Archive for January, 2011

Muse/ic – “Part XV: Chapter VI – ‘The Dawn’ by Eva Maria Rauter”

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Excerpt from Chapter VI: Why isn’t he coming?” my mother said finally after the third hour had come and gone.
“Maybe,” I said, “there’s a lot of traffic,” a response that only elicited a distracted nod.
Or maybe some secret police followed us from the border this morning, I said to myself, and has stopped him somewhere to question him. Maybe that’s why it was so easy to leave Pakistan and enter India.
“You know how crazy people drive, always cutting in,” I said. “He’s just stuck in traffic.”
Or lying in some car wreck or hospital.
“I think that plane moved,” Joubin said from the window.
“Right,” I said.
“It did,” he said, squinting. “Just a little.”
“Where do you think Layla is now?” I asked my mother.
Probably still in Lahore,” my mother said.
“Wish she was here now,” I said. Her faraway gaze dissipated my questions, adding an extra sixty seconds to each minute we spent within those lifeless walls.


Once again I travel back with Eva Maria Rauter’s evocative music, this time “The Dawn”–destination: a place where I am a child, a grown-up, an impostor, and almost Roya..

Thank you Eva Maria!

Muse/ic – “Part XIV: Chapter VI – ‘No Answers (I) & (II)’ by Eva Maria Rauter”

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Excerpt from Chapter VI: “There’re no words to thank you,” my mother said. Exactly, I thought as I ran my foot back and forth over the lone pebble beneath my sole. Thank you for saving us from getting killed—three times? Thank you for taking us to the movies? Thank you for finding a way to Germany? Thank you for Ali B. . . .
“Keep well,” Hamid said, directly looking at Joubin and me, saluting in midair.
My lungs were heavy, my forehead still spinning with words, my voice empty of sound; Joubin smiled and waved.
“Merci,” I finally heard myself say. No amount of gargling with salt water or happy news could relieve the ache in my throat.
“Go, it’s getting crowded,” he said to my father with a nod towards the border.
Yes, let’s go, I agreed. We merged with the foot traffic, and I defied my vows not to look back at Hamid, catching glimpses of him still standing where we had left him, with crossed arms, among the young and old bearing their belongings in wrapped cloths, oversized nylon sacs, and plastic baskets.



No Answers I & II instantly stir me into the intricacies of leaving Hamid & Nasser, our guides, friends, confidants, and heading into more of the unknown–to get closer to freedom.

Thank you Eva Maria!

Muse/ic – “Part XIII: Chapter V – ‘O God Guide Me’ by TaliaSafa”

January 19, 2011 1 comment

Excerpt from Chapter V: The wait for the calls that never came pushed us into the streets, wandering about, stopping at the shops overpowered by the sweet and spicy scents of Masala incense, carrying marble chess games, ivory elephant figurines, and ornate ashtrays.
Foreigners in a new land, we aimlessly roamed into shopping centers, sitting at tables with Nasser who enthusiastically rolled my miniature dice and made up rules with Joubin and me as we went along, buying fruits for our breakfasts, vegetables for our faithful burner, watching vendors pour pepper on clementines, watermelon, and corn, skipping about in panic from my mother’s sudden warnings, lest we step on spit, or worse.


Guidance, protection, illumination, stars..and tapping into Might & Power.  A needed prayer during our weeks in well as twenty-seven years later, when I felt stuck in the same place..

Thank you TaliaSafa!