Sunday, June 19, 2011


Something horrible happened today, and I would like to share it with the world. Firstly I do not think I can describe what I feel right now but the tears rolling down my face are testament to the fact that what ever this particular emotion is, it is quite strong. 

So there is this sweet little girl that helps around the house, she's quite young and its one of the issues in Pakistan, i.e. child labour, and an ideal situation would be one in which we don't have to employ such young children to clean up after ourselves, but for now I console myself with things which may or may not be so substantial. I tell my self that if she doesn't work here, her mother will make her work somewhere else, and we are good people, we clothe her, feed her and give her shelter so essentially we're offering her a better lifestyle than what she has at home. That suffices for now. 

Any way, somewhere around 5 p.m I thought I heard someone cry outside my door while I was in my room, I shook it off thinking it was the TV, and I so wish that was true, but it wasn't. Well I had to leave my room for some reason and as I passed by the kitchen I saw some red blots on the floor. I thought it was red chili powder and dismissed it. Moments later the little girl was running down the stairs with tears in her eyes and holding a blood drenched tissue in her hands. My first thoughts, shock. I asked her what happened and before waiting for a reply I ran upstairs to call my mother. We asked her to sit down, gave her rolls of tissue to press the wound and cleaned up. I cannot emphasise this enough, the floor was RED, it was a dreadful sight, I cry as I recall it, but in that moment, all was calm, we got her to eat a little while we mopped the floors and drained it with water. After that, mum took her to the doctor and the poor thing got around ten stitches on her fingers. She was doing the dishes when she accidentally broke a glass and cut herself. 

I try to block out the images of her standing there bleeding and crying in shock and pain whilst I thought it was the TV, and some how I feel responsible. This is so unfair, if something like this were to happen to me, I am so sure I would have my family around me all the time, and although we try to keep her happy by taking her out and asking her not to do any work, it cannot substitue the need of her family, she needs her mother right now, and the worst part is she doesn't realise that, I guess she is stronger than I am, she giggles and smiles like nothing's wrong while I am clearly traumatised.

I think I would like to do something, something to help her and perhaps feel a bit less guilty than what I do right now. So we feed her, shelter her and clothe her, but that isn't enough, it's time we took responsibility of educating her. I would like to teach her how to read, I know mum has tried to find her a tutor but not hard enough, not like its her own child and so I think for now I would like to make myself useful by teaching her what I can teach her. Illiteracy is a huge issue that needs to be dealt with, just because we were born in privileged houses doesn't mean we have all the rights to every thing good. Education is a basic human need and its the right of every person to get an education, and if those in power aren't doing anything about it, let us use, the little power we have, to try and make a difference.

p.s. Getting it out there makes me feel better, well my nose is still running but my cheeks are dry so thats a good thing. 

The Inconvenient Truth.

Happy Sunday everyone! hope the week-end's going well and the following week is tolerable. So today, I went out with my dad to take care of some household chores and get a haircut (personally I hate getting haircuts, but for some reason those around me force me to go). While I was en route the meat shop I looked around to see hundreds of faces, and I mean actually looked as in creepy stalker looked. What I saw was a shocking revelation, the people in this city have forgotten how to smile. Out of a sea of some hundred people I think I detected a slight grin on two or three faces.

Makes me sad really, all I could see were vacant eyes and wrinkled foreheads, here I would like to add that personally I think wrinkles are a great thing, they give character to your face, but in this particular case wrinkles around the eyes would have been better news than what I actually witnessed. Now its not a discovery I have made, its all around us, the people of Karachi can very well see what I saw. So as we were driving along and I was forming this post in my head I remembered that amidst all the brain activity, I myself had raised brows and an intense look on my face, so here I took a pause and smiled. 

When we reached our first destination, dad got off to do what ever it was he had to do, and I sat in the car with the AC on, listening to Abida Ji and trying to figure out what the real problem was, well there are moments where I would like to think of my self as a deep thinker, but I have been told my mind in most cases comes to a quick outcome and that's what happened in this case too. I listed the causes of this perpetual frown that plagues our society as follow; depression, poverty, tension, frustration, sense of helplessness, heart ache, etceteras , etceteras. 

Our last stop was the Hair Dresser's Salon. As the car parked I remember thinking, 'I hope the AC's on' and as we got towards the door I realised the generator was on and in fact the AC's were not working. With no hair dresser free we sat ourselves down and waited our turn, at that very moment, with the sweat running down my face I had an epiphany, the heat made it impossible to smile. When for a second I felt bad for those who didn't enjoy the privileges I got, I decided to try and not look pissed. So I guess that was the answer I was looking for, people don't smile because they cannot. Yes everyone has problems, big and small, but one thing that everyone on the streets shared was the unbearable heat that surrounded them. So it turns out that apart from everything else that is screwing us over even mother nature is not on our side. 

The heat does not take away from the fact that our society has some deep psychological issues, major depression keep us in the dark and makes us bitter, with everything working against us perhaps it is God's wrath or just plain bad luck. But I would like to say that take a break, remember those things you learnt when you were young, about less facial muscles being utilised to smile, and what you learnt when you grew a little older, that smiling makes you look better. I know I wouldn't write if I didn't have something to say so I could be très dramatic and exhort you to smile and make someone else's day brighter(not literally, the sun's bright enough Thank you!) but I will put it in simple words, please smile as much as you can. 

'Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by'

 John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Something is Coming.

Hey all,

I wrote this piece sometime last year, during the cyclone Phet fiasco, I haven't changed it a lot except a few gramatical errors here and there, I hope you enjoy it.


Something is Coming.

Cyclone Phet packing sustained winds of 130 mph is moving towards the coasts of Oman and is expected to change its direction towards the coast of Pakistan in the next 48 hours. The intensity of the cyclone is expected to decrease as it hits Pakistan, but what if it doesn't? What if, this is what we all have been waiting for? What if this is divine justice and with in a week's time the city will be liberated of it's criminals? Like the flood that the people of Noah was warned of, this is a warning for all the wrong doers, the oppressors the dastardly villains creating havoc in the streets of Karachi to back off and board 'the ark' before its too late.

And indeed We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people (and he said): "I have come to you as a plain warner." 
Al-Quran (11:25)

From the pistol bearing young man on a motor bike to the power bearing 50-something year old politician in a white shalwar kameez, there's a lesson to be learnt. It is imperative that God frees the innocent from the tyranny of those who use their power as arsenal against the common man. Day in day out, the common man is being forced to compromise his life, his integrity and his very existence. Whilst the government is busy in planning for the 2010-2011 budget and creating more ways to loot him, he man worries if he'd even be alive the next hour let alone the next day.

Perhaps death is the easy way out. Who wants to live like this? Who wants to worry about the rising inflation and the loss of jobs? Isn't it better to just admit defeat and end ones life? Or maybe robbing some one at gunpoint sounds like a better alternative? There is a choice that people make without realising the repercussions. Without realising how what ever they do affects people. I guess survival instincts force people to be selfish, to put their needs above those of others and as long as there is food on the table who cares how many people die?

Of course the people in power are to be blamed. They are just not doing enough. Its funny how every one in the 'system' is willing to sell their pride, their morals over a few hundred rupees. It's those in power who exploit the common man and create obstacles which require a few strategies involving money and special favours. So yes, Phet is coming and let us all build our arks and wait for this natural catharsis to hit the city and cleanse it from these selfish scoundrels.

He said: "Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He will, and then you will escape not."
Al-Quran (11:33)

So the time is here. Let us lock ourselves indoors, duct tape the windows and brace ourselves for what lies ahead . The cyclone has reached the coast, people near the beach are already experiencing heavy showers, many houses in clifton and defence have roofs falling and are now vulnerable to the hand of God. There is a huge villa there, which belongs to a particular MP, look, the three storey marvel is shaking, the roof has a whole in it, can you hear glass breaking? Maybe this is a sign, Phet will indeed relieve us of all our troubles. winds are getting stronger, I can hear the rain hitting on the window while I sit here in my basement. Obviously I have nothing to worry about, I am on the ark, but that's more than I can say for that sheikh living next door. He has a lot of things he needs to account for. Bang! I think that was the sound of the tree in their garden falling on his new S-Class Merc. Serves him right, that money came from no good place.

Wait, whats happening… the shaking is getting worse, I can't hear anything any more, there is too much noise. What was that? did the dining table glass just break? This cannot be happening, I thought I was on the arc.