The Flight Beyond

“Mysticism is a possibility in every human being’s life. It just demands attention, involvement, dedication and commitment.”

Sadhguru 

Today we are on a flight of four. Two young, two seasoned. The youngsters are determined to beat the old. And the aged are strategizing to survive. The course is equally challenging for both. This flight takes off on time; meanwhile, a Boeing 777 is approaching the adjacent airport. Gliding over the golfer’s heads, the planes make their landings. The flights land regularly at the same times every day. So too do golf flights take off at the same time daily, as if something synchronizes them, even though they are both entirely different entities. There are many more flights of different kinds. Some go in search of new planets, while others explore other realms. Some flights take place inside one’s own mind. The dimensions of the brain sometimes surpass the extent of the cosmos, and inner flights usually go beyond all universes. 

Satellites are orbiting the earth. A space station sits in the impossible-to-inhabit skies. Missions are landing on Mars. Voyagers are traveling to distant stars. Man’s quest to explore the unknown is eternal. A few among us claim to have visited outer worlds both physically and spiritually. I travel to extraterrestrial worlds in my thoughts or dreams only. 

Spirituality, divinity, piousness, religiousness, sacredness, holiness, and inner-ness appear to be siblings. This may be so philosophically but my understanding points to something more than that. Yes, spirit! If it is indeed real, it is something wholly different from our physical body. It is not an individual entity like a body. It is something whole. We all share it — like we share sunlight or weather. 

Spiritually we are one and physically we are many. 

“The universe is a complete unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow at the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile.”

Shams Tabrizi

Ruach Elohim in Genesis, Roh-al-Quds in the Quran, Bhagavad Gita’s insoluble, and Confucian Po — all are flights of a sacred kind. 

Nietzsche’s Geist, Hegel’s phenomenology, Karl Marx’s historical materialism, Iqbal’s Shaheen, and Parveen Shakir’s Khushbu are flights of a philosophical kind. 

Aristotle’s drinking of hemlock and Hussain bin Mansoor’s hanging are also flights of faith. 

All such flights lead a person beyond his/her own self. Once a person develops a passion for something, develops a will, his/her faith becomes unshakable and their focus becomes unwavering! Mysticism opens its wings and a mystic flight begins to flap its wings of harmony and oneness. At that stage the whole universe squeezes into that person and he/she becomes one with the universe. What else is mysticism but oneness. 

“In things spiritual, there is no partition, no number, no individuals. How sweet is the oneness – unearth the treasure of unity.”

Rumi

Credits 

Google

Wikipedia 

Images 

Qamar Zaman

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Coffee at the Veranda

A cool breeze is pervading my sweater and a light mist is attempting to dominate the rising sun. The red globe is in no mood to oblige the fog. A beautiful pink rose has opened its petals wide to auspiciously receive the warmth of the rising star in full swing. Small dew drops on its petals glowing like little diamonds. They further invite the red star to help them evaporate once more, so they too can enjoy soaring back to the clouds.  

At the other end, a long procession of “Mr. Majestics” (French marigolds, Tagetes patula) are getting ready to bloom, turning the whole scene yellow. 

Meanwhile, a mushroom tomb-shaped Ficus celebrates the company of marigolds that are forming a decorative curve in its honor. In the neighborhood stands a tall Araucaria, a young palm and a band of other tall trees, providing a gracious backdrop. The steep slope of the long, broad fairway offers a lush green field to which the exhausted golfers descend to make their approach shots on the beautiful ninth green. The green sits gently there, smiling at those who sit on the club house veranda. Some of them are regretting the moves they played during the round while others are bragging about theirs. 

“Love which is not, but it appears to be. Seek that which is, but is not apparent.”

Rumi

This beautiful courtyard at the Islamabad golf club hosts so much in its lap. The parking. The green fee hut. The practice green. The clubhouse. First tee of the front nine. And the ninth green. This is a stepping stone and a farewell hill combined. I always enjoy sitting on the cane chairs. One can see both the impatience and the enthusiasm etched on the faces of incoming golfers. Smiles on the lips of the winners and stress and burden in the steps of the losers. This is a common platform for hellos and goodbyes. Flights are formed and dismantled here. The fragrance of cheese omelettes and aroma of the parathas are the cherry on the cake. 

Islamabad club overall is a crossroad, a junction, where victory and loss is routine. Where friends are made and lost. Where relationships are developed and broken. Views are exchanged. Poetry is recited and jokes are traded. Some serious dudes make real life deals here. Others discuss their plans and strategies. It moves and shakes the bodies of movers and shakers across the capital. Its restaurants and quality of food are both widely appreciated and at times criticized. It also provides rooms for members and their guests and for members of allied clubs. When domestic quarrels erupt, it is the only refuge for some of the esteemed citizens of the capital. I met a housing secretary once who had been banned from his own home. 

I wonder how busy those people are who ignore the veranda at the golf club and instead walk straight to the parking lot after their round. The P.G.A. should at the very least make it mandatory for golfers to partake in a glass of lemonade or a cup of tea or coffee here. A brief rest is so needed after a round — before we hit the steering wheel and the overcrowded roads. 

The entry to and exit from the club is also a wonderful experience. After the check post, beautiful lawns stretch out in front of the building. A host of different flowers receive and see off the incoming and outgoing members. Lines and lines of seasonal flowers wave and bow to them. They smile and dance in your honor. Of course one may opt instead for a session at  the gym, or the polo club, or the tennis court, or the squash court, or some other facility. I mostly opt for the beautiful golf course, which makes me forget anything else exists. Lost in the expanse of the fairways, I always become inspired to write more. My vision broadens even further at the lush green fairways, and the poet and author inside me awakens in appreciation of what nature is reciting through its sunshine, plants, flowers, fields and hills. The air whispers songs of creativity and the clay under my feet makes me feel so humble. 

People of affluence and authority usually end up playing in the hands of flatterers and give in to their arrogance and egotism. The riders of automobiles and airplanes usually forget their eternal relationship with the land instead are inclined to become rather arrogant of it. Like most capitals of the world, many residents of Islamabad often lose touch with the beauty of the earth  and become high headed or idealistic. 

Golf is a humbling sport that involves a lot of sand, pond, dust and dirt. Defeat and disappointment regularly feature. There is no better way to remind ourselves that we are dust and to dust we will return. 

“Bring anger and pride under your feet. Turn them into a ladder and climb higher.”

Rumi

 Credits 

Google 

Islamabad Golf Club

Images

Qamar Zaman 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Bunker to Bunker

“Golf without bunkers & hazards would be tame and monotonous. So would life.”

B. C. Forbes

On a smoggy November morning I am heading towards P. A.F Skyview GCC at 6:30 am. My flight is already waiting at the first tee of front nine. The chauffeur, who is also my caddy, is jamming on Nusrat Fateh Ali’s tunes & my head is humming on the beats of Tabla & Sarangi. I am happy as a parrot. No worries in the world—and I’m expecting a wonderful round since I spent an hour on the range yesterday. I practiced my chip & bunker shot over and over. Can’t wait to tee off. 

The course is a bit crowded today. Ours is the next turn. Joining me in the flight are Mr. Sajid, a friend from Montessori to date, Mr. Eyaz, my cousin, and Mr. Fezan, a rather young golfing enthusiast. Nice crew and staunch players. Sajid and I are paired together. Fezan’s tee shot flies near or over 275. Eyaz is also a hitter. Sajid and I, on the other hand, are mediocres, though we can put on a great show when we are together. We would keep our game going, winning or losing hole after hole. I tried to lay up on the fourth fairway. There are two deep bunkers—one on the left and one on the right of this green—and a deep ditch to the back. 

As a result of my approach shot, the ball crept slowly into the left bunker. The white sand in these bunkers looks cool from the outside. Its appearance changes as we descend into it. I tried to play a very professional and controlled shot. Instead, I hit a clean shot that sailed over the green and plunged into the bunker on the right. Over-confidently I had hit a wrong shot, and bunker shots are rarely forgiving. The bunker on the right is deep and a bit wall-like at the edge of the green. Anyway, I followed it and decided to hit a punch shot. Even though the ball glided beautifully across the green, it continued to lean into the right bunker again. Embarrassed, I positioned myself on the same sand again to negotiate with my ball once more. This time, the summit of the ball and sand wedge proved to be fruitful and the ball rolled ever closer to the hole. I ended up with a triple bogey, with everyone—including my partner—laughing exuberantly at the turn of events. Golfers tend to put aside all decency on occasions like that. After all, I had given them the perfect opportunity to laugh out loud.

It doesn’t matter what game we are playing, sloppy moves always take their toll. Lack of concentration is fatal. On top of that, bad posture is without a doubt unforgiving. I was more attentive to the embarrassment than I was to the shot. That’s what led to my destruction in these bunkers. I could so easily blame the designer of this hole, or the depth of the bunker. The fact is, I played a shallow shot from a difficult bunker. The sooner we realize our faults, the better things get. If we are brave enough to identify and admit our mistakes, our true learning begins. 

“The fault is the one who blames. Spirit sees nothing to criticize.”

Rumi

Credits 

Google 

P.A.F Skyview GCC Lahore 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Bridges of the 9th Green

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”

Rumi

We enter tee No. 1 at P.A.F Skyview GCC Lahore via a wooden bridge. Once we cross this beautiful bridge, we are welcomed by a beautiful, yet narrow and difficult, course. Take my word for it! I would add that the round at this club is undoubtedly a steeplechase. The designer of this club must have been an equine and agile player. He translated that game into a golf course here. The incorporation of water hazards, careful placement of bunkers and restrictions of (OBs) over the boundary, make it purposefully challenging. This course is also known for its wooden bridges. They are symmetrically placed at various points, connecting one freeway after another. The impingement of landing airliners is another obstacle that originates from the skies above. First, these aircrafts bring noise overhead, and the tail wind follows soon after. I wonder whether planes are also bridges connecting us across continents. It’s interesting how a small pond of rainwater on the course can represent a mighty ocean. 

Atlantic and Pacific aside! I will describe hole number nine—essentially, it’s water and bridges. Its profile reads Par 4, 420 yards, handicap 7 and a dog leg. The right tree-line boundary of this fairway is OB. Straight in front of the tee in the landing zone is a water hazard. And there is a deep water trench around the narrow island green. The fairway is sloppy and deceiving. It gets more so the nearer one gets to the green. In fact, it’s one of the naughtiest holes among the first nine. Pros try shortcuts, hitting over the midway hut—the ball flying  high above the adjacent green of hole No. 5 and tee No. 6, all in an attempt to reach the pin in just one or two shots. I have witnessed most of them later regretting this approach. Regulars, meanwhile, tend to lay up before the water hazard around the green. Most of the time, neither seem satisfied with their plan or its execution. Very occasionally, a few happily cross the famous bridge, which I have named “the judgement day bridge.” The only one without a side fence. 

Many of us decide on a particular path in life, and then we end up regretting our choices, especially because we usually want the easy way out, yet there are no shortcuts to success. We can also take the beaten path, but that can feel too basic. It’s always best to find that middle ground—one where we can enjoy the journey but also settle for the destination. Problem is, golfers are well known for their greed. 

Some cross the judgement day bridge buoyantly, while others do so with a heavy heart. There are many wooden bridges on this golf course. Each one has its own story to tell. Today, I will stick to the bridges at the 9th green. There are three bridges on this green. One brings a golfer onto the green from the fairway, otherwise known as the judgement day bridge, and the second exits to the clubhouse. The brief stay between them sums up the tale of the front nine. The third one connects the 9th green to tee No. 1. It also has a couple of benches attached—somewhere the disappointed golfers can reflect back on their performance. Or even pause in honor of the winners. 

This tiny island and its surroundings form the heart of this club. The anecdote that begins with the first steps of an enthusiastic golfer on the first bridge concludes on the last one that exits to the clubhouse. The unforgettable round between these two crossovers narrates a span of significant experience. We may encounter many bridges throughout life; the moral of the tale lies not in where it takes us, but how we carry ourselves. This tale of satisfaction and disappointment reflects the memory and skill of golfers and their handicaps. The pros and the amateurs alike. 

In fact, this tee, fairway and green is a true test of patience, examination of skills, and attitude (the litmus test) for each golfer. If patience is a virtue in real life, it’s the fundamental ingredient of golf on these fairways. 

“If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.”

Rumi

Credits 

P.A.F Skyview GCC 

Google 

Rumi 2014 App

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Day Dreams

In the lap of a velvet bed. In the comfort of a silky blanket. On the fluff of a feather pillow. Under the pale light of the night bulb. I am sleepless. My brain is working overtime. But in this sleepless state, how can I avoid disturbing others? I’m already done with ‘The Archer’ by Paulo Coelho. I have surfed the entire internet, and my eyes can no longer stand the virtual tour. But all of a sudden, my mind provides the remedy. The panacea. The time tested. The daydreaming. I decided to ride into a sleepless night on a magic carpet of fantasy. It is a strange blend of the virtual world’s past and present, jumbled by the speed of the internet and the warmth of enduring memories.

I am back at my college as a freshman. Young and dashing, with the long hair that was characteristic of the hippie era. Bell-bottom denim jeans. Beats around my neck. Leather biker jacket and African inyl heishi bracelet on my left wrist. High-heeled cowboy shoes and a hippie hat. Bandanna around my neck and a tie-dye tee shirt. Handmade hippie rope-belt. Walkman cassette player tugging on my torso and headphones on my ears. Led Zeppelin climbing the ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ Hanging with the deadhead crowd, searching for myself and my mission on earth? Staying cool, yet yielding to peer pressure and following all the latest trends. 

In my dreams, I am young again. I have multiple personas, and I can choose from any of them whenever I want. Life may not be so much about growing—any more than it is about becoming who you want to be while cherishing your past and nurturing your future—but more importantly, accepting your present.

Things are a bit confusing when you are at that age, and we tend to believe in what people say without questioning it much. Sincerity, truthfulness, mischief, optimism, zeal, enthusiasm, and fearlessness are just a few of the character traits that one carries through one’s youth. As we continue to mature, however, a web of corruption starts to creep in. The more cunning we become, the more seasoned we are. That’s the one curse of growing up. They say he/she is ‘street smart’ now. But the irony is that the affairs of the world are currently in the hands of ‘street smart’ people. 

How long can daydreams last? How long can we be taken in by illusions? Is our life one long daydream? Is it all an illusion? Are we living virtually? Why do we miss the past? Is death a wake-up call? Are we going to wake up to a different life once we are done with the present life span? When reality pops up, it diminishes the dream. But still, it was a great glimpse into the past. Reliving the past in dreams shows we all hanker for some nostalgia, and when we begin to miss the past it means we have reached old age. But never forget the child beaming with excitement, the one who is curious about what’s going to happen next. We become so numb to everything, but try having a go at doing it all again—with the wisdom of all your experience and know-how—and you’ll be amazed at what you missed the first time around.

“For ages you have come and gone

courting this delusion.

For ages you have run from the pain

and forfeited the ecstasy.

So come, return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

Although you appear in earthly form

Your essence is pure Consciousness.

You are the fearless guardian

of Divine Light.

So come, return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

When you lose all sense of self

the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.

Lose yourself completely,

Return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

You descended from Adam, by the pure Word of God,

but you turned your sight

to the empty show of this world.

Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little?

So come, return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

Why are you so enchanted by this world

when a mine of gold lies within you?

Open your eyes and come —

Return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

You were born from the rays of God’s Majesty

when the stars were in their perfect place.

How long will you suffer from the blows

of a nonexistent hand?

So come, return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

You are a ruby encased in granite.

How long will you decieve Us with this outer show?

O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes!

So come, return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

After one moment with that glorious Friend

you became loving, radiant, and ecstatic.

Your eyes were sweet and full of fire.

Come, return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern

has handed you an eternal cup,

And God in all His glory is pouring the wine.

So come! Drink!

Return to the root of the root

of your own soul.

Soul of all souls, life of all life – you are That.

Seen and unseen, moving and unmoving – you are That.

The road that leads to the City is endless;

Go without head and feet

and you’ll already be there.

What else could you be? – you are That.”

Rumi

Credits 

Google 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

The Great Pyramid

“The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.”

-Rumi

Since the beginning of their conscious life, Homo sapiens have been building monuments for different purposes. Most of the structures were built as the shrines or houses of the holy. Kings and queens lived in monumental palaces, and their armies built forts for their protection. Some structures were built for belief, some for materialistic reasons, and others on the grounds of superstition. A few people lived such a venerable life that their graves were glorified in huge structures like the Giza of Memphis and Taj Mahal of Agra. Some were created to honor the war veterans, and many were built as arenas. Perhaps each was meant to be a symbol of creativity, so that they could be explored in any way imaginable. This was a means for the needy to show their determination—a sign of legacy that still stands today.

God doesn’t sleep in any one bed, yet each city and every village contains His homes. In fact, the first building to surpass the height of the world’s tallest building, the Great Pyramid, was a house of God—Lincoln Cathedral, which stands almost 40 feet taller. The cathedral was built in England in 1311, 3,800 years after the Great Pyramid was erected. There are approximately 6,000 churches in New York City alone, yet hundreds of homeless individuals sleep on the streets. In the vicinity of the largest, “Badshahi Mosque” and “Minar-e-Pakistan,” thousands snore on footpaths.

This highlights the duality of man, who would create wonders for God but neglect the people all around him.

Humans not only raised buildings of clay and rock but also built pyramids of systems. Towers of tyranny. Minarets of monarchs. Statues of liberty, and tombs of invaders. 

What used to be viewed as power struggles within a system of rules are now seen, in most businesses, as a way in which to grow—either momentarily or politically. Times change, structures evolve, people don’t.

Today, while surfing on Instagram, I came across the following post:

I don’t know much about the copyright rules of this post, but the topic intrigued me, so I wanted to share it with all of you. I tried to read the TOS (terms of use/sharing) of Instagram, but you likely already know they are so ambiguous that they never clarify anything. If I have violated my account in any way, I apologize in advance. It doesn’t matter how expressive I am, I wouldn’t be able to explain what this post says. As Galileo Galilei said, “Mathematics is the 

language of the universe.” Cameras are the language of the time. Pictures lock moments, and Instagram is great at conveying those instants.

It’s all about capturing the moment. Historically, we, the common people, drew on walls of caves, while the mighty built monuments. Today, we take pics and make videos. The human desire to live forever is partly fulfilled by monuments and photos. And yet, while the pictures may live on forever, what of our time in the moment? It is spent trying to commemorate rather than celebrate. A king would build a Taj Mahal to say “I love you,” while the poor will search for a red rose. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. For some, nature is enough, while others seek to exploit the land around them to feel a sense of grandeur. Yet it is in simplicity that we find tranquility.

One way or the other, a temporary being’s ultimate desire is to be remembered permanently. We all want to leave our marks on earth, but not everyone who is documented in history built monuments. Some are remembered for their holiness, and others for their intellectual work. Some made conquests and some chose to kiss the rope of death, refusing to be subjugated. 

Some made sacrifices for freedom, while others made sure their nations were able to live freely. Some fought wars to become kings and some ignited revolutions to dethrone the warmongers. Some live on through folklores and some are recorded in historic tales. Some live through mummification and some through statues. Some live through tombs and some through their poetry. 

We all want to leave something behind, but is it worth leaving others behind in pursuit of this? We are all equal yet try our hardest to be different, but does it mean anything when we’re all destined to return to the same place? We try to please with art, but we also need to please the heart.

I have chosen to live peacefully as an ordinary human being. I would like to leave this earth in an ordinary way. I would prefer to have my body buried in a common graveyard. It came from dust and to dust it will return. There is no permanent existence other than the dust. Everything is dust. You, me, Mars, the moon or earth, so are all those grand monuments on it.

Credits 

Instagram

Google

Wikipedia 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Tree Swing to Golf Swing

“A golf swing is a collection of corrected mistakes.”

Carol Mann

I have been trying to improve my golf swing for years but to no avail. They say with practice our muscles remember the moves. I doubt it. Golf swings are moves that even the brain refuses to memorize, much less the muscles. Just like the twists of a blonde’s braids, the golf swing has its own strands. The world is constantly in motion – we can only ever try to savor each moment. Every strike is ever-blearing, slipping away until we hit another shot. It always feels like something is missing. It’s rarely perfect. Golf and mood swings don’t follow any pattern, nor do they care about the rules and regulations. Although one cannot play golf without some degree of self-discipline, no one can maintain their composure for long. Yet no one wants to perform badly either. It is in realizing our flaws that we get better, as once we are aware of them, we can try to do better. Just like a golf swing, we never perform the same in life, yet we learn to minimize risk and flaws, ever hopeful o one lucky strike.

“Somewhere out there is a swing that misses you. You are never too old for fun. Swing, dance, sing, laugh and act silly.”

Doe Zantamata 

Playing with strangers usually awakens most of the defects in our swing – specifically, when we are playing at a new course. We should learn to not compare ourselves too much, but we also need to be aware of our own actions. During the game, I usually drift away mentally from the scene. Because a lot keeps happening in my mind, all the time. A good oscillation in golf requires ultimate concentration. Playing routinely at the same course does help, but being a wanderer, I don’t like to dance in the same fairway again and again. Some of us require change as stimulation. Repetition can kill our enthusiasm, hence every swing needs to be new, yet better. But life is as much about compromises and stability as it is about seeking a new high. As a refugee by nature, I need to keep moving on. Learning to take different steps on different tunes, on different floors. The dancing dust reveals the traveler’s route. A wanderer’s journey mostly lacks a destination. Not all travelers need destinations, but all stations crave passengers. In the same vein, it is never where the ball falls that makes the game enjoyable, but our respective swings … that moment when the golfer and ball touch each other’s soul before blasting away into the distance.

Life itself is a small swing at the tree of time. One generation appears on the canvas of this universe like a moon in a lake and then disappears, like one wave leaving room for the next. The pendulum of life keeps going back and forth – the living ride one way and the dead the other. Perpetually in motion, like the golfer following the ball and the ball chasing the hole.

“Forget your opponents: always play against par.”

Sam Snead

Sometimes a blink of a gorgeous eye cradles us on the swings of dreams and love. And sometimes one swing in trust breaks a beautiful heart. A swing in mother’s lap puts you to sleep and a swing of a dad’s hand can make you wiser and witty. Some swings earn the dough and some swings rattle the swords. Sometimes moods swing and sometimes destiny swings. Kids sit on swings for fun and swings sway to create a rhythm. It may be the swing of a monsoon or a yo-yo in the neighborhood park – they all put smiles on lovely faces. When one swing misses, another lands. It’s about realizing that we never miss; rather, we just change our trajectories and destinations.

“The gates made of light swing open. You see in.”

Rumi

The golf swing is an exciting movement. It makes us bewildered, and it brings tears to our cheeks. It frustrates us, and yet it gives us pride – all in the same round. Just like those swings of our childhood days, we return from the course with dirty clothes, muddy shoes, flayed skin, sweaty faces, injured flexor tendon sheaths, hook of hamate pains and bruised toes, but with a great sense of fulfillment. 

Golf itself is a journey that’s both physical and spiritual. Travelers love to keep on traveling. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a manicured fairway or a coarse trail. 

When we leave the comfort of our homes, we may face the scorching sun, thundering storms, piercing thorns, sand dunes, rugged stones, and a whole lot more that would intimidate us into stopping. So what makes us carry on wandering? The wonders of scenery, texture of the planet, fragrance of the clay, whispers of the breeze, smiles of the trees, dirt of the paths, peaks of the mountains, valleys of the roaring rivers, the chat of the natural flowers, glimpses of amazing wild animals, swings of the passages, and love of the outdoors. We go through it all, again and again, because we want to experience life to its fullest. We put up with minor grievances for the satisfaction we gain in knowing that we lived it all; whether we won or not, we did it. Because it’s the footprints that we leave behind that make it all worth it. Others will follow our path and learn from us, and maybe we were never meant to reach the end, but to pave the way for another to continue living through us. When something ends, something else begins.

Keep swinging fellows.

Credits 

Google

Motivation App

Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course 

Golf Quotes

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

The Clandestine Gamblers

Golf & Country clubs in Pakistan are mostly member based entities. The elite and privileged class utilize these facilities at their leisure, and they are a great source of employment as well. Many sorts of people walk on the fairways. Course maintenance staff, midway hut butlers, managerial wizards, course marshals, and more. They all keep the ship running to facilitate the golfers. Perhaps every entity is an engine, some comes as metal, but others come in flesh. There is another species that owns that grass. We call them caddies. 

There is a huge difference between caddy and caddie. Caddy is a Malay word for tea container. It traveled to the English world with the tea leaves from East Asia. While caddie is a Scottish word for a person who does odd jobs. Otherwise, in terms of the great game of golf, it means a way to carry golf clubs. 

The relationship between golfer and caddie is as delicate as putting. One small misread leads to a big loss. A little coordination between the caddie and the golfer makes a huge difference. There is a whole new meaning to the word ‘soulmate’ on the golf field.

The best caddies know how to quickly get a read on their player and what makes a golfer tick. They also know that golf is a hard and frustrating sport. A part of their job is to mitigate loss of time, lighten the mood, and take the tension out of the player, particularly after a less than ideal shot. They usually use one liners for that. Here are some famous ones,

Player: “Right edge?”

Caddie: “I’m not sure. I don’t read putts for triple bogey.”

After a player drained a long putt for a big number, the caddie said, “Well isn’t that whipped cream on a pile of shit.”

Player at the end of the round, “What do I owe you?”

“The first thing you owe me is a f * * king apology.”

When asked by the horrible player, “Do you think I can reach the green with a 5-iron?,” the caddie said, “Eventually.”

My favorite: 

Golfer on putting for 8th, “What’s the line?”

Caddie, “To your pocket sir?”

Gymkhana caddies are the ‘best’. Even if your ball is going to the east, they will find it from the west. You are sure you are playing with Srixon 3, but they will pull Callaway 1 from the hole. Still it will be your ball. In the foggy season, it is not easy to survive a hole in one. Once your tee shot heads into trees, they will find it almost 300 yards from the best possible area. On top of that, you will have a clear shot for the second. Those who hit it away from fairways with a little assistance from an expert Gymkhana caddie usually end up at par with the hole.  I used to wonder why do they such things? Why they do all that for free? No strings attached?

Through intense and mind blowing research, I have come to know that many caddies at Gymkhana usually bet on the players they caddie. Their players are mostly unaware of that. Gamblers’ destiny always stays in rotation yet bad luck sustains. Whether in golf, gambles, or in life, our goal goes from profit and fun to minimizing the risk, that’s how we find the peace we mistake for a boring life. Everything sturdy starts with stability. Whether we like it or not it’s a great way of betting. It might as well be the most thrilling. Although I don’t approve gambling at all, what I really hate is reneging on scores. It kills the buzz.  

When it comes to players like me, neither deceit nor the Devil comes handy. No Lucifer can repudiate the scores of the golfers who are used to take strokes. They can sometimes beat the mighty and at times they can lose to a beginner. We keep committed to surprising ourselves and others as well. So caddie miracles are useless when we are at play. Caddies and their gamble aside, golf is a gentleman’s game and honesty is the best policy. Play fairly on freeways, greens, and the highway of life.

Credits 

Lahore Gymkhana GCC

Google

Golf Digest

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

The Flight

“Once you learn to function at the peak of consciousness, everything will become a play.”

Sadhguru

I sent an invite on a WhatsApp group of golfers at PAF Skyview Golf Club Lahore last night. Within no time, a flight of early birds was formed for a post-dawn takeoff. I booked a caddy courtesy of the internet and allied services. Most things can be done on the phone and usually without speaking a single word. Late at night, one of us dropped out for some lazy reason. We accepted the chap’s regrets and decided to play English — otherwise known as Split Sixes.

The first hole is par four, which ended this morning with a bogie, a double and a triple. I, as usual, finished the first round staying in the middle, both on the fairways and on the scorecard. Generally in life I choose to remain on the middle path, as I always try to read between the lines. Driving in the middle lane may not be fast and furious, but rest assured it will get you home safely. Second is a par five, and I scored nothing there, while the two fellows split it in half. Long roads usually wear out the passengers, and golfers seldom keep calm on par fives. The third one is par three about 180 yards, surrounded almost entirely by encircling water hazards. Despite a poor tee shot, I made a bogie there again, staying in the middle of the fairway. The next fairway is a dogleg, par five, with an OB on the one side and accompanied by two of the strangest of all water hazards. Skyview Golf Course is a narrow and difficult course, so this fairway tests the skills of golfers of all handicaps. I obliged both the OB and a water hazard. In regards to the favors from the two fellow golfers, I acquired two points there as well.

Now comes another dogleg again, facilitated by two more water hazards and a long, egg-like, sloped green. This green is nothing less than a test of the control of the chip shot. Sharp slopes, ditching bunkers, deep water hazards and the narrow nature of this green gauges your patience and precision. Although in theory it is usually reachable, I never try to land on this green. Playing a less club leads to better outcomes here. In fact, self-control always bears better fruits in life. A bogey comes as a great relief, and I walk to the next par three. 

“For me the worst part of playing golf, so far, has always been hitting the ball.”

Dave Barry  

The designer of PAF Skyview GC is a real thirsty crow. Or he loves frogs. Knowingly or unknowingly, it is designed as some sort of magical rainwater system. Minutes after rainfall, golf is resumed. I have a strange relationship with this hole. For some unknown reason this hole holds a grudge against me. Nevertheless I always try to proceed across these fairways as gently as possible. A bogey or double will do. I strolled through the rest of the round with bogies and doubles. 

PAF golf course is also known for its wooden bridges. Bridge or no bridge, you will see a traffic of turtles visiting pond after pond. And if it’s not the traveling turtles, it’s a series of airplanes landing and taking off above the fairways. PAF Skyview GC is situated at Alama Iqbal international airport Lahore. 

You will also hear repeated air shots being fired prior to the landing of the flights. This firing scares away the birds from the airport locale. Lahore is known for heavy bird activity. You will often see big birds trying to lift balls from fairways. It’s all about flights — golf flights, bird flights, airline flights and flights of mind which eventually lead to flights of souls. 

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

Rumi

I want to narrate the full tale of this round, but I am limited by time and the length of the blog. I will complete this story some other time.

Credits 

Golf Quotes

Mystic Quotes 

Google 

PAF Skyview GCC 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Tabla and Claps

“We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.”

Rumi

There is no better beat than the heartbeat of a mother. Like the waves wrapping around you. There is no better song than the prayers of a father. His heart hugging you with his harmony. The mothers’ lullabies and fathers’ cradle songs that we grew up with are true music. They touch us in a way no other music can. Then we get introduced to the calls of prayers and the bells of churches or temples. We wake up, shower, eat, ride, work, and sleep, all the while listening to music. Some of us face the music of the boss, and others face the music made by their spouses. As ringtones or as doorbells, music is with us everywhere—perhaps as a second voice—not ours, but of those who are ours. We are fans of different genres, but there are some artists that rule your heart, Bon Jovi, Elvis Presley, Ghulam Ali, and Pankaj Udhas are just a few of my favorites. And Nusrat Fateh Ali is not merely a singer—he is so much more than that.

“Who needs drugs, when you have Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.”

Shivam 

“Yeh jo halka halka saroor hai

Yeh Teri Nazar ka kasoor hai”

“Ever since you looked at me that way,

I am mellow and tipsy”

As I get in my car from the golf course, a local FM radio station aired this song. It makes my bones shiver in consonance on the road. They say don’t drink and drive. Fortunately, I am sitting in the back seat, so I don’t need to worry about the road and traffic. I can focus solely on Nusrat and company. 

This song matches and mixes the lyrics of three great poets of the subcontinent: Jigar Murad Abadi, Abdul Hameed Adam, and Anwar Jogi. Adam is a great advocate of freedom and liberty. He preaches liberation from the clerics of organized religions. 

Abadi is known for his wisdom. He is a phenomenal artist of words and can magically enhance their meanings. His poetry itself is a call of sagacity and peace. Jogi, on the other hand, is a traveler of mystic paths, seeking the ultimate truth through poetry & music. Drunkenly amorous, he lives way above the traditional social norms. This song is a call of a lover who is drunk on true love—not on any intoxicating substance! 

Nusrat and his team invited them all into this song. He chose their best lines on the subject and gave them all he had. A poet observes, conceives, and organizes ideas and then braids them into a garland of words. But then a singer gives these words a soul, making them dance in the air. The words of this song not only decorate the environment but embroider it in lace. Nusrat’s cadence forms a staircase to the heavens, and its intonation takes us beyond that. The mystic tone of his voice forges a rhythm within the very core of my own being. It unbolts the locked fields of my barren brain and terraforms it with seeds  of artistic dimensions. Now, even I have a tree within me, and it bears fruit in the form of passion and intelligence. What a soul-provoking ride that is.

The genre of this music is called ‘Qawali.’ It originates from the era of Amir Khusro, a Hindavi-Persian poet—a sufi, musician, and singer, and a minister in Balban dynasty. He is also known as the voice of India.

Time and again, Qawali has taken me to my heights and depths and has steered me towards exploring many new elements of my personality. 

“The whole world is high

So is its system-

The nation is tipsy- –

And a blithe jar smiles there

With an inebriated glass

My day is dazed

The night is consumed

My morning is merry

And so is every evening.”

The flow of these lines by the poet and an ornamental delivery by the singer create a perfect harmony between my mind, heart, and soul. It’s a masterpiece by Nusrat and his team. I am constantly searching for words to describe my feelings here, but to little avail, thanks to my inadequate vocabulary and limited knowledge of the English language. This voice transcends words into new worlds.

Adam’s rebellious verses, Abadi’s wisdom, Jogi’s rapture, Nusrat’s voice and depth of Persian words, the intensity of Arabic tunes, the zeal of the crew, and the beat of Indian tabla (twin hand drums) create an awe-inspiring atmosphere. The amalgamation of group clapping and the reassuring voices of the participating singers build a launching pad for the next verse. Every syllable is strengthened by one another. An ensemble of veteran musicians accompanied by the renowned vocalists of Nusrat and his family soar through the choir in order that I—and many others—should transcend, beyond the sphere of euphoria and gnosis. 

It re-enforces my soul and lifts up my spirits. 

It awakens a dervish in me and takes me to mystic flights, enriching me with the beauties of art and the simple complexities of music. I can achieve nirvana on sufi beats by Nusrat. I love it. 

Credits 

Google 

Wikipedia 

YouTube 

JBL system 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf