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

Bridge May Ice

“Once you conquer your selfish self, all your darkness Will change to light.”

Rumi

When the yawns of humidity and cooler heat of pre-winter, meet in the lap of a September morning, everyone can sense that autumn is just around the corner. When the lush green leaves begin to form a botanical rainbow, one instinctively knows they’re about to fall. When the moisture from the air begins to yield and dryness dominates, it’s understood that the season of the naked trees is at hand. The colorful changes in the landscapes display the mesmerizing tastes of the clandestine artist. It makes me wonder how beautifully the ultimate designer perceives it all—and even more amazingly, how it’s all executed. One sees no scaffolds, no cranes, no paintbrushes, yet little by little, everything on the planet transforms. Including the moods of its dwellers. The beats of autumn replace the drums of summer. Silence silently pervades the crowded beaches, and overflowing parks begin missing the hand-in-hand walks of couples in love. The shift in weather transforms the entire lifestyle of the people. 

The fading fragrance of the flowers and dormancy of the grass on the fairways announce the upcoming spell of cold and snow. This invites us to enjoy the outdoors as much as we can while it lasts. Being a persistent golfer, I enjoy the changes on the course—in my attire and attitude. Although I don’t like replacing shorts with golf pants, no one can escape the effects of the  changing weather as long as one stays on earth, though I can’t comment on eternal hibernation … 

Autumn, winter, spring, summer, storm, sunshine, sunrise and sunset only matter while we walk on earth. Who cares what happens afterwards. Whether one ends up in Heaven or Hell, no one knows. Only the hells of this world seem more daunting and scornful. And the biggest fire of all is the fire of jealousy. No weather can release us from the hell of jealousy. 

Just as the rhythm of life keeps changing, the song of the universe remains the same. Variety is the wish of the living; everything else in the universe follows a set pattern, even though change makes matters more interesting and permanence is boring. Who knows?—the nostalgic residents of eternal heavens might be missing out on their stay at the rugged earth. Maybe it’s the fatality of life that makes it fertile. The constant renewal of living beings might have kept this planet young and fresh. I take comfort in the belief in life after death and the reality of death after life. That might be the ultimate metamorphosis we will ever go through. Let’s hope for the best.

“Your journey will be much easier and lighter if you don’t carry your past with you.”

Credits

Google

Motivation

By

Ahsan Jamil

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

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Mist or Mystic

“Your whole idea about yourself is borrowed- – – – from those who have no idea who they are themselves.”

Osho

His name is Mike, and they call her Jasneet Kour. I am Ahsan, and the anchor on TV is Wolf Blitzer. Is this how it really is? Are all these people merely those names? Or is there something more than a name attached to every one of us?  Sometimes I wonder who I am. My identity card reveals my name, age, gender, nationality, identification marks, address, etc. But is that all we are — numbers? My language is another aspect of myself. Maybe it’s the way we express ourselves that makes us stand out. Like the color of my skin and features of my face. Perhaps, it’s the impression and memories we instill in others that people remember us by. I believe in a religion my parents told me about, and I know the math I studied at school. My age is defined by a calendar, and my life moves forward according to the arms of the clock. The chains of hunger, climate, social norms and taboos, along with other vital elements of life, control me in an absolute sense. My body so badly wants to survive. It has made me the most needful entity on this planet, that I am. So do the ties of family and clans. I feel contained and in custody. Many factors make me who I am, but who am I really meant to be?

“The soul has been given its own ears to hear things that the mind does not understand.”

Rumi

There is another part of me that’s free and knows no boundaries. It needs no identification nor does it need any nationality. It neither needs a Boeing to fly nor a vehicle to travel in. It has its own energy source and needs no protein. It is my soul. My spirit. It illuminates me brightly and keeps me feeling alive. It provides me with a warmth — one I can ignite others with through words.

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness, will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

Brene Brown 

It takes me beyond the limits of flesh and breaks the barriers of time. I stay happy in its company, and I feel light as a feather in its presence. It keeps telling me that I am supposed to be somewhere beyond the surrounding dimensions. It teaches me that there is only one true language — and that’s called love. Love needs no dialect, and it has no alphabets. It has no full stops and no commas. Love flows regularly and limitlessly. Soul and its language always remain young and fresh. Maybe our souls are the soil, and our lives are the buds of love. As with love, life needs time to become what it was meant to be; we just need to trust in our ability to become that reality. 

“Youthfulness is about how vibrantly alive you are, not about when you were born.”

Sadhguru 

Without soul, life seems like a clinical, detached chemical and physical process. Like they say, we are all nothing but stardust. Remnants of the Big Bang. But what’s the truth? Are we part of a higher design? Are we the claimants of superiority over everything else in the universe? Or have we got some supranational rights? I personally don’t feel that I am superior to anything else. My thoughts here; they connect with you. They connect us all through empathy and creativity. Rather, I feel I am one with the universe. A part of it all. Everything is part of me and I am part of everything. 

“ I dreamed I was a butterfly, flying in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder, am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?”

Chuang Tzu Tao 

Credits 

Google 

Motivation 

Mystic Quotes

By

Ahsan Jamil 

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

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Dewy but Humid

“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.”

Rumi 

On this humid and oppressive morning in August, breathing itself seems to require effort. The leaves are still and the birds are silent. There is no one at the green fee counter. The golf course is empty and the tees are waiting to be struck. I am strolling gently along the paved path leading towards tee box one. Only the dim overhead light, the path and I are awake. Paths rarely sleep and lights sleep during the day. I have the privilege of sleeping or staying awake at any time; that’s the beauty of being a human. Everything under that blue sky has its own prerogative. That tree over there doesn’t go anywhere and everything it needs comes to it. Sunshine, water and air all reach the tree voluntarily or by the actions of someone, whom no one has seen. It welcomes all seasons, including autumn, with an open heart. From an axe to an ant, that tree serves them all. It’s a nursery for hatchlings and home for the birds. It’s a shelter in the sizzling heat and provides wood for fire. 

The golf course is no different. It can never be complete without trees. As trees are ornaments of the planet, so too are golf courses in a city. Though trees at the golf course are often viewed as hurdles, they always magnify the grandeur of the place. Some golfers get annoyed by the tall, thick trees. Others enjoy the beautiful symmetry of their lines. 

Instead of blaming the hurdles and hazards in life, we should practice learning how to overcome them. The harder the journey, the wiser the passenger. 

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

Rumi

In order to stay out of the tree lines and water hazards, a golfer needs to practice over and over. Practice consumes one, and it’s boring, but one doesn’t learn without it. The jubilation of victory dwells in the sweat at the practice range.

Wood burns for fire and Tiger Woods boils for performance. I play golf in order to walk, but a part of me craves the square or under. Tree looks for chlorophyll and I look for my ball under it. The game goes on! Today’s blog is aimless in nature yet it is not a waste of time. Today’s weather is not so good for golf, but the weather mostly works against me anyway. It is my craze for golf that determines my round rains only interpret. Although it’s the rain that I need the most today. The shower from the sky will turn this humid August into a misty September. We have had enough of the suffocation, the dampness and the mugginess for quite some time now. 

Credits 

Google 

Margalla Greens GC

By

Ahsan Jamil 

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

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

The Stones of Bagram

“It is better to discuss things, to argue and engage in polemics than make perfidious plans of mutual destruction.”

Gorbachev

Stone is a vital ingredient in the making of planet earth. It adds to its glory and provides it peaks & heights. The unique Inhabitants of this magnificent star have strong ties with stones. They have been living in the shelter of stones forever. From stardust to Stonehenge, from caves to counties, the human relationship with stone is eternal. Some stones are worshipped and some stand on graves. Some stones are diamonds and some are tiles on the floor. Some stones are peaks like Mount Everest and some stones are referred to as seamounts in the deep waters. Much is written and researched about stones. Carved and painted caves, Ashoka rocks, the pyramids of Egypt, and the logosyllabic scripts of Mesoamerican civilization are all signs of man’s relationship with stones.

Britannica 

However, the stones of Bagram tell a different tale that’s written in the blood of the innocent without purpose. This is a story of the chivalry, courage, sacrifice, and death of all the sides that engaged in fighting. Chapter after chapter of this sad book reveal pages of the wounds, smoke and death of the youth of this otherwise beautiful planet of stones and waters. 

A boy from Batesville, Mississippi, one from Espoo, Finland, and another from Chiras Sar-e-Pol, risking their lives over a conflict erected from the loss of buildings they had never seen. And neither had their families ever visited the city where those buildings once stood. Many of them never returned to their waiting mothers. Their girlfriends and wives sang songs about separation. Marking calendars day after day. Till the day a uniformed person knocked at their door to hand over a flag and a few belongings of their cherished one. On another broken door of a mud house a guy in a turban announced the death of a young son of a poor mother. Sometimes some families never even saw the dead bodies of their loved ones. The loss of life on both sides made their families both sad and resolute in equal measure. Those who returned were physically crippled or mentally disturbed.

All of a sudden the fighting stops, though no winner has been declared. 

The country again falls into the young hands of the resisting youth. They declared a pardon for all, but thousands continue to cling to the airplanes of departing soldiers. Falling off the taxiing planes. 

The end of this war is also strange. No one lost; even the fleeing Afghan leaders are leaving with the title of Ex-President and Ex-Governor. Only the families of the dead, misplaced, and handicapped suffered. 

And those who invited foreign forces to Afghanistan are now running with taxpayers’ dollars in their bags. A person who ran sub-standard Afghan restaurants in Queens, New York, rode on Allied forces’ tanks to sit in the palace of the president. Such people cared little for both the life of the youth of their adopted country or the country of their birth. They got glorified and sat on the throne made by the blood of the innocent youth of almost 50 countries. This war was fought earnestly by the poor of both cultures, and they remained poor afterwards. Rich policy makers and their sponsored companies made rivers and oceans of dollars out of this expensive war. This might have been the most extravagant war in the history of the world. Billions & billions were drained to build a government, an army and a nation. These bucks neither won the war nor built a nation. The army that was trained with those dollars turned out to be nothing but a wall of sand that melted without a storm. What does it all mean? It means corruption. Taxpayers must ask such questions of the leaders who chalked out these policies. And the world should also know the price of blood that overflowed in that war. Sides don’t matter anymore, but does the life of the sons of this world? 

The money was not wasted only in war and in building nations; it was also wasted on the training of diplomats and negotiators. Yet what did they achieve? Dialogue is still going on in Doha. For what purpose? 

The book of history carries a series of tales of rise & fall. Is this a story of the rise and fall of people like the Queens’ restaurant owner or a tale of students’ movement? The stones of Bagram have no answer — they are silent. 

“War, like children’s fights, are meaningless, pitiless and contemptible.”

Rumi

I will end today’s writing at an CNN’s interview with Khalid Hussaini a novelist, and writer of ‘The Kite Runner’,

“I would ask him: What is the legacy of the last 20 years? What was all this for? On the American side, the country’s back in the hands of the very people that we went there to throw out. On the Afghan side, thousands and thousands of civilians died, so many people became displaced, so many villages were bombed, so many people suffered in the hope that the country might have a better future.”

Credits 

CNN

Google

Britannic 

YouTube 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

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

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Reshma

“What a joy, to travel the way of the heart.”

Rumi

On a flight from Boston to Istanbul, I try to update my playlist on the Apple Music app. I am going through my music library to keep the deeper music and shed the temporary hits. I have already worked my way through Junoon’s ‘Sayonee,” Rabbi Shergill’s “Bulla ki Jana,” Hadiqa’s “Kamli,” Ali Sethi’s “Khabar- E-Tahayyur,” and a whole lot more, when all of sudden my scroll pauses at Reshma. The beat of the song “we main chori chori” begins to sync with the beats of my heart. The Boeing 777 might be flying at the speed of 860 kilometers per hour, but this folk music grows wings on me like an angel. Music takes us to distant lands yet opens us up to memories near and dear to us. It takes me back decades to the “Baisakhi” festival, at the banks of the canal where the Haji Murad Trust Eye Hospital now stands. That’s where I heard this song for the very first time. Ooh, what a trip it is. I can’t discern whether time is flying or I am flying back in time, but the stewardess’ announcement soon reminds me of my actual whereabouts. 

The sincerity of Reshma’s delivery of lyrics in perfect Punjabi accent, the purity of Manzoor Jahlla’s poetry, and the rhythm of a conventional composition of an everlasting music absolutely refrains any contamination of foreign music. Pardon my limited knowledge that I don’t know the composer’s name. Just the music itself conjures up the smell of the Punjabi soil here & now. It sheds all coatings off me, peeling out a true villager. I don’t have the exact words to fully convey what I’m feeling. Music truly is the language of the soul, transcending the explanations of this material world. 

Although I am capsuled in a plane above the Atlantic Ocean, Reshma’s tone still has the power to bring me back to my parental home. I can feel the sweet scent of the flowers flow into me like a meadow hugging me. I feel like I’m strolling alongf the banks of the Upper Chenab Canal in my village, Theri Sansi. The water that flows through this canal originates from the river Chenab. It’s known as the river of the lovers because of Sohni Mahiwal. There is dust flying around my feet, and mist floating over the water, and I am lost in the mystic melody of this song. The loving souls of Sohni & Mahiwal may be laughing at me by now. I can assure them that whether they can  see it or not, my soul — or some part of it — is definitely there. It is drumming alongside my heartbeat, giving it the companion it always needed.

I am mesmerized by how music can open strange chapters of our mind. And the omnipresent nature of the soul amazes me even more. It can be anywhere it likes just in the flip of an eye, without ever leaving where it is. Wow, this is a flight within a flight. This is a journey within a journey, and an existence within an existence. 

“Only when your experience of life moves beyond sense perception, it becomes absolute, not relative.”

Sadhguru

The dual nature of this trip invites me to ponder upon many things. The relationship between my body and soul. I wonder how far I can travel physically, or in my thoughts, and how much further my soul can take me. Is traveling by soul a way to go beyond myself, beyond universes, beyond destiny, beyond life? Although I am heading to Istanbul, is that the only trip I am making? Yes, I may not have wings, but do I need wings to fly? Was I there near my village? Is it a mirage of a mind in a flight or is it a flight of a mind? Maybe our soul lives beyond the past, present, and future — it may be what links us all together beyond the intricacies of time.

“Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?”

Rumi 

Whatever it is, I like it. It gives me a sense of freedom. It enhances my faculties. I think I should go to sleep just like the rest of my flight mates. Maybe there’s another trip waiting for me in my dreams. Good night. 

Credits

YouTube 

Google 

Wikipedia 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

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

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

The Mewing of a Gray Catbird

“Every morning starts a new page in your story. Make it a great one today.”

By Doe Zantamata 

Good morning to you all. I am writing this blog at 5:21 am, sitting before a wide window that opens to the whole wide road in front of the house where I’m staying. My eyes are treated to the lush lawns gracing this beautiful morning with their emerald hues and sweet scents. A cat meows by my window. As I hone in on it, I realize it’s actually a gray bird singing in a cat’s voice just a couple of feet from my window. I don’t want to move my hand to take a picture because I know a clip is worthless compared to its magnificent mews. I’m surprised that this bird can actually sound like a cat. It’s chirping in its own voice too. I never knew one bird was capable of making different sounds. Google tells me that this bird is known as a gray catbird. 

Image: Borrowed from (FeederWatch) @ Pinterest 

One learns new things every day. If we stop talking and simply listen, we get the chance to learn something from everyone, young or old. This bird was my teacher on this cloudy morning.e grateful to the fate that provided me an opportunity to rise up and see another morning along with its unique gifts. I wonder just how many wonders in this world go unseen. Even after multiple experiences, there’s always a  new miracle to witness. This leads me to a quote I read on Pinterest posted by ‘The Rose Garden’:

“Waking up another day is a blessing. Make it count and be happy that you are alive.”

Of course, I am. I have heard from my father that blessings are like a bird, and gratefulness is like scissors. We can domesticate the bird of blessings by cutting its wings with the scissors of gratefulness. So the blessings never leave our courtyard. 

It reminds me that all elders in my home used to begin their day with worship, recitations, and prayers. That must have been their way of appreciating their mornings. Such practices allow us to absorb some of the peace outside, as we can truly hear when it is quiet.

Rumi also focused on gratitude, 

“Be grateful for your life – – –

every detail of it – – –

and your face will come to a shine like a sun – – – and everyone who sees it – – –

will be made glad and peaceful.”

If I could be a source of someone else’s happiness, that in itself would be a blessing. The sun rises from the depths of distances, the birds leave their cozy nests and lovely chicks, the plants yawing from deep sleep to spray fresh oxygen, the breeze touches the flower petals, asking them to release fragrance, the dew shines from life, stirring sun rays, and I am on this window—a witness to all these mesmerizing scenes. I love mornings and how they motivate you. I may not go to golf today because I don’t intend to leave this window and miss miraculous moments like these. Such moments highlight the contrast, yet beauty, of the electronic world inside and the plutonic outside; both are gateways to internal peace. After all, even our clocks are no more than a copy of the sun’s position. What a trip of spiritualistic beholden it is. I don’t want to take any other calls today, urgent or casual. The call of the gray catbird has delivered a gift of a great morning to my window that is glowing with a rousing rainbow of reverence and countless springs of satisfaction. I am in love with it. Good morning to you all too. 

Credits 

Somerset, Massachusetts 

Google

Pinterest 

YouTube 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

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

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf