Jen’s Graduation Day – In Pictures & Words! Yeeehaaaaaa!

This is the only life we know, what comes before and after is obviously a debatable topic, but whilst keeping to the present and what I have known of this life thus far, I am happy to let myself be flogged by conservative ridicule while stating with utter joyous boldness, that there are potentially two births to our name. As we depart from the maternal tunnel into this waterless and breathing world of air, no recollection of the journey is allowed to be engraved, our memories simply refuse to reach back that far, and so it is that our most momentous time is also one that is cocooned in rebellious mystery, a giant gravity of vagueness and void, it the one root adventure we cannot remember, as hard as we may try.

The second birth is a rare one and not all will be fortunate enough to have the means or desire to navigate through its convoluted procession of trials and triumphs. A path that demands solid guts of steel, a fearless disposition that rises against and thrusts through the tide of social conformity, to follow one’s dreams is a battle that teases us to the point of agony and tests us to the death. If pursued with integrity, the reward is always great, for every pace achieved and that takes us forward cries out a new growth of aliveness, a vibrant shout of ascension pushing through the old fabric of living. It is this rebirthing that we have the means, the honour, to remember.

It gives me tremendous pleasure to share tonight the second birthing of my little sister, Jen, as she, today, against many thwarting odds and hefty sacrifices, became a shining and proud graduate of Southampton Solent University. I should have taken more tissues with me, her joy forced us all to let open the waterworks of our eyes, our faces reduced to leaky taps with no intention to close!

Of course, I did not just arrive there with a dress and dotty shoes! Beaming and bouncing around Southampton Guildhall with my trusty camera, a task slightly complicated by my dreadfully disobedient shawl which I then stuffed into my bag to my astounding relief, I caught up with Jen and her fabulous troop of mates, together with the rest of the hobbits of my own family, to create a photographic chronicle of an unforgettable day that swelled and swayed in lively celebrations, a roaring dawn chorus blessed with soaring tasselled hats and loud cheers of rebirthing, and hearty smooches on cheeks that have made me seriously wonder whether Jen and I will ever need a blusher brush again! Ah, yes, I suppose they can be rather handy for dusting off loose, unruly crumbs of bread from inside the toaster! Giggle, twiggle!

Your 158cm Dreamer of all hours,
Mazzy ♥♥♥

Jen's Graduation

My sister’s shoes are manufactured out of a clever mixture of Dark Matter and Lord Vader’s helmet! I know, seriously cool, right?!

Jen's Graduation

Ever wondered what a disco for ravens would look like? Check out this conspiracy of flighty hats!

Jen's Graduation

Jen stood on the shoulders of giants to reach her goal. There was no stepladder in the art department and she could not get to the paint tub on top of the wardrobe. In stepped human resources!

Jen's Graduation

Emotions ran high and tears welled out of eyes and ears and nose with an intensity yet unmatched in the natural world. Here, Ab, seeks cover from a pair of trendy shades!

Jen's Graduation

There are some exceptional people in this world, like my Jen, who can make sinister capes and cloaks that seem to belong to a certain Professor Snape appear as though they are the latest hip trend in street fashion! Girl, what gives?

Jen's Graduation

I cannot tell whether my brother, Sam, is restrainig himself from crying or holding down a burp! Any advances?

Jen's Graduation

Mumsy is everyone’s Mumsy. That is an unquestionable fact! ♥

Jen's Graduation

Once again Sam throws conundrums our way: Is his tummy rumbling for food because he has gone without it for so long, or, is he the first man ever to be expecting with child? Oh boy, that is a toughie!

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Southampton Solent University |Southampton | UK 2016

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The Harriet Fogg Adventures: Congratulations To The Illustrator In My Family, Jen!

Tonight let us put to one side the Arundhati Chronicles. There is a very good reason for this, for there is, unequivocally, a more pressing story that needs to be shared and celebrated. A story about my wonderfully talented baby sister, Jen. She spent most of her youth, like mine, working away long hours and did not have a chance to go to University. After the passing away of our beloved Abba, Jen set out to accomplish her childhood dream. She wanted to become an artist, an illustrator of dazzling worlds that floated in her imagination but forever sought the sanctuary of a canvas. After three years of dedicated study she has finally got her foot through the door! I am sure You will put Your hands together and clap away with fierce joy, loud enough to send tremors rippling into all the neighbouring planets, as I announce to You that my beautiful sister has achieved the remarkable feat of completing her degree in Illustration with a sparkling First Class honours degree, as well as that, she has magnetised towards her way a string of fantastic high-profile awards and secured impressive commissions from members of the public and external institutions. She will showcase her collection in London galleries next month alongside with those of her student peers. I shall, of course, be trotting to the capital to capture the event in all its glory, and who knows, a wildly eccentric story may come out from it! We shall see!

I dedicate this WordPress story to my baby sister, and to that phenomenon of the human condition whereby, above all the raging shell fire of the odds, a person can still most definitely achieve the unreachable of dreams. To grow from the humble earth is never an inhibitor, but an invitation, it is the reason for why it feels sacred and right to brush shoulders with the stars.

Pursue Your dreams, pursue them with rigorous, passionate intensity in symmetry with noble integrity, do that and it will appear as though it is not You, but the dream itself that is wanting to reach You.
Your Mazzy ♥♥♥

The Harriet Fogg Adventures

Jen and her fabulous children’s picture book, The Harriet Fog Adventures!

 

The Harriet Fogg Adventures!

A train ride through India slithers through the open land like a snake!

The Harriet Fogg Adventures!

Travelling the world is in our blood, the inks of maps sing out our pulse.

The Harriet Fogg Adventures!

In Harriet’s world, no animal is seen wicked or foul. Every living creature is connected to You in the great web of life.

The Adventures Of Harriet Fogg!

Dreaming is good, dreaming is the birth of a great commitment, which when followed through can make a beautiful difference, it can change the world.

The Harriet Fogg Adventures!

The song of the whale is the song of the ocean, the very same song is also tuned into the waters that surround the unborn baby when it is growing inside its mother’s womb.

The Harriet Fogg Adventures!

Tell me when, and I will see to it that You and I float to the top of the world!

 

Jen’s Website: http://www.jenkhatun.com/ 

Photography & Words:  Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Southampton University | Southampton UK 2016

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

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

She’s Off To Paddington’s London!

I cannot wait for the summer holidays when I shall have more spare time on my hands to compose new stories and poems for You. I am as busy as a bumblebee on skates at the moment, although I confess it could only be my special knowledge of Your love for my eccentric words that brings me here to the virtual world, however briefly, just so that I can have pleasure of making You smile, again and again and again. I know when you smile, it feels like having two hearts thud behind the bastion of my chest… ♥ 

Let’s go! Let’s go!” Alright, alright I better fill You in
For why this munchkin bears a marmalade grin
She’s off to see Grandma in London – the city that’s second home to Darkest Peru
Summer holidays have begun for this little sprite, a three foot kangaroo
Tonight travelling on the Underground Tube, not a ship – c’mon, use your wit!
I hope she won’t have to sit next to a snotty teen with one smelly armpit!
Oh I do envy my sweet pixie for heading to stations on which brown paws have walked
Where a red hat has bobbed, flipped down escalators hence news that’s still talked!
I have earnestly asked her that should she see him, my stowaway bear, do not mockingly laugh
Simply tell him we’ll meet someday and kindly ask him for an autograph…! ♥♥♥

She's Off To Paddington's London!

She’s off to see Grandma in London – the city that’s second home to Darkest Peru…

Photography & Poem: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Summer Garden Party | Winchester | UK 2015/16

My Students’ Art Exhibition: Allotment At Night Time By Miss Alice

To not levy on You any more puzzlement of the comedic kind than You have already been exposed to, let me spell out from the outset that here in England when we talk about an ‘allotment’ we are referring to a patch of land that is hired for the aim of growing one’s own vegetables and fruit. I do not own such a piece of land since my garden is of an ample and generous size, although, there is more to tell of that story since at first the soil was horrendously dense and fraught with compressed bouts of rock – Winchester sits on a subterranean layer of white chalk – that made gardening rather impractical and unfeasible. After many years of hard and back-breaking labour on the garden by my Mumsy, Abba and myself, we finally succeeded in creating a more even-surfaced terrain whose soil had become conditioned to that more appropriate composition on which horticultural dreams could be cultivated in!

Now imagine my tremendous delight when my student, Miss Alice, chose to depict her local community allotment in the form of a silk screen painting?! PURE JOY rang out loud from the mysterious crater that is the dimple beside my wide smile, and I contemplated the unwavering intensity of my Faith in my students for their continual desire to surprise me with their unceasing panoply of artistic gifts and talents!

During the exhibition Miss Alice followed me around, pleading to have her photograph taken next to her miniature masterpiece, and what shall I say but what a formidable grasp of the unique enchantments of the night time had this young lady captured in her illustration! In only the economical and bold dichotomies of black and white, Miss Alice presents what almost resembles a magical moonscape of a scene of the allotment, a familiar working space yet one that has never been viewed in the depths of the nocturnal hours. Miss Alice used the palette of her dreamy imagination to conjure up what she felt she could see the garden look like in the hours when the whole world was fast asleep, and the result was staggeringly intriguing and spellbinding to the point that I declared out loud that her work was strongly reminiscent of Tove Jansson’s style of visual language, the famous writer and illustrator of the childhood classic, ‘The Moomins’!

I hugged and congratulated Miss Alice as huge tears collected in my eyes and she did not seem to want to let go either. What a monumental accomplishment shone before me, and from a lady who was, in my eyes, a far more superior artist than I could ever be because she had shown that fantastic dare to formulate a composition of her garden during those strange hours when the veil of night was thickly upon it, a time not associated with the life of flowers and fruits and vegetables, and also of such a peculiar time she chose that You are doubly taken aback because You cannot conceive so easily the idea of a gardener existing in the night. Gardening, in all its profound variety, is a form of caring and tending that too often people marry off with the clock of the day, not of the night. I am sure You shall agree with me on this point.

Miss Alice proves You wrong and she does it in such a way that You are euphoric and glad that she came along and opened Your eyes to the world that persists to throb with quiet but teeming activity in those moonscape hours when Your eyes are meant to be thoroughly shut! As I stood there gazing at Miss Alice’s amazing portrait of the allotment under the watchful eyes of silver-beaded stars, she had locked her arms around me and put her head on my shoulder and I, with a frog in my throat, chanted over and over again, “My darling, this amazing, absolutely amazing, you are amazing!” She blushed rose pink and thanked me. I was silent for many minutes as the revelation arrived home to me that a garden and a gardener never sleep, their existence is not solely defined by and nor subservient to the restrictions and whims of the daytime world. Ours was a dedication and consideration to Mother Nature that did not abide by the terms placed on the clock by the dictatorial hands of society.

My nightly ritual, if You must know, is a beautiful composition consisting of winding down my physical body, of sipping on warm camomile tea whose colour shares kinship with lemons and honey, prepared from dried herbs grown in my own garden. And just before I retire to bed, gently placing my book on the floor, I realise that I am still gardening, for my heart never leaves that place, it is stood out there, overlooking each and every patch, now breathing air as I do, and all the while the moonlit blackness and the moonscape ground beckon that a pure soul would come along and paint this scene of Good Magic as it unfolds, a symphony of sweet silence…  ♥♥♥  

Allotment At Night Time By Miss Alice

“… she had shown that fantastic dare to formulate a composition of her garden during those strange hours when the veil of night was thickly upon…”

 

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester Discovery Centre Cityscape Gallery | Winchester | UK 2016

My Students’ Art Exhibition: Reading The Seasons By Mr Billy

A singular reason for why in a year You shall only discover at the most six or seven photographs of me is that whenever I stand in front of the lens I feel as though I am succumbing my own magical powers to a great injustice. The magical power that I speak of is that of the good kind and it is called the summons for Storytelling, the planting of words which the gardener hopes shall teach and inspire.

I am a natural teller of stories and were You to ask any friend or family member of mine, they would be quick to point out that “when Mazzy opens her gob she turns every little thing into the most astounding epic ever written!” It is not a learnt habit. I was born with the Gift, a tendency for conjoining language and imagination in creative ways. I have no intention of making money or fame from my pursuits, rather, it is a sacred blessing from whose fountain of healing waters I wish to touch the lives of as many souls as possible. That is the true source behind the boundless joy that dances inside the rivulets of my heart, and I know, unequivocally, that the entire theatrical troupe of the Universe supports me in my quest.

In this incarnation I have chosen to work as a teacher and my specialism lies in supporting and developing the potentials of adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. Never is there a day that I return home complaining about my work. However, the traditional and age-old stigmatisation attached to people with learning difficulties has not completely departed from the minds of many people, even here in the so-called civilised and democratic west. In the past, when I was younger, it was a bit of a struggle living the job as I came under fire from relatives who would often harangue and bombard me with critical speeches on why a ‘genius’ would want to spend the prime years of her life slaving away in a profession that paid little and involved nothing more than keeping ‘mad people’ on track.

To be frank, I gave to them as good as I got! With hands on my hip I would retort fearlessly, “Someone else can be the doctor or the lawyer, my Destiny is on a different path”. That shut them up pretty nicely! We all have a part to play in this machinery of life, a web of intricate connections, and I do agree that certain parts of that web may pay better and lead onto a life of luxury or high status, yet my Sight sees with clarity rubbed out of all doubt, that if even a single node of that web was eliminated – if every dustbin collector or the cleaner vanished from the face of the planet, or if every judge or consultant surgeon were bumped off – then, the whole cog system is made upset, and everything eventually would fall apart. I see that bigger picture, and thus I am not fussed the slightest about status or income or image. What is the point in parading my face day in and day out when one day it shall be the feast for the creatures of the earth? What is the point of securing a palatial home, a supersonic car or muscles the size of puffy clouds when none of it will come to Your aid in Your twilight years? What is the point of these fleeting instances of nonsense, my dearest Reader?

My currency is in the Unseen. The invisible world exists, all around me, above me, below me, a fabric of intense longing that stretches through space and time and cuts across all the other Dimensions that scientists will one day confirm with You, and therein, through all this, lies the jewels that I try to narrate to You, and the Voice I have chosen is that of my humble craft of Storytelling.

And, it is only and only ever, my True Love for YOU, as eternal as the unseen rocks that live beneath this very earth on which You walk on and that I cannot see You do, at least from where I am, that can ever explain why Mr Billy, my adorable student, bursts out in a smile, a sweet mixture of divine innocence and happiness that can only come from making a stellar achievement. He requested that I show You his gloriously giant and vividly embellished painting of the community garden, and bless him, no matter how truant the weather, Mr Billy, like me, loves to tend to the communal garden and grow his own delicious fruit and vegetables and we have even swapped ideas in class!

I was moved to tears as Mr Billy, in his kindly tone of voice, commentated on the little details that scattered all over his mural-like piece of art, and he did not want to stop. He knew of the depth of my amazement and affection for what had been created and so leaned his head into my shoulder. I patted him on the cheek and told him he was a genius! He had made me rich, but the money that I had accrued could not be seen, an unfathomable denomination it was, and for which I can only but service You this portrait of a brilliant mind and daring soul. Mad are those who renounce the choice to view true genius from 360 degree perspective. I pity them, for they are the sufferers of the deficiency of ignorance. It does not need to be so, as the flower opens to converse with the expanses of a mesmerising outer world, so is there an equal chance that the eyelids of the affected could do so, too.

Meanwhile, the latest gardening update from my end is that as soon as the weather turns a little milder I shall endeavour, upon returning from work, to trot off into the garden! My knees firmly planted into the sumptuously mucky soil as I cheerfully get cracking on to let the earth breathe with the rhythmic motions of my handy trowel, I will be turning the sleeping clods over on themselves, then scattering farmhouse manure around the girth of rose bushes and weeding out and cutting back the crackled brown vines that have seen the worst of the winter frost. Oh, my beloved Reader, how I love Spring! It arouses forever in me the feeling that I am sat on the cusp of a new world, and my lap exudes in all this breathlessness a fragrant and fertile purpose: an aching enticement for strawberries, red and succulent, that have yet to be born…  ♥♥♥

 

Reading The Seasons!

“… And, it is only and only ever, my True Love for YOU, as eternal as the unseen rocks that live beneath this very earth on which You walk on, and that I cannot see You from where I am, that can ever explain why Mr Billy, my adorable student, bursts out in a smile…”

Reading The Seasons!

“… I patted him on the cheek and told him he was a genius…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester Discovery Centre Cityscape Gallery | Winchester | UK 2016

“That’s A Wrap!”, Announced U.N. Owen – Sorry – UN(cle) Owen – Sorry – You ‘N’ Owen!

What is terrifically mind-boggling, and yet at the same time incredibly hilarious, about the English language is that a single word, if deprived of its sentence of context, can come to mean any number of things. A word is a branch in waiting, not a stump of deficiency. It is a willing and compact seed of potentiality and it falls on You to let it grow in directions beyond that initial husk of unseen worlds.

Take for example, the word WRAP.

Recently, my dream husband, the dangerously dashing and unfailingly just, Mr Poldark, was seen on telly where he concluded, with a high cheer that made me want to rush up and smooch his cheek, the phrase that is a relief to every director, “It’s a WRAP!” Now You must understand that my darling beau did not express his chuckling merriment because someone had passed him a woolly rug to wrap around his sumptuous frame! It was not like as if he was stranded in Narnia, held captive by the Ice Queen, and thrown into a cell whose devilish coldness made the inside of every freezer seem like a slice of the tropics! In the context of filming, “That’s a WRAP!”, is an informal signification of the completion of the film project and it implies that the actors could now sit back and take a chill pill. Oh no, no, no, You silly billy, no blanket wrap is ncessary when one indulges in a ‘chill pill’, it is another example of figurative speech to denote a time of relaxation! Gosh, what am I going to do with You?! Giggle, giggle!

There is another popular usage of WRAP and it will be extremely familiar to You if You worship with as much ardency as I do the stirring voice of Your Tumnus – sorry – tummy! Yes, You have guessed it correct, I speak of the EDIBLE WRAP! Here in England we are very much obsessed with our sandwiches, but in more contemporary times the vibrant influx of cultural cuisines from around the world has brought with it the concept of the wrap, which is basically a flat bread of some sort that neatly wraps around a delicious filling! When the lunchtime hunger pangs crusade on my belly with teeth as sharp as knives, a good old grilled veggie and hummus wrap does the trick to appease the annoying growls and groans! Highly unladylike, indeed! Giggle, giggle! Perhaps You would prefer a chicken and salad wrap, or a smoked salmon and cheese wrap if the calling of the sea is what tickles Your taste buds! All in all, a delicious edible wrap is a must for me at lunchtime, and it offers an excellent replenishment of energy reserves, especially after a busy class that often involves chasing up students and dodging swivel chairs that seem to have a life of their own!

But where am I going with all this? Do not dig Your head in the sand, I am getting there! Patience! Giggle, giggle, toes a-wriggle!

As per request by a well-wishing stranger that I discovered this morning, here in the virtual world, I am proud and exorbitantly happy to present to You the final part of the story, which, as irony would have it, is actually the beginning and it is all about a chap who loves his food to bits – especially wraps! I vowed to myself that I would not reveal these first two photographs, taken on that day of intersecting destinies, so soon, and instead opting to follow the vibrations of my sixth sense, I waited for that riper time that would eloquently slide my final segment into place, accurately and poetically.

Before I commence I should like You to bear in mind that ALL of this is TRUE, even though I realise that the connections that radiate out from it are wild and magical, to the point of shaking disbelief, but should You ever visit my local library You are more than welcome to investigate the veracity of my testimony by quizzing all the staff. Most of them saw me in there, sat with my journal and fountain pen, camera equipment splayed across the white bench, whilst the banners and bunting in the Children’s Department fluttered above my head.

On that day, quite early in the morning when the library felt like a whole different place since the jostle of crowds and chirpings of children were yet to find their way through the galleries and rooms, the very first person to arrive to see me with their book was UNCLE OWEN!

Now let us get one thing straight, this lovely and kindly and giant of a chap was once my student at college but after passing all his exams he has successfully moved on, and yes, I do miss him terribly! If You are despicably gullible enough to believe Owen is my biological Uncle then please, arrange a prompt appointment with Your psychiatrist! Honestly, why do I bother?! Chuckle, chuckle, train-whistle chuckle!

When I was first introduced to my gentle giant I immediately anchored my attentions on his name and the ginormous connection it had to Star Wars, for Luke Skywalker’s adopted Uncle on the sand dunes of Tatooine was indeed none other than a raggedy old man called Uncle Owen! The name stuck forever after I learnt that Owen, like myself, was a Stars Wars aficionado! What greater legitimacy than this for electing my pet name for this adorable chap who was always helpful and reassuring in class, offering moral support when his peers were low and quick to report issues when he saw them. What a super trouper, our Uncle Owen!

Uncle Owen! You are here! HURRAH! How are you, my darling?” I reached up to grab him and planted a kiss on his cheek and he bent down low for me, to which I am always wary of, for it must be a demanding and laborious feat for any 6ft 4” chap to hug a 5ft 1” hobbit like myself! He never kicks a fuss, Uncle Owen is more than happy to oblige me!

I’m good, Maz!” Uncle Owen never calls me ‘Mazzy’ for some strange reason, perhaps it is too girly in sound and he wishes to avoid seeming oversentimental! I am not fussy either, whenever I am referred to as ‘Maz’ I feel like a footballer, it has that sort of ring to it!

Thank you, my love, for coming! How is work at the shop?” Much time had passed since I last spoke to him, and though I pop into his workplace whenever I walk down that street in town, lately my busy schedule had kept me away from popping my head round  to see him and the other friendly faces that work alongside him.

I’m doing well, Maz. Shane cracks me up sometimes!” We laughed and I agreed that when Shane was around one could never be too careful, that jester was always up to something devious!

We spoke at length about new films and the Batman Vs Superman combo due for release soon. With Uncle Owen I could happily unleash my high-octane tomboy side, a refreshing break from the whims and passions of the feminine brain!

And what might have you brought for me, Uncle Owen?” My eyes trained onto his rucksack and he began to rummage into its dark depths and how positively awesome would it have been if he had pulled out a sleek black and angular batarang of the Dark Knight himself and shot it through the air and flew off! Perhaps for another project in the future! Giggle, giggle!

Yet, Uncle Owen did not come empty handed. He had a book and, since I had not the faintest or the foggiest as to what it was, I tensed up once again as its cover edged its way to the brink of my line of sight!

Maz, for you I have got this! Jamie Oliver! I bought this from the charity shop!” He raised the book and I was stunned, for little did I realise that my galactic rebel fighter was keen on cooking!

Uncle Owen! This is amazing! I had assumed you would have packed a marvel hero comic or something to do with Star Wars!” I paused and held the hardback weight in my tiny hands before continuing, “But, no, you have surprised me big time! You like cookery books?

Yes, Maz! I want to learn to cook better and make healthy meals for myself”. Uncle Owen lived independently in his own flat but after a lifetime of scoffing down ready meals, this gentle giant had finally acknowledged that cooking from scratch was not as difficult as it would seem.

That is extraordinary and I think those cookery classes you took with us has really whet your appetite!” Do my students ever stop giving me reasons to admire them? No. Incessantly, tirelessly, here were fantastic individuals who strove to reach new frontiers. He did not know it, but right at that moment there was not much of a disparity between Uncle Owen and an astronaut. Cooking is uncharted territory for many men, as arcane and mysterious and a struggling puzzle to fathom on par with the hardest equations ever generated!

You do know that from now on in, whenever I run into you in the street, I will be asking you when the feast is on? I expect a whole class invitation to your flat when you have mastered Mr Jamie Oliver’s recipes!” I smiled wide and with plenty of fondness, and it made me swell and melt to watch how happy my words made Uncle Owen feel. This was why this book project was worth every sweat, time and penny!

To those of You who are not familiar with British celebrity chef, Mr Oliver, let me say that his is the aces, his preparations are no-nonsense and showcase a superb array of colours and textures, not least are they famous for their health-conscience properties! He is our nation’s favourite and has a delightful pet name of his own: THE NAKED CHEF! Once more, a play on figurative speech, You won’t be needing to pass a WRAP to him, he simply likes to be called that as a pointer to the beautiful simplicity of his recipes, minus all the pomp and self-conceited traits one would expect with a celebrity chef!

Yes, Maz, I will call you all over but first I have to practice”. He was a realist but with the heart of a dreamer.  “I am going to try and make stuffed peppers, they look nice!” He turned to the page and showed me what he meant.

I can’t wait for that day, Uncle Owen! It will be an honour to eat your food!” I wanted to wrap my arms around his oakish frame and tell him just how proud he made me feel, and that the reason why I was loyal to my role as a humble teacher was so that I could play a hand in transforming potentials into realities. I was a little teary in the eye, though it was important that I composed myself because in a second or two I would charge myself with the duty of taking his photograph and a shaky and weepy clicker is no good for that!

One last bear hug exchanged, he marched off to catch the train to Eastleigh to see a friend whilst I sat down once more on the bench, contemplating on how people can gift You the most pleasant surprises about themselves even after knowing them for many years. Just when You assumed that it was a wrap, it was not! What a revelation!

BUT, who would have thought that the name of UN(cle) Owen would prove to share a monumental and significant resonance with the enigmatic epistolary author of typewritten letters, U.N. Owen, that lured and drew ten strangers to a remote island? Even when I think about it now, I am thunderstuck, emitting waves of gratitude of such magnitude that it pierces through both sky and sea, and I am reinforced in my faith of the existence of Good Magic.

In approximately half an hour’s time two other friends would be meeting me in the very same spot, each with their book of the moment. Their names were Emily and Elsie.

And in my imagination I can see You ‘n’ Owen burst out in flavoursome cheer and joy, voices as fragrant as citrus zest and as kingly and wholesome as hummus, calling out at the top of Your lungs “That’s a WRAP!♥♥♥

That's A Wrap!

“Yes, Maz! I want to learn to cook better and make healthy meals for myself”.

 

That's A Wrap!

“Yes, Maz, I will call you all over but first I have to practice”. He was a realist but with the heart of a dreamer. “I am going to try and make stuffed peppers, they look nice!” He turned to the page and showed me what he meant.

 


Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Discovery Centre | Winchester | UK 2016

 

Gravitational Waves & Love That Bears Out Even To The Edge Of Doom: Einstein Meets Shakespeare!

A JOYFUL, JOYFUL, JOYFUL Update 12-02-2016

I have not much time this morning, for I must set off to work soon, however I would implode like a neutron star if I were not to share with You just one of the many comments that have been sent my way in response to last night’s tale wherein I crafted a hitherto unseen bridge between Mr Einstein and Mr Shakespeare, and quite rightfully to host the proceedings was the positively and lovable Sir Lawrie!

Whilst I was asleep my very good friend of Nordic lands, Siggi, read my storytelling piece and kindly submitted a comment that had me nearly in tears of joy this morning! Just look at the ripples of that emoticon smile that seems to flow on forever! What a blessing to be buoyed in life with friends and family who share an intimate and genuine admiration for my Vision. I hope that by my sharing of these words, You, too, will be inspired to help others in any way You can, small or large it does not matter one bit.

You may carelessly throw what seems to the eye an ordinary pebble into a pond that no one cares to think twice about, but who knows, truly, to whom Your ripples will touch and change forever… ♥♥♥

Wishing You a JOYFUL day!
Infinities of Love, Mazzy xxx     

 

A Joyful Response!

“… Whilst I was asleep my very good friend of Nordic lands, Siggi, read my storytelling piece and kindly submitted a comment that had me nearly in tears of joy this morning…”

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

*******************************************************************
It is a gigantic and monumental day on two accounts and I have chosen, by virtue of my deliciously oddball tendency for polymathic thoughts, that I shall proceed to happily tie the two seemingly disparate fields into one wild meadow of joyful wholeness. Actually, I know I will be able to achieve this synthesis of ideas since I have long detected that the yearning to touch the fundamental building blocks of the Universe is a visionary quest that is craved by both physicists and poets. I sit somewhere in the middle, churning in the syrupy echoes radiating from each corner to create a satisfying brew, as when milk and water and teabag liqueur combine into one miniature ocean and with such precision it happens that You forget that they ever existed as separate entities.

So, it all began this morning when I woke up and I felt a very nice feeling in my tummy and  I drew closer to my window and spotted a fat-breasted red robin who had swooped down from the skies and made a quiet landing in my garden. The warm and fresh sunshine of the cold February day bathed his little body, a healing embrace in which I sensed that something great was afoot. As I began to prepare for my brisk walk to work I was drawn to the laptop and after opening it and logging in I was dazzled by the news that a scientific conference was to take place later in the day in which an update would be shared with the public on the status of investigations attempting to detect the last aspect of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Would he be proven right again on the controversial issue of whether the curvature dynamics of the fabric of Space-Time is of such property that were a massive gravitational incident take place in its net, would it react and generate giant interstellar ripples outwards in every direction, as one would normally observe if a stone were to be thrown into a pond?

Einstein had devised his theory nearly 100 years ago and after its publication, decades of hardworking scientists and engineers entered a collaborative pact and poured out their sweat and passion into perfecting technological instruments sensitive enough to pick up the theoretical ripples. Speculation began to arise that only something as awesome as black hole collisions or explosions would kick-star the ripple effect. The last unproven aspect of Einstein’s life’s work, the stunning irony was that Mr Einstein himself was not a fan of accepting the existence of black holes, although I find them scintillating characters and far from destructive. Perhaps it is my poetical eye that favours them, for they do remind me of a Sufi dervish passionately whirling and spinning away, ego dissolved in its centre to an incomprehensible singularity, and all this dancing taking place in the black Kaaba cloth of the Universe!

I made up my mind that I could not leave the house without Tweeting what my sixth sense told me. I felt birdsong in my fingers and in my mind I saw the ripples spreading out like a huge ring of smiles whilst a teardrop of ecstatic annihilation lay at its heart. I re-typed a sentence that I had written earlier for my Prince of Darkness story and left it at that, however, I was buzzing with the certitude that an AMAZING discovery of epic proportions was on its way to our ears!

When I swished into my classroom I noticed immediately that Sir Lawrie, one of my most adorable students, had a rather special surprise for me. In his hands he held the most hefty and massive book of Shakespeare’s complete works I had ever laid eyes on! The hardcover was a tempting and leathery canvas of wine red with the title embossed in an authoritative font that glistened like gold, the heartbeat of the solar sun itself.

My goodness, Lawrie, did you carry this all the way for us? It is so very heavy! Tell me you took the bus to bring it to us?” I was overjoyed by the generosity of his spirit and yet I was worried that he may have trudged a long way with a cumbersome weight on his back.

Mazzy, I walked and anything for you!” Sir Lawrie beamed out his signature smile and his eyes, with cute timidity, disappeared into the folds of his adorable face.

Oh, Lawrie, you have to be careful. This book is very heavy and I do not want you to hurt your back!” I took a long sigh and looked at him with tender admiration. “However, thank you, my dear, for being so kind and thoughtful to want to share your great treasure with the class. You are a sweety!” And to that Lawrie’s face sparked out an even brighter smile than the first one. I am sure somewhere in the world an iceberg must have melted itself into a milky smoothie!

As we all sat down in our respective seats I pondered on the phenomenal heaviness of the book and interpreted a significant connection between what I had felt in my gut earlier and what was presented before me now by my student. It must mean something, and that something was to make history.

Suddenly, outside the classroom, a bird shrilled and sang out loud and everyone in the room giggled and strained their heads to catch the chirpy tiny chap responsible for the intriguing song. Twice more we were interrupted by his chirping and tweeting and even I began to invest a more focused search for what it was, alas, I could not catch sight of our winged singer. It was almost as if the bird was invisible, undetectable to the eye, elusive and mysterious. Had Mr Robin from my garden followed me to work? I smiled to myself and imagined that it was indeed a magical visitation and who cares that I could not see him, his song encapsulated everything that I would ever need to know about the entire nature of his essence.

Sir Lawrie proudly told the class of his love for Shakespeare’s Sonnets and that is when my heart rang out in remembrance for my favourite sonnet, number 116. I had already decided to myself that I would ask Sir Lawrie if he could locate Sonnet 116 in his treasure chest of a book and that if I may take a portrait of him holding it up. He is a chap who never fails in letting himself blaze with gusto in front of my lens, and that should not come as a shocking surprise to anyone who knows him, the young man is one of the crème-de-la-crème of acting talents for The Blue Apple Theatre!

As he held the book up to the page of interest I re-read the entire passage of Sonnet 116 and every single line of poetical outburst was signifying to me once again that sacred message of True Love, that here was a formidable force undeterred by the passing arrow of time, not a flimsy material prone to deterioration along a fleeting timeline of weeks and months, rather it was the stuff of Eternity and so powerful the Faith in its core that it ‘bears out even to the edge of doom’. I thanked Sir Lawrie and as the class came to a finish I had already felt in the fibres of my being that upon reaching home I would hear the news that I had always known.

Scientific history was made! The L-shaped observatory that is the LIGO detection equipment had on 14/9/15 detected the first ever gravitational wave ripples coursing through the fabric of Space-Time and today, after the normal and strenuous peer-review process of scientific scrutiny, it was announced to the world that at last Einstein’s last aspect of his Theory of General Relatively was firmly established with sound scientific data – literally!

I floated with inviolable joy as I read on to learn that the entire scientific community involved in the project had labelled the perceptible data package underlying the historic claim as a “chirp”, a click of a birdsong sung by the Universe, and it was a song not sung by one but two orbiting black holes, swirling and spinning at accelerated rates, like two Sufi dervishes, a pair of divine lovers who were dancing closer and closer to each other. Around 1.2 billion years ago, the two large black holes, one larger than the other, in a fraction of a second, collided and merged to become as One. Their union spurt out an extraordinary shock wave of energy that was equivalent to three solar masses, transferring into the surrounding fabric of Space-Time and stimulating a succession of ripples that spread out in every direction at the speed of light.

Shakespeare penned his idealisation of True Love as something that would ‘bear out at the edge of doom’ and what could be more catastrophic in our physical universe than the merciless jaws of a giant black hole. Today I heard, despite the perplexing enormity of the physical chaos and destructiveness that occurred over a billion years ago, somewhere deep in space and before a time that I took on human form, the gentle birdsong of True Love that had fought and escaped so to reach our ears. Einstein was right!

Echoed, echoed, echoed, did the chirpy song of Mr Robin in my garden today, and the unseen bird outside my classroom today, and the song of an olden Love story somewhere deep in the Kaaba fabric of Space-Time, also today… ♥♥♥

LINK:   https://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/live/2016/feb/11/gravitational-wave-announcement-latest-physics-einstein-ligo-black-holes-live?page=with:block-56bcaee7e4b0e04c43d738fe#block-56bcaee7e4b0e04c43d738fe

Gravitational Waves & Love That Bears Out Even To The Edge Of Doom: Einstein Meets Shakespeare!

“… ‘Mazzy, I walked and anything for you!’ Sir Lawrie beamed out his signature smile and his eyes, with cute timidity, disappeared into the folds of his adorable face’…”

Gravitational Waves & Love That Bears Out Even To The Edge Of Doom: Einstein Meets Shakespeare!

“… I had already decided to myself that I would ask Sir Lawrie if he could locate Sonnet 116 in his treasure chest of a book and that if I may take a portrait of him holding it up. He is a chap who never fails in letting himself blaze with gusto in front of my lens…”

Gravitational Waves & Love That Bears Out Even To The Edge Of Doom: Einstein Meets Shakespeare!

“… Shakespeare penned his idealisation of True Love as something that would ‘bear out at the edge of doom’ and what could be more catastrophic in our physical universe than the merciless jaws of a giant black hole…”

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

Does The Question ‘What On EARTH Is Shakespeare’ Mean We Have To Consult An Atlas?

The ever entertaining court jesters of my class and winning star players of The Blue Apple Theatre Company, the superlatively valiant Sir Lawrie and the heroically virtuous Sir Tommy, proudly presented before my attention today such a literary El Dorado that I felt that they had comprehensively outwitted and upstaged the grandeur and fame once enjoyed by the early Americas explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh himself! What doth I speak of, You ask?

Well, surely it would be disastrously absurd of me to commit the error of recounting my tale without You first reaching out for a lustrous cup of tea?! Stop dilly-dallying and please initiate the march into the kitchen at once, fill up the kettle, await its mellifluous train whistle and then proceed to waterfall it into thy gourd of warm refreshment! Are we done? Smashing – no, no, not in the literal sense of the word! Honestly! Giggle, giggle!

If You have yet to catch on the fact that England is, as we speak, preparing nationwide to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the greatest bard and iambic pentameter scribbler famed for his glittering works of stunning ingenuity in the English language, Mr William Shakespeare, then You are an abominable idiot of the first grade! The faun-like master of the pen is a beloved favourite of my two trusty knights of Camelot whom You can see smiling away in the photograph, in fact they do so to the extent that their cheeks could be seen wobbling under the joyful tension of their outstretched muscles! I will not burrow under the soil, instead I shall go ahead and confess the truth, which may come as a jolting surprise to You, and that is that these two chaps are substantially more knowledgeable about the timeline of the conjurer of fine sonnets and plays than I am. I do not lie! Oh do stop choking on that biscuit!

Shakespeare is so popular around these parts that I suspect his plays will be re-enacted with unceasing vigour even as far into the future as when we shall no longer be inhabitants of our home planet, instead Macbeth will be seen toiling and wallowing in the mud of his guilt and Hamlet haunted by the ghost of his father on stages set up on a terraformed rock millions of light years away from the small enclosure that is our present solar system!

A literary pioneer of soliloquies and who transformed their function by deviating from the traditional role of them serving the reader with facts, Shakespeare set the precedent for allowing his characters to SPEAK ALOUD their mind and heart, irrespective of whether there was anyone present to hear them out, so that we as a reader were invited to enjoy a more richer and vibrant internal world that existed behind the faces of his actors.

Influencing fantastic writers like Hardy and Dickens, Mr Shakey Boo – as I like to refer to him – is an immortal legacy whose words have proven time and time again that they are endowed with stubborn invincibility. I do not think that an era will ever come to be that does not make at least a passing tributary nod to his spectacular opus of works. He is why we have come to believe in words like ‘eternal’ and ‘forever’.

The fanfare of my praises for Mr Shakey Boo could go on all night but then I would be jeopardising my chances in telling You that two of my most loveliest students, whom I taught today, wished for You to see their favourite book which they kindly brought into class, specially for You! Mirroring the nested rhythm that constructs the famous set of the Russian doll, here the two knightly Sirs display a book about books! Opening up as wide as the mythological water serpent, Hydra, this beginners guide to the entire universe of Shakespeare is deceptively simple to look at from the outside, however, turn over its hardback cover and the pages concertina out at You like the papery soul of a vociferous accordion, and so many of us had to volunteer to stand in front of the classroom to hold onto a part of the river of its pages and we came to a point where we all agreed that a bigger classroom was in order! I shall speak to the Principal about our ambitious whims! Giggle, giggle!

As the room buzzed in the fireflies of our laughter because we had found ourselves locked in the struggle to contain the flying reams of page after page, I felt we had plunged into the arena of mythology, fighting a monstrous foe, wrestling with a great flood of information pouring out at us, left, middle and centre!  There was the distinct impression that Mr Shakey Boo did not want to rest, he preferred to be in the spotlight of our discussions and what better way to ensure that his intentions were played out to the full than to cleverly engage all of us in a cheeky combat involving timelines that seemed to be animated by the power of his words, and that easily overwhelmed our measly attempts at self-containment and order. In the end we managed to close the larger-than-life book and the photograph You see below was taken immediately after, which would explain perfectly why my two chaps are plastered with the smile of impossible achievement on their faces! Whoever said that Shakespeare is deceased should brave a trip to my class and open this book: When the zig-zag origami of facts whacks out and whips You in the face You shall concede, like we had done so, that the writer of Sonnet 116 is indeed as fixed in determination as the constancy shown by the Pole Star!

Before I part ways from the pen tonight I should like to emphasise that the title of the book, ‘What On Earth? Shakespeare’, had a few of us slightly on the stumped side. Since I possess a Matilda brain I reflected on the extraordinary strangeness of the title and, looking back, I consider myself rather lucky that I am a member of the human species, for if an alien from another planet had landed in our classroom I am pretty sure it would have requested that I fetch him an atlas cataloguing our sparkling blue and green world so that I may teach him which earthen landmark was called ‘Shakespeare’! Oh my, what deliriously good fun that would have been…!!!! ♥♥♥

What On EARTH Is Shakespeare?

“… The ever entertaining court jesters of my class and winning star players of The Blue Apple Theatre Company, the superlatively valiant Sir Lawrie and the heroically virtuous Sir Tommy, proudly presented before my attention today such a literary El Dorado…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | My Classroom | Winchester | UK 2016