The Dreaming: Chapter 3 Loos, Poos & Trapdoors

Exactly a week before and many, many miles away from where the white-washed house stood, some rather unexpected events took place deep in the chalky Chiltern Hills of southeast England.

There lay there a quiet village called Great Missenden. So sparsely populated was this place that when one stepped onto its two-platform train station, though it was clean and prettily decorated with flowers, it was never occupied more than five people at a time, and this often convinced the weary traveller that somehow the population who lived there had been evacuated and moved on to elsewhere, leaving behind in the air the trace of a discomforting vagueness. It was an eeriness that did not cause fear, on the contrary, it cajoled the mind to form curious questions. It aroused the feet to investigate more.

The Dreaming Chapter 3

“… its two-platform train station, though it was clean and prettily decorated with flowers, it was never occupied more than five people at a time...”

The silence would occasionally be punctuated, to the delight of the visitor, by the sweet ringing of the bells rung from the Church Of The Immaculate Heart Of Mary. It was difficult to explain, but to hear the peal of the bells, music made by many unseen hands, was always sincere and comforting, persuading the listener to seek the nearest tiny teahouse and take rest, while all the trials of life that plagued the mind was allowed to dissolve away.

Leafy lanes, dense beech woods, streets that coiled and circled with a life of their own, to those who had visited it Great Missenden was undoubtedly an unnoticed gem in the great map of things.

It felt forgotten, when clearly it ought not to be.

Ah, but, things were about to change.

The British Secret Service, MI5, were about to earmark it!

A specialised taskforce of MI5 sought new premises for the expansion of their operational directives. After a rigorous debate, that saw a few of its personnel blow horrendous raspberries at each other so much so that their parents would be ashamed if they had witnessed them at it, a majority vote was achieved. It was decided that the new base of operations should be located in the most inconspicuous and low-profile area in the south of England.

The British Secret Service, by definition, had to do their things in secret. Village or no village, if they had carried out their affairs in open daylight just imagine how, in a swift jiffy, nasty and horrible villains would be able to get their foul minds and dirty hands on precious information and then, quite possibly, go on to destroy the safety of the country and the world beyond. In short, for this project to work, MI5 needed a disguise.

They pondered for weeks and weeks of a shrewd plan that would do the trick, that would let them get away with the building of a large-scale, intelligence-gathering facility, existing right under people’s noses, never detected by civilian eye nor detected by the more seasoned spy of a rival organisation.

Well, a lightbulb moment did arrive, eventually! In every walk of life there is always a genius waiting to happen. On that fateful day in the boardroom, one of the bright young sparks put their hands up and shouted two words, “ROALD DAHL!” His colleagues, dumbfounded by the sheer randomness of his outrageously oddball answer, paused and held their breath for a few seconds before they burst out in laughter, some cried so hard that huge tears squirted out of their eyes, somewhat resembling a leaky tap that had gone berserk!

Oh do shut up, Travers!

Drunk a few too many last night, did you, mate?

Who hired this idiot?

Still reading children’s books, are we?! For God’s sake, grow up!

Suddenly the door opened. A tall and dignified man breezed in. Silence fell on the room like a massive meteor that singed all noises out into irreversible extinction. A long pale face with a roman nose, this man had hardly any hair on his head, only that the long feathery white locks from one side had been pitifully combed and flipped over to the other side to give the illusion that he still possessed something up there. To any child of school age that might have been present in that hushed room, he or she would have quickly pointed out the tall man’s shirt and declared that he was wearing graph paper, for it was checked with black lines. The resulting formation of small boxes made it irresistible for anyone with a creative eye to want to go ahead and conjure up ways the boxes might be filled if one only had a marker pen on them! Tick or colour or join them up?!

Incidentally, this man was called Mr Penton. He had recently been appointed to act as the head of operations for the proposed new MI5 site, his confident and graceful movement indeed confirmed this very well. He coolly strolled over to his chair, sat down and laid his thick files on the table before taking out his wooden pipe, filling it with his special herbs and lighting it. Puffing away while staring questioningly at each member of his team he spoke. “And what might be so incredibly amusing about Mr Roald Dahl? I should like to know.

No one dared to speak. Or, perhaps they had lost their tongue forever. Someone at the back spluttered a bit, but that was it.

Travers…” Mr Penton left the word hanging in the air for a second or two, he loved to fry people with tension, “… has a point.”

Travers gulped and as for everyone else, well, they were still absent of speech, only now a great confusion had set in.

Mr Penton leaned back on his chair and took the pipe out of his mouth. He began to address his team, his voice was calm, laced with a hidden thunderclap of authority.

Mr Roald Dahl – the inimitable Mr Roald Dahl – lived in Great Missenden for 36 years of his life, where he wrote the best examples of children’s fiction ever to be engineered in the history of literature. He is a genius. A masterpiece of an artist. He cannot be replaced. One of a kind. But is it not unusual and grossly unfair that this man – this beacon of inventiveness – had no museum built in his honour?

Some of the team had begun to understand where Mr Penton was going with this.

A great man should be remembered. And greater and nobler still is the effort to action this into reality.” Mr Penton sent a smile of comradery to Travers. A little spooked by the surprising outcome of watching his idea rising to higher places, Travers strained a nervous smile back at the man.

To children and families, both here and across the world, this museum of wonders, a tribute to a fine writer, will be a dream come true. They will flock by their thousands. BUT, oh yes, but, all eyes and all ears, even noses, will be too distracted by the animated pell-mell of the masses to notice our secret operations whirring away behind the scenes, discreetly and safely.

That is a brilliant idea, sir!

You are seriously amazing!

Splendid, just splendid!

Mr Penton did not smile when he leaned forward on the table, resting his elbows in front of him, his pipe clamped in between his thumb and index finger. “Let us begin the construction of The Roald Dahl Museum And Story Centre at once! It is the centenary year of his birth – 2016, a marvellous year to open the gates for them…. AND for us.

Indeed, not three days had passed that The Roald Dahl Museum And Story Centre, with a stroke of magical suddenness, appeared on the main street in Great Missenden. A building had popped out from nowhere! Many of the local residents swore they could not remember any part of its construction. Did a truck come down the road in the middle of the night and unpack the house out from the back of the vehicle and place it on the street? Who knows!

Chapter 3 The Dreaming

“… A kind of white-washed building, its front was endearingly signed with typical Dahlian phrases accompanied with a lovable sketchy illustration of the man himself…”

A kind of white-washed building, its front was endearingly signed with typical Dahlian phrases accompanied with a lovable sketchy illustration of the man himself. As soon as the gates opened the screaming children and their sleepy parents poured in by the bucket loads. Upon entry a team of very lively faces, the ever ebullient front-of-house staff, presented each family with a guide of the venue, and after payment of the entrance fee, everyone received a blue wristband made of thin paper. The children often squealed in excitement at having this tied around their little wrists, whereas the adults could not wait to take it off! There was so much cheering and laughing and giggling that the walls of the building shuddered and shook.

The Dreaming Chapter 3

But is it not unusual and grossly unfair that this man – this beacon of inventiveness – had no museum built in his honour?

After emerging from the ticket booth a colourful map of the grounds sparkled from the wall and this was often the point in the trail where parents received their first bombardment of inquisitive questions from their chubby-cheeked offspring!

Mummy! Mummy! I want to see the hut! Can we go to the hut first, Mummy?!

Dad, I need food! Please, please, can we go to Café Twit now? Please! Pretty please!

Grandpa, are we really going to see a flying plane in that room?

Grandma, what shall we do when we see the crocodile? I’ve never dodged a crocodile before!

Aunty, it says ‘loos’ but there is only toilet paper in there! How do I keep it in if I am desperate?

Uncle, why does ‘Wonka’ look like a big earthworm with a gap in its tummy? Wasn’t he a funny man in the book?

The Dreaming Chapter 3

“… After emerging from the ticket booth a colourful map of the grounds sparkled from the wall...”

And so the questions came and came, and they were endless and awfully funny to hear. It would have nudged even the most depressed person to light up with a smile just by standing there and eavesdropping on these little comedies that were being inadvertently played out by the children and their grownups. It was delightful.

The map was a dazzling preface for whetting the appetites of visitors, fuelling their intrigue, making them wonder as to what scrumptious things laid in wait, however, it was not a complete map. It had a very important part missing from it. Purposefully left out.

The ‘Solo Gallery’ was not completely solo, to speak. It was here that Mr Roald Dahl’s famous writing chair could be found from which he penned his masterpieces, so it was arguably the highlight of the tour, but what none of the children, and nor did their grownups catch a whiff off was that under the chair there was more.

There was a secret trapdoor!

Of course, the trapdoor was not visible, the chair had done a spiffing job in masking it completely from view. If, by chance, the chair was moved a little, any onlooker most certainly would frown and bend down for a closer inspection. You see, the trapdoor was not a plain white door. It had a bright poster stuck on it depicting an old book whose cover was painted of vivid tones of red and yellow, and on it showed a figure of a man with a pipe donned in the strangest looking attire. This book was not written by Mr Roald Dahl! ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, a classic in its own right, was a peculiar choice and even more peculiar was why it had been glued onto the trapdoor. Whatever could it mean?

When the museum came to close in the evening, and the clamour of voices and rushed feet were no more, and when the lights were all switched off, that is when it would happen. That is when the lights underneath the trapdoor would blink and come on. ♥♥♥  

The Dreaming Chapter 3

“… the trapdoor was not a plain white door. It had a bright poster stuck on it depicting an old book whose cover was painted of vivid tones of red and yellow, and on it showed a figure of a man with a pipe donned in the strangest looking attire...”

Photography & Words:  © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre |Great Missenden | Buckinghamshire | UK 2016

The Old Man And The Jigsaw

An old man of eighty five was he, that spine-curved hunchback Mr Jones
He lived his lonely years inside a tower block slewed of sluggish tones
Four ugly damp walls watched him as he grappled with his mouldy food of mash
No pension to speak of so he’d beg neighbours for some petty cash
His eyes smite by fogs of cataracts and cancer bludgeoned blossoms in his lung
Ears teased in rude bells of tinnitus and blisters blazed on his tongue
And ghastly gashes screamed all over the lining fabric of his chair
In spite of this he sat down and gazed at the box with the sincerest of care

The night outside filled with revellers who revolted in a drunken spree
Mr Jones, in his darken den, sought a moth-eaten jigsaw for company
Stroking the cover like an old acquaintance, or tune plucked out of memory
A chore it was to lift the lid, his struggle oil-slicked in drudgery

Inside scattered dormant the crumbed chaos of many a chipped part
He reached out shakily and yet did not know where to start
And so the world around him vanished as part by part the picture grew:
A tall lighthouse striped of ivory and red, a sea of sapphire blue
And three o’clock, four o’clock the night spun on and on
His rickety fingers trudged ahead, this old man of anon
Ah! A sandy shore and a harbour and swooping seagulls hunt for bread
Chuckling children laze with sweet treats, the smell of sea-salt is widespread

Only a few pieces to go, but the old man is stabbed by deafening pain
His wrinkled palm clutches up to his chest, his both eyes bulge out insane
Life seethes out its finality on the old man’s fingers cold
Wills the last piece into place and lets the whole scene unfold
A long sigh mingles with the room and crashing down came the chair
The neighbour hears from the floor below but he does not give the slightest care

A week had passed and the paper boy knows that something is terribly amiss
Calls the bobbies first but they send him away with an incredulous hiss
So the paper boy braves on alone, prises door open wide with a paperclip
Stomps in through to find a room, on floor an empty chair with rip
And over on the wooden table the boy caught sight of something – a jigsaw of an Arabian sea
And bobbing along waters sapphire blue, a celestial dhow carrying I and he…  ♥♥♥  

The Old Man And The Jigsaw

“… And over on the wooden table the boy caught sight of something – a jigsaw of an Arabian sea…”

 

Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2016
Photography: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Guernsey | Channel Islands | 2014 

Which One Is My Love Story?

The art of writing encompasses that impressive vastness that is equal to the range of continents. It comprises a multitude of forms and techniques just waiting to be explored and cultivated, and even challenged in the name of liberating experimentalism. It also involves that critical desire and willingness to put oneself in the shoes of others, no matter how discomforting or unsettling that may prove to be for the writer. When there is a lack of readiness from the author to withdraw from one’s usual zone of comfort the quality of characterisation will undoubtedly suffer in its authenticity and the resultant text will come across interminably staid, stilted and unengaging. Characterisation is the umbilical lifeblood of a compelling tale. So, it was today that in keeping that golden rule in my thoughts I cravingly sought to create a brief written piece geared to, as much comically as it would profoundly, challenge the limits of my ability to carve out fictional personalities and contexts that stupendously contrast with who I am. Could I act out on paper the roles of individuals who share not a speck of likeness to my own persona?

As You are an avid reader of my blogs may I be as bold as to presume that You would be more than happy to consent to participate in a teeny test? Yes! Ah, that is precisely the answer I was after! Thank You! Right, let us get down to literary business! I have formulated two scenarios below. Read them carefully, and more than once should it be necessary.

I have a sneaky question for You – oh please do keep thy roguish tempers in check, I am a teacher after all, what did You expect?! Giggle!

Which one of these scenarios is an authentic likeness to me and my existential world? And, therefore, which one would You not associate with me, no matter how much a bribed audience earnestly attempted to convince You?

If You can answer my question in a sporting jiffy, as fast as a rushing bullet train swishing through the pristine landscape of Japan, then I shall graciously accept that as a most touching compliment and a pivotal token of encouragement. It will imply that You know me all too well. Ah, yes, I suppose on the other hand – now I come to wonder about it – should I be worried by the fact that You have acquired such an intimate insight into my otherwise unfathomable character? Giggle, giggle! ♥♥♥

 SCENARIO 1 [By the way, what say You of my Photoshop skills?]: 

 

Which One Is My Love Story?

A Digital Romance

 

SCENARIO 2:

Which One Is My Love Story?

An Unending Love

 

Images & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2016

British Rogue: The Force Is Strong In Us! EPISODE I

To read a glossy fashion magazine in what little spare time I can indulge in is to invite certain doom to my senses, a self-destructive passport that morbidly gives way to my transmogrification into a stiff block of concrete! Ouchy! Instead, my desks tend to be anarchically splayed in the brilliance of the yellow covers of NAT GEO or of those publications whose specialisms lie in the realm of art and literature – and, of course, the picture would not be complete if I did not disclose the fact that on occasion You will find a comic or two to add a sprinkle of deviation away from the heavyweight issues of the world. I see those eyebrows creasing away in torment as they make a mash out of trying to understand why I would compose a series whose template is inspired from one of the world’s most illustrious fashion magazines – BRITISH VOGUE.

Easy! Can You not see the connection?

Oh my, You never cease to amaze me! Giggle, giggle!

Take a seat my dear frazzled reader and let me allay the wrangling tensions that come with excessive dalliance with the shadows of incomplete knowledge! Blimey, I have begun to sound like a comic book narrator, what echelons of pure awesomeness has my pen taken me to! Giggle, giggle, toes a-wriggle!

Well, You might remember that my previous cheeky emulation of the NAT GEO KIDS magazine dwelled on the highly odd subject of the humble WASHING LINE, personifying an everyday household object as a Juliet who pines to see her Romeo who is destined to stay within the four walls of the kitchen. The two never meet, only that the washing line is accepting of her fate for she receives the essence of his soul in the CLOTHES that he sends her – poetry that flutters on her line. The FORCE of Love in my heart burning like the core of Sirius itself, I prayed to Destiny with all my might to send me a sign that my Vision of a union will come true someday.

And that sign arrived to me tonight.

I logged into the virtual world moments ago and immediately could feel the world turning its cogs to show its ALLIANCE with my Words and heartfelt wishes. BRITISH VOGUE display an AMAZING ALLIANCE with Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity to raise money for their GOOD work and they have done this by having enlisted ten designers who have created exclusive jumpers and T-shirts inspired by the visual textures of the Star Wars universe! They will go on sale tomorrow, only available on SELFIES – sorry – SELFRIDGES!

As an honorary salute to a magazine whom I have little interest in but whose fantastic involvement in this charitable venture has won my heart I chose to formulate my own glossy rendition, albeit with a slight twist on the title! I shall not be reading British Vogue from now on in, it simply does not tickle my taste buds, however, I am forever dedicated to highlighting the good works of all those who do something to make this world a better place…

You have met my darling sister and mate, Katie, in an older article. She and I are of the same stock, boundless in our eccentric energy and known to take the marmalade sunshine with us wherever we go. You may not see me in the virtual world as much as other people but just take the time to look at Katie, she is a mirror image of the energy that dances within my own Spirit. Perhaps someday a keen photographer will conjure up a similar article for me – for the meantime, selfies are out of the question! Ahem ahem, stop looking at me so deeply, blushing is in breach of my Jedi code… ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank goodness for telescopes!
Always Your Mazzy xxx

 LINK: http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2015/11/17/selfridges-designer-star-wars-collaboration-jw-anderson-peter-pilotto

 

British Vogue: The Rogue Interview EPISODE I

“…she is a mirror image of the energy that dances within my own Spirit. Perhaps someday a keen photographer will conjure up a similar article for me…”

Photography, Concept & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2015

The Force Is Strong In My Family: A Comic Convention!

Dear Readers & in a galaxy far far away my Mr… ♥ 

Ask anyone in my extended family and they will tell You, with an exhausted shake of the head I hasten to add, that there are two particular individuals who were born with a jumbo-sized and unassailable keen passion for the ways of the Force, the path of the Jedi. Mention STAR WARS and the two in question will follow it up with a spinning motion of the feet proceeded by a rushing round the room in a burst of the most ear-cracking joy that even the remnant radiation left from the mighty Big Bang is made subject to seriously consider shutting down shop! Giggle, giggle!

Who could they be? Oh how daft of You to employ such stupidity on such a sacred a topic!

Zack and I, of course! Pfffshhht!

Little Zack of 8 glorious years is my adorable nephew who lives in Birmingham with my brother, a film buff in his own right. All three of us spent an absolutely cracking afternoon in the biggest comic shop I had ever laid eyes on to the extent that I was madly out of breath by the brute indecisiveness of what to buy, so many vintage comics that I wanted to slurp them all up! Bangles and lipstick and pretty shoes can never match the sheer awesomeness of a good comic, and my bookshelves have ample varieties of them, each a trophy that glitters to my eye with the pounding message that it wants to be read once more!

I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate that super cool memory of scooting around a comic shop with my Jedi Apprentice, Zack and, as is customary of eccentrics, in a flash of strawberry-flavoured lightning the idea came to me – that I could conjure up my own comic cover! That is precisely what I did! I have sent a copy to Zack and his family and I share it with You, too, for I know in my Soul that when You look upon this amusing aspect of my twinkle-toed creative Vision You’ll want to meet me more than ever, after all, how many Asian ladies do You know who, in their spare hour, want to do nothing more than to create their very own science-fiction memorabilia?! Giggle, giggle… :)) :)) :))

Oh, and, it might be wise to view the contents of my comic cover with that fine brass Admiral telescope I sent You previously, otherwise, may I suggest that You seek a suitable zooming-in facility to draw closer to Your eyes my Words… ♥

Always Your Hidden, Loving Polymath
Mazzy xxx

 

The Force Is Strong In My Family: A Comic Convention!

“… Ask anyone in my extended family and they will tell You, with an exhausted shake of the head I hasten to add, that there are two particular individuals who were born with a jumbo-sized and unassailable keen passion for the ways of the Force, the path of the Jedi…”


Photography, Comic Design & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | 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

 

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

Trésors Du Louvre: Quand Le Ciel Et La Terre Baiser (Treasures Of The Louvre: When Heaven And Earth Kissed)

Diary 10: Trésors Du Louvre: Quand Le Ciel Et La Terre Baiser (Treasures Of The Louvre: When Heaven And Earth Kissed)

The winged Cupid – I do get ticklishly warm just reading the word made by the first three letters of his name! – has become besieged with unhindered passion and soft tenderness as he gazes down into the eyes of his one true beloved, Psyche, whom he has awoken from the imprisonment of infinite sleep just moments ago with the kiss of Life. Pysche Revived By Cupid’s Kiss, a Neoclassical masterpiece fashioned out of marble by Antonio Canova, depicts a sacred moment between two Lovers, ravaged by innumerable obstacles but who were destined to unite. The logical conclusion to their tale of Desire was consummated at the last of when Hope was thought lost.

I was tremendously impressed by its lack of a singular primary point of view, You must circle around it to read all the many stories that surround the mythological narrative of Cupid and Psyche, and it is more than likely that in each circumnavigation You will collect a new piece of the bigger picture, forming one of multiple substantiating reasons why this sculptural beauty is accredited with the fame that it enjoys today. I was particularly appealed by the absence of a single perspective that would allow the viewer to see the faces of both Lovers. If Cupid’s tender stare was visible at one view, Psyche’s expression became hidden. If Psyche’s face is assigned priority for observation then Cupid’s disappears completely. While some critics have interpreted this mutually-exclusive play of perspective as afflicting an exhaustive pressure on the viewer, I, for one, completely disagree. Pardon me should I sound flamboyantly idealistic however, my heart was born of the conviction that if the Love is true then the reflection of the Beloved can always be admired in its all authentic glory in the face of the Lover.

On that day in the Louvre, the sun glistened as white Light and it poured in through the window, pious in substance and only equalled to the breath of angels, ushering my feet to step towards and pause at the angle shown in my photograph. I saw the winged Cupid of the skies, his face adorned in purest Light that came from the hidden but shimmering face of Psyche below, fired by her ecstasy growing in intensity as she gradually is made to come to her waking senses. So it echoes that the visible rests in the hidden, and the hidden in the visible.

You let Your eyes fly above my words every single day, gliding over my photographs in wingless manoeuvres, and amateurish though I am, You do not perceive them as such, releasing always a sigh of relief and comfort to know that I have not erased my sincerity towards the welfare of Your heart. I choose to remain hidden so that You may reign and shine as like the first shard of yawn that sings the song of Daybreak… :))

Treasures Of The Louvre: When Heaven And Earth Kiss

“… a sacred moment between two Lovers, ravaged by innumerable obstacles but who were destined to unite. The logical conclusion to their tale of Desire was consummated at the last of when Hope was thought lost…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Musée Du Louvre | Paris | France 2015

 

Je Espion Avec Mon Petit Oeil (I Spy With My Little Eye)

Diary 3: Je Espion Avec Mon Petit Oeil (I Spy With My Little Eye)

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what You’re gonna get”, innocently spoken but wisely delivered, these words, credited to the childlike hero of the eponymous film, Forrest Gump, permanently decorated themselves across my chest upon hearing them the very first time when I was a teenager. You simply do not know what is around that corner, what monsters and demons prey in its shadows, what winged guardians stand in protective vigil, the unknown superiorly exists a breath away and it is this singular unpredictability that accolades Life with the power to radiate a constant atmosphere of spectacular drama.

Ah, I see You are rubbing Your chin in confusion, and those eyes are strenuously squinting to see how might my sudden ruminations of the uncertainty principle have bearing for the short tale I am about to tell You now. Oh how to begin to describe the scrumptious pleasure of watching You battle all the possibilities for an answer, narrowing to a single one seems like a distant prospect! Giggle, giggle! Alright, hush now, I shall reveal to You about my very own encounter with a ‘box of chocolates’, figuratively speaking that is, and I am certain that after reading my account You will return to Your personal space in the virtual world to utter under Your breath as You blissfully drown in an ocean of incredulity, “For Pete’s sake, how does Mazzy do that? How does Mazzy mirror me so well? She is like a box of chocolates, You never know what You’re blimin’ gonna get!”

Let me begin from the beginning! Late afternoons and evenings were spent indulging in casual walks through labyrinthine cobbled streets, an anonymous breeze swooshing past us at every moment for which we found ourselves now and again inquiring as to its source, for we were hardly in the vicinity of any stretch line of coast. I loved not knowing the provenance of these fleshless winds though it made me feel enormously at home as I caught myself convinced that they were a gift from someone afar, a shepherd of windswept hills.

We were heading towards the Centre Georges Pompidou, an unplanned deviation, sticking to a fixed itinerary each day was never going to be our way of doing things round here. We navigated by gut instinct, the maps squashed in our bags firmly stayed there and throughout the trip their pristine latticed papers were denied exposure to the face of daylight! So sorry! Giggle, giggle!

Spearing towards the artistic Pompidou centre a handsome Voice spoke from nowhere and my heart turned left first before finally being met by a turn of my neck, and BEHOLD! Once again my lungs were emptied of air, and yet once again that near-death sensation brought down a passionate torment of Life into my soul. YOU were spying me up! The classic Parisian icon of a snow-white mime artist with pursed lips, cosmeticized eyes and a single teardrop was massively painted on the side of a building and he – YOU – froze me in my rambling tracks with a look that pierced my chest with a milk-warm mixture of poignancy, cheek and longing. I could not refrain from smiling, in fact, in hindsight I do believe the dimple adjacent to my lips were on the precipice that stands between it and ecstatic explosion! Oh, and the cherry on top of my ‘box of chocolates’ experience was the letter ‘T’ boldly visible in the foreground of the spying visage. As a Visionary who is naturally predisposed to formulating the bigger picture, I coyly hint that he – YOU – is whispering to me, albeit in silent earnest, “TEA…”

Life is like a box of Tea. You never know WHO is spying at me”…  :)) :)) :))

I Spy With My Little Eye

“… The classic Parisian icon of a snow-white mime artist with pursed lips, cosmeticized eyes and a single teardrop was massively painted on the side of a building and he – YOU – froze me in my rambling tracks with a look that pierced my chest with a milk-warm mixture of poignancy, cheek and longing…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Near Centre Georges Pompidou | Paris | France 2015