4th of Shawwal 1437.


This year, the Eid was on July 6/2016 after 29 days of fasting. It was tough fasting in this heat, when any given day the temp. is hovering around 96/97 degrees F. We in the western countries are still better off than our other Muslim Families in Pakistan where load shedding and water scarcity has made life a punishment. And the scariest part of the situation is : there is no hope of any improvement .
11:40 Morning.
Ramadan, 22/

This is the third year, I am repeating this small segment of my mind. It sometimes scares me how monotonous life sometimes looks but does it feel monotonous too?
Over the period of these three Ramadans, I do not see much difference from one to the other. From moon sighting to first sehri to first breaking of fast is the same all over again, and again. or maybe it’s so for the ‘veterans’ and different for younger ‘crop’ who embrace every new thing with a wide eyed wonder.

So is there any notable change? Well… yes and no. Yes, my son got married. Yes, my lovely granddaughter is not wavering in her resolve to keep fasting the whole month. MashaAllah. Her chacha, at age seven was asked why he is not keeping a roza like other friends his age? That seven year old child startled me with his reply.

” I am going to fast all my life after it is wajib. So why do it now when it is not wajib” True to his words, he has never missed one, after he reached the age when fasting became obligatory to him.

(Previous year)

Its not that I have stopped thinking or my mind is on strike. But during this time of Ramadhan, I am trying to have a peek into my mind to see, and match the previous Ramadhan. Its amusing to note the changes .. hum wohi, tum wohi magar ….,
ثبات ایک تغیر کو ھے زمانے میں

So how is life?
Life says I is fine; thank you.
Month of Ramadhan is almost here. My younger son has already started fasting. He was telling me that during lunch hour he goes to their Conference Room if it is not in use at that time; and his Kindle gives him company. Kindle definitely has integrated in our lives.

I sometimes wonder if we are heading towards eliminating speech and start communicating only via text, and such.

In early sixties when TV came to our house, I was upset because suddenly evening activities were decided around TV viewing. Family get to-gathers were restricted, rerouted or rare. Come evening and the family would sit around the set, watching something or the other. Evening walks became history.
Then came the Internet and the world was not the same anymore. Whatever little semblance of the old world was there – GONE!

No complains. On-line ‘thingy magic’ has many benefits too. When I received my first Kindle, I was a little weary. Letting go of paper books was hard. The smell of a leather-bound book is so exhilarating! I am not joking but having a book in my hands was an ultimate ‘High’. It still is. But I am also used to reading on Kindle now. Right now I have 18 books on it. If I think about the paper books, I also have to think about space. And to say the least, my two four shelf each, big book cases are brimming. There is absolutely no space for even a thin volume. Then there is the question of cost. Its about half the cost of a paper book. Sometimes even less. My Amazon buddy works for me like a network of libraries. I have set-up an account with them. So any book is just a click away. Only regret is, I cannot order Urdu books from them and there are hoards of Urdu books that I would like to read. But getting a book from Pakistan is not easy. Funoon, an Urdu, literary magazine was sent to me from Karachi in the middle of June. We are approaching middle of July and it is still somewhere on its way.

Girls are busy today. They were already on the breakfast table when I went to the kitchen for my cup of tea. empty glasses of chocolate milk pushed aside, heads touching, they were busy on I-Pad. They looked up, gave me a smile, said salaam to me and then – I was dismissed! They went back to what they were reading and enjoying. My lovelies!!

I wish love, compassion, peace and a prosperous future to all the children of the world.

July, 9, 2013
10:56 in the morning.




i love writing …

I love writing.
Once Professor Nagi asked “… what would you be doing if not writing stories? ” I would still be writing stories, I just blurted out. He peered from under his brow but didn’t say anything. Only a girl at the back seats guffawed. I have no idea she laughed at my stupidity or the professor being out witted by a student. I didn’t even ask after the class was over.
Such are precious little memories that hearts cherish.

Writing is my love. And I know that I write well. But I never stop and wait for some applause. Once some one sent a detailed article that he had written about my Kraft along with a letter to – ‘any’ editor, and asking me to send that to any magazine of my choice. No sir, I cannot do that. So it is still with me, resting in my papers. If ever I could bring myself to type that long article in Urdu, I will add it to my website, that I promise, but sending it out does not feel right.
Here is a friend – Nisar Sheikh – who wrote this short piece appreciating two of my stories.

Dear Riffat !

Yesterday my composer sent your both afsanas composed in INPAGE for my proofing of his composed work. I read your both stories in one go and I was very much impressed by your style,the themes the imagery.the situation,The back ground,the dialogues and the Anti-climax of Gunnah.

I wonder how could you visualize such a situation for SAIEY. I too had the opportunity to watch these poor emigrants from the third floor window of my hotel in Dubai,clad in navy blue uniform,walking briskly to a dirty but cheap restaurant at rear road of my hotel, for their lunch . I could only pity them but could not develop a story out of it as you have knitted.The lust for money and hunger of sex has very beautifully been described by you in this story. But I still fail to understand your source of observation.If it is an imagination,it is simply superb.

Again in Gunnah your observation is having unlimited depth and truth.while describing the events and carving your characters.It has a touch of class and only a very mature writer can create such articulate expression. I guess you wrote this story Gunnah when you had just completed your Masters in Urdu. Or you had ample time in your university classes to sit and pen down such type of master piece .. Oh , Yes the Anti- climax is most stunning. This alone is flaggship of your story to distinguish and excel it from others.

Unfortunately I am not gifted with the talent of a critic.So I can not select the right words and the usual appreciation phrases for your both Afsanas.However I can commit that I have never read such stories with such unique plots.and themes.

Thank you for providing me a rare chance to read such wonderful stories.

Thank you Nisar janab smile emoticon


4 aktubar …

ہفتہ 4 اکتوبر 2014 جب موسم بدلنے کی خبر آئی

آج چاند نہیں نکلا

کل روشندان کے عین اوپر کھڑا جھانک جھانک کر دیکھ رھا تھا ۔ میں نے پیچھے ہٹ کر دیوار سے لگ کر سر اوپر اُ ٹھایا ، بہتر نظارے کے لئے تو وہ مسکرا دیا اور روشنی کی ایک کرن میری طرف پھینکی جو شیشے سے لگ کر وہیں ٹھہر گی ۔ وہ چھچھورا یوں ہنسا جیسے بڑا لطیفہ ہوا ہو ! ایسے چھچھورے کھیل اچھے نہیں لگتے مجھے ۔ جی میں آئی کہ ڈانٹ دوں مگر میں ایسا کیسے کر

سکتی تھی ۔۔۔ چاند کو ڈانٹ دوں تو پھر باقی کیا رہ جائے گا تنہائی کی رتوں میں پھر کون باتیں کرے گا ، دِل بہلائے گا اور اپنے چوڑے چہرے پر محبت کا چشمہ لگا کر ہنسائے گا کون ؟ وہ پھر کھلکھلا کر ہنسا اور اوپر اُٹھتا ہوا آفاق کی نیلاہٹوں میں گھرے گھر روشنی کی کرنیں لُٹانے چل دیا ۔ میں نے دیوار کا سہارا چھوڑا اور اس کی حرکتوں پر چپکے ، چپکے مسکراتی اس کے پیار کے پیار ے

احساس سے خوشبو کی طرح لپٹی وہاں سے ہٹ گئی

آج آسمان پر بادل تھے اور افلاک میں کہیں روشنی کی کوئی کرن تک نہ تھی آج میں وہاں دیر تک اُس کی راہ دیکھتی کھڑی تھی مگر سوائے تاریکی وہاں کچھ تھا ہی نہیں ۔ نہ کوئی روشنی کی کرن ، نہ شرارت کی ہنسی اور نہ ہی گول چہرے پر ٹکا جھوٹ موٹ کا چشمہ ۔ اداس دل،

بوجھل قدم شام آہستہ سے گزر بھی گئی۔

موسم بدل رہا ہے

بالکل تو نہیں مگر بدلا ضرور ہے ۔ کل رات کے کھانے پر علی اوسط نے کہا کہ صبح جب نماز کے لئے اُٹھیں گے تو درجہ حرارت ساٹھ ڈگری ھو گا

او ھو ، پھر تو اچھی سردی ھو گی ، علی اول نے کہا ۔ دوسری پریشانی علی اول کو اس اعلان سے یہ ھوئی کہ صبح میں عید کی نماز میں کُرتا پاجامہ پہن کر جانے کا اِرادہ تھا اور اس درجہ حرارت میں ایسے لباس میں سردی لگے گی ۔ اب نئے سرے سے سوچنا پڑے گا کہ کیا کریں ، کیا پہن کر جائیں کہ سردی کا سد ِ باب بھی ھو۔

عید کی نماز کا وقت بھی تو صبح کے آٹھ بجے رکھا ھے دور سے آنے والوں کے لئے سہولت کا وقت نہیں ھے یہ ۔ علی آخر نے کہا ۔ میرا خیال ھے میں اپنے گھر سے سیدھا وہاں چلا جاؤں گا۔ ۔ تھوڑی دیر سوچنے کے بعد علی آخر نے اپنی بات پوری کی۔ علی اول اور علی اوسط کا خیال بھی یہی تھا ۔ ویسے بھی ان دونوں کا خیال ھے کہ علی آخر سوائے ، اگر کوئی جہاز پکڑنا ھو ، کبھی ، کہیں وقت پر نہیں پہنچتا ۔ خیر ہر کوئی رائے رکھنے کا مجاز تو ھے نا؟

مجھے سردیوں کا موسم اچھا لگتا ھے ۔ بہت سی بُھولی بِسری یادیں لے کر آتا ھے۔ جیسے گھاٹ گھاٹ پر رکتا ٹھہرتا مسافر کہانیاں ، قصے باتیں اور بولیاں جمع کرتا ، سب ایک پوٹلی میں باندھے

ایک دن چپکے سے آ کر دروازہ کھٹکھٹا دے اور سب جنے لحافوں میں لپٹے اپنے اندر کی حرارت سے آسودہ ، اس گٹھری سے نکلتے ایک ایک موتی پر سے وقت کی گرد جھاڑتے اسے پیار کے ہاتھوں میں پرولتے ، کسی دوسرے وقت کے لئے پھر احتیاط سے واپس رکھ دیں۔ میرا لحاف بنفشے کے رنگ کا تھا جس کی گوٹ کاھی رنگ کی تھی ۔ رنگوں میں میرے پسند کے رنگ نیلا اور زرد رنگ ھیں مگر لحاف کے لئے یہ رنگ میں نے اماں سے ضد کرکے خریدوائے تھے ۔ سردیوں کا نام آتے ھی نگاہ میں بنفشے کا رنگ کاہی رنگ کے ہاتھوں میں ہاتھ ڈال کر مسکرانے لگتا ہے ۔ ہمارے گھر کے باہری گیٹ کے پاس گلاب کا پودا کئی برس پہلے لگایا گیا تھا جو اب ایک جھاڑ بن چکا تھا اور اس پر تمام موسم سردی کا ، گہرے بنفشئی رنگ کے گلاب آیا کرتے تھے۔ جب اماں نے مجھ سے رنگوں کی بات کی تو ہرے پتوں کی قبا اوڑھے یہی گلاب سامنے آئے اور میری پسند بتا دی۔ اب سردیاں آتے ہی جب لحاف نکلتے میرے بدن میں گلاب کھلنے لگتے اور ہتھیلیاں اس کی نرمی کو محسوس کرتیں تو اُنگلیوں کی پوریں روشن ہو جاتیں

سردیوں میں رات کے کھانے کے بعد ,گئی رات تک میرے سرہانے کا چھوٹا لیمپ جلتا رہتا اور میں اپنی ٹھوری تک اپنے لحاف میں لپٹ کر کتاب پڑھتی رہتی ۔ کوئی دن ایسے بھی آتے کہ سرہانے کا لیمپ جلتا رہتا اور میں جانے کیا سوچتی رہتی کچھ تو سوچتی ہوں گی ۔۔۔ ایک حیرت ، انجانے کا خوف ِ یہی ہوگا ۔۔۔ اس عمر میں یہی تو ہوتا ھے سوچنے کے لئے

آتی سردیوں کے آنے کا انتظار ، اگست کا آخر آتے آتے خود بخود شروع ہو جاتا ھے ۔۔۔۔ جب سائے لمبے اور نرم ہو جاتے ہیں اور دھوپ پیار سے لپٹ جانے کا کھیل شروع کر دیتی ھے ! یہ آنکھ مچولی اکتوبر تک جاری رہتی ھے اور اکتوبر کے آتے ہی سردیاں کسی بھی دن آنگن میں اُتر آتی ہیں۔ ہفتے کی رات کو اگر علی اوسط نے فجر کا درجہ حرارت ساٹھ ڈگری ہو گا ، کہا ۔ تو یہ آتی سردیوں کا پہلا دن ہی ہوا نا ؟

مگر یہ فلوریڈا ہے _ کچھ تھوڑا اکھڑ اور من مانی کرنے میں اُستاد! موسم کا مزاج ؟ گھڑی میں تولہ

گھڑی میں ماشہ ۔ ہمارے گھر میں سارا سال ایر کنڈ یشنرز چلتے ھیں ۔ ہلکے کمبلوں میں مزے سےسوتے ھیں محکمہ موسمیات والے رات کی خبروں میں اگلے دِن کے لئے جو بھی کہیں اس پر پورا یقین کبھی نہیں کرتے۔ عقلمندی اسی میں ھے اپنی عقل استعمال کی جائے اور بس ورنہ بارش کا سن کر نکلیں گے اور سارا دن چھتری اُ ٹھائے پھریں گے ۔ یہاں کا موسم ایسا بے ایمان ھے کہ دسمبر میں جون کا مہینہ بھی چکر لگا لیتا ھے کبھی کبھی۔ اور کبھی تو کرسمس کے موقعے پر سردیوں کا فریب دینے کے لئے کھڑکیوں کے شیشوں پر روئی چپکا کر ماحول تیار کرنا پڑتا ہے ۔

سردیوں میں ھمارے ساحلوں پر ایک مخلوق اور اترتی ھے۔ یہاں کی زبان میں انہیں “ سنو برڈ” کہتے ھیں ۔ یہ بیچارے ریت اور دھوپ کی تلاش میں نارتھ سے ساؤتھ کی طرف پرواز کرتے ھیں اور پورا ، پورا دن مگر مچھوں کی طرح ھمارے ساحلوں کی ریت پر لیٹے دھوپ کھاتے رہتے ھیں مگر موسم ان کے رنگ میں بھی بھنگ ڈالنے سے باز نہیں آتا اچانک کسی دن سا ئبیر یا کی ہوائیں فلوریڈا کا رُخ کر لیتی ھیں اور نارتھ کے برف کے طوفانوں سے بھاگ کر گرمی کی تلاش میں آئے سنو برڈ ادھار کے گرم کپڑے پہنے ،کمروں میں بند، انگیٹھیاں تاپتے ہیں۔ غالبا” یہ 1997 کی بات ھے کہ ھمارے اُ س وقت کے گھر کے قریب کے مڈل اسکول میں رات میں گھاس اور پودوں کو پانی دینے کا سسٹم چلا تو صبح میں درختوں پر آئیسیکل لٹک رھے تھے۔ یعنی رات میں درج حرارت نقطہ انجماد سے بھی نیچے چلا گیا ہو گا کہ جہاں جہاں پانی گرا، برف بن گیا اور اس پر اور غضب کہ شام تک کے لئے بجلی بھی غائب ۔ وجہ ؟ گھرے گھر ہیٹر چلنے کی وجہ سے ٹرانسفارمر اُڑ گیا تھا ۔ فلوریڈا زندہ باد ۔

اب کے ایک بات یہ ھو گئی ہے کہ سردیوں کی باقاعدہ آمد سے پہلے ہی اس کے سواگت میں کبھی ناک بند ہو جاتی ہے اور کبھی بہنے لگتی ھے اور کبھی ایک ہی وقت میں چار چار چھینکیں آ جاتی ہیں ۔ چھینکوں کا کہتے ہیں کہ ایک چھینک آئے تو بس ایک چھینک ہی ہوتی ہے۔ دو ایک ساتھ آجائیں تو کسی نے آپ کے بارے کوئی بات کی ھے – اچھی ، بُری – بس کوئی بات۔ تین ، ایک کے بعد ایک آ جائیں تو کسی نے آپ کو یاد کیا ھے – بہت پیار سے یاد کیا ھے ۔۔۔ یہاں زیادہ زور پیار پر ہے ۔ اور اگر چار چھینکیں ایک ساتھ !! تو جناب آپ کو نزلہ ھوا ہے یا ہونے والا ہے ۔

اب میں کیا کروں ؟ چار چھینکیں تو آگئیں۔ تین آ جاتیں تو کس کا کیا بگڑتا تھا !! اب صبح میں دوائیوں کا ڈبہ کھول کر دیکھنا پڑے گا کہ علاج کس سے کیا جائے اگر علی اول سے بات کی تو جوشاندہ پینے کا مشورہ ملے گا اور یہ بھی کہا جائے گا کہ ایک کپ مجھے بھی دے دینا ۔۔۔ آخر ایک کمرہ ہے اور بستر بھی ایک اور تو اور ٹی وی بھی تو ھم ساتھ بیٹھ کر دیکھتے ہیں ۔ بھئی ایک کپ جوشاندہ بنا دینا یاد سے ۔ گویا چھینکیں ائیں مجھے ، ناک بند ہو میری ، ناک بہے تو وہ بھی میری مگر علی اول کے لئے اب جوشاندہ بنانا واجب !! ٹھیک ہے جناب ، بن جائے گا ۔

آجکل مجھے چاروں طرف سے گھیرا جارہا ھے کہ فلو شاٹ لے لوں۔ جہاں بھی جاؤں فلو شاٹ کا تذکرہ۔ علی اول اور علی اوسط عہد کرچکے ہیں کہ میرا کھانسنا چھینکنا بند ہوتے ھی وہ مجھے زبردستی فارمیسی لے جائیں گے اور فلو کا ٹیکہ لگوا کے رہیں گے۔ لو جی ، اچھی زبردستی ھے ! ٹھیک ہے، ہم بھی دیکھیں گے ۔ سچ پوچھیں تو پچھلے برس جیسا کولڈ ھوا ، میں نے جبھی عہد کر لیا تھا کہ آتی سردیوں میں ضرور فلو شاٹ لوں گی مگر اب کے اس نے بہت جلدٰ کی اور اس سے پہلے کہ فارمیسیوں میں ٹیکے آتے، مجھے ہی نزلہ ہوگیا ،اب کم از کم ایک طرح کے وائرس سے تو، میرے امیون سسٹم کے اندر مدافعت کی قوت پیدا ہوگئی آئیندہ کو آئیندہ دیکھ لیں گے ! مگر ہر کوئی میری طرح سوچتا بھی تو نہیں ۔ خیر ھم بھی دیکھیں گے ۔

مجھے چہرے اچھے لگتے ہیں۔ چُپ چہرے مجھ سے باتیں کرتے ہیں ، میری باتیں سُنتے ہیں ۔ چاند کے جیسے طباق چہرے ، کھلی کتاب چہرے ، کسی آیت کے جیسے نوری چہرے ۔ اپنے میں آپ چہرے ۔ مطمئن ، سوچ سے آسودہ ۔۔۔ اچھے لگتے ہیں ، ان پر لکھی تحریریں آسمانی صحیفوں کی مانند میرے وجود کی شجرکاری کرتی ہیں ۔ یہی چہرے ہیں جن کو روز ِ ازل اللہ نے خود اپنے نوری ہاتھوں سے بنایا اور محبت کے اس لمحے جب اُس نے رو ح پھونکی تو ساتھ میں اپنی خوبیاں بھی دے دیں، تخلیق کے سارے رنگ ودیعت کر دئے ، پھر اپنی تقویم پر پیدا کیا کہ اس چہرےکو دیکھو تو اس سے محبت کرنا واجب ہو جائے۔

عید ِ غدیرآئی اور چلی بھی گئی ۔

جب میرے رسول نے حج سے واپسی میں غدیر ِ خُم پر سب کو روکا اور میرے مولا علی کو کندھوں سے اونچا اُ ٹھا کر کہا “ جس کا میں مولا ، اُس کا علی مولا” تو اس چہرے کو دیکھنا اور اس سے محبت کرنا واجب ہو گیا۔۔۔۔ مگر پھر جس نبی اللہ نے ہر طرح کی سختی اور مخالفت برداشت کی اور کسی دشمنی کرنے والے کو بُرا نہ کہا، اب پہلی بار کسی کے لئے بد دعا کی جب کہا کہ” جس نے مجھ سے دشمنی کی اس نے خدا سے دشمنی کی اور جس نے علی سے دشمنی کی اس نے مجھ سے دشمنی کی اور ایسے لوگ تباہ اور بدنام ہوں گے اور کوئی انہیں اچھے نام سے یاد نہیں کرے گا ۔ “ اس کو پروفیسی کہہ لیں یا کچھ اور مگر آج کی صورت ِ حال ایسی ھی ھے۔

اگر کوئی اپنے مدار سے ہٹ گیا ھے تو وہ میں ہوں۔ بہت عجیب کیفیت ہے ۔ جب میں ایک جگہ پر بیٹھ کر کوئی کام جم کر کر نہ سکوں ، کبھی کلازٹ میں ، کھڑی یہ سوچوں کہ کیا کرنا تھا؟ کبھی پودے، جن کو کل ہی پانی دیا تھا پھر گلاس بھر پانی انڈیل دوں ۔ مکئی دانوں کا پیکٹ پینٹری سے نکالوں اور اسے مائکرو ویو میں ڈالتے، ڈالتے ارادہ بدل دوں تو ضرور میرا کوئی پیچ ڈھیلا ہو گیا ھے ۔ مگر سب جانتے ہوئے بھی میں خود کو یقین د ِلاتی ھوں کہ سب ٹھیک ہے ، سب با لکل ٹھیک ہے ۔ اپنے اپنے مدار میں ھم سب اپنی زندگیوں میں مصروف ہیں ۔ ایک دوڑ دھوپ، ایک تگا دو ۔۔۔۔ سب چلتا ہے۔ آپ کے پاس وقت نہیں، میرے پاس وقت نہیں ھم وقت کی رسیوں میں بندھے ، ایک ہی سمت چلے جارہے ہیں قدم ، قدم، ایک پیر کے پیچھے دوسرا پیر ، چلتے رہئے، بس چلتے جائے۔ ذرا کوئی اِ د ھر سے اُد ھر نہ ہو۔ بالکل نہیں ۔

بعض اوقات آسمان بہت محدود دکھائی دینے لگتا ہے جیسے ایک پیالہ او ند ھا پڑا ہو اور ہم سب اس کے اندر بیٹھے، کھڑے، چلتے پھرتے اپنی اپنی دوڑ دوڑ رہے ہوں۔ ؐمیں اس وقت بی جے۔۔ز کی پارکنگ میں بیٹھی ہوں ، تا حدِ ، نظر نیلا آسمان اور اس گول پیالے کے کناروں پر دھنکی روئی جیسے بادل ! بادل نہیں ۔۔۔ جیسے نیلے پیالے کے کناروں پر سفید رنگ سے بنایا جالی کا ڈیزائین ۔ مگر پیالہ اوندھا ہے اور ہم جو بھی دیکھتے ہیں اندر سے دیکھتے ہیں ۔ دھوپ تیز ھے ، کبھی آتی ہے ، کبھی جاتی ہے ۔ میری دائیں طرف ایک بائیکر اپنی موٹر سائیکل سے ٹیک لگائے اپنے فون پر کسی کو ٹیکسٹ کر رہا ھے دونوں بازوؤں پر ٹیٹوز کھدے ہیں ۔ کیسا تکلیف دہ شوق ھے! جسم ، کوئی بھی ، کسی کا بھی ، اللہ کی نعمت ہے اس کو یوں کسی سوئی ، سلائی سے گودنا ، کھودنا ، کس لئے؟ جانور – گھوڑے ، بیل ، بھینس کو داغنا ، مالکانہ حقوق کا اعلان کرنا ھے، حفاظت بھی کہ کوئی چُرا نہ لے ۔

مان لیا ، مگر جسم تو اپنا ھے ،کون چُرا رہا ھے اس کو ؟


پھر رات میں وہ اُس کی کمر پر اپنے ہاتھوں سے گودے شاہکار اپنی اُنگلیوں سے محسوس کرتا ۔ پھول ، پتے، وہ دریا سے اُٹھتی دھند میں کسی خواب کی مانند اُبھرتا پُل ، زمانوں میں قید عمارتیں ، یہ سب اُس کا ماضی تھا جو اس خو بصورت ، دودھیا کمر پر زندہ ہر شب اُ سے کچھ اور جی لینے کا حوصلہ دیتا تھا ۔ پھر وہ سیدھے ہو کر اپنے دونوں ہاتھوں کے پیالے میں اس کا چہرہ اپنی طرف

جھکاتی اور اُس کے ہونٹوں پر ایک بوسہ رکھ دیتی ۔ باہر رات مُسکراتی اور دونوں کو اپنی چادر میں چھپا کر مشرق کی طرف کچھ اور جھک جاتی ۔


میرے گلابوں میں کلیاں آ رہی ہیں ۔ گاڑی گراج میں لے جاتے ہوئے نظر آئیں تو میں گاڑی سے اُتر کر اُسی طرف چلی گئی ۔ باہری دروازے کے آگے ایک قطار میں اُگے گلاب گرمی کی شدت سے نڈھال رھے تمام موسم ۔ پچھلے ہفتے اُن میں ایپسم سالٹ اور میگنیزیم ڈالا تو اب جیسے چونک کر اُٹھ بیٹھے ہیں آئندہ دِنوں میں بہت پھول آنے کی اُمید ہے ۔

موسم بدل رہا ھے ، سردیاں آ رہی ہیں

میں خوش ہوں۔

happy birthday to me …

The second day of December.

kicking, crying, Spluttering and more crying, I said hello to the world on this day.

“Oh my ! Its a girl” Ms. Alexandar – my doctor beamed.
A third girl in a row. But there were also three boys already gracing the family so no one mind this arrival.

So today is my birthday and I am sitting alone at the breakfast table, looking into my tea cup and thinking about my mama. As long as she lived, she never missed nmaz e shukrana and baking a lovely tasting cake for each one of her seven children on their birthdays.

I think I will make another cup of tea for myself.
This one probably tastes salty.

December, 2, 2013
9:14 Morning.

words do not feel …

So the first ten days of Mah e Muharram came and now, are gone. Last night was Shab-e-Ashoor and tonight we call this night “Shaam-e- GhreebaaN”. Can anyone explain, define relate what exactly a Sham-e-GhreebaaN is? No matter how much we try, we cannot – just cannot know or visualize what happened there !! We read, we hear but they are just words. Only words and words only tell what happened. Words do not feel.

On the tenth day we do not eat or drink almost all day, do not smile or greet any one. We spend the day mourning like someone near and dear had died. Our little girl all grim faced and disheveled tells me that today she would not say salaam to me because on this day there was no ‘salaamti’ on earth – because some bad people killed our Prophet’s grandson.

We cry, grieve, lament but what happened centuries ago, happens again – yes, happens each year over again; and Shaam-e-GhreebaaN arrives when all the male members of the house of the Prophet are lying around killed and mutilated. There is the smell of fire in the air – the tents are burning. Deathly silence reigns.

Then we come home leaving some frightened and scared widows and orphaned children, sitting huddled together on the sands of Karbala …

Sometimes the helpless mind stands stunned, unable to decide what is more heart wrenching! A day of killing and plundering or a night when a bunch of destitute women and children – hungry and thirsty, just sit numbed beyond all imagination!

(10th Moharram al Haram)

seeker seeks …

Yesterday, went to a friend’s house on the other side of the town. She was having a Majlis-e- A’zaiy Hussain A.S at her house. Met many good friends after a long time. This is the beauty of these mehfils. They are a renewal of the faith and belief – a reminder to follow the path that the infallibles showed us.  They not only bring us together at one place but also give a feeling of ‘being’ together, closer and bonded.
This was in the afternoon so by the time I came back home it was quite late and I couldn’t go to the Center for the nightly majlis. I tried to find something online to make up for the loss.
I watched two 45 minute each mjaalis in Saraiki – which is a Multan / Bahawalnagar dialect. I love this language. I was just a little girl when I first fell in love with the way it sounds. I remember a zakirah coming to my mamun’s house on Jail Road, every Mah e Muharram and reciting in Saraiki … five mjaalis every year. In Mochi Gate also, in one of the Imam-bargaahs a zakir e Hussain A.S would deliver the Zikr in Saraiki. No one paid attention to a seven year old girl, sitting wide eyed closer to the partition and savoring each word coming out of the zakir’s mouth.
And then I grew up and the magic got lost. Life !!
After listening to these beautiful Zikr, I found another gem.  Ahle-Baiyt TV’s recording of a talk show where Shaheed Sibt e Ja’far Zaidi gave a talk on tradition, mhasin, timings and meanings of soz, salaam, marciya and manqabat and so much more … reciting his own klaam  – a small part of marciya or soz in between.  Listening to him was a kind of ‘gift’- I would say.
When the heart cries out, yearning for some answers, Allah in His own mysterious ways, gives the seeker what he seeks.
11/ 12/ 13
11:08 AM

richer …

“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.”
― Paul Simon

Yes, nothing to do except going through old times, old friends – connections! Its rewarding, its hilarious a little sad, a lot of good will !

How silly one could get! Arguments for no good reason – getting angry, not talking, vowing to never even say hello and then one of the two would relent and send an olive branch. Again talking, sharing… laughing, suggesting. But that does not make it a romantic connection – just something special!. It happens when minds match, eyes look in the same direction- one says something and the other thinks ‘oh, that was exactly what I was going to say ‘ Does it sound all made up? No it does not. Because it happens.

Then somewhere something goes wrong – an unfortunate word, a rash remark, a care two hoots behavior and that brings down everything. The magic disappears. Whatever it was, has run its course.

” We meet, we feel the spell
and linger there
Then by the by …. ”

Got the picture?

And so we go our way, but not empty handed.  A lot richer in many ways.

Sept.4, 2013

stay safe …

” Khamoshi is sometimes the indicative of lack of interest and approaching ‘end season’. After that, still trying to hang on would be called – pathetic. You would need a head exam. So better run in the opposite direction if you wanted to save some shards of self respect.

Better say salaam, collect your things, sling the ‘gutthri’ of your belongings on your shoulder and leave while you can – resp…ectfully. Don’t think that receiving a two liner, a cliché, a blase’ attempt to hint on affection had any deep meanings – ever. Realize and believe this all has lost its ‘sweet nothings’ status. It does not affect you any more like it used to. Forget that you used to read such messages with tears in your eyes. Forget that you used to pray to your Deities for his love and attention.
Stop being a door mat. Stop. Period. ”

This is a very familiar base to build something on it. In fact stories like these are a dozen a dime. I am not a psychotherapist but I Know it when someone needs help. Sometimes I even sat myself up for something that was bothering me and don’t leave till I have some insight into the matter. My mum used to say that there was some ‘khalul of dimagh” that I was suffering from. Rest in peace mama, I think this is the best ability that my Allah make me have it. I am not one of those who start doing ‘ hai, hai, around any problem, big or small.

I wouldn’t say my life was a smoothe sailing. Every relationship has teething problems in the beginning and goes through ups and downs to finally get to a solid ground.

Does infatuation also go the same route? No, I don’t think so. Its totally a different ball game. No reasoning of any kind would work until you yourself would open your eyes and arrive to a place called ‘sanity’ ! and if you have ‘ that’ in you, a cliché, a two liner bakwas, a blase’ attempt to hint on an affection that never was there in the first place – would do that for you.

Stay safe.

August,7, 2013
9:42 in the morning.

for you …

( This post was taken off for a few days.   Posting it again)

Morning of   April, 26, 2013


Where is he?

Where is my souls delight?

My North, my West my South and East?

He is not here amongst you who conceive nothing.

Where has he gone?

He is not here, not here –

Not even the compassing aroma of his presence,

dwells amongst you who receive nothing.

I look here, I look there,

I look up and down, I cannot see even the shadow of his beard.

Oh, believers, speak to me !

Tell me where he has gone, who shone like a blue flame

in my conceiving eye.

Should I be grateful for the incomparable beauty of his face,

or for the sweet severity of his demeanor?

Even if his lucid soul is not sketched

in the memory of his body, it does not matter;

My LOVE revolves like the plants around the storm of his Sun.

Call out for ‘Shams’ my soul requires him,

Chant his familiar names of friendship,

lighten the gravity of our grief.

Divan 1235


‘blasphemy’ victims

Naim sahib – always sharing his selections, sent this to me this morning.  And now I am sharing it with you. There is no ‘bias’, no sensational reporting or any such thing involved. Nothing added by the reporter. Every line based on facts.

Read on!

VIEW : In the name of… — Mehr Tarar

The year is 2013 when a crazed mob of almost 3,000 people torched an entire colony of Christians in Badami Bagh Lahore

The year was 1990. In Lahore, the newly-converted Christian, Tahir Islam, a retired PAF engineer, paralysed, confined to a wheelchair, was easy to target, harass and hate for abdication of his original religion. The reason was found; the accusation was the ‘distortion of the Holy Text’. Jailed, he died a year later allegedly poisoned. The charge of blasphemy took his life.

The year was 1991. In Karachi, a bangle-seller Chand Masih was imprisoned without bail for 15 months despite testimonies of six Muslims in his favour before being acquitted in 1993. The reason was business-related fracas and the pretext of legal harassment was the alleged desecration of Islamic sensibility. Forced due to constant harassment by the accuser, Barkat went into hiding, never to be seen again. The false charge of blasphemy ended his life as he knew it.

In Faisalabad, a eunuch was taught a lesson he lived to mourn his wretched life. Gul Masih along with his brother was imprisoned on the alleged insults he made about the Prophet (PBUH), and despite unavailability of testimony against him, the judge made him the symbol of the machination of blind justice when the plaintiff was “…a true Muslim with beard on his face…” Sentenced to death, Gul was tortured in jail, and as his brother became a pariah in the outside world, a narrow, dark cell refuged him. The charge of blasphemy made his life a living hell.

The year was 1992. In Karachi, an award-winning 82-year-old anthropologist, active social worker, was arrested for blasphemy after an interview with an Indian paper. Later, he was accused for one of his stories (that turned out to be a political satire), giving him the title of a blasphemer. The unproven charges of blasphemy tagged him as an outcast for the rest of what was left of his life.

The year was 1992. Buntu (80) and Mukhtar (50), both Masih, were stabbed to death (in a police station) and tortured to death in jail respectively. The accusation was lethal and the poor Christians had no one on their side. The unproved charge of blasphemy became the cause of the severance of their lives.

The year was 1993. In Lahore, three illiterate Christians — Salamat (11), Manzoor (38) and Rehmat (44) — were arrested for writing derogatory things about Islam, and jailed despite no evidence against them. All three were shot at in 1995; Rehmat died, the other two were injured. Three Christians who could not write were persecuted for writing objectionable material. The flimsy charge cloaked in blasphemy took the life of one and ruined the other two’s irrevocably.

The year was 1994. In a strange twist, a hafiz was stoned and then burned to death. Farooq Sajjad, a devout Muslim who had devoted his life to memorising the Quran, was killed when a copy of the Quran caught fire in his house. Thinking it was the doing of a Christian, the vigilante mob, acting as God’s faithful, ended his life. The mistaken blasphemy charge killed a hafiz-e-Quran.

The year was 1997. The High Court judge Justice Arif Iqbal Bhatti was assassinated in his chambers. This was the same judge who had cleared the names of Rehmat and Salamat Masih and he paid a fatal price for acquitting ‘blasphemers’. This was one false charge of blasphemy that took lives of one accused Christian and one Muslim judge who was human enough to be fair.

The new millennium began and life in Pakistan for many remained carved in the dark ages.

The year was 2000. A Muslim lecturer Younis Sheikh was sentenced to death on the testimony of his students when he remarked about the Prophet’s (PBUH) life before Islam. The remark was historical in context and the intent was taken as blasphemous. The charge of blasphemy made him flee into exile after being acquitted.

The year was 2002. A Sipah-e-Sahaba militant shot to death Muhammad Yousuf Ali, a Muslim cleric who spoke against religion-motivated violence. The irony of fate: what he spoke against was used against him. The alleged charge of blasphemy took away a noble man’s life as he fought for others like him.

The year was 2003. Samuel Masih was killed by a policeman who hammered him to death doing his ‘duty as a Muslim’. The poor Christian was accused of desecration of religion for alleged spitting on the wall of a mosque. The unproved charge of blasphemy killed another Christian.

The year was 2007. In Faisalabad, another Muslim — Muhammad Imran — was apprehended, tortured, and detained in solitary confinement. The allegation was the torching of the Quran. The charge of blasphemy marked him for life as a religious leper.

The year was 2008. In Karachi, a Hindu factory worker was bludgeoned to death by his colleagues. The accusation was blasphemy and the penalty was death.

The year was 2009. Seven innocent Christians were immolated when 75 Christian residences were torched as a reaction against the acquittal by the LHC of two elderly Christians — accused of blasphemy — from Faisalabad.

It was year 2009 when in Sheikhupura, Aasia Noreen got her name written in history for being the first Christian woman who was arrested and sentenced to death. The charge was blasphemy. Aasia, who’s still in jail, faces death by hanging after being accused of blasphemy as a result of a fight with some women in her village. Despite the vehement international uproar, the poor Christian woman languishes in jail, with no hope of pardon in a Muslim-dominated Pakistan.

The year was 2011. And one of the most prominent politicians of Punjab was killed at point blank range by a volley of shots by his Muslim guard. Salmaan Taseer was the most vehement voice against the sentencing of Aasia and his request to revise the blasphemy law (which was used as an instrument of persecution against minorities) earned him the ire of the radical many. He was assassinated in Islamabad. The man who was fighting to have the blasphemy law not used as a weapon was killed because of it.

The next victim was the federal minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti. The PPP minister who echoed Governor Taseer’s stance was silenced by unknown assailants in Islamabad. The blasphemy law should not be abused for reasons unrelated to religion, Bhatti said, and soon he was killed.

The year was 2012. In Rahimyar Khan, an unnamed ‘psychologically unbalanced’ man was immolated by a ‘self-righteous’ mob of do-gooders. The accusation was of the desecration of the Quran, and the punishment was death. The charge of blasphemy did not need a trial and another life was lost.

The year was 2012. In Islamabad, the teenaged girl, Rimsha Masih, was beaten and arrested on the accusation of blasphemy for allegedly torching pages of the Quran. Amidst national and international censure, the girl was jailed and trialed before being released on bail. The false charge of blasphemy ruined the life of a girl, almost a child.

The year was 2012. In Rajo Deero, the mob attacked a police station, beat a man locked on charge of blasphemy. The 35-year-old man was beaten to death and the rage yet not defused, torched his body. The ‘protectors’ of religion did what is forbidden in the Quran on an unproved charge of blasphemy.

The year is 2013. The SC, acting as a trial court, admitted a petition against Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman. The complainant was Akhtar Gill of Multan whose sentiments were ‘hurt’ when Rehman on TV in 2011 had asked for a revision in the laws that were used not to protect the sanctity of religion, but mostly to settle personal scores. In addition, Rehman had tabled a bill in the National Assembly endorsing the abolition of death penalty on a blasphemy charge. The blasphemy case registered in February, which, unfortunately, has gone unprotested by most big legal names in Pakistan, has become another huge question mark on the imposition of law in situations that do not even warrant any protection, and the inability of the SC to act as a final arbiter instead of becoming a primary court.

The year is 2013 when a crazed mob of almost 3,000 people torched an entire colony of Christians in Badami Bagh Lahore. The images of the mayhem in Joseph Colony — men cheering, rioting, torching of property, throwing a crucifix in fire — are a stark demonstration of how an unproved charge of blasphemy against one man can unleash violence against hundreds of innocent people.

1,274 people charged, 51 killed before trials, and General Zia’s blasphemy laws in 1986 as an addendum to “Pakistan’s Penal Code [which] dates back to pre-partition India when it was introduced in 1860. Section 295, better known as the Blasphemy law, deals with religious offences and was meant to prevent religious violence….” What is wrong with this picture?

All I can think of right now as a Muslim in Pakistan is of this verse of the Quran, the book that is my guide to life:

“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût and believes in God (or Allah), then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And God is All-Hearer, All-Knower” — 2: 256 The Quran.

The writer is an Assistant Editor at Daily Times. She tweets at @MehrTarar and can be reached at mehrt2000@gmail.com