Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hey Guys, Why Do You Stare ??? What are You Looking at Asshole??

In Pakistan girls are stared to death, we love staring & it leads to visual harassment, annoyance and discomfort for girls.

Today my female friends posed this question to me; in return I posed same to my male friends in the evening. My friends gave me a scientific answer; "guys are visually stimulated, and girls are emotionally stimulated. It all boils down to that.

Yeah, we all love a good backrub, but for guys it starts with visual stimuli.It's not necessarily a compliment that a guy is staring at you but it's just nature at work.

I have noticed girls reading sensual novels such as Sidney Sheldon or teenagers into M&B stuff and guys running after visual treat through erotic web sites.

I have suggestion, If a guy just stares, all you do, let him stare, then there's nothing going on here. Meanwhile, catch his stare next time, look back and smile, don't look away: P

Jokes apart, I have noticed,closed societies are more hungry for glimpse of women, in open societies it is rare that people notice. Be it open neck, cleavages or skin tight top or girl in two piece bikini, it is rare anyone stares".

Does this mean, answer lies in freedom????

One of my American friends shared with me that staring gets back to the sexual repression of Pakistani society. Staring is very socially unacceptable in the US and very often can illicit a response like,"What are you looking at asshole?" LOL

Another American friend believes that "here in the US when a woman looks at you its okay (they even pass a remark like...he's sooo hot) but when a guy does it, it becomes socially unacceptable. The western society is no better than Pakistani...women, they are all essentially the same wherever you go my friends. The so-called civilized ones are even worse. Men, in the US, do sometimes get an illicit response like "what are you looking at ASSHOLE?". And they sometimes get a reply like, "AT YOUR FUGLY FACE YOU BITCH" LOL"

My Nigerian friend BUNMI believes that "Interesting i think ur girls also need to stare back and stare hard well its not in ur culture to do that but if they adopt this the men will learn to take things easy.Men! MEN!! its just that we can't do without each other, the Mystery of life??Its in born in you(Men) to admire, ogle and stare at Gods Unique being Women(lol) u can't help it yea?"

No offense, these are just views of my friends, one may agree or disagree :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Eyes & Ears Are Open but Mouth Shut!!!!

It is such a bad feeling, when one feels likes voicing views on various burning issues, eyes & ears are open but mouth is shut and pen is stopped.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Lovely Homeland!!

Pakistan is always on the global political map, be it war on terror or feud with India, be it Afghanistan or range of terror attacks. The name has always been associated with negative vibes. I still remember, the perception of Pakistan, created by media is always biased 'socially speaking', creating negative images in the minds of people. Whenever I interact with my friends aboard and explain them about the real Pakistan, inherits the rich ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The beauty, history and loving people with rich culture, everyone plunges into shock and awe. Following pictures speaks volumes about my lovely homeland;

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obama Ogles Another Woman’s Butt!!!! UGH Perceptions

Recent G8 summit was dominated by a picture in which as if as she took her place for an official group photo.President Obama along with Nicolas Sarkozy Ogles a Brazilian teenager’s ‘Lucia Rodrigues’ butt.

Recently I came across the concept of paradigm, the perceptions the way we perceive something, translate the picture and create a mental map. That picture gets meaning in our mind based on our biases, thoughts, and background and value system.

The picture sparked various responses; it’s the perception that dominated media.

“If I were there, I would have boxed their ears,” said Lucia Rodrigues, 37. “They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Patriarch Eduardo Tavares, after finally getting around to seeing the famous photo of his daughter from behind, quickly changed his tune from proud papa to furious father.
“My daughter is not a model and she is not a sex symbol,” he told The Post. “That photograph has ruined my whole family.”

At the Italy summit last week, daughter Mayara Rodrigues Tavares, her long locks flowing over her curvaceous frame, became the momentary focus of the leering leaders

“She is dedicated to helping the poor, not to seducing world leaders,” he ranted. “This is the wrong image of my daughter.”

Its pity, the way everything is viewed from the sexual lenses……hey world, time to get mature.

Miss Beautiful; Queen of Morals!!

I came across an interesting beauty pageant; it is called the Queen of Morals. Idea behind the contest is to assess morals of contestant in the context of Islam. For the first time beside the skin deep someone is emphasizing the intangible ‘softer side’ rather than the physical side of beauty. Physical side of beauty and using of women as commodity is the strongest argument most of the feminist raise.
Reports say, Sukaina al-Zayer is an unlikely beauty queen hopeful. She covers her face and body in black robes and an Islamic veil, so no one can tell what she looks like. She also admits she's a little on the plump side. But at Saudi Arabia's only beauty pageant, the judges don't care about a perfect figure or face. What they're looking for in the quest for "Miss Beautiful Morals" is the contestant who shows the most devotion and respect for her parents.
"The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants' commitment to Islamic morals... It's an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman's body and looks," said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak. "The winner won't necessarily be pretty," she added. "We care about the beauty of the soul and the morals."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pakistani Nation is Living by Default!!!

It is easy to live by default, go with the flow just like Alice was lost in wonderland. Few days back, I came across a basic yet an interesting concept, which says there are two type of people, one who live by default and other by design.

People living by default, focus on area of concerns, issues beyond their solution or reach. They tend to blame others, always are reactive and never take charge of their life and always feel dependent on others.
On the other hand there are proactive people, they live by design, they are independent people, strongly believe that they make their own destiny , never blame and always focused on creating their future. Strong focus revolves around the things they can influence or change.

If I apply above on Pakistani nation, we tend to find reasons, at times blame Jews or American for the plight of present day Pakistan. What Taliban are doing, we blame that its infidel conspiracy to weaken Muslims. We are such fatalist, never take any positive step to create better future rather react, blame and remain dependent.

At times we bring religion and blame NASEEB “Fate”, there are virtually thousands of reasons we invent.

Nations exist by default, always remain dependent. Progress is all about independent thinking, taking charge, being pro-active, not blaming other and creating our own future with firm self belief.
I lament all is missing, when I look at Pakistan nation.

Judgmental; No Please!!!!

I love my evening jog in awesome serene surroundings with my cool friend and we end up discussing something interesting. Have you ever thought, why as a society we judge people, we look at the world with our own goggles, be it transparent, red or blue. These colors represents the biases, what we perceive, we store it in our mind, process it using our biases and experiences, in the end, form a big picture or a mental map about a person.

Let me share, perceptions are always wrong, without knowing or putting one's feet into other’s shoes it is virtually impossible to get to know the real thoughts. Biases and past experiences are here to distort, and we often form an image which is far from reality and this would always weaken the relationships.

At least I try to avoid judgments, try to communicate before forming judgment based on false paradigm.

As a socetiy we do not give personal space or freedom to other person, always poke our nose into others affairs and always try to be judgmental. If two friends ‘male & female’ going out for a dinner, all kind of fishy expressions initiate backbiting. No matter its friendly dinner or a date but we simply do not have patience to hold on before getting to know the reality.

Immature societies or people rely on judgments, maturity believes in open communication.

Globe Trotting; Charlotte, Completely Exotic!!!!

Charlotte is one of the places which are exotic, different, serene yet urban. During my February US IVLP trip, i flew from Newark Airport , New Jersey for Charlotte. I was aware that it is somewhere in the South West of US, a laid back biblical town.

The best thing about IVLP trip, it focused on diversity, my experience enriched through visiting exotic places. When we landed, whole place gave a serene look, boulevards with green surroundings. After half an hour drive, we reached the downtown, with high rise building such as Bank of America Head Office along with many sports complexes.

One thing I noticed, there were so many steak houses along with many churches all around. Place gave a conservative look but it had its own charm. It is unlike any other place where one religion is forced to go underground if there is a strong presence of predominant opposing religion. Right in the middle of biblical belt, I came across a huge mosque; it shows the tolerance and harmony in American culture.

Apart from high rise corporate offices, I also noticed that there is sporting vigor. Our group ended up watching an NBA game, it was played between Charlotte Bobcat and LA Lakers. We were Charlotteans’ guest so we ended up supporting Bobcat, luckily tough LA Lakers faced the defeat I guess it was our influence and cheerleading for Bobcat heheh.

I also came across an interesting thing, I found guys with heavy bikes, came across Harley Davidson store. Other thing I noticed, cars and 4x4 jeeps with lifted heavy tires, amazing sporty Dodge SUV look.

We also had an amazing home hospitality dinner & exchange with cultures and visiting an international school was amazing interactive exposure.

Diversity is the true beauty of America, I miss it a lot.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ahhhhhhh My Life!!!

Today I was posed a difficult question, it is about my purpose or mission in life. Whenever I think about personal mission statement, following words always come in my mind;

To Live, To Learn, To Love and Leave a Legacy.

At times I keep on mentioning to my friends, what if days are of 48 hours, to maximize living. Whenever I reflect on the word TO LIVE, one person RICHARD BRANSON, the Virgin CEO, comes in my mind. His words are so close to my heart, he says, “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them...from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it”.

When it comes to learning, I always have hunger to learn, to learn about people, culture, societies, visiting various places, exploring the hidden beauty of human civilization.

At times Steve Jobs words occupies my mind “Stay Foolish & Stay Hungry”, I am so sure that its hunger that opens avenues.

While thinking about the topic I also came across that there are area of concerns, well one may show concerns but very little one can change such as the overall country or socio-political behavior of individual. However, it is the area of influence we tend to ignore, the area where we can bring maximum change, be it small.

When it comes to LOVE, I explore deep down passion for many things, be it sports, adventure, good food & I love my friends and family.

As time passes, I ask one question to myself, what if I am 80 year old, throwing a birthday party and asking all my close ones to say one sentence about me….what would I like them to talk about me!!!!!!! There comes the question of leaving a legacy.

I wish I fullfil my desires of living, learning, loveing and leaving a legacy.

I know it requires inner fixing and a paradigm shift along with can do approach and a lot of HUNGER.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Manchester City to Watch

Today I read an interesting story that says “Manchester City clinched the most spectacular signing of the summer so far when Emmanuel Adebayor headed north last night to complete a £25million move from Arsenal. Just few weeks are left to EPL 2009, all eyes are glued to Man City, buying spree. City have now spent £130m in transfer fees alone during 09.
Having added Adebayor to three other attacking players signed in this transfer window - Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz , makes Man City to watch.

City have already lodged two bids for Chelsea captain John Terry, if Terry joins Man City, it would make the defence strong.
Abu Dhabi owner is flexing his financial muscles and it is exciting to see what lies ahead.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Topless; Why Not !!!!!

Today i came across an interesting protest by a group of women known as GO TOPLESS group, they want equal rights and claim that "as long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest."....

Well, its an intriguing question, i am sure guys wont mind but these women have surely got a point !!!!

Stop Backbiting; Evils of the Tongue

Backbiting is sort of our national sports, in general society loves it, mostly liked by women folks “let me be honest, very few women may not practice but its common, one may like it or not”.

From social or ethical point of view, backbiting is looked down upon in any civilized society.

Today, I came across to an interesting book written for Muslim Women “Nasihat Ul Nisa, The Advice to the Women”. Focus revolves around women and backbiting, it explains that hadeeth reported ;

Do you know what backbiting is?”
They said: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”
He said: “Mentioning your brother with that which he dislikes.”
It was said to the Prophet (PBUH): “Even if what I mention about my brother is true?”
He (PBUH) said: “If what you have said concerning him is true, then surely you have backbitten him; and if what you said isn’t true, then surely you have slandered him.”

Reading another interesting hadeeth says that “These are the people who ate the flesh of others (by backbiting) and trampled upon people's honor.”

I just look around, our society loves talking in the back, backbiting and hypocrisy is the love in the town………so sad !!!!!!!

Globe Trotting: My Infatuation with Kuala Lumpur.

I never knew I could ever get strongly infatuated with Kuala Lumpur. Well, when it comes to countries, US is my first love, Japan a Crush and Kuala Lumpur an infatuation. Well, being a Libra, I am usually prone to crush and infatuations but the good part is that I always express my feelings. When it comes to love I am choosy, in life I just experienced one true love, one is US and other can’t disclose the name!! Come on...

When I was about to land in KL, I had an image that city would be like any other city not as fancy or developed as Seattle with skylines. When I landed at Airport I was pleasantly surprised to know that airport is the 13th busiest in the world and 7th in Asia. Exit was from terminal A to terminal B, I was thinking of a walk but I was surprised to see a modern aero-station used for inter terminal transportation.
I was there to attend the 13th Asian Chlor-Alkali Conference with a colleague from an associated company headquartered in Tokyo. I had to attend the conference, as well to interact with few Indian Traders as well executives from Indian Alumna Refineries.
Once I completed the exit formalities, I was surprised to see Airport Limo service, just got the ticket, small queue and limos were lined up. It took me hardly 5 minutes to get in the comfortable Limo. I loved the drive, all green Palm Trees across the airport, gave a tropical look, the most modern infrastructure surprised me. Saw people jogging around as well as cycling.

I checked in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel, one of the best in town, right next to Patronas Twin Towers. Well, first day afternoon, i was done with the meetings & refreshed. I was so desperate to explore the city, it was like, you see something and fall in love, and the desperation is natural. I along with my colleague, left the hotel to explore the shopping area, first we hit Petronas twin tower, I was surprised to see all international brands, first I thought as if I am visiting Macy’s or Nordstrom in US but I found KL malls much better than the ones I saw in Garment District in New York.
Next stop was Pavilion Mall, one of the most modern malls, with food court, Cineplex’s and designer shops. Later I went to Mid Valley, one of the mega malls. On my way back to hotel I saw KL Tower, similar to Space Needle in Seattle, Washington.
My female colleague made me visit hundreds of female shops, so I am sort of an expert after an extensive window shopping.
I learned that country has 13 states, with tropical climate, Malay being the major community followed by sizeable Chinese and Indians. One of the KL charm is that all cultures are living in Harmony. Giant Muslim mosques to Chinese and Indian temples, from China town to little India, is the beauty one would always admire.
Second day of conference we got done in the afternoon, got a cab and reached Genting Highland, KL version of Murree, the hill station. We reached there, whole place communicated one word THE CITY OF ENTERTAINMENT. It is a place on Titiwangsa Mountains on the border between the states of Pahang and Selangor. The place to me is Las Vegas of Malaysia, also came across legal casinos. Surprisingly I got to see a hotel with over 6,000 rooms, one of the largest in the world. Same place hosted famous Zee Cine Awards as well as Lux Style Awards in the past.
We had a lot of fun but my colleague was Burger King Aficionado, she made me eat BK, everyday, in the end I also fell in love with the Giant Fire Burger. During the night, I ended up drinking at one of the Posh Discos known as SULTAN, in the basement of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

It was weekend, my colleague had to leave for Karachi but I extended my stay because it was weekend and I was expecting my “United State International Visitors Leadership Program” friend Zaireen in town from Singapore.
After extensive trip all across in just few, I felt bit exhausted, I thought of spending few hours at the luxurious SPA, I went for Steam, Sauna, Jacuzzi and Swim followed by Massage.
In the afternoon, I chose the countryside and history trip option with the hotel tourism unit. First I visited Aborigines town, the original people, living topless, and the most primitive society living in tropical jungle. Got to see their museum and met few aborigines’ girls.
Later I went to the most interesting Hindu temple, known as BATU CAVE, it is dedicated to the Hindu Lord MURUGAN, cave is said to be 400 millions year old. To reach inside the cave, one has to climb over 270 steps. I joined Hindu Pooja session, got the PARSAD and well wishes. It was an amazing experience, complete tranquility and peace surrounded inside the cave.

In the evening I was back in the hotel, got a phone call from Zaireen, that she would see me in the hotel lobby. I was excited to see her after our US journey; I was glad to see her cute daughter Afreen and her hubby. She drove me to Saloma Theater Restaurant, located in the Golden Triangle, surrounded by breathtaking view of skyscrapers with the backdrop of magnificent Petronas Twin Towers. I was intrigued with the Saloma, Zaireen explained to me that “ Saloma is the name of lady, who captured the hearts of Malaysian, she ws foremost musician-actor, millions cherished her performance on silver screen, around three to four decades ago.

When I was in Thailand, I didn’t like the food much, but Malaysian taste, was yummy. Zaireen took me around buffet, it had both the combination of Malay as well as international cuisine, I came across . Assorted satay, rendang ayam, lemang, wok-fried mussel kam heong, sambal udang petai, daging masak hitam manis, ayam goreng mamak style, ikan panggang Portugis, Nyonya chap chai, roasted leg of lamb.

It was Afreen’s first ever Saloma night, she seemed to be enjoying it a lot along with Zaireen.

After food, the Saloma show, mesmerized with upbeat traditional and cultural performances. Saloma Dancers presented a selection of Asia's rich cultural heritage with contemporary and cultural performances. I was also amazed with Minangkabau, Chinese, Indian, Potuguese dances on stage with traditional colorful costumes. The dance medley depict different race, creed, tradition, culture and religion, the sense of respect prevails amongst all community in Malaysia.

During the end of the performances, they asked if anyone wants to get bit of dance training, I ended up on stage, while Zaireen taking my pictures.

It was one of the interesting short trips I would always remember…….

When Zaireen dropped at the hotel, I just said two words I am “ Pleasantly Surprised” and simply infatuated with KL.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Short Stay at Love Hotel; An Exotic Japanese Creativity!!!

I have noticed that Japanese are generally reputed to be "good at copying," yet for some reason they seem to exercise the highest level of erotic originality in the world. . From sopu "soaplands" (bathhouses) and imekura "image clubs" (costume role-playing) and deriheru "delivery health" (call-a-massage), mainstays of the sex-hire industry, to hi-tech adult toys, to lust-and-violence manga comics and pick-a-girl fuzoku magazines, the Japanese creative spirit would seem to be fixated on things erotic .

During my last year Tokyo visit, I came across capsule hotels right next to railway stations. Small capsules type sleeping space for the people who want to spend night and move on. However, I didn’t know about the concept of Love Hotels, I just came to know through BBC that during present day recession Love Hotels are booming in Japan.

A love hotel “called RABU HOTERU in Japanese” is a type of short-stay hotel found in Japan operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy to have sexual intercourse. Love hotels can usually be identified using symbols such as hearts and the offer of a room rate for a "rest" as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours .

Entrances are discreet and interaction with staff is minimized, with rooms often selected from a panel of buttons and the bill settled by pneumatic tube, automatic cash machines, or a pair of hands behind a pane of frosted glass.

Love hotels in Japan, nowadays they're calling them "fashion hotels, or” boutique hotels."

Beds that revolve or vibrate, or see-through partitions between bed and bath areas, or "mirrored rooms" with mirrors larger than 1 square-meter--that is, any and all places equipped with "facilities not required for the basic purposes of guest lodging fall under the rubric of sex-related businesses, not hotels and inns.

I am amazed the way Japanese keep their originality when it comes to love, erotica and sex !!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

OMG 'Smile Police' in Japan

During my last year Tokyo, Osaka & Nagoya trip I came across blue uniform wearing etiquettes and manners police. Never thought they would ever need a smile police , awwwwwwwww that’s so cute.

Today i came to know through BBC that , “A Japanese rail firm has introduced a system to check that staff are smiling enough at all times”.

Computerized scanners around 15 Tokyo stations will measure the smile's curvature to ensure it is broad enough.

Those failing to measure up - literally - will be advised to look less serious and more cheerful. This would help lighten up whole environment, I remember I found US more smiling than Japan, people are more friendly but Japanese manners are superior. However, it is generally belived that Japanese do not like or feel welcoming towards foreign tourists. Well, I did not find that during my short stay .

Report further says “The system will also be introduced at a hospital in Osaka to check staff friendliness and at a truck stop to measure the tiredness of drivers”.

They suggests that future applications may include shops - where they could be positioned to measure the reaction of customers to products on display.

This suggests how technology is shaping global society and social behaviours.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dubious Single Women & Marriage Talk!!!!

Today I came across an interesting discussion on single women and marriage talk on ‘first blast’ Dawn TV. It is interesting to note that it is very difficult to be born a woman in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A society driven by conservative religious cum feudal socio-cultural norms and values.
Generally our society still considers women a commodity and a sex toy or an instrument to deliver babies.

It is ironic, when a woman gets married; society thinks that marriage gives her license to live, to be with someone who can give her sense of protection. If a woman is not married, she is singled out with dubious gestures.

On the other hand women live under so much fear, complete focus revolves around marriage, what if they wear tight trousers, will they be able to get married!! What if they wear loose shalwar instead of jean, will this give a conservative look or what if someone wears a Hijab 'veil', will this affect the chances of getting married.

To me, women in our society are forced to choose or appear, as if they are a saleable commodity and everything revolves around marriage.

Well guys around 35 also attract a lot of suspicious gestures but women are completely singled out.

It is also general belief that if a relationship goes sour or successful, everything rests on a woman; she ends up compromising the most.

I lament, things are changing but with a slow pace….

I wish a renaissance hits Pakistan that leads women to liberty and allow them to make choices with respect. I wait for the day when everyone thinks twice before violating the sanctity of a women, isn't she a human first ??

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Descent into Karachi

Four of my friends took the bus to Dulles airport to see me off and help me with my horribly overweight bags and we all huddled together at the security checkpoint, the farewell spot, and wept shamelessly. The first flight, fourteen hours, went by in a fog.

The Muslim meal constituted cold paratha with suji ka halwa and doughnuts, while everyone else ate turkey sandwiches. I think a highly qualified anthropologist might have to be contacted to find out what western airlines think halal means.

At Dubai airport it gradually began to sink in. I was flying home; this was it, the two years of study over, back to Pakistan. The airport was eerily un-crowded. Maghrib azan, a reminder that I was approaching Muslim lands once more. My laptop happily belted out the Zohar azan reminding me how far I had travelled. Zohar in DC, Maghrib in Dubai and possibly close to Isha in Karachi. And soon, whether I was ready or not, it would be time for: the final flight.

I supposed it was safe to assume that I was now travelling with fellow Pakistanis. One of the two guys behind me strained at the phlegm in his throat long and hard before noisily spitting, goodness knows where (I really don’t want to know where) in the aircraft. His neighbour and apparent travel companion told him in a regional Pakistani language (which I will not identify for fear of inadvertently indicating that ethnicity had anything to do with the behaviour) that one is not allowed to spit here. The spitter made some dismissive sounds.

As we began to lose altitude, the pilot came onto the PA system and said, “Ladies and gentlemen we are beginning our descent into Karachi.”

Once we had landed, while we still taxied, and the seat belt signs were still on, the passenger situated immediately behind me (spitting gent) jumped from his seat and proceeded to pull out his carry-on from the overhead compartment. The stewardess yelled at him from her jump seat down the aisle — to no avail. The heavy bag slipped from the spitting gent’s grasp and nearly killed me. He giggled when he saw my expression.

Descent into Karachi!

Then next day I go to a happening grilled chicken place for lunch with my friends and am so overwhelmed by the changes in noise levels, temperature and general ambience that I speak little — they do most of the talking. I’m surprised by how removed I feel from the very things I was once intimately acquainted with. The office politics, the work hassles.

Since I am now jobless as well as car-less, my friends pay for lunch. They also generously open up their contact books along with their pocketbooks and assiduously try to set up interviews for me. One of my friends suggests that I omit mentioning that I was on a Fulbright scholarship because supposedly no one in Pakistan likes to hire someone too highly qualified. I’m a little nervous that my friend might be right.

After a disastrous interview (which would be a complete article in itself), as I am about to succumb to jet-lag and a deep, dark funk, another friend picks me up and takes me to coffee. Karachiites never stop and don’t believe in jet-lag. Again I am touched because she too ridicules the idea of me paying for myself “please, don’t be silly.” I am lucky I have such awesome friends but my friend says that she is disappointed to see the changes in me. “Pakistan is not as bad as you seem to think it’s going to be,” this means a lot coming from her as she recently evaded a riot, shelling and bullets in Korangi on her way home from work. She says that I have become what all scholarship kids become: blindly in love with America, over exposed to Pakistan’s faults and overly anxious about bomb blasts and such events.

Karachiites take such things in their stride.

I am chastised and tell her that the hot chocolate at this cafe is definitely comparable to Starbucks in the hope of demonstrating that I am perfectly willing to appreciate Karachi. “Do you know where the Startbucks money goes?” she asks.
Karachiites love conspiracy theories.

She also informs me that I have gained too much weight to be allowed and must immediately join her particular gym before going to her tailor and shopping at her favourite boutique. I am now clinging to her like a drowning Fulbrighter to a floatation implement. I think it’s because I am gradually Karachiising. A Karachiite is nothing if she’s not hooked up with the right gym/parlour/boutique and Apple repairman.

Perhaps tomorrow I will start this re-entry process again. Think mangoes, think bougainvillea and flame of the forest flowers basking on Karachi boundary walls; think anything, but think positive. I can do this; I can overcome reverse cultural shock in the land of my birth. I can and I will begin again. As soon as the load shedding ends and the power comes back on.

I reconfigure my computer’s azan software for Karachi and also reset my computer clock to Karachi time. The azans are nowhere near synchronised with the neighbourhood mosque and the automatic clock is about an hour off. This is going to be harder than I thought.
Above article is written by Fauzia Husain and published on 5th July in Daily Dawn....It is very close to my story, just wanted to share.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Break Down of Elite Consensus in Pakistan!!! Why Not More Provinces ????

We are witnessing an interesting debate on the creation of more manageable administrative cum political divisions in Pakistan. The intriguing aspect to me is that it is not pushed by masses rather elites are debating.

To many it does make sense if newer, smaller and more manageable divisions are carved out of bigger provinces, this may help in addressing the question of sense of deprivation in the people. This would ensure de-centralization of power, distribution of wealth. This would further mean, sense of contentment in deprived group and may feel that their political and social rights are addressed.

The question of Seraiki province, mainly the Bahawalpur as province has initiated a new debate, on the one hand people are of the opinion that this would open a Pandora box and present situation does not allow Pakistan to get into all, on the other hand opinion suggests that it is the right time to address the grievances of deprived people so that country’s stability could be ensured.

Both the opinions have merits and de-merits. If one looks at the political elites, both PPP and PML N would be looking at debate from the perspective of their own narrow interests. But gravity of situation suggests that people focused approach is need of the hour and it is high time to address structural exploitation of people.

If stability of Pakistan is the only objective, then why not listen to the new ideas if those could be helpful in addressing the people’s problems.

Dr Aisha’s ‘the author of the book Military Inc’ makes an interesting point “The entire debate is interesting because it indicates the weakening of elite consensus in Punjab, a province which is considered critical to Pakistan and its power politics. It must also be mentioned that the subcontinent has taken a newer shape every time elite consensus broke down. Starting from the independence of India and Pakistan to the breakup of Pakistan in 1971, this will probably be the third time in our history that the breakdown of consensus might give a new shape to the political division of territory. Of course, this time it will be done in a more decent manner, which is to be expected since there is no grass-roots demand for a new province”.

Everyone wonders what present break down of elite consensus would bring???? for the country and people !!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Living in the Middle of the Ocean...Wow

I still remember few words of Steve Jobs, APPLE CEO, Stay Foolish and Stay Hungry. It seems foolishness is the key to innovation, to force oneself to think out of the box.

Today i came across an intriguing housing concept, a community in the middle of the wish i could get to live on a floating structure with my kinda people.

Report says "Seasteading, a term derived from combining "sea" and "homesteading", is a general term given to the notion of either converting existing structures, such as old boats or disused oil rigs, or custom-building new ones to allow people to live in the middle of the ocean. Generally, this also includes the interrelated goal of establishing a sovereign state on the open seas, away from any existing governmental structures on dry land"..
Let's see where future takes us all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Baloch in the Eyes of the Great Iranian Scholar and Poet Ferdos Jamal (1623-1705)

Baloch loves fighting but hates to be a soldier. Loves music but has a great contempt for musicians. He is kind loving and gentle but hates to show it. Hot blooded and hot headed, poor but proud, with strange principles. He loves his new rifle and old wife He will die but never step back from his words. He is loving and sincere friend but a deadly enemy.