Marriage

by Haider Shahbaz Rain taps on their window. Tip tap, tip tap. She says to him: “Let’s go outside on the balcony”. “Are you mad? It’s pouring.” he says. “No, of course I’m not mad. You know I like being in the rain.” “I think I’m getting a cold. I might head off to bed.…

American Sketches

by Haider Shahbaz (Note: The theme of one sketch was suggested by fellow 3 Quarks Daily columnist Rishidev Chaudhuri after a night of his delicious summer drinks. As always, I am grateful.) I (Thirty five dollars and seventy two cents) Once he nailed her to the floor he moved back assuredly. He briskly – yet…

The Last Novel

by Haider Shahbaz Kashif is a novelist who is afraid of novels: they all remind him of his failure at love. Novels, with the futility of each word, with the reflection of each phrase, with the silent spaces between sounds, remind him of nothing but loss. His novels are nothing but bloody fights with the…

Monks/Juicy Tomatoes

by Haider Shahbaz Juicy tomatoes. Crispy lettuce. A succulent chicken breast. Olive oil. Black pepper. Chopped green onions and chopped smelly garlic. Mustard. Rosemary bread, perhaps? Lightly heat the oil. Brown the garlic and the onions as you hear them sizzle. Sprinkle black pepper on one side of the chicken. Sautee the chicken with the…

Holes

By Syed Haider Shahbaz “On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.” Gabriel Garcia Marques, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. “Before we had religion and other nonsense. Now for everyone there should be someone to…

Going up a hill

by Haider Shahbaz The first was happy to observe. The second wanted to create. The third was always mimicking. The first one, Mike, tall and thin with bushy Jewish hair was wrapped in a blanket that reminded you of your last LSD trip: colourful, torn and full of bunnies. The second, Dario, with his round…

Growing up with Osama

I grew up with a mysterious man. He talks about depleting natural resources, the concept of class, Sweden’s welfare state, religion, Kyoto, corporate influence in politics, monarchy in Saudi Arabia and AIDS. And he kills people. Many, many people. I don’t understand him. I’ve never met him. I don’t even know if he’s alive anymore.…

ABP

ABP is a house; it is one quarter of a house, the bottom left corner of New Haven’s 111 Howe Street to be precise. ABP is short for Alif, Bay and Pay which are the first three alphabets of the Urdu language. It has been given the name ABP by the three Pakistani undergraduates from…