The dignity of a refugee



A thought provoking piece. An eye witness account of Syrian refugees camped at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary. Saneeya writes an informative, sensitive and enlightening blogpost. Well done!

Originally posted on Saneeya Qureshi:

I must preface this blog entry with a caveat: I am neither an activist nor a political person by any measure. The text contained within this post is meant solely to capture the multitude of emotions that I have experienced in a short span of time. It is not meant in any way as a comment or interpretation of the politics or policies of any nation.

I am fortunate to work in a job which I not only love, but also one for which I travel around the world. I am currently in Budapest, Hungary. Although the past week has been spent attending various sessions and meetings for work, this weekendI have had the privilege of being able to volunteer for a whileat the Keleti train station before catching my flight back home.

Having grown up in countries that are oft touched by violence and bloodshed, although upset by the…

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I’d like to be..

Courtesy of M.A.Q

Courtesy of M.A.Q

I’d like to be..

The rainbow in your cloud

The peace in your thoughts

The blossoms on your tree

The buds on your rose bushes

The whispers on your pillow

The feathers in your duvet

The diamonds in your tiara

The gold among your silver

The sheen of your shoes

The starch in your shirt

The fragrance of your perfume

The smile on your face

The reason for your happiness

The giggle in your laughter

The cause for your success

The positivity in your mind

The desire for your goodness

The example for your compassion


But not the least

I’d like to be…

The hope for all your tomorrows.

Therefore, live on, my precious children,

Be happy, healthy and content,

Fear not, stand tall, walk on,

For this, the legacy, I leave behind

Is yours, alone, to keep;

And in your prayers,

I’d like to be..




Maloquacious © 2015

Happiness is a bowl of fresh berries

Courtesy of N.G

Courtesy of N.G

Oh, gosh! My room’s a mess
I am in a total distress.

The cat’s done another ‘oopsie’
Do it again, feline, and you’ll get a ‘whoopsie’.

Dog, the obedient, doesn’t dare,
Have already given him an icy stare.

Laptop, again, conked out
For that I give a nasty shout.

Telly’s on the blink
Uff, I just cannot think.

Window shutters are rattling
The latches are battling.

I surrender, and flop on to my bed
Staring at the ceiling, I rest my head.

I wonder, and ponder, and, thrice, wonder
I think, and think, and simply wonder.

The walls begin to close in, I feel suffocated
What? Is the ceiling collapsing, am I intoxicated?

Perhaps pixies, gremlins and the mischievous fairy
Have caused all this havoc ? Help! They’re out to get me?

Ye gods, I don’t trust them nor their pixie dust
With that magic, they can do a lot…they got guts.

So, out the room, I pronto jump, in total distress
Down the stairs, I whizz, gosh, am I in a mess!

Breathe, breathe, my guru yoga always instructed
Beneath the tree I now sit, feeling a wee bit protected.

When stress spills over and the worries don’t abate
It’s because the system needs a break, so it’s time to meditate.

Be happy, don’t worry! Let not tensions nest in your head
Forget the past, trust the future, and in the present, walk on ahead.

Indeed, breathe in, breathe out…inhale, exhale – repeat
And if like me, you find a berry on the bush nearby – eat!

Happy strawberries, blueberries, cherries and blackberries
Pick and pluck what you love. My happy heart’s in raspberries!

Maloquacious © 2015

The Rumble in the Jungle

Courtesy of N.G

Courtesy of N.G


Deep in the jungle, in the heart of it, there stood Rigamaroo
His mind was in a whirl and twirl, he didn’t know what to do.

Too much trouble, hubble bubble, shuffle and kerfuffle
Such was life, thought he, poor me! Rock bottom, in a scuffle.

Can’t think straight, caught in a tangle, feeling drab, dull and dead
Swirling, twirling, swooshing, whooshing, yikes, ’twas a bee buzz in his head.

The stress, alas, was too much for him, he was down, deep in a jumble
Frazzled, boggled, puzzled, oh gosh, what a humongous muddle!

All the worrying, the fretting, the doubting, oodles doom and gloom
His mind, no good.. Should he go left? Or, right? He didn’t know what to do.

Glum-faced, puckered lips, furrowed brows – peace, was what he yearned for
Yet, still, along the winding path he trudged; a figure, hunched…quite sore.

What was his problem? His quandary? His quantum of irrationality?
Why go in the jungle, with its creepers and twines? It made no sensibility.

But, Rigamaroo just toddled and hobbled, without an end in sight
He turned right, then, he turned left. Next, left and, then, again, right.

Bewildered, befuddled… left on his own – I ask ye, was poor chappie okay?
No, methinks, not. For ’tis best to have a confidante, to share, discuss, to have your say.

As when you’re open to discussion…a kindly ear, a gentle embrace, or just a simple pat on the hand
Boosts one’s morale and, the self esteem, enhances – ah, so that is why it’s called a healing hand!

Right? Are you? Really, right? Rigamaroo questioned me..
Since now he felt so much better, happy, healthy and carefree.

My reply was…

“Well, I am your Guardian Angel, my duty is to care,
“Though, of course, you cannot see me, but, I am ever there.”


Maloquacious © 2015

“Three things are difficult to understand: The work of the swan, the movements of the swan and the mind of a swan.”

Courtesy of F.M

Courtesy of F.M

Who am I? Chalky wants to know,
Where do I live, where?
Chalky looks me up and down,
Down and up, up and down.

What is the problem? I query,
Wherefore art thou waddling?
‘Tis now my turn, and truly..
I shalt give Chalky the third degree.

Take my pic, hey you! Chalky suddenly quacks,
Lifts neck up high, and with a beaky grin, Chalky..
Ruffles the feathers, spruces and preens,
Makes a pose, all poised and serene.

Click. Adroitly, the camera captures..
This delightful little creature, called Chalky,
Who’s now sharply waddling towards me, but why?
Cackles: Now of you, I take! – Snap! …….. Ouch.

Moral of the poem:

Never trust a wolf in swan’s clothing.

A swan’s quack is not worse than its snap.

Maloquacious © 2015

I thank ye, kind sir, Bunny, for your time and for your ears

Courtesy of F.M-G

Courtesy of F.M-G

Come sit with me, please do, dear bunny, beneath the shade
For that is where, I do believe, all hopes and dreams are made.
With you, beside me, I know, will I have the utter strength
To share, declare and, earnestly, gabbing all, at length.

Rabbit, my sweet, lend to me, your flappy ears, please do,
There’s much to say, before you play, pray, sit – ’tis just us two.

I do not wish, oh yes, I don’t, for any fame or glory,
Nor for threads of silver, no golden needles – no, not me!
Sprawling lawns, chandeliered mansions? I have no desire, nay
Diamonds, rubies….ah, the jewels, perhaps…but, NO – no way!

What I want…what I really want…really, really want
With all my heart, deep in my soul, and this I truly want..
Is a moment with my dad and bro, how precious and how priceless, yes,
Their gentle embrace; heartwarming smiles and the kindness in their eyes.

For now they fly high among the angels, their souls both shining bright,
Left me with a casket, ’tis filled with regal, treasured riches, ever so rare,
It holds their love, their goodness, those virtues pure and oh-so right!
Ah, I am rich, beyond all measures, by their legacy extraordinaire.


I thank ye, kind sir, Bunny, for your time and for your ears,
I wish you well, and hope you find that cabbage, you hold so dear!

Maloquacious © 2015

Travails of a Time Traveller


Courtesy of S.M

As the sun’s rays glitter through swaying boughs, I watch the leaves bow in reverence at the majesty of the splendid day. All around, the radiance dances its shimmering swirls and twirls like devout dervishes in hypnotic trance.

I am mesmerised.

Ah, if only I could sit and watch this enchanting display of worship and adoration to the mighty Creator. Everyone and everything bows in gratitude – acknowledgement of His greatness.

But, I have no time. I cannot afford to dawdle for I have too much to do. I am a Time Traveller. In haste, in rush, I always am. Chop-chop.

I’m busy, too busy. Got no time. Too absorbed in the nitty gritty of life, I always am. ..Keeping up with the Joneses. ..Catching up with the rat race. ..Rubbing shoulders with the top brass. I want this; I want that. I must do this; I must do that. I desire more. And more and more. The list becomes endless.


Alas, such is the life of many! But at the end of our Journey, will any of this matter? Our mansion? Bank balance? Crystal ware? Silverware? Jewels?

Who will be in awe of all this? Will we be rewarded for our possessions? Will the angels be impressed? Moreover, will He be pleased with us? Think about that.

Pause. Ponder. Reflect.

At birth, we enter empty handed. On death, we depart, also, empty handed.

So…therefore, …

When the realisation finally dawns, what really matters, is how well and productively we lived the ‘dash’ – the life duration in this world.

In spite of adversities and despite evil temptations, we are here to enhance our souls’ growth. To better ourselves. To understand the true meaning of life. In short, toss out ugly materialism. Rid yourself of envy, jealousy, selfishness, dishonesty and every negative emotion.

Instead, embrace spirituality. Take a firm grasp of truthfulness, integrity, humility and gratefulness. Improve your soul by being good, doing good, thinking good, and most vital, always keep in your mind, heart, body and soul, the mention of His blessed glory.

No matter what bricks and bats, sticks and stones befall you, persevere and endeavour to transform into a beautiful, joyful soul of love, humility and compassion. God speed.

I conclude with a favourite poem of mine…

Image via the web

Image via the web













Maloquacious © 2015

Fifty Shades of White

Courtesy of F.L

Courtesy of F.L


The day is cold. Really cold. To use the correct word – freezing.

Today, I have a journey to make. So I step into my car. Start up the engine. Switch on the heater. And roll up the windows.

Now, I am on my way. I think I know where I am going. And I think I know what to do. And thus, I begin.

With accelerator pressed, the engine gently growls. I shift the gear, adjust my seat and, warily, move on to the tarmac.

My, what a magical sight to behold!

Methinks, enchanting. But nay, some thoughts differ – Promising? Or, ominous?

Seconds tick by. I’m in a quandary.

I feel confused. Friend or foe? Boggled, I clutch at the steering wheel.

Watchful. Now, more careful, I negotiate a bend and drive on.

A thick, dense blanket of snow lies on either side. The road is clear, but sporadically, miniature snow dunes appear.

Trees, of different shapes and size, stand tall in shrouds of white, haughtily peering down at me. Or, perhaps, protectively?

Road signs are thickly veiled in various whites, their messages, vague and unclear. Ambiguous. Why?

Clusters of clouds loom above me, menacingly, displaying hues of white, white and white. Or, are they grey?

The road, it twists and turns with its ups and downs. Is that – Good or Bad?

I reflect. I ponder.

Time passes by.



A sudden jolt out of the blue electrifies me. I am hit by a flash of enlightenment.

Yes. I smile.

With Enlightenment comes Realisation and, finally, Acceptance.

Yes, yes and yes!

That’s what life is all about. One long adventurous journey, inclusive of its twists and turns, and its ups and downs – they are, of course, all part of the package!

Wisdom dawns. I think back.

Promising? Ominous? Surely, such are the experiences in life!

Thickly veiled road signs, vague, and very unclear? Together with the fifty shades of white (snow?) that cruised alongside me in my journey? These are simply His sacred directions and guidance for us to note and accept!

Gratitude reigns. The crown is accepted. Ah, I have indeed arrived at my destination. Phew.

The journey, undoubtedly, was long, tiring and extremely puzzling. From the start, I was quite apprehensive and rather fretful. Obstacles unnerved me, predicaments befuddled me. But now, what a relief!

Peace prevails. I am content. I pray.

I thank You, loving Lord, for blessing my soul with Your enlightenment – the conscious awareness of our purpose in life.



Maloquacious © 2015


Je suis Saneeya



Food for thought…. “Je suis Saneeya” — Merci!

Originally posted on Saneeya Qureshi:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” is a quote often misattributed to Voltaire. It was actually used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall (who, in 1906, wrote ‘The Friends of Voltaire’ under the nom de plume of S. G. Tallentyre) to illustrate Voltaire’s attitude towards censorship laws at the time.

I find it timely to refer to these words alluding to the principles behind freedom of expression, particularly in wake of the current tumultuous state of global affairs. Now, I consider myself ill-informed when it comes to commentary on politics. As much as I would like to write about current affairs, my concern about not knowing all sides of the coin, so to speak, prevents  me from voicing my views. However, I would like to think that I possess a basic concept of what is right and what is wrong. And when a person or group…

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Peshawar Attack: A Letter from 8-year old Bilal to his Mother


My heart bleeds. My tears flow. I feel numb. Stunned and aghast by the horror of it all. What has happened to us? When will the madness end? May God forgive us and may He grant guidance to those sanctimonious souls who have gone astray. AMEEN.
To all who have been affected by this horrendous tragedy, know that God the Almighty has embraced each and every one of those precious little, innocent gems who now rest in Jannah, at peace, away from this cruel, wicked world.
My heartfelt condolences and fervent prayers go out to their parents, siblings and all family members…
“Allah grant you all strength and patience.”

A beautiful, impassioned and most articulate piece of writing. Vividly described and so poignant….

God bless you, SYED M AMMAR


via Peshawar Attack: A Letter from 8-year old Bilal to his Mother.

Peshawar Attack: A Letter from 8-year old Bilal to his Mother


It was a bright and a very beautiful morning in the city of Peshawar. The mid-december brought with it really cold weather. The usual morning rush hour had started. Little kids carrying school bags which were bigger and heavier than themselves were coming out of their houses. They looked funny but cute. All the kids were wearing those warm woollen hats, gloves and warm jackets.  Some were waiting for their vans alongside their parents and crying too. The mothers were , as always, persuading their kids to go to school. Their usual comforting line would be,” Beta, it’s gonna be fun, you’ll enjoy with your friends at your school, and while returning I shall prepare for you a delicious meal.” Some kids were comforted by this, while others were not. Everything seemed completely calm. The Warsak Street was filled with little and big feets making there way to their school, the ill-fated Army Public School. The kids were happily socializing and making plans for the soon-to-happen event which was supposed to be held at their school’s auditorium. Amongst the crowd was a young female, dragging her 8 year old son who did not want to go to school at all. Her mother approached the gate with her screaming little boy. He was wearing a green blazer, green pants along with a cute tie on the white shirt underneath his fine coat. His hairs were quite messy. Still yelling. His mother told him that he needs to be a good boy and go to school so that he can become an educated doctor and save lots of lives. Well, this comforted him… a bit. She bade him farewell and watched him disappear into the thick crowd of 500 students into his well-guarded school. Little did she know, this was the last time she saw her only son alive….

Assalam-u-walikum Ammi,

By now you must have heard the news of me getting killed in the attack at our school. I know Ammi, you are crying a lot and so is Papa. I can see everything from up here. Please don’t cry. I cannot see you both cry. It hurts me. I can see you both wailing and shaking my body violently and pleading me to come back. Ammi, stay strong please. Didn’t I tell you that I didn’t want to go to school today?

The function in the auditorium was going quite good. I was seated right in the middle from where I could see the stage clearly. Everything was calm and pleasant when suddenly a couple of Army men entered into the dimly lit auditorium. I thought they were here to watch the show, but they were all armed. They did not wear masks. Ammi, they looked very scary! And all of a sudden one of them shot down our Chief guest. We all screamed. And then they started firing on us. Many of my school-mates were hurt, some of them died on the spot. We started running here and there desperately searching for an escape. Ammi, I couldn’t find an escape route, I was so small. My friends from higher classes blocked my view. All I could hear were gunshots that almost made me deaf. I felt scared. I was lonely. I needed you Ammi. Where were you? I wanted to hide in your arms…

I also cried a lot and I was frantically shouting out to you and Papa, but I wasn’t sure if you were hearing me. Were you hearing me Ammi Jan? Didn’t Papa hear too? You used to say that you were always with me. Then where were you today? By then, my school’s auditorium was in complete chaos. Ammi! There was blood everywhere. I ran for the door and tripped over my English teacher’s body. I saw her, she was lying down in a pool of blood. I tried to wake her up too, Ammi. She did not respond. I knew something was terribly wrong. They even burned one of our teachers in front of us and forced us too see her die. She was a very good teacher. Why did they burn her? Why were these uncles killing us? I ran out of the auditorium and towards the sports field. I knew I could escape.

But as soon as I reached for the field there was another Army uncle who was in the field firing at us. He saw me too. I ran back inside but it was too late. Ammi, he fired me straight into my chest, twice. It started paining Ammi, my blood started to pour out and I fell down. The big monstrous man came over to me, stepped on my hand and pressed it against the ground, I managed to let out a short cry of pain, and then he shouted at me ‘Say the Kalma!’ He wasn’t human at all ammi. He shouted again in his somewhat Arabic accent. I couldn’t even manage a word out of my mouth. Seconds felt like days. The terrorists were worst than monsters in human disguise. It was very painful. I was facing difficulty in breathing. I did not want to move because it increased my pain. My body started to go numb soon. All I wanted was your lap to rest my head on. I thought I was sick, and you would come over and carry me with you, give me some syrup and sing me a lullaby until I sleep. It was all I needed, one last time, I could hold you, I could kiss you on your forehead and your voice, I wanted to hear it call my name. Slowly, my vision got blurred, the pain increased, I tried to cry out loud, but couldn’t. I always wanted to be a doctor, if I had been one, maybe I could have cured myself, right Ammi? And then I coughed a mouthful of blood and that was it. Yes, I was in my school uniform in the morning and now I sleep in my little coffin.

Papa always told me that Dadi went to Allah Pak and Allah made her a star. I think he was right. I am a star high above that world, it’s so beautiful up here. It’s also very peaceful here unlike our country. And I have met many angels here. They are so beautiful. And we all kids are living in a grand palace where we play all day. We have been told to wait until the Day of Judgement, when that uncle who killed me will be thrown in Hell. And I will wait for you both, I will hold yours and Papa’s index fingers and we will go to Paradise together, Ammi. Everything is beautiful here. But I miss you both. Don’t grieve over my death, it was Allah’s plan. Keep your faith in Allah strong. He is indeed the best Judge. He will make the wrong-doers pay for their sins. In the end, dear mother, just convey my message to the world that we Muslims are not terrorists, if we had been terrorists, today I wouldn’t have died. We want peace. Our religion wants peace. I don’t want any more kids of my age to suffer the same fate as I did, nor their parents Please tell the world to achieve peace ‘together’. It’s the only way to make this world a better place to live. That’s all. I love you, Ammi.

I know it’s very hard but please be Patient.

Yours Lovingly,

Bilal Khan


Maloquacious © 2014