I have been writing these essays (I like to call them stories) for a long time, the earliest being in 1984, and publishing some in Pakistani newspapers and some on blogs.
Several times, I toyed with the idea of compiling these stories in a book form but was not sure of the usefulness of such an endeavor. One difficulty was the diversity of the subjects – from reminiscences to anecdotal history to folklore to so much else. It was not possible to assign a genre to the collection.
It was only recently when a pen friend, Ejaz Rahim, who has also written one of the two generous forewords to this volume, prodded me in an email, saying, “The fact is humans die; the fiction is books continue to live.” I fell for the fiction, and hence this slim volume of mostly reminiscences about the people I came across or worked with and events I was part of.
In short, it is about the world I left behind.
I plan to publish the other essays in a second volume.