Saturday, July 14, 2018

Kafka and the Doll story

The following story is attributed to German short story writer Franz Kafka (here) - who died young at the age of 39 but left deep marks on modern story writing with amalgams of abstract and realities.
The punch line of the following story is very remarkable.
Franz Kafka, the story goes, encountered a little girl in the park where he went walking daily. She was crying. She had lost her doll and was desolate.
Kafka offered to help her look for the doll and arranged to meet her the next day at the same spot. Unable to find the doll he composed a letter from the doll and read it to her when they met.
“Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write you of my adventures.” This was the beginning of many letters. When he and the little girl met he read her from these carefully composed letters the imagined adventures of the beloved doll. The little girl was comforted.
When the meetings came to an end Kafka presented her with a doll. She obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “my travels have changed me... “
Many years later, the now grown girl found a letter stuffed into an unnoticed crevice in the cherished replacement doll. In summary it said: “every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

Friday, July 13, 2018

Second Innings - 2

For some reason, discussion on 'second innings' (here here) took its own life among our friends. One colleague sends the following to me which is worth sharing.

Beautiful poem by Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945) 
Poet, novelist, essayist, and musicologist.
One of the founders of Brazilian modernism.

MY SOUL HAS A  HAT (also known as THE VALUABLE TIME OF MATURITY) - Translation from original version

"I counted my years and discovered that I have fewer years left to live compared to the time I have lived until now.

I feel like a boy who won a package of treats.

The first he eats with pleasure, but when he realizes that there are a few left, he then starts to contemplate upon them.

I no longer have time for endless meetings that achieve nothing as statuses, rules, procedures and regulations are discussed.

Neither do I have time to give encouragement to absurd people who, despite their age, have not grown up.

I don't have time to deal with mediocrity.

I don't want to be in meetings where egos parade.

I won't tolerate manipulators and opportunists.

I am bothered by envious people, seeking to discredit the able ones, to usurp their places, talents and accomplishments.

I hate to witness the ill effects, generated by the struggle for a better job, among ambitious people.
I detest people who do not argue about content but titles. My time is too precious to discuss titles.
I want the essence, my soul is in a hurry. Not many treats are left in the packet.

I want to live among human people, very human. People, who can laugh at their mistakes.
Who do not become full of themselves because of their triumphs.
Who do not consider themselves elite, before they have really become one.
Who do not run away from their responsibilities.
Who defend human dignity.
Who do not want anything else but to walk along with truth, righteousness, honesty and integrity.

The essential thing is what makes life worthwhile.

I want to surround myself with people who can touch the hearts of others.
People who despite the hard knockouts of life, grew up with a soft touch in their soul.

Yes, I am in a hurry. So that I can live with the intensity, which only maturity can give me.

I intend not to waste any of the treats I have left. I am sure they will be more exquisite compared to the ones I have eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

I hope yours is the same, because the end will come anyway..."

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Mari Khala aur shukrane ki nafal namazain

Mari khala ka asli naam shayed kisi ko nahi malum magar hamare saare mohalle main isi naam se jaani jaati thin.

Allah jhoot na bulwaye, mari apa ki 4 betian - aur sab ki sab shuru se hi shakal-o-surat se gai guzri thiN. Aik to shakal surat kum uper se maali halat bhi naped. Mari khala ke mian domicile office ke bahir typing ka kaam kerte the. Mari khala ko is ka aehsaas bohat achhi tarah se tha, isi liye pehli beti abhi solah baras ki bhi nahi hui ke us ke liye rishte dhundhne shuru ker diye. 

Phir aaye din ye sab sunne main aata ke - aaj laRki ko koi  paan wala dekhne aaya magar mana ker ke chala gaya. Kabhi kisi cycle wale ki to kabhi kisi doodh dahi ki  dukan wale ki khabar aati.

Betion ko bhi is baat ka aehsaas tha. Unon ne saari tawajah taalim ki taraf laga di. Aur mohalle main kabhi apne kirdar pe bhi koi harf naa aane diya. 

Jab bhi betion ka koi rishta pakka nahi hota, mari khala shukrane ki 2 nafal namaz parh leti. Aik din main ne amma se poocha ye kiya maajra hai. Rishta to pakka nahi huwa, phir shukraane ki namaz kiun? Amma batati, mari khala kehti hain: mere khuda ka koi bhed ho ga, us ki khushi main meri khushi - is niyyat se rab ka shukar ada kerti hain ke us na shayed betion ko kisi azab se bacha liya. 

Hum mulhid type insaan the: sir jhatak ke aage barh jaate.

Main America aane se 10 baras pehle tak ye silsila dekhta raha. 

Peechle hafte mera Pakistani doctors (APPNA) ki meeting ke liye Dallas jaana huwa to wahan un ki dusri beti nuzhat aik doctor sahab ki biwi ke tor pe mili. Us ne bataya saari bahanain aik se barh ker aik jagah biah di gai hain. Jab charon betioN ki shadi ho gai to mari khala aur un ke shohar shukraane ke tor per haj bhi ker aaye. 

Namaz to main aaj bhi nahi paRta - bus shumaila (here) ki di hui jaa'namaz ko  saath saath liye phirta hun. Jab Dallas se wapasi ke liye jahaz main betha to bohat der tak Mari khala aur un ki shukranye ki nafal namazoN ke baare main sochta raha - ke ya Allah! - kiya yahi woh tere gaazi aur pur-asraar bande hain - jin ka maujizaa saamne to rehta hai per nazar nahi aata!

On a side note: Indian flick Sanju (here) is a well-made movie 10/10

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Fruits of marriage

"Does marriage really help?"
"Only those get the fruits of marriage who hang to it till old age".

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Interesting statement

I am not sure if the following is from Banu apa or not but given our culture seems like a right advice:

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

On 'Jurassic Park'

Though I wanted to watch Sanju but my daughter took me to watch 'Jurassic Park'.

Main ne jab bhi 'Jurassic Park' ka koi naya sequel dekha, aik sabaq hamesah tazah huwa ke :: "Zindagi apna raasta khud dhundh leti hai"

'Jurassic Park' ka naya sequel 'Fallen Kingdom' - woh baat to na thi jo har 'Jurassic Park' main hoti hai  (fell short of expectations),  - but the punch line was extremely interesting.

"Animals of natural habitat do not need need us. Actually, what they need is our absence!"

Trailer here:

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Irfan Khan says..

In various ways, Irfan Khan (diagnosed with a high-grade neuroendocrine tumor) is one of my idols. He is one of my favorite people. He is a big actor as he is a well-read, an intelligent and a deep person. When 'anony' posted this article in comments from Times of India, it took me various days to absorb the depth of it. I was saddened for few days, then astonished and eventually, I was more humble. Irfan Khan said:

"In this chaos, shocked, afraid and in panic, while on one of the terrifying hospital visits, I blabber to my son, “The only thing I expect from ME is not to face this crisis in this present state. I desperately need my feet. Fear and panic should not overrule me and make me miserable.”

"As I was entering the hospital, drained, exhausted, listless, I hardly realised my hospital was on the opposite side of Lord’s, the stadium. The Mecca of my childhood dream. Amidst the pain, I saw a poster of a smiling Vivian Richards..... Once, while standing on the balcony of my hospital room, the peculiarity jolted me. Between the game of life and the game of death, there is just a road. On one side, a hospital, on the other, a stadium. As if one isn’t part of anything which might claim certainty – neither the hospital, nor the stadium. That hit me hard."

"I was left with this immense effect of the enormous power and intelligence of the cosmos... For the first time, I felt what 'freedom' truly means. It felt like an accomplishment. As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it. My confidence in the intelligence of the cosmos became absolute. I feel as if it has entered every cell of mine."

You can read the full article:

Monday, June 25, 2018

Aik line ka woh khat

Residency ker ke hum saare dost apni apni zindagi ki bhag doR main juth gaye. Hamare clinical group ka aik laRka Rehan (Renu) sab se alag apne doctor mamu ke haan East Africa chala gaya. Renu aur meri aik alag munfarad 'connection' thi. Use achuti kahanian, novels, mazamin aur latife paRhne ka shoq tha - aur mera bhi kuch aesa hi haal tha. Sab se pehle hum aesi koi cheez aik dusre se sab se pehle share kerte. 

Aik roz America main residency ke second year - mujhe aik khat mila: 
Poora warq khali tha: Sirf darmiyan main likha tha:

"Haramzade bohat yaad aate ho"

 Aaj bhi jab koi dost zindagi se dur nikal jaata hai, dil main chupke se, akele main usey yaad ker ke kehta hun: 'Haramzade/zadi bohat yaad aate(i) ho'

(Is email ne khat likhne ki saari khubsurat yaadoN ko mita diya).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Rat Race

Zindagi main seekha hua koi sabaq barson yaad rehta hai
- aur uski qeemat ka andaza bohat der chalne ke baad hota hai

Jab America ke liye residency kerne ke liye rawana ho raha tha to main apne kuch close teachers se milne gaya - UK se aaye hamare aik teacher ne naseehat ki ke:

"Wahan aik 'rat race' ho gi - magar yaad rakhna :: neither you are a rat nor you are in a race - agar ye yaad rakho ge to sab kuch theek theek chalta rahe ga"

Aaj America main 25 baras guzarne ke baad sochta hun, is se ziyada sach baat koi na thi.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


(I wrote the following post about 25 years ago after graduating from M.B., B.S.  Few days back as I decided to shred many of my old writings, I found the following. I kept it to post for today)

Koi 5 baras rozana - hum medical college ke darwaze pe us buRhe ghoR-gaaRi wale ko us laRki ko utaarte dekha kerte. Maile kuchele kapRe hote - magar aankhoN main aik chamak

Woh laRki ko utaar ker - us waqt tak intazar kiya kerta - jab tak laRki college ke andar nahi paunch jaati. 

Kuch laRke us pe ghatya qism ke jumle bhi kas dete - magar woh darguzar ker ke guzar jaata.

Isi tarah ka silsila sham ko bhi chalta.

Graduation wale din pata laga - woh koi aur nahi, us laRki ka baap tha 
Us laRki ne 4 subjects main gold medal liye - 
Jab stage pe woh gold medal le rahi thi - main babaji ko dekh raha tha - us ki aankhon ki chamak das guna barh chuki thi - aur honton pe sikandere azam jesi faatihana muskurahat thi

 - aur main dil main sochta raha: Zindagi ka asal sikandere azam ye buRha shaks hai jis ne din raat haq halal ki paaii paii jama ker ke aulad ko yahan paunchaya.

Note: There was no father's day on those days. But I guess this post deserves to be saved.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

RIP Anthony Bourdain

"Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go....The more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough -- to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. 

 I grew up in the leafy green bedroom community of Leonia, New Jersey. I did not want for love or attention. My parents loved me. Neither of them drank to excess. Nobody beat me. God was never mentioned -- so I was annoyed by neither religion nor church nor any notions of sin or damnation..

I used to believe that the human race as a whole was basically a few steps above wolves. ... I have since come to believe -- after many meals with many different people in many, many different places -- that though there is no shortage of people who would do us harm, we are essentially good. That the world is, in fact, filled with mostly good and decent people who are simply doing the best they can. Everybody, it turns out, is proud of their food (when they have it). They enjoy sharing it with others (if they can). They love their children. They like a good joke. Sitting at the table has allowed me a privileged perspective and access that others, looking principally for "the story," do not, I believe, always get. … People, wherever they live, are not statistics. They are not abstractions".

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A quote

It took me a while to understand the depth of this quote but when I did - it hit me hard.

"Once I get convinced that sooner or later, eventually I will die, everything became secondary" ~ Anonymous

Saturday, June 09, 2018

A Slap Which Was Worth Millions

(As told)

I was 9 years old when I had a school final results function. I stood first in the class and I expect my father to show up on that day. I told my mother: 'Dad is so stupid'. As soon as those words came out of my mouth, my mother slapped me very hard. She said: "Did you ever notice that all other kids in your class has box of color pencils with only 12 colors but you have a box with 24 color pencils. This is all because your father works in a factory all day long".

Italian culture was not very different from your Pakistani culture. It was a society where men were suppose to be the breadwinner of the house. My father was a poor but a very hardworking man. As a child I saw my father waking up at 4 in the morning, doing his college assignment which he attend on Sundays and going out of house at 6 in the morning to be a factory worker all day long.

That slap was worth millions.

As now I am a grown up married women with two kids, I know when my husband is home after all day of work, he was out there to provide for us. He is not a very romantic person but it does not bother me. No! he does not bring flowers and cards for me. He seldom says: I love you. But I know he perspire his sweat and blood to keep our household happy.

I needed that slap!

Monday, June 04, 2018

Siyām (Fasting)

If you remember few time back, I did one post on "root-of-word-ramadhan" (here). So as our guide Professor Ramadhan explain to us the root meaning of word "ramadhan", he also went on talking on word: "Sawm" (صَوْم)  or plural Siyām (صِيَام). The 3 letters root of word "sawm" in Arabic is "Swad-Waw-Meem" (ص‬ و‬ م‬).

He said, everybody knows that 'Sawm' means to 'stay away' but according to him this is the partial meaning of sawm. Actually, sawm is an extreme word and full implied meaning is "absolutely stay away and flee from". It argues that not only to stay away from bad deeds but trying to move away from them, so you don't do it later when fasting month is over.

Later as internet took off, I found people doing 100s of explanations from extreme orthodox to extreme liberal. But I though it would be nice to share his argument as I didn't see this meaning anywhere else.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

First Innings

(After posting my sentiments about second innings - previous post - I expressed the same sentiments in a small iftar party, as coincidently our host was an Ob/Gyn from Pakistan who had to give up her profession after migration and became a housewife. One mutual family friend broke down with tears in eyes and told her story. Luckily, her spouse was not present).

"Aap second innings ki baat ker rahe hain, yahan to first innings hi hamari zaat ko kha gai. Main 'imported bride' hun. Main apne shohar ki dusri biwi hun. Unhon ne yahan pehli shadi green card ke liye ki, bachhe bhi huwe aur phir talaq hui. Woh Pakistan aaye dusri shadi kerne. Hum Panjab ki aik choti si tehsil liaqatpur main rehte the. Pakistan ke south panjab main gurbaat ka aaj bhi wesa hi raaj hai. Hum das bhai bhen, 4 behnain thin. Rishta aaya to ghar walon ne jhat pat biah diya. Yahan aayi to sab kuch tha. Behtreen ghar, mahengi gaari aur har weekend pe doctors ki dawatain. Aap mujeh 'trophy wife' keh sakte hain. DawatoN main, facebook pe aur baatoN main sab kuch achha nazar aata hai - Magar band darwazoN ke peeche main 20 baras se aik ghulam ki zindagi guzar rahi hun. Main kahan, kab aur kis se baat karun gi, kese kapre pehnun gi, kis store tak jaun gi - ye sab unhoN ne decide kerna hai. Har raat mera mobile phone check hota hai. Aulad paida kerne ki ijazat nahi mili. Shohar ko meri aur mere khandan ki saari kamzorion ka ilm hai, is liye kuch keh bhi nahi sakti. - Magar ye sab kuch gawara tha - ke chalo har shadi main koi na koi baat aage peeche hoti hai. Magar main us waqt toot gai - jab mere walid beemar paRe the. Main ghar main sab se choti  beti aur walid ki jaan thi. Woh paigam bhijwate rahe ke aik dafa aa ker hamare marne se pehle surat dikha jao. Main apne shohar se Pakistan jaane ke liye haat joRti rahi magar unhon ne ijazat nahi di. Walid chale gaye phir walida bhi isi tarah guzar gain. Ab to dukh bhi nahi hota. Khushian bhi dam toR gai hain. Umar guzar gai hai. Bas kabhi dil bhar aata hai to ghar ke aangan main khari ho kar aasman ki taraf dekhti hun - to do sitare saath saath nazar aate hain - apne waldain se yun batain ker ke dil halka ker leti hun. Ab to second innings ki bhi koi aas nahi - aur aarzoo bhi nahi".

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Second Innings

America main mujeh aik nahi bulke kai aese log mile jo apne mulk main aik behtreen zindagi guzar rahe the, aur phir halat ki wajah se yahan aaye aur ab unhe zindagi guzaarne ke liye 'odd jobs' kerni paR rahi hain.

Ye woh log hain jo apni zindagi ki second innings khel rahe hain.

- Chicago main aik russian neurosurgeon se mulaqat hui, jise 'janitor' ka kaam kerna paR raha tha
- Dallas main gas station ke counter  pe aik Pakistani orthopedic surgeon se mulaqat hui
- Toronto main aik Bangladeshi pharmacist se cab main mulaqat hui
- Houston main Karachi University ki aik microbiologist PhD professor ko Phlebotomist ka kaam kerte dekha
- LA main aik Iranian writer ko dry cleaning pe kapre sort out kerte dekha

Main aksar un logon ke baare main socha kerta - Ye log "events of life" ki wajah se - ab zindagi ki 'second innings' khel rahe the. Main aksar sochta: In main kiya cheez mushtarak hai

In sab main aik baat mushtarak thi - ye sab apni 'second innings' ki job bhi bari imandaari aur mehnat se ker rahe the - shayed afsos ka shaaiba zaroor ho, magar nadamat nahi thi - ye sab ab bhi apni zaat main utne hi purwaqar the. Shayed maali tor per gareeb the magar andar ki daulat wese hi thi

Aur shayed ye us kirdaar ki taqat se thi - jo ilm ke noor se aati hai

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tasmanian Devil

Is kurrae-arz ke kisi kone main aik janwar rehta hai, jise 'Tasmanian Devil" kehte hain. Is janwar ko khuda na la-tadad khubioN se nawaza hai magar woh un tamam khubion se shaitaini kaam leta hai, isi liye use devil kehte hain - Jese us ke aik niwaale ki tawat 1200 pound/sq inch hoti hai aur us ke daant is qadar tez hote hain ke, ye shikar ke gudoN (bone marrow) tak utar jaate hain - magar khata phir bhi ye murdaar (dead bodies) hi hai. Ye to sirf aik misaal hai. Aaap jitna ziyada is janwar ke baare main paRhte  jaayain ge, aap ka mun hairat se khulta chala jaaye ga! 

Is janwar ne kai zoologists, anthropologists or ecologists ko tajassus ka shikaar kiya hai - Is per bohat kuch likha bhi gaya hai.

Is ke baare main, main jitna paRhta gaya mujhe aesa laga ye hum insaanoN ki misaal hai - jise "ahsane taqweem" ki meeras bulke mairaj pe tarasha gaya aur phir "asfala safleen" ki gherayion main utar diya gaya.

Waqt mile to paRhiye ga - aur sir dhuniye ga - ke hum insaan bhi kese apni khubion ko shaitain aamal ke liye waqf kiye rakhte hain.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

"so much resting on such a simple thing"

(What a beautiful write-up. I was in ave for few moments after reading this)

 "The nature of a baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (a “hypoplast,” as we call them) means that oxygen—the life-giving, lifesaving drug that we routinely use during medical emergencies—can kill. There is a tiny duct that is helping to keep the baby alive, their fetal underwater circulation. Usually, this closes a few days after birth, but Baby Murphy’s duct needs to stay open. Oxygen can speed up the closure of this hole. If these babies cry, they let in too much oxygen. Much of a nurse’s job caring for a pre-stage-one Norwood procedure—the first of three major replumbing operations to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome—is to make sure these babies don’t cry: so much resting on such a simple thing”

Excerpt From The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story
Christie Watson


Friday, May 18, 2018

Selfless vs a sacrificial lamb

(found on the internet and liked it)

A long long time ago, my husband, our two sons and I had gone out for an ice-cream treat. It was sometime when I was always thinking of curbing unnecessary expenditure.

As a selfless person, who was too much in love with her family to deny them of any pleasure, I always chose to sacrifice my own excesses. And it didn’t even feel like a sacrifice ever, because I was a woman of very few needs/ wants/ desires. So, when my husband asked each one of us to choose our favorite flavor of ice-cream, I responded as usual, “I won’t have any.” The boys enjoyed one round and ordered another; my response remained the same, “I don’t want any.” I was happy in my family’s happiness. I was happy that my not indulging in pleasure was perhaps ensuring some more goodies in the future for my dear ones.

But my husband looked at me and said, “Please don’t do this to yourself and to us. I want a happy wife; not a sacrificial lamb. I have seen that too much sacrifice eventually leads to bitterness and victim mentality. And I sure as hell do not want you to develop that. You see, after a period of time, the boys and I will stop asking you for your choice, because we will assume that you don’t want it; we will take you for granted and subconsciously start treating you as a doormat. It will then hurt you.. and you will feel miserable and unimportant. You will think that we don’t care about you. While in truth we would be behaving naturally, knowing from experience that you don’t care for yourself. That your wishes are not important. So, I suggest that you always take your share and then if you really don’t like it, share it with someone who does. That will be good for all of us. You will learn how to claim your importance in your own and our eyes and we will always ask you. There will be happiness all around.”

His talk made sense to me. This made me take a re-look at the word 'selfless', equating it with self-sacrifice. That day the meaning of these words opened up for me!

Self-sacrifice ......... is not the balanced way!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Zikr aur Sabr

"Sir! kiya zikr se Allah ka deedar ho jaata hai"

"Mere bachhe! Deedar na bhi ho to zikr se kai aur daulatain haat aa jaati hain. Dukh main marham parh jaata hai, sukh main itminaan ki gheraii paatal ko chu leti hai - aur sab se barh ker sabr haat aa jaata hai. Anxiety kam ho jaati hai. Tabiyat main TehraO aa jaata hai. "Red signal" pe ya traffic main phans gaye, mobile ki jagah zikr shuru ker do. "Bank" ki line lambi ho gayi, zikr chalu ker do".

"Sach Sir! ye sab asani se ho jaata hai?

"Boht asani se - bas uska koi naam jo achha lage chun lo. Aur 3 mahine aazma ke dekho. Tawaf ki ruh badal jaati hai. Qibla khud seedha ho jaata hai. Chaal halki parh jaati hai. 

'Driving tickets' bhi nahi milti!"