Monthly Archives: June 2010

A trace of irony

How ironical, that a man on birth lies in a cot six feet above the ground;

While, upon death lies in a grave six feet under.

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Broken Illusions: The True Identity of Mohsin Hameed by Anas Shafqat & Mr. Animus

I’m back. Yes, with another sizzling article, filled with a delightful cornucopia of more “snoops” and scandals, destined to make your stomachs rumble with pleasure. Being a writer, it’s only natural that I exaggerate the merits of my report – yet, I can guarantee you that the following write-up contains such information about a particular person, which is known only to a few people.

The person under question is no other than, Mohsin Hameed, one of the Nature’s weirdest specimens. Weird as in, that he himself invited us to peep into his life and expose his if not darkest, the oddest incidents of his life – I still remember him saying – “I wonder what you’ll write for me.”

Well, you don’t have to wonder much longer. With Mr. Animus, our resident expert on scandals let the curtains open and the truth be revealed:

A Perfect Maid –

How often do we see our mothers complaining when the maids fail to turn up? Very often. But in the household of Mohsin Hameed no such complaints are made. “A Perfect Maid”, Mohsin Hameed is not only an expert at cooking food but he is also known for washing dishes, cleaning rooms, laundering the clothes. But he has one more skill which would delight the ladies. YES, Ladies, Mohsin Hameed has also remarkable hairdressing abilities. Not for you, of course, gentlemen. A source has revealed that Mohsin admiringly braids the hair of the ladies, knotting and plaiting them beautifully. And, he does that on regular basis.

When I queried Mr. Animus about this revelation, he commented,

Frankly these things aren’t surprising, if you bother to connect them. Now it isn’t rocket science, but again I’m pointing no fingers, just saying that it’s a way of life which the Canadian Government has already accepted.”

I naively asked, What kind of life style you’re talking about?”

Mr. Animus replied with a smile, Only Canadian Government has accepted gay marriages.”

Oh. I understood then. Following snoops supplemented my understanding.

The “Bazaar Wali” or the “Bazaar Wala”? –

Curious heading, isn’t it? The source who divulged this snoop came out rather easily; no wheedling was required. All we had to ask the question and information popped out. It said rather smugly,

“Since he goes to market so much, I tease him by saying that he has a girl there that he goes to meet there, and he ACCEPTS it. Hence, he has a “bazaar wali”!” –

Now this is some startling dirt.

At this, Mr. Animus says, The possibility of a bazaar girl is very high as he has flirted with every girl he has met. But as the famous proverb states things are often not as they appear. So I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a bazaar wala. In fact, I consider it a very plausible possibility.”

Interesting comment, no? There is more to come, people.

The Cat of Confused Gender –

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen,  for this snoop – it even surprised our thick-skinned Mr. Animus. YES, upon much wheedling a source revealed something that has astonished us greatly – he says revealingly,

” Mohsin once had a cat whom he thought to be male, until HE gave birth to kittens.”

Wide-eyed, we questioned the source again, not believing this absurdity. But the source repeated what it had said earlier with more fervor and we had to believe it.

Upon much reflection, we came to the conclusion that a person, who is confused about the gender of a cat, with very much probability can be confused about his own gender as well. Who knows that the Mohsin we know is not a he or even a she, but something in between? Who knows that the Mohsin we know is actually Mohsina?

Mr. Animus comments rather wryly,Well, it could be so. Just imagine Mohsin or in this case Mohsina, not that hard to imagine as some might believe, for he is an ace in the kitchen and has the natural girl “I’m always right” personality to match.”

So is Mohsin in truth hiding his true identity? His confusion about his own gender, his impressive maid-like characteristics, his admirable hair-dressing abilities and his keeping a bazaar wala – all these things I’m sure would leave no doubts in your mind about the true identity of Mohsin Hameed.

Dream of hypocrisy

Dream of hypocrisy; be wary of those eyes,

That ever twinkle with malice,

But are shroud’d with the façade of good-will;

That scheme with gestures,

And seek only to ruin,

But hide behind the farce of sincerity;

That preach something else,

Of false and insidious nature,

To delude and dupe,

But secretly laugh at the deceived fools;

That in their depths,

Lurks the desire to destroy happiness,

To obliterate everything that is not theirs;

With the wit to weave conspiracies of utmost brilliance,

And yet pull off the drama of innocence.

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Excerpt 2

With a single exception they were all white. And with five exceptions all male.

Some were brilliant bordering on genius. Other, genius bordering on madness. One had played a cello-recital at Carnegie Hall; another had played a year of professional basketball. Six had written novels, two of which had actually been published. One was a lapsed priest. One was a graduate of reform school. All were scared to death.

What had brought them together on this bright September morning in 1958 was their status as first-year students at Harvard Medical School. They had gathered in Room D to hear a welcoming address by Dean Courtney Holmes.

His features could have come straight from a Roman coin. And his demeanor gave the impression that he had been born with a gold watch and chain instead of an umbilical cord.

He did not have to call for quiet. He merely smiled and the spectators hushed.

“Gentlemen,” he began,” you are collectively embarking on a great voyage to the frontiers of medical knowledge – which is where you will begin your own individual explorations in the yet-uncharted territory of suffering and disease. Someone sitting in this room may find a cure for leukemia, diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus and the deadly hydra-headed carcinomas …”

He took a perfectly timed dramatic pause. And with a sparkle in his pale blue eyes he added,” Perhaps even the common cold.”

There was appreciative laughter.

Then the silver-haired dean lowered his head, perhaps to signify that he was deep in thought. The students waited in suspense.

When at last he looked up and began to speak again, his voice was softer, an octave lower.  “Let me conclude by disclosing a secret – as humbling for me to reveal as for you to hear.”

He turned and wrote something on the blackboard behind him.

Two simple digits – the number twenty-six.

A buzz of bewilderment filled the room.

Holmes waited for quiet to return, drew breath, and then gazed straight into the spellbound auditorium.

“Gentlemen, I urge you to engrave this on the template of your memories: there are thousands of diseases in this world, but Medical Science only has an empirical cure for twenty-six of them. The rest is … guesswork.”

And that was all.

With military posture and athletic grace, he strode off the podium and out of the room.  The crowd was too dazzled to applaud.

Prologue – Doctors, Erich Segal

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Excerpt 1

Doctors are often accused of callousness, venality, and self-infatuation. But they remind us that they have sacrificed the springtime of their lives, completely lost the precious years between their twenties and their thirties acquiring skills to benefit their fellow man.

Furthermore, they have suffered deprivation. Most of them have not had more than a dozen real nights sleep in all this time. Many have sacrificed their marriages and have lost the unique opportunity to see their children grow.

So when they argue that the world owes them some compensation – in the form of wealth, respect and social status – their demands are not entirely without cause.

Also as the grim statistics show, they often suffer worse than any patient. For no one can repair a broken marriage or restore the children damaged by their father’s ostensible neglect.

Doctors,  Erich Segal

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What would you do, if this was your last day on Earth?

Beep! Beep!

Half-dazed and bleary-eyed, Ali checked the text message that had interrupted his sweet sleep.

The text message read rather frustratingly:

“What would you do, if this was your last day on Earth?”

Another damned forward message, Ali cursed the sender and pushing the cell phone under his pillow, once again let sleep take over.

———-#———-#———-

He slammed the door of the car shut and pulled out of the drive that led to the beautiful bungalow grudgingly.

He had been sleeping peacefully, when as per usual his mother had to disturb him over some stupid errand to his Aunt. His mother refused to trust the servants with money, and expected him to deliver it safely to his widowed Aunt once a month. Although, annoyed and greatly pestered, he knew that it was pointless to argue with his mother.

And so he headed to his Aunt’s place, drowsy and lethargic.

He swore loudly as he approached a traffic jam on his way, and desperately tried to find a way out of the mass of clogged-up cars, but soon he had to surrender and slumping back into the seat, fumed in resignation.

He clicked his fingers in impatience on the steering wheel for the traffic-jam to clear and glanced around.

A silver Alto and a maroon Cultus flanked his car on either side. A lone man was seated in the Alto, smoking a cigarette, immersed in thoughts, while a family of five was travelling in the Cultus.

Despite the smoldering heat and the repeated honks of the numerous cars that trailed behind Ali’s car, the scene soon defrayed his tangled nerves. The man continued to puff without any remonstrance peacefully and young boys of the family riding in the Cultus playfully wrestled in the back seat. Their frolicking amused Ali and he smiled.

The traffic jam cleared a bit, and the Cultus moved ahead. A battered, roofless Suzuki took its place; its maddening horn dispelling any tranquility that Ali had felt previously. Irritated, he gazed at the contents strewn in the back of the Suzuki – a couple of metal fetters, a ramshackle refrigerator and several filthy plastic canisters. Likewise, its driver was in no way beautiful or clean. Unshaven, matted in dirt, the man seemed to have placed his hand on the horn and forgot to remove it. A most suspicious outlook, Ali thought wanly.

Dilapidated as it was, the Suzuki lurched ahead, and a Corolla substituted it. But Ali paid no attention to it. The cars ahead of him were showing no signs of moving in near future, and he felt tired and sleepy.

He could no longer see the Suzuki but he could still hear its insistent honks. He desperately wished the peace and comfort of his bed.

He leaned on the steering-wheel and in his exasperation, starting pushing the horn. His head pounded.

All of a sudden, there was a huge blast and the Suzuki jolted in the air in an eruption of flames. Ali, pushed back into his seat by the immense pressure of the galvanizing heat radiations, was pelted with clusters of broken glass. Burning smithereens of metal flew through the shattered wind-screen and fell on Ali, who cowered in fear, crying in pain as the intensely hot metal seared his flesh.

Blood-swathed, he tried to figure out what had happened, darkness stubbornly forcing his eyes shut.

But before oblivion descended on his conscious, he caught a glimpse of the scenario for a few seconds.

Fire, blood and smoke were all he could discern in the chaos.

———-#———-#———–

He read the text message again, dating back to the day of the Car-bomb installed in a refrigerator, that had claimed 10 lives and injured more than 50 people – whose only crime was that they had led ordinary, simple lives of their own.

“What would you do, if this were your last day on Earth?”

His hand straying to the plastered hanging flesh, where his right leg had once been situated – several glass shards had ripped into his leg, triggering such necrotic infections that the doctors had no choice but to amputate it so as to prevent the spread of infection and hence, shoo death away – he pressed “Reply” and typed:

“I would pray that none has to go through what I’ve gone.”

———#———#————

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