Burmese Days

by Maniza Naqvi “… How does our affair progress? I hope that, as dear Mr. Macgregor would say—U Po Kyin broke into English—eet ees making perceptible progress?” Burmese Days by George Orwell remains relentlessly relevant and a touchstone for cynics eight decades after it was written. The novel opens with U Po Kyin at age…

The Middle Way, the Difficult Way—Sharper than a Sword and Narrower than a Hair

by Maniza Naqvi We drank hot tea which helped to cool us down. Without the fans swirling the air around us, it was sweltering hot in the room. And the many layers of silk I was wearing were beginning to stick to my back and arms. Just as we were getting started, the lights went…

A Matter of Detail: The Masonry of Graffiti and Symbols

    by Maniza Naqvi The photographer, the journalist, and the novelist: wrapped in each other’s facts, cloaked in another reality, set out to worship a city mapped in news and fiction. A peacock sways across the tiled floor brushing its iridescent tail upon black and white marble elongated squares. We slip off our shoes,…

The Great Land Grab: Bhatta And The Route of War

by Maniza Naqvi Nearly 80 percent of the war supplies, non lethal war supplies, as they are called, for the US led coalition troops fighting in Afghanistan, snake through the city of Karachi. Much of the containers and oil tankers to the north from the Port either go through the Northern Bypass or through the…

The Great Land Grab: Beyla

By Maniza Naqvi Beyla o Beyla—-My precious Beyla! O meri lal-Beyla! Mubarak Beyla—Jiayanoon Beyla! See, didn’t I always say to you –Keep your courage—Keep your faith–So what if your man is no more? We are here for you—my lali Beyla. Don’t I always say to you we will take care of you–my woman and I…

Abtabad

by Maniza Naqvi “Last night I dreamt I went back to Manderley.” I muttered. Sadaf seemed smaller, diminished, no longer the huge imposing mansion within a sprawling compound of the splendid gardens of my childhood. The scales of time, experience and perspective had taken their toll. We had driven around the neighborhood several times looking…