Orchard of Raining Petals - poetry by Sadiqullah Khan
Presence has never been so intimate, incomprehensible and indifferent. Beauty so near and distant. Words deficient, phrases incomplete and poems empty. Yet what has been conceived is real, imaginary and a fraction of the glimpse of the reality.
We only imitate nature and that too three times removed from it. I had been in one of the most beautiful parts of Earth, both by virtue of natural beauty and the beauty of its inhabitants. Beauty of character, nobility and gentleness. They live in the valleys and the toils of their hands make stone walls, small houses and build upon immense richness in their humble living. I had been savoring the bounties of nature and their hospitality. Every now and then one is struck by awe, every turn opens another dimension of landscape. Putting the whole experience in words is an impossibility. I have striven to narrate and give some expression to the time I have spent here.
I have taken much from its splendors and this cannot be paid back except the indebtedness of gratitude. The greetings, harshness of nature, motherly welcome and the immense inner light they espouse is visible on the smiles of children.
My immense gratitude goes to the people whom I met and who served me with their love more than anything else. The list of the names would fill pages but among the few are Inayat Fakir who took me to distant places, my drivers Ghulam Musa and Sultan Wali, whom I trained to become photographers.
Daulat Amin of Shimshal, Daulat Khan and Dildar Baig of Chapursan, my attendants Dostan Ali and Shamsher Ali and the staff of my office. In short the very air I breathed in the valleys.
My thanks are due to Mr Muhammad Esrar, who made this publication possible by his support. My thanks go also to Sonja Smolec of Aquillrelle to whom I entrusted my feelings and she made them poetic.
Most of these poems were written in Gilgit-Baltistan and the valleys. I leave it to the readers to relate to it and enjoy both the real and the imagined inner and outer landscape. Each poem gives the name of place and date when it was written with some detail in the endnotes where required. The poems were posted with photographic illustrations and some works of art online, the source of which was the web, and actual quotes whose links are also cited.
August 10, 2015
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