The Cognitive Backyard

The Curse of Destiny

He knew his destiny when he was alive, and even in his death

There, on the heavenly crossroads, he stood with his head down as his body trembled, tears and sweat dripped from his face like rainfall. The man in the shadow behind his back nudged him and growled, he looked up to the path that winded uphill towards the light and he saw her standing in the pathway. She was beaming with delight, wearing a white cloak and a white headscarf that glowed like first light. Continue with reading

Smoking with Epicurus

smoking with Epicurus

As far as smoking is concerned, I “grew up” fairly late compared to my other smoker friends. When I started smoking in the year 2000 my friends were already smokers for years. One of my favourite smoking companions was my elder brother, Usman. In fact, it was from his pack of Benson & Hedges that I smoked my first cigarette. I still miss those nights when we would sit for hours on the terrace or the roof of our house smoking and immersed in endless gibberish.  Continue with reading

Manto the Undead

I have been a fan of Saadat Hasan Manto all my adult life, and just a couple of months ago I have bought the entire collection of Manto’s work from Readings, Lahore, (I had read him earlier in my college days through borrowed books) and started reading him again. I paid a small tribute to Manto’s brilliance later that month which was kindly retweeted by @MantoTheFilm. Continue with reading

Happily Never After – Part I


He stopped running, breathing heavily, sweat dripping down his face, and threw himself on the ground. A shadow turned around and ran towards him and almost screamed in a melodious, young, worried female voice, “What happened? Are you alright?” He could not say a word in response; he was breathing so heavily, but waved a hand to reassure her that he was alright. Continue with reading

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