Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Pseudopod 448: Laal Aandhi

Show Notes

“Growing up in Pakistan, I heard stories of ‘missing people’ often showing up in gunny sacks. A friend of mine from Karachi told me how he once stumbled upon a gunny sack with a dead boy inside. I suppose this story stems from his experience and my fears.”


“Saleem, Wasif, Ali Malik, and I. Always the four of us banded together against the uncertainties of a city running on trepidation. In this season of yoking and yearning, of bereavement and besetment, we started doing the thing we did, for with fear and death and sulfur in the air who would stop us? Who would point and say, Watch it, children, you must survive your age. Must get through one hell to enter another.

‘85 was the year of army generals and feudal lords touring their fiefdoms grandly while the populace died thrashing in gutters from starvation and heat and Hadood Law amputations. Of VIP villas and ruined shanties, bright-tiled facades and haunted houses, ‘police encounters’ and prison suicides, and insurgent bomb attacks.

Most of all, though, it was the summer we went to Bad Bricks during a laal andhi.”

PseudoPod 383: Blood Women

Show Notes

“A Voice In The Dark” is available at Comixology!


Blood Women

by Usman T. Malik


“You could see the blood women standing under the banyan trees any evening. All you needed was the right blink,” Haider said.

This is the way we did it: we circled the graveyard three times, for three is the godly number. Haider on his father’s bicycle, me on my brother’s red and white Made-in-Pakistan tall rider, and ten-year-old Zareen on her three-wheeler clattering over stones, bird bones, and dry branches.

“Ready?” Haider would say, his eyes black as apple seeds.

We nodded, and together we blinked.

The blood women were not there.