Saturday, July 30, 2005Random Quiz Time! YAAY!
If your hot favorite Hollywood celebrity threw up on you, how would you react?
Puke back. People throwing up elicit an identical reaction in me.
2. What is the color of the clock (not watch) that is nearest to you?
3. Who is your action comic hero?
I don’t read action comics, although Donald Duck and the duck-lot had lots of adventures…
4. Do you have any weird unconscious habits?
If they’re unconscious, why d’you think I’d know? I do nibble the inside of my mouth though I’ve been told it makes me look broody.
5. Would you let your partner watch his/her favorite TV show if yours is also on, on a different channel?
As long as it weren’t wrestling, or Mister Bean :P and I think I’d make him go back to my show during the adverts between his show :D
6. Two opposite words which describe you are:
Cheerful and sarcastic
7. "I have been misunderestimated." George W. Bush's claim in one of his speeches. What do you think?
hahahahahahaha that’s a funny word
8. You wake up one morning and find a million dollars under your bed. What would you do with the money?
Buy houses for shanty-town people and a first edition of 'Alice in Wonderland', if there's anything left over :)
9. What is the scariest headline in today's newspaper?
Well, that MSN page says Britney Spears is having a baby…
10. If you could design a flag for a country, what would it look like?
It’d be yellow, that’s for sure.
11. You cried while watching this movie:-
Gee, lemme see, I think the list for the ones I haven’t cried at will be shorter. ‘Life is Beautiful’, off the top of my head.
12. You cried while reading this book:-
’Angela’s Ashes’, amongst others. Order of the Phoenix too, just slammed the thing shut and burst into tears.
13. What's on T.V?
Smallville on DVD
14. Life is...
Better wth practice
15. Did you enjoy filling this questionnaire.
Sure, I’m a writer. They make a living on getting people to read random stuff.
Mina at 1:33 PM
Thursday, July 28, 2005i don't understand when people go away to university and decide they never want to come back t0 pakistan. specially the ones who grew up here. so wait, let me get this straight. the county you grew up in, the country where you were educated good enough for you to go to university, the country that basically gave you pretty much everything you needed is now the backwater third-world hellhole you never want to return to because hmm. too many people. the traffic sucks. the water isn't clean enough. it's hot. the best one: i won't get a job. that's strange! did the heat bother you when you were playing cricket all afternoon on the street when you were sixteen? was the traffic a problem when you were learning to drive, trying to look nonchalant as you drove by a policeman? aww poor baby, did you feel terrible when you were taking your A levels on those rickety wood desks that collapsed if you kicked them right? each time you went to the beach, did you think you were in hell? did the flies bother you eating halwa poori at a roadside khoka with your cousins?
i think the main problem with people who don't want to come back is that they have no sense of history, or roots. oooh yeah, let's have a really great little debate about this now, but it's true. most of the people who stay back here for undergraduate studies are the ones who didn't get in anywhere abroad. i've really no issues with leaving here to study- as long as you come back. people lack the dard that our grandparents had, our parents have because we're the generation who got it all easy. we didn't have to run from murdering mobs. we didn't have to watch neighbours turning into strangers with guns, breaking into our homes, ready to kill our families. we didn't have to leave behind everything we knew and flee to a country that was just a dream, for all we knew. we didn't have to be wealthy, landed, royal even and leave it all willingly to be regular people in a new country. we weren't on the last bus to leave jullhandhar alive. we haven't ever had to hear a siren wail and run to huddle in ditches while planes whistled overhead in the dark, bombing our city. we didn't have to hug fathers, brothers goodbye, send them to war and wonder if we'd ever see them again. we didn't have our phones ring at breakfast and suddenly be half-orphaned. nope...we grew up safe, secure, swinging off trees and watching the transformers and thunder cats on NTM. we always had enough to eat, we went to the best schools our parents could afford, we sung the national anthem every day in assembly like robots, chewing up the words like they were homework, or brushing your teeth- a necessary appendage to your day. what would we know what patriotism is? we grew up taking our country for granted, all pakistan means for you is having a side to be on during the cricket world cup, or hockey if you watch it. let's not forget the passport that got you to wherever you are now and oh yeah, and it gives you an edge talking politics because you're pakistani so you must know all about dictators and IMF support and illegal nukes, and now Islamic extremists and madrassahs! bah! ungrateful larches! who says you're any better than what you diss? you are adrift, groundless! you will always, always be a stranger, an outsider! you will always be the paki (alarming, the way 'paki' sounds so much like 'jap' did), the brown 'Moslem' trying to make it big in a place s/he doesn't belong in! where will you be when your country needs you? you'll be sitting miles away dissing it out for being authoritarian, undemocratic, oppressive like a good little lap dog wagging its tail to make its master happy! but no, that's not bad, you're being objective, calling a spade a spade, using your wonderful impartiality to make yourself sound so wonderful and educated! fools! fools! how can you? how can you turn your back like that? how can you swallow whatever 'they' tell you just because they're richer? how easy....how easy to be bought by central air-conditioning and freeways and picturesque bike trails. of course nobody wants to live in pakistan where there are beggars and gypsies living in shanties on empty plots that remind you of how fortunate you are, where there are flies and bugs, where the monsoons come and flood the roads. no. everyone wants to live in their nice brainless tract home, drive their station wagon and shop at wal mart and feel that wonderful warm glow of being 'civilised' because you've got frozen fish-sticks in the freezer and you wear jeans all the time and nobody looks. i don't know what kind of life that is, a life where your kids don't speak a word of urdu or punjabi or whatever it was you grew up speaking, where they don't know their cousins or their aunts and uncles. where eid is a stupid little one-dish dinner at the local masjid where everyone wears their silk shalwar kameezes and feels all desi-cool for a while. where nobody can pronounce your name right- and you become fred or bob or mike to be one of the guys. where you will always be the brown paki moozlem stupid wannabe twerp, and rightfully so, because you are trying to be something you aren't, and forgetting who you are in the process, and it's SO obvious! why shouldn't people make fun of you? what difference does it make to you, whether there are floods in pakistan? whether we have to start importing vegetables from india, whether our elections are crapass shams? who cares if the people who make our laws are too busy having fistfights and cussing each other out while in session at the parliament? who cares, as long as i'm rich and successful and have a house on a goddamn hill with an automatic garage door opener and drive a jag, who the bloody hell cares about pakistan, where i could give something back, where i could make a desperately needed difference with what i've learnt from the west. they are good teachers, no doubt about that.
screw you all, you're pathetic and it's a damned shame that pakistan was made for people like you, so that you could be free to do whatever it is you want, so you wouldn't have to be a second-class citizen in your land. but no, you're a stupid sheep who wants to be one! you want to brown-nose someone! god! when i see men like my grandfather mourn this country i want to round up all of you and shoot you. you're a disgrace to this country and you should be ashamed. you never want to come back? fine by us. at least we're home, at least we will always know who we are. at least we still have enough patriotism left to stand by whatever we have- good or bad (and it's plenty of both), it's ours. people before us gave up everything they had for this little scrap of land and we will pull through, Inshallah. you can be a lapdog all you want, we don't want you and your fancy degrees and your disdain for your heritage, your culture, your roots, all forgotten when you come home to visit for two weeks and all you can do is whine about how hot it is and buy khussay not because you like them but because you want to show them off because they're so fashionable now. take it and stay away, if that's what being educated is to you- just a gateway to become rich instead of a step towards helping people who genuinely need it. use it and throw it away, and kick it for good measure because that's what everyone else is doing. how sickening. why don't you learn the pledge of allegiance while you're at it? it'll make more sense to you than hafeez jallandhri's farsi ever did.
Mina at 6:16 PM
Monday, July 25, 2005
He is probably called Mano now, but I am still his mother because
Mina at 2:40 PM
Sunday, July 24, 2005i bought books, i bought books up to my chin, so MANY beautiful BOOKS, it was like...like...being a mosquito in a nudist colony! i even got a little cookbook that was signed by the author, can you imagine?! and i got me pots of hardbacks, alice munro and margaret atwood and a.s byatt amongst others and i was in heaven, got more too, but had to leave behind the cloth-bound yellowing hemingways sniff but- ooohh and i got me a beautiful copy of 'the republic' and i went home surrounded by books and the cake i got for mum for aunty S. in my lap and two balloons and a can of coke (a can so it was real coke, it's been a while since real coke. it's still yummier than pepsi) and a challi most perfect, like a princess i felt!! and i came home and called my book-buddies about the fair and then i made bubble mix (pantene makes the best masala, detergent and liquid soap are not stretchy enough) and blew the biggest, shiniest bubbles in the world (i swear they were melon-sized) for bari ammi in the thandi pre-maghrib dusk, and refereed a skip-rope championship. and also ate some yellow cake. i love yellow cake.
so a day that was halfway-through utterly horrible turned out pretty darn well. i'm so lucky!!! ha ha!! yeeaaaayyy :D :D *jumps around like a mad, skippy smiley bean*
note to self: do not go to book fairs with a hand-held bag. less space for books :) they gave me a crate, socho hahahaha!
Mina at 8:13 PMJammie got marrie! Hoorayyyyy! I hope you are happy forever, Innnnshaalllaahhhh :)
Mina at 2:06 PM
Saturday, July 23, 2005
they are old as glass particles
on a beach, as random. and
one bolt from the blue
is all it takes for glass particles
to become a funny lump
only they think is pretty
otherwise looks like mad
ness, and falling from a high
cliff with no
parachute, and like drinking
cough syrup on an empty
stomach and thinking the world
is after all flat, because their
souls are so old they stamp their
letters shut on red wax and the press
of a heavy gold and garnet ring and
think the earth is the centre of the
universe and still write letters with
real stamps and addressed in flowing
black inked cursive handwriting, and
listen to grunge music and other strange
things. but they are funny, like that. the
letters still fascinate, they are quite
another world nobody has ever been
to before, and there is no
television there, which is quite
like heaven. only books. and that
is something i bet you have never
known because we us all walk about
much too awake to live properly
because life begins with a dream
dreamt on a blob of
fused glass particles and fusion, as
you know, is
irreversible if you do it properly.
Mina at 11:10 PM
(the land of oh,i
the beach and sleepy eyes
someone calls from far away when
i look at you, a distant
squint of memory grazing an
old, old sky
each of your fingertips should have
a smileyface on
you're not a
type, i can
see every colour in the world in
the quick flashfire
Mina at 9:55 PM
Friday, July 22, 2005when one says 'that's just what their personality's like', are we
a) acknowledging a genuinely unchangeable trait
b) coming up with a stupid excuse to cover up for our lack of follow-through/committment to person or/and solving problem at hand
c) doing a Pontius Pilate
d) being a fool judge of character
e) giving up on person/ self if statement is about oneself
Mina at 2:02 PM
Tuesday, July 19, 2005sana just left for iran. good; she needs to do big-person things like go to faaren country with fifteen other kids on a bus for forty hours and be away for fifteen days. vaisay that's long; i've been properly away from home a week, week and a half tops. this is lambi dair. i told her i'd wear all her clothes and use the bag she never lets me use because she thinks i'll break with with my junk. but then again, she obsesses a little too much about material bozo things like if-i-use-the-fancy-rubber-kharab-hojayega or don't-wear-my-shoes-you'll-stretch-them. hehe. she took an abaya with her too....hehe...although i kept waving 'letter from tehran' from newsweek where the bandi was talking about irani fashionistas and how the morals police is pretty relaxed now so you can get away with a not-so-big scarf and a chic belted coat instead of an abaya but noooo noone listens to the kitaabi keera, haha. i always get the job of being the gruff old curmudegeon in senti situations like these- 'paahhh, it's HIGH time she went off adventuring on her old', thisthat. someone should get me a pipe for occasions like these
'scent of a woman' dekh ke i now want to learn to tango. looks like fantastic, show-offy fun.
every time someone tells me 'you don't understand' i want to throw rocks. yes i do, even if i don't have real life to back me up. i do.
reason #65345 to love me mum:
i describe someone as being 'serene, sitting on the sofa like a sphinx'
she laughs, lighting up in precise recognition, and then repeats it to my khala! this is heap big deal because my parents are the kind of parents who never make a fuss over anything you do- some parents can't stop yakking on and on about how wonderful and amazing their children are because they can swim two laps of breast-stroke or i don't know, can fart the national anthem. but my parents? good job, shabash, a pleased grin and buss. no footoo in paper or much mention beyond the immediate family. i don't mind, it makes the times when they do so much more special.
today is today, and you know...it hasn't gone out. chess with you, or nobody else, karlo jo karna hai. which is not much. wish i could slap you silly and then steal your 'crime and punishment' and run off. then you'd have to come for revenge.
a pretty white kitty with pale green eyes had kittens in our store!! three white and a little dark grey ( a spot or two) little butterballs! not at all like my waif little yoda, whose picture i was trying to upload via blogger but potty internet, so will do it later. sigh. how d'you get over not having an inquisitive little baby around all the time? i don't know. much the same as anything else, i s'pose- you have to. personally, you don't have to anything, but i'm going to read harry potter now and i don't have brainpower enough to mull over that right now. it's a reading day, and on reading days i'm good only for scrunching up on a sofa with a book and food at random intervals. ali is bringing a pizza and he and i will read like mad fools :D
summer break's wonderful; i'm plowing through the tower on my bedside and lovin' it. i only see people i want to, i check my mail only when i feel like it and i read all day. will commence swimming soon. what a fun i am having :D
i can't get noo....no no no! hey hey hey! that's what i say! hahahahahahahhahaha how apt
Mina at 6:47 PM
Sunday, July 17, 2005Bilal being beautiful.
i closed my eyes
and saw you
of my being
how you seep
into my fractures
my bones of loneliness,
i know not
i still contain you
While we're still on poetry- Ted Hughes doing Alcestis, the Illiad making the rounds and The World According to Garp brashly intriguing but that's prose; has anyone noticed how many words Urdu has for being sad? Well yes, so does English, but Urdu and its layers go into kinds of sadness. There's sadma. Grief, with a splash of missing something. Afsos. Regret, sorrow. But then there is ghum, which is grief, and sorrow too, but also a heavy, dense depth of misery; cried-into pillows, wet sponge of mourning in your bones.
Nuanced language, this is; this is a culture that has poetry that will make you cry, but rarely smile. I wonder why; why must our poets always long for that someone, that elusive bunch of ecstasy always a baalisht ('finger's breadth' for the plebs) away from their questing hands....always starve, and because of that be content with a look, a sigh, a smile. You'd think a body that doesn't ask for much get at least that; but it's never like that. Us poor desis, brainwashed by so much thwarted romance! I don't think any of us believe in romances that work because noboody wrote about wasl as a purely romantic thing- it's always a metaphor, it's always for Allah, it's always something or the other BUT. So there you have your melancholic 'bones of loneliness', always 'door, ufaq paar'...stretching arms, singing into the sky in the hope of catching a star, always running into the sunset hoping and dreaming that one day....one day you will fall into the flaming embrace of the sun's concentrated hearth and be whole.
Mina at 4:05 PM
Saturday, July 16, 2005some well-meaning person read this and said i write like mohsin hamid. i am so insulted; nobody's ever compared my work to anyone else's and i don't like it! i don't sound 'mohsin-hamidish'! fine, i liked 'moth smoke' but *pulling face*!!! i don't write like one-hit wonder hamid, nooooooooooooooooooo!! I SOUND LIKE ME!!!! i'd wail plaintively but i think i have tonsillitis (i don't, i googled it [aadat par gayi hai haha] and i don't have a fever, chills, loss of voice or a tender jaw/throat, but it hurts like bloody hell. i've never been hospitalised for anything, but maybe a tonsillectomy would be interesting; appendixes are potentially scarring and i like my saris too much to go thataway) so i can't. already expended it on coaxing amma into playing scrabble with me :) but mohsin hamid! cripes! i have pop appeal?! *pulls another face* i don't think i'm very pleased with the prospect. but this awami blog could be construed as pop appeal too. oh dear. hahahaha! this is funny now :)
Mina at 7:35 PM
Wednesday, July 13, 2005made pancakes today, sang a little song and made pancakes for the Mean Girls plus Honorary Girl. would have done a little dance but it wasn't my kitchen and not my khansamah being traumatised by this girl who strode in and started ordering him around (albiet nicely, and just for plates and things). so i made pancakes, and made shapey ones too! alphabets and a heart; amena a.k.a stalwart kitchen compantion who got messier than me helping, bless her *grin* challenged me to a star but that was a bit much.
three trains crashed into one another in karachi. almost two hundred people are dead. i hope to Allah nobody from LUMS was on any of them. not that non-LUMS people don't count as much, but you know what i mean. emergency about the chenab flooding is better; evacuations have been carried out. sialkot, jhang, gujrat and a few other places. really want to jump an eidhi ambulance and get there. doctry karni chahieye thi.
london blasts, 3 pakistanis suspected. this is just out of order; i understand helplessness and frustration, but i do not understand the targeting of civilians. fine, they voted in the government that supports the mess in iraq but as a people they also made the most noise about the war. Islam is NOT about killing people. you can't fight one kind of ignorance with another, you only make a bigger mess of things. you should be better, you should be better than this. they are unfair, they are ugly; i don't dispute it- but don't stoop to their level. don't give them a reason to come after you with more force than before.
i keep smelling agarbati right now, through the cooler air. rose agarbati out of nowhere, constantly. nobody's burning incense outside or inside. grandparent must be close :)
Mina at 9:42 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2005for the jumblie.
what comes as a sudden rush of
glittering liquid diamond-glitter hiphip
hurray but ah you forgetthat
drill holes in stone and slice skin open, that
minerals pressed so
tight they forgot what
colour was and you...
you run in circles and delight
in the rainbows but they are
you reflected in him, and your
colours are so bright
you light up the sky, you
are your own
constellation; your stars will
guide the rest
Mina at 10:35 PM
Mina at 7:54 PM
random aside: barefoot in the grass is beautiful. and babies are like pudding. and i miss my kitty, amongst other things.
Mina at 10:31 AM
Saturday, July 09, 2005Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town to another due,
Labor to admit to you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lovéd fain
But am betrothed unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again;
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Batter my Heart, Three-Personed God
(poetry in the deep night. yum.)
Mina at 1:37 AM
Friday, July 08, 2005"So, how was your day?"
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a doctor who is not only good at math (!) but also made TWO seven-letter words, one on a triple-word score in ONE GAME! And also ‘wizen’ which is a singularly good word, but I beat him for that game. I salute you, and look forward to playing s’more (one-all, tie must be broken!); next time I’ll bring my silver-bag Scrabble :)
Yesterday there were also the explosions in London and around it; bombs exploding too close to family- King’s Cross? Bloody hell, Safia commutes via there every single day back and forth UCL, had Daddy call and make sure everything was okay.
Yesterday was the most beautiful sunset I've seen in a long, long while. I wanted to be absorbed into the sky; at once watercolour washed but vibrant, thrumming with the intensely concentrated light of a setting sun. I put my hands out of the window in the car, and wiggled my fingers in the bright, pale almost-pink orange, the grey-blue shot with mauve.
Yesterday was a good lunch. Met a friend after a long time, made a new one.
Yesterday was one of the few times I have been stunned into speechlessness.
Yesterday I got me some bubble-mix and a bubble-stick, and blew the biggest, beautifullest bubbles in the world. Some glowed magenta in the centre, some bright blue, some flew into the sky and some skipped across the grass, and they were all magic.
Yesterday Nana was better.
Yesterday they were playing Frank Sinatra at Zouk, barely audible above the noise but it doesn't take much to recognize familiar things. It was drizzling outside; a gentle, sweet spray. In the small things lie the real erosion.
Yesterday it occurred to me that my destiny, I think, is one that will play itself out very differently from that of the people around me. This is not because I am a super-duper genius butterfly person, but just that I've the strongest feeling I've been written differently. If this is daunting it is only because it will be a very lonesome path to walk. Alone I don't mind, neither uncharted. Lonely I do.
Yesterday no kitty to nap on my tummy. I miss my crazy big-eared kitten. He's been washed out of my bathroom and my room, and the floors are alienly cool, smelling like damp earth to my bare feet.
Mina at 2:15 PM
Wednesday, July 06, 2005Announcing Lahore on Metblogs! WOO HOOOOOOO!!!! A round of applause for the city like no other, and all the people making it shake some booty!
Go for a looky, and if you're living in Lahore and are wela enough to post at least thrice a week, drop us a line, we're looking for writers!
Mina at 11:07 PM
Tuesday, July 05, 2005i feel strange.
Mina at 2:55 AM
Sunday, July 03, 2005the seat on the bed is the same as it has always been. it's been about eight years. after tomorrow i wonder when i will sit on this bed again, thump the bathroom door open again, sprawl on the floor and drink juice from oversized plastic glases. change is good, i like adventures, but there are so many things these walls enclose!
flowers- lots and lots of flowers. it looks like a factory back there, a team of men putting together a set for this great lovely act in the play of our lives. tiny died, we only just noticed. sad :(
yards and yards of pink and orange silk; there is a surprise underskirt of green-brown tissue. she twirls around girlishly, and we all are princessess with her. she is tall and slender; a tree of youth and prettiness a little tired around the eyes.
green chooridar pyjama. silk slides on easily. it's hot outside. the make-up woman draws eyeliner on me with eye shadow, i am fascinated by it. meesha and i have matching toes.
the dupatta is as long as mall road. all eight boys and girls look so GOOD! ayesha's smiling. dancing, dupatta keeps getting in the way, ali is jumping about like a small grasshopper. saman's hair is a cloud by now. small little cousin is adorable in her little lehnga and teeka; she looks like a cherub. i ask her if she's bored, she shakes her head, peeking up at me with curious, amused eyed. i teach her the feety step and we dance about a while before tamkeen takes her home.
everyone sprawls gratefully on the sofas in the air-conditioned drawing room. i am cosy. friends, i think, are quite wonderful to have. my feet are dirty from throwing my khussay in a corner and walking all over the place barefoot.
crammed in the backest backseat, us five have a conversation that flits from topic to topic like an indecisive bee. everyone is mellowed, like deep yellow, from all the dancing and mixture of adventure and comfortableness of knowing each other well enough to not have to think before speaking.
sadia's t-shirt is basic blue. taties are not that good to eat. the oven mittens have a funny pattern on them. we drink guava squash and try to grasp that step one is complete. my pillow slopes, squished rooui; we whisper and giggle. tania is sleeping with the keys clutched in her hand.
lots of clothes. i like the white saris best. hot chocolate in a lime green mug. capri is crowded, we get achaar too. the family seated behind our table is sweet; the father feeds a skinny, restlesss little boy niwalay of halwa and poori at intervals. his glasses remind me of ali bigbrother and for an instant i rearrange the faces and smile to myself at the result. it looks good.
everyone's bones are languid with tiredness, smudged remnants of tenacious kajal soften eyes. ayesha drives fast. i am scrunched low in my seat. the world is doused brighter green. it feels like oregon. the sky is washed pale blue, the way skies look after a lot of rain: exhausted, breathing deeply, satisfied for a while. a little like us.
Mina at 5:04 PM
Friday, July 01, 2005I am a moti bhains!
Mina at 1:18 PM