Finally Free 

Can I say that I am free, no anchors, nothing

Can I say it’s me, flying next to the kite, whipping away in the air 

Can I ever really say, I am free of my dreams 

Longing, far from reality, those dreams 

Will it be wrong to say that, if ever, given the time, I would really have the freedom to be as I am 

Finally free. 

Manto: The line between truth and deceit

Saadat Hasan Manto, who has been classified as one of the most powerful writers of the partition, has been graced with another movie played by Nawassuddin Sidiquii. For those of you who do not know Manto, the movie is a crash course of his work and life. So you would be happy as the song, “Bol ki lab Azaad rain here…” starts playing on the screen. An ending (Cant say it was an happy one).

But for those who really know Manto, those who have studied him closely as a 20th century writer, a writer without nonsense, and no sense to write for please, this is the article for you.

There is a reason why Manto’s name is kept aside from other Partition writers like Mir, or Faiz. Like other writers, he did not glorify the partition. He did not write encouraging poems for the freedom fighters of the time, neither did he speak out in their support. However, what he really did was paint a picture of an India that no one wanted to see: the dark, murky, side which was full of inhumanity, injustice and bloodshed. 

Watching the movie was good, Sidiquii did justice to Manto. But the story spun was all wrong. It didn’t sit well with me that Manto wasn’t shown as much a writer as he deserves to be. Personally, I believe that the legacy that Manto left behind cannot be downplayed like that. Even though he was notorious but his bold pen left us with insights about partition that no other article, book or memoir is ever going to write about.

Given his works, and the career both in India and Pakistan, his life has been full of scandals not in his personal life, but in his literature. Known for writing the naked truth of the society and its mentality at the time which I believe hasn’t changed much, one can say that Manto was a writer ahead of his time. 

Manto had a way with words which went beyond the meanings they reflect in the first reading. Even though stories like Thanda Ghosht, Khol Do, and Toba Tek Singh which were powerful pieces of literature got featured in the movie, there are other stories which put the society to shame and were equally deserving of being heard. 

Once, Manto was asked why he wanted to pollute the society with his obscene stories using foul language about prostitutes. His reply was, “If you cannot bear these stories then the society is unbearable. Who am I to remove the clothes of this society, which itself is naked.”

Manto used to say that he only ever wrote what he knows and what he saw. And based on that, one can deduce the chill-inducing fact that there was indeed a ‘Sakina’ who was lost from his father and raped to the point of being unable to comprehend her surroundings. 


Manto, the voice behind the bitter words

Manto, the invisible veil between the truth and the lies

Manto, the wondrous man with an artistic vision

Manto, one who understood the country and its partition

Manto, one who saw the naked reality of man-made religion

Manto, who knew he had to get his hands dirty to wipe the slate clean

Manto, who made sure the people knew themselves for what they were

Manto, the wise man who lost his voice at the end

Manto, who says he will die but Manto will remain

Manto, the friend and the enemy of words

Manto, the unadulterated perspective to how it really was.

Songs That Tell Tales 

It’s the mellow, soothing songs that make memories

Down the line, a trigger to allow nostalgia to settle in like nausea

Making you sick to the core, remembering the time that was lost

Yearning for the dials to turn around

Those songs that tell tales of love, laughter and woe

Songs which speak volumes for heartbreak, for an intimate lovers’ moment

For something special, a happy memory or one that scarred the soul

Songs as harbingers of emotion

A turmoil, that ends up swallowing you whole 

A hum here, and a line there and down you fall the rabbit hole 

The wonderland was wonderful but it had its own tale of highs and lows

Songs that tell tales of you and I

Tales of bliss and of sorrow 

All in my playlist, I list them out as they come 

One by one, as we live it. 

Surprising Moments in Life are the Best 

Knowing myself, I know I don’t appreciate life as I should. There are people less fortunate than I am, and yet more stronger than I ever could be. I am rich in words and that is it for who I am defined as.

It’s not enough, but a kind word from someone can set you on a path you never imagined yourself to be walking on. 

For years, I have had an obsession even I couldn’t understand and it is now that I am beginning to. 

Even though I can’t afford my dreams, I still dream them and I still hold on to the faith that someday maybe…

It started with a blog post, some work related thing and ended as an inspiration for something beautiful. 
Thank you, Ken.

In case you are wondering who that is:

Expiry date 

Everything comes with an expiry date

How stupid to think that things will always be the same 

One fixed time to let go, to walk away in one piece 

To believe that it’s the end of the road

To hold on to memories but let go of the rope 

Everyone meets their end, love dies, desire fades 

It’s all just so mundane

So they say to be in the present 

How can I when it’s running five hours ahead of me

It has to end, but do I have the courage to stand up to the cliff 

And not take my leap of faith 

Which will lead to a certain death? 

Pick me 

Pick a song, then a rhythm

Pick a fight, pick me. 

Hold steady, I won’t leave 

Until you choose me. 

Learn that song, heart the words 

My words, your voice and that how we make it

A little hope, with some belief

Faith in me, so pick the dirtiest fight 

And go to war with me. 

Fight for the future, draw your sword for the light 

Gun down the opposition, the dissent 

Kill them all, and be the big, bad wolf

Devour the world, its your for the taking 

And yet, if you would just look back once 

You will always find me humming 

To the tune, if you would pick me. 


What can I expect from you, when this is all you have

A little more than what I got, can I even gather the courage to ask

A timely reply, a genuine concern, 

Something out of your own will, a little something for me you would do 

Can I blink an eye and hope you will be still standing here 

Or should I just drop it all, and let it all slide 

Turn a blind eye, to the countless minutes wasted, 

Hours at a stretch, waited. 

The needles move, taunting me 

Another hour has gone by, with no reply. 

Curse the technology that allowed this to grow

Where are my old letters, comforting words that travelled on foot for miles

Looking for the eyes that they were meant for.