Monthly Archives: October 2014

Snapshots: Do You Deserve what You Desire

Few snapshots from one of the articles “Do you deserve what you desire?” authored by Mr. Anwar Iqbal published on May 24, 2014 on Dawn.com

Dance of Fire

Dance of Fire

Without you, the City suffocates me

Without you, the City suffocates me

What I cannot find is what I desire

What I cannot find is what I desire

The dance, the ecstasy, the pain

 The dance, the ecstasy, the pain

Sar-e-bazaar me raqsam

Sar-e-bazaar me raqsam


Of Happiness Becoming a Warning

As it makes its way to the barren self, the simultaneously soothing and tumultuous effect it has lasts a little longer than expected. By ‘it’, I mean anything that has a touch of sweetness. Let it be food, word or a compliment. A kind of mayhem starts to take over right after. The sweetness should rather be a welcome sign. However, it never comes alone; brings together its unfailing accomplices and sends in certain signals of a warning. Sweetness signifies goodness. The goodness leads to happiness. The more sweetness means the more goodness and eventually even more happiness. Why does that qualify as a warning then? The question is confusing, right?

Khaled Husseini is worth quoting in this regards. He brings forth the answer by putting it through a sad irony that, “they only make you this happy when they’re preparing to take ‘something’ away from you.” And one literally cannot afford to lose some things they cherish, if not all. Because the very things mean the world, the only wealth; better lose anything but them.

“So, even if they take that everything which qualifies as ‘something’ but for the love of God tell them never to take that something which means everything!”

Isn’t one justified in taking happiness as a warning then, that of fast approaching catastrophe; a lifelong loss?


Date a Girl Who Writes

Date a girl who may never wear completely clean clothes, because of coffee stains and ink spills. She’ll have many problems with her closet space, and her laptop is never boring because there are so many words, so many worlds that she’s cluttered amidst the space. Tabs open filled with obscure and popular music. Interesting factoids about Catherine the Great, and the immortality of jellyfish. Laugh it off when she tells you that she forgot to clean her room, that her clothes are lost among the binders so it’ll take her longer to get ready, that her shoes hidden under the mountain of broken Bic pens and the refurbished laptop that she’s saved for ever since she was twelve.

Kiss her under the lamppost, when it’s raining. Tell her your definition of love.

Find a girl who writes. You’ll know that she has a sense of humor, a sense of empathy and kindness, and that she will dream up worlds, universes for you. She’s the one with the faintest of shadows underneath her eyelids, the one who smells of coffee and Coca-cola and jasmine green tea. You see that girl hunched over a notebook. That’s the writer. With her fingers occasionally smudged with charcoal, with ink that will travel onto your hands when you interlock your fingers with her’s. She will never stop, churning out adventures, of traitors and heroes. Darkness and light. Fear and love. That’s the writer. She can never resist filling a blank page with words, whatever the color of the page is.

She’s the girl reading while waiting for her coffee and tea. She’s the quiet girl with her music turned up loud (or impossibly quiet), separating the two of you by an ocean of crescendos and decrescendos as she’s thinking of the perfect words. If you take a peek at her cup, the tea or coffee’s already cold. She’s already forgotten it.

Use a pick-up line with her if she doesn’t look to busy.

If she raises her head, offer to buy her another cup of coffee. Or of tea. She’ll repay you with stories. If she closes her laptop, give her your critique of Tolstoy, and your best theories of Hannibal and the Crossing. Tell her your characters, your dreams, and ask if she gotten through her first novel.

It is hard to date a girl who writes. But be patient with her. Give her books for her birthday, pretty notebooks for Christmas and for anniversaries, moleskins and bookmarks and many, many books. Give her the gift of words, for writers are talkative people, and they are verbose in their thanks. Let her know that you’re behind her every step of the way, for the lines between fiction and reality are fluid.

She’ll give you a chance.

Don’t lie to her. She’ll understand the syntax behind your words. She’ll be disappointed by your lies, but a girl who writes will understand. She’ll understand that sometimes even the greatest heroes fail, and that happy endings take time, both in fiction and reality. She’s realistic. A girl who writes isn’t impatient; she will understand your flaws. She will cherish them, because a girl who writes will understand plot. She’ll understand that endings happen for better or for worst.

A girl who writes will not expect perfection from you. Her narratives are rich, her characters are multifaceted because of interesting flaws. She’ll understand that a good book does not have perfect characters; villains and tragic flaws are the salt of books. She’ll understand trouble, because it spices up her story. No author wants an invincible hero; the girl who writes will understand that you are only human.

Be her compatriot, be her darling, her love, her dream, her world.

If you find a girl who writes, keep her close. If you find her at two AM, typing furiously, the neon gaze of the light illuminating her furrowed forehead, place a blanket gently on her so that she does not catch a chill. Make her a pot of tea, and sit with her. You may lose her to her world for a few moments, but she will come back to you, brimming with treasure. You will believe in her every single time, the two of you illuminated only by the computer screen, but invincible in the darkness.

She is your Shahrazad. When you are afraid of the dark, she will guide you, her words turning into lanterns, turning into lights and stars and candles that will guide you through your darkest times. She’ll be the one to save you.

She’ll whisk you away on a hot air balloon, and you will be smitten with her. She’s mischievous, frisky, yet she’s quiet and when she has to kill off a lovely character, when she cries, hold her and tell her that it will be alright.

You will propose to her. Maybe on a boat in the ocean, maybe in a little cottage in the Appalachian Mountains. Maybe in New York City. Maybe Chicago. Baltimore. Maybe outside her publisher’s office. Because she’s radiant, wherever she goes. Maybe even outside of a cinema where the two of you kiss in the rain. She’ll say that it is overused and clichéd, but the glint in her eyes will tell you that she appreciates it all the same.

You will smile hard as she talks a mile a second, and your heart will skip a beat when she holds your hand and she will write stories of your lives together. She’ll hold you close and whisper secrets into your ears. She’s lovely, remember that. She’s self made and she’s brilliant. Her names for the children might be terrible, but you’ll be okay with that. A girl who writes will tell your children fantastical stories.

Because that is the best part about a girl who writes. She has imagination and she has courage, and it will be enough. She’ll save you in the oceans of her dreams, and she’ll be your catharsis and your 11:11. She’ll be your firebird and she’ll be your knight, and she’ll become your world, in the curve of her smile, in the hazel of her eye the half-dimple on her face, the words that are pouring out of her, a torrent, a wave, a crescendo – so many sensations that you will be left breathless by a girl who writes.

Maybe she’s not the best at grammar, but that is okay.

Date a girl who writes because you deserve it. She’s witty, she’s empathetic, enigmatic at times and she’s lovely. She’s got the most colorful life. She may be living in NYC or she may be living in a small cottage. Date a girl who writes because a girl who writes reads.

A girl who writes will understand reality. She’ll be infuriating at times, and maybe sometimes you will hate her. Sometimes she will hate you too. But a girl who writes understands human nature, and she will understand that you are weak. She will not leave on the Midnight Train the first moment that things go sour. She will understand that real life isn’t like a story, because while she works in stories, she lives in reality.

Date a girl who writes.

Because there is nothing better then a girl who writes.

– By an Anonymous Writer


Date a Guy Who Writes

Date a guy who writes. Date that someone who doesn’t concern too much being the best looking man in the world. The guy who doesn’t toil for minutes or hours in front of the mirror. He spends an ample time in his room, or on a solitary bench in a public park, or on train and bus stations with his pen and notebook formulating the perfect words, putting life in his lines through wordplay, writing the loveliest poems. He doesn’t mind being alone on weekend nights in the back-alleys or risking his life climbing the roof just to have an unobstructed view of the sky, to muse with the stars and summon a conversation with the moon. He doesn’t mind battling the cold that bites his skin as long as he tunes the right melody for the song he’s writing for your anniversary,or a guaranteed chapter entry on his book, that he is anticipating to give you on your birthday. Yes, he doesn’t loathe the fact that he is stuck in that place, in that moment in time, squeezing his brain, while his friends are out there, in the open drinking to the high of weekend parties, dancing in smoke-filled bars and drowning to barrels and barrels of liquors.

Find a guy who writes, a walking cliché of kill-you-with-words, and when you do, make no mistakes letting him go. His wit, his spontaneity, rapture and heart for aesthetics will suffice for all those romanticism you have in mind. Date that someone who doesn’t kill himself in gyms, just to have the perfect body, the manly facade and never go for the too neat, too clean— you will discover over time that it is dragging and lame having a partner, a man who spends on shower threefold longer than you do. Date a guy who doesn’t dream having the Brad Pitt’s face, but the one who reads, learns and writes like of John Keats romance’s. The one who seeks for Stephen King’s thrill and the war stories of Ernest Hemingway. Date a guy who doesn’t give you a litany of promises lost in the haze of cheap talk, date that someone who acts, who makes you feel you are special even before you find yourself versed in one of his poems, resembling one of his story characters. Date that someone who stays with you, dream with you and writes random nothing on your palm or on your arms, because he fears that the words won’t come out right when he starts speaking them.

Date a guy who writes, the one who can skim the oceans in your eyes and write a line about it, that someone who can swim in it just to string those lines to make a stanza and can drown there if that’s all it takes to combine those stanzas into a beautiful work of poetry. Date a guy who can translate the amber glow in your face into haiku and sonnets. That someone who never tires scribbling his pen in dire search for muslin haze for streaks of clarity.

When that guy asks for your hand, give a sureshot “yes”. He sees life in a general scheme and weighs all the options from there, the same way he chooses the right words, the best point of view and perspectives just to incorporate beauty in his writing. Jumping into conclusion is not his game, he probably learned that it is not practical from a thousand fictional dilemma he wrote. And you will not live in monotony and routines, he can put colors in your days the same way he resorts figurative languages, the same way he puts flowers and butterflies in his words. And your leisure times will not be spent on themed parks, signature shops and wherever-transatlantic-cruise that is, spending the money you saved for a year in just one day. He will teach you to appreciate God’s creation and find happiness in the most mundane of things— on the sun rising behind the trees, the music of birds chirping and the dance of leaves in graceful sways, the breeze that kisses your cheek, your face, touching your heart with a magical feel, all the way to your bones, sunsets and silhouettes, the placid sea and the story behind a seagull or a fishing canoe that blemishes the scene. This list can go on forever, and the guy who writes is birthed with utmost appreciation to this, with sheer gratitude and he has an innate understanding that this whole divinity is meant to be shared with someone.

He might get lost in conversations, and becomes remote in an instant, but you are willing to make it up, because you know, at the back of your head that you are already transcending the touches of reality, lost in the not-so-distant world of make believe, living in the beauty and power of imagination, the world behind the written words.

– By an Anonymous Writer