Plan Z Rocks!

It didn’t quite go according to plan.

We three skidded into the ever elegant estate of Lainston House, breathless and wet and with worked up appetites. I lurched over the counter, resembling a sack of potatoes to be honest, and asked the lady if there were any tables free. Even as I spoke I could not help imagining in my mind my great big rhino-sized nostrils taking in the sweet scent of rose tea, gobbling down little sponge cakes so fast as to leave the waiters and waitresses completely gobsmacked, grinning with supreme satisfaction while the last of the crumbs on my lips and dimple catch the light, appearing I should think like stowaway stars.

The lady said ‘no’.  Half-term and a Saturday spelled full house. There was no room in the inn.

We were a bit gutted to say the least.

However, where a Plan A gets totally demolished a Plan Z grows in its place! We returned home and made our own afternoon tea special, a delightful medley of Azerbaijani tea served in fetching fine china with an eye-pleasing thick slice of walnut cake. And that was not to be all. The darkening dusk unfurled with it curiosity and wonder as we touched on topics from around the world, time fading as the present infused with stories of the past and of other distant lands. Ottoman Empires, Viking boats, Moroccan souks and magical amulets of bushy-tashed Maharajahs.

As I was saying, Plan Z…

Words & Pictures: ©Mazzy Khatun | UK 2018   

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When The Thermal Socks Came Out!

An unforgiving cold day, the chill glinting like steel tongues of knives and dark black ravens cawing and circling above trees stripped of leaves, a day when the flesh desired to sit by warm fires and drink steaming tea sweetened with last year’s honey, we three friends nevertheless stepped forth from the thresholds of our safe dens and met in town. In no time soon, our giggles and laughter mingled and our eyes twinkled like precious stones unearthed from faraway galaxies, and I discovered, like my good friend Mr. Camus had once said, ‘in the depths of winter, I found there was in me, an invincible summer.’ ♥

Words & Pictures: © Mazzy Khatun | UK 2018

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Bookish Magic

She read the book attentively, and so at peace was her heart that it surely must have stilled the unseen forces that made the wooden bench what it was, breathing a sweet smiling silence all around, making listeners out of ivy and holly and the dew orbs that to the red berry was its wide ocean. 

Words and Pictures by © Mazzy Khatun | 2017 

 

Bookish Magic

Bookish Magic

And last, but not least…

And last, but in no way least, if I have shown even a morsel of courage to accept the writer that I am today then it is you – only you – who is the reason for my sunburst renewal. Thank you, thank you, thank you my dear friend. Alive again and always yours, M. 

And last, but not least...

My Berry First Act

A Your Echoes In Space Presentation: My Berry First Act

Words and Pictures by © Mazzy Khatun 2017

The curtain was long and black, and it hung down in perfect motionless ripples. I looked all the way up to see where it came from. Did this curtain have roots – roots that grew out from somewhere high up in the ceiling? I squinted, my eyes searched, but I could find no hint of their origin. The upper world of the stage was a mystery, a convoluted pipework of metal and interlacing wires. Bulky studio lights stared down at me. Their square flaps looked like ears trained to listen in to our every word.

Someone spoke and my eyes came down. I turned and looked out. Beyond me and the polished black floor of the stage was a sight new, and not new. It was the intimately familiar, but out of reach, existing a million miles away. Over there I knew their ways and rituals, over there was a safe world.  It was a sloping world of seats. A steep slope. A terraced paddy of red. They rose upwards and away from me. The back edge seemed to be still growing, receding, pushing back boundaries.

I pondered on my situation. I was well acquainted with buying a ticket, be led to my seat, and play the role of the seated. The watcher of the show. The ice-cream gobbler at intermission. The clapper to the act.

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“I was well acquainted with buying a ticket, be led to my seat, and play the role of the seated. “

“The watcher of the show. The ice-cream gobbler at intermission. The clapper to the act. “

Not this time.

This time there was a story. It was burning. Deep inside of me. A winged origami with veins of fire. It was a creature of flight and voice and expression. It blazed day and night, and the tips of my thumb and index finger, the clamping points for my pen, seethed with heat.

When the opportunity arose for taking part in the first ever MA Writers Voice venture, an exciting collaboration between storytellers and the unique multi-sensorial textures of theatre, I leapt at the challenge!  This was my golden chance – a chance to test Edward and Alok. The ultimate litmus test. If I could convince my audience of the integrity of my two protagonists, if I could engage and compel strangers to lean in closer, if I could entice new ears to want to know more of the trajectory of Your Echoes In Space, then I had a chance. A ticket. A portal to a bolstered sense of confidence that here was a story that others could care about, too. Whilst the dream diary reinforced my faith in the narrative, a theatrical hybridisation shone with the potential to resuscitate my characters. To bring them alive.

And so the night of the reading came.

The stage glowed with expectation and fertility. A black open-air womb. Tonight my throat, my hands, my eyes, my every cell was invested with purpose: To add bone. To add flesh. To add voice. There on the controlled and lit sacred ground, the grand black stage, with its black as night curtain and watchful black studio lights, I willed for Alok and Edward’s reincarnation, their magnificent metamorphosis, their osmotic transition into the real world.

I unclipped the mic from the mount. I faced the familiar world of red seats and the inquisitive eyes of the audience. I caught snatches of eager whisperings. I took a deep breath. The side spotlight warmed my cheek. I felt my sneakers tell me wise things, that there was nothing to be afraid of. I was reassured that I was not separate from where I stood. I grew out from the stage, a black protrusion, a tree of motion, conceived of moon and night.

I had nothing to lose.

Nothing at all.

So, I gave it all.

And.

I came away with more.

Much, much more.

The Berry Theatre experience was a beautiful and priceless landmark event in the development of Your Echoes In Space. I realised that I deeply cared for my characters, Alok and Edward, and with the sort of intensity that was potent enough to peel them off the page.

Over the course of one night, my two boys were no longer characters. I gave them permission to leave their roots.

For five minutes, they were people.

“The stage glowed with expectation and fertility. A black open-air womb. Tonight my throat, my hands, my eyes, my every cell was invested with purpose: To add bone. To add flesh. To add voice. “

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. “

The Legend Of Corfe Castle: Epilogue

My Dearest and most Beloved Reader,

It has been an unparalleled pleasure to have penned this Story for You, whose imaginative elements were harnessed from the colourful crucible of my adventures that took place over the long Easter holidays. I could have quite easily borrowed my younger brother’s smartphone – he has more than one – and then proceeded to gallivant through these places that I visited with the sole self-gratifying intention of capturing forty or so selfies of my face, returning to the homestead to deliriously plaster them all over social media and to attach under each a phrase that starts in the same vein of “Happiness is when blah-di-blah-di-blah…” or “I am a strong and beautiful and fearless babe” or “Drinking from a paper cup, check me out!” I am certain you catch my drift!

Well, the fact of the matter is, YOU know me all too well and I know YOU all too well. That is why I wrote a Story out of it all and in the coming days I shall be posting off special copies to my friends in far-off corners of the world who have limited or no access to technology.

I cannot expect to feel composed for a single day if I do not, in some way, feel a story grain through the tiny canyons of my fingers. Either I must be reading a book, or engaged in writing one for others to delve their minds into. In my eyes, every piece of literature that inspires me to become a better human being is, simply put, an uncelebrated embodiment of the holy book and to know that in myself is a gift for which I am abundantly thankful to my Creator.

I am quite convinced that the form of the story has always served to be infinitely more exciting and rewarding for the both of us because, given the enormous distances between my home and yours, it is the seedling garlands of my ink and the garden of my notebook from which I am able to conjure such humble magic as to make it appear in our hearts that You and I are indeed sat close next to each other, somewhere on those rustling plains of Rumi’s field of gold

The echoes of a writer are the bane of all clocks,
Mazzy ♥♥♥

The Legend Of Corfe Castle: Epilogue

Thank you very much, Mr C.S. Lewis!

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

Ahoy There! BALOO-N Pick-Up Lines!

Where to begin, dear Reader, but begin at the start I will for now
The mind of a Polymath is an orchestra blessed by sugar cubes of twilight’s plough
There’s a bark of black-white teeth, shoulder scratching, a wooden spoon on which man strums
Eccentrics do not fit in, we fit out, I’m the poetess who writes as she hums
Words have wings that I leave on the rooftops of white snowscape of paper
Suddenly strings appear in the sky, a form of touchable vapour
And on the end, the soul-blob of ink, turned magnificently into a balloon
Sometimes spotty, sometimes stripy, ready to float me to the harvest moon
It is a chauffeur face who smiles in minty light of the wildest and dreamiest adventure
My fingers reach out and toes say farewell, waving goodbye to dictatorial denture
The horizon is my morning stage and I am not afraid to play true or even a little hard
And salute I give to the Words, long live the legacy of Shaky Boo, my chosen Bard
And so Katie reads and reads strongly, her Voice an orchestral archipelago
My phenomenal mate ends with the beginning to turn, “Mazzy, Oh The Places You’ll Go…♥♥♥

LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jWPgLRqVik

 

We Sought The Strings That Played The Song Of Freedom [Phir Se Udd Chala!]

“… And so Katie reads and reads strongly, her Voice an orchestral archipelago;  My phenomenal mate ends with the beginning to turn, “Mazzy, Oh The Places You’ll Go…”

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