reality – october 05, 2009

June 9, 2010 by

took me almost eight months to sit and write this.

gul rukh tahir was the first victim of the october 05, 2009 suicide bombing in the united nations world food program country office, islamabad, pakistan.

this piece has been written by tahir wadood malik her widower on may 9, 2010, at 5:45 pm
——————————————————–

reality

the call called me out
and i ran.
a scene of chaos
before me i saw
no one familiar
no one known
pell-mell running feet
stopping all from going in.

a hand held my arm
i looked at a face
worn and sad
she is taken from here
to the medical centre
or the hospital
hurry sir
he said.

i turned and ran
the medical centre was near,
first there i thought
and walked briskly
a voice called out
i turned
the medical centre sir
she is taken there.

a hop and i was there
running to the steps up
when another voice called
sir here
turning i saw him pointing
he came close and said
be strong sir
and turned his face.

down the slope i went,
entering a small room,
packed full with people
smelling of antiseptic,
gurneys covered in white sheets
a doctor looked at me
i took your name.

she looked at me
sad and sorry
pointing to the nearest
white sheet, she walked to it.
i stood as if riveted to the floor
is she gone i asked
she nodded,
and held the corner of the sheet.

leaden feet one after the other
just three steps
to see your face
drained of life’s color
the smile gone
nothing to give me hope.
just an endless dark tunnel,
with no light at the end.

you had left the world
you had left me, who you said
was your world,
i was left
without a thought
without any idea of next.
looking at your white face
closed eyes, look at me i said.

did you smile?
did you know i was standing there?
did you feel the tear
that fell on your cheek?
did you feel my hand on your face?
could you feel my willing you to wake?
or was it all cold, all dark,
and finished for you?

i stood there,
suddenly tired and racked with sobs
no one to hold me
no one to console me
no one to say hush
all alone.
not even you to say i am here.
together we will overcome.

and then the haze
people coming and going
a leg lay on the table next to you
supposedly of the bomber
people came and looked at it
no one bothered about us
but that leg was it for all then.
and i was frozen in pain, anger and angst.

formalities
ambulance ride
people gathering
crying.
wailing
intruding in my feelings
despair, grief, anger,
and a loss infinite.

rituals,
more people,
waiting for the inevitable
arrivals
more and more
but where in all this are you?
lying cold and unconcerned in a bed
draped in a white coffin

i looked at you
wanting you to smile
wanting you to open your eyes
desperation
wishing for the noise of the wails
beating chests and prayers
to wake you
from the depth of death.

but your face
serene, calm
without worries at last
fresh like the morning dew
not even lines of any hue
eyes closed,
even the white cloth,
pale against your skin.

and they came also
who had not come before
all standing
some silent
some crying
all sad
all lost
no words no actions enough.

and then it was time
picking you up
one on each of the four posts
reciting the oneness of god
who had taken you from me
so cruelly,
still being exalted and called to succor,
knowing i had but to suffer.

and then the prayers,
and a ride to the last resting place
a pit dark and dreary
i shuddered
you would hold my arm
even to step a step up
and this was so much down!
how could i hold you now?

and it was all over
dust to dust
prayers
consoling words
a dirge
another prayer
dispersal
how could i leave you?

but i did leave you
alone
in a pit covered with fresh dug soil
put on there with my own hands
my prayers mixed with the rest
a feel of death, a pain, a void,
in my heart
where you lived.

and food was served
people forgot death
food, the source of life
for the living was being taken
no one bothered to say
sorry
the food was important
my loss was reality and not.

and then they left
leaving me to my self
my thoughts
my feelings
my emptiness
my fight with my god
my forlornness
and my grief

and good too that was
for there was too much
going on in me
fears
feelings
remorse
thoughts
nostalgia

and the night passed
just as you had passed from this
to another world
just as i had passed
from a happy man
to a sad being
wondering why
this had come to pass?

but then life reared its head
wanting to extract its pound of flesh
not wanting to wait for the next
but wanting me not to rest
and i shrugged
and i looked
and i picked up the shackles of life
and i went to put my shoulder to the plough.

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The Culprit – a short story

January 20, 2018 by

a random thought turned into a short story, read out at an open mike session in Lahore on January 19, 2018

The Culprit – story

👏👏

January 18, 2018 by

service stopped in unauthorised churches in abbottabad

January 15, 2018 by

adhi adhi iint ki masjid

teri meri zamin pae

qabza kar k banti hai

aur kissi ki jaiz ibadat

register ho tau banti hai!

bas security kay naam ko lae kar

sia bhi safeed ho jata hai

dekho kaisa dastoor banaya

mera ghalat tera sahi ban jata hai!

.

.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1383019

14/15 jan 17

14:49 hours

lets start

January 11, 2018 by

it’s never too late to start an important initiative

RiP AM Asghar Khan

January 5, 2018 by

inna lillah hae wa inna ilay hae rajeoun

an icon

a hero for many including me

a person of impeccable character and great presence

we won’t have another like him again

…………

peshawar 1960’s

my younger brother Basit Ahmed Malik and i had made a scrapbook on the PAF by pasting newspaper pictures of PAF in it, one afternoon on a whim we both rode our bicycles to Air House at the top of The Mall in peshawar and told the guard we wanted to meet the C in C.

no tall walls no barriers (but that is another country and place that i talk of)

the guard went in and came back to take us to the sun room on the side from where we had a view of the immaculately kept lawn, and in walked the ‘chief’

we showed him the scrap book, had him autograph his picture in it and came back feeling like alexander at jhelum.

1977 karachi PNA movement – i was on martial law duty, and even there he stood out from the crowd and impressed

in 2008 i was with an ADB project and our partner was SEBCON i saw late omer asghar’s picture there and learned it was his setup.

one day an office that was usually closed was open and dusted and in walks air marshal asghar khan, i met him and reminded him of the scrapbook meeting and he smiled, oh you remember it still he said with a twinkle in his eyes!

a rare breed of men gone and our youth will never know them as for them polarisation is the game not tolerance, understanding or love!

be blessed sir

sane voices will miss your voice in Pakistan

winter verses

December 29, 2017 by

the light tap of a drizzle singing

the soft song of winter verses

in the midst of the night

on the green fibreglass awning

heralding the first winter rain

petrichor permeating all

and though welcome

the sound, smell and pull

of the fulfilled collective wish

of a rain to ease the parched

earth and throat

became not a winter verse

but a winter verses duvet struggle

which the duvet won!

.

.

.

lahore – 1:45 pm

26.12.2017

00:45 29/12/17

.

.

read out today 29-12-2017 at books and beans lahore

https://www.facebook.com/events/880636152098045/

what were you thinking

December 23, 2017 by

what were you thinking

just before you uttered

the word ‘qun’

and “faya’quned” me?

.

.

10.11.2017

lahore

.

wifey’s impromptu comment

‘shaitan k baad kissi ko tau ana tha!’

i am a poet

November 16, 2017 by

i am a poet

of things past

some lost in angst

some in laughs

brought out by an urge

to recall to the last

comma and fullstop

of what happened

neither slow

nor fast

for you dear reader

to read

not judge

a life lived

different than your lot

so let it be

till the next thought

nudges the cobwebs

of the mind

moving the fingers

to write

yet another story

in another time

till it is

ordained

to become

a future lost

in another post

as a poem new

.

.

.

.

lahore – 00:40 pm

16-11-2017

till the next call

November 5, 2017 by

i am alone

every day on the road

the madness

called road rage

manifest all around me

traffic careening insanely

my cocoon of the car

at least apparently

giving safety

and i smile

while around me

so many left at the mercy

of a God

seemingly merciless to them

whose will they are told it was

and then i recall

climbing the stairs to an office

to meet three kids

whose parents were burnt

by a frenzied mob

in a brick kiln

in 2014

vacant eyes looked at me

accusatory expressions

of mistrust and maybe hate

for we represented all they

‘have not’

i shuddered

they were thinking

what i think

every time a caller says

may i ask about Gul?

and in that microcosm of time

we were one

maybe the middle one

the five centuries old girl sonia

sensed it

for she smiled

he is not here to reopen our wounds

he knows our hurt is his!

and we though alone in ourselves

were one for that moment in time

i saw kids in that room

not of 11, 9 and 5

but three lives

at whom life had thrust

the mantle of adulthood

in the body and mind of

children at an age

when Ben 10, Tom & Jerry

and cartoon network

should take their time

not someone asking about

death!

forgotten, forlorn, shattered

playthings in the hands of society

which plays with them

not puts playthings in their hands

and so it ended

Shama, Shahzad, Suleman, Sonia, Poonam, Gul, I and a five month foetus in the mother’s womb

together yet alone

forgotten

except to talk of the horror of the day

once again

and the next instant

a cup of tea

good bye

till the next call

.

.

.

lahore

05/11/2018 – 18:00 hours

lahore

Bullah smiled yet again

October 15, 2017 by

the pull

tangible

hard

like a rope

round the neck

unstoppably

choking

only letting off

if i give in

and yield i did

driving to beat

the setting sun

feeling the presence

i reached

and the tears

unstoppable

ran like i walked

and there the presence

someone turning

looked at me

arms enveloping me

a radiant face

a voice firm and vibrant

for its age

so good to see you here

handsome countenance

i heard him say

his attendants held my hand

kissed them

turned and went

the tears flowed

oblivious to all

i felt you

like i did when i

came to ask you

why?

and Bullah smiled

yet again

4/9/2017

18.50