Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ammo Kamil..

I was listening to a song of Abdel Haleem, when his kind face suddenly came to my mind ...Ammo Kamil was Sayeq el Bas , the looong Big yellow bus of my school..
I can almost remember how he looked at the time.. he had a beard and a Big belly.. he wasn’t very old .. but the nice thing I still remember about him is that he always had a smile on his face.. he was always in a good mood..
The main thing attached to ammo Kamil in my mind was Abdel Haleem.. Ammo Kamil Loved Abdel Haleem, he was a big fan of his ..and so there was always a song of his playing all the way home..
When the old Jaras used to ring, announcing the end of another school day, we used to run in the corridors heading for the outer gate.. I don’t remember we ever walked .. we always used to run.. we run going into class, we run going out to Saha in the breaks, we run going into school, we run coming out of it.. we never walked..
We step outside the school gate, and we see Ammo Kamil sitting behind the steering, in Basna, always parked in the same spot , a few steps away so as not to block the entrance.. and one of Abdel Haleem's song has already started to play..
Now the journey home would never start by getting on the Bas, we first had to make a little tour, buying Charaz and Semsemeyya and stuff.. and in summer there would be (Lekestek) too.. that’s how we used to pronounce it.. which was like frozen ice cream.. later talking to my sister, we figured out that maybe it was marked (lucky stick) but we never knew the meaning at the time.. just (lekistek) which had the most wonderful taste ever.. and what made it taste even better was that parents were always warning us against buying things from the (Arabana) , its not healthy, its full of germs .. etc .. etc.. of course we were never convinced.. nobody got sick eating something he or she bought from Arabana.. that’s why we said yes to them and kept buying what we like when they were not there, and the best time to do that was when leaving school ..
And after buying our favorite stuff, we then would climb into Ammo Kamil' Bas, while he waited for us ever so patiently .. again with a smile on his face.. and so the journey home begins..
I loved to sit next to the window.. eating my sweets, shring what I have with my friend next to me on the (kooshen) .. chatting and laughing.. and Abdel Haleem 's music filling the bus, mixed with the sounds of innocent laughter and sometimes mean wrestling in the back seat, where all the mean, older boys would sit, and love to start a fight once the bus starts to move .. of course it was always silly fights, but we tried hard to stay away from the mean (Wekkah) boys.. better keep to ourselves and enjoy the sweets and lekistek and charaz before we get home..
No matter how loud we were, Ammo Kamil kept his smile, no matter how many fights went on and got settled in the back on the same ride, Ammo Kamil kept his good mood.. and Abdel Haleem kept singing..
Was all this a 100 years ago?? Maybe..
Were we ever sitting in that Long Big Yellow school Bas?? I suppose ..
Have we once had this life full of childhood, innocence, smiles and Abdel Haleem tunes ?? we must've had that once.. ages ago..
I hope that the kind Ammo Kamil is still smiling.. in my mind he still is..

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Spring and the Cute Qitar..

The other day leaving home, I was welcomed by brightly colorful sight .. the sky was bright blue.. the grass was really green ..and a certain scent of freshly born leaves filled the air.. how enchanting..
On the way to work I keep my eyes on the new green leaves .. trying to save enough (green) in my heart and my mind's eye..
I sat in my seat not wishing to engage in any kind of the usual morning conversation.. I wanted all my attention focused on the beautiful colors I missed for so long..
It seems that the Spring did finally decide to visit.. after such a long absence..
It sure can transfer one from a mood of gloominess to a more optimistic one..
Yet again, the cheerful colors took me back to Baghdadna.. to childhood..and to a certain cartoon I used to watch when I was little.. and I was amazed of how long ago it was saved in my memory to come to my mind today..
It was about a cute smiling Qitar - train.. The cute Qitar had a kind smiling face, yes indeed , it had a face.. with innocent childish eyes and a smile that was "on" all through the cartoon.. the Qitar was late .. we see the passengers waiting.. and the man in the station checking his watch over and over.. getting worried.. this particular Qitar was never late.. so what has happened??!!
We then find out that the sweet cute Qitar was late cause he met with the Spring on his way.. and so it had to stop for a little while to smell the wonderful roses, and enjoy the warm weather and just for a short while be happy to just be there with the long missing spring around.. the passengers that the cute Qitar had on board were getting nervious , they r late for their jobs.. for their appointments.. but the Qitar reminded them while smelling the sweet scents of spring (this snapshot I remember so vividly) that its Spring time.. ofcourse we have to stop for a while to enjoy the beauty.. and so the passengers then take the advice and start to enjoy the beauty around them..
What a sweet sweet cartoon.. how v innocent.. just like the way we were .. it was quite normal back then that the Qitar has a face.. it was quite convincing that once spring was there the world has to stop still and hold its breath to look at all the beauty around us..
The man sitting next to me cleared his throat as he was getting ready to get off.. he distracted me from enjoying my trip back with my ever nostalgic memories..
Oh how far away I was for just a few minutes.. how happy I felt for just a short time.. just to re live once again a memory of a smiling Qitar celebrating the arrival of spring.. to remember the innocence and beauty of a world we once had , very long ago yet always seems like yesterday in our beloved Baghdad..
Oh how great is the loss.. how deep is the wound..
A smiling Qitar existed only back then.. and there..