Sunday, April 25, 2010

Green Irony

There is this news I heard recently and it’s actually in the air these days that the United Nations is seeking a new climate chief to head the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The amazingly ironic part about this news bulletin is that Pakistan has a nomination! Yes! We, the nation who is least, I repeat: LEAST concerned about the climate and its malfunctioning and with whatever crappy forecasted disasters the insane and damned environmental scientists keep babbling about and whatever shit it’s going to bring for us in the fucking future, actually have a nomination to put forth for such an immaterial thing as that! Seriously, I mean we are such cool punks!

Anyway, I am glad as well about it, but what the hell!

I remember talking to my ex-boss about climate change and its hazards; I remember speaking in a passionate manner (It was a new job and I was hyper). He looked at me with a smile and said: ‘Hehehe… Aww... You’re so cute!’ I wanted to puke on his face! ‘Amna, take a deep look around you and observe for a while the facial expressions of these people sitting around us. Do you think they will listen or be fretful about what you’re saying?’ asked Ex-Boss. After his remark, I was already looking forward to take my eyes off his corporate-shit face; hence I took the opportunity and looked around. I saw even more corporate-shit faces. ‘No, they won’t be,’ I replied. ‘Great! Let’s get back to work then,’ answered corporate shit face of an ex-boss.

Ex-boss belonged to the elite class of our society, well-bred, well-educated, well-informed, etc. I expected a little more positive feedback. Anyway, my point is, this is a man who represents an aware and educated class of our country, let’s not even think about above or below this class. So, the thing is, even if we have a nomination and say he does get elected as the Climate chief, where exactly is he going to take us? Pakistan will start taking part in more treaties, conventions, conferences, protocols, delegations, etc, but will never try to implement the roles and responsibilities of the pacts that will be made. Hey man! We have better things to look after, like Shoaib and Sania’s honeymoon suite and regular condom supply.

Listen, I don’t mean to sound negative-minded here at all. What I wish to make a point here is that climate change issues, energy crisis, water scarcity issues, global warming, etc, these things do not have a solution without the support of the people themselves. Action from each individual is required and utterly required. With a mind-set like the one expressed above, no matter how many climate chiefs get appointed from Pakistan, we will hardly land anywhere or near a solution. Our way of thinking needs to be changed; the whole system shouts for a change!     

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It could be a Green Life!

I came across a good friend’s blog recently and didn’t tell her that I discovered it and how remarkable I found it. I mean I will tell her later; I think she meant to keep it secret and I would follow it secretly perhaps. So I was reading through her posts and I found this one about ‘golden tips for would-be brides’ as her friend had gotten married and her intention was to give her a few pointers for her married life.

Gems of wisdom they are for sure and I appreciate, definitely, as I always appreciated her intelligence and humor. I have written a ‘comment’ and a ‘jokes apart’ (serious) view on each of them as I found them quite intriguing. I miss her. So, here goes:

1. Never beat your husband, no matter how tempted you are because: 
a. He is your husband
b. He is most probably your only husband
c. Log kya kahein gey?
d. It’s against the Human Rights Charter (Yes, the ambiguous document discovered in '47)
e. Since you will be in USA, he can get you jailed for this. Indeed US jails are not as bad as Pakistan's but what if they send you to Guantanamo Bay? Phir maza ayega?

Comment: True, she is advised not to beat her husband. But, there are situations when you cannot help it. Let’s consider the sexual aspect. He could be demanding it himself in bed. He asks for a whipping that apparently drives him crazy. I say ‘Go for it Girl!’ This way, she will not only fulfill his sexual desire but quench her own thirst to beat him up when he had made a face after taking a bite from her freshly baked Apple pie. 
He cannot get you jailed! Just rip off your shirt, give yourself a few scratches and the next thing you know is that he’ll be on a flight to Guantanamo Bay himself! Bohut maza aye ga!

Jokes apart: A woman’s job is to give love in order to gain love. You are lucky if your guy loves and cares for you himself because of you, in that case, treat him well. Remember love comes with time.

2. Watch Desperate Housewives. They apparently have very crunchy lifestyles despite being home-makers.

Comment: Although, I am never interested in watching such shows and don’t even get time to watch them at all, but someone told me that the name of the show and the hype about it is over-rated. In any case, let’s make the husband watch Desperate Housewives. If you want a crunchy lifestyle, get it out of hubby darling. You can watch it with him in case he switches the channel or dozes off. Give him black coffee and whisper in his ear a special thing you will do that night in bed.

Jokes apart: A woman does not need a stupid show on the idiot box to make a crunchy lifestyle happen for her. Just go with the flow and develop a bond of friendship with your husband and you will be the best home-maker ever.

3. If you live with your in-laws, watch star plus soaps. They teach one how to steal, pretend to be the heroine yet back-stab, tackle infertility accusations, insults on God Barahi, infidel husbands, how to crush your bitch of a saas or saukan. Above all, how to pretend doing the household chores in one ton of make-up and designer Saree. 

Comment: If you are living with your in-laws, you need to come up with ways and devise plots on how to get them kicked out of the house. Make sure the children do not get attached to dadi maa’s or phuppo’s. The writers, directors, producers, etc of these shows are basically social workers and running undercover Non-Profit Organizations that are heavily funded by secret US agencies. Their concern lies in the pressures that women have to face with their in-laws. Thus, they produce these shows to show them ‘light!’ How thoughtful of them!

Jokes apart: Do not waste time on these shows and work on your relationship with your in-laws. They are your husband’s family and now your own family. This is where your upbringing is displayed, seriously. Respect your parents-in-law as one day you will want your son’s wife to respect you too. Be friends with your sisters and brothers in law as they will be the ones to shower their love and affection upon your children. When you go back to your house, you would want the same respect and love from your own brother’s wife. This is the social circle of life. Give love and respect, and somehow or the other it will always come back to you. And remember, a healthy family is one’s greatest and most treasured possessions.

4. If your husband is over-sexed, show him a live performance by Rakhi Sawant. Precaution: Either he will become sexless or gay. So do it at your own risk!

Comment: This should be a piece of cake for a woman. Be Rakhi Sawant yourself!! Do not take the risk of making him watch that live performance.

Jokes apart: If he is over-sexed, enjoy it till you can and if he won’t cool down, make him go to a therapist or a counselor. And make sure the therapist/counselor is male!

5. Think you will have to serve him for eternity? Well I had an aunty who slept while her husband made the breakfast, prepared fresh orange juice. In fact he made an extra cup for her and placed it in the fridge. Now this is what you call a set-up!

Comment: Wow to her aunt! You might need a whip/rod if he does not serve you; or what you can do is that you pamper yourself all day, go to the top salon, get yourself facials, manicures, pedicures, body massages, full polishing, etc, buy yourself sexy lingerie, don’t attend to his calls/messages, come back home to find him waiting for you in a rough mood, give him a peck on the cheek and go for a long shower. Don’t cook dinner that night and tell him you are very tired after a long day and you ate something on the way (which you did), tell him he can order something to eat. Get into the sexy lingerie you bought and do not give him the slightest invitation, make him crave for you and go to sleep with your sexy ass turned towards him. Next morning, you’ll wake up to find ‘breakfast in bed!’

Jokes apart: Marriage means a division of responsibilities between husband and wife. He is serving the family by working and earning. A woman, although, has been working all day herself and been busy with the household chores and children’s homework and their moral upbringing, nevertheless knows she has certain responsibilities towards her husband too. It’s not about serving him; it’s about sharing and caring. Tell him you need occasional looking-after as well. Keep weekends or Sundays when he could make a glass of orange juice for you or maybe a quick 2-minute Maggie noodles, create a communicative environment at home so you know your husband is playing his part in the children’s upbringing as well and talk to him how there should be an equal distribution in everything they do in their lives. Care in order to be cared for. 

Disclaimer: These tips have been improvised after observing other people (stuck in crappy marriages); implement them at your own risk!

Jokes Apart Disclaimer: Even after all this, your husband is not being or acting the way he should, then he is just a plain ass-hole and you need to get rid of him!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Green Thought

My colleague and I were sitting together one day, obviously working, and the topic under discussion was my ‘so-called’ and ‘irrelevant’ passion for achieving ‘Environmental Sustainability’, not just in my own country, but around the globe i.e. a World of Intelligent Fools. It is sad when people like me, who are definitely few in number, come to terms with the fact that not many people possess the competence to envision our vision. They seem staggered and actually horrified at it. And what exactly is our vision? A Greener and Resourceful Planet! Ah, Thank-you, but No Thank-you!

Heading back to what this colleague was trying to say, in his highly ill-informed and juvenile manner, was that why the ignorant and unenlightened individuals of Pakistan (including himself) would not comprehend how important it was to cut off those trees situated at the Lahore Canal Road so that it could be widened for traffic control. For a minute I thought I could just punch him in his face, not because I was sensitive about this Road Widening Project, but because of the supremely ‘casual’ manner he employed in saying ‘Cut off those trees’. I did not visibly do it, so I stopped clicking my computer mouse, and thought of how to go about this important dialogue.

Only recently, I had got myself in a not-so-very hot debate on Face-book with an acquaintance about an article that I had posted on my profile relating to the notorious ‘Lahore Canal Road Widening Project’. Although, the man had solid points to put forth, I have to say how also extraneous they were.

So I got back to my colleague and asked him whether he knew what trees did for us and the Earth. He said: ‘Duh! They provide Oxygen!’ I had to come back with: ‘Oh! And do you breathe in Helium?’ He looked offended but managed a crooked smile. All I could say to him was that it is humbly requested to him to look for the importance of trees on the internet.

This man and many others like him need to be informed that by chopping off those trees along the canal, they will only rob the city of its lungs! This project is worth Rs. 3.5 billion. Please think twice about Pakistan’s current situation. An amount as huge as this, without a second thought, is allocated to be spent on a mere 8 percent population of Lahore that owns vehicles, is certainly ‘not’ something that we can afford. What about the rest of the 92 percent? Should they move to Planet Mars?

A recent course lecture reminds me of a factual account that we, the intelligent fools of the world, are facing the situation of ‘Environment’ against ‘Development’. Sure, go ahead with Development. Just be a little concerned with its definition and proper implementation. It is amazing to know that the government has a good budget to spend on this Road Widening Project. Will it be a crime to think about the 92 percent I mentioned above and develop an efficient Public Transport System for them? I mean, we are a poor nation for sure and we need to do something about it. (Right?)

Those trees are Lahore’s cultural possessions. We have not got much left in our pockets that we start stripping our country with its little left beauty. Grave environmental dangers are already forecasted including rise in temperatures and loss of biodiversity. There is utterly no water resource management and we are very close to wars on the issue.

We have to be blind to overlook such a situation.   

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bread & Butter

This post has nothing to do with 'The Environment' and yet we can make a connection. 
I scribbled and erased while writing on my sister’s note pad several times after I had chosen the topic, basically because I was surprised at myself for coming up with it and did not know how to hit right on the spot. I thought this a potentially sensitive topic so I wanted to deal with it in the same manner and this was not just because I had a slight incident to quote for it. Yes, there is a reason behind my choice. 
Every morning, as I walk up to my office for work, I bypass a Security Guard. I notice him but I leave an impression that I didn't, he notices me but leaves an impression that he didn’t. Why we acted this oblivious to each other’s existence everyday was something I had not understood and to be brutally honest, I never allowed myself any second thoughts upon it. He was a guard on duty and I was going towards performing my duty. 
I wish to give a bit of description of his physical appearance. He is an old man, should be around 70-80 years old, dark in complexion, white hair and a white beard. He wears a uniform, light and dark blue in color which makes him look even more charcoal-complexioned; he has the saddest eyes that turn red by the time I am walking out of my office in the evening. Those eyes do not exhibit rage or frustration, rather fear and maybe fatigue. The man’s job is to sit on a chair with a gun in his old and feeble hands all day long. Sometimes, I see him walking to and fro but most of the times he is seated with a lethargic expression pasted on his face. 
So this one time, I saw him seated on his chair like always, but with a cup of steaming hot tea in his hands. The gun was lying somewhere on the floor near him. To my great astonishment, the security guard looked up from his cup of tea (at which he was gazing continuously) and made an intentional eye-contact with me and ‘nodded’! Yes, it was a plain and clean nod. Please note: the man did not smile, but I saw a million small smiles gathered on his face that forced the gesture of his head. I did not respond then in return as I was a little abashed by the whole scene. 
I am a person who usually enters the office with an extra-large smile on her face and greets everyone out loud. For a change, I entered with a weird and bewildered but thoughtful look on my face (maybe a little smile was there). I kept thinking for a while and my heart felt warm. It was a connection he made with me. I wanted to go back and say something to him or just give him a smile so he could smile back at me. I didn’t go then, but I decided to go later. 
Meanwhile, I went through a healthy and efficient thought process, and later realized the importance of ‘Bread and Butter’. The man’s nod was the result of having his earned ‘bread and butter’ in his grasp. That cup of tea was an emblem of that for which he worked day and night. It brought a shine to his dark and gloomy face. Maybe those were the only times in the whole day that allowed him a smile or a nod – breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am also not sure whether it is three times a day or two. 
I felt sorry; not for him, not for myself and certainly not for the world. It was just a plain sorry feeling about the way things are actually. Life maintains a state of struggle (For everyone?). We all know what the world is about: Bread and Butter. Some struggle and get it plain; some struggle and get it fancy; some don’t struggle and still get it! And those who do that usually are the recipients of the fancy one. There is no survival without it. 
As I walked out of my office that evening, the man had his blood-shot eyes back and for a second, I completely lost the confidence to smile at him or pay my regards to him or maybe just nod at him. I turned away my face and thought that I will fight his bitterness. Therefore, I casually walked past him, close enough so he could hear me, posted one of my best smiles on my face and said: ‘Allah Hafiz!’ :-)