Dark Day

March 22nd, 2018 / 11:45 PM / Karachi

This is another dark day. No I am not an Anti-Nationalist. It fills my heart with deep sorrow that another loving face is no more. We always fail to see the beauty we enjoy when all our loved ones are with us but when they are no more we miss the time we spent together. So instead of being thankless, be thankful and enjoy the moments which once gone no wealth and power can bring back. May the soul rest in peace and has a bright hereafter. Amen.

Carnage

March 17, 2018 / 10:59 PM

Many memories that are connected with Lahore are quite explosive, a few of them quite literally. For every man, love is no less than an explosion. Everyone talks about how they happen to be present only a few hundred yards away from the site of unrest. In reality, no one wants to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  I woke up to the sad news of an explosion that took the lives of 7 policemen who were stationed at the entrance of a gathering of religious fanatics. Many rituals serve to keep the lights on for a handful of mullahs and have nothing to do with religion in the first place. Seriously, if you want to preach something why not preach your religion to a person who is of the opposite belief instead of singing the same song to someone who sings the same or even might be able to sing a lot better than the mullah. Whether a person is of your belief or not, it does not justify that they are targeted in any way. The religion that was taught to me teaches tolerance at all levels. However, the religion being preached at most corners nowadays is full of hate and violence the ripples of which reached the place of gathering today. Nobody likes policemen yet those who lost their lives today are also from the same society and very human. Our hearts and prayers go out for them. As an observer and as a citizen, I cannot stop from looking at one obvious fact – why does the wave of trouble rise just before the election. Twice can be a coincidence but more than twice he is way more than a mere coincidence. But we have become so blind by our everyday tragedies and our everyday addiction that in less than 24 hours we fail to evolve ourselves as a nation instead of a mass blinded by our own tiny beliefs and led by monsters in beards. I thought that I was being biased but the feeling faded when I saw the pictures of mullahs in the next morning’s newspaper. They all belonged to different sects but they were standing unanimously and asking the people to vote for them in the upcoming elections. YouTube is an excellent repository for finding videos as proof of hate speech by many of these mullahs who for sure would never even bother to offer their prayers in the mosque of another sect. Do you think religion is that crazy to divide people? It is the people who are crazy that they let themselves be divided. This divide is the first step that leads to such explosive tragedies. Lahore bleeds again and this makes me sad. 

Shaadi Hall

March 16th, 2018 / 08:55 PM

I was blessed enough to go for a pilgrimage even when I am I am not a holy man by any definition. It was like a picnic that I enjoyed. I still have my reservations and questions regarding the versions of faith altering over time and reaching the newer generation in a way that religion only profits a certain group of people, a very small group. Being the only one in the family who prefers science and logic over the blindness of the faith and who still loves stories and fiction as well, it lands me in hot waters at times. So I agreed when they told me that they were going to Mecca. I remember the first day when we reached the city. I was very tired after performing all the religious exercises and wanted to get some rest. I was able to sneak out making an excuse. I reached the hotel and took a nap which restored the energy. I woke up just before the Azaan. I had to reach the mosque where we had set our rendezvous point. Everyone who did not go to the hotel and kept performing other exercises was very tired, so after the prayers, they headed back to the hotel. I with Mani and a friend did not go back to the hotel and decided to roam the streets of the city like some urban explorers.

When I reached a group of people partying and playing celebratory music, for a moment I was taken aback. I did not expect loud music to be played in Mecca. In a few moments, I saw a bride dressed in white with a groom in the same color coming out of the main door of a marriage hall. Next to them was a crowd making all that noise. As a young man who didn’t understand the harsh realities of the responsibilities of life, I was very eager to wish for something similar to happen to me. And that if such a thing did ever happen, I wished to celebrate right in this religious city. Why not. It would be something different. Some years went by and during the second trip which happened in 2015, to my disappointment, the marriage hall was destroyed and there stood an empty lot instead. Some Sheikh bought the property and decided to construct a hotel there.

These days the pressure to get married is rising. I don’t know why every family claims to love their children but is bent on destroying the peace in their children’s lives by adding the burden of responsibility on their shoulders. I know I cannot keep running away from these clutches forever. One day the moment would come when I would no longer be a bachelor. Things would change. A few moments ago I was talking to Mani about life and marriage and all of a sudden I recalled that marriage hall where once I saw a bride and a groom and wished something I still remember but cannot elaborate with ease. You never know what wish might comes true. And there is no harm in dreaming.

So keep dreaming and keep wishing.

For the good and for the best.

Djinn

March 13th, 2018 / 05:43 PM

The subject of paranormal and Ghosts have fascinated people from across cultures. I have come across a new graphic novel. That is the reason why a lot of recent commercially successful movies and dramas are of the genre of paranormal and unexplained. Events of 1947 have divided a bigger piece of land But from my perspective I think that the border is separating people who have different beliefs about ghosts. Sadly the more closer you are towards that border the more possibility of getting contaminated from the beliefs of the opposite side exist. Just look at the people from across the border. A lot of them believe that if somebody is wrongfully murdered and their Aatma comes to take revenge.  I had this question since I was a child whose mind was Somewhat damaged because of these beliefs shown in the movies. So if an Atma comes and murders a man then the Aatma of that man will continue to do the same and eventually everybody on this planet would die. That is one way of saying how the human race will perish and frankly it is a very boring possibility which I cannot believe even if I was living on the opposite side of the border. But all the great religions of the world have talked about the extension of life beyond the moment everybody believes as death. There are many books and debate about what life is and what that actually means. Nobody from the other side has ever called back and told anybody about what and how the other side looks like. Besides it is this obscurity of truth  which takes the hold of fascination of man and pushes him to write about the subject of peculiar. almost one third of the books that I have read revolve around the topics of mystery and paranormal. Many people don’t know that there is a dedicated streaming service  for horror movies only. just like Netflix, we have the matchless service called shudder. it is no less than a blessing for somebody who likes horror and paranormal. religion is something majority of people living in Pakistan are very sentimental about. a lot of people have been killed just because their religious beliefs were different.And religion talks about the world hereafter and death which is why our writers and philosophers have polluted the stories they have created with the beliefs they follow. a Pakistani writer always brings someone from the mosque to clear A Haunted House. Who would a Christian man bring in Philippines if a house is Haunted?Just like humans are divided into groups religions and cultures, so are the ghost and all the hideous monsters who appear in our books and movies. When I heard about the graphic novel Djinn, I was a little sceptical because I was raised in a country seeing people fight over language, colour and religion and I thought that the ghost mentioned in the book would be as extremist as the people who created them. Created by Jean Dufaux, Djinn is a story of a girl, Kim who travels to Istanbul in search of answers about her grandmother’s shadowy past. She soon learns that during the declining days of the Ottoman Empire, her grandmother was a harem girl, and the favorite of the Sultan. As she finds more evidence, the mystery thickens and she finds herself dealing with crooked characters and determined paramours in bookshops, baths, and bedchambers all over the ancient city. 

The Creeps

March 12th, 2018 / 04:32 PM

 

 ڈاؤ کے دنوں میں ایک کتاب کے بارے میں پڑھا. کوئی پروفیسر صاحب ہیں جنہیں بچپن سے تصویریں بنانے کا شوق تھا لیکن کچھ وجوہات کی بنا پر زندگی نے ان کو یہ کام کرنے نہیں دیا مگر پچھلے کچھ سال سے ان کے پاس کچھ لوگ آئے جو ان پروفیسر صاحب کو مختلف فوبیا کے بارے میں بتاتے جن سے جو بچپن سے دوچار ہیں. پروفیسر صاحب نے ایک تصویر بنائی . بعد میں بہت سی ایسی تصویریں وجود میں آئیں جو ان لوگوں کے فوبیا کو بیان کرتی ہیں آئیڈیا تو بہت بے مثال تھا اس تصویریں بنانے والے پروفیسر کا ٹمبلر اکاونٹ بھی ہے جہاں پر وہ بہت عرصے سے ان تصویروں کو شائع کرتے آ رہے ہیں. پہلی بار میں نے بھی ان کو ٹمبلر پر ہی دریافت کیا. ایک روز مجھے پتہ چلا کہ انہوں نے بہت ساری اچھی تصویروں کو جمع کر کے ایک کتاب بناڈالی. بدقسمتی کہ وہ کتاب پاکستان میں میسر نہیں. تو مجھے وہ کتاب درآمد کرنی پڑی لیکن اس کے لیے چھ ہفتے لگے. صبر کرنے مشکل تھا تو میں نے آئی ٹیونز سے وہ کتاب ڈاؤنلوڈ کرلی. اس بات کو اب چار برس گزر چکے ہیں مجھے پھر سے پتہ چلا کہ پروفیسر نے اپنی کتاب کا دوسرا حصہ شائع کر دیا. میں جانتا ہوں کہ مزید چھ ہفتے انتظار میرے بس کا روگ نہیں. میں نے کچھ گھنٹے پہلے وہ کتاب ڈاؤنلوڈ کرلی اور اب وہ کتاب ختم ہونے کو ہے .لیکن آس پاس شور بہت ہے اور کسی بھی کتاب کو ختم کرنے کے لیے دوچیزیں درکار ہیں ایک خاموشی اور دوسرا وہ کتاب خود. اچھا ہے جب سے نئی جگہ نوکری شروع ہوئی ہے میں 300 کتابیں کھا چکا ہوں جن میں سے اڑتالیس 2018 کی ہیں. جس کو موقع ملے وہ یہ کتاب ضرور پڑھے. کیا پتا کوئی ایسا خوف آپ کے اندر بھی پل رہا ہوں جس سے آپ اب تک نہیں جانتے

 

March 9th, 2018 / 06:11 PM

دل کو توفیق زیاں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے
زہر غم بادہ چکاں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

فکر تپ تپ کے نکھرتی رہے کندن کی طرح 
آگ سینے کی جواں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

دھیمی دھیمی سی نوا سلسلہ جنبان ابد 
پردۂ جاں میں نہاں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

دھڑکنیں صورت الفاظ بکھرتی جائیں 
دل معانی کی زباں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

آنچ مٹی کے کھلونوں کی طرح ملتی جائے 
ذہن خوابوں سے تپاں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

روزن ماہ سے پچھلے پہر اک شوخ لقا 
جانب دل نگراں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

روح شب اپنی اداؤں کی تب و تاب لیے 
خلوت آرائے بیاں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

ایک سیال کسک جادہ کشائے تخلیق 
فن کی نبضوں میں رواں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے 

تجربے درد کی شبنم میں نہائیں حرمتؔ 
گل فشاں شعلۂ جاں ہو تو غزل ہوتی ہے
حرمت الااکرام
 

Eight

March 8th, 2018 / 08:08 PM

Nokia had a profound effect on me, especially in my younger years. It was not my first phone but it remained with me like a caring friend who had seen many ups and many downs. From one city to another and from one life to the next, Nokia stayed along. There is something very nostalgic about it. Like perfumes and songs, it takes me back in time. In short, I recently became younger again, fell in love again and started living in the same places I practically cannot. There is no price of nostalgia. There never will be. (On getting a 3310 and a Nokia 8)

More Books

March 8th, 2018 / 05:14 PM

You are likely to come across many villains when you try to do a good job or a virtuous deed. That is how every story rolls out, every movie has this formula.  this is the reason I feel very uncomfortable when I keep coming across villains even when I have no idea doing any virtuous thing. In a country where education is still a distant dream it is very natural to come across people who try to block your progress even when it brings no harm to them. There is a strange coincidence which I have observed. The most religious a person is apparently, the more he would object to actions of others. A graphic novel  was unavailable in the country primarily because it touched the subject of religion and love. Also it’s visual slides depicted erotica. The first time I was able to get that novel inside the country undetected. The next time I ordered it again, the book was stopped because a mullah found a few topless hand drawn female forms in it. But we all know that business is above God which is why he was forced to let me take the book home. Refunding me was out of the question. After this event I searched for another vendor who was more progressive minded. I ordered a few books which he was able to slip in without any trouble. One of the books is about a serial killer who once roamed the streets of Lahore and killed a hundred children in 1999. One of the signs of a failing society is the restricted flow of books. The books are enlightenment which the villain at any stage tries to destroy. After all the light frightens some, enlightens some.

  The Myth Of The Chosen One by Khalid Sohail  The Myth Of The Chosen One by Khalid Sohail

  The House Of Clay And Water by Faiqa Mansab  The House Of Clay And Water by Faiqa Mansab

Inspiration

March 7th, 2018 / 06:26 PM

Art and crime. It is true that over the years my interests have cooled down. Every colour fades which is why we all become silent and more life accepting as we grow old. But it would be a crime itself if someone gives up his core interests that define him. I know friend who is a poet. She is a lot of other things too including a patriot a daughter and a doctor etc., But one defining element of your life is the ability God bestow upon her of being a poet. I tried to create equally balancing lines but I failed. That experiment made me realise that not everybody is equally God gifted. Life has made a few robbers and a few policemen. I guess that is a balance of the universe. If there is somebody who can write then there must be somebody who can draw. If there is somebody who can create music then there must be someone who can make the words wear that music. She is one such person. Poetry close out of her. Her words will surely outlive her life. But what if one day she decides that she wants to stop poetry because she feels old and faded. Now that would be a crime. Over years we all develop interests that come and go. But a few interests are the ones that develop us. And we take so dedicated steps in achieving our liking towards those interests that an observer can easily pinpoint our dedication for the interest. A few of the still surviving interests that I have is drawing. Yes it’s also a fact that I don’t upload any creation in the public domain now as much as I used to in the past. But it does not mean that I have stopped doing anything that gives me happiness drawing and photography being the two of them. My last post was about newspapers and the crime section they have. Last night and inspiration hit me very strong and hard. I came across a news which is giving me an itch to create something. In fact as I type this the rough outline of that inspiration is born on paper. People who keep their eyes and ears open for learning knowledge and inspiration and not just for stalking someone and finding out if somebody has created a Facebook or Twitter page are the people who can pass on what they have learnt. But I guess for mothers who have nothing better to do at home after changing the diapers of the kids it is easy to stalk the men they flirted with before either their child wakes up or their husband returns from work. There must be one such section in the newspapers too.

Crime

March 6th, 2018 / 05:01 PM

One of the few pages I never fail to skip in every newspaper are the crimes and court section. My daily start of the day involve five newspapers that I read. No I am not a journalist And every time I have tried to find why I am still addicted to this old medium of news in the age of Twitter especially when it’s polluted by many classless desis. Twitter was one of my most favourite social spaces but with time I have only found it to be declining and declining. The old screenshots that I have from earlier days show that Twitter used to have a better population which created a better space. It was reflected in the hashtags of that time. But stop whatever you are doing and just look at the hashtags from Pakistan now. The quality has deteriorated to a point that you would not want to waste your creative energy flowing through the sewage called Twitter. After stopping my presence and all these social places I am able to finish more than 50 books every year for the last 3 years in a row. But even after all this debacle my love for newspapers still exist. But instead of going for the more traditional medium of paper I am able to read 5 of them online and 3 as their digital editions. All these newspapers a section that I never failed to read is the crime and courts section. The people who commit crimes are humans. Everyone is quick enough to judge them and even prosecute them to the point where the are bound to spend times of your life behind bars. But nobody raises the question of wire crime was done in the first place. Every cube of news from even the remotest parts of the country that bring such news of crime always knock some portions of my mind and make me ask myself why a person who did that did so in the first place? It is very hard to look inside the heart and mind of a person. That is the reason why we judge others based on their actions and based on what they say and if the two things don’t converge, enable the person under our judgement as unworthy. Our words and our actions are just reflections of our mind and our feelings and our intentions. But sometimes no matter how much gold someone has buried inside them what the other see just me and knife made out of gold which was used to murder someone. It is not one person who gets murdered but a part of the social fabric is torn each and every time someone breaks the law. From my earliest memories to the current ones whenever I have read such crime and Courts news I feel as nothing is changed over decades. Man is as Savage as he was many years ago. Would you guarantee that a person who has been to a university or has any sort of higher formal education not capable of any crime or not capable of breaking any law? I was thinking about this when I saw a person in a very expensive car and very expensive suit driving his car in the wrong direction. He might have been a driver but I know that he was not because he is the head of the department where I work. I would suggest everyone to start reading this one section of any newspaper they can get on a daily basis. Trust me it is an inspiration to write fiction. You need truths to tell a lie. And you need to create a lie to tell a few truths.