کارڈ by Aamir Bilal

کچھ سال پہلے کسی کو بھیجنے کی غرض سے کارڈ لئے تھے. پھر کچھ ہوا جو اب یاد نہیں. یا پھر میں خود ان سب واقعات کو دل کے شہر کے کسی ایسے ویران کونے میں پھینک آیا ہوں اور وہاں نہیں جانے کی ایسی قسم کھائی ہے کہ بلکل بھول چکا ہوں کہ شہر کا کوئی وہ کونا بھی ہے اور وہاں کیوں آیا کیا بھلانے آیا اور کیا کچھ بھول بیٹھا. لیکن کل شام سردی کی شدت نے کمبل ڈھونڈنے پر مجبور کیا تو ایک ڈبہ کھولتے ہی میں شہر کے اس کونے میں پہنچ ہی گیا. یاد آ گیا کہ کیا دفن کرنے آیا تھا. کسی کو بھیجنے کی غرض سے خریدے ہے کارڈ تھے. یہ بھی یاد آ گیا کہ انٹرنیٹ پر کہاں سے آرڈر کیے تھے اور اس کارڈ بنانے والی خاتون نے ان ہاتھ سے بنے کارڈوں کو بھیجنے کے ساتھ کیا کچھ بولا تھا. میں کچھ دیر ان کارڈوں کو دیکھتا رہا. پھر سردی کی شدت بڑھ گئی

Beggar by Aamir Bilal

A beggar visits the street in the evening. I am hearing him for the last five years. For the last two days, he hadn't come. Since then I have felt as it is not the same life I was living. Or is it? Has he teleported to somewhere or some other life? Why didn't I hear the voice I had become accustomed to hearing? Is he ill? Is is no more? Or has his mission succeeded if he was a spy living as a beggar? I await to hear the voice again, a voice I don't know whom it belongs to. But even after all odds, I don't want to happily accept the instability of life. 

Again by Aamir Bilal

A random click from the window of a moving train kept me intrigued about two things. One - Will I ever be able to know the exact location of the place and the second - will I be lucky enough to be able to shoot it again? It was 2009. After I took the picture, which somehow came very sharp, I wanted to know where the bridge existed. It was all trees when I was looking out of the window and clicked the picture. I searched but the web well of knowledge was dry. An old bridge which now stays free of all the traffic and life sparked some interest. One can guess that it likely dates back to the pre-partition era. It's antiquity made me write about it on my blog. I was fascinated enough that I even wanted to add it somewhere into an unfinished story which sadly is still unfinished and keeps rattling in the head. But above all, I wanted to see it again. But this Saturday, I chose a train instead of a faster bus and stayed dangling at the window. The DSLR was in a standby, the GPS was locked, the clocks were tuned. Then the moment came. And after eight years of living with a restless thought, the intrigue had to die. After seventy five minutes of travel from Rawalpindi, the train passes through an area called JABBA. Right next to the modern and full of life Grand Trunk road lies an old bridge over which many lives crossed each other, many friends traversed to become enemies, many lovers drove seeking happiness. Now, like an old forgotten man, obscure from the world, it sits in silence. It might be recalling the tales of adventures, fortune, pleasure and mishap that it carried. But all those lives are gone and forgotten. It awaits to be forgotten too. Sadly it met me. Now I had to meet him. Again. And now I know where he lives.
Aamir Bilal.
 

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For the geeky curious here are the latitude and longitude values 33.122963, 73.442833

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The Djinn Falls In Love by Aamir Bilal

Every language has a word for them. Every culture knows their traditions. Every religion, every history has them hiding in their dark places. There is no part of the world that does not know them. They are the Djinn. They are among us. The book is a collection of 22 stories from vast ends and cultures of the world about Djinns, ghosts, specters, or whatever you call them in your language.

This is a really wonderful collection where there were so many variations of djinn both good and evil, mischievous and kind, religious and deviant. There's not a single poorly written story. They're all very well-thought, carefully crafted and character driven stories. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves short stories and is looking to read a diverse collection about magic and supernatural in fiction. 

Aasaib Nagri by M A Rahat by Aamir Bilal

Perhaps one of the best of the works of M A Rahat comes in the form of a story from the Samanabad neighborhood of Lahore. Dating back to his golden days of writing, the story was first published episodically in Akhbar-e-Jahan which earned him popularity among the fiction lovers of the Urdu reading world.

The theme of novel is mystery and supernatural. Sadly like all writers, at a few points the writer propagates his own religious beliefs to the readers but it happens only at a handful moments. Besides this tiny flaw, the whole aura of suspense and tension keeps the reader on the edge of the seat.

Having spent most of his writing time in Lahore and also being inspired from his own neighborhood, the key parts of the story happen in the Lahore of late 80's to early 90's. So the internet generation might find the lack of smartphones and social spaces hard to apprehend. But those who grew up in that time would come across many nostalgic moments which is a plus.

The story revolves around a boy born and raised in Bahrain to Pakistani parents and had been told so many tales of their ancestral homeland even though he was never allowed to travel to his father's birthplace, Lahore, he wanted to. His father used to pay regular visits to the country however and during his last visit, he disappears triggering a series of events including their coming to Pakistan for the very first time and discovering their relatives, their culture and their huge assets which their father had made with a fortune. Some frightening and in-explainable events break their courage and hope to know what happened to their father. Its a supernatural crime thriller which must be made into a movie. Just an amazing tale.

Seed by Aamir Bilal

The biggest factor to decide the fruit is always the seed. The other factors count too but they can never alter the nature of the fruit. A pregnant mother carries a seed too. Here, she is a factor for the biggest factor. Let's hope only the positive plays for new soul. 

Stories by Aamir Bilal

That is another name of lives. Old, wrinkled faces have a lot of stories hidden under their skin. But as everyone has a different price at which they open up, it is almost impossible to put a tag about the worth of wisdom. Why would an old man speak of his first sleepless night as a boy when all that night he kept thinking about a girl. Why? It would still be an interesting story if he speaks up. But his wife might not be that very girl he thought about and at the moment she is still waiting outside the clinic. Hence such a story is most likely to be hidden till it just vanishes with the soul who knows it, for good. And we would never know of this tale. His blood picture is a story too. Too much of harmful oils and sugars have reached his blood over the years. I guess he still found a way to think of happiness and pursuit it or at least the illusion of it. Even if one tries to dig into his stories out of sheer curiosity, finding all the edges of the picture is impossible. Tiny fragment missing from a painting can alter the truth. What if half of the face was missing from The Mona Lisa ? A reality would have been shattered into two possibilities - her being normal and her being blind, at least in one eye.