Archive for the ‘The novelist’ Category

The novelist – chapter 2

Posted: October 22, 2011 by Karachiite in The novelist
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“You really cannot be serious” she looked at her husband in a mixture of shock and more than a little bit of nervousness as they sat at the real estate agents office. A dingy mixture of island green artificial carpet and too bright yellowish walls.

“Well if you have an idea that wont let go, you might as well follow through no?” Jalal said as he thumbed through some house guides lying next to them on a singular table like nobody had touched them in months.

“Jalal when you said one day I thought it meant one day in the future after we had visited this place half a dozen times and gotten ourselves immersed in it enough to make a rational decision you know? Like rational people do!”

“Hmphh if I had been so rational I would have never asked you for your hand woman” he quipped

Zarmina scrunched her nose in mock distaste as she thought of her life before and after the asking part, she had always been a pragmatic person careful and thoughtful but when the scruffy writer with his flair for the dramatic had come calling she had not been able to say no. He had been a storm that had wooed her dated her and then married her, even now she got emails from some of her friends who could not believe that she had married a writer.

“Ahem” the agent cleared his throat as he walked in and looked at them with a glance that was used to looking over couples that came here and fell in love with the place. A fickle love that lasted nay a few months after which the endless trail of paperwork began again to get them back to safer shores of stability.

“New are we”?

“Yes new but we already love this place, have you been in this field long?” Jalal looked at the old tanned man with enough creases in his face to resemble the bark of an old tree and his clothing as colorful as his office, a white shirt and light blue sarong.

“ Long enough, my names sammy” he nodded at the man and then at the woman besides him wondering why in the world a vision like her was with a disheveled mess that her hubby represented.

“You see my husband, well he likes this place and so we thought we would you know check out some options” Zarmina said, before her hubby could open his mouth again, she could smell impulse usually a mile before he got it now.

“Some options. Yes well this place has plenty of options from here to tangalle” here being galle fort where they now had as their starting point “why don’t you guys tell me what’s in your mind”

“A beach house! Something with air and sunlight and welcoming spirits” blurted the mess his mouth open in a wide grin

“Yes well my friend there are many sorts of beach houses here, as you know we are sitting right at the edge of a long coast line” Always the beach sammy thought for these fools, the towns were cheaper and ten minutes away but no we all must have some mutated version of a fairytale at our doors to complain about after a month tops.

“Maybe we can just look for now” Zarmina ventured with a smile to sammy.

“No no zari you know I’m serious, I want to do this”

“Might I suggest something?” said sammy “why don’t you do this, there are some rentals available on the strip, lets take a look at something a bit more temporary before we rush”

Zarmina liked this man more and more by the passing second, obviously he was not out to make a quick buck on her husbands insanity but was presenting a more sagacious plan.

“All right but that’s just for starters” growled Jalal. He hated it when this happened, people saw things zaris ways instantly and he never got his way anymore. It was almost like they could not see him there at times.

“Right settled then, now have a nice day and here is my card, come by in the morning and off we shall go hunting for your little beach house”

“Great” smiled zari nodding with appreciation

“Ok” mumbled Jalal as they got up and he swiped the card from the man walking out before his wife into waning sun.

With zarminas usually efficiency they arrived the next morning right on time, in fact 14 minutes before it and waited outside for the agent to arrive. As Jalal silently brooded and his wife waited, the agent drove up in a rickety old station wagon. He pulled down his window after turning the handle a couple of times till there was air between the top and his chin and shouted

“So you guys ready?”

“We have been ready for the past 20 minutes, where have you been” said Jalal

“Ahh well at my age my friend time is an abstract thing come sit lets take you for a ride”

Jalal held the door open for his wife and they both slid into the back seat, then after a moment of realization he got out and slid into the front seat next to the old coot as he guffawed over some mental joke.

“ So? Ive lined up quite a spread for you”

With twin nods from husband and wife the agent put his car in gear and they rolled out of the parking lot. It didn’t take them long to hit the beach strip from where they started in galle fort, maybe about 20 or so minutes and they were there, long startling coastline and a strip of estates sitting in front of it with smallish gardens in front and many a palm tree waving in the wind before the stretch of water. As they went to house after house though both Jalal and Zarmina discovered that they were too high fi, totally out of their budget rang and more like little resorts then houses one could live in for any length of time. After the third house the discontent was completely visible on Jalal’s face

“ Look Sammy, this is really not working out for us, is this all you got”

“Well what do you expect, people here invest in these places because they know those who want to rent them will want all these amenities”

“But we are looking for something less grand, you know like a cottage or something” said zarmina realizing she needed to step in before Jalal went postal on the agent.

“A cottage, my lady this is prime beach estate outside the galle fort about 14 minutes from shopping and stores, I don’t think anyone would build a cottage here. Its not worth the investment”

“Then maybe we should look further up the coast” suggested Zarmina with one eye on her husband.

“Ah well then you will have to speak to the natives, I only go as far as the mobile phone signal goes, beyond that its either too cheap or too troublesome the business”

“I think you have done what you could sammy, you can head back now” said Jalal knowing there was plenty of transportation on the road behind the estates in the form of tuk tuks for them to explore further.

“Listen my friend, we may have liberated ourselves from the tamils but that does not mean the wilderness is completely secure” sammy jerked his head towards the clumps of trees one could see in the distance along the beach.

“ I think we will do fine – thank you” Jalal’s tone was icy now; he had taken enough of the glitzy crap he had been made to suffer through all damn day.

Enough will be when I hear screams to please pick us back up, thought sammy as he handed his card to zarmina

“Alright then I shall leave the love birds alone and with a number just in case”

He turned around and walked stiffly to his car, another bloody morning wasted after foreigners who don’t know what the hell they are doing. In and out they went of this strip like the waves before him. He slammed the door and coaxed the engine back to life and left them standing there in a hail of sand and dust!!




To be continued……

The novelist – chapter 1

Posted: October 19, 2011 by Karachiite in The novelist
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The novelist is a series of writings by me which i will be publishing chapter by chapter, it is the tale of a couple looking for destiny but meeting something they did not even deem possible in their lives.



The rain hit the windows with a sound like thousands of little hands beating upon them, threatening to fling them open, to break into the comfort they were protecting. The rain had been the same ever since they had arrived in this tropical paradise, two days had passed and without relent it had continued. It’s not like this was the first journey abroad for zarmina and her husband, as they often took off in the summers from the sticky heat and load shedding woes of Karachi. However even they had not expected this kind of weather when they made plans for Srilanka.

“Did I not tell you to check the weather channel man, this sucks Jalal what are we going to do now”

“I don’t mind spending more time with you in the bedroom”

“Oh shut it, its been a bit too long for even that”

“Awww c’mon its never too long for thaaat”

Jalal rolled over and grabbed his wife of 5 years smothering her in the bed with kisses and ardor brought on by the sound of falling water, his hands caressing away her hair to gaze into her eyes, he loved doing that as she had eyes the color of a raging sea one could drown into. In fact the first time he had met her he had been mesmerized by her eyes and had not slept for days afterwards wanting to talk to her to make some contact with her.

“oyee where the hell have you gone to” Zarmina smacked her husband on the back of his head, hating the fact that he was so lost at times, yet loving the dreamy look he had in his eyes at the moment.

“you thinking of her again?” hmmmm?

“no no, for gods sake zari will you ever let it go” he knew she would not, the trials of marrying a woman who was both possessive and beautiful and even jealous of a past he had told her all about. From time to time she would still jab at it, sometimes teasing sometimes playful but always with that “fuck with me not” tone.

“Oh I let her go a long time ago baby, it’s your mind that I worry about you know”

“my mind is here with you zari where It belongs” said Jalal

“yeh yeh so you always says but who knows about you chalu mards hmm, you get extra excited in the rain anyways”

On that note he pulled the duvet over both of them and proceeded to set about fulfilling his desires to the sound of giggles and coos from her. Afterwards she looked at him as he lit up his cigarette and started  “You do know you have hardly written anything for two days”

“ Oh come on you are doing the same thing my damn publisher does man, pressure me”

“well a best selling novel is not going to just write itself you know” she mumbled

“Yes well I certainly can’t force myself to write woman”

Jalal sat and thought as he looked at her and then realized she did not understand what he was talking about. He knew in his heart that the book previous to this which had become sort of a sleeper hit was not something he wrote by discipline, but perhaps that was something better left unsaid as many people never understand that the author is usually just a channel not the creator. Its not as if writing another one was not part of his plan, but he really wondered sometimes why he needed to come away from the hustle and bustle of their city of residence to write.

“you know what zari”

“No jalal I don’t think we should again”

“No no not that, I was actually thinking we should stay here longer you know more than a week, look the rains spoilt our plan anyways might as well extend it”

“ But what will we do here jalal, its always raining and you know I hate staying out of the country for too long, I miss my parents”

“Well consider this my lady, what if we had to actually move out of Pakistan one day”

“oh no way man”

“It could happen zari, with the condition things are in back there we might have to consider other options”

“Yes other options but not some place which we just happen to visit”

“Ok well I am going to go to the real state agent just to check on stuff”

“Alright hubby alright let the rain stop we will go together”

She knew this was the only way her husband would sleep at night, this was always how he was when an idea took his minds flight, he had to see it through as soon as possible or he became all forlorn and melancholy.

To be continued….

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