Archive for April, 2004

Of pools of pure hate

Thursday, April 29th, 2004

God says to be merciful to others and He’ll be merciful to you.
That by no means implies that you don’t have the right to not forgive some.

She sat in the corner and cursed him, she cursed him openly, and she cursed him in the name of her Allah. “One day, when you’re dying, when you’re gasping your last breath, you will seek me out in this world, you will desperately search for me and beg me to forgive you, to absolve you of these sins. And I will not, I will never ever forgive you”.

He sat there, a look of complete boredom on his face, a complete lack of an islamic perspective this bloody nation proudly proclaims. He sat there with stone ears and a stone heart. All the whilst his mother sat in the back, watching it all, mutely.
Poor bastard.


Burn bastard burn.
For you have hurt the one thing in this world that even I cannot forgive you for.
You hurt my mother. On purpose. Repeatedly.
You hurt my family. Intentionally. Repeatedly.
May even the duas of your mother fall short to protect you.


Tuesday, April 20th, 2004

The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation to action is one of mankind’s oldest illusions.
edit: I now disagree. (Sep, 14 2006)

Don’t ask me why | I can’t explain

Wednesday, April 14th, 2004

The room is equipped with two tube lights in a mesh wired casing. One flickers on/off on/off on/off, a struggling attempt to stay lit, a struggling attempt to not die. The other tube light remains functional, shining brightly strongly unfaltering. That’s the first thing I notice and that’s what I’ll always remember.

The room is narrow, and long with a window on the far side closed. The bathroom door stands shut quietly next to it. Closer to the entrance door, i find two beds and a metal chair; one bed empty, one bed not. There’s a card stuck on the wall, exclaiming “Get Well Soon!” and my mother has placed the bouquet of flowers next to the pillows, next to the patient. My eyes slowly roam the wall, not wanting otherwise, no not yet. The paint is half peeled off, and old dust has settled in for its retirement, collecting pension from the passing dusty air. Lahore’s like that, dusty. You know it the second you land here. Overhead, the fan screechingly rotates at its high speeds, generating barely cool air currents. We sit quietly, conversations in gentle murmurs ongoing. The room is packed, and others stand/sit outside on benches.

My aunt lies on the bed, a thin shriveled figure, a saline drip attached to her left hand. She lies on her back, her feet resting in her bhabi’s lap, who massages them lovingly, caresses them unconsciously with her hands. Upon entering the room, I had lowered my head to her hands, and she touched my face with love and a smile sincere from her soul. Now, she had gone back to sleep, slipping in and out, in and out, there, there but never here.

We found out a month ago, someone explains to me.
It’s not even worth keeping her in the hospital anymore, someone else confides to my mother.
Five months, she tells me, her eyes asking me for a mercy which I could only raise my hands and beg for. Five months I’ve been in bed and I’m tired now.
Shh, shh, i whisper back to her. It’ll be over soon, you’ll go home soon and before you know it, you’ll be playing with your grandchildren. I leave such promises with her.

It’s stomach cancer in its last stage. My mother dares not ask how long the doctors have given her now. She barely eats, even water pains her. Her daily food consists of a glass of juice, if lucky. It’s terminal you see.

I stand with her 25 year old son. This is the 3rd time in my life I’m meeting him. I don’t know what to say. He smiles and asks me of my health, of my life. I don’t know what to ask him of his. Countless people had offered him duas, offered him strength. I could offer no more, but I could also offer no less. I exchange salaams with his father, who stood there so strong, so brave, so…unfaltering. I couldn’t help but notice.

Leaving the room for the gloomy hallway, one light kept flickering on/off on/off on/off, refusing to die, struggling to breath, its time not yet, its time almost met. The other light kept on shining steadily, one had to, one always has to. It’s the rule.

I’m numb. I’m in Pakistan for a reason.
I just had no idea I was here for so many reasons.

Now that I’ve lost everything to you

Monday, April 5th, 2004

I remember when I moved to the east coast.
I was born again.
I breathed again.
I lived again.

There were a million sensations, a thousand emotions and each breath was an alhamdulilah.
I remember the stars, I remember the night sky, I remember the paths that wound around the college campus that dove in and out of the jungle foliage. And I remember my praying rug, a green plastic traveling companion that still holds a special place in my backpack. Some things, you just cannot do without.

I remember the places I would walk by, the dozens and dozens of shops that beckoned me to stare that them, the window displays that would stand still for me, the eateries that proudly cooked their wares just for me. It was all for me, always for me. And I remember my meals, all. I remember being alone, I remember the subway sandwiches, the Food Factory meals, the campus cheese burgers and the gazillions Pepsi products I bought and that one giant water bottle I just wouldn’t let go of.

With every new place, I was defined again, God’s incredible plan in shaping me unfolding, unstoppable. With every new place, I was questioned again and again and yet again of who I was and who I chose to be, God’s amazing plan in creating me into the person I begged him to let me be. With every change of my plans, I was pushed and challenged into growing, into being more, into doing more, God’s unseen plan in action.

In fourteenYears, this is my third visit to Pakistan and possibly my first visit as an adult.
For so long, I have become accustomed to not being Pakistani, to be in this country- is confusing.
For so long, I have moved, traveled, packed and unpacked, that to sleep in a house my parents built- is indescribable.

For I’m currently in the last place in the world I expected myself to be, exercising an option I thought I would never ever have to, and living a life that I didn’t know I could.