The Pardon

Everyone is outraged.

Once again, it would seem that justice’s ass has been kicked. The rich have wielded their magic power wand. Money/threat has been used by one group to terrorize the other, weaker one to submit. The law in the country has favored the former. “Our” religion seems to have aided these people in promoting their own agendas.

And so, everyone is rightly outraged.

There is already no hope in/for our country. This was one thing that people believed in. One thing they stood for. One thing that brought them together. And now, with the pardon, it has all been for nothing. With the pardon, the nation supported Shahzeb and his family for nothing! With the pardon, who will ever stand up for justice ever again? With the pardon, who will ever want to stand up for justice again?

Oh, people!

Giving up won’t bring you closer to this goal. Ever.

So what if once again the rich’s magic money wand waving has gotten them out of trouble? Saying you’ve lost hope and won’t come out in support for such causes is equal to saying they have won.


We’ll get there, people. One of these days, we will get there. Slow and steady wins the race.

But I understand. Hope is a very fickle thing.

What Protest?

In my head, I had this really deep and meaningful post thought up about the Gaza and Palestine conflict. I was ready to wow everyone with my awesome analyzing and writing skills. It would be one hell of a piece of my opinion, protesting the atrocities being conducted by Israel on the poor Palestinians, and a wake up call to the world and what not!

What post, what protest?

I’m just another person who is silently watching from the sidelines as your innocent people are put to death. Just another person who can’t even imagine what you must be going through. Just another helpless person who could barely even write about how awful she feels. and how wrong she thinks all this is. Just another person who reads an article about how unfair all this is, shudders a little and then goes back to doing whatever she was doing before.

But what can you expect from a person who can’t do anything about the ‘bad’ situation in her own country? What can you expect from a person who won’t do anything about the ‘bad’ situation in her own country?

Sorry Palestine. I am just another person to let you down.

A Glowing Example

…of stupidity! Yeah, I said it!

In general, I have lots of issues with ads in Pakistan and I find very little motivation to document them (having done just once before). But this is one that I think I can do this one quick and get it done with and maybe, have an iota more of peace.

I have just one mamu (mother’s brother). He doesn’t come over too often. So I really like it whenever I get a chance to meet him. Whether it’s at our place or his.

But if it’s at my place, I don’t resent his presence in my house. Or the way he hugs me. With always a smile and a joke or two. A kind word. A boop on the nose.

Or sometimes just a rub of his cheek against mine so that I feel every one of his day-old beard’s bristles.

But this is what we are teaching the kids of today (and tomorrow): Your mamu coming over is an inconvenience. You can’t be stylish in front of him ’cause he is old fashioned. He’ll pinch your cheeks in a really annoying way. And again. How rude!

You’d be bored to death, with your phone and your friends (and obviously, a very good mobile and internet network) as your only hope. And who better to rescue you from a decidedly unentertaining afternoon than your very cool and hip friends. What else are friends for?

Of course, it is very plausible to be asking about a test prep all dressed up. In person. I don’t think I need to mention that it’s clear that there was no test in that ad’s universe. Unless it was a test our patience!

A hurray for gullible parents at the (almost end) of this post as well as the ad.

One look at a beautiful woman and go crazy!

Or not! Remember: bros before hoes. Always.

Glow away, my friend. Very far away from me.

No To Slave Government

That was one of the slogans of the protesters gathered at Liberty roundabout. I only managed to read one as I passed them on my way home, half an hour ago.

Yes, there was a rather small bunch (so far) of university students, dressed up against the light cold weather, holding a peaceful protest against the NATO attack on one of Pakistan’s bases. Just standing quietly on the perimeter of the roundabout, hoodies up, facing the busy market place, holding their signs and rallying forces.

Sure there needs to be noise. But the noise will only be effective when it is not painful for anyone to hear. Bangs and smoke are  usually the distraction, not the real magic.

I highly commend their effort.

And any anger that I felt at once again being stuck in traffic immediately vanished.

It’s the least I can do, considering I’m not standing there with them right now but sitting cozily in my room, having a snack, and writing this post which won’t even probably be read by many.

NO to slave government! NO to slave government! NO to slave government!

Imran Khan = X ?

So the turn-out was pretty amazing at Imran Khan’s jalsa yesterday. But you would have to be living under a rock like Patrick to not know all about it.

It is really heartening to see such a positive reaction. Finally, we have something proper to rally about and someone to rally around. We have a leader, Imran Khan, to believe in. We believe that he is going to be the change he has been talking about. We believe that he can bring about the change we have all been wanting. We believe that he really could be the start of something new.

Other major players tried their best to jump on the bandwagon. PML-N held a rally three days ago following a quick gimmick by Abrar-ul-Haq (Really, Abrar? Politics? Just because you also have a hospital now…’nuff said!). And everyone knows about the party MQM hosted yesterday.

The best part? They all announced their specific rallies and agendas after Imran Khan had announced Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s rally.

If they could have done anything to ensure a good turnout and support for Imran Khan, it was this: having their rallies before so that the whole world can now contrast and compare. I could almost hear the numbers being crunched up. And all the comparing and contrasting and number-crunching lead to only one conclusion: Mr. Khan seems to have the lead.

For now, at least.

Pity the PPP did nothing. I would have loved to see the number of people who would attend theirs. Sure, anyone can be bribed, and considering how bad the poverty situation of the common man is, I guess it could be managed easily. But I think people have realized that ‘Bhutto’ is technically dead. And no one from that blood line is actually in power. And of course, how the current President is understood to be the corruptest yet. It’s just that no one has been able to say it to his face yet, I suppose, since he has been able to ‘cover’ his tracks.

And what I love is how social media is such a big part of this upcoming revolution with people uploading statuses and pictures and comments and notes and tweets and blog posts and what not.

But of course, there is no need for any verification or analysis from me about any of this.

I am just confused and this is my way of trying to make some sense of it. Is Imran Khan the solution? The value of ‘x’? Is this all really going to pan out?  Is this a political change or a social one? Can one rally be the determinant? All his statements and questions and demands…can he deliver?

I am just confused.

And I can’t deny the appeal of someone – anyone – to come and rescue us from the current “bad” situation. For most people, I would say it’s more the fact that Imran Khan is “untested” territory. He has not been in power and so, no one knows what he will do – or not do. Since everyone has been fed up with the current plethora of politicians, change basically translates into giving a new face a chance. Things are already not good generally – would it make a difference?

People are so geared towards giving him a chance that everyone is taking voter registration very seriously. Very seriously.

The ironic part of this won’t-make-a-difference attitude is that we’re all secretly hoping that it will work out for the better. Fingers-crossed, knocking-on-wood, wishing-on-shooting-stars kind of hoping.

Imran Khan, please don’t let us down.

The Hidden Jewel

When I was applying, the internship’s job description said something about helping out with an on-going promotional campaign in Swat.

Um, what? Does anyone even go to Swat, anymore, except the people who live there?

I dismissed it as a theoretical effort. One of the many. I mean, everyone says that tourism needs to be promoted and militancy in that region needs to end and Talibanisation has wreaked havoc et cetera et cetera et cetera. But nothing is really done, is it?

*shrug shrug*

Boy, was I wrong!

Turns out that Firms is doing wonderful work for Swat and in Swat in order to rehabilitate an economy ravaged by floods and terrorism.

Am I saying that because I am now part of the project? Maybe.

But you should consider all the facts about the project before passing judgement on my motives…

Swat truly is a hidden jewel of Pakistan. It receives a lot of attention these days but it is only of the negative kind. The only other thing that people know is that it is the Paki Switzerland *pish*

What I know for a fact is that active steps have been taken to revive the hotels of the area, especially in post-flood times. And yes, I do mean revive. Proper attempt is being made to breathe new life into them. The troublesome area is the perception and it is only awareness that is lacking.

Enter Zindagi Hai Yahan – a small attempt to let everyone know that Swat is waiting to be rediscovered. Every time I see this video, I want to just get up and visit and see it all for myself right away. Not kidding.

How good is it? You’ll only know when you watch it. 2:38 is my favourite point.

Truly, the melody of life is (t)here. We should all go ‘un-hide’ it now.

Ramazan Realizations

I don’t remember the last time there was a Ramazan with no school. This year, I am home. Hence, too much time equals a swirl of thoughts, most half-formed, begging to be written.

Here, I share some special realizations that are exclusive to this holy month.

1. Women, you are worthless if you can’t cook. You can take an illustrious start by bringing in the trolley of food from the age of six or thereabouts – good practice, you know!

2. Incidentally, your only proper place is – you got it – La Kitchen.

3. An average meal should at least have ten perfectly cooked dishes or it won’t be the true representation of the situation in the country.

4. Using a good cooking oil is the only thing that matters when you’re preparing a meal. Follow this rule to earn the respect of everyone at home, especially the fire-breathing mother-in-law.

5. It is a lot of fun to grab that plate of samosas and run away to the courtyard while other people chase you to get it.

6. Do you see the guy (who looks ten years younger than you) sitting across the table from you and watching you hungrily? Yeah, him! Wouldn’t it have been logical to serve him some fish too? He seems…hungry!

7. People have a lot of courage. Karachi-ites are surviving. Politicians keep playing the blame game. And the cougar aunty in Pepsi ad is back for another ‘episode’. There is no such thing as bad publicity, right? *takes a sip of her Pepsi*

8. Jingles have a habit of getting stuck in your head so bad that you want to carve out your brain and stab it to death. Ok, well, maybe not. But they are still too annoying.

9. It is way way more important for the Prime Minister to reach home in time for iftar. He’s the only one fasting.

10. It is ironic; for a month of abstinence, we spend even more time thinking about food than we would under normal circumstances. (Guilty!)




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!

Sticks and Stones

One day, an important government man talks to the media. He accuses a certain well-known individual of being one of the biggest criminals in the country.

 And all hell breaks loose in a city already too troubled.

 Haven’t these people ever heard of ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’?

Guess not.

What bugs me is the fact that the supporters of the accused saw fit to defend him by coming out on the streets and making the already-difficult situation in the city even more problematic. But of course, who cares if the residents of one entire province feel threatened? It is much more important to defend the ‘honour’ of a man sitting thousands of miles away safely. How dare anyone besmirch his good name!

In my opinion, burning tires at least don’t indicate that you’re an angel.

I also feel that everyone needs to exercise the utmost caution when saying something – anything – in public, be it a personal opinion or a general speech. And not just because of a fear of the ‘consequences’.

Yet, maybe, words were all he had, this important government man.

Needless to say, it didn’t work out very well for him. His party backtracked at top speed and had him issue a public apology. But it seems to have given the accused person’s political party good leverage to get back on terms with the government they had just kicked away.

[picture credits: