Mustaqeem Hussain entered the newly built café in Lahore and was captivated by the aromatic, energizing and pungent smell of coffee beans. The fingers in his two hands were enough to count the people sitting in the made in wood café. He stood there inhaling, and relaxing before finding his way towards Salman Mansoor, sitting in the gloomy corner of the café.
“How are you?” he said and waited for Salman’s response as he sat down on the wooden chair. “Salman, —how are you?” he asked again.
Salman looked away from the windows and asked with furrowed brows, “What happened?” Continue reading →
To say that the Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws are talk of the town would be an understatement of sort. The laws currently are the world phenomenon courtesy the verdict in Aasia Bibi’s case in November 2010 and now Rimsha, 11-year-old Christian girl with Down Syndrome was arrested by police in Islamabad on a charge of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of the Quran. There has been hue and cry from all around the world; from Pop Benedict XVI to the people in United Kingdom, United States of America and elsewhere in the world. The foreign people and the media are being helped by our local media as well as the so called human right activist (read opportunists) and some politicians as well, all of them calling for the annulment/amendments in the law. There major cause of concern is the section 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code popularly known as Blasphemy Laws.
Ahmad, the chef, sees his face in the mirror. He names it reflection. When he walks away from the mirror, his reflection disappears. The mirror is blank now. After a few minutes, Ahmad comes back and sees his reflection. Continue reading →
If finding the way of imparting education in United Kingdom was a 180 degree shift, getting a reading week was a surprise. The sixth week of the course was the Enrichment Week commonly known as reading week. As per the course module this week was given to catch on any missed reading. And it was expected from us to be on top of our game for the rest of the semester. But ever since the reading week begun for some strange reason I stopped reading the little bit I was doing. The only work I have done during the week is rewriting some of my old stuff according to the feedback received.
I used to mumble before putting my thoughts on paper. This really helped me in showing the exact emotions required for the particular part. There were also times when I corrected something in a much similar manner. In all those times I never realized and was not even bothered to know what it was. Only a few days ago I realized that it was the sound of the writer’s voice courtesy of my Creative Writing course. The discussion made me look in to voice with a whole new perspective. Never knew voice has so much importance in writing and that you can sense the expression in a novel through voice.
Ever since I have moved to London, I have been praising the local transport system. The way they have managed it is quite remarkable considering the pretty small road compared to what we have in Pakistan. And to have bus stops and routing through these and that too without affecting the traffic is a feat in its own sense. The other good thing is you will find a map, timetable and details of the buses stopping over right at the bus stops. But two days ago I happened to travel through train and tube en route to Central London. And the experience I had has only train and tube to the list.
The sun has been very kind on London for the last week or so and I very much felt that I was in Lahore, Pakistan. The temperature touched a maximum of 29°C and the people here started to have fun while I was cursing the weather. I never thought I would see so much sun here in later half of September and in October but there it was beaming on us. I have heard much about people celebrating the sunlight here but it was my first real experience of actually watching people having fun. The University Halls I am staying in has beautiful lawns, so they were all filled with the residents playing football, singing, doing barbeque and etc.