Archive for July, 2010

“I should’ve pitied him. Even if we never pity them at any other time, and in any other way, we should pity the dead when we look at them and touch them. Pity is the one part of love that asks for nothing in return, and because of that, every act of pity is a kind of prayer. And dead men demand prayers. The silent heart, the tumbled nave of the chest unbreathing, and the guttered candles of the eyes-they summon our prayers. Each dead man is a temple in ruins and when our eyes walk there we should pity,we should pray.”

From Shantaram

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I thought, I might write a post, about all those lives lost, in that fatefull flight yesterday. A national tragedy, I was shocked. Frankly, I still am. I was on that plane 12 days ago. I was one of those 157 Passengers. I could have been a name on the passenger list.

I wont attempt to somehow rationalize or humanize or anything to what happened. I am simply writing this to mark a day in the calendar of my blog, of my lifetime, in this vast blogosphere.

May you all rest in peace.

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I am not a fan of labels. Specially when it comes to myself. Though I call myself a geek for the love of all things tech and science, I still dont like that label. Perhaps, I label myself that out of disgust of what everyone is chasing, or rather be labeled as – ‘Cool’, ‘Corporate’, ‘Rich’ … you get my drift. I could call myself an artist, a writer, an activist, a pathan, a muslim, a pakistani, photographer, engineer, student, and the list goes on.

I started thinking about this when Maryam, asked the editorial team to write a short bio of ourselves for the TMS team introductions. I have never actually thought about myself, from a third persons eye. I am me, its that simple. The title itself suggests that. Perhaps my ego is too huge to allow myself to view my life and my self in introspection or objectively. Nonetheless, I have to attempt at this, the one starting below being my second (I am too ashamed of my first one to put it up here, as a friend pointed out – you sound like a pompous ass)

No wait before I start, how do I start. Crap. I cant do this.

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You would imagine editing is a simple job. Take a red pen and slash through every lines and comma and then walk upto the writer, slap it on his face, and scream ‘ Is this the sort of crap your churn out you ninny.’ Well it is that, and not quite that.

I got some pieces that people I dont know sent me. Some were good, some not so much. What I want to address here particularly is the ‘Article vs Essay’ dichotomy that I have come to notice. Articles are fun, witty, opiniated, humorus or even serious but readable takes on issue’s, topics, etc. Essay on the other hand is something you would write in a Pakistan Studies final under the title, ‘Why Pakistan came into being’. The difference, if not quite so obvious from the glaring comparison I have tried to establish is; essays, for me are cut and dry and left hanging to dry. They serve only the purpose of school examinations, and only your teacher is kind enough to finish it. Articles are fresh, and humorus that I, who am not getting paid to read, but enjoy to read, or rather hope to enjoy the reading experience would read.


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#TMS is the buzz I am creating now. Say it with me, #TMS – yes thats twitter terminology but humor me. #TMS.

The brain child of Maryam Piracha – http://www.maryampiracha.com. I first got a whiff of it when MP tweeted about her head hunt for editors. I pounced. She sent me some fiction and an article to edit. Funny, that I ended up on the editorial team, since  I actually sincerly thought I had crashed and burned. But voila.. you can find my name here -___-

TMS is all about a fresh perspective on the current publication industry. Submissions are now open. Find details on the website below! Yes people, we have gone live. And I for one, am looking forward to this new chapter in my life 🙂

*Yes a hint of optimism for a change – though I don’t expect it to be a rosy all the time*

One last time – #TMS,

TMS has now a home: http://themissingslate.com/

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Sirus and Orion

Like a dozen other starts, this is also one.

Is that even a Muslim name?’ asks Farida, in a matter of fact way. Like it is normal to ask such questions to complete strangers.
‘Yes, I was named after the brightest sky in the night sky and the great Iranian King’ answers Sirus, with an implied sense of exhaustion, like a he has been asked this question one too many times.
He looks up to the night sky, scanning it, until finally his neck finally twisting and he smiles. Like meeting an old friend, and picking up where you last left off, he winks at Sirus – the star.
‘There, you see that? Those three stars in a line? That’s Orion’s belt. Orion was a hunter, the Great Hunter. Now follow through Orion’s belt. There, thats the brightest star in the night sky, Sirus. Thats who I am named after’ he finishes, lowering his hand.
A cold December breeze blows, gently. He is suddenly very aware of the cold soft skin pressing against his arm, realizing he moved too close in the glee of the moment. He is very aware of his own outline.  Farida, seemingly unaware of their proximity, stares at the star for  a while, then looses interest and starts gazing at other immortals mapped on the night sky.

Every fiber of his being told him not to move an inch, but he did. ‘Doesnt feel right’, he said to himself, repeatedly. Slowly, as not to offend her, he moved away, just an inch. The warmth radiating from her skin beating gently on his. Or maybe it was his mind playing ticks on him again.

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