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Category: Literature & Language

letter writing Jhanavee

A Little Girl discovers the Powerful Art of Letter Writing

As I progressed to middle school and the pangs of adolescence set in, I gradually became known as the agony aunt of letters. Boys in my class who bunked classes to avoid a test or simply avoid being scolded for not completing an important homework started demanding my attention. They wanted me to write their leave letters for them.

The Little Prince and the Baobab Trees of Africa

From where I sit, I can see cacti from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. There are succulents from all over the world. I think to myself, these plants didn’t come here of their own free will. And I wonder how many did not survive this transplantation? I’m looking at the living, not the dead.

Portugal

Portugal – Its Stories and Legacy as a Historic Maritime Empire

I am particularly fascinated by a three-story high, one-meter wide, Casa Escondida (Hidden House) which stands between a Carmelite convent and the Igreja do Carmo for priests. There is nothing spectacular about the tiny house that stands between them, except for the fact that it was made to prevent fraternizing between the nuns and the priests. I want to know more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Me and Don Quixote Don Quijote

Don Quijote el gran caballero andante, Sancho, y yo

En esos momentos es cuando me gustaba ir al encuentro de los molinos en lo alto del cerro para sentarme a los pies de” esos gigantes con aspas” sintiendo que todos mis problemas iban a ser triturados por las ruedas del molino y lanzados al viento que los alejaría de mi al infinito de esa llanura castellana sin fin.

Me and Don Quixote Don Quijote

Don Quixote the great knight-errant, Sancho, & me

I enjoyed going to meet the windmills at the top of the hill to sit at the feet of “those giants with blades” feeling that all my problems could be ground down in the wheels of the mill and thrown to the wind that would take them far from me into the infinite space of that endless Castilian plain.

Salman Kureishi on Faiz

Persistence of Memory –Culture and Partition in the Poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz

In Blackout, Faiz mixes images of Muslim and Hindu sacred origins as a symbolic defiance of the Partition. In the lyrical and romantic poem Ya’d’ (Memory or Remembrance), the pain of separation from the beloved (Jan) and exile (fira’q & hijr) also represent a yearning for the pre-Partition problematic, undivided self. In these lyrical poems, Faiz constantly raises questions of ‘home’ and ‘exile’, that defy the space of separation of the two nation-states.

Fearless Dreams of Selma and Abidah

Fearless Dreams: an outstanding life, a brilliant mind

I can tell by the way Abidah Puhpo speaks, how proud she is of her uncles’ accomplishments, but she herself is no less accomplished. Fluent in five languages, she has translated one of my books into Urdu. Her choice of words has made my stories come alive. They sound better than my English words. She is the keeper of our family stories. Her memory is flawless. I watch her speak and wonder how she will narrate her own story. I want to know more about her herstory.

The Ridgeway

The Wonderful Ridgeway: On the Oldest Road in Britain

The only sound was of the wind, soughing through the firs, standing fair and square to the wind with the cones firmly attached despite the efforts of the wind.

learn a foreign language

How keeping a diary can help adults learn a foreign language

CLICK HERE: https://theconversation.com/how-keeping-a-diary-can-help-adults-learn-a-foreign-language-154597

E-Max-Ernst-Leonora-in-the-Morning-Light-1940-Detail-by-Cea.-is-licensed-under-CC-BY-2.0

How to end a story? And other fascinating thoughts

The “open-endedness” of the The Hearing Trumpet by British writer, Leonora Carrington, represents life. In the afterword to the newest edition, Polish Nobel Laurette, Olga Tokarczuk, praises the “wild metaphysics” of the story as well as its open-endedness. Here Tokarczuk questions what we look for when we read a story, and then answers that question, thus: “We are seeking a shared communal order, each of us a stitch in a piece of knitted fabric.” As readers, then, we are knitting ourselves into the yarn, till the end and beyond.

Isabella Hammad

From Palestine to Paris: The Parisian by Isabella Hammad

Undocumented immigrants in the US, persecuted minorities of Pakistan, people nostalgic for life under tyranny in Eastern Europe, how do we empathize with those who experience such trauma? Journalists tell us what happens to them; poets, artists, and fiction writers make us feel with them. So if you’ve been following the latest news about Palestine, and you want to feel with the people of Palestine, consider reading or listening to Isabella Hammad’s The Parisian.

Wild Sea and the Milky Way Athwart the Island of Sado Series: The Haiku Series, #4 Edition: 17 of 50 Portfolio: Haiga Portfolio Stanton Macdonald-Wright (United States, Virginia, Charlottesville, 1890-1973) United States, 1966-1967 Prints; woodcuts Woodcut Sheet: 21 3/8 × 17 3/4 in. (54.29 × 45.09 cm) Image: 19 7/8 × 15 7/8 in. (50.48 × 40.32 cm) Gift of Modernage Photography Service, Inc. (M.85.215.4) Prints and Drawings

Because some people like to watch the world learn

araumi ya
Sado ni yokotau
amanogawa
the rough sea
stretching out towards Sado
the Milky Way

Near Delhi gate in Lahore - Victory

Victory though verse in Lahore and Delhi

The cities also house two literary shrines. In Lahore, Urdu Short Story writer, Saadat Hasan Manto is buried. And in Delhi is the mazar of the father of Urdu poetry, Mirza Assad Ullah Khan Ghālib. They lived in different times but they are connected by the words they wrote.

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