Friday, December 13, 2013

Pretty Young Thing?

You are a beauty with brains. The magnificence of your mind complements the wisdom of your words and the luster of your looks.

But THEY will love you for your pretty face - ONLY.

At first you dismiss the admiration as superficial and insist that you be heard instead instead of being scanned and seen. But that doesn't ever  happen.

Your dazzling smile, your flattering dresses, your flawless make up outdo your wit, humor and speech before the masses. You are attended well to by sales persons, given favors by people of power, photographed more and proposed by rich men.

With time you start enjoying the attention. In fact, you feed on it. It becomes part of your identity.

Your brain gets consumed by the high.

Two decades later your pretty face wrinkles. Your smile is flanked by laugh lines, your dresses no more flatter you and make up feels heavy. The crown of thick hair that earlier adorned your head turns gray.

You panic.

You pay a dozen visits to the best parlors, dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Botox stretches your skin tight, a lip filler makes your pout perky and a surgery rids growing eye bags. Five years later, you get a neck lift, an eye brow lift and a nose job to 'correct' what age did to you. And then...

You Realize ...

All these attempts reveal what you try to conceal. They scream out to the world that you lost your greatest asset - your youth, your looks, your charms -  your competitive edge. You can by no means compete with the new entrants in the market. You are obsolete, useless. You no more serve your purpose - pleasing the eyes. And then ...

You Reflect.

What happened? How did you end up here?

You realize you fed on what was so temporary, so artificial and something you had for no credit of your own. You had intellectual, moral, religious and other charms too. But somehow you ended up spending resources (time, money, etc) on appearance way out of proportion.

And there is a cost you pay in the end. And the cost is your life, your identity.

You were a beauty with brains. You were a beauty with morality. You were a beauty with religion.
Oh girl, your beauty was IN your brains, morality and religion.

Your beauty was not what the fashionistas dictated. Your beauty was not about how you had the perfect hour glass shape in the 70s and the 'twiggy' anorexic body in the 2000s. Your beauty was not about having permed hair in the 80s and sleek rebonded hair early in the second millennium. Beauty was not about changing your wardrobe four times a year with every coming season.

Your beauty was in your head, on your tongue and in your actions. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5 Things I Miss about Karachi

It’s been over six months since I’ve been living outside my homeland i.e. Pakistan and I occasionally am asked, ‘Do you miss Karachi?’

At first I wonder what the person means by Karachi. These days the very word Karachi sketches an utterly grim picture in one’s mind – sacks filled with dead bodies, corpses hanging by bridges, labor starving because of frequent strikes, etc. But then giving my perception benefit of the doubt, I re-think the question.
Of course I miss Karachi, or more appropriately put, the things that make Karachi feel home! So what Are these things?

1.       People – This is an absolute no brainer but it has to be said. Home is where heart is. Heart is where love is. Love is where my beloveds are. And my beloveds include my mom, brothers, grandparents, aunts, cousins, nieces and friends – all of who happen to be in Karachi, so hell YES I miss Karachi because I miss them.
May Allah reward the creators of the internet and Skype and every medium of long distance communication. Skype is such a fantastic remedy to homesickness that I could write 10 blog posts in praise of it. Hearing your 20 months old niece sweetly chirp ‘Khalaaaa’ months after you left her in Karachi is sheer bliss.

Food  - Some of the people I love cook food I love. My nani’s pasandays and kabaabs, my mom’s dozen recipes, my aunt’s desserts and my super talented cousin brother’s sandwiches! (YES, boys make sandwiches too :P). Nothing can beat these. Plus, food from local eateries in Karachi such as Hanif Rajput’s biryani, Hot n Roll’s ahmaazzinggg rolls, Aga Juice’s falooda, PG (Karachi University)’s chaat, etc. are things whose very thought gets me drooling.

Interestingly, I’ve observed, the ingredients there are also so much better than those in Dubai veg, non-veg and everything in between. It’s probably got to do with the freshness factor.

Holidays – I absolutely condemn, detest and *add relevant synonyms* uncalled for holidays in Karachi due to strikes, unnecessary commemoration of the deaths/births/wedding anniversaries of figures of little insignificance and other ridiculous reasons. In recent months these city-shutdowns became as frequent as thrice a week resulting in severe economic loss of the city and the starvation of thousands of poor families.

However, I will honestly and guiltily admit that I miss the uncertainty of Karachi. Imagine going to bed late on a Sunday night, scrolling through text messages on your phone and finding out that Voldemort Avadacadavra-ed the bitterly hated Mr. Monday! Ah, nothing like it.

Weather – I am not a morning person but I do find mornings beautiful. And Fajr time in Karachi is just heavenly. Right half an hour before Fajr, the chirping of the birds, the especially cool breeze in the air and this specific fresh fragrance about the place is sheer bliss.

Also, no matter how hot and sweaty afternoons are, evenings in Karachi are almost always drastically cooler and breezy. This I miss, since I live in a city which is essentially a desert and live by the air conditioner which keeps my room constantly at 18 degrees centigrade.

Places – Of course, I also miss certain physical things and places in Karachi. First and absolutely the most missed place by me is my living room’s sofa. What would I not give to sit/lie/lounge on it while reading a book, having a meal at 3 am or simply pondering over the great mysteries of life! Other places include my grandparent’s home that had been my very own half of my time in Karachi, my neighborhood, IBA and a few others.

There are of course many other reasons that make Karachi miss-able but these reasons made it to the top of my list. Forgive me for not praising the city for reasons close to your heart because it is past four in the morning here and whatever I have managed to write with droopy eyelids is quite an achievement!

Friday, November 22, 2013

How Hijab Came to my Family

20 years back there was no female in my paternal or maternal family who covered her head with a scarf or dupatta. Not even my grandmother who wore sleeveless blouses in her youth. I can use this fact to elaborate on how ‘liberal’ my family is as well how ‘ignorant’ it was about the particular concept of hijab in Islam.

Interesting how something can be perceived by one man as liberty and the other as ignorance. Anyway, moving on…

How it Started – Back in 1998, my closest cousin, Kiran, moved to UK for her higher studies at the age of 18. When she came back to Pakistan, the family was inquisitive about the head scarf she wore everywhere she went on top of her jeans and tops. Her mom too, after a few months, followed suit. When questioned, they explained the importance of covering up satar in the light of the Quraan and ahadith. This was in 1999, when I was 10. And this is when I, my mom and my grandmother realized how wrong it was not to cover up.

For a few years we didn’t copy them, but we did respect their hijabs. A couple of years later, my mom started going to the market with her head covered. As a pre-teen, I watched and things started seeping in.

The Pushing – Even though I was indifferent to or perhaps even liked the hijab, I never thought  of adopting it. After all I was just 12. Also I was not to be pushed into it. Once, my granny asked me to put a dupatta on my head because we were to meet a religious person. I scrunched up my nose and refused. No one tells me what to do with my clothes. Though later I had to put it on with a sullen face.

But I was never pushed into anything luckily permanently. The only requirement set by my dad was ‘modest’ clothing i.e. wearing loose clothes. So until today most of my time at home got spent wearing loose tops and jeans/pjs/pants. They are way more modest than fitted kameezes with dupattas left behind on the iron stand.

2005 – At the end of grade 10, I came to terms with the practice and decided that I would cover my head in a consistent fashion. The scariest part was speculating my mom’s reaction who did not cover up at family gatherings and weddings. But mashaAllah, when she found out, she encouraged me and stood up for me. Very soon, I saw her covering up at events too, mashaAllah. And since, then the scarf/dupatta/chadar has never left my head even inside my house in the presence of na-mehrams.

2006 – I guess, this is the year when it happened. My grandmother stopped wearing saris, something she wore all her life as a primary dressing, and switched to wearing kameezes to ensure that her belly wasn’t showing.

2010 – My only paternal uncle’s daughter, Hana, started practicing hijab too. Born and brought up in London, she could’ve gone either ways. But I think it was the sort of community in East London and my uncle’s religious nature that contributed to her choice. Alhamdulillah, her two teenaged sisters too are gradually coming to hijab and her mom followed suit too.

This is also the year when I started wearing an abaya – something no cousin or aunt of mine carries, unfortunately.

2012 – Another khala’s two daughters, now 16 and 17, seeing me and my elder cousin, Kiran, have now started doing hijab too at family events.

A summary: I have a total of 12 female cousins, 6 hijabis and 6 non-hijabis. All non hijabis but one live in the West.

Interestingly in all cases, the daughters started taking the hijab first and their mothers followed suit soon.
The criticism – No matter what you do, you can never please everyone. There are relatives who support the hijab, there are the indifferent ones and of course there are the critics too. My mom’s 65 year old aunt, who’s a Ph.D and a professor at Karachi University commented on how my hijab was extreme. And I don’t blame the lady. After six decades of her life, watching girls dress up like fire crackers at weddings, she must have naturally felt put off by my loose pistachio colored abaya. Understandable. Even for relatives who support the headscarf, abaya is something that is taking time to get swallowed.

And the criticism goes equally for the young men in the family who have adopted religious values and sported beards. (Point: my family isn’t sexist :P)

In the end, what does matter is the growing tolerance towards the very concept of women complying with the Islamic hijab. With a little acceptance of the elders, who have already lived out most of their lives, the younger generation has a long way to go in terms of changing the socio-cultural landscape.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Soft Brown Earth

Alright, my last blog post said I'd be blogging about how ''A cheesecake made my day''. But even before I could revive my memory of cheesecakes and ecstasy, I happened to produce the random-est poem I have ever come up with - in five minutes. And here it is now, chilling on my blog.

Cheers ^_^

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Turn in Life - Turn in Blogging!

Okay. I have been so lazy with this blog that it is almost … lazy? :P Too lazy to even think of a synonym for lazy, hah!

I guess the lazy blogger syndrome comes from the fact that my lifestyle has taken a turn. And the things I have been blogging about such as religion, politics, life, etc. though still relevant, don’t occupy my head as much as they used to before. Thanks to things that take up most of my time these days – work, travelling and going out.

So why not blog about things that I am actually doing – a little bit of shopping, eating, going out, etc. The little delights of a very ordinary person, delights that make life good. Life in Dubai. Life of a single girl living alone in this city extraordinaire.

Next blog post: How a Cheesecake Made My Day.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Heart : A Peephole to Your Future

Ever dreamt a dream that was all about things you were going through? And the fears, joys, tension, hopes, etc. of your real life, all followed you in that dream?

Our dreams are like a mirror to our real life. They tell us what awaits us when we wake up.
Similarly, this world is a Dream too. And somehow it is a clear mirror of what awaits us when we will wake up on the Day of Judgement. So what is it exactly that indicates what awaits us on the Big day?

Our heart.

Here is what Allah has to say:

“It is He who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in faith along with their [present] faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise.”

Surah Fath - (48:4)

The pious, the blessed ones, the ones loved by Allah are bestowed upon by golden gift of Faith. And the verse clearly says that those with Faith have hearts filled with tranquility. This tranquility further strengthens Faith.

SubhanAllah! Such are the hearts of those who will be among the successful ones on the Day of Judgement.

To get an idea of what awaits us in the future, let's ask : does my heart feel tranquil? Does it feel tranquil in sadness? Forget sadness, does it even flow with peace when I am doing the happiest of activities such as dining out, shopping or talking to a friend? Is the peace we feel even a shadow of the sort of peace that Allah bestows upon His loved ones?

The answer certainly determines what awaits us in the future.
The rest, I shall leave on the All-knowing and Wise who is also very Merciful.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

5 Perils of Living On Your Own

Okay so if you are living that big city life on your own, you have all the independence you can dream of. So much independence, that it is not even all that cool any more. And on the other hand there are certain perils that you can get into given that you are such a lone soul in a big big city. May be peril is not the word but I’ll just use it any way :P

So here we go. Here are some of the things that can go wrong wrong wrong when you are t-o-t-a-l-l-y on your own.

i.                     The air conditioner has chilled the room sooo much throughout the night, that you just can’t come out of your blanket in the morning. It is like stepping out from a tub full of hot water into freezing rain somewhere in North Pole. Okay, not that extreme but you get it. And of course, there is no mommy dearest to switch the AC off for you.

In such a situation, you will either run the peril of feeling extremely uncomfortable – or of going back to sleep and missing/ getting late for work and facing horrible consequences.

ii.                   You are out of cash. Your friends are out of cash (read: you are out of friends). The only money you have is to travel to work. In such cases you might just die of hunger. Or on a less severe note, resort to shoplifting so that you can get caught and the police can feed you something in the lock up for a few days. No matter what you do, this situation is full of perils.

iii.                  You locked your room at night and tossed the keys. In the morning you can’t find them. Now you are imprisoned in the room. You can’t go to work or even get a key maker. Also your DSL is not working and phone has no money. Also you have no window in your room. Also, you have no attached bathroom. Imagine.

iv.                 You are sick. Probably have diabetes or you just got stomach flu. Too weak to move. Too weak to get essential help like a sweet or gripe water. You’ll probably just die.

v.                   You take a week off from work to relax. And then you die somehow in your house. Like a natural death, accidental or may be a murder. Well then sorry, but your body won’t be discovered until at least a week. Wait, that is not really a peril for you as a living person, but it might be for your soul. Like if your body remained unburied for a week, that would probably be perilous for your soul no?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Of Cursed Blessings and Blessed Curses

Everything in this world is the test from Allah.

Health and sickness – Friendship and enmity – Wealth and poverty – Wisdom and ignorance – Hope and despair – Prosperity and loss – And so on…

None of these things are blessings or curses on their own. As Muslims, we perceive all these elements in a very different light.  We believe that anything that brings us closer to Allah, that makes us more muttaqi, and eventually more deserving of Jannah is a blessing. And anything that kills the quality of our eemaan and actions and eventually exposes us to the wrath of Allah on the day of Qayamah, is a curse.
So blessings may come our way disguised as curses and curses as blessings.

Coming to a few examples – It is said that poverty is a curse and yet it is possible that poverty may bring a person very close to Allah and actually be a blessing. Another example would be of education. Education makes man civil and yet it also has the power to induce arrogance – one of the worst sins – in hearts.
We must note that there are some things that humans are more likely to make good and bad uses of.

Like the Prophet (SAW) said,
"There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good."
Hadith # 421, Book 76, Sahih Bukari.

So in spite of health and free time inherently being blessings, they turn into curses because of our lack of their use. They will be liabilities for us on the day of Qayamah.

Similarly, while wealth is perceived as one of the greatest assets for man, the Prophet (SAW) said,

“… I am afraid that worldly wealth will be given to you in abundance as it was given to those (nations) before you, and you will start competing each other for it as the previous nations competed for it, and then it will divert you (from good) as it diverted them."

Hadith # 433, Book 76, Sahih Bukhari

The challenge in this world is to realize that things that might make us feel utterly blessed, may actually be curses because of the way we make use of them – such as wealth, knowledge, power, friendship, etc. Because of how we will be answerable about them in the Final day.
And losses, sorrows, pains and calamities which might be so unwelcome might become a means of salvation simply because how close they brought us back to the True Beloved.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What Happened in Karachi on the Election day - 2013

A lot has been, is being and will be said about the 2013 elections in Karachi. The entire country is listening to stories about how the election process is emerging in Karachi about the media. Personally, I experienced nothing extra ordinary happened at my polling station, I would like to share some of the experiences my friends shared on social media.

1.      Enthusiasm

I just got back and you have no idea how motivated and charged up the people are..old aunties have been in the sun since morning..
PTI supporters all throughout!
Allah, I have never seen Pakistan this united..please make this last and hear our prayers and do what is good for us. You are indeed All Knowing and All Seeing. Pakistan Zindabad!!!’
Mehvish Fatima

Burger-e-Karachi, popularly known to get kharab-ed in the garmi today deserve a huge round of applause for sticking it out in the heat, against all odds - for change!’
Kanwal Anes

‘Hats off to you wonderful people! Stay strong. To the couple who came in wheelchairs and were there from 6 am till now and stage three cancer patients with their urine bags, I salute you. They were all PTI supporters. I've always believed in Imran but this right here is pure magic. Pakistan zindabaad!’
Amna R. Malik

2.      Rahman Malik’s Reception

‘The moment of joy when Rehman Malik steps outside the polling station after voting and crowd says..’'chor chor chor chor.....'’ ‘
‘I heard it and my brother saw it’
Savera Dar

3.      Rigging

‘It is shameful that media is not saying much about rigging in Karachi!’
Abdullah Soomro
‘Voters were inked but sent back from Rangoonwala Hall polling station saying that their votes were alredy done. And they were threatened when they tried to fight back. Many of my relatives quoted and anyone u see in the Dhoraji market right now can vouch for the same.’
Mariam Rafiqui

‘(Asma*) is extremely proud of Ahmad*, for once. Stood up to the MQM thug at the polling booth who was standing on the voters heads( to ensure a Kite vote) , with a colourful expletive exchange. :.)'

*Name changed for privacy
Asma Zubair

Today, when I was tired of ranting on facebook. I decided to go and see what actually is happening in Karachi's polling stations. I along with some of my friends visited many polling stations in NA 250 and NA 253. I was appalled to see that voters in NA 250 were in great numbers. They were motivated, and hope for some change was visible from their gestures. We weren't able to get into the polling stations so I can not tell about the rigging.
Whereas in NA 253 ( which is mainly Gulshan area) the scenes were really shocking. One of the PTI supporter after seeing PTI flag on our car approached us at Oxford Grammar school and said that ke yaar yahan ander hamara koi banda hi nai hai. He told us that there was massive rigging going on inside. Somehow, we managed to get in the polling station.
MQM guys ( who were were around 17-18) closed the doors of the polling station at 5 pm (although the timing was extended). We witnessed that they started putting 'thappas' on patang. We told the (3 star) police wala ke there is no PTI polling agent inside. He said we know it. We told him ke bhai yahan tou zabardast waali rigging horahi hi. He said ke 'ham kia karain hamaray haath bandhay hue hain. '
Then one of the police wala told us ke Yahan subah jamaat aur PTI ke polling agents thay. Jamaat ne boycott kardia aur PTI ke polling agent ko MQM ke larkon ne pitai kar ke bhagadia. He said ke aap authorised letter lay ao aur aap khud beth jao yahan. We argued with him but it was in vain.
We saw a TV reporter outside the polling station. We told him the story. He said ke ' bhai main file kar bhi duun story channel walay chalain ge hi nahin' . We were just helpless looking at MQM guys who were celebrating at their fake victory.’
Hasan Ali

4.      Violence at the Polling Station (Block 2, Gulistan e Johar)

''Just witnessed death so close today at polling station.
Just when we were about to enter the station to vote.. some gilgitiis yelling "labbaik ya Hussain" came rushing into the polling station. All of us ran inside and heard bursts of firing this close! I was never as terrified as I was today.. we lay down on the floor and started reciting Ayat ul Kursi in a closed room. Survived it, voted and came home safely MashaAllah'
Situation remained the same till half an hour.. phir rangers ne sab set ker dia. They caught those idiots and took them away, dunno where. I saw guns.. big guns.''
Samra Sahar Khan

5.      7/8 hour long queues

‘Reached the polling station around 8 am and got to vote at 4 pm. 
The most amazing 8 hours of my life. Witnessed what this nation is capable of and felt proud to be a part of it.

I hope all those standing in the queue also get to vote for Naya Pakistan. InshaAllah. 

Imran Khan, you were right. Tabdeeli aa gayee hai
Pakistan Zindabad.’
Savera Dar

‘So many stories from today. My personal favorite probably: Even after waiting 7+ hours in heat and barely any water, people were like "Yar, senior citizens ko pehla janay do" ‘
Fauzan Naeem

‘The polling still hasn't started at DHA phase 4 (NA 250). Waiting since 10 am and still nothing!!’ (At 7 pm)

6.      The Burger-Voters

‘Haan tou kaun keh raha tha defence waalay vote denay nahin aayeinge? 

Soch se lamba queue!’
Savera Dar

7.      Election Commission of Pakistan’s Failure

‘Go through news channels for five mins and you will know how badly and pathetically ECP has failed to contain media.’
A Rafay Gadit

‘Exteremely Disappointed. Spent 5 hours standing to get a chane to vote. Terrible mismanagement and eye opening cheating. Spent 5 hours shouting, crying, fighting for my RIGHT to vote the party i want to.’
Laraib Mohib

‘I reached at the polling station at 10 am and came out at 4pm i hate the system. Hope naya pakistan banay and all gets better.’
Suleman ghazi

8.      Post Result Feelings

‘Dear MQM, 
The shit you pulled today leaves no doubt how little Karachi actually supports you. Your insecurity in your strongest constituencies shows that you don't even trust your own voters to make you win.
NA -246 (Azizabad)’
Ahsan Zafar

‘Salute to the people of Khayber pakhtoon khaw for making the most sensible choice! Ghulam Ahmed Balore the theif is out!’
Umber Zareen Sidiqui

‘MQM – the only party in the world that defeats its opponents by 50,000 votes to nil’
Syed Muhammad Danish

‘Peshawar you're cool now :D’
Fatima Baloch

NA- 249: Farooq Sattar's opponent was so PRO-MQM that he also voted for him!’
Sarah Zubair

‘Massive reporting, with proof, of rigging. Will anything change?’
Hassan AY
‘Shareef Sahab.
Sahi kaha tha aap ne. Agar Pakistaniyo ne samajhdaari se vote nahi diya toh mulak 20 saal peechay chala jaayega.
1993 mai bhi PM aap hee thay.’
Suhaib Jalis Ahmed

‘Congratulations to the PTI for getting almost double the seats than what MQM has ever managed and putting themselves forward as the second biggest force for sure. Congratulations to the Voters who came out, stood their ground and to cast their votes and forced re-polling when denied the right.’
Ammar Qureshi

‘Yesterday was a slap on democracy in Karachi. A slap on each and every voter who thought they can get their voice heard by votes. To all those people whose eyes were glimmering with hope, people who thought they are not spectators anymore. I salute your vote and resolve but the results are nothing but a disgrace to your voice.’
Hamza Siddiqui
And on a holistic and concluding note,
'To all Pakistanis
Elections over, we are back to being one people. Alhamdulillah.

- Congratulations to PML-N on being the leading party and good luck.
- PTI, congratulations on running a good campaign and there will be another day. You are now a presence in Pakistan politics and that itself is something new and no mean achievement.
To Nawaz Sharif : you have been handed a responsibility. You are a servant of the people. Not its ruler. Remember Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (ra) words, when he was Caliph.
If a dog dies on the banks of the Tigris, due to lack of care, then Allah shall ask me "How did this happen?". I am responsible.
NS you are responsible and all of us will call you to account on a much higher and larger level. So, fulfil your responsibility.’
Sarfaraz Ahmed Rahman

Disclaimer: This article is by no means a politically neutral one. It makes no attempt at hiding the complaints and opinions of real people.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pakistan, the Land of Evil

I was never a patriot. Having grown up in the Middle East till the age of 10 with parents who never spoke positively about Pakistan much, I never grew to care about a country that I spent hardly a month in each year. My trips were happy yet unpleasant. The joy of being showered with love by relatives was mingled with the fear of being kidnapped, the pain of electricity failures, the stink of garbage dumps and bouts of food poisoning.


My family moved to Pakistan because of certain issues. I hated the country. I hated it every bit of it. I was forced to leave the city (Sharjah) I considered home and live in a totally inferior place.
This was the land where people were evil. They threw garbage on the roads, cheated in business, exploited the weak, kidnapped children and sold their kidneys, robbed houses and what not. This land had no beauty. The buildings were in poor state, roads were all broken with no tracks, traffic was in utter chaos, vehicles drove on footpaths and dirty beggars littered the signals. The policemen were to be feared more than the criminals and the government officials were to be treated like lords. This land was surely not like my old home. I’d like to repeat: I hated Pakistan and its people.

11 years later – 2011

Life moved on. Much of my aversion for the country turned into pity, anger and resentment at its people. I learnt the country was rich in history, culture, minerals, agriculture, talent – you name it we have it. And yet I never thought of it as home.

In 2010, I paid a visit to UAE. I was in tears. It was like returning to my happy place after a long, tiring voyage. And in spite of this joy, there was something missing. It didn’t exactly feel home anymore. Not because my passport was still green but because this wasn’t my home to begin with. No matter what, it could never be home for a hundred reasons.

On returning to Pakistan, I felt utterly uneasy and restless. Pakistan was my home but it didn’t provide to its people what a home was supposed to provide – food, shelter, love, etc. So what was I to do? It was certainly a lose-lose situation. But I grew to care for it. To ease my distress I told myself, ‘If every person in Pakistan acts with honesty, integrity, reason and justice Pakistan will change for the better.’


I resolved to be one of the people whose presence benefitted the country. I faced several instances (Read: Walked beside burning buses, dodged through bullets but I am not leaving Pakistan) in which my safety was jeopardized, yet my slowing blooming love for the country and its people did not subside.
I started my professional life. My second job was all about Pakistan, entrepreneurship and changing our society on different levels. I thought this was it. This is what I want to do. I resolved to stay in the country and work for it.


Things turned really ugly in Pakistan. In the past year, at least 3000 were shot dead in Karachi alone. This figure does not include people who died in blasts and victims of other crimes. I realized: No matter what I do, the fact that the city is shut down every other day by gangs starving daily wage earners cannot be saved by my honesty. The bomb blasts that blow off in every nook and corner of the city cannot be prevented by my sense of justice. The CNG strikes that prevent people to travelling to their work places cannot be saved by my professionalism.

In short, I realized my country needs much more than a bunch of civilized citizens. Given that the speed with which people are getting killed, corrupted and manipulated is greater than the speed by which they can be possible educated and enlightened, it needs a revolution, a rebellion, a renaissance to change.

Today, I have a dream. I dream that Pakistan becomes what it is capable of becoming. It becomes pure as it was intended to be. It becomes the land that my forefathers gave up their lives for. It becomes a place I can call home with pride and joy.

Hoping for change is like hoping for a miracle. But I will still hope change comes and it comes soon.

As for me, I’ll try to preserve my life by doing whatever it requires me to so.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

When the Dead Bodies Wait

In the land of pure
Hundreds of thousands cry
Hoping for a cure
While dozens everyday die

The dead bodies wait,
Beside their loved ones,
Who question the fate
Of their murdered sons

Meanwhile, their king stays
In his blood soaked bed
And passes his days
Well protected, well fed

But it is my Lord
In whom I place my hope
Who lends his sword
Those who hold tight his rope

I dedicate this to all those killed in Pakistan in the last few years for no fault of theirs - especially my Shia brothers and all other voiceless citizens of our country.