- By Safeerah Mughal
Winner of two Young Muslin Writers Awards 2015 for prose and poetry, Safeerah Mughal’s Creative Corner brings you a weekly dose of creativity.
I often wonder about who Home’s first inhabitant was.
Lying in the hot sands of time I stared at the ceiling.
A circular feature sits in the centre, sentinel to the forgotten notes of an age sung long ago. It stares back at me, forcing its tendrils into my mind, smothering the chaos that raged there. It severs my thoughts and a wrinkled hand gently reaches into my soul and resurfaces. A deep voice then addresses me and I find myself lost in its depths, great forlorn seas with buried relics.
The gloss paint, that too early stifled the breath of archaic wisdom, now lies discarded and forgotten.
I often wonder why Home is always watchful.
In a voice saturated with nostalgia, he told me about the cavemen who took solace in damp caves that looked like gaunt eye sockets on the face of wrinkled mountains. He told me about the stone they wielded, with which they spun stories and worlds in a language known only to them and the stars above. He told me about the human noise, the ballads that filled the pockets of air and the evenings spent under a sky that was at the gallows. He told me about how he held a rough hand, stared into moon-like eyes, slowly disappearing, and promised to preserve the home they had so passionately built.
He kept the engravings of their time in forlorn seas and waited.
I often wonder about Home wandering in the slums of this world.
His voice shaking with rage he told me about the lost. I sat, entranced as he described the lonely and emaciated; their bleeding soles kissed farewell Earth’s cold lips and then they fold in on themselves, crumpling to the floor, quivering as life’s last drains from them. Their worn grey eyes leaked dreams of warm walls that they take refuge in, of walls that would tend to wounds and console in tight embraces, of walls that would rebuild their lives. He told me how they rarely spoke out loud- their voices were forgotten but he made sure to visit them at night and gently lure their melodies. He told me how much hurt and loss was woven within these, and how he and the stars wept that night.
He told me about the Home they dreamed of.
I often wonder how Home survived in War.
He proudly shows me the Victoria Cross, the aged metal holding volumes of words trampled. It pains him to relieve these stories but I coax them out. In a trembling voice he begins by describing the never-ending chorus of bombs and gunshots that nearly doused his flame. He told me about the angry voices he tried to stifle. The frustrated tears that smudged his calligraphic hand, harrowing words that pierced unfortunate hearts, now dissipated into the night- lost in the black wisps of smoke that permeated the air. He told me about the Earth that was butchered, the battlefields a grotesque mosaic that left soldiers spellbound, marveling at chunks of Earth thrown in the air. He told me about how the soldiers carried home in their eyes. It was carefully wrapped in a silken cloth that was embroidered with a mother’s love and the warmth of a blazing fire. And on the day when they would never go Home again, when mothers would hug to themselves a timeless piece of clothing, they left sad smiles and open eyes that still held home.