Posts Tagged ‘Islamabad’

Islamabad 2109

When cities age, every piece of architecture, marketplace, garden or park, face, road, etc… everything begins to exude the essence of the bygone years, and the impact those years have made on the particular city. In the case of Lahore, one can see the remnants of the colonial era on the Mall road, and in the architecture of the buildings. In places like the Shalimar gardens and the Lahore fort one can see the grandeur of the Mughal empire and can easily envision their lifestyle. The Lahori culture and tradition, the mannerisms of the people, the dynamics of the Lahori people, everything has been created over a course of hundreds of years.

Islamabad being a relatively younger city has a long way to go in creating it’s own ‘history’. One can think of this city as morphing into a concrete metropolis with skyscrapers crammed up together on every major road, flyovers flying over our heads, millions of cars plying the erstwhile empty roads, and more places of amusement in every major sector. One can even think of it as turning into a highly industrialized city with smoke spewing out of every building in every corner, with a plethora of cycles and cheap broken rickety cars creating havoc on the mismanaged roads, and with people walking around with gas cylinders mounted on their backs and gas masks on their heads.

Ok that was just an exaggeration… but how would YOU like the Islamabad of the future to be? What changes do you think are going to take place in this city over the course of the next one hundred years?

New digital electricity consumption meters

One of the weirdest developments I noticed in the city is the installation of these hi-tech electricity meters outside a select group of houses in the capital. The small one is a single phase meter, and the larger one is a three phase meter (both installed outside my place):

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We were having some electricity problems at home a few days after these meters were installed, and the WAPDA guys who visited our place told us that we would require ‘load balancing’ because these are “special” meter and do not operate like the old meters when the load is imbalanced. I was a bit skeptical about that suggestion, so we called up another WAPDA guy who happened to be more cooperative and friendlier than the previous ones. He removed some carbon deposit from one of the wires in the distribution box outside and tightened the bolt, and things were back to normal.

What surprises me most about this development is that in a situation when the electricity prices and load shedding is increasing, the government has the cojones to spend so much money on these new toys and experiment them on some houses in the capital. These things are so hi-tech that they are said to automatically report tampering and meter readings to the main office, eliminating the need for monthly visits of the meter reading guy.

I admit that I did tamper with a couple of buttons on the 3-phase meter though, just to see what would happen! If the government is experimenting on us, then why not vice versa?!

Snipers

Here’s a recent image of the Marriott hotel secondary entrance. Notice the security guy under the multi-colored umbrella on the gate:

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If he’s a pro sniper and has a proper sniper gun instead of a lousy M1, the terrorist boys are in for some real trouble. Snipers are one of the most effective ways to eliminate targets precisely without hurting others around (except that those around the target are splattered with brain masala and other body fluids). I would suggest that Islamabad installs CCTV cameras all around the city like London and mount remote controlled precision rifles on those cameras instead of real men.That way we could monitor everyone’s activities and shoot the miscreants on the spot. Yes, it would give a little shock to the ladies passing by and would ruin their lovely dresses, but at least things would be under control.

Water theft?

If you go walking down the path that leads to the Haunted Hill (the park with that little ice cream khokha called Hotspot) you will see this to your left:

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What you see all wrapped up in a plastic cover in the first picture is a donkey pump, and that donkey pump is connected to a yellow flexible pipe, which in turn is connected to a steel pipe which goes under the footpath you are treading on. Now the following picture was taken a few months later:

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The donkey pump now seems to be covered with a metal shed and is hidden with the help of branches. The yellow pipe leading to the main underground pipe is still visible though. Here’s a satellite image of the location. The large white building is the Marriott hotel, and the yellow box in the upper left corner indicates the place where this contraption is located (you need a keen eye to find the yellow box!):

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What do you make of this? I say this is theft! Why would a rich man living in a huge bungalow would want to steal water from the main pipeline? Do they have a swimming pool in their for their cows? Does the owner own a Jacuzzi and spends a large part of his day floating in a gigantic steaming and bubbling pool with his trusty rubber ducky? Or did they forget to make a water tank and are now extracting water directly from the main pipeline?

Springtime

Here’s a couple of pictures I took early morn:

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As you can see in the first picture, there’s a little mosquito sitting on the white flower. I asked him how his night had been, and he told me that it was wonderful. He was resting after a good night bloodsucking and had nearly digested all that he had consumed, and that’s quite obvious since he doesn’t appear to be distended. He told me that he particularly enjoyed the Grade 20, 21, and 22 blood. I’m not quite sure what he meant by that… maybe someone can elaborate?

I wish I could have recorded the sounds of the birds early morning. It was certainly a pleasure to walk around the block under the large shady trees listening to the sounds of the morning birds and watching the flowers blooming at the sides of the roads. Nothing like getting up in the morning for a nice healthy walk, especially when you’re in Islamabad!

Power to the People

Since the long march fever is in the air, I would like to make my first post on this blog related to this astonishing show of power on the streets by the people of Pakistan. The enthusiasm and determination of the leaders and the marchers looked promising since the beginning, and everyone had a feeling that something was definitely about to change. And changes did happen. People are merrymaking throughout the country after the recent decision made by the worthy premier. Now they have a bright future ahead of them… a future full of hope, prosperity, and reformation. But you never know what might come up next, and people have learned to add that tinge of unpredictability in their list of items which they expect to happen in the future. Nevertheless, this event has certainly boosted the morale of the nation, and the once dying hopes have been rekindled.

There was a deathly silence in the air yesterday morning when I set out to buy some groceries and vegetables. The veggies were almost all sold out, leaving me to choose from an unsavory assortment of rotten little onions and tomatoes hidden in a heap of onion peel. The people sure were in a shopping mood yesterday morn, some of them even pushing themselves in front of the line at the shopping store to get their stuff checked out quickly. I met a policeman who lives in our street, and he told me that I hate to do what we have been told to do, but it’s our job. Poor guys. I feel sorry for them sometimes… as much as I occasionally hate them.

This event, this long march, will certainly go down in history as the time when the people of Pakistan rose up and pushed their way through all blockages and hurdles and raised their voice against injustice and oppression. In a time when we wonder what the future would hold for our children, and our children’s children, we now have something that we can feel proud telling them about. We can tell them how the revolution began, how the fire that once burned in the hearts of the Muslims of the sub-continent burned in the past few days of every single person in the country, and we can tell them to be strong, to be brave, and to work hard to make things right.

But let us all remember one important thing. Even though the future events would not turn out as expected, or something else happens, something worse, we should not consider ourselves failures. We should not think that our efforts were all in vain. What we did was for the world to see and hear. We proved ourselves that we will not cower in the face of oppression, and we will not suffer for something which is not our fault. We have showed all international powers that we are a peace loving nation, that we stand united to make all things right, and that we have hearts which cherish freedom, love, peace and happiness immensely, the fundamental characteristics that define who we are… the indestructible and powerful people of Pakistan.

Ready for Long March Reception

Collage courtesy Express

Collage courtesy Express

A few updates:

  • Sherry Rehman’s resignation accepted and Qamar uz Zaman Kayira given charge of (dis)Information Ministry.
  • Rehman Malik continuously hinting about possible target killings, suicide bombings … and god-knows-what-not.
  • GT Road and Motorway closed.
  • The Fortress.
  • Students residing in IIUI and QAU hostels told to evacuate on asap basis.

Follow this link for quick Twitter Updates on LongMarch.

ps: I see no Umeed e Sahar … =(

(more…)

Duur Kaheen …

Just before leaving....

Some visuals are too beautiful to resist …!

Image Courtesy: Farrukh on Flickr

Eid Mubarak

Heartiest Eid Mubarak from Islamabad Metblogs team !!

If you have done qurbani please maintain a check in your surroundings. We neglect the needy unconsciously at time and keep on shuffling meat from one home to other. In present situation of country, it is not a difficult task to find families around who haven’t even tasted some mutton since months. There may be some security guards around on duty … probably a home-cooked plate of good meal they are looking forward to … at least today. Such people should be foremost in your list. May Allah reward you for the humblest of deeds with His abundant bounties. Probably in present day, in our part of the world …. the mass sacrifices done this day are to cater many mouths around us. A thought.

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.

 

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