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Finding Neverland Blog Archive

#CricketComesHome

CricketComesHome

And just like that, it finally happened. A bowler ran in to bowl and a batsman blocked the ball. Over two thousand days of exile ended with that simple act of cricket.

The hours leading up to that moment had felt surprisingly normal. Those interminable queues shepherded by sweating policemen; that chaos and confusion around parking; the spontaneous humour throughout it all. At one point, as we crossed a row of metal detectors that were constantly going off, the crowd started mimicking the cacophony of robotic sounds. The serious cops broke into laughter, and the paranoia and nerves began to dissipate along with their chuckles.

The Lahore crowd also made the occasion count. The entire stadium was heaving when the Zimbabwean anthem came on and when they played the Pakistani anthem the very foundations of the stadium were left shaking. They were raucous right through the long build-up - the strict security meant that people were supposed to be at the ground well before the match started.

Pakistan also managed to take a simple match into an unnecessarily tight finish. What that meant was that instead of a cakewalk the crowd could expunge its nervous energy into a perfect crescendo. They shouted themselves hoarse, they smacked plastic bottles to a deafening rhythm, they howled Afridi's name. The captain obliged, smacking the winning boundary towards the stand that was dressed with banners saying #CricketComesHome. You couldn't have written a better script.

Years from now Pakistanis will look at the scorecard and wonder what the fuss was about. Why a one-sided T20 generated such meaning. But the simple answer is that after six years, a country had a chance to feel normal once again. A chance to remind itself that it was part of the larger world, that its hopes and dreams also had a right to exist. (Excerpts from A Glimpse of normalcy in Cacophony , Ahmer Naqvi)


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The Story of Last True Hermit


Last True Hermit

The hermit set out of camp at midnight, carrying his backpack and his bag of break-in tools, and threaded through the forest, rock to root to rock, every step memorized. Not a boot print left behind. It was cold and nearly moonless, a fine night for a raid, so he hiked about an hour to the Pine Tree summer camp, a few dozen cabins spread along the shoreline of North Pond in central Maine. With an expert twist of a screwdriver, he popped open a door of the dining hall and slipped inside, scanning the pantry shelves with his penlight.

Pehlwani, the Desi Wrestling

Pehlwani

Pehlwani is a form of wrestling from South Asia. It was developed in the Mughal era by combining native malla-yuddha with influences from Persian koshti pahlavani. The words pehlwani and kusti derive from the Persian terms pahlavani and koshti respectively.

A practitioner of this sport is referred to as a pehlwan while teachers are known either as guru or ustad, depending on their religion. Many southern Indian practitioners of traditional malla-yuddha consider their art to be the more "pure" form of Indian wrestling, but most South Asians do not make this clear distinction and simply view kusti as the direct descendent of ancient malla-yuddha, usually downplaying the foreign influence as inconsequential.

When feelings become History

Mystery

Written By: Izzah Naveed
When you lose the path and your allies lose you,
when nights pass in blur and sickness got you.
Those luxuries give you pain but yet you stand and claim them
When darkness consumes your heart and light burns your soul.
That beautiful agony where happiness does not grow
The peace in the battles and the brightness of black
When direction does nothing but distract
For love changes into mystery and feelings become history
Life pushes you to the brink but you hold it tight even as you sink



The Cruel Cycle of Life

Old man

It was a rare sunny day here in London, around 10 in the morning when I went to the park near the university, wanted to just stretch my body after a few lazy days. I jogged for a while and then sat on a bench enjoying the sunshine. There was this school trip and several kindergarten students with their small school bags, water bottles, red caps, were walking past me and I could not help but adore them. Smiled at them, they waved at me, I waved back and then one of the teachers asked one of the boy to go and give me a chocolate and he obliged, his name was Dennis. Such a cute little being, so happy, enjoying his time with his adorable little friends. They started playing in the park and I started throwing the tennis ball towards them so they could catch it.

While all this was happening an old man came and sat on the bench right across mine and started staring here and there, obviously I ignored. It must have been 20 minutes later when I decided to go back since I had to go to the university. The moment I passed him he said something which I could not understand. So I asked him again.

You know Egypt is still really beautiful, it is your country, right? He said.
No no I am from Pakistan, not Egypt. I said.
Oh okay you look like them. He said.
So people tell me hahah, I replied.

Pakistan is a nice place as well I have been there once. He started talking after a brief silence, then continued.  I lived in Egypt for like 30 years it is a beautiful place, looks just like this park.
It must be beautiful I am sure, I have never been to Egypt but I have heard a lot about it. I said.
Those were the days of King Faruq, when I went there the first time, it was such a peaceful place and I fell in love with it. He said.

Did you work for a company or you just went there for a visit? I asked.
No no son, I worked there for an oil company for like 30 years. I am 80 years old now. This park you are sitting in has been here for a long long time, I used to come here with my father, we used to play, just like these kids here playing right now.

While he was telling me he had this wide big smile on his face.

Woah 80, that's pretty long, what did you use to play? I hope cricket? I love cricket. I just tried to join in the conversation.
It used to be so much fun, there were mountains here now they are no where to be seen, the park had no boundaries, there was a water canal nearby, it was a beautiful place to visit. And yes I also played cricket but mostly with my friends.
It must be fun for sure, I replied.
Yes those were good days. Now look at me son, I am alone and on my own and there is no one I can talk to for days, so I come visit this park and try talking to anyone I can find, hope you aren't being bothered. He exclaimed.
No no It is fun knowing about someone's life. I said.
Its a fuckin' terrible life, I tell you. Old age. He said.
I have to go now I have my university in sometime and I am getting late. I said.
You come here everyday? He asked.
Often, yes but no fixed time. I replied.
Okay can you come exactly at this time tomorrow and we can talk for a bit? He asked me again.
Yes sure I am free tomorrow, will try and be here. I replied again.

But the next day I went to the park and he was not there. Day after, he was not there as well, the third day was the same. I haven't seen that old man ever since, hope he's safe and alive. Worst part is that I did not even ask his name but that smile and excitement on his face while talking about his childhood was extremely cute, still makes me smile whenever I think about it, hope we learn to respect our elders and have never ever even think about abandoning them.

Land of the Lost


Written By: Komal Aziz.

What didn't they do? To get us this piece of land?

What haven't we done? To give it all away?

My eyes are wet with tears of blood, as I see my country, my Pakistan, turning from 'The Land of the Pure' to 'The Land of the Lost'. Its true, that we are lost. We are lost because we don't know who we are anymore, we don't see anyone for who they really are, frustration has taken its place permanently in our veins, and we have turned into our own enemies.

Frankly speaking, blaming America for the drone attacks, terrorists for the killings and politicians for almost every little problem is just another lame justification of what has become of this nation. We are the ones, who have turned this nation into what it is today. We, are killing our own people. We, are the reason Pakistan is not as stable as it should have been.

Don't you think the white and green flag we call ours should be respected? If yes, then is that what we're doing? How would you feel if you are your class representative but all teachers pick different students for their work? Useless? Please don't make our flag look useless, and please stop raising different flags instead of our national one. Stop dividing yourselves into parties.

What's the point of all this quarreling when in the end, its basically Pakistan against the rest of the world? Right now, all that's happening here in this country must look hilarious to the world outside. The whole world stares at us and no wonder laughs while we turn into monsters and tear ourselves apart. Stop this insanity. Stop acting like fools just because you think acting wise won't bear any fruit. Becoming fools like our politicians won't bring us any peace either. How about standing up for our rights?

How about uniting as one, no matter who you support, Nawaz Sharif or Imran Khan. Because at the end of the day, we all are Pakistanis. 

Of Religious Extremism in Pakistan


Written By: Saniya Ahmad

Today, on 13th May 2015, approximately 43 were killed (of which 16 were women) and 13 others were injured near Safoora Chowk in Karachi, when 7 armed assailants opened fire inside a bus full of members of the Ismaili community. No children were reported to have been murdered.

It seems like another daily dose of sectarian violence. Another day in Pakistan. Another minority, another sect, another community murdered. Another group of people shot over their beliefs. Another massacre of the people of Pakistan. Another planned attack. Another daily dose, another day.

I do not know what is more upsetting: that people are being killed brutally just over a difference of religion, or that people are defending the terrorists and calling the victims Kafir and claiming that the attack was “well-deserved”. Truly, I have never seen a nation as united as Pakistan when it comes to cricket and hating India, and as divided as Pakistan when it comes to Islam. A minor difference of opinion between one sect and another, and the sects declare each other Kafir. A difference over how one sect offers their prayers, and they are declared Kafir. A difference over how one sect offers they yearly pilgrimage, and they are declared Kafir. One little difference is all it takes for the leaders of one sect to rise to the status of God and declare all the other sects Kafir.

Not only are the illiterates trying to sit in the place of God and declaring who deserves to live and who doesn’t, even the literates aren’t far behind. They will be liberal in every single aspect of life, but when it comes to Islam, their conservative opinions state that anyone with a slightly different belief is nothing short of a Kafir. Not only do I blame the terrorists and the conservative mullahs for the ruins that this country is in now, I blame the literates as well for their claims of only themselves being Muslims enough and no one else rising up to their standards of Islam; that Islam of whose principles they might not even be aware of.

The cities of Pakistan are weeping blood, the roads have become red rivers. Every part of Pakistan’s earth has absorbed the blood of innocent “Kafirs”. Schools and colleges are bleedings. Mosques, temples and churches are bleeding. And now, the streets and roads are bleeding too. No one is safe because according to these barbarians, we are all not Muslims. We are all infidels in the eyes of the terrorists. We are all wajib-ul-qatal in the minds of the conservatives. And we will be, till these terrorists are wiped out.

On the other hand are our “brave” and “courageous” politicians, our leaders, who stand up in front a few journalists, with a hundred bodyguards behind them, condemning the attack and declaring a war against terrorists and declaring that justice will be served. An approximate of Rs. 5 lakhs will also be donated to the affected families, as if that is the price of the life of their loved one. When the press conference ends, they’ll walk back to their respective limousines and drive back to their well-protected mansions and forget about it within minutes. No justice will be served. No culprit will be caught. Life will move on until another attack takes place.

I don’t demand for justice anymore. I don’t demand for equality anymore. I don’t demand for anything anymore, except for the right to live. Every citizen of Pakistan from the poor to the rich, from Sunnis to Shias to Ahmadis to Christians to Hindus to atheists, from children to elders, from males to females to transgender, every human should be given the right to live. That is all I ask from my leaders now. That is all I expect of them. Nothing more. Everything less.

The Hedgehog and the Snake

Snake and Hedgehog

Written By: Maham Shahbaz

Out by the fire sits a lonely hedgehog. The fire crackles and shines with its bright colors.

The hedgehog sits staring into it as if it’s  a marvel, a beautiful marvel. Fire is alive, thinks the hedgehog and moves closer. In the cold winter night fire soothed her more than her traitor mind. The hedgehog thinks if she was  fire she would be so happy and loved because now everyone just walks away from her because of her ugly spines. she sat there and thought of the beautiful little snake she saw that day.

The next day she told the snake that’s she secretly watched him daily for a year now and she was helplessly in love with him. she said this with little beady eyes looking down on the ground, not at the snake. The snake was a little shocked that how could a hedgehog love a poisonous snake? Snake is a prey of hedgehog. The snake was so sure it was a trap that it slithered away into its tiny hole. The little hedgehog tried running after it but couldn't. So she waited outside the hole in the ground for the snake to come out. “how will I know that you won’t eat me?” asked the snake. On that the hedgehog realized that she was starving. So the hedgehog replied “wait here I will go eat something so that you can believe me”.