Sohail Abid

Writer exploring tradition, art, and music of the people of Punjab

Folklore exists because we miss our loved ones

My mother used to make these; I do this when I miss her.

The Modern Man

Going for the whole day to sit at a desk and coming back after dark, it’s not really very fulfilling. It seemed fascinating when we graduated but it doesn’t anymore.

No, it cannot be said

“I may be committing a blasphemy here,” she said and then paused for a while as if reconsidering her choice of words.

The national cannot describe the regional

There are things that are only being said in the regional languages. There are things that could only be written by a regional writer.

3G Coverage Map for Pakistan

I didn’t really like the 3G coverage maps provided by the telecom operators, so I created one.

You are going to die like this

I had just talked to the embassy and had the flight reservation page open when the the phone rang.

Why do you travel in Punjab?

When people ask why do I travel in Punjab, I don’t always have a clear answer because it’s difficult to explain and I fear that people won’t get it.

Dunyadari da khayal

‘Too bad, I can only be poetic in this state,’ I smiled and then read this verse of Baba Farid’s: Main bhulawa pagg da matt maili ho jaaye/ Gehla rooh na jaan-ee sirr bhi mitti khaaye.

A surreal affair

“Wait, what am I asking, you don’t plan your trips, you just leave, just like that,” she said.

My Indian connection

My father and I were talking about his recent trip to Indian Punjab when I asked him if he spoke to the people there in Punjabi.

Introduce yourself

“Since when have you been running this tandoor?” I ask the woman who owns and operates this tandoor that provides me with rotian for lunch and dinner here in Pakpattan.

The tree that used to cry

‘Was there a tree in the house?’ she asked. ‘Yes, there in fact was one. And it used to cry.’ She looked at me as if I was indulging in poetry.

Flowers in Full Bloom

I had seen this book when I was a kid. In my father’s library perhaps. But when I actually got interested in the folklore about 8 years ago, there was no sign of this book anywhere. I asked around but everyone said that the book, printed more about 3 decades ago, was not going to be found but at old book shops. They were occasionally visited. But in vain. So where was this picture taken, then? It’s a long story.

Rawalpindi as seen from Haveli Sujan Singh

The marvelous view of the Rawalpindi city, as seen from the rooftop of Haveli Sujan Singh, right in the heart of old city.

Here I thought I was having the time of my life.

Big day

I resign from my job, someone breaks into my apartment, and I get a break on a freelance project I had been trying to complete. All in one day. You know what that means?

© 2016 Sohail Abid.