Based on a single theme of 'MOTHER'

Like a flower on a cactus, a fountain splashing out from the bosom of a burning stone, a drop of cool air on the lips of a burning wind, a peaceful melody in a jungle of screams, a blanket of sunlight on a shivering body in the peak of winter, a shower of dew kisses on the parched lips of the Earth, a cloud providing shade. This is what she is - this is what is Mother! That who cannot be explained – but can only be felt.

A Mother is that wind on whose waves blessings float on eternally . She is a branch that squeezes all of its blood to nourish its flowers until the last drop of its own life is gone.
 
A Mother, whether human or animal, is a messiah – selfless and giving. Her lap provides shelter from evil. Whether it is west or east, north or south – from one end to the other – after God, Mother is the protector.

A Mother’s capacity to protect her child is as vast as the universe. She holds him in her arms as universe does a tiny particle. When life becomes like a storm and the boat of fortune sinks, Mother like a canoe keeps you from striking the bottom, like a pair of invincible oars she steers you clear. When golden sunlight and the silvery moonlight disappear, fake bright lights like a fountain fill darkness in the eyes; the sword of their rays gouges out the eyes and makes them blind. Then hiding in the bosom of Mother, closing the eyes, a flood of light appears which provides eyesight again.

No matter what of age a person is, he or she walks with Time in the outer world. But in the inner world, regardless of Time, they walk holding their Mother’s finger like a child.
Time stands still in the relationship between a Mother and child. A person remains a child receiving shelter in his Mother’s arms.

And one day the flower from the cactus dies and falls and the thorns start pricking. The fountain dries and the feet start burning on the fire filled stones. The drops of cool breeze disappear and the hot wax of life starts melting. In the jungle of screams, no melody can be found and hearing becomes impaired. The blanket of soft sunlight is snatched from the shivering body in the severe cold weather. The soul freezes, the parched dry lips of the Earth are not kissed by the dew any more, they crack and bleed, when – Mother leaves the world.

And then – hidden inside a mature body, the person who is of a tender age comes out restless, rejecting the age, time and traditions. The stony fingers of deep pain tear apart the cover; the person comes out in search of the Mother – without any footsteps of time on the face of the emotions. The emotions have the same innocence and truth which are hidden underneath the layers of practicality, rituals, and the experiences of advancing age. The hidden child comes out; the child on whose forehead there always were the lips of Motherhood without any wrinkle of time. On the heart- tree, Mother was always like a shady cloud. The finger of Motherhood always cleaned the dust of pain from the body and soul. Never ever let the child go from the arms of protection.

And one day – those fingers are lifeless; the wind takes away those shady clouds from the heart tree. The little tree starts burning in the sun. The wind seems to be bent upon to break it, uproot it. So today – on the burning desert of feelings, instead of a woman, a young girl is standing by the fragile door of time, holding the finger of insecurity, with wounded eyes in deep dark silence - scared and alone. The young girl, who was  hidden in the mold of a mature body has come out. The sound of feelings has taken the young girl, who has no footsteps of time on the face of her emotions, beyond the pain of knowledge.

In the arm of her Mother – she kept dreaming to have the moon. She was busy catching butterflies, collecting colorful flowers; fearless and protected. Every moment, regardless of distance, Mother was flowing in the body and soul as a fragrance. Fingers of Motherly love untangled the tangled life. But now – those fingers are lifeless. The wind has taken away that shady cloud from the heart tree. The little heart tree is parched in the burning sun. The girl’s restless eyes wander on the sky in search of that cloud. All of the fireflies are now dim in the fist of life. The flowers are lost. She is losing herself in a desire to hold that finger again.

Wrapped up in the extremes of emotion with her fearful eyes, she searches in the fog for the same glittering face. But how can the empty hands of this search fill her lap with flowers? Her eyes are scattered on the sky like little pieces of light in the hope that perhaps that face will appear on some edge of the galaxy – only once more!

Her bleeding eyes shed blood, they are scattered like flowers on the bosom of the Earth. On the tree of life, sprouts of pain are appearing. The breath of loneliness does not stop. Painful melodies are dripping on the paper as tears of blood; words are drowned in its red colors. The moisture of pain keeps the plant of creativity green. The candle of thoughts in the world of the soul is lit with the oil of sadness.
 
Drops of pain from the sea of feelings are being gathered in a paper cup.
Colors of moments are being scattered on a canvas.
This girl, lost in thoughts of the dark jungle, has to cross to go to the unknown valley where her Mother has gone to the minaret of light.
How many uneven stony roads are waiting for her?
How many stubborn dreams will keep on scratching her eyes with their nails?
How many black mornings will peek from the window?
How long will her cry of memories swim in the air?
How long will the swords of the past stab at her heart?
How long will those scenes dance in her eyes; when Mother’s finger stole the moon from the sky?

Mother used to save her from drowning in the sea of dreams & mirages.
And now? Where are those savior hands?
The rays of the sun are tired and sitting somewhere.
All over the wall are the stains of darkness; tradition has turned the flow of tears inside.
The valley of the heart is flooded; otherwise the surroundings would have drowned.

All the moons are broken and have disappeared. The laughter of darkness is echoing.
Those fingers that used to destroy the footprints of time from her face are no longer.
This girl has suddenly aged. The shady cloud that saved her from the burning sun is gone with the wind.
That voice, that used to swim on the waves of the air as a blessing, slowly dwindled and died.
That voice is wrapped in the silence now, away from all the commotions and distruptions.

But – suddenly – that shiny face appears and scatters light.
The face smiles and says –

“My child …look, I am still here, close to you, just for you, just for your eyesight, just for your touch, just for your hearing, open your third eye, you can still see me, feel me, hear me.
I am lost for the world but I am in you.
How can I separate from you?
Even though one day you were separated from me physically the tie of the soul is immortal!
We are still tied together with that rope.
We are together, gather yourself, don’t be scattered.
You should be happy that your Mother is free now.
She has freedom from the sorrowful world.
Here, there is no punishment of pain
nor the fear of dreams being shattered, nor the tiredness of a long journey.
No worries of the world,
no gain or loss,
but only peace.
One has to finish the difficult path of the world to find this peaceful destination.
You cannot reach freedom unless you complete your journey.
Bear life with wisdom and tolerance.
Have courage because you are a Mother too.
I will walk with you like your shadow.
Hold me and finish your journey.
I am a Mother and a Mother never abandons her child.
A Mother never dies”

Suddenly the dust of darkness disappears. The girl opens her third eye and looks at her Mother on the window of her eyes. Candles of peace are lit. She picks her tear drops by her Mother’s fingers, untangles her hair, gathers herself in her Mother’s shawl, pats herself by her Mother’s hand and kisses her burning forehead by her Mother’s lips.

The storm of pain stops.

And then – she mends her broken mask and goes back inside.
Now the visionary woman gathers herself and starts to complete the journey of life holding her Mother. Now Mother is always close. Distance does not make any difference. She is still holding her close to her bosoms as  the Universe holds a tiny particle. She is still here, in every corner. The soft touch of her lips on her forehead is still warm there. In her ears, Mother’s melodious voice still keeps echoing……refreshing and rejuvenating. On the waves of the wind her blessings are floating, because she is a Mother and Mother never dies. Never!

These feelings are not personal but universal. This is the story of all those individuals whose Mothers are no longer in this world. These are the feelings of those Mothers for whom children are the pivot of their lives. who feel for their children. These are the experiences of all when the hidden child deserts after the Mother leaves the world.

While Mother is alive, one remains a child, beyond the limit of age. After Mother’s death the child dies. But the bond with Mother is unbreakable - death cannot separate them. This feeling is a gift of nature which transcends religion, civilization and boundaries for humans and animals. It is free like the wind, fragrances and the clouds; no one can control it. It is equally strong and intense in everyone. A few drops have dripped from the ocean of feelings onto the paper in this collection. These feelings are not just for mine alone, they are , in fact, heartfelt reverence for every Mother, because this is a universal experience. “ Motherhood” is the word that like a river runs in every vein in the form of love, sacrifice and selflessness. It is not possible for me to explain it. The entire universe exists In just one word , and the word is “Mother”!

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About the author: PARVIN SHERE is a poet, painter, and musician. She formally developed her talent of painting at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Parvin's visual art has been exhibited in Canada, United States of America, England, France, Germany and India. She has won several awards internationally.

THE SELECTION COMMITTEE OF "ADABI CULTURE", VARANASI, INDIA HAS AWARDED PARVIN SHERE'S "KIRCHIAN"("FRAGMENTS") AS ONE OF THE TWO BEST BOOKS FOR THE YEAR 2008. Parvin was honoured as one of five nominees for the prestigious "WOMAN OF DISTINCTION AWARD" for her contribution to Art, Culture and Heritage in Winnipeg, Canada.

After the publication of "FRAGMENTS"(KIRCHIAN), PARVIN SHERE'S latest publication "RAINDROPS ON PARCHED LAND" (NIHAL - E - DIL PAR SAHAB JAISE), 2010 edition is a unique concept that has emerged from her pen and brush. Based on a single theme of 'MOTHER', this publication has a myriad of enthralling universal implications, a unique example in the entire Urdu Literature.

Several prominent scholars have pointed out that Parvin's collections are absolutely different from the collections of CHUGTAI and SADQAIN with the difference that both poetry and related paintings are created by PARVIN SHERE in a coffee table format. According to Dr. Stephen Borys, Director Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada and former Curator - Department of European and American Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, PARVIN SHERE'S visual metaphors present the viewer with unsettling ambiguity. Some are points of no return tunnels of destruction, but there are also sightlines of hope and promise.