Having been sent directly from heavens up above to all the way down here, oh yeah it has been tiring, but trust me I believe this is the best place I could ever land on. I might call it another heaven, but people would misunderstand me for being a Kashmiri, which I’m not so I’ll call the place of my birth ‘My little place of bliss- Bhopal.’ Yes Bhopal it is, a place of eternal tranquility wrapped with everlasting beauty and sewed right at the center of India with threads of love and fraternity. I have been to a lot of places, not many to be honest, but yeah to a number of parts of the country like Kashmir which is often referred to as the heaven on the earth, to the city of Nizams- Hyderabad, and to the city of dreams- Mumbai. Those count up to only three, but I guess it is enough number of places to finally conclude that for me there is no peace I have encountered as I have in Bhopal. They say home is a feeling- you can feel you’re home being with a person, you can feel you’re home for a certain thing, you can feel you’re home at a certain place and this place for me is Bhopal. And if to be a little more specific, I’ll take you exactly where. When you are in Bhopal, and I’m there tour guiding you to all the beautiful places of the city and after making you visit the beautiful Bhojpur temple, the memorial Shaurya Smarak and the historic Chaman Mahal, and then when we are about to witness yet another beauty of Gauhar Mahal, trust me I might not really take you there, for what comes in our way is my all time favorite ‘THE UPPER LAKE’. Right there, this is the divine destination with an aesthetic view having no end bordered with trees so gorgeous you don’t want to take your eyes off. It’s just not about the beauty, it’s about the aura of this place, and despite being a place with a lot people around, with the sounds of cars honking or the dog barking on the other side of the road, there’s this profound yet dreadful silence. The kind of silence that peeps and tiptoes finding it’s place right within you, it settles and it settles so subtly that you will feel it had always been there right within you. There are a lot more places in the world which will give you the experience you’d never had before but there will only a very few one which makes you contemplate on yourself. This is the place that gives you all the right kind of vibes, and serenity you’d never want to drift away from. When you’d jump off the car and run right to the railings standing in front of you would be this bronze statue of Raja Bhoj, king of the Paramara dynasty with sword in one hand and dignity in another. And over the crown on his head, you’ll see a flock of birds who have spread their wings and flown from lands far-far away just as you have to witness the beauty of this place, which you are not forgetting about anytime soon. When your eyes will set to the way leading the waters, you’ll find there’s no end as to where to stop, between the waves of water to the standing lush green trees there’s an infinity you’d want to absorb within but it’s never enough, it never is. And at one far end, you will a see a board shining with bright red lights engraved on which is ‘WELCOME TO THE CITY OF LAKES’, and you will be amazed by your own eyes as to how much it can discern in one go. And after you’ve gazed long enough at the beauty augmenting at every second, I’ll take you down there boating, and when the water hits the surface of the boat, I’ll tell you why I called the silence prevailing here dreadful, it’s not because of the sky relocating it’s stillness to the waters, but it’s the waters itself which constitutes of 70 percent of waters, a rough estimate of 12 percent of salt, 3 percent of screams and the remaining 15 percent of regret. If you’d ask me about the screams and that you don’t hear them I’ll tell you that the screams are waves which travel from one end to another and you can hear it in the waters when it touches the boat and when you will put your hand in the water while sitting at one end, what you will get in that handful of water is not just that but the regret I told you about. When circles of doubts will encircle your mind and you wouldn’t know what I am talking about I’ll tell you that these screams are the aches of those who have had lost their hopes and when they couldn’t find any way for their life, they found this water for their death. And that regret that flows within is ours, amidst many losing their lives here we somehow weren’t able to save. And yet we have their presence here despite the absence, every time we visit here, we visit them too. And while listening to all this, you wouldn’t know that we have reached this little island, and I bet you will be amazed to see that it exists. And when you will finally set your foot on the land you will see there’s a dargah and next I know that you are silently praying that no life ends here or anywhere in disappointment. And as soon as you have finished you will see the most scenic beauty- the sun taking with itself all the light and drowning in the lake but only after we have enlightened ourselves from within. And now you will know, why I call it my little place of bliss.
Author: SHAFIA KHANAM , Bhopal
Submitted for International Essay Contest