Sugar in a Plum – Part II

This is the second and final part of the interview – Sugar in a Plum. If you haven’t read the first part already, I suggest you to please read Sugar in a Plum – Part I before reading this part.

“And finally, you got married?” I asked again.

“Yes, finally, in 2014 a family came to visit us,” she replied, “An old couple who told us their son lived in America, and they will come again when their son visits. It wasn’t a big deal, a lot of families said they would visit or call again, but they never did. But this family, they visited again, and this time, their son came with them”. Continue reading “Sugar in a Plum – Part II”

Sugar in a Plum – Part I

The distressed brown girl in the cafe looked like sugar in a plum

The interview – Sugar in a Plum – will be published in two parts. This is the first of the two episodes.

I was looking at this woman for about last half an hour sitting in a corner of the café. It was early in the afternoon on a fine spring Saturday. Gloria Jeans’ outlet in the lush green vicinity of Model Town, Lahore, is my favorite coffee bar. The outlet has a small sitting area in the balcony for smokers, my usual place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Continue reading “Sugar in a Plum – Part I”

Doubt and Reflection in March 2016

prisoner of doubt and reflection

Another month is gone! This was another month of doubt and reflection.

Life not only passes by like a flash, it is full of many distractions. It is also mostly cruel these days. In a world that floats in mindless bloodletting and heartless dehumanization, it is increasingly difficult to go on and find purpose in mundane routine of your daily life. Continue reading “Doubt and Reflection in March 2016”

After the Prophet: A Book Review

After the Prophet

This is a guest* article; a book review on Lesley Hazleton‘s title “After the Prophet – The Epic Story of the ShiaSunni Split in Islam.

A person looking at the world through red coloured lens would describe the world as red. This would be also the case if another person wears different coloured lens except that the overwhelming colour would be different this time. Continue reading “After the Prophet: A Book Review”

The Slumdog Social Scientist

A social scientist has to deal with a lot of reading

It has been over a year that I have known him. He is about above average height, wears a traditional beard, and displays a slightly bulging belly that doesn’t suit his ripe 24 years of age. The first impression is of an ordinary personality except for his playful smile and his knack for cracking jokes. But that doesn’t mean he is ordinary.

Continue reading “The Slumdog Social Scientist”

Is Politics Good or Evil?

It is natural to think is politics good or evil?

“We hear about politics all the time, but is politics good or evil?” asked Dr. Amani Moazzam.

She is a bespectacled, studious looking professor with an aura of a headstrong woman which many of her students find intimidating initially. In reality, she is a sweet and kind at heart teacher whose concern for her students gradually manifests itself rather involuntarily. Continue reading “Is Politics Good or Evil?”

The Plucked Little Girl

Little Girl

Fazal Din did not like the way Nasir Ali looked at his 6 years old little girl. He knew how men looked at girls; he used to do it once too. But he saw something odd in Nasir Ali’s gaze; there was something peculiar. He thought maybe because his daughter was a child he found that gaze rather odd, but he was hardly convinced. Continue reading “The Plucked Little Girl”

In Love with a Ghost

A woman in love with a ghost

I always told her she was actually in love with a ghost. She used to laugh crazily, and told me “yes, you are no less than a ghost”.

I told her, “look, it’s true that I care a lot about you, but so many years have passed, we have both changed and so has life, you should now forget that once we almost got romantic.”

But she never listened, she was a very stubborn woman. Continue reading “In Love with a Ghost”

Monthly Roundup: February 2016

This is the first monthly roundup for The Cognitive Backyard. I actually thought about starting a monthly roundup late last September. I did this sort of thing once on Facebook. But, I think this is the proper place to conclude the blogging month.  Continue reading “Monthly Roundup: February 2016”

An Interview with Lust


The interview will appear in the March issue of Socialist Factor; a Lucknow, India based monthly magazine on democratic socialism and social justice.


I asked him, “Who are you?”

He grinned lifting his heavy eyebrows, and stared at my face while he took a puff of Gold Leaf, and replied in a deep slow voice, “I am greed, I am lust, I am desperate, call me whatever you want, but I am no human”.  Continue reading “An Interview with Lust”