Poetry, Random

Darker than Black

This night,

The cruel, the dark,

This night..


Imagine it being a sapling of a remorse. On its twigs, a thousand moons have cried upon their light. In it’s shadow, a hundred suns have lost their existence. But, in the same, those dying suns have disapparated into blossoms. Each of which, holds a haunting.

Gravely dark this night is.



What???… Its love – Musarat Ali


Ambitious, resonant, arresting, divisive, overarching, pretentious, artistic, luminous, ethereal, perplexing, ecstatic, rapturous, impressionistic, transcendent, metaphysical. What?… its love.

Its elusive, many times effervescent. And uncertain in the continuum. Synonymous with life, conflicting with reality. What??? … its love.

But, its sturdily majestic. Its contemplative odyssey of emotions and fear. And a shape shifting poem, resembling life.

Its love.

It’s the most ancient mistake, that everyone makes.


Inside Syria: A Personal Experience

1001 Scribbles

First of all I would like to say thank you to Ana for allowing me to write this post for her blog. Before I write about my experience photographing the war in Syria let me give you a brief bio. My name is Russell Chapman, I’m 45, from the UK but now living in Lugano, Switzerland. I first got into photography when I was about 10. I was fascinated by the ability to capture a moment in time and loved how the scene in the viewfinder became, for a moment, my entire world. In fact this is something that has always stayed with me. I started off with a very simple point and shoot 35mm film camera, yes I’m from the pre-digital age. I got books from the library on photography in order to learn the science behind the art. It was quite a learning curve for a 10 year…

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A trip through cosmos – Musarat Ali


“A light year” – is the distance in length travelled by light relative to a single Julian year (365.25 days) of earth. Total distance a light travels in a Julian year is around 5.878 trillion miles. Which makes the speed of light at exact 186,282.4 miles per second in a vaccum. Yes that’s “per second” – the single most unified unit of time.

Just to give you an assumption of how fast the light is; consider a beam of light is shot at one end of earth, it will reach to the same point, travelling around the circumference of earth which is 24,859.82 miles, in 0.133 seconds. That means, the same beam of light will complete its 7 orbits around earth in just one second.

This speed of light is universally constant. And in the whole wide universe – 92 Billion light years across – nothing, yet, travels faster than the speed of light – quantum physicists though won’t agree to it. It was the great mind of Albert Einstein who defined to us how light works. What it is made of. And how relative it is with time, through his theory of General Relativity and photoelectric effect.

Our universe is 13.7 Billion years old. That’s the time of BigBang. And our solar system, dominated by The Sun, is about 5.4 Billion years old. And our blue planet, our earth, is around 5 Billion years old.

This difference of age between the existence of universe and our solar system proves that before us, for 8 billion years, this universe still existed. And thrived. And expanded exponentially. And through the destruction and construction of stars and their stardust, our solar system evolved. And ultimately after millions of years of evolution, through single cell organisms, humans came into being. We are made of stardust.

Our universe is comprised of galaxies, blackholes, stars, nebulas, planets, dark energy and dark matter. There are around 400 Billion galaxies in our Universe. And in the galaxy where our solar system is growing old has more than 400 Million Stars. Each one like our Sun. Many similar, many more massive, and many more powerful.

Our closest star system is Centauri. There are not one but three stars in that system. Their planets however are undiscovered. Among them the closest star is Alpha centauri. And it is about 4.5 light years away. Which means if we plan to travel there for any space adventure at the speed of light, aforementioned, we shall reach in 4 years and 5 months. Its just another star in our galaxy of 400 Million stars.

Our closest galaxy, The Andromeda, is about 4.5 Million light years away. It has its own stars, its own blackholes and its own planets. Andromeda and Milkyway are just two galaxies out of 400 Billion in Universe.

I would have to write a full book to explain everything I have talked about here. It would perhaps take me a lifetime considering my schedule nowadays.

Remember to look up, to the stars and see where have you come from. There are others out there. Somewhere, in some blue planet orbiting around a yellow dying star. You have neighbors. Still to be found.


Rage – Musarat Ali

ImageThere are days when I mask myself into rage, out of pain. A constant pain. Of your wait. Of your surrounding. Of your aroma. Of your delicacy. Of your beauty.

In those days, I turn to oceans. Look at them with naked eyes. And grow a feeling of you holding my hand. Those oceans then rage into my eyes. My troubled eyes. My awaiting eyes.

And then those questions, those unanswerable questions. I drown in them. Carrying my own fault. With my own luck and your very soul. The depth grows every second till I touch the soil. And become a star. A dying star.


To the wonder & beyond


Greetings again from the darkness. Director Terrence Malick makes films that typically fall into the “love it or hate it” genre. He has a very loyal group of fans (of which I am one) who appreciate the unique mental and emotional ride that his projects provide. To say that his films are not accessible is understandable. His objective is to challenge you to access your own beliefs and thoughts, rather than the characters in his movies … they are simply the tools he uses.

Less than two years ago, I was struggling to put thoughts into words after watching Malick’s The Tree of Life. Now, in record time for him, he releases another film that is even more impressionistic … actually abstract is not too strong a description. The usual Malick elements are present – nature, uncomfortable relationships, minimal dialogue, breathtaking photography, and powerful music. Where The Tree of Life focused on Creation and Family, this latest takes on Love and Faith.

Water imagery is a frequent key as we see the personal relationship mimic the changing of the seasons. Neil (Ben Affleck), an American visiting Paris, meets and falls for Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a free-spirited local filled with light and energy. Their love affair moves to the stunning Mont Saint-Michel before settling in the drab plains of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

It’s not surprising that the relationship suffers as the newness wears thin. The interesting part is how Malick presents it. We mostly witness bits and pieces … he shows us moments, not events. We easily see that Neil’s aloofness and sullen looks don’t jibe with Marina’s effervescence. When she returns to Paris, Neil easily falls in with an old flame played by Rachel McAdams. When she later accuses him of making what they had “nothing”, we all understand what she means … and why.


While Neil is proving what a lost soul he is, we also meet Father Quintana (Javier Bardem). He has lost the light of his faith and is in full crisis mode, even as he attempts to console and guide Marina. There is no secret that much of this film is autobiographical and that Malick is working through wounds he still carries these many years later. As a movie-goer, there is little to be gained from Alleck’s disconnected character or from Kurylenko dancing in the rain. The real prize is awakening the thoughts and feelings many of us probably buried over the years to hide emotional pain. Malick seems to be saying that it’s OK to acknowledge your foundation, regardless of your ability to succeed in a socially acceptable manner.

If you prefer not to dig so deep emotionally, this is a beautiful film to look at – thanks to Director of Photograpy Emmanuel Lubezki (a frequent Malick collaborator), and listen to – a blended soundtrack with many notable pieces from various composers. While this will be remembered as Roger Ebert’s final movie review (he liked it very much), it will likely have very little appeal to the average movie watcher – and I’m confident that Terrence Malick is fine with that.