P.O.W. — a not-so-short story

I haven’t written anything in quite a while.  I had this story on a back-burner so I decided to dust it off and finish it.  It is very different from my usual writing style.  Let me know what you think of it.  – The Only Son

dog tag


Year: 2005

Gary has been awfully quiet since he got back last year from his second tour in Afghanistan. Oddly, I was expecting this behaviour from him after his first tour, which was right after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001. He was never very talkative, more of the strong silent type. He played defensive back on the high school football team, earning himself a scholarship to university, but his grades were so low after two semesters they revoked his scholarship. At 20 years old, he felt his best option was to enlist. He had no trouble becoming a military officer. He passed the physical and all the aptitude tests with flying colors. Shortly after he got trained, the attacks on New York City took place. He was literally thrown from training straight into combat. Gary relished in this; he lived for action.

Growing up, we were close. I was the older brother, looking out for Gary. He’d follow my friends and I to the park. I’d make him stand on the side while we played tackle football. The rare time we let him play, he would do okay, until one day, when he was thirteen years old, he began dominating on the field. I usually played quarterback, and his job was to protect me.   I must admit, my playground football career was a success because of my kid brother. There eventually came a time when I no longer needed to look out for Gary. He became physically stronger than I am, and he’d bail me out of many bar fights when we went out drinking. But I was the studious one. I got good grades, finished my degree, completed my teaching certificate, and got a cozy job teaching high school math. Continue reading


I wrote this years ago, mere days before my Dad (Abu) passed away. This is for those who have or have had a loved one suffer a stroke, or suffer from Dementia/Alzheimer’s and slowly watched that person lose their personality due to these horrifying circumstances. This is also for all those lively souls that spent the last days of their life confined to a hospital bed.


What happened to you?
You used to be so vibrant
And now you are left with the drab colours of hospital gowns
You used to appreciate different scenic landscapes
And now all you see is the same tree out the window, where the only things changing are the people walking by 
Continue reading

Ramadan Memories: HALF-DAYS

In loving memory of my Ammi and Abu, who taught us how to pray, fast and respect Islam. Ammi, thank you for waking us up for every sehri meal and teaching us the meaning of Ramadan.  Also, recently, thank you for all the ludo games we played to pass the long days of fasting during the summer.  Abu, thank you for providing us with all the tools we needed to become better Muslims.  Your guidance and willingness to let us learn for ourselves has made us love our faith more deeply.  We miss you, not only during this Ramadan, but for eternity.
             Your kids


                                                             Ramadan Memories: Half Days

I didn’t start fasting full-time (all 30 days) until I was 12 years old. Ammi and Abu felt that this was the right age for me, even though Moneeba and Fareeha had begun fasting the entire month as early as age 10. Prior to this age, at around 10 or 11, I was allowed to fast one day during the school week, and also from Friday through Sunday. As I got older, observing Ramadan became one of my favourite times of the Islamic calendar.

The last time Ramadan landed in the summer months was when I was much younger. As I noted earlier, I wasn’t allowed to fast when I was younger so I never fully realized how harsh these almost-19 hour fasts can be in the Vancouver area. In those days, when Khadaija and I were about 7 and 6, respectively, we would always want to be just like the older two siblings. It seemed so exotic and exciting that Moneeba and Fareeha were allowed to get up before sunrise and share an entire meal with Ammi and Abu, then not eat or drink all day, just like the grown-ups. They would commence the fast at sunset with more than the usual dates, pakoras, and fruit chaat. Abu would somehow sneak chocolate bars to the older two to reward them for fasting all day. Even though he would bring chocolate for Khadaija and I, we would look at it pathetically, as if we hadn’t earned the candy bars. Mind you, that was a fleeting emotion because we ended up eating our candy within moments.      Continue reading

Until Further Notice…

On February 20, 2014, at approximately 10:35am, my world came crashing down. My Ammi, my mother, passed away suddenly.

I will not be posting on this blog for the next little while (I honestly don’t know how long I will need), but I hope when/if I return, that those following this blog will continue to do so.

More importantly, I would appreciate it if you can take some time out and send a prayer for my mother, Tasneem Bajwa, the best Ammi ever!  May Allah give her the best place in Jannat, forgive all her sins, and reunite my sisters and I with her and my Abu one fine day, for eternity (Ameen).

Until we meet again,
Wajahat (The Only Son)

Happy New Year

To all the bloggers I follow, and those that follow this blog, I wish you all a very happy new year.  May 2014 be a blessing from Allah for all of us (Ameen).

As for this blog, I hope to be back in the new year, after having taken this month off.  Please keep reading.  I appreciate the support.


Past The Expiration Date — a poem

Past The Expiration Date

Here we are, it’s the last time, the very last moment
Who knew so many amazing feelings could end in so much torment
Together so long, so many words spoken, yet we never knew what the other meant.
How did we get here, we both must wonder
Was it me and my anger, or was it your unassuming blunder
Or rather life and her demands, so expensive that we couldn’t fund her
We pushed, we shoved, not knowing the hurt we inflicted
Now I stand at your door, each step away is conflicted
This is our new path, we both picked it

Continue reading