Yours Satirically

Well guys, you might be feeling as if lately you were trapped in an Alice in Wonderland moment when a lot of hullabaloos spiced up this otherwise wishy-washy lazy duck winter.

First, because he had to meet his American buddy O-Balma, Mr. Narrator Damn-All-das Moody went around the town somewhat in an exuberantly modified avatar. After all, PM aka Pradhaan Mantri is the nose of a nation, and to make his Swadeshi portly frame more presentable to the greatVideshi guest, Mr. PM aka Wazeer-e-Aazam donned a blue Libaas-e-aazam which was pinstriped with his full 22 letter name in gold, and if we listen to our reliance, sorry reliable source the Libaas-e-aazam was custom tailored by a famous Angreezon ke Zamaane ka tailor. And Maa Shapath, we are not making it up. In fact, we heard it straight from Raw-full Baba’s horse’s mouth, and he cannot possibly lie through his soberly salt-and-pepper stubble which hangs on his face as a melancholic keepsake of Election 2014.

We also heard that NSG averted a big scandal when they arrived on time to sterilise Mr. Moody’s royal dresses from the perfume wrongly sprayed by him. According to National Academy of Sciences sources, the perfume of Wazeer-e-Aazam contained notorious chemicals which could have potentially not attracted lady O-Balma but rather sparked an acute neurochemical reaction in Mr. O-Balma during the novel lingering snuggle ceremony which Mr. Moody added to the protocol. But then badhe badhe deshon me…

Secondly, the great AlB Roast hullabaloo went viral like Chikungunya. The naughtiest kids of the tinsel town baldy Run-veer Sing and weirdo Aur-jinn Ko-Pour had put up a raunchiest show,and look at their chutzpah, the show was held in the stadium named after the very grandfather of the Bakht-jans- Gujju Patel Bhai and, pray, tell me why wouldn’t Parivaar aka Bakhtistaan go all bananas!

Lest you may forget let me tell you this straight, as straight as K-Jo aka Karan Woo-her: Ashok is not your run-of-the-mill Pandit. He is an Angry Pandit, and his anger is all legally Kosher, and mind you he is no Ashoka either; he is a no non-sense no hanky-panky man, so please don’t mess with him guys, otherwise he will tweet-a-shit on your face, like he did on poor K-Jo aka Karan Woo-her because in actuality Karan Can’t Woo-her.

And do you remember guys when did AP aka Kosher Angry Pandit previously shat? Yeah, you’re bang on, it was the fateful summer 2004. We heard that the pharma stores outside the cinema halls showing his movie Sheen (snow) went short of aspirin as the audiences were seen running out of the theatre crying Sahara Chahiye Sarkar Sar Dard Ke Liye. And just recently somebody told me AP has removed the Qawwali song Sahara Chahiye Sarkar from the movie, because people had misunderstood the word ‘Sarkar’ for the government.

But dus saal baad (tan tanaaaa…) [10 years later]:

Ashok the Kosher Angry Pandit aka AP is back with the vengeance. Just the other day he announced his two new movie projects and you know what? They are tentatively titled as The Incredible Tale of a Foot-in-Mouth Bakht and Sakhshi’s Mirage: The Great Womb Factory Churna. We heard from our sources that News Hour’s Beefy Bully-Boy Mr. Err-nob Go-Swimming has entered a secret pact with his old buddy AP to invite him at least 7 times a week on his show to make sure his movies get a tax waiver in all the cities across India. After all, the nation wants to know: how to tweet-a-shit and how to be a real bakhth and conceive quadruplets in 40 days. AP will, though, continue appearing in the Beefy Bully-Boy’s Show with Sheen movie poster in the background – that perennial prop.

Third, we heard Bakht Jan Party’s (BP) lotus may soon bloom in the troubled waters of Kashmir. The talks are on for many days now and it is just a matter of days when the sequel to Mission Impossible 44+ gets released. Meanwhile Nathu’s is preparing big green ladoos sprinkled with finest of saffron for the flood affected Kashmiris.

Although journalists could not get the details of these highly confidential talks one can just imagine and speculate. In order to aid the readers in their imagination, we are presenting a plausible scenario:

What was once Abu Ghraib of Kashmir is now a green and white majestic bungalow perched on a fantastical green landscape; and inside its deftly transformed ambiance, now-a-days, moves about the old leader of the Perfidiously Double-dealing Party famously called Muftuk Seed. Slumped into a low sofa, his hooded-eyes ooze out waves of unrest, perhaps his heart rattles inside every now and then at the thought of the elusive nature of that heartless damsel called Kursi aka Chair.  He is agitated and has lost peace of his shrewd mind for many days now. Outside his Abu-Ghraib-turned-bungalow stands a milling crowd waiting for his drowsy Deedaar. They have come from all corners of Jammu and Kashmir with a belief that their leader’s famous mind alone will do wonders and fill their empty pockets with wades of bills, happiness and what not. They think everything can be done by his legendary brain, whose exploits have now become an integral part of the local folklore.

Perhaps nowhere is a cerebral cortex more overrated than in Kashmir. And one can easily argue that the cerebral cortex of Muftuk Seed is the most overrated one in the entire world, although the Jewish Conspiracy Theorists (JCT) may think otherwise.

Well, for long Kashmiri scientists reasoned: whisky-induced neurochemical reactions in a tiny walnut brain (whether originating in Bejbehara aka Vejbyour or elsewhere) alone cannot move the mountains or the armies on them for that matter. Again, I am not sure what JCT has to say about this line of reasoning.

But the crowd outside the Abu-Ghraib-turned-bungalow shouts again and again:

Muftuk Seed Agay badho, hum tumhare saath hai [roughly German translated: Heil, mein Führer!]

Some of them inside their naughty native hearts keep supressing, out of sheer fatigue and boredom, the strong urge to cry: Come now, announce whatever shitty business plan your bottle-induced brain has drawn for us. We waited long enough here, tell your portly guys to give us another round of chai and samos and Cavendar filter.

Muftuk Seed Agay badho, hum tumhare saath hai; another round of ‘Heil, mein Führer!’ goes.

In between these shouts and slogans, the foreboding old leader turns to his Advisor-e-Aala Mr. NAA, who for years has overtly and covertly served this leader with reassuring Yes Yes, and has earned a rare distinction for Kashmir in the Guinness Book of World Records: the most number of nom de guerre used by a single person. He had used so many pen names and written so many things behind them that he has almost forgotten (or may be have suffered amnesia!) which one is a real he. Like his Leader-e-Aala aka Muftuk Seed, Mr. NAA’s mind is also wired, now-a-days.

‘To be or not to be, Neema?’ asks the leader in his shrill voice, sucking at his long Gold Flakes honey-dew.

‘Yes, Yaa, I think, Yes’, responds Mr. NAA, nodding with rapidly blinking eyes behind his reading glasses, smiling like a starving goat; his thin lips twitching in the uncertainty of his own confused thoughts.

The leader nods and looks down at the carpeted floor with his bulging heavy eyes. He is deep in thoughts, deep, dark and fuzzy like the innards of the 1947 Accession and its notorious planners. Perhaps he does not know what lies beyond the horizon where his overrated cerebral cortex has failed to reach so far and perhaps that explains his present fuzzy state of mind and his reliance on greying yes-man Mr. NAA for some aid and assurance in figuring out the ways.

Their faces assume blank expressions, as blank and nebulous as pillars of ethics and principles of their own Perfidiously Double-dealing Party. They feel that inside a pressure cooker moment.

‘But how to convince the people about this accord, Neema?’ he asks again, letting out a swirling cloud of smoke out from his mouth.

‘See the crowd outside, see their enthusiasm. We have people’s support, don’t we?’ said Mr. NAA.  As he said it, he could almost smell a certain compelling aroma wafting about his Persian nose. An aroma that emanates from the safe steel lockers of the wonderland called Sektrait.

The leader blinks rapidly, blankly, incessantly as if navigating an unyielding thought behind his weary hooded-eyes.

In another room of the bungalow, a conversation on the same topic between Mr. Hastily Dooba and Mrs. Naïve Measure goes like this:

HD: We can give the accord a fancy name; Kashmiris like fancy names, don’t they?

NM: You are so well read, wallah! Why don’t you come up with one?

HD: Hmmm. May be we can call it CMP

NM: CMP? What does that mean?

A deafening voice echoes through the room suddenly: Common Machiavellian Plot, hahahaha!


Tahir is currently a research scholar of Politics and International Relations at Dublin City University. He finished his masters in International Peace Studies in 2014 from International University of Japan. He has previously worked as a features writer and correspondent with Greater Kashmir for two years. His articles and poems have appeared in Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Reader, The Conveyor Magazine, Reading Hour, Kindle Magazine and The Japan Times. When not reading current news or a piece of fiction, he idles away on bottomless Facebook or keeps thinking about his next write up.


Published in the Kindle Magazine for my monthly column “Yours Satirically” in March 2015 issue:


PDP and BJP Ka Swyamvar (Marriage)

Mehbooba and Amit shah

This is Shrimati Sharmili Mehbooba Mufti-kar and her ‘blood brother’ Jenab Syed Amit-ullah Shah Nagpori.
Behind them you can see the portrait of Shrimati Mufti-kar’s ideological forefather in bald head Hazrat Shah-e-Beimaani Jenab Chanakaya soab and Jenab Syed Vinayak Savarkar Nashiki.
The shawl handover ceremony was held with religious fervor with aqeedat mandh still in shocked state and wondering yeath kuss trath pey!
This shawl, an expensive souvenir from Shrimati Mufti-kar’s expansive Hindu Rashtra maika aka maalun will be solemnly put on the mazaar of her Perfectly Double-dealing Party (PDP) and Fatah khawni will be organized late evening when last peg is gulped down by the Imam e Chutzpah Maulana Mufti Syed Daruwalla.

We are International Kashir

Guys it is now official: Kashmir is international. If you don’t believe me ask Dr Pervez Kaul, our swine flu rakhshak!  But this is nothing new. Weren’t we destined to be international? Remember, internationally famous Nehru took Kashmir to the international body and then Kashmir became an international dispute. We were born international, you see. And in between we had some international interventions on Kashmir but then Punjabis and Bengalis decided they will rather fight a national dhangal in Dhaka and call it a day. And, moving forward we had an international blunder in 1975 when the internationally tall lion of Kashmir acknowledged it was better pawing at cupcakes in a national barn.
It is so incredible, actually. There seems to be a fetish for everything international in Kashmir. We have international schools, international airport, and even international trade centre in Pampore. So addicted we are to the international that the word has entered our Kashmiri vernacular also, as in “international gandh”, “international trath”, “international leakh”, “international jaalsaaz”, “international bekil” etc. You think I am making it up! Go just walk around and see how internationally people talk in Kashmir. They will tell you about everything from American wars to Afghan warriors, from Hindustanich saazish to international Yahoodi saazish. They are just awesome international experts on everything.
As you already know we are famous for all things international, we get all kinds of international diseases also, like swine flu. But, fellas, you need not to worry, we also have international level health care system in place. It works like this: unfortunately you get infected because you thought Kashmir was internationally known as paradise on earth and on paradise no one falls ill, so you take a famous Tata bus and you reach the government hospital. After you enter the building, you feel enchanting lavender and lemony aromas welcome your nostrils and you feel 50% cured already, and then you reach a counter where people line up decently and silently in a queue. After a little wait in the queue you come face to face with an ever smiling internationally professional receptionist, she greets you with a soft voice: Good Morning, how can I help you. Now you are 60% cured already. Then she writes your details, courteously passes on a card to you and says: Please, proceed to the room no. 7. Outside the room no. 7 an internationally professional gentleman takes your card and asks you to have a seat so politely that you feel 80% cured now. Everything around is internationally neat and clean that you don’t need to see the doctor anymore as the remaining 20% cure is provided by the people in the hall with their international deaid kangir.
So internationally best is our health care system that David Cameron sent a delegation to Kashmir to study how we manage it, and lessons learnt from here by the delegation, were used to improve UK’s NHS.
Published on 26.02.2015 in Kashmir Reader:

The PK Writers of Kashmir

Let us talk about writers, Kashmiri writers I mean. I know a few of them, through Facebook of course. They are there like writing cool stuff all the time. But let us not talk about the published ones like Wahi M, Bushi P, Shy-Naaz B or Seed-Heart G. Instead let us meet our PKs aka Promising Kashmiris; yes promising, because they promised us long ago they will write a book and then publish it and then speak at Jaipur Literally Carnival, or if possible in cold breeze of Harud they promised to speak in Kashmiri also. Though, they promised not to speak in Sount, because there is obnoxious Tount in it.
So, among promising Kashmiris aka PK’s I introduce you to Aa-Riff A. Prey. I am afraid to reveal his real name so let us call him Mr. AAP. This tall, brawny PK has a penchant for riff, and psychological thrill. For example, when Raw-full Parta wrote his memoir called My Honey-Moon Has Clouds, AAP almost ripped his moon off, leaving it oozing with blood. In his memoir RP went around crying: my blood is red. But AAP wrote back: no it is blue, Raw-full Parta.
AAP is a PK and grapevine has it that AAP is presently working on a Freudian novel loosely based on Brokeback Mountain. It will show how RP secretly fancies Bit Karate by describing the latter’s shaven face, pomaded hair, strapping body, and slick spectacles in his write ups. We eagerly wait for AAP’s debut novel: Raw-full’s Karat-e-Dil.
Our second PK is Same-here But. Again to be on the safer side, I am distorting his name, too. SB is not your run-of-the-mill writer; he is Burj al vocabulary. If AAP’s writing is a long Gold Flake, SB’s is Classic menthol, subtle and sublime. Just the other day somebody informed me that SB uses an intelligent app that automatically changes a commonly used word in your write up into a most uncommonly used one. Isn’t that damn terrific, otherwise how else Kashmiris are going to learn new words. He is our real Koshur Kot and our best wishes are with him and as our Ded, Boab and Kaken says Lasin ti Phalin like his bourgeoning vocabulary. We can assure him we are all set with the latest edition of Oxford English dictionary to read his debut novel whenever it is published. As they say in Arabic: Shukran-Jazilan, Bit-Tawfiq, Habibi.
The third PK too is a promising Kashmiri but let us call him Feel-Rose Rather for our own safety. He is young and slender but poet of a man. Recently he was seen roaming around the cold dingy alleys of Dalgate for his new story ‘50 Shades of Gay’. Spoiler alert: the protagonist of the story is Fancy and he hails from Dalgate and wears a dark red lipstick and waves his delicate right hand to male pedestrians. Good news is that because FR is a promising Kashmiri he has promised that this time he won’t compare anything Californian with Kashmir, that means Zabarwan hills won’t be Sierra Nevada nor will Californian breeze cover the pungent odours of the Dal lake. After all, it would be an implausible comparison. Can we imagine American’s crap in their lakes.
We shouldn’t be gender biased, right. Then, female PKs should find mention here, also. But I am weak-hearted to upset their grumpy boyfriends. You know Kashmiri lovers are too possessive and it is not hard to imagine them yelling at me: How dare you write about my Jiger Gosh. So, let us take a caution and leave their Jiger Gosh for now.
Published in Kashmir Reader on 19.02.2015:

Letter to Young Kashmiris

Dear All,
I know you must be feeling terribly frustrated, disappointed, depressed, and angry. You must be thinking what on the earth is going on around us! You must be thinking why is the world mean to us, why are we being blamed, held responsible for something which we have no connection with, and about which we have no idea why it is being done, and who is doing it. Since you are connected and integrated much more deeply with the larger world via your mobile phones and PCs you must be feeling as if incessant gushes of anxieties, fears and perplexities hit you every day and night in your face, and as if you have no answers to question that are being forcefully asked to you every time you open your Facebook and twitter pages; you find your timeline filled with both happy and depressing headlines. You see a bomb blast ripping through a mosque, a market, a school, a government building and numerous other places. You see a missile hitting a civilian convey, a wedding party, a village hut, and other numerous places. You think there is a war going on every day and you see people talking about it all the time and yet you also realize that while this war is going on no one names it so; no one knows who is fighting who, lines are not clear, geographies are not demarcated, and there is confusion in the language of this war. You find that the killer and the killed use the same language, the same words, and almost surrealistically resemble each other. One day you watch news report on a violent incident and you hear the word ‘terrorism’ and next time you watch a news report on another violent incident and you feel the word is missing in the report. First you don’t think much about it, but then it becomes a pattern and you realize something is wrong. You want to yell at the news anchor that she is unfair, but you know you cannot do it; so you rush to Facebook and Twitter and vent out your feelings there. You see a friend’s post and discover he has stolen words right out of your mouth; you like and share it instantly. You feel good and somewhat less angry now. Next moment, you come across a song, you listen to it and you like it so much that you cannot resist telling your friends about it, so you post it on your Facebook page. Your heart is filled with new emotions and your eyes tell it all. You check your inbox, there are new messages; your beloved has sent one more romantic emoticon and written ‘I Miss you’. You smile, your heart jumps inside, and you reply with a suitable emoticon. You feel lighter and better inside, almost gleefully floating in the air. Life balances itself. You feel good and think life is beautiful, after all.
It is happening and it is happening with almost every one of us. We are living in an age of paradoxes and heightened fears and confusions. We feel our minds are warped without any recourse available for the remedy. But an occasion a news, an event, or a moment, just arrives from somewhere to clear this seemingly pessimistic and depressing mist on our hearts and minds. And ultimately, we discover ‘life is what it is’.


Published in Greater Kashmir on 12.02.2015

The Tale of Me and Me Too Gentlemen

It so happened that on a lazy afternoon when air over Pratap Park was tart and dry, a certain lanky guy from the city named Buchuss and his chubby friend from a town Butichuss entered into a long conversation. It was long like Srinagar-Jammu highway with its terrifying hairpin bends, vertigo inducing long slopes and deathly gorges and what not. They were our normal Kashur Nawjawaan. But with beautiful coveted degrees from MERC and, true to their acquired wisdom, on most of the human issues they were no babes in the woods. They spoke about Kashmiri politics (suggested tweaks in this policy and that policy of resistance movement, cursed pro-accession politicians plague in their portly bellies) and then about Kashmiri traffic (built wonderful dreamland of flyovers and four lane roads behind their eyes) and then about Kashmiri culture (wondered how come Kaken and Ded got addicted to Star Plus and Colors, and how nice of the girls wearing long chiffon abayas lately).

All of a sudden a scurrying damsel in ash-grey sweatshirt and denim jeans behind the park railings arrested their attention. On the sweatshirt of the lady flashed in black letters: I Don’t Care a Dime! They carefully navigated the hairpin bend of their tête-à-tête highway. As the sight of the charming beauty trailed off, their demurring faces assumed an expression of abrupt seriousness.

‘Kasheer gai waraan’ (Kashmir has gone to the dogs), said Buchuss.

Yi chui karaan sourui Hindustan’ (India engineers all this mischief), reasoned Butichuss.

They pouted their mouths in a nod of agreement. ‘Just because of these patloon lasses’, a man-sitting close by interjected, ‘the flood drowned us all.’

They pouted their mouths again. Some time passed.

‘I think Bub should retire now’, suggested Butichuss.

‘No’ said Buchuss, ‘Bub is needed now more than ever. Right wing monkeys hover dangerously over our heads.’

‘Hmm. You’re right we need to get united urgently and present a strong resistance against these monkeys,’ replied Buchuss.

For next ten minutes, they talked about unity, strength and resistance. They recalled a moral tale in their middle school textbook about a man and his five sons and the task of breaking the bundle of twigs. In their eyes and minds, everything was clear: Kashmir needed unity, more than ever. Now. They nodded in agreement about everything they said with their peculiar puckered up faces.

A spell of silence followed. During this time they yawned, kept looking around in vague expressions at scurrying pedestrians and overcrowded and honking public buses, took drags at shared cigarette, and broke winds in surreptitious discomfiture. The spell of their smoky dragging silence was broken by a stout middle-aged man sitting at the earshot from them. From the movement of his jaw, it seemed as if under his horse teeth innocent roasted chickpeas were being mercilessly crushed.

‘Only if our country cousins desist from lining to polling booths, we could make India dance’, the man said with a vague expression.

‘I think you are right, baaya’, said Buchuss, nodding his head.

Butichuss’s face turned colour, his breath paced up and his eyes darted the green of the park in nervous movements.

‘I think you are unfair here,’ Butichuss protested.

‘Why! This is true. You got to accept the fact. It is the country dwellers who make our resistance weak’.

‘Most of the mujahids come from villages, what about that?’ snapped Butichuss.

Their conversational highway suddenly hit a vertigo inducing long slope and their ride veered dangerously close to the edge of a deathly gorge.

The chickpea chewing man had his back to them and his face was now working like a smiling goat.

And all of a sudden Buchuss yelled out at Butichuss, ‘You should shut your stinking rustic mouth.’

‘You should just get lost with your snooty city ass,’ Butichuss yelled back.

In the sleepy air of Pratap Park their voices skirled and stirred the dreamy tranquility of the catnapping commoners. In their half-woken state the commoners checked the source of the noise, said feebly, ‘Yiman kya rov’ (What is wrong with them!) and went back to their forty winks.

Gasping MERC buddies didn’t talk for good five minutes. But as the day seemed to fall, they scrambled themselves up, stretched their bodies, and looked around. The chickpea guy had disappeared.

‘Where to drink tea today?’ said Butichuss in a reconciliatory tone.

‘I don’t have money, Wallah. Today’s tea is on you’, said Buchuss with a timid smile.

Through the Abi Guzar lane they walked with their arms around each other’s shoulders, and settling down on flat chairs of coffee house, Buchuss asked, ‘So…’


First piece of my Kashmir Laundry column in Kashmir Reader newspaper; published on 29.01.2015


The Story of a Strange Guilt

Through the misty air of November 2013, Arshad’s pace was brisk but vaguely nervous. On his young face hung a demurring air. As he inched closer to the university campus, a certain thought which had been nagging at him, agitated abruptly. ‘Me kya waati, bu kyazi hevaan bael tensiona’ (he is not my relative, so why should I bother unnecessarily!), he tried to appease his wary heart.
As he entered the university, his friends greeted him, exchanged laughs and went into their usual bantering. He responded to them but that certain thought refused to leave his mind, and because it was an intense thought, he kept probing the faces of his friends and teachers for the hint of sneer, mocking or a relevant jibe. Right from the last night he had expected such a thing from his friends and teachers, but all behaved as usual and even after the day finished at the campus nobody said anything of the kind he feared might come his way.
He went home and felt his misgivings were after all ill-founded. For the next two days, he went to the university with the same nagging thought, but returned with its faint self. His concerns were proving misplaced and needless.
Then one day a friend sent him a message: ‘He is actually not an original peer, his real name is Mushtaq Ahmad …..’
A pinkest colour pulled to Arshad’s face and he cavorted and jumped about the room. His face excited in wreath of smiles, just bequeathed. He kissed the screen of his phone leaving an outline of his lips on it.
Within the next ten minutes many Facebook status updates started to read uncannily similar:
‘Thank God! Thankkk God! I had a feeling…chairman is not a real peer, yipeeee!!!!’
‘After all truth is revealed, disgraced chairman is not an original peer’
‘Alhamdulillah! Mushtaq Peer turned out to be Mushtaq Ahmad something else, not peer…now I can sleep well!.’
‘Braeking news confrmd news 4m crdible sourcess: mustaq Peer, de bope chaimann actualy nt peer. tension hogaya tha mom kasam’.
Next day when Arshad walked to the university his heart felt fresh and peppy. The burden of the ineffable guilt had abruptly lifted itself last night, and he looked forward to face anybody with pride and honour which he had thought was momentarily lost in the hottest news of the town: Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, the former chairman of BOPEE involved in a multi-million CET paper leakage scam.
Arshad walked through the cold echoing corridor of the department. Majid, his close friend and classmate, greeted him with a vague smile and said: ‘Peer Soab, your image is redeemed, after all’. Allowing a little time to settle Majid added with a faked brooding expression, ‘But see poor us! Unlike you, we are forever condemned as fallible’.

Published in Greater Kashmir on 05.02.2015:

Note: For a non-Kashmiri reader a little context is needed to understand the story: In South Asia there is one social group among Muslims who call themselves ‘Syeds’, claiming lineage to Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) family. In Kashmir they are generally called as ‘Peer’. So ‘Syed’ and ‘Peer’ are interchangeable. Although Islam strongly rejects social hierarchy, this social group over the years has become a Brahman version of Muslims. Like Hindu Brahman’s ‘Syeds’ or ‘Peers’ have strong sense of superiority and most of them do not marry outside their ‘caste’, although Islam does not recognize any caste system.