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.
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.
By Nasser Tufail The day arrives and we both show up early at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, eager, but anxious, about our personal experience of Death in the… Read more Death in the Afternoon: In the Footsteps of Hemingway →
Fernando, who grew up in Argentina, speaks up: I hate the British, he says. I’m surprised by this otherwise mild-mannered student. When I was young, I thought I would kill any British man I met. The Falkland war made me think that way…the society around me made me think that way.
Others in the class join in. Post-revolution China comes up, followed by Movimiento Estudiantil, the1968 student revolution in Mexico to oust the longstanding PRI regime.
For years my label for myself has been musafir, مسافر/यात्री which is the word for traveler in Hindi/Urdu. I grew up in India and since my father was a doctor in the Indian Army, I found myself in a new city and school every two to three years. It was a transitory existence, which I assumed – as any egocentric child – was how the world lived. Seven schools, a couple of universities and many, many homes in many cities later I found myself in a city and home in California, where I have now lived the longest. And the musafir is still here.
It took 25 years for my self-confidence to find a foothold, and 25 years more to ensure permanent stability.
To return to the story of Mabel, she brings over ten books to Patras’ room, and, for weeks, they both argue about their content and style. These intellectual discussions build an underlying tension that is released the day Bokhari falls ill.
A woman, Maria, approached me at the Buddhist temple on Millcreek Drive in Mississauga, Ontario—“I feel I have to talk with you”—and introduced me to a female Buddha with toenails and fingernails painted pink, one foot stepping forward, holding a vase and the wish-fulfilling jewel of the enlightened mind.