Tuesday, October 25, 2005

she got on a plane, alone
(our dreamer, our painter)
and sat there for a day. and
now she's here, asleep in a downstairs
bedroom and none of us
know how to make it easier
on her, that first

Mina at 10:11 AM


Sunday, October 23, 2005

is it wrong to germinate a story in a hospital room? creatively i don't think so. creatively everything goes. ideas don't care if you're in the shower or taking an exam or going to sleep- or, for that matter, keeping an eye on an eighty-four year old who insists on taking his blood pressure finger thingamajig off when he thinks you aren't looking. i wonder how we survived these past days, i really wonder how i can be sitting here as flippant as you please and only parson i was pacing a corridor and pretending i wasn't terrified. i think it's because at the end of the day, we all have to eat. after all the frantically bleeping machines and oxygen masks, suction tubes and the shape of antiseptically lit corridors there are salads to be tossed, dinners to be had, tea to be swilled, chocolate bars to be unwrapped in the quiet company of a motorized bed and the bubbling of hydrating oxygen. at the bottom of life there is food. i guess what that really means is that life keeps going on irrespective of whether you want it to stay or leave...and all we do boils down to one thing: keeping alive.. or being alive, we are all alive; survival happens irrespective of whether we like it or not. "now more than ever seems it rich to die / to cease upon the midnight with no pain", and yet you sparkled at me when i told you about the chaat, what'm i to do but wrap my life around each of your fragile breaths, you stubborn poetic long-fingered wilful and above all beloved man?

Mina at 6:23 PM


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Gorpy Alert of Supreme Importance

Everyone go and read this. Right now. Fauran se peshtar. It's an article on earthquake survival tips and completely debunks all the methods we employ: standing under doorways, crouching down and covering one's head, getting under a desk. They're all lethal. Read this article now and pass it on even if you aren't living in an area that is experiencing tremors or you live in Timbuktoo where there are no earthquakes or even if you can't read. Just do it. I'd post it here but it's too long for a blog; but this message is of high importance and will self destruct in two seconds. Go go go!

Mina at 8:54 AM


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

the nation main likha hai keh there aren't enough tents in the world to meet the 200,000 mush says we need. which is plausible because pakistan is the world's primary exporter of winterised tents. um. this is called irony, boiss and gulls :(

Mina at 12:41 PM


Monday, October 17, 2005

i'm such a bozo!! I MISSED CLASS CAUSE I FORGOT ABOUT RAMZAN TIMINGS!!!! because i was thinking about the link H sent me and the nation wala telephone directory i saw in the morning that i wanted to find online and post because it was so madly helpful i think for people who want to contact people-in-charge up north so i went straight to the lab and even wondered on my way why sana was whizzing off down the hall as if she were in a mad rush to get to class when we were so early...and directory bhi nahien mili, will have to wait to go home to do something about it...hahaha...oh noooo dimagh ki chutney ban gayi hai i tell you; i was talking to g-string yesterday and she mentioned that it'd been just over a week since the earthquake happened, and both of us were pretty stunned. longest week of our lives, feels like a month's elapsed.

so the link.
this is a list of medical supplies needed the most right now. if you're donating medical supplies or know someone who is, read this before you go about it so you'll have a good idea of what to send. funnily enough so far all the medical donations i know of have come from doctors. oh haaaan and doctor's hospital is offering free operations for earthquake victims.

i'm a crackpot, i swear i'm absolutely gonzo, now i'm going to shut myself up in the library and study til' four to punish myself. and also smell the books in the khalid ishaque wing bwahahaa but Allah Miyaan SAVE this poor dotty woman, if i could blush i would be red as my toenails, it's just too much to miss class, for whatever good cause it was. i don't believe it, and it only ocurred to me that something was amiss when the boys sitting adjacent to my computer went shooting off like spitwads to 'get to class' and then the bulb watted into life: OHHHHH NOOOOOO! and without further ado i am going to go and work now. for real. promise.

Mina at 11:22 AM


Saturday, October 15, 2005

PERILS has set up operations and needs volunteers. While still more or less in a nascent stage, PERILS' aim is to provide post-disaster logistical and structural support, working with NGOs and online (like creating lists on casualties for family and friends abroad). They've got a button; if you've got a blog please put one up. These guys are doing a marvellous job and should get all the support they can.

the sun is saffron coloured right now.

Mina at 6:45 AM


Thursday, October 13, 2005

we're still packing boxes, still collecting supplies at LUMS. drop off things at the sports complex (the guards at the front gate will direct you if you don't know where it is); so far methinks we've enough packers.

Mina at 10:14 AM


people're telling me that there were aftershock tremors that hit 5.5 last night. H says geo says. i can't find it anywhere on the news. is this true?

kainchi peh last week a maulvi announced on the mosque loudspeaker (quite at random) that an earthquake was expected. all the people living within earshot spent the entire night outside. i find this vaguely amusing in a patras ke mazameen kind of way.

this morning i was admiring the aman sarai foundation's beautifully packed and labelled boxes, stacked to the roof in pleasing coordination, waiting to be loaded onto a truck. short-lived pleasure: boxes of clothes, blankets and food are for the living. boxes labelled 'bachon ke kafan' and 'baron ke kafan' are not. i can't get the grey, lifeless hand out of my head- CNN was showing a man carefully removing school-building rubble with a pickaxe around a dead hand, which flopped lower as the rocks were removed. BBC's got another dead hand, this time stretched out from a hole in the ruins, fingers splayed as if reaching out for something. a phrase like 'bachon ke kafan' shouldn't even exist :(

Mina at 8:56 AM


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Karachi main a blood drive is being held TODAY at these venues:

1. Forum Parking Lot: 7pm onwards. (organized by HOPE)

2. 22/2, 17th Street, Khyaban-e-Tauheed, Phase V, DHA: 4:30 pm onwards. (organized by Fatimid)

Kids under 16 are not allowed to donate. If you're in Karachi or know people who are, please pass this information on ASAP.

Mina at 9:37 AM


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CNN says that balakot's "lost a generation" to the collapsing of the school. images i saw yesterday included a bearded man with a pickaxe gingerly clearing rubble away from around a grey, lifeless hand. the army camp at fortress needs volunteers to help pack supplies.

and for all the random (random because i can otherwise tell who certain anonymouses are)anonymous folks leaving their delightful little pearls of good cheer, please take your pissies somewhere else. if you don't like what you read, tough cookies. this is enough of a tense and worried time for everyone and i for one don't have the patience to deal with nameless inaneties on this blog. anonymous laga do and poori duniya aajayegi to harass you for having an opinion. i've no issue with criticism- i am perfectly aware of the nature of what i put up on gorpy- but i do have issue with BS. if you have something to say, put your name to it and go right ahead. and if you don't have anything constructive to say, i'd rather you didn't say anything at all because i'd hate to cut off people who don't have blog sign-ins from commenting.

gule says that houses built on mountains fell into rivers after the tremors, fell right in- with people still inside them. mostly women and children i'm assuming, because most of the men come down south in search of work. shouldn't that also mean some flooding? i hope not...
been trying to connect the LUMS efforts with gule's government people in islamabad; everyone's sending supplies but i feel it's all over the place...but i also suppose that in the short-term and the state of the roads, a constant barrage of relief teams will mean at least some will be getting through, if not all. can't we parachute things in, if we don't have enough helicopters? attach parachutes to cartons or something, or send them upriver? no i'm not being funny, i genuinely want to know if alternative options like those are available. who to ask..

tony wrote that he was proud of how everyone's rallying round. i agree one hundred percent: good show, everyone. jolly good show, as amenbob likes to say. CNN's highlighted the Lahore Metblog as a place to go for information and how to help; in the morning the RJ on the radio was reading out information from the metblog too...and i will allow some pride to seep into that, the team's been doing wonderfully and its actually making a difference. YESSSS!

Mina at 9:18 AM


Monday, October 10, 2005

Association for the Developmentof Pakistan http://www.developpakistan.org/Default.aspx?tabid=149.

Oxfam: www.oxfam.org.uk

UNICEF www.unicef.org

Mir Shakil ur Rehman Foundation www.hidaya.org

Islamic Aid http://www.islamicaid.org.uk/appeal.html

The Lahore Metblog has a great list of more places you can look up for contributions.

Mina at 4:02 PM


we're crazy, newfound cousin and i; we play tennis at 2 in the afternoon in what is indeed 'the blistering sun', fasting, and then call it dancing. i like it. it's the only time i'm not eroding my insides about other things.

Mina at 3:56 PM


money? we don't need money. the last thing on everyone's minds shouldn't be 'lets show america a thing or two by raising more than their donation', it should be 'what needs to be done the most'. and 'the most' is getting together as many physical supplies as possible. we need food, liquids, warm things, medicines and most of all, kafan ka kapra- shrouds. gule's father is shuttling back and forth from muzaffarabad and islamabad (he works for the government) and he says that bodies are lying on the roadside. there is nothing left in kashmir; no government buildings, no shops; houses fell into the river neelam with people inside them still. the PM's donation fund is viable and i'm told that it's being put to proper use. but the thing that kills me the most is that we've only got 30 helicopters to airlift supplies into mazaffarabad and rawalakot and mansehra. 30 helicopters to deliver aid, medicines, doctors to 20,000 people. this is what 'third world' means...this is what it means: when everything you have isn't good enough, isn't fast enough not because of a lack of initiative or effort, but because that's just all you've got and where will you find more?

nobody on the other side of the pond seems to care what's going on at home; not even my little brother. it's pretty sad that 20,000 people can die here and you not even want to ask if we're okay. shame on you...remember the neelam hotel, the room of the nocturnal ice-cream? it's gone now, it collapsed into the river. remember the karahi at bagh? bagh's gone too. remember how close f-10 is to taya's house? that's where the tower fell. don't tell me three weeks have changed you that much, don't tell me you were too busy to notice, to call, to even write. hudd hogayi, ho kya gaya hai? is it so easy to forget all feeling?

Mina at 1:36 AM


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Earthquake Precautions (this one's for you, Asfandyar:) )

Mina at 2:48 PM


LUMS is having a week-long charity drive (longer, if necessary) starting tomorrow to collect supplies for the Kashmir districts. While money is welcome, what is needed more urgently are dry goods- atta, sugar, daal and other foodstuffs, bottled water, blankets, clothes, medicines, anything you can think of. There will be a stall open on campus from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

If anyone has contacts with pharmaceuticals, food companies or anyone else that can help, please e-mail the LUMS Volunteer Society at lvs@lums.edu.pk ASAP.

Everything is going through a reliable channel and people will be receiving these supplies either directly through the LVS or an organisation like Eidhi or Oxfam. Please, please donate.

Mina at 2:27 PM


Saturday, October 08, 2005

eight a.m my cell phone woke me up- i was being what is called responsible, waking up early to study. about an hour later i was sitting on my bed reading for class when my bed began to quake. i put down 'meatless days' and concentrated, wondering whether i was imagining it but when it got harder i called out for abbu over the rumbling sound. our modem wasn't working and the telly wasn't getting any news channels, so when it was over and H called we heard about srinagar, kabul and worst of all, islamabad, and their surrounding areas. punched numbers for a good part of the morning, calling chacha, calling taya, calling eishi's place to ask about beeda. sana tuned the television, the PC kicked into gear on its own volition.

one of margalla towers' towers in F-10 has collapsed, all of it. abbu's office building's cracked. the roof at GIK's male hostel's caved in. people in lahore have died, over 746 in islamabad. one of them was xeb's little cousin salman, to whom she pays tribute here. there was an aftershock tremor around four this evening in lahore, and more are expected in the coming week. cnn showed a man buried up to his neck being dug out of the rubble. i wonder how many of them were fasting. 7.6 on the Richter scale, the earthquake was a mere 10 km below surface- the deeper the tremor, the less damage. my head is full of images of people wandering around the broken building as if in a dream, frantic feet running over slabs of concrete carrying a bundle of a person to an ambulance. it's frightening...one moment you're grumbling about work and the next you could be dying. and that's it, one moment is all it takes to snap the strings that hold us to breath and all the little things we give importance to. death is so enormous, and still incomprehensible. there are people beneath the rubble, there are families waiting for someone to come home..i don't think any of us will be the same... we're praying in the hushed silence left behind, filling up the void with a whispered Allah.

it's funny. you always think that in an emergency you'll grab the things that are important to you before you run out of the house, but in the morning all i could think of was my mother, who wasn't home.

Mina at 9:07 PM


Friday, October 07, 2005

sleeping people fascinate me. i went around the house once, early in the morning when the light is a pale, crisp white-blue (like boy-shirts almost) with my camera and took pictures of my family sleeping...the satisfied, knowing little 'boink' my canon makes when it takes pictures woke them up for a second, but the prowler's job was done! bwaha! sleeping people are yummy, the way they mash their cheeks into their pillows or twitch a toe sometimes, or smile and mumble things when they roll over. i could watch people sleep for ages- i think your face says several things it would never dream of saying (pun not intended lol) while you're awake.

mummy-daddy couples annoy me. let me rephrase that: mummy-daddy engaged people couples annoy me. what're you being so prissy for? you're getting married, if you hold you fiance/e's hand the world will not implode, promise :P of course, if you ask your mother for permission to go out for dinner, then we might have a situation on our hands.

first quasi-official (or public?) gay marriage in pakistan. err. don't know what to make of it; it isn't like there aren't any homosexuals in pakistan- in fact, it's becoming less and less of a big deal to be gay/lesbian. of course, the fact that the 'groom' is 42 and paid 40,000 bucks to marry his 16 year old 'bride' is disgusting- but the report doesn't mention coercion or force or threat of violence so maybe barkis was willin', and the money was his mehr. khekhe PC or un-PC, that just sounds funny khekhekhe

i found 'my sassy girl' in my CDs! 'do you want to die?' hahahahaha what a lovely film it is, i'm going to watch it again tomorrow :D it's got a funny sound thing; left speaker 'tune' karo to you hear korean, right speaker chinese, in-between something that sounds like both. hehehehe...
'do you want to die?'
'then take your shoes off!'
and she wears his sneakers and he has to wear her heels in the rain...hahaha...ooh and the PA system scene...main abhi dekh rahi hoon busss

hein, bhook lagi

Mina at 1:09 PM


Thursday, October 06, 2005

ramzan mubarik, everyone! fasting or feasting, i hope the blessings of the month sneak into your lives one way or another :))

Mina at 3:33 PM


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

having successfully tempted amenbob to iniquity (book five of the earthsea series. what's the singular of series? serie?), i am now wilfully not reading my readings, or doing GRE things- nope, instead i am trippin' on poetry and getting all dressed up for school, ainwee main:

'wait a minute!' *squint* 'your eyes are brown!'
*amused chuckle* 'yup.'
'how strange! they're usually hidden behind a wall of glass'
and other peer-and-comment observations like 'oh, it's kajal, i thought it was something fancier'

have i mentioned that my tennis balla is YELLOW? yellow and black like a bumblebee....a wumblewee, since it's wilson. hahahaha my racquet is henceforth named wumblewee!

ursula k. le guin's last three lines to the foreword of 'tales from earthsea' is brilliant (and in this visual order also):

things change
authors and dragons are not always to be trusted:

nobody can explain a dragon.
i must pause typing to clap :D
world eleven wala match's on, and the rec room is a testosterone den full of boys smoking and squinting at the telly, discussing stats and who'll win, or just frowning like belligerent bears as sehwag fumbles a shot. there were only two girls in there, including me! hahaha! all the australians have an AIDS ribbon on their shirt which is really wonderful i think.
was reading barks' rumi and it occurred to me that love makes beggars of us all. any kind of love. all of it. now i will proceed to sit outside in the autumn breeze and read my reading because i'm tired of a/c air and people who smell strange- acidic and musty, like paper but without the eatable nutty scent of old paper...more like mangled old government and politics notes in pencilled cursive long smudged- or money, money doesn't smell good at all, i've never figured out why gangsters in mafia flicks smell their money, it smells gross and you never know where it's been :S
speaking of old books, i recently discovered the first floor of the library! some lawyer in karachi's entire library's ended up at lums- khalid ishaque. there're about a thousand books spilling out of boxes, stacked in mammoth piles on tables waiting to be catalogues, some shelved...and it's this dream, it's like going through a closet and ending up in a sort of narnia, but with books instead of snow! it smells like heaven, it's quiet, full of the peaceful, dusty mumbly silence that a lot of old books in one room have....i showed ammara, and we danced about in the empty aisles at the back for sheer delight. every book up there has khalid ishaque's stamp on them....if he's still alive, what an amazing man he must be! okay, boy-sammich coming about; i will flee the den of CS major armpits now.

Mina at 2:53 PM


i want to be a pussycat doll. buss. some blend of the foxy lead singer and that girl with the long red hair (although the lead singer with red hair would just be WRONG but baharal). i wish to wear interesting clothes and sing with a gravelly pouty voice. i know she love you, i undastan'...i guess i'd be crazy 'boutchoo if you were my ol' man tan tan tan tan....what's wrong with that song? everyone hates it but i, i think it's great myhahaa

i am such a lucky monkey; my daddy buys me books and i am walking about positively glutted on e e cummings. there is something surreal about poetry, i have reached the conclusion, something not of this world and reading it in profusion takes out some of your nuts and bolts and screws them back in in a way that you and the world will always be at a strange kind of tilt...like a pinball machine..your particular little metal balls will be pinging and zinging around on a different little tangent and the rest of the other-people balls will squint and shake their heads at each other- what's up with them? and also then the way you interact with everyone has a residual dreaminess, kinds of strange utopias one affixes to different kinds of people. you won't lie. you won't cheat. you won't close the door on me. you won't do X Y Z or any manner of things because you are you and thus particularly special in this mysterious kind of way, and if i can see it why can't you? but that's not how it goes and people most always do things you didn't want them to because they're messing up the goodness you assigned to them! and you can't do that! it isn't allowed! maybe it isn't because 'love's function is to fabricate unknowness' and when your banners droop i don't know you so much any more. ajeeb zindagi hai, what a strange old ride.

yesterday i was thinking about how when i will be sending out stuff to grad school waley, i will be in essence a bunch of numbers. a GPA, a GRE, an address. a transcript, a social security number. just a string of numbers pinned to a name and that's it. numbers! i will be reduced to a string of meaningless babble that doesn't say anything about me. i don't like the thought of my future hanging on a bunch of numbers. it gives me a stomachache.

i cannot align my insides to the sight of the walker. something just flipped over and landed with a bone-jarring crash when i saw it and each day is a teetering now, careful aagey-peechey. is this what you call becoming 'mentally prepared'? there is no such thing...no such thing. there are too many suddenly old eyes, too many lines around mouths, too many hopeful glances and sullen faces in response. sometimes i wish i didn't see them. i feel invisible.

Mina at 11:11 AM


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

i have found the best photoblog ever. fnk's blog is the most intriguing, no-frills, no-wannabe-arty, no-nonsense kind of photoblog i've ever seen. you can barely see the sidebar, and each photograph is borderless, melting into the background. there are no credits either, so it's just a page of quiet lamplight eyes looking out of corners and catching the world as it darts between moments. whoever you are, you rock.

Mina at 11:18 AM


Monday, October 03, 2005

I hear the tide
call out my name
as the waves lap up
against my ship;
the silent hum of the wind
could be
the lull before my storm
could it not;
a calling
for me to give myself away and

As you stand distant,
and view me with eyes that long, maybe;
at least I hope,
I am compelled
to walk to your shores somehow,
to know, to feel;
and in that, i feel I owe you everything
yet, you owe me nothing;
and so,
you are free
as I am,
the sea.

by my favourite squish player

Mina at 2:59 PM


two things, before i run to class:

i have been a meanie to someone on this blog recently. i'm sorry. it wasn't fair at all to target you with my disappointment and hurt for something that isn't your fault. good luck with the job, and i really truly hope you shine at it.

(and HE told me before YOU, i am SO not talking to you missy :@)

Mina at 11:14 AM