Sahiwal

January 23rd, 2019 / 10:43 AM

Sahiwal Incident is a national tragedy.

I have never liked policemen. Somehow the law enforcement agencies in my country represent evil. If one half of law is the intricate system of judiciary, the other without a doubt is the system of police and other law enforcing institutes.No one can pinpoint to how a crime comes to being or how a criminal is made in the first place. There are examples of people who went to the wrong side just because they were never treated well on the right side. Look at the example of what happened in Sahiwal. What would happen to the minds of a youngster when he sees his parents shot to death in broad daylight by none other than the people who were supposed to protect them. The print and the electronic media are the two main sources which are keeping me updated on the incident and how it is unfolding in front of our eyes. Shock and grief are the two emotions which have spread throughout the country but we as a nation have weaker memories and tomorrow we will forget what happened. The tragedy of a dying breed whether it is a dying breed of an animal or an art or a nation is that they never remember those tragedies which happened to others but they only remember the ones that affect them and those too on an individual level. It is our personal interests over the national interest which has divided us to a level that now there is no going back unless we cut back on our greed. This very greed of us is what has us divided in the first place. It is our greed of life which makes us afraid of these monsters in uniforms. We see everyday the policeman searching civilians in the name of law the so-called snip checking. Still the crime rate is high and people are afraid more from these traders of law who were supposed to be protectors. I still remember the man who used to sell fruit-juice in my neighborhood. Because he was too friendly with a policeman he had to suffer a fatal wound when that policeman was attacked in a targeted attack.

Just imagine witnessing a car travelling on the motorway carrying a family with women and children in it. Suddenly you see a police car chasing them and then blocking their way. Out jump those masked policemen who would shoot a spray of bullets on that car killing the members of the family instantly without the intervention or thought of law, logic or humanity. There are no external reason why other nations fear and scorn us. It is our own hypocrisy whether it comes to the system of law or the system of justice or the system of religious equality and social justice. We are hypocrites. You can never argue with a bearded trader of religion because there are so many educated and cultured blind following are crippled wheelchair wala who easily label you as a blessed famous and then send you to a harsh end. Luckily the bastard is behind bars as of this writing. But every monster comes out in a weaker system. It is so easy to just blame someone of a serious charge like blasphemy and then settle personal scores. The tragedy is that in a country of God, I found no God. You never know when some mullah might blame God for blasphemy or when a policewala shoot him.

Aamir Bilal

Lamp

January 2nd, 2019 / 09:01 AM / Lahore

How many times do you realise that few moments do exist when you wish for a thing and it comes true. A few weeks back the itch to quit everything and visit the mountains or go to Lahore or to do both took a hold of me. Life gets strenuous and grey yet here I am sitting at the very same table in the same restaurant from where we used to have our breakfast. I cannot find any familiar face so far. Maybe somebody is searching for me and cannot find a familiar face either.

2019

January 1st, 2019 / 06:53 AM / Lahore

Yes, a new year demands a new flow. But every time I move the current year to an archive, I start feeling like an old ghost. Or maybe is it a ghost haunting me. A chudail perhaps. No, the chudails could never be one. Never.

Flickr

November 5th, 2018 / 4:08 AM

After twelve years of love, the old flame still keeps burning. The sting of nostalgia and everything associated with it is always hard to give up. Like an old city where a person has lived keeps calling him. Again. And again. And yet again. The old city of Flickr.

I still remember the time when sharing a picture was more of a problem. It was a bigger problem than taking a picture and transferring it to your computer was. that is why more genius people started thinking of a cure and came up with a wonderful service called Flickr. The solution was remarkable but the only shortcoming that I faced with it was the number of images that I could share with someone else was limited to 200. But even that did not stop me from uploading the images as I knew that all the images were safe. At least I intended to get a paid subscription in the later years when I can happily enjoy all the pictures that I have uploaded to the service. Many detailed articles on the Internet talk about how Yahoo purchased a vehicle and then destroyed it eventually selling it to Verizon after a data breach. But even Verizon could not contain the fallout and the fiasco led to people leaving Flickr. The love for photography has not died, at least not yet. That’s the reason why I was hopeful when Smugmug bought Flickr in 2018. They have recently paid attention to all those free hoarders which we can find in almost any community and any service who are there only to pollute the beautiful walled gardens. Just look at what they have done to Facebook Twitter and Instagram. These were really good places just like mountain towns. Now the crowd has destroyed them. The same crowd found free enterprise-grade storage of 1 Terabyte on Flickr. They were the people who were least bothered about community interactions in photography. They just wanted a place where they can store their photographs and delete them from the computer and save some space. I remember once a property broker came to the hospital. When I asked him where he lived, he told of an average neighborhood just to keep his low profile from all the extortionists. A colleague added, “Why is that posh town so expensive?” The broker replied, “The taps don’t push out milk in that area. The price exists just to keep the filthy poor out.” To this day I remember his ideology. Free is what made Facebook filthy, Android filthy, Twitter filthy, Instagram filthy. You will never find Bahria Town filthy, DHA filthy, Cantonment filthy, etc. Flickr was great. Then the free-minded settlers moved in. This recent price tag push will kick them out just to let those who care about photos stay.

It is a good move in the long run. Technology giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook or even Microsoft should introduce a bundled service that packs some services under one roof. Only if there existed such a service that had a section for all the tweet-like statuses being streamed and a blog section for longer blog posts, a photo drive where all photographs one has ever taken are saved (in their original quality) along with those cherished screenshots and a video drive where all the videos are safely backed up. Those who care about their data would move to this amazing town instantly. The service would be more ideal if a personal domain could be linked to it. It is quite possible and eventually, someone is going to make this dream a reality.

Flickr may start looking like a posh neighborhood in the future. But that is what I fear too. I seek peace and harmony that was destroyed by free hoarders. My experiences are riddled with dust collected from the surroundings from Saddar Town and Walton Colony to Nishat Colony and Old Anarkali that if life moves me to a palace, I might leave the fancier walls when everyone else falls asleep, sneak out, take a ride to that part of the old city, sneak into my old home and fall off to a peaceful sleep on the cold concrete floor.

Aamir Bilal

 (Zafar Gorakhpuri) (Zafar Gorakhpuri)

August 26th, 2018 / 7:26 PM

 

ردیف قافیہ بندش خیال لفظ گری
وہ حور زینہ اترتے ہوئے سکھانے لگی

کتاب باب غزل شعر بیت لفظ حروف
خفیف رقص سے دل پر ابھارے مست پری

کلام عروض تغزل خیال ذوق جمال
بدن کے جام نے الفاظ کی صراحی بھری

قصیدہ شعر مسدس رباعی نظم غزل
مہکتے ہونٹوں کی تفسیر ہے بھلی سے بھلی

بیان علم معانی فصاحت علم بلاغ
بیان کر نہیں سکتے کسی کی ایک ہنسی

حریر اطلس و کمخواب پنکھڑی ریشم
کسی کے پھول سے تلووں سے شاہ مات سبھی

گلاب عنبر و ریحان موتیا لوبان
کسی کی زلف معطر میں سب کی خوشبو ملی

کسی کے مرمریں آئینے میں نمایاں ہیں
گھٹا بہار دھنک چاند پھول دیپ کلی

کسی کے شیریں لبوں سے ادھار لیتے ہیں
مٹھاس شہد رطب چینی قند مصری ڈلی

کسی کے نور کو چندھیا کے دیکھیں حیرت سے
چراغ جگنو شرر آفتاب پھول جھڑی

کسی کے حسن کو بن مانگے باج دیتے ہیں
وزیر میر سپاہی فقیہ ذوق شہی

نگاہیں چار ہوئیں وقت ہوش کھو بیٹھا
صدی دہائی برس ماہ روز آج ابھی

سیاہ زلف گھٹا جال جادو جنگ جلال
فسوں شباب شکارن شراب رات گھنی

ظریف ابرو غضب غمزہ غصہ غور غزل
گھمنڈ قوس قضا عشق طنز نیم سخی

گلابی گال شفق سیب سرخی غازہ کنول
طلسم چاہ بھنور ناز شرم نرم گری

نشیلی ٹھوڑی تبسم ترازو چاہ ذقن
خمیدہ خنداں خجستہ خمار پتلی گلی

گلا صراحی نوا گیت سوز آہ اثر
ترنگ چیخ ترنم ترانہ سر کی لڑی

ہتھیلی ریشمی نازک ملائی نرم لطیف
حسین مرمریں صندل سفید دودھ دھلی

جو اس پہ بوند گری ابر کپکپا اٹھا
اس ایک لمحے میں کافی گھروں پہ بجلی گری

قیامت آ گئی خوشبو کی کلیاں چیخ پڑیں
گلاب بولا نہیں غالباً وہ زلف کھلی

کمال‌ لیلیٰ تو دیکھو کہ صرف نام لیا
”پھر اس کے بعد چراغوں میں روشنی نہ رہی”

عطائے حسن تھی قیسؔ اک جھلک میں شوخ غزل
کتاب لکھتا میں اس پر مگر وہ پھر نہ ملی

 

HEREDITARY

August 10th, 2018 / 4:33 PM
Two years is too long to wait for a movie. I have waited for this movie to be released from the day I heard about its story. Some months ago a staff member from TheVerge was invited to the screening of the film. He along others gave pretty good reviews about it. It’s class could not be doubted after I came to know that A24 bought its rights to the distribution. I wanted the studio to release it as soon as they could but they kept me waiting. I knew that the movie would never be released in Pakistan as cinemas here are a home to classless movies.

The theme of the movie is horror. Horror itself is a wide spectrum especially in the movies. Found footage, monsters, cults, vampires, zombies, psychological horror, etc. All the reviews of the movie up to that point were from the people who were at the screening and they all agreed that the movie is as mind bending and twisted as another horror movie GET OUT. 

I found a pretty decent yet pirated version of the film through a Reddit post but the movie was dubbed in Russian. So I downloaded that sick print which was in English too and then using my average skill of video editing, I layered the English audio track on top of that good Russian print. I could not wait any longer. And I watched HEREDITARY. There is no doubt that movie is one mind bending film. People are really reaching new heights in the genre of horror and this movie proves it. 

The movie is about a family who has recently lost their grandmother. Their days of mourning  extend when the tragedy strikes them again, sooner than anyone expects, including the viewer. As the film proceeds an observer starts to realize that everything is not what it seems to be in the first place. A nasty unseen evil exists which can be felt but not seen. So far this is the best horror movie I have seen in 2018. I really wish that by now there must’ve existed a far better version of the film. Anybody who loves the genre of horror should stop doing whatever they are and should watch this film. Immediately.

A24 did not disappoint. Like always.

Twice the same crop

August 5th, 2018 / 10:09 PM

A man in my neighborhood just divorced his wife. That is not a new thing. It’s not the first time somebody has divorced his wife and certainly it’s not the last time either. The term divorce and the whole dilemma that surrounds it is our social stigma. People are happily accepting bigger monsters yet this word frightens many. It is not just the act that is scary. The repercussions are what go deeper. When one faces a similar situation they don’t want anybody else to talk about it as it pertains to them. But when they listen about someone else getting divorced, this talk becomes a favourite topic for them. It itself is the evil polarity that will destroy the society in the end. Polarity will kill as many as global warming would. 

My next door neighbour is a very polite and a humble man. I’ve not heard any negative air about him which partly is because he does not interfere in the works of either the union or anybody else in the neighborhood. He limits to himself. That is why when I heard that he had divorced his wife after a night of long, loud and scary arguments which started after midnight, I took some time to believe in what the people were talking about. The very next day when I was going for work, I saw that man with a burqa clad woman. Right at the entrance of the building, two old ladies were whispering something to each other and pointing towards my neighbour. I knew that it could not be something good or positive. Obviously the biggest monster in our society is not the vampire who can walk on walls and can suck all the blood out of you in a minute. The biggest monster is not the one who becomes a wolf when the first ray of moonlight hits him. It is not even that unstable mind who would pick up a gun and without a second thought kill the innocents. You guessed it right! It is that man who divorces his wife even if the bridge of the marriage started to collapse at the end of the wife. At the time of this writing, I came to know that he divorced his wife for another woman. 
Nothing new. 
It happens. It can happen. 
That is how humans are. Nobody likes to eat the same thing at dinner for the rest of his life. But my neighbour’s new dinner came from the same restaurant. He married the sister of his wife. The size of the monster grew in the eyes of the society when the people came to know that both of his wives are living in the same apartment and he has not formally divorced the first wife before marrying the second one. It is a twisted society perhaps. I was hungry at the start of day and decided to eat something fancy. However at this moment I am feeling that no restaurant can serve me good. I would skip dinner.  
 

Reset Button

August 2nd, 2018 / 3:30 PM

Everyone at old age wants to become young again. There is a price of being young. The price of experiencing the same things including troubles and pain and learning from these experiences. After realizing the actual price of starting life over again, many might not want to press the reset button. It is not easy to give everything up and face the same tortures and the same monsters for another time. Nobody wants to die twice just to be in the same heaven.
Changing one’s primary method of communication to a newer bridge is not comfortable. It surely has the same price. Without a doubt, the advantage is as enormous as the hardship. I waited for almost 15 minutes in the hall before this realization hit me. I gave up the idea of creating a new Rome. I can live with the monster but I don’t have both the stamina and the courage to get a new number again and start the communication of life from the beginning. I cannot press the reset button. I guess that’s why a lot of men do not develop the same spark once they get married. The newer attractions live only in the cages of flings and attractions. They opt for such comforting and easier adventures instead of falling into a pit that has fewer chances of coming out ever again. So let’s not press that button. Let’s never press that button.


Never. 

The Skin Of A Woman

July 28th, 2018 / 10:55 AM

I peeled the skin of a woman out of curiosity. Under the layer was a truer being. The monster who used to looked good. Undoubtedly, with the charms of those appearances, there would be many fools of men the monster would have pulled and swallowed. A monster, however, lives inside me too. It is neither as charming nor as ugly as hers. It’s the monster under my skin who saw her broken skin. Curiosity made him have a peek. In the end, it was frightened but content. Its hunch was right. The ugly monster is still alive. I guess it takes a monster to know a monster.

First of July

July 1st, 2018 / 4:24 AM
It’s someone’s birthday. Every day is someone’s birthday. So is today. We spent a good time together. A golden time perhaps. Only if that could be re-lived. I cannot overlook a question. Will any of us forget and forgive if we relive it? I fail to reach any answer when I realize that I have not forgotten anything even today. It is being very unwise of me. A fool here. I have no idea of the other side. If anyone comes to see my end, they will find my side of the bridge intact. Maybe the other end is intact too. Yet the bridge fell. It is another question that keeps peaceful sleep and harmony at bay. We once talked about life and the afterlife and decided that the one who outlives the other should tell the next generation of ours about how many years we stayed in each other’s lives. I believe that silence is not absence. It never is. Has God ever talked to us? Yet when we pray, we believe that he is there. This example does not apply to those who don’t believe in a God. The number of years we talked is now less than the number of years we haven’t. I wish the wiser of us was more wiser. It is the first of July. I wish happiness for the other end of the bridge, even if it has fallen.