Sunday, 23 December 2012


There are great stories about how lovers meet.
Legends. Myths. Epics.
Lightning strikes, heavens open,
Fires burn within two hearts.
Moments: powerful, strong, moving.
Yet none of these stories speak of the incredible moment
when two people meet on a quiet winter evening.
They smile and talk and laugh,
and a tentative thought forms,
full of promise and potential.
A small hope rises to the surface,
and a tiny voice, almost unheard,
whispers, "Maybe, just maybe."

Friday, 7 December 2012


They say stars don't shine in the city
Because of house lights and street lights and car lights
and cell phones and toasters and all that city stuff.
But stand on a rooftop where the night stands on your shoulders and throw your head back so you can see your cigarette smoke rise into the atmosphere and become part of the universe.
Stand there and amid the nicotine you'll see 
the one brave little star that shines
with all the strength and beauty it can muster.
It's shouldering the duty alone, of guiding you home.
I want to be your home.
I want to be the taste that fills your mouth 
when you think of this place,
the scent you carry with you in your backpack,
in all your clothes and your books and your blankets,
the voice that you hear in your head
singing you to sleep and moving you to tears.
I want to be your home.
Your shelter and your protection and your sustenance,
where you lay your head to rest,
where you drop your mask and breathe in.
And as you breathe, I want to fill your lungs
with poetry and stories and dreams
that will diffuse into your skin and become
a part of you, like you are a part of me.
You are in every cell that makes me,
you exist in my eyes and my hair and 
fingers and my navel and my knees.
My very skin sings songs of your touch 
and my blood rushes to the surface because
it, too, wants to be close to you.
Look up to that one star and
find your way to me.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Commit to Memory

You are my favourite poem.
I have analysed each syllable,
mouthed each word,
sung every line and
recited each stanza,
over and over and over again.
I have breathed it in until
it was committed to memory.

You are my favourite poem.
I have read it each night,
and exhaled it each morning
in a whisper that encircles me
penetrating my very skin and
delving into the depths of me.
Until you become a part of me,
never to be separated.

You are my favourite poem.
And you always will be.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Fragile Things

I have not found home in a place,
After years of feeling that home is a myth
I discovered that my home is a person.
My home is you.

I have not found comfort in family,
And all this time I thought all families were broken,
But you and I, we are not broken.
You are my family.

I have never belonged to anyone or anything,
And I firmly believed that nobody wanted to claim me,
But I am yours and you are mine, we belong.
And we always will.

I have placed my soul in your hands,
You hold a fragile thing, carry it well.
I breathe through your lungs,
My heart beats within your rib-cage.
Fragile things. Broken things.
Cradled and mended.
Carry them well.

Friday, 12 October 2012

I love this.

If the boy who draws

lets you look over his shoulder.

If the poet 


and shows you her words.

If the girl who sings for the shower only

hums a song

in front of you.

Know that you're no longer a person

but the air 

and dust

that fills their lungs.

When the world perishes,

and all things cease to exist,

you'll remain inside an ink stain,

a paint brush,

a song.

- Alaska Gold

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Your mouth leaves marks on my skin.
Imprints of your kisses stay on,
reminding me of your tongue's path.
My fingers brush against them,
sending a beautiful pain throughout
my body, till inch by inch, 
my skin sings with sweet desire.
Each token of your passion stands out,
a trace of vehemence on quivering flesh.
They are my way of holding you close,
when I cannot see you.
They are your signs, your emblem.
They are the vestiges of you.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


I am tired.
An exhaustion that penetrates
skin and sinew and bone.
A steely grip on my soul.
Bars hold me in,
I shriek and rattle this cage
but the metal stays intact.
Instead I break my brittle fingers.
My mind aches from pouring out
my heart through my eyes.

Soon, shafts of light work their way in
through the bars, gleaming iridescently
on my sweat and blood and tears.
Always having hidden in shadows,
I am reluctant at first.
But I leap into the light.

My wounds are on fire,
But there is a sweetness in burning.
I am ablaze
with Passion and Courage and Light.
They can cage me in,
But cannot destroy me.
I will melt these bars and break free.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Nicole ran as fast as her little legs would allow, her untidy pigtails flying behind her. With one hand, she held down a bruised apple in the pocket of her too-short frock. Her other hand was wrapped tightly around the strap of a faded book-bag, her knuckles white. As she ran, the loud insults he had hurtled her way filled her head. Her vision blurred and she ran faster. The school gates loomed ahead and relief washed over her. She would be safe here for the next four hours. She ran straight into the arms of the young teacher who waited for her, kneeling in the grass. Ms Carol held Nicole close and stroked her hair, "Did he hit you today?" she asked gently. Nicole shook her head, "Not today," she gasped through her tears.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


Your fingertips start a journey 
at the nape of my neck.
Like a magician, you conjure up
parts of me I didn't know existed.
I am wisps of secrets floating in 
the universe till your touch
summons me into being.
Hold me as I feel myself spring to life,
as I start my own journey across
the landscapes of you.

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Karachi. The city of Lights, city of Life, city of Love, city that I love. One can immerse themselves into the wildly pounding heart of this magnificent,beautiful, vast Karachi that is yours to explore. Look closely at any Karachiite, look into the eyes that sing. They sing songs of monsoon skies; of glittering sands, of velvet watermelon rinds; of Koyals that serenade mangoes into being; of waves that sensuously lick your toes. Yes, every Karachiite, old and young, rich and poor, is a born raconteur. How can you not be when you live in a place brimming with stories that must be told? And it is not just the inhabitants of Karachi that tell these stories, but the landscape, the very air of the city, all breathe whispers that carry traces of a glorious past. Karachi is a city that cannot be mapped, and if it is, the map will be utterly useless. For it is a city that can only be mapped with words, with stories. Streetnames, numbers, area codes are of less than no meaning. Karachi's streets are defined by the lives of those who walk them, those who live and die on them; those whose sweat, tears, blood and laughter have served as bricks in the building of the sprawling city. As a traveler, it is difficult to navigate in Karachi, especially if one does not speak the language, but oh, is that not the joy of travel? To find transcendence of a sort, to lose yourself in another culture and in history? The best part of Karachi, though, are the people. Strangers, beautiful and polite and friendly, that touch our lives momentarily but sometimes, flit through the walls of our memories. If you ever visit Karachi during the monsoon, or during a cricket final, you will find that you cannot help but get swept up in the infectious enthusiasm that grips Karachiites in those moments. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012



Welcome to the world, Arham Ali.

Our family rejoices,
A new life's begun,
Our circle is richer 
with the birth of our son.
Believe in dreams,
they do come true-
Ours came dressed in blue!
-Proud parents,
Neha Jabbar and Ali Razzak
21st July 2012

Monday, 16 July 2012


Trace your fingers across me
Caress each gentle rise and fall
Cover me in whispers.
Tongues are cartographers
Let yours map me
Kiss me a song.
Knot your limbs through mine
Your lips can guide the way
For your eyes to follow.
Lay your head on my heart
Listen closely for it beats your name
Into my soul.
Press your mouth to my neck
Leave it there so each sigh
Draws a response from my skin.

Friday, 29 June 2012


Karachi – A tangle of tenses. The city knows no boundaries of time. Walking through the lanes of Saddar, the city is, at eye level, the twisted lanes filled with hawkers that belt out the symphony of the streets. But turn your sight heavenwards, and you are transported to the Colonial past, to gain an eyeful of the glorious remnants of British architecture. Look towards the sea, and gaze into the potential of everything we can be. From a small fishing village named Kolachi, to the sprawling magnificence of what is now Karachi, the history of Pakistan courses through the veins of the city. Karachi is the tears of subcontinental women as they sent their sons off to war. It is the frenzy of the time of Partition. It is the prayers whispered as the sun rose in a new nation. It is the ache in the weary legs of those who left behind their homes. It is the taste of salt in the wind on the beach. It is the seashell that you lift to your ear and think, “Is that the sea I hear? For it sounds just like my heartbeat.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Moment

Faces, inches away, drawing closer each second.
Eyes, fixed in a gaze of uncertainty.
I bite my lip, you lick yours, intensely nervous.
You ask, I answer, neither knowing the truth.
Time stretches. Minutes? Hours? Days, perhaps?
The world is watching, but my world is here;
your intoxicating scent, your parted mouth,
your eyes watching me, questioning.
You lean in fast, afraid to lose courage halfway.
My thoughts whirl till my mind is numb.
Your lips on mine, your heart beating a tattoo.
That was it, the moment that changed everything.

Monday, 11 June 2012


Dadi Ammi was listening to me while she thumbed her favourite brown tasbih with the missing tassels. A mosquito was buzzing around her head, and she motioned for me to kill it, still mouthing her prayers. I picked up the blue Finis spray, it was almost empty, and its top was taped on. Still chatting happily, I sprayed the insect, and Dadi Ammi smacked my thigh for spraying so close to her head. She got up slowly from her creaking charpai, her joints groaned under her weight. Crossing the small carpeted room, she lit the orange candle on her teak dresser, her wrinkled fingers caressed the engraved flowers. The flame reflected in Dada Abbu's naval crest, tenderly placed on Dadi's bedside table, worn out with age, his name barely legible.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Pumpkin Baby

You'll be here soon,
no longer a pumpkin
residing on my sister's belly,
but a minuscule human.
You'll be as distinctive-looking
as a sack of flour,
but we'll insist we recognise 
those lips, that nose, those eyes.
And if you ever read this,
I want you to know:
You will be the world's
most gorgeous sack of floor.
Waiting for your arrival, baby.

Friday, 25 May 2012


I've been told that I'm creative, that my imagination runs free.
My mind is a labyrinth that can hold galaxies and gods and magic,
But it could not ever have pictured something as infinitely beautiful
and perfect as you.
I look at you the way one would look up the night, 
In all its majestic beauty.
I am awed by you; for no poet, no artist, no dreamer
could ever create anything even half as incredible as you.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Happy as Pie

"Zo, I'm happy as pie," you said to me. And I laughed at you for ten whole minutes. With you, there's never a dull moment. It doesn't matter where we are, or what we're doing, you always find a way to bring me immeasurable joy. Whether we're cracking strawberry and camel jokes, discussing ideas for Pakistani pornos, laughing at cold coffee foam, fighting over doughnuts, making up The Adventures of Sexcalibur in the Black Hole, or doing voice-overs for dildo ads, we're always happy. Even when I'm mad at you, or PMS-ing, you find a way to calm me down. You're a complete retard, for that very reason, I love you. I love everything, stories of your Russian "friend", singing Barbie Girl at the top of our lungs, inviting everyone to our imaginary Nikkah, talking in funny accents, getting free food from the mart, bitching sessions at 3 a.m., googling porn stars, bouncing off your face, losing my balance completely when you pushed me off, the Batman study, the one-toothed doctor, the three skinny men, "don't eat ghutkaa," drawing bras, catwalking on Skype, "dilwaalon ki shaadi ho jaye", gay Arab men, and laughing at absolutely nothing, all of it. Every second of the past 117 days (10108800 seconds, I made the sum thingy)  has made me as happy as pie. Babe, you and I are total chootiyas, and it's perfect.

P.S. Okay I lied, I used a calculator, cause I got the sum wrong. Twice.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


I want to ink my words onto your skin,
trace it first with my fingers,
then my tongue,
tasting the poetry.
Perhaps the words will penetrate
the surface and sink in
to be printed onto your very core.
I want you to feel the truth
in every stroke of my pen,
to know that every curve of each letter
has been drawn in earnest.
My thoughts don't sound right
when spoken out loud,
I stutter and pause and am
at a loss for words;
but written down they mirror
that which is deep within me.
I want you to see that side of me,
and not mistake my pauses
for hesitation or uncertainty.
The love I feel has a clarity
that you cannot possibly imagine,
for not even in the 
deepest recesses of your mind
have you begun to comprehend
its depth.
I express myself best with ink,
and so I will ink my words onto your skin.
I will imprint my desires 
and passions onto flesh.
Then I will write you a poem in kisses
that reflects the joy you bring me.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

My World

If I strung up all my thoughts,
Laid my memories out on the floors,
Papered walls with dreams and hopes,
Then all I would see around me 
would be you.
But I suppose that would not be
any different from right now,
As all I see around me 
is already you.
My entire universe is captured
In a tilted smile;
And all the sunrises are found 
In those eyes;
You are my whole world.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ninety-One Skipped Beats

Ninety-one beautiful and unbelievably perfect days. Ninety-one nights of broken sleep and ninety-one mornings of groggy grins. Ninety-one times, I've lost control of my lungs. Ninety-one skipped beats. Ninety-one blushes that crept upon my face. Ninety-one times my eyes avoided yours. Ninety-one songs sung off-key. Ninety-one fierce embraces. Ninety-one ridiculous laughs. Ninety-one whispered conversations and a thousand kisses later, here we are. I want you to know that you mean the world to me.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


He checked his watch for the fourth time, and clicked his tongue impatiently. He fidgeted with the car keys, sighed loudly, and called out her name again.

"Can you come up here for a second? I need your help with this," her voice floated over to him. Muttering under his breath, he ran up the stairs and threw open the bedroom door, ready to make an angry remark, but stopped short at the sight of her.

She sat on the dresser, leaning back on her hands, legs crossed seductively and sticking her chest out. Clad only in black underwear and a pair of four-inch stilettos, she tossed back her chocolate curls as her dark crimson lips formed an alluring smile.

She stretched out an arms and switched off the lamp. The only illumination left was the moonlight that filtered in through the lace curtains. Gracefully, she slid off the dresser and began to strut towards him, slipping out of her underwear as she drew closer. The silver light touched upon every contour of her body, the shadows playing with her luxuriant curves.

He gazed at her in awe, suddenly aware of his tall erection. He ached to hold her, to explore her. He reached for her waist, but before he could, she dropped to her knees and undid his belt. Her fingers were cold on his abdomen, and he exhaled loudly.

She pulled his pants down to his knees and left a dark lipstick stain on his thigh. She drew back her head and looked up at him, "We're going to be a bit late for the dinner," she whispered.

Too breathless to speak, he nodded his head, swallowed hard and mouthed, "Okay."

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Futility of Language

If only there was a way to make you understand the beauty in all that you are. The joy your existence throws to me is infinite. Words fail me; I try to tell you what it is you mean to me, but all I can do is curse at the futility of language. I can only try, and even though I know that there is no way to successfully convey to you all that is within me, I will continue to try. Every single day, I will try to explain to you that you are incredible in every way.

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
-William Butler Yeats

Saturday, 31 March 2012


Azmeh shut the door to her apartment and leaned against it. She welcomed the touch of a the cool, polished surface on her forehead. She turned to face the interior, cheered by the familiarity of it.

Staggering over to the black leather sofa, she fell upon it in a heap. She relished the fact that she was alone and nobody would criticise her on her posture or tell her to smile.

Azmeh kicked off her ridiculously high-heeled shoes and savoured the relief that swept through her body. She crossed over to the neat kitchenette, bare feet silent on the mosaic floor.

The sun was rising. Shafts of rust-coloured rays filtered in, touching upon numerous potted plants arranged on the windowsill. The apartment was soon redolent with the rich aroma of coffee and Azmeh breathed it in joyfully.

Nursing a steaming cup, she carried it over to her living room, which was also illuminated by the pure morning light. She felt the soft, plum-coloured carpet caress her feet, and standing in the sunlight, she sighed deeply. Home.

The clock chimed, it was six. Her alarm rang, and after dancing to it for a minute, she switched it off. She would normally just be waking up, but today was different.  She would not go to work today, and instead stay here, in her beautiful apartment. She would not go to work the day after either, or the day after that, or ever. She quit.

Azmeh sauntered into the bathroom, white marble with a stained glass window high up near the ceiling. She ran a hot bath, she couldn't remember the last time she'd had one, and she poured in all the oils and scents she could find.

An overpowering mixture of vanilla, lavender, coconut and cinnamon soon permeated the large bathroom, but she didn't mind. She was content with the world.

She slipped out of her figure-hugging satin dress and climbed into the bath. She was ready to be cleansed of her old life, eager to embark upon a new one.

Friday, 30 March 2012


Mrs. Khan couldn't breathe. She felt herself choking and sputtering, and she knew then that she would die. But she didn't. She threw herself on all fours and shakily drew in deep, heaving breaths. The guttural sound echoed off the white tiled walls. Somebody began to scream. Loud, terrified screams that tore through the air.

Mrs. Khan shook violently, her body convulsing with fear. "Zia," she whispered. "Zia. Zia. Zia" She repeated her son's name over and over again. Her voice rose steadily till she was shouting "ZIA! ZIA!" Her throat hurt, but she couldn't stop.

Two men grabbed her arms and wrestled her into a straitjacket. She screamed, her lungs were on fire. They pricked her with a needle, and she felt as though white-hot knives stabbed every inch of her body. She found herself choking again, but this time, she didn't fight the wave of drowsiness.

She awoke in a bare room, still groggy. It was completely white, with no windows, no furniture and a locked door. She tried yelling out, but couldn't make a sound. She ran to the door and pounded wildly on it. She lay flat on her stomach and looked under the door, but only saw more of that stark whiteness.

A strong chemical smell permeated the room, making her gag. She wanted her son, wanted him to take her away from here. Once again, somebody began to scream, and the screams were so heart-rending that Mrs. Khan clapped her hands over her ears to block them out. She couldn't bear it, she needed to get out of here. She searched desperately for an escape route, but there was not so much as a crack in the white fortress. She heard footsteps approaching, and she shrank back towards the wall. A masked figure entered and she lunged at him, scratching at his face. "I want Zia! I want my son!" she shrieked. He grabbed both her arms and twisted them behind her back, holding her fast. "Mrs. Aziz, you don't have a son." 
She felt another needle inserted into her arm.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Rhythms of Intimacy

We are forever locked in these rhythms of intimacy,
the rhythms captured in each deep breath,
the rhythms of our hearts as they beat tattoos into flesh,
the rhythms of movement and passion.

We are forever lost in the textures of silence,
the rise and fall of our pulses that race each other,
the lilt and tempo of sighs and whispers,
the cadence of voices that speak of love.

Saturday, 10 March 2012


She encapsulates the colours of a sunrise,
the taste of music,
and the textures of love.
She is the sensuous caress of the breath of air
that carries whispers of a rare beauty.
She is the comfort of a steady pulse,
the warmth of arms that hold you close.
She is the joy of spinning wildly and 
the laughter that grips you along with dizziness.
She is the relief of effortlessness,
She is the wave of contentment,
She is home,
She is mine.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Sunshiney Days

I am in my happy bubble. Everyone around me is having all sorts of emo moments, and I feel like a douche sometimes for not toning down my happiness when I'm with people like that. But then I think, screw them, I'm ECSTATIC and I'm not hiding that! I love my happy bubble. And the best part is, the bubble may be fragile, but it's not vulnerable, because it is protected by the world's most incredible person. Here's to you, Noodle-Head; you're the best!

"Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you. I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being."
- Hafez

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Your life beat beneath my lips
and each second stretched out its fingers to grasp
onto another and another and another
until they became links in the chain
of daylight that bound us together
The sound of your heavy exhalations
drowned out their words of
slowing down and pace and speed
and from within the tangle of
mouths and necks and limbs
there rose a thought so perfectly synchronised
And in that moment
your eyes spoke with an intensity
that rendered lungs useless
leaving me to breathe with my hands
You held me fully
not like water or glass
no fears of loss
just certainty in your arms
that wrapped around my welcoming form
And I knew. And I know.
I can hold my arms aloft and fall
but never hit the ground.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Conversations carried out by fingertips,
When we dared not breathe a whisper.
Sea water and cigarette smoke carried swift glances,
The last of the sunlight lingered on flushed faces.
Lifting my gaze to the winter night, I wished there were more stars in the city, to mirror the sprinkling of joy within me.
Always yearning for silhouettes and shadows,
The feel of substantial warmth is unfamiliar.
Perhaps the greatest beauty lies in the knowing and the certainty you offer me.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


I'm eighteen.


Saturday, 14 January 2012


Inspired by Siegfried Sassoon's poem, "Attack"

Remnants of the soldier's earthly tenure;
battle scars and blood-stains.
Crimson gashes contrast sharply
with the pale flesh of the corpse.
Wide eyes that see nothing,
Mouth still forming those shouts of warning
his lips had strained to utter.

Silence now prevails,
punctuated only by the soft ticking of a wristwatch.
Ridiculous, isn't it, that time ticks by on his wrists?
Time, it is of no consequence anymore.
Time ticks by no longer for the soldier,
his time on earth has ended.

He is merely carrion,
Food for the circling vultures.
The vestiges of his life lay in the field,
In pools of scarlet,
Staining the purple petals of the Asters
that surround his body.
-Zoha Jabbar 

Monday, 9 January 2012


The palace came to life with the first rain of the monsoon. Barefoot children raced out into the garden and raised their arms heavenwards. Trees, caressed by the light showers, glistened with joy. White peacocks threw back their magnificent heads and uttered piercing cries of gratitude. The air was redolent with the fragrance of ripened mangoes, and the intoxicating smell of rain-kissed earth. Girls, in their bright chooridars, ran across the open verandas; their bangles jangling, their braids swinging. Servants carried trays laden with pakoras and jalebis. Everybody welcomed the monsoon, and relished the respite it provided from the stifling summer heat.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


She leaned against the railing, looking out at the indigo sky. The moonlight formed a perfect halo over her head. Long, delicate fingers held a cigarette, which she raised to her beautiful mouth. Oh, those lips; he dreamt of their fullness and the way they formed the most scathing words. 
With her other hand, she swept dark chocolate curls to one side of her neck, exposing the fragile curve. She turned then, and saw him, her alluring lips curled into a sneer. Disdain danced behind the sultry eyelashes, thick with mascara.
He was rooted to the spot. She gave him a long, contemptuous look before she stalked past him, back inside. He watched her depart, transfixed at the rhythmic swing of her wide hips.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


He threw himself off the roof, his mighty wings erupting from between his shoulder blades. Each feather gleamed in the moonlight; six feet of iridescent beauty. Ezekiel was magnificent as he mastered the chiffon sky. He flew in a wide circle, relishing the freedom as he created strong currents of wind.
A sudden dive, he spiraled  downwards, slowing down as the earth rose to greet him. He hovered inches above the ground, the tips of his wings brushed the dew-kissed grass.
Ezekiel looked up at the moon, with its glorious halo. "Until tomorrow, my love," he whispered.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Mini-Saga: Forbidden

A mini-saga is a complete short story in no more than 50 words.


She was seventeen when she first entered his classroom. He was thirty-two. It was wrong, yes; but oh, how the sunlight framed her. They were spellbound. He was fired, she was disowned, but it didn't matter. They wed on her eighteenth birthday, and how the sunlight framed their intertwined forms.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Hey there, 2012.

I don't have much to say about the new year, because I don't believe in resolutions, and I don't believe that you can categorise years as being either 'good' or 'bad'. That's right, the movie "A Good Year" can now go suck it.

Last year was a whole lot of awesome mixed in with large chunks of fucked-up-ness. Also, a year isn't exactly a perfect unit of measurement, it's not like all threads are tied up neatly at the end of twelve months, and you can start something new. 

No, I'm exactly where I was in 2011, nothing much has changed. 

All I can say is, if something IS gonna change, then can I be skinny please, new year?