A common space for harmonic peacemakers
PEACE, THAT FORGOTTEN WORD / Aasifa Sheikh, New Delhi
PEACE, THAT FORGOTTEN WORD
'The way of peace is the way of love.
Love is the greatest power on earth.
It conquers all things.'
The night descends and she sits, crouched in a corner of a forlorn shack. Her cheeks gleaming with tears, her mouth parched, her stomach hungry. Orphaned, distraught, a little girl forgotten amidst the madness of violence, hatred and brutality. Harrowing it is, her only consolation- she has millions of companions in this ordeal.
We may have proudly barged into a new century boasting of a new era. We paint a lofty picture of our high ideals, a seemingly utopian web of interactions, dotted with loopholes though. As the masters get into the dialectics of peace, humanity, tolerance and love, the atrocities perpetrated through years and centuries still bleed afresh. Even as I sit and write, even as you read this, an innocent man is put to death in Iraq, a helpless woman is raped in Darfur, a child watches those drones in Afghanistan, someone falls prey to ugly racism and my dear friend this list does not seem to end.
I wonder why...?? Why this madness, why this chaos....?? Men and women killed, raped, displaced, dying for a drop of water, longing for a grain of food. And yet they are not humans in this strife, no their existence is defined in the form of statistics. The comforts of our own lives alienate us from everyone else. We become deaf to the cries of peace, we turn blind to the power of love, we choose to ignore the ties that humanity binds us with.
A ray of hope comes in the form of those noble souls who dedicate their entire lives to the cause of bringing about peace and harmony. Waving the banner of humanity and universal brotherhood. Afzal Shauq is indeed one such person, the 'Peace Wisher' as he is called. His poetry celebrates the cause of peace and humanity. His work is truly inspiring. I was particularly moved by his poem 'Peace Formula'.
Afzal Shauq’s poetry brims with the spirit of unity and love. We were created the same, endowed with similar abilities. Each one of us is unique in our own way. Each one of us deserves care and love. Separated by countries, communities, races, we are all united by humanity, united in happiness, united in grief. His works are a sincere pledge for world peace and bringing home the idea of love, care, benevolence, mercy, equality, justice.
They are a strong and loud appeal for each one of us - 'Let our minds be free, let our hearts be pure. A gesture of peace, a gesture of love. Let us hold each other, let the warmth spread and touch the souls. Let us all take a small step towards bridging the voids that separate us. A vow for our kind, a vow for our generations to come.'
Yet this battle that he initiated has a long path to pave. It demands more consideration and efforts on our parts. And then maybe one day we'll have the future that we all dream of. This faint flickering hope in my heart once again carries me to that little girl. She still sits in the corner, tired of waiting for someone to come and comfort, tears all dried up and placidly drifts off to sleep carrying along her impossible hope for the future.
Encouraged by Afzal Shauq, I dedicate my poem, 'In A Grave I Sleep' to all those children who have been stricken by violence in any forms, who are forced to live under the most inhuman conditions, who are bound by circumstances. Each day brings a new battle to survive the odds, to live, dream and soar and triumph.
IN A GRAVE I SLEEP ::
Left abandoned I am at the diversion,
With no place left to go.
I befriend people in my hallucinations,
Here I rejoice and in tears sink low.
Barred I am from raising my eyes,
Deprived I am from the enchanting scenery.
I lie in shackles forcefully tied,
Each moment I perspire to escape bravely.
Boundations have ruled me since the day of my birth,
Scars they deliver and my soul's anguish they reap.
Lost is my strength, my hearty mirth,
Succour to live and sour is what I seek.
My desires I wrote on the desert sand,
And the ruthless storm blew them away.
In glimpses I could see that distant land,
The vestiges of my bloody heart where lay.
And so I lie in this adorned disguised grave,
The tombstone laughs ' live in peace'.
Nay! I live in this abode they gave,
But gracefully resign and sleep.
New Delhi, INDIA
A ray of hope comes in the form of those noble souls who dedicate their entire lives to the cause of bringing about peace and harmony. Waving the banner of humanity and universal brotherhood. Afzal Shauq is indeed one such person, the 'Peace Wisher' as he is called. His poetry celebrates the cause of peace and humanity. His work is truly inspiring. I was particularly moved by his poem 'Peace Formula'.... Aasifa Sheikh