prayer to goddess durga

durge smurta
harsi bheetim
ashe shajuntoho
swastahe smurta mati mati va
daridhrya dukha bhaya
survopakarr karanaya
sarvomangala mangalaye
shivesarvartha saadhike
karaniye trambhake gauri
narayani namostute

om shanti shanti shanti

for the japanese,
for mother nature to restore her balance quickly


i loved beirut

it felt like i was travelling back in time, back to pakistan.
the sadness of war and the optimisim of new roads and buildings, the mini-skirts alongside covered women driving in traffic, the helpful homeless, the old well-kept mercedes taxis, the same old bargaining which is annoying but it earns you respect, the smlies on the faces of the military among tiny children on roller blades and tricycles, the good coffee and tourists we kept seeing once every 4 hours...it was a wonderful picture of diversity, an acceptance of history and a choice that there was nothing but hope to hope for.