Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dhoke Baaz...

In KamZarf Mahollohn Main 
Jahan Taqreeban Sabhi Dhoke Baaz Rehte Hon
Wahan Jab Maut Bhi Aayegi 
To Dhoke Se
In Sab Ko Tum
Phir Ek Baar Maaf Kar Dena!

Feb 15th, 2017 2am

Monday, February 13, 2017

Shopping after maa

U go to the supermarket after three months, and as usual pick up something for mom.
Next second it feels like someone just shot ur heart point blank.
Maa not there..who are u buying this for?
There is no one now to accept it with a smile and twinkle in her eyes. No one to tell u not to buy and then read label for what it is and the price on it..
U want to cry but being a grown up u are expected to behave. So u buy whatever and exit the supermarket in a hurry.
(Buying things for her was part of my strategy to make sure she understands that she remains in my mind no matter I go. That she is needed and wanted and loved. When old people feel neglected and not needed, that is when they decide to go - I believed.
I spent all my life letting her know she is needed forever in my life).
Life was never this painful. Never.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Shia _ Sunni, a love story

Baant Ke Apna Chehra, Maatha, Aankhen Jaane Kahaan Gayi?
Phate Puraane Ek Album Mein Ladki Jaisi Maa ....

Nov 1954. She was 19. They had just seen a movie at Super Talkies, Grant Road.. This picture was taken against her wishes. She was a Shia and father was a Sunni. May be she was not sure about how wud this 1400 years old divide wud play in her life.
In those days Shia - Sunni debate was as nasty as it is today. Of course it was minus the suicide bombers. Rest.. ..all mutual hatred, all biases and prejudices were the same.
She hid this picture from everyone. Even lied that it is someone else's. When I found out its hers, I went to town showing this picture and admiring her guts to be a rebel, for following heart. For doing the right thing.
They would marry in 1955.
Her next picture would be taken after a GAP of 25 years, by me.
Since then she remains the most photographed woman of my life.
Always will...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Qafan Farosh

Qafan Farosh...
81 saal ki Aurat ko Dafnaa kar
Sab Aabadi Ki Taraf Chale

To Har Shaks 
Us Budhiya Ke Bete ko
Ye Keh Kar Tasalli Dene Lagaa ke
` Kaafi Umr Thi, Mukti Mil Gayi`
`Log Is Beemari Main Ediyan Ragad Ke Marte Hain. Woh Asaani Se Gayin`.
` Budhi Haddiyon Ne Gosht Tak Chodd Diya Tha. Accha Hi Hua`
`Tumhari Apni Family Nahi Hai Na, Warna Takleef Kam Hoti`
Adhed Umr ka Beta
Muskura Kar, Khunda Peshaani se
Logon Ka Pursaa Qabool Kar Raha Tha
Usi Raat
Ek Nayi Geeli Qabr Pe
Ek Chota Baccha Bilak Bilak Kar Ro Raha Tha
`Aye Maa, Tu mujhe kiyoon chodd gayi Maa?`
`Qafan Faroshon Ki Is Basti Main,
sirf Tu Hi Mere Liye Zinda Thi Maa`
` Ab Dekh Main Kitna Tanhaa Hoon Maa`
Aur Kareeb ke Railway Station Pe Der Se Khadi
Local Train ke Pahiyye phir Chal Pade`
Nov 26, 2017

Friday, December 16, 2016


I want to thank EVERYONE for your support and kind words in the biggest ever tragedy of my entire life. I appreciate your prayers for mom and for my well being.
I don’t know how to grieve and what to expect next. This has shaken every DNA of my body and I don’t know what is waiting for me next. No one is prepared for this day. I have been crying like a baby since I saw her wrapped in that white sheet of clothe.
She was widowed at 41. She raised three children with grace, humility and hard work sacrificing her entire life for the well being of her children. We were her only assets.
She raised us with major difficulties and more importantly prayed for us so that we make something of our lives. It was only her prayers that made me reach from a possible life of a Manual Rickshaw Puller in UP to a Civil Engineer in the USA.
I have met major calamities and survived coz Maa was wind beneath my wing that kept me flying. Now I feel like I have no wings, no strength to face the next day.
Since Maa’s departure I have thought many a times to kill myself and to join her. I have complete faith that, like she saved me in this World, she wud find a way to save me there too.
But I think my mom wud not approve of that move.
So, If u see a 50 year old crying like a baby on the street of Mumbai, in a local train, in a bus, in a graveyard pls don’t worry. I am ok. I am just grieving my mom. Bas. I am just trying to get up and start my life or whatever is left of it.
Because more than anything else, I know my Maa wud never want to see me slip into depression. She wud never like to see me do crazy things with my life.
As far as crying, she was ok with it as she once remarked “First do everything for the dead properly, then you grieve”.
I am just following my Maa’s word like I did for the last 50 years of my life.
Please bear with me.


On 22nd November, they buried my heart in this grave.
Since then I am a dead man walking, with no heart, heart beat. 

And when the most beautiful n brave woman in the World struggles against old age, and when u realize the limits of medical sciences u feel helpless.
This is when u wanna unlearn all the scriptures of the World, the rules of society and all that good for nothing nonsense drilled in ur brain.
You wanna question whoever claims to be the creator and more, as u don't have the luxury to go on searching for the answers like a Buddha!
#Zubieda Sayed, #Mumbai, #Maa

Monday, September 12, 2016

The day that changed the World..

I don't think any of us wud forget what we were doing on September 11th 2001.
I was the Project Manager on a 8 million dollar project called Jimmy Carter Blvd in Gwinnett County, Atlanta, GA.
My first Independent project as a Project Manager, after I was trained and equipped by my employer in the arts and science of building roads n bridges. It was exciting time to be managing a path breaking project, and I was looking forward to its completion.
The kinds of reception, whistles and applause you get, after removing all barriers and traffic control devices to allow that first motorist to go thru, on the road you just build, still gives me a high.
I had just returned from my graveyard shift and was sleeping when my in-house girl frnd woke me up to break the news.
What we saw brought shock, disbelief, horror, fear and confusion. Like most Americans, I thought it must be a mistake but then the second plane hit and then I knew its more than that.
All day was spend in watching TV and absorbing the images of fear, tears and sufferings. For weeks stories that emerged kept me troubled. I still feel for the guys n gals that chose to jump from top floors...
Our World changed that day for worst.
Soon news stories started showing up of how the Arab looking or Muslims are targeted and humiliated in public places. Fortunately, I was in a great company of frnds and co-workers. Not a single incident that made me feel I am a Muslim or an outsider.
On the other hand when me and bunch of coworkers / hommies were entering a cafeteria, the African American security person stopped them for a check up and allowed me to go without frisking. After I passed thru security, I realized what she did, my humor kicked in, so I went back to her asking
" Hey you did not check me, I cud be a terrorist?"
"Not with that face honey...not with that face....go on..."
That is the American spirit that always rises from the ashes. That is the spirit we need to nurture in each other - if we want the world to not slide in the one way slope of darkness, bigotry and fear.
World can be beautiful again....yes it can...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Khul Jaa Sim Sim...

When I got there, the tea shop was already closed for the night. The staff was standing outside unwinding - chatting.
" Chai khareedni hai"
" Kal Subah 9 baje aayen....abhi to dukaan band ho gayi"
The manager wearing a skull cap and kurta pajama spoke in a matter of fact tone.
"Kal subah hi nahi hogi bhai"
"Kiya matlab?"
"Aap ki chai pee ke meri subah hoti hai......chai nahi hai ghar pe.....suabh kaise hogi?"
The manager, giving keys of the shop to one of his employees shouted
" Aye Dukaan khol"
I smiled. I got what I wanted, and was not surprised. Have done these kinds of acts a million times by now.
In one of the stories of " The Arabian Nights", the prince's path was blocked by a boulder on the mouth of a cave. He recites a mantra " Khul Jaa Sim Sim " and the boulder gives him room to go in and rescue the princess.
Vidyawaan of the world tell us it was not the mantra that opened the mouth of the cave, bu the " Lehjaa" ( the way to speak) that did it.
I could not agree more...
I can open any door, anywhere, any time in ANY country - even in my sleep with my "timing" and "Lehjaa". This magic comes only when one has a transparent heart, a sense of humor and who cares attitude to the outcome.
Despite this a few doors just wouldnt open....
Thats the irony my frnd....thats the fascinating irony!!