Monday 30 March 2009


Snapshots snatched
in a fast moving life;
I am trying to catch
the details -
A girl in black and white,
cigarette alight,
turns round to glare,
moody at my pensive stare.
I am warned
and drift my eyes,
lazy to some other sight;
but humans shrink
within shell walls
fearful of social calls.

Children giggling, gurgling,
precious minutes of play,
are sweet sunny snapshots
of time snatched away.

This is a poem of Shaista's that was published on a little while ago, so I thought I'd share it. Aside from everything else, fevers flare sporadically, various feeds continue, surgical sites haven't stopped hurting yet, and there's a lot of bruising from the myriad punctures of needles; the worst of which appears to be daily wharfarin injections straight into the stomach. The pain from these radiates out from point of injection all the way through the body as it works to thin the blood and prevent further clotting. In Shaista's case the bruising then persists, to make the next one even more painful. Nevertheless, we're seeing snaphots of brightness amidst the gloom and things are looking up a little. Hopefully she'll be back to dictating her own posts very soon. Keep writing in. Thanks. Rizwan

Thursday 26 March 2009

Shadow in the Stone

Red tulips splash
across a pastel blue sky,
I see with my father's eyes
and hope the memory stays alive
to water me
in sorrow's time.

Walking, with my hand outstretched
to feel the stone, the marble set
of furniture
that has travelled seas,
to touch my palm,
to be with me.

I saw my shadow nights ago
peep out at me so suddenly,
I jumped, then laughed
"It's only me!"
My darker side,
but only me.


Shaista wrote this poem last year, and I'd posted it on my own blog back then because I really liked it. It takes us back to another place when the future was bright for all five of us. Anyway things took a turn for the worse over the past couple of days due to a horrific mistake by the doctors looking after Shaista, and she has not been able to give directions around things to post, so I'm putting this one up for her. I hope you like it. Please keep writing in. Every message left here is a happy distraction in a time of a lot of pain and trauma. Thanks. Rizwan

Monday 23 March 2009

Beyond the Blinds

I drew the blinds today on the window near my bed.

They are building a concrete block 20 feet opposite my room. The bricks are yellow. Down on the far right there is a large patch of blue. Is it the builders' wall? Is it sky? My eyes can't tell. 

But I am pretending it is the sea, reflecting waves at me. I am imagining it is the bright blue of Malibu ocean where Jennifer Anniston runs with her dog Norman. 

It is Portugal, it is the Maldives. 

It is the place of dreams I catch glimpses of in magazines.

(dictated from hospital via phone)

Saturday 21 March 2009


That is a proud name."

I am proud of my name.

It is the Rajput name
for warriors
It is the Persian name
for poets.

Am I not then Shaista
the Warrior-Poet?

I am standing on the battleground
listing a little
Sword and pen at the ready
Blood and words aplenty

But I long for sakura
snow pink petals of my cherry tree
Oh brief, beautiful one, wrap yourself around me
So I can be
Shaista, the free.

p.s. Hey Cuban, what do you think? I wrote it this morning of the 21st of March.
Navroze Mubarak to all you sweet, kind, generous readers - today is Parsi New Year. My beautiful mother is Parsi Zoroastrian. Wear something new today. Throw some rice over your loved ones. Spring is begining (they tell me). Dance.
I am dictating this from my hospital bed to my mother who is at the home computer dutifully typing.
This disease would have wolfed me down long years ago but I am here because of the laughter and devotion of my two bestest friends, the dearest of soulmates one could wish for on a journey like mine.
So a special Navroze Day to my parents Perveen and Chotu, who keep me alive and flowering.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Something Beautiful

I fall into a cup of tea
with all my heart;
The sun comes out
To join me.

Blue flowers on bone china
all the way from Bengal;
Something beautiful travels far
to be present on my palm.

On my arm a glinting thing,
a golden watch, a hanging charm;
A golden bangle worn and fine,
from my great great grandmother's skin
to mine.

(July 19th, 2008)


Dear Blog Readers, I wrote this last year in one of my favourite spots. In the upstairs conservatory at home. I'm still in hospital after 12 bottles of life saving human immuno-globulins and very painful surgery, so my brother is typing this up for me. You have shared so many beautiful comments and thoughts, I wanted to share something beautiful with you too.


(Please keep your positive thoughts and messages coming and I will continue to pass them on. They all make a difference. Email here or comment below. Many thanks. Rizwan)

Friday 6 March 2009

March Update

Dear Blog Readers

Just a brief note to say that Shaista has been admitted to hospital again, and may not be able to post for a while. She asked me to leave this message on her behalf.

Please say hello and leave your messages. They all help. I will read them to her when I can.

Many thanks and I hope life is treating you gently wherever you are.


Email Shaista or comment below (scroll to the bottom of the comments and choose the Name/URL option)

Ps. If you want to subscribe via email just click here