Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sehnsucht..





Sometimes, without warning, despair and this sharp sense of missing you strikes. And then I have to stop whatever it is I am doing at the moment and just focus to will that away. And then when it abates for a while, I am left with acute loneliness and a hollow heart.
Yet, hope springs eternal.



Monday, February 22, 2010

The Dancing Girls Of Lahore




I wept, felt revolted, but I found myself immediately caught up in the lives, laughter, tears, history, gossip, ambition and sheer guts of Maha, an aging, Lahore "dancing girl" through the grace of Louise Brown's writing, who lived with her family in a dingy, crumbling, ancient quarter of Lahore. Louise Brown lived in wretched conditions to observe the life of Maha, a woman in her 30s who has retired in an industry where rookies are as young as 10 years old. You get to see the dilemma that her young 14 years old is shipped to Gulf to be a mistress for an old Arab. This can be very painful reading, very young girls are raised to be prostitutes, neglect and abuse are rampant. By the time these girls have "aged out" to their 20s, they are virtually worthless and must in turn raise their own daughters to be prostitutes. Without any ability to earn money from anything but sex (with the very youngest girls), this degradation carries on from generation to generation, often with grandmother, mother and daughter all prostituted to the same depraved wealthy men.

The author gives an in-depth point of view of daily life in Lahore, following the lives of several characters and families as she personally visits them over a seven year period. Through her portrayal of their lives, one can gain a great understanding of a world and culture so completely different from their own. The vivid descriptions make you feel like you are there living in Heera Mandi. I learned so much about the mentality of Pakistani women who are living in a cycle of prostitution. It makes me understand why it is so difficult to get out of this situation with the society being so unforgiving. Author weaved the book so beautifully,you can see the images in your mind's eye with near-perfect clarity. It broke my heart , not only because of what these women go through, but to see the way their pimps treat them and they just accept it and know no other way. They have no options and choices available to them, yet they don't seem to realize just how bad things are. Louise Brown spent months with the women and eunuchs at the Heera Mandi, yet had nothing but praise for their hospitality and respect towards her. At the end, they are humans who had the misfortune to be born in that part of the society, and they are doing the best they know of, keeping their traditions alive, and surviving on a day to day basis.

A stunning, heartbreaking and amazing book on a secret culture of Red Light area which is also known as Heera Mandi in Lahore, Pakistan, and a fascinating journey into a side of Indo-Pakistani culture usually, carefully hidden from view. Give it a try and do read this book.

What are you currently reading? :) 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Love or something like it..


A moment,
Just a moment,
In your arms;
A look,
Just one look,
Is all I need,
To remind me,
What I want;
To help me,
See the lilies,
The fence,
Our garden,
And us,
In a little house,
Somewhere you like.
I want the chance,
To kiss you,
Every morning,
To hug you,
Every night.
Mirrors are shallow,
I wish to see,
Myself
In your eyes,
Every single day.
I hope,
To make you smile.
I vow,
To steal your pain.
I love,
The idea of loving,
You.