The 35th Bde Day, Faiz’s nazm and some resolutions

(This should have come slightly earlier – Sunday, or Monday at best but it was delayed due to two things – one, a grace period, which would also allow me to recollect my memories and draw conclusions, and secondly, the big news that broke both Sunday and Monday nights, drawing away attention and curtailing opportunity and time, and even Tuesday, there was lots to do. Anyway…)

Somehow, my life has a strange connection with the correspondence of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. On the 34th Bde Raising Day (to give it the full name),  the prevailing theme was from that famous nazm, which begins:

Yeh daag daag ujaala, ye shab gazida sahar
Woh intezaar tha jis ka, yeh woh sahar to nahi

and ends….

Abhi garaani-e-shab mein kami nahi aayi
Najaat-e-deeda-o-dil ki ghadi nahi aayi
Chale chalo ki woh manzil abhi nahi aayi

But then the day, last year, was not much…. a quick dash to a bookshop to pick up some gifts for myself, and then to office, where I fielded four calls of wishes (one eagerly awaited but not too encouraging for all that when it finally came) while I can’t even recall what I did that night….

Since then, I think I have become wiser (well, much more than I was – particularly in some crucial aspects of life) but the Faiz connection still endures and also permeated Bde Day this year, the 35th…. Which nazm was it this time, and how so… read on to know.

As it happens, the happenings began quite before the day itself this Saturday (Nov 13)…. with my sister and an old friend, whom I have known since we were in class four, though we fell out of touch for some time after passing out from school, extending their wishes well in advance…..

The intervening days passed, and came the eve of the day, when I scrambled to do some preparatory work, though my plans for ushering in the occassion at midnight at home fell flat. But lets not dwell on it…..

As I was on my way home, which I reached +0.30, I got a call from two long lost friends but recently re-united friends, who wished me. I reached home, uncorked the bottles, put on some favourite music and caroused and caroused till I fell asleep.

I was woken up in the morning by a call from my mother, who though out of home, made it a point to call early in the morning and wish. Thereafter, as I lazily dressed and made plans for the few hours I had at my disposal till it was time to roll into office, I got one more call – from an old colleague from the last place I had worked. In fact, I missed hearing his call (as had happened on his big day a month back… strange are life’s coincidences and I had to call him back).

Anyway, I finished dressing…… taking a good luck at my face as I shaved. I think, or I like to think, there were no major changes…. well, some more white, especially in the temples and scattered slightly over the rest of that unruly mop, the moustache was more bushy (despite the best efforts of my father and my sister), slight wrinkles across the forehead and in the corners of the eyes…. and then the eyes. I tried and found I could still generate that mischevious sparkle (that has been commented on many people) , though it is not the widespread expression it once was and the current is more that slightly guarded, apprehensive look of a stranger in a strange land (I recall that a friend that I met online after a long period commented – after perusing my photos – that my eyes showed I had seen a lot – it is more expressive and understandable in the vernacular).

However, soon I was ready – dressed in that pattern of white and green, I find to be the best, complete with a snazzy waistcoat which during my recent visit to my hometown, I had prevailed over my bespoke tailor to complete in my deadline, rather than the expansive schedule he had given (last week of November…. so absurd).

I found conveyance without much problem, and my first port of call was one of the bookshops I frequent. I spent a most pleasant hour there, though there were some anxious moments in selection. But decide I did, finally with the aplomb of a Solomon, and then it was just time to pick up some tuna sandwitches before embarking on the second phase of the programme.

This involved a trip to the city centre, where I visited my other bookshop, selected some, asked the proprietor to keep safely for me, before going to the highpoint of the day – a sumptuous lunch.

Well this co…..

To be continued…..

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