Entries Tagged 'conversation' ↓

In leiu of part 2…

…or actually, as I ruminate more on part 2, I would like to direct your attention to how white feminism attempts to stay on top of a heirarchy while at the same time trying to dismantle it by Aaminah Hernández on Problem Chylde.

My favourite part:

5) Say we are hurting the cause of feminism, or that we aren’t really feminist at all.

This one is perhaps the most damaging of all. First, it presumes that we consider ourselves “feminist” at all and thereby implies that there is something wrong with us if we don’t. Then it attempts to define what feminism is, what counts as feminism, and tells us that we aren’t really part of it, while trying to shame us and discount anything we have to say because it is “not feminist”. It does not allow that feminism could have different forms and faces, but limits it to what serves the white woman and nothing more. If, as women, we cannot set our own goals, speak to our own needs, and create our own agenda, then how “feminist” are you?

Oprah, Diddy and Other Goodies at GC

I haven’t written here much lately because I haven’t got much to say these days. The stuff I do have to say I send off to GlobalComment or other such fun places what pay me. So I thought that, in addition to some shameless self-promotion that I’m about to do, I should also promote some other good stuff I’ve been reading. To wit, Joe Sapien’s take on Diddy as the next Bond. We take a break from his usual sarcastic tone to sample some flabbergasted outrage and the foolishness that is Diddy. In addition, there’s a good assessment of Obama’s Change.gov blog thing by Sarah Jaffe that you should take a look at. The piéce de resistance, though, is Renee Martin’s take on the fatness of Oprah and how we should shame her for being ashamed of it (my interpretation – not what she actually actually said) rather than point fingers at her for being fat in the first place. (In fact, she didn’t say at all that we should shame Oprah – I just think that Oprah should be ashamed of her shame. All that wealth, accomplishment and power and her weighing scale can break her heart? Pff. Stupid world.)

And I wrote about Mumbai because I do that kinda thing. This is the part where I’m shamelessly self-promoting, btw.

That’s all, folks.

As GlobalComment’s Newest Celebrity Editor…

…or summat, I thought I ought to point out that GlobalComment is in fact one of the most interesting sites in which to find poetry, not just because they publish mine upon occasion, but because poetry resides there in the midst of politics and commentary, which is where it ought to be. So go have a look at GlobalComment’s poetry line-up. And if you find what you like, I shall point you in the direction particularly of their sister site ArabComment’s stuff on and from muslim women because it is consistently intelligent, more interesting than MWU!’s progressive fundamentalism (okay, that might be an exaggeration) but still countering western notions successfully.

Chay Magazine Call for Submissions

Call for submissions
(Visit http://chaymagazine.org for details)

Deadline: May 15, 2008

Having observed in Pakistani society, a disturbing tendency towards fear and shame around issues of sex and sexuality – that is to say, around a normal human interaction – the founders of Chay Magazine feel that sex and sexuality should enter the public discourse. The taboo and silence around sex and sexuality are oppressive on all of us, irrespective of gender, and lead, at the very least, to unhappiness in our daily lives and, more often, to violence, shame, depression, ill health and general social malaise. We at Chay Magazine endeavor to bring to the Pakistani reading public a place to converse about those things we are most shy of. Our hope is that, through this, we can become braver and stronger, more powerful, self-assured, and just and fair members of society.

Our focus is on Pakistani society and our themes emerge from this context. However, Pakistan is only our starting point. Chay Magazine aims to enter the fray of international feminist discourse and, as such, we invite writers of all nationalities, geographies, stripes to contribute. We are not so much interested in where you come from as in what you have to say.

For the first few issues, we have outlined some broad themes, which are listed below. While we are looking in particular for work around those themes, we are always looking ahead to later issues so, if you have some work kicking around that you’d like to submit, feel free.

Let’s Talk about Sex
o Talking about sex and sexuality – why do it, the taboos around it, the problems with it, the silences
o Sex/Gender, gender roles and gender identity
o Talking about sex and romance
o Standards of “moral” conduct relating to sex

The Politics of Sex
o Sex-positivity
o Sex and feminism in Pakistan
o The politics of shame
o Religion and sex(uality)
o Visions for a new Pakistani Feminism

o Sex: enjoyment, coercion, guilt, force
o Sex and marriage
o Domestic violence and rape
o Virginity

o Saying no and saying yes
o “Sluts” and “whores”
o Sex-work
o Religion and Sex
o Virginity
o Re-appropriating language

We are looking for

– Feature Articles 500-1000 words. These can be analysis, commentary, historical explorations or any other non-fiction on the theme of the issue.
– Poetry and Fiction. There is no real restriction on the subject of the poem or story. If it gives a nod in the direction of the theme, we’re happy. Please send no more than 3 poems or fiction pieces in the vicinity of 1000 words.
– Artwork. Again, there is no particular restriction on artwork. If there is particular work you are interested in submitting, please email in with a query.
– Translations. We accept original translations of thematically relevant works in any genre, from any language.

Send queries and submissions to: chaymagazine AT gmail DOT com . Please attach .rtf or .doc files (we cannot accept .docx files), .jpg or .pdf for images. Please send in a small bio along with your submission as well.

We are an utterly non-profit, non-commercial, money-less concern; therefore we cannot offer any compensation to our writers. In time, we hope to become rich, famous and commercial, at which point we hope to offer you pots of money.

Kyla Pasha and Sarah Suhail
Co-executive editors, Chay Magazine


Ali Eteraz is asking the question, “Have you ever prayed in another religion’s house of worship?” And, because it’s not like I have summer grading to finish or new courses to prepare for the fall semester, I’m going to answer it.

I grew up in a pretty fruity religious set-up. Which is to say, my mom was a lapsed Protestant, my dad was a lapsed Muslim and I liked to talk to God. (I also had this moment where I was talking to trees when I was about 7, but I never expected God to talk back. The trees, however…) And my fruity parents let my religious-as-heck Phuppos (aunts) talk to me about religion and God and the Prophet all the time.

So I came out kind of weird.

This preamble is so that you will understand better the following few activities.

At 9, I had an ayah (sort of a babysitter/nanny type person, not a sign from God) who was a Christian. Her name was Venus. Really. And every week she and her husband would have their friends over for Bible study with the local pastor (padri, though I don’t remember his name – John maybe? Or maybe I think all Christians are called John. Hmm.) So I decided to hang out with them during their Bible study and the let me. Since I was only 9, my comprehension of things was a little vague. But I really liked the colourful pictures of Jesus and how all these people hung out together. My parents were breaking up so no one really hung out with anyone else in my life.

Which is why, at 9, I converted to Christianity for a day, until my cousin came and told me I was an idol worshipper and going to hell. She was 9 and 1/2. So I converted back.

At fourteen, my father had some horrendous long conversation with me about why God might not exist and I was thrown into complete intestine-freezing fear. If there’s no God, I thought, who’s looking? It was like the roof of the world had been taken off and we were all exposed to anything. It was not nice.

We were in Italy at the time. After a very long time, my father and stepmother, Kathy, had decided to go on vacation. We were in Rome when this conversation arose and luckily soon after we went to look at some churches. I can’t remember which church it was on that trip that really did it for me. I remember the inside, not the outside. We walked in and it was huge and beautiful. The main altar was humongous, but then there were little chapels off to the sides here and there. So I walked away from the main, domed altar, the ceiling of which was about three or four storeys high, and sat in one of the little chapels for a while and prayed. I made it a point to say things like, “Dear God, I know the Virgin Mary is right in front of me holding the baby Jesus, under this big ol’ cross, but I’m not trying to pray to her, you know that right?” I clarified by niyyat about a dozen times and then said whatever prayer it was. Which must have been something along the lines of, “Please exist and don’t send me to hell for that doubt I’ve been experiencing for months now.” The churches kind of saved my faith. Or Italy. Or, you know, God.

And then, when I was 24, I was living in Seattle. Much like Dave, I lit a candle for a friend in a Catholic church. I was having a bad time and I went for a walk in my neighbourhood. There was a large Catholic church and I just sort of walked in, hung out for a bit, saw the candles and lit a couple. One was for me and one was for my ex-boyfriend, who was also having a bad time.

I guess I have a thing for the Catholics. They make pretty buildings and, unlike Protestants, they don’t just have to believe, they also have to do. Which is closer to Islam and so makes more sense to me.

You know where I never prayed? In a Hindu temple. I went to Germany when I was 22ish and we visited a Tamil Hindu temple which was chock full of idols of various kinds. I walked in and felt like I was transgressing every known boundary in the world. And I felt awful for feeling that. I watched a priest do what I now know to be a sacrifice at the altar of one of the representations of lingam (the male princple). It involved bananas and things. I didn’t understand. I looked around at everything, trying to be as untouristy as possible because I kept thinking, “How offensive would it be to me if a Hindu wandered into a mosque and started looking at, I don’t know, the mosaics in the wall like they were some peculiarity of an alien race?” As soon as they let us go, I legged it out of there and into the fresh air where I could breathe again. I’m not proud of this, so don’t go finger-wagging. Rest assured, fingers have been wagged and poked into my eye as well.

And that’s my story. I’ve never been able to pray in a synagogue, though I’ve been to one or two. I’ve been to a lot of Shabbat dinners and lunches and third meals though, and I’ve blessed bread and wine, ameyned the candle-lighting with the rest of my friends. Judaism makes more sense to me than pretty much any other religion that I don’t belong to. But praying in a synagogue is like praying in a mosque: if you don’t know how to do the hokey pokey, you can’t turn yourself around. You just have to sit and watch and let things sink in, if they’re going to.

Blog Against Theocracy

Look what I found on Technorati’s WTF list: Blog Against Theocracy this weekend. I’m counting the other post from today as my contribution. Because just recently I have decided that, until someone figures out a better way to do Godly rule in the world, I’m going back to my secular roots. I hate secularism, I think it’s oppressive and stupid, with no soul, only a hollow shell of trying to love everybody for everything; but right now, in my country, it’s either the kind of faux secularism we’ve always had, or some crazy ass shit trying to take us over. No thank you.

Props to Blue Gal.

Oh So Thinky

Natalia, who is a peach of the best kind (Georgia!), called me a real poet and, well, shucks. That’s what I have to say about that.

In doing so she has apparently tagged me also, to do the same and call other people a peach. Or some other tasty thoughtful dish. So I will do so, I will find other tasty dishes on my blogroll and mention why they are so yummy. All of this is an aid of The Thinking Blog’s something or other. I can’t find the post. If anybody else finds that post, holler or something, eh? But since being chosen here means you’re tagged to do the same, it’s just one of those meme-y things. If you don’t do it, I won’t mind. I’m easy going that way.

Natalia Antonova. Look, I’m sorry. The thing is that I suppose I could nominate unnominated people, but I read this blog regularly because it’s full of all kinds of fabulous junk, and junk is a compliment, and it would asinine for me to just ignore it simply because someone else noticed it’s fabulous. There’s poetry and politics and Muslim stuff and kickass feminism and bugger anyone who thinks this is a no-go idea on my part. (Besides, I can’t find the ratted post on the original blog that says what kind of thing this is supposed to be, so I’ll do what I like and please myself.)

Venial Sin. It’s been on my blogroll for bloody ever and I can never think of what to say about it or why I enjoy reading it so much. He’s just a very good writer. Non-fiction this-is-my-life writing can really suck rancid petunias, but I even read his damn travelogues. I hardly ever have anything to say, but regardless, it’s just a lovely read.

Crimes of Aquinas. Someday I’ll know why it’s called this. This blog is kickass American Muslim stuff, really thoughtful, but with no squeamishness about saying “fuck” every few sentences. No holier-than-thou piety here, but a bunch of the kind of indignation at stupidity that makes you nod as you’re reading, and go “uh-huh, you said it.”

Mishkaneer. He hasn’t written much in a while because the rest of his life has taken over and he’s starting a new business and whatnot: but when he does write, he writes long, intricate analyses of Judaism and Americanness and politics and Muslims. Also he makes good bread. But that’s not why he’s on the list. It’s been ages since he made me bread. But I’m not nodding meaningfully in his direction at all.

Koonj. A wonderful mix of thoughtful academic stuff and ecstatic musings about the new things her lovely baby does. And also quite possibly the most prolific blogger EVER.

There. If you’re not on this list it’s because I could only pick 5 and also I ran out of internet time half way through and had to go buy a card in the suddenly-very-hot heat of Lahore, and now I’ve just about had it with everything for a while.

Yes. So.


I found this lovely in its melancholy.

آج كى شاعرى

 …is a present from Maheen. I was going to counter her assertion that Ted Hughes was a better poet than Sylvia Plath by quoting some killer Plath for today’s poetry, but she dropped this on me and I was helpless.

Deliver me from the usual thing,
The clever inevitability of the conversation,
The brilliant platitudes and second-hand
Remarks about life…
O for the tangent terror
Of the metaphor no one has used–
The keenness of cutting edges
On fresh green ice of thought.

– Iris Murdoch, 1939   

“World Trade Center”

There’s a movie coming out called “World Trade Center”. Nicholas Cage is starring in it. The promo shows a guy in rubble writing “I (heart) you” on a scrap of paper.

Fuck it all.


Evidence of Things Not Seen

…is an episode of the West Wing from Season 4. The main narrative device is that CJ thinks that on this day, the Vernal Equinox, you can balance an egg on its end, and it recurs throughout the episode. Every two scenes, CJ (Christian and Ohio-an) insists this to Toby (Jewish and New Yorker), who’s a sceptic and Josh, who’s distracted, and the President, played by Martin Sheen, tries it at one point and it doesn’t work.

Then CJ, Toby and Will are in the press room and they get shot at from the street outside. The following conversation ensues over a game of poker (the West Wing is locked down because of terrorist threats so high government has time for poker, apparently):

Guy: You’re particularly upbeat there for someone who’s been shot at twice in four yearsCJ: Am I?Guy: Yes.

CJ: That’s ’cause I’ve got faith there, mi compadre.

Guy: Faith?

CJ: The substance of things hoped for in the evidence of things not seen

Toby: Yeah, but I think what he’s asking…is why on most other nights do you think the world’s going to hell in a hoola hoop, but tonight –

CJ: – we dip twice and eat gefilte fish?

Toby: Suzie Cream Cheese, do not attempt the Haggadah.

CJ: I know how to bless the soup, too…

Toby: Faith in what?

CJ: In us.

Toby: The people in this room?

CJ: And many, many others.

You know what’s great about this exchange?

One: The centre. The meat. The reference to the Haggadah: “why on this night…” Who says it, who receives it. What she comes back with. You don’t have to know what the Haggadah is to understand the main thrust of this exchange. You don’t have to know that blessings or the rhythm of the questions. But if you do…. OH, this is so sweet.

Two: The plot device. In the whole episode, the plot device is this egg, right? But it’s not mentioned at all in this exchange. Instead, CJ is upbeat because she’s not dead. All night, she’s been making the rather frivolous argument that you can stand an egg on its end on the Equinox. But right now, the thing she has faith in is sort of everything. It’s people. And they’ve been telling her that she’s full of shit the whole episode. Maybe I’ve been writing this script too long, but it sort of slays me.

Three: It’s just such GOOD writing. And check out that title, man!

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Better Things

So I started reading this comic strip today and I’m so jealous, I want to write my own. Except I can’t draw. Still, I have some failed stories that would work well as a graphic novel type thing. And there’s a lovely, real darkness in this one, not an evil darkness, but a – well – dark darkness that I quite like. And can identify with, though I’ve never been a soldier in the Israeli army.

And I also feel qualified. Which is strange because I can’t really draw (I can passably draw, like, for science lab journals and stuff) and I make a big deal out of growing up in an art gallery and therefore having been innoculated, early on, to visual art. My father wanted me to go to NCA for foundation year, at least, and see it. But I refused and went to Oberlin, and this was good. Now, however, I’m remembering (remembering?) that a poem is a translated visual most of the time, for me. I mean, my good poems are from pictures I saw in my head that I gave words too, usually. And also that I love cartoons. And also that there’s something lovely and surreal about comics.

And of course, I serve the times, and graphic novels reign. I’m no fool, I know where I live.

So: can I write a graphic novel?


Dost – دوست

This is a monologue, meant to be performed in India. I wrote this several years ago for a friend of mine to perform. I’m posting it here now primarily so that Mariam can read it it something other than roman. Note: Because of OS X’s relationship to Urdu typeface, for some reason I can’t end my paragraph with any punctuation marks other than question marks. While this may have interesting existential ramifications, the point here is that when you see a random hamza floating around, it’s because the paragraph was ending with a punctuation mark that suddenly wanted to travel to the beginning of the line. The hamza somehow anchors it. Go figure. If there are no random hamzas, there are also no dashes to end sentences because you are to assume that the paragraph ended in the unglamorous fullstop. Note also that I cannot always spell. Or type.

Any feedback for this thing welcome.


ميرى ايك دوست ﮨے، ﺑﮩت پرانى. بچپن كى ﻧﮩﻴﮟ ليكن پهر بهى. ويسے عجيب بات ﮨے كه بتا بهى ﻧﮩﻴﮟ سكتى كب كى. كبهى لگتا ﮨے ابهى ملى ﮨے. كبهى لگتا ﮨے … پتا ﻧﮩﻴﮟ كيا لگتا ﮨے

گول سى شكل ﮨے، جيسے اوپر والے نے بناتے ﮨوۓ اس كى مٹی كو كسى کٹورے ﻣﻴﮟ ٹھونسا تها. اور بال ايسے گهنگرالے ەيں جيسے كسى نے مٹهى ﻣﻴﮟ پكڑ كر زور زور سے مروﮌا ﮨو، رلانے كے لئے. بلكل آٹے كا پیڑا لگتى ﮨے كبهى كبهى … ليكن اتني گورى ﻧﮩﻴﮟ ﮨے. سانولى سى ﮨے. ليكن كالى بھٹ بهى ﻧﮩﻴﮟ، توبه كرو. كالوﮞ كو كون پوچهتا ﮨے. آپ كے ہاﮞ كا پتا ﻧﮩﻴﮟ، ہمارے ہاﮞ تو كوئ ﻧﮩﻴﮟ ديكهتا. مگر اس كو سب ديكهتے ﮨﻴﮟ. ﺑﮩت پيارى ﮨے ماشاء الله

ﮨﻢ شايد گود ﻣﻴﮟ ملے تهے… يا شايد گراؤﻧﮉ ﻣﻴﮟ. ﻣﻴﮟ اس وقت ﻟﮍكوں لے ساﺗﻬ كهيلا كرتى تهى. اور اس وقت وه ساﺗﻬ كهلا بهى ديتے تهے، گدهے ﻛﮩﻴﮟ كے. اور سنيں: ﻣﻴﮟ ايسے زوردار چهكے مارتى ﮨوں ﻛﮧ بس! آپ ديكهتے ره جاﺋﻴﮟ. سچن كيا كمال ﮨے ميرے آگے. مگر مجهے كوئ ﻧﮩﻴﮟ پوچهتا، كيسے چهكے لگاتى ﮨو. ہاﮞ ايك بار ايك ﻟﮍكا آ كه لپٹ گيا. ﺑﮍا سا ﻟﮍكا تها، دسوﻳﮟ كا. ﻣﻴﮟ چهوﭨﻰ تهى. پانچهوﻳﮟ چهٹى ﻣﻴﮟ. باﮨﺮ باغ ﻣﻴﮟ ﻣﻴﮟ پتا ﻧﮩﻴﮟ كيا كر رﮨﯽ تهى – رسى ٹاپ رﮨﯽ ﮨونگى – مجهے رسى ٹاپنے كى عادت ہے

باغ ﻣﻴﮟ جهاﮌيوﮞ كے پيچهے تهى. ميرى چاچى كا بيٹا ہے. اب آرمى ﻣﻴﮟ ہے، سنا آپ نے؟ ہمارے خاندان كے سب ﻟﮍكے ﺑﮩت آگے آگے نكل گئے ﮨﻴﮟ. چار اور بهائي ميرے ايسے ﮨﯽ آرمى ﻣﻴﮟ ﮨﻴﮟ. خوب مارا هندوستانيوﮞ كو پچهلى بار! {زور كا قہقہا} رو پڑے سالے! {ايك دم چپ هو كر} معاف كرنا! عادت سے مجبور ﮨوں. ہم كبهى كبهى ايسے ﮨﯽ بات كرتے ﮨﻴﮟ. وه بهى كسى كے بهائى ەونگے آخر. اُف الله! پتا ﻧﮩﻴﮟ كيوﮞ كردى ﻣﻴﮟ نے آرمى والى بات. ﻣﻴﮟ تو كسى اور كام سے آئى ﮨوں

ﻣﻴﮟ آپ كو بتا رﮨﯽ تهى كه ميں رسى ٹاپتى ﮨوں. ﺑﮩت اچها ٹاپتى ﮨوں. كبهى ٹهوكر ﻧﮩﻴﮟ لگى. اور ہاﮞ، ياد آيا! ميں رسى ﮨﯽ ٹاپ رﮨﯽ تهى جب وه ميرى نظر ميں آيا. ميں نے سلام كيا، مگر ركى ﻧﮩﻴﮟ. ﻛﮩتا ہے، “بات سنو.” ميں نے کہا، “جى.” “مجهے بهى بیچھ ميں ڈالو.” ميں نے ہنس كه کہا، “لڑكے رسياں ﻧﮩﻴﮟ ٹاپتے.” اور ديكهو ذره، آگ بگوله ﮨو گيا! رسى كهينچ كر ايك طرف پهينكى اور آ كه ساتھ لگ گيا. ميں نے ايك دو لاتيں ماريں. پهر ديكها كه پاس بانس كهڑا ہے. رکھ كه سر په مارا! ها! اس نے بهى پهر ﻧﮩﻴﮟ پوچها كيسے چهكے لگاتى ﮨو. ليكن پتا ضرور چل گيا

ميرى دوست بتا رەى تهى كه اس كا بهى كوئى ايسا هى چاند سا رشتيدار تها. اس سے بهى بڑا. اور اس كے پاس بانس نەيں تها. كيا كرے ەم… ء

ليكن ەاں، ميں اور ميرى دوست، ەم شايد كركٹ گراؤنڈ ميں ملے تهے. دونو كو بڑا شوق ەے. ميں تو بلكل وسيم اكرم په عاشق ەوں. كيا موشن ەے! اور كيا مسكراەٹ! ەائے!…ء

اسے نەيں پسند. كەتى تو ەے ناک بەت بڑا ەے، طوطا لگتا ەے. آگركر پسند ەے. كەتى ەے معصوم سى شكل ەے. اور سنو! اور وسيم كے ناک پر اعتراض ەے! اجت بهائى كلكتے جائيں تو ناک تين دن پەلے پەنچے! – ء

سچ پوچهو تو انڈيا پاكستان كا مسئله ەے. وسيم كسے نەيں پسند؟ بتائٍيں؟ آپ ەى بتائيں! آچها بولر ەے كه نٍەيں؟ بس! – ء

نەيں؟؟ اوئے كس دنيا ميں رەتے…؟ اچها چهوڑيں. آپ كى مرضى. ميں كركٹ كى بات كرنے نەيں آئى. ميں يه كەنے آئى ەوں كه كركٹ گراؤنڈ ميں ەم دونو سەيلياں رسى ٹاپا كرتى تهيں. بلكه دو دو رسياں. ەم ايسے ماەر تهے كه اگر اولمپكس ميں رسى ٹاپنے كا مقابله ەو تو ەم ايک دم سونا جيت جائيں. وه اور كسى كو پوچهيں بهى نەيں! – ء

ليكن اولمپكس ميں ويسے بهى اپنے ملک سے جاتے ەيں. تو ەم كيا كرتے؟

بڑى عادت ەے ەم دونو كو رسياں ٹاپنے كى. اصل ميں بيٹهنے كا خاص شوق نەيں دونو كو. اس كا تو مجهے نەيں پتا. ميرے گهر والے تو چلا چلا كه تهك گئے… “ايک جگه ٹكتى كيوں نەيں؟ لڑكا ەو كيا؟ ەميشه بهاگم دوڑ لگائى ەوتى ەے!” ميں پوچهتى ەوں رسياں كوئى لڑكے ٹاپتے ەيں؟ اكيے تو پير ەميشه زمين په ەوتے ەيں. مٹهيوں كو ايسے كمر پر رکھ كر كهڑے ەوتے ەيں جيسے كوئى لوٹا ەو دو ەينڈل والا

پهر جوتے پڑتے ەيں. چار بهائى ەيں ميرے اپنے اور پهپهيوں چاچوں كے بيٹے الگ. خوب مار پڑتى ەے. “لڑكيوں جيسى باتيں كر مردود! بهائيوں كى عزت كر!” .ء

پتا نەيں ميرى دوست كے ساتھ كيا ەوتا ەے. اس كے ايک ابو ەيں، ايک چاچا ەيں، ايک خالو ەيں، ايک نانا ەيں اور ايک امى. سب دور سے تو بڑے اچهے لگتے ەيں. اندر الله جانے. ميرے بهائي بهى باەر والوں كے ساتھ بەت اچهے ەيں. ليكن اسكے بڑے اس كے ساتھ بەت لاڈ پيار كرتے ەيں. اس كے بڑے تو گلے لگاتے ەيں. ميرے بهى، ليكن كم كم. جوان بهائيوں كى شان بهى تو ەوتى ەے! كبهى كبهى جب وه چهوٹى تهى، اس كو گهنٹوں گود ميں ركهتے تهے. كبهى ايک، كبهى كوئى اور. بڑا پيار كرتے ەيں. مگر وه كبهى مسكرائى نەيں انكو ديكھ كر

او، يه ميں كيا بات كر رەى ەوں؟ ميں اس كو بچپن سے نهيں جانتى. كالج ميں ملے تهے. كالج ميں ەم ديواريں ٹاپتے تهے. سامنے والى ماركٹ ميں بڑى اچهى آئيس كريم ملتى تهى. وه آدمى گهر ميں بناتا تها. اور كم كم بناتا تها اسليئے جلدى ختم ەو جاتى تهى. ەم بيچ ميں ديوار ٹاپ كه نكل آتے تهے. ڈهير سارى آئيس كريم كها كر جب پيٹ پهٹنے لگتا تها تب واپس آتے تهے. دوسرى لڑكياں كەتى تهيں لڑكوں سے ملنے جا رەى ەو. يار، لڑكوں كا كيا كرنا؟

ديكهيں بات صاف صاف كەنا ذره مشكل ەے. ڈر بهى لگتا ەے. آپ اپنے نەيں ەيں نا. لگتے تو اپنے ەى ەيں. كهاتے بهى زياده تر اپنا ەى ەيں. ويسے برا نه مانيں تو ايک بات كەوں؟ دەلى كے كباب خاص نەيں ەيں. كباب كهانے لاەور آئيں!! ايسے مزيدار
كباب مليں گے كه لگے گا آپ جنت آ گئے ەيں

ميرى دوست كو كباب بڑے پسند ەيں. بڑا ارمان ەے اسے كه لاەور كے كباب كهائے. ليكن پاكستان وه كب آئے؟ ميں خود يەاں پەلى بار آئى ەوں

ميں كيا بولے جا رەى ەوں اس وقت سے! سارى عمر رسياں ٹاپتے ٹاپتے گزر گئى اور دوست ايسى بنى كه پتا نەيں چلا – اتنى لمبى رسى ەم نے پەلى بار ٹاپى ەے! بورڈر جيسى. پەلى بار آئى ەوں. جب بلايا اس نے اور ويزا لگ گيا

ليكن پهر اس سے پەلے ەم کەاں ملے تهے؟ {آف سٹيج آواز دے كر} بتاؤ! تمەيں ياد ەے؟ ەم كيا آج ەى ملے ەيں؟

نەيں، نەيں، اب ياد آيا. سرى لنكا والوں نے جنوبى ايشيا كى سب رسى ٹاپنے والى خواتين كو ايک مقابلے كے لئے بلايا تها. اخر سرى لنكا ميں بهى وه كيا كيا نەيں ٹاپتے آجكل. اُجڑ گئے سارے. كبهى نه كبهى نه كبهى تو ديواريں پار كرنى ەيں نا. ەاں، بڑى عجيب بات ەے كه پەلے ياد نەيں آيا. ليكں دنيا بهى بڑى عجيب جگه ەے

تو ەميں انەوں نے وەاں بلايا. ظاەر ەے ميں جيتى

ء {پيچهے سے لڑكى كى آواز} تُو نەيں ميں جيتي تهى، سالى! -ء

ء {آواز كگا كر} ابے، چب كر جهوٹى! ميں جيتى تهى! خير، ەم نے وەاں بڑى باتيں كيں. ەم دونو كو انەوں نے ايک ەى كمره ديا، اس لئے جلدى دوستى ەو گئى

ليكن سچ بتاؤ. لوگ كەتے ەيں جوڑياں خدا بناتا ەے. ميں نے تو كم ەي ايسى جوڑياں ديكهى ەيں جس ميں خدا كا ەاتھ ەو. ميرا تو خيال ەے دوستياں خدا بناتا ەے. كيونكه يه ٹمبكٹو بهى رەتى تو ەم ملتے اور دوست بن جاتے

اسى نے بلايا ەے. كەه رەى تهى مل لو سب سے. اچهے لوگ ەيں. ميرے جيسے. ميں كيا كەه سكتى تهى؟ اگر ايک سے دوستى ەو گئى … ليكن ديكهيں پەلے ميں نے اگركر كى ناک لمبى كر كه كاٹ دى اور پهر وه آرمى والى بات بهى كەه دى. آپ پتا نەيں كيا سوچ رەے ەونگے. اِس سے پەلے كە آپ ٹماٹر نكاليں، ميں اپنى بات كەه دوں

اتنى بڑى رسى پەلے كبهى نەيں ٹاپى. محبت كے مارے اب ٹاپى ەے. اور بس سلام كرنے آئى ەوں

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