Author Archive

The Culprit – a short story

January 20, 2018

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

service stopped in unauthorised churches in abbottabad

January 15, 2018

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!



14/15 jan 17

14:49 hours


lets start

January 11, 2018

it’s never too late to start an important initiative


RiP AM Asghar Khan

January 5, 2018

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

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


00:45 29/12/17



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


what were you thinking

December 23, 2017

what were you thinking

just before you uttered

the word ‘qun’

and “faya’quned” me?






wifey’s impromptu comment

‘shaitan k baad kissi ko tau ana tha!’


i am a poet

November 16, 2017

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


to become

a future lost

in another post

as a poem new





lahore – 00:40 pm



till the next call

November 5, 2017

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


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


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





05/11/2018 – 18:00 hours



Bullah smiled yet again

October 15, 2017

the pull



like a rope

round the neck



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


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


and Bullah smiled

yet again