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Volume 10

From Pulp To Postmodern: A Tribute - July 2012


Written by
Maryam Piracha

Maryam writes short and long fiction and is currently hard at work on a "long project" also known as a novel. Armed with an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, UK, she is also the editor-in-chief of The Missing Slate, an international art and literary journal. When Maryam isn't writing, she's busy compartmentalizing herself in 140 characters or less and / or snarkily watching TV. Her work has previously been published in The News, The Express Tribune, Papercuts, Chowk and various other publications.


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Snapshots of a Conversation


Do all Lahori girls sound like you?

Does every girl in the City of Mughal kings wake up a groggy-eyed body contortionist, one arm around the sofa? Refusing to sleep on our bed, your dark, Lahori skin musts with the faintly myopic smells of the coffee-stained couch – granules of rice and pita bread buried within its folds – until your lids grow heavy and your head nestles deeper into the crook of my arm.

Do all Lahori girls sound like you?

Licking your lips, nimble fingers wrapping around small morsels of naan, sweeping chutney, kebab, curry and chickpeas into your vegetarian palette. You say a prayer when you’re finished, remembering a god you never impose on me. Invoking it when least expected.

Do all Lahori girls sound like you?

When you come back to me after a long day, shoulders hunched in that particular way, you remind me of the way you sit in one position over a writing desk too big for your small frame, but sturdy, constant. The one piece of furniture you insisted on so pertly – pouty lips a comma to a conversation not over, just on hold.

Do all Lahori girls sound like you?

When you shriek in the shower, the scalding or too-cold water making contact with your skin. You yell for me, one foot out of the bathtub, expectant that I control our flat’s plumbing. I am a man, you say, I ought to know. You grow silent then, content you’ve said too much.

Do all Lahori girls sound like you when they break men’s hearts? Your clenched fist a period on the chapter of our relationship.

With a toss of your head,

I am a conjunction


In a larger tale

*This is an edited version of Maryam Piracha’s story which first appeared in the Black Heart Magazine.



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