One winter night in 2005, I went out with Lala. The path back to our place stretched and we ended up where our empty stomachs lead to. It was a restaurant. The moment we finished the meal, he got a call from someone who sent him a few documents that needed to be seen right away. Pre-hyper connected world had its limitations. One element that existed to eliminate those limitations were the internet cafes, one of which was right around the block. It was in that basement internet cafe on a cloudy winter night when I came across Flickr for the first time. The idea was dope for younger hearts. Both of us signed up and uploaded pictures in the coming days. As the internet was quite an effort to access, those uploads declined in quantity in the coming days and soon we hit the limit of 200 pictures. Another dilemma that exists even today is the unfriendly country and its policies that don’t let people grow. Payment gateways did exist but they required business accounts that were not for young students like us. 

Yahoo bought the service and destroyed it. It was plain rigidity of the management to nurture the service. Then came the iPhone and Instagram. They “filtered out” the feelings that existed before their arrival. Once we forgot to log out of those accounts while using public machines. About two hundred of those treasure photographs were lost. The lesson was learned. With newer towns, I too was a settler that moved to Twitter followed by Facebook and then Instagram. Love is a haunting boy, as I was told. And yes, it is. It pulled me back in 2010. It was a deserted town then and in contrast to Instagram, it still is. The happiness of Flickr however cannot be replicated. There is no hashtag war, no clout chasing, and no “influenzas”. Only if I could still recover those 179 photographs from the lost account, the story would be complete. There is always a puzzle piece that stays missing. 

A picture is a thousand words, as they say. Since 2010, the book of pictures is in the making. What are our lives, but moments, some more cherished than others. It is these moments that define us. Have you lived a moment that you have always wanted to live again but no photographic or video record of it exists for you to look back at it? Smartphones all around with such capable time-freezing gadgetry but only those would realize the blessing who have missing puzzle pieces that itch as long as the mind is capable to remind us of it. 

Nonetheless, the spirit to capture time in fragments that don’t change with us still exists. Every time I upload a picture to Flickr, I find myself sitting in that basement cafe with a filled stomach, enjoying the warmth indoors while keeping the uncomfortable winter breeze outside. And Lala is sitting in the next seat, reading those documents emailed to him. Sadly, the joy is short-lasting as upload speeds have increased. Yet for that short time, I feel frozen in time, unchanged.

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Don’t believe in anything that begins with a don’t. Don’t let the glitter of the imperative but seemingly friendly words take you. Don’t let the cloak of advice they take make you stray away. Don’t let them make you paranoid. Don’t you hope that somehow you would run away from the moment and the place of your death yet you know that eventually it will still come for you. Don’t believe that you can escape it. Don’t fall for those who claim to have broken these invisible shackles that keep one tamed and in a controlled slumber through life. “Don’t question authority”. Don’t feel alone when it always provokes the rebel inside you. Don’t we all have that rebel inside us? Don’t we have thoughts, wants and fetishes that collide with the authority head on. Don’t you know that the only reason for your being of the faith people know you by is because you were born in it. Don’t you feel ringing blasphemy when logic takes the reigns of your mind? Don’t settle in one place and let the place reclaim you. Don’t roam around and become owned by many. Don’t let your heart flutter when you read of her claims of missing you in those messages. Don’t read her blog. Don’t stop reading her blog. Don’t let silence make you believe that you are not missed. Don’t let rain make you play sad songs. Don’t hope that there will ever be a triangular kebab and a square samosa. Don’t oversleep as that becomes an ailment. Don’t undersleep and miss out on those dreams that might never become real. Don’t fall out of love once you are in. Don’t fall in love would be meaningless because you already are. Don’t read Aamir’s entangled thoughts. 

Don’t believe in anything that begins with a don’t.

Or ends in a don’t. 

Just don’t.


آج کتنے دن بعد اس کو دیکھا. اس کے کانوں میں بندے تھے. یوں لگا جیسے پھولوں پر اوس پڑی ہے. پھر وہ نظروں سے اوجھل ہو گئی اور صحرا کی خشک گرمی کا احساس ہوا مگر یہ وہ صحرا نہیں جو سینے میں بستا ہے.


How many times have you considered of taking your own life? At least once. This thought crosses us all and then it walks right past us. But aren’t we all doing that will kill us eventually. Eating unhealthy, lack of exercise, polluted dwellings, besides other challenges. The reason that might very well be the reason of your end might already be in motion already and that too because of your own greed, lack of dedication and considering yourself an immortal who had at least once thought of taking his own life.

The dilemma of all of the quick methods is that they are too painful which is what keeps many off territory. The unhealthy life is painless, at least for very long that it is not considered a way at all. What would one do in the world when it gets filled with only strangers? What will you do in paradise all by yourself?

For more than once, Ghalib too calculated of his dying. This thought is rational. Yet the truth is that life is beautiful. Cherish life, cherish friends, cherish these loved ones that are all around. When you are left with none, only then anyone is free to consider taking the bitter pill. Only then any price deems fit to be with those loved ones once again. If you got just one friend, consider yourself lucky. Even if that friend is just your reflection in the mirror, it still is there. Isn’t he.

And find a newer love instead of oily chips, crusty pizza and nicotine. Eat good. Sleep well. And most importantly, create something, like any God. Feel the illusion of becoming an immortal before time eventually proves you a mortal. Healthy decisions today is the only way how this extremely slow method of suicide becomes way slower and far less painful. Just live well.

Well Well

Water is life. Life began in waters.

They say so. What they say is quite believable. They created cures, better transport, camera, electricity, the internet and all the woes that come with it. That’s what makes this claim of theirs very believable. The sayings of the philosophers and cult leaders on the other hand remain without tangible reasoning. Nonetheless, they too have claimed the same. Growing up believing water holds the key to life got embedded into the subconscious. That’s a plus with science. Coincidentally a book written by an atheist reached my shelf. It spoke of a map. There’s a water well on the route mentioned in the map. The story grew from a well and spread uncontrollably, often accompanied by greed, war and death. You are likely to invite the wrath of good men if you want to reach the same conclusion after seeing the map. Relax and grab yourself a glass of water. It still holds life.

Unless good men try to drown you in it!


What does it take to kill a man? Courage? No. Will? No? Hate? Nope. The only ingredients that kill a man are time and place. That’s how God planned the subject’s leaving this life and entering the preached afterlife. The murderer is just the character added by God to execute the event. Disease and accidents replace the murderer in many instances and have become rather acceptable characters.

Guess who kills the murderer? Now you know!


You are the passenger. Memories are the baggage you carry. You are headed to the destination. Some will hop down at their stops. On yours, you too would leave and become a baggage for someone who too is destined for the same. Some would find the ride getting a little boring and try to open something to read and this is what a few came across.

No Know

Do you know what life really is? Maybe you do know. Minds who lived before us tried to crack this open. As history got better at preserving itself, those possible answers kept growing, some of which exist as poetry, some as philosophy and others morphed into cult and religion. Yet, here we stand today, alive and still having no idea what life is. The only thing we are sure of is that we are still alive. Those great minds propagated the idea that only dying would unveil what death really is. One can know what death really is only after passing through the gate oneself. Do you now believe that you would know what death really is after dying? Have you known what life is while alive? Why would you know of death then? 

نیا | New

ہر سال کی طرح اِس سال بھی اُس فون بنانے والی کمپنی نے نیا فون متعارف کروا دیا جس کو خریدنا لوگ معیار زندگی کی پہچان اور اَمارت کی نشانی سمجھتے ہیں. ان کا کہنا ہے کہ اپنے پچھلے تمام سے اعلٰی اور حُرفَا کی ہر پیش کش سے بہترین یہ نیا فون زندگی بدل دینے کا وہ واحد نسخہ ہے جس کے بنا آپ کا جیون ادھورا ہے.

خود نمائی، تشہیر دولت، اعلان رسوخ جیسے مقاصد پورے ہونے پر اگلے سال پھر سے ایک نیا نقش خریدار کو اسی فریب سے خواہاں میں بدل دینے کا کام کرے گا. کمپنی کا یہ دعوی کہ ان کا تراشا ہوا یہ علم و ہنر کا ٹکرا ہر خوبی کا حامِل ہے محض ایک جھانسہ ہے. ہاں سب نیا ضرور ہے مگر ضرورت نہیں. لالچ نے زمین کے مَعادِن سے کچھ لوگوں کی تجوریوں کو بھرنے کے لیے ناقابل تلافی نقصان پہنچایا ہے. موسم کی تباہ کاریاں اور ارضی تغیرات اسی کا باب ہیں.

دل کے کسی کونے میں کھیلتا ہوا وہ بچہ جسے اب بھی چمکتے انگاروں میں کشش محسوس ہوتی ہے، اپنی توجہ کسی بھی نئی شے کی جانب مڑتی پاتا ہے. خوب سے خوب تر کیمرا، عمدہ اسکرین اور جدت کا احساس اس کی توجہ کو موڑنے میں کردار ادا کرتے ہیں. پھر اب کا عامر اس نئے فون میں وہ سب ڈھونڈنے کی ایک لایَنْحَل سعی کرتا ہے جو اِسے حقیقتا قابل چاہ نگینہ بنا دے. کیا یہ نیا فون ماہ عزا کے دن گھٹا سکتا ہے؟ کیا بنا کچھ کہے جذبات کو الفاظ کے روپ میں آزادی دے سکتا ہے؟ کیا گزرے دنوں کی مزید جھلکیاں دیکھا کر انمول لمحات کو دوبارہ جینے کا موقع دے سکتا ہے؟ کیا ایک بار پھر سے ان پیاروں سے بات کروا سکتا ہے جن سے اب گفتگو نہیں ہوتی؟ بس صرف ایک بار کو ہی سہی.

گویا یہ ٹکڑا بھی اس شکل کا نہیں جس شکل کا دل میں چھید ہے.

ذرّہ Zarrah

بکسے سے آج وہ کتاب نکلی جو اس سے آخری ملاقات کے بعد سفر میں ساتھ تھی. پھر کتنے موسم بے رنگ گزرے. نہ اس لمحے کا نقش بدلا نہ اس دوپہر کا رنگ. جیسے کتاب کے باہر بھی کچھ ضرور رہ گیا جس پر وقت کا زنگ بے اثر ہے. ایک کہانی کتاب کے اندر قید تھی جس کے کردار آج بھی لمحات اور حالات میں وہیں معلق ہیں. ایک کہانی کتاب کے باہر تھی جس کا یہ ایک بے وقعت ذرّہ ہے. وقت کل کو ہیروں کو بھی خاک کر دے گا اور یہ دور ذرّہ پروروں کی کنگالی کا دور ہے. جذبات کو آزادی دینے کے ساتھ ذرات کو بکھرنے سے بچانے کا کام بھی سیاہی کے ایک ذرے نے ہی کیا. یہ اس ذرے کی کہانی ہے.