The first thing that comes to mind, are the checkered tiles. Although, hidden from the public eye, somewhere on the first floor of the building; it is the tiles that hold the memories wedged in between the tiny gaps among them. Weddings, funerals, Dholkis, the occasional game of tag, human chess and the many drops of rain that graced its glossy surface. The tiles, in short, carry decades of joy and grief altogether.

It was a two-storey house, situated smack in the middle of a small colony called Hadinagar, in the city of Hyderabad itself. Now if you’ve ever been…

Zu’l Qarnain journeyed to Mount Qaf;
He saw it was formed of a bright emerald,
Forming as it were a ring round the world,
Whereat all people are filled with wonder.
He said, “Thou mighty hill, what are other hills?
Before thee they are mere playthings.”

Jalaluddin Rumi (13th century CE), Masnavi I Ma’navi IV:9

This particular passage, taken from one of the many writings of the great Sufi poet Jalal-ad-Din Mohammad Rumi, tells us of the mighty Alexander (Arabic: Zu’l Qarnain) travelling to Qaf on his eastern quest for the water of life and hoping to meet on its…

According to most fashion magazines, makeup brands and women-only talk shows; the biggest conundrum a 21st century woman should face is how to battle ageing. The little monster lurking under your skin, that resurfaces to the top in all its glory as soon as you hit your prime.

But pray do tell, what IS one’s prime?

We have placed an imaginary biological clock upon our bodies, and seem to seek every treatment or solution out there to fix our skin, look our absolute damned best and be able to show off the same features we once didn’t care much for…

Maybe the skies were calling you,
the birds circling overhead, calling
your name.

Maybe the storm clouds
were gathering, to celebrate your

Maybe the heavens
were being laden with feasts,

fit enough for a king.

Maybe the Earth parted in two for you,
much like the Red Sea.
and there you lay, in your canopied bed, lush green and smiling,

adorned in white.

Maybe you jest and joke now,
with the angels up above.
A picture of health and happiness,
resting in eternal love.

I’ll always remember your
handsome face, and the
eternal warmth of your smile
for now you remain etched in memory,

as we leave you to rest for a while.

Burst of gold, the showering sun
hanging overhead. You do not
feel the heat, only pure,
unadulterated joy.
Evenings grow long and
the days, more languid.
You relinquish in all that
this world has to offer,
you realise that grasping at
straws will not do, will not do.
You realise that in this short-lived
life there is much to be done, and
despair will not do.

Yet you wake every living day,

out of this dreary state; like the mighty amaltas in the summer sun

glistening, and growing.

We will always have the tangerine sun

and the bespectacled moon;

engaging in mirth and a tempestuous

game of hide and seek. We will always

have mini monsoons and cypress

trees, spiralling into the cloudless sky.

Seared limbs and denim jackets, the lazy

sweltering, August sun;

burning into our backs. We will always

have the silent, gilded, frosty nights

and the warm raucous laughter.

The soft smoke curling around us

as we speak, we shall always

have it all; In the mind’s eye, at least.

I watch the soft unfurling of the fisted flowers
tiny buds, competing to reach
the finish line
the slight trembling of the trees
swaying to the Northern winds
and the gathering of the crows
in the quiet, misted mornings.
There isn’t much to say except
watch with complete bewilderment
how the world as you know
in the passing of the days
in the shadow of the night
in just a blink of an eye

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon in one of the largest public parks in the city; my friend and I were lazing about on a picnic blanket and listening to Mehdi Hassan crooning from the Bluetooth speaker. A nice spread layout before us; Doritos and a cheap store-bought hummus. We were leisurely dipping each chip into the garlicky sauce; licking it off the tips of our fingers. The cold December wind was whipping around us; leaves lay scattered on the ground and we were at peace. Two women, against the big bad world. All was good.

But of course, as…

So much of poetry is sad,

words tied together in uncomfortable
knots, smudged with tears and streaked

with memories.

So much of poetry, is grief.

Horrific howling, and the undiluted rage.
The dragging of the silence,

and the sinking of the heart.

So much of poetry is numbing.

The dark nothingness, the wide spacing between the

The absolute finality of it all.

But sometimes, so much of poetry, just is.

Rusty engine types, gathering dust in the
shelf types; the kind that has not seen
the light of the day type.

So much of poetry,

yet, it is never enough somehow.

Countries that make up the ‘Next Eleven' — South Korea, Mexico, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, and Vietnam

Economists often refer to Pakistan as one of the ‘Next Eleven’ developing countries, and soon to become one of the world’s largest economies in the 21st century. Present fastest-growing economies all share one thing in common, and that is the rise of renewable technologies. Although Pakistan has many ways to go before it can properly establish itself as a country running on renewable energy completely; in some ways, it has already existed in our region since the dawn of civilization.

Renewable energy refers to the energy that comes from a natural process or source, which do not replenish over time…

Hiba Memon

Third-culture kid, dividing time between the UAE and Pakistan. An engineer by the day and a writer by the night.

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