A butterfly with no wings

We’re both quite old now, India. We need to start behaving like adults.

Mohammad Adnan June 01, 2012
Dear India,

There’s a little white boy approaching the windowsill where a snow globe of a snowy day in Russia sits. Beside the snowy day, across mountains and deserts, exists a butterfly whose wings have been severed.

I am that butterfly.

You are that windowsill.

They were the little white boys who severed our bond and broke our wings.

I may be that annoying Siamese twin your past can never remove from its memory, but know that the pristine streets of your Bombay and Delhi are just like Islamabad and Lahore. We may not have haute couture but our Lawn season is nothing to smirk at.

We were both so wonderful together – just like electricity.

Just imagine if we were playing cricket together - the Aussies would die of shame! Except you won’t want to play with your ugly twin, now would you?

All the housewives have already died of shame. They can’t believe that Lagerfeld approached you before us for a Chanel franchise. But then again, you are paisley quality and we are just bombs and minarets. I guess the latter didn’t entice our friends in Paris, now did it?

Have you been thinking about me lately? We’re going through a rough patch. I mean, after the custody battle of ’99, we haven’t written to each other, so I thought I should initiate this tasteful exchange of intellectual thought – just like old times eh?

Do you like my kids?

The ones I sent over to sing for all the movies you’ve directed? They’ve got a je ne sais quoi (a certain something) about them, but they refuse to sing for all the movies I’ve made – something about budget?

We’re both quite old now, India. We need to start behaving like adults.

Yes, we had our tiffs when we were in our twenties, then in our fifties. We’ve tried to make amends, but perhaps two men clad in sherwanis, shaking hands, aren’t enough to UHU glue the bond we once had.

Kashmir is tearing us apart. She’s such a defiant child.

Do you remember when they told us incest was wrong? Well, whether or not you chose to listen to those white boys when they came to play in our backyard, it is.

Remember when we snuck into the annex and they peered through the window, intrigued that siblings could engage in such an egregious act?

They watched, and we fought.

Now we’re fighting a custody battle.

Yours faithfully,


Follow Mohammad on Twitter @mziaadnan
Mohammad Adnan The author is a student at the American School in London. He tweets @mziaadnan
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Rashid Qazi | 11 years ago | Reply This is a really nice piece. I hope you continue to write for the Tribune and other publications soon.
meera | 11 years ago | Reply Brilliant! Express Tribune blogs, please show us more work from this writer!
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