The Lilac Tree

Burgeoning lilac tree Deep purple blooms Lace of my grandmother’s heart Deep sweet scent of spring Floating above the sun-drenched veranda Saturating my childhood dreams This poem is dedicated to my grandmother and all grandmothers on this Mother’s Day weekend.

Perspectives and Opinions

A few days ago I hosted a Zoom Book Launch party for my latest memoir, Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years. It was a successful, enjoyable afternoon of sharing memories and answering questions about the book. One of those questions still resonates, not because it was an unusual question, but rather because I didn’t provide … More Perspectives and Opinions

The COVID Blues

Yesterday I came down with what I have dubbed ‘the COVID blues’. This ailment presented itself as a kind of hopeless melancholy coupled with floating anxiety and restlessness. At the same time, I was riddled with guilt. What was the matter with me? My husband and I have the basic necessities of life. We are … More The COVID Blues

Six Months and Counting

The world went quiet. Everything stopped. We isolated. No friends, no neighbours, no dancing, no grandchildren, no meetings, no appointments. Only groceries and pharmacies. Twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week—just here. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote every day. Watched TV at night. Masked outings. Sanitized and washed again and again. … More Six Months and Counting

See no Evil

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is a proverb taken from a 17th Century carving above the door of a Japanese shrine. The Buddhist depiction of monkeys covering their eyes, ears, and mouth was meant to impart the lesson that we shouldn’t dwell on evil thoughts. Nowadays this proverb is sometimes used … More See no Evil

Pakistan: The Prequel

Having all events, appointments and social gatherings cancelled for the last month or so has meant that I’ve had more time to spend writing my next book. I’ve gone further back in time to the years we spent in Pakistan, before Nine Years in Bangkok: Lessons Learned. At the same time, I’ve been watching the … More Pakistan: The Prequel