Archive for January, 2007


Blogword No. 32: Inside

Its never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
Its never over, all my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her
Its never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter
Its never over, shes the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

– Lover, You Should’ve Come Over – Jeff Buckley –


Handwriting… Tag

A Page from My Notebook 

Courtesy X, you get to see a sample of my random scrawling…


I BE Tagged…

Another tag by X and Extiinct… Honestly people, you’re making me spill way too much here… I’m gonna scare everybody off… But here goes:
At 5 years
A precocious, talkative whirwind with bruises and band-aids covering nearly every inch of skin especially the arms and the legs and being just like my cool, motor bike driving cousin was the ultimate ambition.
At 10 years
Aspirations to be a boxer were dashed as I was forcibly lifted off the senior I was pummelling in the muddy play ground at school telling my principal to let me at him!
At 14 years
Discovered the freedom of driving… Can never be thankful enough to cousins who put me in the driving seat literally and their lives in hands of the Keeper.
At 16 years
Despite the glasses and the permanent appendage of a book, could still see the day I would fly a fighter jet off a Harrier… (Correction: that would be fly a fighter jet or a harrier or maybe a harrier off an aircraft carrier… the hangup had to do with aircraft carriers and fighter planes… thank you dear X… you be a dah-ling :))
At 18 years
Sweating over Mathematics, and breezing through economics and wondering if there was a career in being a hermit.
At 22 years
My dreams were of Scrooge McDuck’s vault and swimming in money. I was warped which is why a career in chartered accountancy actually seemed thrilling.
At 24 years
An accountancy qualification and an MBA in hand, and I am bored. The offices suck, the people drone and life was routine. Text and practicalities don’t come together and I feel the itch to know why. And suddenly, with friends hearing wedding bells and changing diapers, books seemed so much simpler to understand.
Today At 28,
Am still learning. Am doing what I wanted to and enjoying it. I realize the importance of being passionate about what you wish to do and thankful that academics does it for me; keeping me challenged; and allowing me to learn and the world is still my oyester.
I begin to have some feelings of sympathy for In2deep who has henceforth been tagged to reveal his Be as demonstrated here.

Blogword No. 31: Imagine

My friends sometimes call me a coward;

They say I daydream to escape from the real world.
I don’t agree… Maybe I just see things differently!
It takes courage to visualize color in the stark black, white and grey of our lives;
To seek new possibilities, new dreams, hopes and strengths…
and reaffirm a newfound joy in all things old and celebrate innocence reborn!
All this comes to me,
I believe,
Only as long as I have the strength and passion to imagine it.

Missed Chances…? *Sigh*

Normal Scenario:

  • Girl has crush on guy.
  • After days of silence, they finally talk and names are known.
  • Waves and hellos and how- dos become routine thanks to the fact that the guy invariably is exiting his house to go somewhere or the other while the girl is trying to put one foot in front of the other in the never ending battle to lose weight.
  • Guy going to Supermarket, malls… wherever… take your pick.
  • Guy says to girl that she be welcome to come along with him.
  • Girl tags along and it could be the start of something bootiful… no?

What actually happens in my world:

  • Girl has crush on guy.
  • Girl spends evenings walking under the premise of losing weight, in reality day dreaming of opportunity to say hi and stun him with scintillating conversation should he step out of the house and yet the minute he does, head snaps forward with military precision and girl proceeds to forward march double time proverbially smacking her forehead for the rest of the night.
  • Finally, she gets the courage to say hello and some conversation gets under way progressing to occasional waves and howdy-doos as she walks and he heads to his car. And even a toot of a horn as he drives past…
  • One evening, as the girl walks, guy comes out of the house, dressed in black and discloses that he be heading out to Jinnah Super
  • States very nicely that girl be welcome to come along with him if she wants.
  • Over the loud beating of her heart, girl smiles, and manages to tell the guy, no thanks, have a good time and then stands there waving him off and actually grins when he toots the horn at her…

Okay, this is bad. Tooting horns usually piss me off, and here I actually grin and wave. Oh well, I guess there are toots and then there are toots…

But seriously… Where in God’s name am I getting off here? And what am I doing? Actually, I’m okay. Life’s a little interesting and a little fun. And it’s fun playing with mental scenarios that probably would never come to be and store away a tidbit to smile about when I’m in class.

Regretably though, I’m not much on action. I broke that rule a teensy bit when I sent him the cake (but I was actually just being neighborly and thanking him for his help the other day) and have bended it further to actually talk to him a little (hey, he’s a neighbor and I’ve never been one not to talk anyway) but it won’t go beyond that. Visions of candle-light dinners or even walking together in the street are going to stay well behing my eyes where I can clap them closed when they get weird.

Despite my bleeding heart envisioning him out for a night on the town, being the ogler or the oglee, there is no way I would have accepted the invite anyhow and it’s enough to leave me cheerful that he asked. Besides, where is the charm of the crush and the thrill of forbidden amore if it gets real?

And for my concerned friends, why do you think I haven’t mentioned the name? He probably already thinks I’m insane for walking in this weather and if he thinks I’m stalking him, that will be the end of that… Although, seeing him running back inside and hiding behind curtains or his mom would be pretty darn amusing but it is more fun this way. And I just might get enough exercise to lose weight… So let’s hope that this remains here and he remains unaware of it. Don’t want to give the game away, now do we?


Mrs Chips? Surely not…

Life is returning to the grind though and I’m not sure my mind has the time to be wondering about the habits and whereabouts of said neighbor dude at all odd times. My second semester of post graduate study has started and I am pleased as punch to tell you all and even those who don’t want to know that I cleared all 4 courses of the first semester which is a big deal when you consider that the minimum pass percentage was 80%.

I have to teach geniuses the ins and outs of business communication this term in addition to HRM and I am dreading it. The first question in the first class yesterday from one of the students was whether I would be teaching them English Grammar. *Groan* my head’s already spinning.

I understand enough about our society and the educational system to realize that not many people are as blessed or as privileged as I have been to study at a good school during my formative years which ensured in the words of my uncle that I can speak English without an associated Desi accent and listen to English songs, but there are times when I fail to understand just how knowing the extent of the defective education in the country, does our government make those claims?.

Every semester, I have at least two meetings with the head of the university where I teach where I am told that students have complained about the ‘level’ of the English language that I use and I am asked to temper it down just a little, and try and give some of the concepts in Urdu. The result is that I now teach management courses, where 70% of the lecture is in Urdu. I spend hours translating papers and assignments supposedly written in English, to try and establish some kind of relationship between what I had said and what has been written but how far do I depend on my deduction to correct an exam of a student enrolled in a program of professional business studies.

There will be those amongst you who will think that perhaps I’m a person who favor a foreign language to my own but that’s not it. My students are a fraction of the total population in terms of the level of education that they are enrolled in. They are part of a future work force that we are promoting as having a high level of skills and knowledge sufficient to compete with the demands of the coming times.

Realistically, our labor market has a few years of protection before free market conditions are imposed and in the face of cheaper and better skilled and focused workers coming in from China and South-East Asia, where will our graduates go, who lack basic language skills and confidence to deal with the rest of the world. There was a time when the semi-skilled labor requirements of the Middle East were met and then some by Pakistanis. Now, they have been replaced by cheaper and more skilled labor from India, Bangladesh and even Srilanka. This story is repeated all over the world, where Pakistanis now also face an additional test; in the face of the taunts and trials that go with being perceived as belonging to a race or nation of terrorists.

In a debate a few days ago, someone said that Muslims have forsaken this world. They have preferred to lay down their arms and die meekly and in shame and lose this world, seemingly settling for the Afterworld. It is a fact that we believe in that the hereafter, the world after this one belongs to those of the faith, the momin; the musalman. But why do we forget all those verses of the Holy Quran where we’ve been told that the Earth and the Skies and all in between have also been created for us should be willing to learn how to use them and conquer them? History has given us examples of how the great conquests took place all over the world. The swords and the guns and the battles came later. Before them, came people of peace, whose only objective seemed to be to learn, to increase and develop contact and relationships. Whether we talk about the conquests of the Europeans in Asia, or in the Americas, this is how they did it. Bit by bit by bit, they came to us, became one with us, spoke to us in our language, and embraced all that we were. It was this knowledge of the inside that allowed them to tear us apart because they saw where the fabric was worn and threadbare enough to tear apart.
Generals and great strategists emphasize knowing your enemy better than knowing yourself. Even if we claim that the English language, that the West and all the languages and religions within are evil, and out to destroy us, is it right that we accept the status quo, accept the fact that we are weaker than they are, and lie down and let them strike off our heads simply on the premise of a place in the hereafter?

How will we face the Almighty and the Prophet (sallallahualahiwassalam) we claim to follow and love beyond anything and anyone knowing that we allowed their enemies to use the religion that they had given to us to destroy the very people who claimed to follow it? What measure of faith will we show them? The wounds that we carry of being called barbaric, and uncivilized and uneducated would become our marks of shame rather than glory as we would take them. We, who are the followers of the Caliphs, of Abu Bakar (R.A.), Of Umar (R.A.), of Usman (R.A.) and Ali (R.A.) and carriers of the charters of Hassan (R.A.) and Hussain (R.A.). How can we even claim the world that they reside in knowing that we allowed ordinary men and women like us to decimate all that they gave their lives to uphold and build?

I don’t remember any Islamic chronicle ever stating that this was how Muslims dealt with adversary, whether it was a person, a faith or simply a lack of information. We are Muslims. We are Muslims who don’t know our book, who don’t know our faith, don’t know who or what we are beyond that label of a Muslim. We do not even know the meaning of the kalima that has the power to turn an infidel into the most blessed person to walk the earth because with this one statement he embraces Allah and Allah embraces him. And we, who supposedly utter this supplication when we first learn to speak, are not even aware of what it holds.

Oh boy! And to think I was just going to write about my worries about what my students would put me through this term… Here’s hoping that rants stemming from severe frustration do not erupt in class…


The Neighbor Has a Name..

And I know it. Finally!!! And before you ask, got it straight from the blonde, blue-eyed horse’s mouth! I’m so pleased with myself that I swear it shows in the idiotic grin on my face.
At last, some reward for the pains and aches that I have invited into my lazy, old bones by walking for hours in this cold weather in the evenings and no, I don’t think the aspired weight loss or stamina or health in the long run was quite reward enough… but now…

Blogword No. 30: Be

There are times when I wonder why the moments that I spend looking beyond this glass that encases me and weeping for all that I could be if only I were on the outside, are so much more frequent than rejoicing in all that I be today in spite of these walls…

Tagged Twice…

Oh dear! Whatever shall I do? Tagged by Extiinct and X… Does that mean I have to solve this thing twice as in come up with ten weird things about me? Not a problem for me, at all!
1. My affinity to have crushes on goras. 😉
2. There are times when I for all my confidence and people skills, act like a complete doo-doo head and find my tongue in knots.
3. I eat apples with salt on them.
4. I always gain weight when I actually try losing it.
5. I have a book thing… It’s too weird to be called a fetish… I adore books, the smell of them, the feel of the paper and I buy them in so many hordes that at times, books get buried beneath piles of new purchases and come out only in occasional bouts of spring cleaning the room.
6. I rarely sit and watch a complete movie… I watch it in parts and prefer to fast forward to the ending once I’ve seen enough of the beginnning to figure out what the story line is.
7. I talk to myself, really loudly and there have been times when I have done so in front of people.
8. I have a nit-picking habit of unwrapping things/gifts slowly and carefully so that it doesn’t tear, much to the hair pulling aggravation of my sister and friends.
9. I get embarassed when there are scenes in movies and/or sitcoms where a character is about to get into a scrape… (Sympathy pains I’ve heard, I suffer from sympathy mortification.)
10. I relate more to words and characters in books than I do with people in real life!
Okay, am done! Top that!! :p Who to tag? In2Deep for sure and anyone else who has the inclination.

Neighbor Update: Possibilities, Hallelujah!!!

So, I’m sitting in front of this pc laughing like a hyena! (It’s ridiculous, honestly!)
But anyway, apparently there is a God and He is very merciful towards me and most gracious. Reason? How else is one supposed to think when the current crush person not only turns out to be the national of a Muslim country but Muslim himself too?
My new neighbor dude be from Turkey and I found that out first hand when the bell doth ring this evening and I stomped out in the ideal garb of seriously oversized sweat shirt and sweatpants with hair a mess, to find one blonde blue eyed dude standing at the gate.
(*GASP!* Be still my heart!)
Anyhoo, unable to stop the wide grin splitting my face, I contented myself to saying a very surprised walaikum assalam to his very proper Salam and then noticed the plate that he was holding, covered in plum and off white napkin. As I took it, I was told that this was a specialty of Turkey, especially for me. 🙂
I thanked him, and then asked him if he wanted to come inside for tea. Alas, he had some work to do and he left saying bye, leaving me staring behind him like a fool for an age before I realized that it was kind of cold and the warm glow I had inside did not keep the zero degrees at bay, especially when I realized that I still don’t know his name!! AAAArrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!
This appears to be a veg-based savory kind of finger food like our desi cutlets, with just a little more tang and slightly orangey red in appearance that need to be fried before consumption. Any food gurus out there who could educate me on the intricacies of Turkish cuisine?
More soon, I hope….

January 2007