Becalmed, the wide rubber raft floated aimlessly on the choppy waters, far from any sort of assistance. Huddled and shivering, refugees and migrants from a plethora of regions rubbed their hands and bodies. Mothers swaddled their children around their own meagre coats, while the irascible captain yelled and cursed at the steaming motor at the back. Holding his walkie-talkie close to his heart like a keepsake, he barked at his accomplices back in their base, demanding to know why his rescue boat had not arrived. Crackling voices responded, urging him to stay calm and wait.
“Hey, Mr Syria!” Yelled a young man, with deep dark skin like a killer whale and piercing eyes; the whiteness shone like the moon in the night. “We have some time. And we hear you can tell some stories….”
There once were two men: Abdul Razzaq and Abdul Ghani.
Abdul Razzaq was a faithful man, who was very resourceful, with a talent for acquiring wealth. By the age of forty, he had paid off the mortgages of three properties, rented them out and his portfolio continued to grow promisingly.
I was roaming outside on the vast fields under the tearful sky searching for my beloved one.
I lost her the previous night, while I slept, while I drifted through the valleys of discontentment in my dreams. When I awoke, she was gone… And realising my folly, I rushed out of my house searching desperately for her. Searching up trees, walking into caves, scaling the solitary hills of woe. I had not found her and I was becoming a nervous wreck of a soul. Before I left, I rang my teacher and asked him what I should do.
“What is she looking at?”
Lucy’s friends glanced at her and then at the figure on the other side of the street, who stood watching them, while they sat around the chic table outside a prestigious city wine bar.
“She’s been staring at us, or rather at me, for a long time,” remarked Lucy, flicking back her gorgeous, auburn hair, taking a long drag of her sleek cigarette nonchalantly like Greta Garbo.
“I don’t think she’s looking at you my dear,” remarked Lucy’s confidante, Roxanne, “she’s probably senile.”
“A bit creepy though,” chimed in their friend Saba. “That’s not right the way she’s just looking at us.”
“Don’t stare back!” insisted Lucy. “She might come up to us!”
Roxanne interrupted: “Just ignore her. Pretend she’s not even there.”
Mullah Khan, the irrepressible zealot and his sons, had been forced to attend the first ever de-radicalization programme, sanctioned and championed by none other than the British Prime Minister himself, Davis Cameroon. Khan and his sons were deemed social menaces with their firebrand Islamism, their desperation for Britain to become an Islamic state, their adoration for the self-styled caliph of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, and also for their failed mission to blow up a pig farm in Dudley with an explosive that they named “Kufr-Killer”.
“All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass”. W B Yeats
A lush and fertile patch of grass shivered in the breeze, sighing blissfully. Fully exposed to the benevolent sun and enriched by the timely monsoons, the grass grew to a staggering height, accommodating countless creatures great and small. Nothing, so it seemed, could curtail its life-force; nothing could obstruct the sun or the rain replenishing it. The grass was suffused with a rich and deep shade of green, so much so that just to look upon it brought relief to hearts, just to hear its whispers in the wind brought tranquility to troubled minds.
Novid Shaid’s short stories are now available for purchase on Amazon.
These short stories explore Islamic and Sufic themes, presenting characters and situations that resonate with contemporary culture and Muslims.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.
Novid Shaid Short Stories: Volume One
(Parental Advisory- bad language)
During the early 1990s, an amazing thing happened to the flourishing British Pakistani community in Aylesbury. An event, I am proud to proclaim, that I was part of.
So what was it?
A royal visit to the Pakistani ghetto? (Fleet Street, Havelock Street and New Street)
An opportunity to meet Pakistani cricketing icons like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis? (I’m sure some of the guys actually fancied Waqar…)
A chance to win free PIA tickets?
At the Malay stock exchange, one early morning, the managing director of Huwa industries appeared in a dreadful state, with his shirt untucked, his tie hanging wildly around his neck, pacing around, in his bare feet, in a never-ending circle, lamenting:
“I’ve lost it all…..I’ve missed it……What will he say?”
The greatest trick the devil plays on man is to make him believe he is free.
Far away in the hills, there lived this big, proud old man, with his wife and many young children. This man was larger than life, extremely generous and caring to his dependants, but at times he could be cruel and tyrannical. Consequently his children would flee when rage filled him and his wife would weep when anger swelled in his eyes. This old man led his family the way he saw fit, and for many a year lived like a king of his own little world.