The Moharram Tragedy

At 4:20 pm today there was a bomb blast in the city as the Main Ashura procession was passing at M.A.Jinnah Road. Till now almost 20 people, and around 50 people have been injured.

Till yesterday under this very heading I was going to write with a different perspective, that can be summed up as below.

It has always been astonishing to me that people usually don’t care about having their voice heard. They don’t come out when the country is going through a crisis, like when the democratic government was toppled by a military General who would live up to the term “dictator”.

But every year people would come on to the streets every Moharram and perform their religious acts with such dedications- sometimes crossing over to the point of barbarity. This was explained to me by my friends in more or less these words

This is an act of piety, we mourn the death of our Imam and his followers who lost their lives fighting the evil that was Yazid. This procession every year is a sort of symbolic act which is meant to say that we are here against any Yazid that would rise today. We mean to show that we have power in our numbers, and every year you can see the wave of men and women who come out to warn anyone who would dare strike the innocent.

Now I am all for religious independence and I have many friends who are Shia and I respect their believes tremendously. But I think most of the people have engaged themselves too much literally to the concept.. Shouldn’t the point be to rise and come out in the streets against the wrong? And not just in Moharram? Where are all these people year long when so much wrong is going on in the world which is wrong?

The symbolism of the Ashura Procession

I dont mean to sound Prejudce and therefore I should say that it is not only the tragedy of one sect but of all of us. We all take religion literally, when I hardly think that it is the reasonable approach because most of the religion is not literal . There is symbolism and meaning between the lines.

Today, after hearing the news of the blast, I am going to change my perspective a bit, and say the following, that it is certainly very courageous for people to go out year after year knowing the possibility that is out there, knowing that each year after year there is a chance that there is going to a blast. Even as I type this, there are people who are out there on the streets who are continuing with the Moharram Procession. Continue reading

The Burden on a Democratic Government

I think we as people like to live under the curtain of illusions, we like to pretend that things are not what they are and thus we always seem to be invaded by the massive propaganda machine that surrounds us. This point was very beautifully voiced by Hajrah Mumtaz in her today’s article in Dawn, one of the few voices that I have come across that are saying something real in this jungle of noise.

Since the NRO decision by the Supreme Court, it seems that the only people who are being called for accountability are the members of the Pakistan’s Peoples Party (PPP) especially President Zardari. I beg people not to take this post as a sign of my support for the current Government or for President Zardari. I have my differences with the government and they will remain in their place, but i am however in support of the process that is democracy and thus I would support however is the President, let it be Sharif’s, Gillani, or the Chaudarys.

A news item in today’s paper said that Nusrat Bhutto, the wife of the founder of PPP, is being summoned for accountability. At this point it becomes important to remind the Committee for Accountability that the women has suffered more than enough on the behalf of the democracy that we seem so fond of, and therefore today article by Ather Abbas in Express News became very relevant.

Nusrat Bhutto- Paid for democracy by losing 4 members.. but still not donw

I appreciate all that the courts are trying to do considering that their own independent is not such an old story, and therefore they do have to be careful, but why is it that whenever there is a democratic government all characters come running from all directions to destroy the reputation of it, or in some way to destabilize it. There are 8000 cases in the NRO, and there are the names of many of the leaders like Altaf Hussain, Waseem Akhtar, Farooq Sattar, Nawaz Sharif, and many of the army generals who have pardoned an amazing amount of money from the courts, and have now run off to greener pastures, why is it that the court is not asking them to come before the committee and explain themselves. Continue reading

Another blast rips the country

Every blast sends new waves of fears through out the country, and makes you reassess the entire political system of this country. Yesterdays blast at the Mosque at Parade lane in Rawalpindi were thus not an exception to this fact.. or at least that is true for me.

The day before yesterday, after many heated arguments I decided to change my stance towards the army. I thought that I would from today onwards limit my hatred towards the Generals and the majors only, and not towards the many soldiers that have lost their lives, either fighting in Swat or Waziristan, or for that matter even during performing their duties at the many residential quaters that they have so lovingly built for themselves and their families with our tax money. After all not everyone in the army is the like of  Zia’s and Ayub’s and Yahya’s and the Musharraf’s. I thought I would change my perspective, but then the blast happened yesterday and did it make my blood boil.

First, it boiled when I heard the news about the blast, then it boiled when I saw the nightly agonizing show of Kamran Khan.. a paid ISI man. He and to be fair, many of the other anchors on many of the other shows clearly highlighted the fact that the bombing of this mosque marks the darkest day in the Pakistani history.

Army cordons off the area after the bomb blast

Continue reading

My cousin .. you will be missed

This blog was really inspired because of the unfair death of my cousin, a 17-year-old boy who for his entire life has fought a war with thalassemia. His illness was discovered when he was only a kid, an innocent age of  2. Since then, he and his mom have gone from hospital to hospital, prayed, bowed and grovelled themselves before God to hope for a miracle.

The way I am related to him is a long chain. And most of you out there who are Pakistani’s would understand that this is just how we work as families. My maternal grandfather’s brother got his son married to his wife’s sister’s (who was also his cousin as well) daughter. Now that brother’s own one daughter is given away at this aunts house. Yes i know it can be complicated.

Anyways, after the kid was born, the grandfather or the mother of the groom were monsters, they beated her up, cursed her and treated her in the most inhumane manner. But bless the Pakistani wife of 20 years ago, she kept quite and beared all of this as her kismet, maybe, i don’t know what went through her head.

They never once spent a dime on that kid after he was born, although there were pretty well off, but the way this grandfather’s bro thought was that this would be a bad investment, and thus on his own grandson, he never spend a single dime. But fate was not yet in the mood to be ironic. And the kid grew slowly and steadily, with the support of that Godly women, that was his mother, and although his blood needed to be changed every 15 days, they didnt let go of hope. And it was a result of this hope that the kid got 17 and then got the highest ranks in the matric board and got scholarships to the best collages. Continue reading

City Government’s Latest Venture

Has anyone seen one of those boxes painted blue with the triangle top on it ? On its own the boxes are spacious, and a good idea, even if they are a bit distasteful for my taste. (Dont know if that statement makes sense). Although the reasons why the City Government decided to start this productive venture is still not clear, beacause there are far too many cons in this project, as compared to the pros.

These boxes have been designed for small enterprenurs, mostly commonly known in our lingo as the “Thalle wala” or the hawkers. The few shops that have been so far sold, at a price some where between Rs. 56,000 to 60,000, have been bought by Flower walla or the puncture shops.

Anyways, so out on the streets yesterday, I passed through Bahdaurabad and let out one of the weirdest shreieks ever. Anyone of you out there who have been to Bahadurabad (which i am sure most of you have, thanks Eid no 1 and eid no 2), you remember those small alley like streets in which no matter how hard you try you just have to bump into the other person every now and then to be able to get to another random point on the street. Well those alley ways have now been lined with this great design solution by the CDGK.

For years, every city government has declared that enchroacments have been the cause of great traffic jams and how they are illegal , how every few months the Faisal Borad, or the city gvernment would come and round up all the cabins, or anything that it thinks comes under the heading of enchroacments. This has resulted in my poor pan wala Bashar’s cabin been taken several several times.

So does the city government thinks (if it thinks at all) that this is a practial solution? NO a big big NO. In half of the places, they have been put up with no consideration about their impact, or the fact that they back many of the shops in these prime locations, thus greatly effecting the business that is already established in the area., one of the instance being the Bahadurabad alley. This “great solution” is simply lined on a footpath intelligently hides away the shop fronts.

Not only that they add to the congestion in the area. Another problem is that the much-hated enchrochments were ditested for so many years, but now this solution is in its essence nothing more than another form of that. They are being placed all over the city on the footpaths literally being a visual barrier and acting as berlin wall, and taking the very little sacred space that a pedestrian has in this country. Continue reading

Hello World

Hello all of you out there,

Let me tell you what thisblog is going to be all about.. Its going to be all about my family..

Ever been in a situation where you are in the drawing room, just listening to your family talk about one crappy topic after the other, and then aruguing about the silliest of things, that you are sure is even below the level of your 4 year old nieces and nephews, and you want to scream and explode, but you cant? 

NO.. YES.. MAYBE???!!!!

My Extended too big a family

Well i have been there far too many times, and thus this is going to be a blog where i m going to bitch about them like hell, share all of their dark secrets out here, dont bother about capitalizing anything, and basically vent out, so that i may keep my sanity the next time i am with them.

So here goes nothing..about to unveil to the world the dark secrets of a pakistani middle class family.. hope you find a glimpse of your own in here so i may less pathetic!