Unopened letters sent home: 1986 - 2061

Friday, April 23, 2010 by B.H.

By Asmara Malik
Published in Us, The News International

Monday, September 25

I'm not sure about you in this din

of galaxies crashing about our feet.
In your uneasy sleep you speak of a strange Sarhad

where empty skyscrapers smoulder beneath baleful suns.

So compelled, I walk the silent streets of Islamabad, until dawn

until it is too late to return home, amidst other transient ghosts

who do not speak my tongue. We walk…

Tuesday, September 26

He cannot sleep.

An overhead speaker announces, "The bus will be late, we apologise for the inconvenience, thank you for choosing to travel…." The rest of it becomes a blue Doppler-fade-away as he walks back to the parking lot. It's 3 a.m. He will not find a cab. He will not be going home. He leaves his bags on the steps of the bus terminal. In the time, it took for him to un-strap the bags he was carrying and the moment they hit the soft clay-coloured earth, he realised that he was tired of lying to himself.

He was not going home!

The man at the khoka pours his chai into a chipped glass mug, milk blooming downwards and outwards within amber gloom. The man at the khoka calls him saheb. He leaves him his last 20 rupees.

Wednesday, September 27

2:56 a.m. He dreamt of his mother again after a long, long time. She stood at the window of his old house in Quetta and pointed at the sky. One by one, from the north to the south, every star in the sky fell, until the hemispheres were starless.

He woke up, but I don't think he did. I don't think he's ever really awake. The lakes in Quetta do not have names; they have myths. The mountains have names because there are many, many mountains. They let him sleep in the garden of their small house that night, the woman and her daughter.

Some time in the night, he dreamed of billowing red cloaks upon the sands of Thar and women singing, perched on the crumbling walls of some abandoned fort in Rajasthan. They give him roti in the morning. The daughter gives him her chappal. She calls him bhai and asks him to bless her. He thanks her and tells her she needs no blessings.

Thursday, September 28

There is no solace in Sindh. Un-dead bones of priests and poets cry out from beneath the ochre earth of Chaukundi. He leaves knowing that the dead sleep uneasily. The company of their ancestors does not make eternity any easier to bear in this necropolis. On Makli Hill in Thatta, he turns his face to the wind and smells spring. The sea is a dying siren; its voice holds no allure. The midnight moon only exposes its putrid façade even more. The cry of the dolphin is a death-rattle and he will not hear the deep sorrow of its loss any more. He lies down beside the river, this dream-snake coursing through our land like sinuous silk. The gentle cadence of its whispering tides tells him to rest. But then he remembers Harrapa and he knows the river is a liar. It may not be as temperamental as the Tigris but neither is it as faithful as the Nile. Sindhu, the river-- one you call, the Indus. He is tired. He longs for sleep with no dreams. The river weeps. Blind dolphins cannot console it. In the village, a woman's screams rend the night. Her husband has returned from the war in Kargil. They leave the bodies at the doors of their homes in the dead of the night. Her husband will be buried at dawn and this land is not kind to widows. The voice of the Punjab is a distant, slatternly song. He will let his feet sink in her muddy bosom, a queen-whore embracing her every conqueror and poisoning them in their sleep.

Equinox - Midnight, Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30

…barefoot upon

asphalt avenues, beneath the midnight moon;
awaiting the next Great Road to be laid

along the dusty cattle-tracks of Punjab. Behold! Our…

Sunday, September 31

He jolts awake. The bus takes another cataclysmic lurch and hurtles to a halt outside a raucous bus depot on the outskirts of Lahore. A man, his face all leery smiles, asks him where he would care to spend the night. A little girl, her left hand cup-shaped and pleading, is singing in a voice both piping and weeping. 'Bahaar', she sings, 'bahaar ai.' He watches maggots swarm across the scabrous stump of her right arm. In the phone booth next to his, a woman is saying "… and I said something that sounded ridiculously like love and oh God, I was so afraid of her laughing in my face." He calls his sister and cannot say anything when she says "Hello?" She says, "Bhai..?" and he hangs up. Heera Mandi sprawls languidly beneath his window. He watches a painted woman give roti to a man with matted hair and wild eyes. A walrus-man with lassi clinging to his moustache pulls her away. The wild-eyed man watches and does nothing. A door bangs shut. He falls on his knees by the fetid gutters; weeps. A muezzin calls the faithful to sunrise prayers.

Monday, September 32

I'm not sure about you in this din

of galaxies crashing about our feet.
In your uneasy sleep you speak

of a Sarhad where empty skyscrapers smoulder

beneath a baleful sun. So compelled, I walk

the silent streets of Islamabad, until dawn,

until it is too late to return home,

amidst other transient ghosts

who do not speak my tongue. We walk barefoot

upon asphalt avenues, beneath the midnight moon;

awaiting the next Great Road to be laid

along the dusty cattle-tracks of Punjab.

Behold! Our shadows are caught, stretched

between forgotten lakes in Balochistan;

splintered to unfathomed shapes

by the exploding wings of migratory birds in Sindh.

Strangers – strangers passing through each dawn of these lands.

– Inspired by Neil Gaiman's short story, 'Letters found in a Shoebox...' from his

collection entitled, "Fragile Things".

Original rainbow

Thursday, April 22, 2010 by B.H.
By B.H.

Me Rainbow
Prefers to be an original
Instead of trying to be like others
If I'm like others
That's only by coincidence
For I take joy in being original
For a lot of the ways of today
Doesn't suit me
I prefer long sleeved shirts
Even in summer,
And my traditional suits
I like regular drinking glasses
But I like drinking out of jars even better
My idea of a good time
Does not involve smoking
Or getting high
I enjoy the company of people's canines
But I prefer my pet felines
I like a good magazine article or a book
But knowing the God's Book takes a higher priority to me
Though I admit I am not as good about reading
As I need be
I, in the summer
Came to enjoy healthy eating
Over the not-so-healthy eating
But a recent sickness got me
Falling off the bandwagon
The youth at heart
I Enjoy cartoons
And Naruto
As much as little kids do
I drink so rare
I prefer sweet tea
And juice
And water
Over soda
And simple is my choice
When at local restaurants
I'm not much a TV person
I tend to only watch one hour a week
If even that
Not counting sometimes watching sports
I don't do movies
Not for some time
Unless I watch with others.
But I do love myself for my video games
And my Prince of Persia and his sword
And Sands of time, The forgotten sands.

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The death of my poem

Friday, April 16, 2010 by B.H.

By Bahadur Hussain

Published in Us, The News International

Pages are burnt - pens are broken

Passions are ailing - hearts are crying
Instead of myself I wonder
Why the roses are dying?

The Time Traveler's Wife (Review)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 by B.H.

Reviewed by
Bahadur Hussain
You must have read about time machine in science fictions, right? Audrey Niffenegger’s book The Time Traveler’s Wife has a touch of it, It’s not actually about time machine rather it’s about time travelling.

This book by Audrey Niffenegger may have a little touch of science of space-time continuum in it. But the story is not science fiction rather it is a remarkable heart-melting love story of a time traveler and his true love who must have to live with the curse as a cliché.

A boy named Henry DeTamble who is fourteen, meets his love Clare when he is 36 but Clare is only 6 years old at that time but in reality Henry is only 8 years older than Clare. Yes! The man is time traveler; because of some genetic mutation, he travels through the time, although he cannot control it. He disappears reluctantly from the view and reappears in another time and another place, leaving behind all his clothes.

The heart-felt romantic story follows the straight chronology of Clare’s life. Claire has been in love with Henry for all her life since she was six. Henry travels back from the age 36 in the meadow behind Claire’s house when Claire is only 6, and Henry meets Claire and tells her that he is a time traveler. Henry is Claire’s secret love since her childhood. She used to hide clothes for Henry in the meadow since he used to appear without clothes. Henry being a time traveler knew that she was the one for him but he never told her. When she grew up she came to know that Henry would be his lover in future when they’ll finally meet. And time travelling came as an advantage too, Henry’s mother died in a car accident and Henry often used to travel back in time to see his mother though he couldn’t change what was done so he used to watch her from a distance. Claire and Henry after marriage, have only one baby daughter named Alba. This sweet, smart and beautiful little girl also happens to be a time traveler. The saddest part of the book is Henry’s death because of a gunshot, when Alba is only 5.

This book is really good for those who want to end up in tears in their eyes. To me, it’s a perfect romantic story of a strange guy. This book talks about Henry and Claire’s problems and fights regarding Henry’s unwished disappearance and unscheduled arrival. Sometimes this book will make you laugh in joy and sometimes it will leave you in tears if you feel the immenseness of their pain and it will give you those fuzzy feelings of suspense too.

Their deep ancient kind of love is the pick of the story as Henry sums up his love to Claire after many years of their marriage, ”Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust”. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you!”…I’m sure this book will be a treat for you in this summer’s hot afternoons of loneliness and quietness.

Broken Notes

Friday, April 9, 2010 by B.H.

Bahadur Hussain
(ambitious amateur)
Today, the sun is happily shining for it has no worries. And it maybe a cliche to every one. But, today these happy beams of the sun are burning the edges of my soul and cutting the wings of my heart. As I feel caged in my freedom. And the agonizing feeling of being an ambitious amateur is even more painful. It’s a kind of state where hot beams of happy day touches you frigidly. Where the voices of beloveds quietly surround your broken existence. Pieces of your shattered hope shatter more. And where the peaceful serenades of love and affection sound bitter and sad. And the dirt of land and the smoke of vehicles of a brightened day seem autumn mist and fog of a dark night. Where hustle bustles spread all over as the sounds of mourning of funerals. If someone walks on green grass, it turns into brown dried leaves of autumn, where one can not imagine things like blessing, luck but only curse…My pen traces out these ailing words today, the words of my dreadful soul. And for a moment with little spans utter silence triumphs all over the place when the foggy visions trickle as twinkling tears on this fluffy carpet of my room. As I feel abased, dejected and of no use…!
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Mood Swings

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 by B.H.

Boredom Thoughts
I don’t understand my mood. It swings in an instant like a flicker flicks. Bad, good, heartbroken, lonely, happy and all other moods of the world and sometimes all at the same time. Split personality is an other thing, my personality is split but not into two, into many! I know weird, yeah! Okay now I’m over with that violent rock music, It bores me now. Funny story lies here too, I loved the band My Chemical Romance for a week more than any thing and then I hated it more than any thing then last week I started loving it again now today it bores me! I think I’ll prefer Evanescence now. It happens more often in vacations, when I have nothing special to do! Weird ideas haunt my mind. So I, the friendless loser wrestle with my brain to find some ideas of passing time. And we (My brain and I) end up in doing some creative stuff like sketching, cooking, writing, poems, lyrics, listening to music, sometimes I feel like making music, then I strum guitar of the song “drowning lessons” lalala! Strange! I define myself with this word!
Let me tell you about my today’s mood, it’s heartbroken, lonely, curious and exited at the same time! Funny! No? Actually, I can explain this mood like heartbroken is because I think I need my own car, lonely because my parents are out of station. Curious because of my result of my mid-term exams what they call them send-ups and finally I’m exited because I think I did a great job in exams and can’t wait for result. It’d be so cool. After all, It isn’t a bad feeling seeing your name on the top in result announcement sheet on the notice board. Well, if things don’t work out for me, then no problem I think I’m a tough guy and I’ll manage not seeing my on the top, 2nd and 3rd spots aren’t that bad, eh?
*Mood swings* I’m feeling like an ambitious amateur! Why? That is because I under estimate myself quite often, keeping all the dreams in my mind and then seeing my abilities create a kind of fear. A fear of losing, I mean I have one life *philosophy starts* after 15 minutes, *blawblawblawblaw continues* and after 10 minutes, I need a polish, not boot polish! I need to polish my abilities along with my heart and soul with a good polish product, cherry blossom? !@#$%!!!!!!!! *Angry old man*.
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Dear Diary

by B.H.

(Bahadur Hussain)

When days fade, And nights grow
I go in fields to see the scarecrow
While darkness crush through the wind
And fuzzy humid air blows through the mist
Owls fly widening the wings in
The round glowing moon

And swaying dappled long fields
Mysterious howling fog upon
The shimmering of the moon on lake
Submerges the poet inside me
He decays slowly
In the procession of my funeral...
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Life (Not mine)

Monday, April 5, 2010 by B.H.
Our birth is but a sleep and forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star
Hath had elsewhere its setting;
And cometh from afar
Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
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I Had to Leave...

by B.H.
My first ever published poem
I still remember this day.
(Published in Us , The News International) 25 Nov 2009

Run away
Fake faces,
Manual wrinkles,
Customary questions-
And praises,
I knew all!
Magical words
Like in magician's show,
He shows how?
Not to let people know,
I knew all!
Colourless loyalty,
Faded emotions,
When heart was dark,
Tongue shimmered,
I knew all!
Sun seemed good-
Even in eclipse,
Was original not,
I knew all!
The sparrows of spring-
In iron cages,
After disappointment,
Wish for not!
Hope for not!
I knew all!
Since I saw
The night-bird
In dawn,
I came to know!
I told people,
They didn't believe,
So, I solely had to leave!

A Dream

by B.H.
(Published in Us Magazine, The News Int.) 02Oct 2009
(Second published poem)

A witch muttering over the cauldron,
Chanting some shivering incantation,
A fear then spread in my veins,
As she sprinkled the glitters upon the cauldron,
I closed my eyes in that moonless night,
Then something rustled in the cauldron,
It had become a glimmering girl,
Who ran and faded through the brightening air,
I ran behind with the storming wind,
I kept on wandering all the night
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone;
and touch her face and take her hands,
And walk through long dappled grass,
And pluck till our dooms shall come,
When all the moons and suns are done!