You Know You’re Too Old For Birthdays When…

You know you’re too old to celebrate birthdays when….

You tell yourself, and people around you, that age is just a number.

You realize no one’s racing to their phones to wish you at midnight.

Your family, particularly your mom, is the first one to wish you.

You get more wishes on Facebook than on any other medium.

And you can never be sure if they actually remember.

You try to forget about those who forgot to wish you.

People ask you about your plans for the day, rather than making any with you.

There is a slight possibility of no cake.

Your family’s gift is not a surprise, and includes things you just bought for yourself. Or just cash.

Throughout the day, you keep yourself pumped up.

Because it’s your birthday!!

Because it’s the thought(s) that counts.

Because there’s a silver lining: you were able to avoid at least one awkward situation.

Despite everything, you are extremely grateful to those who made your day special in their own way.

Independence Day?

Another 14th August is around the corner. Pakistan turns sixty-four years old.

Celebrations? Sure.

Five killed in Sindh. Vehicles set on fire on in Karachi. One person burned alive. Sarfraz Shah’s ‘murderer’ sentenced.

Torrential rains, with threat of flooding in lower Punjab and Sindh, killing many in latter province.

Some more robberies. A bomb hoax and a kidnapping. Another blast. Attack on a military cantonment. A few more target killings. Someone protests over something.

These are just some of the news in today’s papers from all over the country. A dismal state indeed.

This is independence and freedom?

Nope! It’s the ‘elites’ having a life-long ball at the expense of everyone else. It’s ‘insurgents’ killing people they consider unfit. It’s terrorists making people afraid of their own shadows. It’s government officials filling up their own private coffers. All of these people are ‘independent’ to do as they wish.

But we really don’t need another article highlighting all this. The media has this area covered, I would say. Complaining and blaming will not take us anywhere. If it had to, it would already have done so.

What we need is a revolution.

Sadly, we have already been pumped full of ‘anesthesia’ for it to take a mere suicide or an act of police brutality for us to come out of the rocks we have been living under. Such statements always bring a sarcastic reaction from all of us. Steeped in our apathy and sarcasm and criticism, we tend to think about giving up. And we just go on…

But I am not giving up. I am not going to give up.

It is just a matter of time. And a matter of finding the right catalyst.

Tomorrow morning, I am still proudly going to wear my green jora and the badge sporting my flag and watch all the special transmissions on TV and hope to God that nothing untoward occurs and pray for Pakistan to get well soon.

This might all I be able to do right now but this is how I show all those people who try to convince us that all this is proof that Pakistan is a failed state and should not have been ‘made’ and blah blah blah. It might not be much but it’s way more than sitting at home and complaining.

I’m not giving up. You’re welcome to join the bandwagon.

Pakistan Zindabad!

The MF

MF refers to the Mehengai Festival that Geo Television is celebrating this week. (I do not condone profanity nor would you catch me using it…as such.) Such is the level of inflation, especially after the annual budget just presented, that the future looks even bleaker (not that there is anything positive going on in the country lately).

The inflation in Pakistan has reached such a high level that it has indeed become a joke. The awaam have continued to cry and bemoan it. Protestations. Demonstrations. Even suicides.

But there is no respite. Nothing has been done by those in-charge. Every day, we are crushed a little more under the weight of this hyper-never-ending-inflation.

What to do is the question.

Geo’s witty answer is to make mehengai related jokes. In fact, their answer is to have a whole damn festival in honour of it. This includes an awards ceremony on the lines of their popular Bus Kar Awards, which is a twist on the usual jokes of Hum Sab Umeed Sae Hain, and other segments in shows like The Shareef Show and The Sahir Show (an ‘s’ bonanza!).

 And while I agree with the sentiment, I don’t like the idea of it that much. Granted it makes a change from all those serious-looking newscasters droning on and on (and on) and using the most cliched of cliches and repeating the same thing. And it certainly is giving the poor (pun intended) population of Pakistan the rare chance to laugh. The best kind of laughter, I might add. What better than to be able to laugh at your own misfortunes. It might actually pave the way for constructive thinking and action.

But is it going to? I doubt it.

The jokes are old and it is clear that they are trying hard. There is competition from rival channels and humor is now a bandwagon to be jumped up on as soon as possible.

I don’t know how much longer we can continue to laugh and make jokes at ourselves. True, humor is a great mechanism to get the point across. Take Hasb-e-Haal, for instance. Even Khabarnak. Hell, most shows are now using the same technique to some success.

But going as far as calling it a celebration? A little too much.

And I am sure the people who are really being affected, those poor souls who don’t have enough to feed themselves on a regular basis, they certainly don’t find the situation funny.