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Showing posts from November, 2012

We Mean Business

Life can change in an instant. Capitalism can catch you unawares. Some little people can suddenly become rich.
And this happens on a quiet evening when I have sneaked inside my study to somehow experience what silence feels like. Not even a minute has passed and I am still trying to get hold of the oh-so-elusive sound of silence, when Omar barges inside.
“You are so nice,” he coos.
“Thank you, Omar.” The compliment makes me feel good. Only it is not really a compliment. It is just a prelude to the sales pitch that now starts:
“Show me your finger.” Here he takes my finger, slips on it a piece of wool tied with a knot and continues, “this is a ring. See how good it looks on your finger.”
“Ring? Eh...yes, it is beautiful.” I try to be nice.
“Yes, designing and making it required a lot of effort. Now you have bought it, and you owe me thirty Rupees.” He wears the expression of a businessman who has made a real good bargain.
“I bought it? I see. It seems a bit expensive.” Something tells me I a…

Apple’s First Good Bye

One fine evening I receive a telephone call. It is Apple and she has to share something very important, as she informs me.

"You know about my best friend, Aimen Omair, my namesake?" she asks.
"Yes, you have told me so much about her. What happened? You two had a fight?"
"No. it is something else, something very serious." Here she starts padding out of the living room to huddle somewhere in the veranda with the cell phone. (Apple’s mother later recounted the scene)
"Aimen Omair has left school!” She says after settling down in a corner where nobody can hear her.
The nature of the emotional upheaval dawns upon me.
"Oh no! Apple this is so sad."
"Yes. Now I don’t even feel like going to school. You know she used to sit with me. And she always stood first while I came second. Now that she is not here I will stand first…not that I am happy about it.”
Good bye is a mixed baggage.
"Yes, standing first is no compensation for losing a friend. Do y…