Archive for August, 2004

the many Any.2

Monday, August 30th, 2004

The brilliant things you honestly wish you knew about the nomad:

-I once played a penguin in a play. Fortunately, it also involved snowmen.

-In 8th grade, I over excessively used the phrase ‘Depends’ to answer almost every question asked of me. I still threaten myself to start using that unless I start behaving.

-When I was a toddler, I tried convincing my parents to throw my baby brother in the trash. They declined, politely.

-My glasses are made half out of actual real wood.

-I’m lousy at doodling on paper but brilliant at air doodling. My works are currently on display in air in various different cities.

-I’m an excellent good excellent conversationalist. I spiks goodd.

-I’m the family bookworm. Officially.

-The answer to everything is 42 (10 points to those who get this one).

-I don’t own a comb or a brush. I haven’t for years now.

-I gel my hair slightly and have a beard. People look at me and I look right back at them. It’s easy. I have the hair to prove it.

-Most of my blog entries get written when I’m utterly exhausted. I just wonder what will happen the day I start writing more attentively. Chances are that I’ll write something instead of creating random many Any’s.

-I own as many Pakistani clothing as I do Malaysian clothing.

-I rarely wear either.

-It is with great restrain that I don’t burst into French at times. Somethings just require exclaiming in French.

-I have a habit of touching the noses of little children as I pass them by.

-Given the choice, I would choose little people (children) over bigger people anyday.

-I still feel lousy for not writing an actual blog entry and cheating this way.

-It’s ok to be not ok at times. But it’s not ok to not want to be ok at any time.

Trust me on the last one.

Dial H for Help | Dial M for Marvy

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

It’s a quick reflex. Lean over shoulder, grab belt, half unseen, pull belt over and snap.
It’s a ritual by now. And that should have been the first indicator of things to come when I got in the car with Hemlock.

I had emailed Hemlock asking to meet up with Marvy Mom & Co. who were in town. But emails weren’t read until after they had left and with that, disappeared any chance to meet them. Worse still, Marvy Mom had no idea that I had been waiting and wanting to meet her.
So another meeting took chance to be, since I needed to go book shopping and time constraints led me to an invitation from “a smarter-than-you-thynk, MBA-in-two-years, practicely-perfect-in-every-way driver” An invitation that I took up and left her gulping briefly in wonderment of its application.

The plan outlined, the rendezvous established, the plot thickened, and cars a chasing, we went a book hunting in Lahore. After a 2 hour neck craning research along the shelves, we realized we had naught to show for. Starving, both our mothers calling in to see what us hip folks were planning to munch, we ended up at a Chinese restaurant, the five of us; mother, daughters, brother and moi. I did the talking. They did the looking, listening, eating, drinking and laughing. Food was good. The bill even better when the waiter showed up, empty cash book in his hands, simply saying “2050”. Bewildered, we asked him to repeat his request which he promptly did. “2050”. In between laughing, the genius amongst us asked for an actual bill instead of the gorilla-gram. The receipt put the total to 2075 rupees. We left having paid, having chuckled and having read the instructions in the washroom on, well, how to use the washroom. Pure Genius.

Wheels away, the car started faltering. A warning light here, a flicker of headlights there and a hiccupping engine finalized things for us. Sitting in front, us two guys concluded in a split second that:
a) We would have to push
b) We would have to push frequently.
And in a casual, hey I love pushing cars around attitude, we clambered out, Hemlock driving, older brother boldly exclaiming at her lack of engine care. Apparently, the car had just returned from the garage two days ago. And that’s all it took Hemlock. Two days. The car alive, gears a going, we chased after it as Hemlock took off. Plans were changed. No longer was I being dropped of home or even at a nearby cab. No. I was suddenly a very much needed and wanted physical resource and would be kept as such, trapped in a tin car with no seatbelts, a dying engine and three ladies in the back who were curiously wondering what the warning lights meant at 1AM. Soon the headlights were definitely dead and the internal lights fast asleep. Far more vital however, was the horn. We surely did mourn the loss of that good friend. We mourned it even more by wanting to scream loudly at cars that we would have instead honked at.

All the way we chugged away on the tiny tiny highway.

At home, life took it upon itself to make up for the lack of mechanical life by re-routing its past, its history, to re-align paths of the yester-generation. And as I now know, Hemlock’s mother has been to my mother’s house during their college years. They went to the same college, had common friends, acquaintances and chances are they even shared lip gloss or whatever ladies shared back then. I don’t know, by now I’ve gone a little too far, wanting to gulp down any drink presented in front of me. Add to that Hemlock and her brothers’ fascination with my cell phone and a younger sister with a beautiful laughter and I’m somewhere in Lahore at 1AM being dropped off by even more strangers and my head is spinning and spinning and running about up and down the blue stairs in my head, passing cars, potholes, construction trucks, home remedies, road trips to Islamabad, special editorials to be written and it’s my turn to speak, yes take that road, yes that a way, yes that’s my house, side gate please, thankyouverymuch.

My head is spinning and I’m exhausted. But I’m home, finally.
With Marvy Mom’s digits.

Letters from Asia

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

“There are over 50 countries in Asia. There’s a certain debate as to the exact number due to a lack of an actual border between Asia and Europe. Add to that recently recognized countries from the breakups of others and you have yourself a nice little confusion. But 50 is a good number. I’m in one of them.”

This is how I just emailed a client of mine back in the western hemisphere. The client was overjoyed at atleast knowing I was alive, which she mentioned very enthusiastically in her response 6 hours later.
I’m going to email back tommorow.

Rip away the tears

Monday, August 9th, 2004

You’re tired when you sink in so low into the couch that the only thing leaning is your neck as you type away on your laptop, trying so hard to write something, anything, a phrase, a few words, a single utterance, a single expression, a single extension of yourself but no, your right eye is closed already, you’re typing with one eye open only and even that-
even that is slowly
and surely

Lahore: far more tiring then you thought.