The shepherd from Vijhara

Mohammad Ali Bandial:

A tale told by father

Originally posted on Wonders of Pakistan:

The moral of the tale is that the men of of sense must never lend ear to women’s gossip. But that is not the true essence that hides behind the tale.
This is a tale of Punjabi resistance to the all-powerful Mughals. Here in the Laehnda, the rich and powerful Bandials and Tiwanas were the masters; the Ghanjeras were a tribe of lesser influence. And here was a Ghanjera who was courageous enough to make off with his stolen property from right under the nose of the most powerful emperor the Mughals were ever to produce.
And if a poor Ghanjera shepherd could be so, consider what the more powerful tribes could wreak upon the Mughals.



by Salman Rashid


Aali of the tribe Ghanjera was a shepherd from village Vijhara under the southern shadow of the…

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My debut short story published on Amazon Kindle

The story is a satire on the unpredictable nature of politics and shaky power bases that are prevalent in most post colonial states in South Asia. In today’s age, no state can afford to adopt an isolationist stance. This has been depicted in a satirical fashion here as the inhabitants of Monty’s bathroom have to face the repercussions of changing policies, taking place beyond their borders and out of their control. Through the course of the narrative, the fickleness of loyalties and vulnerability of alliances and dynasties is  exposed.  As the arrival of an unexpected outside sets in motion a chain reaction of events that threaten the status quo of the ruling party, ties of friendship and loyalty will be questioned and each character will have to answer their own demons as they are faced with a constantly changing political landscape.

Please do check it out on Amazon Kindle and spread the word too!


Imran Khan – An emotionally compromised view.

Mohammad Ali Bandial:

couldnt have said it better myself! GO KHAN!!

Originally posted on Pakistani Society:

imran khan

Let me state this for the record that I have never met Imran Khan. The closest I have ever come to him is at a Jalsa where I was possibly in the last line. Yet, when I saw the news of his fall today it sent shivers down my spine. The feeling was considerably close to what I feel when I am worried for my loved ones. And I could distinctly tell that feeling because I have experienced it in life – the moment when food suddenly feels unneeded, plans fall apart, hope diminishes and you get a feeling of utter helplessness. These are the times when you look up to the sky, and just pray, and try to avoid “those” dreadful thoughts from coming into your head. Yes, you know which thoughts I am referring to. The ones you consistently avoid thinking about – regardless of the fact that…

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A path with a heart


Anything is one of a million paths.

Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path.

If you feel you should not follow it you must not stay with it under any conditions.

To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life.

Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront to oneself or to others in dropping it,if that is what your heart tells you to do.

But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.

I warn you.

Look at every path closely and deliberately.Try it as many times as you think necessary.

This question is one that only a very old man asks.

Does this path have a heart?All paths are the same,they lead nowhere.They are paths going through the bush or into the bush.

In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths but I am not anywhere.Ask yourself,does this path have a heart?If it does the path is good,if it doesn’t it is of no use.

Both paths lead nowhere but one has a heart and the other doesn’t.

One makes for a joyful journey and as long as you follow it you are one with it.The other will make you curse your life.One makes you strong,the other weakens you.

Before you embark on any path ask the question,does this path have a heart?

If the answer is no,you will know it and then you must choose another path.

The trouble is that nobody asks the question.And when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart the path is ready to kill him.

At that point very few men can stop to deliberate and leave the path.A path without a heart is never enjoyable.You have to work hard even to take it.On the other hand,a path with heart is easy.It does not make you work at liking it.

I have told you that to choose a path you must be free from fear and ambition.

The desire to learn is not ambition.It is our lot as men to want to know.

The path without a heart will turn against men and destroy them.

It does not take much to die and to seek death is to seek nothing.

For me there is only traveling on the paths that have a heart.On any path that may have a heart.There I travel,and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length.

And there I travel looking,looking, breathlessly!

~ Carlos Castaneda ~


Subah ho gayee maamoo..

That would’ve been so cool if I had been woken up by that text would’nt it?

But your mom, sadly lacks a bit in the sense of humor department, as you will, I am sure soon find out when you pee all over the carpet or her clothes and she does’nt find it as funny as you did. Ok on second though the humor might even be lost on you, but trust me, it WOULD”VE been cool, cuz you see there was this famous bollywood movie, Munna Bhai..and..hmmm siiighhhh…never mind yaar, just trust me on this one.

But anyway, back to the story, so yeah, that was’t what the text read that woke me up at 9 in the morning-late, I know yaar, but as you grow up you will realize that all your hatred for early morning rising and going for work was justified, it DOES suck- but the message was pretty much the same, malik saab, a.k.a the latest addition, thats you by the way, was on the way!!

So while the rest of the womenfolk, that is meme, saadia,your hira aapi and your dadi hovered around mano and did the things that women do-whatever it is maan, i still don’t know- I spent a restless day at the office, just waiting for some news, and your parents will tell you i HATE office, so yesterday was even more awful.

I felt like the minutes literally dragged by on this hot, sweltering day, by the way, great choice of month maan,i mean cmoon!! If you HAD to choose the summers you could’ve picked late July or August, then you and I would’ve been Leo buddies…and meme…and Baati..and Hajira….and Ayesha…ok fiiiiine!!! so there are a LOTTA Leo’s already in the family??? So? you can’t ever have too much of a good thing can you?

But anyway, you could’ve done much worse, atleast you’re a Gemini, thats a pretty neat thing. Abba is also a gemini, I know, technically he is your nana, and you don’t quite get how everyone calls him abba, even meme..yeah our family is wierd that way, welcome to the gang!

But yeaah, so when i realised you were going to be a Gemini and all, i read up on your horoscope just to get a few tips on how to bond better with you (oh yeah, heads up, I’m going to be your FAV mamoo, no second options there). So, here’s what we’re looking at:

Your birthstone is pearl-Thank God you’re not a girl, cuz im NOT getting you any pearl necklaces man! And you’re flower is rose…hmmm odd choice but i guess they do smell nice, and thats all im sayin..hmm what else…ok here:

“If You Were Born Today, June 20:

As gentle and likeable as you are, there is a resolute part of you that is unmistakable. This combination of heart and courage almost guarantees success. You are also have a strong belief in yourself. Love and relationships are very important to you, and you will go to great lengths for a person you love. Famous people born today: Nicole Kidman, Lionel Richie, Chet Atkins, John Goodman, Errol Flynn.”

Hmmm not bad maan, Nicole ? You should get some of those old classics-im figuring DVD‘s will still be around by the time you’re old enough to appreciate Nicole Kidman- hmm sounds all good, I think we’re going to hit it off pretty nice.

Hehe ok this one cracked me up, listen to what this says about your year..

“2012 is a Number Four year for you. Ruled by Uranus. This is a year of work and development. It’s “nose to the grindstone” time. It’s a time to deal with practical matters, and it’s not a time to be lazy or especially gregarious. Sometimes, it can be a year that feels hard, monotonous and routine, and/or lonely. Advice – get yourself organized, work to build your resources, keep busy.”

Hahahha…this year is going to be ruled by Uranus…(get it?) *siiiighhhhh* never mind..but that much was pretty straight forward, obviously its going to be ruled by uranus since you’ll be pooping most of the time, besides sleeping that is…That also takes care of monotony and routine…poop,sleep,feed,repeat..on endless loop..and thats not such a bad lifetstyle too if you ask me.

So, lets bring you up to date, with whatever else has been happening around on the day when you finally decided to grace us with your presence.

The PM FINALLY decided to leave the office after months and months of crap talk that i seriously don’t pay much attention to, but just for posterity this guy, the ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani was once held in jail and your nana ji, my father and the universal abba actually handled his case, a fact that the former even mentions in his memoir.

So abba was pretty much hooked on the whole escapade..and so was meme…so thats that.

Hmmm and what else? The Euro’s are going on, didnt get much time to watch most of the matches but the smart money is on Spain winning their third consecutive major trophy. And Wimbledon starts from Monday..(just making sure you get a headstart on having the same interest in sports as I do).

On a sad note, you missed meeting your Sherry mamoo by a couple of months, you would’ve liked him…

Anyyway, i got held up by babys sitting duties, looking after your cousins fateh sher and hajira-asfand and baati were back at the farmhouse playing Xbox ALL day…i really hope you are more outdoorsy like me- which is why i was’nt there when you finally arrived.

sorry bro, it was fifa 2012, couldnt miss that, hope you had an awesome homecoming

And then there was all this confusion about when to go where to go, you know how it is with women and giving directions and making up their minds? Well, you’ll find out soon enough. By the time i got to the hospital, you were already fast asleep and i could only sneak a couple of peeks before Hira bossed me away from her ‘new buddy’.

You looked happy and content and a LOT like your father. And from what I heard about the ‘ghutti’ incident where you seemed to LOVE the honey, I have a feeling that you have inherited his love for all things culinary and gastronomical, which is great, cuz i LOVE food too.

did somebody just meniton chicken karahi????

But we’ve gotta burn that off too, I’m going to teach you tennis and football, don’t get fooled by what your dad tells you and believe that cricket is the only sport in the world. I mean ok its fun to watch and all, but wait till you get the ‘polo bug’…

Thats something else maan…( I know i keep calling you maan, its a guy thing, you’ll get it later, plus mano and fawad are waiting for your dada ji to come back from Brazil to finalize your name, although i hear the frontrunner right now is Rafay, although Hira seems to like for now, we’ll stick to maan or dude-even that went out with the teenage mutant ninja turtles- or something or the other)

Anyyway, I see that I have started to ramble, thats another thing you’ll have to excuse us grown ups for, we have sooo much to tell you that we don’t know when to stop. But inshallah , we have time to make so many more amazing memories..

So…here’s looking at you kid..

A poppy flower

Something so soothing and yet poignant about this poem that I came across, thought I’d share it with you guys…


In a desert, once, on a hunt did I find,

With a radiant smile, a flower so fair;

Sadly, I approached and sighed, “Ah! Of my kind

Are you too – a hapless flower from a beloved’s hair.

Frail fingers wouldn’t take you to a soft face so close,

Nor would you be kissed by lips delicate and rose.”

With a silent smile the flower replied, “Don’t lose heart!

This desert I wouldn’t give up for the gardens of Iran,

A solitary I am here while legions are there,

Amidst this cursed soil I stand apart.

In this gray desert, a flamboyant flame of divine light am I,

Beauty’s silent song, a miracle from the sky.

In your garden, there are thousands of flowers like me –

A nameless droplet in a nameless sea.

You too, in your desert, don’t feel forlorn,

To behold you at last shall come a sore.

Ghani Khan.

Wish you were there…

‘Pity the beautiful,
the dolls, and the dishes,
the babes with daddies
granting their wishes.’
‘Pity the beautiful’ by Dana Gioia

Who doesn’t love the weekend?

It’s the only thing that keeps us going through the monotony that is the long tedious hours sitting in a cubicle, following the rat race that life has become for most of us. But we know why we do it.
For the little ones. Our pride and joy.

From the moment those little fingers wrapped around your hand, you made a  promise to yourself to go through all kinds of personal hell to make sure that they never have to walk in the sun. And if that means sacrificing your Sunday morning for a day in the park, that doesn’t seem to be too demanding.

If you managed to get out of bed on Sunday the 6th of May and made your way to Gravity Hill in F-9 park, you would not have been wrong in mistaking the scene  before you for a typical family picnic. The picture fit the description perfectly. There were all the little children, dressed in their Sunday best, playing games, listening to songs, reading, doing all the stuff a normal family would do. And yet, something did not add up despite large trays of smiley faced home-baked cupcakes and goodies from the fellows, delicious picnic food from our generous friends Thali and all the outdoor games.

For one, the grownups looking after the kids, monitoring them, playing along were too young to be their parents. But if you took a closer look at the little ones, you would have noticed a maturity beyond their years. You would have felt the calluses on those hardened baby hands. You would have seen the steely resolve in those tiny souls even in a game of relay race or Frisbee. And yet, there was no meaness or jealousy that is present even in children when it comes to sharing their precious toys. And that alone, should have made it clear..for these were no ordinary children.

These were street children. We also call them ‘under-privileged’ sometimes.

Their whole life has been one big struggle against fate and the world from the moment they were born. For most, childhood ended the moment they opened their eyes to a world without doting parents or all the luxuries that money could buy. Most of these young kids had to learn a trade to earn a livelihood for their families while they should still be playing.
But instead of toys they were handed rags and clothes to clean, merchandise to sell and trash to pick to earn for their family.
However, for one day, they were children again.

This picnic was the culmination of a long and fruitful relationship that the grown ups have had with these less fortunate kids. Inspite of all the hardships these young souls have had to face so early on in their lives, they have taught important lessons in life to even their seniors.
As the sun set on Gravity Hill that Sunday evening, I saw the children transform right before my eyes. Without a word or being told to, they silently helped their elders and each other, clean up the place and pack up the picnic stuff.
There were no groans or complaints or pleadings for five more minutes or one more round of games. They knew that life did not afford them such luxuries. Life was all about these little moments of bliss. And they had learned to savor them, with no regrets.

Instead, they welcomed each moment with a smile and a spring in their step, for after having seen life from rock bottom they knew that their dreams and aspirations were the only wings they would ever have to lift them up.As I waved goodbye to the kids, I wondered if we were teaching the kids about life or was it the other way around.

More fun yellow pictures: