Tag Archives: murder

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 today 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.


Agatha Christie’s Life and Words Week 2010

Dame Agatha Christie’s position as the Queen of Crime continues unsurpassed several decades
after her death in 1976. Her birthplace Torquay or Torbay (Great Britain) is a busy site when the Christie Week is held to coincide with her birth date on 15th September. The revenue generated, is believed to bring the town millions of pounds each year.

Agatha Christie started out as a home educated nurse and became a celebrated writer with over 75 detective works to her name. Her play, ‘The Mousetrap’ is well known as the longest running play in history. The versatility of her art is proven by the singularly well rounded characters wrought by her pen. From the eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot with his ‘little grey cells’, to the twinkling, innocent perceptiveness of old lady Jane Marple, her principal figures are timeless. Hercule Poirot first brought her fame with “The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ (1920) and continued undiminished till his death in ‘Curtain’ (1975). Sir Peter Ustinov has played Poirot to perfection in the 1970’s television series and was around as 2010’s Christie week unfolded.

Last year, the celebratory ‘week’ was bigger and better. Torbay Cultural Partnership coordinated the fifth annual Christie week from the 13th till the 19th of September. Nearly 40 events were concentrated along the English Riviera in Torquay, Paignton, Brixham and Devon.
These included talks; audio guided walking tours, debates, tea – dances, radio shows, theatre plays and open air film screenings.

Notably, her grandson Mathew Prichard hosted a talk at a reminiscent dinner including
radio performances of ‘Murder on Air’ brought to life by the Agatha Christie theatre company. A murder mystery ball in Torquay promised spine chilling adventure at the venue of Agatha Christie’s honeymoon hotel as guests were expected to solve  the ‘murder’ on location. A welcome addition is the free book borrowing from Torquay libraries to promote her works. BBC Radio 4 pitched in with afternoon readings from Agatha Christie’s works featuring the mysteriously invisible character Mr Quin among others.

Nationwide events were planned. Reading prepared for its festival of Crime Writing from 10th to 12th September during which the plays ‘Spider’s Web’ and ‘Murder on Air’ were
performed and Warwickshire held the Throckmorton Literary Festival. The Southbank Centre in London played host to a bevy of her fans and a literary discussion.

*Published earlier as a box feature for DAWN Newspaper, Karachi, Pakistan.