I realize that I have associated the soft, whirring of a ceiling fan as it turns overhead with summer mornings back in my hometown; I’d fall onto the bed and stare as the blades spun, round and round; mellowing in the sloth-like lethargy only summer holidays can produce in the bodies of procrastinating school-goers. I’d watch the moving fan and daydream, hearing from inside my bubble, indistinct sounds of people in the house getting through with their day. I’d roam the house; sometimes sitting by the lady-help, and watch as she washed clothes in the backyard, or picked out hot-red chillies for drying or observe with a fascination so natural in a child, as she ground the chillies, working the heavy grinding stones in rhythmic motions. I’d make my way through the dingy kitchen, out through the backdoor and put on the rubber slippers on the steps and if I was feeling adventurous, gingerly walk on the moss covered strip between the front porch and the back yard. I would sing to my grandmothers plants in the garden up front, or if it was sunny take a nervous seat on the large, rusting swing by the house, expecting every minute for a monkey to come swinging down from the trees behind.
Then in later years, I would lie on the bed in our room upstairs in Noor, watching the sun flow through the coloured window panes, painting the ceiling with orange and blue; reading and rereading The Hollow as the fan spun on; hiding on the ironic ‘Steps of Despair‘ on the rare mornings I woke up early, sitting with my chin resting on my knees, soaking all the sunshine beaming in through the skylights, all quiet. Not even the sound of the fan up there. And now, so many years later, on the rare afternoons when the kids are sleeping, and everything seems to be resting still within, even as the birds chirp outside and the sun streams in through the open windows, I feel the breeze of the fan on the nape of my neck and hear it spin and my heart remembers something of that old, quiet, peace.
Indeed, the righteous will be in pleasure
On adorned couches, observing.
You will recognize in their faces the radiance of pleasure.
Surah Mutaffifin (22-24)
May Allah have mercy on us and forgive us our mistakes and bless us with pleasure in Jannah!