“Afzal Shauq…… The Peace Wisher.”
Bridging differences is one of the most difficult sorts of construction there is, no matter how hard we try- it
seems that there is never enough cement to withstand the weight of its
contents. No one wants to be wrong, accept their dogmatic attitudes, and be
humbled. We all want to always be right.
Afzal Shauqlanguages for us in this poetry, a sort of pending and suspicious desire we all
have for world peace. Quoting from Afzal Shauq’s poem- “A strange Peace” “all these men claim answers for the world’s
ills……their idealism often reborn in others” Afzal Shauq’s poetry most
definitely forges us to reflect, ponder- a rebirth in our feelings … a kind of
melancholy that makes us long for a kind of peace in the world that if only we
can attain it- then it would transcend us to the depths of our true
humanity. The peace wisher- writes it
beautiful for us in his poem- “A great
Wonder”-‘human kind in acts of kindness reveals god’s greatness’
The longing for world peace, seems like a barren land, it is, as if a lover has been uprooted, and he is no more,
he is lost, gone, dead, we can assume the worst and no matter how much we wail
or become aware of his absence; we can never have those transcendent moments,
we have shared with that lover again. Our experience is just a fading memory
and reality is now bare.
The only difference between that lover and our dream of a peaceful world is that there was some sort of
actuality, in reference to the lover, he has shared our bed, once invaded our
existence, once made us feel safe. Our desire for world peace mirrors the same
kind of passionate encounter, but it is just a mere vision in a distant future.
As if only in our imagination there is some kind of existence of peace - we
have become like a nostalgic lover-begging- Afzal’s Shauq’s poem-“A new Dawn”, come new dawn, break
forth a new day, Oh sun come” We see that peace- we want it, we desire it, like
a new day, we need that newness to erase the bloodstains of the past.
Afzal Shauq’s poetry bears us down to the brutal reality of this kind of tranquil
moment we all desire. In his poem,’ Friend or Enemy’ in The Twist of Fate,
takes us to that kind of pretence reality, we all live under- that divide, I
beg to add “with angelic looks great deceivers sucking life’s blood”
How can we live like this? - Guess that is why Afzal Shauq is called
‘The Peace Wisher’- because he writes, dabbling for that answer, ‘why pain? Why
wars? Why the poor provides a realm of exotic mystery for the rich?’ why? He
writes exposing the truth of our human doctrine which is socially constructed
and which has intrinsic power to stimulate riveting discussions, and rapes us
of our unassuming authentic self.
Humans have become blinded, I say to you Afzal Shauq- We have created our own
mess, “a book of norms” like you said in your poetry. We have fixed ourselves
in a well, so dry that our shame cannot be washed from its cruel ways. We have
normalized our brutish actions- we live like a cloth has been cast over our
eyes- what we see we call it real- Is it…. We indulge in wars, the shedding of
innocent blood and believe it is all for the good of humankind. In Afzal Shauq’s poem- “Acts of cruelty”- “but hidden beneath her innocent façade acts of
Poetry is like medicine it does not always taste good but give it time, it sinks in makes you better and realize
the core of your sickness. When one reads – “THE PEACE WISHER” if you have a
desire for a better world, it will awaken that sense of consciousness. You
become so aware that peace would not only be a wish, but we would want it like
that lover-to share our bed, enfold us in its arms, engulf our presence and
thus realizing how damaged we are , we would want to be made anew.
Thank you Afzal Shauq for your gift of provoking words- sure it is my hope it would motivate us to dream, think, and create in reality - a better world.
Canada- City: Toronto.