Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire
some say ice

From what i have tasted of desire
I hold those who favour fire

But if it had to perish twice
I think i know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice

robert frost

Sunday, 25 January 2009

rapid fire riddle time

Pre script: i am bad at doing translations :p especially with translating riddles. those of you who can read urdu dont try reading the orange brackets.

In conversation with mama on a Saturday morning.
Setting is dinning table, breakfast finished, with me engrossed in the political columns while mum chooses something light.

mama: aj tumhara test ho jaye, chalo yeh sunno aur jawab do. [ lets check your intelligence. listen to this and answer] a brilliant childlike smile on her face.

mubi: with a little groan under my breath. o ma not now, m reading something :p. okayyyy what is it?

mama: paheliyan :D [ riddles!] a wide mischievous smile brightening her face.

mubi: oo I am kinda bad at guessing them...

mama: challenging me. kalay ko jab tao ay, sar per woh gori ko nachayay. [when something black gets furious, its makes the fair one dance]

mubi: ummm koila? noo ..um kandoor? noo no wait i know its coffee? i think its toaster!

mama's expressions changes from being skeptical over my level of intelligence to a victorious smile for my lack of being good at this :p

mama: maintains her enthusiasm while being modest. nahi, tawa!! Acha ab yeh bujo. [nope, its griddle!. ok now answer this]

mubi: I have geared up and taken the challenge. Sure sure go ahead.

mama: safaid gaar mai peeli rani, ird gird hai us kay paani. [ yellow princess in a white cave surrounded by water]

mubi: makes faces. thinks hard. narrows her intelligent eyes, looks clever and says. kawal ka phool. [ water lily!]

mama: with an innocent and a teasing look. ahem kawal? us mai safaid gaar kahan hai? [ water lily? and where is the white cave?]

mubi: eager and slightly irritated. acha koi clue tu dain na.. humaray paas hai? [okay then give me a hint. do we have it?]

mama: being very secretive, she purses her lips. umm haan kuch aisa hi. [hmm, ya something like it.]

mubi: kahanay wala hai? [ is it something to eat?]

mama: her expression unreadable. haan keh saktay hain. [ ya you can say that]

mubi: confused. then suddenly a bulb lits above her head. EGG!!!

mama a little disappointed for she knows the tables have been turned..but shes continues the game

mama: ok yeh guess kero tu jaanuu. chaao say is ko galay lagaya, laykin us nay gala dabaya. [okay now lets see if you can guess this one. we hugged it with love but it grabbed us instead]

mubi: within a second blabbes out. TIE!!

mama: continues quickly, giving me no time to celebrate, like its a rapid fire. aik hay shai aisi jo jamay bhi, bahay bhi aur rahay bi.. [ what is it that freezes, flows and evaporates..]

mubi: smug look. thats easy, WATER!

mubi wins the riddle game with 3 correct answers and the post breakfast, saturday morning chit chat comes to an end. fireworks dance as a beaming and victorious mubi and content mama leave the table to do some chores.

Friday, 23 January 2009

lost dreams..

I have a dream today…

I have a dream that one day every child of my country, from the foothills of the Himalayas in the north, to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea in the South, will have books, not bombs in their hands.

I have a dream that my children will live in a nation where they are not judged by their class, race and affluence, but by the values they posses and the character they display.

I have a dream that one day our youth down south, will no longer become tools in the hands of ethnic bigots; that out educational institutions will impart knowledge and preach peace and tolerance and not serve as breeding grounds of hate and violence against our own brethren.

I have a dream that my villagers will build schools and not graveyard for my little girls. That one day my little boys will turn into Edhis and not Osamas. To some, this may not be the right time to dream. But there is no season for dreams; they are the very essence of life. They translate into reality of action and from the action rises another dream. This interdependence gives a higher purpose to life. When we honestly and whole heartedly allow education to shine from every village and town, we will be able to transform the deafening, confounding dissonance around us into a magnificent symphony. We will be able to speed up the day when all of God's children - rich and poor, sunni and shia, Muslim and non-Muslim, immigrant and resident - will be able to join hands and sing the tunes of freedom, harmony and peace. It is only then, that we will turn this 'most dangerous and ungovernable country in the world' into a country that produces poets, sufis, scientists, artists and scholars.

"Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave." Peter Brougham

Above is an excerpt from Sadaf shah who writes for newspapers.

Below is my scrawl...

i liked her dream. i just hope that her words become reality. as for the quotation in the end, it raised a few questions. i see images of war tanks plaguing the city of Gaza, young boys throwing stones at many of them, cursing the men inside and running away in frenzy, like its a game. it is a game i realize. for i see tanks creeping forward and attacking in the air to drive away the kids. this particular image is not war. its a daily game held amidst the war. it makes me wonder what a stone could do to a tank. then there are girls in schools, red in cheeks and innocence in eyes but fear in hearts. these images are not only of distant brothers and sisters. it happens in my own country with different toys. where guns and weapons of other sort have not been replaced by men in tanks. it is outside my secluded city.. but education has not changed any of our mindset. the men inside the tank are educated. the country from where the tanks and guns and shells come are educated, the people who rule us are educated. perhaps education has become a farce...

Thursday, 22 January 2009


I lay among the gigantic, towering mountains around me as the moon and the stars glow and twinkle from on high and I feel the nature embracing me in its mysterious, breathtaking beauty.

A pair of feet make their way through the wild plants in a dense green forest, walking away from the rhythmic river flowing surrounded by trees.
Lost, the bare feet walk among the mesmerizing aura in the labyrinth of trees as the sound of running water grows distant and melodious . There's a pleasure in being lost, away from the eyes of the world. Sun light illuminates the leaves and finds its way through the entwined branches and wise tree trunks as they await the lost footsteps approaching towards them.

The cold transparent water flows through my palm as i half dip it in the middle of the ocean. Abandoned with nothing but a boat carries me through a narrow gap between the giant walls of rocks. The boat and the narrow canal passage is missing from the picture. i think i got my geography wrong. all i can picture now is the Corinth canal from the boston site :p

I sit under a warm blossoming shade of a maple tree. The vibrant red leaves and the pastel shades among them cast a wonderful shadow on the lightly fluttering pages of the book lying on my lap while i sit back with my skin touching the wood...

Pics are taken from flicker and Google

Monday, 12 January 2009

Images in my mind

My neighbour who lives just across the street is an avid gardener. I didn't know that until I saw her weeping for her plants. She has the most beautiful and well maintained patch of lawn inside and an evergreen piece of greenery outside her house. She must be in her sixties and cried like no one was watching. I forgot to take a quick snap of her lovely plants....maybe next time.


As I walked on the half broken footpath in the pallid warmth of the sun, a man was cutting wood of the already cut trees. It was winters and the trees were leafless, dead branches lying half way on the footpath. Only a feet away bright red, fresh rose petals laid scattered on the path. It was such a beautiful contrast of the vibrant red and the paleness of the dead wood branches. It reminded me of how sorrow and joy co exists in one single moment. Of how life is all about the unexpected and wild surprises. Again I wish I had taken a picture...


Walks in the winter afternoons is like holding a mug of coffee with your back against a window while the rain drops beat on the glass.


Rani sings jubilantly to the tune of Dil walay Dulhaniya lay jay gay (DDLG). I think that is her favourite song for she can be heard humming it often. She is a romantic at heart. I can still hear her singing in her unmelodious voice, lost in the thoughts of her knight in a shiny armour. The best thing about her is that she doesnt care if anyone is listening her sing or not. Rani is a teenage house maid at my neighbour's with whom we share a wall. Not only a romantic, she is also quite social. Whenever she hears voices from our side of the wall, in no time she does she stand on her toes and peeks above the wall, tips of fingers on the edge. With a peculiar and amused expression she tries to engage in a conversation. She would not let you know that she actually wanted to talk to someone (perhaps her owners dont do except for scolding her). She would always start her conversation like: "yahan humara aik kapra gira tha kal" / "a piece of cloth fell over your side yesterday", sounding no-non sense-to-the-point-kinda-girl. We always say no and we know that nothing ever trespasses from the other side, except for trays of dishes on religious or cultural occasions. After a considerable exchange of words she disappears behind the wall and after a while a voice hums away some romantic Indian movie song...


Saturday, 10 January 2009

Excuse my French

I love this phrase. the only problem is that i dont know any real French, both the language french and to what this phrase points to. i get tongue tied when it comes to swear words. There are times when you have to vent out that extra burst of anger or shout or display your boiling reactions inside. it has to come out once in a while. i tell myself its okay to say it. That that particular moment wont really decide that i have won an eternal trip to hell (that would be HELL). still etiquette and my strict rules have to be followed.

However, as i mentioned before, the need to speak some french is not more harmful than the bombs being thrown, lives being taken around the world. So i came up with alternatives for myself. Like what the duck, what the puck, what the yuck, what the fish(i picked this one from somewhere).....

lets play a game. pick the odd one out

ANNNNDDD (stretching it long enough, it comes out as a musical and) you have won a ticket to Honolulu. come on now dont make faces, its Hawaiiii!!! :p

Coming back, I chose to sacrifice a duck and a fish into this! i hardly ever remember 'yuck' so that's totally out. As for the 'puck', its the odd one out you so correctly answered. well i picked that from A Midsummer Night's Dream. remember? I have to be a bit classy you know.
Before I conclude let me warn you, if you by any chance come across me shouting my french just don't get bewildered :p Though i haven't really used my version of french in public! :D

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Flashback time

It feels terrible to grow old. I used to hear my mum say bachpan aur jawani kay din baray achay hotay hain. Now I can hear myself say bachpan kitna acha hota hai!!! I used to believe that age is just a number. Yes its indeed only a number but it gets scary year after year! Days of tween and teens seems like a dream. Its like those years are now lost in a thick forest of my past. something blur but something to cherish. I have heard people lament over the bitter fact of life that time is irreversible. Its impossible to turn back the pages of life. whats gone is gone, whats done is done. No U turns in life. Now i realize the weight of those words laden with wisdom. Now i know how terrible it is to grow old. ITS ALL SO NOSTALGIC..i might need a hanki...


wait a sec.

I think i m going a bit overboard with my sentiments and emotions here. I'm not THAT old now. Just the beginning of my twenties. Its better than being stuck in your acne filled, freckly freaky hormone changing teens. Actually its a lot better. At least i am not in that age where at one point in time you feel like an ALIEN. There's a time in those terrible teens (t2s) when one can find nothing in the market that would fit. You go out to buy a shirt, a shoe, a sweater and everything in the world would refuse to be your size. You try outfit after outfit, shoe after shoe, it would be either a size big or a size small. The salesman would scrutinize you and say: dont you look a bit big for your age eh? or you are underweight or you would get your size tomorrow when we get fresh stock. And that never happens, fresh stock of clothes and accessories pour in but never your size. I'm out of those confused years of my life where every thing forbidden tempts you. where there are a thousand rules to follow. where everyone knows you are going through your troubled years- emotional imbalance. rebellious and stubborn are your second names.
wow! this feels amazing. *ear to ear broad evil smile* i never thought positive thinking works that well!!

*warning****: reflections on life that may not be suitable for the faint hearts or for under twenty people. if any teenager was reading this, dude you had to read this before reading the post!!!

Anyhow, without further ado, as per my title suggests, its flashback time. since an early age i was an active person, always engaged in one activity or the other. to prove it here's what i got, days of my glory and fame. behold!

I was such an avid reader, always buried under heaps of books:p

Sometimes i was that shady character. Lived a gangster life. There was a time when i ate, talked, walked and slept the life of a dangerous mafia leader. The picture is of the days when i was introduced to the underworld for the first time.

Went in space.

laughed and jumped
*pics censored*

Won many gold medals in Olympics. This is one of my golden moments!!!

Went around the world, met Arabs. we exchanged gifts.

Invented the first computer. The picture is taken by bill gates :p

Worked as a spy and later mentored James bond.

happy birthday to me :p tween and teens bye bye :/

Monday, 5 January 2009

in conversation with kids

scene one

saad is sitting on the lawn swing placed in the corner of the small lawn. his legs swing to and fro along with the 'jhola' as he likes to call it. Mama (my) walks out in the lawn and is about to sit on the swing with saad, when he plainly refuses to let her.

mama: (still sits, half smiling) let me sit with you saadi

saad: (reluctant and concerned) no, you cant...

mama: (already sitting with him, both swinging together in the as the winter sun shines mildly above them) why cant i?

saad: this is phopo/ aunt's(me) place. she was sitting here. just went in...

mama: ok i will get up when your phopo comes

saad: promise?

mama: yes

phopo walks out by this time.

saad: phopo is here, ap jao ab/ you can go now


scene two

Phopo all dressed up, with long earrings dangling from her ears and a pink lip gloss on her lips. she goes to visit little Bia.

Bia: (looks closely and after some thinking) phopo why is your lipstick so shiny?

phopo: because...

the child cuts in, ready with another question

Bia: why is your lipstick so pink?

phopo: it is...

Bia: (almost touching phopo's lips with her tiny index finger) oooooo its sooo shiny!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

A punjabi proverb

An extremely inappropriate topic to start off with my first post for the new year but like i have done something good on this blog before. totally justified right ? :D

"Sochi paiya tay bunda giya"

For those who cannot read roman Punjabi/ Urdu i have made efforts to translate the desi proverb often found written on rickshaws and other colourful public transport. This line made me think a bit for what could be the appropriate translation. Here are my attempts and of what i asked some people around me.

thinking is injurious to health :p

thinking on, man gone

then came some kids and i thought what would be better, lets ask the little geniuses. this is what they said.

sit thinking and man sits forever
a seven year

when you think a lot on something, you are never able to make a decision
a 12 year

i then asked a four year old and she whispered in my ear: *phhooooooo*, a long hard breath that resulted in a lot of tickling

As for the proverb. whoever said it, said it right!

i forgot to mention smacula's contribution in coming up with this post :p

be impulsive


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