of pregnant silences and abortions thereof


it has been said that attempts at creativity, like writing, revive, and occasionally even resurrect, the dying (or dead, depending on how deep your faith is) brain cells that are the collateral damage of the mental exhaustion that goes along with the husool-e-rizq-e-halal policy that is the bane (and also the salvation) of my brothers-in-faith and, more precisely, my brothers-in-faith-and-profession in the four to six month stretch we loosely call the busy season. there is also the fact that the loss of focus can be at least partly attributed to external depressants like that traitor called fate and his machinations to interrupt the orderly flow of my largely regretless single life by injecting large quantities of regret in the form of certain someones showing up where you least expected them – or wanted them; there obviously being more truth in the rule of “out of sight out of mind” than there is in the one which goes “absence makes the heart grow fonder” – but fate and its machinations are not something i like to dwell on not only because that merely shatters my own belief in my guiltlessness but also because the public image that i force myself to live up to is one of unbounded carefree-ism (if there is such a word) and happy-go-lucky idiocy since that, to put it in bollywood producer terms, is what the public wants to see.

i was assuming sentences in excess of 150 words like the second of those two would also help me get there, but sadly that is not the case.

and so, while random recollections of events in my life hardly qualify as creativity – unless of course you concede that abstract art is, in fact, art; and we all know that i will concede no such thing – writing this blog is about the only thing i do that garners public attention apart from my renditions of ali azmat in what can be most politely described as “the voice that came a generation too early” and perhaps more accurately as something that sounds more like ali azmat’s hair dryer (and yes i know he’s bald) than the man himself; i am trying to rehabilitate myself by writing this monument to inanity in order to revitalize body and mind which, if i am not mistaken, is the precise job description of that empty can of red bull in the dustbin.

at least i’m not the only one failing to live up to expectations.

(just so that you can’t say i didn’t warn you, red bull is not suitable for the species of man known as phenylketonuric. apparently, you’re supposed to know if you fit the bill.)

but we were talking of expectations. and dearth of talent in the performing arts. and someones who refuse to be forgot. and unconnected as they all seem to be, you can make a story out of that at any time of the week. yeah, we were also talking about creativity and bollywood productions. and even if i didn’t expressly mention it, of reality. which is just another creative bollywood production along the aforementioned plotline. even if it isn’t sponsored by red bull.

so you come to the point where it’s between the two people and the chapattis and ridiculously delicious paalak chicken. and the innocent seductiveness of those open tresses. and the eyes. and being in the same situation again where there’s so much to say and so much to take back and not doing either and bottling up what you feel just like you did ever since you were informed that such feeling are not welcome and cannot be reciprocated and should not mess with the order of life for the party of the second part. and the losing of balance that naturally comes with these things. and while “why regain it?” is the typically cheesy bollywood response that sounds appropriate at times like these, you don’t think that way after you’ve successfully negotiated teenage and “because i can” ceases to be a legitimate reason for things. and the way all these sentences seem to start with “and” as if the last one left volumes unsaid. which it did.

but i wasn’t going to write about that. not because its not writeable per se, but because there’s no point. and in any case these things look better coming from a ghalib or a faiz because they at least knew how to say what was meant to be said. no sir, madam, or whom it may concern; i’m supposed to be the funny guy. the guy who can be a phenylketonuric and still drink the red bull. the unsuitabilities which may result, of course, being solely for the entertainment of the masses. and so the recountings of my life as detailed in this chronicle are the ones narrated by the xill-e-ilahi in a parallel universe where everyone wears rose tinted glasses and everything is fun and even the marble tombstones in cemeteries have limericks inscribed on them.

i, on the other hand, am not made of marble. but that’s that.

let us look, therefore, at the funny side of things as we always do and move further back in history by two weekends.

my name, as most of you with intelligence quotients knee-high to a very short ant will have figured out, is not muzaffar. unfortunately, not everyone believes that. i always knew there was more to my never attending events in my parents’ social circle than just not feeling like it. there must have been some subconscious realisation that meeting a bunch of old fogeys who assume you know precisely what other old fogeys you haven’t seen for 13 years are up to will call you a muzaffar. now this might be totally acceptable if your name starts with saleem, ends with warraich and has a mustansar thrown in the middle. but when you have a name like mine, being called muzaffar is just not on. and even if that could have been forgiven, being addressed as “ama mian” is totally beyond the pale of acceptability. but circumstances always contrive to push me into situations where i accept invitations to gatherings of this sort and so i humbly expressed my consent when more or less ordered to show up at one of the old uncles’ places a couple of fridays ago.

now all this muzaffaring and ama mian-ing takes its toll. under normal circumstances i’m the guy who remembers you had a purple keychain when you were in the third grade that had a very taiwanese looking tom and jerry on it. but when i’m irritated i tend to mix up the “funerals attended” and “grandkids’ aqeeqas attended” index cards in my head. and so i very calmly told a bunch of shocked geriatrics that a certain ali rehbar passed away a couple of years ago. i then redirected my attention to the dum ka qeema and parathas which are the saving grace of such events before i realized that everyone else on the dastarkhwan had pretty much frozen stiff. a quick assessment of the situation led me to the realisation that infallible as i may be, i had made what my four year old nephew calls a boo-boo. even rowling admitted that magic cannot bring back the dead. so now that i had killed off a hale and hearty dude who looks irritatingly like jon voight would with a beard; i had to stick to my guns and keep him dead. these situations are not easy to maneuver out of. so i described in great detail the story of a sudden heart attack and shocked kids and the like, sparking a long discussion on the causes of heart disease and blood pressure and health care in desiland and of course a unanimous consensus on the virtue and many merits of the deceased. at this juncture, i casually interrupted asked the senior citizen who had raised the initial inquiry how he had come to be acquainted with the late great man.

he worked here with us, beta.

no he didn’t. he spent his whole life in karachi.

of course not. he was here for 13 years

which ali rehbar are you talking about?

which ali rehbar are you talking about?

and so the dead were resurrected. so much for jk rowling. rebirth is ridiculously easy when i’m the one who kills you.

i wish my own dead brain cells would realize that.


11 Responses to “of pregnant silences and abortions thereof”

  1. ama mian muzaffar, ajeeb shaks ho tum; kia behki behki batain ker rahay ho?
    aur kiyun becharay saleem mustanser warraich ko tamasha bana dia hai? acha bhala shareef insaan hai woh…

  2. Whats wrong with Muzaffar, or saleem or Mustansir for that matter. I remember a chacha ji named Mustansir who was quite likable when i was a kid. But then I grew up and he start match making at Geo and now i hate chacha ji … but I digress.

    So why Muzaffar? There must have been a juicy story behind it.

  3. And you said I was morbid. Psh. Takes one to know one, Mr Pointy Headed.

    I shall tell you what I tell my beeble – think happy thoughts. But also, deal with your grief. Playing the clown only delays the processing part. I would know. 😛

  4. 4 Mystic

    Dude work is starting to take its toll on you! You need to let off some steam on a couple of you-know-whos.

    In the mean time, may the wanna be Ali Azmat screaming out “main nayyyyyyyyyyyyy” live on!

    PS: The Ali Azmat living on wish is to be carried out when I am not around 😛

  5. @ hemlock: tum ko us ki kyun fikar hai? kitni dafa kaha hai i don’t like this mingling with other guys. aainda na kehna parey

    @ tazeen: apparently there’s a really good looking guy walking the streets of abu dhabi who goes by the name of muzaffar. i’m supposed to look like him. that’s not what’s odd. the strange thing is the guy is not a mallu. as far as the salim business is concerned, you might want to dig up the archives and look at this.

    @ owl: pointy headed, eh? 🙂

    @ mystic: fikar not, it won’t just be the mein nay next time you’re around. i’ll do the whole damn song!

  6. 6 skzworldofdreams

    Sucks…when you know you want to say somethings but kehne ka koi faida nahin. 😦
    Cheer up mallu mian. 🙂 *just an attempt to make you go 😀 * Just do what u asked me to do…again and again. 🙂
    Waise…saying “oops I’m sorry, I made a mistake” is easier than thinking up a story on such short notice. lol! Nicely done though. 🙂

  7. 7 knicq

    Dum ka qeema and parathas. I am suddenly famished at 2:00 am.

    Silences are tough. Being me, I would add a little unsolicited and completely useless advice here…. but even I know this much. We must all deal with our silences in our own way. I wish you the best.

    Not that anyone can accuse me of ever having been silent. 🙂

  8. 🙂
    i like ur flash back to the past
    the bottling up, the self imposed repression

    ..and u could SO totally give J K ROWLING a RUN FOR HER MONEY!

  9. @ eskay: if you call me a mallu i’ll call you a pomegranate. there is a reason for this that you in your infinite unwisdom will never be able to fathom. 😛

    @ knicq: thank you bro.

    @ batster: if i ever really try my hand at that i know who i’m going to hire for the publicity. 🙂

  10. 10 skzworldofdreams

    Ah! missed this one. Umm ….pomegrenate? :/ A very difficult fruit to unravel but totally worth it and the best out there? 😀 😀 😉

  11. @ sk: i don’t remember why i said that but whatever floats your boat 🙂

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