~ The Fishtank ~

Etchy Keys (Faisal)

Bring to closure; I wonder if these black & white keys will ever rest. And that girl’s face tells me which piece she is playing just by looking at her expression. And in my mind, I hear a distant reverberation of Ludovico Eunaudi’s tamed sonatas. A storm brews in Provence as Beauvoir visualizes a certain metamorphosis where orange gradually burns to form crimson. She plays on, fingers sensually intertwined with keys, she is in the zone; she is the music she plays.


Inaction equals Complicity (Jainita)


I believe that art has the power to save the world. Especially in the form of words coupled with visual stimuli. In my first post on thefishtank, I quote Arundhati Roy, author of “The God of Small things” to show why the pen(and the image) is mightier than the sword.

“In the midst of putative peace, a writer can, like I did, be unfortunate enough to stumble on a silent war. The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out.”

Everything and everyone around us is in constant catastrophe, the neverending Middle Eastern crises, the Mumbai train bombings, the PIA plane crash, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapon’s programme, tsunami in Java, Bird Flu deaths…..and not just in terms of frontpage news on the global front but the everyday wars that we fight with ourselves, to overcome our own weaknesses, our own desires and temptations.

Amidst all this chaos, art has the power to save our souls. I hope that my artistic expressions, along with helping me better myself as a person, also inspire and help others find the courage and faith they need to tread this journey of human existence.

Ring Ring!! (Nadia)

Ahh!! the new Nokia n73!! Just what I have been waiting for. The dream mobile device that has it all!!!

I love their new website for this device. Specially the “Share your World” section. That is so different from usual webpages that just have the specs. and images of the device.

Check it out!! and dont forget to click on all that glows n flickers!!


Write what you know (Mariam)

Once, I had set out to pen “the story”, with characters that one hates to love and loves to hate. A story that picks up momentum perched on a frozen riverbank inhaling the crisp winter air,and begins trundling down wooden stairs towards an overstuffed mailbox.

Yet every attempt turned up dry. Those words lacked “oomph”,and to some extent even believability. You know, the specific satisfying details that only experience provides. Came to the realization that my favorite pieces of writing were usually non-fiction,and even the fiction were imitating life, like art often does.

What does this have to do with anything? Everything! This is the core, the eureka moment saying that the secret to writing , to getting started is as simple as ‘what you know’. That worked well for me, I would like to believe. Beginning with brief pieces on my home town on an international blog, and regular practice came an ease with penning observations.

Tonight, I attempt to write my first post here at The Fishtank and share an experience of an aspiring author. What I know is the all too familiar feeling of short phrases and statements floating around that can be so much more if given attention. In between answering the door, and completing a report, the plain urge to drop everything and communicate with you. You! The ever present, two or two thousand, readers in cyberspace, the essential audience. There is the almost unbearable urgency to relay what has been eating away at me for minutes/weeks/months. That somehow once its written down,hopefully coherent and legible, a dialogue will be sparked.The consuming process of stringing together words that truthfully represent one’s particular mind-heart combination to complete strangers. Each time the submission is on its way,sheer excitement of receiving feedback takes over. This I know.

What became of the ‘story’ you ask? Oh, it is there all right. No quitter, I have some moments to enact and react to before it hits the bookshelves. Until then, consider giving writing a try? You can begin with the comments section.

A True Friend…dedicated to my best friend Nadia (written by Fahd Khan)

A true friend never walks away
A true will always stay
A true friend looks out for you

A true friend will guard your secrets
Like a precious gift
A true friend is there for you
To give you a helpful lift

A true friend tries to make you smile
Tries to replace that frown
They may not always succeed
But they rarely let you down

These arms for you are open
This heart for you does care
And when I think you need me
I’ll try to always be there

I’ll listen to your fears
I promise not to laugh
Comfort your falling tears
I’ll make this friendship last

I’ll keep you near to my heart
I’ll always hold you dear
Even when we’re miles apart
Even when you’re here

I hope I am to you
Everything you are to me
For the friendship we have
Is a special one indeed

“I Miss You”…another poem dedicated to my dear friend who left us so early…( written by Fahd Khan)

I miss you
still hard to understand,
the cruel twists and turns of fate.

You lived so close by,
we built together our past,
we were happy building models,
of a friendship that would last.

Now you are gone,
there is not a day goes by,
when I Can’t see you standing here.

A friendship built on trust,
hope,excitement and our dreams.

But life doesn’t last forever,
sometime its cut way too short,
trying adding up the logic,
sometimes it’ll come to naught.

But everything for a reason,
even though its not that clear
but your spirit is with us,
you will always be near”.

“Will I Ever See You Again”…A poem dedicated to a dear friend of mine who i lost on march 4th 2005…(written by Fahd Khan)

“Will I Ever See You Again?

Will I ever see you again?
My dear friend?!

Why did we have to say
Good-bye so quickly that night?
I had so many things that
I wanted to ask you and tell you!

You left without warning,
No way to stop it,
No way to stop the pain
That I now feel.

Why is it that everyone
Has to die?
Why can’t we all stay alive
Live forever and be content!?

Then we could fix our mistakes,
Change the wrongs
And make them right.
So no one has any pain anymore?!

Why do things have to come to
An end so quickly and surprisingly?
Where did the time go?
Memories and faces from our past.

Days turned to weeks,
Weeks to months,
Months to years.
The time went by just
As quickly as it came.

Maybe we missed something
Along the long winding path.
Did we stray from it
In doing so, forgetting
What we have or had?

We spent time together
Always thinking there would be more.

Maybe someday I will understand
Where all that time went that was
Wasted and taken away.

But everyone has to die someday
To live again and be happy and content In spirit and in my heart
Is where I will keep you.
Till the day we can see each other again”!

Wait. Listen. (Faisal)

In a metropolis, movement is defined as constantcy. I took a step back, one day, and noticed the image of a hand placed on a mirror the fingers of which were gently feeling its coldness. And in that mirror, or through it, appeared a shadow. Observing the shadow, a glimpse into the concept of infinity ad infinitum brushed by me. I tried to pen my revelation, attempting to interlace it with the image.


Souvenirs (Nadia)

the other day,
i wandered into the old cafe.
where people sat,
just as i had left them,
too long ago.
sipping their teas and coffies,
heads bent,
swimming in their own waters;
calm, turbulent, voilent and still.
same old people,
yet faces so unfamiliar

the other day
i thought of him…and of them
and of whispers and songs;
embraces and twirls.
intoxicated by the oblivion we shared,
lost in seemingly profound ties,
animated by certainty,
all it took was a puff
by that dragon called fate,
to render those memories.. pale, burnt,
robbed of their vibrant colors.

the other day,
i saw torn pictures in broken frames,
yellow and tattered images,
smiles frozen in time,
eyes glinting with joy long past,
forgotten jokes and tales,
radiance and laughter captured.
deceptive attempts at preserving,
“Here”, “Now”,
to exist as silent moments
that are nothing but dead time.

Gawal Mandi (Tee)

Very soon the lights will come on and illuminate the old architecture – like a torch held up below the chin. The man looks up at the sky to see a fading blend of blue and purple. Yet another day, he thinks to himself. He looks down to see the bowls of different seasoning powders: red mirchi powder…like that red spotlight below the corner of this structure; yellow haldi powder…like that yellow spotlight near the window of that structure. Waiting for customers, he picks up a piece of cloth lying next to his side and waves away the flies coming to rest on spots of grease. His shop is near the gate of this newly famous street, so he earns comparatively less than the ones farther up, since the people like to walk a bit and look around before they sit and satisfy their appetites. It’s dark now and because it’s a weekend, the place is crowded: Lahorites with guests from Karachi, young friends, extended families, a national celebrity, local residents, people from all classes.

Sitting cross-legged, he bends down to check the flame below the simmering oil in which he fries the pakoras.

“How much are these for?” a man comes up to him and asks. The man’s wife waits behind him, kohl in her eyes, gold bangles in her wrists. A newly wed couple probably, he thinks.

“How many do you want?” he asks him.

“Give us a plate, we’re sitting there, on that table,” he points to a green plastic one.

“Ok, I’ll send over my boy. It will cost you 20 rupees…” he says and reaches over to get the mixture in the bowl. The hot oil splashes and crackles as he pours in spoonfuls of the mixture and draws out crisp golden pakoras. Before he could shout out to the boy to serve the plate, the man comes over to take it himself.

Giving the shopkeeper the money, the man balances the white paper plate heaped with hot pakoras and heads over to the table where his wife sits expectantly. She hasn’t said much all throughout the evening. She hasn’t said much all throughout the entire month they’ve been married, he thinks, as he sets down the plate carefully on the table. Other than responding to his questions and being polite, she hasn’t said anything substantially interesting. He sits down with a sigh, pushes the plate over to her side, and starts looking around.

“Are they good?” he asks her.

“uhmm” she replies, as she bites down on one.

“Once you’re done eating those, we’ll go over and have some dahi bhalas from that man.” he tells her, hoping to hear more than just a mouthful.

“Okay…” She doesn’t even look up to see where he’s been gesturing to.

“His shop is crowded, I’m sure they’re good eh?” he ventures.

“Yeah…probably” she says.

Not knowing what else to say, he smiles at her, nodding in agreement. She smiles back and looks down at the plate. He looks at her thoughtfully for a moment, and then looks up to see the dim stars against a dark night. Yet another day, he thinks to himself.