Archive for December, 2007

28
Dec
07

24 Hours Past 1816hrs

I have such an unholy voyeuristic streak that is steeped in a macabre fascination with death.  It has been twenty four hours since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and I have spent those hours watching television and browsing every possible online source of information about the Bhuttos.  Offline, I have been rifling through the pages of Z.A. Bhutto’s biography by Stanley Wolpert and Benazir’s own ‘Daughter of the East’.  I am not a political person and have an ingrained sense of disowning all things political.

But then, my fascination I like to justify is not political.  My fascination is in the sense of the ordinary happening to those we perceive as extraordinary.  Death in an instant to a woman who minutes before was chanting slogans, inciting a crowd with loud gestures and bold tones is so horrifically silenced.  A private television station runs clips in which she is identified as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother before being a politician, a prime minister or a leader.

A flawed human being!  As flawed as the rest of us and as fallible to the vices that be.  Elders in my family preach not speaking ill of the dead.  They claim one who dies wipes their slate clean with those left behind and is now in the hands of Allah.  Yet, we as human beings, never quite let those slates lie.

It’s strange.  I never quite thought that Benazir outgrew her father’s shadow but the sense of unease and the unreal that is prevalent after her passing suggests that perhaps, in ways we could not see, she really was her father’s daughter.  Politics aside, her death is devastating.  Look at the shockwaves that have my country reeling.  To say that, the foundation of solidarity or the concept of the federation of Pakistan has been dealt a blow would not be wrong.  Fires, deaths, looting, pillaging plague those ordinary people who had nothing to do with it.

This is our system you see.  No matter what happens it is always the ordinary people who pay the price.  Be it against the measure of a government, a protest, an expression of anger, it ricochets against the broken back of the ordinary person to bring him crashing down.  Death is an absolute reality.  Nobody comes back from it.  No matter who lives or dies now, Benazir shall now lie till the day of judgement under the soil that gave her birth.  Technically at peace!  At least she is free from the mortal concerns that all of us have.  The tragedy in this instance is to be protested absolutely but not in a way that leaves countless others in tears when they can ill afford them.

“Allah Almighty!  Who gives us life and gives us death and surely brings us trials to test us, grant us fortitude and patience to come through this.  Grant us peace and well being.  Preserve us from losses that can never be regained.  Preserve our hearts and minds, our homes and lives from those who seek to bring us chaos and harm, to tear us away from that is right, to forget those bounds that You have defined for us.  Bless those with Your mercy who have returned to you and bless those who will and bless those who remain behind.  Bring us light in our time of darkness.  Grant us a life and a death in faith.  For You are indeed the Creator, the Merciful,  the Majestic and All Knowing and the Master of all our destinies!  Ameen Sum Ameen!”

27
Dec
07

The Tragic Legacy of the Bhuttos Lives On…

…in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Benazir Bhutto

June 21, 1953 – December 27, 2007

Inna Lilla e Wa Inna Ilaihi Ra’ajeoon

23
Dec
07

Futility is…

  • knowing what you’re supposed to do, and still NOT do it!
  • knowing what you’re supposed to NOT do, and still do it!
  • realizing that in spite of all that has gone on before, you are still a work in progress!
  • realizing just how many life lessons remain unlearned even though the classes were the toughest you had ever attended!
  • going through the day pretending you have moved on, only to come to bed at night knowing you’re still where you started from!

I’m not in a very good place. I have to get this unwritten draft done today, otherwise I might as well accept that I have plunged thousands of rupees in fees into the incinerator for this semester and face the utter humiliation of having nothing to show my research supervisor either! And it feels as though my mind is frozen. I sit in front of this stupid computer and think I know all that I have to write. Of course I know what I have to write. I’ve spent the last three months gathering research papers, and literally going door to door, person to person to try and get interviews but I just CAN’T write!!!

I sit here with the kind of empty expression I sometimes see on the faces of students in examination halls. I’ve always thought, well hell, if you’ve studied, there should be no issue in writing it down, should there? Shit! Is this what is called getting my comeuppance?

The last month has short circuited all connections between my hands and my mind. I can’t focus!
Right now, I just don’t know how I’m going to get this done… I wonder if staying in my room, with the blanket pulled right over my head would help! But I tried that yesterday afternoon. Ended up sleeping and had a ‘daymare’ instead! Believe me, finding yourself standing on a bridge, looking down into a wide expanse of water shroud in darkness, and seeing yourself sink into it is not very comfortable!

Then again, maybe sitting online and watching this rather than working would do that to you!

21
Dec
07

Eid Greetings…

… to one and all!

May we all truly learn to appreciate the meaning of the day and the sacrifice it entails!   Wishing everybody joy and peace on this Eid day!

11
Dec
07

The Consequences of Stupidity!!

For the past twenty four hours, I have been repeatedly hitting my head with various objects from the flat of my hand, to the steering wheel of my car, to the surface of my desk and all the proverbial walls, stones and rocks that came in the way. The past twenty four hours have proven to me, that when it comes to doing the most unbelievably stupid things, I proudly don the mantle of the Queen Bee.

Imagine years ago, being foolish enough to be the scape goat for a friend while she went canoodling or woodling with her selected beau. You know the scapegoat?

“Hey mom, I’m going to Sarah’s place! Will be back soon!” And conveniently slipping into the car at the gate after saying a quick hello/goodbye to my mom, saying her brother’s picking her up.

And we are speaking of pre-mobile telecommunication times so inaccessibility could be acceptable. Anyhow, also imagine that you can’t stand the guy as in hate him with a vengeance which would have you tear him up into teeny tiny bits with a smile on your face! This was to the extent that you offered prayers of thanks when the relationship crashed onto the rocks even while offering your friend the box of tissues.

Fast forward a few years to a situation at the bank where the staff in all its helpful courtesy is slowly and surely pushing you to the point of wrenching your hair out of its elegant French pleat and stamping your foot like a petulant three year old. Has anybody else noticed how excessively unhelpful bank staff is when you actually want something to get done ‘urgently’? Anyway, in this scenario where five-sixths of your mind is occupied with how to explain to these people what you want, imagine hearing hoarse tones saying:

“Oh hello Sarah… It is so good to see you!”

The frown on my face would have cracked stone but he doesn’t even flinch as I said “Excuse Me?”

“Oh you don’t remember me. Heehee! We just met once or twice. I’m XYZ… I was friends with A!”

“Oh!” (Can’t you just see the dawning expression of absolute joy in my face?)

“So how have you been? I’ve seen you come in on a number of occasions but you always look like you’re in such a hurry! Heehee!”

“And what let you know that I have a lot of time on my hands right now?”

“Heehee! A always used to say you are a very jokey person!”

And it went on for what seemed like forever, because after a while I just tuned out which turned to be my downfall. Somewhere in the midst of this conversation, the documents I needed were finally provided and I was checking and rechecking to make sure I had everything. It’s all a little hazy except when I was snapped back into reality at the horrifying sound of my own voice reciting my mobile number on auto play back!

AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Since that most devastating disclosure, I have been inundated by phone calls and messages by the married, pompous, paunch worthy, balding father of 2 acting oh so chummy! I have been addressed by a despised nickname that I tolerated only from A and am being most courteously asked if I mind having a relationship with him. Under the severe duress of getting bells every 5 minutes, I finally picked up the call to tell the ‘gentleman’ that our relationship falls under the category of very vague acquaintances and that in itself is MORE than enough… Does he get the hint? NO!

So far today, I have counted 26 attempts at him trying to call me in addition to the 15 sms that he’s sent which range from obscene to obscener to obscenest attempts at making jokes! What is it about men by the way thinking it’s easier to get through to a woman by sending rather blatantly sexual jokes? Is it attractive to be told that smart men and shoelaces are common in that they keep in touch with…. Never mind! Touchwood the phone has been silent for the last two hours but I’d rather look for a more permanent solution to the problem in the form of a new number! And then switching banks!

In other news, my research paper remains unwritten while my inbox plays out the opening serenades of reminders from university about the paper due at 9am on January 5th. Why is it so hard for me to sit in front of the computer and actually start writing the damn thing? I keep remembering a fairy tale about the Shoemaker’s Elves and wishing I had paper writing elves that could work for me…

To top this brilliant situation, I also faced the sinking feeling of losing half my life on discovering this morning that my wallet that contains my bank cards, license, I.D., various other essential doo-dahs was missing. After getting the ear bashing of my life from mama dearest, left the house early to go looking since in the 6000 places that I ran errands in yesterday, the bank was the only place I was in a real hurry to get out of. Thank God for having an ex-student working at the bank who discovered my wallet (I was cheap enough when I bought it to have it personalized) on the cash counter and kept it for safe keeping. Brilliant as I am, the only thing I did not have in the wallet were my visiting cards. Even more brilliant, the bank records do not have any contact details listed for me. Although when I think of it, it’s mercy. Imagine that perverted moron with access to my address! Anyhow, my quest shall now be focused on the attainment of two things:

  • A new cell number!
  • A new bank!
06
Dec
07

Ultimate Wedding Invite!!

Thanks to my cousin, Mani who sent me the most entertaining forward of the year! I can imagine a number of moms in law who could have drafted this wedding invitation!

Wedding Invitation

05
Dec
07

Truly Yours…

Courtesy ASofterWorld

Oh So True!




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