Monday, August 29, 2005

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth.

As all things are filled with my soul
you emerge from the things, filled with my soul.
You are like my soul, a butterfly of dream,
and you are like the word Melancholy.

I like for you to be still, and you seem far away.
It sounds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly cooing like a dove.
And you hear me from far away, and my voice does not reach you:
Let me come to be still in your silence.

And let me talk to you with your silence
that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring.
You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations.
Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
distant and full of sorrow as though you had died.
One word then, one smile, is enough.
And I am happy, happy that it's not true.

I Like For You to be Still
Pablo Neruda

Mina at 7:39 PM


on books

‘…as in the security of the situation where infinite perfections fill the gap between the little-given and the great promised- the great grey rose-grey never-to-be-had.’

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Amidst his great leaps of fantastic prose, long lithe arms turning and folding and opening like a flower from the sides of a slender body as it pirouettes in a dewy gossamer dress on spangled grass at a bright, crisp dawn, Nabokov combines sheer art with the matter-of-fact voice of humanity, always keeping his reader within the bounds of earth, but staring up into the fireworks he alchemises. Why hasn't anyone given him a Nobel Prize for Literature yet?!

on wedding music

Desi music rocks (pun not intended). Indian film songs that bounce and skip and do a rippling bhangra across your shoulders, random fusion music, sab chalta hai. Wedding music's fantastic, and you never hear a song you danced to at X's wedding without doing the steps in your head :D But when they start playing the jazz at dinnertime you still want to dance, a mazay ka little waltz. The good thing about being the afterbirth of colonialism is that in a weird way you've the best of both worlds.

on tissues

There should be fun tissues, why are tissues always classic and white or pale pink or peach or blue or lilac or lemon: you get the direction this is going in....regular tissues are in regular rectangle boxes in regular wishy-washy pastels. Why? Why don't 'they' make tissues in...circular boxes, rainbow coloured, or in triangle boxes that look like volcanoes and the tissues be red and orange and yellow that you pull out of the apex like lava :D That'd be awesome! And patterned ones, smiley face ones to put in hospitals and teddy bears for babies and cartoon people for little kids (and some big kids too *grin*)....and toilet roll like police yellow lines, only with 'Health Department' and 'TOXIC' on it, or just gas masks printed on plain white in olive green hehahahahaha

Mina at 11:39 AM


Sunday, August 28, 2005

cough remedies, please! no pepper wala doodh, and no doodh-haldi because the former sounds disgusting and the latter doesn't work on me and i'm sad because i can't squish niece A or go see niece B (and squish her but only a teeeeeeny bit because she is still very small) because i will infect them :/ this is what i don't like about having the flu; not enough hugs and kisses given or received. poo. and i just read marquez's 'of love and other demons' (love that title haha) and it was SO SAD that i wrote that down at the end.

Mina at 9:38 PM


This is the FUNNEST thing I've done online in a long time!! You get to throw rocks at boys, and the game has the same boy as the one in my sidebar, the 'boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!'! I made it to the balloon level, hehehe....thanks, BBCD :D

Mina at 9:14 PM


Friday, August 26, 2005

helloooo chicken lickens! thank you for all the taalash-e-gumshuda notices, i've just got back from karachi!!! yeaaay! it's been what, ten days without going near a computer which is this beautiful feeling in my fingers, something brand-new...crispy almost, like new shirts.

but karachi. whoa. ten days of insanity- frenetic, social insanity that was so much fun that the last two evenings where we weren't up til three a.m laughing hoarsely and tripping out to eat icecream wrapped in a khais over our pjs (kaybee's icecream is HUGE! it looks like a jester hat and only amen-bob cokepants could finish hers. massive. good, but elephantine *blink*) or being followed by men on motorcycles or being the one to go buy H cigarettes because i was wearing a shalwar kameez- that was funny, K and i got off to buy a litre of coke, strepsils for Raja the flu-machine and marlboro lights for H. the first two went fine. the third was interesting. K bedecked as always in her marvelous jewels and i was wearing floaty pale blue chiffon and we peer up into the paan-and-cigritt khoka, den of men, and i ask for marlboro lights. the type is in english and H had mentioned something farsi, so i examine the package and vaguely mention farsi so the paan guy whips out another dibbiya with arabic or whatever on it so i'm like oh yay, thaaaank you. then i quaver up 'yeh kitni hi hai?' and he just gives me this LOOK as i count out ten rupee notes, get two disgusting meethay paan, smile sweetly and scamper back to xeb's girl-mobile.

we went to see reema's new film, featuring the sluttiest PA in the histoy of filmdom and some classic lines- 'yeh aankhein tumhari hain, ya lenses lagati ho?' 'sssoooo....feesaat......meri *hisss*'. of course, the ending ruined it completely (ghar chalein? what? ghar chalo, philandering money-robbing scum of the earth?!), but it wasn't so bad for a desi flick, there were some good shots in there too. but getting to the film was by far the best part of it! we all met up at PC and then we took a victoria to capri!!!! YES! singing 'bandr road se kemari' no less, and doing regal hand-waving! i got gum on my shalwar >: but ate tons of popcorn and we all hooted and clapped and yelled comments and had full fun. then we invaded pizza hut where H and Raja terrorized the waiter with the coke demand (usskey daanth hi nahien andar gaye he was so amused) and Chicken wangled a free birthday cake and singing waiter-fest :D

we went to see Blackfish too! uffff they're pretty good, us lums people were the ones going hyper on and at one point Chicken and i volunteered to play one of the games, so we got to be human props!!! hahahaha it was awesome! i love chicken, he's my spontaneous-plan brother, buss. they had to drag us dancing from the party we all went to too *lol* we danced our way to the car :) met saphiya on her way out too, which was nice but also sad because it was only for two seconds since we went really late (oh the decadence haha).

the shaadi was wonderful, one big party. S's family are sweethearts and when her dadi found out i'm UP too i was her darling *lolll* it's amusing how strong some cultures can be, i couldn't wipe the grin off my face when Aunty N burst into the room to make sure were were okay and rushed back to fix her 'havannaq shakal' in time for the maiyon *hahahha*

the beach was beautiful! scube's friend A wangled a hut and after digging M's car out of the sand we all managed to get there in one piece, hatted and sunglassed and barefoot. At the sight of the ocean, Raja snapped out of her panadol CF-induced torpor and turned into a sherman tank hopped up on glue!!!! she threw me into the ocean, she tackled Chicken who is not exactly a skinny single-pasli waif into the sea, she went beserk!!! i managed to get my revenge but man alive that woman is like that old baba in one of the sinbad stories where he gets onto sinbad's shoulders and chokes him with his legs if sinbad tries to get him off: skinny and uber-strong! methinks it was the chili chips maybe....hehehe we made human offerings to the sea goddess and did a mad offering dance but the goddess didn't seem to want anyone, or didn't like the lot of us singing and dancing 'ride my pony' at sunset on a tide coming higher in ;) we came back from the beach at 9:30-10 p.m, dove into the shower, wrapped six yards of silk/chiffon around ourselves and jetted off to the valima! in record time too, no less!

momani and chote nana are sweethearts of the highest order; they gave me their apartment keys so i could come and go whenever i wanted which was brilliant; when i got Wendy to walk the beach at four in the afternoon i skipped right out araam se...hahaha bless him for being spontaneous even though he's a geek enter-per-noor now ;) incidentally, i've lost TWO of my hoop earrings to the sea, one silver and one gold one! i was annoyed for a while but i suppose it's all right; can always go buy some more. if the sea's a girl i can understand ;)

some stories, some poems. waking up to the sea, reading to the sea, falling asleep to it. i spilt tea on myself yesterday, i never thought it could be so hot. my stomach flamed for a while after, dark pink and red curling up like smoke through my thin lawn kameez.

sunday bazaar's phenomenal. a labryinth of faded tent and sandy dirt, it sells everything from garlic to slinky scarves and hallmark cards. we kept being pestered by bad-penny kids with chabbay insisting for mazdoori....H the fire-breathing dragon blasted them away with a NAHIEN CHAHIEYE!! JAO YAHAN SEE! RRARRRR! hee hee it worked! bought superman-logo socks and spiderman socks (sorry Honorary Girl-chum, none in your size, i looked!) and the blingest shoes ever made :P~~ and this and that- a red lamp, can you imagine? i hand-carried it back and am finally throwing out the snoopy wala lamp i got for my eighth birthday but not without a pang of nostalgia for all the years its faded, now skewed shade wore my necklaces and that headband with the orange diadem-wannabe and peacock feather i wore in one of aunty amy's dance extravaganzas...and all the nights i spent reading with it on, all the barbie houses it lit and all the houses-under-the-desk. poor old snoopy lamp with no snoopy (or much of its pink paint) on it any more and broken neck is being replaced by a rah-rah razzy geometric red lampanista.

i want to see charlie and the chocolate factory! almost did at xeb's but didn't then. her cousin-from-england showed us 'bullshit' in sign language too hehehe it's pretty cute, you cross your arms, make a head with one hand and make your other one speak simultaneously.

humm...what else....H came over my last night in karachi and we lounged about eating chocolate and talking in the beautiful breeze because there was no car to zoom around hedonistically in...went to park towers with ali mamoon and chose shirts for his father-in-law and browsed books and ate gelato's lemon sorbet too bwahahaa flu-shlu!

enough stories for now. more later, like Wendy's super-duper birthday surprise and the airconditioner that kept turning on :O ooo jinn baby and the arizona grill napkin...hehehee what a mad ten days, wooo hooooooooo!

Mina at 12:23 PM


Saturday, August 13, 2005

*stands up and sings 'jeeway pakistan' at the top of her lungs*

Mina at 12:00 PM


Friday, August 12, 2005

~gorpy's pick of the quite-some-time!~
*theme music*
first and foremost: will ya take a look at that fancy old button in the sidebar? it's the lahore metblog button, and if you refresh the page, the image will change! isn't that all 3-D glasses cool? now run and read it, and link it to your blogs/web sites with gay abandon, we'd like pots of publicity please :D
new blogs on the list...we've moizza's very excellent modernity's discontent; one of my overly-smart friends who graduated early, but you'd never think she was this smart- hahaha! three and a half stars for my favourite multinational-wali :)
next up is um...hi. don't let the wishy-washy, toe-in-sand title fool you, fareed's blog is a deliciously pissed off little amalgamation of well-written, in-your-face phlegm. four stars for the vitriol, extra points for having changed the background to black from it's shudder-fest of vomit mustard.
third, my most recent linky (read: five minutes ago) is shelving randomness, which is probably the best way to describe a blog...only saed isn't random at all, churing out some poetry that takes remarkable turns often. my personal favourite is 'inverted bathtub'; have a look and tell me what you think. four stars; 'i had to steal you/i would have become a thief,/if you’d let me.' from his latest offering pushed it up :)
while we're on poetry, please go and look at bilal's musing on love this time. it's stunning, and i don't say that often. and then tell him that he's a poet, not a prose boy; some things have a way of doing a chicken dance in the background: obvious to everyone except the person behind whose back the chicken is dancing.
two songs that make for renewed hilarity are green day's basket case and garbage's i'm only happy when it rains. uncanny! hehehe...
i'm reading a.s byatt's possession (someone i know has a signed copy of it....gotta go study at an ivy league, buss!), and she makes me feel like a philistine. for the first time in my life i've had to look up words from a book! imagine! like kids did in eighth grade with summer school reading lists that i had read already! ha! glaucous, for instance....eik to dictionary main hi nahien tha, hahaha! just goes to show you never really know everything, unfortunately;) also reading the infamous lolita and i have to say, nabokov is something fantastic with the way he structures images, the way humbert humbert sees's absolutely phenomenal. brilliant stuff. of course, dbc pierre's vernon god little is maddening and was abandoned after the inital quarter of it, its level of opression is rivalled only by doris lessing's, and that, ducklings, is saying much.

Mina at 4:14 AM


Sunday, August 07, 2005

small heavenfruit sleeps
in the cool acquired twilight of
curtain and fan, curled
peanut, sea-green

fetus mermaid
rides her dreaming chariot through
the rise and fall of
a breathing sea
of love

Mina at 3:46 PM


muniba took off more of my hair than she was supposed to; usually i am able to control her chop-happy scissors but nooo! this time it was a manic saturday and an insistent woman and her 'behan karachi se spashal ayi hai aap se baal karwanay' kept interrupting muniba. she was clutching a big brown bag from levis (i don't understand how people can cart their belongings- not material for the tailor or vegetables but their stuff, like clothes for a night-spend or things that should be in a suitcase on a plane not a white hotel thela) and kept going on and on about her root touch-up and how she wanted her streaking to be 'zyada golden iss dafa', pulling at her otherwise lovely hair with jerky dying-chicken tugs. muniba finally turned her harasses scissors to me and i wondered aloud at how people still want golden streaks....later on through the hairdryer i head her shrieking about 'red-copper streaking meri behn keliye, woh jo red-copper na? woh, haan red-copper'. don't people feel embarassed being so pushy? and in the agitation and ammonia fumes from the hair-dye job two seats down muniba lopped off one and a half inch of me hair, i am sad although the bangs are prettified again. but i don't like this proximity of hair to shoulder one little bit.

while i'm still on beauty-parlor people....i was reading while waiting for my turn at the chair, with the customary pencil-in-hand when the lady sitting next to me suddenly wanted to know if i were in med school. i said no, i wasn't, i was at regular university. then she wanted to know what i was doing there so i told her. then she wanted to know where i went to school before university, so i told her. then she wanted to know if i did matric/ so i told her i didn't. the whole point of this was a) she thought i was studying and only med school kids study that much and b) her daughter wanted to go to my university but ended up at kinnaird.
thus: c) reading with a pencil makes you look parhakoo (previous unarrated incident also backs this up) and d) nobody reads books any more, at least not in public where there are magazines available. parlors are strange, creating people us and also not-us, lending feathers and tinsel and glamour until the next wash, next nail-breakage, next important enough occasion. how funny that at your wedding you look the least like yourself.

met a new little boy today, a small puppy-baby that frowned and mewled soundlessly. the small one slept between the cousins like a small sea-green peanut, and woke up to grin a huge toothless beam and clap starfish hands.

went to an interesting house for dinner, lots of art i wanted to look at better. an environmental lawyer, what a brilliant thing to be! managed to break both of my ancient gold sandals by the end of the evening enough to giggle about it with A but not enough to have to either slide my feet along the ground to hide the breakage or take the shoes off entirely. khekhe. silly old chiffon sari too short for heels...why can't a body go places barefoot?

everyone's getting married, or jumping into the stream of haan-s and engagements (saw a pretty ring today, it glowed with a satisfied inner light of sorts) and nikahs- i mean, when the last-person-we-all-surmised-to-jump-the-stream jumps it (thanks a heap for telling us, really :P), you know moons of blue cheese are soon at hand. oh well. places to wear all the clothes to, if nothing else. it's strange how you can count a person as a 'good friend' and simultaneously know you probably won't be dancing at her wedding, much as you'd like to be more important than that.

they drift together. tides are changing- it isn't her fault, you know- but moons have their own will. we just flow and recede and swirl restlessly, questing for shores we rest only teporarily upon.
'temporary' is what we all are; good that our illusions of permanence are so wonderfully resilient. i think we'd all self-combust otherwise...but maybe we'd know how to appreciate our shores better too.

A found a guitar just lying around at home, imagine! hahahaha someone gave I one, apparently. kheee. if only i could find a laptop just lying around at home....

Mina at 1:03 AM


Friday, August 05, 2005

Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Don't Go Far Off
Pablo Neruda

Mina at 3:06 AM


hehhee khan sent me the funniest link! go here! (this one's for you, bhuttay ;) )

Mina at 12:50 AM


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

on old cars

somehow all the cars that abbu's got at his office are old toyotas, the rectangle- shaped ones. and as old cars are wont to be, they've springy, comfortable back seats that are somehow muuuch bigger than new cars (i think it's the lack of a bucket seat setup) with nubby, sometimes furry (like velvet) upholstery. they're like laps. and old cars, they smell lovely! like old books, and fourteenth august and winter coats hung in a closet. but mostly like parchment-paper old books with worn hardback cloth binding.

on making new friends

there're the obvious ones: interesting, funny british convert, s. khala's really wonderful best friend. rediscovering s.khala (instant love). but the best one, i think, was a curly black little doggie called fluff :D he wore a red collar with a small silver bone-shaped charm with his name on it, and he was so smart! him and i had a good understanding by the end of it, what a cutie pie he was! aloof until you said hello, which i did, and snuck in a pat on the head; worked like a charm :)

on meditation

imagine a lake, at dusk; that time of dark and light. the sky is pale, bright blue and the trees are thick and smell like damp woods do. and imagine yourself wading into the lake- the water is cool, but not cold, and dark, but not frightening like a bog, and you are parting the waves gently, skimming the water lightly as you walk into it. slowly, going in perhaps up to your ears. it's quiet and peaceful...s.khala said i went really deep, and shouldn't do it too often. i think she's right because i did it yesterday and still haven't come out of it properly, i think. but it was magic. tingly, even.

on proliferation of aunts

i like khalas. i like calling women i love 'khala', real or otherwise. there's a personal cosiness, a 'you-are-mine' possessiveness to it that i adore. so meeting a real khala (blood, obviously) after what is literally ten years is superduper fantastic. m.khala came over too and there was a nice little women-of-family powwow. i love them all, marks pajama wearing, iron-scalding (it was long as my finger and kehti hain 'it didn't hurt at all!'), idiomatic urdu speaking, head-covering, thorny book-writing....there's one for everyone, and they're all gorgeous! i loooove :D

on the return of the prodigal sister (filmi is allowed hokayyy)

sana's back from iran! finally, there's only so much of having two beds to put one's stuff on that a body can take. and she got me a beautifully illustrated, four-language translated, hardback gorgeous Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam!! YEEEAAAYY! t'was the best present ever, now i've that, and deewan-e-hafiz from abbu's trip to iran years and years ago. so authentic ;) and a gorgeous ring, talk about eid hojani. nothing like sisters to know exactly what to buy for you. right now i've put her to thinking of something to write inside of the book for me. and the pictures and the stories, woo hoo! dasti trip for her, but i'm quite glad to have her back.

Mina at 9:37 PM


Monday, August 01, 2005

she sat on the floor, leaning against the door. it was raining. it had been raining all day. she could imagine the porch, sodden with water, rivulets pouring down the eaves, the swing dripping like a glass on a hot day. the pots of pansies would be brimming, their pink and red and white petals shaking her heads at the water coming down on them. she hugged her knees, sighed into them. she was wearing a sweatshirt two sizes too big, and the sleeves hung well over her hands, frayed at the edges. thunder rolled into her window, and she heard a sneeze. she scowled, and got up. she padded over to the lounge in her sock-ed feet, grabbed a dark blue windbreaker off an armchair and marched back to the door. she wrenched it open and tossed it out onto the head of the person sitting on the porch steps.

'here! i won't be responsible for you dissolving on my front steps!'

she jerked her arm to close the door. it arced slowly, pushing against the wind pouring in, and then shut with a bang. she stood on one leg, pressing a foot into the back of her knee, balling up the extra sweatshirt sleeve in her hands. she wanted to look outside the window, but she didn't. he'd see her. she swayed a little on her one leg, blew an errant few strands of hair out of her eyes, ground her teeth. what was he thinking, exactly, parking his butt on her steps in the rain like that? what good was that going to do to either of them? she put her leg down, stood on her tiptoes and put her eye to the peephole in the door- at least that was one-way. she could make out a dark lump on her stairs, with the windbreaker hood on his head but the rest was draped on his back like a cape. he was probably already too wet for the jacket to make a difference. his head was wagging side to side, slightly, the way it did when he sung to himself. she stepped back from the door, and pulled the hood of her fleece over her head with an exasperated growl.


she went into the kitchen to boil some water. it was still raining. she sat on the counter waiting for the kettle to whistle. one of her socks had loosened a bit, and flopped at the toes. she flapped it back and forth, making the flappy bit bigger and bigger. then she took down an orange mug, and put a teabag in it. after a moment, she took down another mug, only this one was vomit coloured. she put a teabag in it too, and poured the hot water into both mugs and padded back to the hall, one of her socks flapping like a platypus tail. she put the mugs down on the floor and sat down next to them. both of them steamed quietly. she pulled her sock up. then she stood up on her knees and opened the door a crack. he was gone. she pulled at the door, poked her head out. left, right in quick succession. the porch was wet, the petunias brilliant against the grey sky. and four scraggly, squashed daisies and a sunflower, all with uneven ends- probably pulled from a random flowerbed, probably a public park- tied up with a bedraggled shoelace, on the welcome mat. she clutched them, getting to her feet and dashing out onto the porch.
'where'd you go!?' she yelled into the rain, down the driveway, across the road. her socks were getting wet, her hall was getting wet because the door was open. she pulled her hood back a little so she could see better, and ran down the steps, down the driveway. she looked left and right, and right peh she saw him walking down the sidewalk, the windbreaker flapping behind him like a cape. she ran after him; her hood flew back and her hair began to plaster itself to her head. when she was close enough she lobbed the posy at his head. it made contact, but bounced off the jacket. then she ripped off a sock, rolled it up and aimed. it hit his head with a splat, and bounced off. he stopped as if he'd been shot, and turned around. she wiped rain out of her eyes. a smile had begun to grow at the ends of his mouth.
'where're you going?' she demanded breathlessly, leaning down to pick up the flowers, noticing the lack of a shoelace in one of his sneakers simultaneously.
'my sock is lost,' she added, looking around vaguely. then she shrugged and put her hood back up. 'screw the old sock.' she pulled the other one off, and offered it to him. 'present. y'know, for'- she held up the posy- 'these.'
he laughed out loud and solemnly accepted the sock. and then they went and had really cold tea.

Mina at 1:50 AM