Calm before the storm


Murky clouds in the heavens I see,

None but the enlightened will know what to see,

Seek the silver lining in everything that you do,

For in it you will feel gratitude.


#thoughts #blessings#countyourblessings #calmbeforethestorm #calmnessinthestorm #fear#hope #life #writersofinstagram #writing #writer #poems #peace


Sleepy Bay

Away in the foothills of Stonehaven

A picturesque view emanates

Of a sleepy harbour within

Of stories of toil and sweat

Of love, laughter and merriment

Merry they are when the bard recounts thier tales of lore

Of gallantry and love, death and sadness

So then do the bard rhyme
And yet on either side

Far out into the hills

Monuments erected for those fallen;

One on the farthest side

For war of the yoke of the battles of Jutland, Gallipoli and Dunkirk

The other, for those 

Of men who fought for thier freedom

Of the Jacobites, William Wallace and the like

So thier progeny would have better days

Remember we must 

So that we may not take for granted 

Those trying testing days

Forever we maybe grateful

For those calm nights

Akin to the sleepy bay

How ironic life can be of war and peace it may be. Alas.

A visit to the UK

Touch down Dubai. What a monumental journey it was to the UK. What was supposedly a short break turned into an amazing summer holiday full of fun and laughter, joy and happiness.

Drifting by train and automobiles, viewing the spectacle of three coasts and all that I could see in between, it definitely was a roller coaster of a journey. Starting from the north west, all the way to the southern point of Durdle door, then navigating my way up to the very north.


Pitstop Alton Towers. What a day


The finest Chicken Kebab ive come across has to be from Manchester.


Finest rumps and ribs in Manchesta.


Landan East end docklands – Enough said


Tribute to the Olympics by the Chinese. Polo players on the scene.


Feeling the weather on a hot day in Landan Town. Tate and Lyle Factory making the finest sugar across the river.


Katsamoto’s gear or someone thereof.


In love with the architecture in Central London.


Duddle Door in the south cost reminded me of a scene from the Goonies.


Look closely on the right – swimming enthuiasts braving the cold waters.


To the rabbit hole and beyond.


My moments of rain. Pure bliss.



All set up for a night of stories and memorable conversations with roasted marshmallows.



Looking towards the North Sea, Aberdeen.


Dunnottar castle, Stonehaven – Scotland


The best haddock I had so far. Ever.


In Winston Churhill’s eyes, the finest regiment in the world. Fought in many wars including Afghanistan too.


A moment to remember with my little niece.

From London to Leicester and Birmingham in between all the way to Aberdeen, it has been a splendid spectacle for my eyes to see. From visiting museums and monuments, forts and ruins to getting back to basics and camping in the great outdoors, the myriad of experiences forged have left a space in my heart & soul of fond memories to cherish. The greatest of pleasures though have been building new relationships and rekindling ones of old. It has been a rejuvenation process to my soul and very much needed. The greatest of joys has been to spend time with my little nieces. Friends and family do indeed matter.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who looked after me on the way – too many to mention. Im sorry I didn’t get to see some of you that I didn’t get to see but time didn’t permit me to do so. Until next time, Be well. A.H for everything.

Tribute to Nancy Dupree.

Nancy Dupree. What a remarkable and passionate woman.

nancydupree (1)

Never did I come across someone who felt such passion for preserving a culture that was not of her own. Nancy by all measures became part of that. Fifty odd years actually.

I first came across Nancy and her husband Louis whilst studying for my undergrad at university. They had written books specializing on Afghanistan for which I was writing my thesis on. History was a subject that fascinated me since I was a child. I was also fascinated with the fact that you had a couple from America who were living in a society that was out of their norms. Afghanistan of all places. That mysterious place, the crossroads of civilizations. Their writings had introduced me to Anthropology too. Little did I know that Nancy would embark on a lifelong task of preserving the history of Afghanistan through the collection of many historical books; some 60,000 and counting. A mammoth of a task.

At the back of my mind, I thought I would one day meet her, share a story or two over a cup of tea. I saw a picture of her on her desk and the loss of her presence can be felt far and wide. Zra ma khogeegee – My heart feels broken. Seldom do I feel for someone in such a way, someone that I never met. A stinging feeling of remorse in my nose prevails.

This is indeed a sad day for Afghanistan, in fact the world. A national treasure. It takes a certain type of character to go against all odds to believe in something that is far greater than they are. When many fought amongst one another, Nancy fought back to preserve with pen and paper. In that darkness, a fleeting hope emitted. For future generations. To resurrect akin to the phoenix the arises from the ashes. May your legacy live on forever.

In the annals of history, let it be stated that Ms. Nancy was amongst few to preserve the historical significance than most people care to imagine. Such a legend. Legends never die though – Legacies remain forever. May you rest in peace Nancy.


(1) Photo: Marcus Hansson

Castles in the Sky

Out in the hills, a fortress stands. 

Many a tale, the bard recals,

Some rejoiced with glee and joy,

Others, recounted with despair and sadness.

Man’s folly to overestimate his step,

For hope and glory till the end,

And yet the fortress stands way after they’re gone.

To lay as a memory of thier legacy and build castles in the sky.

What would you want you’re legacy to be?

Feast for a King

They say home is where the heart is. What is home especially when you’ve lived a third of your life somewhere away for your roots. Home is where your friends and family are but when you’ve made friends across the globe, who treat you with kindness and respect, “Home” becomes a little larger than Bolton! Recently I had the pleasure of being invited for dinner by friends I would like to call family. And dinner wasnt even in Bolton, we ended up in #Blackburn of all places and what a treat.

Copious amounts of food on a huge wok we call a tawa; an array of Asian delicacies from chicken curry and lamb chops to erm chunky chips – A feast for a king was in sway. Great food and greater company with giggles and roars of laughter is all that matters.

If you’re up in the north, you need to come visit and wolf away. I have not seen this in #Dubai yet so makes a change from the usual “mixed grill platter”. Add abit of spice and boom, this will make your mouth water. Oh and make sure you have the coconut desert. Hits the spot and will cool you  down in no time. May you all enjoy this experience with your loved ones. #family #food #goodtimes #spice #foodie #travel

Welcome Home

I have been meaning to express this till now but I have been overwhelmed with my niece’s constant chatter since I’ve arrived. Loved every minute of it. It’s been a roller coaster ride the last 24 hours. The feelings of happiness, remorse, hope intertwined. Touchdown #Manchester. I think I brought the weather with me. I was surprised to see it shining so beautifully. The mixture of green colors in the fields from the plane was appealing to the eye as we came closer to our destination.


Equally amazing was the flight on #Emirates too; more so because the cabin crew looked after me throughout the journey. You see, I have a personal phobia of when the plane taxis off the runway. A loss that I have come to terms with as the years have gone by. Whether a friend had requested that I be looked after on the plane, nevertheless, it doesn’t cost to be nice and Ghada did an amazing job. My whole-hearted respect to all.


Amidst the conversations whilst travelling home, I received the first news the Pakistan had won the match. I was startled and in disbelief. Congrats #Pakistan. As one commentator Michael Kugelman befittingly stated, “There’s something poetic about #Pakistan‘s win. The country is often counted out but still manages to persevere. Impressive!” I saw the highlights after and what a roaring win. Pakistan –  the underdogs had triumphed this time against all the odds. The old addage of being “wary of your opponent” rings true.



Victory. The match in 1992 echoed similar notions. I remember as a young kid, the euphoria was electrifying. It was Ramadan then as it was now.  I think the scenes in the media speak for themselves. Celebrations in different cities of the UK would erupt through the night Commiserations for India. You were outplayed this time.

Arriving home after a number of years, I sensed the subtle changes. Or have I changed in the process. A quandary that all expats go through coming back. One aspect that had not changed was the silohette of the valley opposite my house. A calming scene.


And then what was supposed to be a joyful evening transformed into a night of terror. Another act of senseless and wanton destruction; the fourth one in a month – Manchester, central London and then Finsbury park where a congregation of Muslim worshippers were mowed down. What is going on? Why so much hate? When will this end or is this the new norm? May the victims of the many attacks receive justice. Rest in Peace to those that we have lost the world over.

In an age where the sense of fear is heightened and amplified with the use of social media, it is important that restraint is shown and justice be served. My utmost respect to the Imam who calmed the situation and had the perpetrator escorted to the police van. This man showed restraint that we all must show and this is where hope can be found. I pray for a better tomorrow where values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are upheld. This is what I was raised up with all those years ago in the UK and will abide by. One full of love and respect. Welcome Home.