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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Smile?

نشانِ مردِ مومن باز تو گویم
چو مرگ اّید، تبسم برِلب اوست

The above is belived to be the last copulet of Iqbal. Atleast these were the last words he uttered. It loosely translates to:

"I will tell you the sign of a momin,
When death comes, he will have a smile on his lips"

They say that at the time of death, one's whole life flashes in front of him. That is the time when I won't be able to lie to myself.

I wonder, would I dare to smile?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Monday, August 29, 2005

بارھواں کھلاڑی

خوشگوار موسم میں ان گنت تماشائ
اپنے اپنے پیاروں کا حوصلہ بڑھاتے ہیں
اپنے اپنے پیاروں کوداد دینے آتے ہیں
اور میں الگ سب سے
بارھویں کھلاڑی کو ہوٹ کرتا رہتا ہوں

بارھواں کھلاڑی بھی کیا عجب کھلاڑی ہے
کھیل ہوتا رہتا ہے، داد ملتی رہتی ہے
اور وہ الگ سب سے
انتظار کرتا ہے
ایک ایسے لمحے کا
ایک ایسی ساعت کا
جس میں سانحہ ہو جائے
جس میں حادثہ ہو جائے
پھر وہ کھیلنے نکلے
تالیوں کے جھرمت میں
اِک لمحہ خوش کُن
ایک نعرہ تحسین
اسکے بھی نام ہو جائے

لیکن - ایسا کم ہی ہوتا ہے

پھر بھی لوگ کہتے ہیں
کھیل سے کھلاڑی کا
عمر بھر کا رشتہ ہے
یہ عمر بھر کا رشتہ ٹوٹ بھی تو سکتا ہے
آخری وِسل کے ساتھ
ڈوب جانے والا دل ڈوب بھی تو سکتا ہے

تم بھی افتخار عارف
بارھویں کھلاڑی ہو
انتظار کرتے ہو
ایک ایسے لمحے کا
ایک ایسی ساعت کا

Friday, August 05, 2005

Chef in Shining Armour

I came back from vacation last week and I need a full body armor. After all a man's gotta eat.

As wife and kids are still in Karachi, I am living/enjoying life as a pesudo bachelor. For dietetic choices I have three options on the menu:
  1. Go on a Liquid + Gaseous diet. That means water and smoke.
  2. Go for junk food. I am not talking about McDees. They serve real junk food in my neighborhood.
  3. Cook by myself.
After 1 week of taking the first and second options, actually it was more of the first option, I opted for the third choice.

It's not that I don't know how to cook. I am an expert in boiling eggs and... well boiling eggs. A month ago I successfully accomplished cooking mutton and potato salan, I was quiet confident I will do it in record time this instance.

I was feeling a bit hungry at about 11 pm so I decided to make mutton and potato salan. I chopped a few onions, peeled a couple of potatoes, diced a few tomatoes, measured all the required spices and put them on a small piece of paper, poured 6 cups of water in a jug and then it hit me. I don't have mutton! I planned to get the mutton on the next day while coming back from the office, left the kitchen at status quo and opted for the first choice on the menu and went again on the liquid and gas diet.

UAE gets diabolically hot in summer time. The thermometer at home was giving a reading of 43 when I reached home with the mutton. After turning on the AC I went to the kitchen and found it was still too hot for comfort. It was a logical deduction thet once the stove is turned on, it will become hotter. Hence I decided to cook wearing only my comfortable Bermuda shorts.

One thing I have noticed about Pakistani food, nearly all types of salan require onions to be fried as the first step. I think it is a scheme against inexperienced pesudo bachelors specially against me. Allow me to explain.

As all the ingredients were in place since the last night, I thought the chopped onions must have gathered some dust, so I washed it. Then I poured oil in the wok and heated it for well over 15 minutes. The next step was to put the onion in the heated oil and fry, which I did. The moment the onion, dripping with water, splashed in te hot oil... it was pandemonium. Oil and water never mix. The oil protested the much disdained company by jumping out of the wok and landing onto my hand and by getting flamed up in the wok. I got startled by oil's rudeness and trying the put of the flame, managed to topple over the wok.

Now I am typing this with blisters on my arms, shoulders, chest and belly. It is amazing how high oil can jump as there is one blister above my right eyebrow.

I am planning to buy a parka and jeans for my chef attire. But then it will get too hot for me to cook. I wonder if keeping the parka and jeans in the freezer might help...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

امید

جاتا ہوں سوئے دوست تمنا لیے ہوئے
رگ رگ میں اک خلوص کی دنیا لیے ہوئے
سر کرنے چلا ہوں پھر مہمِ حسن و عشق
ہر سانس میں شکست کی دنیا لیے ہوئے