15th September, 2015

An interesting conversation I overheard last night during intermission. I transcribe it here from the vestiges of memory.

WOMAN: This is my first movie experience in a cinema in around fifteen years.
MAN: Oh really? You should watch more movies in theatres. It’s a good experience.
WOMAN: I heard you left Lok…
MAN: Yeah I left Lok Virsa after Fouzia came.
WOMAN: Oh yeah I heard about that.
MAN: I chose her for the position.
WOMAN: Oh yeah yeah I remember, you both were pretty friendly.
MAN: I knew she had the potential that’s why I chose her but once in power she discontinued everyone’s pensions.
WOMAN: Oh no that was a bad move.
MAN: She wanted to do a project on the red light district. So I had to explain this to the board members to approve a budget. They said this was government money and government money can’t be used on such projects.
WOMAN: I remember reading that somewhere yeah.
MAN: So when I told Fouzia that, she got angry and we had a falling. They wrote about it everywhere, in the newspaper columns.
WOMAN: Oh no!
MAN: I even gave money from my own pocket for a project she and Shahaab wanted to do and then they spent the same money on the red light project.
WOMAN: Oh dear! You should write about that in your memoirs, are you writing them?
MAN: Nah I don’t know. Anyways how are you, where have you been?
WOMAN: I’ve been here in Pakistan.
MAN: Really?
WOMAN: Yeah, I am living here at my dad’s house since Reetu died last year.
MAN: Reetu died?
WOMAN: Yes, last year. I am her sister.
MAN: When did Reetu die?
WOMAN: Last year in August.
MAN: How did she die?
WOMAN: She died of cancer.
MAN: Cancer of what?
WOMAN: Colon cancer, it was very hard on me.
MAN: Reetu…oh you are Reetu’s sister Seema!
WOMAN: Haha yes I was waiting for you to recognise me.
MAN: Oh you are Reetu’s sister Seema! We have all been looking for you, where have you been?
WOMAN: I was nowhere. I am in Pakistan, living at my dad’s place.
MAN: Oh in that big house?
WOMAN: Yes yes.
MAN: You live alone?
WOMAN: Yes yes.
MAN: Oh so you live all by yourself in that big house? How come?
WOMAN: Yes, it has huge beautiful gardens.
MAN: How can you live there all alone?
WOMAN: I just do
MAN: So what do you do?
WOMAN: Ah just keep myself busy here and there, you know there is so much to do.
MAN: Oh so you are Reetu’s sister. You know people kept asking me about you. Where were you?
WOMAN: Nowhere just here.
MAN: Do you mind if I take your number?
WOMAN: No not at all…
MAN: I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with Shelly because he was asking about you.
WOMAN: Oh no not at all…

That’s when the second half of the movie commenced. The overhead lights went off. And last I heard of them, she was mumbling digits as he repeated them into the faint glow of the mobile screen he held so close to his face. Then the loud dialogue noise filled the hall.


17th September, 2015


Scouring through books at the library, my eyes stopped at a familiar yet alien title “Taboo – The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area.” Faintly reminiscent of a conversation I 51x8NqOfsFL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_overheard a few days ago, I proceeded to take out the book, and to my utter disbelief, saw that the book was authored by the same person who was referenced to in the aforementioned conversation.

Such concurrences are a rarity, but when they do happen, I’m at first overcome with glee – I was meant to come across the book at such a moment in time when I had just, a few days ago, overheard of its conception; that at a precise moment in history, the book was present in the library, had not been issued, and was meant to stumble before my peripheral vision.

It is only later on that I am engulfed with doubt – how am I so certain that the author of the book is in fact the person referenced to in the conversation? My mind had jumped to a plausible albeit abrupt connection between the two, but nowhere do I find tangible evidence of such a connection, nor am I in possession of logic that relates the two extemporary, seemingly indirect events as having a single source, which in this case is the woman, the authoress in question.



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