The Dreaming: Chapter 1 The Keen Mind Of Arundhati Mehta

Arundhati Mehta had a face as small and shy and quiet as the silver moon on a fair spring night. It was this reason why no one ever came remotely close in discovering that she was one of the most brilliant agents ever employed in the history of The British Secret Service. And by golly, she was awfully good at what she did because she did not see the world as others saw it. Instead, she observed it.

In a sleepy village nestled on the Churia Hills of Nepal, Arundhati lived with her old mother in a tiny house perched on a slope filled and squashed with many other houses like her own. Her house was the only one that had white-washed walls that gleamed fiercely under the noonday sun, as if it were a blazing pearl that had formed under the tuition of something mysterious, and that it was this very source of mysteriousness that had also chosen to carve this pearl into the shape of a square. A square of comfort, her home. This fascinated Arundhati to no end. She had noticed it first when she was a little girl, and though the house was of modest proportions and built of common materials, she always thought of it as rather special because of this very startling way it behaved under the light.

Arundhati was a keen observer of other things too. She had an unceasing passion for making silent studies of the whole of the natural world that lay before her, its giant undulating carpet of fantastic landmarks and living things always set her eyes darting in every direction. She seemed as if she were catching something with them, something in the air that no one else could see. On her way to school, for instance, she would take note of the murmuring greens that hummed and sang throughout the vast broadleaf forests and admire how they remained standing straight despite all the elements that came down upon them. The reassuring and magical and unspoken authority of these giant creatures were her personal treasures, she told herself,  and this year she had promised herself that she would go out of her way in the summer holidays and build a den from scratch. She imagined it would grow from under her favourite sakhua tree, a secret place where she could read her best books and write up her stories whilst listening out for the loud calls, and even glimpsing, the lightning-blue dives of the white-throated kingfisher as they spritzed through the furtive lairs of the forest.

Once or twice she had even spotted the wayward sloth bear making his sluggish way to who knows where. She was certain it was the same one because his shaggy black coat was extraordinarily long, so long that only a bear that could not possibly part from his proud hair could ever grow his furs to that enormous length! Oh, and as for the tricky task of jotting down the distinct markings that decorated the regal coat of the Bengal tiger, she had never dared to stay too long to find out. It was not so much that the fear of being eaten overpowered her natural love for discovery, more that when those big yellow eyes turned and gazed at her she felt as if that magnificent face would any time open its jaws and give her a good telling off, as like a teacher or parent would. That is why she carefully walked away and let the tiger go about its own business, but undoubtedly, she had always revered them. Their blood was made of heat, a direct walking descendant of the sun itself, she was sure of that.

But, it was without fail, that she would always get into a spot of trouble with the one person she loved the most in the world. Gazing for hours and hours at whatever came her way meant that she could be relied upon for forgetting to return home on time. Her mother – whom she affectionately called ‘Amma’ – prayed everyday that her daughter would come round her senses soon and realise that it was a naughty and devious thing to do to keep her waiting and letting all the delicious dishes, that she had so carefully prepared, get cold. Once cold it never tastes the way it should, her mother would protest in a huff, but alas, the words would simply float over Arundhati’s head and disappear. Time and again, Arundhati’s mother was forced to stand guard at the doorstep in the evening, her eyes scouring the lane back and forth, all in the hope that her unruly girl would pop out from the diminishing crowds of passing folk.

Arundhati was sat on the forest floor that day not far from her house, sketching away a most handsome bloom of white rhododendron heads when suddenly her Amma’s voice shattered through the silence like a storm, only it was familiar and reassuring.

Beti Arundhati!! Your dhal and bhaat are getting cold – AGAIN! When will you ever grow up?! Come on!!

Amma, I am coming!” But she was in no hurry at all, because her mother never really, truly got angry with her. Her threatening mannerisms, certainly scary to outsiders who did not know her, were actually showy acts manufactured to speed things up. Arundhati slowly got up from the ground and cleared away little bits of the forest world that had clung onto her clothing like orphan souls, shaking off stray leaves and smudgy soil from the back of her jeans, and gently picking off a spotty green and black beetle that had taken a liking to her right arm and laying it with care on a nearby branch.

Beti Arundhati!! Make a move on otherwise….” and then there was a silence in which Arundhati could hear her mother thinking, “… I will throw your letter in with the pile of dried wood that your Uncle Alok has just collected and it will burn nicely and you will never see it!

A letter! Arundhati knew exactly who that would be from! She no longer thought it wise to be as slothful as the sloth bear, there was something at home, waiting, something that needed her urgent attention. She jumped onto the path that led the way to her house. But unknown to her, Arundhati’s hurried paces caused her to step on the tail of a sleeping Bengal tiger that had taken rest in between the dense fronds of concealing bracken. The creature let out a yelp and then felt terribly embarrassed. When it turned to face the path to see what had hit him there was nothing there, only that something had moved fast, leaving an impressive trail of sand and dust. ♥♥♥

The Dreaming: Chapter 1 The Keen Mind Of Arundhati Mehta

“… Arundhati was sat on the forest floor that day not far from her house, sketching away a most handsome bloom of white rhododendron heads…”

The Dreaming: Chapter 1 The Keen Mind Of Arundhati Mehta

“… She imagined it would grow from under her favourite sakhua tree, a secret place where she could read her best books and write up her stories…”

The Dreaming: Chapter 1 The Keen Mind Of Arundhati Mehta

“… and gently picking off a spotty green and black beetle that had taken a liking to her right arm and laying it with care on a nearby branch…”

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

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Mazzy’s Rebel Alliance Crew, Recipe For Bogey Mischief Stew!

Welcome to Mazzy’s fantastical Rebel Alliance crew
A veritable recipe for unpalatable mischief stew
A night remembered, for when ordered tea at the bar in lieu
Bladder burst open laughing upon hearing the bartender’s curfew
For tea, especially, was strictly served before 5pm and no later was due
No concession allowed even as I recited tales of the bogey I blew!

 A most insufferable battle was under way in a remote sector of the Alpha Centauri System, one in which we found ourselves hanging on a thread for dear life after the proton torpedo unit of our ship had become massively clogged up with sludgy bombardments of lavender and lime jelly. Things had turned terribly messy, but I think it was when the highly venerated vending machine, famous for dispensing Haribos and packets of popcorn, started to spew out offensive jets of purple sludge that even the most optimistic of us were brought down and took on morbid thoughts. We were as sure as anything that this was to be the abysmal death of the last of the most decorated members of the Alliance!

In all the frenzied madness my voice fidgeted for attention but drowned in the noise, akin to a drip of water overshadowed by the boastful growl of a thunderclap, and no matter how loudly I spoke none of my team members could hear me. It was imperative that I calmed everyone down and I had do it soon otherwise, forget about the enemy striking us down, it would be the deeds of our own misdirection that would be the demise of us!

As if I was detached from the scene and no longer one of the crew, my exasperated eyes now only scanned the faces of my peers with a sort of exhausted apathy, and I quickly shot a glance out of the thick-pane of the window and saw to my bloated dismay the nuclear jelly reactor of the enemy vessel intensifying its concentration of reserves. My guess was that they had lost interest in this game of teaser-style thumping of viscous slimy particles at our ship and were now prepared to wipe us out completely. Cosmic creepers, jeepers sweepers!

My little head surveyed the deck at frantic speed and even at the last tethers of hope my gut was prodding me with handy advice. Alas, I in my sickening state could hear nothing, and I must say with the panic hitting the rooftop there was no chance of anyone hearing anyone else out, even if it were an orchestra of elephants trumpeting out notes on the fullest volume possible its cacophony would not stir the eardrums.

When my head goes fuzzy with umpteen strands of crisis scenarios brewing in them I tend to let out steam in the most diabolical way imaginable. I sneeze! And with it the nasal passages are cleared and swept of their pea-green conglomeration of mucus, or as we Brits like to call it, the bogey! It is of course an act of great service to that part of the body that always seems to receive much less credit than it really ought to deserve. An unflattering filtration and venting system, the nose and its vertical caverns is a marvel of evolutionary invention and the beau to every handkerchief that ever was embroidered!

We need to make mischief stew!” I muttered to myself and then clicked my fingers and suddenly the pandemonium on the deck did not appear as bad and dire as it was at first. A solution, in the most literal sense of the word, had risen up in my nose and herein was our only chance at defeating that nasty ship over yonder!

As my anxiety inflated so did the pre-sneeze motions, it was growing bigger and bigger and bigger, and like a speeding dart, I jumped into my seat in the middle and stood up and clanged and clashed my sneakers against the control panel that was blatantly malfunctioning as above it many sparks were flickering on and off like a miniature fireworks display.

LADIES!” No one paid the slightest bit of attention to me since they were too busy racking their sizzled brains and fiddling with their individual panels, still somewhat assured that the right press of a button would release enough of something to weaken the annoyingly tight defences of the enemy vessel. I was about to repeat my addressing the team, “LA – “, when the compressed pressure stored at the top of my nose gave way and I blew HARD!

ACHOOOOOO!!” A gale force of nasal winds burst out of my nostrils, sending the draping locks of all my beautiful crew members to rise and fly and undulate as one would expect in a glamorous shampoo advert! But, what really caught everyone’s attention was the fact that not only dry winds exuded from these nostrils of mine, for with these fantastic winds came a superior inundation of green snot, some as hard as dried concrete, and others as gooey as semolina soup! I had only sneezed once, however, the contents of my nose decisively chose to divide out and splatter itself on the faces of each member of my crew. No one was spared! I had not bet on this outcome and shrugging my shoulders, breathlessly, sent everyone a sincere and apologetic smirk.

Sorry…” Silence fell in the room like a slab of stone into a bathtub of water.

No one moved a muscle. Would I be irreparably condemned by my peers for breaching decorum in the most disgustful manner ever possible? I gulped hard and tried to swallow and I do believe, since every ear-nose-throat specialist will avow – that traces of the snot mixture slid down my gullet! It was not nice, and I know that I do not need to say it in order for You to believe it!

Elsie stood up, her eyes not tearing away from my gaze, and my heart sank to see that her pretty fairy wreath on her head was mercilessly doused in my nasal fluids. I pursed my lips and screwed my eyes and wished that somebody could teleport me off this ship.

She raised her hands and then brought them today. CLAP! Oh my lord, she was clapping and then a most angelic smile gleamed off her face!

Emily stood up, and she clapped whilst wiggling her hips!

Gemma leapt off her seat and when she did a fat blob of bogey dripped off from her chin and slobbered down to the floor as if it were a gush spewed out by a waterfall! She began clapping, too!

Agnes pushed her chair back, wiped a wall of crusty snot off her eyelashes and then proceeded to clap before passing a wink at me!  

 Chiara shook her hair and bubbles of green slime flew all over the control panels in front of her, and then she raised her hands above her head and clapped in slow and emphatic beats. It was not a rock concert but her style of applause would have fooled You into believing that she was at the front row gawping and salivating at the sight of her favourite band!

Charlie thrust her chest forward, hands on her hips and putting on a remarkable Wonder Woman stance, she nodded decisively before bursting into strawberry giggles followed by a round of high frequent claps!

Kayleigh’s red hair had turned green, uniformly coated in my internal bacterial juices, and she flicked a ringlet of her curls with pride and with a reasserted stare clapped triumphantly!

Tasha went berserk! Oh, and yes, she did clap!

MISCHIEF STEW!” We shouted out loud and made a beeline to the nuclear reactor of our ship, a downward tunnel of metal whose lower echelons glowed in incandescent shimmering reminiscent of the northern lights. Stood all of us around the ring of the reactor tunnel, I pulled out of my pocket a tiny bottle of Amma’s ground black pepper and sumptuously opened the lid. All eyes were on me. My face peeped out a knowing smile which set alight a similar smile in my crew members. Dismissing the need for a countdown and without warning, I shook the bottle and the grainy contents spurted into the air like dust mites and hovering there for a while they came down and we let it stream down into our nasal passages.

Immediately our noses itched! Then they seriously itched! Our eyes flickered and the attacking sneeze reflex began quickly to build up and our tummies trembled, the body not knowing when it would eject the punchy blow.

But it happened and it happened at the same time, an orchestra without the auspices of a conductor, timed in perfection only thanks to the regularity of basic biology!

ACHOOOOOOOOOOO!” The catastrophic burst of green matter and energy expulsed out of our delicate noses and then shot down the vast cavity of the reactor tunnel, splicing through the fancy lights without any regard as like an outlawed vendetta of bogey fibres whose aim was to steal down that tunnel and cause havoc at the other end. Finally the bogey collected itself at the triangulation sensor that was towed to the end of the ship. An automated gizmo, when the bogey cargo made contact with the sensor board it was immediately jettisoned in the direction of the enemy vessel. A neon green line trailed the vacuum of silent space and we watched from the window, tense and admittedly unsure even to this point as to whether our bogey balls would be potent enough to bring down the machinery of our foul nemesis.

It seemed like forever.

What if they were armed with a counteractive measure?!

We waited and waited, and saw the line of pea-green approach the target closer and closer, and yet not close enough. I needed the loo, the suspense was surely worse than death!

Come on, come on…!” I think everyone said these words in their own way in those few dreary eternal seconds.

A purple cloud began to accumulate in the centre of the enemy vessel. A retaliating procedure was put into initiation. Would our bogey go to waste after all?

The purple patch grew deeper.

The green line edged closer.

The purple patch brightened up a notch before a hatch opened in its centre. The killer jelly was orientated into position.

I could not take it anymore. I wished to be out there and help push that bogey stream so that it reached its target quicker, for at present it was mimicking the race track records held by the average garden snail! Panic-stricken, I dug my hand into my pocket and pulled out the bottle of ground black pepper and sprinkled the remaining grains into the air and I ate it, I ate the air!

MAZZY!?” Elsie screamed. Everyone turned to me, open-eyed and grabbed me by the elbow. My eyes flickered rapidly and I began to suck the air through my mouth, haphazardly, while my nose plunged into the infernal itch I had ever encountered.

Sneeze, Mazzy, SNEEZE!” They were all actively provoking me to let the goods out of the bag!

ACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

The exceptional propulsion of the sneeze pushed me back against the wall and the entire ship accelerated forward and as it did the green bogey line in space was thrust magnificently onward before splattering against their ship. In moments the core electronics of the enemy vessel endured a massive energy failure before a cawing shriek of metal resounded, or so we thought, as in space it is common lore that sounds cannot travel through it. Sparks fizzed and small lightning bolts jabbed around the vessel like daggers controlled by invisible hands. I wanted to see what other contortions they would let us the pleasure of witnessing, however, it appeared that the cumulative bogey collections of prime Rebel Alliance fighters was too much bogey for one day and they must have chickened out, for they had vanished, shooting out of range thanks presumably to that little hyperdrive button. It was a most uncouth and vulgar and humiliating way to lose out on an interstellar arm wrestle! Squawk, squawk!

We fell on one another in relief! Laughing at our amazing victory, I acknowledged we had survived the lethality of what could have been our last battle and thanked my crew members from the heart.

Mazzy’s Rebel Alliance Crew, Recipe For Bogey Mischief Stew!

“… We fell on one another in relief! Laughing at our amazing victory…”

We need to celebrate and give our noses a well-earned break!” Elsie always came up with the most majestic ideas!

I cleared my throat and my eyes playfully hopped from face to face as I slowly made out the words, “Mos Eisley Cantina!

YES!

I sat on the captain’s seat and in my so-solid British accent instructed, “Set course for Mos Eisley and make it at the double!

Mazzy’s Rebel Alliance Crew, Recipe For Bogey Mischief Stew!

Set course for Mos Eisley and make it at the double!

When we arrived at Mos Eisely Cantina, bustling from wall to wall with Friday night revellers from all corners of the galaxy, we scooted into the ladies room first and with bog roll wiped away any last traces of nasal gunge and hid away our Rebel Alliance badges before enthusiastically queuing up at the bar. Cool jazz strummed through the cosy interior like honeysuckle dripping of music and we were ready to make a night of it!

What happened next was infinitely more dastardly than fighting any number of nasty anonymous alien enemies in the depths of uncharted space. My lips were unfathomably parched. Yes, I desired a cup of tea! But, oh my goodness, but! Had I known that the supreme beverage of tea was not served at the bar after 5pm I would have most definitely put a bogey-drenched sock in the mouths of those alien baddies a little sooner! Giggle, giggle! ♥♥♥ 

 

Photography, Poem & 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

“We Meet Again! Mooowahahaha!!”

At a writer’s discussion today we launched into a chat about our most silliest and funniest poems. I particularly liked this one of mine and have amended the last sentence for an improved flow of rhythm…

MI6 have just confirmed that the short stripy one You see
Is in fact an employee of the British Intelligence Agency!
Oh my goodness gracious me, he had us all fooled yesterday
Stubby hands known to have detained criminals, as far as India’s Bombay
But like all our Brit Bobbies, he captured his witless prey with a smile
Hence his older offending brother gives in to this unique arresting style
Do not become complacent for there is one more thief around – a plump plum on the loose
Approach her with caution or risk falling for Amma Goose…!! ♥♥♥

Undercover Bobby Captures Mastermind! Mumsy Still On Loose!

“… MI6 have just confirmed that the short stripy one you see, Is in fact an employee of the British Intelligence Agency...”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | International Amma Day | Spring Re-Union Series | Winchester | UK 2015

Bank Holiday Mega Fun: Find A Famous Five!

It is absolutely imperative that if You wish to make this a legendary space odyssey then ensure that You administer the most flawless dosage of Your Jedi mind tricks to secure the co-operation of five of the most competent navigators in Your catchment area! A solid bit of stellar teamwork in the dough mix of Your story will help to consolidate its epic timbre. If You are unconvinced by the arguments of my case then do cast Your minds back and remember that our dear Han would not have gone far without the co-operation of his incomprehensible grunting carpet, Mr Wookie, who was a proper dab hand at chucking the right clunky spanners to his partner, and was also an impromptu tactile counsellor since the soft wall of his brown locks were always a formidable cushion for those feeling a little out of their depth! Now that is an ace partnership in action!

Last night I headed out to town with five of my closest mates whose beautiful and lively visages belie their true awesomeness, a hidden repository of talents belonging to that genre of science fiction – except this is not fiction! A Famous Five with more fierce bang in their engines than all the London fireworks put together and that have ever been set off to usher in the new year, each one of these ladies is a prestigious space cadet proudly in alliance with the Rebel Fleet! And we, buzzing with the delicious suspense of a new adventure, chose to meet and confer round a table inside one of our primary rebel bases here in Winchester which coincidentally, of course, is a public building that likes to moonlight itself as a venue known for its authentic Italian cuisine! Giggle, giggle!

If You have a knack for observant analysis, Your eyes will hone in on with immediate effect on Elsie’s hand supporting her other arm. To the untrained mind it appears so ordinary that You wish You could just pick up the laptop and dunk it in the fish bowl – sorry Banku! – however I might be able to desist You from going bonkers at this stage! Do not think that rest is what these fighters find relief in after a boring Monday morning lecture at the local University. There is serious work to be done, and that is why I have them often practising their overarm slings, tossing and pitching orange spheres whilst simultaneously steering an original Rebel Alliance Starfighter vessel through Winchester’s notorious one-way system. No, I am not making any of this up! Crikey, Your dullard scepticism should be classed as an illegal substance! Gigggggle!!!

Solidarity among Your mates is essential to achieving the ultimate Victory among the stars! Ouch, blimin’ betel nuts – oh, wait a mo, hellllllo, what do we have here…?

May the Force be with You!
Rebel Leader 15, Mazzy ♥♥♥

Bank Holiday Mega Fun: Find Five Of The Finest Compactable Space Cadets!

“… Solidarity among Your mates is essential to achieving the ultimate Victory among the stars…”

 

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

 

Bank Holiday Mega Fun: May The First!

My dearest and most scrumdidlyumptious Reader, if You are as gripped by fanatical lunacy as I am for our joint and imminent departure for the attendance of the extravagant annual interstellar celebrations held at the pro-pirate venue of Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine, then You have entered the right docking bay! Hurrah!

It gives me indescribable pleasure to tell You that my midget guru by the name of Yoda has entrusted me with a job with the calm confidence that I would respond to it with extreme keenness! As always, he is right! As I am the wackiest teacher in my department, known to wear odd sneakers and blazing jumpers just to make my students crack up with laughter, and not to mention of my no holds barred taste for theatrics, Yoda told me in the playground that I ought to apply my humble credentials to a more adventuresome use! He has asked me to counsel You on what to take in Your suitcase for the long and bumpy journey ahead – and for those of You with modified hyperdrives, be warned in Your assumption that the course You set will be achieved with straightforward ease. Rebel spies inform us that massive betel nut asteroids have appeared out of nowhere and are perilously orbiting the outer rim of the solar system in which Tatooine is located. First indications suggest that bandits of Asian aunties may be responsible for this grotesque vandalism of intergalactic airspace! Cheeky rowdy seniors, indeed!

Without much further ado, let me put on my dotty gardening gloves and trowel through my photographic archives! Ah, yes, this will do just fine! First up in our suggested baggage list is the most reliable form of terrestrial mobility one should have on their persons when tackling those uneven sand dunes of Tatooine, and thus I recommend You to acquire a decent and well-oiled FARMYARD TRACTOR! Oh now, now, do not be put off by its dinosaur proportions, I am sure You will solve this, ahem ahem, slight issue of how to fit it into Your suitcase! If there is a symptomatic wailing of despair from Your throat it is all down to the fact that Your mind is too pernickety! Honestly, throwing up a fuss over a trivial a matter as that of size incompatibility would put both Your mumsy and the pet goldfish to shame!  How difficult can it be to squash those four tyres into your hand luggage?! Now, enough of that sniffling! Oh my lord, is that a green bogey or Jabba’s bottom that just dripped down from Your nose?!

May the Force be with You!
Red Leader 15, Mazzy ♥♥♥

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 7: On The Matter Of Meeting Majnun’s Deer!

“… the most reliable form of terrestrial mobility one should have on their persons when tackling those uneven sand dunes of Tatooine, and thus I recommend You to acquire a decent and well-oiled FARMYARD TRACTOR…

 

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

Old Pictures, New Story: Pocket Edition Magic!

The votes have been cast and my family and friends have decided, unanimously, that the spruced-up chap with the lion-heart, whom we see in the photograph below, should bravely step forward and take my hand! I say, what conspiracy is this?! Yet I shall be kindly upon them and grant amnesty to the innocence and naivety of their verdict, for little do they know that the days of Mr C.S. Lewis and the wearing of dignified tweed fibres have unfortunately relegated themselves to an endangered rank of style. And if still, miracle permitting, there is such a man whose wardrobe tastes are as ancient as the first bacterial life that bewitched into existence beneath the world’s blue oceans, then hurry man, relinquish thy silence and make Yourself known! Giggle, giggle! ♥♥♥ 

 
Every which way I turned the serpentine streets of London showed themselves to be the empires of frenzied footsteps made of scampering strangers, cramped spaces teeming with a living museum of the city’s diverse and complex human characters. I had only just sprung out from the underground tube and into the reassurance of familiar daylight when this rather dapper and stylishly suited gentleman appeared out of the corner of my eye! Donned in green tweed, monocle confidently propped up, festooned with a bushy moustache on a canvas of face generously rotund as like his equally portly belly, I was curious to know precisely what such a figure of dignified antiquity was viewing on his phone. Perhaps he was requesting that he should be sent back to his own time? Or, was he texting Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, demanding to know where his pick-up car had gone to that was promised to him? What a delight that this eccentric chap should spark endless stories in my head and to remind me that even in the most chaotic and impersonal of places my eyes could still make out exquisite pockets of magic…” 

Meet Colonel Green Tweed!

Potential husband material? Well, that depends. Are we referring to the round-bellied one or to his handsome green tweed suit? I beg Your pardon, but why are You winking at me? ♥♥♥

 

Photograph & Journal Excerpt: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | London Street Photography Series | Central London | UK 2014

 

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

My Dearest & Treasured Reader,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


You know I am eternally Yours,

Mazzy xxx

Samka Librarian

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

 

Samka Bar

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

   

Samka's Man

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

Samka Problem-Solving

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

Samka Stomper

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

Samka's Shoes

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

Samka's Smartphone

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

Samka's Light

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

Samka & Chess

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

Pillars Of Friendship

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

Samka At It Again!

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

Samka's Collars

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

Beauty In Unexpected Places

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

Samka's Steed

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


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

37 Going Gloriously Down To 9!

My Dearest & Most Beloved Fan Number One!

I thought I would never have to spurt such a phrase given my tortoise-inspired way of life, but, I am ‘short of time’ today here in the virtual world (stop being silly, it is not a reference to what one wears below the torso!), for there is yet another party awaiting my tummy and the auspicious thunderous rattle of my shaking hips! GIGGLE, GIGGLE! As a consequence of my limited time on the laptop I have not had a chance to prepare another photograph from my steamy adventures – Oi, cut out the rude thoughts, we have Children in the audience! In its place I present to You on this fantastically sunny day a jovial portrait of my friend’s daughter, Little Miss A. The rationale behind my choice of image is as simple as ABC: Though I turn 37 today, I have made a successful U-turn to 9! Ageing for me is going forwards in body and backwards in soul!

I wish to take the immense joy I feel in living up to this far and send it out to You, praying that my jasmine-scented envelope settles in the parts of Your heart that need it most. I shall endeavour to post at least one more article tomorrow before I take my leave from the virtual world to embark on a new and grand adventure to distant shores… :))

Your candle under the stars,
Mazzy x

LET THE PARTY BEGIN!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4EZHGFK-1c

Best Friend T-Shirt girl, Little Miss A, a rising star of theatre and dance
Never one to stay still, forever on the hop – skip – and prance
But since my friend and I are of the same short height, as You can see
Taking pictures at her eye-level is as easy as ABC…!!!

37 Going Gloriously Down To 9!

Photograph, Words & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | My Garden | UK 2015

An Ecuadorian Mystique, My Mate Ariana

Think Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, the glamorous starlets of the golden era of Hollywood cinema, artists of the screen who have acquired definitive immortality. To this day these names possess the allure and mystique to capture and captivate our imaginations whenever their faces should come to glitter and shimmer across our screens in scenes of antiquated yet stylized romanticism.

Though I wear the tomboy badge with humour and pride, as a little girl I grew up watching many a sepia-toned classic of vintage Hollywood cinema and soon enough I found that I had fallen completely under the spell of the honey-coated innocence and rapturously sharp-tongued demeanour of the British actress, Audrey Hepburn, my most beloved of stage and screen artist to this day. The sophistication of her femininity, the classiness of her elocution, her mesmerising aura and the startling beauty of her smile were all successfully good in persuading me to overthrow my proneness to tomboy antics! In my imagination she encompasses the figure of a reassuring matriarch of romantic glamour, distilling the wisdom that it was fine to adopt the ‘girly’ persona sometimes! Well, at the insistence of my friends I do sort of try but, as a creature of old habits, my heart is in my feet and they can be always relied upon to lumbering down the fun and mucky path of the forest trail! Elaborate dresses are out of the question – for the time being anyway! Giggle, giggle!

I am thrilled to present to You my photographic homage to the golden age of Hollywood cinema and to the enduring enchantment of the elegantly seductive heroines who filled their stories with a superior brand of magical presence inimitable by the stars of the contemporary area.

To select a face and personality for this lively reconstruction of the ravishments, affluence and style of the golden era was actually as easy as ABC! In fact I did not have to go to her, she came to me! Please put your hands together and make some noise for one of my besties, my gorgeous Ecuadorian beauty of sparklingly intelligence and charismatic pizzazz that would unsettle in a jiffy the thrones of many A-List celebrities – Ariana!

An Ecuadorian Mystique, My Mate Ariana

“… Please put your hands together and make some noise for one of my besties, my gorgeous Ecuadorian beauty of sparklingly intelligence and charismatic pizzazz that would unsettle in a jiffy the thrones of many A-List celebrities, Ariana…”

She is a cool cat, cultured and natural in front of the lens. I am convinced that she, in her past life, must have been one of the legendary actresses that I have thus far mentioned in this article.

An Ecuadorian Mystique, My Mate Ariana

“… She is a cool cat, cultured and natural in front of the lens. I am convinced that she, in her past life, must have been one of the legendary actresses that I have thus far mentioned in this article…”

When I told her upfront that the editor of Vogue magazine would immediately sweep her off her feet, and with fanfare, splash that starry face across its central spread, Ariana replied that it would be a fantastic dream come true however, the passion in her heart consistently sought the establishing of a career in the medical sciences.

An Ecuadorian Mystique, My Mate Ariana

“… When I told her upfront that the editor of Vogue magazine would immediately sweep her off her feet, and with fanfare, splash that starry face across its central spread, Ariana replied that it would be a fantastic dream come true however, the passion in her heart consistently sought the establishing of a career in the medical sciences…”

Ah, beauty and intelligence! When they join forces in a woman expect the roaring eruption of bedazzling fireworks into which any man would quite happily step into, burning himself down into the most blissful of ashes…  :))

An Ecuadorian Mystique, My Mate Ariana

“… Ah, beauty and intelligence! When they join forces in a woman expect the roaring eruption of bedazzling fireworks into which any man would quite happily step into, burning himself down into the most blissful of ashes… “

EPILOGUE: Ah, You quiz me about my own proclivities when choosing a role to play in Indian Cinema! Do not be insufferably silly, You know the answer to that already. In front of an ancient temple doorway I am lost in the heavenly embrace of my biggest Fan. Identity still pending… :))

LINK: https://www.facebook.com/VeerZaara/photos/a.164092153792447.1073741826.150458898489106/417396688461991/?type=1&theater

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Summer Reunions | Winchester | UK 2015