Category Archives: Thoughts Aloud

Conversation? What for?

Want to start a conversation? What for? Do you really want to know me? Or is it a habit borne out of pre-defined societal norms? Is it going to be a conversation conversation? Or is it the ‘morning / good morning’ you wish people stuck with you in a lift on the way down?

I want to know if conversation is on your mind because you like collecting stories. I want to know if conversation is on your mind because you wanna assess how good a place you are in life. I want to know if conversation is in your mind because you haven’t met your ‘passing-down-a-condescending-opinion-on-another’ quota for the day. Tell me if all of this is true. Tell me if one of this is true.


Suppose it’s a cliche?

As a kid, not healing was not an option; it was a matter of survival. Being a serious asthma patient post-birth, healing meant completely different to me than most other kids. Now walking, talking, running … this is stuff you can probably ignore for a few hours or days, to give yourself enough time to heal if you’re sick or injured. I had to learn how to control my breathing pattern before I could even fully properly comprehend what patterns are.

As I grew older, sports happened. That part of the healing was actually fun. Getting scraped on the cement floors diving for a catch or ripping your trousers at the knees and bleeding from it was actually heroic if you wanted to be counted as a serious player (sports-wise). And I was regardless of incentives, a very serious minded sports player.

My evenings out of my house were pretty intense affairs. Had a car run over my foot once while I was avoiding getting hit playing pittoo-paari (a local street game in Karachi). Had a 60 kg marble slab fall on my foot as I attempted to fix a broken public bench. Had a hair-line fracture on the shin bone batting without a pad on the back leg playing hard-ball cricket; naturally I got hit. Now the healing process was painful, but heroic nevertheless.

As life got serious, what became quickly apparent was that physical healing wasn’t always THAT scary. Turns out life is all about dealing with mental scars. And who’s to say those scars need healing? Why can’t you and your scars co-exist? Does the clot really need to happen? And if the clot happens, does it really need to be gradually replaced by new skin? There’s a certain addiction in licking your wounds of memories gone by, good and bad alike. Even if there are some particularly bad memories, there’s some genuine ease and temptation in wanting to sink into THAT particular despair.


Now I haven’t yet been able to decide whether that pool of despair feels sweet, but I’ll tell you this; I don’t hate it. I have been co-existing with it for many years now. I can’t say that I have healed. I can’t say that I have died.

Suppose this cliche is just that? A cliche? Maybe healing is overrated.

This is in response to today’s word: Heal

Anonymity in Abu Dhabi

It is the end of February. I am new here. This is my first week. I am sitting on a public bench in front of ‘Le Meridien’ and ‘Dana Hotel’, enjoying the surprisingly cool breeze of the dying winters of Abu Dhabi.


The shade and the sun over here are starkly different. They do not seem to blend seamlessly into the other; there’s no gradual integration there. You step into the sunlight away from the comforting shade and you realize how bad it’s gonna get when summer arrives. in truth, I’m a little scared. I mean, me and excess heat just do not function that well. Add to that the three layers of clothes, tightly bound neck and a stifling suit, boy am I in for a shellacking.

The buildings around me are tall; cars around me slick; and the people around me confusingly minding their own business. Why is that? Why isn’t anybody staring at me? I don’t get it! I mean, I’m so used to it. All kinds of staring. Pakistanis love to stare. It isn’t just women as some people profess, no! It’s everything! Everything is our business.

It’s as Ali Gul Pir would say, ‘Bakri bhi taarunga, kutta bhi taarunga, building bhi taarunga, family bhi taarunga, gaari bhi taarunga‘.

We are a genuinely curious people. Everyone is interested in everything that you do. You, unwittingly, are a goddamned celebrity! And when your business becomes unimportant, you long for that attention. OK, maybe just a little bit. So yea, I am struggling a little bit with this anonymity in Abu Dhabi. I liked it better when everything was everyone’s business.

An exploratory MHB fan …

So I’ve been listening to Mekaal Hasan Band for some years now. It started with a wierd private website that doesn’t even exist now, where I found a very very raw audio feed of a Mekaal Hasan Band jam, labelled ‘Late Moon’. And that song was enough to make me fall in love with its music.


THe song that I’ve shared is ‘Sampooran‘- here’s to hoping you love the baansri (flute) on this one as much as I did. This song is beautiful, and eternal …

So, what do you think?

So I have been thinking ….

So I have been thinking … and it has been a while. I think I must start blogging again : )

The joy of The Allman Brothers Band performing live …

‘Lord I Was Born a Rambling Man’ – I must make an unconditional statement. The Allman Brothers Band brings me sheer joy with their music. The joy they radiate with their music is contagious! The uploader has disabled the ’embed’ option for this video, but you can watch the video when you click on play and follow the video’s direction. Listen to this beautiful performance …

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

My father was a gambler down in Georgia
He wound up on the wrong end of a gun
And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus
Rollin’ down highway forty-one

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

I’m on my way to New Orleans this mornin’
I’m leavin’ out of Nashville, Tennessee
They’re always having a good time down on the bayou
Lord, them Delta women think the world of me

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

2012 in review – Spat Out Vicious

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Web of Games

Beliefs are tradeable. Yes, I said it. They are tradeable, mouldable, transferable. As most of us are aware of by now, beliefs can also be bought. We are audacious enough to call ourselves originals. How unique is your belief? How unique is mine? Is it not bought from TV, sold through a book, or influenced through philosophy?

We are fools to believe in what we do, yet we are not naive. The web of games spun around us is indeed quite complex, and becoming increasingly so … finally, you will be caught in it.

Connecting with Mehdi Hasan – I

I must thank my freind, who before leaving for Dubai allowed me to ransack his laptop. We all have heard Mehdi Hasan sahab the legend one way or another; however its another prospect allowing yourself sustained hearing of Mehdi Hasan. As of now, I am concentrating on these ghazals:

a) Gulon main rang bharaay

b) Jo thakay thakay sey thay hauslay

c) Shola tha jal bhuja hun

It’s a truly enlightening experience, and I think you should give it a chance too. Its a step forward in music, not back : )

In anticipation of ‘hide-n-seek’ with bijli !

Hi everyone … yea Eid is just over, offices and schools start tomorrow in earnest, and Pakistan’s routine life will start again.

You’ve had your 4 days of fun with 24 hour supply of electricity. A slight warning: don’t get used to it – don’t let the disease get to you! If it helps you to adjust, close the main switch of your home for a couple of hours .. just you know, to get familiar with it. In case you have forgotten.

And we do forget dear old ‘bijli‘ don’t we  ?

But like any other bijli character that exists in real life (if you know what I mean, and you do!), this bijli will remind you again of its taste for uncertainty and drama.

Don’t depend on it, don’t count on it – it’s a damn ol’ heart breaker this one. Your game of hide-n-seek with bijli, starts tomorrow 😉

Put in your comments; let’s share how much load shedding different cities of Pakistan is facing. Let’s share our stories shall we ?


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