A 15-minute read that demands to be read uninterrupted. Chances are, to see you end up saying, “One of the most unusual things I’ve ever read.”



I just hailed an auto-rickshaw out of my house and I’m running out wild on my way dressed punk with my acoustic guitar sitting at the corner of the seat…Goodness me, I’m late! My shirt unbuttoned, my shoe-laces un-tied, my face longing for some cold cream and some mad water draining through my hair…At once I take out my head from the side of the rickshaw, with one hand holding the rod of the rickshaw, and the other hand busy in putting some gel onto the hair and dress ‘em up! That’s it, the natural hair dryer, gets me off to a perfect hairstyle! My cell’s constantly barking to pick the call, but I’m not! Just one text I send, “Be ready! I’m almost there.” and I turn my cell off…My friends are anxiously waiting for me in the concert arena and seems like I’m kind of late… “THE NAMELESS BAND” is about to perform live in a concert for the first time and God damn! Their reckless vocalist is still on his way! – This is the “Farrukh Zafar”, my two band members Osama Khalid [lead guitarist] and Hasan Ahmed [drummer] have always come to know!

All of a sudden, the concert hall takes notice of the sound of a rickshaw! The crowd is absolutely silent and confused after hearing a rickshaw sound on the mic… My two band mates know it’s no one but me! In no time, they see the rickshaw standing on stage that came from behind the backdrop! And to our surprise, it brings a huge electrifying wave of excitement into the crowd! Osama can’t wait to cash on this moment and he starts playing the guitar in-line with the roaring crowd and the sound of the rickshaw. All this triggers our drummer to drum, and with this, we all witness the coolest tune we’d ever imagine – The crunching sound of electric guitar, acoustic guitar and drums, smoothly blended with the rickshaw’s jingle!

There are only two moments in the lives of us three that can be termed as “real important moments”- Moments that literally changed our lives 360 degrees. One is THIS, and I keep the slot for the second moment vacant for the future…Nobody knew, not even me, how this peculiar vehicle, rickshaw, would change our lives altogether! The spur-of-the-moment idea of blending the Rickshaw’s sound with the contemporary rock beats has now made us famous allover the nation. Two things that the people have done for us: They made us famous in no time, and they have started associating a rickshaw with our band and in other words, given a name to our band, “The Rick Band”! In this way, “THE NAMELESS BAND” gets a new name and is now a unique entity! This is what RADIO PAKISTAN has been screaming all night while playing our new number in their charts, “The Rick Band is the inventor of a new rock music genre, The Rick Rock!”

I really can’t believe my fate. Neither me, nor Osama and Hasan, have ever received so many phone calls and texts in a few hours! Hasan has got tired of replying to his fans, but then, there’s one call that’s extremely important! It’s the DEADENSTEINTM RECORDS,who wants us to record our first studio album with them. This just sounds remarkably rocking!

Our debut album, The Rick Revelations, recorded at the DEADENSTEINTM RECORDS, with more than 10 different Rick tunes, comes out with a bang! More than twenty thousand copies sold on Day 1! After doing almost a dozen of concerts and shows, we finally decide to shoot our first music video. Our video features plenty of rickshaws parked at a highway and the Rick Band hops along the roofs of the rickshaws from one rickshaw to another with their moves. Our video also features some unusual rickshaw realignments such as a wheelie with our rickshaw running on two wheels, 360 degree turns etc…As accustomed, innovation always had to pay off, and so it did! As our hit video is being played on the channels, we decide to film our second music video… Tonight we three fly away to the holy lands of Palestine for our new video shoot. Our new number is another try of inventing something new by amalgamating folk music with our Rick rock. Ever since I wrote the lyrics of this song, I kept the Aqsa mosque and the Gaza strip in my mind. And so, we are finally making it to the land of the prophets…

It’s 7 AM here Palestine Local Time and we’re sitting by the window pane, while Hasan is busy eyeing for suitable places for the shoot, through the binoculars…His binoculars have been moving left or right for the last 10 minutes but he never got to stop at a sight until this…”Oh boy! You stopped up at some sight finally! Is that a mystic sight?” asks Osama in curiosity. “No” is the answer from Hasan. He’s still submerged into the depth of the sight and still hasn’t got anything to tell us. He steps back and hands over the binoculars to me, and after watching the sight for a few moments, I wordlessly pass it over to Osama. No body’s moving, neither our tongues. Because we just saw some troops snatching away little children from their mothers and shooting them dead. It’s no doubt the vindictive Israeli soldiers, snatching and killing the children of innocently veiled Muslim mothers.

Three hours have passed and we have hardly spoken to each other. We are sitting in a state of down-in-the-dumps, with our backs as erect as an arrow, and the scenes of those pitiless killings playing at the back of our minds. At once, we decide to visit those bereaved mothers and other people in grief, residing in the heart of Gaza. Our local guides, Mustafa Hanif and Irtaza Rasheed, along with our manager, Zoya Asad, take us to the tormented souls, right after sunset, since the troops go back to their barracks as evening approaches. We meet several women who have lost a man in one or the other way, at the hands of this cruel country. To name some; Bessy Espina, who just lost her son today in the morning; Mehvish Khan, who lost her husband in the latest war; Aliya Zafar, who has devoted her life to look after her father whose legs had to be detached from his body as a result of the intense bruising caused by a Panzerschreck rocket. We then meet Palestine’s representative in the UN, Amna Ali. Every single face has the same helpless story of grief. This is it! We can’t take it more and we pack up our baggage, as well as our ambitions to shoot the 2nd music video. And the second slot for the two real important moments of our life, that was kept vacant for the future, just got filled! This is the second time that our lives are abruptly changing. The course of our fate is changing while the earth is busy revolving around the gambling sun. And we are not going back to Karachi, but announcing our European Tour. Better say, our mission to Europe! There was no single country that could refuse to issue a visa to a rock band that was standing 4th on the MTV Modern Rock Charts. We remained awake for two consecutive nights, with me writing the lyrics for 5 Anti-Zio tracks and Osama and Hasan preparing the tunes.

Here we go on starting our tour. We start from Germany, the homeland of Hitler. Just 10 minutes to go in to perform, there comes a phone call from Awais Imran, the General Manager of the DEADENSTEINTM RECORDS…


At this moment, we come to know that even the DEADENSTEINTM RECORDS are secret supporters of the illegal state of Israel. Even though, all our song notes, lyrics and recordings for the second album are with the DEADENSTEINTM RECORDS, and our royalty for the sale of our first album completely lies with this contract, we didn’t take much time to refuse. And the next minute, we were singing out loud against the ‘Zio’s, in the very heart of Berlin!

As we moved across Europe, millions of people, who already had so much hatred for the radical Jewish ‘state’, joined hands to turn our Euro tour into a Global Anti-Zio movement.

After spreading the fire all through the forests, we are flying to the United States of America. On reaching NY, we announce our final concert-cum-protest, which is expected to be the biggest public gathering in World History.

Our Ticket Master, Usama Jabbar reports almost 9 million tickets have been sold so far, and plenty of dignitaries have confirmed their presence, through personal phone calls; Yisroel Dovid Weiss [Spokesman for Neturei Karta International, an anti-Zionist grouping of Haredi Jews], Skillet [An American Christian Rock Band], Danyal Ahmed, the right-hand man of George Galloway [Author, broadcaster and former British MP who campaigns in favor of the Palestinians] and Hina Aman [Spokesperson and Legal Advisor to Mahmud Ahmedinijad, President of Iran] to name some.

Here comes the day which we have been waiting for. Every sun beam that falls on this planet today, has got to give hope to the unlimited grief-stricken people, crushed by the barbaric policies of the ‘Zio’s. As I fold the blinds and look down through the window, I see Times Square absolutely packed to capacity by a gigantic swarm of people that does not seem to have an end, as far as the scope of the human eye is concerned. All of a sudden, room number 13-A, 13th floor, Hotel Monte Carlo, Times Square, NY, is knocked by a person… Hasan goes to check who’s on the door. He finds a waiter with “Ammar Haider” written on his name plate, and a food tray in his hands. “Who is it, Hasan?” asks Osama. “Did you call for breakfast?” asks Hasan in reply. As Osama replies back in positive, Hasan tells him that it’s the waiter with breakfast. As he let’s the waiter in, the waiter uncovers three pistols, that were hiding under the tray cover and pleads us to pick one each, as the killing wing of the ‘Zio’s might attack us anytime. We are absolutely speechless, although we’ve got security to accompany us from right outside our room and onwards. As soon as we three step forward to pick the arms, there comes a stream of bullets, piercing through our skulls. The same window through which we saw the makings of the greatest protest in World History, we came to see the snipers who were formerly hiding in the opposite building. Maybe this was a move to bring all three of us close together around one tray containing pistols, so that the snipers get a perfect view to snipe us through the big window.

As we three take the last breathes of our lives, we have absolutely no regrets, because nature chose us in making just another prediction of Nostradamus come true;

“Three bizarre music people,

Make stronger, who were feeble,

Zion faces cries,

Jewish nation dies”

The Rick Band might not have won a Grammy Award, or a Nobel Prize, but we were indeed, the propellers to time. We die proud as we always remembered these words of Abraham Lincoln which my mum used to remind us of, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” This is just the start of the beginning. Because we are…The Rick Band.


I dedicate this piece to all Palestinians who’re bearing a fever they can’t sweat out.

The next freedom flotilla to break the siege of Gaza, as announced by George Galloway, will be leaving soon. If you sense it’s time you should embark the flotilla, I swear to Allah, I’m thinking of the same. Now, can we be the lucky ones in history?

The sequel to this short story can be read here.

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Comments (78)

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I read AntiZiotics. Is it fiction? ‘Cause you’re still alive :P Again, a masterpiece. Can’t wait to read the second part!

Yup! It’s fiction. :P

These are one of the finest pieces of English literature. Every single word is written in such a nice way that anyone would feel a need of admiring it to the fullest degree. Farrukh Unplugged is indeed one of the best blogs i have ever come across, aur jo kuch tumhary puranay blog k saath hua, it’s a very sad story magar the way you coped up with all this and started from scratch is really worth admiring.
All the best :)


@ AntiZiotics
Well The first part was amazingly overwhelming. it just gave me a punch of laughs which i was hardly able to stop. “The Rick band” was quite an innovation. i really like innovations =)
the second part, and the bitter reality, was quite disturbing for me, i guess just because i really felt that pain depicted in those few lines. Alas!
third thing, but not the least, i really appreciate your courage, perseverance and defiance of danger. it was worth reading =)
keep up the great work and may Allah bless you

Thank you!

Wasn’t I head of the amnesty international :P ?? What happened

lol. And he made me “Ticket Master”… :D

You’re now the local guide :D

The Wording-Beautiful. The Meaning-Wonderful!.

The first part was too long for my patience, i was wondering “when will it start?” :)
But the one from the barbaric part about kid being snatched from mothers was heart-aching. I was instantly reminded of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a similar incident, closer to home. :(

I hope the word goes out. Goes out in a way that people are not afraid to discuss it.

Wishing the Palestinians all the Best.
May Allah Strengthen their hearts.
May Allah Give us the strength to fight.


Allahumma Aameen.

Very well … very nicely written … seems true … and I appreciate you on writing on a bitter but true reality…

God Bless…

Together we shall take on the barbarians.

Speechless! Very unfortunate end, but nice effort. . .
. Keep it up bro. . .

Nawaazish :)

Well if I like to express by viewpoints, then I think, I would have to write another short story for it, so the best I can do is to write the smallest description of my thoughts.

Part-1: Innovative, yet possessing the old methodological qualities.
Part-2: Essence of emotions with the guidance towards reality.

Is it me, or is it you, or have i just seen, what is really true, keep on writing, as it’s what you do, but remember to fight wrong, whenever you get the chance to.

My Message:-
I don’t know whether I will be honored enough to be part of making history, but yet I can promise you that I won’t let anything stop me from trying.

I appreciate your message!

I loved every bit of it, and had tears in my eyes while reading it. This is definitely a masterpiece Farrukh, you are such a brilliant writer Masha Allah..

Keep up the good work, may Allah bless u in every path of your life, Ameen!


Tears? Really? :/ I feel weird now. :/

I’ve read it before, but I am reading it again. And I felt just as mesmerized and emotional as the first time! It’s a very good story for a very good cause.

Thanks, Ramiz. :)

oh my oh my, Great piece of writing, am speechless…. :|

btw, Umair Khan Jadoon, lol!

“Umair Khan Jadoon” Hahaha :D

I really dont have words to appreciate this! Awesome! From the humorous part till the saddest part, this has been absolutely amazing. And it was most importantly for a great cause. Thumbs up!

You should consider sending it to any local magazine or other printed media and get it published on a bigger scale. Great stuff Farrukh, really loved it. :)

Thanks Hamza. Your suggestion is a very valid step that I should take next.

Ditto @ what Hamza Zafar said. Farrukh, give it a big shot! No wonder masses would be seeing this on paper soon.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by waisybabu, waisybabu, nasirjumani, rix gem, hammad ansari and others. hammad ansari said: AntiZiotics – “One of the most unusual things I’ve ever read.” [...]

haha. Farrukh, you put me there, yaar! i’m surprised.

i like how the transition was smoothly put; from happy to disturbing, though i was quite put off by the numerous names.

but i like this kind of writing: simple, vivid (without trying too hard) and noble. there was an obvious cause for writing it but it doesnt come across as typical heroism or corny.

continue writing. i like it.

Thanks a lot! I’m honored to have international writers at my blog reading. Keep visiting :)

Oh man…. this is a class… superb JOB…:)

Thanks a million! :)

wao0 man, , thts gr8 man, , time ka bilkul pata nahi chala, :))…

Dear reader,

Thanks for taking out the time.

Nawazish hai aapki!


gr8 piece of work!!
m reding u for the first time…n i d like to say dat m IMPRESSED!!! :p
keep it up!!

I take this as a compliment.

Wow… that was nice… beautifully put and brilliantly detailed. :) @AntiZiotics!

Thanks a lot, Momal! :)

A classy piece of literature, Farrukh.
Situation built up, emotion filled up, creating fictional reality. All well done!

Good to hear this from a blogging comrade! Thanks a tonne! :)

Welcome ;)

Wow, awesome, brilliant… great piece of work.. keep it up :)

shukriya, JB sahab :)

Great work Farrukh … more of this kind are needed …

Thanks Atif bhai. I’m exceedingly grateful to you for the visit, ’cause usually I don’t see you reading things, as compared to software development. :D

Tragic and heart wrenching yet gives a ray of hope.Amazingly written and very well executed though the end was a bit unexpected.May ALLAH give strength to our Palestinian brothers and sisters and May ALLAH give a sense of unity to all the Muslims worldwide..Ameen.

Dear reader,

Thanks a tonne for the visit and read. I appreciate your words. I hope I continue writing for a cause forever.

Hit this blog back soon.

Thank you. :)

Good work, seems a blend of creativity, observation & exposure!!
Keep it up :)

Thanks for a blending combination of three different terms to make such a nice and simple acknowledgement. Thanks alot :)

fabolous.. zabardust. my role is changed. :D

Great piece man. Loved the way you wrote it. Just don’t like the part where i became villain. :P .

But no doubt its a great fiction with a touch of reality in it. Looking forward to more.

Thanks Danyal and Ammar. It was a pleasure to have you guys here.

This has to be one of the finest pieces of fiction that I’ve ever read. I don’t normally read such long posts, but they way you expressed it and the tremendous flow it has, made me read each and every word. :)
I couldn’t stop wow-ing.

MA. :)
It’s about time we stop being slackers and do something for our fellow Muslims.

Kudos for the effort. :)


Will be great to see an effort for Palestine’s cause from any of the female Muslim writers, just like you.

Thanks and keep visiting. :)

What a piece!!! WOW!!! MASHALLAH!


Im glad I made it tonight and read it till the end :)
A great attempt. A writer has the power to present his Characters as Living, and so did you.

Best Wishes for the coming pieces :)

Thanks Sana. :)

Superb piece of prose =)… A writer has the ability to teleport his readers into the world he’s writing about, which u did!! And btw ur writing style is quiet similar to Jeffery Archer, he also uses partial facts to create an intense tale :P

keep up the great work!! :) so… ur getting a masters in media sciences OR creative writing right?? ;)

btw this is the best of the three :P

lol! :D

One of the best piece I have ever come across. Job nicely done.

Thanks a lot, Anam.

Interesting read. Its revealing the reality masked in fiction. Since you have used names of real tweeples the first time i read i was like “hain really!” So yes very nicely written. :)

There is a lot of meaning hidden in this post and many bitter realities for people who are aware. I’m still wanting to read the lyrics of the song that was written.

Let me know when the next part is posted. All the best

First of all, thanks for showing up at the blog. :)

Secondly, the song that you’re talking about, is….ah, maybe lost somewhere? :P

And yes, the sequel “might” be posted in September. It’s ready but some important people in my life have had me promising them not to publish Anti-Zio material again, for security reasons. We’ll see when September ‘ll come.

waiting for the 2nd episode of AntiZiotics :)

Read Your blog for the first time and reading antiziotics is awesome.
The first part is having so much flavour of laugh with it , second is having a bitter reality and the third part is just mind blowing and heart wrenching.
A great attempt!!!
keep up the good work ! : )

i don’t know if i have admitted it to you before, but i always admired your ways of writing.

as always, i absolutely loved the flow of the story and how i couldn’t help but finish the story quickly.. but, the most admirable is the cause for which this is written. i don’t have words to appreciate that.

may we all use our skills for a purpose like you do.

I am first time onto your blog, am speechless..
simply Best wishes for you Farrukh.

I’m visiting your blog for the first time.

I really enjoyed reading this piece – especially, the Nostradamus bit, which in my opinion was very creative =D

Jazak Allah.

It was amazing :) Next time I want to be a part of your cast :p

very touchy , I almost cried. U do have talent. Take it to the next level

So here goes.
It started off like nearly all bloke-lit do. Boy band? I figured maybe it was going to be break-up story.
Was I wrong or what?
Love the names that you’ve come up with, the one for the band, the record label etc.
I really liked the Nostradamus part.
Besides that, it was a great read.

Was this better than the three words I used earlier? I hope so. Work calls =P

This was quite interesting. I liked the plot twist! It’s also great to see a short story with a relevant message.

Also, you use a lot of exclamation marks, haha.

This is uncanny, only yesterday me and my friends were talking about this very topic. Well written.

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