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Category: Memories

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.

Selma and Anniqua in Zoom

Art on Zoom: Falling in love with in-between space

Social Media shows us meticulously curated imagery and art: that perfect face, the choreographed tik tok video, the manipulated political message. Through my art, I hope to uncover the beauty in the hidden imperfections that my mind is not yet trained to see.  The blurriness in my lines indicates my feeling about the nebulous nature of life. I continue to capture the complexity of my culture and background in the images I create.

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.

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.

Vienna

More Startling Discoveries in Magnificent Vienna

From royalty and ordinary folk, to secret Freemasons, revolutionaries, philosophers, politicians, artists and intellectuals, these Vienna cafés hosted them all.

love

A Love that Extends to Everything on this Planet

I pass back through clusters of wild flowers in pastel shades. The scene is reminiscent of a small Church, decorated for a wedding as my daughter’s had been.

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.

Marlena Maduro Baraf author of her memoir At the Narrow Waist of the World,

At the Narrow Waist of the World: a memoir

An excerpt from Marlena Maduro Baraf ‘s memoir At the Narrow Waist of the World, a mother-daughter story and immigrant story that begins in her native Panama.  In this chapter,… Read more At the Narrow Waist of the World: a memoir

A rescued Asiatic black bear at Balkasar Bear Sanctuary [Image by Fakhar-i-AbbasA rescued Asiatic black bear at Balkasar Bear Sanctuary [Image by Fakhar-i-Abbas

Horrors of a bear dance

Reflecting on the interaction of humans and other living beings helps me understand life. That is why I’ve chosen to write about bears as they bridge two of the many places I call home: California and Chakwal, located on the Potohar plateau famous for the Himalayan Salt Range.

The “Jersey Devil” Whisperer

The Jersey Devil Whisperer entertained US Secretaries of State, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, President of the US, John Quincy Adams and other politicians.

A library at home or at home in a library

With so many bookshelves in the background of Zoom calls, it’s clear we like the look, but is it really necessary to horde books?

mi padre fallecido

La presencia de mi padre fallecido: cuentos de lo inesperado

Desde entonces, no he sentido mucha la presencia de mi padre otra vez. Pero cada vez que recuerdo este incidente, casi puedo escucharlo reír, su risa feliz y despreocupada.

mi padre fallecido

The Presence of my Late Father: Tales of the Unexpected

…I have never felt the presence of my late father again. But whenever I remember this incident, I can almost hear him laughing —his carefree, happy laugh.

A happy teenager

A Happy Teenager: How I Integrated into a Different Culture

My stay in London taught me that there was immense beauty in diversity.  How boring would it be if all looked and dressed alike, ate the same food, and had the same culture. But the most important lesson I learnt is that thoughts are conveyed to others as vibes, and not necessarily through interaction. Integration or friendship cannot be rewarding or long-lasting without total sincerity from both sides.

Teacher

On Either Side of the Teacher’s Desk

The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, is one of the many texts I chose for my ESL classes. With a poetic mix of Spanish and English, the story of Esperanza is the story of immigrants and home.

Barbara Jacoby- Childhood Memories for Tillism

Memories of Childhood—Kindheitserinnerungen

Later after my dad passed away, I often sat here with my mom—talking about everything but really nothing much or just sat quietly, enjoying the peaceful view overlooking my hometown.

Four sisters- South Asians in England

South Asians and Swans in Great Britain

But those thoughts can wait. I have other more important decisions to consider. So many ice cream flavors. Which one do I not choose? And at tea time, Battenberg cake. For Sunday lunch shepherd’s pie. Fish and chips served in newspapers with vinegar drizzled all over.

From Asian Mountain Ranges to the Astonishing Deserts of Africa

Gibli رياح القبلى , the Libyan sandstorm, is my worst nightmare. It descends from the highlands of the country making its way to the Mediterranean. It covers everything in its path with a layer of fine red sand.

Tillism: Siddhartha as a boy

The Brilliance of the Sacred Heart of Buddha

The anthem is in Farsi, not Urdu, the national language. We understand a few verses, not all of them, but we know to bow our heads at the end, showing respect to Khuda, Allah, God… Sayyai, Khudae zul jalal.  Protection in the shadow of the Almighty.

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