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.”

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It doesn’t count when PPP does something Historical!

Yesterday, a breakthrough happened… an event took place that was truly significant and that hasn’t been achieved before. The two neighbors, India and Pakistan, signed an agreement making the lives of millions of people significantly easier by relaxing the visa restrictions. This is something that people have been fighting and struggling towards for ages and finally we have it.

But is this a story that has actually been celebrated across the nation? The answer is a flat, big “NO”!

The focus is once more on the blunder that PPP has done… with regards to the Local Body Ordinance. Now I am not saying that it should be ignored. I mean focus on it with all the might you want, but that doesn’t mean that we can ignore, a very historical event that has just happened.

It seems like one big controversy against the Present Government and I am appalled!

Karachi under siege?

“Is there a foreign hand involved in these attacks?”

“Can this possibly be an American attack?”

“Is Israel or RAW involved in it?”

“Why did they rush the Chinese out of the base?”

“Is this related to Baluchistan or the fact that the Gwader Port was only handed yesterday to the Chinese?”

The attack on PNS Mehran. Image from:dawn.com

Any major event in Pakistan goes hand in hand with the conspiracies that surround it. The attacks today at the P.A.F base is not indifferent to this rule! Continue reading

Why the Bomb Blast?

Yesterday’s Lahore blast in RA Bazar and Sadder Area can only be understood in the light of the fact that how have we reached the current scenario of Politics in Pakistan and who are the characters that are involved in it. So what follows below is my own analysis of the Country’s Political – Economic Situation.

Pakistan after its Independence, thanks to the many Influence left by the British, was a relatively modern country. Indications of this were the many social, and recreational facilities, and also the General mindset towards accepting these places. This example would include the many bars, cinemas, restaurants, and Cabire. Girls used to cycle, skirts and foreigners were common on the streets of Karachi, and not only that but the country was also one of the most hip places for Westerners and Hippies, who can be seen sleeping on the streets.

Most of the people in Pakistan who would read this would know how much it is stressed in our course books about the location of Pakistan in the World Map. You have India and then Afghanistan, Iran and China as your neighbors, but it is only recently that the importance of this country of ours of God knows how much population (All figures in this regards are guesses. The last consensus happened in the year 1998) has taken a serious impact from its location.

Pakistan in its Context

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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!

DAWN.COM | Front Page | Is there life after democracy?

While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By democracy I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are. So, is there life after democracy?

Attempts to answer this question often turn into a comparison of different systems of governance, and end with a somewhat prickly, combative defence of democracy. It’s flawed, we say. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than everything else that’s on offer. Inevitably, someone in the room will say: ‘Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia . . . is that what you would prefer?’

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasised into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximising profit? Continue reading