Sunday, August 16, 2015

My blogging and Food

Hi! (to myself, I think)

As is obvious, I haven't been around this blog in over 4 years. I had been running my Wordpress blog (off and on) and an anonymous Tumblr blog. For now, I have decided to not share the links to these blogs here. I changed the url of my Wordpress blog, even though it's not anonymous, as I didn't want to catch the attention of some people. It carries most of my published work (you know, serious stuff) and I'm thinking of sharing my work on it as it comes. 

Blogging came to me when I was an idealistic environmentalist and an aspiring writer. Gradually, I grew to become a pseudo-environmentalist, and now I think I hardly do anything about it. But my principles based on the 4 years of environmental studies are the same. Like George Costanza from Seinfeld, I'm just not doing anything about it! As for my writing, I still aspire to be better and more consistent. 

Lately, I have been experiencing an existential crisis of sorts - something that I had been going through for the past 2 and a half years, I suppose, and had to come out to myself. And even though my Tumblr blog was not meant to be for it, I have chosen it to jot down the chronicles of this crisis. Belonging to a country like Pakistan, one can only pretend to be free, really. Given one's financial and social status, life can be better and you could even run away from this place to breathe. Hence, using writing as a tool to process, vent and make sense of things, I can't exactly be very direct on the Tumblr blog too. And for that, I have a diary in hard (so that's my 4th blog you can say), where I write in a more direct way. I hope to keep the Tumblr blog and that diary unread till my last breath.

Anyway, I plan to not exactly visit this blog much and maybe on random days, I hop onto it. Today's visit actually entails a specific motivation. As I work (quite exhaustively), I'm in the habit of making my lunches for the whole week, so I don't have to order in and eat unhealthy. Hence, I was on my Google spree and discovered two excellent salad recipes: 

I thought I need an archive of office-healthy lunches and I was sick of cluttering my chrome bookmarks.

Off to make these now!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Because frankly, it's holy shit.

So the citizens of Lahore were extremely happy and excited yesterday, that is, 26th February 2011. Not just because Pakistan won the cricket match against Sri Lanka, but because of all this as well:

NO. These have not been stolen from Dawn or whatever. These are very much personal. Although, dawn has got some really awesome ones too in their Media Gallery.

So, the folks got really excited. I'm guilty of sharing the excitement too. It was absolutely amazing.

Generally known as the 'Heart of Pakistan', as it's situated in the middle of the country, and 'Green city' because of its lush greenery, the city of Lahore can, indeed, be full of surprises. Last I remember, it was listed amongst the 'most polluted cities' in the world, basically in terms of air pollution. It is situated very close to Kasur, which again is actually 'The Most Polluted City in the Whole World' since it's an industrial city.

Lahorites went all crazy during and after this hailstorm. I am sure (infact, I know) that many people partied much and as it was Saturday night, the hype was doubled. I had fun too, yes. But this episode, was not exactly a good sign. It's a sign of Climate Change. And Climate Change is not good, people. It means disaster. Major disaster. The world might just end. Like in a couple years. (Worry lines, anyone?) Call me a cynic but don't. If the world really ends, well then, good. It has to end SOME day, anyway. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

'We will never be silenced'

As an environmentalist, I'd usually be seen or heard debating and relating things like ‘Public Transport’ and ‘Clean Air’ to ‘Equality and Human Rights’ in our country. Yes, there is a strong relation over there which could be discussed sometime later. I dream about an 'Environmental Revolution' that could ever take place. That's rather a funny dream but hey, it could happen. We all have our perspectives to the way of life we'd like to live. They say extreme environmentalists tend to overlook the bigger picture while hissing away and sometimes shouting out to their respective government's lack of attention on earthly matters. I do not agree with this as 'WE' are actually the ones, most of the times, pointing at the bigger picture along with solid evidence in hands. We're pretty great in outlining a matter of life and death like that. And here I would say that we are only shushed under a scenario such as presented in the video above. (Got more important things to deal with than your happy-green-solar-powered-nerdy grimaces)

This is extremely inspirational: ‎"We will not be silenced. Whether you're a Christian, whether you're a Muslim, whether you're an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights. And we will have our rights, one way or the other! We will never be silenced!"

As citizens of Pakistan, do we have a lesson to learn from this? Or do we have an advice to give somewhat like ‘maybe you should try blowing yourself up one by one?’ If that doesn't help, ‘dudes, let it go’? Maybe we’ve got comments like ‘we’re an impotent society, it’s cool to see you guys are potent enough to indicate a revolution, because fighting for rights is pretty awesome in itself. Our governors get shot if they talk about rights or try to use any of them. We’re kinda creepy like that.’ On the other hand, I asked a friend if she thinks any lessons wait to be derived from such an incident. She had a good point. If our government is toppled right now, the ‘Mullahs’ would get voted in by our population!

I read an interesting question from an individual the other day that was asked one of my favorite writers. We don't have choices in the circumstances that we are born under. True, but if in case, all of us are born under 'equal' circumstances, then would that account for the best system to live in? As far as the person questioning could think, along with his set of arguments, he would not be so happy to be ‘like’ everyone else, and to be on the same level as everyone else. He would like to be better off. Now, that is pretty ‘human’ of him to think in such a way. It’s true, we could be born under the best of circumstances, without having to choose, but when the time comes when we have to choose, we may still like to be better off than the rest. At the same time, equality is important and has its due weight in the system. The missing link is that not everyone decides to or gets to ace. Not everyone decides to strive for something better. And not everyone succeeds either in achieving something better. The point is was he given the opportunity? The ‘right’? Levels are automatically sorted out and defined. But the opportunity of an equal right is to be provided ‘in the system’ to avail. The rest is on the people. Fail or succeed. It all then depends upon who is trying and who isn’t. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So much for Tolerance, Laws and Education - Governor Taseer's Assassination

I had an almost 'rough' conversation, or rather a rough debate, for more than an hour with my brother last night after the news about the assassination of Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer had been declared. Before this incident, I had no knowledge about his views on Aasiya Bibi's case. What has happened is extremely horrible and unjust and that the man, Taseer, died an unfair death.

Not that my brother a) supports the Zia regime, b) supports the murder of Salman Taseer c) supports any Mullah regime either (I added this just to make it clear enough) and d) 'wholly' supports Aasiya Bibi's case.

Sure, if I call out names or point out bad things or faults about XYZ' s relation or friend, he/she would get defensive and would have the desire to slap me hard or something. I, myself, would want to hurl a stone at someone or say out my share of abuses to them if they would say or do something offensive about any of my relations. Keeping this aspect under the limelight, religion, religious practices and personalities like Prophets/Imams/etc associated with religion, account for a similar situation. It is understandable when your blood boils at someone abusing anything or anyone regarding your faith. No offence to atheists or agnostics, but personally I believe that without the shelter of any kind of religion or faith, a person is leading a rather confused life. There has to be a path of principles for one to follow. Whether one is consistent enough on that path is another question. Or probably no question at all as that would be between him/her and his/her god. So, religion generally is important. 

Getting back to the relevance of the subject, as Muslims, we do know that till today, the rule of chopping off of hands in Saudi Arabia (one of the hard-core Islamic States in the world) is still implemented. The people are allowed to go and watch executions that take place for those who commit a crime under the Shariah. Women whether they are Muslims or Non-Muslims cannot go out without covering themselves, properly. So, such things are there and the death penalty for crimes such as the kind Aasiya Bibi is said to have committed is there too.

Living in the worst times of all ages, it is no surprise that the case as above seems to be an entangled one. And in order to disentangle, prioritizing things in your religion is what should be done. In particular for this one, the aspects of Tolerance and Humanity should have taken priority over announcing punishment for the crime and that they should have been observed as they are most undoubtedly taught in Islam. Especially considering the fact that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is already a Muslim-majority country. No actual harm can come about from the minorities' end actually. Why? Because common sense: they are the 'Minorities'. So technically, shouldn't tolerance be easy enough to observe? Taking this forward, it is also important that the present, more modern times, should be brought under the focus. To implement laws in accordance to what religion preaches and in accordance to modernized ways of living may be a complicated task, but it has to be done in order to get a peaceful nation out of a crappy one. Since this is not being done, it's probably the reason why my brother is not 'wholly' in favour of Aasiya Bibi. 

I just heard that a majority of the students from LUMS, one of the top institutes in Pakistan, have made a group in support of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the guard who shot Salman Taseer. I always doubted our education system in Pakistan. Somehow, this news brings forth a clearer picture. I mean that if people from the modern age, our so-called youth who are supposed to carry an enlightened vision, are ready to act in this manner, then I'm very sorry to say that maybe we do deserve the image that we have currently on the international scale as a nation of terrorists. Today, it's a security guard, probably a brain-washed one; tomorrow it could be one of our kind with a top-class education. Taking the law in your own hands might just become a culture here. (Or has it already?) More Faisal Shahzad's in the making... eh.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The-Sheila-Hype [Embarrassing]

Is it embarrassing that I haven't heard the famous song 'Sheila ki Jawani'? Not yet.. No. I got to know more about its popularity while surfing on the blogosphere rather than on television. Then again, I hardly spend time in front of that box to gain any knowledge of anything relevant about... anything relevant? :/

I think it's a little embarrassing since it's being talked about so much. Some are saying that they love it and some despise it. And I got to know that the 'Sheila' song appeared on local news channels as well, like in the headlines, saying how awesome it really is. Well, it must be something for sure. But the news channels entail an amazing, fearful and rather wondrous amount of crap as well, so doesn't that suggest that it could be potential bull-crap too? I should probably allow my ears the liberty to hear it once at least. I mean that I 'could' just youtube it, just for the heck of it. Even while writing this post down, I'm not making the effort of youtube-ing it. But then currently, I do have an excuse to not listen to it in respect of the holy month. Come to think of it, am I enjoying the embarrassment? No. I don't think so because I think that I find Katrina Kaif really pretty and I tend to enjoy the ever-so-popular 'item songs' of Bollywood. They may not stand eligible to be in my music player but definitely eligible for stuff like parties and weddings.

Well, at least I've heard the 'Munni' song. Salman Khan is... well... yeah... that he is! No? I think he is... And now I feel embarrassed that I never made the effort of watching his movie either. The 'Munni' movie? (Can't remember the name). Too lazy to google it right now, so I'll just continue pouring these precisely aimless and desultory thoughts.

A fellow blogger is actively involved in some kind of campaign, the nature of which I fail to understand and she won't tell me about it either. I mean that I'm eager enough to know more about it and so left a comment to ask her, but she didn't reply and instead left a rather interesting comment on one of my older posts. Is that too petty a thing for me to be writing/thinking about? Normally, I forget after leaving comments on blogs and don't bother with replies. Maybe she wants me to wait and watch her blog as she adds more posts about it. I'm cool with that. But then I had a valid question too. Oh... Am I embarrassing myself again? Petty. I know. But I will reply to her comment. It 'needs' one actually.

Is it embarrassing that I'm being petty and embarrassing? I think that it should be. My friends are whining and complaining that I'm not keeping in touch. It's bugging me because they're right. That's a little distressing but I will, eventually, get back to them. After all, life without them does tend to suck. And I must not treat this situation the same way I'm treating the 'Sheila-Hype' situation. No sir. That's not me I tell ya.

Here you go, I just made a call to one of my besties. She didn't pick up. Obviously. Now it's not my fault that it's almost 3 am and she's asleep. Definitely asleep. I made the call though.

I inboxed a friend a certain number between 1 and 1000 and this was the relevant info behind it that she gave me .. 'for' me:

'Manchester United was born superior to Arsenal. Why? How? When? You aren't asking the right questions. And I'm not sure I want to waste my time explaining how history works.'

Yet another utterly confounded embarrassing situation it is for me... No fair.

Quite a number of e-mails are sleeping in my inbox, waiting patiently to be opened or replied someday by my great own self. They are both work and non-work e-mails. I'm dealing with this situation in a similar fashion as I'm dealing with the 'Sheila-Hype' situation. I'm wondering when I'll finally decide to come up with an opinion for it, after listening to it ofcourse; whether it'll be too late for me to tell the world how I finally found it. It'll probably be like:

Me: Eh, it was horrible/awesome.

World: Get a life. Katrina Kaif is 115 years old now and probably looks like Frankenstein.

One day. One day, I will listen to the song and show the middle finger to all. And thou shalt live to see.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Letter to the Bastard

Hi Boss!

You're pathetic. Yes, you are. One of the most detestable people I have ever come across. As far as hypocrisy goes, you have no boundaries. All the abusive language that can be used for you would fall less indeed. I should invite all those (scary) girls from my college, who most confidently used the worst 'desi' abusive language ever, be it for their teachers, college-mates, boyfriends, whoever - the kind of language I was exposed to only on Pakistani roads spewed out by Pakistani men during traffic jams - so that they may use it all on you. I mean, honestly, you truly deserve them.

Let's start off with calling you pathetic again. You're pathetic.

In my faith, this day, which is today, is a very blessed day. All members of my family are happy and we have a little something happening tonight. And look at me, I begin my day today by calling you all sorts of names in my head. That's a reason enough to believe that you're uber misborn - yes, a charlatan, a bastard. In fact, from now onwards, that's your name. Bastard.

Usually, I ignore the bad in the people around me or those I come across. I truly believe that I'm a good person and that my parents have done a good job in my upbringing. It's not miraculous that I can distinguish good from bad and vice versa. Since you're the boss and I have complaints, we could check whether I have a history of cribbing about teachers. uhh.. Nope. Just random cribbing that I was entitled to (or maybe not) because only a few of those could have been a little stupid. But hey, you're nowhere close to being stupid. Or an idiot. Most indubitably, you are an exceptionally sharp and intelligent person, but not for anyone's good.

Do you honestly think that God will grant you heaven because you were able to make it to the United Nations and talk, I repeat 'talk', about the poorest of millions on planet Earth? I mean, the matter of heaven and hell is definitely between God and you, but since you believe in Him, I was just wondering whether you're anywhere close to being worried about his approval or disapproval. I don't think you are, or maybe you think that you have a plan B for that matter. I don't wish you any good luck. And never will I.

Bastard, you have the potential to turn good people into bad people. I don't think you knew that either. I am talking about those who are in your immediate surroundings and still tend to appreciate you. If they appreciate you, in my eyes, they are already bad people. I know that you are liked by many, many people from around the world. I do not blame them because I have yet to see an equal match to your level of hypocrisy.  

Let me tell you that I am safe, because I hate you. And you are a weak moron in front of me.

It goes without saying that I have learned a lot from you. And never will I follow your footsteps. I have never been the rebellious kind, still am not because I am a girl, who is going to be responsible for upbringing a generation - a generation that is going to be an awesome one, but I will choose to be rebellious where matters concern you.

I think that's all for now. I need to get back to delaying work for you.