Slippers


The other day I observed my grandmother pushing her slippers to a side using her walking stick. This brought up a memory, a faint image, from a time long gone, of my grandfather doing the same.

That’s when I realized I hadn’t thought about him in a while. Which saddened me more.

Out of sight, out of mind, huh? Except, he’s not really gone. He’s all around us in his absence. He’s all around me in his absence.

With some of the things going on in my life, I really wish that he had been here. Maybe he would have been sure.

In fact, I’m sure he would have been sure.

I remember how he used to ask me to pass him something and then say “I have really long hands.”

It was always funny when he said it.

The Pardon


Everyone is outraged.

Once again, it would seem that justice’s ass has been kicked. The rich have wielded their magic power wand. Money/threat has been used by one group to terrorize the other, weaker one to submit. The law in the country has favored the former. “Our” religion seems to have aided these people in promoting their own agendas.

And so, everyone is rightly outraged.

There is already no hope in/for our country. This was one thing that people believed in. One thing they stood for. One thing that brought them together. And now, with the pardon, it has all been for nothing. With the pardon, the nation supported Shahzeb and his family for nothing! With the pardon, who will ever stand up for justice ever again? With the pardon, who will ever want to stand up for justice again?

Oh, people!

Giving up won’t bring you closer to this goal. Ever.

So what if once again the rich’s magic money wand waving has gotten them out of trouble? Saying you’ve lost hope and won’t come out in support for such causes is equal to saying they have won.

Forever.

We’ll get there, people. One of these days, we will get there. Slow and steady wins the race.

But I understand. Hope is a very fickle thing.

In Memory


Three years, grand father.

Three years and three years too many.

Every time I think about you, I remember the stories. The almonds. The lunch incident. The excitement on my birthday. The happiness at my success. The care and worry. The strength and forebearing. The knowledge of so many things.

And everything in between.

Your Laali misses you.

May Allah grant you the highest honor in Jannah.

Colorful Lies


You do it. I do it. Everyone does it.

Everyone lies. Even those people who say they don’t.

You want to know when? The moment when they say they don’t lie.

No, I’m not calling you – or you – a liar. I’m just saying that you have, in fact, at some point in your life or the other, lied about something.

You might have lied to your mother about eating an extra cookie. Or to your teacher about your homework. Exaggerated tiredness to get out of some chore. Told your boss you were late because of the traffic, even though you just left home late.

Or how you missed a call because you were busy. Complimented someone just to be nice. Exaggerated about how much fun you had at your recent vacation. Said you have left home already when you weren’t even dressed up yet.

Or just agreed with someone because you can’t admit you don’t know what they’re talking about. Your actual age or year of birth. Made up stuff about your weekend plans. That you’ll get right to it.

Any bells ringing?

White lies such as these are generally considered harmless. Or maybe they are called white lies because they are harmless. Either way, they’re common enough. So much so that we don’t even realize that we’re lying, even technically.

But it is still a very grey area.

Speaking of which, wouldn’t lies about white lies be considered “grey”? With the latter being higher in ranking and harm, of course. Maybe even ending up “black”? (I promise I’m not being racist here).

Just a murky technicality…

Cherishing Memories


Those hours that you were just considering cherishing forever?

Yeah, those are gone and here you are writing a blog post to cherish them already. All that laughter and conversation. All that gladness. That warm and fuzzy feeling of comfort. Of satisfaction.

Just memories.

Who knows when’s going to be the next time you can all sit together? If, in fact, you can, at all?

Such is the sadness of life. Even in the gladness. The cold feeling of this-will-be-over-soon amidst the warmth. The satisfaction is just an illusion. A mirage that only provides virtual, temporary comfort.

And the memories? Pretty soon, those are going to fade away too.

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.

(Bob Dylan)

A Glowing Example


…of stupidity! Yeah, I said it!

In general, I have lots of issues with ads in Pakistan and I find very little motivation to document them (having done just once before). But this is one that I think I can do this one quick and get it done with and maybe, have an iota more of peace.

I have just one mamu (mother’s brother). He doesn’t come over too often. So I really like it whenever I get a chance to meet him. Whether it’s at our place or his.

But if it’s at my place, I don’t resent his presence in my house. Or the way he hugs me. With always a smile and a joke or two. A kind word. A boop on the nose.

Or sometimes just a rub of his cheek against mine so that I feel every one of his day-old beard’s bristles.

But this is what we are teaching the kids of today (and tomorrow): Your mamu coming over is an inconvenience. You can’t be stylish in front of him ’cause he is old fashioned. He’ll pinch your cheeks in a really annoying way. And again. How rude!

You’d be bored to death, with your phone and your friends (and obviously, a very good mobile and internet network) as your only hope. And who better to rescue you from a decidedly unentertaining afternoon than your very cool and hip friends. What else are friends for?

Of course, it is very plausible to be asking about a test prep all dressed up. In person. I don’t think I need to mention that it’s clear that there was no test in that ad’s universe. Unless it was a test our patience!

A hurray for gullible parents at the (almost end) of this post as well as the ad.

One look at a beautiful woman and go crazy!

Or not! Remember: bros before hoes. Always.

Glow away, my friend. Very far away from me.

Juicing It Up


As a kid, ever been handed a juice box with lots of caution to not spill any from the parental unit and – oops! – still managed to slop some down the front of your clothes ’cause your grip was a bit too firm? It’s okay if you don’t (want to) remember.

This is one thing I do remember: never did happen to me, never has, and probably never will! (Okay might have happened once, I’ll give you that, but it totally doesn’t count as no one can remember!) There is only one reason for it: my parents are smart, yo! [Disclaimer: I can only speak for my parents].

Oh, yes! I owe this little brilliance entirely to them. Of course, this is not the only thing I owe to them, but all those other things are stories for another day, another post. In their parental wisdom – and maybe wanting to have one less article of clothing to wash perhaps – they made perfect use of how the box is made.

All they did was simply tug out the side flaps so the box would make a kind of T-shape and then hand it to me. So, I would be holding the flaps and not the actual box!

Ingenious, I tell you! Worked like magic, too!

As s tribute, I have carried on this tradition to present day. (I finally get to the point I originally wanted to write about?) Presented with a juice box, I will not hesitate to open the flaps before inserting the straw and gulping it down. In a way, I’m grateful that at social gatherings, drinks are not served in their containers. Technically, I’m not doing anything wrong, you know. However, it is an unconventional practice (I live in my own bubble of a world) and I do have a feeling that more than one eyebrow will be raised.

Whether or not I’ll actually do it, I’ll only know if I am ever in such a position.

While I do consider this a great idea, I also think that it was a do or die situation for my parents. Both my parents are very sophisticated and charming people. They have an ease and a grace that I WISH could have been passed on to me genetically.

I am the person who will always drop most of the things she is holding. If she manages to find them. Who will step on that loose tile on the path she uses everyday and almost twist her foot. Nearly cut off a finger while using scissors. Then, get paper cuts too. Trip going up and down the stairs. And also when going out the gate after a business meeting. Bang into the furniture in broad day light. Stub toes all the time. Cause a glass shelf to fall and crack three other surfaces, including my laptop’s LCD (That was painful for more than one reason!).

I think you get the picture.

So, with a child like me, my parents had to be on top of their game. I mean, my dad can even charm the car’s automatic window opener button thingy to open the exact amount he intended on first try. Me? The ‘button’ was smart enough to disengage after the fifth instance of the whole window opening and closing.

There is only one conclusion to this haphazard anecdote: The use of juice-box flaps are for my safety and of those around me. Approach at your own risk!