Smiles in Cracked Ice / Dedicated to Parveen Rehman
(architect, selfless humanitarian and social scientist who lost her life in a brutal target killing on 13/03/2013 in Karachi, Pakistan)
(The brutal and cold blooded murder of architect Parveen Rehman has most of us in a state of shock. That smiling face and graceful aura is gone forever and in what a way! From earliest days as a child listening to her discussion of her work with my father to later days seeing her as a spirited, animated individual exuding her usual warmth and smilng demeanour… she was… undoubtedly a model of selfless determination. Death is inevitable but when it is the result of violence it hits emotionally and it hits hard. I feel completely stunned and angry at the murder of a lady who gave her whole life quite literally for the welfare of the poor, the needy and the helpless. Today we look on – each of us as helpless and as poor as the ones she worked for – as we watch yet another humane soul succumb to the madness that surrounds this once peaceful city of Karachi. May Allah raise her to her heavenly abode where she truly belongs and bring her killers to justice. Parveen aunty, you stood up for what you believed in and brought light to the lives of several who were a part of the Orangi Pilot Project. I can hardly bring myself to believe that such efforts, tremendous as they are, go in vain in the end – the light, hope and courage along with selfless determination must and shall live on in other forms come what may. You will truly be missed. Inna lillah e wa inna ilaehe raajeoon.)
Blood buckets to wash the road
the earth to sketch the sky
eyes that tearless stare
and bullets endless supply.
It was another city in that lifeless book
where roses blooming grew
now the red velvet drapes luscious dew
on selfless souls. The look
still haunts – that glassy stare
of wide eyed wonder evermore
and destiny weaves its untold plot
while we all count the score.
One, two, a thousand pleading eyes
beseech through tomorrow’s door
but drool frames what it loves the best,
Greed’s open corridor.
Love to mask the hate
soft voices to dim the noise
irony moves the cattle herd
and idiocy rules the wise.
By Kiran Bashir Ahmed