Posted in art, love letters

Moor – A Love Letter to Pakistan (Movie Review)

Moor translates as Mother. Premise: how an individual should not deceive one’s mother and motherland, why is it important stay on track and grounded, and how corruption affects the simple people who have nothing but their home and family to rely on. More importantly, corruption does not have any hierarchy, it is originated from all levels and cripples the whole country.

The story revolves around a family that is distraught by the corruption which results in closing down of the Zhob railway system, and how it disconnected a region from the opportunities and robbed citizen’s life-journeys (both physical and emotional). The parts of plot related to Karachi has indirect references to a company A***t where business of selling fake degrees propelled.

We have waited for Jami (a trend-setter in Ad Films and Music Video industry) to make movies and the wait has been worth it. What a masterpiece Moor is, an artwork which deserves all accolades. Everything about this movie is top-notch. From an engaging nonlinear script, to subtle symbolism, breath-taking cinematography by Farhan Hafeez which does justice to beautiful landscapes of Baluchistan and ruggedness of Karachi and the emotions therein, soundtrack by Strings and lyrics by Anwar Maqsood to die for (their best work till date), dialogues which are full of wisdom but never sound preachy, screenplay that binds it all and performances that are nuanced and never for a second fails to connects (Hameed Sheikh and Abdul Qadir literally speak with their eyes and so do other actors such as Shaz Khan, Soniya Hussain, Samiya Mumtaz – they are not characters, they are real people, you feel for them and they reciprocate by plunging you to feel for your self). Jami surprisingly does a cameo worth-noticing.

I watched this movie with my Moor. I have consciously chosen to live in this country and stand by it because my parents, my Moor, our love is here. Ironically, I was once harassed by an official at Karachi passport office for renewal because he wanted a bribe and I refused. Such is the politics of identity, existence, survival and belonging sadly today – where the world is becoming a global village but we have hollowed our own land. Whenever I have traveled abroad I have always missed only one thing back in my country – it is the transportation system. It brings mobility, it makes connections, it keeps you on track and keeps you moving.

One thing I was looking for in the movie was the soundtrack Ku ku ku (I might have missed it) and Kothbiro by Ayub Ogada, the rights of which were especially bought for this movie. But then editors need to do their job.

Above and beyond everything else, it is the story of simple people narrated in all its complexity but sensitively. One requires honesty and courage to tell such a story which is mostly based on true events and its truth can seem to be ugly, if considered on a superficial level. The frames and many moments of revelation will still haunt a viewer but it gives you hope that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. You will end up staring the train shots from inside the tunnel – they will move you. Both the chaos and pathos here is so relatable and real. It manages to reflect in depths of your own soul – if we bring this transparency to ourselves, the country will start changing. Thanks Jami and team for giving us Moor. This movie has all the potential to bring back the sense of respect for our mothers and motherland back. The movie resonates with what many of us have believed in i.e. we need to go beyond rhetoric of superficial patriotism and fix our own-selves so our generations inherits something of value and it reflects in their character and relationships with us but also in the fabric of our society.

Posted in culture, happiness, islam, poetry


No Nauroze is complete
without making some art
blossoming flowers and the garlands
pearl set on the wrist
brush strokes over the egg shell
pen replaces the sword
warrior horses have adorned the ankle bells


The army of piety
choose your cause wisely
be the ambassadors of peace and love
sans discrimination
we all are sons and daughter
of mother earth
conserve our relations
with all things natural


First ray piercing through clouds
on the wishing pond
where gold fishes dance
amid glitter, coins and gold
O dervish, let us whirl in joy
old is ever-new; new ornaments the old

Posted in care, life, one story at a time., pakistan, poetry, religion, social evils

It is NEVER okay.

Oh the landlords of faith
It is not okay

You are not the learners[1]
Enemies of learners and children
Disgrace to Abraham’s sacrifice
How can God thrive on human blood?
It is not okay

You are not the learners
Your thirst did not sanction two drops
I can hear the cries of children – some dead, some crippled
From schools, dinner tables and heaven above
It is not okay

You are not the learners
Sans humility, your ego is godly
Is not blasphemy applied to you?
You think you are godly
It is not okay

You are not the learners
You are politically racist – have no religion
Christian, Hindu, Army, Civilian, Muslim
Who can kill his own brothers and sisters?
It is not okay

You are not the learner
Dread sight of martyr learners in your afterlife
Their Sin: upholding the title of Ashraf-ul-Makhlooqat[2]
Before God, you will have to answer them
It is not okay

You are not the learners
Why would you respect the learners?
Intellect is not be used in religion, you say
Religion disapproves your reason
It is not okay

You are not the learners
If the learner in me would have to fight back
I will never pick up a gun or sword
Feel free to die in shame
It was not okay

In solidarity with Muslims, genuine learners, children of Peshawar, Pakistan and civilians of Sydney, Australia.

[1] In Arabic, Taliban

[2] In Arabic, Finest of all creatures (as bestowed with the power of intellect)

Posted in conversations, creative writing, experimental, poetry


Golden Orange Dots
by Raheel Tajuddin Lakhani

Oh Gilgit city
I will miss the nights
the sky full of stars
mountains not so far
seizing new heights
stop over, take off!

I’ve departed, true
melancolies du voyage
grounded, in my carriage
I’ve my eyes on you
at base, streams of electrons
energy, movement, connections

I can hear them speak
once you were part of our clique
wings brought new directions
I see a sea of golden dots
a synthetic galaxy
regulated by Divine

a small atom sipping wine
chalice of cosmos, his majesty
Over the cloud nine
I can see the moon shining
beneath me, shine a million stars
I lay amid, with healed scars

that evening I found new meaning
What is life but escaping the death
own a lively moment and its death
at base, streams of electrons again
I can hear them speak
Didn’t this flight take away your breath

We have landed safely. Keep your seatbelt fastened until the aircraft has come to a complete standstill. If you feel like strutting a pose before we leave the runway, we don’t mind 😉

Posted in art, creative writing, experimental, philosophy, poetry, religion

Fana – Annihilation

* for the lover of philosophy and the rebels

The meeting
Platonic Ideal world, what a sight
I asked the sage Aristotle,
What is life?
Movement, he said.
In his company, sat Descartes
I wondered, was he contemplating
I think, therefore I am?
I not cared to disturb.
Is it because I be with myself,
therefore, I am lonely?
Sorry my lord but…
it is the lack of movement
when thee doth not move into an-other
tis feelings, thoughts and soul not resonate
how to look inward without a mirror
thy reflection is with out.
tis the lack of movement invites death
melancholy – a vicious web;
Aristotle called Him unmoved mover-
the one without movement, so to speak,
and Nietzsche revered: God is dead.

Posted in art, love letters, painting

اب تم جا سکتے ہو

Labor of love 🙂 Painting this was painstaking but more than it was great fun.

“He concentrated on how many lines it took to cover a page. Some days he painted several pages orange…. Art could still start a flame.” – Gail Davis Hopson, Chicken Soup for Teacher’s Soul