Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Magician.

Gather around everyone, I am going to show you a trick. In front of you lies a coffin, next to it a set of nails and a hammer. Don't be fooled by the rags I wear, I can truly make things disappear. It's not an illusion, its not a trick. It's real magic. 

I am going to lie in the coffin, I want you to shut the door, don't panic if I shriek a little, it gets pretty dark, pretty quickly, and I am a little claustrophobic. You might wonder why I am doing this if I am scared of this grim box. It has to be done, the box will take me to salvation, you will all see the magic I hold. 

I want you to nail the box shut. My breath is probably going to be getting shorter and faster, I might knock a little, ignore it. Its time to lower the coffin in to the ground, I have already asked someone to dig 6 feet deep. There may be screams and pleads by now, but that's just animal instincts, I know this has to be done to make you believe me. Start putting the dirt back in, the screams will slowly get in audible, its basic physics you see, the sound waves have more mass to travel through, creating vibrations through this amount of mass dissipates more of the already limited energy- considering I can't breathe properly any more- Keep listening though, Its going to sound like I seriously want to be let out now, but wait. 

We are reaching the finale now, drum roll, wait for it, wait for it. The screams end. Did you see that? I made the pain disappear. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blood Clots

"Let it bleed", a grave voice materialised in my head as I read that message from my friend. Her BBM picture said; 

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." 
Ernest Hemingway

To which I had said I hadn't bled for a while. Sometimes I do think I have abandoned a part of me that I was proud of, something that I felt defined me at a time where there was no definition in life. Am I a selfish? Of course I am selfish, my own words haunt me like demons from my past; "I have considered this a sacred place where the purest of my emotions get to free themselves, and not a place to vent" I have ruined the sanctity of this place. In denying that this is where I vent I have lied and mislead. The whining took a subtle form but I was still complaining, about the situation I was in, and when my prospects changed, I changed, I have abandoned this so called "sacred place". I know I haven't stopped feeling, emotions run inside me like they always had, maybe caution has added itself to the equation. Sometimes I do see myself going through emotions with out feeling any thing, but most of the time I feel, and when I do, why do I no longer find the need to let "the purest of" them "free themselves"? Of course I am selfish.

I have grown, but I don't want to remain aloof, I want to go back to the guy who felt a lot, felt and wrote about it. I want to have a voice again, I want to cut myself open, if you would let me, I want to bleed. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


The best place in the world for her, was the little garden with a few swings and a little more children, just having fun. It was the playground she went to every saturday with her parents. It was five minutes from their house and being a smart girl, seven years of age, she had learnt the route by heart now. Get in the car, drive up hill and take a left, as simple as that. And once they were all there, mother father and brother, it was an hour of bliss, of playing in the grass, singing her favourite rhymes for the world to hear, and when it was time to go, finding all sorts of hiding place where her parents couldn't find her. 

She is eight now. She still goes to that park, sings her little rhymes. Keeps looking at her mother though, the other children don't understand why, but she is a prudent child now, and all her hiding places scare her. She eyes her mother and when she senses its time to go, she holds her little brother's hand and goes to her mother. She's beginning to learn the way back as well, as she sits in the back seat with her brother, while her mother drives them back. 

*so I didn't want to take away from the post and thus I add this here to clear any confusions you might have. I am trying to do something here, I wonder if you can see it, and if you do, please comment, I want to develop this idea in a bigger context, maybe part of an elaborate book(I wish). But I need to know if it even makes sense. Although I do encourage people to comment, this time I urge you, if you've read it just write what ever thoughts you may have. It will help me down the line. Thanks. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nothing, am I.

When I sit to write usually, even though I talk of what I know, I  try having a general theme, so that everyone can relate to it. But today (at the risk of being presumptuous) what I write will not appeal to many people. To gulp down this post you will need to have some faith in the unseen, and a strong belief that the human soul is an entity that in fact exists. Now I do not call upon a debate because we have enough 'men of faith' fighting this never ending battle on much more serious battlefields, like "youtube" and random pictures on "facebook". I am sharing what I think is worth sharing, if you agree I am glad, if you don't, well; 

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
(To you be your religion, and to me my religion)

Al- Quran, Chapter 109, Verse 6.

So I don't know how many people do this but during prayers, I have usually wondered how I can make it genuine, how I can stop my thoughts from digressing and in those five minutes that I spend on the prayer mat, I talk to God, and him alone. This process usually begins with me closing my eyes, then a little visualising, I see clouds, an entire expanse of them, and I am there all alone. In front of me is a light, on a throne, a light. Once the visuals are complete I say the words out loud, recalling the translations in my head so I know what I am saying. And even though all this is going on I still find my self reminding myself to concentrate. So today thats how I began this little ritual for sundown prayers, and even though what ever follows was my thoughts digressing, I hope it's worth while in the grand scheme of things.

So when I was bowing down I pictured the throne, but then my mind wandered. I started recalling all the reasons why I pray in the first place. It's my time with God, away from everything else, and if I truly love him like I think I do, then I should not want to think about other things at this moment. Once I got to this point, the throne imagery seemed a little harsh, I choose to believe God is all around me and a part of me he is not on some throne, and if I do what he says it is, above all, out of love. Now with out the throne I needed another concentration point, somewhere to converge my attention on so as to stay focussed, at that moment something I heard in a song(Ironic) came to mind;

مسجد ڈھا دے مندر ڈھا دے 
ڈھا دے جو کچھ ڈھیندا 
پر کسی دا دل نہ ڈھانویں 
رب دِلاں وچ رہندا 

بلھے شاہ
Demolish the mosque, demolish the temple
Demolish whatever you can demolish
But don't demolish anyone's heart
For God lives inside the hearts

Bulleh Shah

So one thing led to another and now I was looking down through out, talking to my heart. Suddenly there was a shift in feelings, there was a warm feeling inside me, things felt a little more intimate. I liked it. Now every physical gesture I made felt as if I was trying get closer to the heart, I knelt trying to get closer to this centre, it didn't work, what now maybe bowing down would help. And as I was on the floor with my head down I felt like I am enveloped in this feeling of love and security, it felt good. Out of the blue, everything was beginning to make sense. 

The institution of prayer now seemed so much more. Its a humbling experience, when we walk on this earth proud of our abilities, its nice to bow down to someone and remind yourself; the there is someone who "alone we seek for help." Now I hear voices telling me there will be those who think I cannot think for myself and I am just trying to justify what ever I've been told my entire life, but to them I say, being down to earth is never a bad quality.

Coming back to this experience, I remember the loud recitation began to get slower as I told myself I was talking to my soul, which (as believed by several literarians and scholars alike) is a part of God's light. So praying to it, in some way, seemed sensible. I was then reminded of how Marvell spoke of the soul being trapped inside this body and if that is so, I imagine it would feel good hearing about its home, like any prisoner would, trapped in a foreign jail cell, for what feels like a lifetime.

So there it is, as much as it feels weird to admit it, I find myself preaching about things people might not always want to hear about. But I hope you can see the honesty that went in to this, none of what I wrote was for the sake of presenting things in a flowery way. As Iqbal says;

دل سے جو بات نکلتی ہے، اثر رکھتی ہے
پر نہیں، طاقتِ پرواز مگر رکھتی ہے۔

Words when spoken from the heart, have impact,
For they do not have wings yet have the power to fly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Game of Hope.

As custom dictates, I should be acknowledging the fact that this is my first post this year, so I hope every one of you is having a good year so far, and will continue to do great things, which are worth remembering. Forgive me from diverting from the norms and not listing down the new year resolutions that I have so thoughtfully made, which will probably not materialise. Instead this post is about a feeling that seems to be an integral part of everyone's life and yet is so intangible and multi-dimensional that I fail to understand the extent to which one should let it bloom. That particular feeling is of Hope. There's an old saying in Urdu, امید پہ دنیا قائم ہے (umeed pai dunya qaa'im hai),  which translates to the world is existing on hope, that explains how important hope is for mankind. From serious things like hoping to be alive the next moment, to trivial matters like hoping to get more of the purple jelly beans in a box, we all need hope. But I am here to figure out when one needs to stop hoping. 

Understanding when our hopes and expectations become unreasonable is beyond me, fine rationale can be a guiding compass but at times one needs to defy logic and act upon faith alone to get by without being depressed, or even worse, suicidal. So at those times, hope is good, hope is what we need. But as every businessman knows oh so well, with every venture there is a probability of loss, and the successful businessmen are those who take smart risks realising these losses. Similarly, when you hope, surely there is a part of you that is expecting heart break, yes they say that having complete faith can(or maybe they use the word 'will') get you what you want, but I have my doubts, don't get me wrong, faith is good, but for something you believe in a hundred percent, whilst accepting the underlying possibility of heart break.

Now I believe that one can only take so much heart break, and thus it will be wise to not make hope one's first step when doing things, instead it is better to do all one can before hoping for things to turn out in their favour. So how do we know when hope is vain? The best way to learn something is from experience, so from experience I can say, that hoping for someone you love, to love you back in the same way is one of those times when one needs to stop hoping. If you think about someone all the time, it'd be nice to know that they think about you too, but its foolish to hope for such things to happen, because then you're just paving your way towards depression. Another one of these instances which perplex me too great degrees is, when is the right time to stop hoping for someone to come back and just let them go? 

When you love someone, and I mean truly love someone, if they leave you, how do you not hope for them to come back? But then comes the time when this hope makes you dysfunctional, it disables you to love again and when that time comes, I think its best to say that hope is not your friend anymore. Here too the same rules applied in the beginning, when to hope was equivalent to breathe, but now its doing the opposite. Here, I want to mention something which was actually the reason why this particular thought process began in my mind. This isn't about loss of love, its more about life, or lack thereof. 

I have a cousin, who is battling Cancer, and its been such a roller coster ride for her, with many lows and a few highs, and for those who know her, especially her mother, hope is all that there is, the doctors say they are trying their best, some treatments show results, others don't. Several times has she come to the brink of losing this battle and the last time that happened, which wasn't too long ago, talk became circulating how 'there was no hope for her' and at this point.... (I don't think I can get myself to say it) things didn't look too good. I personally didn't go to see her in ICU when she was on a ventilator, but from those who went I heard how there was pain in her eyes, how she was suffering and while she was unable to move tears rolled down her cheeks. It was a decisive moment for her husband, the doctor suggested an expensive treatment, which had a very little chance of being successful. He had to decide if it was time to let go and end her suffering, or go with the treatment. And I am glad he made the decision he did. 

He decided to go with it, and in this matter hope did take us through and even though she isn't in a good condition yet, at least she is not in the hospital anymore. This got me thinking. I really want to tell you that I have a better conclusion for you, but I don't, all I have are a few questions so take it for what it is. When do you know it's time to let go? How do you pull the plugs on someone's life and then live with it? and perhaps the biggest question yet, When does hope become the enemy? 

P.S. This one is for my cousin, Zehra Sajjad, she's 32, has a 6 year-old son and is still battling. She needs all the prayers she can get, please pray for her. And while hope still keeps us afloat, I am confident prayers will propel us ashore. 

غمیں نہ ہو کہ بہت دور ہیں ابھی باقی
نئےستاروں سے خالی نہیں سپہر کبود
  داکٹڑ علامہ محمد اقبالؔ 

(Don't be sad that there is a long time to go
The blue sky isn't short of new stars
Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Where am I? 

What is this place? 

How did I get here?

I can hardly keep my eyes open, the lights are too bright, I can hear the air conditioner running on full blast, that should explain the goosebumps on my arms. 

What's that smell? Smell's like the balm I use when my nose is blocked. 

My cheeks hurt, hmm cracked skin, have I been crying? My eyes are strained too, I probably was, but why? 

Dad's on my right, he looks sad, why is he looking at me like that? My brother's on my left, but he's not looking at me, What's he looking at? 

Mom? Why are you lying there? Get up! 

Maa please, it's getting dark.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

آسماں کی حماقت۔

An Original Piece, my attempt at urdu poetry. Please read and comment. 

آنکھیں موندے شام کو لیٹا میں سونے 
سوچا کےدو گھڑی آرام کر لوں میں 

چلتا رہا ذہن اپنے آپ کیا کاروں؟
گھڑیوں نے بھی پکڑی رفتار کیا کروں؟

سب چھوٹا تو نیند کی پریوں نے دستک دی،
بولیں کے رات آن کو ہے، اب سو بھی جا تو!

اب جاگا جو میں نیند سے حقیقت کچھ اور تھی
سویا جہاں تھا میں، وہ خاک نا تھی یہ

سورج چمک رہا تھا شفق لال تھی وہاں
ہیرت بھری نگاھوں سے میں دیکھ رہا تھا

اتنے میں اچانک ایک ٹھوکر مجھے لگی
دیکھا جو مڑ کر میں نے اک ضعیف تھا کھڑا

آنکھوں میں اس کے خوف تھا ماتھے پہ تھیں شکن
آنکھوں میں میری دیکھ کر اس نے بات کی شروع

کہنے لگا، "میاں یہاں کام کیا ترا؟
اندھیرا آرہا ہے ترا چراغ ہے کہاں؟

بھاگو یہاں سے یہ تاریکی ہے ٖطویل
نہ ختم ہونے والی رات آئی ہے

سورج جو دوست تھا، روٹھ گیا ہے
فلک نے چاند سے جو دل لگی ہے کی"

کرا سوال میں نے کہ،" کیا کہا جناب؟
آسماں کو کیا چاند کی حقیقت نہیں پتا؟

آتا ہے ایک بار مہینے میں وہ نظر
ورنہ جھلک دکھا کے تڑپاتا ہے ہمیں

سورج ہے اصل دوست جو نہ چھوڑے اپنا ساتھ
رہتا وہیں پر ہے چاہے دنیا پلٹ لے منہ

چاند کی چمک ہے ادھاری کی روشنی
آفتاب نہ ہو سخی تو پھر چاند ہو کہاں؟"

بولا بزرگ چیخ کر، "احمق ہے آسماں،
چار روزہ چاندنی پہ ہادی بھلا دیا۔"

آئی آوازِ غیب کہ،"احمق نہیں ہوں میں،
جلتا ہوں ہر پہر، سورج کی آگ تلے میں!

چاندنی نے مجھ کو ہے آگوش میں لیا،
ٹھندک نے اس کی مجھ کو سیراب ہے کیا۔"

سرخ آندھیوں نے افق پر گھیرا بنا لیا،
روشن خواب دکھا کے گھمرا اسے کیا۔

اتنے میں ہے سورج نے الوداع کہا،
پلک جھپکتے ہم سے رخصت وہ ہو گیا۔

ڈوبتے سورج کو دیکھ مرا دل بھی ہے ڈوبا
اب آنکھوں نے میری صبر کا دامن چھڑا لیا

روتا رہا اندھیر میں کہ عجب رات آئی ہے
جانے خدا کہ کب ہو اب روشن یہ گلستاں؟

کہنے لگا آسماں،"گھبراوُ نہیں تم
آئے گا چاند، میرا محبوب جو ہے وہ۔"

گھنٹے گزر گےُ نہ آیا کچھ نظر مجھے
پوچھا اس سے میں نے کہاں ہے یہ چاند اب؟

بولا کوئی کہ "پاس ہی تیرے کھڑا ہوں میں
لیکن جانے کہاں روٹھ کے بیٹھی ہے مہتاب؟"

کہنے لگا ضعیف کہ مغرور تھا آسماں
اپنے ساتھ تجھ کو بھی ویران کر گیا۔

برس پڑا اب آسماں پھر آندھیاں چلی
گش کھا کے وہیں خاک پر میں سو گیا

ٹوٹا جب یہ خواب مسکرا رہا تھا میں
شاید آسماں کی قصمت پہ ہنس پڑا

سوچا پھر یہ میں نے کہ پروا نہیں مجھے
سمجھا نہیں جو تو، تو میں کیا کروں؟

محمد حسن خوجہ