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The rivers are running red
And there is no sign of light
For miles and miles

A guard is keeping vigil
On the thin red line
Making sure no one crosses it

I see my brother on the other side
And my heart squirms
As my breath aches

Half of my foot is on this side
The other half on
The other side

A barrel of a gun is kept on my temple
“Where do you belong?”
Shouts a voice

“With my” I say
“With your?”
It asks

My brother steps forward
His foot now
In alignment with mine

A gun is kept on his temple
“Where do you belong?”
Asks the voice

He is silent
A barrel is now burrowed into his skin
As blood begins to drip down

I want my brother to speak
I want him to say –
What they want to hear

I am asking you again –
“Where do you belong?”
Asks the same voice on his side

“I belong to my brother,” I speak up
As the barrel is shoved violently into
My temple

“You support your brother?
“And not the?”
The voice screams

The same question is asked to my brother
He still remains silent
Dead as a stone

Two bullets go off simultaneously

“For my country,” I murmur as I fall
“Is my brother,” says my brother as he falls
Our eyes meet for the last time

There is silence
The mud covering us as a shield


Danyal Zafar – The LIGHT of ALL our LIVES!

What is life without your children?
And so the Almighty brought my Danyal into this dark world because he knew that the world needed a light that only my Danyal could bring it.

Kids seldom understand how we feel when we see them all grown up. How we can never stop to swell our chest with pride on how they have turned out. When we express our feelings to them, on occasion they will roll their eyes, and on occasion they will take to their heels, but act as they may, the fact remains that in our hearts, our younger one’s are no less than our children, and we take a bow before the Creator to have given us them that nobody else in this world could dream of having.

To our D
Our perpetual intoxication 

Has my Danny ever rolled his eyes and taken to his heels? Never. On the contrary my Danny is someone who would sit by your side and give you a patient ear because my D knows that the root of all wisdom is in making key choices everyday that are in alignment with his goals, and that every step counts, forwards or backwards, in achieving those goals. That people are most important to help realise those goals. At the same time my D knows that it is not to people that he is accountable, but to his conscience, and therefore he makes certain that he keeps a firm grip on time, because he has gathered over time, that time is indeed a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might fall out of his hands forever. 

So it is not for nothing that our D is our Danny. He is the light of all our lives. Our perpetual intoxication. 


Ali Zafar – Think About It

At 9PM IST on Wednesday the 7th of September 2016, my brother Ali posted the words below with the photograph I have shared above –

“Think about it. There will be a time when you won’t be here. What do you want to leave behind?”

If I even so attempt to say anything more, it would be no less than entirely nullifying the quintessence of his words, so I rather leave you with his thoughts. Please do think about it.

PS: And then you all ask me why I love my brother so much.


Beatrix Potter - 150 Years

My enchanting Royal Mail Mint stamps of 150 Years of Beatrix Potter and The Tale of Peter Rabbit miniature sheet arrived in the mail this morning. Like a child exhilarated with his slab of chocolate, I jumped and I skipped and I hummed my favourite tunes around at the brilliance of how properly the pack had been presented. Once I was drained of my merriment, I sat quiet, and in my silence it struck me that being the visual-led world that it currently is, I ought to do better. So I extracted the contents from the transparent envelope and photographed it along with my vintage Reader’s Digest mini books, my 18th Century engraved ormolu petit point pin holder, and the tiny pencils that my mother had brought for me when I was a baby of two years from her trip to America. 

For those who are not familiar with the author, Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Born into a privileged household, Potter grew up isolated from other children. As entertainment, she had numerous pets, and often spent her holidays in Scotland and the Lake District. That is where she developed a love for the landscape, flora and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted. Her study in watercolours of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology.

It was in her thirties that she published the highly successful children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and then she went onto write about thirty books in total.

All of the above I have collated from various sources on the Internet, though I must confess that I have not read a single volume of any works by Potter. When I was younger, I fancied books by those who were way beyond my understanding. I felt this feverishly internal need to want to be able to converse with somebody older, and with the same air and knowledge as them, and thus I lapped up Aristotle, Montaigne, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Foucault, Jung, Ovid, Keats, Burns, Byron, Shakespeare, Ackerman, Morris, Pinker, Eco and the list could go on. I also guess that as one gets older, one wants to be younger, and these days I find myself delighting in The Adventures of Tintin, to the melodramas of the mighty men – Spider, Super and Batman, blokes I was awfully allergic to in the years of growing up.  

What then lured me to write about Potter like I knew her work? I don’t know, really, like some people stand out in a crowd of many, and you cannot exactly tell why, her visuals just drew me. If I am to delve a bit deeper, then perhaps the harmony of the colours in her illustrations are something that I could not ignore. I found them to be alluring in the most charming manner. Like features are to a face, the animals she picked had a lot to do with the temperament of human beings too I suppose. I mean the reasons could be aplenty, but what matters is that she spoke to me, and I feel I know what I need to know of her by her visual representations, and for me that is enough to establish a connection with someone or something I haven’t actually met or known.