Depression & Your Loved Ones

A familiar sound interrupted her:

‘clip-clop’

‘clip-clop’

‘clip-pity-clop’

The sound faint at first grew louder from beyond the hill to her right. She wiped away her tears and looked in wait.

She felt like closing her eyes and let its familiarity be her partial escape, for it felt like home.

Suddenly, she was a child again watching her grandmother make Toby, her stuffed horse, dance upon her knees. A blue scarf circled above her sweater and around her neck. Her brown eyes shone from behind the thin-rimmed glasses, while her hair bobbed as she sang:

“Clip-pity clop, clip-pity clop

This is the way the horses trot

Clip-pity clop, clip-pity clop

Faster, faster, faster… until they drop.”

Eyes closed still, Toby dropped beside her grandmother’s knees and her younger self’s claps.

Kala Kala Saday-A Short Story

The men were talking about the usual border security and the outgoing Afghan government–American’s puppets they called them.  Ahmad was deaf to such talk, instead, his mind wandered cross-border into Pakistan. 

His daydreaming, unlike him,  was free to roam into Pakistan and drive the off-roader he saw there on his last visit to the Afghan-Pakistan border. He pictured himself behind the wheel zipping past everyone on the road and sending plumes of dust in the air behind him. 

A heavy tap to his forehead snapped him back into reality.

“What father,” Ahmad asked befuddled.

“Rahim was kind enough to get you..,” Bahadur looked to his left and motioned towards Rahim.

Rahim handed the kid the envelope and asked him to open it. Ahmad emptied the content on his lap.

Bahadur shrieked, “Alaka careful, you might catapult them into the tea. You don’t know the trouble Rahim went through for this.”

Harbored in the creases of his kameez were two cards! The first one was an Identity card that made his 2 years older and the stretched picture seconded it. The next card he picked up was the Border Permit with his name written in bold.

A wide-eyed Ahmad now held the cards in his hands and looked back and forth towards his father and Kala Kala Saday whose seemed to say ” At last! It dawned upon him at last! ”

“Alaka, you can cross over to Chaman on your own now,” Rahim told him.

The Black & White God

My CV’s the entry of ‘an experienced shepherd’ under skills is a popular destination for the skimming eye. I have made such an entry as it helps me stand out from all the city mice and because a shepherd is much like a project manager, a team player, and a workplace’s scrum master.
.
.
‘Pst,’ I regretted as soon as blurted out the sound.

The ram jerked his head up in menace as if to say, “pst once more and I will ram you against this very boulder.” The stare bore into me for some time until I looked away. I decided to stay and observe from my safe haven, at least while the ram was nearby.

The head shepherd had told me that it is just above one and a half year old; however, its body was the size of a full-grown ram, and its horns had grown thicker and longer than an ordinary ram.

‘Give it some more time and it might resemble a Marco Polo sheep,’ I thought.
From above one could fully appreciate the light and dark that split its back, face and even the horns. It was a walking-breathing art-exhibit.

Halal Homicide

He felt with his other hand for her jugular, where he would cut into her throat according to the religious tradition. She was laid on the ground bounded while the color black flowed around her.
..
..
..
the knife gnawed into her neck once again and this time the grunts took the form of a wail!
..
..
The knife was at work again a third time and only then the slaughter concluded.

The Camel, The Turban, & The Existentialist

The camel sauntered with pomp– its head swayed from side to side-; the man’s gait, however, was cold and rigid as if on a military march.  An imperial mustache sat atop his lips and accentuated his wide forehead and thick jawline. 

“This is a fine camel you got here,” Jabbar complimented as he stopped by them. The camel stopped first, the man followed. 

“Thank you! ” the reply came but from the camel!

Flabbergasted, his hand remained frozen mid-air as he was about to pat the camel’s shoulder. He let drop it drop to his side eventually but not before the camel rolled his eyes at him as if saying: “here we go again!”.

The Domaki Blacksmith

Hunza is situated in the mountainous north of Pakistan, where before the construction of roads and mule tracks, people were cut off from one group of villages to the next and between them were high rising mountains and insuperable passes and naturally, each group of villages developed their own language; majority of these weren’t dialects but distinct languages, each capable of baffling the linguists.

Domaaki is one of those languages; the Domaaki speakers traditionally were either musicians or blacksmiths but they now hold various professions.

At present, unfortunately, there are fewer than 350 Domaaki speakers present in the world and the language is on the brink of extinction!

How do you Like your Bokeh?

“I don’t know man. I just like it,” she answered with a lost expression.

He kept looking at her in order for her to explain more. He learned in this article recently, where certain conversational hacks were mentioned; one of which was that after getting a short answer from the other person, if one continues looking at the person as if waiting for a more input, the other will add a few more lines.

“Maybe because of this cozy feeling it provides; the kind that keeps one in bed on a winter morning.” He nodded at that and thought ‘it worked’. She continued staring blankly at her hands, “they settle so peacefully on the eyes, gives me the feeling of comfort with objects fused together and nothing to focus at all.”

Happy Independence Day

“Who is that?” I asked.
“Oh that’s Pakistan; it’s his 70th birthday today.” The lady replied.
The guys still had their eyes fixed upon Pakistan and were anxiously waiting for something. I saw they had a ten dollar and a hundred bill lying in front of them.
“It is just a stupid bet they have every year,” she said abating my curiosity, “The loser gets to pay the other a hundred dollars.”
“What do they bet…”
“Shush you two,” one of the guys interrupted.
The lady smiled and whispered, “You will see.”

RUN!!

What we saw confused us. They were people alright but none of them were actually moving. They were in a constant sway and doing nothing. By now the stench was gone almost and we took our time observing them to. We could only hear the queer murmur and nothing else. ‘The rangers will be here soon’ I thought as I caught myself looking forwards to the people we were running away from all this time.