Showing posts from May, 2017

Ramazan, Ramadan, but more importantly, mubarak!

Some people have excellent memories – like my younger sister who claims to remember details from family holidays when she would be 2 years old, bringing to mind the concept of fake and made-up memories, however, too often her words are corroborated by someone else, someone who wasn’t 2 back then, or maybe a photograph or something harder to ridicule than a younger sister...
My mind, on the other hand, is like a sieve, and while most slips through the small holes and disappears into the fading black of my unconscious, some memories remain, sloshing about silently till a random stimulus from the present dives in, hook, line and sinker, and slowly swivels it up into the bright light of now.  These memories exist like snapshots rather than film, like a 2-second clip you’ve accidentally trimmed and then, even worse, deleted the rest of the video, so I won’t remember what happened before or after, but I’ll remember that precise moment.
One of these Polaroids from the past is of curly-haired l…

Go Easy On Stereotypin’

Let’s paint a picture. 
You’re sitting in a small waiting room at a train station in a global, multicultural city like, say not Charleston, South Carolina, and there are people of different ethnicity around you – an African American man reading a book, a couple of white ladies listening to something on their respective iPhones, an Asian couple wearing matching Adidas sneakers with a very cute very chubby baby sleeping in a pram in front of them, and a Pakistani (or maybe Indian – let’s say South Asianish?) woman in her late 50’s.
You’re scrolling through pretty photographs of everyone in the world who has a better life than you on Instagram when suddenly you smell a strong spicy, garlicky scent emanate from somewhere in the room.
Instant reaction – before you look up to see who has opened up the Tupperware of spicy curry- what comes to your mind?
(If you're honest you'll admit:) You think about that Pakistani lady in the corner and wonder why she had to open her lunch in a sma…

Worryless in Wales

The wind whipped cold, sneaking in through the gaps in my jacket, and the clouds hung thick, beautifully dense, textured gray, with some white castles in the back, layered, deep …
And then there was a sudden breakthrough.  Bright golden sunrays stole through, beautiful and warm and strong, they spread over my face and my booted feet, and poured like a pail of sparkles onto the sea.  A patch of the gray water turned into glitter – if a dolphin, or maybe even a mermaid, had suddenly emerged from that golden pool to dive gracefully back into the sea, it wouldn’t have surprised me at all.  It looked magical. 
People milled around the beach, a toddler toppled into a hole dug in the sand by her older siblings and the elders standing around in a circle twittered, one of them bent to help the child out; a dog ran past trailed by a huffing young girl who was two steps away from tripping.  I leant against the stone pillar, sand sticking to the back of my jacket and my elbows, my coffee cup rest…

Here and Now

It’s the honey soft warmth of the sun on your face, your neck, after a week of cold gray clouds and rain, like a slow, deep breath, like climbing into a soft, clean bed after a long day and snuggling deeper into lavender scented blankets, like someone gently bringing their lips right next to your ear and blowing out all thoughts so that for one tiny moment, you close your eyes and feel at peace, that inexplicable elusive whispery feeling that never lasts for more than a few minutes at one stretch …
I find it a little amusing, as a teacher who loves all her students and finds herself annoyed but somewhat charmed by that one child who never fails to spill ink across his homework, at our human tendency to never be grateful, to always want that which is just out of sight, turning around the corner, realizing the restaurant we wanted to go to was the one we just drove by and can’t turn around for because it’s a one-way street.
And so it is that if I were back home in Karachi and I woke up to…