You cannot drive in Pakistan without music. Preferably Aerosmith. Any *sound* person will agree.


On a Journey to the Past

Raised voices, angered expressions and bitter complaints. There were too many words spoken to make any sense. I, who always agreed, disagreed. She, who always understood, misunderstood.

It was a rotten phone call.

In utter confusion and helplessness of unexplained gestures; I asked her, “don’t you trust me?” And that’s when silence struck like a thunderbolt; the line dropped and all I could hear was a melancholic tone ___ just like the one you hear in an ICU when someone dies. Something died between us.

It was a forgotten phone call.

I sailed through empty days in sheer absence of time. Days started wearing months. That melancholy was still there each time I picked up the phone to dial her number. That constant tone and saddening fear stopped my fingers from pressing the buttons.

Then one day, the phone rang, she called me up after all those years and said,

“I don’t know.”




Everyone has felt lonely at one time or another, regardless of their magnitude of wealth, size of family, extension of the friendship circle, or position in a crowd. It crawls on your skin like a shadow, quickly making its way into your heart. Once you have experienced this alienation you will never forget it, and you can never adequately explain the depth of it.
I live alone now, but it wasnt always so. Once, our house too was full of laughter and life. The absence of both makes my memories now.

When i was little, i mean really little, like six or seven, i remember dreaming of being 65 someday and living alone by myself and how happy i would be. I dont know why i fixed on 65 as the optimum age. (I must have heard grown ups talking about retirement or something). Of course i also remember composing my epitaph at the same age. Having said that, i am really irritated that i dont remember what it was.

Well im not 65 as yet, but im alone with my memories. It has been drizzly and pleasant here for the last few days for a change, and i remember how we all were snug in the house together once, undoubtedly very happy in our own small world. I can easily recall listening to their humorous stories at the dinner table right now.

Gradually, each year that passed, left an empty chair. They were no longer happy together. Where as years before, we opened tons of presents at various occasions. Now i open one. The dinner table that was once a place of laughter and memories, had become a place where arguements broke out. I missed the memories and past then and i miss them today. Silence screams in my ears and holidays have become lonely. There is a tough… a well built wall of deception, isolation and …most of all rejection, that wont let me move on and allow me to see things beyond the physical world. These are the visions my memory drags out when confronted with words like “family”. No rich traditions as such in my bloodline, none i was part of anyway. The only one to stand by me is the only one i would stand with. I call her Nina. She is the only other member in what i think of as our family. We may have been born black sheep, we may have been elected to the job, but we will likely die black sheep outcast from the flock.


It could come to you…

What is your choice?

I begin in the name of God, with my hopes attached for my subject is complex and with a troubled soul that is at unrest with each word I type. It is said to be better to debate a question without settling it, than it is to settle a question without debating it. Having said that, my objective is to debate the subject and resolve it as well, keeping my readers into consideration.
Without further troubling the reader, the reason for my spiritual chaos and the constant war between right and wrong in my head is Euthanasia. For those who are unaware, it is the process of painlessly helping an incurably ill person to die, also very well known as “assisted suicide” and “mercy killing”. Generally euthanasia is performed by lethal injection, using the same drugs as those on death row are performed. Having it strictly banned in different parts of the world, there are reasons for supporting and opposing euthanasia which punctuate discussions in the mind of an individual constantly.

Karen Ann Quinlan collapsed on April 15th, 1975. She was twenty-one years old. Within hours, she entered a coma from which she could never recover. Her parents, Roman Catholics, knew their daughter would not want to be kept alive by extraordinary means. A year later, as Karen lay in a “persistent vegetative state,” the courts finally allowed her treatment to be stopped; but artificial feeding was continued and she was maintained as a living dead body until June 1985, when she eventually died of pneumonia. Consequently her case stimulated thousands of letters of sympathy and fuelled the “right to die” movement.
Ramon Sanpedro hunted, through the courts, the assistance of a doctor to help him die with dignity. He was paralyzed in Spain as a result of a swimming accident during his youth. He described himself as “a head attached to a corpse.” His exact words:
“Why die? Because every journey has its departure time and only the traveler has the privilege and the right to choose the last day to get out.
Why to die?, because at times the journey of no return is the best path that reason can show us out of love and respect for life, so that life may have a dignified death.” Ramon certainly did not suggest how other people confined in the same situation might feel. In fact, there are some people out there who, regardless of having the worst physical complexities in life, take enjoyment in living and continuing life as it follows. But Ramon made his choice and choice should be respected, however ensuring, according to the very concept of Utilitarianism, that no other individual’s life is endangered or pressurized.

Supporters of euthanasia are inclined to believe it is a dignified death and must be legalized as it proves to be a pain-free relief for many terminal patients.
On the contrary, a good question to ask is who benefits from the person dying? If a person dies, who will inherit? Who has the decision power? Is it a medical decision that is totally objective or a decision given by the family members that in some way may be biased? Are we not playing God’s role by choosing the time and procedure of our death? Is euthanasia not a nickname of “murder”?
Does it not rob one of his remaining times on earth? Who has the final say, the patient or the doctor?

The argument rages on and on. There are a lot of what ifs and whos and these need to be scrutinized in detail by lawyers, doctors and predominantly governments.

This article is open to all relevant comments, debate and solutions that bring this war between legitimacy and illegitimacy of euthanasia to a positive end!


Marriage Mania

Marriage Mania

The country has an excessive excitement; a mania for marriages. Did you observe how much people stress on it since the birth of an innocent child, more specifically girls *sniff*? Parents begin to lose sleep at the birth of their baby girl as they think about the expenses they would have to face till the time of her marriage. I am not being cynical; they seriously do not have any other choice. They have a lot of saving to do to have a centrally air conditioned wedding okay? They do not want to sweat after spending a great deal on their hair and make up. It’s not their fault Ather offers no discounts, which actually makes some of the idiots quite happy because they have to tell people about it: D Ok but, by that I certainly do not wish to discuss women only. I, personally find men and women equally berserk in most matters. I refused to go to a wedding in my neighborhood because I saw something very …very disturbing at the Mehndi. Yes, the groom had worn light foundation powder on his face. Now you see, I realize every guy has his sole right to look nice…but not PRETTY!!
Did you notice how everything and I mean everything is so closely linked to marriage? Girls are taught cooking like it’s a matter of life and death (did I mention it always starts from making tea? ok. I just did. ) Guys are sent to good schools, then colleges and then what not, just so they could become somebody before their age. (Sad)
What are you talking about? I know parents who in reality bear their daughters to wear skimpy clothes to (effortlessly) magnetize boys of high birth or social position so their daughters’ future is in good hands. Do you realize how concerned parents are these days? It’s not easy. It’s a “branded zamana” as they say.
Oh talking of boys, I must admire that they appear to be very clear about the kind of girl they prefer to marry. I am saying this so you do not confuse yourself, as they pick entirely a different girl for their love affair(s).

Sigh. I plainly fail to understand why people get married though?, for the reason that even if they do for the love of one another, the “I” trouble still manages to plague it no matter how educated you are and what social backgrounds you belong to. The desire of standing for yourself still remains. You don’t consider yourself and your spouse as one. Marriages are often troubled when a husband feels cheated because his wife fails to live up to all his expectation and she is pretty much as frustrated for the same reason (believe it). Instead of recognizing and correcting their own flaws, they grumble about the things the other spouse does or does not do.
Don’t get mad at me. Admit it. It is the same absurd, whimsical cycle or is it not? You tell me.


Outside the Window

Outside the Window

Exactly 6:30pm. The clock in the tower chimed. I felt the coldness of the night as the sun descended. I said good-bye to him at the gate, outside my house. He was in a rush; he’d remembered he has a train to catch – missing it, he feared would be an unbearable pain for the both of us to undertake the sad goodbyes again. He sat inside the yellow cab; I walked into my house and hurried upstairs to my room to sneak a quick long look at him from my window. I observed, with sadness he chose not to look back. Instead, he tried to keep his mind busy instructing the cab driver to his destination. I closed my eyes for a second as a tear ran down on my cheek picturing his gestures to the cabbie, and when I opened them, found him gone. I stood there by the window powerless. There was nowhere else to go. There was nothing left – nothing that could make me smile or make me feel important. I chose to spend some more time at the window, holding the grill tightly so nothing could part me from it. – the winding patterns bit into my flesh, leaving red streaks across my soft fingers, as if they’d been whipped with a cane. The pain certainly felt as harsh.

There was an unusual satisfaction in my grief, which I didn’t want to avoid, a very odd pleasure in those tears. A certain delight in the chilliness of the night and the cool wind in my hair that it almost watered my eyes. The road was quiet. It started to drizzle and I was instantly transported back to the first time we met for the first time at the Dry Cleaner’s shop, wet and not very happy with the rainy weather. It is from that rainy day to this moment, that we always remained together spiritually despite the consequences of our physical distances. How much I wished he didn’t have to go. It had hardly been two minutes to his departure and his memories had begun to encircle me already like a thick, cotton shawl on a cold human body – the static of loneliness prickling unpleasantly against the warmth of those memories. I shut my eyes and once again, I felt secure – safe, so much that I didn’t feel the need of anything else in life but the remembrance of the good and bad times we both shared that nothing could possibly beat. It felt amazing – the nostalgic vibe running with electric energy within me and how tightly I held myself and his memories close, to keep me warm and protected.

It started to rain quite heavily and the air threw few thick raindrops on my wet face through the grill. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes and everything seemed right again – in fact, cheerful. The green trees looked happy again. The neighboring houses no longer appeared old. Some of the neighbors came out of their houses and began to walk and enjoy every bit of the weather. I saw cars rushing and the wipers constantly dancing – – the wheels splashing in the stagnant pools of water on the roads and producing gurgling rippling noises – it seemed like the water was giggling. It was extremely beautiful. Almost irritatingly perfect that after a very short while, I couldn’t take it anymore or perhaps I didn’t wish to. The sense of melancholy and heavy heartedness began to attack me and I was more contented that way again for a very odd and an unknown reason. The beautiful scenario happening outside my window seemed odd to me, something unfamiliar – something not quite right for me. I was confused for a moment and very slowly unfolded myself to stretch my arms and shut the window quietly.
There was silence again. So much silence that it had begun to scream in my ears. I sat on my bed. Slowly laid down my head and held the pillow almost too tightly – my brave demeanor vanished, my body wracked with sobs as I cried and cried and cried, and held the pillow too tight as I cried and realized…I no longer felt lonesome because abandonment always kept me company.


The Closed Wooden Doors

The Closed Wooden Doors

Scandalous subject. Oh I am glad it will hold the readers’ attention till the next few lines at least and perhaps…only. For it is natural for a regular man to be engrossed to know possibly all that is behind (and then there are some who are eager to acquire more knowledge,) beyond certain “closed” doors. I am not apologetic although I believe I will disappoint you now, as I begin to talk of my matter, which ironically is different from your hopes, as im seeing it.
What closed wooden doors? I see nothing is hidden. An ordinary man hunts for some place so he could be by himself for a while. He runs, he hides from people, who are full of curiosity, also, who are ready to close eyes to their own issues for a while to enjoy others’. I see a common man has to put in so much effort to keep his troubles private. It is sad how people disrespect a man’s solitude mostly for their own distraction. I do not see contented people anywhere. Where are they?, where have they gone? Or, were they ever there? Was their happiness their temporary misconception? I do not know. I can not tell. I see a big happy family living in a big, handsome house, doing everything together and assuring to one another they would hang about like this for the rest of their lives. Inspirational? Yes? Why? How do I still feel the negative forcefulness that is keeping them together? Why are their hearts corrupt? Why, the simplest emotion like love has become so complicated?
Why do I imagine, everyone sometimes, will close their hearts and hope to die to tell I- love-you lies? Why is it that a young student feels ashamed of traveling by a school van? Who is going to aware him/her of the difficulties the father is taking to still send his child to a reputable school? Why have our minds become so uptight and narrow, that there is almost no room for small compromises? Why can not we keep somebody’s financial calamities serious? Why have we become so self indulgent? What do we get out of it? Good grades but hardly any sincere friends?, loads of money but no one to enjoy it with? What are we doing? Think.
There are more questions and one answer. We lack realization. I do not need to say more. It is self explanatory to people who will follow and I close my wooden doors to those otherwise.