Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Zaid Hamid hates you.. Or vice versa?

One fine night, the best defense analyst in the world aka Zaid Hamid pondered over where his life was and where it is now ( ofcourse every news channel is marred by him cussing at the Indian Zionists, Israeli Zionists, Pakistani Zionists, Super Zionists with no real identity, so he must be doing something right, or is it?)... He decided that he would go public, and this time not refrain to cursing the zionists, the army, the dhobi who ruined his prized red hat or the local grocery store, this time he thought he’d write a few verses in English to show the world that he can write, and write he did and what he came up with, in his opinion would win him literary accolades (but the darn jews get them every time don’t they? )..

I hate the way you’re not fond of me,
and the way you mock my hair,
I hate the way you call me khwar,
I hate it when I’m here.

I hate your big dumb Zionist roots,
and the way you kick my behind,
I hate you so much it makes me a chick,
and forces me to commit this crime.

I hate the way I cry at night,
I hate how I’m so shy,
I hate it how I have no staff,
even worse when I can’t eat paye.

I hate the way I’m always found,
and the fact that I can only crawl,
but mostly I hate the way I can’t save you,
not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

YAKEEN KIJIAY!!!!

Who deserves what?


Confusion is the prime of sorrow and everything that has been happening in the land of the green and the pure for the better half of the last decade can briefly be summarized as a confused view point following an even more confusing ideology. Everyone has a brief stint of identity crisis where the greener pastures seem blue if focused on properly but even more daunting than this is the global rejection of the green.

“We deserve it; it’s just God’s way of telling us that we aren’t good people”

This is something that I get to hear very often and it just makes me sad thinking how people can so aptly point this out without paying heed to the fact that the law and order lapses and the massive failure of infrastructure is a direct consequence of the short-term thinking of everyone who has been in power for the last six decades. It has all been due to the cat and mouse game that the honchos in big government establishments play when they could have diminished their differences and given more attention to both economic and environmental sustainability.

Why sit back silently and accept this as an order from the heavens and not ask questions? Why do we always give into dogma and refuse to question anything because either it is the ultimate word or it won’t make a difference if we ask questions. We know there was a flood, we know people are dying of hunger and disease, we know it’s the worst disaster of this century; we know it will take years to get everything back to the way it was. But isn’t it about time we start pruning every little detail and make amends so that it doesn’t happen again, isn’t it time we finally stop blaming it on some sect that doesn’t go to the same place to worship as you?

Acts of barbaric undertones have been happening for as long as I can remember. There have been public beheadings, little girls have been raped, people have been tortured and the recent incident in Sialkot is no less. It did not happen because we “deserve it”. It happened because people are afraid to raise a voice against anything that goes against their confused ideologies. It happened because at the end of the day every act of heinous malicious intent is justifiable using means ranging from scriptures to principles to how it’s a religious thing and no one should question it. It’s sad, really sad.

Tell this to a mother who lost her children or a kid who can’t ever have his parents sing lullabies again, tell them that they have been isolated in this world because “we as a nation” don’t deserve anything good. It’s about time we stop fighting over personal lives on national television, it’s about time we stop joining social networking sites to enhance a political image and it’s about time we start thinking about sustainability and a long-term view because you can have the best leader who can get people together but what direction to steer them is of utmost importance.

To think nine out of ten people that I asked about the recent catastrophe and what the solution to it post-rehab could be replied:-

“It’s happening because we aren’t good Muslims and we should hit the government with “a-shoe”.
Bless you I say, bless you.

(Picture taken by me)

Soz-e-Ishq

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaII05SfX9E[/youtube]

This season of Coke studio to many was very disappointing but there were certain artists that stood out for example the collaboration of Overload’s Meesha Shafi with Arif Lohar and the amazing delivery of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s “Mori Araj suno” by Tina Sani. But out of all the artists featured, Abida Parveen to me stood out. The second I found out that she was going to be a feature in this season, I was very very excited because I grew up listening to her and to see the house band giving the music to her voice was a very exciting prospect, and she didn’t disappoint, she was a star in so many more ways than the term.

This song is from the last episode that aired today. This song moved me in ways that I have never been moved listening to anything. Her strong vocal tone can easily jitter you and send shivers down spines. This is the definition of love :)

This is brilliant.

The Fallen Leaves

Islamabad has been particularly sparkling the past week. With nice puffy clouds floating above the hills like mushroom outgrowth on rotten broccoli, and the intermittent spells of refreshing rain, everything seems so surreal. It is so surreal that one would want to spend the rest of the day sleeping at home, or watching the clouds float away, or sit back in your comfy couch in front of the telly with a cuppa of chocolate milk and watch the magic of day sweep you away! Well, that’s what nature lovers would say on a nice day, which clearly implies that all nature lovers are lazy people who just can’t wait for the weather to get nice so that they can indulge in the little pleasures mentioned above (woops!).

The rain has been pouring relentlessly over the capital for some days, taking away most of the heat and humidity that was making life difficult for the citizens. The complainers will, however, continue complaining. Like that taxi driver who took me to work one rainy morning, in the days when people were worrying that there was not enough water for their crops, and that those dams and rivers of ours were drying up. He was annoyed by the fact that the mud would ruin his tires, and something else which I can’t recall right now. So no one is happy at any point in time in this country, even if we might think that everything looks perfectly OK.

Nature has his ways of maintaining a Balance. And that is Balance with a capital ‘B’. This balance is essential, even if we might not like it. Too much of everything is bad for your health, they say, and too much of happiness or sorrow can be bad too. So, if we get too happy about something at a particular point in time, the system that governs the universe adjusts that and makes things a little less happy some where else, or at the same ‘location’. You get my point? The average human has been endowed with the capacity to feel every kind of emotion, and depending on the circumstances he may or may not feel happy or sad at a particular point in time. And do we know what the future holds in store for us? Can we tell if we are going to be happy tomorrow or sad the next week? Can we tell that someone is going to leave us tomorrow or come home and bring joy the next?

Can we tell if we, or someone we love, would die on a beautiful surreal morning, when everything seemed so perfect?

We were told by elders, and our religious studies textbooks, that there is a large tree in Heaven, and for every human being on earth there is a leaf on that tree. When a leaf withers and falls, that person dies, and the leaf is replaced by new little ones… another example of the balance that is being maintained. We never know when our leaves would fall, and how we would make our exit from this wonderful thing we call life. For most of us, death is usually painful, and this pain comes from the fact that we do not want to leave this life, and that we want to get so much more from it. We do all in our power to stay there a little longer, just to see what would happen ‘next’. But the most unwelcome of all guests, the angel of death, does not pay any heed. And like Imam Ghazali said, his countenance is horrendous for those who love their material life more than anything, and angelic for those who accept the inevitable.

The leaves fell for around 152 people on the 14th Sha’baan, the unfortunate passengers on Air Blue Flight 202. Those who missed the flights must be in a state of utter shock, and would be thankful to the Almighty that they did not board that plane. What transpired during those last 18 minutes when the airport lost communication with the aircraft is still a mystery, but we can well imagine what would have transpired in the hearts of those people strapped to their seats. Some would have been screaming for mercy, some frantically fiddling with their phones to make a call, and some sitting still with a morose expression on their face, accepting the fact that whatever happens in this world happens for a reason, and that whatever would happen in the next few minutes would be beyond their control. Some would even have been fasting on the 15th of Sha’baan, and one would ask why were lives of these pious people taken that day?

May the deceased rest in peace.

Garam Roti

I was compelled to look up Islamabad’s weather on weather.com this morning after the unpleasant episode of excessive perspiration that transpired last night. It says that there would be some thunderstorms later today and tomorrow, and that the temperature is 91° but it feels like 104°. There was some rain very early in the morning today, too bad it hasn’t done much about the stickiness, but I guess that’s a Monsoon gift we should accept without much complaining!

So how bad was it last night? Well, my skin had become a salt mine by the time I came back home after a brief walk around the neighborhood, and it was not that easy taking off a polo short drenched 60% in sweat (or maybe the good Lord used a drill bit of a larger diameter to make my sweat glands). Those dirty old exhaust fans on the east wall of the polyclinic facing that bumpy old underpass were blowing out lukewarm air as usual, along with a host of little critters from the putrid depths of the murky hospital. As I walked down the path that led to the blue area, I would occasionally get a whiff of stinking sweaty armpits out of nowhere. It was as if a horizontally challenged sweaty little fellow in a white shalwar kameez had been standing at that particular location for a bit too long, and the stench from those yellow spots under his arms had permeated the vapor in the air, thus creating a floating mass of stench that would partially stick to every passerby and blend with his stench to create another unique aroma.

And when I cast my eyes on the blue area towers in front of me, and on the distant yellow blinking lights on the road, I was reminded of my days in the middle east, when I would come back home after a walk with friends near the sea-side, and smelled like a fish fresh out of the salty sea water. Luckily we don’t have a sea or fishies in Islamabad, so we can’t blame them for making us smell bad in the humidity. The air was very still, unlike the air near the sea-side, and I could not muster up enough courage to walk the extra distance to the Usmania restaurant for my late dinner.

It was quarter to nine, and the shops had their genny’s running. Most of the shopkeepers were sitting outside next to their genny’s, fanning themselves with scraps of paper or with their own shirts. But the brave ones are those who work in the tandoor naan shops. These lads stand near those terrible tandoors for hours with strange Hellboy like gloves on their right hands to reach into the bowels of hell and pull out a nicely done roti (I wonder if Hellboy worked in a tandoor). They don’t even have genny’s, maybe they can’t afford them, so some of them use the gas that is available to them to their advantage and light up a huge fire in their shops. That’s not very pleasant for the customers either, but the tandoor guy makes the roti to earn his roti, and the customer wants the roti he makes. So the need for roti overpowers the suffering caused by the heat… and roti makes the world go round!

And so I walked back home with my roti, watching the shutters being pulled down. The old man who sells newspapers near the polyclinic covered his little stall with a dirty thick cloth, set his charpai on the sloping footpath and laid himself down shirtless under the infinite sky. He probably doesn’t think too much about the heat, or the humidity, or the stench emanating from the tattered old shirt he had been wearing all day. He’s too worried about getting roti everyday. And here we are in our pretty little rooms with AC’s and fans running around us, complaining about the weather and taking everything that we have for granted…

The end.

Worth a thousand words?

“We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.”- Honore De Balzac

Sad entertainment?

In a country where human rights are blatantly ignored, there’s not much heed paid to animal rights. But today I was forced to right this post. I heard the sound of bagpipes playing somewhere in the street so I thought there was some “baraat”. Yes I know it’s a holy day but that’s what I thought. But when I went out, there was a “bear show” caravan on it’s way. People were paying the madari to watch the bear “dance’. Now to some it may be very entertaining to see an animal dance. But most people don’t know what goes on behind drawn curtains.

“The bear show in I-8/3, Islamabad”

Taken from the PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) :-

“No animal should have to endure this type of abuse. Never patronize roadside bear shows, and when traveling in India and Pakistan, if you see tourists encouraging such a show, speak to them about the cruelty. If you see someone forcing a bear to “dance,” report the incident to the closest police station.

Even though it is illegal to capture bears in both India and Pakistan, more than 1,600 sloth bears are being forced to “dance” by madaris—the people who capture and keep the bears. Bear cubs—who are barely 1 year old—squeal in agony as red-hot needles are jabbed through their noses and thick ropes are forced through the throbbing wounds. When the ropes are tugged, the bears lift their legs and “dance.” Most of their teeth are pulled out, and they are forced to perform for up to 12 hours a day. Bears are “trained” to dance through a regime of pain and starvation. Many cubs die before the training begins because of the stress of capture, the terrible transportation conditions, starvation, dehydration, and rough handling. Although bears used in these acts would live up to 30 years in the wild, they rarely live more than eight years in captivity.”

PETA

Go to the website mentioned above and see a video of what is done to these poor animals, also there’s a petition there for you to sign to do something about it.

Whats is going on around us?

091204_surverynew

In today’s unprecedented times when the world’s attention is focused on Copenhagen’s Climate Change Conference and its outcome, we in Pakistan, whether in safe havens of our drawing-rooms or online social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, are discussing bomb blasts which took place on Monday in Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore; provincial capitals of NWFP, Balochistan and Punjab respectively.  Many more such blasts have already occurred during the last few months and many more are yet to come. Being exposed to the danger to the maximum we are left alone to deal with the biggest catastrophe of our times: Terrorism as the world calls it. Undoubtedly, Pakistani people are terrorized and paranoid by the an increase in the number of blasts taking place around them to such an extent that they have started fearing that the next blast will kill anyone of their dear family members or friends. Confirming with friends and relatives whether they are safe after every bomb blast is becoming a norm. And, why people should not be worried particularly when the Military’s Headquarter of the country, police stations, check posts, mosques, a university, the UN WFP office and various market places have been targeted for the past two and a half years killing more than 2,600 people.

Paranoid by the current security situation, a number of people are seriously considering the option of migrating abroad in order to provide their kids with a safe environment. “We have a particular life style in Pakistan. However, the present scenario in Pakistan has made our mobility very limited and the place has been transformed into a living hell. We are unable to provide our children a safe and healthy environment for their personal growth. Therefore, the best available option in given circumstances is of moving abroad “, said Faiqa who works as a school administrator in Islamabad.

Nevertheless, there are people who are of the opinion that the situation needs to be fixed because not everyone has the necessary resources in order to migrate to another country. Nevertheless, who is ready to deal with this monster of widespread terrorism? After every blast, we hear nothing from our President, Prime Minister and other elected leaders other than ‘condemnation’. The leadership of the country is busy in deciding the fate of other more “pressing” issues such as the National Reconciliation Ordinance because their fate is dependent on NRO. The woes and sufferings of the electorate have been ignored because politicians do not need people’s vote and there is still time left till next elections.

The prevailing security situation in the country has not only resulted in killing scores of people but even it has worsening impact on livelihood of people. ‘Laying off’ of staff is a common complaint in the private sector these days because the investor is not willing to invest in Pakistan. The country’s economy is sinking with ever passing day and we have seen an incredible devaluation of Pakistani currency that was not witnessed before.  This dismal sate of affairs has led many foreign policy experts calling Pakistan “as the most dangerous country in the world”. This week the Foreign policy Magazine in a recent survey has also enlisted Pakistan as an option to choose as answer to the question “What is the most dangerous country in the world? The global hegemonic America has decided to deal with this “most dangerous country” by authorizing an expansion of the C.I.A.’s drone program in Pakistan despite the fact that such strikes have also caused hundreds of civilian casualties. We cry, we die but there is nobody to pay a heed to our sufferings, We, The Living of this “most dangerous country” do not know what is going to happen to us and our friends and families in coming days .  But, do we matter ? The International Human Rights Day is approaching and I wonder if we are entitled to all those rights as enshrined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights and  do our rights really matter ?

Deadly Blast in My Office ( UN-WFP)

UNblast--reut316

Blast Inside World Food Programme Office in Islamabad - Courtesy AP

I am shaken and traumatized after the yesterday’s blast which took place inside my office building ( UN-WFP) only a few paces away from my glass-cabin . The blast was so sudden and strong that it took me sometime to register what actually had happened there with all of us. It was so strong that I was thrown from my chair to a few feet away on the floor. Everything was shattered into pieces only in a matter of seconds. When I tried getting up from the floor, I had broken wooden pieces in my hair, my head and body were aching badly as something had hit me severely. I was not in my senses and my whole body was shaking badly, the sound of the deadly blast was resonating in my ears and I was so shocked that I could not move a step. There were injured colleagues lying on the floor. My room was on fire and pieces of paper, broken pieces of doors, broken pieces of my glass cabin, windows and tables were lying here and there. I was looking at my injured colleagues in a state of shock and horror. “Vacate the building immediately”, I heard one of my colleagues saying. But I could not move till the time one of my colleague dragged me outside the building. But that was not the end of it.

The real horror started when my colleagues started taking the dead and injured bodies outside the building. Yes, bodies drenched in blood of people I worked and used to spent a major part of my day on regular basis… It was such a heartbreaking scene……We had tears in ours eyes. We were horrified and traumatized …

None of us in the office had ever imagined that this Bloody Monday will change our lives for ever and we will be left with haunted memories of the incident. I have not recovered from the shock yet, the whole scene is playing back again and again in my brain, even the sedative pills failed to calm down my nerves. None of my other colleagues are out of trauma yet. Those innocent souls who died in the blast would never be there in our office again and our office would never be the same place again….. I pray for all the departed souls ( Gul, Farzana, Wahab, Abid Rehman and Udan ) and I am going to miss them forever …..My mother says that it is a miracle that I have only minor injuries and I survived despite the fact that the bomb blasted only a few paces away from where I sit But I am thinking why this miracle did not happen in case of Gul, Farzana, Wahab, Abid Rehman and Udan. Why these innocent people lost their lives?? What will become of their families now?? What was their fault or What was our fault that all of us became victims of a bomb blast and are left with haunted memories ??

The Boys Knock Out Arch-Rival India and Our Nation Celebrates

Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy Match against India and we watched it live

Yesterday night, Pakistan beat India by 54 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy. I did not watch the match myself but witnessed a running commentary on Pakistaniat and I got the news of Pakistan’s victory from my friends’ status messages on facebook. Funny but creative, the status messages on facebook were reflective of the immense pleasure my fellow countrymen and women had derived after India’s defeat by Pakistan.

A friend of mine felt like dancing over Pakistan’s victory and his status message was “bhangar-ing over Pak victories in ICC Trophy….. dil bolay Hiddpaaa!!!! :):)”. A couple of friends expressed their joy through songs “we will..we will rock u..!! (We beat india) keep on rocking the free world…. “Hum hein Pakistani hum tau jeetein gay haan jeetein gay!!! :)))))))))))”. Few of my friends felt blessed to watch this match live and their status messages were “Pak Vs India ICC Champions Trophy. Pakistan won yayyyyyyy… and we saw it right there :) and now my throat is badly scratched because of all the “na’ara bazi” of PAKISTAN ZINDABAD and JEEWAY JEEWAY PAKISTAN”, “”Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy Match against India and we watched it live!! Awesome!!! :)”. Somebody happened to give credit of Pakistan’s victory to the newly appointed Psychiatrist for Pakistan team in this way “ First ever defeat to India by Pakistan in any ICC event. Thanks to Psychiatrist :-) Congrads !”. A very close friend of mine who considers himself a cricketer but everyone knows he faces the ball with his legs rather than a bat admired Pakistan team’s yesterday performance and called it a brilliant game, his golden words were  “ PAKISTAN SMASHES “TEAM INDIA”. A guy born after Sachin had started his international career got his wicket!!! Way to go Aamir!!! You made us proud!!! Brilliant game!!!!”. Another gentlemen tried to keep a check on his and other’s emotions by calling everyone to appreciate players of both the teams in these words “I love India/ Pakistan matches …no matter who wins ..One team has to lose..People keep ur emotions in check and salute the players from both the teams..Great game of cricket” . A friend of mine had sent birthday wishes to another friend (whose birthday is on 27th October) and called Pakistan’s victory a great birthday present for her… and this list is never ending.

Great were all such status messages of people on facebook but they also made me think if people are happy because Pakistan has won against India or whether they are happy because Pakistan’s chances to enter semi-finals are bright now. I have not seen such an enthusiasm of people in the first match Pakistan played in this ICC Champions Trophy. I have got my answer “My fellow country men and women are happy and jubilant because Pakistan has defeated arch-rival India. Yes, our traditional arch-rival and the cricket game between these two countries is not a mere a match between two teams but a fight in a battle ground between two arch-rivals. Yes, it’s a love-hate affair between two teams, two countries and two nations”. Since 1947, more than 60 years have passed but we the people have not forgotten anything, we have not moved forward and we still consider India as our only ‘enemy’ even if it a cricket game we are talking about. I wonder when we are going to get rid of this deep rooted hatred against India….

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.