Stories about silence

Silence: Watch, drool, absorb, repeat

Woah! Just woah! Am I crazy if I just keep on watching something on loop ad infinitum? The trailer of Martin Scorsese’s much awaited passion project ‘Silence’ has finally dropped, and boy am I stunned speechless. Scorsese’s adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel was definitely at the top of my most anticipated list for a long while now, and we finally get a peek into what’s actually in store for us. Silence book cover. Photo: Wikipedia For nearly three decades, the celebrated filmmaker has been planning to adapt Silence, and I will be honest, the premise of two Jesuit ...

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Why should Abbasi apologise for standing up for minorities?

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) latest directive – asking Aaj News to apologise for airing ‘controversial’ and ‘sectarian’ views during a Ramazan transmission reeks of nothing but double standards. Many have argued that Hamza Ali Abbasi’s bold step towards stirring, much needed, dialogue regarding the plight of Ahmadis and the demagogic blasphemy laws was bound to have serious repercussions. And they weren’t wrong. Mere hours later, Shabbir Abu Talib and Kokab Noorani openly declared Abbasi’s discussion an act of ‘treason’. On national television. Consequently, PEMRA, believing itself to be the sacrosanct upholder of morals banned both shows for indulging in provocative, non-serious and irresponsible conversations on television during the ...

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Another conversation with Grief

“They speak of humanity, my humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.” – Jorge  Luis Borges, Boast of quietness “Can I interrupt?” the boy asked, and without waiting, he said, “I had asked who you are, but most of your answer merely told me where to look.” Grief was pleased. “Who we are, we don’t know. But we thought that maybe telling you about our whereabouts, we, too, might find out the answer.” The boy listened. Frowns no longer tented on his forehead. And this time, there was something strange in his expression, and Grief was happy that ...

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You

In the centre of a wave of silence, where I sit inside a shed, You are the tools that I have used to build this home. When people debate about You, You sneak into the smile that travels across my face. You are in the noise that is aroused but more so in the silence that follows. Because what is every word but a pointless effort to imitate the sweet pleasure which roams casually inside silence? Your name is constantly provoked in different forms, in different accents, and You are denied in different languages, in different ways. Lives are spent in defending ...

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Beauty

 “What is beauty, father?” “What do you think?” “I don’t know. I look at this glass in front of us and my eyes spot the reflected light from the glass on the table, and I’m baffled by these patterns, by this beauty which is perfectly still, perfectly independent, and calm.” “So, is beauty only in still and independent objects?” “I don’t think so. When I see the sea or the water inside this glass if it were to be shaken wildly, my eyes start to float along the waves, and I’m once again mesmerised by the water’s endless movement, its indifference, its power, and ...

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Train journey: A story about two ‘strangers’

“It’s a beautiful day,” he said, to break the silence. “Yes. It looks good,” she replied, smiling. “Yesterday was horrible. It rained all day. But now, it seems fantastic.” “I know.” “I wish I was outside, sitting in the sun and reading a book. I love sunny days. What about you? Do you like sun?” “Yes, I enjoy sunny days.” She answered, picking up her book. “You like crime stories?” “Yes, I do. But this one is a detective story book. I like detective stories.” “Me too. Have you read the latest book by James Armtek?” “No, I haven’t.” “You must! I’m sure you will like it. It’s a great book, ...

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Stuck in the concrete jungle of the corporate world, with nowhere left to go…

Pitch black darkness. Darkness so thick. And silence. He tried to say something. But no sound came out of his mouth. He had not spoken to anyone in years. Perhaps, the muscles in his throat had become weak and inactive. He used to talk to himself a lot in the first few days, weeks and months. But then he lost interest even in his own voice and soon silence replaced it all. Silence had become his only companion. Silence accompanied him every minute, every second of the day. He had tried so hard to break the silence at times. He hit his chains and shackles on the walls, ...

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US airport panic: Stopped because I was carrying a book called ‘The Taliban’

The mayhem surrounding the busy terminal of the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport was evaded by the striking and almost pin drop silence as the check-in machine – more precisely known as the explosive detection machine – started to beep breathlessly. What followed was not a very pleasant sight to witness, to say the least. The officers surrounding the terminal I was checking in through were overtaken by a wave of panic and confusion. Almost taken aback, the officers tried their best to veil the feelings of uncertainty and fear that were clearly visible through their faces. All this time the beeper ...

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Sexual abuse: Can we protect Amna?

Child sexual abuse is probably the least acknowledged forms of abuse in Pakistan. It is like Pandora’s Box, that no one is ready to open. Children, and even adults are not educated enough about certain incidents and their prevention. Middle East Media Research Institute reports that 2,012 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded from all over Pakistan during 2009. This means approximately 3.3 children were sexually abused per day.  Of the victims 68% were girls and 32% were boys. It is suspected that the number is much higher. Girls are more likely to be targeted by family members, acquaintances ...

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“If you speak up for Ahmadis, Hazaras, you are Anti-Pakistan”

“I think its natural for Pakistanis in USA to speak ill of this country.. Kashif , your hate for Pakistan is admirable .. Didnt you get your Medical training from that country??? you dont love Pakistan… lets admit this.. Look at your posts” Ajnabi Rastay These were the accusations levied against me recently on a Facebook forum. I was labeled anti-Pakistan. What had I done? Did I curse Pakistan? Did I burn its flag? Did I take out a “Go Pakistan! Go!” procession in the centre of downtown Manhattan? None of the above. All I had done was share news items on the persecution of the Hazara Shia ...

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