Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Chalgoza yarn!

November 28, 2019

Pine nuts are the fanciest of all nuts — small, cute, with a sweet and subtle flavour. They also happen to cost a small fortune!

My article in TNS

Azadi marches on diesel!

November 8, 2019

A take on the Maulana Fazal ul Rahman’s march to Islamabad!

In Pakistan, the Azadi March demands an end to Prime Minister Khan's administration

Yatra – re-seeing lahore

November 2, 2019

My article in today’s TNS on the Yatra trip arranged by the Walled City of Lahore Authority – والڈ سٹی لاہور اتھارٹی

A good experience which could have been made a bit better

One for the Road

September 8, 2019

One for the road!

My article in TheNewsonSunday 8/9/19 on Khayaban-e-Anne-Marie Schimmel underpasses Lahore

A trip to Layallpur

July 25, 2019

Now called Faisalabad

Went after 24 years and did not know it from the city of long ago!

Old shop with Lyallpur on the signboard even now!

The Ghanta Ghar, Clock Tower in the centre of the town

A News Story i found about 05 October 2009

July 11, 2019

 i found this article searching for something else!

Books peek from shelves!

February 16, 2019

کتابیں جھانکتی ہین بند الماری کےشیشوں سے

Gulzar sahab

Kitaban jhankti hain ………

No matter how many times you listen to a poem, one day out of the blue it hits you – hard – mesmerised you sit there lost in years of lost time without books.

Lament the move from books to desktop, to laptop & now the ubiquitous smartphone.

A rough literal translation is also here!

——— ————

Books peep through the closed glass doors of the cupboard
With much longing and desire, they stare through
For months now, we don’t meet
Those evenings that would be spent in their company, now often
They pass by, staring at the computer screen
The books remain very restless now
They have fallen into the habit of sleep walking
With unfulfilled desire, they stare at me
The norms and values that they used to narrate
While the cells (battery) wouldn’t die (as they did so)
Those norms are not visible in the house anymore
Those relationships they would narrate
Those have been left incomplete

When I turn a random page, it lets out a soft cry
Some words have lost their meaning
The letters and words seem like dried trees without leaves
On which nothing of meaning grows anymore,
Just many terminologies

Just like clay-pots were left scattered
When glasses made them obsolete
The taste of turning pages that could be felt on the tongue
Now, on the click of a finger, it happens in the blink of an eye (goes unnoticed)
A lot of layers are opened and peeled on a computer screen

That personal relationship that used to exist with books, has been cut off
Sometimes one could just lie down with a book on their chest
Sometimes they would be placed in your lap
Sometimes the knees would become a book stand
Sometimes they would be touched to the forehead, in a half-prayer

All that knowledge and wisdom, will surely keep coming to us, in the future as well
But those dried petals and leaves that would be discovered in the pages of a book,
Those relationships that were formed in the borrowing, dropping, picking up of books
What will happen to all of that?
That may not happen any more

Documentary on Lahore

February 3, 2019

Lahore – history, ethos & pathos & more

Enjoy by clicking here!


December 16, 2018

The unpredictability of how my moods swing without any apparent reason gets to be exhausting – yet these changes are something I have come to expect & rely on? In fact actually look forward to!

Sad even but true!

Sometimes even talking about Tolerance – Diversity – Trust – Fear – Capacity – Capability and Trauma becomes exhausting and seems futile, even though I believe in what I say & that it must be said in the face of diversity of views, actions, talk & faithlessness that I confront regularly.

When will the futility of it in peoples mind be replaced by an understanding of its importance? How many empty slogans, condolences, remembrances, vigils, prayers are needed before the hurt & pain is felt by those who make promises of change knowing nothing will change?

The irony of an iron will to fight the demonic curse of the hydra headed snake of terrorism is not lost on us.

When will the others accept? Not before the earth accepts one of theirs, a fate we want not for them!



Lahore – 17/12/18 1:00 am

3287 days

October 5, 2018

05/10/‘18 – 12:16 PM – 3287 days

A feeling of alexithymia sets in.

Thoughts of the past few days come together in finding expression. (Ty to friend Gill Hicks for the prompt).

Humbled to have friends who have stood with me and shared. Only Allah can recompense you for being there.

And to one above all – my ‘rock of Gibraltar’ 💖


One is constantly at war against ones limitations & inability to think positively despite ones desire to try & find ways to protect against disillusionment with ones surroundings!

Although I generally have not wished anyone undergo what I did – that was a very harsh experience; yet it is important to share my feelings about it so my connection with other human beings remains intact.

What people like me – Survivors of Terrorism – become is lonely & reclusive, incredibly lonely.

Doing this work & at the same time living with many profound often disturbing insights into humanity are taxing.

Contrary to what people would have me believe, my anger has grown over time, and it makes me wonder if this decision I made to channel these sentiments into something that motivates rather than “eats away” at my feelings was right?

The hard often thankless work with people of different disciplines, survivors, former extremists, religious and minority groups, to create a sentiment to work for stopping the devastating cycle of terrorist attacks by creating awareness of the ‘human cost of terrorism.’

Terrorists while creating chaos also dehumanise survivors; the suicide bomber who made me a survivor on 10/05/09, didn’t know me, the programming that led him to make the decision to push the button on his suicide jacket was because he perceived me as “the other” whose worldview differed with his – the bomber!

The frustrating part of surviving a suicide bombing is that the bomber is also dead.

That person & the choice he made are gone, so is Gul Rukh Tahir.

The world goes about its circling of the Sun 365/7, 10/05/09 has not changed anything for anyone, except for me.

I am still here, i still hurt, I still feel, I still stay awake, I still cannot forget!

I am a survivor!





Sat 29 sept 2018 – Oct 05, 2018 (9 years)