The Legend Of Corfe Castle Chapter 11: The Locked Potential

On a three-legged wooden stool, Rianna was sat with her back hunched and her face enclosed tightly inside her cupped hands. She was beginning to fade. The flicker of her birthing spark waning, as if it were a trophy diminishing in sheen with every passing of the clock hand.

The scuttling rustle of a black beetle in the corner woke her up from her sad thoughts and she sighed and leaned her head back against the decrepit, damp wall. Cold and lonely, the bustle of the beetle’s movements was a welcoming reminder that life beyond her own still existed outside this godforsaken place.

Nearly seventy and odd years had she seen of this cavernous cell, its rank corners odorous with foul stenches that wafted up from the other rooms below where Arcana kept her favourite monstrous specimens and on whose bodies she conducted the most heinous experiments and dissections. Sometimes unearthly screams could be heard from these neighbouring honeycombs of unseen evil, and on those nights for Rianna the comfort and solace of sleep was callously withheld from her.

She was a Muse which meant that food was never a concern. Indeed, she was created to feed the mind and heart of her Chosen One. Whilst lying on her makeshift bed – a mournful plateau constructed of flint – she would always fall back on thoughts about her Chosen One and the torturous emptiness that must have been inflicted on his soul throughout the course of his life, for she was the spark that never came, though he had waited and waited and waited until his last dying breath. Since their life forces were connected she knew that he no longer was a living part of this world, he had died a very long time ago and that she had failed him. She blamed herself for the tragedy because it was she that had become the gullible prey to Arcana’s false pleas for help, luring the once bright Muse to the castle and then locking her away in this boxed cell, an abyss of dark things whose door and walls were clamped down by ancient and dangerous incantations not even conquerable by The Crone and her allies.

She knew her time of end was drawing near. Sooner or later Arcana would initiate an escalation of her treacherous powers, exacting a mass holocaust of all Muses in the world and the shadow era would begin. A new world, whose mast would wave and flutter at the bidding of the grim reaper’s deathly shrieks and cries. She prayed and prayed every day and night, but it seemed that no one was there to hear her. Oh, how merciful it would be for her if someone could spare her this misery of witnessing the end of human creativity. She wished to fade away faster than she was already. Despondency had taken her completely and the huge weight of her hopelessness, tantamount to the rocks that surrounded her, was pulling her down to the centre of the earth. She slipped and fell off her stool and lay still on the dusty floor.

The scuttling beetle returned, however, and this time it came close to her and though its eyes could not be seen, Rianna felt them, and they were not mocking or devious. Instead, she was certain that this dot of an insect was trying to tell her something. Pressing down on the floor with her palms, she lifted her head and the world spun a little before she returned back to the room. The absurdity of what she did next did not perturb her, for she addressed the insect.

What is it, little one?” She spoke like the faint light of a star.

The beetle did not move at first, but then it turned around and paused. Its body was facing the miniscule window in front, the only remembrance Rianna had of the notion of day. The beetle shuffled towards the window and raised the front part of its body slightly higher, conveying to Rianna that she ought to come over and peer over. She was terribly weak, but from somewhere deep within she found that she could still muster enough strength to listen to the unspoken instructions of her multi-legged, midget friend.

Alright… I am coming”.

She got up on her feet and they wobbled a bit, so she quickly reached out her hand and placed it on the cold wall next to her to prevent herself from falling over. He throat, though parched and coarse, she swallowed hard, and there was an unusual tenseness in her gut, a feeling that she was not quite alone in all this. She had not sensed this before, only now.

She edged carefully forward. When she reached the window, her figure no less insubstantial as an apparition that had never seen the fertility of spring, and whose lamentable silhouette flanked on either side by two great sentinels of igneous dark plinths of stone mined from the roar of volcanoes that time had forgot, Rianna saw below was the teeming life of the village. But it was not somehow the same scene she had observed for all these years, for she could feel a blazing surety that there was something anew.

It was Hope.

She was more enlivened than ever and with her tired eyes she combed over the panorama of the landscape, trawling unceasingly through the fanfare of people and tents and trees for something that would vindicate her belief.

She had yet to see them but knew this much already, for everything in her told her so, assuredly, that something amazing was afoot, and that one of them had an old carpet bag – a beggar’s trinket that would change the course of history forever…

What happened next?  ♥♥♥      

 

The Legend Of Corfe Castle Chapter 11: The Locked Potential

“… She edged carefully forward. When she reached the window, her figure no less insubstantial as an apparition that had never seen the fertility of spring, and whose lamentable silhouette flanked on either side by two great sentinels of igneous dark plinths of stone mined from the roar of volcanoes that time had forgot…”

 

The Legend Of Corfe Castle Chapter 11: The Locked Potential

“… She was more enlivened than ever and with her tired eyes she combed over the panorama of the landscape, trawling unceasingly through the fanfare of people and tents and trees… She had yet to see them but knew this much already… that one of them had an old carpet bag – a beggar’s trinket that would change the course of history forever…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Oxford University Museum Of Natural History | Oxford University | Oxford | UK 2016
Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Corfe Castle Village | Wareham | Dorset | UK 2016

 

True Knowledge Is Like Visiting The Brightest Star: An Ode To Birmingham Library

Under squid-ink blackness of ceilings infinite and vast
Neon hoops of Light and bulbs twinkled in suits, a stellar cast
Floors umpteen and escalators galore filled that I saw
A Jedi Temple’s heart lay at its beating bookish core
Which one to pick, to read, my breath belligerently betrayed me
Listen to the Force I did, herein is my Destiny
My eyes at 37 closed and my feet began to take
Downstairs to the Children’s Zone where my eyes once more awake
There! On a wall above yellow brick-steps I saw the Home of a most beloved star
Ah, You wish to follow me, I think Your request not bizarre
Sirius welcomes all those sentenced to an eternal curiosity as mine
And to cross the line over please, all of You, get Yourselves in a line…

LINK TO LIBRARY SITE:  http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com/blog/News/aerialdronevideo

 

True Knowledge Is Like Visiting The Brightest Star

“Sirius welcomes all those sentenced to an eternal curiosity as mine
And to cross the line over please, all of You, get Yourselves in a line… “

 

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Birmingham Library | Birmingham | Midlands | UK 2015

 

To Mr Porter, The One Who Crossed The Lines To Carry Me

“Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do?
I want to go to Birmingham
And they’re taking me on to Crewe…?”

Fortune, small as it was, glistened on my side that dreadful, foggy, colonial winter’s night
For Mr Porter was The Fat Controller, a chap famously known to be polite!

“It’s alright my dear Hobbit girl, Her Majesty’s soldiers won’t find You here”
And pointed he did swiftly to a gap to blend in, to disappear

Jumperless and cold, skin shivered to whispers of ice
The Fat Controller pitied and he pulled out something nice

“Take this, my dear! Furry feet You have though nothing to wrap on top
This jumper to keep You warm until You reach Snow Hill Station’s stop.”

Holding his hand in mine, my frayed fingerless wool mittens
I thanked my friend with my eyes as endearing as a pair of kittens.

Looking out one last time, then hunched on cog-bones of metal
Sighed out to stars above, how I wished for tea and kettle

Chug-chug the coal-hearted lizard wrote along tracks into the seamless unknown
Over via-ducts of bricks, by new rivers, sidling dark forests groan

Peril at my heels but I sought hard to lean back to contemplate
A good thought to mind came about the nature of a Soulmate

For I bear a Ring of Power that to Snow Hill Station I must take
A folly’s errand, I would have failed, please at that make no mistake!

If it were not for God to appear as He did that colonial night of nights
Who carried not the Ring but the Ring Bearer herself so to reach my destined rights

He’s just a Porter to the world, no one seems to notice, or to him give any care
But to me he is my fatty Soulmate, who saw my Destination outweighed the fare

“Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do?
I want to go to Birmingham
And they’re taking me on to Crewe…?”

AFTERWORD: My Birmingham tribe are well versed in my eccentric interests, they have long ceased to question why I am the way I am or poke fun at the myriad passions I hold for things that traditionally do not fall into the remit of the mindset of an Asian lady. Steam locomotives of olden times are one such artefact, as You have come to know by now, and I suppose there cannot have been no more an affectionate a gesture my family of the Middle Lands could have made than to have organised a whole day of sightseeing at their city’s impressive ‘ThinktankScience Museum where a dedicated gallery exists on the subject of the golden era of travel! When I heard the news the ecstasy and delight overtook my little hobbity feet like an invasion of excitable ants and I demanded that we made haste, a single moment could not go to waste! I was yearning to be re-united with the wheels of the olden times!

It was there that my jaws crashed to the ground as I found myself stood in front of the massive black wheels of the former Great Western Railway’s glory, a preserved Castle Class Locomotive! I boarded the vessel and even, in my disorientating madness, stuck my head into the furnace where the coal used to be shovelled and chucked into by soot-faced servicemen! Before boarding off I noticed a wall of antiquated signs from Birmingham’s Snow Hill Station that had been preciously collected and preserved for display. One small section spoke about the hardships that were endured in the life of the railway porter, carrying the whole world on his back so to speak. I was immediately overwhelmed by the unifying thread that linked the responsibilities of the Porter of the real world with that of the mythic task once long ago assigned to an unassuming and little Hobbit of Middle Earth. Destiny manifested in the most beautiful of expressions, I smiled as like Frodo had done, peacefully and quietly, assured that I was never at any point abandoned to loneliness in my quest, there is another like I, a Visionary chap, and even at present I am not quite sure what he REALLY looks like in this lifetime… ♥

But to end for now, Ladies, Gentlemen & Children, I offer up this poem puffed out of my imagination and whose fare You have paid me satisfactorily by Your taking the time to read it. I trust You employed the Admiral telescope to inspect the written text on the wall… :)) :)) :))

The world follows my Words, yet in the end only ONE will persist to meet me
Always Your Loving Riddle,
Mazzy xxx

To Mr Porter 1

“Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do?
I want to go to Birmingham
And they’re taking me on to Crewe…?”

To Mr Porter 2

“… It’s alright my dear Hobbit girl, Her Majesty’s soldiers won’t find You here
And pointed he did swiftly to a gap to blend in, to disappear…”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Birmingham Thinktank Science Museum | Birmingham | Midlands | UK 2015

 

A Trip To Long Barn Lavender Farm With Agnes & Suzi!

As is the sparkling tenacity of the humble spider to thrust out glittering and webbed lifelines to create the opportunity of acquiring new fruits, so it is that I believe the natural world, with pristine elegance, flings its invisible webs onto me, tying onto and pulling in my beating heart towards it so that I may lose myself in the ceaseless bounties of its sensual wonders. Having parted from my car many, many years ago and in its stead choosing to walk, plus complimented with my love for gardening, I am an excitable witness to the extraordinary ballet of the changing seasons. Often jumping up and down with the sprightly eagerness of a little girl as I rush about to announce to everyone that I have spotted the delicate petals of the first white snowdrop flower, the hopeful symbol of the cessation of winter and the dawn humming of spring, I have always been fascinated by the connection I share with Mother Nature. How to tell You of the countless times of how the observation of the hoppy red-breasted robin or the deep crimson eyes of holly berries put a merry skip in my step, desperate to put into words of what was seen into my diary entry for the day, how could one ever be tired of the natural world?! Lambs being born, chestnuts swaying in crisp autumn air and the heady scent of bonfires in November, I cannot be kept away from the stunning drama that continuously weaves in front of me when I step out of my front door. Magic is never more than an arm’s length away, if only – yes, if only – You are acrobatic of mind and willing to believe in it.

To this end, I invite You to my latest short-as-a-short-biscuit adventure! Can You guess the loudness of the fanfare that shook my ears to a happy jelly when my friend, Suzi, told me that she was going to take me and our mutual mate, Agnes, down to the Long Barn Lavender Farm in Alresford for a snippy pampering break away from our busy lives! Indeed, I WAS IN SEVEN HEAVEN!!!

Traditionally renowned for its medicinal properties as a calming herbal sedative, aiding restful sleep and soothing the nerves of those feeling a tad bit frayed, Lavender is one of my favourite flowers in the botanical world and I am pleased to say that I grow two varieties in my own garden from which I concoct handmade lavender and camomile teas, a perfect brew to be enjoyed iced in the summer or as a steamy beverage for when the long, cold, winter nights draw in, a perfect tipple just before bedtime. Should You ever come and visit me in my house I promise to host You with these delicious specimens – and will even pop a hand-sewn tiny sachet of lavender flowers in Your pocket to invoke calmness in times of difficulty.

It is a mild and tranquil fragrance and a most beloved friend in the floral kingdom. When we arrived I could make out its pleasant scent even before my visual faculties had a chance to make contact, as if the soul of something sublime and mysterious and yet familiar had leapt out of its physical cage to greet me! Wreaths of heart-shaped bundles of the flower and wide fields of its purple canopies opened up its pages before me, a profoundly exotic impression. I grew its relative in modest amounts back home, but here on the farm it was different. A Mecca of swaying purple heads, each a little pupil of scent that vied for my attention. I was humbled, terribly and beautifully humbled.

That is exactly the reason why, with majestic application of discipline, I refused to photograph any of the lavender flowers. Photography cannot impart the ecstasy that binds the olfactory domain, it must be felt in person otherwise You risk losing its authenticity to an unfair demotion. All three of us simply breathed in the sweetness of the earthly-bound purple clouds and vibrantly chatted over lavender tea, conveniently stratified with moist rich raspberry and lemon drizzle cake whilst wistfully looking out over fields and fields of floral spells that surely, in such vast quantities, I imagined to have the power to enchant an eternal sleep of peace for whomsoever fell into her heavenly scented bosom.

HOWEVER, photography was not strictly dismissed!

Whilst I was at Long Barn my aura was drawn to the energies of a few intriguing features that I believe are strongly of relevance or correlation to my beloved Reader. There is one particular Reader I wish to dedicate this story to, whom I saw in my dream last night – he handed me a gift that was messily but lovingly wrapped in purple, it was followed by a warm and wholesome hug that saw me waking up this morning with a smile that tasted accurately of the beauties of all the four seasons. For You today, allow me to profuse Your tired and weary Soul with the healing needles of a treasured purple flower… :)) :)) :))

Your Eternal Seamstress Of Pen & Flowers,
Mazzy xxx

“Ask a sincere gardener the magical ingredients that lie behind the wonderful theatre of lushness and growth that sees seeds turn into flowers and they will speak of the basic potions of Light, water and food, but then will edge closer and touch Your arm and, in an assured whisper, reveal that those things simply lend height and girth; only Friendship, the truest and unweatherable kind, will add an impossibly incomprehensible depth of colour, the God-hand whom painters tirelessly seek…”   

“It is absurd a misconception that one needs muscles – sorry – mussels to ride my favourite wheel-eyed invention, and for those of You suffering an abominable ‘total black out’ at the mind’s horizon, may I ardently suggest that, like the quirky example I am, You ought to pack Your bags and go off trotting, though by that I do not mean shifting from country to country. To see in Orange Vision You must brave new worlds, some of the most perilous frontiers do not exist on maps, they perniciously inhabit within us…”

“It is absurd a misconception that one needs muscles – sorry – mussels to ride my favourite wheel-eyed invention, and for those of You suffering an abominable ‘total black out’ at the mind’s horizon, may I ardently suggest that, like the quirky example I am, You ought to pack Your bags and go off trotting, though by that I do not mean shifting from country to country. To see in Orange Vision You must brave new worlds, some of the most perilous frontiers do not exist on maps, they perniciously inhabit within us…”  

“Like the festive mistletoe under which a kiss wanted is a kiss granted, inside the farm’s wooden-beamed barn, I secretly smiled under the lightbulb and wished that my Soulmate could leap through space and time and meet me at this spot. Dear ‘Paddington’, should You be reading this know that we do not have to wait for Christmas to exchange a kiss, any light fixture would be happily obliging to act as an intermediary, a hanging ball of sweet Orange marmalade to watch us as we bind lips together…”

“Like the festive mistletoe under which a kiss wanted is a kiss granted, inside the farm’s wooden-beamed barn, I secretly smiled under the lightbulb and wished that my Soulmate could leap through space and time and meet me at this spot. Dear ‘Paddington’, should You be reading this know that we do not have to wait for Christmas to exchange a kiss, any light fixture would be happily obliging to act as an intermediary, a hanging ball of sweet Orange marmalade to watch us as we bind lips together…”  

“I bought two items from the barn shop: Scented candles are a staple property of the ambience of my home in the long winter months, I light them from early evening until bedtime, often writing by their Light and whenever my eyes catch sight of its thin wispy flame I am reminded, with poetic fluency, that even in the most impenetrable depth of night, children of the Sun are by my side to guide my writing hand through the snow forests of white paper. The second of the items I saw in a dream, given to me by a Loving hand – he was terrible at wrapping but it was his inadequacy and effort that made it altogether more priceless…”

“I bought two items from the barn shop: Scented candles are a staple property of the ambience of my home in the long winter months, I light them from early evening until bedtime, often writing by their Light and whenever my eyes catch sight of its thin wispy flame I am reminded, with poetic fluency, that even in the most impenetrable depth of night, children of the Sun are by my side to guide my writing hand through the snow forests of white paper. The second of the items I saw in a dream, given to me by a Loving hand – he was terrible at wrapping but it was his inadequacy and effort that made it altogether more priceless…” 

“And, here is that mystery object which was concealed inside the wrapping. A square tea coaster bearing the charming illustration of someone whom I have an undying affection for rests on my bookshelf; I shall reserve Your own interpretative faculties to absorb the timelessness of the message…”

“And, here is that mystery object which was concealed inside the wrapping. A square tea coaster bearing the charming illustration of someone whom I have an undying affection for rests on my bookshelf; I shall reserve Your own interpretative faculties to absorb the timelessness of the message…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Long Barn Lavender Farm | Alresford | UK 2015

My Home: A Tepee Of Lovable Curiosities!

It just so happens that in recent times I have been the most fortunate victim of the crime of mistaken age! With the influx of new students and new friendly faces that have come into my circle since the start of the academic year I have seen repetitive occurrences of the rib-tickling and highly amusing phenomenon of people misjudging my actual biological age! A 5ft 1 hobbitina who is heading towards her fruity forties, I do appreciate that those of vertically challenged height tend to be perceived upon first acquaintance as of an age much younger than they are, however, and for Your entertainment, I should point out that I have been categorised over and over again as a ‘young lady of 24 years and not more’ at a frequency that quite frankly stupefies the respected domain of statistical thought! So, what on collywobbles is going on here?!

Why am I not ageing properly like all the other children that were born in 1978?!

Well, it is obvious isn’t it? Because I still think like a child! I have a fond hall of predecessors I am told: Einstein, Carroll, C.S. Lewis and Tagore to name a few!

To edify my utterly-butterly wacky theory I spent a little of my free time today scooting and scouring around my home for deliciously pertinent photographic evidence, seeking out the visual and spatial resonances within my eccentric tepee of absurd but lovable curiosities that are, in essence, wild and unabashed confirmations of who and what I am and will always be. The home is a fantastical receptacle, a time capsule of collections and exhibits that stand as the physical vocal chords of our internal world of consciousness. It does not take one to be an eminent psychologist to figure that relationship out. In our strive to learn about who we are, we pull forth the seedlings – the entities, ideas, beliefs, philosophies – that take root in the invisible forest of our soul to subsequently plant them in our external universe, and what we then see can act as a reinforcement, affirmation and, in equal measure, provide the singular catalyst to re-evaluate the drama unfolding everyday within us.

Look around Your home today or tonight and take time to ponder what it tells about You – what are YOU telling Yourself about You? Oh, and if You have a wonky toilet seat scenario or excessive window putty to seal in the draft then, my Beloved Reader, do not frazzle and frizzle with apprehension the size of a walrus’ bottom because You believe it to be synonymous with stage 5 mental breakdown, instead, treat Your visual inspection with a hint of humour. How? Well, a chipped teacup is not the end of the world, is it? I tend to re-use them as pot holders for nursing new seeds!

Ladies, Gentlemen and my adorable fellow Children! Please laden Your hand with a cup of your most prized tea – chipped or pristine it does not matter, as You enter some of the little corners of my home that shall tell You the story of the Eternal Child that happily, wildly, faithfully lives inside me… :)) :)) :))

Teepee Of Curiosities A

“A snow-white desk screaming to be painted over, or should one consider it as a nude tabula rasa wickedly ripe in its design for stimulating the cogwheels of the imagination? Our dear Audrey never dissents to whatever interpretation I come up with on the day, but she wishes I hadn’t placed the candle in front of her, she is forever having to strain her neck to spy on my movements! For enthusiastic diarists out there, pay heed to Mr Wilde’s wise words!”

Tepee Of Curiosities B

“Splayed across a Japanese fan’s concertina surface are vivid splashes of cobalt blue as Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’ incarnates in miniature on the cabinet top, illogically juxtaposed with the ever- flatulent ‘Pumba’ the warthog who models a prom tiara whilst my panda lantern takes to wistful thoughts!” 

Tepee Of Curiosities C

“Business calendars bore me to stiff death so here we’ve opted to celebrate Tove Jansson’s adorable ‘Moomin’ world every month – the October Moomintroll appears to be singing karaoke into his tail! Little wonder the tourists frenziedly evacuated from the grounds of the Eiffel Tower!”   

Tepee Of Curiosities D

“Roald’s Dahls’ ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ dug himself out of the tunnels underground and is currently enjoying the hiatus on the wall alongside ‘Matilda’ and ‘Mr Wonka’. I do think it rather chivalrous that amid all this frivolity, ‘Dorothy’, ‘Tin Man’ and the ‘Scarecrow’, who can be seen at the bottom, remain ever determined to travel down the winding ‘Yellow Brick Road’. You never know where it will lead You and that is precisely why one must get onto it! Hurry along now!” 

Tepee Of Curiosities E

“In its previous lifetime this fine bone china milk jug was part of a formidable set at the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’, grasped by fingers whose tastes were as exquisite as an Indian Maharaja’s, suddenly it was struck by a chip at its base one day and it was callously ordained to be disposed. In came I, Alice, with an ingenious argument for preservation: Tea may slip by a chipped portal but pens and brushes could do with the extra ventilation!”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | My Home | Winchester | UK 2015

In Ancient Waters Of Bath

In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew
Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You…

Stand once by my bricked banks, to be as the seed surged on by water-willow Light
Swim into my embryonic depths and meet Your awakening, its fresh delight
Rise up with lotus intent and face the Sun, let prayers know why they exist in the pools of Your heart
Time-unbound and maiden of springs, I declare thee as my chest-caressed Art

In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew
Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You…

"In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You..."

“In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew
Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You…”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Bath | Somerset | UK 2015

My Brother Sambo: Tough Man, Soft Heart!

My younger brother and I are both passionate pursuers of all things that relate to the Classical world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. To this end, over the summer holidays, the two of us took the delightful opportunity to embark north to the Roman spa town of Bath in Somerset. Hailed once as the sacred site of healing mineral-rich waters in which people of all walks of life bathed in, bearing the Faith that they would be blessed by the recuperative energies of the Goddess Sulis Minerva, Bath simmered with the architectural grandeur and beauty of what would be typically expected of a Roman city but, for me, it was the sensations beyond the initial visual splendour that I shall forever remember in my heart. I would not be lying to You if I were to say that at every turn around the Roman spa complex there was in the atmosphere the workings of a healing hand, and who by such miraculous instance, knew precisely the holes that one was carrying in the depths of their soul. This undefined and curative entity somehow seemed able to awaken and touch on what was missing. Oh my dear Reader, I do not fabricate! I am armed with proof on this occasion!

You might have the remembrance that once I had informed You that my brother was quite the introverted character, private and extremely shy in front of the lens. Tough and protective on the outside, Sambo carries a very high intolerance to my efforts to photograph him! HOWEVER, in the healing water city of Bath, to my breathless astonishment, he became a man of amateur dramatics! Twisting his hoodie round his neck to mimic the capes worn by sentinels and soldiers of the Roman army, he begged to be photographed wherever we went and, furthermore, as if that were not spectacular a change enough, I had never seen him, so effortlessly and with irrepressible glee, smile away so effusively in front of my lens!! What on beloved earth was all this about?! Well, whatever influence it was, it was infinitely more exciting and positively satisfying than winning the lottery – to see my hardcore boy Sambo step out of his macho shell was, in a word, priceless… :)) :)) :))

"... Twisting his hoodie round his neck to mimic the capes worn by sentinels and soldiers of the roman army, he begged to be photographed wherever we went..."

“… Twisting his hoodie round his neck to mimic the capes worn by sentinels and soldiers of the roman army, he begged to be photographed wherever we went…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Bath | Somerset | UK 2015

Reaching The Light Bulb Moment – An Extremely Cheeky Quip!

Ah, You are still unable to see me with Your eyes! Oh my, You ought to have grasped the reality of the situation by now which is that my concealability is not down to the fact that I am hidden inside the Mystery Box and You are not. Far from it my devoted Reader! The singular reason for my apparent invisibility is of a rather trivial stock if ever there was one and that is that You are in here with me too, but, to my great amusement, the knowledge has yet to reach You that You need to, ahem ahem, reach a little higher to press the Light Switch… :)) :)) :))

“… You are in here with me too, but, to my great amusement, the knowledge has yet to reach You that You need to, ahem ahem, reach a little higher to press the Light Switch…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Everyman Cinema | Winchester | UK 2015

The End Is Only The Beginning…

‘Surya Namashkar’ is an ancient Indian yogic posture, consisting of the pressing of the palms of both hands together in celebratory salutation to the Sun, the symbol of a new day awakening with promise and renewal. In this final photograph extracted from the chronicles of my adventures in Paris, my baby sister, quite unexpectedly, performed the gesture just before I pressed down the shutter button. I was certainly taken aback at the time but, back in the comforts and contemplative atmosphere of the drawing room in England, it dawned on me that I could decipher a timeless piece of wisdom that had elegantly formulated itself into the composition thanks to my sister’s sudden flight of fancy. Opposing disappearance into the abyss of oblivion, some things in this world of ours triumph over mortality, consistently strive to rebirth themselves under new suns… :))

Eternally Yours,
Mazzy xxx

No hint did she, small sister of mine, give me before my taking the shot
That after shutter button to go down she’d have my brains in a square knot
For little did I know that her devious ingenuity was at premium-grade play
Fusing two ancient cultures together to have me send You on a tea tray:
A glass soul had been raised to the sky, yesteryear’s brick Pyramid sang of eternal afterlife
And Jen’s Surya Namaskar, palm ballet of new morn, tearing darkness with a knife… :))

“… A glass soul had been raised to the sky, yesteryear’s brick Pyramid sang of eternal afterlife
And Jen’s Surya Namaskar, palm ballet of new morn, tearing darkness with a knife…”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Louvre Pyramid | Louvre Museum | Paris | France 2015

The Leisurely Chronicles of Two Ladies, High Tea And Other Childish Miscellany At Lainston House!

My Dearest & Treasured Reader,

In jubilant celebration of what has been one of the most memorably exciting summer holidays for me I am keen to present to You the spectacularly amusing but no less touching photo-diary of my fantabulous girly getaway with one of my closest and dearest friends, Samka! Nestled in picturesque rolling green acres of English countryside, where lime trees, oaks, elms and beeches lushly abound, a stately 17th Century manor house – the sort Austen, Bronte and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would gladly make accommodation for a weekend of quality writing, away from those prying eyes of the madcap city – two girls in their middle age decidedly made it their bespoke sanctuary!

A breath-taking labyrinthine castle steeped in aristocratic aesthetics, the luxurious gardens and high classical columns grandly erected on the outside of the building were enough to impress on us that we were about to be thoroughly pampered and quite justifiably so, it was about high time that our feet indulged in a restful break from the countless adventures the both of us had accrued over the summer!

Each room felt that it had been authenticated by the distinguishable air of a royal presence. Paintings and wall murals gilded in aged gold, armchairs made of the finest upholstery, and walls plastered in the most attractive of decorative designs inspired from the botanica of the natural world besieged our breaths. Oh and do not get me started on the business of the etiquette of serving tea!! Dapper waiters in pristine white shirts and black waistcoats, glided across the room with the most adorable of smiley faces, bending down to take our orders and, my goodness me, I cannot tell You precisely the number of times we sent the chaps to fetch us tea! It would be madness to declare a number for I fear You may never want to read my works again! And when the high tea arrived, in a decorous arrangement of a silver teapot and a merry-go-round of fine bone china cups, saucers and milk jugs, I was literally over the moon to discover that my tea had come to me in loose leaf form – a far more superior incarnation when the matter of taste is concerned! As the seductive fumes of Lapsang Souchang tea languidly rose from our cups, gunpowder and smoky and golden, Samka and I sat back in our comfortable armchairs in the the palatial lounge room and let out deep long sighs in unison! Ah, what joy it is when after the turbulence of activity, rest finally comes, in soothing, lulling waves…

ENOUGH OF THE LADYSHIP ACT! We did not rest, how could we do so when I had my electronic steed at my heels!? GIGGLE, GIGGLE! After guzzling down several doses of the jolly brew, we jumped up and nearly scared the circle of businessmen out of their wits who were stationed at the back of the room! My research had equipped me with the privileged knowledge that the building had oodles of rooms to explore and since the day outside was as grim as the grim reaper’s cloak, the bucketing of downpours never wanting to stop, I suggested to Samka that we venture into all the rooms and hidden corners and harness the different qualities and textures of ambient light and that she be my model! Samka never shies away from my lens, she is well-resourced with a natural flair for wanting to strut her beautiful face whenever the orders are despatched from me! How immensely convenient that I should have such a pliable friend in my circle! Giggle, giggle!

In my instance, Photography and the art of Visual Storytelling are not chores or the exacting of a business deal, it is a passion that has made acquaintance with my life pulse and for which there is no rest. I sincerely pray that as You scroll through the Lainston House photo-diary You, too, will be satisfactorily appeased when I say that, despite what appearances may suggest as one sees me rushing about with my equipment at a time when leisure and rest is prescribed and expected of, to click away like a Mad Hatter is a most pleasurable habit that serves to renew my spirits time and time again.

As is my modus operandi, I request that You have as Your accomplice the finest brew of tea at Your side before proceeding to view my gallery of visual treats! A caption as short as me is provided under each image and should Your eyes be of a lazy constitution then may I suggest that You click on the picture of interest for a size tantamount to a blue whale’s bottom! Giggle, giggle!

I raise my teacup in salutary style to You, my most beloved Reader, for though You remain hidden to my mortal eyes the sustenance of Your Faith and Love in my Vision is the reason why I am blessed to wake up to not one but two sets of dawns every morning… :)) :)) :))


You know I am eternally Yours,

Mazzy xxx

Samka Librarian

“I dare say, have You ever laid eyes on a more beautiful librarian in Your life?! I was tempted to pull the spines of each book forward because I fancied that by doing so one of them would activate a hidden mechanism and a secret door would slide open…”

 

Samka Bar

“Samka stylishly walked across the lounge towards the warmly lit bar and effortlessly perched herself on the high stool, casually letting her eyes glide around the room as if she owned the entire place! I would have required an abseiling crew to reach the summit of those stools so I made peace with my fate and continued to click away from afar…!”

   

Samka's Man

“Samka has just spotted her knight in shining armour galloping towards the window, a Mr Gerard Butler I am told! What remarkable similarity in her frame to that of the sentinel watchers of the meerkat community…!”

Samka Problem-Solving

“Why is a raven like a writing desk? A trademark addiction, I cannot help but to deploy this wriggling riddle onto my loved ones and, as You can gather quite clearly, Samka’s loss of an answer caused her to resign to chewing on her spectacles…!”

Samka Stomper

“We were stomping up and down the stairs with the tread pressure of an angry rhino! In a bid to hide from the Manager we lay low for a bit which also proffered us valuable time to have out breaths return to normal…!”

Samka's Shoes

“Samka considers a potential upgrade! You can never go wrong with a sturdy pair of British Wellingtons…!”

Samka's Smartphone

“Unlike my unconventional abstinence from the noisy world of the Smartphone, Samka relishes hers like it was her own baby! Her we can see her checking us in on Facebook which I always find to be the most strangest thing one can ever do! I asked her with cheeky retort whether Facebook requires us to check out as well and does it overcharge if we were to stay a little longer…?!”

Samka's Light

“I was obviously too preoccupied with fiddling with the settings on my camera because the next time I looked up, to my astonishment, my friend was bathed in the most exquisite afternoon light that had at last poured itself free out of the entanglements of rain and leaden clouds…”

Samka & Chess

“Samka was fierce in her insistence that she ought to revise my understanding of how that game of games, Chess, is truly played! I gulped hard and long, suddenly her shoes had become as imposing and domineering as the gaze of the blackest raven…”

Pillars Of Friendship

“The Pillars of Friendship, my claims may not be of modest proportions and apologies if they taste of flamboyant grandiosity but, as she reached her arm round to hug the pillar, its warm and supportive effect was felt in my own heart…”

Samka At It Again!

“Oh my dearest Samka, abandon thy efforts to solve the riddle on ravens and writing desks and take stock of that Gerard Butler coming at you from across the lawn…!”

Samka's Collars

“Samka, I can explain a great many things but on the pressing issue of why your anorak was born of short collars, I must step down in defeat and beg that you seek an alternative counsel to help rid you of your burning puzzlement…!”

Beauty In Unexpected Places

“It was a feast for my senses to know that irrespective of the mundane or dull or uninspiring corners of the estate, in concerted effort my friend and the ambient light preyed upon such atmospheres and in their place could instil a renewed focal point of interest such as to give rise to the impression that in an old place a new tale was about to be told…!”

Samka's Steed

“You are well acclimatized to the fact that I fancy the smoking dragon of the tracks – steam trains to be precise – but my Samka is bred with the more popular passion for ‘boxes with circles’! I simply adore the pride she wears on her face and body for her moving polygonal baby, it would be a gross injustice if I had foregone this opportunity to document this relationship on camera. Do not ask me where my head came up to when I sat in the front passenger seat, I do believe Samka at one point grab held my head thinking it was the gear stick…!”


Photography & Words:  © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Sparsholt | Hampshire | UK 2015