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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Essay on Intizar Husain in Herald magazine

Honoured to have an essay on Intizar Sahib in the October 2016 issue of Herald. In no way the most qualified person to write on him, but Faiza Shah at Herald was so supportive and encouraging that I was able to cobble something together, and the editing team at the magazine did a great job of whipping it into shape. The issue is out on news stands now - do check it out, if based in Pakistan. Thanks, guys.

Update: online version here http://herald.dawn.com/news/1153560/everybody-loves-intizar-husain

The long view

Solom: Mama, I will now ask you a GENIUS QUESTION. You can only TRY to answer it.

Me: Bolo.

Solom: WHICH ONE OF THESE *pause for dramatic effect* IS A CRYSTAL? a) a raindrop b) a snowflake c) a hailstone

Me: Snowflake.

Solom stares at me in a displeased fashion, which means it's the correct answer.

Me: What does this make your Mama?

Solom: A genius. BUT YOU KNOW, MAMA, you SHOULD know this... it's only for CLASS THREE students. And you've passed CLASS SIX.

Friday, October 14, 2016

To Blog or Not to Blog

A few weeks ago, someone sent me a very kind email praising one of the popular posts on this blog. He said it inspired him to sit down and write a story, which is really the best compliment one could ever get for one's writing.

Reading his email made me go back and read through some of the old posts again. And I found myself thinking that this used to be quite a fun blog in its hey day. That style of writing, the flow, seem almost alien to me now. I don't think I can gather my thoughts the same way anymore, nor present them in as entertaining a manner.

Of course, one must question why that is the case. Is it that I'm simply out of practice now? Have I lost that particular sense of humour... have I become *gasp* boring? Or is it something deeper? Are my children becoming harder to sum up in blogbytes as they grow older? Did I become too overly conscious of what I was publishing as this space became more popular? 

I suspect self-consciousness did play a role in the lapsing of this blog. I started thinking about what people would like to read, rather than what I would like to write. And so much happened in the last couple of years that was not about what Solom, Zain or Al-Husband had said. I had more to say. About politics. About justice. About global peace. I just wasn't sure if anyone wanted to hear about it on a motherhood blog.

(Before you say it, no, it's not so easy to just throw caution to the wind and write about what one wants. It's never easy to do that.)

Other thoughts crossed my mind as well. My own dwindling patience with the lengthy sentence (should I move into podcasting instead, or vlogs?). The dwindling popularity of the blog format (there's so much to read out there anyway... honestly, who cares anymore?).

Decisions, decisions. Suffice to say, Aafster had absolutely no idea what was the right course of action. Aafster still has no idea what the right course of action is.

So, until she figures it out, Aafster is blogging.

Son Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Solom and Zain handed me this lovely envelope today.

Instant love. Opened it, to find this beauty inside. Apparently written by Solom but DICTATED BY ZAIN, WHO IS CLEARLY FEELING GUILTY FOR THE OTHER DAY HAHA.

Here's the text, for the optically challenged:

Dear Mama,

I love you Mama very much. And have a nice birthday, which is next year. It is okay if you fall sick, I will be there to help you.


Bring it on, BAHU! Saasu Ma's ready, yo!