Category Archives: Diary


They used to visit in summer . . . boiling, hot summers. My cousin, my brother, and I would raise hell. In our quieter moments we played Ludo. Meals were served on big dastarkhwans with our families sitting around it on … Continue reading

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Occupy, StopKony, and “Good Intentions”

One comes across reports and essays about the Occupy movements unfolding in big American cities and metropolises as The Occupy Movement — the national, the global. Seldom does one get to read about Occupy in a small town — and I don’t mean … Continue reading

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Ring-Ring … Ring-Ring … Ring-Ring …

… Perhaps one mourns when one accepts that by the loss one undergoes one will be changed, possibly for ever…I do not think, for instance, that one can invoke the Protestant ethic when it comes to loss. One cannot say, … Continue reading

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Paharis and Eid Milad an-Nabi

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal. We used to make models of cities from mud and dirt on a slanted wooden board held up on one end by bricks. Some used just a big enough mound … Continue reading

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An Abandoned Man

Update: Read the revised version of this essay at Chapati Mystery.  ******* If tear-streaked faces of broken families begged you to stop killing their sons, would you reflect and see your wrongs, or would you still load your guns?  For every girl … Continue reading

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In Time

My father played Carom with gusto and skillfully employed many different kinds of shots, including the scissor shot. As much as I remember, in a scissor shot you place your index finger slightly on top of your middle finger, with … Continue reading

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Wish I was there!

Reading the coverage of protests in Egypt arouses in me that odd mix of feelings of helplessness, restlessness, and excitement that I have become familiar with. I observed the lawyers movement from the comfort of my living room on internet … Continue reading

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Sundarban سندر بن

Legend has it that in Sundarban jungle, the one who turns around to look, turns into stone. This became a widely used metaphor in Urdu poetry. A metaphor for the debilitating effect of remembering what was, temporally and/or spatially, left … Continue reading

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1971 and a family of collaborators

First, read this excellent interview with Syed Ashfaqul Haque. Reading this interview reminded me of the story my uncle shared with me this weekend. My uncle is from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. He moved to Pakistan upon marrying my aunt. Most … Continue reading

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How does an autodidact know that he/she isn’t merely constructing a consumerist reader-self? There is always a mountain to climb and no mile markers to know how far he/she had come, and if any ground had been covered at all. … Continue reading

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