Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mid-Term Break

Seamus Heaney     

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying—
He had always taken funerals in his stride—
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble'.
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four-foot box, a foot for every year.

Friday, September 25, 2015


 Give me a song, a mixed tape on life

A lifeboat, a jetpack, a kit to survive

A knower of things, I’m too scared to own

 Expose me; strip me down to the bone.

Explicate my meter and (eye) rhyme

(While singing desi mashups of Adam Levine)

Curl me into a ball, take me back to the start,

When I made a fumblin’ play for your heart

Write me a book, or some song about a thief

With ‘Goodbye cruel world’, etched overleaf.

Make me happy ( like mad), as I was once told

Engulf me in your warmth, when I’m lonely and cold

If I’m abysmal black, be the light that shines through

‘Cos if I'm mine, then I 'm yours.
I am you.

(I sometimes wonder, if you knew).

Saturday, July 25, 2015


When overcome with emotion and fear
Don’t make me listen, I don’t want to hear
Of vows and promises and what we owe
And all those oats we did not sow

It is what is it is,

And other trite phrases

People love to say.
To say naina jab se mile’

A familiar friend, a rainy drive

Was all I needed to feel alive
In that moment, when tears weren’t as sad

As rueful and honest, cathartic and glad

The arousal of passion from the weak and the rent
From bodies broken, and senses bent

My sight, my ears, what more is left to lend
A four year road trip - a beginning and an end.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

There’s half a moon in the sky,
But I found the twinkle in my eye,
And though the spot seems big and bright
I’ll let it shine, with all my might.
A sexy patch they say, will do?
If so, I’ll join your squinting crew
One stolen pair of shades, not two
(He converses with strangers and scientists too!)
The ugliest, most unflattering (nostril) view.

Two patches of damp grass, an albino afar
The world’s most complicated car.
Orange lip stains on a paper cup
A unisex bathroom with a vampire pin-up
Pizza with cream, coffee without
A tube light selfie, please teach me how to pout?
I smile and I frown, do tell me when to stop
In time for the world’s most beautiful tear drop.

The whir of engines, clouds of smoke
Two crisp hundred rupee notes
Uninsured, let’s drive to our ends
Bruised, and battered, the strangest best friends.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

On illusions being dangerous things - she said.

I could have been a flickering blue flame
Ebbing away through the night
An injured player on the field
Not going down without a fight
A passenger in your car
Doing the moonlight mile
A thirty-something thousand dress
Waiting to go out of style
A naïve heart, bitten twice
Yet never thrice shy
Save only when some lens removed
Looked you in the eye
It all came back, the crooked mirth
The poems and the books
A brush of finger (tips) and perfume
Some talk of being a crook.
Taken by the visions and revisions
Of time and tide within
Spending this lifetime and the next
Tucked safely under your chin.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Birthday Blues

The sun shines much brighter in the morning sky
In the gaping hole left by the tree that had died
Perhaps years ago, but we kept telling ourselves
It needed more water, its root were still well
The two crows that sat atop the dried pines
Have found a new home, while I struggle in mine
Free they were, to flap their wings and move on
To build a new nest, new day, new dawn.
Yet I sit by myself, here alone in my den
A few blinking lights, stack of papers, a pen
Typing into the wee hours, a familiar path
My mind is lit up, but my thoughts, they are dark
On a path we fear to tread, but love all the same
It feels like twenty something all over again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


after a shitty day, all you need is to hear your one year old say alayoo (for the first time), followed by 3 bites on your face.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Well this is just a simple song
To say what you've done
I told you about all those fears
And away they did run
You sure must be strong
When you feel like an ocean being warmed by the sun

When I was just nine-years-old
I swear that I dreamt
Your face on a football field
And a kiss that I kept
Under my vest;
Apart from everything
But the heart in my chest

I know that things can really get rough when you go it alone
Don't go thinking you gotta be tough, and bleed like a stone
Could be there’s nothing else in our lives, so critical
As this little home

My life in an upturned boat
Marooned on a cliff
You brought me a great big flood
And you gave me a lift
Girl, what a gift!
You tell me with your tongue
And your breath was in my lungs
And we float up through the rift

I know that things can really get rough when you go it alone
Don't go thinking you gotta be tough, and bleed like a stone
Could be there's nothing else in our lives, so critical
As this little home

Well this would be a simple song
To say what you've done
I told you about all those fears
And away they did run
You sure must be strong
When you feel like an ocean being warmed by the sun

Remember walking a mile to your house
Aglow in the dark
I made a fumbling play for your heart
And the act struck a spark
You wore a charm on the chain that I stole
Especial for you
Love's such a delicate thing that we do
With nothing to prove
Which I never knew

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Small fish, big waves. Your poyles will always fascinate me.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sleeping with an empty heart doesn't inspire fanciful dreams. The details of the wallpaper, the foreign languages, the moving staircases. What does one have to become to fill the crevices and cracks of life, without turning into a spindly line.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do you get mugged by a mugger? or a thug? Anyway. I did.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

One of those weeks…

Everybody’s minding their own business a bit too much. My best friend at work has been asked to resign. My other friends are late. Some are stuck in a traffic jam. My driver is exceeding his limits. The construction workers are hammering on our heads. There is no water. Rain is this place’s only chance of redemption.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I used to know what Jeff who lives at home felt like. But not anymore. When time felt, languid, slow and thick, like molasses. When simple objects became meaningful, regular utterances had undertones and the imagination played incessant tricks. The imagination is still an artful dodger, but this time it is in control, aware.

It meanders just the right amount to cause amusement, a flight of fancy, the glimmer of an idea, yet to return home, and park safely in the cul de sac of the mind and heart. It is quite empowering to know how to control the mind; to feel just the right amount of pleasure or pain. We endure pain, only with the hope of eventual pleasure. And what’s the fun in pleasure without pain?

We both agreed that happy people don’t change the world. But unhappy people may resort to darker means to achieve their goals. Hence, the delicious balance between pleasure and pain, dark and light – enough to empower, yet enough to defeat.

Knowledge is definitely power, but I recently heard a loathsome female on television refute Foucalt’s claim rather simply: Power is Power.

And I got the powaaah!

p.s I have conquered the new blog template.

B-bird is the word

Scuttle, Dodo and me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I am so sleepy at work today; I can barely bother to put up a fake front of being productive. I miss being a student sometimes, apart from the ‘being broke’ aspect of it. But anyway, I was recalling the evil S story (my first colleague at my first job) who had the worst nakhras I had EVER heard in my life (for reference look up posts circa Nov-Dec 2008). The admin coordinator is using my extension right now and I’ve had a newfound urge to write.

Wow I’m really sleepy. Moving on, the first and most anal thing about this place is that you have to beep and punch (both) in and out when coming and going. School gets over at 2pm. Since I am driving nowadays and there is always a few minutes discrepancy in all the clocks at work, I left at 1:58 and 1:59pm respectively the last two days. When I came in today, there were 2 red circles around my sign out timings (which is a mark of being late – which the ‘auditors’ check and then cut your salary). Oh, another new policy – if you leave early for an emergency/appointment etc you’re marked absent and they cut 4 grand per day.

I got my hair relaxed to beat the humidity in Karachi; after an over enthusiastic chopped off long bob in Lahore - one day before heading back to Karachi in January - went Krusty the Clown on me. I went to work with my amazingly blow dried hair for the next few weeks. When I came back a few weeks ago, the school principal had had the exact same thing done!

I can’t believe they’re making me open a third bank account! WTF. An accounts guy just walked up to me with a poster (I kid you not) of a sample form for Habib Bank. Before I transferred to this branch I applied for an SCB account twice (they lost my form, and then spotted a mistake 2 months later and made me re-apply), when I finally got my account made, I got transferred. Here they said they shifted to another bank so I had to go all the way to Sharah-e-Faisal (which is literally down the road from here, but still) twice and apply. So now, I have 3 bank accounts. Oh, sorry the fourth is on its way, apparently.

Mrs. T is my best friend on campus, even though she’s 35 years older than me! We trade movies and have patties and chai in her AC wala office. Until the canteen shut for summer break, so now we starve with chai. It’s funny that I call her Mrs. T (her last name is the same as a famous tea brand) and funnier when her husband got sick and she left early so I messaged her: “I hope Mr. T is feeling better”. Haha

Oh and the admin coord with whom it all started. She is so annoying sometimes; the executive secretary (who leaves a lot to be desired himself, refer to the following paragraph) can’t help roll his eyes every time she gives him work - with a million instructions – mostly unnecessary. Once e I had to ask her what the environmental squad was called: The Environmental Squad OR the PAF Environmental Squad - A one line answer. What I got instead, “You see, this was my initiative. It started in 2009 when we set up this squad. They were green robes and organize charity events. I got their approval from XYZ and so forth.” 20 minutes later, I asked, so is there a PAF in front of it or not? There is.

And what to talk to Joaquim! I can’t write the entire name here for the sake of anonymity, but what a name! He never speaks Urdu, always replies to Urdu in English, plays Angry Birds all day and doesn’t even hide it! Once I had to use his PC to copy a DVD and a message popped up on his signed in Yahoo Messenger “hey sexy ;) “. Clearly, he does a lot more than just play angry birds (or so I’m told).Now I’m going to go fill out the poster sized form staring at me.

p.s. I was thinking how funny it is that I have alternative Z’s n Karachi to make up for the lack of their active presence in my life nowadays. But most interestingly, I can’t believe I have met a new khan in the big city. Not the bus, and not the real khan, but the resemblance is uncanny. This is probably another post in itself.

p.p.s Blogger has a new look, and I am not liking it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012



1) I am the biggest klutz on the planet: I recently started my new job at a school with a population of over 2000 students. While doing my rounds, I pass through the main ground in the school, which connects all four sections together and there are at least 50-100 students in the ground at all times. Since I'm new and look young (story of my life, sigh)I get all types of curious stares and glances often. So on my third day at work I was walking purposefully down the pavement to step up onto the veranda of the senior section (AND it was breaktime, so at least 500 students were in the ground). In my head I thought, how embarassing would it be if I fell? (the same feeling I got in 2009 when I was reading the push/pull signs in T-block and ended up tripping in front of 10 drivers in the parking lot - and rupturing my wrist tendon)and lo and behold, I tripped on the stairs in front of a thousand kids. And to top it off, nobody helped me up, so I had to stay composed, gather my stuff, do an inaudible girly 'ouch' and rub my elbow to gain sympathy and not laughs, and kept walking ahead.

2)I can be pretty bitchy if I wanna: So last week I was walking down another ominous corridor and saw a group of teenages students, 8 girls and 1 boy sitting in the distance to where I was walking, and they were all STARING at me with craned necks. Not only was it really OBVIOUSLY rude, it was really absurd for them to all just be staring in my direction (or so I thought at the time) for more than 20 seconds. So, I went to them, stopped and said "excuse me?" to the group and they looked up at me bewildered and dumb. I looked at the boy and said "Is there a problem?" (for lack of better vocabulary at that point in time). He replied "No" (in a paindoo accent). "Then what are you staring at?". "Oh. I wasn't staring at you maam" he responded retardedly. To which I gave him an icy stare and then sauntered off, hoping I wouldnt trip again and ruin my exit into-a-cloud-of-dust moment.

I think I have created enemies in my workplace for the second time. (The first time obviously was the WWF retard who alleged I was using the landline for "three hours everyday" for personal calls - sucker ended up apologizing to me, and I had the last laugh)

3) I'm going to make pancakes now!

Friday, January 27, 2012

For those who need it the most.

Regrets collect like old friends

Here to relive your darkest moments

I can see no way, I can see no way

And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh

But I like to keep some things to myself

I like to keep my issues drawn

It's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been fool and I've been blind

I can never leave the past behind

I can see no way, I can see no way

I'm always dragging that horse around

All of his questions, such a mournful sound

Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground

'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn

It's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back

So shake him off

And I am done with my graceless heart

So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart

'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn

It's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out

And it's hard to dance with the devil on your back

And given half the chance, would I take any of it back

It's a fine romance but it's left me so undone

It's always darkest before the dawn

And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't

So here's to drinks in the dark, at the end of my rope

And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope

It's a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat

'Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in me

Looking for heaven, for the devil in me

But what the hell, I'm gonna let it happen to me, yeah

Shake it out, shake it out

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back

So shake him off.

Monday, January 23, 2012

TT Funtoosh

You were always an iconic figure in our family. There were jokes and stories of plots and investments, of your friends in Finland, and the nightclubs and bicycle rides in the cold. There were women who wanted to marry you, but you never settled for any of them. I saw you on a cooking show on TV once, and I believe you won a microwave on it!
I remember once we came home after school to bari ammi’s, starving, and you treated us to Pizza Hut – a big treat back in the late 1990s. Once we hid your cigarettes in the drawing room porcelain box and then bribed them back in exchange for Walls ice cream. You were so generous with us; we wondered why everyone in the family claimed you were stingy. Is it because you ironed your own clothes or cooked from time to time?

I was one of the last people to meet you. You had tea and kababs in my lounge a few weeks ago, wearing your plum blazer. Your booming voice, fanciful stories and unconvincing vows to finally settle down will always remain with us. We will remember you with fond memories, and apologize that our matchmaking skills failed miserably for the past two decades. I hope you meet your perfect match in heaven. Untimely and difficult to digest, the fateful morning phone call was yours this time. I can’t believe I’m writing about you in the past tense already. But I hope you rest in Peace.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Dont you just hate:

Taking a shower in a wet bathroom.

Peeing in an already peed pot.

Frying kababs in used oil.

Driving a car which the driver used to before.

Eating in a wet plate.

Wearing rented bowling shoes/ice skates.

Sleeping in someone else's lehaaf.

Giving your shoe to someone sweaty to try on.

Using the treadmill right after someone's coughed all over it.

When you hand someone something and they slither their fingers on your hand.

When your maid uses your nailcutter.

When students force you to have cream/blackforest birthday cake(every day),

People eating the aforementioned cake with their chipped nailpolish fingers.

When people pronounce 's' as 'sh' like Alistair ko 'Aleshter'.

- return of the ebal kirili.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


its official.

Friday, November 11, 2011

How far can my car go if its on the last petrol blinking light?

Pl respond in distance examples in Lahore (e.g. Defence to Liberty) cos I dont know what a km or mile means in Khi. Thanks i'm about to leave work and dont know if doing my groceries is a good idea.