A poppy flower

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

Enjoy!


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.

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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: http://blog.lettucebeekids.org/gallery/twice-on-gravity-hill/

Life’s a road trip, no need to ask for directions, just enjoy!

It truly is, even though it might not appear so sometimes. But amidst all the lying, deceit and disappointments, there are moments that need to be cherished like a bright little flower bursting through the cracks in a hard sun backed earth..It is these little things that make living worth it.

For as long as I can remember (read : ever since i started listening to songs) I found something so timeless in Baz Luhrmann‘s ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’. As i grew older and, hopefully, wiser, I started paying more and more attention to the words behind the song, and it was as if i could finally make sense out of the chaos going all around. Without fail, its been one of my most reliable feel good strategy. The original text that the song uses is from an article published in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Schmich titled ‘Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’…(how true..:P )

To me personally, the words sound like  a sorta personal narrative and makes me go back into the past and hover over different times and places that i have so far seen in my journey through life. And its not such a bad journey, ofcourse there have been the occasional bumps and flat tyres but then who hasn’t been there? Isn’t  that part of the fun in a road trip? That’s what life is, just one big road trip..And its best traveled with the music blaring full blast and the wind blowing in your hair…

So….without further ado, here it is, hope it cheers you up too. * I’ve added images because they help me in letting the message sink in better and relaxes me..*

“Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.

me and farooq tahir at the annual wah gardens picnic at hasanabdal 1995..siiigh good times

Oh, never mind.

You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded….

But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

How ya doin :p

You are not as fat as you imagine.

carrying a bit of summer holidays fat

Don’t worry about the future.

Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

theres actually a logical story behind that too as long as you’re unaware of my driving prowess

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy.

Sometimes you’re ahead,

sometimes you’re behind.

The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

atleast thats what i told myself …

Remember compliments you receive.

Forget the insults.

If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.

Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.

The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.

Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

interesting is a judgement call though in this case..

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees.

You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry..

maybe you won’t….

Maybe you’ll have children..

technically my niece but thats only a minor technicality:P

maybe you won’t….

Maybe you’ll divorce at 40..

maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

just in case, you should know how its done

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much,

or berate yourself either…

Your choices are half chance…

So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body….

Use it every way you can…

Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it…

It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

close competition with Blue thunder though, tht baby was a tank…miss you thunder

Dance..

in my defense, those were craaazy times..

even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions.. even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines…

They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents…

You never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings…

it might not seem like it here but i AM a nice brother, i think i am..i must be …

They’re your best link to your past

and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go…

but with a precious few you should hold on…

 

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle…

because the older you get…. the more you need the people who knew you when you were young…

i get by with a lil help from my friends, Aurangzeb wing 42nd entry

Live in New York City once…(how about lahore?)

but leave before it makes you hard…

Live in Northern California once..(thats definitely Islamambad)

but leave before it makes you soft….

Travel…

Accept certain inalienable truths:

Prices will rise…

Politicians will philander.

You, too, will get old….

Abba at Cadet College Hasan Abdal , i went to the same college and sat in the same seats 30 years later

And when you do..

you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble …and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you….

Maybe you have a trust fund…

Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse….

But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy…

but be patient with those who supply it….

Advice is a form of nostalgia…

Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal..

wiping it off..

painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

siiiiiiiighhhhh ….

Murphy and his Pakistani In-Laws

 

I hate Murphy!

That guy has ruined my life.

(Not you man, the other one)

He just HAD to come up with the damn law, didn’t he? It’s just one of those things, where as long as you don’t think about it, it won’t happen. But since, you know what this douche bag had to say about things going bad, you just know that with your luck you’re going to make Murphy proud.

Ever had one of those days where you’ve wondered; 10 million sperms and I’m the one who had to make it?

(Yeah, that makes more sense.)

 

 

 

I know I know, If life gives you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade..or if youre lady gaga you make a  dress.

 

But the thing is, some of us have not yet reached that level of gaga-ness..just yet, we may very well be on the way though.

But anyway, you gotta love us , we sure know how to mess things up. In fact, I think the Murphy Law does’nt quite do justice to the plethora of everyday opportunities that we seem to invent each time we step foot in the outside world. So here, in no particular order are some of the corollaries that I thought made the cut to Murphy’s Law..

SAHIR LODHI LAW

So you just bought a new pair of shoes. As it so happens, its Friday and you take your latest pride and joy to the masjid for the Juma prayers. That’s a blatant disregard for the Sahir Lodhi Law. When you return, you find a tattered, stinky cheap imitation version of what could be described your shoes by a hallucinating schizo in the place where your shoes had been. I’m afraid you’ve just been SL’ed my friend. Now for the rest of your life, as you are made the butt of every joke, you will continue to insist that you’re original and all other new shoes are infact copying you, but its no use.

 

THE KAMRAN KHAN LAW

It’s the dreaded Monday morning. The first day of another boring week where you will have to wake up at the crack of dawn, sit in your chicken coop sized cubicle all day and listen to your colleagues brainless rant about the latest pair of bugs bunny teeth Bubbloo has sprouted. As you take it all in, your hand inches instinctively for the revolver under your pillow.

STOP!!!

Its not as bad as it seems, what you are experiencing are text book KAMRAN KHAN symptoms of hopelessness, despondency and despair. Its all a perception. The trick is to just grit your teeth and mow through those suicidal feelings that KKL induces. And you’ll realize that the world is not that bad place a live.

 

THE SALEEM SAFI LAW

Ever gone to a meeting all fresh and alert, but as soon as you start listening to the speaker your eye lids begin to weigh a ton each and your head keeps dropping involuntarily? Hmmmm, don’t’t feel bad about it, it’s the Saleem Safi Law, which states that at a certain frequency and pitch, the voice of only a select few will unleash soporific powers (oh yeah, I reached S in the GRE word list!) upon the unsuspecting masses. Self inflicted pinching or face slapping just does not work. Just run! Run forrest run!

(the rhythms gonna get you..tonight!)

 

 

THE MAYA KHAN LAW

You have for some personal reason been unable to fast. But so as not to hurt the feelings of others, you try to find a secluded and isolated spot to eat. The Maya Khan Law postulates that such a place infact simply fails to exist. You might as well lock yourself in a trunk and throw the keys away, but somebody, the Maya Khan variable, will manage to find you and embarrass the living crap out of you for no obvious reason except to be a pain in the ass.

 

THE MEERA LAW

Aaahhh..the Meera Law, an all time classic. Although its effects are not fatal but its like the common cold, you’re bound to have it more than once in your lifetime. Imagine being in the company of some of your ‘faaren’ friends. Now the Meera Law states that as long as you have a relative, preferably an uncle or aunt of the easily-impressed with all things ‘gora’ type, they will attempt to rape English like there is no tomorrow. And, feel good about it afterwards. There are many medicines in the market for this, like pretending your not with them, or making the cuckoo sign when your source of embarrassment is not looking. But none of them really works because the malady keeps evolving under newer names. Some of the other equally devastating but lesser known ones are the Nirma virus, Veena virus. But they all bow down to the one and only Meera Law. No matter how much you run, ‘it will be the back’.

 

 

THE WAQAR ZAKA LAW

Every family has one cousin/uncle who clearly had lost his marbles quite a while back but we just don’t have the heart to tell him that he’s not all there anymore. This one is in memory of that lovable/psycho whack job who pushed his fingers in one power socket too many. The Waqar Zaka Law postulates that if life dealt you with a limited brain or brawn, flaunt it like there is no tomorrow. Sooner or later, everyone around will start to believe that what they thought were just straws holding a melon head on top is actually a person.

 

And last but in no fucking way the least..we have the ultimate feel good law…

THE ZAID HAMID LAW

This law encourages you to spit in the face of defeat, for eventually you will win. Its written, its destiny, its bullshit. And liable to get you a wedgie, just don’t take it too seriously. If after any Pak-India cricket match that we have lost, you still see people smiling and feeling good. Spare thought for those poor souls, they are suffereing from the Zaid Hamid Law. They need to be kept away from anything that is red or resembles a military beret.

Trust me on the beret. Its magneto’s helmet. You’ve been warned. It can even change to a cat if its off the head.

 

Captures in truest essence, the cramped up claustrophobic life in an office cubicle

A Serene Scribe

I was reminded of my year in a cubicle this week as I’m moving from an office back to cubicle life again.  I was less than fortunate to work in a tiny cubicle in 2005, for over a year.  Provence it was not. I’m not sure if people realize it but cubicle life has a subversive subculture all its own.  Ok that may be extreme but it does have strange quirks that are funny and beg to be written about.  My personal definition of cubicle:/kyoobikel. n. The vealization of previously free range human beings.  Vealize: v. To stuff or cram into a small space, to ensure efficiency and or tenderness.  The cubicle is a small space that, like torture implements of days gone by, can be made smaller and smaller and smaller as cheap companies try to squeeze more bodies into an existing space instead of obtaining larger offices.

On…

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