Monday, September 6, 2010

63 years - Are our borders still safe?


Alhamdulliah, we are are very lucky indeed to have Pakistan intact after 63 years in spite of the innumerable calamities and difficulties that have befallen our beloved homeland Pakistan.
 
Today I feel very proud that I belong to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan - a country which was created in the name of Islam. I also feel very proud of my dear brothers and sisters who have served the armed forces of Pakistan in order to protect our borders, on which enemies constantly have their eyes upon.

The border of Pakistan was created to make us, the Muslims of the sub-continent, feel safe. So that no non-Muslim could succeed in harming us in any way, as had been the case before. That was the purpose of the border. 

However, my pride on my dear country's border and it's sovereignty is hurt when I see cases of people disappearing within our own borders, some of them who later turn upin prisons in foreign countries. At hearing such cases, I, as a Pakistani, feel insecure about my own future!

For example, one case is that of Dr. Afia. One Pakistani being tried by the US judiciary in the US! How is it legal in any way to try a person in country X, when the person belongs to country Y ?

Now, this is not the story of one Pakistani. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of such Pakistanis who have become the victim of rendition - who have been 'disappeared' by someone within Pakistan and then later turned up to be in some foreign country with a list of criminal charges.

Recalling the purpose of our country's border - to keep it's citizens safe - makes me wonder if our borders really are as good as they used to be.

Pakistan Zindabad!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weren’t we already expecting Bombs today?

One of the most frequent tragic causes of headlines on Pakistani news channels is bombs. Bombs in the mosques, bombs at religious or political processions, bombs at other gatherings and even hospitals…

What is the common thing among them all?

Doesn’t take a second to get it – all these situations are heavily populated.

Here, a few e-clippings illustrate my point.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7181042.stm


http://www.newstatesman.com/2010/03/suicide-attacks-busy-city


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/01/pakistan-lahore-bomb-blasts
http://www.samaa.tv/News24920-YaumeAli_procession_ambushed_several_injured_.aspx

Today, I was feeling absolutely fine, yet I didn’t go to office. Simply because I was warned by my family and of course my own memory that today being 22nd of Ramadan wouldn’t be safe day. There is nothing wrong with 22nd of Ramadan absolutely of course, except that on this date, a culture to take out a religious procession prevails in Pakistan.

Since, the increase in frequency of bomb blasts in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad and even in the northern cities of Pakistan for the past three, four years, quite many a sensible people have started avoiding initiating or attending large gatherings. Avoiding such events isn’t a sign of cowardice, but as a way of protecting life, which is an asset from God, something we are bound to protect.

Given the situation of our country, I wonder what logic drives people to still plunge into processions, that too of the ritualistic sort, and jeopardize their own lives and their families’ future.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

IBA-Course-Registration-Blues

One whole week of going to West Wharf, a place hundreds of light years away from my home, while fasting in this surprisingly hot week of August and going to field work to slums, hospitals, etc, made me desperately wait for that one Saturday which I could spend at my discretion.
  
But, it seems like IBA doesn’t like that idea. The course registration was supposed to take place on that very Saturday morning starting at 8 am. But what I call course registration here actually means…

...Waking up with sleepy, swollen eyes on a Saturday morning :’(…

...Refreshing the URL bar of your internet browser again and again and again for four continuous hours to find error messages of various kinds…

...Exchanging sms’s, talking to friends on the phone and discussing each others experiences with the system…

...Reading Facebook status uploads by fellow-ERP-victims, sympathizing with them and feeling better …


...Feeling that you have been placed in an unfair marathon – one missed course and there you see your perfectly orchestrated timetable burning to ashes.
.
.
.
.
And after five hours of indescribable tension, frustration and failure – the whole system crashes totally. And we get to know that we will have to relive this e-nightmare again some day soon, and the very thought of it makes me want to return back to the traditional ink and paper and to escape IBA-Course-Registration-Blues!

IBA 'blues'

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Event : Seminar on Osteoporosis followed by Iftar, at Marriott - for Free!

Assalaam o Alaikum All! :)

Good news for you! :) I am sure you must have heard of osteoporosis. Have a look at the diagram...



Since prevention is definitely better than cure, especially when it comes to health, proper education about how our bodies work, what happens in them when we age and how we can go about it to prevent greater loss.

Luckily, Novartis is arranging a seminar on Osteoporosis at Marriott on September 4, 2010 (Saturday). It will begin about at 5:30 and will be followed by Iftar, and that too for free!

People above 50 are invited. Also, they can be accompanied by people who they live with such as the their child or spouse. Let me know if any one you know who might be interested at my email address which is maryam_zahoor[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Land Mafias in Karachi thank God for the Floods in Pakistan

The floods that have been devastating for millions in Pakistan have delighted some people too – the land mafias.

Since, I live in Karachi, the capital of Sindh, one of the four provinces of Pakistan, I am getting to hear and even witnessing cases where land mafias are grabbing vacant property strategically.

The situation is that people from the flood-struck rural parts of Sindh are migrating to non flood-struck areas. Karachi, specifically has received probably the most number of such migrants. Now, those migrants who are still in search of residences are being used by land mafias. By land mafias, I mean people who have the experience of unrightfully grabbing/seizing other people’s property – apartments, bungalows, land plots, etc – and are backed by some kind of political power. Such mafias are simply breaking into vacant houses and inviting flood migrants to stay in them, pretending that the house is theirs or of some one they know. Such incidents are happening specifically in housing projects where a large number of apartments/ bungalows are vacant.

Yesterday only, a family friend’s vacant apartment got grabbed. When he went to check it like he did once or twice a week he found it was locked from inside!!! When he knocked, he discovered two women inside who, when hushed out, left immediately only slip into another apartment on the same floor which apparently too was being used these by migrants. Later on, they found out that 22 vacant apartments of the very same flat have been broken into. It was very easy to do so because most of the houses in that project are vacant and there is no union council which could have kept a check on what is going on and could have prevented this from happening.

Even in the presence of such unions, land mafias do grab property either because the union isn’t resource-able enough in terms of political contacts to drive the land grabbers away or because of their lack of motivation to do so – meaning that, the property owner isn’t offering them any monetary incentive to help him/her vacate the house. However, if the union is motivated to help and has political backing, it can make things difficult for the land grabber. But again, intrinsic motivation and political backing are very hard to find together!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My First Online Shopping Experience in Pakistan… Yippee!!!


I got really excited when I saw this photo a friend posted on a social networking site. That’s her laptop dressed in a skin featuring SpongeBob Square Pants! Cool han?

Uzma's Laptop with SpongeBob Square Pants - a cartoon that I almost dislike, but looks really nice up on the skin! :)


But the even more exciting part is that she got it online – just going to a website, doing some clicking here and there and a man with your desired stuff rings your door bell :D

Haha, I know I sound like a 2-year-old getting excited after spotting an airplane. But honestly it is exciting when done for the first time and especially when what you get out of that experience is something more than what you were expecting.

Yes, you got it right! I tried it too. You see my laptop’s really huge – 17 inches wide! – which means there’s a lot of bare black space on its back. So, a skin sounded like a good idea. Now, on that website, browsing through the hundreds of designs, choosing only one was really difficult. Also, there was an option of creating a skin yourself which opened up infinite choices. Nevertheless, I decided to play it safe and ordered something I could never dislike – something green and refreshing.





A picture of fresh, green blade-like leafs of some plant wetted most probably by rain... Can't imagine a sight more refreshing!








So I chose the design, filled the form and confirmed my order and viola! My order was at my place in a couple of days. In fact, the delivery had come home earlier but I wasn’t there so it was sent again. All in all I appreciate the fact that what I got hardly was different from what was shown. I know it was just a skin, but still, you never know with these things. Also, the service was good. The promptness with which the website, a Pakistani one, responded to my queries was amazing.

I hope Pakistan progresses in all desirable areas and makes us prouder Pakistanis!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Extraordinary Women – One I have Met, the Other I Wish to...


The First Woman

There is a woman who I consider a heroine today. Having spent tens of hours watching and marvelling at her interviews and reading deep and deeper into her story, one that came more as a shock to the world, I became a sincere admirer of her bravery, curiosity and dedication. But never even in my wildest of dreams had I seen myself meeting her or hosting a show featuring her.


Her Long Story Short

The model of inspiration I am talking about here is Mariam Ridley, earlier know as Yvonne Ridley. Yes, she was that one daring reporter who refused to convey to the world the fabrications the media was fed by the White House about what Afghanistan had to do with the incident of the World Trade Centre. This brave woman dared to illegally enter Afghanistan (after having being refused a legal entrance) to find out what was actually happening there by whatever means she had. Eventually, the locals discovered and the Taliban captured what appeared to be a European spy. About 11 days later, after proving that she was no more than a media reporter, the then Yvonne Ridley departed for UK absolutely amazed at the stark contrast of what she had personally seen and experienced as a captive of the Taliban and what she had heard about them from the media.

Long story short, after having safely reached home in the UK, she scanned the Quran to find out where Islam orders men to beat their wives up and other anti-feminist acts of the like. Having found nothing that oppresses women and discovering rights that no religion or social system in the world gives women, she, as a feminist, converted to Islam a couple of years after her capture by the Taliban and is now known as Mariam Ridley.

Mariam Ridley at IBA

With the help of Allah, the Iqra Society managed to invite Mariam Ridley while she was at Karachi, to IBA to speak on whatever she felt important – her experience with the Taliban, international politics, Islamophobia, feminism or something else. And the topic she chose was an eye-opener.

As the banner reads, Ridley speaks to the audience - students, media and others - at IBA.

She enlightened the audience about none other than whose legal sentence is awaited by hundreds of thousands of people all around the world– Dr. Afia Sidiqui – an America born Pakistani Ph.D, having 144 honorary degrees and certificates in Neurology from various institutes around the world and the only neurologist to have an honorary degree from Harvard. A genius who as been physically, psychologically and sexually tortured for seven years in different prisons by the American forces without any legal sentence.

We found out that Mariam Ridley campaigns in protest for the plight of Dr. Afia Siddiqui along with her sister, Dr. Fauzia who accompanied her to IBA as well. Dr. Fauzia is also a neurosurgeon and has had the honour of being the director of the Epilepsy Centre at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Mariam Ridley mentioned facts and scenarios she had personally witnessed. It was both heart-wrenching and blood-boiling to hear the sheer cruelty with which Dr. Aafia is tortured and the inhumane conditions in which she is kept. According to Mariam Ridley:



“She (Dr. Aafia) is kept in a 6’x6’cage-like prison, which contains her lavatory as well. Her limbs are bound by heavy, metallic chains while they are covered in bruises, wounds and blood and a guard watches on her constantly. . . Her cavities are checked in public when she is to be presented for an interrogation . . .”

Mariam Ridley has repeatedly said that if this is how the US treats its captives she would rather be a captive of the Taliban, the most ‘brutal regime in the world’.

Dr. Fauzia, at the event, embracing the mother of Uzair Paracha, an IBA graduate who was captured by the US forces and detained at the Guantanamo Bay.


How I came to meet her

Within 24 hours of the confirmation that Mariam Ridley was coming to IBA, the members of Iqra arranged the whole event! From the venue reservations, approvals and souvenirs to invitations, media coverage and co-ordination, it all fell into places unimaginably smoothly, although there were tough times as well. For instance, at 3 am, the night before the talk, I got to know that I was to host it because of some reasons – however, staying up for it was hardly difficult. After all it was Mariam Ridley’s talk I was going to host!!! Alhamdulillah.

The Invitation

A couple of days after the event, Dr. Fauzia personally sent an invitation to all those people who had helped organize the event to her mother’s house, with whom she resides, at dinner. It is a gesture of gratitude she shows everyone who helps her in her campaign for Dr. Aafia.



The visit helped us get to know the emotional side of Dr. Aafia’s case – about how her only brother has spent all that he had on the lawyers’ fees, how he got a heart attack upon visiting his sister’s prison, about how her mother who apparently is a very strong woman cries every night because her youngest daughter lives in such inhumane conditions, the very daughter whose father used to bring specially soft fabric from Egypt to keep her tender skin comfortable.

I along with Dr. Fauzia's two brilliant daughters, Alia 10 and Amna, 4.

For a detailed account of the visit, you can read a fellow Iqra member Nida's blog post by clicking here

The Awaited News

Ever since the eye-opening event took place, not only the members of the Iqra Society but also many of those who have attended it have been following Dr. Aafia’s case closely because they now know how it feels after hearing accounts of eye-witnesses. The case is altogether very important because Dr. Aafia is not just one woman – she is the representative of the hundreds and probably thousands of people who have gone missing from not just Pakistan but all around the world including the UK and the US, and have not been administered justice to. If Dr. Aafia, who’s millionaire family today finds holes in its pockets due to the high charges of lawyers and still unsuccessful at bringing her to a fair trial, will justice ever reach those who live almost hand to mouth, whose sons, husbands and fathers have been ‘kidnapped’ and put in to torture cells by the American forces.

And for a moment if for the sake of the argument we do agree that all these men and women have been up to something fishy, what about the children that are held in prisons?

One sentence that shall ring in my ears for my entire life is when Dr. Fauzia said, 

‘When I went to take Ahmad (Dr. Afia’s son who along with his mother and his two siblings had ‘gone missing’ in 2003), there were so many other children in the prison and I felt very guilty taking him with me, leaving them all behind and not being able to do anything about it.’


News Update : Dr. Aafia’s case sentence was to be pronounced on August 16, 2010 but has been postponed by a month. This is the second time that it has been postponed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Yes, let’s be Liberal – to the Point of Nudity on Public Roads.

I remember, at school, I was once asked to prepare a speech on ‘Enlightened Moderation’. At that point in time, the term was newly ‘imported’ from the West, as informed to me by a grand-uncle. He had asked me to stay away from it for behind the unperceivable veil of a term as innocent as ‘Moderation’ lay a whole new ideology that attempted to change the perceptions, ideas, beliefs and actions of the upcoming generations of Pakistan.

Almost a decade later, the term no more sounds strange to me. I have read, heard and seen quite a lot on the media about the seemingly never-ending debate about ‘Extremism’ versus ‘Moderation’, ‘Liberalism’ versus ‘Conservatism’ and ‘Freedom-of-Expression’ versus ‘Oppression’. These terms have been dwelt upon by minds disproportionately than far more important ideas have been such as justice, morality and economic progress has, specifically talking about Pakistan. Now, the result today can be clearly seen.

The generation I belong to has mentally defined these terms for itself (after being inspired by certain ideological campaigns by certain people within and outside the Pakistani border), the definition being that

“ ‘Moderation’, ‘Freedom-of-Expression’ and ‘Liberalism’ are ideas that collectively seek to borrow and adapt (actually the worst of the and rarely a few good) social and cultural values of the West and to strengthen a few degraded traditions from within our own culture. ”

This, I think is the ‘Net Effect’ of the term an adolescent heard years ago,  a term that grew into a whole belief in the fact that whatever a person feels like doing and however, he has all the right to do it and should be encouraged to go ahead with it even if it is as shameful as…


photo by the author


… posting a larger-than-life-sized-billboard degrading a woman! . . .
  
Today, in Pakistan that was ‘created in the name of Islam’, a fast-food franchise’s billboard ad uses not only the picture of a model who seemingly is wearing nothing to sell something as irrelevant and mundane as cheese-sticks but also captions it as ‘Kya Cheese Hai’.  It translates into English [Kya = What, Cheese = Thing, Hai = is] as ‘What a Thing!’… Speaking about the connotation of the phrase, it is so derogatory and disrespectful for a woman in Pakistani culture that the least a woman would do would be to slap a man who would pass such a remark on her, if she has the strength to.

This example very well illustrates the definition I mentioned above of ‘Liberalism’, and the terms of its like, for what was done in Pakistan by this franchise seems clearly inspired by one of the worst practices of the West –capitalising on feminine beauty. Here have a look…

I have censored the picture because I believe that I don't have to
post nude photos of my fellow sisters in order to prove my freedom of expression.

Right in the middle of the road a 40 feet high billboard ad features a naked woman again, to sell something as mundane as trainers!– and the only concerns the Western media shows about it is that it might cause road accidents!!!

At this point when the society fails to call bad as bad as it is, and the few voices that rise are lost in the continuous noise being made in the name of ‘Freedom-of-Expression’, I wonder if I make any sense at all to anyone out there.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Its August 31, 2009 and It is Raining!



The paras below are an excerpt from my personal diary. I wrote it almost a year ago - August 31, 2009, that is. Hope something similar happens this year too. I am posting a few photos that I'd taken that day too. Enjoy! :)


Love the reflection of the roof's red shingles on the wet black grill.

''It is raining and I was reading Muhammad Asad’s autobiography, The Road to Mecca a moment ago when my mind started debating whether to continue with that fantastic piece of literature or to pen down how the rain was temptingly inviting me to join it in it’s dance again and again. At first I thought that I should continue partly because the book really was intriguing and also because I wasn’t a good writer in the first place. However, due to reasons I remember no more, here I am sitting on this chair at the door opening to the balcony right under the small shed, with my laptop safely in my lap and my eyes taking brief tours of the scene beyond the balcony, resting on the screen for sometime and then escaping again.



It is the 6th of Ramadan and I had fallen asleep an hour or so after my Sehri, my consciousness diverted to senseless dreams. And it was around two in the afternoon when my maid woke me up, partly because she wanted me to see the rain and partly and secretly because she would get a chance to go to the balcony with me. It’s been more than four hours since then and the rain has delighted us all more than it ever has because for the past two months or so the weather had been very desirable with a cloudy sky and pleasant temperature and breeze. But as soon as Ramadan began the sun came out from its vacation. And so the heat affected us multiple times because we are not to drink anything till dusk! And on this fine Sunday morning Allah blesses us with such cool water which has not just cooled our bodies but also given peace to our minds which were worrying about the three more hot and hard fasting weeks ahead.



Hence, with all worry gone with the wind, all heat gone from the house and thirst gone from the tongue the only thing on my mind and senses is the rain and of course the absolute beauty it has brought with it, which I even attempted to capture with my Kodak C713 before I had begun with the book, but in vain for a camera can never capture the wholesome experience a human enjoys – hearing the pitter-patter of the intermittent rain, smelling the refreshing fragrance of wet leaves and sand and feeling the clean wind move right through his tired soul."

Long Time No See :/

As the captioned goes, yes, it has been a long long time since I have posted anything. The reason? Very simple. I have not been burdened with loads and loads of assignments at college or any other sort of academic pressure so its natural of me not to seek for relief in blogging and have been enjoying life otherwise :)

Hah, yes. blogging sees it's peak when I have lots of other stuff to do  - that's the way it is ;) So, a few people just asked me why they aren't getting to see me posting anything and that's a push good enough for me. Just for a starter I am posting a page from my diary I wrote last year, at almost the same time of the year. And main course and dessert will follow after a while! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Billee-Love






My mom never liked animals of any sort. She, like all other moms is that ultra-clean being who shrieks on just the minutest of dirt particles and can not bare even a couple of objects in a room in disorder...

My dad, one the other hand,  like a typical man, is the adventurous, rough & tough and bold one in the family. Now, although I grew up to be straightforward, independent, etc like my dad, I never developed any taste in animals which my brothers very conveniently inherited from him. The whole the-germs-are-going-to-get-you theory suits my taste very well (that's why I wash my hands more than  a couple of dozen times in a day... potential OCD? probably).

BUT...

Recently my brothers, taking advantage of the favourable situation at our home, turned it into a mini zoo...They adopted that starving neighbourhood cat and bought four ducklings AND one baby FALCON from the animal bazaar near Empress Market in Saddar.

Let me not speak of the ducklings and the Falcon for I shall not be able to stop. Getting to that starving cat is of key importance here... The recently turned into a leopard-resembling-creature that I now lovingly call Billaa (Urdu for 'male cat')evolved from a skeletal, weak little thing to a mota taaza ( fat and healthy ) real Billaa haha!

But the one person who is to be thanked for its whole evolution is my mom... She, Allah knows how, over came her disgust of fur and the dirt (and thereby germs attached to it) that feline animals have and fed the Billaa with Chicken all the time! Yes, because it refused to have roti, milk or even fish beyond a certain quantity, all my mom could do was give him chicken that was not fit for us to be consumed such as long forgotten pieces of frozen chicken or especially bought chicken feet (which are usually used to get chicken stock from).

The Bottom Line...
... is that now, in a conscious attempt to not fear germs and to be more humane towards non-human creatures, I have actually discovered cats to just addoooraablle. Although I admit there are the complete opposite of dogs, meaning they are selfish, attention-seekers, self-obsessed, least bothered to please their masters... However, yet they are just adorable. Its as if Allah has put life into balls of fur haha.. MashaAllah!

And today I befriended two new cats!!! :D I found them in my grandmother's garden. Took me less than five minutes to start patting them withing the first eye-contact... Here's a video and some pictures. You'll definitely enjoy if you are a cat lover! :)




Cleopatra animalofied ... 


This kitten is such a Jaaanuu! She literally played hide-and-seek with me! 

The Cat-eyed pose - by a cat hahaha..


WATCH These Cats in ACTION with meee !! :D
Its my right hand playing with the cats, while the left hand was shooting the show :P



That's all for today! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Will it Rain in Karachi Tomorrow?

"Maryam Beta, help me get the clothes off from the clothesline ... I just hung them but seems like its going to pour..."
.
" ... and Kiran was telling me that it's going to rain but I don't think so... "
.
"Hey! They were just telling in the news that a cyclone's coming our way! I hope IBA shuts down tomorrow, but that's like praying for a miracle..."
.  .  .  .  .
.   .   .   .   . 
.     .     .     .     .  

When this part of the year - June, July and August, that is - approaches, one of the things that we look forward most to is... yes, you guessed it right, of course, Rain! 

The bundle of our actions preceding the rain are just so exciting... forecasting it, talking about it, getting excited with the very slightest of cool winds, planning to go to the beach etc... But he feeling of just letting yourself get soaked in the rain through and through has no parallel... Feels like being in some parallel universe in which only we and the madly-high-inducing-rain exist. What never ceases to inspire me and heal my soul is the beauty of such thick rain, that doesn't let you see clearly beyond a few yards and makes the buildings, people, trees and things at a distance seem like a hazy dream, such loud rain that doesn't let you properly hear your own self singing out mad and loud, such rain that makes the earth smell like heaven.

Okay, I think I should stop day dreaming, rather, blog-dreaming already now... :/

Well, today I was on the Shahrah-e-Faisal at about six in the evening and the clouds were all gathering up slowly right above us. Had those clouds followed the normal rule, they would have poured down in half an hour or so. But no, they didn't. They just kept gathering and gathering and making the scene turn from bright blue to grim gray. What? Why didn't they pour? Well, because these clouds were hovering over Karachi, a city that has some kind of repelling force against heavy, almost-about-to-pour-clouds. 

As we moved on, I showed my friend a few drizzled drops on the wind screen and said 'Barking dogs, seldom bite'. Yes, because whenever it rains in Karachi, as long as I remember, it has either happened completely unpredictably or as a continuation of an earlier rain. So, as we drove on it got darker and darker though there was an hour left for sunset.

only if I could go hiking on these clouds...

(click the photo to see an enlarged version)



As I was leaving my home for some work, my Nana had warned me about the impending doom-like cyclone that could accompany rain with it. Acting upon his advice, I grabbed my camera along with me to click away and capture the cruelly mesmerizing beauty of the clouds while enjoying the cool breeze sitting cozily at the window seat.

At the Main University Road
(click the photo to see an enlarged version)


All my way from and back to my home all that happened was the gathering of more and more and more clouds. Seemed like it would rain but it didn't and my hopeful heart asked me, 'Will it rain tomorrow?'... 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Someone's Obsessed with my Blog

"Great minds discuss ideas. 
Average minds discuss events. 
Small minds discuss people." 


Well, I am not categorizing my little mind into any one of the three categories mentioned by Roosevelt above but in general I don't like talking about people a lot. Or even if I do, I talk about ideas way too much out of proportion. ( yes, I talk a lot )... But there are sometimes when some exceptional people push me to talk about them. Either their being outstandingly praiseworthy or being someone really turning off, makes me express my views about them. 

But again, while praising someone, one can go on and on about it in front of anyone but saying something negative isn't a good thing no matter how bad the person you are talking about is. So, the one good way of venting out one's feelings I find is to just talk about the kind of people who turn you off.

Here is one kind that ruin my mood...

Anonymous Stalker!

Its kind of strange. I have never been stalked before, neither in reality nor on cyberspace ( in fact I don't really know if I have..) ... but strange it is that my poor, improperly attended to, unattractive, uncontroversial, mediocre blog is being stalked just too badly ... poor baby





Someone in 'Islamabad' (Feedjit isn't good at locating individuals precisely withing a state or a country) who uses Windows XP and browses the internet through Internet Explorer visited my blog 11 times in the past 10 hours!! The 'Karachi, Sindh' person using Google Chrome and Vista is me, ya. 

How weird it feels... Imagine someone anonymous who has nothing to do in the entire wide world but to visit your poor little blog no less than an hour later, again and again... weird, weird feeling it is, I tell you :s

Another kind that turns me off is that of :

Fallacious Arguers 


 And this interesting person comments too using snide remarks and fallacious arguments filled with intended sarcasm... But again, its not about one person.




The point is that well, I have always loved diversity. Having lived for more than ten years where you can find people from all around the world...Palestinians, Malaysians, Britishers, Egyptians, Indians, Mexicans, Australians, etc... I have always loved diversity from the bottom of my heart. The very sight of people dressed in different ways, the very sound in a quiet shopping store filled with a soft humming mixture of different languages has always made me feel like home because that's how I was brought up. But no matter how diversity-loving I become some things will never cease to turn me off. People such as stalkers, and fallacious arguers, not to mention blamers, sarcastic fighters... they just destroy what little bit peace we have on earth.

And btw, I am no angel. In fact everyone of us has bits of these unwanted kinds of people in them in varying degrees. Right after criticizing someone, or a certain kind of people, I look back at my own self in the mirror and try to see my own errors and try to live up to the species I am, Human.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Freedom of Speech?

I randomly found this piece of prose on Facebook as different people's statuses and couldn't agree with it more. Very succinctly put. Makes me wonder what is going on in the world.


When you attack black people, they call it ...
Racism

When you attack Jewish people, they call it...
 Antisemitism

When you attack women, they call it...
 Sexism

When you attack homosexuality, they call it...
 Intolerance

When you attack your country, they call it...
Treason

When you attack a religious sect, they call it...
 Hate Speech

But when they attack the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), they call it...
 FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Facing the Facebook Fiasco


What just happened, simply amazes me and makes me wonder if the our government will ever cease to surprise us with its ... well, I don't want to sound harsh!

I mean, one commoner such as me in Pakistan logs on to Facebook and finds that it has been BLOCKED (actually banned)! argh!



Yes, I know what has been going on, on Facebook for more than a week and what has been and is being done as retaliation to it but among all remedies such as boycotting Facebook for a day or for ever, protesting against what is happening, creating independent positive initiatives in the forms of 'events' and 'groups' by the users, blocking Facebook on a national level by the government seems to be not only useless but even counter-productive.

And the funniest in the saddest way ever is the fact that I can still access Facebook, yes, haha. See this ...


(It's 6 pm now, more than half an hour since Facebook had been blocked as you can see the sudden pause of posts from people in my NewsFeed except for me)


C'mon, even kids in junior school now know about Proxy sites! Too bad, those who have blocked Facebook do not have an updated list of proxy sites, with the help of which they could block back door entrances to Facebook as well... which in a way makes me less desperate and angry about the weird logic our government uses in situations such as these.

I am the victim emotional distress, and I am the one who has now been barred from expressing my feelings! So much for the 'freedom of speech' and justice!

*shuts her laptop tight and goes to the balcony to get some fresh air*


PS: Facebook right now feels very similar to what the streets of NewYork looked like in the movie 'I am Legend' - horrifyingly devoid of life!


Update (6:40 pm) : well, I didn't go to the balcony because it had a lock on it and i was too lazy to get the keys from downstairs but look what I found... The Express Tribune, a Pakistani publication, reports exactly the same thing that I talked about; proxy sites and how tech-savvy Pakistanis are still using Facebook making PTA's effort of blocking Facebook only a symbolic gesture. Here is the link to the article.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cute Monsters in the Dark Corners of my Room!

She was walking down the dark alley lost in her own thoughts when she saw it. The very sight of it paralyzed her; her fear froze her. She couldn’t advance, she couldn’t retreat. It was as if one slight movement would set that dark vicious creature upon her. But nature had equipped her with defensive tools and she used it unconsciously – out came a glass-shattering shriek. The shriek, what a kind of one it was. It set the stray dogs in the neighbourhood barking in horror, the baby in the house next to the alley crying and one fine young man rescuing our princess from this creature. Our brave hero found the source of terror, gathered the courage to fight and not to ‘flight’ and gave it a go. And the dark creature was gone in one single stamp of his joggers. Well, it was small lizard right, in the middle of the path, so it just died in a blow.

There was another girl One fine day when she one was washing her eaten up dessert’s dish at five in the morning, she felt something jelly-like under her foot. She raised her foot to find an upside-down turned medium sized lizard lying there dead and all she felt like saying was ‘Ew’. Well, the lizard was dead right, nothing more to worry about, right. But then she thought what if it wasn’t dead, so she shook the mat a little and the lizard actually flipped back in the up-side-up position. So, the girl just left it there and went back to her room.

Well, actually this girl was me, yes, me. Oh please, don’t give me that disgusted look. Of course, I know lizards are dirty creatures but I think we see and touch far dirtier and germy things in our day! So what’s so horrible about poor lizzie baby? Are you scared? Ohh, Okay, THEN, I can’t help you sorry!

But hey may you can help yourself. Look at these pictures I have taken of my dear darlings. Well, I don’t really like them, but just because the cruel society discriminates and marginalizes them all the time, I feel pity for them and feel like speaking up for them as this society can really understand the tongues. So here we go: enjoy the photos! They are meant to show you the beautiful side of my loves. Well, yea, the beautiful side :P



This dear maiden was found right behind the door of the room behind mine, in which no one lives. So one day, when I went there to vacation for a while I found this really old, wrinkled lizard wasn't even moving when I was photographing it! Or may be it wasn't old, perhaps, it just sensed some how that taking photographs is not a mean or offending act as throwing chappals or screaming is, something people do when they spot her.



This dark and handsome fella is frowned upon the society because he is a 'naali ka keera' (Urdu for drain's insect) and he wonders quite often in solitude, what his fault is if his Creator has made him that way. He also takes pride in the fact that his race is one of the oldest on this planet and that the fact that they only had become 'naali kay keeras' After naalis came into existence. Before the humans came, his forefathers used to be happy living in the jungles with ants and their other, seemingly less repulsive-looking species of his race, such as the flying cockroach.



Err, this is just a fried fish's head. If you find this weird or scary or spooky or whatever, then you should get your head checked, seriously!

PS : pictures by the author

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear Death Awaits Me

Imagine living in this world for ever, knowing you will never die. Not such a pleasant thought for me. For without death awaiting you, what good is life?

A kid is thrilled by the slightest of newness in his surroundings. A new kind of toy, a new book, a new place, a new feel… As this kid grows older he is less and less pleased. He gradually experiences it all. He masters his small irrational fears, doesn’t rejoice on his insignificant achievements, is hardly surprised by little discoveries… in short, he gets de-sensitized gradually, grows numb and number day by day…

Since I was a kid, I was never afraid of death. To me death has never meant the end of my soul or of my existence or the event of my dead body being eaten up by ants in my grave. It has meant totally something else. Death to me is the gate to eternity, the road to a long awaited event, a long pending meeting with my Creator, the hope of seeing Him and of course a lot more.

As the character of Achilles in the movie Troy said

“Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now, and we will never be here again”

Personally speaking, I have since forever felt that I’d die very young. At 12 I felt I’d die by 16, at 16 I thought I wouldn’t live my 19th year, and at 20 today I still feel I might live up to just 24 years of age. I don’t really know why but I have always felt this way… Yes, I might die young. How young, I don’t really know. But this whole expectation of dying tomorrow adds joy to each and every thing I experience today.