Tag Archives: writing skills

A NEW SIDE OF MY YEARS IN UNIFORM

“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill,one of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”
― Stephen King

Everyone was loyal honest and hardworking, this is what I remember when I was a young officer and was required to write confidential reports, of my under command. During the same period when I had the opportunity to read through reports of other officers who were reporting officers I found how conventionalised they were too. The space provided for the pen picture was so small one could only write 6 to 7 lines. I felt otherwise. This was enough writing space if one knew what exactly to write. However, I found there were very few officers who had the ability to paint a word picture about the work and ability of the person reported up. Everyone then who were reported upon was professionally sound. This I later discovered that if such reassurance of the abilities were not reflected there was a good probability it would mar the individual’s career both in a long and short term. By nature, my experience is that we are unfavorably inclined about knowing or reading our negative reports.

Gradually as I grew in years in uniform I started to understand and practice the art of understanding and then transforming my thoughts and convictions about the impression I absorbed of people on whom I was required to write. This was not the only thing I did. I read biographies and autobiographies and paid attention how different people described the subject they chose. I noted and absorbed them. Steadily to understand the art of recounting and narration became an area of my interest. To know a person no matter how long I knew him, how closely he interacted with me became a habit with me of unraveling him or her through my observation winding into words. I started with rough notes to practice myself to describe as detailed as possible randomly in all aspects of personality. How he spoke, what he spoke, what kind of person he reflected and revealed to be irrespective of the period of time he was exposed to me; like a surgeon with knife  who would operate and be able to stitch him back, not really be affected or biased of what was thought of him as a friend, colleague, co-worker, leader, part of team or not. The purpose obviously not to be carried away by my assessment. We are after all humans and not perfect. In an intimate social interaction and meeting of less than an hour I started writing a pen picture – no matter if he was actually what I was describing him to be. It was not for anyone’s consumption but mine and mine alone only.

To write about someone also reflects on your own character, in an official capacity especially. This is what I saw when I started writing and reading reports. I saw more of people who wrote rather than those who were reported upon. In my military career especially I observed that those who wrote good reports and chiseled perfectly their choice of words were recognized but generally not very popular or liked because of their clarity of thought and understanding among all shades of officers under command. One thing is however absolutely clear when years pass and history written it is they who stood out and mentioned. Their reasoning and study became benchmarks of research. Now as years have passed and overgrowth is also thing of the past, level-headedness at times also becomes unsteady I enjoy observing faces of people. It is such a treat and suddenly you come across people with calm exterior yet they display so much in their eyes and expressions. Pain, joy, excitement, expectations and eagerness, helplessness all are there for me to form my batting line up to play with.

THE LIGHTER MOOD OF MOODY

 

I started writing and sharing about MOODY’s writings both prose and poem in a literary website “Squidoo dot com” till I failed to transfer all that I wrote to Hub Pages. Some I saved most I could not. I am now in the process of transferring all gradually to my Blog. Please bear with me if you find some selections recurring. Let’s start with one of his letters. You will see his ability to notice and describe minute details. Selection of words portrays his cheerful side of his personality reflecting good nature and jolly mood. 

My dearest Agha Jan, AOA

Nice to know the epic details on the forefronts of Africa. Can´t say that I have taken many ready greens of advantages from Golf in the last three weeks utmost. Sumptuously, there will be plenty of shooting balls once my scores of education are settled. Howbeit the paper went well and hopeful like always with bleak assurances, apprehensive of the results, like every average student counting on mother´s prayers and thanksgivings. She has been very sweet lately, by the way, Ö. Should be able to get through it on a clean note and cash no coins. A humongous candidate count considering it was an exam. Holiday Inn hotel. The venue of 3 to approximate 4 stars. Candidates seated in the basement wedding hall. No weddings. Just Exam. Dozen arrayed Justice of Invigilators (both young educated dupattas and dedicated lads). Students in all styles and metaphors. All chappals and jeans under one roof. The paper was made difficult in three spooky sections. 1st, the listening, that didn´t go very well. But don´t blame me. Englishmen, Urdu, Bolsheviks and Germans all have hearing problems understanding each other. But perhaps after 2nd world war, we have managed our disputes well. 2nd, the reading went well 2 and completed all 3 instead of barely 1/3 like last time. Last time I was wearing spectacles.3rd, Writing very robust and a word mincing machine like Mom making macroni and Qeema when she is happy. Hand written words turning and tilting, topping and prostrating. Not to mention INSCRIBING. Bulldozer and Monster words all enmeshed in most difficult thoughts of very simple scenarios. All on few sheets of hand written paper. But not one. Computers consume electricity these days.The interview is scheduled on 18th the 50th of 13th earth hour. I plan on eating the interviewer with my propelling propensities to yapp, whether him or her, by their very first reconnaissance. GRE showdown is liable to jettison well since I have ample time on me now. Who cares if Pakistan runs on CNG. Math’s is, unfortunately, making sense with all zebras and division crosses. Holy Maths! Rest reading and daydreaming as usual.

 

I have written a poem. The lines were dreamt on the dawn of waking up in bed. Please close one eye if you see any mistakes. I was in bed sketching them on early morning hours. They continue in the under behaviour and ill-mannered mind mentioned below:

 

Okay, this is serious now!

 

We are habitats of hope and You beholder of its fulfillment

We are confidants of constitution and You its solemn pillar

We are a crowd of millions in embittered rows and You vowing a thousand services for its security

We scorn at neighbours from cities to suburbs and You serve them all on country outskirts

We are guests dining parties and You fighting to host the pledge of your compassions

We are conceited money making teams and You a league bereft by the very currency of it

We jeer in subjects of jested foolishness and You the tower on guard with regard for justice

We are destitute of our daily civic duties and You destined to an unexpected breach of life

We pastor in our ill perceptions and limited peripherals of sights while You saviour us on zenith of bloody battles

We are objects of laughter gathered around fountains while You a forgotten group on the tenuous rifts of mountains

We are scattered visitors and tossing tulips on friends for favours and You a promised unified protector of fellowship

We are a Standard of scrounge in the Bank of our deceptions and You save us from the feuds of enemy emancipations

We are reckless in publicity of our superficial reputations and You for simplicity in the lines of enemy slaughters

We yawn in chorus and dance on songs in our sensations of youth while You hasten youth in the hazards of servitudes

We isolate ourselves with instincts of rich and poor but You dare to save us both in the eye of  fury and danger

We value mode of our fabrics and means to travel while You bear the range of average school fee in modest stakes and limitations

 

We foster to gain rupees by the ironies of wealth and You the residual of war in the shelter of bullets and bombs

We tire our evenings choosing ways to color the sense in our clothes and You spend years in the stiff crease of uniform

You are my sterling Warriors and Pride of Pakistan.

A Poem one and Wishes a many, Happy Birthday!

By

Your loving son, Moodz

 

MOMENT!

On Saturday 17 December 2005 at precisely 10:36:56 my late son Nasir Mahmood alias MOODY sent me an email. He also copied it to his younger brothers Ali and Bilal. The email which was captioned MOMENT! was one of many of his writings which he continued to share till he passed away. Today, while I was looking for an important paper when I came across MOMENT.

I have decided to add on his piece in category MOODY MY SON in my Blog as it is.

_____________________

Dear All,

I tried something different with my bygone moments and tried keeping the monkey out of it, for instance, syntactical and nonsensical errors such as “quadruplicity drink procrastination” & C. If I have overlooked any error it is only because you are seeing it in the moment only so please bear with me for a moment here. Just kidding guys!

MOMENT!

They stand your ground and sometimes glean upon us like stars do. They make your count difficult and yet your intervals might still endear them valued. You may dispense as many as you like and then your fondness can find your moment of choice and then displace itself so it could dwell on you once again. It may strike you sensible if sensed most of it and hanker for more when repeated persistently, and then despite of whatever regard in that moment you recall it, will just be an instance of your present state. You can earn them yearly and rearrange them momentarily like celestial bodies yearning in millions distantly with affinities of your spatiotemporal certainty. You might assemble them in haste devoid nothing noteworthy below that you appreciate or delay equivocally within a moment of your self-favoured pace. They may mean only what is in the moment yet reappear sufficiently without your prior disapproval to reinstate them. They weigh more than what is self-driven without caution to carry out or of any embankment to stop, they are prompt but render themselves impromptu and then can assure you so that your moment complies by relying on in manner rare or often that suits you best. It could be an event in your instant of reckoning them, casual or intentional by ordinary of moment or extraordinatry of any cicumstance, by wiull or wish with just as you made much of it. It is centered between what you see and how you seek yourself, signifies your position or symbolising its significance, to prefer it periodically as you see differently, but both ambiguous or coherently. They realize your essence but are capable of negating your explanaing them, induce more just when you refigure by exceeding your propositions to true and false considerably. They promote happiness despite your cursing immense its every quality and qualify your satisfaction so should you choose average or satisfactory, and then, you total them as if in every one and around everything are your very sum and succeed withal apart that moment forgetting aside all those departed moments. They are small constituents with whatever mystery comprises them and can fixate themselves in dominion of events at large, can be opinionated behind enmasse and while ahead of your experiencing them. The moment shines as the better out of you or just as easily deflects you being a stone your way, you may attempt or reflect at it thoughtfully but when moment has reached its depth, it is just your reflection staring steep and straight at you. It took me a while to veer about reaching moment but it is this ‘moment’ since you heard me saying much about it not too long ago. We all have our MOMENT.

Love
Moody