March 26th, 2017

truth be told…14

Jalali Baba has not found mention in quite a few posts of late.

that’s because he has been replaced. dont tell anyone i said that out loud.

the thing is, what people need to understand is that they are dispensible.

d.i.s.p.e.n.s.i.b.l.e (or however the hell you spell it). in any case, that stands true for JB.

frankly speaking, i do realise he was begining to feature too much in my posts. on the one hand, that isnt a big deal, since im the only one who ever reads my blog. on the other hand, it does depict a certain illicit affection i harbour for him which i am not yet ready to acknowledge. not to my faithful readers at least. that would be all of me myself and knicq.

i do realise this line of conversation / tone is pretty inconsistent with what i have been putting up in the past. but lets face it, we can only put upa facade for this long, before we begin to crack and the real us shows thru. point being, ive cracked. wide open.


yes, im sad like that.

Chicken and Egg of Writing.10

Writing used to be easy. Less difficult. More frequent. It is none of the above for now. I am devoid of all vocabulary, and much like TNQ at two years, am finding myself getting by with just a couple of words. Compared with the ideas I have to blog about, thats two words too many. Wise-cracks about the disparities between TNQ’s age and mine and the lack of any disparities between our stockpile of deployable words are not welcome.

I entertained the notion of a blank update for sometime, but then I figured I would have to update more than a couple of words in explaining just what the blank update stood for, and since I had no more than a couple of words to employ, it became just a chicken and egg story – by the way, I use this expression purely because it is a linguistic tool made available to me – personally, I find the hoopla about whether the chicken came first or the egg did quite absurd. A logical examination of the whole affair will lead anyone to the obvious conclusion that the chicken would have had to come first. And has it ever occurred to anyone that one egg is good for only one chick/chicken, and since we are talking of a solitary egg, shouldn’t we be talking of a chick rather than chicken? Isn’t chicken plural? Isn’t chick to chicken what child is to children? hence the usage of word ‘chicken’, it being a plural in my books, is actually misleading – unless of course the implication is that initially one egg used to be good for a dozen chicken.

Were we to assume, and I find the assumption no less absurd, that the egg did come first, the obvious question which arises is of paramount importance – who did the sitting on the egg? And whoever heard of a hen sitting on a solitary egg? Or to put it more aptly, whoever heard of a solitary egg being sat on – since our assumption precludes the existence of any hens at all? Even if were to stretch the absurdity that this assumpion is, and allow the egg to be hatched, just who went around scavenging for worms and feeding the newly hatched chick? Are we then to assume that the chick’s natural predators had a change of heart, and decided not only to let it grow into a prolific egg-laying hen, but also decided to protect it from all harm until it had laid a fair number of eggs and was ready to sit on them? Or are the proponents of this assumption, and the flag-bearers of the chicken and egg question going to have us believe that the said predators actually had the presence of mind and absence of instinct necessary for them to think in the long-run and let the lone chick (and a few subsequent generations) survive, even help it survive, just so there would be millions and millions of chicken around to be devoured by the distant descendents of the predators?

I mean, really, isn’t it just easy assuming the chick came around first, or maybe it got a head-start and began as a hen sitting on a dozen eggs already?

Oh, and given my amnesia I have sort of forgotten what those couple of words were which set this line of thought in motion,  but I assure you this, the two words were not ‘chicken’ and ‘egg’.   


Untitled and Incomplete…6

Tum phir likhne baith gaye,

Aaj phir dukhne baith gaye,

Samajhne kee koshish karo,

Sach laakh kadva sahi,

Sach parakhne kee koshish karo.

Nazar uthao to sahee,

Kuch gird-o-paish haal to daikho,

Koi deewar salim nahin,

Koi sutoon nazar nahin aata,

Dhuwan uth’ta daikho,

To yeh na samajh baithna,

Ke kahin kisi ghar main

Koi choolha jala ho ga,

Zaitoon ke darakhtun se parey,

Sab jante hain – koi ghar nazar nahin aata!

Main ne patharun se poocha tha..

“Mera samaan kisi kaam aaye ga kya?”

Woh mera thaila tatol kar boley,

Yawar, apne sarmaya-e-hayat ko

In lafzon ko, is qalam dawat ko,

Kisi aur waqt ke liye utha rakho,

Malbey main dabi laashun par,

Alfaaz ka kafan acha nahin lagta,

Jin aankhun se lahoo rista ho,

Un ko qalam acha nahin lagta,

Jis ghar deewar giri ho,

Waan zikr-e-chaman acha nahin lagta,

Yeh alam uthane ke din hain,

Yeh qadam milane ke din hain,

Apne lafzun kee potli sambhal le jao,

Yeh sabaq dohraney ke din hain.

Spoiled for choice…9

I am spoiled for choice. There are so many cars out there which I cannot buy that I have not the faintest idea which is the one I can absolutely, most decidedly, quite positively not buy. Sure, I could make it all simpler by just working with the cars that I can buy, but then where is the fun in that? Besides, apt seems the saying in punjabi, ‘ae te na khedan wali gal hoee’, which when run through the distorting mechanism that is my translating acumen shreds into something like this ‘this amounts to talk of not playing’. In actual fact, the proverb is employed when seeking to communicate the harsh reality of the impracticality of terms and conditions being laid down for a matter under consideration.

Reverting to the matter of being spoiled for choice, I must begin by explaining the fact that the coming week will witness the advent of a new era in the history of UAE schooling system, the era of TQ and AQ; who together and to date comprise 100% of my progeny, and represent two of the most wonderful blessings Allah Almighty has bestowed me with (Alhamdu Lillah), both going to school.

TQ started school a couple of years ago, and through trial and error during this period we had come to decide on a school that offered the right mix of quality education and personality grooming. There was, however, the small matter of transportation costs involved, and not entirely simple mathematical deduction had led us to the conclusion that it was by far more economical, financially as well as time-wise, investing in a vehicle of our own than it was patronizing two seats in the school’s very expensive transport system over the next few years. Last year, we were able to rely on the services of that most affectionate of old timers, Blackey, to get TQ to school. This year, Blackey seems bent upon tendering in a resignation from her post.

Blackey, who has found mention in many a post before, is saddled with that most sure of maladies that pester the elderly – old age itself. It must, hence, be exempted from the strains of active duty, and be referred to a facility that cares for the elderly. Blackey has served us well, and even in this old age would give many a japanese engine a run for its money, thoroughbreds have that knack of staying on top of competition for far longer than mixed breeds can hope to do. All good things must come to an end, however, and for blackey tolls the bell. One likes to ensure that such a loyal comrade drives into the sunset on its own four wheels.

Its a new era, and calls for recruitment of new resources and this is where the matter of being spoiled for choice sets in. A fair mix of experience and apprehension served with dollops of wants masquerading as needs has resulted in our arrival at the foregone conclusion that our cause is served best by a new car. In keeping with the (soon to be) memory of blackey, we decided that the new-comer would have to fit the bill for blackey 2. In this way, we were able to address the question of which color to buy more easily than most buyers of new cars manage to.

The trouble started brewing when we realized that the word of our preferences in the matter had got out, and now pretty much every car dealer worth his salt was vying for our undivided attention. In layman terms, irrespective of what badge the cars in a showroom wore on their chests, they always had amongst their ranks a black beauty looking at us with those “Puss in Boots” eyes from Shrek 2. We had hoped the customary arrogance (or Darrogance ala Darrel Hair) of the financing institution would dictate the preferences for us in terms of which car we could invest in, or not invest in for that matter, but Dubai Islamic Bank became the epitome of hospitality which the Arabs are known for widely, and offered to facilitate the acquisition of any black beauty we set our hearts on as long - as we did not stretch a certain figure beyond a certain limit, the latter qualification coming as a most unwelcome departure from Arab hospitality, which is loathe to any qualification.

With just the two hearts to set so, and scores of cars calling our names out from scores of show-rooms, we realized that we were once again spoiled for choice. I say ‘once again’ because we went though the rigamarole of being spoiled for choice with the birth of each of our children. You see there are so many beautiful Muslim names to choose from, and you can normally allot just the one name per child. Just imagine how long it would have taken TQ to learn the spelling of his name(s) had we chosen for him all the names we had shortlisted for him: Mohammad, Ahmad, Moosa, Omar, Ali, Waleed, Osama, Huzaifah, Huraiz, Hassan, Hussain, Hamza and Talhah! Can you begin to see his consternation if after he had learnt his name(s), he were told he had to learn the name(s) of his sister, which would have been: Amna, Ayesha, Sarah, Javeriah, Zaina, Maimoonah, Maryam, Fatimah, Hafsa, Dhuha, Dua, and Eiman. These were, lets not forget, just the short-listed names.

Such are times when one appreciates deeply the beauty of ‘qura andazi’, the choosing of a slip of paper from amongst many to arrive at a decision. There are other times when one realizes that if ever there were a question that was not to be answered by a slip of paper picked randomly it, the question that is, stared one in the eye.

When it came to choosing a car we wanted to buy, we realized that it was being stared in the eye by the question we were up against, and not deeply-appreciating-the-beauty-of ‘qura-andazi’ that we were most likely to do – since there was a limited number of cars that had caught our fancy, and through that most helpful skill acquired during the time we were preparing for GMAT, called elimination, we were reasonably confident we could arrive at an agreement about the car we wanted the bank to finance for us – that is until we looked at the line containing two ‘certains’ which the bank had underlined in a certain document.

The hospitable bank’s statement is reproduced here for clarity sake, “facilitate the acquisition of any black beauty we set our hearts on as long as we did not stretch a certain figure beyond a certain limit” – as I said earlier, quite an unwelcome departure from a most wonderful tradition.

At this point we were struck, rather quite ceremoniously, by the realization that it was not a question of which car we could buy, but of what would be feasible after we had counted out those that we could not buy (There – once again is employed the GMATic skill of elimination in a multiple choice question – one wonders what might have been (or not), had one actually proceeded and taken the said test instead of chickening out at the ninth hour).

In 26 words, the bank had clearly told us that a Maybach or a Phantom was not an option, niether was any of the thoroughbreds from the stables of Mercedes, or from those of BMW. In little over a couple of a dozen words, the bank had decreed that Toyotas and Volkswagons stretched the certain figure beyond the certain limit, that the Hondas started beyond the certain limit as did the Mazdas; and Ford and all the Jaguars and the Range Rovers that it owned brought a new perfection to stretching. There were not to be any Suzukis, Daihatsus, Hyundais, Kias or Fiats, and GM motors just did not qualify.

I am spoiled for choice, like I said… there are so many cars out there which I cannot buy, that I am just stumped as to which one not to buy first!

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