Quetta bleeds, remembering tainted memories.



It’s a startling world we live in. Places, people and memories are more likely to be associated with blood-chilling incidents than peachy, frolicky wonder years of the past. Dejavu is no longer a pleasant subtle whiff of a relived moment. It’s a creepy nightmare we’ve all had over and over again. It is in-our-faces rude, unpleasant and obvious.

Bomb blast in Quetta. And not just anywhere, at a hospital. This is not a memory I want to associate this beloved land with. More than seventy defenceless souls blown to shreds. This is not a moment I want to remember when I think of Quetta.

 I want to think of its abundant fresh produce, its delectable weather, rosy colored parched cheeks of local children, mighty mountains and luscious lakes one can’t stop seeing.

I want to think of it as some of the best years of my life where I made friends for life and discovered lifelong traits.  But blood? No that is not a memory I can keep.

But it doesn’t matter what I want or what any one of us wishes. What matters is that we can’t stay distant anymore. Our aloofness is shedding itself like post-bruise crusty skin. We can’t stand watery-eyed and pouty-lipped at the outskirts anymore. We can’t shake our heads in disbelief and then get back to grocery shopping, because it’s as easy as turning off wifi. We can’t disconnect ourselves.

These tattered memories of paths we once walked on, or soft hands we once shook, or history-soaked houses we once lived in, are all on route to extinction.

The children of tomorrow will have different memories of this place we call Earth. The children of the future will smell a most repugnant odour, taste a most putrid flesh, and touch a most prickly thorn. Our children will not have it easy.

So what if you live in Paris? Or the United States? Or Germany? Or Turkey? Or Bangladesh? Or Saudi Arabia? We are not all different. Schools, hospitals, religious institutions, nothing is a safe haven, nothing is off-limits. Soon recalling moments of the most romantic city in the world, or the bluest of blue heavens in Turkey will not be possible without dodging a hard, painful lump in the throat. This disease where rabid humans tear each other to bits is spreading faster than wildfire. This plague is affecting every single nook and cranny of our bruised planet. And we are fast running out of band-aid.

I like writing about hope. I like looking at the positive side. But sometimes I need to write it like it is. Only then does that help me cherish what I still have, while I still have it. Memories are precious.

The luxury of an untainted memory safely twirling like a sleek ballerina in a jewelry box is slowly slipping away. It could happen to you. It could happen to me.

So hold on tight while you can, to the loved ones, to the opportunities that come your way, to the faith, to the hope. Most importantly to the hope. Because more than anything it will prepare our indifferent minds to the reality of death. It will help us see a world where every day mothers bear children no matter how fiercely the clouds of misery burst. It will help us retain our compassion where all that prevails is mistrust and deceit. It will help us pray with truth and love, for people who suffered in Quetta today, for the countless lives before them splattered all over the globe, and for the ones who will bleed again, cry again, die again.

What ‘Being Human’ means this year

So this is what ‘being human’ means as 2015 comes to its slow, painful end. So this is what it means to breathe the 21st century brand of oxygen.

Waking up to war. It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are or what side you’re on. It’s something all of us have in common. We have always kept it alive. It lies dormant for some, while for others it never goes away. No one is truly safe. A heinous act of a handful of people promises to hold the rest of humanity responsible. So hey, please do not complain when someone harasses you at the supermarket because of your skin color. Or if you secretly wish to change your name because you share it with the recent terrorist shown on television. Their war is our war, whether we admit it or not. We are all in it for the long haul.

Being inhuman. We care, but never enough. We see children dying all around like crushed dried leaves.  We hear about a child witnessing the mass murder of forty of his relatives. We hear about ruthless killings in schools. Nothing but some stingy bytes on the social media and a few tears are attributed to them. We read about hostage situations, bomb blasts with riveting interest and then go back to writing banal grocery lists. Because hey nothing’s wrong with that, life goes on. Right? What does it matter if it happens every day to someone exactly like you,  but thankfully not you?! What does it matter if plastering bloody and gory images of war on social media feeds our self-righteousness, our need to feel better about ourselves? Oh we feel. But never enough, never the right way.

Being Hypocrites. Where some lives are more important than others, based on where you live and what you look like. Where not having access to a 500 dollar handbag is as much a cause for tears as not having money for food. Where money used on new monuments and buildings can sustain over a thousand refugee families for the year. Where celebrities  wear the most expensive brands and undergo surgical procedures, and then talk about ‘being yourself’ and finding your ‘inner beauty’. Where the more people talk about women’s rights and feminism, the more the world objectifies women as nothing but sexual beings.

Being Paranoid. We see to believe, and then we poke our eyes out when we don’t see what we want to see. We play tag with our schizophrenic selves. This new world of ours runs on conspiracies.  It’s not even our fault because anything and everything is possible. God is a convenient entity we dig up when needed. Otherwise our ego plays the omnipotent role splendidly. Religion is and always has been the easiest scapegoat. But every act carried out in its name is based on deceit. Ghosts don’t scare us anymore. It’s those rotting corpses hanging in our closets that drive us insane.

Being fearful. The world’s economy thrives on our fear. Fear for – life, home, family, job, success. Fear of – failure, death, loss, loneliness and everything else in between. So they invented insurance. Assurance that we gulp down like pills to make us sleep at night. Car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, accidental insurance. Too bad there’s no insurance for forgetting how to be humans. But then, why would that scare us?

Being Sick. Diseased, rotten minds, bodies and souls. Almost everyone is suffering from the plague of a complicated life. Measurements, standards and parameters define our existence. And not love, laughter or sorrow. Finding contentment is harder than finding life on another planet. We wait for life to happen the way we want it to. And then one fine day, we wake up to realize all the waiting and stress wasn’t worth the trouble. We have stopped breathing. And it’s going to take a lot more than an electric shock to wake us up.

So this is what it means to celebrate a new year, every year.

Being Hopeful. Nothing else dresses up our wounds. Delusional, magical, unreal spasms of hope that come and go on their own accord. Every year, misery and death join forces to draw out every last drop of life from us. But hope always comes to the rescue. So we pray for a new and happy year. We wish for a new and changed beginning.

Holding on to hope can’t be easy in these horrific times. But if given the choice between gut-wrenching hopelessness and a faint pulse that promises better days, we always choose the latter.

We hope, because nothing else makes sense.

We hope, because nothing else makes us feel human anymore.




Green is my color, but today I bathed in red

Green is my color but today I bathed in red. Again. I thought I could get used to the blood, but can life live with death?

Green gives me hope, but today you stole it. Again. I drowned as innocent blood filled my veins.

Green gives me courage, but today you brought me to my knees. Not because I feared you, but because of my helplessness.

Green gives me peace, but today it shattered like glass, as little pieces of chaos cut through my flesh.

Green gives me faith, and even today I hold on tight.

I look ahead, beyond the lifeless bodies and the tormented cries.

I look above, through the burdening puffs of misery darkening my skies.

I have faith. And you can never steal it from me. Never.

This is dedicated to my beloved country Pakistan and to the people who died today at the Wahga Border suicide attack in Lahore. I couldn’t come up with much except desperate tears and an emotional rant.

Green and  White are the colors of my flag. Green is for Hope and White is for perseverance. Even though she bleeds now, green will bring back hope. It always does. That is something the attackers will never understand. Kill us again and again, but we will come back stronger. No matter how bloody a canvas your vicious ploys may paint, we will rise. Again and always.


National Blog Posting Month - November 2014

I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) – November 2014. This is an awesome venture of Blogher.com. In their own words:

“Every November, thousands of bloggers commit to posting daily. But it’s about much more than getting that post up—it’s about community and connection. It’s also about honing your craft, challenging yourself, and taking your blog to the next level.”

I will write every day of November. This is my second post.

#NaBloPoMo – Day 2



Wednesday Wiseness: What makes perfect sense

What a wonderful feeling it would be not to rush through our story. To pay homage to each fleeting tick-tock of the madness we call life. To wake up in the morning with nothing but a reminder that this day is perfect. It is perfect not because I can do the impossible. But because I can do everything possible to make it perfect.


I can’t find perfection in the monumental happenings. I try to, but it never makes enough sense. Be it scientific breakthroughs or mind-numbing tragedies, nothing adds up.

What makes perfect sense is the way plants in my backyard fill with green blood when spring touches their wintery pulse.

What makes perfect sense is the way my children love me for no reason.

What makes perfect sense is the way my parents can forgive me for all the reasons.

What makes perfect sense is that my wrinkly version doesn’t sound horrifying when I imagine it with my wrinkly husband.

What makes perfect sense is how I can pull off gut-hurting-tear-spurting  laughter with no other but my brother.

What makes perfect sense is that I met certain people because they carried an invisible message only I was meant to read.

What makes perfect sense is how blood relations do not always mean we share the same blood; it could mean that we share the same energy and dimension.

What makes perfect sense is how my dreams may not always come true, but that they give me reasons for doing and not just being.

What makes perfect sense is how petty life is when all you think of is yourself. And how magnanimous each breath can be if you tell your heart to just scoot over.

What makes perfect sense for you?