Archive for October, 2007


We, The People…

…are imminently and indubitably stupid!

First of, we all know we are blessed with the most conscientious of leaders… Leaders? Let me rephrase that… We have been blessed with politicians deigned to rule us with all their gracious, sloth like selves encased in gilded cages and bullet proof enclosures. They are for the ‘awam’ while they stand behind hordes of people from the awam to keep them safe from the awam. Oxymoron, is it? But just the term, moron should suffice here!

For the past year, we the people of Pakistan have been sent entertainment opportunities from beyond. For sure, the coming of a circus to town so often and with such razzmatazz can only be because of divine intervention! First we had, a show of strength by Mush baby and his flat faced, simpering, snickering, blithering, blathering fools bellowing themselves horse (all pun intended!) in a glaringly, garishly lit capital that looked like a valima for the fourth wedding of the first son of a monarch of old. Meanwhile, in another world, Karachi dyed itself red to celebrate the spirit of the rulers and the concept of democracy to the hilt. Let nobody say we do things by halves….

Then, the spectacle of the Lal Masjid that proved to one and all, that for all its face painting, Islamabad is very much a part of the nation. It proved its spirit with the rest of the country in the unified playing field of chaos, bedlam and mayhem, thank you very much! What an eye opener that was!

I remember a certain balding old fool with a forehead to rival the full moon flying the coop with his proverbial tail between his legs but his life and land intact to a life full of hardship in the Arabian Desert. Oh the agony the poor soul must have endured flying in private jets, living in palaces, and having people wait on him hand and foot. But of course, he’s a poor soul. None of that rivals the bliss of ruling a nation, building a motorway and ruling a nation. And so he flies back to be ignominiously and most gracefully heaved onto a plane back to the backwaters… Bless his little cotton socks!

And then we have a BB. You can be forgiven for thinking Big Brother ala Ms Shilpa Shetty of India… the circus and the spectacle and the drama that is real life can rival the best of them but no. I speak of a lady with the most atrocious dress sense, the most atrocious way of speaking Urdu who through every fault of her own and her conniving, grinning, phlegm inducing villainous better half, capitalizes on her father’s name. A name that for all other aspects, at least stands for a symbolic walk out from a UN meeting; for the first ever Islamic Summit and an execution that is widely accepted to be against all principles of justice. A misnomer of a martyr perhaps, but a martyr he is nonetheless. What was it that she has done for the people? Oh yes! Remember the bald eagle or was it egret? He took it upon himself to hold BB and hubby dearest accountable and filed a God Almighty number of cases of corruption against them starting from a Beemer to a palace in Surrey to Swiss bank accounts. And so the brave Daughter of the East (Title of self same lady in white dupatta’s autobiography), packs up her kids and in the dead of the night, vamooses to, hold your breath, Dubai where she spent the last eight years in abject self inflicted misery to show her oneness with the people. Her security, frequent trips abroad, plush apartment, and cars are all indicative of how much she yearned to be with the Pakistani people.  Bless her little cotton socks too!!
So, onward! Forgive the repetition but living in the lap of luxury is small consolation and petty pickings when you can have a whole country to pander to the littlest whim of your littlest finger. And so for the past eight years, nary a day has gone by without some flurry in the media heralding the great return of the prodigal.

And yesterday, she hath arrived. Boo hoo hoo! The tears are leaking from my eyes and my heart is pounding and I am so thankful that I was able to behold her countenance in her land at last! But wait! I’m forgetting something! Oh yes! Death threats! Unholy threats have been issued against the person of the former prime minister by Al-Qaeda (Really?) and ignoble characters inside government circles… Ignoble really narrows the field, doesn’t it? But to revert, here she be, the daughter of the poor soil we malign with the name of Pakistan in a 3 million moolah worth mobile surrounded by two rings of security and bullet proof doodahs… graciously waving to hordes and hordes of people????? What the hell are the people doing here? And KA-BOOM!!! And another KA-BOOM!!

For a few days now, our television sets shall reverberate with images and sounds leading up to bomb blasts that killed more than 150 people by some estimates. Every channel, every news anchor repeating… “How many deaths?” “What’s the estimate?” “Blood and bodies everywhere?” “What is the government doing?” “Suicide bomber’s head found?” to “President and PM express grief and condolences” “BB and NS heartbroken” to “Those responsible shall be punished”. I have a suggestion: Go hang yourselves!!! Each and everyone of you, preferably in a public place where we may go stone your lifeless bodies and drag them through the mud that you defile every time you step on it and so that your carcasses may be fed to the vultures!!

But then, my suggestion will not be heeded and we shall continue to watch, continue to cringe in the privacy of our homes, continue to sacrifice lives of people who are not us and hence not our concern and continue to go on our merry way….

Humble apologies for the comic analogy when it is so not funny, but what else am I to say to this? The farce that our politicians play out using our lives as the bartering chips and the game being absolute power has always been there but we are the fools. We know it! Anybody with not the slightest modicum of education but a smidgen of sense, and if not that has the ears and the eyes to see what these people have done to us and are continuing to do to us and at our own behest. Not to belittle any of the lives that were lost in this and other happenings through out the year, but what it is about us and our lives that drags us out of our homes to watch somebody else’s parade that now more often than not, ends in our funerals?

Are we so devoid of hope for salvation that at the slightest indication, we run after fake Messiahs in the search of Christ? Waiting for the ascension is part of our faith, but then, so is the warning against the coming of fake prophets. The people we run after are just that. And they are not unknown. They have been tested in the pavilions of power and outside them. They have nor the spirit nor the mettle to bring us to shore. But, then since when have we become as complacent as to look to other mortals for our salvation? I remember nowhere any statement precluding to my salvation on the behest of my parents. My judgment is on who I am and who I will be. Which leads me to think that for all that we have allowed these people to get away with, it was our allowing them in the first place that let them swell to such Herculean heights. And for what? I see no improvement in us. We are as depraved, deprived, depressed, diseased, despondent, degraded as we ever were if not worse!! Perhaps, we deserve it…

We, the people are inherently, indubitably, most definitely stupid!!!

(My prayers for those who have given their lives in vain, whose sacrifice shall be forgotten in the teeming, thieving, lying depths of our history but whose families shall ever more suffer the pain of having lost them, for no justifiable rhyme or reason! Allah Almighty, grant peace to those who have gone on and those left behind. Bring us all the sense and sensibility to live up to the name of the religion we follow. For perhaps, the only way in improving the whole would be to improve ourselves… Ameen Sum Ameen)


Eid Post; Post Eid

Eid seems to last longer and longer every year.  And I don’t believe its a good thing.  Being stuck in Peshawar on a Saturday with the city celebrating Eid while the rest of the country fasts its way through the day is made worse by the realization that it will still be the first day of eid when we return to Islamabad the next day.

The first day itself was a strange swinging experience this time around.  Where it was hard and not a little morose to go to my daddy ji’s place knowing he’s not going to be there when all you feel in that house is an echo of his voice and his laughter, my family was also engulfed in the joy of knowing that we shall soon have a wedding to celebrate.  It was a little poignant, since we also knew that daddy ji was one person who despite all the issues that float around among the echelons of family, would have genuinely been dancing for joy at the news.  I pray to the Almighty to bless daddy ji’s soul and the souls of those who departed from the world this year, while giving strength and peace to those left behind to move on. (Ameen.)

The second day was also a monumental one in itself.  Call it a visual representation of family ties being passed from one generation to the other.  Till a few years ago, formal get togethers for the whole family were arranged by my parents and I’m sure, our neighbours moved out for the day when my cousins and aunts and uncles descended onto our place.  Call it age, or simply a slice of time moving on, these get togethers have considerably toned down and come few and far in between mostly because our parents simply no longer have the stamina to arrange them.  This time around, a cousin has assumed the mantle and took on the herculean task of getting the entire family together for lunch.  And it was a smashing success.

My family, for all its hang ups, is surprisingly open and very very loud.  When we get together, age no bar, relation no bar, and it is an open season so to speak.  We are the family that everybody will be turning around to look at, questioning the sanity of more than thirty people around one table, all talking at the same time, cracking jokes, and laughing their heads off.  My friends sometimes complain, that for all my griping about my family politics and state, the minute my cousins come into town, I fall off the radar.  It’s just a little hard to explain to them, that for all our problems that come to the fore when we are apart, at moments like this when we are in the ‘moment’, we don’t need anyone else.  And because of who we are, all of us know that moments like these are a little rare to come by, and so when they do, we celebrate them with absolute passion and enthusiasm.

I hope everybody had an eid worth celebrating, with a prayer that our fate allows us these moments of joy and peace more often. (Ameen)


No Comment



A Silent Spectator…

It seems to me, the same story repeats itself no matter who I talk to, no matter who I  listen to.  It doesn’t matter who the person is or where they’re from, it just seems like one never ending spiel with the same ending..A Softer World

Asofterworld got it in one with this one.  Just substitute neighbours with the story of any friend or acquaintance that strikes a chord and you realize the horrific number of dé já vu
where you knew what was going to happen and are still unable to warn them away and can only watch…


To Remind Myself to Breathe…

My Indulgence

Nothing quite helps like a cup of deliciously hot, smooth chocolate laced with cinnamon. It is such a total body experience… Even making it so therapeutic, watching chunks of dark chocolate meld into the milk, gradually darkening its whole texture… almost a pictorial representation of the finest form of sin tempting one to forego purity for the deepest, darkest pleasure. And then once it thickens and heats and foams, the air seems to permeated with this luscious heavy perfume that you can almost taste.

Pour it into a mug deserving of the honour and just let the smoothness of it wash over you, the warmth seeping through the hands as you hold the mug and then the hit of all the textures as you take the first sip; the slightly bitter thickness of the milk, the musky heat of the cinnamon and the sweetness of the honey that was added for sweetness and once it goes in…

And if that alone is not enough, a friend leaned on me to learn a poem by Max Ehrmann.

Shockingly, reciting it does help me to breathe…



Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

October 2007