smart watch on her wrist to make sure all parameters of her exercise schedule are on track. Clad in a loose, dark blue sweatshirt and a black figure-hugging track suit, her stylish sneakers pound the red gravel as she is completely focussed on her run.

Maybe she is not aware that watching from a short distance away, seated in a privileged balcony chair is me. From my vantage position I soak in all these sights and sounds as I realise, that from the fast-moving vehicles to the jogging lady and to the evening walker, each of us are in our own mode of motion.

I am like a mute spectator, stationary but moving in my thoughts. How perfect is this set-up, I think to myself! My book of fiction transports me to a different world altogether but right here is the real world which is alive, vibrant and ticking over like the clock.

People are going about completing their tasks, running errands and meeting deadlines. But for me this hour brings in lot of peace and relaxation. As if to prove my point further, I lift my left leg and fold it comfortably on the wicker armchair. This relaxes me even further.

I lift my teacup and take a sip of the hot green beverage embellished with ginger and tulsi leaves. The feeling of utopia is complete.

Surely heaven will be like this! Just the thought of being so much at peace with myself and my surroundings is pure bliss. My heart beats softly, in even rhythmic beats and I take in a deep breath.

A sense of calmness pervades my entire being.

Over time, I have understood that every day brings me such moments which makes me realize that on Earth itself, I am in Jannat*. One other such moment is when I wake up in the morning but continue to lie down on the bed for few additional minutes, well aware that the moment I get up, the day will start and keep me busy with its myriad activities.

Jannat – An Urdu word meaning ‘paradise’ or ‘heaven’.

Yet those 10 minutes in bed, lying with eyes closed but fully conscious that I am not expected to do anything at all, is simply heavenly!

After all, as the popular saying goes -What if we die and meet God and HE asks, “So, how was heaven?”

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com 

Dear Reader,

Do you have any such moment(s) during the day when you feel lot of peace and bliss? A feeling that perhaps comes closest to being described heavenly?

If yes, please do share your thoughts below!

The Black Stockings

They stretch lazily from the tip of your toes, through the angle of the ankle, caressing your legs gently all the way up to your knees and ending somewhere beyond where the mind’s eye is loath to wander.

Their black colour is the colour of night. They lovingly wrap around the white glow of your skin, as if distilled moonlight has been enclosed by the night sky.

They were just an opaque pair of stockings in the shop where you purchased them from. To be worn by any random shopper.

However on you they take on a different form. As if alive!

They glide across your legs without a wrinkle like second skin until they stretch languidly and disappear under the edges of the short black skirt you are wearing.

At the other end, the stockings dip and end inside the pointed high heeled shoes you wear. Needless to say they too are black in colour completing the head to toe coal black look.

It is bewitching.

Silk of fabric meets silk of skin and together they create a sensuous effect. You cross your legs and sit alone on a bench striking an elegant pose.

You look gorgeous!

In my mind, I have already walked a thousand miles and stop to soak in this mesmerising sight. I sit down on the bench next to you and look into those beautiful eyes which reflect the image of the person who loves you intensely.

I end up kissing your lips to start a flame,
As if a black magic spell has been cast in my name!


An awesome attire can change the entire game,
For igniting my crazy feelings - your black stockings are to blame!

‘The Black Stockings’ Illustration by ishanixart.

(Main Insta – whozzishani) A talented NIFTian. Thank you so much Ishani 🙂

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com

The Kiss

What is romance without a kiss?
Each time the word brings a smile to my lips!
You see it is a subject close to my heart,
For a kiss is not just science, but an art.

If you have ever been a lover,
You can vouch for its fervour!
A kiss is so heavenly, so divine,
When lips meet, they intoxicate more than wine!

It is the beginning of something so intimate,
To pleasures of mind and body it opens the gate.
If the windows to the soul are your eyes,
A kiss is the door to passion, say the wise!

For a woman a kiss is full of emotion,
For a guy it is like magic potion!
When both meet, sparks are bound to fly
The euphoria it gives, is hard to deny! 

So kick start that dopamine in your brain,
Make it sweet like sugar in the sugarcane.
Lock your lips even if it is Lockdown,
Bring on the smile and remove the frown!


Hold your beloved's hands and soak in the bliss,
Just close your eyes and plant that kiss.
Forget time; let your lips do the talking,
I say kissing keeps you high & totally rocking!!


‘Trees of Heart’ Illustration by expert_spork. You Rock !!

(Main Insta – whozzishani) A multi talented NIFTian. Thank you so much Ishani 🙂

Copyright © 2020 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author.For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com 

The Breeze

“Are you feeling good?” It asked. I gave my nod of affirmation.

“Am I cool?” It probed further. I smiled and said yes.

“How come I can feel you, yet you remain unseen?” It was my turn to ask a question.

“Perhaps I am a Lite version of God.”

Saying this, it nudged the clouds out of my sight and ruffled the tall grass to my right.

And then it ceased as suddenly as it had sprung up.

Maybe that is how even life is.

Copyright © 2020 Wasim Jawaid

This work written from personal experiences by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com 

The Road Not Taken

BY ROBERT FROST

The Road Not Taken” a poem by Robert Frost was published in 1916. It was inspired by the many walks he took in the English countryside along with fellow writer Edward Thomas.

Since my school days It’s been one of my favourite literary works in the realm of Nature. So, I thought why not reproduce the original with pictures of Odisha’s very own hill station – Daringbadi?

The place is renowned for it’s rich natural beauty. It has been named after a British officer Mr. Daring Saheb who was in charge of this quaint town (Badi means village) located in Kandhmal district of our State.

So presenting Robert Frost’s timeless work with an Odisha twist!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(All pictures clicked by NIFTian – Anandhu who goes by his Insta ID _skirllex. Thank You! Your pictures are so captivating and rich in emotions !!)