I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. ― Helen Keller

June 24, 2013

pakistan290Balu ushered me to the vehicle in bit of a rush. Balu? Was that really his name? I truly hoped it was though he did not have any easy going, saxophone loving idleness about him which his namesake showed. This short fellow, in a drab brown shalwar kemeez that failed to hide the fact that he looked like he was about to give birth to triplets, and adorned with a moustache that glistened in the sun, was slightly agitated and would have no messing about on the street. I Read more

Taliaban Bullets….Welcome to Pakistan

June 22, 2013

karachi290I arrive in the Airbus and my South Asia expectations (born of deep experience) about a crush and rush to the front are quashed. I feel slightly undersold. What’s with these people being so polite and deferential to each other? This is very Javanese of them I think. Since when were these guys so docile? Clearly there was something in the chicken biryani that has stupefied us all. Read more

Exporting a Bogan or Two

June 21, 2013

window1(Language warning!) They’re sitting in the seats behind me. 76J and 76K in the 380. One is wearing shorts and a ‘wifebeater’.  It went something like this, in loud voices used to projecting over the sound of the dogs on the back of the grinding ute.  My laptop was on my knee so I made like a Hansard Reporter for as long as I could tolerate it.

‘owya doing?

Good mate, really fucking’ good mate. How’s this plane eh? Scary shit.

Yeah mate, done this before?

Went to Germany earlier in the year. It was a blast. Not on a plane like this though.


What mate?

I’m feeling really good mate.

Don’t push that fucking button.

Really, what’s going down man?

Really, you’ll just be watching the trailer.

Really? Man you know your shit. I can tell you’ve been around. Read more

Echoes of Empire

May 13, 2009

303flash290.jpgAs much as I despise the culture of obsequious kowtowing to “the Empire” there are some icons that connect me to it in a more positive yet strange way.  Some are old history books. Biggles stories are another connection – they formed up some perspectives as a ten year old which seem  humourous now. Winston Churchill’s various memoirs. And the Lee Enfield .303. On reflection they are all inputs from my childhood. (The negative reaction came later in my studies of archives for my Masters but that is another story). Read more

Taxi Story – The Pakistani (II)

March 4, 2009


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I am from Lahore and I drive this taxi part time. The taxi is owned by an Indian. I found this Indian CD behind the visor. It is actually a Pakistani song but the Indians like it. It is a very beautiful song and actually we all like it. Now this one is from India. It is an OK song. I will leave it playing.

I came from Pakistan 12 years ago. I went back to Pakistan every year until my parents died. Parents are the centre of the universe and the reason we go back. But they are now dead. Now I am the centre. Read more