Stories about mind

Remembering Ashfaq Ahmed: Through his stories, he will live forever in our hearts

On September 7, 2004, while sitting in my office and doing my routine work, I received a call from a close friend. Without the usual ‘Salam dua’ he exclaimed, “Ashfaq sahib is no more; just got the news.” It was a short sentence, but it had many aspects attached to it. The feeling of a great loss, sweet memories of so many stories, dramas and plays, of colourful travelogues, funny incidents, thought-provoking quotes of Sufis and other baabay (mystics); nostalgic recollections of a life well spent, and fully lived. So much came to mind and passed like a breeze, leaving me numb and motionless ...

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Was the creation of Pakistan a mistake?

Over the years, I have come across many people who believed that Pakistan should never have been created. Keeping today’s lawlessness and corruption in mind, I often feel that they are indeed right. However, amongst the many reasons given to me by such individuals for Pakistan being a mistake, one of the most prominent is that had India not been divided then, Muslims today would have been the largest religious group in the subcontinent. Such statements are misguiding as these people are misinformed. Currently the population of Muslims in the subcontinent is 510 million, with roughly 180 million each in Pakistan and ...

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Happy-ending massage parlours: When filth comes to Karachi DHA

Massage is taken as a therapy to relieve stress and rejuvenate the mind and body after a day’s hectic routine. In our society a “maalishi” is considered a magician who can instantly relieve you of your knots and spasms. However, since the last five to six years we have witnessed a mushroom growth of salons offering different kinds of massages ranging from neck and shoulder to full body Thai massages. Besides the high end spas, a relatively recent entrant in this market, are “massage parlours” operating in certain commercial areas of DHA and Clifton. Out of curiosity, I did ...

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Soliloquy of an on-looker

The haze slowly cleared out and I regained consciousness. As I became aware of my existence, I gradually began to recall what had brought me here in the first place. My mind felt like an old desktop computer that had just been switched on – slow, dusty and rusty.  Words. Sounds. Noise. I began to recall a noise of some sort – indistinct, messy, and confusing. It sounded like several FM radio stations merged into one, with none of them being tuned on to the right frequency. Ouch, my ears hurt. Whatever the source of the sounds was, I concluded that it was from a ...

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And in this act of balance, we learn to live

These are called windmills. Windmills of my mind going round and round…. all the time. Did I just rhyme? I think I did. I don’t know why but whenever I sit to pen down my thoughts in prose, lines start rhyming. Maybe, I am a poet then and not a prose writer. So for next time, but not this time, I’ll try a hand on poetry and see how much I struggle with the balancing act. Balancing the verses I mean. Well, it shouldn’t come hard as after all what have I done all my life?… juggled with balancing. As a beginner ...

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Airport travelers: Friends afar

There’s something magical about letting yourself disappear in the music of your mind and losing your heart to absolute strangers in their conversations, their actions and their journeys. Like a ghost, I sit on one too many buses and trains just observing people. I take mental notes about their mannerisms when they’re not watching. I make up stories about where they may be headed, who their lovers may be and what they might have overcome in their lives. I fall in love with some and end up hating others. And though we never even exchange a single word or glimpse, I ...

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Why I think women are stupid

Women, no matter how smart and intelligent they are professionally, are horrendously stupid and myopic where men are concerned. They can be very assertive with everyone, but place them opposite their lover and they start stuttering (it’s happened more than once with me). They are bosses at work, running their own business or office and yet will let a loser run their lives for them. Why? Why do they make monkeys of themselves repeatedly in their intimate relationships with men? The sheer stupidity displayed by otherwise sensible women in the presence of a man whom they love is baffling. Is it the way we are ...

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Another day, another video of a killing

I saw the video of Sarfaraz Shah being shot by a Rangers official at 11am this morning. The immediate feelings that went through my mind: Fear Anger Mostly confusion Over the course of the day, I have seen the gruesome video pop up again and again and again on sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook (much like the Sialkot lynching video), showing Shah pleading to the Rangers to take him to the hospital after being shot twice at point blank, with no one coming to his help. His final words begging for someone to take him to the hospital continue to echo in my ...

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Pakistan should mind all of its languages!

Pakistan is an unfortunate country which, instead of actually celebrating the invaluable diversity of its age-old culture and languages, has instead been suppressing every voice raised in its favor. Although it is a question of simple ‘recognition’ of cultures which actually form the ‘federation’, this issue has always been dealt with purely on political grounds, not realising that this simple act of recognition (the government has nothing to show for ‘actively’ promoting its cultures) will add to the strength of the country. It’s not diversity but uniformity which has been propagated through the state or the so-called ‘national media’ – notion of being ‘one’ nationhood has been ...

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To leave or not to leave Pakistan

As a kid, I had made up my mind to not leave this country even if it was falling apart. But then again, the biggest worry at that time was whether it was safe to stay out late at night. Things have changed now and that, too, rapidly and drastically.  Now the situation is such that there’s no guarantee that even when you go to pray, you’ll come back alive. The past few days put things in better perspective. On Monday, while everyone only sang OBL tunes, Karachi was set ablaze. Vehicles were torched as if they were for free, people killed ...

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