The Learning Process!

I have failed – magnificently – and a lot of times!

I have fallen on my ass and on my face, and on other body parts more time than I can care to remember or recall.

But as I mentioned before, I am okay with that!

I like the fact that I fail, that I take a chance that might not end up in being a success. And all of this was important. It was important or else I would not have ended up here! So I am okay with my life. I am okay with being where I am in my life and I am learning to be more accepting of it. To be more thankful for it.

There are times when you just need to say these things out loud. And today was just one of those days. So I am done with my ranting people. You may continue with your business as usual.

Comments: “MADRASSA EDUCATION 2014: CHALLENGES AND REFORMS”

While I had more or less resigned from this blog of mine, and moved to other things, I am writing here today as a favor to a friend and giving my comments on the above mentioned report that has been researched and can be found on the following link.

In the light of the recent events – primarily 16/12 and the overall way in which the dynamics of the global politics has shaped in the last one decade, this topic of Madrassa Education and reforms has become one of special importance.


And while the report for me touches on a lot of serious topics, about registrations and the curriculum and mode of education, etc., it still remains very superficial.

The most common mistake that we keep on making as a nation is that we are able to point out the problems, but the conversion of such points into law and then having them implemented without any interference from any party or stakeholders involved is the challenge and that is where the report lacks!

The research and the history of the issue is all there – and forms a credible base with verified and good sources. But when it comes to the part which will influence the change, it’s all about should be’s”.

Let me elaborate – Consider this point from the report “Adequate portion of the education budget should be allocated for financing teachers and
graduates”

1. Why could this not have been written as “Will be allocated”?

2. Why not dictate how much of the budget will you be allocating?

3. Who is going to be monitoring the correct usage of this budget?

4. Where will that percentage of budget be created from?

I am sure that there will be a counter argument that we are just there to highlight issues, but the fact of the matter is that when I see a report on the website of Youth Parliamentarians who are planning to enter the public arena as politicians, or activists or any such capacity, then I do expect a deeper look into the issue.

Another issue for me was the fact that you can simply not talk about Madrasas without mentioning the talibans and how a lot of these – not all – have been used for such militant acts and for safeguarding such offenders. What is to be done about them.. where is the law? What are we going to do about them?

Overall the report lacks the indepth study when it comes to the development of reforms, which is the backbone for any real change.

No such thing as “Randomness”

I was listening to this TED talk the other day, in which Amy Tan talks about creativity. Now to get the entire jist of the talk, you can all jus thead over here. What I really want to talk about is something that she hit upon in her talk – The subject of Randomness – How her mother believed in everything but Randomness!

Now I have never been very religious, but lately I have come to conclude that everything happens for a reason. I am not talking about karma here, I am talking about the overall scheme of things!

Take for example the KLF – a series of random happenings – Gulzar backs off, then the Indians back off – Random right! But then on the very first day of the event, it rains! No one would have guessed it can rain! And all the sessions that had to be cancelled cause of the rain fit right into – yup you guessed it – in the empty slots where the sessions of the various people from India were to take place.

A more personal and a closer example would be resume (which is something very important an aspect of my life nowadays as I am trying to switch jobs).

One glance at it and you would say, “This one has no idea about what she wants to do with her life”.

But believe it or not, every random act that I did has some how added to my previous job requirements. For example I did my first internship at the age of 14 at Dawn, I learnt to write a copy there, editing, filing, selecting articles by critically analyzing which one will be the best.

I worked as a trainee in a Summer Camp at the age of 16, it helped me to know more about kids and what they  like, how to handle them, what ticks them educational excercises wise (is that a word).

I worked for HUM TV as a Lineup Producer, and boy did that come handy when I worked as a Curator in OUP and was handling the Oral History Documentary lineup.

I studied Architecture and although I never completed it, I learnt the skills of research, writing, designing, etc there. And again that helped in a big way in my life and especially as a Museum Curator.

So therefore two days ago when this guy interviewing me for the job asked me, “I see so many different streams of interest in you resume. Which one would you like to focus on?”

I simply had only one reply, “They are not different streams. They all come together to help me and be good at my job.”

What does it mean to be a Liberal?

What does it mean to be Liberal? This question has been bugging me for a while now! Does it mean that you are pro-choice for everyone or you are just redrawing the line to when you can – at max – make those choices?
There is another dilemma; I am not sure how it connects to this, but let me spell it out here! If you do something in hiding, it is wrong – the very way in which that act is conducted means that it was something taboo, thus the hiding! Fair enough!
But apparently, things which are not wrong – from a normal, rational, liberal point of view – but are viewed wrong by the assholes that are the conservatives are also wrong and should not be acted upon in public!
So then where does it leave the space for the liberal person? Where is the space to do what you think is right and has no harm in it?
What is so wrong in going for a walk with a friend in a park?
What is so wrong in having lunch with a guy?
What is so wrong in trying to live an independent life?
What is so wrong with realizing that you don’t have the marriage gene?
What is so wrong for doing what you think is right?

Saad Haroon Show takes you to a parellel Universe (Not in a good way)

I had been looking forward to this evening for a while now and I had planned to enjoy my heart out. But the reality was it that after every few minutes, my brain took me off for a flight.

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The show had its moments no doubt, but after a few minutes I felt like I was drifting away. I was realizing that I am at a very long place, or at least in a place that has nothing to do with Pakistan. The jokes, if had been stated anywhere else in the city, would have resulted in a public lynching. But here we were all sitting together in this auditorium, with all these amazing sponsors and amazingly burger kids and with no worry about being possibly attacked by anyone.

I am a liberal person, but at a point, it got to a place where even I thought that okay this is too much. This is going beyond a certain level. I dont know if I am making any sense here, but I think what struck me the most that day was the distinction that each area and each class can bring to what is acceptable and what is not.

 

Rule 2

The 40 Rules of Love: Rule 2

The Idea behind this series of “The 40 rules of Love :Rule #” is to explore the idea of Love which has been given in this book of Elif Safak. I will be taking up one rule at a time, as I continue to read the books and then explore from my own perspective. It is for me an experiment in Love, Belief, Spirituality and Faith. Lets see where it lands me! 

The path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God.

“The path to the Truth is the labour of the heart”…… How is that possible was my first remark! I mean if you want to understand the truth then you need to think with your brain so that you can conclude the right from the wrong, right?

But then I noticed the capital ‘T’ in the word ‘Truth’ which more or less implies God, in the Islamic tradition. And then it seemed to make sense the statement…. If I need to find God, which one can hardly understand from their rationale thoughts (How can you believe in something when you can’t see, hear, feel or touch something), I need to think and listen to my emotional side. And it is that love for the Truth (I think) that will make me get over my nafs or my desires. But how does “Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God”? Has it got to do with the first rule? Maybe so, for this is how it seems to me!

The thing for me is that I am a person who believes in morality, although that is independent of religion! I think one needs to do what is good in regards to other human beings no matter whether you believe in a religion or a God or not! But do I really use my brain for it or my heart?

I don’t know what I am saying here. This is just something that I can’t understand!

Rule 1

The 40 Rules of Love: Rule 1

The Idea behind this series of “The 40 rules of Love :Rule #” is to explore the idea of Love which has been given in this book of Elif Safak. I will be taking up one rule at a time, as I continue to read the books and then explore from my own perspective. It is for me an experiment in Love, Belief, Spirituality and Faith. Lets see where it lands me! 

Only recently, did I started reading the book which already seems to have become a big sensation in the world over. The book ofcourse is as you would have guessed if you are at all interested in books is “The 40 Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak.

The book from the main description of the topic explores nothing new. It appears – SO FAR – to be a cliche love story about Rumi and Tabriz. Now, this is where I always get stuck!

Have we become so cynical about love that we refuse to see it as anything other than the physical pleasure of two bodies?

The love story of Tabriz and Rumi has always raised enough suspicion in me to take their love as so much more than the spiritual crap that is thrown in at us. How is it that one can talk about someone with so much intensity and not cross certain boundaries? How is it that the height of your passion is a man who is with you and you don’t get close enough!

Anyways, the book begins, a story about Ella and her life which seems to have taken toll on the more important aspects that should be the part of one’s life, , like Love, Romance, etc. She has taken up this job as a Manuscript analyst or whatever, and she is posed with the first rule of Love, which is,

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.

How do I see God? Do I see God? I have never been a person who has had a strong belief,my belief seems to come and go! My faith has been explained by different people in different people, a few have claimed that I am a Closet Believer, others have said that I  am upset with God for hurting me and that is why I refuse to accept him. The second statement has seem to hit home, it has at moments seemed to knock the wind out of me.

So does that really mean that I am upset with Him? I can never really be sure about this. I remember a time when I used to have so much faith in Him, but then came a time, when I started feeling that it is all too easy! Having someone up above looking down at you and at your actions and just like that one day, there will be a good and bad, and heaven and hell! It all seemed so easy! So am I really upset with Him? My question has always been where was He, when I was going through all of the shit I was going through, where was He? What was He so busy with that he didn’t come to my help?

Forget the question about whether I believe in him or not for a minute, but if this is how I see God, then does that mean that I think of him as a being who sits back and let things happen to others? He lets us go through the hurt and the pain and let us make our own mistakes and learn and let go and learn to depend on ourselves?

Lets take this question the other way round! How do I see myself? I see myself as family oriented, Independent, Love my career, passionate, Want to prove myself, I think I have a bigger purpose in life, I am curious, stubborn, wandering spirit, and more than that, I am a human, who has limits. I like to find my own way, I like getting lost, because I think you can find so much more about something when you are lost, I want to know everything about everything, I want to touch and feel and see everything! Is that how God is? Family Oriented, Independent, Loving his work, passionate, With a bigger purpose, Curious, Stubborn?

If He is like that, then we might get along pretty well!