Friday, July 30, 2010

You Make Me Proud!

Wednesday, July28, 2010 shall be remembered for a rather tragic reason in the history. Loss of lives, innocent lives, hardly leaves any human unshaken. 
152 people lost their lives and left hundreds grieving behind them, and many many more affected by this sudden tragedy. Inna-lillah-e-wa-inna-ilehi-raa'jai'oon.

However, there is one thing that emerged out very prominent as the smoke began to fizzle in the showers at the Margalla Hills - human resilience and compassion. I kept thinking of what someone has so rightly said, "its in the best of times that the worst of people are found; and its in the worst of times that best people are seen." Yesterday, was indeed a very unfortunate day, most tragic for all who value life, yet, it witnessed many unknown sons who were the best in that worst of the times .....

When I heard from a friend in Islamabad that people are scrambling up the margalla hills helping in rescue with bare hands, I did not rather notice it. The impact of the crash was so strong. However, as the sun sank behind the peaks of this hilly region and the rain poured ever harder, those people participating in the rescue operation to look and save anything even remotely to life in that wreckage  strewn over about a third of a square mile of the forested slopes, became more and more important.  

The News reported:
Volunteers provided significant support to rescue teams working under highly unfavourable conditions after a tragic air crash at Margalla Hills.

Hundreds of people swiftly rushed towards the crash site despite the fact that there was no proper way and everyone had to make way through thick bushes up to peak of the mountain.

Teams of young medical students and doctors reached the spot to provide first aid after the air crash but they felt disappointed, as all passengers were found dead.

“As soon as we heard about the air crash we reached near the mountain and walked up to the sight of incident. But, unfortunately, no one was alive and we found only parts of dead bodies scattered all around there,” said Hasan and Amir of Shifa College of Medicine who were there at the sight of crash.

Inmates of nearby villages who were the first to reach the spot made a trail with the help of blades and cutters that helped rescue teams to reach up to the mountain.

These villagers, who were dozens in number, extended support to bring lightweight equipment and other necessary material to the top of the mountain.

“We heard a big explosion and saw dense smoke clouds in the mountain after which we tried to reach the sight. There was no access to the mountain so we swiftly took small cutters and in the span of half an hour we made a trail from road to the incident sight,” said Moeen, a villager who were totally soaked after spending many hours in rescue activities.

The volunteers were also reaching from two other undeveloped tracks — one from monkey spot and other from a nearby village — and collected body parts of unfortunate passengers along with rescue workers.

When security officials stopped entry of motor vehicles into the area the volunteers travelled on foot during rain even from the Islamabad Zoo.

The people parked their motor vehicles on road sides on 7th Avenue and Margalla Road and continued their walk just to provide help to the rescue teams.

A large number of fire brigade vehicles were also there but there was no use of them as the incident spot was far away from their access.

Islamabad Traffic Police made hectic efforts to ensure smooth flow of ambulances and fire brigade vehicles from Margalla Road to the sight of incident.

Many channels reported the grieving relatives of the victims rendering support to the authorities by joining the emergency teams at the scene of Pakistan's worst-ever plane crash.

I felt numb.... yet blessed. May Allah keep the spirits of this nation high. 

Hats off to the compassion and spirits of our countrymen. 

Hail Pakistanis. You make me proud!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Heaven And Hell

A man, his horse and his dog were traveling down a road. When they were passing by a gigantic tree, a bolt of lightning struck and they all fell dead on the spot.

But the man did not realize that he had already left this world, so he went on walking with his two animals; sometimes the dead take time to understand their new condition…

The journey was very long, uphill, the sun was strong and they were covered in sweat and very thirsty. They were desperately in need of water. At a bend in the road they spotted a magnificent gateway, all in marble, which led to a square paved with blocks of gold and with a fountain in the center that spouted forth crystalline water.

The traveler went up to the man guarding the gate.
“Good morning. What is this beautiful place?”
“This is heaven.”
“How good to have reached heaven, we’re ever so thirsty.”
“You can come in and drink all you want.”
“My horse and my dog are thirsty too.”
“So sorry, but animals aren’t allowed in here.”
The man was very disappointed because his thirst was great, but he could not drink alone; he thanked the man and went on his way. After traveling a lot, they arrived exhausted at a farm whose entrance was marked with an old doorway that opened onto a tree-lined dirt road.

A man was lying down in the shadow of one of the trees, his head covered with a hat, perhaps asleep.

“Good morning,” said the traveler. “We are very thirsty – me, my horse and my dog.”
“There is a spring over in those stones,” said the man, pointing to the spot. “Drink as much as you like.”
The man, the horse and the dog went to the spring and quenched their thirst. Then the traveler went back to thank the man.

“By the way, what’s this place called?”

“Heaven? But the guard at the marble gate back there said that was heaven!”
“That’s not heaven, that’s hell.”
The traveler was puzzled.
“You’ve got to stop this! All this false information must cause enormous confusion!”

The man smiled:

“Not at all. As a matter of fact they do us a great favor. Because over there stay all those who are even capable of abandoning their best friends…”

From Paulo Coelho's book “The Devil and Miss Prym”

My comments:
I am so glad Paulo shared it at his website. I direly needed to be reminded of this.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010



baymaani adornments of an equally banymaani expanse.

baatain, guftagu, harf, khayal ...... sab takhayul kay baanjhpun ki ikaayaan hain!

Kia karoon, takhayul say zyada lateef cheeze koi soojhi nahi, warna uska naam lay daiti. Jab har shaey par baywuqqati ki boli lagti hai, to ye kion mu'barra ho? koi bhi kion mu'barra ho? 

latafat say yaad aya, go bay mehal hi sahi .....

daal daina saya apnay aanchal ka
naatawwan hoon, kafan bhi ho halka

Friday, July 23, 2010


Written Confirmation

I smiled and thought of the innumerable confirmations that I needed!

Its amazing what the world is capable of ...... seriously, it can never cease to amaze one!
I read it once, and not in an entire life time I would want to read it again! 

Well, to each his own! 

And what the heck is wrong with me? Do I still need to be surprised? 

I need to grow up! I seriously do!  


Many a times we find ourselves being devoured by a vortex of personal void, so deep, so hungry, that survival becomes an extinct possibility. It becomes just too hard listening to the sounds around when one has fallen into an abyss of an echoing vacuum.

Such times dictate their own terms of dissociation. With anything. With everything. Its like falling free fall into a pit less well of nothingness. It is like looking into a mirror with blankness staring back into the hollow sockets you thought contained your eyes ...

Reality slips fast when one steps into these marshlands. Infact, reality becomes an unbearable burden, a load so heavy that even the thought of it could drown one in one quick jolt. To achieve buoyancy, the first step one thinks of is to actively scatter one self into ..... emptiness.
Alienation with self. 
Disowning the thoughts, divorcing the feelings... 
The feeling is that of having a perfect stranger residing in your being!

In all such times,
Just be there to hold your own hand. 
Just stay close enough to listen to your own call
Just love yourself enough to look into the eyes a l'ill deeper
Just own yourself enough to demand unabashedly, 'undress me!' ...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Breathing ...





Shallow breathing is required.

Learn the art!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

There Again Blows The Scent Of Saawan ...

Monsoon, aka barsaat, aka saawan, has a very special significance in this part of the world. 
The showers, the clouds, the scent of the rain soaked earth, the freshness of the luxuriously bathed sky, the vivaciousness of the wet greens .... all make the scene a part of an unforgettable image. A mental polaroid with colours as vibrant as that of the lips of the beloved....

Its due to this unbeatable romanticism attached with this season that every genre of the local literature speaks of it - barkha rut, the times it rains ..... Saawan is associated with romance, memories that choke one up with the humid suffocation of the looming clouds just before the rain, and the longings that soak one like the showering kisses of the love .....

There again blows the scent of saawan
and I think of you
The tinkling leaves weave into anklets
and I think of you ....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seeking Sameness

I searched all around
Longed for a reflection, not to be found
Someone just like me
Same sorrows, same glee!
It took me a long while
Traversed the Sahara, surfed the Nile
To reach the land of snows white
Where the voices echo, chills bite
There in stillness, found in frost
just a shadow, all else lost.

Monday, July 12, 2010

To Kia Faida?

Samay to beet hi jata hai,
Baat to us beet’tay samay ki dore main lipti, 
kaanch ki goli ki hai

Jiski dhanak ki aanch 
kabhi hath ati hai, 
aur kabhi nahi

kabhi kabhi yun bhi to hota hai na,
kay waqt chaltay chaltay bhi 
kuch yun tham sa jata hai,
jaisay jaith kay dinon ki purwa

hatheli mein dore paseenay say 
chipak kar reh jati hai
maloom hi nahi parta kay 
bheegi hoi is hatheli mein, 
kuch unmol rung 
dehak rahay hain;

khayal jo dore ka nahi,
uss sans band kartay hoay 
habas zada samay ka hota hai;

kaanch ki woh rangeen goli, 
samay beet janay kay baad hi
yaad ati hai
Jab dore haath say phissal gai hoti hai

Jab, khuda khuda kar kay, 
jaith beet gaya hota hai.
Ab kia faida?

Tum jab dore ko ungli par bal daina
To holay say, dheeray say
Jaanch laina
Aanch daiti rungon ki us shabnum ko, 
apnay haath ki garmi mein 
ghulnay daina
Chupkay chupkay, 
beet’tay samay kay sung 
un rangoon ki sabhi shokhi  say
Apna mun kheera kar laina;

Dhanak apna laina;
Uski hidat chura laina;

Samay to beet hi jata hai
Par us samay ki dore mein lipti,
Kaanch ki wo goli
Haath na aee
To kia faida?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Can anything, ANYTHING in the world be worth the sheen in the eyes of a child when he says, "mama can fix it, mama can fix everything!"

Unfortunately, the kids need to be grown up to know that everything can not be fixed, despite how much one can believe in his mother to fix the world around him.......

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Later: Hiss Ash, Soot

I have never considered myself a poet(ess). 
This, I share here, due to some very kind encouragement of a friend who dwells in words.

 میں حرف ہوں اس زبان کا جو دیس میں اب متروک ہوئی
میں خیال ہوں اس کہان کا جو بِن کہی بے سلوک ہوئی

وہ جو قرینہ تھا پرسشِ عشق کا، وہ کمال جو تھا جذبِ نہال کا
وہ ہر اک ادا اب بستی میں ادائے رہ بہ زوال ہوئی 

الفاظ کو پرونا، اوراق کو سجانا - اک استعارہ مشقِ بے 
سود کا
نظروں کی وہ اک اک حکایت ان صحیفوں میں اب مفقود ہوئی

خوشبو کی گلرنگ شوخی، بارش کی نرم سرگوشی
اک تازیانہء ماضی، اک مکانِ بے مکیں ہوئی

Mein harf hoon us zabaan ka, jo dais main ab matrook hoi
Mein khayal hoon us kahaan ka, jo bin-kahi, bay-salook hoi

Wo jo qareena tha pursish-e-ishq ka, wo kamal jo tha jazb-e-nihaal ka
Wo har ik ada ab basti mein ada-e-rah-ba-zawwaal hoi

Ilfaaz ko pirona, auraaq ko sajanaa, ik iste'aara mashq-e-bay'sood ka
Nazron ki wo ik ik hikayat in saheefon main ab mafqood hoi

Khushboo ki gulrang shokhi, barish ki naram sargoshi
Ik ta'zayyan-e-maazi, ik makkaan-e bay'makeen hoi 

I - the word of a language, now obsolete in the land
I - the idea of the story, untold, never enjoined

The beauty of the expression of love, the passion of the euphoric excitement
Each of that flair, flared on a road to the doom

That weaving of words, that decor of the parchments, now a metaphor of futility
Each tale woven by the stealing glances, now a cast out of the scriptures

This vibrancy of fragrances, these sensuous whispers of the drizzle
(Has become) a lashing whip of the past, an abode sans dweller

Originally penned in 2004.
Shared here with gratitude to Parth.PS:
Title borrowed from a 10- words story I once penned:

"Moth beamed. Flame gleamed. Passion steamed. Later, hiss. Ash. Soot."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ji Chahay to Sheesha Bun Ja: Be The Cup Be The Chalice

Ji Chahe To Sheesha Ban Ja, Ji Chahe Paimana Ban Ja 
Sheesha Paimana Kya Ban Na , Mai Ban Ja, Maikhana Ban Ja 

Be the goblet if you like, Or be the chalice if you want 
Whats there to be a goblet or a chalice, 
Be the wine, Or the fountain of wine

Mai Ban Kar, Maikhana Ban Kar, Masti Ka Afsana Ban Ja 
Masti Ka Afsana Ban Kar, Hasti Se Begana Ban Ja 

Of the wine, Or of the fountain of it, 
Narrate a tale of ecstasy
In living this tale of ecstasy, Be a stranger to the self

Hasti Se Begana Hona, Masti Ka Afsana Ban Na 
Is Hone Se, Is Ban Ne Sa, Accha Hai Deewana Ban Ja  

Forgetting thyself, And keeping of intoxication
Of this losing, Or this keeping, 
Finer is to lose to senses

Deewana Ban Jane Se Bhi, Deewana Hona Accha Hai 
Deewana Hone Se Accha, Khak-e-dar-e-jana Ban Ja 

Than this losing of the senses, Better is going crazy 
And better still of going crazed, 
Be quelled to dust at the beloved's step

Khak-e-dar-e-jana Kya Hai, Ahle-dil Ki Ankh Ka Surma 
Shamma Ke Dil Ki Thandak Ban Ja, Noor-e Dil-e-parwana Ban Ja 

The dirt at the beloved's door, Is but the Kohl for the lovers's eyes
Be a hail at the heart of flame, 
Or a burning torch in a moth's bossom

Seekh Zahin Ki Dil Se Jal Na, Kahe Ko Har Shamma Pe Jal Na? 
Apni Aag Me Khud Jal Jaye, Tu Aisa Parwana Ban Ja 

Seek to sizzle from Zahin's heart, Why hover around a flame?
The one that is kindled by its own torch, 
Thou be such a moth

Seekh Zahin Ki, Seekh Zahin Ki, Seekh Zahin Ke Dil Se Jal Na 
Tu Aisa Parwana Ban Ja…

See of Zahin, Hear of Zahin, Seek to sizzle from Zahin's heart 
Thou be such a lover ....

Lyrics: Hazrat Zaheen Shah Taaji
Singer: Abida Parveen
Music: Muzaffar Ali 
Inapt translation: mine

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The child looked at the wanderer's face, searching in the lines etched by a chisel that could either belong to the sun, or the years spent on road. Or both.
His keen eyes kept searching, his small mouth slightly open, his lips shinning with the freshness of his age, his eyes sparkling with the innocence of his heart.

The wanderer looked annoyed. Dressed in rags and dirt, he appeared aged beyond his years. He had been on road long and he had searched hard. He had known the perils in the quest of truth, and he knew what it takes to be the victor at the end. He was aware that his years, though left him drained physically, had left him a triumph that he held dear like a prized possession. He had discovered the Tabula Smaragdina!

He knew though dressed in rags, deserted by all, he had the riches of the entire world. He had the Emerald Tablet. He knew the alchemy of souls. He was the alchemist. He was the victor. The realization made him smile. Victoriously.

The child kept looking unfazed at the wanderer's changing face. He noticed the tiredness yielding to annoyance and then that bent in those dark, thin lips. With that smile and the shine taking life in the wanderer's eyes, the child suddenly seemed to jolt out of his inspection of him.
Without uttering a word he turned and started to walk away.
The wanderer looked at him in surprise and called after him, "Hey, I had asked  you to take me to your village".

"I can't", the boy replied as he kept walking.

The wanderer looked at that young lad with disbelief. He knew he had the power that could win over hearts, conquer the souls. He had the tablet. 
"But why"? he called out again.

The boy stopped walking , and after a deliberate pause turned and facing him with his eyes hooded by a shade of his small palm under the blinding sun of the desert, replied,
"Because I don't want you to bring the curse to my village".

"Curse"? the wanderer yelled aghast.

"Those who have just the self to love, are cursed". 
The child replied and walked away.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bring On My Chalice: Paimona

The song is from the previous Coke studio season. It has such a hauntingly captivating feel to it, despite not being  either pushto or persian literate, I am just in awe of this rubaee of Omer Khayyam..... The song has such a melodious yearning embedded with in, the instrument, the lyrics, the vocals, its so hard not to be bewitched by it....

So please

Bring on my chalice

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Pack Of 18 Pencils

I stayed in the attic today most part of the day. Cleaning, mostly memories and partly books  ..

One of the most colourful tangible as well as intangible discovery was a pack of pencils, colour pencils. Bought in some other life yet only a few calenders back, the pack brought with it a gushing spring of varied emotions.

I remembered that hot humid afternoon, that narrow street during the Hajj days crowded by pilgrims from all over the world, that huge chocolate cone melting in my hand without which I never made a return journey after each prayer (talk about being spoiled :P), that small shop where I had hopped in only after amman had promised that it wont take her long, the agility with which I had looked for what could easily be compared to ammunition for a soldier. And how I beamed as I stood at the counter way before her and the tender loving smile that spread on her face on seeing what I had in my hand, like it can only on a mother's face. 

And the frame just freezes here.

I keep looking at that face. That knowing smile. Those tiny beads of sweat shimmering at her forehead. Those eyes looking at me with their characteristic gentleness.

That smile.

Whats wrong with this laptop screen! it gets blurred again and again. How would I tell then how she looked? How did she smile when she saw those colour pencils and writing pad set on the counter in front of me? 

I remember that scent of her as I hugged her when we were back at the hotel. I always used to, whenever she bought me anything. Like everytime after finishing that cone which she'd buy me after each prayer at Haram from the ice cream parlour that lay in our way to hotel!

I couldn't live without paper and pen. She knew it. I loved to write. And I loved to draw. Its not that I am professing some inherent genius of a writer with in. Its just that I was too used to scribbling. Writing random ideas. No full length manuscripts, just plain random musings. Ideas. Thoughts. To do's. Sketches. Drawings. Anything. I liked the smell of the paper, the sound that a pencil mark makes on its virgin surface. 
She knew it. 

I look at this pack of 18 pencils, their coloured tips. And I look for the face these can never draw. The radiance these can never colour.

Yet I clutch the pack fondly for I saw that face as I drew that pack out of a dust laden forgotten box. 

I try to imagine the drawings these pencils carved, but I guess those fell into the same bin as those manuscripts that I scribbled - a log of each and every moment of one of the most exquisite experiences of my life. Its the bin of the Arctic zone that I stepped later in life. 

Thinking of the Arctic zone, my mind again gropes for the warmth ...
Guess what else did I find with that pack of the most colourful pencils?
Its a book mark. Wrapped safely. With care and wonder I unwrapped it trying to recall why would have I kept it like this. I couldn't recall the reason, but here I share with you what it reads ....

One hundred years 
from now,
it will not matter 
what kind of 
car I drove,
What kind of 
I lived in,
How much I had 
in my 
bank account,
Nor what my 
clothes looked like.
But the world may be 
a little better place
I was important
in the life
of a child.

I am sorry cant write more. 
Something is wrong with this screen, gets too blurry again. And for heavens's sake what is wrong with this machine! It just wouldn't stop playing this silly song over and over!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dhoondo Gay Agar ...

Isn't this just addictive?

Dhoondo Ge'y Agar Mulkon Mulkon
Milnay kay nahin, Nayaab hain huM

Taabe'er hay jiski hasrat o gham,
Aye ham nafason ... woh khawab hain hum

Aye dard bataa khuch tuu hi pataa
Abb tak yeh mua'maa hal na hua ....

Hum may hay dil e betaab nehaa'n
Yaa aap dil e betaab hain hum

Dhoondo ge'y agar mulkon mulkon
Milnay kay nahin, nayaab hain huM

Main herat o hasrat ka maara
Khamosh kharaa hoon sahil par ...

Daryaa e muhabat kahta hay ...
Aaa khuch bhi nahi .. PaayaaB hain hum

Dhoondo ge'y agar mulkon mulkon
Milnay kay nahin, nayaab hain huM

Laakhon hi musafir chaltay hain
Manzil pe pohanchtay hain do ik ....

Aye ehl e zamanaa qadr karo
Nayaab na hon, kamyaab hain hum

Dhoondo ge'y agar mulkon mulkon
Milnay kay nahin, nayaab hain huM

Murghaan e qafs ko phoolon nay,
Ay Shaad ye kehla bhaija hai ....

Aa jao jo tum ko aana ho, 
Aisay main abhi shadaab hain hum

Dhoondo ge'y agar mulkon mulkon
Milnay kay nahin, nayaab hain hum

Taabe'er hay jiski hasrat o gham,
Aye ham nafason ... woh khawab hain hum

Poet: Shad Azeem Abaadi
Singer: Abida parveen