An evening to remember

It has been quite some time since I last attended a function of sorts at the Pakistan Academy Of Letters, so when I received this sms of invitation from Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, the PAL editor of English I had to go there for one doesn’t always come across a person of the stature of Zulfikar Ghose, the US based poet, novelist and essayist, whom the gathering was arranged for.

I was fortunate to arrive earlier at the Editor’s office, meet the honorable Ghose sahib and exchange some pleasantries with him. Thats where I got my hands literally on a copy of the biannual anthology of the Pakistani writers, ‘The Pakistani Literature’ where translations from a variety of Pakistani languages as well as original English works of the prominent Pakistani literati are published. I flipped through pages and was pleasantly surprised to see the publication of four of my translated poems from Pushto. I conveyd my gratitude to Mr. Khiraam who enhanced my delight by showing me a heavier anthology which included pieces of translations as well as a selection of the original Pakistani English literature from 1947 to 2010, that again included a translation of mine. I requested for the contributor’s copies which the Editor generously handed me with compliments.

The function itself was a wonderful experience. Ghose sahib recited poems from his latest collection called ’50 Poems’ published by the Oxford University Press. In between the recitals of his inspiring poetry Ghose sahib delighted us with interesting anecdotes pertaining mostly to his experiences in life. There was a question-answer session in the end which again was full of information as we came to know how writers born in the third world are assigned labels in the West and how it limits the scope of a writer.

The modertator Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui (left) with Zulfikar Ghose (right)

It was an evening to remember and one would like to be a part of such enlightening gatherings more often.

Random Babble

Its been a long night. Not that I no longer love the dark companion in pain — it has its shades written all over on me — I just want to have a peek at a ray of light to distract myself to life, if there is some, that is.

But wishes wont do it I guess; I’ll have to find a bit of kerosene and a burning matchstick to flame this round mass of flesh that keeps writhing inside the cage of my ribs.

It wont be easy to bring glow to a charred existence; I’ll have to keep stoking me within to do some life.

40(a whole lot of)Questions

Ayesha handed us the tag after doing it impressively on her blog. Here it is;

1. My uncle once: accompanied me to his Bahrain (Swat) house in the off season to arrange for some repair work in his house. It was the only time I visited Swat in winter that was freezing cold.

2. Never in my life: Have I puffed a cigarette; I’d like to have a go at sheesha sometime, though

3. When I was five: I was an intelligent kid they say, only to spoil with the progression of time; now I’m one foolish being 😛

4. High School was: Situated on the Bank Road. We’d play cricket during the break-time in the Company Bagh. We in the 9th class would almost always beat the 10th that would give us immense pride and joy. Ah, the good ol times!

5. I will never forget: My childhood rains; the way I’d drench myself in the rainwater, riding on the bicycle in the streets in my hometown. I cherish those memories the most.

6. I once met: An atheist who tried his best to convince me to subscribe to his set of beliefs. I came back cursing myself for asking him a favor.

7. There’s this girl I know who: Is Breathtakingly beautiful. She inhabits a jungle full of fierce beasts. May she be safe and unharmed!

8. Once, at a bar: Never at a bar, not for my piety but the unavailability of ones here in Isloo 😛 (Joke a side, I loathe alcohol)

9. By noon, I’m usually: Done with my office work

10. Last night: I couldn’t sleep proper; it has become a routine now

11. If only I had: The necessary life skills, I wouldn’t be fretting all the time

12. Next time I go to the Temple: Next

13. Rakhi Sawant: Not ma cuppa tea!

14. What worries me most: Is the unjust economic world

15. When I turn my head left, I see: A window covered with blinds

16. When I turn my head right, I see: A sofa with a heavy-weight friend seated on it 😛

17. You know I’m lying when: I write all things rosy; it occurs very rarely though

18. What I miss most about the nineties: The Pakistani pop music, college, playing cricket etc.

19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be: Am not that familiar with Shakespearian characters, I always wish to read him thoroughly though

20. By this time next year: Don’t ask me the question; the future looks bleak!

21. A better name for me would be: Pareshan Khan 😛

22. I have a hard time understanding: Myselfmylifeandallthingsme

23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: I’ll try to do well in mathematics

24. You know I like you if: You’re patriotic with a balanced outlook of things. I don’t like you if you’re a liberal fascist!

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: Depends on who inspired me the most to win that

26. Sachin Tendulkar, Mozart, Sonia Gandhi & Ronaldo: Of all I’m impressed with Sachin and Ronaldo(the Christiano)

27. Take my advice, never: Open your heart to every Tom, Dick or Harry; I’ve done it and I suffered most the time.

28. My ideal breakfast is: Halvapuri, Channas, Slices with jam, Chai, and what not and what not .. 😀

29. A song I love, but do not own is: ‘Hero’ by Enrique Eglisias

30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: To visit the monuments of Gandhara Civilization at Takht Bhai

31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips, & track stars: Tulip Revolution In Kyrgyzstan

32. Why won’t people: Stop asking me the question when to tie the marital knot!

33. If you spend the night at my house: Isn’t it a strange question, eh?

34. I’d stop my wedding for: Why the heck would I do so ;)

35. The world could do without: The luxuries like Burj Dubai ..

36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Than flattering my boss

37. My favorite blonde is: Not a particular blonde favorite

38: Paper clips are more useful than: Notebook backs to write on

39. If I do anything well, it’s: Gonna be a miracle

40. And by the way: I did this rather longish entry in parts coz of a few official routines