On Mother’s Day

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I love my bae-bae the most even if I’ve got strange ways of showing/not showing it. Everything that I am, I owe it to her.
There should be at least one day where I get to thank you. First of all, thank you for making me into the woman I am today. Thank you for taking me to all those book sales, thank you for reading to me when I couldn’t, thank you for making me recite namaz, kalimas and dua every night when I was little, thank you for taking me to the library for the first time when I was 8, thank you for bringing me books home, thank you for asking the librarian to let me borrow books which they didn’t let kids borrow, thank you for reciting Faiz, Iqbal, Faraz and Meer to me when I was a girl, thank you for narrating Tess (as you call it) and Piyar ka Pehla Shehar and others to me when I wasn’t ready to read them myself, thank you for telling me the meanings to the words I don’t know to date, thank you for helping me navigate the uncertain waters of life, thank you for passing on the love of books, knowledge and writing to me, thank you for enjoying every bookish thing I drag you to and that without question, thank you for sitting at the bookstore for hours reading a book while I browse, thank you for singing kalam and ghazals to me (those that I like of course), thank you for drawing faces on your arms and legs and books and pages and everywhere for me to emulate, thank you for leaving writings on the walls and the sheets and the cushions and pillows and bits and pieces of paper everywhere, thank you two for having books all around the house, thank you for remembering whatever I drew and wrote for you and everything I said, thank you for being most yourself when you’re with us, thank you for trying to satisfy my insatiable appetite for everything crazy and of course food, thank you for being an inspiration, thank you for knowing and doing things before I know them, thank you for living with my quirks, thank you for being with me on my worst days, thank you for being with me every step of the way, thank you for letting me act the elder all the time, thank you for being there with me when I’m being the most difficult person in the world, thank you for letting me be all kinds of crazy, thank you for putting up with my insanity, thank you for your trust in letting me do almost anything I want, thank you for being proud of me no matter what I do, thank you for giving me more than anything I could ever hope for, thank you for being my best friend and my best confidante, thank you for always letting me make my own decisions, thank you for being the best example of selflessness, thank you for being the most talented, thank you for the kisses and the embraces, thank you for your kindness, thank you for your tolerance, thank you for being happier than myself for me, thank you for being the best person in my life, thank you for me, and most of all, I thank you for being you. :’)
I’m so proud of being your daughter, thank you for your DNA. And thank you for taking me up with the slipper so I would study hard. God knows where I would have ended up without it.  
I love all versions of you, the mother, the poetess and the teacher. People say you aren’t very brave but doing what you do is a special kind of bravery only special people are capable of. You are my everything, I can’t imagine myself without you. You know I love you the most, wish you had been more selfish,you’re too motherly for your own good, Happy Mother’s Day!
xx
#thebestpersonIknow #myconstant #everythingthatIam#tellthepeopleyoulove #HappyMother‘sdaytoallthewondrousmomsoutthere!:)

Woman

Book Review | Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid

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moth smoke

An easy, enjoyable read. I sat back and relaxed, reading it slowly, savoring the beautiful, almost lyrical prose.

“A breeze tastes my sweat and I shiver, shutting my eyes and raising my arms with it, wanting to fly. I walk in circles, tracing the ripples that would radiate if the stars fell from the sky through the lake of this lawn, one by one, like a rainstorm moving slowly into the breeze, toward the tree, each splash, each circle, closer.
And with a last stardrop, a last circle, I arrive, and she’s there, chemical wonder in her eyes.”

The writing is short, precise and witty. The novel starts and ends with a reference to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the war of succession amongst his sons. The characters names are symbolic as they are the same as Shah Jahan; Khurram, his sons; Dara Shikoh, Shuja, Murad, Aurangzeb, wife; Mumtaz and grandson from Aurangzeb; Muazzam, and Manucci, who worked in the service of Dara Shikoh and somewhat suffer the same fate as their historical counterparts.

Set in the bustling city of Lahore, called the Heart of Pakistan, during the summer of 1998 when Pakistan was testing for Nuclear bombs, it is a more liberal than a true portrayal of the corrupt and decadent elite class of Lahore which only a few of Pakistanis will identify with. At the same time, the occasional vernacular and Pakistani slang, a bit of Pakistani culture and the names of the streets of Lahore are very reaffirming to the Pakistani reader.

Moth Smoke revolves around three people: Darashikoh “Daru” Shezad; the orphan anti-hero, Mumtaz Kashmiri; the wife of his best friend, Murad Badshah; his drug supplier, while Aurangzeb “Ozi” Shah, Daru’s best friend is a secondary character.

The book is mostly a monologue coming from Daru but other chapters are a series of flashbacks narrated by different characters giving great insight into them, and one even putting you in the shoes of an overworked judge in session at court.

Daru’s childhood best friend Ozi has come back from the States after many years with an attractive wife on one arm and a child in the other. Ozi is the son of a corrupt wealthy man, who was Daru’s patron, a typical by-product of a politically corrupt society.

“…bigger cars have the right of way.”

Daru loses his job, and with that his self-esteem and his shaky position on the fringes of Lahore’s elite society.

Mumtaz and Daru are drawn to each other from the moment they meet, both like a moth to a flame, torn between desire and the people they hold dear and feel obligated to.

It is the story of a man unable to deal with his circumstances and his social status, and whose sense of entitlement, envy, disdain and haughtiness leads him to his own inevitable destruction.

The novel is about social hierarchy, lust, depravity, drugs, unemployment, addiction, obsession and the corruption in third world countries where the rich feed on poor like vultures.

What I can definitely say about this novel is less is more. One very interesting and simple but witty part of the novel was using air conditioning as the control factor between the elites and the masses. The characters were very raw, well-thought and deftly constructed. The writing was not only arresting but thought-provoking.

The end of the novel was poetically just in my opinion but still, it leaves you hanging, unable to decide.
“When the uncertain future becomes the past, the past, in turn, becomes uncertain.”

Retrouvaille 4/1/2014

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It’s been so long since I really talked to you, heart to heart. Well, the hour has come; for me to seek you, to come to you and for you to embrace me with the openest of hearts and arms.

Life is better, a lot better than it used to be. I eat better, sleep better and feel better, that is less of sleeping and eating and more of feeling good.

There’s such a big change in my life, I haven’t quite gotten used to it. Also, I’m less sulky these days. Actually, it doesn’t quite feel like me. Things are falling into place, my shoulders feel lighter, my heart warmer and my eyes shinier. Maybe it’s an overstatement but I might be becoming bright and shiny. :)

(But I feel there’s a downside to it. I’m not feeling. It’s like I’m burying my demons away from sight in a dark dingy place of my subconscious.)