Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

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)

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.

Rana Market walay samosay, pakoray aur jalabian!



Rana Market, F-7/2. Islamabad. Yum. Yum.

Somehow, rain and samosas/pakoras/jalaibies just go hand in hand. So when it rains, drive to this very place and have their yummy samosas, jalaibis and pakoras

p:s: If you notice hard enough, you’d see a mullah giving me the “WHAT A HARAM THING YOU DO BUSTER” glare lol.

And so it rains..

rain

Cloudy Friday

Yesterday (Friday) the weather in Islamabad was rainy and cloudy. In other words it was really lovely and romantic. I was having a hard time keeping myself glued to the seat working and not going up the window more frequently to catch a glimpse of the fluffy friends in the sky. I did manage to enjoy the weather on first contact basis (and not from the window) during my lunch time. The plan was to walk up to Mr Cod, have a meal and walk back. The ‘walking to’ part could not be fulfilled as the drizzle got heavy that time and we had to get a taxi. But the rest was successfully accomplished. Woo hoo!

Here’s how the clouds looked through the lens of my cam and the window of my office:

View of the Clouds from Green Trust Tower (My Office)

View of the Clouds from Green Trust Tower (My Office)

The ‘towers’ of Islamabad looked really cool under the white candy floss (read clouds):

Islamabad 'Towers' Standing Tall Looking Cool

Islamabad 'Towers' Standing Tall Looking Cool

I have one last shot from yesterday to share. Took it from the wooden rail of China Chowk underpass. Aren’t the clouds hovering over Margalla Hills amazing? I know they don’t look half as good in the picture as the real thing, but at least they do look good:

Clouds Over the Margalla Hills

Clouds Over the Margalla Hills

Looking forward to seeing more such clouds on Monday. :-D

Getting Chillier

A Khattak02Jan4, originally uploaded by khattakphotos.

Winter Nights

Just thought to jump on the Islamabad the Beautiful bandwagon and post something (so much for originality). I think I have always been a winter sort of a guy, though short in span but I’m loving the Islamabad winters for the past 20 years here ( no dear I’m not 20 ). Islamabad, with the Margalla backdrop always has been a marvel. But what I really love are the simplest things looking amazing in the cold winter nights. In other cities I don’t think you can really have a nice view just for yourself, but Islamabad nights just give you that.

So packed up my tool kit and got some HDR’s from my place :) Hit the jump for a couple of more pictures.

 

Silent Walk

On dry leaves.

Isn’t it pretty :D

Courtesy: Daily Times

Enjoy Monsoons till …

Endless Pleasures

Zardari becomes your president.

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