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. 

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


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.


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.


January 8th, 2018

I am digitizing my old diaries these days. And writing things again helps a lot to relive the same emotion. But sometimes even a tiniest thing makes me immediately fly back . My typing speed has increased due to passive learning with the advent of computers and the internet but even then a slightest recall of the good or depressing events collected in a very organized manner act like a speed-breaker. To quicken up this tiresome process I started because of a very commitment to my own self, I got myself a new keyboard. I wish I had written them as posts in the first place but this too adds up to the injuries of youth.


Stalking (Short Story)

I am a morning person. Everyday after the morning prayers, I go for a walk. I was witnessing something for the past week. When I reach the park for walk, I find a boy and a girl leaving for school. Their black shoes polished to shine like mirrors and their uniforms and badges are a sign of being in some school. After leaving their house together, they reach one end of the park before coming up to their bus stop. From the past week, I noticed one thing. After leaving home, they do head to the bus stop but after crossing two blocks, they enter a street on left. It is more like a narrow alley. From where I stand it was not visible what they do there. So out of curiosity, I took a long walk and ended on the bench from where I can see them and made sure that I remained out of sight myself. They followed the pattern of leaving the house together, waving goodbye to someone in the window and walking a block towards the bus stand and then turning into the alley. I was watching them. The boy removed his white school shirt. Underneath he was wearing a t-shirt. He handed the shirt to the girl who folded it and put that neatly in her bag. Then the boy crossed the alley and disappeared on the other side of the alley. The girl walked to the bus stop and hopped on the school bus when it arrived. I walked back home for another day.

The next dawn I altered my entire route. I was not in my workout clothes. The other end of the alley opened to a link road which connected to a main road. I reached the main road and sat on the bench of a bus stop. The other end of the alley was not visible to me. But if that boy follows his path, he was naturally to reach here. Sitting by road side and watching early morning crowd rushing to reach their battle-stations was thought provoking. There were so many characters for any story that I write and in all sizes and shapes too. It was the third day of my adventure. I looked at my watch again and again. I had assumed the time in which he would reach here. And my calculation was right. He reached there. He waited for a bus which when arrived, he climbed on it and was gone. The next day I went to the stop on time and waited for him. I signaled a rickshaw and settled a deal to follow someone. The driver was an old man. He agreed with no questions or hesitations. The boy came and boarded a bus. I signaled the driver. In no time we were tailing the bus. After half an hour we reached a place nicknamed for being the edge of posh area. It was a scar on the face of a planned neighborhood. Most of maids, servants and security guards working in the houses on the posh area lived in this neighborhood. There were meat shops, washing machine repair shops, vegetable and fruit shops etc. Flies were everywhere. I was praying deep inside that the boy doesn’t take us deep into this shitty neighborhood. Thankfully he didn’t. He went to a pharmacy and when he came out he had keys in his hands. He jumped on a bike and started it. My rickshaw was naturally a slower medium but against all odds, we tailed him to a park where he stopped his bike and went inside. There was a security guard at the gate. I pulled out a fifty rupee note and handed it to him and went inside. It was a girl he used to meet. At the far end of the park, under a tree they were sitting. Their bags lying next to them. Under that shade they must have made a hundred promises, maybe a thousand. They might want to relive this moment in years to come. Or they might regret this moment. Either way, this moment would carve something on their souls. Yet the kids don’t know it yet. Like a million ephemeral love stories, this one would be forgotten by it’s characters. But I won’t. It’s not my love story though it is my experience. Was it lust? Was it hormones? Was it really love? I could not tell just by looking at their smiling faces. I looked around. There were many more pairs of school and college bags in that park. It was startling only when a thought it him that does it mean many others like me were there too who skipped their morning walks and have stalked someone to reach here. I scanned around. I could find no one. I grabbed a bar of chocolate and headed home. 

Aamir Bilal

Osama Anwer Pasha

A man can have many friends. But only a few last his life’s span. In the recent days, I have witnessed how this word and this relation is manipulated for monetary gains, personal interest and even mocks and revenge. One can be clear about an enemy but never a friend in today’s time. Friend is someone who can have many faces and it takes time to peel all these faces away to unveil the real face. The big price of pain is involved. Personally, I have not been rich when it comes to making friends. But I am lucky enough to have made very few but real friends. Then I was foolish enough to have lost a few. As life took turns, it had an impact on the list of friends. Facebook wasn’t anything in those days so keeping up with someone demanded quite an honest effort. In fact that is true even today. I don’t use the blue shitty social network where I had about a hundred and ninety friends. One day out of logic and sanity, I pulled the plug and had been happier ever since.

Pasha was my friend. Undoubtedly the most unenthusiastic and lazy student while I was his total opposite. Shockingly we were bench-mates too. It was like a rainbow, I being at one end and he being at the other of the colors. Once in an exam, I scored 97 out of 100 while he scored only 3. The teacher called his father and said I cannot deduct Aamir’s marks to make your son’s score a passing one but it would be better if your son donates his 3 marks to make Aamir score a century. His father was shocked that he was my best friend in school. But school’s days were numbered. And they ended one day.

I remember the night when we left the school, Pasha came to my home and drew a map of his house in Lahore. He was so bad at drawing. With trembling hands he drew a map that looked like being drawn by a kindergarten. It was unsettling to see him cry. But we were friends. So we promised to meet soon. After school we left that city. I moved to Lahore with no mobile phone or Facebook to keep up with people. The years in Lahore had been more cruel and less kind. There remained some moments I still cherish and crave to relive again and again and again only if possible. Some moments I hate so much that I wish I could just uproot them from my life entirely.

I found Pasha’s address. He lived in Model Town. He didn’t know that I had found him. So one night I paid him a visit when he was not expecting me at all. I went with a university friend to his place. Summers were ending and the winds had already become mild. We reached the desired neighborhood. And rang the bell. He came to the door. I remember the joy on his face. His mom was living with him. And he was under house arrest for crashing his uncle’s Corolla somewhere in Johar Town. He could not leave his house on the orders of his mother. But when aunty saw that it is Aamir, that rule was loosened and we went to a place to have dinner. It was a wonderful moment. We had a long talk and returned around midnight. I didn’t know that on that night it was the last time in life I meet him.

In 2007, a traffic accident occurred near Al-Haasa in Saudi Arabia claiming four lives. I read about that news in the paper myself. Later that summer I went to his Model Town place to meet him. To my surprise a guard in that street told me that the family had left the place some months ago. I searched online communities but to no avail. Then I went to the school where his mom used to work as a counselor. But they only had one information that she resigned. One evening at a hospital, I saw a poster about road hazards and traffic violation. In the pictures of people who have lost their lives, there was a picture I can never forget. Pasha was no more. A reality my heart still hesitates to accept. He tried joining a University but couldn’t because of his lack of interest in studies. A young, full of life friend no more. A friend who came to my home and cried like a girl. School’s farewell had a few pictures of Pasha. He was a rash driver and this took his life. One night I saw him in a dream. The next day I drew a picture of him. Then I abandoned the search to find him or his family. But deep inside my heart I still feel if I visit that street in Model Town, I might be able to catch a glimpse of him standing in the balcony.

In loving memory of Osama Anwer Pasha (1988-2007)

(Pasha's Model Town House, taken in 2016)
(Pasha’s Model Town House, taken in 2016)