Flash fiction- I lost it

Standard

I thought that had I lost it. I could feel my pulse quickening, a bulging vein in my forehead threatened to pop.

A bead of perspiration trickled down to the bridge of my nose. A great rage started to rise within me, I had stayed silent for far too long.

They say that there is agony and then there is ecstasy, the former has accompanied me on my travails for as long as I can remember, I don’t believe that I have been fortunate enough to meet the latter.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Flash fiction- it had happened again

Standard

It had happened again! How could I have been so stupid?  I had sworn never to do it again. Worse, I had been caught doing it. They say there are low moments of your life- when you are so humiliated that you wish that the ground opens up and swallows you whole. I had been caught, and even more embarrassing was the fact that I was topless and my companion was standing in the corner of the room sobbing.

I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

I walked into the medical store and slyly slid over a piece of paper to the person at the counter. The shopkeeper was an old acquaintance who gave me a questioning look as if to ask “what the hell?”. I just urged him on with a nod to comply with my request and said” put it in a brown paper bag, don’t want anybody to see it” The shopkeeper gave me a conspirational nod and put the package in a plain brown paper bag and slid it towards me. I hastily shoved the package in my jacket and made my way briskly to my motorbike. I drove back to my house stopping to pick up my companion on the way.

images

I snuck back into my house and checked to see if the coast was clear. Package in hand, I beckoned my companion as I sprinted up the stairs to my room and locked it after she was inside. I drew the curtains to shield the activity in the room from the outside world.

“Hurry!” she said as I opened the package

“Take off your shirt or it will stain!” I nodded and took my shirt off.

“Hurry someone might come soon. Open it! Open it!” she demanded

“Ok ok!” I replied as I took the package out of the brown paper bag.

As I was opening the package someone started banging on the bedroom door.

“Crap! Someone’s here! what do we do?” she asked panicking

“Stay quiet!” I hissed at her

“Open the door! Why is it locked?”

I signalled my companion to stay quiet

“I know you’re in there, I saw your bike outside.” I heard the jingling of keys and the sound of a key being put into the lock. I looked on as my companion scurried to the corner of the room, quietly sobbing, looking for an exit where there wasn’t one.

I grasped the package tightly looking for a place to stash it. Unfortunately, in times of panic rarely do you get a moment of clarity, and I ended up stuffing the package in the shirt that I had taken off.

There was a moment of silence before the voice outside the door said “Fine, if you are not opening the door, I will”

There was click of the lock and the door swung open letting in a rush of daylight which temporarily stung my eyes. My companion stood silently in the corner of the room sobbing.

My brother walked in the room and looked around briefly before he grabbed my shirt which was now stained as the contents of the package had melted. He extracted the package from the shirt, a few drops dropped on the floor.

“how could you let him do this?” he asked my companion

She gave a sheepish smile as she showed him the chocolate I bribed my sister with.

“You are diabetic, you can’t run around doing this anymore!” he yelled at me as he left the room, throwing the ice cream into the dustbin. I stared longingly as the package contents melted into a small puddle at the bottom of the bin.

“Next time don’t take off the shirt!” my sister remarked as she left the room munching away on the chocolate.

That’s her- Flash Fiction

Standard

I did it- I took a leap of faith and followed my heart, a few seconds of courage is all it took. I was feeling elated, the sensation of adrenaline rushing through your veins is indescribable. You feel your heart throbbing right behind your ear, a rush of euphoria fills you.  You can feel the separate drops of sweat forming on your neck; slowly trickling down your nape forming tiny rivulets.

“I take it that she said yes?” Adnan asked

“How did you know?”

Adnan smiled- “It’s practically written on your face. Well that and she told me to cover for her tomorrow afternoon.”

I smiled still basking in the triumphant feeling of a gamble coming off.

“So, where are you taking her?”

I paused- “I don’t know, I didn’t think that she would say yes.”

“How about a movie?” Adnan suggested

“No spending three hours with barely an opportunity to talk?” I countered twirling my moustache.

“How about lunch by the beach and a short walk afterwards?” I asked Adnan.

“Well that’s not a bad idea, but does she know that your interest in her is romantic?” Adnan asked.

“I think so, she did agree to come alone. Plus she also laughed at my jokes”

Adnan stared at me in mock surprise “Never let her go dude.”

“What? I can be funny, can’t I?”

Adnan rolled his eyes and shook his head.

I made my way back to my desk, I had admired for her for the last six months. Granted she was good looking but that wasn’t why I was attracted to her. No it was her kindness that caught my eye. The first time she caught my eye was when she gave half her sandwich to the little errand boy in our office. Though usually a sharp talking individual, the tenderness she showed when giving her food to the little kid was heart warming.

Over the six month period she regularly shared her lunch with the little boy- Talal was his name. He was around 11 and did the work of a full grown person- serving  tea to the people in the office and making countless runs to the stores for various things.

Our lunch hour started from 1 and ended at 2. Every day at precisely 1.50 when Talal would place the pot of water for the afternoon tea, she would make her way to the little makeshift kitchen counter we had in our office. She would look over her shoulder to check whether anybody was watching, this was my cue to pretend to be engrossed in my desktop, usually it involved counting the number of folders on my desktop.

I used to peek from behind my monitor as she always slid her lunch box to Talal and whisper in a conspirational tone “Talal please clean this” with the emphasis on clean.

The kid always smiled and used to say “Thanks baji!” Then he proceeded to eat whatever tasty morsel was in the box, usually a sandwich.

We made small talk after the first time I saw her doing the lunch thing. There is something about falling for someone, that you start to notice all their small quirks and you like all of them.

Anyways the big day arrived and we both agreed to get our orders to go. We each had a burger in hand as we sat down on some rocks watching the tides break against the rocks further out on shore. The conversation was light and interesting. By around 1.30  she started glancing at her watch and wrapped half her burger and placed it in the paper bag that we had originally gotten our order in. I knew what was coming so I told her ” Don’t worry about Talal today,” she looked a little surprised that I knew about that. ” Today I’ve taken care of it.”

She looked relieved and then I confessed to her that it was the reason I had noticed her.

“Taroo!” was her response to my confession implying that I was a gawker.

She had scrunched her nose squinting at me with her grey eyes.

I tensed up for a bit fearing I had said too much.

“So you don’t think that I am good looking?” She asked with mischief in her eyes

“Lets go, we’ve got to be on time.” I said getting up dusting off the seat of my pants.

“I’m in no hurry” she said

“Well I am- Adnan was supposed to be covering for me, but you asked him first.” I grumpily said.

“Alright, but you didn’t answer my question, you don’t think that I am good looking?”

“You’re just fishing for compliments” I smirked. “Besides, I don’t think it makes a lot of difference whether I think you are good looking or not”

“Well,” she hesitated and then said “It makes a lot of difference to me,” her expression was serious now.

“You look like the most beautiful girl in the world,” I said hoping she would catch on to the joke

“Who?” She demanded

“You!” I replied laughing at the ridiculousness of my joke.

She also laughed as we made our journey back to the office. As we were making our way to the kitchen, Adnan came up to us and asked “how was it?” as he fished out his mobile from his pocket, not wanting to sound too enthusiastic in front of her; I just gave him a thumbs up and a nod. She also nodded and said “Best conversation I’ve had in a long time. Thanks for everything” She paused-I didn’t notice Adnan focusing his phone towards me as I focused on her. “Bhai!” (by calling me a brother, she effectively was friend zoning me). My expression turned from attentive to shock to anger.

She and Adnan burst out laughing and she hurriedly added in between peals of laughter “Just kidding!, I wish you could have seen the look on your face!”

Adnan amidst his laughter also managed to get out the words “Actually, you can!” He showed me his phone “I caught it on video!”

There I stood between two laughing people finally able to grasp the concept of bittersweet.

James Bhand (A Pakistani version of the world’s most famous secret agent James Bond)

Standard

Image

Due to his immense popularity in Pakistan, Ian Fleming’s James Bond has a Pakistani counterpart. Following is a brief extract  pf the final moments from the film currently under development:

Jutt Studios presents:

James Bhand 007 (pronounced zero zero say-when)

in:

The Spy who Hugged me

Starring Multan Sahi as James Bhand

Meena Malik as Heroin

Ali Gul Teer as Villain

The scene begins with James Bhand clad in a bright red tuxedo but instead of pants he is wearing a dhoti (Pictured below), sneaking up on the Villain who is seated on a table having finished eating but is engrossed in removing something from his mouth.

Image

JB: Bus kar juttay-a, out your hands up oye! (Points gun at the villain who has still not managed to remove the food stuck in his mouth

Villain(not turning around replying dismissively): In a minute, I’ve got some chicken karahi stuck in my teeth. Who are you anyway?

JB:(Standing fully straight thrusting his chest out staring at 6 inches to the left of the camera) The name’s Bhand, James Bhand oye!  0 0 7 (draws these digits in the air while pronouncing as written above)

V: You can’t be Bhand, I sent Bhand to be electrocuted in my famous, dangerous ‘Bijli Chair'(Gets up and backs away from Bhand)

JB: (Smiling) AAhhhhh, but I use my wits to get out of the chair and now, nobody can save you oye!(starts walking towards Villain)

V: Aik minute, I want to know before I die, you’re not so smart, did you survive the Bijli Chair or was there loadshedding

JB: (smirks) What do you think

V: Damn you WAPDA!(a woman approaches JB from behind, noting her Villain’s expression changes from fear to menacing as Heroin cocks a blow dryer to JB’s head) Anyway, you can’t survive, Heroin is standing right behind you holding a gun to your head.

JB:(face is expressionless) Heroin cannot do this to me oye! Heroin is a double spy oye! She spied on you while pretending to spy on me and secretly giving all intel on you including that rash on your backside oye!

V: That’s not intel, that’s just gossip, Heroin how could you?

H(giggling): That was so juicy na I had to tells the someone

JB: Enough Oye!! Nobody spies on 0 0 7 (draws numbers in the air) Bhand spies on everyone oye! It isn’t very difficult to spy on Bhand, it’s impossibe oye!

V: Are you ripping off Don?

JB: Shut up oye! that was in hindi this is in English big difference! As I was saying  Bhand spies on everyone oye! Besides I hugged Heroin in the khaits of Punjab and did a silly dance with her on a song forced into this film as there was no room for it in Nanna Jutt. Heroin was in fact the spy who hugged me!

H: (drops blow dryer, whispers) Bhand… is it in the … possible?

JB: That’s why we had a song together oye!

V: Enough, Bhand you’ll never catch me alive (runs away)

JB: That is such a cliche oye

V (pops his head back in the screen) Well it’s a cliche to call it a cliche

H: Bhand.. He’s getting away. Get him after in the, I will open the doors of the window jump after him!

JB: I’ll get him in the next film, right now, all I want is the spy who hugged me oye!

H: Oooh I like the sound of that. say it again (moves closer to Bhand and whispers softly) in the

JB: I can’t, we don’t have enough film left.

The Director walks in yells cut, the screen goes blank

JB: see I told you!

Ironies of Life

Standard

People generally tend to behave in very ironic ways. Here is a sample of how they behave

1- Boys grow facial hair to look like men, and shave them when they become men to look like boys.

2- People claiming not to care about getting old, are the first one to colour their head at the first shades of grey.

3-  In order to promote something trendy people use the catch phrase – everybody is doing it, to promote it. However it stops being hip when everybody really starts doing it!

4- Whenever someone asks for an original idea that no one has done before, their first response to any idea is ‘who does that?’ forgetting what their request was in the first place.

5- Ladies prefer to buy their clothes from someone who calls them ‘baji’ not ‘aunty’ even if the former charges a slightly higher price.

6- People think they are young and hip, yet they always start conversations with ‘ You know in my day…..’

7- Parents always tell us to give our best in everything and not care about the outcome, however when results are not satisfactory they hold the report card and say ‘ what is this?’

8- People who make the most noise about the lack of security, are usually the one with beefed up security.

9- People talk about moving on and looking ahead, but are constantly comparing things with the past.

10- Actresses who talk about modesty and decency, forget that they had to abandon these traits to get famous

Paranoia

Standard

The following is a work of fiction, none of this actually happened.

The conversation below happened in Urdu, it has been translated for the reader’s benefit.

“Han Bhai, how are you?”
“Fine you know the usual, don’t have a lot of time to talk”
“So I know, you’re always so busy. Bought the car yet?”
“No time, going to get one around new years”
“So the professor’s gonna give you one?”
“No, for the last time Ehtisham, I am not doing anything with the professor. If you can’t say anything good don’t say anything at all. For your information the professor’s a he”
There was a chortle “I rest my case. How else can you explain the good grades, scholarship and now the car?”
“hard work for the first 2 and financial aid from baba?”
“you’re not fooling anyone, you can’t get a decent car for. 5000 dollars in Pakistan, how can you get a decent car in the US? I asked around my friend, a decent trouble free car would cost you atleast 8000 and that’s only if the seller’s an idiot, impatient, in huge debt or broke. I’d say you have pretty good chance of finding a seller, but if you had 3000 more.”
“You know what? Shut up!”
“Hahaha!”
“So when are u coming back?”
“Not now!”
“you’re talking like the president’s bending over in front of you with a green stuck between his cheeks with your name on it. All you’ve got to do is blast thing out of his ass using some technical crap and voila you’re a US citizen and you can finally blow it out of your ass and lose that constipated look you wear all the time”
“You know what go blast things out of your own ass! Good bye!”

The above conversation was recorded on the 5th of September at 0800 hours, a conversation between two brothers an Ehtisham Khan based in Karachi, Pakistan and Farhan Khan a Newark State university Doctorate candidate studying robotics.

On hearing the keywords “blast”and US used twice (both had been said in English) The Rapid American Polytechnic Emigrants Department (RAPED) for short was recording this conversation. On hearing the key words, senior officer John McCain forwarded the recording to his language department immediately requesting an immediate translation along with the translator’s assessment of the conversation. Fifteen minutes later RAPED translator Ranbeer Malhotra limped into John’s cabin with a huge smile on his face.
“Why are you walking like that? That’s not how RAPED officers walk.”
“Sorry John, I twisted my ankle”
“So whats your assessment?”
“John its harmless, it’s just funny banter between two brothers where one really owns the other. No need to send a RAPED team to pick the guy up. You know how Director Query says how each trip costs $15000 at least with the private jet and all.”
“It’s my job to investigate every potential threat to my country as a neutral observer, and your integrity is compromised they’re your neighbours.”
“My neighbours? John they’re Pakistani? I’m Indian we’re like sworn enemies. We’ve fought like a million wars or something.”
“A personal vendetta, eh Ranbeer? Trying to edge me out so you can claim all the glory and get the satisfaction of revenge? No, my brown friend, no. I’m handling this personally. You can come as well.”
John picked up the phone and called his IT specialist- Moss
A bored voice picked up a phone and a nasal British guy spoke”Hello IT have you tr-”
“Moss it’s me, U got a job for you. Can you look up a guy for me. A Farhan Khan. Could you-”
In the background you could hear the keys of the keyboard being drummed with a micro second pauses for spaces and enters
“Already done boss, nothing special to report. Farhan’s squeaky clean. His Facebook is pretty much inactive, emails Are clean to with the occasional dirty one from his brother Ehtisham, that kid got quite a mouth. Nothing else except wait- hello what’s this? He’s got a separate profile for his UNi friends. So smart should have done that, now my mom keeps calling me up every time I reject her candy crush requests.”
“Moss focus! Anything unusual”
“yeah this guy needs to update his dp its like so old. Apart from that nothing much – activity logs show he logs in a few times a week, he doesn’t even stalk anyone, poor guy.”
“See John I told you-”
John put his hand up to silence Ranbeer “Moss can you tell me if he’s gay or not?”
“Well lets see he’s from Pakistan, no sign of any feminism in his likes or his subscriptions only engineering magazines, that’s odd no mention of cricket anywhere. That’s a first, a guy from Pakistan not liking cricket.”
“I knew it, this guy is gay. See he’s overcompensating his lack of interest in sports with other macho things. Moss is his professor a guy? Can you look him up as well?”
“Already done boss, damn he’s got a hot wife. I don’t think his teachers gay. Wow his emails full of subscriptions to dirty sites. There are a few even I’ve never heard of. Nope sir he’s not gay, but he did get rejected from the department of defence on a research project 25 years ago.”
“See John you can let it go. No one’s gay now let’s see something else. We’ve already wasted the entire morning on this crap.”
“Ranbeer no. We have the proof don’t you see? You’re just an Fresh of the Boat translator, you don’t know our ways. You see the professor and his lover boy are planning an attack on the whitehouse and I think they’re going to launch an attack on the president’s ass!”
“First if all John I’m a 3rd generation American with a degree in American cultural history, I know the culture here more than you, you’re just the trigger happy cop who destroys entire cities that no city is now willing to give you even a desk job, the one you have now is the result of 6 months you spent begging director Query to get you a job.
Secondly, how did the president’s ass come into play?”
“Didn’t you here the recording? It’s got to be some gross gay humour, I don’t know man. I’m gonna go and check it out. Newark here we come. Moss get ready and Ranbeer we might need you for interpretation.”
Ranbeer grudgingly got up and went to get ready.

In Newark, the RAPED trio with help
from the local police got the two suspects for interrogation in separate rooms.

John went to Farhan first. He stormed in the room and grabbed him by the collar “All right where is it? When are you guys going to do it?”
Farhan’s lower lip quivered and he started weeping
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It was just one paragraph that was plagiarism the rest of the thesis was original, I swear! I swear! Please don’t hurt me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“nothing, I don’t know nothing.” Farhan replied wiping the tears from his eyes.
“Where’s the weapon that you’re going to attack the president with?”
Farhan looked tense for a couple of seconds and then relaxed letting a sigh of relief.
“You might wanna leave the room,” Farhan said “It’s in your best interests”
“are you threatening me?” John asked
“I threaten you, I interrogate you, I make the deals, I do the-” John paused as a most dreadful smell filled his nostrils.
“Oh my god! You’ve got the weapon on you. You’re using bio weapons! I’m do going to get promoted for this, but first I gotta get everyone outta here!”
“Relax John,that was just the spicy sprouts I had for breakfast. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! I’m telling you my friend I have done nothing wrong,I don’t even get the time to sleep properly how can I plan a terrorist attack?”
“But you and your professor are lovers and the professor wants to avenge his rejection from the department of defence and you come from a terrorist country!”
“me and the professor lovers? Please! have you seen his wife? Besides I don’t like to admit it, but ummm I’m not a man- yet. My wedding is next summer. You wanna be sure of this? Just verify this by shaking both my hands and you’ll know for sure!”
John shook both of Farhan’s hands and his nodded and then offered his own hands for Farhan to feel
“I’m kinda going through a dry spell myself.” John smiled
“So I’m free to go?”
John opened Farhan’s cuffs and nodded.
As John escorted Farhan out of the station, he signalled to Moss to do the same for the professor. The professor came out of the room understandingly agitated with a smug Ranbeer behind him.
“you’ll be hearing from me!” the professor yelled at John
“Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave!” John said as the two detainees stopped a cab.

The Professor of Newark university along with Farhan successfully sued the RAPED department with the court awarding the teacher and the student $1million and $200k respectively.

Farhan got a new car that christmas, it was brand new.
John got fired from his job and Director Query made John deliver the settlement cheques personally with a note saying that the Newark University could use John as a live model for a colonoscopy seminar.
Ranbeer left RAPED, he now teaches American cultural history at Newark university.

The end.
Feedback is always welcome

20131204-125727.jpg

The Facebook Handbook and a guide to Social networking part 2

Standard

For part 1- https://murtighazi.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/the-facebook-handbook-and-a-guide-to-social-networking/

After some suggestions from friends and some new discoveries, I am pleased to present to you part 2 of the guide to social networking:

  1. If a girl has a celebrity pic as her DP, chances are  that she is either not comfortable with her looks or that she is a ninja- no the assassin, star throwing kind, but the burqa clad kind that made Saad Haroon sing about them- Burqa Woman http://vimeo.com/19201429
  2. If you uploaded something to get a gazillion likes and no one does- stop whining and updating statuses about it- here’s a thought… no one cares!
  3. If app and game requests push your button then I suggest you push the button that says ignore all game requests.
  4. If someone’s idiotic posts piss you off, heres a tip- you can customise you newsfeed or better yet.. unfriend them!
  5. No one really cares how many friends you have, so dont brag about it.
  6. Respect the Hashtag, if you feel an itch somewhere just scratch it! no need to tell everyone to feel itchy as well and try to start stupid trends
  7. Refrain from sharing politically/religiously sensitive material, it is in our best interests not to spark hate debate given the current social situation in Pakistan. To quote a respected scholar- ‘This is not the time to spread hate, too many people have spread hate in our societies, in our hearts an in our heads. This is the time for spreading compassion and understanding, you may belong to any sect, ethnicity or religion after wards, we are first off humans, lets first show humanity to humans”
  8. In relation to the above point please again stop igniting, fueling stupid debates that may result in someone getting hurt, be it hysically or emotionally.
  9. If you see some objectionable content, do report it.
  10. Lastly, if you do see something hilarious,  meme, an article or a clip, do share it others, spread some joy- bring a smile to someone else’s face.

As I said before, this isnt a final list, stay tuned for more updates! As always, feedback is welcome!