A lover’s feelings

Time can and will pass anywhere one chooses to be. And it is not to spend time, that I come to meet you. I come here because I really love you.
I have this memory from a long time ago. Or was it a dream, I dont know. Since my dreams and my reality are often very similar, I am usually unable to differentiate between the two. I remember myself eavesdropping on one of my mother’s and her friend’s conversation about relationships, and I distinctly remember one thing she said, “to feel respect is a blessing, it’s divine.” And this is exactly how I feel when I look upon you. I feel respect for you from deep within. I watch my words, my actions, my gestures, my expression and control as much as I can, as far as I can whenever I’m around you. I dont have the courage to offend you and I would never ever word a single offense against you even if it is to myself.
There is a difference between being respectful and feeling respecful. I really feel it.
It’s almost relegious. Many believe that relegion gives us an ultimatum of the right being rewarded with heaven and hell being the punnishment of wrong.
This same ultimatum shifts within me. I dont fear burning in hell, rather i fear being it. I fear being the fire that burns or distresses you in any way, I fear being the thorn within your throat or the rope around it. I fear being the source of pain in your life. I keep myself right and in control so that I don’t turn into hell for you.
I know I might not look like a flower, but if you give me a chance I will spend my entire life trying to feel like one.


The swirls of smoke rose up in still air. It was dark and yet she could trace the curves of grey, rising and diffusing into pitch black. Images were created, distorted, and transformed. She sat there, in her comfortable spot, the sofa she so loved, it held her body perfectly in place; it was like the hands of a lover, comforting and warm.
She was smoking her tenth cigarette in the row. Her mind forced her to think: why?
Why and when did she first get into this habit? It was bland, it was tasteless, it did nothing to her, and it did nothing for her. The answer she thought was hidden in the smoke. And it was. As she watched it rise she could see her deepest desires curved in those little swirls. The desire of being wanted to be heavier than all others; it rose but fell and rose again.
She looked at the cigarette in her hand, it was half-smoked; she watched the glow for a minute or two before touching it to her lips.
None knew where she was, hidden away from reality and within the darkness. She felt safe but alone. She looked at the swirls again to see if she could find an answer within them. She saw it then.
The same silhouette she wished would never cross her eyes; it was round, with little hands and tiny toes. It was there, in midair, floating and cuddled by the grey around it. It got bigger and beautiful, it got bigger and crippled. The red glow seemed to have lit it on fire. It cried, it screamed, it was in pain.
She was horrified, she was paralyzed, and she couldn’t move, her eyes darted, screams got louder, shrieks pierced her ears, her eyes started to burn, but she still couldn’t look away. The tiny hands were ripped off the fragile arms and the arms were ripped off the little round body, the head got cut into half, the head seemed to look upon its own body. The toes were cold, the toes weren’t toes, they spun to a thread, and with a pinch of fire all was set. There was no red.
“I must have done it.” She thought to herself “I did what was necessary; I did it because there was no other way”. And she had done it. She had done it in her room; she did it when her mother was sleeping; she did it in daylight. It had bled, it hurt, but there was no other way. She was a respectful little lady with a respectful family and her need to preserve her respect had made her do it. To her, God meant nothing, morals meant nothing, life and death had meant nothing. Because at that moment it all nullified, she hadn’t thought of anything and her life did flow as normal as it could get.
She woke up every day and slept every night. All smiled and all were fine. Life flowed just as it did yesterday, tomorrow would be no different and neither would be the third, next day. There was a story to this, there were days and nights and months and years which led had led to this.
There was a time when a palmist had looked her in the eyes and said nothing. And months later, her mother had pointed it out, “because his eyes said all, he said nothing.” And it was true, it wasn’t three it was four. But it was only the fate of three to see the light of day, to breathe, to sing, to dance and live.
The three were successful, she was successful, all had passed and all was well. None saw hurdles, none saw pain, and maybe that was the fact which filled in her, the fear of fire. Now in this decrepit old age, morals did matter, God was everything, death was inevitable and there was no answer. No way could she know if beyond this was heaven or hell.



I feel this love deep inside me,

It’s warmth or glow I cannot show.

I take it to bed and awake with it,

It burns, it hurts, it’s warm, it’s home.

But like all homes, my heart has its attic,

When winter arrives, it becomes too cold.

Vulnerable it is to you alone.

I doubt myself, I doubt you

I doubt my fate and trust only yours.

Yet I try to shift and twist,

To delude and deceit the destined to be,

I poise myself to prepare for thy permanent presence,

The presence I wish would be infinite.

I eagerly watch for your gestures and movements.

Praying that your eyes may aim at mine,

And then, when I see darkness, I turn too cold,

I’m hostile, I’m horrified, and I’m crowded with hate,

And then I wait…

I wait for the feelings to pass and calm down,

I wait for the wind to carry them away.

I know, I know it’s more than this.

Its chance, its fate, and destiny waits.

The plan of destiny I will accept,

It knows me more than I know myself.

It may be so, you are far away,

The distance I hope won’t make us prey.

A lover’s wish.

I would wish on that star which shoots accross the sky:
That may you my love be as small as a drop of elixer, fragrant and eternal.
Scale down from your robust size into a tiny human I could sit on my hand.
I would carve my heart to make you a home. And furnish it with silk and gold.
Your bed may be in the center of my chest.
Your feet may wander within my breast.
I will slice open a window through my skin and bones. I will walk the earth with soft steps, so your home within me wouldnt wreck.
And when I die, at my last breath:
I will open the door for you, So you may flow out of me as a prayer which pierces the seventh sky.

A Memory of Detriment

A memory of Detriment, a memory so mundane,

A memory of elegance, of movement, of the subtle depth of expression, the mixture of intense emotion, a blend of taste, fire and rain.

Movement, Graceful and Brave.

Like an Eagle swaying close to heaven,

Within the Fragrance of pure air, neither far nor near;

I watched and mistook you for a shooting star, dancing in the sky,

Stuck in time, waiting to grant, just, one more wish,

And so I wished:

“Time shall stay, Hither I may,

Watch thee sway, So far Away,

But not too far, So I miss my chance, 

Fer my Eyen doth bleed, for one more Glance.”

The Newspaper Memories

“People don’t actually read newspapers.  They step into them every morning like a hot bath.”
Marshall McLuhan

There are hardly any memories I have from my childhood. Most of my memories have either been forgotten or repressed in some corner of my mind.

But one of these memories is a visual so strong, stuck in my head. A moment filled with a weird sense of peace, tranquility and warmth.

In my early years, I lived with my parent in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, a beautiful and rich country. That is where I had my primary schooling. Every morning my father would drop me to school at almost the same time. On the way to school, he would stop the car at a shop which sold food and newspapers, known as (Bakala) in Saudi Arabia.

We would get out of the car and go inside the shop, my father told me to go take whatever I want, while he stood at the newspaper stand, searching for the Urdu News, once he had the paper he would pay the shopkeeper, take my hand and walk me back to the car. He then sat inside the car and opened the paper, and for the next five minutes he would scan the headlines of the day.

“The newspaper is a greater treasure to the people than uncounted millions of gold.”
Henry Ward Beecher

I distinctly remember the crackling sound of leafs turning, the posture and focused sight of my dad’s face. Looking and scanning the newspaper, turning the pages. Then he turned the side of the paper in his right hand as he looked at his watch, and coming back to reality he would neatly fold the paper in four turns, place it on the handbrake and move forward.

Now that I think of it, as to why I remember this scenario in most detail, I feel a sense of warmth and security in this gesture. The aura of a man immersed in the task of reading a newspaper makes him so grandiose and noble. There something so poetic, so beautiful and warm about a man engrossed in the world of thin grey sheets and yet so aware of the world outside those sheets.

It’s a pity that now twenty years later; I rarely see a soul with a newspaper and a watch. The scarcity of newspaper culture implies that not many children would feel and witness this security and warmth which I was fortunate enough to experience.

With the mobile phone becoming a view port for the world, the fathers of today read the news on the screen which has no crackling music of turning paper and no firm twisting of the wrist to give their family and children that silent and secure experience.

The watches have become status symbols, the leather bands which once fit the wrist have turned to the free moving metal Rolex, which takes a jerk of the hand and arm to bring the watch in view of one’s eye. People take pride in holding the iPhone X as it makes them look rich.

But the combination of the firm, wrist hugging, leather band watch, which demanded an elegant classic turn of the hand to take note of time, and the thin grey sheets of black and white have long been lost.


Aaj bhi hum unhein AAP ker ke bulaien

Muhabbat woh lafz jiski awaz bezar kerjaye,

Dil jab kisi ka inkar ker jaye,

Humsey izhar kerwatey they, qasmein leitey they, wadey kerwatey they,

Muhabbat ke nam per tuhmat lagtey they,

Jism se kheiltey they,

Jazbat se martey they.

In zakhmon ko arse se hum bhar na sakey,

Is jism ke nishan mit na sakey,

Zehn o Dil per cha ker woh, humein akeiley

andheirey meh rulatey they.

Is andheirey meh rahat si milney lagi,

Unki yad humse dur ja na saki.

Humari muhabbat ko zalil ker ke woh,

Rab janey kiski bahon meh gaye.

Hum beithey hein idher sitaron ke neechey,

Badlon meh unka chehra bnaien,

Dil too gaya, jazbat mer gaye,

Magr aaj bhi hum unhein AAP ker ke bulaien.

The Him of Our Society

Every day is a new challenge. But the real challenge of everyday is to follow that one same aspect of your routine that you most despise. In my case, it is the walk. The walk, which might have been the best part of my day, had it come with different circumstances.

I wake up at the same time every morning and drive up the Mall Road of Lahore to get to my destination, the National College of Arts. I park my car behind one of the heritage buildings of Lahore known as the Tolinton Market and get out of my car, which is when my heart starts to race and my breath becomes heavier. Now is the time to cross the street filled with dark eyed, smirking men on bikes and rickshaws, staring and gawking at every passing female pedestrian, one of which is me. I know I have to walk fast, I console myself thinking, “watch your steps, don’t trip, don’t worry, it’s just a thought and a building to cross.”

I hold my bag close to my body, and stiffen my shoulders, as I start to walk away from my car and towards the first street. As I leave the parking lot I look towards the right and then the left to see all the cars, rickshaws and bikes. As the traffic breaks I pull my thoughts together and cross the street as fast as I can. Now and then I wish there was someone walking by me, a familiar face, a person who is safe. I look around to see if someone I know is close by and would walk with me to the NCA gate, but I catch the eyes of the men staring at my direction, scanning me with their dark piercing eyes.

My heartbeat fastens and I quicken my pace, I cross the Lahore museum, lowering my gaze towards the path and console myself thinking, “It’s just a few more steps.” As I reach the college gate and take the first step inside, my heartbeat goes back to normal, the horror is lifted. I can finally feel the air I breathe filling my chest and thanking God for the life ahead.

Over the past year I experience this every day and I feel like I may never get over this, but then I question, is it just my thought or is this actually happening? One of my professors once commented on this attitude of our nation saying, “our people are just prone to stare, we are a staring nation, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything if someone is staring at us. We just can’t get rid of it.”

I agree to the fact that we are a staring nation, and I myself sometimes get lost in a thought and don’t realize where my eyes are affixed while I am experiencing a metaphysical realm of reverie.  However, the women on the streets, going about their business in this part of the world are more likely to have their eyes fixed on the ground than the men roaming the streets purposeless, as they may seem.

This makes one wonder is it the clothing or the figure of a woman, which of these is so enticing, even though she is most likely covered from head to toe with no room to peak.

With literally millions of women, maybe even more than men in this world; so common it is to see ‘her’ moving past you every single day, then why is it that the ‘him’ of our society feels the need to hold a sociopathic stare as she passes by in the markets and streets?



The Essence of Life

Go back in time to a dream you first saw. That dream which you confused with reality. Or was it a reality which you perceived to be a dream? The souls exist in the back of your mind, those conversations which supposedly happened in front of your eyes, that house which was once your home, the house which might not exist anymore. Now you go ahead and shut your eyes, you are already living way too many lives. Take a deep breath so that the air may travel to your heart; make this connection to what is a world apart. The past which was once in the innocence of your childhood may show you the intimate threads of connection. You see yourself where and there is where you live, the place where your child self is not at all afraid. He is safer, he is calmer, he is once again curious. He is excited about the future with no memories of the past, and that is the past which you long for, a past which was the present with no memories of the past.

The house that you visualize is yours alone. You live in peaceful solitude, as you visualize your private, warm corners in that dim lit room. You are connected to yourself and your beautiful pure soul. The air is light, blurry is your sight, but it is and will always be yours and yours alone.

It’s vast, it’s far and wide. It is as you saw it as a little knight, fighting your emotions, accepting what you have without the knowledge of it being real or a dream perhaps. The movement is smooth; you walk through that room, up the stairs as you rise, the compassion, passion and butterflies. You are eager, curious to explore that house; a space which you think is only without. But, you have to know, just, need to know, the house is not without, but a space within. Every dream you ever had with open eyes, every second you were lost in the well of thought, you explored the depths of your own existence and reunited the fragments of the treasure of memory; the calm and hopeful treasure and the very essence of life.




For Ando, the Church of Light is architecture of duality – the dual nature of existence – solid/void, light/dark, stark/serene.  The coexisting differences leave the church void of any, and all, ornament creating a pure, unadorned space.  The intersection of light and solid raises the occupants’ awareness of the spiritual and secular within themselves.



The One line drawing on the ceiling of Mills College Art Museum. 2010 installation by Chris Fraser is a horizontal aperture. Through the day it rapidly changes the effect of light on the space of size, 17 x 17 x 10’ (LWH).



The church of St Pierre in Firminy. The building is ever-changing with accidental waves of light projected across the walls from refracted sunlight that appear at certain times of the day and year. There are much smaller, circular openings that emulate star constellations twinkling and shimmering as the angle of sunlight changes and as the natural light becomes diffused or direct.

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“A plan of a building should be read like a harmony of spaces in light. Even a space intended to be dark should have just enough light from some mysterious opening to tell us how dark it really is. Each space must be defined by its structure and the character of its natural light.”

The “mysteriousness” of shadow was also closely linked to evoking silence and awe. For Kahn, while darkness evokes the uncertainty of not being able to see, of potential dangers, it also inspires deep mystery. It is in the hands of the architect to evoke silence, secret or drama with light and shadow – to create a “treasury of shadows,” a “Sanctuary of Art.”

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Light Grain is a minimalist residence located in Osaka Japan. The structure is characterized by a mesh metal grate that provides the residents with natural lighting without visual transparency to the pedestrians below. In addition, due to the proximity of neighboring homes, the architects created an interior courtyard to allow for additional illumination and air flow.



 The design of the building uses slits in the roof at the joining of two slabs which leads the formation of apertures leading natural light inside the building in a way that it has a cooling visual effect as well as an abstract light and shade effect.  Light comes from many sources, from the walls, the windows, and even the water. There is a play with reflection and refraction as a result of the water’s effect on the textured walls and the color of the walls. The light then creates an atmosphere that is serene, healing, and luminous; almost mysterious as to where it is coming from, similar to a cathedral.


 The design aims at creating a welcoming world which associates lights and shadows as well as shimmers and calm places in a serene atmosphere. It also aims at emphasizing the fascination generated by rare encounters.  It is rather unusual to find a built archipelago in the sea; it is even more uncommon to see that it is protected by a parasol flooded with a rain of lights. It is both a calm and complex place which clearly stands out in a series of museums that make a point of maintaining their differences and their authenticities.

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