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.

 

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!

A few thoughts on Jashn-e-Faiz

Getting any major event done in the city of Karachi nowadays is a big deal, but to be able to get an event done without the banner of MQM, is a feat of a different dimension altogether.

Overall, getting so many people together in the name of Literature is a big deal and on that ground the event was a total success. But I am sure, that much has been written about this since yesterday. I am here to share that I felt yesterday on a personal level.

So the concert begins, but let us all remember people, that this is all happening in the name of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, so a bit of respect is in order. But sadly, it was not to be found.

At the Concert, held under the banner of Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Chanting of all sorts, disrespectful in nature mostly was the norm of the day, and it has to be said that mostly it was happening from the people I thought would least do it. Most of them were people I go to University with, so therefore it was sad on so many levels for me.

Later in the night, some people decided that it is just okay to take off your shoes hold it in your hands and then wave them around.. the idea sickened me to my core, and a lot of screaming and angry protest had to bring them down.

Is it just that so many years of being confined to no entertainment has made us lose our sense of how to behave in these places? Or do we really think that this is all okay?

Food for thought !

My reviews on the 9th Hamza Alavi Lecture

Yes yes I know, I have been throughly ignoring this blog for a while no, and I apologize to my blog immensely for that. But I am back now.. with hopes of not abandoning my baby ever again.

So what the hell is the 9th Hamza Alavi Memorial Lecture? Well Hamza Alavi was sort of the grandfather of the communist in Pakistan, and has worked immensely (seems like this is the word for today) towards the cause. he has a lots of books to his credits and had been a true activist for the cause that he believed in.And every year these lectures are held in his memory.

I am working with Arif Hasan nowadays, and he was invited as a Speaker to this lecture. I am not going to tell you how I felt or my reviews about it. Instead I am copying here my notes that i wrote that day before and during the lecture (no I don’t own a laptop to carry around with me, I still depend on the old technologies of a paper and pen.. and you know what, they work just fine. Thank you very much)

There are only two groups of people who are most aware of the city happenings and issues in this city (Karachi). one is this group of almost extinct diehard communist enthusiast and the other is the Lakson tobacco Building. The first group despite being knowledgable lacks some of the most basic polite attitudes – being on time, turning off your cell phone during the program, give respect to your guest, etc.

The last time I was here, I had fallen asleep. Arif Sahab however has promised me that this time it wont be the case. so far so true.

The introduction of Hamza Alavi and Arif Sahab is presented so “that the students can be made aware of these personalities”. There were 7 of us only. Arif Sahab looks burdened under his own list of achievements. He had  claimed he would knock off the socks of this communist. I am dying to see what would happen !

He shared how he met Hamza Alavi – I knew this introduction… I was worried that it would end up insulting the selective group of people.

Program was supposed to start at 5,… people are still entering 6. we are so confident of our own incapability of system. Continue reading

Lolita: My Beloved!

Since the moment I turned the first page, I have been completely captivated by the thoughts of Lolita. I feel in love with Humbert on that night in the “slender leaved mimosa groove” where he and Annabel shared a few moments of young innocent love. It was from this point on that I kept saying to myself that “No this man can not be a Child Molester. A man with such a sense of love just can’t be.”

Then came that day when he was to meet Lolita, and it was then that I was completly split. I asked people around what they thought of it. Most of them simply went on to define it as “an expression of love”. But I couldn’t agree with that. For me to agree with that, would have meant to validate the sins that people commited against me.

Despite all the love that Humbert might have for Lolita, in the very end for me, he is a molester who took advantage of a little girl. For some reason, I kept finding glimpes of known emotions. For some reason, I kept finding signs that were all too fimiliar.

I think it was in the account, after Humbert had visited Dolores Schiller, that I truly understood and connected with her and her feelings. How she just lies there with “her grave, gray eyes more vacant than ever”. Had Lolita written a memoir, she must have mentioned how in that moment she – defeated – just lied there, her body presented for whom ever. She would have written about how she had to understand to take advantage of what she had, to make a life for herself, she must have written about the helplessness that one has to go through every single day. She must have written about the distrust that seems to become a part of your life after such incidents. About how a simple act of love takes so much effort from your part. Is this why she never got interested in boys? Is this why she found this stuff over rated? Is this why she took pity on a guy and married him? Did she ever get free from her past? How I wish Vladimir Nabokov could have written a memoir about her!

Strength and determination: An interview by Varda Nisar

Raees Fatima

Raees Fatima: Continuing with her crusade

There are very few people in this world who know what is their calling, and it is in these rare people that we find a determination that doesn’t stop them ever from doing what they think right. Raees Fatima is one of them. Her love for Urdu is still strong and growing. Not only is she a well-known educationist but also a columnist and an author of six books in Urdu.

Getting her early education from Karachi, it wasn’t by chance that she fell upon this great love for Urdu. “I always knew that I wanted to be an Urdu professor, as I had always been interested in writing. Since an early age, I was exposed to Urdu literature and reading. I was always writing for my college newspapers and that love is still strong.”

Her education career covers almost four decades and she has left her mark in many of the colleges of Karachi, which include Jamia Millia, Saudabad College, where she taught for 12 years to then finally retire from Nazimabad College.

“I have never been able to deal with the corruption that exists so blatantly in our education system. I retired early because I could never lie about my age as many of my colleagues had done. Many of my older colleagues are still teaching at that college.”

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many things about the system which she was a part of that greatly agitate her. “When you construct a building and its basic structure is weak, you can never expect the building to stand on its own for long. That is the tragedy of our education system.”

She shows her displeasure on not only the coaching system that seems to be booming in the country but also the cheating mafia. “It is such a different situation now. Even a matriculate during my father’s time could speak better English and Urdu but now the education standards have stooped so low that you can’t expect the same from even a college student.”

Strongly against the coaching system, she says that she has always built a case against this latest trend. “Most of the professors don’t even bother teaching in the colleges anymore and I have seen that happening myself. They would be guaranteeing positions for the students that are taking classes in their college. How can we expect the system to work when this is the footing that we are building for the future of our youth.” Continue reading

Today’s Episode of Fareed Zakaria GPS: Interview with Mathew Hoh

Today’s Episode at this show was definitely worth watching. It shows that how the views of the American people are changing, which is the need of the hour, drastically regarding the issue of Afghanistan.

In the episode, the interview was conducted with Mathew Hoh, the first to resign from Afghanistan and is now of the opinion that the government too should realize that the war in Afghanistan would yield no results.

According to his opinion, the USA is in the middle of a civil war in Afghanistan, which has no end, and can only be seen with regret, lets say 4 years from now, when we would come to realize that there is no future to this war.

The statement that really stuck was the line that went something like this we now have to realize that the Soviet Union came in to stabilize the situation in a country which had been devastated by the constant civil war.

Mathew Hoh

The man of the hour - Mathew Hoh

It was interesting to note his observation regrading the difference in the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan according to him, there are two type of people, mostly those that are Pakhtun and living in the rural area, having a strong hold with their traditions, who just want to be left alone to their ownlifestlye. In Iraq, however, you had people that were feeling insecure and welcomed the allied forces. The people of Afghanistan are poor people, and thus the way and the new policies of the centeral government have only helped in increasing their negative perception about how the situation is being handled in this region.

His point of view about how in a population of 3 million, you can hardly stop a 100 or so people from joining a fringe group like the Al-Qaeda is also valid, to a point where the presence of the American forces or the increase of their numbers only help to justify the point of AL-Qaeda and their acts towards these troops.

A definite must watch episode.

Chitti Hatia

I got the chance to watch the film “Chitti Hatia” or White Shops by Sharad Sharma, as it was being screened today at the Audio Visual Department, organized by Department of Visual Studies.

The Poster of the film "Chitti Hattia"

The Poster of the film "Chitti Hattia"

The film was simply an effort of Bitto Shah to find the ancestral pre-partition  home of his family in the area of Chitti Hatia, in Rawalpindi. The film can at best be described as the emotional search of a man. As from the point of view of story, it doesn’t contribute anything concrete, or anything new that people haven’t heard or seen before. At best, rather than being called a film it should have been called a page from some one’s diary.

The techniques of the film are nothing unique. The film has simply been shot at a handycam. And it should be acknowledged that they used every mean that they had with them to tell of their experience.

The film in itself has nothing new to offer, except maybe the emotions of a man determined to fulfill his fathers last wish, and the desperate search of that house in a country which has changed drastically since 1947. It gives an insight about how an artifical partition destroyed the homes and families of so many people.. yet nothing new.

I think the only powerful thing about the movie is the raw emotions that reaches out of the screen to touch you and make you realize that the pain of the partition has been felt by both sides for a much more longer time than we like to acknowledge.

Or maybe it is just about finding your roots. I guess that is the most important thing in the end.. finding out where are you coming from and wher are you going.. And it is a search that we are all a part of!

Girls Psychology Part 1

My previous posts might have given an impression that I am a men-hating, men-bitching sort of a person who can find faults with them and everything else that they do. So maybe the impression so far has been that I am a biased person who has a war against the “men”kind.

And thus to prove to the world that I am, in a fact, an unbiased person who can be neutral and has the capability to find faults with everything, this is the new section that I have started.

The truth of the matter is that this section is a result of a conversation I heard of two girls as I was walking towards class and I realized “God.. they can be worse than guys” And thus I owe a great debt to them for this. Thank you.And now for the conversation that the two girls had that would reflect the psychology of the girls in our society.

Lets call them Miss A. and Miss S, both of them are textiles students at the the University of Karachi, aged around 22, and by the looks of their conversation can’t wait to get married. Here is more or less how the conversation went.

Miss A: My mom can’t wait to get me married.

Miss S: You don’t mind getting married.

Miss A: Well no… why would I? See my mom was saying that she will start looking for husbands for me since I am still of the age where it is easy to find (read trap) guys for marriage.

Miss S: What about Madeeha ? (Miss A’s older sister)

Miss A: Well she has crossed the age (she is only 4 years older making her 26) so its so difficult to find a guy for me so my mom and me would rather focus on getting me married.

WHAT KIND OF A PERSON TALKS LIKE THAT ABOUT THEIR OWN SISTER? OR MORE, WHAT KIND OF AN EDUCATED SOCIETY ARE WE THAT STILL THINKS THAT 26 YEAR OLD IS AN OLD AGE TO GET MARRIED?

Lets do the maths shall we? Although the stats of Pakistan hasn’t been changed for ages but people do live up to be 80 on an average, which means if girls are getting married at the age of 20 that means that they are married for 3/4 or 75% of their lives, if they are getting married by the age of 30, they are married for almost 63% of their lives, which is still more than half of their life that they can spend the way they want to single and free. So why is it that we still go on to judge a girl if she is, God forbid, not married by the age of 26?

And person who is in a professional field would know that this is how long it takes to be a doctor, an engineer, or to make anything out of yourself in a professional field. So then why is it that people who are in the field, especially girls, would not only judge others but also their own sisters.. SHAME SHAME!



Pakistani Men… continued!

ONCE A GUY KNOWS THAT YOU ARE INTO HIM, THEY THINK THAT THEY HAVE SOME KIND OF POWER OVER YOU:-

I know that the common rumor is that most of the times guys would like the opposite sex to take the first step and initate thing, the reasons varying from “that they are not always sure” and the fact “they just dont know how to take the first step”.

It is often noticed, however, that once a guy knows that a girl might have an interest in them, they think – correction- they absolutely believe that they have some kind of power over them that they can use since the think that the poor thing is absolutely “ga-ga” about them.

Really, what is it with MEN.. why is it that they can’t just make up their mind. And considering that I like men and wouldn’t mind spending life with a nice one out of the lot…. I really don’t much light at the end of the tunnel.

The downfall of the Perisan Department in Karachi University

Today because of some work I got the chance to head towards a department whose tragic story I had heard in tones of pity, sadness and defeat. Those emotions became a real picture as I saw the sad picture myself that the Department of Persian Language (DOPL) held within its wall and promised a future that no one could save it from.

I remember hearing my parents discuss last year that what a tragedy it was that no one had applied to the Department of Persian Language that year. The same story was true for the department of Bengali as well. Walking from my own department towards the gate of the department, I would often look upon the DOPL and upon seeing the closed windows I would feel sad for the many teachers and professors for whom that language would have meant so much and today it was facing a dead end.

The story of my encounter with DOPL today happened only due to a notice that was posted on the bulletin board. It said that a certain Study Center for the study of Persian was offering free admission to its language course. Fortunately, the timings of the class happened to match my free time on all three days the classes were offered. I didn’t exactly know that where the department was so I went to DOPL first, knowing that it would be the best place to find any clue.

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Areeb Azhar and the Party with a beginning, the middle and A HELL OF AN END!

Ever seen a duet of a thunder storm and Sufi Music…live in action! Then yesterday was THE night and most of the people missed their chance to do so!

Yesterday night, the date better known as the 18th of July 2009 was rocked away by Areeb Azhar, in a party that had the most amazing, adventurous ending that any one in Karachi could ever had anticipated.

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