An Interview With My Protagonist, Alok

A Your Echoes In Space Presentation: An Interview With My Protagonist, Alok

Words and Pictures by © Mazzy Khatun 2017 

 

His eyes were dark and reassuring, two pits of ancient coal. I could taste the light and fire sealed inside them. I cleared my throat, ready to write.

‘Where do your stories come from, Alok?

A koel perched on the window ledge. He glanced over, gave a soft smile. ‘You know that place, you know it well.’

‘Are you talking to me or the bird?’ I grinned, chewed my lips.

He turned and looked at me, tenderly, meaningfully. ‘Far off places that are close by. That’s where my stories first yawn. Oceans, forests, caves; places near to the heat and heart of the earth, so near that if you ask they will tell you everything, they will remember for you as far back as the beginning of things.’

‘What you mean to say is that stories come from deep within us.’ I shifted in my rattan chair.

‘Where else?’ He chuckled.

‘Any stories you would like to tell me that have inspired your own writing?’

He searched my face, my eyes. ‘All the ones mingled with my mother’s voice.’

‘Your mother was a storyteller?’

‘She was. She is.’

I tapped my pen on my knee. ‘What stories of hers do you remember?’

He leaned back, sighed. ‘Myths, legends, fairy tales, folk tales, tales of long ago when people wore bearskin and conch shells and gathered round roaring fires.’

My eyes widened, glimmered. ‘That is an impressive list.’

When he smiled a dimple appeared on his left cheek. It felt familiar. ‘I’ve hardly begun. And then there was – there was One Thousand And One Nights.’

When he smiled a dimple appeared on his left cheek. It felt familiar. ‘I’ve hardly begun. And then there was One Thousand And One Nights.’

When he smiled a dimple appeared on his left cheek. It felt familiar. ‘I’ve hardly begun. And then there was – there was One Thousand And One Nights.’

 

One Thousand And One Nights?’

‘You know it, you know it very well.’

I nodded. ‘I know I do.’

He raised his hand, and with his index finger traced a spiral in the air. ‘A story within a story within a story…’

I imagined the teller of those tales. ‘Scheherazade.’

‘Yes. Scheherazade.’

I clicked my tongue. ‘She told stories as if she were a daughter of infinity.’

He smiled. ‘Yes.’

I looked up at the fan, whirring. A car honked outside followed by the curses of a street vendor. Good old Kolkata. ‘You know, Alok, I remember them: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and Aladdin, and The Fisherman and the Jinn, and The Cat and the Crow.’

I looked up at the fan, whirring. A car honked outside followed by the curses of a street vendor. Good old Kolkata. ‘You know, Alok, I remember Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and Aladdin, and The Fisherman and the Jinn, and The Cat and the Crow.’

I looked up at the fan, whirring. A car honked outside followed by the curses of a street vendor. Good old Kolkata. ‘You know, Alok, I remember them: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and Aladdin, and The Fisherman and the Jinn, and The Cat and the Crow.’

 

He came closer. ‘Yes, but which one was your favourite?’

I met his gaze. ‘Why do you ask, Alok?’

‘Because you are making me, right now, right this moment. I am so real that I want to know more about my storyteller. Her story. Your story.’

I reached up to my left cheek, felt the coal pit in the dimple of my smile, so fertile with light, ready to shine out to the world.

My Dream Diary

A Your Echoes In Space Presentation: My Dream Diary

Words and Pictures by © Mazzy Khatun 2017

 

An idea for a story can behave like the moon. It appears bright, swollen with revelation. You twirl in excitement. You shout it out. You breathe it.

Then, just like that, it wanes. It vanishes.

Without your consent.

Without waiting to hear what you have to say.

Without warning.

You eventually console yourself, reasoning that the idea has departed for good. No longer do you feel its unmistakable tug. It has left your world and joined the dark darkness of oblivion. No one will ever know about it. It was never meant to be.

The end.

Not quite.

Your Echoes In Space was born last autumn. I chose a photograph out of a constellation of possibilities to use as a writing prompt. It was a dated picture of an intimidating teacher looking down at a boy. He had his arms behind his back, his head slightly lowered. She was waiting for him to pick up the chalk and write on the blackboard. There was no clock in the scene yet I could hear the ticking of the hand, the loud ominous dragging of time.

I took that photograph home with me. By evening, Edward had pushed through into existence. A brilliant-minded and exceptionally articulate pupil, he was also something else. A self-isolating racist bully. I saw him take particular joy in picking on the new ‘coloured’ kid, Alok.

In those embryonic moments I also saw astronomy. A discipline about distant things. The study of stars – the study of fantastic and mysterious entities of faraway places, that spun and pulsated light years above our heads, below our feet.  I wanted astronomy to be the adhesive, the study of the distant bridging the gap between two boys from two different worlds.

But.

In the autumn term of my MA writing course and through into the festive season, for reasons unknown to me, my passion for Your Echoes In Space began to wane. Somehow, something had pulled the plug. I was devoid of conviction.

My two boys had fled.

Determined to not let myself be swallowed up by the disappearance of my protagonists, I straightened up my back and returned to the drawing table. I scribbled new ideas, thoughts and musings. I must carry on, I told myself. I must.

In semester two my tutor introduced me to something that would change everything. It felt absolutely right. It was as if a missing piece had been salvaged and returned to my mantle; awareness once flaked and lost in the dense foliage of self-doubt now restored.

Welcome to the dream diary.

I have vivid dreams. They are always liberating and surreal and insightful. Till now it had never clicked that I could tap into this vast resource for fuelling my creative energy. I began to keep a diary. And I dreamt a lot, every night.

And, the dream was not just a dream. It was a bridge.

Between two worlds.

Between my boys and I.

They had not waned, withered, wasted.

They were growing, gestating, gleaming.

Like the furled sails of a new moon.

Alok and Edward.

In so many of my dreams.

They had not gone away. They had gone deeper. Deeper into me, into the parts of my brain for which no map could chart. Parts still wet from my primal days. Parts moist with soul.

I remembered. I remembered how to believe in my story again.

The dream diary. That is how they came back to my world, our world.

One world.

"They had not waned, withered, wasted. They were growing, gestating, gleaming. Like the furled sails of a new moon."

“They had not waned, withered, wasted. They were growing, gestating, gleaming. Like the furled sails of a new moon.”

"They had not gone away. They had gone deeper. Deeper into me, into the parts of my brain for which no map could chart. Parts moist with soul. "

“They had not gone away. They had gone deeper. Deeper into me, into the parts of my brain for which no map could chart. Parts still wet from my primal days. Parts moist with soul. “

Re-Visioning The Multiverse Hypothesis Chapter One: The Wall

Alice lived with her old grandma in a tiny stone cottage nestled deep in the green rolling hills of the English countryside. It was so incredibly far out from anywhere that when wayfarers, that consisting of family and friends, came to visit they would always complain that they were very tired from their journey because somewhere along the way the road signs had inexplicably disappeared, and that they were prevented from falling back on the satellite navigation system because that, too, produced a horrid crackling sound before it failed completely! Alice was never dissuaded or disheartened by these livid anecdotes, in fact, she thought to herself that to live in the middle of nowhere only made her home that extra special, as if it were pushed out of the earth by magic and only those who sincerely desired to find it, would do so in the end.

What was most charming about her home, Alice thought, was not what was inside the stony cottage, but what lay outside it. Her grandma had taught her, since she was a little girl, to love the world around her, and that one way of doing this was to get in the habit of planting nice and good things in it so that nice and good things would want, more than anything else, to grow out from it and show the skies, in their wild and pretty displays of colours and seeds and fruits and flowers, just how much they appreciated the wonderment of a helping pair of human hands.

Alice tended her garden tirelessly, from dawn to dusk, and it did not take long for the large patch of dull and untilled earth to become a paradise of beautiful flowers and fruit trees on whose branches birds sang in the summer, and in the winter white snowflakes would laden upon them for respite. The garden was indeed a dream come true, and her grandma hugged her whenever the two of them stood outside. The old lady had weak and trembling hands and so she could not prune the rose bushes, or pick delicious green gage plums from its high boughs, or shovel manure over the strawberry beds like she once used to, however, she felt a joyful aliveness whenever Alice would rush up to her in eager zest to show what she had accomplished in the garden. And what saw always gave her a new lease of life. A garden never dies if there was always someone there to look after it, and for her that was a nice and comforting thought.

One day grandma felt more tired than usual and decided that she ought to take a nap, even though it was still in the middle of the day. Alice made sure she was comfortable in bed and left the door slightly ajar so that she could hear better should her grandma need anything. She crept downstairs and thought how she could bide her time, for she had read all her books and written enough stories for one day and there was no more chores left in the kitchen. She looked out of the window and saw the garden, bright and happy, and wasted not a moment longer. Slinking her feet into her mud-kissed trekking shoes – she was a passionate adventurer – she jumped outside and began to skip down the paved path that ran straight down the centre of the garden. A yellow butterfly fluttered past her pale cheeks and a great big bumblebee nearly stung her because she was so close to bumping into it! She laughed and apologised. These were her friends and sometimes she acknowledged that she could get carried away and run into things when she did not mean to!

In the middle of the garden her heart whispered her to stop and to twirl round and round, and if anyone had been watching from above, it would have been quite reasonable of them to mistake her for a pirouetting rose, the rose of all roses. For Alice, there was no doubt about it that this tiny world of hers was the best world ever!

Have You ever noticed that the world does blur quite a bit when You twirl away, and yet would You not agree that some things around You still possessed the power to steal Your attention whilst in that twirl? For Alice it almost felt like that the tall stone and brick wall at the end of the garden had appeared from nowhere and was now beckoning her to approach it. She assured herself that this bricked wall must have always been a part of this garden, however, since her attentions had persistently been taken up by the many plants that she had lovingly tended to and whose growing blooms now watched her in adoration, the wall presented itself as more like a mystery, a new adventure, and so she was bewitched, drawn to go closer to it.

The wall was very high and it was made of rugged stones that were capped at the top with layered brickwork the colour of cinnamon and nutmeg. Winding locks of green ivy weaved through its surface and she made effort to trace their origins down to the ground below but could not find any, as if the agedness of the wall was so great that it caused the hard material to grow out an old man’s beard! There was no door or keyhole by which she could investigate what, if anything indeed, lay beyond it. There was a faint chance that she would hear anything, and yet she tried to bring her ears closer and then leant them against the cold stones, straining hard to see if she could pick up anything. There was no sound. Then she went to either side of the wall to see if there was an opening in these corners but what she found there was only angry, spiky bushes, which, if she tried to crawl through she would most definitely be hurt and that would make her grandma upset. She crossed the idea out of her mind. Her curiosity had piqued far too much now. There must be something else that she could do!

The bedroom window!

She rushed back inside the cottage and flew up the stairs before dashing to her bedroom windowsill and parted the half-drawn curtains. Alas, the wall still posed a towering barrier and nothing beyond it could be seen. Now she was absolutely adamant that the wall was never this huge!

Disheartened by the lack of success, she went back into the garden and stood in front of the wall and put her hands on her hips and thought very, very hard. That is when she looked down at her shoes. An idea popped in her head. It was a risky one but it was much more doable than perilously dragging oneself through a bush of stinging nettles and thorny twigs.

She was all too aware that the wall was a tremendously big one and she was only but a pea in comparison and that meant there was no chance in the world that she could punch her way through it. However, she argued, the wall need not be spoiled, for if it were impossible to go through it, and even more impossible to go round it, then, there was only one more way to it – to climb over it!

She made out a series of terrace-like grooves, steps that led You higher and higher to the top. The trickiest part was getting a foothold on that first terrace. If she could manage that then the rest would be easy and, hopefully, without slipping off, she would reach the summit and finally see what unseen things lurked on the other side. She spent a few moments calculating how fast she would have to run to the wall and from what distance in order to achieve the desired propulsion of her leg muscles that would enable her to reach out for that first terraced groove.

In her mind firmly agreed on what she had to pull off, Alice walked backwards along the path and then determinedly paused. Her eyes focused on her intended target, she let out a deep breath and then sprinted like a strong and ferocious cheetah in chase on the wild plains of the savannah. When she was about a metre away from the groove she bent her knees and leapt up, her arms stretched out, and for a second she thought she was fated to bash against the wall, however, her calculations saved the day, for she neatly caught the edge of the first groove and pulled her body up and crouched on it. Elation spread and sparkled through her veins, and she was now on fire! Turning to face the next groove above her she raised her hands and gripped it, once again pulling her body weight up and then letting her right leg tilt and hook itself above the slab, acting as a lever, before shoving her entire body forward.

The next level was no groove. It was the summit of the stone wall itself. She looked back at the cottage and the garden and already, somehow, the scenery had turned a different hue, as if mingled with mist and forgetfulness. The song of birds had quietened a tad, or perhaps, she wondered, that at this altitude the sounds of the world below did not reach the ears with as much volume. She suddenly thought of her grandma and looked down at her watch and she could have sworn that the hands were moving as slow as a gooey slug taking a slimy stroll in the garden after a raining day! It was all rather strange but exciting at the same time and that is why she needed to explore more!

When her fingers grasped the top and she pulled herself over she nearly fell because a rush of triumphant victory can make anyone giddy. Steadying herself, she sat down and looked over the wall for the very first time and joy surged and sluiced in her lungs! Below her shimmered another garden and what was beautiful and bizarre about it was that it looked exactly like hers!

Re-Visioning The Multiverse Hypothesis Chapter One: The Wall

“… The wall was very high and it was made of rugged stones that were capped at the top with layered brickwork the colour of cinnamon and nutmeg…”

But something was very different too. She felt it in her bones. She carefully got down the wall and by force of intuition looked down at her watch. Lost for words and thought, she was taken aback by what she saw and nearly stumbled over and fell into the nearby bush. All three hands of her watch had lifted off from the central axis and were excitedly spinning and spiralling and gyrating around it. Time was confused, or was it dancing?

She chose to go forward precisely because she was delighted to learn that what she had just climbed over was no ordinary wall…  ♥♥♥    

Re-Visioning The Multiverse Hypothesis Chapter One: The Wall

“… Steadying herself, she sat down and looked over the wall for the very first time and joy surged and sluiced in her lungs! Below her shimmered another garden and what was beautiful and bizarre about it was that it looked exactly like hers…”

 

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

The Legend Of Corfe Castle Chapter 6: Amid Stones, A Joyful Reunion!

It was not long before I left the dense foliage of Dorset’s iconic Purbeck Forest to arrive on a footpath from which could be seen the rising remnants of a mighty stone fortress, the romantic and yet sinister medieval ruins that was Corfe Castle. The forlorn grey walls had taken a morbid blow by the hands of time. The extensiveness of the damage, the atrophy of the once glorious tower, now lying on the windswept grass like a fallen and wounded soldier, was saddening but I could not say with any degree of truth that I did not find none of it fascinating, and nor that it failed to register to my sight as an emblem of timeless beauty. Decay and dilapidation scarred the architecture all over but it did not detract my appreciation of its aesthetical qualities, albeit, of course not in the same sense of the word as what was originally envisaged by its builders and occupants.

Once a Saxon stronghold before converting into a Norman fortress, thereafter falling into the hands of the English monarchy to be transformed into a luxurious royal palace, until that is in 1572 Queen Elizabeth I sold the castle to her dance tutor, Sir Christopher Hatton. And, at some point following the successive handovers to a string of social dignitaries, the castle must have been acquired – or indeed besieged – by that villainous reprobate, Professor Arcana.

As I approached Corfe Castle Village, I heard the rhythmic peals of the church bell and watched plenty of people out and about in the brilliance of the midday sunshine that it aroused the concern in me whether this tiny settlement had caught on the fact that high above them, in an old ramshackle shadow of a former glory, there happened to operate a devilish character with morbid fascinations?

The tiny streets were so incredibly narrow and winded that they endeared and impressed me, and how amazing that the traffic still flowed through peacefully and without any upsets from anyone. Stone cottages flanked the roads and each one glittered by its window or door a wicker basket filled with over-spilling petals of bright pansies and geraniums and primroses. Here all worries were dissipated away like the wind and the concept of a bigger and busier world beyond this tiny one no longer existed. This was erasure of the most joyful kind, and I recognised that I could quite easily live in a place like this forever.

I spotted a gift shop in the passing and promised myself that after completing my quest I would return here and purchase a book of poetry to take back home as a memento to tell the tale of how a humble bit of teamwork overthrew and outwitted an old witch parading as a well-meaning academic! I would be lying if I said to You that my nerves were at that time fully alloyed with bravado, for they were not. There was always that loathing sloth of uncertainty slithering round the corner. There was no real telling how any of this would work out. Would we succeed or not?

I paced my steps a little more now since I could sense my two hosts were not too far ahead.

As arranged, both Sachi and Alex were waiting for me under a stone archway and the joy in our faces when we all laid eyes on each other was tremendous! It was tight hugs all around!

SACHI! ALEX! Hey, you guys! How have you been?! I have missed you so much!” I had them both grabbed around my arms and jumping up and down in my crazed excitement I soon returned to sanity and calmed myself down! Reunions have the invariable effect of sending me off on a loopy trance, and sometimes this can get out of hand, to the extent that anyone who happens to observe the moment may get the fright of their lives, for they will interpret my actions as more akin to strangulation of the chest than that of embracing!

Mazzy, we are so glad and happy to see you! Thank you for coming!” Sachi’s face lit up like a lantern and her smile glinted with its usual amiable sparkle.

Oh, don’t thank me for goodness sake! What are friends for?! I have missed you two enormously and I would have come to see you anyway! ” I rubbed her back and then turned my attention to Alex.

Hey, young man!” I clinched his freckled cheeks together and he burst out giggling! Then he sighed and his eyes glanced over to the castle, and when they returned to look at me, they bore a bleakness, a heavy heart, but not without a dash of a new-found hope.

Aunty Mazzy… thanks…

Now, now, brighten up.” I rubbed his cheeks again and with a laborious effort, he flashed a brief smile.

Oh fiddlesticks!

What is it, Aunty Mazzy?” Alex was spooked by my sudden exclamation.

I… erm… seem to have misplaced my carpet bag! I reckon I left it on the train!” Both my hands clutched my face in shock whilst biting my lips in a frenzy as if that would somehow materialise my bag into my possession again.

OH NO! AUNTY MAZZY! But I told you not to – “ However, before my darling little Alex could have the chance to finish his sentence I butted in with showy flamboyance!

I lied! I have it and it is right there!” Like a circus ringmaster, I took a bow and pointed my finger to the grassy clod behind me where among the many bags there lay the fabled carpet bag, inflated to a never-before-seen proportion thanks to its generously filled content of fruits!

Aunty Mazzy, that is mean!” He thumped my arm in indignant revolt!

Ow! That hurt!” And then all of us chortled and chuckled our hearts out, alas, I hasten to add that a few birds who were sat on a nearby tree were startled out of their snooze and thus jetted out from the leaves and took to the skies in fright!

Mazzy, there is a nice teahouse nearby. I don’t know about you but I am hungry for a cream tea!” Sachi had driven down from Poole to Dorset which is quite a stretch and I reasoned that all that driving business had tired her out thoroughly.

You read my mind! I am dying for a homemade scone with lashings of clotted cream and thick strawberry jam and, how can I forget, it is highly important that it all be topped and honoured by a great big teapot of English Breakfast tea!” I was jiggling my shoulders and Alex joined in, too!

And, Aunty Mazzy, I think the teahouse will be a cool place to talk about that nasty Arcana and how we’re going to get rid of her!” He rammed his right fist into his left palm, oh yes, he was in combative mode and what an endearing sight that was to behold!

Right!” My firm agreement sealed the deal and off we all stomped down to the local teahouse for a timely dose of well-deserved refreshment. There was a magnificent resolve in the strides we made, the fellowship of the three of us banding together under that stony arch had re-enlivened our faith in ourselves, as if we had moved one vital step closer to completing our perilous quest.

What we did not know is that during the entirety of our gathering, a sinister entity – a most malevolent spy – in the employment of Arcana herself had overheard our conversation. Who was it?

What happened next? ♥♥♥       

 

The Legend Of Corfe Castle Chapter 6: When Stones Watched Our Joyful Reunion!

“… As arranged, both Sachi and Alex were waiting for me under a stone archway and the joy in our faces when we all laid eyes on each other was tremendous! It was tight hugs all around…”

The Legend Of Corfe Castle Chapter 6: When Stones Watched Our Joyful Reunion!

OH NO! AUNTY MAZZY! But I told you not to – “ However, before my darling little Alex could have the chance to finish his sentence I butted in with showy flamboyance.

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Corfe Castle Village | Wareham | Dorset | UK 2016

In 158 Words: On The EVE Of My Arrival

Old photographs embroidered in threads of new words and whose count equals to my height measurement in centimetres…

Never had I laid eyes on an apple so green and bright. The curves of its form resembled the deft stroke of my own fleshy hips, and the fire-blood of fertility and of the virility of millions of unborn forests curdled all round its hard sides.

I could not take my eyes away from it.

Do not be afraid, I will only know Myself if You come to know Me”. My heart replete with admiration for the words of God, I stepped forward and plucked the apple and bit into it.

At first a sweet rush and then a fierce explosion blew out from my Onyx Eyes.

My Lord, I can See!” Breathless as the joy of realisation set my body on fire, God delivered his Faith in me, and perched the flame of my body on a tiny dust ball of swirling blues and bristling greens.

Wherever you stand, plant the memory of My Garden under your feet…♥♥♥

LINK: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/japan-20th-century-colorized-pictures

Inside My Onyx Eyes

“… My world with you is the laughter of God and safe it resounds in these onyx eyes… “

 

Photography & Poem Originally Posted In: ‘Inside My Onyx Eyes’ | © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | UK 2014
Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | UK 2016

Wishing You A Magical New Year!

With my moon-bud hand clutched to my chest I vowed at the start of the year
That Reunions I would seek, to tell stories sincere
Of friends and family and those waylaid stars blown hard to avaricious gales
I would find them once more and lead them safe passage to tales
With my steadfast pen, and that is what I have brought to thee in 2015
Tilled the rock earth of Your soul, thy heart’s river banks doused in green
Of many shores, faces and even bears found their way to my strawberry beacon
And not a picture or word have You missed, hunted everything with eyes of a Mohican
Ah, it has been an oceanic pleasure to know that You have read them all
I made You smile, joy flew through Your throat’s moist rainfall
In others You wept, for You wished to hold my hands and tell me with eyes:
Mazzy, I have been there too, the crow’s black angles terrorise
I lost the world like You did once and the maw of a hole I carry too
Bish-bash-bosh I say to those slimy shadows and arc I do my mucky shoe
The Sunrise is a God of stubbornness and it trumpets life each morn
And I soon return to You the following day with a story as gold as corn
I am a natural pilgrim of Light and I have taken oath to be Your Ray
A farmer girl from a distant land, I write on a stringy bale of hay
No other riches can I offer thee beside the craft of the story that dervishes my pen
Your face denied but I hear You shout, with thumbs up, “ten out of ten!
One thing You crave for but You say not for fear of recrimination
Is that You desire to have me peek out from the new moon, the leniency of a Magician
Oh dear You, remember I live in the faces of all those whom I photograph?
You know my policy on selfies even though You scoff at it and laugh!
But this evening is an exception, the last one of a year that’s proved to be a citrus blast
And so I fling my cape to one side and untie the policies that I had cast
I woke up this morning, the storm abated and the dawn Light jewelled the air
In rose red jumper I twirled and bathwater still glistening in my hair
I smiled into the mirror and knew just how to wrap this year in funny socks
I wished that Your face be the last face this year that I capture in my Magic Box…. ♥♥♥

Say “CHEERS“! Giggle, giggle!
Always Your Mazzy (Age 37, Acting Shoe Size Age 4) xxx 

Wishing You A Magical New Year!

“… I smiled into the mirror and knew just how to wrap this year in funny socks; I wished that Your face be the last face this year that I capture in my Magic Box….”

 

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

 

You, Dear Majnun, Are My Cup Of Tea!

In the cuddly lexicon of informal British language we have an age-old and highly esteemed phrase that goes along the lines of “it is my cup of tea” or, alternatively, “it is not my cup of tea”. Do not be misconceived by the natural function of Your tendency to load aboard the literal visage of these words, for here we do not imply that we are fiercely headway into battle over ownership of cups of tea, although I do admit if anyone were to dare to lay a finger over my teapot set I would not hesitate a fraction of a second to wallop them with my bathroom slippers! Giggle, giggle!

In actual matter, the phrase refers to an indication of what interests or does not interest us. For example, if I were to express that, “Stars Wars is my cup of tea”, what I mean by that strange adjoining of words is that I am pleasurably loopy about the film, not as it were, if You had adopted the literal route, that there was a loose leaf bag of tea and it contained all of everything that was ever made in the name of Star Wars! Ahem, ahem!

Whenever I enter into the virtual realm, a world that I hardly make entrances to because I am far greatly joyfully coiled with the musicality of the real world, my sixth sense always picks up the aura of a far, far away Majnun, a man whose face I cannot see with the lucidity that I wish for, perhaps that is down to the fact that faces change over lifetimes so it would make no sense to see any one face in particular.

But, I do know beyond certainty that this curious and incognito chap, is…

My cup of tea!

A bearer of the torch of Light as I am too, my heart tells me over and over again, a chirping chant as sweet and solemn as plum blossoms under a spring moon glanced from a secret pagoda in which two poet lovers meet, that he is the sort of man who would go all out to spark Life, Hope and Beauty even in the most harshest, desolate and coldest of places on earth. He is the song of warmth, a nest of stars, a fellow Magic Maker whom I pray to Destiny that I shall meet.

It is an old link that I provide below, but was posted in the virtual realm after my little woodsprite friend took hold of the porcelain tea cup to her mouth, and spectacular is her poise, as I imagine in my mind that should I come across this secretly hidden Majnun of mine, I would fall under a spell, awed and wonderstruck, by the sight of gazing upon someone other than myself who had it in him to create the finest of earthly Magic in front of my eyes… ♥♥♥  

 LINK: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/12/23/photographer-creates-stunning-shower-of-ice-crystals-after-throwing-hot-tea-into-the-air_n_8868024.html

You, Dear Majnun, Are My Cup Of Tea!

“… should I come across this secretly hidden Majnun of mine, I would fall under a spell, awed and wonderstruck, by the sight of gazing upon someone other than myself who had it in him to create the finest of earthly Magic in front of my eyes…”

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

 

The Writing On The Wall…

The little girl who had been sat for a very long time, deep in joyful enchantment since she was surrounded by the most amazing emporium of wooden toys and trinkets that had not ever stepped foot in her dreams, now sat up from her cushion and made her way to something that was hung on the wall in front  of her. She could not explain what it was that pulled her towards it, only that she felt that she had become as drawn to it as the way mountainous waters are born to seek the mouth of rivers that lead it, in the end, to the satisfying and endless basin of the ocean. A path embroidered by a homeward hand.

Each step that she took to the framed object on the wall echoed a tinkle of a bell from somewhere around her ankles, and she somewhat confused and yet smiling, lowered her head to see how that could possibly be. She had never worn anything of the sort, and when she looked, her eyes could find nothing that that could be said to be responsible for such moonlit music, her feet were still housed in her mucky sneakers and her ankles were bare.

The music was coming from elsewhere.

She came closer to the framed picture on the wall and a small part of her felt somehow more at home than she had ever felt in her entire life, there was a strange memory swirling around her gut and it wanted to prise through her dawn flesh and tell her something of the life that she had once lived, in a far, far away land. A life where she had once carpentered Words with Freedom.

Gently touching the words encased under the framed glass, she questioned herself, could this be what it felt to touch the face of an old friend? Sighing and not yet realising why, she turned around slowly and let her head lean against the top edge of the frame. Where a beginning and an end and another beginning met, that is where she stood, and her face an innocent temple of silent longing, she heard the music again, a calling thread down by a soft pillar of Light. It tasted of the nectarine heart of undiscovered flowers.

I was the girl, and yes, I did let it in… ♥♥♥ 

LINK:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-35188176

The Writing On The Wall Flew Me Away!

“… Where a beginning and an end and another beginning met, that is where she stood, and her face an innocent temple of silent longing, she heard the music again, a calling thread down by a soft pillar of Light…”

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

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 14: On The Matter Of How The Big Friendly Giant ROSE Samka To New Heights!

Luscious servings of gunpowder tea and with it the heavenly accomplice of shortbread biscuits were both duly scoffed down in the local manor house with deserved relish, and no sooner than an hour had passed that Samka and I had reached a hearty consensus that we were fully recharged and ready to hit the road in her new chocolate truffle of a wheelie ‘box’. We made our way out of the great big doors of the mansion when the flurry of excitement, that we had built up in reminiscing of our wild navigations in the woods, was quickly hemmed in by a forlorn and sad sight in front of us.

A large tree had been ruthlessly chopped down to the ground and all that was left of its presence was the low-lying and pale cross-section of its base, a bare plateaux of trunk, and in the same way a neck strains to breathe, it morosely stuck out of the ground. My eyes crouched in silence, I felt its roots over my aura, whispering into my ear of its hushed dream to strive towards Life. It was not dead.

A broken tree, a broken lung of the world, abandoned to negligence it was, but I was critical in my determination to tell its story and have it engraved in the mantelpiece of undying myth. As long as people made their way to my words the severed trunk would never only just amount to an inconsequential stump of wood, it would always mean to whomsoever read of it, something much, much more. I wished for people to see that by sensing the missing of its parts there would arise the ironic spread of a bridge for remembering what it once was even though You do not have the memory of its healthy form in the first place. You are doing this right now. You can see the tree in its glorious entirety. What is this Force? It is called IMAGINATION my dear Reader and it is the lifeblood that is the foundation for coping with the mysteriousness of Life and Death.

Stalwart in my Vision, I briefed Samka that she ought to join Forces with our stumpy friend in an act of defiance against those who sought to rid and rob of the tree’s significance. We were both childhood climbers of trees, spent our days under their strong boughs whilst white blossoms, one at a time, would float down on our faces and heads, the kinsfolk of stars they seemed to our captivated eyes. Though it was not in our power to repair the limbs of this muted giant, I was aware that we were at least in possession of the gift to imbue it with immortality and raise its Spirit.

And without a moment’s hesitation Samka leapt on top of the flat truncated surface of the tree that once was, and immediately the morbid scene of loss and breakage transformed into a burst of new daybreak! Without my saying anything, Samka had soon placed one hand on her knee in a bent-in posture as if she were expressing open solidarity with the tree that she, too, had once been a creature of broken knees and broken dreams. Two casualties of an existential war.  Not to seal the end of the composition so swiftly, Samka then continued to shift until she lifted an assertive hand to her hip on the right, a striking sign of her recognition that she was a woman who was prepared to fight against all odds – even forfeiting broken legs and knees – so that she may reach the doors of her dreams. She had eloquently conveyed my own Story…  ♥ 

No longer was the tree’s stump a cut-off point – a raw remembrance of what had been lost – instead, the delicate but robust figure of Samka instilled a renewed purpose to the tree and it became as though the hard and cold platform that she stood upon had grown to accept that it could live again, as the wide palm of The Selfish Giant himself, except he was not selfish in the slightest, he was giving and receiving with his friend with whatever little he had. He felt the joy of purpose pulse across the dry desert of his giant palm, and he greatly loved the return of what it felt to be needed and remembered.

He was not alone anymore and that made him as happy as any giant could ever be to which I heard him sing into the air, “I am the Big Friendly Giant and plenty of Force I still have inside of me, with it I shall raise the Spirits of all those who come to know of me!

So, remember dear Reader, to be confronted with something broken can upset us, the sharp poignancy of our inability to revert to an earlier whole state taunting us forever, like shadows whom we chase relentlessly and never once catch.

But everything and everyone has a Purpose and that is why I suppose when two broken things meet for the first time ‘there is a great disturbance in the Force’. Not the dark sort, more like a cheerful combustion of rainbows taking place all over the world at the same time… ♥♥♥

LINK: https://hannahgraces.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/snozzcumbers/      

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 14: On The Matter Of How The Big Friendly Giant ROSE Samka To New Heights!

“… He was not alone anymore and that made him as happy as any giant could ever be to which I heard him sing into the air, “I am the Big Friendly Giant and plenty of Force I still have inside of me, with it I shall raise the Spirits of all those who come to know of me…”

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

Belle UK: Chilling Out With A Winter Wonderland Pixie! EPISODE III

When I was but a tiny sprout and my world did not transgress beyond anymore than that sacred periphery of my Amma’s (Mum) legs I would impatiently yearn for the day to turn into evening so that she would sit down and tell me a tale or two, those immaterial and priceless oral gifts that had been passed down onto her by her own grandma when she was growing up in the village back in the distant hills of Bangladesh. My other siblings were not as absorbed by Amma’s hypnotically genius aptitude for storytelling as I was, to hear her every word and capture each nuance and inflection of her face as the tale rolled out from the rich repository of her memory and into my earnest-eyed canvas of the imagination was the epitome of joy, and each evening invited me to discover the same treasure without it ever failing to enthral the beats of my ticking heart with each retelling.

One of the recurrent themes of these olden tales was of Nature and of particular the role of TREES. Of many shapes, sizes and colours, they figured as the abode of both students and sages, yet in some narratives their leafy canopies would be occupied and infested by shabby and disfigured dark spirits, witches for example. My Amma had me hooked so tight with these visualisations that I would pack up and enthusiastically go off on mini adventures to the park, that lay across from my childhood home, to investigate the foundations of these stories, admiring and probing the architectural poetry of trees and flowers much more closely than the other children and pondering to myself whether under whatever tree that I stood in could it have once witnessed a wandering sage taking respite under its sheltering firmament of verdant leaves.

Winter in the 80’s were extremely cold and the thick snow would often reach as far as the height of the windowsill, and I would perch against it, looking out at the gnarled and bare branches but it never saddened me to see them so, for I always thought it quite pleasant that the absence of fleshy leaves meant that whenever a cute fat red-breasted robin chose to settle on a branch I would enjoy the most beautiful unobstructed view. And, were it the case that not a robin but the more macabrely dressed raven or crow were the fleeting visitor then that too was a blessing of a visual treat because it simply took my breath away in awe to see such phenomenal contrast of jet blackness against the pristine backdrop of the whitest snow. Thanks to my Amma’s tales I came to interpret the raven and crow as the disguised embodiment of the good witch, a feathered crone of secret knowledge.

Storytelling, once it arrives and swims into Your bloodstream the world is never again the same. Everything becomes enchanted with limitless possibilities and though I am trained in the Sciences, it has done little to hamper my perception and admiration of the existence of magical stories hidden in the barky and leafy bodies of trees. In fact, I would state that I have successfully married the empirical universe to that of the imaginative one to create a dimension of Vision that can never be truly known for what it is and thus an immortal curiosity flickers whenever I come across the tree. I do believe they are cognisant of my deep veneration for their kind so much so that when I sit under one in my beloved garden I am compelled to feel as if I have arrived at the place that shall always be the destination beyond all other destinations.

A remarkable exemplar of connection absent of language, I pray that You will take time to pause a while in Your hectic day and, instead of dismissing my words altogether, will learn to look at these silent but resonant companions of our world with an open heart, only then shall it be possible to listen in to their whisperings of a wisdom as ancient as the star matter from which You were created from… ♥♥♥

To add a touch of spark to my words, click on the Link to sample the spectacular story of an old-as-the-hills maiden tree who lovingly weaves a carpet of brightest gold every autumn and yet it is a carpet that does not fly, on the contrary, such is the spell of her creation that she draws the people to her, and they do arrive in their flocks, on a magic carpet made of their insatiable imagination – just like the one I was taught to fly on thanks to my Amma’s delicious tales woven in threads of trees… ♥♥♥

LINK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-3330402/Magical-autumn-foliage-Millennia-old-Ginkgo-tree-tourist-hit-leaves-form-perfect-golden-carpet-Chinese-temple.html

To Trees: Grounded, rooted and still, but oh how they walked and walked and walked for me!
Your Woodland Storyteller, Mazzy xxx

Belle UK: Chilling Out With A Winter Wonderland Pixie! EPISODE III

“… the spectacular story of an old-as-the-hills maiden tree who lovingly weaves a carpet of brightest gold every autumn and yet it is a carpet that does not fly, on the contrary, such is the spell of her creation that she draws the people to her…”

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