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Toledo, Spain

Toledo, Spain: the desire to experience its unique soul

“First, tell me about the Visigoths while we walk to Rome.” Anniqua looks up at me from the old Roman road next to the mosque in Toledo, Spain.

Troubling Identities and the Minds that Shape them

“I want to shed identities that no longer reflect who I am. I want to get off the plank with the nail, and stop spinning with my irrelevant selves.”

The Art of Lying

The Art of Lying

“But you have a way of saying things that makes the world seem like a wonderful place. That’s as good as lying from where I stand.”

Memoir

Memoir excerpt: When our deepest secrets are exposed

Was she cursed because once she had garnished a pot of lentils with a fried gecko? A gecko that had fallen off the wall into the frying pan? It had been an accident but it had cost her a much needed job.

Afternoon Verse in Cádiz

The sunshine, the bubbles, the cathedral, and the history of Cádiz inspire me. And in From Cádiz to Málaga I pay homage to Gloria Fuentes, Carlos Edmundo de Ory, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Allen Ginsberg. All these poets are connected through time, space, and words.

The Poetry of Sala de Dos Hermanas (the Hall of Two Sisters)

Boabdil’s mother, Aixa, lived in the Hall of Two Sisters, Sala de Dos Hermanas, named for two marble flagstones on the floor. But it’s the ceiling that takes your breathe away.

Simone de Beauvoir and Margaret Atwood Travel with me to London

Simone de Beauvoir is a stranger to me. Her exotic name is familiar, but I know nothing of her work, until, of course, I pick up the Economist at the airport, and open it at the review Fiction, feminism and philosophy-Simone de Beauvoir’s lost novella of friendship.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost: End of Glorious Muslim Rule in Spain

The surrender of Alhambra would be the final war of ‘Reconquista’, with Spain now essentially seeing itself as the guardian of Catholicism.

El Escorial: Where we Begin to Discard the Non-Essentials

The mathematically precise splendor of Monasterio Real de San Lorenzo de El Escorial pulls me through the last stretch of our uphill walk from the Phillip IItrain station. It’s exquisite.

Confession by Fatima Ijaz

Confession

It was in the days of love that I first met him by chance. It was a frugal evening with the wind keeping tune with my heart-beat; nothing was said out loud, almost like the mahogany on the skies. Raqs.

Letters from my brother

Letters from my Brother: Tale of the Pantaloon (پتلوناں مضبوط)

“Some holes in the heart are impossible to fill,” wrote a dear friend to me once. It is especially true when you have lost someone who happened to be the centre of your universe, as my eldest brother was mine. May he rest in peace, although, knowing him, he must be regaling his fellow heaven-dwellers with his yarns, and laughing his hearty laugh out loud. Here are a couple of his letters for us to join in.

I Fell in Love with the Moon

I fell in love with the moon when I was five years old. My mother forced me to sit still in front of the television and watch as the Eagle crept down and settled on the powdery surface of the moon.

Summer knitting

Summer Knitting: How to ride out a Fiery August

“But…” I complete her unfinished sentence, “this is what I do. I can’t help myself. Winter crochet or summer knitting, it doesn’t matter. I create.”

Tillism: Karin Michaëlis i haven med sin hund Mika" is licensed under CC Dangerous age

Women of the Dangerous Age

In Danish, Den Farlige Alder, in German, Das Gefährliche Alter, and in English, The Dangerous Age. Karin Michaëli writes about it inThe Dangerous Age: Letters and Fragments from a Woman’s Diary. Dangerous because Elsie Lindtner divorces her husband, attempts other relationships, and spends the rest of her life traveling the world, risky choices in the 1920s.

Malaga

A lesser-known Malaga – Fascinating people on the Costas

Malaga is a vibrant cultural hub with a fusion of ancient and modern heritage spread over a 7,000 year old past since the Phoenicians.

Flight of the Bumblebee & Classical Qawwali: unparalleled inspiration

LISTEN: Malaga 2021 A whiff of a familiar scent can immediately take you to the past — sounds do the same: music, a familiar accent, even the faintest sigh. The sound… Read more Flight of the Bumblebee & Classical Qawwali: unparalleled inspiration

Anniqua Rana Tillism in Spain

Getting to know Spain through books and poetry

We continued our trip and I tried to lose myself in Washington Irving’s The Alhambra: a Series of Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards, which was published in 1832. I held on to it to force myself into the magical space that I remembered from that black and white photograph in my sixth grade reader.

Majnūn and Laila

The boy who called himself Majnūn (مجنون)

Here was my very own Eliza Doolittle, the Audrey Hepburn to my Rex Harrison. My Fair Lady in person. What all I could do with her. I was rip-roaring to get started.

Majnūn and Laila

The boy who called himself Majnūn (مجنون) – part 2

‘Majnūn’ was an unflattering epithet in the social circles that I frequented. The word alluded disparagingly to a failed lover, a good-for-nothing outcast.

Wonderful Memories of Dilip Kumar’s Movies

I snuck out with one of my cousins in the afternoon. We were in my maternal grandparents house in Quetta. While everyone was having a siesta, we found our way to DELIGHT cinema which was less than a kilometer away and I watchedmy first movie TARANA,ترانہ तराना, starring Dilip Kumar.

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