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Time Out

Posted on 18 Dec 2013 In: Soundingboard

The child probably five years old was bawling out loud nonstop ever since we had entered the house, our acquaintance was not overtly perturbed but to self and wife it was painful. Our hosts ignored him and entered into an innocuous conversation with us. As the shouting continued uninterrupted, feeling concerned I looked sympathetically at the child.

“What does he want?” I inquired.

“He wants to go out. We have just returned from the park,” the mother said. Read the rest of this entry »

My Son’s Neighbor – Part II

Posted on 20 Nov 2013 In: Soundingboard

The Reunion

“My name is Harbhajan Kaur. I am now 82 years old. My father Sher Singh was a landlord of Raja Sansi town near Amritsar. I was married to a Sardar Harbil Singh in Lahore in 1946. In 1947, while migrating from Lahore to Amritsar our truck was attacked and the mobsters killed everyone except the girls. I was one of the surviving girls. After changing hands, a person named Afzal Khan married me and renamed me Shahnaz Begum. Afzal Khan was 16 years older than I was. After marrying Afzal Khan, I moved to Karachi and we had five children. Afzal Khan manufactured face cream and we lived in Kola Godaam (Coal Storage) area of Karachi. The names of my children are Khurshid, Zubeda, Jamila, Bala and Rizwan. Read the rest of this entry »

Islam, An Adjuration.

Posted on 11 Nov 2013 In: Soundingboard

Shia Muslims mourn during the Month of Moharram every year.  They meet in Ashoorkhanas , a building providing space and room for large congregation and forAlams (flags) and Panjas (hands)  symbols of  ’battle of Karbala’ which took place 1400 years ago. The Majalis (gathering) commences with the recitals of Marsiyas, elegiac poems written to commemorate the martyrdom and valor of Hazrat Imam Hussein Ibne Hazrat Ali, his family members and his comrades at Karbala and Soz, lamenting the brutality meted to Hussein and his family. This is followed by the Zakir (speaker, normally a Maulana) speaking to the audience on  topics ranging from religious to social issues and ending with description of the  events in battle ofr Karbala and its aftermath, which are charged with emotional sorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

My Son’s Neighbour – Part I

Posted on 18 Oct 2013 In: Soundingboard

For some Pakistan is a ‘failed state’,and that is perhaps, the general impression we get when we hear neutral voices here and abroad. The two nation theory which many in Pakistan  insist on, laid the foundation of a nation  on ‘quick sand’ and so far a major portion of its structure ie Bangladesh has sunk and the rest viz the frontier provinces are sinking  by the hour. To the vocal majority in our country a Pakistani is a religious fanatic prepared to kill and destroy those who do not toe his version  of his faith and belief which to us  remain so convoluted and repulsive. The cross border terrorism over the years has etched this profile and so is the regular killings of innocents and the break down of law and order in that country which further strengthens this reality Read the rest of this entry »

Wishbone: The new Novel

Posted on 3 Sep 2013 In: Soundingboard

I have commenced writing my new novel. “The Wishbone”. It is about  relationships between dear and near ones  before and after they have a ‘windfall’ consequent to their supplication to the “Wishbone”. The novel is a thriller coupled with mystery and humor. Hopefully in a month’s time it will go for publication.

I am enclosing the Prologue primarily for those who may like to try the ‘wishbone’ and reap the harvest. A word of caution! do read Grand Ma’s advice carefully! Read the rest of this entry »

Poverty, Bugbear

Posted on 15 Aug 2013 In: Soundingboard

From time immemorial there have been many who were in a ‘state that lacked a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions’. Recorded acceptance is furnished in all known scriptures, and in most the Lord God has envisioned solutions to mitigate the sufferings of the poor and the down trodden. For those who strongly and vehemently hold religious beliefs, it is ordained that they practice that is written. The compulsion is not from any constitutional authority or from a tyrant, it is from the Divine and in whom they trust. Read the rest of this entry »

Catalysts for Creativity

Posted on 24 Jul 2013 In: Soundingboard

During our journeys by road to fulfill our official assignments, en route picking up bits and pieces of twigs, dried roots, drifting seasoned and withered wood from rivers and streams, was a pastime which I particularly did not relish, especially when time and space were at a premium. However, I and my wife did find it extremely fascinating and alluring the creation, from these entities, of various forms of decorative artifacts of different sizes and shapes representing all and sundry living, inanimate and imaginative objects. The creator was my immediate superior, whose obsession with driftwood sculpture was overwhelming phenomenal. In his garden and courtyard were positioned eye catching and startling driftwood innovations; the rooms in the house were also not spared. He was quite magnanimous with his creations and I have several of these adorning our family and living rooms. Read the rest of this entry »

Manipulation Season

Posted on 6 Jul 2013 In: Soundingboard

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.” John F Kennedy

Is that what is on today! Yes the mill is working over time. Never before have we seen the deluge of this magnitude churning and spreading out with impunity and let us thank first the social media; emails, twitter, facebook, chat, and so on. The  routine media is not far behind;  ‘investigative news’ by ‘dedicated’ journalists further amplified in editorials by ‘revered’ editors, talk shows in the electronic media and of course the screeching and screaming panel discussions at prime time on ‘captive’ TV shows. In a nutshell propaganda hound has been unleashed, sadly here in our country. Read the rest of this entry »

Like most I do have my periods of dispirit, frustration and dismay and presently the abnormal happenings in my country do give reason. Although sequestered in an environment away from the vagaries of the cut and thrust of the players on the centre stage, yet my virtual participation flags constitutive desire and feelings. In addition the awareness of analogous symptoms from documented quondam occurrences further portends the tragically disastrous and calamitous outcome, proven in all cases so far. Read the rest of this entry »

Criticism: Personal Attacks

Posted on 22 May 2013 In: Soundingboard

The English word criticism is derived from the French ‘critique’, which dates back to at least the 14th century and the meaning more or less remains the same whether in Latin or Greek; remark or comment that expresses disapproval of someone or something

Early English meaning of criticism was primarily literary criticism, that of judging and interpreting literature. Samuel Johnson is often held as the prime example of criticism in the English language, and his contemporary Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism is a significant landmark. Read the rest of this entry »