Stories about Blog Series

Series 5 Finding salvation Part 3 ‘I am free’

“I am Parvinder Kor! I boarded this train when partition was announced in 1947! I never reached my destination. Our entire train didn’t. Ours was a small village near this station. As partition was declared, my village people decided to move quickly. I was going to be married that night, but our village was under attack and so we left for the station in a hurry. All the areas surrounding our village were Muslim majority areas. They started killing our people in retaliation of their own kin dying on the other side of the country. So we fled for our lives. Our father hurried us ...

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Series 5 Finding salvation Part 2 ‘The bloody bride’

Read part one of the Finding Salvation series here. He could hear footsteps. It sounded as if someone was approaching but at a snail’s pace. This gave time for his heart to slow down. He stood hidden partly behind an old pillar. The silhouette came to light, whatever dim light was on at that time, and an old man came into view. Dragging his slight self by a cane, he slowly thudded his way towards a bench. Saleem saw him sit down on the bench, completely oblivious to his presence. The man took something out of his pocket. Trying to focus ...

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Series 4 Chandni Chowk Part 3 “We exist, though, don’t we?”

It is early morning when the two women, sighing heavily, shuffle their paperwork back into their proper files and exit the office. Mist envelops the city, and it is cold, but they pull their caps down over their ears and continue walking to the nearest bus stop. They do this while keeping up an incessant stream of chatter. “It’s sad, isn’t it?” the first woman says. She looks older than the other woman, taller, with crows’ feet around her eyes and wrinkles lining her cheeks. “They didn’t send her to jail, but now she’s stuck in the old age home. I really ...

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Series 4 Chandni Chowk Part 2 The moon has bruises

Later in the evening, the telephone rings. It is the adoption agency calling to tell you that your son has asked for your name and address and, as he is of age, he has been provided both. “He’ll be coming to see you soon, probably.” “This was just to inform you…” the woman over the phone says, in her uncaring monotone. “He’ll be coming to see you soon, probably.” “That’s all well and good,” you reply, rubbing at your forehead with a hand. “But you must be mistaken. I don’t have a s—.” The woman hangs up before you can complete the sentence. You ...

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Series 4 Chandni Chowk Part 1 Where roses bloom like bruises

When the bell rings, your hands are still covered with dirt from the garden. You hastily stick them under the tap beside the back door, toss the apron into the oven on your way into the hall, and swing open the front door. The neighbours, aunty number one and aunty number two, whose actual names you can never remember, are standing underneath the shade of the lemon tree. They fan themselves with their hands, their flabby arms moving up and down in an inconsequential rhythm. Aunty number one struts inside, her salon-dyed blonde hair revealing itself through her scarf. Aunty number ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 4 Who’s the coward?

Muneezah gaped at him. Her brain tried to process this information. No words were spoken. Suddenly, her mother chuckled while eating her rice. The chuckle turned into high pitched laughter. Muneezah and her father stared at her while she guffawed for several minutes. Drawing a long breath, she said, “Jaffer! You are not man enough to fight in a real army. Don’t you know that by now?” Jaffer drew his chair back, threw the napkin on the table and stormed out. Muneezah started to say something but her mother cut her off, “Shut up! Clean this all up before you sleep!” ———————————————————————————————————- It had ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 3 Nothing short of a tyrant

What came next was an eternity in hell. Her mother’s screams still pierce the air around her house. After what seemed like an eternity, the noises died out. The house seemed empty. Ammarah knew her mother was dead. Without hearing any gun shots or seeing her die, she knew her mother was no more. She didn’t cry though. With bone dry eyes and a scratchy throat, Ammarah attempted to climb down to her mother. She slipped several times. She steadied herself. The sight that met her eyes was beyond every explanation. There is an emotion beyond horror. It is beyond ...

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A Pakistani boy conversing with Grief

“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran “Hi! It’s good to finally meet you.” Grief smiled, a very beautiful smile, actually; not at all broken, as the boy had wanted and imagined. But wait, what was that? Or who was that? There was something. Someone. Inside there. Inside that smile. Or maybe he was just imagining. “You look so different from how everyone describes you,” the boy remarked. “How am I described?” Grief asked, pleased by the boy’s honesty. Grief’s voice was so clear, not at all ...

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Series 2: “The Djinn” Part 5 A child of fire

Hercules ‘filtered’ through the kitchen wall one day, but it was not his unconventional entrance or his massive djinn like physique on that occasion that made me stare at him blankly. It was that I was not used to seeing him anywhere except in the study. When I inquired so, he shrugged and walked around the kitchen, peering at the various appliances, finally stopping at the toaster. “What’s this?” I allowed myself to reflect briefly on the irony of someone as powerful as Hercules being stumped by a kitchen toaster before explaining and offering to toast some bread to demonstrate, but he took the slice of ...

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Series 2: “The Djinn” Part 4 Halloween

I hadn’t seen Hercules in a while, and I wondered how djinns celebrated Halloween, perhaps by pretending to be human. I, myself, had celebrated Halloween by putting on a Rehman Malik wig and a pair of Asif Zardari grinning dentures. I found him on a stool, and he was made up to look human. Atop his pint-sized body, on his normally clean shaven face now without a veil, were the most outsized moustaches I had ever seen; bushy, black and shiny, upturned and pointy at the ends. Before I could say anything, Hercules struck a ‘Ta-da’ pose on the carpet in front of me. “But… ...

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