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. Not.at.all. 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.   

PO

Friday, September 17, 2010

H for Humanity, H for Hypocrisy

A man, belonging to an influential class of society, sits with his group of friends at a regular café for dinner. It’s a Saturday night, and he is almost feeling relaxed. Talking too much makes him feel good about himself, gives him self-contentment; so he converses about his most recent achievements that had taken place at work. His friends listen to him intently and rather enjoy it, thinking that they might accidentally learn some great tip that accounts for his present success in life. Hearing about his future endeavors is more than just plain fascination for them.

The man talks a lot about his immense love for humanity. He continues by telling them how much his heart weeps for the poor and unfortunate in his country. He tries to motivate his companions by repeatedly saying (as he says to the people at his office): ‘We must be the change to bring forth a change!’

Suddenly, their conversation is disrupted by three middle-aged women who enter the café, beating their chests and wailing for help. The man calls them to him at once and inquires about their particular trouble. One of the women, whilst sobbing heavily, explains that her daughter is in the hospital whose kidneys have failed to function and requires an immediate treatment, and the doctor would not do anything till they pay the bills for all the necessary medication. The man takes all the details to the hospital’s name, phone number, the doctor responsible, etc. He first makes sure the woman speaks the truth and then he takes out his wallet. His friends cannot help but count the number of bills he gives to the woman. The women, before walking out of the café, pray for his long life and prosperous health and wealth. The man and his companions later get back to discussing how poverty has struck the nation, and how much the world needs more generous and kind-hearted people like the man himself.

On Monday morning, at work, he sits with two of his colleagues during a meeting, and looks for a moment to tell them about his weekend tale of utter charity. He gets his chance after a strenuous activity of beating about the bush and hence elaborates the saga in the most dramatic fashion. They listen up closely, whilst marveling at their senior’s most excellent, humble and virtuous character. No doubt, this was a great lesson for them. One of them, a girl, is slightly accompanied with a feeling of falsehood about the man’s intentions; nevertheless, she chooses to ignore it, considering the deed itself to be extremely inspiring and praiseworthy in it.

The girl returns to her desk, as she keeps thinking highly of the man. After a while, the girl is joined by her colleague for lunch, who tells her about the man’s personal servant, a young boy, eating stale bread in the kitchen. The girl feels nauseous and shocked. Isn’t he the same man who just told her about his moralistic story of being a pure humanitarian? (Wait a second) She wants to know the reason as to why that boy who is in the service of a successful, rich and most importantly, a charitable man, cannot be provided with a healthy but cheap meal. She is told that the boy has to send all his salary back home to his poor family who rely on him for their source of income, so he cannot make use of the money he earns, to buy himself an affordable and cheap meal. He is not given any extra penny by the charitable humanitarian for his two meals a day, or even one. Why should he be given? Isn’t he thankful enough that he is employed, even if he only deserves to go to school? And who is going to bother asking the boy whether his needs are being fulfilled or not. The impression that is given off is that he is the servant of a rich man with a big, mighty and generous heart. Naturally, he is better off than so many others like him.

Hmm… No comments.

Such is hypocrisy. Fuck humanity?

Friday, August 20, 2010

You know you're from CJM when..

This was a facebook group that I came across and I found not many people as members of it. When I read through the info page, I had tears in my eyes as a flood of memories came rushing through my mind. The feelings can just not be explained in words. It's been 6 years since I left school, Convent of Jesus & Mary, and many more years will pass by, and I will only love it more with time. Even after spending 12 years of my life there as a student, and that's a lifetime, I know I feel that time raced away.

I'm posting those things from that facebook group so that if at any time now or in future, any Convent girl happens to visit my blog, she may as well be able to reminisce those days while reading them here. I guarantee that she would definitely be able to relate to each and every thing said here and would take a long time to come back to the present after reading them and suffering those flashbacks that would make her laugh, smile and cry at the same time. 

A very important thing that's missing is that we loved greeting our teachers and nuns. We used to run to them to say: Good-Morning Sister! or Good-Morning Ms. Anyway, here goes:

You know you're from CJM when...

- you own atleast one red bag & pony

- you try your hardest to stand next to a tall girl and ask her to 'saath saath chalo' (walk with me) in an attempt to hide your dirty shoes from the watchful eyes of the teachers

- you've sneaked your way into the bio lab just to see the dead snake

-you've experienced the feeling of pure, utter dread when a teacher said 'come with me to Sister Pilar/Sister Monica’s office'

-you've gotten up in the middle of the night just to polish your shoes

- you've heard scary stories concerning the skeleton in the bio room

- every play, article or function you've organized or written was value-based

-you've heard or hoped at some point that a swimming pool will be constructed in the heart-shaped ground in the junior section

-you've gone to school with a temperature of 103 instead of staying home to rest - just because.

-you'd skip school rather than go without the essay Mrs. Khan asked for

-you hear the words 'Oh God I beseech thee, ardently to desire, prudently to study.. rightly to (you know what's next)...' and a flood of memories rush through you 

-the bench in the basketball court has been your safe haven at one point

- 'do you believe - cher' reminds you of every ‘meena bazaar’ (funfair) you've attended 

-you've tried atleast once to enter Thevenet Center and perhaps been successful too 

- you call CJM your second home

- you've wondered how many saari`s Mrs. William owns

-you've been told off because a strand of hair slipped out of your otherwise tightly made pony

- ringing the gong to mark the end of a class in junior school was once the biggest honour imaginable

- you remember asking around for an extra-shoe polish or nail cutter before break ended

- you can almost feel the sharp tiles/rocky edges of the computer lab’s corridor as you walk from the junior section to the canteen (it's freaky how your hand's literally all tingly right now)

-you've dared to have a water fight in the physics lab using those plastic water bottle thingies

- you were fooling around with your friends in front of Asna’s corner once, only to look up and see a teacher peering down at you - and then you ran with as innocent an expression as you can muster towards the shed out of her sight

-you remember waiting upstairs in the senior section for the outgoing class to do their ‘special entry’ in school on their last day

- you remember entering the hall, heart beating fast, in a straight line with all the seniors already inside casually turning around and clapping... welcoming you to the senior section on your first day in grade seven- your first taste of pure intimidation.

-you remember sitting at the back of the character-building class frantically copying the weeks 'value' from a friend’s copy

- you begged and pleaded the teacher not to change your house

- you remember asking your friends for just 5Rs. more for the poor box so that your house could 'win'

- you've discussed the Grammar vs Convent debate countless times.

- you've felt a wonderful sense of unity when everybody prayed collectively for the death of a loved one of any student

- you've known most of your friends for at least 8 years

- the teachers know you as 'blahblah's younger sister' or 'blahblah's daughter' - 'blahblah's grand daughter' isn't a surprise either

- you remember Sir Paul’s music lessons and his piano on Thursdays

- you're never too old to slide down the 'bari wali slide' or take pictures with Mr. Elephant

- the simple line 'walk fast, don't stamp your feet girls' reminds you of a break ending

- you peer into every car that has 'I (heart) Convent of Jesus & Mary's sticker on its back

- you greet your friends by screaming LOUDLY

- everything in your world is red and white

- you can include no less than 12 girls in your 'close friends' list

- you think that everything bad happens to YOUR batch (changes in school timings, courses, school trips, exams etc, etc)

- the announcement of the council is/has been the most dramatic event of your life

- only you can understand what the games teachers mean when they say what they do

- a lower position of your house flag on the house flag board is a matter of personal insult

- no one does the 'tarareereeruureera' and drumming the benches better than you

- 'shitttt, duppataa!!!' is always followed by you running all over senior, junior and kg sections looking for one before an Islamiat class


- you aren't / weren't - aware of any world outside Convent

- you're pretty sure that none of the above will make any sense to an outsider and that's the beauty of it all.. 




--- You helped me realize that all the things I ever wanted to be, I already was. Like branches of a tree we grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one; each of our lives will always be a special part of the other's. So today, I thank you for being you --- 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Me; Happy World

A recently published author said in an interview, that in the process of writing her first ever novel, she chose not to read any book at all, put herself to an absolutely no reading routine, because she didn’t want herself to unconsciously adapt to any other writer’s writing style, while writing down her own book. I feel that I can actually relate to what she has said; I mean that there is a possibility that such a thing could happen. One could get much influenced by his/her favorite writer that they might begin to pen down their thoughts or stories or opinions in a similar fashion. 
Maybe I should or would put myself under that kind of punishment too, as and when I begin to write my own book. Only that I think that it’s going to be extremely excruciating and awfully painful for my brain and myself (also for the people around me). I imagine it to be like fasting, as in abstinence from food and water for endless days. I would probably turn schizophrenic, reading the label on a tea-bag while having my cup of tea, and imagining, or more like hallucinating it to be a book called ‘Villette’ by Charlotte Bronte or ‘Vanity Fair’ by William Thackeray. 
I would probably be caught by my family members, lying on the floor of my room, suffering a ‘cold turkey’ period. I would be accompanied by sneezing, shivering and periodic goose-bumps on my body. I would undergo an intense phase of emotional and psychotic disorder, which would definitely make me lose my appetite and the sheer thought of food would make me feel like throwing up and actually worsen my pain. In all probability, I would become an insomniac, staring at ceilings, walls and just randomly in the air. People would talk to me and I would not respond to them and that would lead to my staying in bed all the time with the muscles of my body getting stiffened day by day. 
It might be decided by my guardians that I better be shifted to an asylum for the purpose of my own good, where psychic psychiatrists will try to converse with me in an irritatingly polite manner and keep repeating to me these words: ‘I am your friend; I am only here to help you.’ And I would have no choice but to keep answering back by saying: ‘I am not mad; I am not mad.’ My relatives and other people who know me would make me a subject of their drawing room discussions; I would be the hot topic in many kitty parties. Mostly, people would be heard saying to each other: ‘She used to be such a sweet and darling girl (stress on the word: succchhhaaa).’ 
All in all, it’s going to result in the most tragic circumstances for me and the people around me. In such a condition, I don’t think I’d ever be able to write my own name down, let alone a whole novel. So, it’s really not a good idea for a person like me to take any sort of break from reading books while taking the bait of writing a novel. However, what I can do is that I try and abstain from reading books by my favorite authors, and whatever I decide to read, I make sure that it’s done by different, in fact a variety authors, in order to avoid that particular tendency which the recently published author has described could take place. That way, I wouldn’t adopt anybody’s particular writing style. I think that that’s how it’s going to be. 
Happy Me; Happy World. I be an angel.    

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rain in my college...

Rain in my college meant:
 
1. Girls getting dreamy.
2. Girls taking deep sighs and repeatedly saying: 'How Romantic...'
3. Girls bunking classes.
4. Girls eating 'samosas' and 'pakoras'.
5. Girls opening their hair. 
6. Girls bathing in the rain (a great scene if not for boys/men, then our male help in college).
7. Girls calling up their boyfriends/fiances and forcing them to bunk their college/work to pick them up. Those who don't or can't show up, God help them later.
8. Girls singing songs, commonly 'Pyar hua, Iqrar hua'.
9. Girls dancing on Shakira's 'Hips don't lie'.
10. Girls taking lots, and I mean LOTS of pictures.
11. Girls analyzing each other on who looks sexier upon getting wet.
12. Girls being girls.

As for boys, I don't know what they do. But I do know about one boy - my brother, and he absolutely and completely hates the rain. It was his duty to drop me off to work this morning and since it had rained all morning, there was traffic blockage and the rain kept pouring, and all I could hear him say was: 'Fuck Rain, Fuck Rain, Fuck Rain'. 
 


Monday, June 28, 2010

Feedback - which should be anonymous

And so I received the feedback to my 'golden words of wisdom' that were most sought after and that I most generously spilled to the sleepy attention-seekers. I do hope that they never find out about these particular posts or my blog... ever! 

The email was kinda long and Mr. Chairperson had actually combined all of the answers collected from various individuals, edited them into a gist of what they had to say and circulated it to each of us. We were fourteen people in this thread and a few (busy ones) were missing. Out of us fourteen, three have bluntly suggested for the organization to be an AOP - Association of People. Since I do not wish to repeat things from my previous post, I would just stick to commenting that they very well seem to be in favour of paying a straight 25% tax from whatever they make as their earnings. Because that's what AOPs are about. 

Secondly, besides myself, two other people have favoured Corporate Membership for the organization. The rest have simply ignored the question and not given any answer, even in the form of 'yes' or 'no', at all. Hmm...

One man said that they should make greeting cards (for Birthdays, Eid, etc) with the organization's name imprinted on it and sell them in order to raise funds. So, that means an investment on the organization's part. That's what I had said earlier. But, I also said, that they need to come up with a relevant activity, some action, some meaningful and engaging project, that has a noble cause behind it, so that people are encouraged and motivated to join in, and then raise money by publicizing it. Otherwise the folks would be left just plain confused. No one will buy your cards! :P

The most important thing to consider here is that 'Legally', these guys cannot raise a penny, if they don't get their organization registered. So, we come back to square 1. (Like I had said before, these guys are much concerned about raising money!). Now before that could happen, I only advise them all to focus on this thing called 'Active Citizenship' - start off with whatever they have outlined in their Charter, their aims and objectives and mode of action and not waste another second (even if you want to make money...).  
        

Saturday, June 19, 2010

From ABC to XYZ - this post should be anonymous!




For the past few weeks, I have been drawn in, in a potential NGO’s Charter for improvements, comments, suggestions, etc so that it could be made eligible for an application for registration purpose to the government. I found out that in this thread of communication, in which I was included with enthusiasm by the Chair-person, there were quite some ‘cool folks’ babbling. By that I mean people like the Director-General of WWF and some renowned Lawyers and Consultants (and also one of my college lecturers!). Hmm… what was I doing there? Apparently, I was needed. I wasn’t able to attend their meetings though, because of my past studious college life (that I am not missing as yet). But I was pretty much involved in the electronic mode of communication that was and is going on.
Feeling incapable of coming up with something to contribute right away, I decided to take up the role of a 'virtual spectator' in this dialogue. I thought that when they will move on to carrying out activities and formulating project designs, I would definitely be able to spare some usage of my dashing intellect. Sometimes, I paid attention and most of the times, I didn’t bother at all. Why I was losing interest was because I had found out that these bunches of people were stuck like super-super glue to the Charter’s content. Every time I got an invitation to join them in their meeting, the purpose stated was: To discuss the Charter. Every time I checked what was in their e-mail update, it talked about the Charter’s clauses. I got sick and tired of it and I miserably wondered that all those biggies had been laying eggs or what. 
Now I’m just a fresh grad and currently in the process of gaining work experience. I wouldn’t know what clause or rule is right or wrong in the interest of the organization. But I was ready to learn! Yeah… sure dude!
So this time when I got an e-mail, I also got a call from the Chair-person. He said that he would very much like to hear from me this time. (Oops!) I hadn’t even read the mail carefully, but I promised that I would give him my feedback. I said to myself: ‘Chalo Amna, You're an awesome virtual spectator. Now... Time for some action!’
First of all I wanted to write: Dear losers. Then suddenly I thought that I really liked the man and he was pretty old and sounded well-versed (he even pointed out a mistake in my grammar once, in one of my e-mails… sweet) and always addressed me in the most polite manner, so I should not say any such thing. Then I thought of: Dear Dudes who think they’re such Dudes! (Make the D in the Dude sound really stressful!) But that sounded pretty rude too and I cannot do that. So, I wrote: Dear All!
This e-mail actually had a few questions that were looking for some answers. The censored e-mail is sent. I wished to include my actual and uncensored e-mail here. I’m not going to name any names here.

1. Should XYZ be registered as an NGO or an Association of People? The legal difference between the two is not clear to most of us. Some NGOs are doing creditable work while some came under public and Govt scrutiny due to some scandals. ABC Lawyer tells me that registering as an NGO is slightly difficult these days.

My answer: For God’s sake! Since the year 2004, you guys have not been able to decide even the ‘nature’ of this organization?! WHAT.THE.HELL. I’ll try not to be rude but you guys have a lot of free time on you. All this time when I had been getting e-mails of your Charter this and your Charter that, what was it all about? I am so sorry but I do not appreciate such randomness.
Coming back to your question, here is my humble answer. An AOP (Association of People) is very much different from an NGO in that it’s more of a corporate collaboration. An AOP is formed so as to earn profit. It’s like a ‘for-profit’ rather than a ‘non-profit’ kind of thing. As far as I understand the nature of your to-be organization, conservation being the basic objective, it should definitely be registered as an NGO, precisely a Non-Profit Non-Government Organization. And seriously, is this the time for ABC to tell you how difficult it is for an NGO to get registered? You should thank him/her for such prompt guidance!
True, because of a lot of corrupt organizations, it’s really difficult to get a registration these days. I ardently believe that that should not be taken as any hindrance at all. Firstly, you guys are taking too much time in planning things down. I think you should just start acting and implementing on your thoughts and motives right away. At the initial stage, there has to be some investment from the organization's part. You cannot just wait for the government or other private donor organization to provide you with funds so you could start off with your endeavours. Work some activity out on immediate basis, start making records and progress reports, build statistics of your target areas, population and workforce, produce results: show that you’ve achieved your defined goals within the planned period of time. Then present your ‘Golden Charter’ for the damned registration.


2. Should XYZ be raising funds for its Cause? Who should, and should not be the donors?


My Answer: You guys are so worried about funds that it’s not even funny!
After the registration process is done, XYZ can raise funds by making public any upcoming planned project that it wishes to carry out. The project's details, the aims and objectives behind it should be made known, so that agencies, private and government, are convinced to provide and allow funds for it. There would not be a question of who should and should not donate. And there should not be, I think. Your objective is to fulfill your project’s requirements and meet the goals. For that you need money and skilled personnel (who also come with money!)


3. Why there should be no Corporate Members?


My Answer: I'm not sure as to why you have a question of whether corporate members should be allowed or not allowed to become a part of this organization, because I really don’t understand how that could affect it in any way. Are they going to entice you into eating the money and not spending it where it should be spent? Well, that could happen! But a corporate member doesn’t have to be there to instill such heartrending emotions.
Personally, I think if the records and work being done is crystal clear without any loopholes, then there should not be a problem for any cross-section of the society, at large, to become a part of it. To date my learning suggests that making people a part of your organization who belong to different sectors only adds to stronger endorsements and eventual credibility.


I will update with whatever feedback I receive after this. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happens.. !

Many a times, it happens that you hear a rumour, and it completely ruins your day. You get angry. You think of ways to deal with it, or confront with the situation. You think of big words to say and put up an accent. And when you find out it isn't true, and you're done with your outburst, it makes you feel stupid. Nothing exactly like that happened with me. But, it is somehow related. 
I got angry with the government's decision of allotting land to some fresh Forestry graduates, so that they could utilize it for their own good and make use of their degree. The rumour was that the land had a number of trees that were intended to be cleared away in the process and that it was already reserved for forested areas and not for agricultural purposes. My blood made its way through my vessels to my brain. I was already writing something for Environment Day, and I included this news. Today, I received an e-mail from the chairperson of an NGO that is currently in a struggling state to become established and it said that there had been a certain misreporting, that the land allotted is bare i.e. no tree cover and no harm would be done. It is just for the sake of some goodwill on the government's part for a bunch of unemployed fresh graduates. Now that is a good deed. Hmm.. So we can chillax! 
I'm glad! But before writing this down as my next post, I felt a little foolish too about my previous. But I had to correct the wrong information in my post as well. I couldn't just let it be, thinking: 'Who reads me?! Tis okay!' But it was actually not okay with me. Thus, the correction had to be made. I ain't a chicken! :P   

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy World Environment Day!

Ironic as it is, I write to contribute a celebratory role as an Environmental Scientist on ‘World Environment Day’ and I see my country, currently facing an environmentally critical situation. This is pointed directly towards the threatening ‘Cyclone Phet’ that is about to take its toll on the coastal areas of Pakistan. There is constant updated news about its arrival, the distance left to be covered and the level of destruction it is all set to bring about. The areas under target are being evacuated, that is, the people are being displaced, as it is a matter of life and death. Many people have decided not to leave their land since the emergency services are not providing food and other facilities. Eventually they will have to be forced out. The ones who have left are already complaining due to the lack of provision of food. There is a high-alert situation, particularly in the city of Karachi, that will be facing a series of thunderstorms and flood-like conditions, after the cyclone has hit the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
The point is that there is no means to combat this upcoming disaster. It has been predicted, thankfully, the people have been informed, now the action required is: ‘Run for your lives!’
You see, it’s one of those Natural Disasters that the superstitious environmentalists like to talk about so that they could inconspicuously drive the government’s attention away from most important matters that relate to Economy and Development, not realizing that where exactly would this Economy and Development end up when they will have no planet left to stomach them. No peace talks/pacts or negotiation could stop them, no boycotts from using any websites or any country’s products or pure indigenous whores could stop them, no economic sanctions against any country could stop them, no suicide bomber could stop them, no civil disobedience movement could stop them, no hunger strikes could stop them, certainly no Obama could stop them and I wish to make this very clear that unquestionably, none of the conspiratorial actions from the political forefront could stop them.
In the year 1972, the United Nations General Assembly marked the date 5th June to be celebrated as ‘World Environment Day’ every year. The objective behind it was to heave awareness and education about Environmental Issues that face us; the planet and its dwindling resources that challenge us. This day is devoted to coerce the public and political attention to such matters so as to develop Environmental consciousness amongst the world’s population who are wholly responsible for the current degrading scenario.
Pakistan and its Punjab government realized the importance of this day on a sudden basis and allocated some land reserved as forested area by law, to be used for agricultural purposes! Whoa HO! Couldn’t get more sardonic a situation than this… eh? This has been done against the advice of the Department of Forestry as such an action would be heinous to the Environment and its safety, its preservation and conservation.
Ah! So this is what we have this year to present to the world what we are doing on World Environment Day: World Environment Day will be marked by a gesture of deforestation on our part. Much land will be cleared away and the already small percentage of forested cover that we have will be much deduced. Where does it leave us then? From nowhere to nowhere.
Maybe voices will be raised and campaigns and ‘tehreeks’ would come into action, but they will be greeted with a deafening silence from the government bodies, not to mention the public sector. Statistics shout that Pakistan is amongst the top ten countries that will be hit by the disastrous effects of climate change. This will leave no mitigation measure at hand for its control at that time. Nothing could be done later.
Without making it sound even more cynical, what needs to be said here more importantly, is that there is still time and we can still do something about it. We could ignore the ruling government and become the rulers ourselves. On this year’s World Environment Day, one can make a personal ‘Environmental Resolution’ to one’s own self just the way we make a ‘New Year’s Resolution’. The difference would be that this resolution will not be forgotten or broken. For example, a simple resolution could be to never feel lazy about turning off the fan and lights when one has to leave a room. Another one could be to try and learn more about the ways of everyday life that impact the environment and thus should be avoided. For those who do not believe in making resolutions, they could try to be more mindful of their actions and educate themselves environmentally. Surely, they themselves would be able to devise ways as to how they could make the environment around them healthy and this planet, a better and resourceful one to live in.
Environmental damage caused will not leave us with options of what is better or worse. The point being that: Prevention is the only way because there is no cure for it later. There are no emergency exits!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stand up for the Champions!!

Today, there was a complaint against me. A very unfair one for sure. My phone, the one in my office, is out of order. I had called for the technicians and they have been trying to fix it for two days now. So anyone who needs to talk to me, has to (most reluctantly) walk up to my room, bear with the pain of knocking my door and enter to tell me how useless they feel. There was a call at the main reception and the office boy had to transfer it to me as nobody had arrived as yet. I was the earliest (over-efficient) one at work today. Obviously, he forgot that I had no telephone in my room. The call was held for a maximum of two minutes and I was informed by then. I ran to attend the call and heard an angry (sexy) voice of an elderly woman with an accent. I tried to speak to her calmly but she was really mad for (apparently) being kept on hold for two whole minutes. After the call was disconnected, I walked back to my room thinking that I should not be mad at the way the lady spoke to me because she could have been upset herself (over a bad hair color that she chose for herself). I also thought that I spoke to her the right way in return because 'I'm not used to taking crap like that'. And then I sat down on my desk to think for a while over how cool I was.
My boss arrived and I was called to his room. In a laughing manner, he said to me: 'Somebody filed a complaint against you at the Police Station!' I understood and we both started laughing hard together. But I could see from his facial expressions that he was seeking an explanation as well. I told him the whole thing and he told me that the lady had called him and said that I was rude to her as I had asked her this particularly abominable question. It was: 'Do you know where you're calling?' 
HaHa! Well, Guilty as charged. I had asked her that question! According to that lady, the way I had asked it too was extremely excruciating and that no one had spoken to her in that manner in her (goddamn) 'whole life'! I started laughing again. Now, exactly why I had asked that question is because she was being really mean to me for the reason that she had waited on hold for so long (honestly two minutes!). Also, I had asked her that particular question because she had not asked for my name or designation and hadn't even told me who she was. I had thought that she was babbling and babbling and not coming to the point, so maybe she has the wrong number or so. It seemed as if she was calling some freakin customer service. Thus, my innocent and painful question.
Then I got to know that she was a dignified officer at a money-minting position in an organization. Alriiiiggghhhhtt!! So that's the issue. There was the bug. I caught it! Milady was expecting salutations on the phone from me. Right. I am such an insolent pup! She was one of  the Champions of our Nation! The ones who work day and night so we could sleep peacefully without the terror of a suicide bomber in the neighborhood. She was amongst those who serve our country and the civilians wholeheartedly and never ask for an extra penny (rishwat). She was amongst those who are feeding (robbing) the poor and building schools to provide them with education (instead of building an 8 canals house in Defence Housing Authority). Their children are studying hard in foreign institutions so they could become like them one day and serve the nation in future (instead of enjoying parties, drugs, orgies).
I am such a fool! I should have asked her first if she would like some tea, coffee or Jam-e-shiri. Even if we were on the phone. I should have solved her problem right there and then, instead of saying that I was not the concerned person she wanted to speak to. How could I leave her discontented like that. I should have said to her that if I would not be able to handle her problem, I would send her ten kg Mittai (sweets) at her personal residence. I should have told her that I work only to get her approval. 
I should have stood up for the Champion! 
Alas, I didn't do that. I'll be extra careful next time, you know. Even if it does not come under my job description to attend calls. I'll be sure to tell such a man/woman that: 'I DON'T GIVE A SHIT TO YOUR PROBLEMS!' 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's not fair

Considering this big bad world, as I choose to call it, it's almost always not fair. After yesterday's most heartrending incident of the attack on the minority community: Ahmedis, in Lahore, we (at least the immediate folks around me) are struck with confusion, bewilderment and a strong feeling of impatience. Some are angry, some are agitated, some are sad, some are disappointed and many are just plain quiet. 

A little later after the incident, while I was reading through tweets, I came across an extremely outrageous one by one of the most eminent writers in Pakistan: 'Hairy men attack Ahmadiyya mosque in Lahore. The news gives Amir Liaqat a massive hard-on...' It totally cracked me up, although the writer's blood was evidently boiling. Clearly, he points at the man to be one of the hate-mongers and well, let me face it, the man is a total crackpot and through Geo: A Jahil Online. Hence, we allow such Jahils to be on the mainstream. 

Not that I wish to go back in Pak History, but I cannot help realizing the fact that how well the extremists have progressed. How is it that evil always tends to flourish on this large a scale? It's not fair. We would like to think that there are or there could still be good inhabitants of this world breathing somewhere somehow. But then it gets really thorny to keep this hope up. 

The current situation is pretty much like this that when there is some kind of commotion around you and you cannot take the crap anymore and you shout out loud: SHUT UP! And then suddenly there's silence! Because all you desire is peace. The question is: How do we do that? How do we make the 'shut up' to be thunderous enough that silence is promptly followed? 

The scariest question is: Is it too late? 

I fantasize. I have begun to actually. Since there is only bitter reality around, I took this path. And this fantasy leads to a Pakistan minus the terrorist/extremist/Taliban/sectarian violence issues. It's bad for my health I suppose. Which is why I tend to enjoy such tweets as above told. 

Should stop babbling now. I am actually really sad about the whole thing. And I have no doubt I will forget about this sadness after a few days. Well, not forget about it but forget feeling sad about it. All because this (bloody) life has to go on. 


   

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Naaa... Not much!

A few weeks ago, I had started following this (firhangi) girl’s blog whom I had conjured up to be quite interesting (both the girl and the blog). I don’t think my action should be considered predisposed if I try to elucidate the reason as to why I took the decision to stop following it. I stopped following it simply because it became a religious ‘thing’ for me and I felt a sudden pang of hatred for her. 
Now I have no concern with any or anyone’s (maybe made-up) religion. My concern lies only in what I believe is my faith; and if my faith tends to inspire someone, then Bingo. 
I saw the parallel aspects that I shared with that girl: 22-years old, freshly graduating scientist, a will to write and a will to learn more. She had interesting scientific theories that called for debate against the laws of nature and I confess that I found them intriguing, somehow. On religious grounds, she was an Atheist (an agnostic… hmm!). Therefore, I understood that that spoke pretty much about the basis of her theories and reasoning. Anyway, one good old day, I sat to read an updated post of her blog that was related to ‘Draw Mohammad Day’. She asked herself that why she would not take part in this ‘mega event’. And the answer she gave was: ‘Because I don’t want to die’. A short video was uploaded there which (I’m sorry) I couldn’t quite get right but it was something like this that there were a bunch of people from an institution watching the caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on PowerPoint. Then they were suddenly attacked by a bunch of angry Muslims of that institution while shouting slogans of ‘Allah-o-Akbar’. And then the security had to jump in to control the chaos. 
So, she wrote that she would have definitely taken part in this event and ‘draw Mohammad’ as much as she wants to but she is not doing so because she is afraid the Muslim (terrorists) would attack her and she is too young to die and that she looks forward to so much in her life. ‘Freedom of speech and expression’ was what she was ranting about! 
Well, I knew her being an Atheist was dissimilarity between us but here was officially the strike: I am not afraid to die at the age of 22 years or whatever years IF it’s about my ‘rights’. Addressing her I should say: ‘Miss Bitch, Hello. Obviously you are afraid to die because you would do a thing that is most certainly and absolutely NOT your right! You have no right to disrespect anyone else’s religion just because you don’t have one of your own!’
I leave this poor girl alone now in her world of ‘No God’. 
Now, I actually have no opinions about the Pakistan’s court’s order of banning Facebook or doing whatever because I am not sure if it would actually prove to be the correct action taken. I think that whatever is happening, we ourselves have a lot to blame on us. We always almost never know how to ‘take action’. Banned Facebook. Banned Youtube. Seriously? Whatever! 
However, all this keeps reminding me of a Great Personality of our Islamic History: Hazrat Imam Ali ibne Abu Talib (AS). I plan to invade my Nana Jaan’s (Grand-Dad's) library some time or probably steal a few books out of the many volumes that are present there written on Hazrat Imam Ali (AS). As of this disgusting event and the Muslim protests, I am reminded of one of Imam Ali’s sayings: ‘Zulm kerne wale se zyada barra gunah-gaar zulm sehnay wala hota hai’. [That person is a greater wrong-doer who ‘lets’ Cruelty to be inflicted upon him.] (That was the best translation I could come up with :-/ ) 
I am not going to explain how this particular saying is related to what is happening today. 
I used to guess that it’s a big bad world. Now I am sure that it’s a big bad world. 


p.s. I have this creepy feeling that blogger.com will be banned too in another couple of minutes! So… Watch out!! Yikes! :s   

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So.. I'm Perfect?

So this morning, when Dad and I were getting into the car to drop me off to work, we heard a sound from behind us that went 'Chich Chich'. Yeah, the same sound the Road-Romeos make when they see dupatta-clad embarrassing girls walking past them. We looked around to see where it came from and it was none other than my one and only Super-Mom who was standing on the terrace and hitting on my Dad. The weather was a little awesome and she was apparently in a playful mood. (not to mention struck with mid-life crisis) And so she took the opportunity to 'harass' my innocent Dad whose face most certainly lighted up and he smiled embarrassingly at her. As they both stood smiling at each other, reminiscing their younger days for a few moments (I guess), I was shit worried about the neighbors catching them and I had to say: 'Dad! Please move! and Mom! Go inside!!'. What love-birds of parents I got!

Taking the subject of harassment forward, I would first like to mention here that I have heard and read about a gazillion stories on the subject of women being harassed at offices and whatever workplace they go to. Although I am not a 'Women Rights Activist', it always does make me angry and sad. If it was a topic under discussion in a drawing-room, I would mostly stay quiet and only question: 'But why do women let it happen to themselves?' Apparently, they are under pressure, they have a family to look after and provide for, they are black-mailed, blah blah. The topic was later of no concern to me.

I have been to a few workplaces and as little time I got to spend there (as they were internships and short-term employments), I only found a bunch of confident and classy women working around me. I never heard about any such incident then. Currently employed at an NGO, I have made a friend out of my colleague. Not until a few days back, she told me what she had gone through and was going through. One of her direct colleagues, married with two kids, had been coaxing her into a relationship. I was only shocked. I thought of him as a respectable man and had never in my wildest of thoughts imagined he would do such a thing. He has left work due to personal reasons related to family and what-not. I asked my friend: 'Why were you quiet? Why didn't you take any action?' And she had not very good reasons to give me in return. So be it. If you women are weak, then you deserve to suffer. I am sorry if I am being mean.

Since I entered my mid-teens till today, I have faced criticism about my (inborn) 'Attitude'. 'Hey that little girl with an attitude? I swear she is so stuck-up!' And then my younger sister who studied with me in school and college always had such kinds of comments about me collected from her friends (from both school and college): 'Your sister has an attitude problem.' 'Your sister looks strict'. Only later, when they used to come over at our place and I served them with Lasagnias and Cold Coffees, their opinions would change: 'Your sister is such a sweetie pie!'

I never had any cat-fights though! LOL! Infact, I am grateful to God upon finding some of the most amazing people as my friends (forever). A time came when I actually got conscious about my social behavior and decided I would smile more. But I was the same. (I couldn't care less! hehehe)

After my friend/colleague's story, I am so glad I possess this attitude. It makes me unapproachable. It actually gives me the sole authority to allow people to come close to me. Makes me Perfect? :-D

The man she told me about always spoke to me consciously and in the most gentleman-like way. I never suspected any kind of informal or frank behavior from his side. (Maybe, he thought me ugly and unattractive!). I certainly did not expect him to act the way he did as reported to me by my friend. Again: Makes me Perfect? :P
                  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nostalgia

A farewell to Class 11's on Prize Distribution Day. I collect my certificate and walk down the stairs from the stage. I am wearing my school uniform and I go where my class-mates are standing in a neat group on wooden steps. Our Music Teacher begins to play the piano as we clear our throats to sing for the leaving batch:


As you go through life you'll see
There is so much that we
Don't understand


And the only thing we know
Is things don't always go
The way we planned


But you'll see everyday
That we'll never turn away
When it seems all your dreams come undone


We will stand by your side
Filled with hope and filled with pride
We are more than we are
We are One


If there's so much I must be
Can I still just be me
The way I am?


Can I trust in my own heart
Or am I just one part
Of some big plan?


Even those who are gone
Are with us as we go on
Your journey has only begun


Tears of pain, Tears of joy
One thing nothing can destroy
Is our Pride, deep inside
We are One


We are One, You and I
We are like the Earth and Sky
One family under the Sun


All the wisdom to Lead
All the Courage that you need
You will find when you see
We are One


You will find when you see... We... Are... One!


Piano stops. Huge round of applause. I built memories.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

.Bonkers.still.Green.

In one of my early semesters, I took a course for Creative Writing and thought I'd become cool. But it was pretty much a useless course. I'm still cool though. Just one interesting thing that I learnt was writing random words and things that came to your mind. It was actually an activity and as much as I don't appreciate randomness, I enjoyed it. Today, I feel very random because my brain is absolutely not working and I don't feel my green spirit at all. This is because I am sick for the past two days and have been forcing myself to work, not because I want to but I have to. Anyway, this condition has reminded me of that certain activity which is actually my very true condition at the moment. Here goes:

Farewell.script auto-saved.blogger.document1.mail.sent.notification.AJM.virtual.facebook.g-mail.indoor plants.emotional boss.miss long hair.blocked.revision.nursery rhymes.lunch-box.bundu khan.mom.coffee.red belt and red sash.bridge.trees.swings.hall.principal.curly hair.parties.friends.glasses.sports day.sweat shirts.idiots.new dude at work.very dumb.sorry.hormones.headache.nausea.workload.brownies.summer clothes.little sister.american idol.do more research or go to hell.give more references or seriously go to hell.ambassadors.campaigns.do it live.more fun.yuck.snob big time.don't come any close for your own good.repeat.snob.big time.fellowship or scholarship.both.want more.big bad world and can't take any chances.hate feeling weak.must.shower.superman.loubly.will you stay?tomorrow will come.green future.malaysia is nice.maldives is love.ice-cream.rain.wind.sleep.pillow.terrace.music player.creepy world.e-mail not going.link in saved items.brother pick up.home.mean friend.new bag.sardar sahab.ahahahahah!