Bear Feet Need Not Always Be Bare!

In children’s books words are the deft-defying ambassadors of adventure, beauty, intrigue, delicious frightfulness and hope, the latter is as fantastically dogged and hard-nosed as a rhino who thinks he can beat anyone in the ring because he has just rummaged through a fresh bag of Haribos that has served to induce a huge energy surge in his legs! Whoopsee! Giggle, giggle!

So, with tea and cake in mind, but decidedly deferred till a little later in the day, Katie and I, who are both completely buffoon about books, skidded into Winchester’s only dedicated shop designed to cater for the appetites of those who cannot live without words, and we began to inhale, gulp and wash down the papery treasures neatly laid out in piles on various tables whose order somewhat defied logic. I prefer the exile of systematic pathways in such places, for books were meant to discover You as much as You are meant to discover them, an odd but comforting sentiment that is most effectively reinforced when there is an element of haphazardness in the layout of the fortress – a maze of sorts –  where You never quite know which literary mass will cross Your path. A bit like Life itself, since we never know who is walking round the corner, and  who on our path shall become ‘a star-cross Lover’, except I tend to take editorial liberties at such junctions, prodding Destiny to pen me something far more nicer than that of the tragic ending of Shakespeare’s masterpiece!

Well, today, of all days, a character born out of words swirled his fabulous attire of wonders in my path! Katie and I, in the middle of the bookshop, felt at once as if we were swept off our feet and placed in the very core of the capital itself! Whatever was it that made us believe that we had transported ourselves to one of the most bustling train stations of all of England?

Because and behold and be bewitched…

We had suddenly spotted a certain extremely cuddlesome, furry immigrant!

He told us that he came from Darkest Peru and that his Aunty Lucy had, with breaking heart, sent him to our world so that he may find a loving family and a new home.

A worrying marmalade habit he admitted to, this chap was in possession of the real artefact which he kept safely under his floppy hat in case of those nasty, disastrous moments of Code 5 emergencies!

And, incidentally, it was being found on a London train station that had inspired his rather exceedingly strange but affectionately poised name.

I speak of Paddington, of course!

I do have every right in the universe to whack You on the head with my Poppins umbrella should You have not correctly guessed the figure in question from the first clue alone! Ahem, ahem!

Katie and I jumped with strawberry-flavoured joy to see our dear old Paddy, a modest little bear, lost and unwanted in one of the largest cities in the world, and yet who eventually comes to realise that there was more to him than he had expected. A life of horrid rejection and loneliness is turned on its head thanks to a discovery more splendid than finding gold or diamonds or the lost world of Atlantis! A family to match the colour and bohemianism and outgoing spirit as his own, when the Browns open their doors and arms to the orphan bear, he promptly returns to being his happy self that at times he himself notices that it becomes incredibly tricky to tell the difference between love, marmalade and the sunrise! It was all the same to him because true happiness does that to a bear!

Katie, it is a Sign! We’ve found a rare Paddy Bear, look at those waterproof red wellies he’s got on!” The words blabbed out of my mouth at a speed of knots and if You remember we were in a bookshop, temples of respectable silence, that my rattling of the vocal chords stirred a few heads out of their trances to poke stares at me. I must say none of it was hostile, there were smiles of agreement and a few fond smirks that acknowledged that it was perfectly acceptable for two grown women to be thoroughly passionate about a children’s book character! That is Winchester for You! Giggle, giggle!

May I remind You that Paddy Bear in the film DOES NOT wear any sturdy footwear throughout his time on screen which was a little let down for those of us who had grown up with the books, though it must be said, his pudgy paws all exposed allowed me to admire them in a way I had never done so in the past. He does have the most adorable set of feet, dear Reader, and no matter the grossness of the terrains he must clamber and climb I can never imagine those little digits of his – no not numbers – to ever be smote with stinky feet! It is a bare – sorry – bear thing to be endowed with such stench-busting traits!

Mazzy darling, take the photograph!” Katie was on all stations go! An auspicious acquisition, a bear with no bare feet, equipped with hardy footwear and ready to take on the barbaric temperaments of the British weather system, my friend urged me not to hesitate a second more and I gladly obliged her legitimate whim and took the shot!

The moral of this short tale, as short as the hero in it and the heroine who wrote it, is that time NEVER stands still and nor does Destiny, with a dinky self-sprinkle of Faith in oneself, You never know of all the places You will go. If You do not believe me then ask Yourself, why are YOU reading my words?

Words have the power to hold Your hands even if the weather to be walked under is wet and windy, and by reading this story – that happens to be about a story – tonight You have travelled a little closer to my Home, courtesy of a pair of Wellington boots blessed by the colours that You have already REaD of in the breast of the winter robin and in the strokes of Lata ji’s pen…  ♥♥♥

LINK [A big giver but never did he ask from anyone for a pair of Wellington boots!] https://www.facebook.com/PaddingtonBear/photos/a.157585777634955.33066.125079994218867/1002772773116247/?type=3&theater   

 

Bear Feet Need Not Always Be Bare!

“… Words have the power to hold Your hands even if the weather to be walked under is wet and windy, and by reading this story about a story tonight You have travelled a little closer to my Home, courtesy of a pair of Wellington boots…”

 

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

 

 

Métropolitain (The Paris Metro)

Diary 8: Métropolitain (The Paris Metro)    

I sigh a long drawn out breath and admit that too many times it has been the case that I have circulated excited jibber-jabber on the topic of the London Underground transport system but there is no cure for it, I am comfortably helpless in front of my geeky appetite and admiration for all things associated with trains! Should You need to incriminate a villain for this treacherous habit then I advise You seek out the Krishna-blue suited one who chugs out fragrant columns of steam with a smile on his face whenever he arrives at my platform! Giggle, giggle!

I dare You to form a conjecture of the size of the spectacular burst of thrilling jumps I made when I laid my viciously probing eyes on the Parisian’s answer to the Underground system! Lavished entrances blazing above with retro Art Noveau style architecture, immediately I was netted into whiffing scents of old worlds, times gone by, and artistic and bohemian extravagance that shimmered in the dramatic flair by which ‘Métropolitain was penned. In comparison to the no-frills London Underground choice of signage, a great big circle lined in red, the Parisians had once more enforced their commitment for stylistic flair, even if it was on the most mundane of objects on the street, to produce an atmosphere of sultry cabaret, enticing Your movements towards it for closer and more devoted inspection! Had that been the order of the day in the more conservative streets of London I would have had rotten tomatoes and tattered shoes thrown at me!

Not forgetting my expressed compliments for the Parisian’s dedication to relaying the artistic vision in all aspects of their life, the metro included, there is an additional rationale that motivated my fingers to click the image below. I cannot explain why my mind works in the way it does, however I see things – or I am meant to see things – always in the service for Your entertainment and enlightenment. Lost in translation? Oh do stop sulking otherwise I shall confiscate Your smartphone, never will it make acquaintance with Your palms again! I will be merciful and tell You what I saw inside ‘Métropolitain’. A set of anagrams that proved the umpteen time that Destiny had taken to a spot of prancing about in the brilliance of the yellow canvas, my eyes deciphered FOUR very, berry, merry magical words, pieces that had taken covert habitation – like the way I am in Your imagination – inside the word:

Métropolitain is made of…

  1. Pir: The Teacher whose quest is to inspire the Fool to grow into the Wise man
  2. Lit: The Teacher whose Orange Vision forever strives to light the path ahead
  3. Moon: The Teacher who inspires a crescent moon smile in all whom she touches
  4. Tea: The Teacher who is gladdened in heart when her student brings her a cup of Tea… :))

To perceive it as a mere coincidence is symptomatic of the lazy mind. Did I not say to You once that, similar to the world’s greatest metro systems, You and I are connected…  :))

Metropolitain

“… the Parisians had once more enforced their commitment for stylistic flair, even if it was on the most mundane of objects on the street, to produce an atmosphere of sultry cabaret, enticing Your movements towards it for closer and more devoted inspection…”

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

 

      

Lizzie & Charlie: Onwards To A New Chapter

Hats and hands down, it is always a most liberating refreshment, tantamount to drinking iced peach tea on a hot summer’s day, to have fulfilled a project that exists outside the fringes of one’s usual zone of creative expertise. I had not the slightest clue on that day that these two adorable but smart-alecky friends of mine would stitch me up with puppy-eyed looks so that in the end it proved sufficiently potent for persuading me to fill the shoes of a glamorous fashion photographer! How deliciously conniving of them but I do not regret it one bit! As can be gathered from the offerings thus far submitted we had a whale of a time!

At the end of our quirky shoot on the hallowed grounds of the Cathedral we took our time in saying our farewells to each other. Both my friends shall be beginning a new chapter in their lives from September, they are to make entry into the world of the University! Charlie endeavours to become a discerning criminal psychologist someday, whereas Lizzie is planning to steam ahead in the field of languages. I wish them both all the success in the world but something tells me that Winchester will make no exception in their case either, for whoever sets away from our town to pastures green will always find that their feet yearn to return to it once again. A strange magnetism vibrating in all its geography, buildings, rivers and air, my town slyly engraves a perpetual love letter in whomsoever enters its domain so that though You may leave it, You do not quite leave. Never.

Ladies, Gentlemen and Children, I do hope that my modest and bumbling efforts at dipping my toes into glamour photography sparked a few pitying giggles and smiles from You, that would unequivocally make me tremendously happy! The last two photographs of this short portfolio that I present below were taken at the end of the shoot and I am sure You will subscribe to my own sentiments when I say that they capture perfectly the special place I have in my heart for these two good friends of mine, who are about to embark on an untrodden journey, penning yet another new chapter in their lives. I am certain that like me You will not hesitate in the slightest in wishing them all the very best for the adventures ahead…  :))

EPILOGUE: Oh how to begin in telling You the unfathomable debt I owe to Destiny for timing things perfectly for me! How to visualise to You the spirit of triumphant happiness that I feel for meeting the challenge of fashion photography and for staging it in the most unlikeliest of places, in the sombre and conservative high gothic archways of one of the most prominent churches of England, Winchester Cathedral? Destiny must have clicked its fingers, causing the page of ‘A Lifetime Photography’ to post the following image just moments ago: In a garlic white dress, my right hand leans contently on the maestro of music as my halo of joy pierces the darkness and illuminates the archways with the tender caress of Hope. Someone, anonymous, from the windows on the right calls out to me to take him away. WHO is he, I wonder… :))

LINK: https://www.facebook.com/tofanialifetimephotography/photos/a.433429383356390.105766.404688709563791/1058992994133356/?type=1&theater

Charlie

“… Charlie endeavours to become a discerning criminal psychologist someday…”

 

Lizzie

“… whereas Lizzie is planning to steam ahead in the field of languages…”

 

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

Lizzie & Charlie: The Naughty Corner!

I am veritably an old granny in age, which I must add is quite the privilege because it adds legitimacy to my fascination for knitting and tea, thus my circle of friends is as many and varied as there are galaxies in the universe! It is a sharp and accurate testament to the multifarious archive of journeys that I have thus far undertaken in life and each face is a passport stamp to prove it. No, I do not literally stamp on people’s faces! Ahem, ahem!

Be prepared for yet another dose of déjà vu because I am about to pose You the same question as last night, “Who did I bump into today?” Let me introduce You to two of my most naughtiest, cheekiest, silliest, gorgeous, wickedly playful and youngest of good friends – minus the clan of children in my family, they occupy a whole independent niche of their own! I give You Lizzie and Charlie! The dynamic duo met up with me at the quaintly-sized Nicola’s Tea House this afternoon for a spot of vanilla waffles, mega hot chocolates towered in enough cream to shudder a mammoth inferiority complex into Mount Everest and a pot of tea – I suspect You will have guessed which of those I chose to order, and if You are at a complete loss then shame on You! Honestly, after all this time?! Giggle, giggle!

Since I was in my skinny jeans today the girls exclaimed that I looked even more youthful than my actual age which I scoffed at and then proceeded to proudly take the handle of the teacup, raised it to my lips and sipped – no slurped – up its precious nectar, defying the compliment that they had just lavished on me! “Okay Mazzy, you ARE a granny!” Now, that was precisely the sort of pleasing phrase I had longed to hear! I love my granny status, it is as though I am wearing the most snuggly and caressible cardigan over my heart, an indispensable faculty with the power to offer it up to anyone who needs a bit of curative affection!

After a sweet and toothsome time in the tea house, Lizzie and Charlie were up for a shoot in the Cathedral grounds with the proviso that I pretend that I was a fashion photographer! Me, a fashion whats-it-mijjig?! It is not my territory by any stretch of the imagination! However, I am a Leonine Polymath, a master of adaptability on the stage of Life! How could I resist?!

“Rightyo ladies, you have yourself a deal!” And off we all stomped to the southern end of the town, raucous giggling squeaking out of our faces fuelled by the cogs of mischief wheeling away in our minds! Oh I do love a good challenge!

So, lean in forward and have a laugh on me as I, Your subatomic hobbitina, subjects her head to the hat of a glamorous fashion photographer! The moral of the story: Naughtiness is an imperative part of a balanced and healthy diet, no matter where You live in the world… :))

EPILOGUE:  Reading about fashion BORES me as fast as the speed it takes for a tranquiliser gun to take down a single ant! However, I have nothing against it. If you like all that seasonal trend business then this is literature for you. I provide you with the link to British Vogue – I must say the trees in the background have something mysteriously enchanting about them… :))

LINK: http://www.vogue.co.uk/

Lizzie & Charlie: The Naughty Corner!

“… After a sweet and toothsome time in the teahouse, Lizzie and Charlie were up for a shoot in the Cathedral grounds with the proviso that I pretend that I was a fashion photographer…”


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

Trekking With Reina: Dreaming Of A Room Of Joy

Nothing spells tedium, boredom and weariness more effectively than a pitifully morose brick wall of grey stones! Surely the earthly cousins of ominous clouds of grey that the British are famous for having rants with and who must forever tolerate, our weather moods are as temperamentally unstable as a balloon whose mouth has been untied and let loose! Giggle, giggle! The comic value put aside, English castles are magnificent to look at when you step back, and even richer are the saucy and sinister tales that secretly live within them, etched across time and more than happy to be of service in feeding the insatiable appetite of the curious mind who seeks them out.

If my descriptions of the merits of a grey tin-toned wall leave much to be desired in this world then, dear readers, why on earth should my fellow trekker mate, Reina, wear such a naughty smile on her face? What has captured her attention with such ferocious grip that the dastardly grey beast of a wall is no longer able to exert its tiring force on her? I should like to think that she has spotted another wall elsewhere that is doused in all the colours of the rainbow, a paradise of Technicolor supremacy, in a nutshell, a Room of Joy! If her thoughts have indeed meandered to a place far removed from the backdrop on which she stands in, then it explains everything rather perfectly!

Trekking With Reina: Old Castle Walls & Meandering Thoughts

“… I should like to think that she has spotted another wall elsewhere that is doused in all the colours of the rainbow, a paradise of Technicolor supremacy, in a nutshell, a Room of Joy…”

The final photograph to finish this short photo-diary of my summer re-union with Reina is quite the marvel of Quantum Entanglement – I do apologise to those who haven’t a clue in the world what this hefty jargon refers to! Let us just say that given the strange mechanics of this Universe, it is certain that Reina’s choice of book to read on the flight back home WILL resonate with the words or pictures that you may have posted today in the virtual world. Both ardent bibliophiles, Reina had me search a bookshop for a book that had been recommended to her concerning a story of two individuals separated by time and space, yet brought together by the magical workings of Quantum Mechanics! Sound familiar? Giggle, giggle! ‘A Tail – sorry – Tale For The Time Being’ by Ozeki was purchased on English soil, read on a plane, and presumably, the last page shall be turned at Reina’s house in Tokyo, Japan. Books conjure our imaginations to travel but I bet the thought never occurred to you that they too can do a spiffing job at being the best travelling companions one could ever wish for – minus the red-tape of passports and visas, wow, even better!

Ahem ahem, should you wish to lookup more information about Reina’s book which I know you WILL – the circular curtain of the red sun on the front cover already seems to be peeling off thanks to your invasive gaze – then you MUST do so from a Room of Joy. Link provided below. Happy reading, my beloved Follower… :))

Type or Click: https://roomofjoy.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/a-tale-for-the-time-being/

Trekking With Reina: A Book For The Journey Back

“… Books conjure our imaginations to travel but I bet the thought never occurred to you that they too can do a spiffing job at being the best travelling companions one could ever wish for…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories |Summer Reunion Series | Southern Hampshire | UK 2015

 

Trekking With Reina: A Repartee With Flowers

The day I chose to pick up my magic box, Lumiere, a modest teensy-weensy camera who loves to indulge in snuggling quietly inside my backpack, was the day I had made a quiet oath to myself. As a Visual Storyteller I would make every effort to archive and celebrate the stories of others – of people, places, objects and times. It is fundamentally a liberating experience to move beyond the preoccupations of oneself although, by adopting the philosophies of a storyteller I discovered, if anything, that my soul had expanded, inflated beyond the boundaries of my own flesh. To tell a story is to grow outwards, branches of a tree leaping off the page of the cagey atmosphere itself.

The photograph I present to you today is a real charmer, for it elegantly encapsulates Reina’s contemplative nature as well as our mutual reverence for the melodies of scents bestowed by the gorgeous floral palette of our beautiful world. I am not physically in the scene, however, do you remember that I once wrote that a dedicated Visual Storyteller is one who finds their reflection in the souls of others, in the hearts of flowers? Well, look with your heart and you shall see me too… :))

Oh – I forgot to ask Reina whatever captivated her attention skywards! I do not remember the drone of a passing aeroplane, nor a high shrill of a bird swoop overhead. Might it have been something a little more small-scale, quiet, simply floating and bobbing on the clouds? Reina has returned to Japan today, I shall make it a point to contact her so that she may dissipate this amusing riddle into the open…

Trekking With Reina: A Repartee With Flowers

“… I forgot to ask Reina whatever captivated her attention skywards! I do not remember the drone of a passing aeroplane, nor a high shrill of a bird swoop overhead. Might it have been something a little more small-scale, quiet, simply floating and bobbing on the clouds…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories |Summer Reunion Series | Southern Hampshire | UK 2015

Meet Colonel Green Tweed!

Every which way I turned, the serpentine streets of London showed themselves to be 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 that was generously rotund and complementing 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 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!

“Donned in green tweed, monocle confidently propped up, festooned with a bushy moustache on a canvas of face that was generously rotund and complementing his equally portly belly…”


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

A Study Of My Uncle’s Tea-Shirt!

No, no Rana Mama (Uncle), you have got it all wrong and twisted and misshapen! Diesel does not make for successful living (T-shirt slogans are hugely telling of one’s dispositions)! Wellington boots, violins, books, tea and silver moonlight win me any day but the smoothie sludge of fossilised creatures, I do not think so! Get with the programme, Mama! I shall acquit you this time round since you are doing a most marvellous job in this photograph at making two very fine ladies smile as if they are welcoming a national hero back to the homestead! Close shave Mama, close shave!

P.S. To those who read my previous post, does it not look like as if the luscious vine pattern from our red Chinese teapot has magically teleported and boisterously spread itself across my Aunty’s living room wall….? :))

A Study Of My Uncle's Tea-Shirt!

“… Wellington boots, violins, books, tea and silver moonlight win me any day but the smoothie sludge of fossilised creatures, I do not think so! Get with the programme, Mama…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Spring Reunion Series | London | UK 2015

You Bear A Resemblance To My Heart

In shy embrace outside a Parisian café, sat beside You was the very coy I
Each peering into the eye of the other whilst the whole mad world ran by
My little red shoes dropped to the ground, at last my feet met the feather of rest
And our hearts, unseen to the folks close by, thumping thunderclaps against our bare brown chest…

You Bear A Resemblance To My Heart

“… And our hearts, unseen to the folks close by, thumping thunderclaps against our bare brown chest… “

 

Photograph & Poem: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | UK 2014

Love At First Synaesthesia: Tales From My Christmas Tree

To the uninitiated, ‘tis a land of green pine needles studded with globules of lights however, dangle and sway an assortment of characters with more to them than meets the eye…

Love At First Synaesthesia

“My feisty faithful wife, Mrs Mazzy Claus, insists that no matter how enormously bulbous my tummy might grow to be or how old and shabby I may look that, her gaze upon me shall always consist of a circus of electrical sparks, fooling time itself into thinking that we are fusing eyes for the very first time…. “ – Mr Claus to Mazzy

 

Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | My Christmas Tree At Home | UK 2014