Monday, December 17, 2012

Over a Bowl of Soup

Through the open door, I see her standing in the kitchen. It’s one of those dark, muted, chilly, rainy, curl-up-inside-the-blanket sort of December evenings that makes you lazy to the bone and you think over a hundred times before finally deciding whether the task that requires you to come out of your warm blanket is really worth the effort. I spend these winter days (and evenings, and nights) the same way; tucking myself inside a blanket wearing my dad’s over-sized, ultra warm jacket with my one hand holding the book and the other shoved inside the warm, inviting pockets of the jacket. The only time I take my hand out of the pocket is when I have to turn the page of the book. It’s then when the hand that’s holding the book goes in the pocket and I hold the book upright with the other, already warmed-up hand.

But right now I’m sitting at the dining table, still looking at her. She is too busy to notice me gawking at her. I see her stirring the spoon in a big wok set on the stove with puffs of steam coming out of it, then whirling around to find some spice on the counter behind her. I see her chopping the carrots and shredding the boiled chicken pieces. Occasionally, she immerses the spoon inside the wok and blows the inevitably hot liquid before tasting it to check if the soup is lacking any ingredient or spice. Doing that, she reaches for the spice rack, sprinkles in the needed spices, balancing the taste and then tasting it one more time to ensure that the soup is being cooked up in its best flavor. She always does that; pouring her heart and soul in what she decides to cook. During this whole period of watching her cook passionately, I don’t so much as go inside and ask if she needs any help. This is why, after a few more interminable minutes of sniffing in the aroma coming from the kitchen, when I finally see her coming out holding a big, black bowl with clouds of steam laden with the aroma that augments your appetite, I furtively thank her and sink in the bowl to pour down the soup, that is inevitably going to taste good, in my mouth. I thrust in my spoon, ready to get soothed by the hot, tasty soup on a crisp winter evening. The soup is very hot so I perpetually blow off the heat, until the steam stops coming out from it before I slurp it down. Perfect. Just how I like. Every time I dip in my spoon, it comes out filled up with a few shreds of chicken and some corn seeds floating in the spoonful of soup. I chew the al dente corn and the shreds of chicken and gulp it down, savoring its flavor. I love it. I love her. Not because she just cooked me soup. But because she intuitively realized that a bowl of soup is what I’d like the most on this biting winter evening. She always happens to know what I want. I envy her instincts. Even when I’m not around and she can’t see me, she ends up bringing a smile on my face by providing me with what I want. I remember once I was coming back home from college, starving. Hunger pangs were plummeting inside my stomach. I reached home, pushed open the gate and got welcomed by two blessings in my life; her smiling face and a platter of fries in her hand. I felt like dancing with joy and asked her how she knew I was craving food. She smiled and said that she just did. This is how she brings joy in my life. She understands my needs. Tries to give her best to make me happy. I’m still sipping my soup, mentally thanking the Creator for blessing me with a mother. Mentally praying that she and her blessings remain with me beyond eternity. She’s looking at me with a probing smile pasted on her face. “Do you like it?” she asks, eager to hear my answer in affirmative. Like it? Of course I like it. I love it. Too busy to speak, I tilt my head to the side, my eyes wide open below my raised eyebrows, showing how much I’m enjoying it. I do the effort to fill my spoon with the residuum of the soup, guzzle it down, look up at her and say, “Wonderful.” Her eyes sparkle, a grin showing off her teeth plasters her face and she utters one word: “Really?” There. That’s the price of her long hours of standing in the kitchen. That one word pays it all off for her weary hours in the kitchen just to get me a bowl of soup. She smiles a contented smile and with that all those little traces of tiredness hiding behind her face run away. I shoot her a smile back, thinking a mother's heart must be composed of the goodness of the entire universe. But during the creation of my Ammi, Allah must have poured in heaps of sweetness in her as well her while He was at it. I love Allah for that. I love her. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

She Can't Live Without Her Hair Straightener

People say, albeit I refuse to believe, that they can’t even stand the thought of living without a specific someONE. But what amazes me is to see those people who fail to think about moving on with their lives without a specific someTHING. Of course I refuse to believe that too. How can people just get so sentimentally attached to their belongings that they don’t even want to consider their lives without those things. Man is a selfish piece of flesh, isn’t he?  When he says that he can’t live without something, even that includes his personal interest, his selfishness and wanting to have his belongings remain with him, forever.

Lying down comfortably, I was flipping through the TV channels when I heard someone coming down the stairs. Someone plunged inside the room, taking in long teary gasps. Before I could manage to disturb my comfy position (not that I was planning to do that) and see who it was, the figure stood before me like a pillar with a cracking yet loud voice. “Have you *gasp* seen my hair straightener’s *gasp* adapter?”

Alright now, mind if I demonstrate what I saw before me?

My sister, of course my elder sister since I’m the youngest duck of my family, was standing before me. Her damp hair, since she had washed it just a few minutes before, was covered in a towel and she was looking down at me with her eyes that were glistening with tears and had gone all red with severe crying (I bet a blurry image of me was what her vision could make out) and her face was all – ALL as in ALL! – soaked in tears. In one hand, she was holding her hair straightener with its plug’s pins aiming toward me, and the other hand kept cleaning her tears from the soaking face of hers which, quite frankly, was of no use since as soon as she would clean a dribble of tear from her cheek two more would pour down giving the effect of a small lake finding its way down through the path of her cheeks.

Ok yeah so I looked at her and I did this great effort to stifle my laugh after seeing that ‘situation’ in front of me. So I held back this deep desire to laugh like a mentally impaired and retorted to her in as normal way as I could help out. My response was simple and clear. “No!” I said with a shrug and no sooner had I spoken that one rusty word than another fresh stream of tears came down and washed her face. She cried. I laughed. This time my reaction was spontaneous and I couldn't help it. I stifled my laugh into a smile grin though and asked her what was with all that crying. She sat down before me and broke down into yet another sea of tears and gasps and sniffles and started whimpering her worry to me which sounded nothing more than gibberish to me. After a while I finally figured out what her impossible-to-decipher teary voice told me. Apparently her straightener's adapter - and well this straightener’s  plug has those alien pins that go in none of the sockets in our house so the plug was capped with an adapter because the adapter’s plug can go easily inside the sockets - had gone missing and she couldn’t search for it ANYWHERE (according to her) and that of course meant that the piece of electronic equipment she was holding in her hand was totally useless without it so when her search for that adapter failed completely, she started to cry.

“Why are you crying this way?” I had to ask. “Stop crying alright? It must be here somewhere. It’s somewhere inside the house. Chill.” But that didn’t help a speck in controlling her tears and she just looked around the room in such helpless way that I couldn’t help but start working my mind to help her in any possible way that could just rub that look off her face. Apparently, the help didn’t involve just the usage of my brains. I had to disturb my comfort-ness and get to my feet. I told her to check out this other adapter and see if the straightener’s plug goes in it. But, like a stubborn brat, she refused to get up. It seemed to me like the end of the world for her. I reckoned as if she had accepted the defeat and was waiting for the misery to befall totally and completely and absolutely on her. She just did not get up. For a moment, I felt like ok it’s not my problem that you just cannot seem to find that freaking adapter and now totally surrendering to make yourself look miserable more than a starving 2 year old gypsy kid. But something about that wet, teary wrecked face and the inevitable reason of me being a human being with emotions and a sense of nobility that couldn’t bear to see her miserable face and listen her shaky long gasps without budging myself to do anything, just anything to stop making her feel this way, made me stand up and search for an adapter, that could fit in that straightener’s alien plug. Frankly it just took me less than a minute to find it and give it to her and ask her to see if that would work. For a moment, her gasps stopped. THANKFULLY. And to my utter satisfaction and her ultimate survival, it WORKED. She stopped crying. I threw upon her that condescending look. For a minute, it occurred to me that she felt a little stupid for that little performance of misery she gave not very long ago. Out of the guilt, she even refused to show that feeling of ecstasy that she was surly having, to appear on her visage. But I didn’t mind that. I was contented to see that her wrecked looks had actually vanished. Getting back to going through the ever boring session of flipping through the channels, I picked up the remote control once again. She silently went back upstairs with the new adapter and her straightener, and left me wondering about my firm belief on defying the overrated statement that says “I cannot live without *insert whatever that could be*.”

I am now starting to have second thoughts.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just Another Day

It's Eid today. It seems like it. But doesn't that mean celebrating the day? Then what am I doing here, writing?
It's Eid today. Shouldn't I be saying it with a joy in my voice? But believe me, I'm just saying it, coolly.
It's Eid today. Shouldn't I be flaunting off my shimmery Eid dress? Why am I tucked in my bed in my plain clothes, then?

Somewhere, while growing up, something must have gone wrong. Because when I was a kid, Eid really was something. Back then, I'd wear my shimmery dress weeks before Eid, kicking off a small Eid dress rehearsal of my own. I used to wait eagerly for it to come. I used to peek inside my shoe box one hundred times in a day, just to see my new flashy sandals lying there, smiling back at me. All I wanted was to fast forward the clocks to the big day - the Eid day, back when I was a child..

So where are all those feeling gone now? Is that what growing up means? Getting deprived of the real happiness? I want all of it to come back to me. I dropped it somewhere while climbing the ladder of ages. I haven't even replied to any of those Eid texts yet. I just don't feel like it and I'm hating it, having to feel this way.

I'm not sad, trust me I'm not. Frowning on the Eid day would be the very last thing I'd want to do. All I'm trying to find is the way to get back what I used to have. I don't want to spend it like just another day. I don't want to fake my feelings either by saying how excited I am for this day. The excitement is gone. It has vanished away. I'm missing my old days. I'm happy because I have a weighty reason for that: my family. My mommy, my daddy, my sisters. I joked with them this morning. In fact, we didn't have one serious talk since I've woken up. I hugged them. I ate vermicelli - the traditional Eid breakfast. Oh I don't like calling it vermicelli. It's sawayyan. It always has been. My mom has cooked smoked chicken and biryani for lunch, well that adds a dash of it being a special day. But now what? They're couched in front of the TV watching those cliche shows with celebrities laughing and dancing and telling the viewers how they spend their Eid day and I sneaked into my room because I don't want to hear their stories. I have my own story to tell. I don't care if anyone's interested in it or not. I'm glad I can give vent to my feelings.

It's Eid today. Is it really?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Fondness for a certain something dares us to dream and this is how it all starts. This venture of life; it all starts from dreaming. This little word holds the weight of an entire universe. Or maybe even more. It makes us invent our future and we credulously do as it tells us. It lures us and pleads us to hold on to it, and we dutifully take a blindfold and wrap it around our eyes and cover them to keep us from seeing anything else. Blinded by our dream, we kick away those far better opportunities that come in our way and hang on to that very specific dream that we grow up in hopes of achieving. We clench it in our fists. Clench it with such strength and vigor that the pressure starts turning our knuckles white. And our hands get so crammed with that intangible future plan we hold in them that it leaves not even a speck more space left for something else. Something that might be better than what we are holding in our fists. Something that might not necessarily require that much of strength and intensity to be held. Something that might provide a better prospect or a better possibility for future than the one we’re already tightly holding on to. But we don’t even consider accepting that something. We don’t want to consider accepting it. We don’t want to know what great progress might loom before our eyes if we accept that chance. Back in our heads, we realize that it’s quite a venture that we have embarked on by choosing what we fancy in lieu of choosing otherwise. But we kill the thought by not feeding it. We jerk any such notion before it wakes up to take any action. The opportunity comes after us, wants us to hear it, to permit it just once so that it could apprise us of what it wants to tell us and show us. But the peril of its unwanted intervention hastens our stride. It quickens its pace to keep up with us, to tell us it’s got better future in store for us. But we refuse to listen to it. We start taking even larger steps. Larger and quicker. We don’t want it to reach us. We want to outdistance it. We pace up to be unreachable from its vision. But it keeps following us. It keeps on trying to reach us, to tell us what we are going to miss out and to plead us to only consider its presence because soon after that we'd realize that it wasn't wrong all along. But we keep thinking it as a dream snatcher. We think it would mug away our dreams from us so we start running away from it. We run. We haste. We take long steps to leave it behind. Not only behind, far behind. So very far behind that, so that it can't even catch a glimpse of us or of our precious dream that we're still holding, rather clenching in our hands. We take care of our dream like we take care of precious jewels. We hold on to it like we hold on to the reins of a horse galloping at its maximum speed. We never let go of it because we think it's only a matter of time before we'd have it blooming in front our eyes. We reckon it as our best asset. Even though, all the way, it only turns out to be a liability, nothing more than a liability. We like how it feels like holding on to it. We keep our hopes high and wait for the right time and while we think about all this asset-liability theory of our dream, we don't forget to keep running. We run as if the world behind us is materializing to dust. So we run for our life and our dream. We run to the point where we finally see that we’ve lost opportunity and it’s nowhere to be seen now. So we finally halt. Tired and weary, we fall on our knees. Short of breath, we draw in long gasps, get in fresh air and make ourselves ready for what lies ahead, or rather what lies inside our fists. Anticipating the feeling of triumph, we take control, get ourselves together and finally open our clenched fists. We open them anticipating victory. We open them in prospect to see what has been there all along and what caused us to start this weary journey. Ecstatic, our heart beats with excitement. Gradually, we begin to uncurl our fingers to see our valuable dream lying inside. Something peeps from under our fingers as if anxious to come out. But as soon as we open up our fists, an arrogant man pops out and hit us right in the face. He tells us his name is reality. He, wearing stiff smug expressions, makes us realize how so very helpless we are in front of him. We ask him where did he come from and that where is our dream that we have been holding all along? Standing in front of us, it smoothes out the creases from its coat and raising its eyebrow, he throws his arrogant look upon us and his mocking silence answers our question. Terrified, we get up and do a pirouette to look around, to find something else other than arrogant cold reality. To find something we can hold on to. That opportunity! Yes, that concerned opportunity that’s been following us throughout this venture. We can hold on to that. We scrutinize the same path that we have come from to look out for opportunity  We call out its name only to receive a scathing silence in return. We cry out for its help, telling it we’re ready to take it, to accept it. We scream and tell it that it was right; this has been a scary venture. It’s now that we realize that we've come out so far. We realize that there’s no going back now. We realize that we’re lost in the labyrinth of life. Frustrated and defeated, we sink down on our knees with our face hanging down and our thoughts running savagely inside our mind. Reality then screams right in our face with two bright words that pierce into us – “FACE ME!” it says.
Helpless, we lift our head. Face it, embrace it and go on.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Proposal for Calamity

On Thursday, September 20, as I was going through the newspaper, I read a headline that said, “Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool to be observed tomorrow (Friday)”. My sudden reaction as a Muslim, after the absurd profanity regarding my religion that the entire universe had witnessed, was quite overwhelmingly joyous, as the day was being observed to raise our voices as a nation for the sanctity of a man for whom, us Muslims, hold profound respect. As I flipped through the pages of that newspaper, I read this other news under the heading “Three ministers oppose the Yaum-e-Ishq-e-Rasool proposal”. My sudden reaction after reading that news was quite infuriating. I thought why anyone would oppose this great proposal of voicing our religious rights. As I read the details of the news, I got aware of the fact that the proposal about observing that day was suggested by our very own interior minister, Mr. Rehman Malik. I got quite impressed as I realized that Mr. Rehman Malik can actually come up with some fine proposals. Anyway, like every other concerned Muslim, I began looking forward to the outcome of this great step taken.
The next day, which was the day in question, everyone saw what everyone didn’t see coming, except those three cabinet ministers who foresaw what danger was bound to come along with it. Their reason for opposing the proposal about observing that day was due to the peril of law and order situation that might, and we all saw that it actually did, arise. It was then that I realized that albeit the proposal seemed so fine at first, the trifling precautionary measures that were taken to control the law and order situation terribly vanquished throughout the country, as the agitated protestors poured in. Little did I know that it would turn out to be a proposal for calamity?

Now, as I rewind and watch the whole situation, this is what I see:
A big time Islam/Muslim hatemonger named Terry Jones, who is a Pastor of a nondenominational church called Dove World Outreach Centre, and according to Wikipedia, is known forQur’an Burning”, celebrates the 11th anniversary of the very sad 9/11 incident by supporting and promoting trailer of a movie called “Innocence of Muslims” on YouTube, ridiculing our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The trailer erupts the sentiments of Muslims, which was completely legitimate and pretty much anticipated, and the justifiable anger, manifesting into protests, flows throughout the Muslim as well as non-Muslim countries demanding US to put an end to these sporadic attacks that keep coming in different forms i-e: burning the Qur’an, publishing profane caricatures of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and (the latest one being) releasing blasphemous movie ridiculing our Prophet. The inevitable results of such heinous attack of hurting the sentiments of Muslims worldwide continue to hold the demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. Pakistan, being one of the biggest Islamic countries actively takes part in such protests. After a series of erratic protests carried out by different political parties, we are told to observe a day, nation-wide, to show our reverence for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) by raising our voice as one nation. The day that was supposed to bring a positive outcome comes and we as a whole nation, in lieu of lodging our voice to be heard, go out in the streets to loot the buildings, torch the vehicles, destroy the petrol/CNG stations, ransack private properties and kill our own brothers who came out on the street for the same purpose as ours. Thus, to come to the point, we do our best to destroy the image of the greatest religion by showing exactly opposite to what it teaches us. The day takes the whole country by storm and ends up leaving behind dead bodies, scathed bodies, deep signs of destruction and heavy losses. And with the cherry on the top, to end this overwhelming day, we hear the news that one of the biggest international fast food joints, KFC, decides to close its outlets in Pakistan. Now before you start judging me about how sad I am for the shutting-down of a yummy food spot, let me get you aware of the fact that Pakistani youth is already suffering by a great percentage of unemployment. Now, if more than 60 outlets are going to shut down, thousands of people are going to face unemployment among which include a great number of speech and hearing impaired, that KFC helps provide employment to.

We, as a nation, presented ourselves as a joke to the entire world. We killed our brothers in the name of a protest, which was nothing but a contemptible view of an intolerant and uncivilized nation. We helped our youth get unemployed so that they could go down in the pits of depression because that’s exactly how a country thrives, and that’s exactly how a nation’s youth is supposed to be. As the day, which started to achieve the goal of showing respect to our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by lodging a peaceful protest, marked the end, the Pakistani nation earned nothing but distress and a great deal of loss both in private and public sectors without even getting their protest properly lodged while that pastor sat there in his church, unaffected.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Brutal Blessing?

It rained. It finally did. I heard the drizzling while I was sitting in my room and instinctively, rushed straight toward the window to acknowledge what I was about to see. Rain drops were falling down from the overlapping black foamy clouds in the sky. It made me feel like the happiest person in the world. I leaned out of the window, letting the raindrops fall on my cheeks and wash away with them even a teensy bit of sadness, if lounging within me. Rain, for me, is the definition of happiness. In no time, the drizzle intensified into cloudburst. It started descending down in torrents and the needle of my mood-o-meter jumped from ‘happy’ -- transcending ‘ecstatic’ -- to ‘euphoric’. The downpour continued without a single pause and with every second passing by, my happiness kept on increasing unabated. So I started to relish every moment of it. I selected a book to read while sniffing the subtle smell of mud and listening sweet whispers of rain. I watched those beautiful rain drops splashing in the puddles. I listened to the melodic sound of rain while delighting myself with every comfort food that was available at my house. And when I went to bed at night, the rain, not wanting to stop, lullabied me to sleep with its enchanting music. So with a smile on my face and content in my heart, I slumbered away.

In the middle of the night, a roaring sound - like a huge meteorite had fallen on my bed - woke me up. I sat up in my bed and looked around. In the room drenched with darkness, flickered a sharp, ephemeral light that died within a microsecond. Perched in the middle of the bed, I could hear the subtle rumbling of clouds behind the clamorous sound of pouring rain. It wasn’t until then that the drowsy me realized what woke me up in the middle of my sound sleep was actually a thunder. ‘God-is-firing-cannonballs-from-the-sky’ kind of thunder. A ghastly still shadow of me on the wall, produced by a faint beam of street light coming through my window, finally moved as I budged out of the bed to look outside the window. Water was STREAMING DOWN FROM THE SKY! Rain seemed more like a waterfall, a perfect view for me to wake up to. A huge smile drew on my face and I kept on wishing for another such deafening thunder after that. That is how much I love rainstorms and thunder and lightning.

My mom came into my room to see if I were doing alright. That thunder roar had awoken the entire house. “Alright? I’m way beyond alright. I’m doing wonderful, mom! I’m loving it.” My mom gave me that worried “is-there-something-wrong-with-you” look but when I conveyed a gesture of reassurance to her, she walked out of the room. And once again, there I was lying in my bed, listening to the low thundering bass complementing the enchanting melody of rain. “We are all blessed,” I thought, lying in my bed, cuddling my pillow.

The next morning when I woke up, it was still raining. Not in torrents though. It was trickling down and that was enough for me to sustain my happy mood. I played in the rain, stomping my feet in the puddles dashing the rain water all around. I wanted to take some pictures in the rain so I hid under a shelter to keep my phone from drenching and held my hand out in the rain to capture some rain drops falling upon my hand. And then I took some pictures of raindrops on the leaves that looked like glistening pearls attached to lavish green leaves. I looked skyward and tried tasting the rainwater. Every moment that passed by, exalted me into a higher state of happiness.

But then I heard the phone ringing. My mom picked up the phone and the expressions that started appearing on her face were a clear telling of something wrong had happened. I waited for the call to end and asked her what was wrong. She told me one of our relatives, who live in a certain lower part of the city, got badly affected by the rain last night. “Their house is still completely inundated,” she said, “The flood swept away every single thing from their house. Their furniture, appliances, clothes, money.. Everything! They spent the night on the streets with their kids.” They have four kids. The eldest one is about 10 years old and the youngest one is only 4. My mom’s cousin (the same person who got affected by the flood) came to our house later and told us what agony they had to go through that night. He told us they were inundated in the water neck high, seeing their belongings sweep away in the flood before their eyes. They, along with their kids, were sleeping soundly when the cloudburst happened. That same roaring sound of thunder that had put a smile on my face triggered terror in them. When I was looking out my window admiring the beauty of God’s blessing pouring down upon our house, they were looking at their deluged house that was perfectly empty from that intruding water before they went to sleep. When I was lying in my bed gratified and contented, listening the sound of rain, they were struggling to reach somewhere higher before the floodwater could engulf them. When I dozed off to the sound of rain, hugging my soft cuddly pillow, they were sitting in the middle of the street, drenching. When I was trying to capture a perfect picture of raindrops falling on my hand, they were hunting for their belongings in the floodwater.

Torn between feeling sad, embarrassed and selfish while he was narrating his saddening story in his faint feeble voice, all I kept thinking was why the same rain that brings happiness to one draws a frown on someone else’s face.

Dear rain!
Stop being so brutal.
Love, Me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Upon Earth She Promised That In Heaven Shall They Meet

She dashed down the stairs. Her dad always yelled at her whenever she rushed down the steps, telling her she’d trip over those stairs one day. Stalling at the very last step, she paced it down with uber decency to spare that ‘you’re-gonna-trip-over-those-stairs’ lecture. She stole a glance to check if anyone had seen her violently rushing down those steps. Nobody had. In fact, she could only see her uncle and aunt when she entered the family room. They had come all the way from London and it had been over a week now. Her house was their staying spot and she loved it when they’d come here. In fact, everyone at their house loved to have their presence around. Entering the living room, she could tell something was going on.

‘Are you guys going somewhere?’, she asked.

‘Yes, to the graveyard.’, her aunt replied.

‘Oh. Just you two?’

‘No, your dad’s coming as well.’

Never would they miss to visit this ‘family graveyard’. Every time they would come to Pakistan, paying a visit to the graveyard was always a must-to-do task at their hands.

‘Do you want to come along’, her aunt zipped her purse close and wore it on her shoulder.

‘Me? Uhh.. ok yeah sure.’, she seemed unsure at first but then suddenly something told her she had to go there.

She didn’t have anything to do at home and besides, she thought it would be exciting to visit a graveyard, particularly this family graveyard where her ancestors, whom she had never actually seen in her life, were buried. Except one though, her dad’s sister. She still remembered that day when she got the news about her death. They were out of town, staying in a city that was a few hours’ drive away from her hometown, when late at night her dad got a call that broke this tragic news to him. She remembered how time felt stranger with every minute that passed by after that call. She and her family hopelessly tried to sleep that night. The night only kept on stretching longer. She lay on a couch with her eyes closed and waited for the sunlight to fall through the windows. Next morning, they set off for the journey to the town where a lifeless body awaited them to bid her farewell for the very last time.

‘We’re about to leave with your dad’, her uncle’s voice snapped her and her instant recollection of murky memories withered away. ‘You better get ready.’

‘I’ll take a minute’, she yelled as she rushed swiftly back upstairs to her room. ‘Don’t leave without me!!’, she shouted from her room.

The afternoon sun blazed upon their heads as they advanced towards the graveyard. Her dad pointed out a black iron gate located inside a narrow, roofed street.‘The graveyard is on the other side of that black gate’, he told her. It wasn’t like she had never come there before. She had come there once.. or twice at the most. But that was quite a long time ago. She was only a kid when she last visited it. She needed a fresh view of that graveyard to be saved in her mind. It was their family graveyard, after all. There were a few small houses on both sides of the street and right ahead of them was that big black iron gate. They approached the gate and her dad unlocked a rusty padlock that was hanging there, lifelessly. A small door was forged within that black gate. The door was so small that when the four of them entered through it to the other side of that gate, they practically had to duck to ward off knocking their heads against that iron gate.

She stepped through the gate and saw several mounds of earth aligned perfectly in a row. Not that there were a lot of graves. The first row had some eight graves and the second row held only two, just below the graves of the first row forming the perfect symmetry. Just one glance of everyone’s ultimate dwelling made every cell of her existence melancholic. Her feet dragged her towards those tumuluses. Her family lay beneath those heaps of soil. The rest of the land was bare. It’d take quite a while to get it filled, she thought bluntly. And with that another thought popped up in her mind right away. Those who would die first would take up their places here and then there’d come a time when there’d be no space left for anymore graves. Where the rest of family members would be deposited then? She motioned towards her dad in hopes to get a fair answer. But her dad, along with her uncle and aunt, was already standing in front a grave with his head bowed down and hands postured to pray. Dutifully she stepped beside her dad and did the same. As she prayed, for the salvation of whoever was beneath that heap of soil, she noticed something that was too conspicuous to be ignored. That grave in front of her. It was relatively smaller than the rest of the graves. Another query of the day. It was an obscure place for her. Curiosity had set in. She had a lot to ask.
Her dad raised his cupped hands to his face and his palms brushed his face, a signal that his prayer was over. He moved to the next grave. But her uncle and aunt stayed there, looking affectionately at that small grave. She heard a sniff that progressively grew into rhythmic sniffles. They were in a cemetery, someone was definitely crying. She turned her head to see who it was. The answer was quite obvious. Men do not usually cry. It was her aunt who was crying. She stood there, stared at her aunt and let her heart feel sorry for her teary eyes. She didn’t move, nor did she try to soothe her crying aunt. Her aunt calmed her crying self down and wiped her tears.

‘Do you know whose grave is it?’, a tear appeared in the corner of her aunt’s eye.

‘No. But I want to know.’

‘That’s my daughter under that mass of soil.’, her aunt ended her sentences with a sniff.

She had heard a lot about her cousin, a physically & mentally disabled child since birth, who fought with her disability for four grand years of her life. Her cousin had died long before she was born. Now she knew why that grave looked smaller than the others. It was the grave of a 4 year old. It was the grave of her cousin who died at the age of 4. Feeling awfully sorry for her aunt, she looked down at that grave once again. Uncontrollably, a tear rolled down her cheek. Emotions are a funny thing, she thought. She was crying for someone whom she had never even seen.

They started moving to the rest of the graves and paused before every grave sequentially. Her dad would tell her which grave belonged to whom and then they’d pray before it and a tear would dribble down in her prayer-postured palms. The pattern continued and they reached the last grave. She raised her hands to her face, finished her prayer and looked around. She was standing in the middle of a graveyard. A place where everything seemed lifeless to her. Gloomy and lifeless. The air of that graveyard smelled gloomy. The soil beneath her shoes felt forlorn. Even the chirping sparrow above her head sounded like it was wailing. She cried once again, thinking how it would have been like if those people buried in this gloomy place, that included her grandparents as well, were alive. Oh how she had always missed her grandparents. While she was mentally communicating with God, complaining why He didn’t let those relatives of hers live long enough to see her, her dad called her out from a corner of that graveyard. She mopped the tears from her cheeks with her sleeves and went over to where her dad was standing.

‘What is it, daddy?’

‘I need to show you something.’ he said pointing towards the uneven surface of the crude graveyard floor.

She seemed inquisitive. ‘You want me to show what? That’s just a corner. An uneven corner.’

‘There’s someone buried under that corner.’

She did a double take.

‘Buried? In that corner? Who?’

‘Your brother.’

Flabbergasted, she stared at her father. She didn’t have any brother. She only had three elder sisters and she was the youngest one. She loved being the youngest one and she loved her sisters too. She always used to think if God had given her an elder brother, her family would’ve been so complete. She loved elder brothers. She envied her friends when they mentioned their elder brothers in their talks. And when they’d say their brothers were annoying, she would call them ungrateful for such a blessing. ‘Don’t call them annoying!,’ she used to yell at her friends. ‘There’s a void in my life, a void that could never get filled up. A void that fate has destined me. I crave for a brother’s company. I don’t have a brother and I know how it feels like.’ But what did her father just tell her? That she had a brother? A dead brother?

Her dad comprehended what was going on in her mind. He continued, ‘You had a brother. Long before you were born. If he were alive, he would have been about 4 years older than you. But he died as a premature baby. This is where I had buried him.’, he pointed again at that rough corner.

A tornado of emotions set in. She felt happy to know there actually was someone whom she could call her brother. She felt sad with the sudden realization that he was only a premature baby who had died long before she was born. She felt angry because she thought life had been highly unjustified with her. She felt helpless because helpless she was. ‘I actually had a brother?’ Her secret mental conversation with God continued once again. I had a brother, God? You had given me a brother?  But why didn’t you let him breathe in the air of this world. Why didn’t you let him survive? Why? God! Then she felt a smile appearing on her face. I had a brother.

She gathered her sanity and looked at her dad, ‘But that’s not even a grave.’, she felt it was unfair that her brother was buried in a corner. A corner that was far from looking like a grave, much less anyone would know there actually was someone buried down there.

‘A pre-mature baby he was. There wasn’t even a proper funeral. He died even before he came to this world. I took him here alone. Buried him with my own hands.’, her dad said in a nostalgic tone.

‘But you should hav…’, she paused abruptly halfway through her sentence when she heard her uncle calling out her dad’s name. Her dad turned around. Apparently her uncle was trying to read a gravestone’s inscriptions but couldn’t seem to make out what was written on it. Her aunt seemed to be failing to decipher the text as well. Her father went over to help them and secretly she felt thankful for it as she needed some time alone. In that corner. With her brother’s grave- or what seemed something like a grave. A moment of solitude. A moment of mediation. A moment with her.. brother!

She thought she had had enough of this crying for a day. She was wrong. After hearing the news her father broke to her, she realized she had never been this gloomy before in her life, ever. Knowing that she didn’t have a brother was a sad enough reality. But now she knew she had a brother who couldn’t survive. That was depressing. She sat down, gazing at that corner and never wanting to take her eyes off that rough, cracked spot. Tears, like an avalanche, flowed down her already wet cheeks. Like a leaky faucet, they kept dripping down. ‘Brother!’ she said, her voice sounded more like a whisper and she felt glad for it as she didn’t want anyone to hear her teary voice. Nor did she want anyone to soothe her. She wanted to cry. So she did. ‘Brother! I shall meet you in heaven.’, she whispered with a crooked a smile but that smile couldn’t hold her tears back. Spontaneously, she let them out. Gladly, they came down running.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

As My Memory Flips Back The Pages..

Every day when my dad would come back from work, I would run towards him. He would take his shoes off and I would ask the same question from him a thousand times in a row, like a broken record, until he would finally answer me.

“Have I got admitted to the school?”
“Have I got admitted to the school?”
“Have I got admitted to the school?”
“Not yet, Yusra!”

And then I would frown and start praying for that day to come quick and with that I would picture a school building. Every time when I thought about school, I couldn’t help but imagine a dark room with a fat lady sitting between two piles of sacks, scrutinizing the class. That fat lady was what I thought how a school teacher looked like.

One day, to my extreme happiness, my dad told me that we were going to the school and it dawned upon me that I would have to take a test before the admission because that’s how children get admitted to the school. My mom dressed me up and my dad drove us to the school. On our way, I asked my mom what I was going to be asked. She told me that I was taught all the basics at home so I did not have to worry, it would not be difficult for me. We reached the school and it looked nothing like what I had imagined. A big gate. A large school ground with swings, surrounded by a good number of classrooms that I couldn’t event count. Oh, so that’s how a school actually looks like. I highly doubt that I managed to see that view without dropping my jaw.

My mom was right. I knew just about everything on the test. The Urdu/English alphabets. The forward and backward counting. Spellings of some words. The first and second kalma. It was a piece of cake and that too with generous amount of chocolate sauce for me. Of all the tests I’ve taken in my life, this was the easiest one. The principal smiled at me and patted my cheeks and told me that I did great on the test and gave me a juice pack and a bag of chips.

I got admitted to the school.

I woke up early in the morning for my first day of school. Out of sheer excitement, I didn’t even want to eat my breakfast. Mom dressed me in my school uniform and did my hair. With my school bag perched on my back, I shoved my feet into my new shiny brown shoes and my mom stooped down to buckle them up for me. While buckling my shoes, she looked up at me, smiled and said, “Don’t forget this day and time when you grow up.” I had no idea what to say to her, so I just smiled back at her. That was a five-year-old’s response. A way of ensuring her mom that this day would be remembered. Forever. So, right then and there I promised myself that I would not let this day slip out of my memory.

And now it’s safe to say that after all those years, I still haven’t failed to keep my promise that I had once made to myself in secrecy.

My dad dropped me off at school. The day I had been waiting for eagerly had finally come. He came inside the school with me and took me to the principal’s office. The principal asked a lady worker at the school to show me the way to my classroom. My dad kissed me goodbye and told me he would come to take me home when the school hours were over. Being left in absolute unfamiliar surroundings and watching my dad leave me in the hands of a perfect stranger was that episode of my imagination about First Day Of School which I never watched. My heart started pounding in my ears and I tried in vain to keep myself from crying. Suddenly, I didn’t want to go sit in a classroom. I didn’t want to discover more about that school. I just wanted to run back to my dad. I wanted to go home. All I could see around me was an enormous building and alien faces. I was crying. The people at school were brutal. Like robots with no feelings, they watched me cry my eyes out but no one took me back to my dad. I was taken to the classroom instead.

I was assigned a roll number. 43. It took me a while to settle down and observe my surroundings. This time, too, the scene around me caught me by surprise. There were no piles of sacks and no fat teacher. Instead, what I saw before me was a big black rectangular thing on which, a pretty, happy faced teacher was scribbling down the English alphabet in different colors. Fat? No! Fat was absolutely not the word for her. With time, I started to acknowledge what I was seeing in my vicinity.

The bell rang after sometime and everyone started to get out of the classroom in pairs, with lunchboxes in their hands. This is lunch break, I was told. A girl, (let’s just call her ‘The Nice Girl’) while leaving the classroom with her friend, halted where I was seated and said that I could come with her if I wanted to. I didn’t have any friends to have my lunch with. I hesitated a bit at first but then I realized I was a total loner at this new place so I took my lunch box out of my brand spanking new school bag and tagged along beside her.

I don’t know why but I have always been the weird one since my childhood. I have weird desires now and I had weird desires back then. I wanted to see how school toilets looked like. I decided to ask The Nice Girl to take me to the lavatory but I found it so embarrassing to tell her that I only wanted to go to the loo just because I wanted to see it. I thought she would laugh at me. Even though she was really really nice, it still seemed a bit embarrassing to me. So I fibbed. I told her I wanted to go the loo really bad. She, being as nice as she could, told her friend that she was going to show this new girl (that was me, of course) the way to the loo and she handed our lunch boxes to her friend and said that we would eat our lunch once we get back from the lavatory.

So instead of eating my lunch and playing on the swings, I was heading towards the toilets just to see how they looked like at the school. The Nice Girl took me where the school toilets were. She stayed outside while I went inside and counted the number of toilet doors. After examining that place, I came out concluding that I didn’t really like the school toilets. Too small. The classrooms were a lot better. Wide and colorful.

I was feeling hungry and so was The Nice Girl. She suggested that we should start munching on what our mommies had packed for us before the bell rings. So we got back to where her friend was but what I saw next brought back that I-want-to-go-home-RIGHT-NOW feeling within me. Her friend was not at all nice like she was. She had hogged on my lunch. She was laughing devilishly, running around the school ground still chewing on the last bite of my lunch and giving me that same bully look they show in those school bully movies. She was just making me want to kill her. But I couldn’t kill her of course. Standing in the middle of the school ground, helpless like a fish out of water, I broke into a fountain of tears and cried my heart out. The Nice Girl got all mad on her friend. She told her that she was a bad girl and tried to calm me down from crying by offering me her lunch. Although, feeling like it was the end of the world, after all that had happened, somewhere in between the weeping and the longing to see my parents' faces, I couldn’t help thinking how nice, caring and sweet The Nice Girl was. I wonder if I had told her that. I highly doubt I had though.

Nevertheless, I made a friend that day.

I had learnt a lot that day. Like how hard and challenging it was to say goodbye to your loved ones. And that the school classrooms didn’t have piles of sacks. And that the teachers did not necessarily have to be fat. I finally knew how school toilets looked like. But above and beyond all, I had learnt that I could then proudly call someone my friend.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Holy Month's Crescent Shows Up!

Groping in the dark, around the circle of her life, days after days, weeks after weeks, months after months, carrying along her luggage of sins, iniquity and guilt with the feeling that it was weighing her down with every stride, she stepped inside this discrete month. It was brightly illuminated, substantially sparkling vividly with its luminosity and teeming with its boons and blessings, ready to take away her culpable, hefty luggage from her and where she could easily sought refuge from the sins. A sanctuary. Once having entered, who would possibly want to leave this divinely illuminated room without benefiting oneself to the greatest extent?
She had stepped inside this month called Ramadan.

"Ramadan moon has been sighted in Pakistan and the muslims of Pakistan will observe their first roza tomorrow."

I get to hear this statement once a year and it has never failed to send a little quiver of excitement and happiness up my spine until now.

Sculpting my feelings into a sentence, as simply as it can get, I can only say that I love Ramadan. Despite the fact that I’m a big time foodie and that I can hardly go an hour without stuffing my mouth, I still have a specific reverence for this month. Now it can be a mere natural Muslim instinct or a holy diversion from the rest of the monotonic months of the year. Whatever might be the reason, it makes me a happy person. Having to wake up and eating at an inky black time and holding back my hunger till the dusk would sound next to impossible for my insatiable appetite, during the rest of the year. But in Ramadan, it sounds so normal to me. It seems like Allah thrusts upon you the blessing of remaining patient throughout the day while you are fasting.

Blessing; a beautiful word having a beautiful meaning. One of the problems of paramount importance is that we take this word for granted. Instead of purifying our souls by breathing in the sacred atmosphere of Ramadan, we take it as a mere religious responsibility, completely turning an irreverent attitude towards the holy month’s blessings and boons it brings along with it.

Allah is the kindest of all. My mom always says that Allah wants to omit His people’s sins by the great downpour of these little blessings that could help them raise the level of their good deeds higher. Having the ability to perceive these blessings, in order to devote ourselves to be a part of it, is a blessing in itself. Not everyone has this ability. People turn a blind eye towards it, unknowingly getting themselves deprived of those godsends. Obliviousness is a misfortune. Trying to gain the best you can from this overloaded phase of blessings is the greatest present you can give to your soul. This must be our Ramadan resolution.

I’m so ready for collecting these blessings and munching on the savory Ramadan delights.

By the way, isn't getting to sniff the smell of scrumptious iftari after the whole day of starvation counted as a blessing as well? Yeah, exactly! We owe a super great deal of thanksgiving to Allah!

Happy Ramadan guys!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

...And He Watched Her Go

She looked at the big round clock hanging on the wall as she bent down a little to serve a hot cup of coffee with a muffin to a customer sitting beside the window. The window was showing a clear view of the road outside the cafe. It was half past four. “Thirty more minutes and my working hours would be over”, she thought to herself. As she straightened her back, putting the tray down on the table, she tried to steal a glance of the outside through the window. Her eyes searched for the same tall sturdy figure she had been seeing there daily for almost a week now but she couldn’t find him. After making sure that every customer had had what they ordered for, she positioned herself on a chair that was located in a corner and waited for the remaining half hour to pass. Unintentionally playing with a small thread that had come out of the seam of her apron, she pictured his face.

He was standing in his room looking down, through the half opened window, at the garden that was adorned with colourful flowers. Mentally complementing those beautiful flowers, he smiled as her picture drew before his eyes. He was dressed up informally in subtle blue denim and a plain, off-white, appropriately fitted t-shirt. Over the t-shirt a plain yet graceful, black, unbuttoned coat draped his strong, sturdy figure. After giving a few moments of observance to the garden, he pulled his hand from his trouser's pocket, checked the time on his Rolex and walked towards the middle end of his room where a full length mirror was situated. His tall figure stopped in front of the mirror at an angle that was perfect for him to see himself from his prim dark hair to his shiny, black leathered shoes. With his eyes scrutinizing his image in the mirror, he grasped the collars of his coat, gave them a little jerk, dusted off a crease from the right sleeve of his coat and headed himself out of the room. Through the hallway he walked out to the garden and ultimately to his convertible that was parked in the garage, seated himself elegantly on the driver’s seat and drove off.

The music that was playing in his car stopped abruptly as he parked his car on the road, opposite to where the cafe was located. He came out of the car and stood there leaning against it, spontaneously looking at the cafe’s door and checking the time on his watch after every minute. “I would talk to her, today”, he whispered to himself. He looked down at his watch for the last time before gazing up at the cafe’s door to see a beautiful, delicate figure coming out of it. Breathless and wonderstruck, he stood there like a statue and let his eyes breath in whatever they could in just enough time for him as long as she remained in his sight. It was her! The same dark eyed cafe girl with delicate features and peachy complexion. Gorgeously attired in a pink floral blouse and dark blue skinny jeans, she paced down the 3 stepped stairway of the cafe. Her hair bounced perfectly as she walked down the stairs of the cafe. She was beautiful, he thought. “I would definitely talk to her”, he whispered to himself once again.

When he saw her coming, he noticed that her pace was so flawless, it looked like every step she took was precisely measured. Why do people think nobody is perfect? She was perfect. Flawless. Everything about her was so far from fault that a little feeling of denial, like an ivy plant, started to climb over his confidence. Everything he thought about saying to her just flew away out of his mind and vanished into thin air. He thought maybe his words would not be enough. He did not want to lose her before even winning her. She was so beautiful, maybe too beautiful for him. The rejection fright growing deep down inside him kept him from mustering all the courage that was needed to mold his feeling into words.

She tried to catch a sight of him while leaving the cafe’s boundary to come to the other side of the road where he was standing. She managed to cross the road, finding her way between the moving vehicles, and hauled herself nearer to where his black convertible was parked. “Maybe he would talk to me today”, she hoped and kept walking towards him, occasionally trying to catch his glimpse. One more step and she was now standing opposite to him with her right side facing him.

She could not help moving her face to take a proper look at his charming personality.

A tall young man. Masculinity at its summit with his cropped hair daintily trimmed and sophisticatedly combed. His rigid clean-shaven square face, with jaw lines contoured at sharp impeccable angles, was too charismatic to be ignored. Prim features perfectly placed on his wheatish skin. Thick dark eye brows and profound dark brown eyes with their gaze so wonderfully, sharply and adorably piercing that could easily flip any girl’s heart over. His slender nose was perfectly the size that suited his face and there was a very small, almost invisible, mole on its tip. He had a unique smile which tilted the left corner of his lips. Nobody could ignore the fact that he was extremely attractive.

Her heart skipped a beat and did a somersault instead.

He felt her demure gaze upon him and it made him gasp, his spontaneous inner sensation. How could anyone be this beautiful? His mind went numb. Dark brown eyes with long curled eyelashes, took his breath away. Wavy layered hair fell perfectly on her shoulders. He was completely bewitched by her beauty, like one gets fascinated by a colourful and enthralling fireworks display. Her twinkling eyes stared at him with a bashful gaze while her little key shaped earrings dangled with the movement of her neck. Her personality overflowed with a great deal of noticeable features that it seemed impossible to grasp her flawlessness in just one glance.

His heart did a few irregular fluttering beats.

But she could not stand there forever. She only broke her pace for a mere time period of five seconds. Those five seconds that helped her absorb whatever she could about him. Like every past day, he did not utter a word. “He was a charming rich guy, why would he fall for a cafe girl like her?”, these words echoed in the back of her head. She snapped herself out of the aura his charming personality was radiating, jerked her neck a little, set her eyes on the ground, nervously tucking her hair behind her ear, and walked past him to the bus stop that was a few steps away from her now to wait for the bus that was coming from the other end of the road.

Far away from knowing that she felt the same way about him, he, along with his self-designed apprehensions, stood there motionless, and watched her go.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's Hot. Oh-so-hot!

Mr. Sun! Could you please try to contain your hotness?

It is so HOT! I’d probably catch fire from this heat.
It is so hot that if I were a laptop’s battery, I would overheat and stop working.
It is so freaking hot that if I were water, I would evaporate up in the sky.
It is so hot that if I were an egg, I would hatch out.

If this weather were a food, people would spend forever blowing on it before it was palatable enough to eat.
..And if it were an oven, you could practically bake burn a cake in it.

Ok, this is getting lame. Basically, I’m whining and I got a pretty good reason behind my whiny jabber.
The heat is so insanely, outrageously wild therefore I must whine!

This heat looks like it has come all the way from the sun with only one goal; to make all the earthlings pass out with its hotness. Although its mission-swoon-the-Homo sapiens is going pretty well, still, somehow, I’m conscious and surviving with just enough level of energy that is allowing me to type my whiney yap out.
This is the sort of heat that makes a foodie, like me, want to avoid lunches and dinners and breakfasts. Why? You may ask.. Because steaming hot food in stifling hot weather is definitely a turn off for my appetite. Even then, I did not miss my breakfast today and although this same weather-effected unappealing sensation did make me utter this announcement in front of my family that I would not be seen at the lunch table today, even then I was found there. Why? You may ask.. Because I cannot skip my meals. Yes I’m sure it definitely would help you get an excellent idea about my veracious personality. (Ok, don’t get confused, that was sarcasm!) I’m also, most certainly, to be seen at the dinner table tonight, gobbling up my dinner and whining out my weather stricken rant.

My god, it is thermometer-bursting-and-mercury-spilling-out-of-it HOT!

This is the kind of heat that made me want to grab a nail polish remover for my black painted toenails as somehow 46 degrees of heat made that black color look extremely displeasing to my eye.
It’s that weather when you want to follow only one hairdo throughout the season. The bun! And, if you are gifted with the slightest ability of perception, you must have, most definitely, understood at once that I’m not talking about the glamorous bun here. This kind of bun means gathering all of your hair into a super high ponytail and then doing some twisting and swirling until it forms a bun.

Guys are so lucky. Less hair, less fuss!! And if they are bald, that’s even more of a blessing for them. No hair, absolutely no fuss!!

Even the fan above my head isn’t helping much. It only helps in swishing your dupatta and whirling your hair. And that pretty much seems to be its purpose.

Basically this is the sort of weather that drenches you in sweat and you look like a wreck. A weather-stricken wreck. Or a labor that comes home after a long tiring day of manual work.

Dad’s getting UPS installed in our house as the load shedding hours have gone insanely crazy. I didn’t know what this acronym stood for so I looked up for it on Google. Lesson of the day! UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply.

This is actually not true, the power supply does get interrupted when the battery discharges out completely.

I’m living among a misleading throng of liars.

Oh and by the way, the weather is so hot that if it were a guy, I would undeniably fall head over heels for him.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hi! I'm A Cat. Meow.

I have a horrible attention span. Or maybe I just try to over stuff by brain cells with random futile happenings. My memory is not horrible though. I can still recall some of the events from my babyhood. When I tell my family about how I still remember some of those episodes from when I was just a toddler, they laugh at me and mock me and say I make up stuff. I still remember the time when I was just 2, sitting down on the floor of my grand ma’s living room, eating lunch with my family when I suddenly got up with a piece of roti in my hand, headed towards the door that opened to the porch, sat down there and started making little crumbs of that roti to feed the line of ants that was passing along the doorline. My mom got so excited seeing me doing this act that she wasted no time, grabbed a camera and snapped my picture at that very instant.

I don’t really remember the part where my mom gets excited, though.

This picture, however, I suppose, is an alibi of her excitement.

Give your eye retinas a try, But you won't find the ant line in this pic. 

I have a horrible attention span, I forgot what I was going to write about.

Do you remember those cameras that needed a film reel to be put inside it? Ahh! Good ol’ days. That film had to go for developing and we had to experience the wait before seeing the results of our immature photography. The excitement coming along with those developed photos used to be immense. I miss those times. Even though this digital camera stuff has made our lives a lot easier, still it can't seem to level up with the charm our old film reel cameras used to bring about.

I have an attention deficit disorder, this is not what I was going to write about in this post.

Threading a needle is not an easy task, on the other hand. I just threaded a needle for my mom. It requires massive skills and the accomplishment brings along a great deal of pleasure. I still can’t tie a knot at the end of the thread though. I just twist the two ends of the thread together and then twist them again and keep on doing it until it forms, what I would like to call it, a knot.

I am predominantly hyperactive-impulsive. This actually means that I have a very short attention span.

Today marks the end of my driving lessons. I can now take my friends out for drive, burn rubbers on the road with the windows down while blasting P!ATD at maximum volume.

That actually would not happen. Let’s just call it one of my loud reveries.

My attention span is… Got it? Yeah.

On my way to the academy today, I saw Sam Winchester, in shalwar qameez, sauntering on the road. I was about to shriek out in excitement only before I took a closer look upon him and concluded that he was actually a mirror image of Sam Winchester. A Pathan dude, I’m certain, he was. I strongly believe there’s an ancestral link between Pathans and American/English people. Blond hair, fair skin, colored eyes. It must be about two families who got parted back in the time and moved to the opposite ends of the world after separation, originating Pathans in the east and Americans/English in the west.

Ok that was stupid, or maybe I’m right?

My attention span is even shorter than an ant’s eye.

Friday is one blessed day of the week. While I was heading back home, I saw rows of namazis stretching out on the road from the masjid, as the great crowd of namazis was getting the masjid short on space. The view made me so proud. I was absorbed in an undefined happiness when I saw those guys reading namaz in the scorching sun without even any shade upon their heads to protect them from the maddening heat.

Also, almost every other guy was wearing a cap, for it was Jumma today and they all looked so clean and orderly and crescent fresh in nicely pressed shalwar qameez. It looked like they were wearing a Jumma uniform.

See, that’s how easily I can get distracted. This too, is not what I was going to write about.

I still think there is a tinge of rightness about that Pathan ancestral history hypothesis I’ve proposed above, though.

I have an attention span of a…. hey, I love fireworks!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm Such A Ditcher!

No seriously I am. This blog was created 4 years ago and it got so much dedication back then, oh you can’t even imagine. Then something strange (only if I could go back in time and see what) happened that got me over this blog-o-phobia and I ditched this blog, like a boss. Life, I don’t see how, went on for four legit years without me blogging my heart out. Then came stumbling, tumblr and got me all fantasized for what was living inside it. So I signed up there and started tumblr-ing, knowing this very fact in the back of my head that I already do have a blog on blogspot that only needs some renovation before it’s presentable enough to stand among its fellow blogs. That thought, however, got shot with a machine gun every time it tried to peep its head and saw me getting lost in the tumblr world, playing with words personifying my thoughts, telling me to go back to where it all started from. The awareness of the existence of this blog never died, though. Only lord knows, what made me sign in here, a few days ago to see my old bloggy still sitting there where I had left it brutally with no intentions of looking back at it and only lord knows what kind of voodoo magic this bloggy did on me that I couldn’t help but started editing it, for I saw many new things went on here while I was gone. And as selfishly as you could only think, I copied my blog posts from tumblr to here. In all honesty, I missed blogspot. Tumblr is nothing like it. Yeah a bit fancy maybe, but even that can’t make me turn my back on blogspot, ONCE AGAIN! So with summing up the four years of me wearing a backpack of my thoughts and running between blogspot and tumblr, I hereby ditch tumblr this time, with this very first post which is actually MEANT to be posted here.

Hi, Blogspot! Super freaking long time..
Adios, Tumblr! So freaking long fella.. Tissue box?

Need I say once again? I’m such a ditcher!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Day I Had My First Ever Job Interview

I was just purposelessly scrolling down the Facebook page of Güzel, my sister had left open on my laptop, when I saw this job availability status, there. Güzel is a multi designer fashion store, which got open in my city a couple of months back. I didn’t know we had it here in our city, until Roxen happened to perform there. The vainness that was dwelling inside me, made me email them to see if there was any suitable job post available for me. I got a reply to come there, the next day. I had absolutely no intention of applying for a job, but taking a year out from studies, and spending vain hours at home made me thought, maybe I should go for it. So I asked my dad to take me to Güzel for my first ever job interview.
That day, in a nut shell, was a day filled with turmoil for my dad. For me, on the other hand, it was fun. We set off for our destination. My dad also had to drop off my sister for she was running late for work. The direct path to that road was blocked by the agitated public, protesting against load shedding, so my dad had to take the indirect path instead. That cost him a good half of an hour as the indirect road was also thickened with traffic. Nevertheless, we reached there, dropped off sissy and began the search of Güzel. After dragging the car in random neighboring roads to Güzel, we finally found the right road & then discovered what we had been searching for, ultimately. As I entered inside the gate of Güzel, I asked the watchman if that guy, whom I had emailed to, was available there. He nodded and showed me the way inside. I had quite got which way to go to by myself though, but still I think it was nice of him for directing me inside the shop. So I stepped inside with my eyes locating for a guy figure but all I could see was two girls, who were more likely the sales assistants, and some exquisite dresses hanging on the hangers. Normally people going for job interview get a bit nervous, I have no idea why I wasn’t feeling anything at all. I think that was a bit abnormal of me. Anyway, one of them girls asked my name, buzzed on the boss’s intercom, “Somebody named Yusra would like to meet you” and gestured the other girl to take me to the boss’s room. As the other girl was ushering me to his room, my mind was portraying the boss’s face. That was the only instant I felt a bit scared because what my mind had sketched was a man with furious face, creased eyebrows and a round shiny head semi circled by patch of hair from one ear to the other on the back of his head. That was because everyone I know picture their boss in such a scary manner that my mind couldn’t help but portray that face. But to my relief, I saw nothing like that when I opened the door of his room. Pheww! was the very sudden involuntary sound produced by me. After that, some light questions were fired upon me and I returned the answers correspondingly. Although, while I was in the middle of the interview, I got quite convinced that this was not the job for me. Still, the very first experience of me giving a job interview was subtly great. I’m marking this date in my “the-very-first-things-done-by-me” calendar. June 22, 2012 was the day of my very first job interview!!!!! (Please mind my excitement, I do get thrilled about trivial episodes of my life)
NOT regretting my decision of applying in Güzel, I came out of that place and sat in the passenger’s seat of the car. I absolutely knew how my dad was going to respond to the job situation I had put down before him. The response was not in affirmation of course. But that did not upset me. I didn’t quite want to do that job either. But I really liked the shop though. I must plan to go there with my sisters, someday. If you’re reading this and are a girl and are from Peshawar, please go and visit that place once. Ravishing dresses, oh you’re going to love them.
What happened later, made my dad overwrought big time. We drove off from there and on our way back home, the car engine started to heat up so my dad had to pull up the car every now and then to pour the water in that overheated radiator. After a couple of pouring-water-in-the-radiator sessions, it dawned upon my dad that the car radiator was leaking. This great event took place while our car was submerged amid the neighboring cars in the stream of traffic. When the traffic started to rupture gradually and my dad finally got to press the accelerator, another distressing news broke in and that was the news of TIRE FLATTENING! Yeah so my dad managed to steer the car off the road and inside a CNG station and started to change the flat tire. The very next worry was to repair the flat tire before the spare tire or any other of the three remaining tires gets punctured too. With that, the pursuit of ‘the tire repair’ shop commenced. So we found a shop, got the punctured tire inflated and put it back in its original spot while the spare tire went back in the trunk. This event was followed by the CNG refill event, where me and my dad finally found something to drink as that over 40 degrees hot weather had sucked up the water from our bodies. We gluged down the drinks and dad hauled the car to join the traffic once again. After the crawling, dragging and inching the car closer to the one ahead of us, we finally aced through the traffic and arrived our house after the anguishing four hours(for my dad, THAT IS) I enjoyed every occasion that had happened. Yes you’re allowed to call me crazy.
The traffic scenario. I loved the sudden weather change when we got stuck in the traffic.

The new radiator cap, my dad had bought, was absolutely of no use.

Notice the tires in the background? Yeah, that’s me at a tire repair shop, waiting for our car’s tire’s turn to get inflated.