Qissa#9 – The Deserts

In my first year of architecture, our Sir asked us to draw something from our childhood. Some distinct memory that has remained in you. And I drew a desert. A scene so distinct in the depths of my mind.

You know, I have always heard people talk about the greenness and the freshness that’s our little Kerala. How that colour fills eyes of the expatriates who after the numbness of the desert feels gladly engulfed by the trees and the greens when back home.

Deserts and that golden yellow of the sand, it was a constant in my life. Till I turned 17. Everything had this goldenish tinge. From the sand, to the buildings, to the people, to the sky at times. Everything.
It was numb. But it was home.

Now when I hear of the struggles of staying put in a place that I once called home, a place thats metamorphising into something that we fail to recognise, I realise how much life has changed, how much home has changed. And how much our feelings change. Dissolve.

When asked from where I hail, I used to answer “Riyadh” in my heart. It would sound arrogant to some, ‘typical NRI attittude’ they would say and then talk about how we had the priviledges, how we had the money. Never realising the reality. Of suffocated breaths. Of lost dreams. Of heartbreak over homesickness.

How much do you know about us?

Us, who calls a place that we may never be able to see again, home.

Us, who already left behind everything that we knew, the walls that watched us grow, oh, and the deserts.

The deserts where the stars shined brighter than anywhere else. For us.

KochiKadhakal2

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#KochiKadhakal is getting revamped.

Its Thesis time. And if you are an architecture student or have someone close who is one, then you will understand how much of a stressful period these six months are for them. From digging up a topic to proving its feasibility to trying to learn and then to implement all that one has learnt and is still trying to learn to finally getting a project done, all alone.

We have thesis in our tenth semester. The final semester. From the time the ninth sem started our teachers have been bugging us about finding a topic that one is interested to do as a thesis. Its been a blankness since then for most of us. After a very stressful two months in finding a standing with our topic, most of us have settled with a project (more or less), and that’s where I am going back to Kochi. To the city I fell in love with. To the city that helped me find peace amidst its chaos. For my thesis. For the culmination of my architecture student life.

Here is another edition of KochiKadhakal. More like a chronicle of my thesis. Because my thoughts need a place to talk. And people around me are immersed in their own.

I dont know how far I will be able to take this. But I hope I keep it till the end.

For the sake of my sanity.

Bismillahirahmaniraheem.

(To all those who do not know, KochiKadhakal was a series of sketches and photographs that I posted during the period of my internship in Kochi in 2016. It was just parts of the city that was special to me)

Qissa#8 – For the love of being gifted


For the love of being gifted books.
For the love of finding secret notes in them.
For the love of reading letters.
For the love of being sent Postcards.

Have you thought about the exhilarating feeling that we have when we are gifted?

From the first blink of surprise, the warm gush of absolute love being transferred, you jumping up and down in your head to the smile that blooms on your face that bears the entire ecstasy of your self.

The power of our one single gesture.
Just like every thing else.
Be it a smile, be it a hug, be it an action or a reaction.

One gesture for us.
A world for the other.

To watch these myriad of expressions, is warmth.
To feel these varied emotions, a blessing.

Be the blessing to someone.
It’s in our hands.

#Qissa
#QissaByAznaa
#StoryTelling

P. S. All gifts, books, letters and postcards are welcome. 😁

QissonKiQafila#1

Day 1 : The Konkan

Photo Credits : Ramees VJ

കൊങ്കൺ “അവളുടെ ഒരു ഫീലിംഗ്!” എന്നും പറഞ്ഞു റംബൂട്ടാൻ  ജനൽ അടക്കിനത് വരെ കൊണ്ടു. നല്ല സുഖമുള്ള മഴ. സൂചി കുത്തുന്ന പോലെ, കയ്യിൽ തട്ടി ഒലിച്ചു വന്നു ഡ്രെസ്സിന്റെ ഒരു ഭാഗം മുഴുവൻ നനഞ്ഞു മുഖത്ത് തട്ടം ഒട്ടി ഇരിക്കുന്ന എന്നോട് “നിനക്ക് ഭ്രാന്ത?” എന്നൊരു ചോദ്യം. “മഴ ഒന്നും കൊള്ളാൻഡ് , പിന്നെ എന്താ കൊള്ളാ? അതൊക്കെ ഒരു ഫീലിംഗ് ആണ്” എന്നും പറഞ്ഞു ആസ്വദിച്ചിരുന്ന് ഞാനങ്ങു കൊണ്ടു. കണ്ടു. പച്ച പുൽമേടുകളും കുഞ്ഞി മരങ്ങളും, ആകാശത്തു ഒളിച്ചു കളിച്ചു നടക്കുന്ന സൂര്യനെയും .
അങ്ങനെ അതിസുന്ദരമാണ് എന്ന് എന്നും പറഞ്ഞു കേട്ടിട്ടുള്ള കൊങ്കൺ കണ്ട് പാട്ടും പാടി ഇരുന്നു. വിശപ്ഒതുക്കി രാത്രി വീഴുന്നതും കാത്തു. നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളെ കണ്ടു പോകുന്ന വഴി ഏറെ ആകാംഷയോടെ ഉറ്റു നോക്കാനും ഈ കാറ്റ് കൊണ്ട് ഉറങ്ങാനും.

I really wanted to write this in English, but at times there is this inherent happiness when you write in your mother tongue. Raw.
We watched the Konkan today, with a single thought echoing in our heads, “I want this road to never end.” #Qafila


#QissonKiQafila
#TourDeNorth
#ACaravanOfStories

QissonKiQafila – The Caravan of Stories

I am going to be travelling this week. And while I do, I am reminiscing about a beautiful trip that happened some time back. It happened in the final year of my architecture school, with my classmates, and we spent 16 days travelling around to different parts of India.

There were a lot of firsts.
A lot of thoughts.
And the next few posts are those penned down.

Pictured is me holding out ‘The Plan’ and yeah! the trip was named ‘Qafila’ (a caravan). 😀

Presenting QissonKiQafila.

This is a trip that I went for when I was in my final year of architecture, in 2017. Here I am ‘throwing back’, reminiscing about the memories. This series was something that I was hell bent on doing, completing it months after the trip trying to remember all the feelings that I experienced when I visited them.

Here is to Qisson ki Qafila.

The Caravan of Stories.

QissonKiQafila#2

Day 2 : The Taj

Photo credits: Alham

I remember the exact moment I saw the Taj as I passed through its Northern gate which framed it ethereally, because at that moment I blanked out. Everything. Just blanked out.

All that I saw was the breath taking white domed manifestation of love. And my mother.

Taj is the monumental manifestation of love.
Epitome of love.

Taj for me, is mamma.
Epitome of love.

Daughter of a mother named Mumthas, the Taj Mahal has been our family’s dream. My mother’s dream. From probably being compared to the Mughal’s Mumthas from her childhood to discussions for naming our home ‘Mumthas Mahal’. Today when I stand in front of this magnificent structure which has had an important role in defining and instilling the identity of being an Indian, wondering about how they achieved this kind of perfection in its crafting with its perfect geometry and symmetry culminating into its sheer breath-taking beauty, I observe as an architecture student. Probably the first spark and sense of architecture in my life. Pride and identity, and its association to the built.

But deep down, I see, for my mother.
I feel, for my mother.
What she had always wanted to experience, what she had always wanted to breathe in.

It’s been a dream of a lifetime.
Of hers.
Of ours.
Of hearts.
And I got to lay my eyes on it first.

One day.
I will, watch her stand here.
My love watching the sun spread its glow on the Taj, blurring the edges and merging her into its golden frame of love.

One day.
In sha allah.

The God of Small Things

So after months of reading this book, at times forcing myself to because of my lack of concentration, I finished this. The God of Small Things had been in the list forever. So has Shantaram. Both, books that I left immediately after I started. but now desperate, this is the book that I chose for a comeback to my most favorite habit – getting lost in the pages of a book, in the hearts of characters, the places weaved by thoughts.

The river, the History house, the man with the leaf on his back that made the skies rain, Ammu, Esthappen and Rahel, red haired Sophie Mol, Mammachi, Baby Kochamma, Chacko, Comrade Pillai, Aymenem. Lived through them, their secrets, their thoughts. Saw Estha and Rahel grow on the words spit at them. Watched Ammu die the rebellious death of submission.
The decisions that one makes in their life, the feelings, the words and selfishness. It’s effects on people.

The politics of each and every heart. To be saved. To be loved. To not be lost.

The power of words. To make a heart beat. To make it stop. To help live. To help dream. To help hope. To destroy.

Words. And their power.

Because, ” By ‘never’ Estha had only menat that it would be too far away. That it wouldn’t be now, wouldn’t be soon. By ‘never’ he hadn’t meant Not Ever. But that’s how the words came out. “

Thats The God Of Small Things. For me.

I read it over a span of two months. Broken and in pieces. And I am glad that I did. Because the sudden bout of tears, empathy and thoughts for the two-egg twins would have been too hard to handle otherwise.

I shall come back to it again. Soon. For a single seating. For a better deserved attention.

Naaley (Tomorrow)… #TheGodOfSmallThings#BookMusings#Reading#Bookstagram