MonthFebruary 2008

no poet

I really want to show ‘em
and try and get to know ‘em
perhaps I’ll write a poem

and while I may show it
both you and I know it
that I am no poet

silent smile

so I’m trying to smile
a loud smile
that I just cannot smile

so I’ll try and smile
a silent smile
that makes my life smile

Continue reading

a letter

a letter I sight
a letter so bright
a letter I might
a letter just write


maghrib mein ho gareeb, to mashriq mein kya ameer thay
gintee tumhe na wahaan aati thi, na yahaan aati hai

par sukoon ab na raha, raatein khojati hai
neend tumhe na wahaan aati thi, na yahaan aati hai

karti hai baatein tumhari, diloon ko sab ke tang
sharam tumhe na wahaan aati thi, na yahaan aati hai

thodh ke apna ghuroor, karlo khuda ko yaad kabhi
par duaaein tumhe na wahaan aati thi, na yahaan aati hai

Thanks to mystic for contributing the second sher. Although I did modify it a little. I may not have completed the rest of it if you hadn’t asked. so thanks! =)

Hmmm… I want to actually go into an explanation of this. At the same time I don’t. I want folk to read and interpret as they may.

So I’ll say just one thing, yes it’s harsh. It was written as a reminder for us all, so we realize certain things that we should do, and certain things that we should avoid.

interview with noaman

the ali-marx brothers
the ali-marx brothers

So this morning we (Noaman and I) were driving to McCowan RT Station, I was driving and Noaman was on the passenger seat.

He started to sing some song, so I setup the mp3 player to record and slowly moved the player closer the source of the singing. My highly stealth like movements were quickly uncovered though… creating this moment:

[direct audio link]

So that is how the recording device was outed. Then after a bit, he started talking about some facebook group post and he slipped into a character with an accent. I clicked on the recorded and the following unscripted hilarity ensued:

[direct audio link]

I tried to, but absolutely could not maintain my composure.

This is a true story.

bol ke lab azaad hai tere

A poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz copied from “bol ke lab azaad hai tere”:

bol ke lab aazaad haiN tere
bol zabaaN ab tak terii hai
teraa sutvaaN jism hai teraa
bol ke jaaN ab tak terii hai
dekh ke aahaNgar kii dukaaN meN
tuNd haiN shole surKh hai aahan
khulne lage qufloN ke dahaane
phailaa har ek zanjiir kaa daaman
bol ye thoRaa vaqt bahut hai
jism-o-zubaaN kii maut se pahle
bol ke sach ziNdaa hai ab tak
bol jo kuch kehnaa hai keh le

English translation:

Speak up, while your lips (thoughts) are (still) free
speak up, (while) your tongue is still yours
Speak, for your strong body is your own
speak, (while) your soul is still yours
Look at blacksmiths shop
hot flames makes the iron red hot
opening the (jaws of) locks
every chain opens up and begins to break
speak for this brief time is long enough
before yours body and words die
speak, for the truth still prevails
speak up, say what you must.

[Trans. Swati Sani]

When I read the poem, I thought it was great! And I wanted to say the words already. Then I heard Faiz recite it here (first audio clip), and I thought to myself, “how would I say these words?”.

So here it is, me reciting Faiz’s “bol ke lab azaad hai tere”:

If it plays funny above, you can access the direct link here:

The first bol of many I hope. =D

without you

I need you
but I create
this distance

because you
could use time
without me

peace train

“What do you want Adnan?”, asks random coworker, let’s call him T.
“Hmmm… it would be nice if we had a better version control system. But you know what I really want? I want to go on a long train ride. That’s what I really want. Also a bucket load of money. Actually two bucket loads. Let’s make it three, three should be enough.”, my response dragging on slightly longer than expected.

This a couple of weeks ago. Now I’ve converted the want to a need. I need a long… long train ride. Clearly the TTC is not happening. I need something like from Toronto to Vancouver. A two or three day train ride. The destination not nearly as important as the journey. This is what I need.

“Why don’t you drive?”, asks my brother-in-law.
“Have to concentrate too much on the driving, train is free-er.”, I says. But really with a train, you’re not in control. You don’t control your turns; you can’t slow down or speed up. You don’t decide when you stop and when you go. I need to not be in control. I need to let go. I need a long train ride. That is what I need.

Another plus side with the train is… I couldn’t possibly get lost. I could get a GPS system for the car, to help with my directional disabilities. But why not just spend that money on a train ticket? Well… I could get lost within the train, but that would be sad on so many levels that we don’t discuss it here/now/ever. =)

In some ways I want to be lost. Maybe not lost, just away and disconnected. Though I’m not sure what I’m disconnecting from. Maybe it’s the location? my surrounding area? I know it’s not the people. People are fine. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s myself? It doesn’t matter. I don’t need to know.

I could take a bunch of books with me to read, or to use as paper weight. (Aside story here: when I was in India, in a bookstore picking up “Zen”, the Dilbert book and Blink. The dude at the counter asks me, “You should also buy The Tipping Point, what type of books do you read?”. I told him I don’t read books. “So then why are you buying these?”. I tell him: “I’m going to use them as paper weights”). I will have a deck of cards or two, or three. I will have a deck of cards or three. Might be a good time for me to do magic for strangers. Get over that shyness factor, ever so slightly. Who knows? I might even bol in public. =D

Via Rail has details on the ride here. Seems like Toronto to Vancouver is pricey. I might cut the trip short and go as far as Edmonton. Say “hi” to Basit. Hold hands for a while. Then jump back on the train the other way. Ride to Edmonton is still 2 full days. Yes Basit, I’m considering visiting you simply because it’s cheaper. This is what our relationship has come to. This whole train ride thing seems like it will require planning.

Hmmm… planning. yes. When do I go? I’m thinking maybe in the summer sometime… June/July/August maybe. I think I need to get this out of my system this year though.

Yes. This is what I need.


maghrib mein ho gareeb, to mashriq mein kya ameer thay
gintee tumhe na wahaan aati thi, na yahaan aati hai


bin baadal taare chand
yeh aasmaan kya hota
poochte to sunle te
unka andaaz-e-bayaan kya hota



a question posed as an assumption

jaadu hai kya hai?

jaadu hai kya hai?, what is “jaadu hai”?

Literally “jaadu hai” means “magic is”, or “there is magic”. “jaadu hai”, this can also be seen as saying “magic exists”, confirming its existence and more importantly its presence.

The whole notion of “jaadu hai” came about when I performed magic for a group of people and afterwards stuck around to answer their questions on magic. During the discussion I explained that “magic is not something I do with my hands, the magic is in your eyes”.

I later translated that into urdu in the following format:
“mein in haathoon se jaadu nahi karta
tumhare nazroon mein jaadu hai”
“mere haathoon mein jaadu nahi
tumhare nazroon mein jaadu hai”

“tumhare nazroon mein jaadu hai”. wow. This is an example of where something gains in translation. This doesn’t really translate to “there is magic in your eyes”, it means “there is magic in the way you see things”. wow.

The last two words, “jaadu hai”, is how came about. Confirming for me the presence of magic.

Just a note: I have been referred to as “mr. jaadu” on the internet and in person.
But how can I be magic, when all I do is see magic?

In either case, this is way back in December of 2006 (I brought the blog back at in October 2006). Unreal how long ago that feels now. I remember at that point really really badly wanting to add more lines to “jaadu hai”. I also remember trying and thinking. But there was nothing. I was blank. And I really really badly wanted to.

Then this year (2008), as lines flow… all of a sudden, “jaadu hai” flows as well.

so here are the lines:

mere haathoon mein jaadu nahi, tumhare nazroon mein jaadu hai
dil jab rukh ke phir dhadak ta hai, tumhare us dhadkhan mein jaadu hai
saansoon mein tere, tumhare khamooshiyoon mein jaadu hai
chand ki roshni mein nahi, us ki gheyraiyoon mein jaadu hai

yeh jo jaadu hai rukhta nahi, bas har ek pal mein jaadu hai

at cost

I’m not selling myself short, I sell myself at cost.


step slower
sip slower

dip deeper
dig deeper

not your madness

give me your method,
not your madness.
tell me what you did,
not how you feel.

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