Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Hallowe'en!

I'm missing last year when the best thing I got was mooning from a 10 year old for Halloween.

I was sitting at my desk, most probably playing a game and feeling lonely on the evening of 31st October, when I hear this bell at the kitchen door first and loud knocks on my window after that. At first I thought its my friend but she's such a scaredy cat, she just didn't get out after dark.

I push back the curtain and see these three boys ranging from 13-9 years. I'd seen at least one of them around the neighborhood on the way to the university and I always wondered why they were never at school. Nonetheless, at first I was surprised but then I thought it was most probably for trick or treating.

Just as I was thinking what exactly I could give these kids, one of them puts his back to the window and viola! lowers his pants and I see a pair of sickly white and red butt cheeks. Well, I couldn't say I've ever had such a halloween scare. Ever. Promise!

I wanted to laugh but seeing as they were just kids, I got a bit worried on their behalf and felt angry at their parents. I got angrier when they started beating the window really very hard with their fists and I thought ok, don't break it or I'll be whooping that ass pretty soon. Seeing as they weren't listening and I wasn't having a very hard time imagining the broken glass and our landlady's reaction, I picked up my cell phone and yelled, you go home or I'm going to call the police now!

Don't go all up in arms because it was just a joke. I pretended to dial 999 (British equivalent of 911) but knowing kids especially boys that age (I have a 13 year old brother so I should know), I knew they weren't taking me seriously. So there I went in my kiddy mode and said, wait until I bring the police to your house, I know where you live and I put on my worst face (my dragon face according to my second sister, another story for another time).

Suddenly the oldest of them just froze, the second one was like no she's kidding but I knew at least one of them had recognized me from my travels from the university to back home. Seeing the reaction, I said, don't worry, when I bring the Police, you'll know. By now, they'd also had a good look at my face and taking me seriously, they made a run for it.

So that was my trick and treat for last Halloween.

I needed to get this off my chest this Halloween because I'm still alone but worst of all I'm not there, where at least I had freedom.

I've this really bad sweet tooth right now, which just can't be satisfied, seeing as I don't have any candy.

But, worse than anything, I'll trade this for those moments. I'll trade this lonliness for that one any day. Sheesh, I still want candy. Gee, I'd even let those kids break the window, if only I could go back and stay.

In the end, it's just a question again of why I came back. I made a mistake when I left but I made the worst one when I came back. It's not like I don't like Pakistan, I do but I love my freedom most.

I had freedom and now it's gone. I miss it. I miss Halloween. I miss the late night wanderings and musings.

I miss myself.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be Afraid of the BIG BLACK MAN!

Since I'd been away from home for a few days, I discovered the fun filled story of one Ashley Todd from Texas just today. I'm so amazed that there are people in this day and age in a place like USA, who still think that being anything but non-white makes you threatening. To think that people like Mcalin are going to rule (ahem) USA just makes my knees knock with fear. I'm not American but since America is my favorite country, let me just say that these things scare me and I'm scared for the people of USA. All this coming on the heals of a comment Palin made recently about fruit fly research being useless, just scares me witless.

So what would Palin have the scientists do? This coming from a woman whose country has made most of the innovations of the 20th century. No doubt America is slipping.

If half the population believes the bullshit these people are throwing at them, the other half should start praying for a miracle. As a member of this planet, I'm praying too. I've always imagined that if I have kids (an extremely big if), I'll settle in the USA. Now I'm having doubts. Land of the free? Not so much anymore.

Meanwhile, please don't be afraid of someone whose different from you just because their skin color doesn't match yours. Even animals are better than that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All You Loved are Dead, All You Needed is Left Behind

Yesterday I heard you cry
and you wished you were dead.
When I asked you why,
you reminded me how you travelled
all the way from Geneva
to Karachi.

What, for something you imagined
and something you hoped for,
partly, which was such a yearning
as you had never known before?
but if you'd asked me
I would've told you.

All those I loved are dead
and all that I needed is left behind.

You're neither here nor there.
Isn't it the way I am?
Something I explained to you
last year when we had a late night talk.
You tried to suppress those tears
but they just wouldn't listen to you anymore.

You said I was kindred.
I don't know.
To know you as in a mirror
is fear.
The fear that you are there,
failed like me.

All those I loved are dead
and all that I needed is left behind.

When I was younger
my mother told me how people
laugh when you laugh
but don't cry with you.
But in misery, all is one,
now there's no one.

What more could I have told you?
Consoled you? Hold you?
There's nothing in me
unless you accept dustbunnies
of undead love.
You heard me right.

All those I loved are dead
and all that I needed is left behind.

You're repeated and repeated
through me, through you
through all of us.
You come back to remind me of misery.
Misery, I have embraced;
you, not so much, anymore.

Because in my heart is
such a violence that I never
knew was there before.
How I've seen the sky darken and cry.
I hurt when I lost my faith
I won't deny.

All those I loved are dead
and all that I needed is left behind.

I met you even years ago.
Sitting there in the cold darkness, laying tears
on dying embers
of the worst barbecue in history.
So I hugged you but I wasn't a man.
I still wonder what you want from me.

This dead body still wants to commend you
for reminding how it lost its battles,
again and again and again and again.
This is a game, I told you, there are no
winnings, so don't come to me.
Death is beating in me, here you are again.

All those I loved are dead
and all that I needed is left behind.

If you want your wounds to be
scratched deeper than they are,
why come to me when
the lotus of love is still blooming inside.
You're worshipping death on the side,
just in case.

Don't come over to my side
and tell me I'm your mirror;
when yearnings are still burning your insides.
If you're still thirsty
don't ask, I'm only a desert,
it's only a mirage.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This was my first poem (on my dA page), which is unstructured. I am calling it lost at sea because it shows the feelings of being lost in the vastness of one's emotions of anger at loss of something that one has held precious for long. It is also a curse upon those who take away things that belong to us (though nothing belongs to us anyway). I am including just part of the translation because this poem is not supposed to be translated, rather be taken as anything the reader (or the person looking) assumes it to be.

Disclaimer: I don't know Japanese.


Lost at Sea

is great
sometimes HIS greatness
in HIS punishment.
ruin you for
bringing tears
to my eyes.
at sea

Tile Designs I II III

I really had no idea I had uploaded that many images online. Anyway, here's a set of designs I made for tiles back in 2004, the last of which is incomplete.

Tile for Tabby's Bath

Adore Her

The incomplete one


So I'm back some time after promising myself I'll post more often. Not my fault this time though, it's all thanks to the mighty mighty power company (not so mighty afterall). There's been so much loadshedding that I was afraid, I'd get my computer busted again and I can't afford to lie in bed for 2 days being ill over it.

Not that there was a chance of getting online since I changed my internet provider. Can't say there's any improvement in service and if I may say so, it's worse. I changed it just because of the siblings or rather the parents, who wanted the siblings to benefit from a faster internet connection but they can't benefit from it yet since I wasn't able to set up the network at home due to faulty wiring inside our house...

So many things that are wrong. Sigh... I wish I'd the energy to get angry.

Anyway, I've decided to sort of close down my accounts on deviantArt and post some or all of the stuff here with some new (read old, since I haven't been doing anything) stuff.

It's been a couple of years (I guess; maybe less) since I logged on over there. I think my last post was in 2005 but I can't be sure. I'm gonna head there later and take off the stuff slowly. It feels like it's going to be a bit difficult. Not the taking off or the posting it here again.

I think it reminds me how I became impotent (not fertility wise haha)... Hmm... perhaps reposting it here and the new found freedom (somewhat freer at least) from self doubt might make me gain some sort of potency (haha).

I don't know but I've never been known to be shy of trying.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

As long as the Sun & Moon shall be

(This is something pretty disjointed)

I was reading an article on MSNBC ( about Pakistan. MSNBC usually has a policy of Pakistan bashing that borders on the creepy sometimes. It seems like an obsession by the sheer number of articles that they write in favor of invading Pakistan.

Going through all the comments, there was so much hatred and negativity. Comments like 'Pakistan is the nerve centre of all evil in the Muslim world' really helps the American cause. Why should anyone love you then? Pakistanis are not obliged to love Americans when Americans clearly hate them. How many times have I read comments like 'drop a bomb and turn it into a desert' or 'turn it into glass'? Too many times for comfort.

Usually the articles begin with interviews with people who can't read or write. There's obviously a bias here to get the most negative comments from people who don't know much about anything in their own country, least of all the USA.

Yet, Americans and any number of nationalities have been given a right to hate us because of our apathetic behaviours in the face of the crises that are facing us. 

Right after the 26th September attacks on the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, it was all either about our politicians (how victimized they are... ) or that 'it was part of a hotel chain by Americans' so that's why it was targeted. No, it wasn't. It was targeted because it is symbolic. There were many people who were there with their families after a long days fast to enjoy the evening breaking fast ritual with their families. This was a hotel, which was famous for drawing people from all walks of life, from businesspeople to diplomats to familes and journalists. It became a symbol to be targeted to make a point: we can hit you anywhere, anytime, we're not scared. Obviously, in the country called Pakistan, the point was not taken. If a world class leader like Benazir Bhutto (I didn't agree with her politics) could be murdered just like that, why would the government (of her own husband's party no less) care about other civilians?

Now let me share something that I've never wanted to speak of to anyone and that's disturbed me ever since I have known it.

I can't forget that I saw half a man on tv that day. Yes, half of him was gone. He was a security guard (he still had half of his uniform on). The people surrounding him were giving him water from a jug full of bloodied water and someone called his name, 'Basharat!' and I'll never forget it.

I'll never forget when my grandmother (may her soul rest in peace) and I were watching CNN (yeah, I'm a big fan of news) and suddenly these images of planes flying into the towers flashed on the screen. We were both crying like anything. Then the rest of the family joined us and we all cried because we couldn't believe what was happening.

That's to say not everyone hates USA. It's not even about just loving someone or something. It's a feeling that we are all human beings and that we all have families and friends and loved ones and that we all belong to God. We didn't know at that time who did it and it didn't matter. What mattered was that we were praying that people were actually able to get out. We were praying for the souls of the people in the planes. We couldn't believe that the planes had gotten inside the city and so close to buildings.

I can't forget the shocked faces of people running away. The shocked cries from all the people gathered in front of the tv when the first tower started to go down. No God, this can't be! Oh God, I hope they got everyone out.

I won't ever forget Basharat and I won't forget that indelible image of the plane crashing into the tower and my grandmother crying. We weren't in the USA. We were right here in Pakistan and perhaps one of the most hated corners of it, called Peshawar. (I also dislike my family's residence of choice, Peshawar; sorry).

I never wanted to write about these things. Not ever. This is such a personal pain and weirdly so acute that many people won't ever understand it (and I'm not going to try). The only reason that compelled me today was all this hatred.

Don't go hating people without knowing them. Media everywhere is so biased, not just against Muslims; in many other countries, it might be biased against one thing or another, which you would only realize is wrong from the perspective of an outsider.

The politicians coddle their public into thinking that the enemies are out there but I think they're the biggest enemies. To cover their ineptness, our leaders have, throughout history, blamed everyone but themselves for the mistakes that were made in their tenures. Since history is no science, it can always be written in a way that suits the taste of whomever it is being written about, we can't ever be sure, who was good and who was not.

All that comes to us is filtered through so many different sieves that when you take it, it's just a whole cup of vitriol and a sense that 'I'm justified in my beliefs, where everyone else is not'.

This is not to say that there aren't Pakistanis who don't hate the USA and obviously, this is not in their defense. What surprises me is why no one tries to find out why. It might not matter to someone living in the USA but since USA has been such a big part of our lives (thank you for the Mujahideen turned Taliban next door, who're now killing and beheading Pakistanis at whim), it should matter to a journalist.

People in general here have a very postive view of USA, as most people would tell you by their desire to move to the USA, given the first chance (yours truly being on top of that list).

The people who don't have a positive view are people who are usually
1. uneducated people;
2. listeners of mullahs (uneducated local clerics, who know nothing about Muslim laws but claim they are clerics based on the fact that they give call to prayers at local mosques);
3. unemployed youth;
4. entertainment starved people;
5. people with a point to prove;
6. psychos/terrorists;
7. people with personal agendas etc.

It's no secret that if one is not educated, one might be clever but one would still be ignorant. Lack of education is a big problem in Pakistan. Officially, the rate of education has increased to about 40% but unofficially it's around or somewhat more than 20% (sorry, I don't have any citations at this time). One reason for the high official rate: they even count people who've learnt to sign their names...

It's easy to ensnare the ignorant into illogical arguments or stupid actions by simply appealing to emotions. I understand that sometimes, education doesn't save one from falling for this fallacy.

Being ignorant means one is now susceptible to fall into word traps. Here come the people who listen to so called religious clerics. When I was at the University of Peshawar, we had heard of two clerics have a fight on the air in one of the tribal areas. It's a well known fact that tribals are not religious but deeply rooted in their own culture and don't like to bend for anyone. So it was amazing that here were these two apparently Muslim men who were not even from different sects, fighting over who's the daddy of the tribals in that certain area and the tribals not saying anything nor the government taking any interest.

Even all those years ago, I used to find it disturbing because things like these have a way of getting out of hands. Flash forward 2008, and we have the disciples of these two mullahs beheading the tribals, government officers, army men, engineers, socialworkers, marrying the tribals' daughters by force, setting fire to houses and schools and hospitals and other civic buildings, holding instant trials and sentencing 'spies' to death.

If someone's telling you that things have gotten better, they're lying. They've gotten worse but an attack at this time would take it from worse to worst. It's a real life slippery slope. The Government of Pakistan let the camel into the tent and now it's time for them to own up to the responsibility of removing it. In this case, the tent is Pakistan and the camel is all of the so called Islamists, Taliban etc.

As someone said, let someone run the government on contract basis and maybe we'll see an improvement. Is someone listening? Can you save us from ourselves perhaps except this time, don't screw it up like Afghanistan and Iraq?

Let's pray that the lyric from the old Pakistani song, roughly translated as
'As long as the sun and moon shall be, so shall Pakistan be',
stays true.

Terence Cuneo - Secret Mouse Man

Terence Cuneo at the Waterloo Station

I suppose this would be a fairly common angle for this photograph (though it is by no means an example of good photography).

Again, a random photograph from my trip to London last year. I didn't enjoy it much at the time (too much tension) because I was trying to make someone happy. Alas, I failed miserably (usual) as I came to know when I came back home. People make no secrets of their disappointments with me. It is in a sad state that I always find myself.

So why this random photograph? It touched me at that time because of the expression on his face, which is sweet. Like someone who doesn't think children are dumb and jokes are stupid.

I researched Cuneo and found he used to paint mice into his paintings and sometimes they used to be hidden. That oughta tell you what kind of man he was. Funny, I should say. I tried to find some examples of his paintings online but so far I haven't been successful. Maybe another night when I'm not down with flu.

P.s. there's a mouse hidden in the sculpture too but that part is not showing in my photograph.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

An Epiphany!

I thought I should post more often now that I'm free. And unburdened (hopefully). I hope to continue being more frequent (I hope, I hope).

To my mind, it's become even more imperative since someone I love offered to buy me a website and a domain name (why, I never even thanked you...).

Better to just let it out here than burn.

And what about the woman?

Well, Senor Dali?

London, 2007

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Endless Frame

1. You wish you had stopped me.

2. I want to terrorize the terrorists.

3. I am sleeping with lonliness nowadays.

4. My life is being lived by others.

Unoriginal Sin

On 11th March, I'd a dream that I'd died. It started to come true soon.

On 24th July, they hung me by the noose until death.

On 25th, my skulls rolled down a hill to a sea of my decomposed bodies.

I was never laid to rest, I just died and hung between the world, in a shadow from which, there was not extrication.

My sin was birth. I was born. That was my sin.