Monday, March 31, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

There have been few incidences in my life that have never failed to make me smile....however much time has passed. One of them is related here, in the hope that it makes this blog less whiny and leaves me with something (at least SOMETHING) to smile about.


A few days back, one of our really nice acquaintances came to visit. Along with her, were a batch of tottering toddlers, ranged from 2 years to 7. Five of them. I grinned at them all and asked them "Bachon, sharbat piyo gay?" .. now I expected them to say "No." I was in for a surprise. They all said (if you've seen Taalim-e-Baligan), "Jeeeeeeeeee." Flustered, I got up and went to the kitchen.

They followed me like the Pied Piper story. As I began making Rooh-e-Afza, the 2 year old went straight to the "matka" and had pressed the button (which opens the tap) before I could even open my mouth to yell. As I looked down at her, and I had to REALLY look down, because hello! She is up to my knee! Just this teeny, she looked UP at me and grinned, showing her front teeth.

So adorable, I can't tell you. As soon as my back was turned, I heard another bout of water falling. She laughed at me again, and again I couldn't scold her. I just can't be strict this way. The kid only had to GRIN at me, for me to smile back and forget why I had looked down at her in the first place.

Another toddler was not to be left behind. He sidled up to the matka, thinking this to be a grand game and pressed the water button again. *smilezz* .. he is one amazing lookin kid. Should be in some movie about the Mughals, so "shahi" his features are. So as I looked down, he understood exactly what he had to do to make me surrender. He smiled a regal smile. *grin* and obviously I couldn't say a word.

These kids were so excited about the prospect of a picture that they sat down in line after drinking their sharbet (again, sitting in this perfect line). All of them said "cheeeeese" but forgot to look at the camera, they all wanted to look at each other saying cheese. Man ! The more frustrated I was, the more they laughed. What a carefree lot :) I envied their life.. so free and unburdened.

Sigh.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Today was an eye opening day. In fact, today started with an eye opening event. Yepp. A funeral. Of a far off relative yes. But an eye opening event for sure. Mum gave dars. One of the things she said was a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), in which he gave a comparison between the life of this world and the next. The analogy given was that if you dip your finger into an ocean, the amount of water on your wet finger, is the life of this world. This water will evaporate soon. And the rest of the deep, vast ocean, is the life of Hereafter. So on the basis of this analogy, it should be crystal clear how much effort should go for one, compared with another.

But what do we do?

We concentrate fully on that little dab of water on the finger and forget completely the vast never ending ocean behind. All our desires, all our energies are solely based on achieving something HERE, instead of achieving something LATER.

Thing is, people might argue. Hey, we pray...and we fast..we go to Umrah and Hajj, and we pay the Zakah. What more do you want?

The answer to that obviously is: Being a Muslim requires more than just rituals and practices. If it were just that and nothing ELSE, life would be easy no? Just go to Masjid, pray and then come outside and have the time of your life. Religion, confined to the mosque. End of story. Eat, drink and be merry.

Sigh. It doesn't work this way.

Recently, I have been facing a load of criticism on this very issue. What I am trying to do, is implement religion in every (and I really mean every) facet of life. There are no exceptions. Whether it is a matter of friends, or a matter of the heart... the ultimate decision boils down to ..
Deen.

Some incidences that have made me, sad, yes. And also profoundly wistful for people who think on the same lines. I just don't seem to find any.

What happened was that we were standing in line with a list in front, where we (all the students) had to put down their names as they arrived. It was the Book Bank day and books, like all good things, don't last long. So everybody was in a hurry to be the first one on that list. I arrived, and stared at the half filled list. Many people were not to be found. Where were they?

I filled in my name. One of my classmates came up after me, filled in his name, and two more. I couldn't bear it. I asked him "Where is your friend?" and he replied "He is just coming"..
I said "But he is supposed to put down his own name isn't he?" Rhetorical question for sure. He looked at me with much distaste and moved away.

Another one of my classmates came up, saw my face, and jovially said "Oh! Don't worry. I'll add your friend's name too.." My reaction was like "No ! Don't ! She isn't here !"

Sigh. For all the good it did. Not only was my friend's name put down, I also received a nice lecture on how people might be late and how they might be having a genuine excuse for being late... etc. Well hello ! How would we know that somebody has a genuine excuse unless they tell us beforehand. Should we assume everybody who's late has a genuine excuse?

Doesn't make sense.

And when I tried to say something on ethics and responsibility...again..fat lot of good it did except making me look like a fool.

Maybe I don't explain my acts well. Recently I have had unpleasant times explaining why I think the way I do to various people; most of them, quite intelligent and perceptive. All I wanted them to do was to at least accept that someone doesn't think the way they do (just like I accept their choices in matters). That's all I wanted .. them to understand.

Unfortunately, all my actions resulted in , were arguments that had no conclusions. They left both parties bitter and caused me to question my decision. Often I asked myself "Did I do the right thing" and all I came up with "I did with the intention of becoming a better Muslim -- how can this be wrong!"

Ultimately, I come to realize that you can't please people. Ever. And if you do succeed , then either you can please people and yourself, or please God. And now the choice is yours. Which one is more important to YOU. And when you choose what you believe is right, then either you get appreciation from some, or you get curses.

Thus we have the so called small things in life that do not remain small for long. As we go along the path of life, little reasons like "dil chah raha hay" and "log kia kahaingay" become causes for huge sins. Sins that start out small (cutting the lane and a red light doesn't sound big does it -- and neither does telling a friend some answer in a test while it's going on huh), but end up big.

My dua'as for myself ..and all the rest of the Muslims, that we do not indulge in those habits that we KNOW are wrong, simply because they APPEAR small. Let us have the will power to reject what is made so alluring to us...what gives us pleasure....what gets us people's admiration and appreciation, but not God's.....what we'd be truly ashamed to admit in front of God and the Prophet (pbuh) on the Day of Judgement .....all these acts.....where the glitter lies.. but not gold.

Ameen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

RASHK

The day was strange. And long *exhausted once again*. Yeah so I was saying the day was strange. In the prayer room today when I entered to start Zuhr prayers, my glance fell on this girl in black abaya who was prostrating. I stood behind her and started my namaz. Now... I prayed 4 Sunnah rakahs. Slowly. Today I was feeling noble see? *smiles feebly*.

After my 4 sunnah rakahs, I stared at her in surprise. She was in the exact same position she had been twenty minutes ago. Er, what was happening? I couldn't fathom. Itna lamba sajda to nahin hota (Prostration in Salah isn't that prolonged).

I turned around to see a friend of mine absorbed in dua'a.

"Hey...listen!!" I whispered urgently.

She looked at me quizzically, "What's wrong?"

"This girl in front of me has been in this position since I came here. What's wrong with her??"

My friend replied, "Oh come on, she must be praying!" .. and went back to her dua'a.

I wasn't appeased. But still, I decided not to do anything and started my Fardh. 4 Rakahs and 15 minutes later, I was hyperventilating. I had stared at her intently and she didn't seem to be breathing. Panicking I turned to my left and spoke about this to the girl who had just finished her prayers.

She was bolder than me I suppose, because after seeing my face and hearing my whispered babble, she poked the girl in front with her finger, whispering "Uthh jaainn (wake up)."

There was no movement by the girl in front.

Casting aside all thoughts of a scene and believing completely that something was wrong, I walked around the motionless girl and stared at her prostrating face. Her eyes were closed. I shook her now, roughly, my voice a squeak "Are you asleeeepp!!" (what a thing to say).

She woke up with a start, rubbing her eyes. "I'm sorry, I fell asleep." She said in a sheepish tone. As if, I were about to scold her or something :)

I told her that she would have to redo her ablutions and pray again. She replied (and now this is the part about rashk)

"I have already prayed. I was making dua'a in Sajdah, and I fell asleep"

I gazed at her in ..... astonishment. The young lady had actually not run off the moment she finished praying (like most of us do -- okay, I'll be honest. Like I do). She had taken out the time to do an extra thing after namaaz i.e. make dua'a and do so while prostrating. Plus, the prostration must have been prolonged... so much so that she had actually fallen asleep while doing so.

This got me thinking. And this also got me frowning at how I pray. Never do I take out the time to actually connect with the Lord, talking about my troubles... and asking for Help. The most I do is a hurried request for Paradise and something about Forgiveness.

I envied that girl. She had such "noor" on her face, it was remarkable. I do try to know exactly what I'm saying during Salah, but what about AFTER Salah...?

*sigh*. Now I pray.. "O Allah, make me a better Muslimah. I really really need Help in that. Plus, I really really need stronger will power."

Ameen.

Assalamualaikum

Today was the type of day that begs to be blogged about. *exhausted smile*. It started with an all-determined me, aiming to climb the Everest in terms of our project. With heads held high, we marched into the lab, only to find our section locked. Er, what's that .. we asked. With great politeness we were told that the teacher is absent, so we wouldn't be able to work here today. The only day of the week that is dedicated entirely to the room, the locked door of which was sticking out its tongue at us.

Scowling I left, along with the more hopeful members of our group. We decided to complete an assignment of 25 - 30 pages on Communications Management (Happy days ! *snarl*). He had given us three weeks. Now the deadline is on Thursday. HOW did we get to this point, I have no idea.

As we searched, browsed and had a lovely online headache over this junk, I was wondering already : What else can go wrong in my already pathetic little life.

Before we left though, something happened that cheered us all up. Yeah :) Giving blood. That's one of my favorite hobbies. There is just no substitute for lying on a bed, a syringe in your arm, looking at a gradually expanding red bag full of your....deep rich...ahem. I don't think I need to go into gory details as my sis dear would say. With girls chattering all around you, some looking at the needle as if it would eat them alive, some clenching their eyes shut as the needle approached their arms... it was grand fun. Even the drive back home was fun. At least I didn't drive like a jungly (maniac/baboon). Which I usually have to do.

Alas, the day didn't end well. As soon as I stepped into the house, Mum greeted me with the words, "Aaaj Lahore main do blasts huay hain" (today, there have been two blasts in Lahore). I stopped short, staring at her in disbelief as she related the facts.

Apparently a suicide bomber came in the entrance of the FIA Building and blew himself up. His accomplice entered the place and blew himself up in the parking lot. Well I say the word "apparently" since (as usual) there is no concrete proof that this was truly the work of a suicide bomber. But whatever it was, it caused a blast and now 26 people are dead (last I checked). I write all this with the cold dispassionate feeling of a journalist who has been in war zones and "seen it all."

I haven't. Neither am I a journalist, nor have I seen it all. The only things I get to see are the ones on TV and this kind of news has become so common that now we relate it almost coldly. The only surprising factor was that it happened in LAHORE. Not Karachi.

Why Lahore though. And one of the blasts occurred near Bilawal House. Nobody knows the significance of this. As usual, we can only guess. But 26 people lost their lives over this senseless incident ... it makes no sense to become a "martyr" and kill women and children. The only thing that makes sense here is that this was the work of somebody intending to destabilize the country and cause as much mayhem as possible. So it's not so much about Islam , than about anarchy and destabilization tactics.

Well *sadly*. There goes my chance of paying Lahore a visit. I was kind of looking forward to it. Lahore has amazing memories for me. Both as a child and as a student :) Indeed it was Lahore's Alhamrah Hall where I received a prize .. that actually SOUNDS like a big achievement. Man.. I still remember my astonished joy .. and then the strolling through which shopping area (I've forgotten ! Me and my truly remarkable memory -- maybe it was Liberty). Man... those were the days. Yeah..*shakes herself out of the reverie* so I was kind of looking forward to this one as well.

Oh well .. :( No place is safe to go to these days. I wonder if it's safe in our houses too now.. I mean, with so many blasts all over the place, anything can go off anywhere...

Right ..? *pained*

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Assalamualaikum!

Today was one hectic, totally irritating day. Why hectic? Coming up. Why irritating... well let me elaborate.

It started with a subject which is one of the most "IN" subjects of ALL times. A subject which has short courses with fees like Rs4000. So this teacher comes in... scribbles something on the board. And starts mumbling.

And now it's our turn to start scribbling!! *scowl* Have you heard of a more enlightening lesson. I wish we could somehow connect wirelessly to the book in her hand and upload information in our brains or something. Somebody should do some research on this thing.

Khair. Allah Allah kar keh this class ended. The next !! Man. You should have seen the scene [this should be a grammar question by the way].

This teacher lumbers in. He doesn't even face us. He simply turns to the nearest available black space, waiting to be nicely filled in with white chalk and begins to scribble. I bend furiously over my "Clash of Fundamentalisms" (Tariq Ali) I can't imagine writing at the speed he is going. I can only read at that speed. And not even the junk about julian calendars he was writing.

It was seriously stupid. I had to write didn't I? So away I began. Scribble scribble scribble. A perfect waste of good paper (15 Rs / bundle) and my Piano Crystal pen !!! He went on and on and on and on. My pen danced across the page, twirling and doing the tango. One board finished...second started. Second filled, first rubbed...first filled...second rubbed...the vicious cycle went on and on and on.

Finally he stopped. We took a breather. This entire exercise had taken 45 minutes. The class is of 50 minutes. Masha Allah. He had the grace to ask us "Iss kay baray main kisi ko koi query hay to pooch lijiay (if anybody has any query about today's lecture, please ask)"

I could just stare at him in amazement (I always do..this mockery of the teaching profession never ceases to amaze me).

Who could ask? Everybody was in a daze after writing so much. We were given a mumbly explanation, which lasted about 3 minutes. Then we did this marvelously created question which requires the intellect to frantically add numbers in the places of alphanumericals and thus create an answer which you shout out loud in the desperate hope for bonus marks.

*Nearly snarling now*

Third class time. Happy days! It was Communications Management. My least favorite class...and one of the most interesting subjects on the planet!

In he came. Fished out this photocopy ... and started reading. What were we to do? listen to him and analyze? And then discuss?

Hah !

We were to copy word for word down on my Oh what a waste of those 15 rupees/bundle !! So away we scribbled.... Thank the Lord I have the text book. So as he droned, I immersed myself in Tariq Ali's take on the Afghan war.

:( That was enlightening for sure. But not encouraging... the Muslim world Masha Allah... what can I say!

Anyway... my day has ended NOW... after a hard hassling time ...SHOPPING.

Man, how I hate shopping.

But hey, how I LOVE McKanz's roast beef burger :D:D:D.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I have just read something that made my eyes open to the realities we face. Or rather, turn our faces away from.

The Palestinians are in trouble. Israel has cut off fuel supplies to this already ravaged region and people are suffering. The whole area is plunged into darkness and the thing which struck me the most was this man.. who goes to a market in a taxi, pays more than the bread he buys !! And just the bread. Why? Because his refrigerator isn't working of course !

O my God ! This is so terribly shocking. And it makes me wonder WHY I ever moan about my "miserable little life" !

My life is nothing, absolutely nothing in misery as compared to those poor people, women and children.. whose hospitals are begging for mercy.. their ventilators are being shut down.

I feel so helpless! What can i do !! Blog and whine about it ? This is even more terrible. Knowing something and being unable to do something about it.

I do so fervently hope our leaders WAKE UP. The Saudis wake up! That they look beyond the shiny realms of their "sovereign" lives and see what's going on with their "brothers"

That the Egyptians wake up and decide that helping the needy is infinitely more important for a Muslim than getting 'prestige' and 'status' on this planet. That they realize their duties, and how acutely Palestinians depend on them, being their neighbours and everything you know.

I can only pray... and blog. And maybe tell people. But all the people can do is also, pray and maybe blog.

It's the leaders who need to be shaken...to be jerked awake from their glittery slumber. I wish some country has a heart around here and help those poor people. Or at least start a drive or something and we all can contribute !!

DO something!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

PANIC

As wails and cries
Ring out over the sky
I stare

New Year's Eve it is
Shots and fireworks which is
Incredible

Some moan, some cry
Some revel, oh my
God.

Try as I might
I fail to fight
Misery

Apathy abounds
Kindness unfound
Alas

I pray what else
Trying to shelf
Panic

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today has been one shocking day. No. Today isn’t December 27, 2007. The shocking part about today is that I came back to Pakistan and saw my city, Karachi, after five days. Five days. This is how long it takes for a city to completely change its appearance. I left it bustling, busy. Now it stands lonely and littered with not only rubbish but also human despair. Yes. We have finally reached a state where we are in complete hopelessness. The looters did their job happily. Not a shard of pity touched them. The plight of the poor and hungry was apparently lost to them.

Karachi is crying.

My city is in tears. This is what I felt when I came home from the airport. The airport, ah yes. The airport is a big place, teeming with crowds. Now, it was also apparently in mourning. Huge empty spaces were to be seen everywhere. People stood in anxious groups, tightly knotted together as if they didn’t do so, something will come and break them apart.

A woman and her daughter who was on our flight met us again in the immigration section. She had a glazed look about her. The attendant asked her what the matter was. She said flatly,

“Mera beta mar gya (my son is dead).”

We stood and stared at her in complete silence. And then the attendant asked her, “Yeh abhee kay hangamay main? (In the riots these days?)” and the reply was in the affirmative.

She looked as if a part of her has died with that 25 year old young man, who had been married only three months ago and who had come to spend Eid with his wife because her paper process wasn’t completed yet.

This is only one story, told to us. Not mentioned in the newspapers or anything. The whole nation is suffering. Quietly.

While we were coming back, we saw a line of cars, burnt and broken. We stared in utmost amazement. One thing is clear, though.

It wasn’t only one lady that died that day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Me and my thoughts. Random. Feel like writing some poetry too.

Far away into the abyss
Redundant, I know
Dwells a feeling so intense
Burning; A fiery glow

Deep, penetrating the senses
Every nerve alive
Won't leave, won't run
Oh to struggle, to strive

Eyes unstaring,
Lips parted
Silent cries,
Peace departed

Sleep, a dream unfounded
A desperate desire
As Hunger rules over all and
Alas it doesn't tire
Long time no post :)

Today is one GOOD day. Alhamdulillah ! I got my result today. It appeared on the website. My hands were trembling as I waited with bated breath to see how badly I'd done. Well.

I didn't do badly at all. :):)

I mean, yeah, it is no ego booster to find yourself 70 marks behind the first position holder .. (*huge grin*) but hey, an 89.2% isn't bad at all.

Best thing, my dad thinks it's a good result. So there is one reason for me WANTING a good result. Warna to the heck I care for positions/%s. of a parhai so meaningless.

Well, not all was meaningless. We had some pretty good stuff... like DSP :)

And I'm beginning to feel it was BCE that saved my DAY. Something I had hated throughout the year... goes to show how one idiotic thing can lead to a lot of good.

Khair, the day wasn't ALL fine. Visited bf today .. she has SUCH A CUTE KID. Masha Allah.

The kid actually grinned when I called her pretty...:) Millennium babies. What do you know..!
Written in March, 2007

THOUGHTS 'DISPERSED'

The way this class is going
Everybody so far away
The measurement of dispersion
Of thoughts, focus, attention
Infinite

Variation of my thinking
Amazes me in this class
Thirty minutes to go
Alas! Alas!

The quartiles of my brain
Dance about unhappily
I'm in pain
Bored silly

Tuesdays suck so bad
With two of the worst classes
This is a sure fire way
Of torturing the masses

I don't want to complain
About sincere teachers
But how to combat extreme boredom
This class features?

A prayer escapes my lips
That time pass quickly
Make me get rid of this..
Immediately.

PROBABLY BORED

The deep layers of my mind
Have folded back
Unable to decode
The bits of my memory

Extreme boredom
Crashes over me
The class interval
Too long to bear

Upper class boundary
Seems miles away
My central tendency is
To sleep. Right now

Voices drone nearby
The median of which
I'm unable to grasp

My eyes just flew open
The class has ended
Finally


Feb 2007

This is a collection of doodles made in Probability and Statistics class. An amazing experience. I was always amazed at myself when the time was over and I was awake by then.

So it starts with Jan 2007.

BOREDOM

It seeps through my pores
No, not sweat
It's a cold day
I sigh

The world looks bleak
A blur of colors
None of them distinct

It swamps me
Makes my eyes water
I wish to close them
Relax

Not possible
Here...now
In P&S
I'm bored.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Now. TRS stands for 'TV and Radar Systems' :). Ah, did I have high expectations from it or WHAT!!! So like :), it turned out lousy of course. Tried to take SOME interest in it. I mean...TV and RADAR systems! How cool does that sound !!

Ah but this is the result:


TRS TRS
A weird phenomenon
I confess

The course is 'monochrome'
'Blanking' level high
Mind 'luminant' with nothing
I sigh

Why go through the lecture
Just 'watch' TV
You'll never see behind the scenes
Trainer's not ready

Information signal here
Transmits at a snaily pace
Don't worry though
We're not winning any race

Not with the kind of species we are
Not with the way we study
Let's all run into oblivion
Boy, am I ready !

-------------------------

This lecture was the 54th one ... Business Communications. One of the most interesting subjects ever, but the classes were......................

I fail to understand how such a good subject can be turned into such agonizing misery as we bore. 54 times!! It was horrendous. And when the tenders and quotations came in the picture, my tender heart just gave out. Never mind the fact that my nose wasn't acting its usual self either. Terrible!

So as the lecture droned away, I doodled away... that doodle turned out to be...

54th


My eyes weigh a ton
This ain't fun
Tenders and quotations
I want to run!

I don't care about
Legal issues
I'm really getting a cold
AND need a tissue

What's the 'cost' of leaving right now
I'd like a quotation
Oh my, I'm surely headed towards
Utter damnation!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Something I found somewhere and was immensely touched and impressed. This one holds good memories for me since this was my opening piece of the speech at the GSM 2004 (General Staff Meeting). I grumbled a lot since I was notified quite late with an unseemly 'You've got to do it!' and I couldn't even grumble openly, since, uh, you cannot grumble openly in front of the director :).

It turned out well though..... *grin*. Here it is.


I live for those who love me
For those who know me true
For the Heaven that smiles above me
And awaits my coming too
For the cause that lacks assistance
For the wrong that needs resistance
For the future in the distance
And the good that I can do

G.Banks

Abstract Piece of Idiocy

Written during my O'Levels : May, 2002

The cloud of O'Levels is overhead
Dark...brooding...menacing
The lightening of Add Maths, about to strike...
Tomorrow
Torrential rain fell recently
In the form of tear drops
After the computer paper
Thunder-struck
Were we, when Urdu didn't fail
To victimize, the poor unsuspecting cartoons
The Cambridge Cartoons
Waves of Math have crashed already
The tide building up
For Physics
There ain't no lunar eclipse
But the moon of hope remains
Shadowed
The storm continues
This is only the beginning
The silver lining invisible
For now.



PS: The class of 2002 was nicknamed 'The Cambridge Cartoons' and still acknowledges it :)

My 'Limmy' Collection

This is a part of my collection of limericks. They are completely senseless, so don't expect too much. They've been scribbled mostly in boring classes. If they make you smile, then my purpose is fulfilled.

Once an old lady fell into a gutter
Oh goodness me, she had to mutter
She fell with a bump
Into the sewage dump
And yelled 'What a CLUTTER!'



Miss Physics was walking by the bay
She met Mr. Coulomb on the way
He asked 'How are you mam'
She replied, 'I'm fine, now scram'
He touched his hat and walked away


At the beach there was high tide
The waves crashed, and left something white
Surprised I looked down
Peered at the ground
And found it was sodium chloride


Once Miss Clumsy went to town
She was wearing a nice blue gown
Suddenly her foot slipped
'Down she goes' , a person quipped
Now her face had a big bad frown

Something from a tired brain which didn't know anything except rhyming words

Its been a long while

Since I wrote a poem

Ive traveled for miles

But never reached home

Life argued with me

We squabbled like fools

But then... you see

There were no rules

I tried to trip it

Using will as a shield

It neatly skipped it

Using destiny in the field

Sadness, unbounded

Rolls over me like waves

Happiness unfounded

Has gone to its grave

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This is one time of my life which I am inclined to enjoy. And have been doing so for the last two years. This is the time when the last 10 days of Ramadan are about to end. The odd nights are here. The Ibadah at night is here. And er, exams are also here.

But the enjoyable factor is the management of deen and dunya that's one of the biggest challenges one can face these days. And being a lover of great challenges, I find myself thinking and inventing new ways to keep my studies and religion both not neglected.

So my last paper went good. Alhamdulillah ! *smiles pleasantly*. It was one HECK of a challenge because this paper was on the 25th of Ramadan (the 25th night is one of the odd nights of Ramadan). My frantic revision went on late into the night. Thankfully, I didn't sleep after that, vowing to myself that I'll sleep the next day :).

Khair, I did manage one hour of sleep.. and even then I was wide awake after Sehri.. SUCH is the power of an impending exam. Wish we could stay awake for the Hereafter as well. At least I sure see myself worrying and working constantly for the academic glories of this world. It's rather sad that I can't bring myself to have the same spirit, throughout the year.

So I was talking about the paper. This is a subject which is usually taught in the final year of studies. But it was being taught to us in third year :). It is so true that a subject is MADE by its teacher. This was our introduction to this line of study. And it went SO well Alhamdulillah ! It was absolutely amazing. So I was talking about the teacher. One of the best teachers I have come across ... one of the most principled as well. These are qualities that FORCE a student to accept that what the teacher is saying is RIGHT... and thus RESPECT him as well. He sure earned it among his students.

So I thank Allah for granting me the pleasure of saying that this paper went well (I don't normally say that :), and well, it is rather sad that we won't have it next year as well. I am already thinking of doing my Masters in it. (Allah Help me).

So I'll sign off now with the dua that everybody (including me) gets a chance of balancing deen and dunya (reaching the optimum solution, statistically speaking of course).

*grin*

Land of the banana

Sunday, September 16, 2007 (The News)
Masood Hasan

Allah be praised, democracy is safe. Enlightened moderation is also safe. House of Chaudhries is safe -- for the time being. Above all, Presidency is safe. Progressive policies of nine years are safe. So many safes, all in one day. Full marks to macho commandos and colonels with megaphones. They ensured that the naughty boy was sent to Soddisville through a cunning plan. With all the dangers thus removed, Pakistan is now truly a banana republic or as some think, a republic of bananas, destined to even greater glory led by the greatest bananas of all time.

This is a marvellous transition, but one may well ask what indeed is a banana republic? Is it a country where bananas rule as opposed to cabbages? The answer is absolutely correct. This may sound strange, but it is the truth -- not Durrani-truth but the real deal. Bananas call the shots, though this entails an intense knowledge of counting. As most of us banana-watchers know, bananas cannot count, which has never stopped a banana from going places and getting plots. Between March 9 and Sept. 10, the bananas have had a pretty torrid time, but such is their resilience that they have come out of it unscathed and unmarked, which is no ordinary feat. Sure, they have taken a punch or two and some bananas have had to be sacrificed to save the plantation, but things are well now. Because of this great achievement, the Banana Plan has been put into action and citizens can look forward to happy days ahead, in the company of senior bananas who may be slippery, but love Pakistan. The Banana Plan is popularly believed to be the handiwork of the Jadoogar of Jeddah who has always had a hand -- sometimes two in all things shady.

Some of its outstanding features are quite fascinating. The recent elevation of bananas as the national fruit has been welcomed by everyone. It is seen as a most progressive step, thus ending the long and bitter dispute between the bananas and the country's leading lotas, fondly known as the national rolling utensils. There is a move to further assimilate the rolling utensils into the folds of the bananas, so that such misunderstandings that arose recently are never repeated again. To integrate bananas into the fabric of society, a 'Vision Banana' scheme has been drawn up by the prime minister. All VIPs, will henceforth wear banana skins. The prime minister, savvy dresser as he is, has already placed an order with his fashion consultants in Milan to design him at least four banana suits daily with matching socks and handkerchiefs with banana motifs. The Prime Minister, who has a distinguished record of having never said anything solid, is a natty dresser and his forays into banana haute couture is seen as the best thing that's ever happened to the fashion industry. All government officials will be expected to wear banana suits and those more traditionally-inclined, banana sherwanis. The general public, who no longer have a general they can call their own, will be required to use at least one article that reflects the country's new plunge into banana-culture. Those unable to afford full banana suits will be required by law to wear at least one article, be it a banana vest, lungi or shalwar. Beggars, whose number is on the rise, may wear banana rags and eat cake. The armed forces have the least adjustment to do since their uniforms, tanks, trucks and guns are already banana-designed; what they call camouflage. That it can be spotted a few miles away without the aid of binoculars is just another cunning plan.

The government has decided that all roads will be named in line with the country's new ethos. The much-loved Lahore Mall will henceforth be called The Banana Mall. Banana Convention Centre will be the new name of that strange ball-like creature that sits astride Islamabad. Constitution Avenue will be called Banana Avenue, which is most appropriate since the Constitution has gone missing for many years now and cannot be found for love or money. Pictures of various varieties of bananas along with their descriptions will be featured in the new Constitution. All airports will be re-named. Lahore will now be called Allama Iqbal International Banana Airport and tourists will be given bunches of the fruit to spread Pakistan's new and dynamic culture. Similarly, the National Assembly and all the Provincial Assemblies will be appropriately renamed, and some are suggesting this be done before they are ready to leave. This might be asking too much of the legislators, who even on good days have serious problems finding shoes to fit feet. As it is, they are perplexed; hearing all sorts of rumours that they have to elect the President again or elect someone else, who will step down and pave the way for the real President to be re-elected -- things like that can be very confusing for most people and the sight of legislators holding their heads is indicative of the fact that most are having a hard time focusing on anything.

There is also a strong move to ban cricket and hockey, the only two games we still insist on playing. Most people equate squash with Mitchells or Shezan, and in track events we are already so low that organisers of global events run out of space at the bottom to accommodate us. Luckily, our performers are very considerate and work hard, so that they don't win any medal at all. Perhaps, if they had a lota category we would be on top, but sadly the Olympic Authority is not aware of such a utensil. Apparently the Greeks never used them. With Pakistan's biggest and most overrated lota, Shoaib Akhtar, back in the gutter from where he should never have been allowed to step out and Pakistan Hockey having hit rock bottom then continued burrowing its head into further degradation, there is a pressing need to inject some banana spirit into the sports arena. There is, therefore, considerable merit in the Punjab Chief Minister's suggestion based on another dream he had between the nights of 9th and 10th September, which basically means that slipping on banana peels should now be the national game. This is a game at which Pakistanis are quite naturally adept, particularly the civilians who unlike their khaki brothers spend their lives slipping and sliding on banana peels, missing manholes, broken roads, submerged power lines, barbed wire barricades, baton wielding friendly cops, spinning tear gas canisters and gushing sewerage fountains. By the time they attain adulthood, most can exhibit a fairly high level of dexterity. Perhaps, the PCB can be persuaded to organise a national talent hunt.

Of course, there are many people who are not in agreement with this banana plunge. They believe that the transition from cabbages to dented rolling utensils and thereon to bananas is a sad deterioration in national standards. Given the fact that Pakistan after 60 years is a highly confused state, critics of the banana fever are saying that this is yet another sign of our meaningless journeys into wilderness. They feel that rolling utensils capture the national psyche so well that they deserve more prominence and recognition at the highest levels, although endorsements from the high and mighty testify to the lota's irresistible appeal. There seems some merit in a suggestion recently aired by a bored citizen that we should paint a banana on a lota and end the tamasha. Not a bad idea at all.



The writer is a Lahore-based columnist. Email: masood_news@yahoo.com


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One heck of an article :)). Although funny, it does make one feel a twinge of remorse. A deep shame at how our country portrays itself, how it must be laughed at by others... and how low we stoop in the name of freedom. Does this freedom entitle you to bulldoze any law, constitution or court order??

Apparently so in Pakistan.

*grimace*

Ramadan Resolutions:

I have just made out (no, thought out, to be more honest -- after all it's Ramadan) a list of Ramadan resolutions. So here we go:

1. I will not tell lies. Not half-hearted ones, not full-hearted ones, not even desperate ones. I will just speak the truth. Even if my life is at stake. And I do fail to understand how THAT would happen.

2. I will incorporate 'khushuu and khuzuu' in my prayers. My prayer will not resemble a harrowed person's whose plane to Timbuktu is about to fly off and she is the last passenger...

3. I will read the Quran more often. And since I don't read it much 'more often' isn't really much. But I plan to do it 'as much as possible' Insha Allah.

4. I will not grin when at the Rakah of Witr prayer, the lady beside me goes straight into Ruku and stays there for quite a while.

5. I will not scowl (inwardly and outwardly) at anybody (even Chotpo) who goes to Disneyland.

6. I will not giggle if the Imam sits after only one Rakah, nobody has the sense to stop him and we carry on, finishing one rakah thinking it's two...and then a rukus breaks out. I will act all solemn at moments like these.

7. I will not enjoy the fact that both Mum and sis yell when the kitten enters the house. I will shoo it away at once, instead of encouraging it and enjoying more yowls.

8. I will not talk back to my parents, especially Mum. Even though I have the best explanation possible for all the wrongs I MAY have done, I will not explain my stance. It is rude. Even if I'm absolutely 100%, completely, assuredly right.

9. I will carry on all the good things and include them as part of my daily life.

May Allah Give me the strength to stick to these and follow the Straight Path. Ameen

Desperate times

Friday, October 21, 2005

Asslamualaikum

These days are just agony. Now Im wondering and Im sure you must be wondering too (provided you've read my previous posts) that WHEN do I NOT WHINE??? I complain SUCH a LOT! I mean, I am better off than a LOT of people in this country right now...who're lying in the open with little food, no shelter and a bitter cold just around the corner. But still, I complain....about happenings in my little old life from my weeny corner of a dot on this planet.

Now that I have expressed my displeasure at this ungrateful wretchedness, I 'll start the complains. Yep, Im in deep _____________. My papers are going terrible, my life doesnt hold any pleasure for me right now, Im worried about my country and the ground beneath my feet, plus I have the sorest throat as a throat can ever be.

Talk about a combination.

Let's start with the exams. I have a major problem. I THOUGHT I was an average minded person who COULD get good grades if she worked hard. Yeah I really thought that...what's wrong with it? PAH. What's wrong with it is that I thought WRONG. I am not an average minded person. Im a MORON...an imbecile and a complete 100% dork-o-nut.
(I made up the last one..but it fits). I make mistakes nobody in their right and aveage brains would even think about making. My Chem paper is a special example. But Im not relating the example..insaan kee kuch izzat--enafs bhee hoti hay! Im not making this public. But suffice it to say that it was one of the more horrendous things IUve ever done in my miserable little lifetime.

Next is the ground beneath my feet. Every moment I jump around scared that an earthquake would come...things would start moving...my house would collapse right on top of me and my family and I would be ...
burried alive.

Nice little positive thinker aint I ? But its true and that what I wrote...the truth. I dont know WHY this is happening...considering the fact that my city was not struck by the earthquake neither did I go through the trauma so many people in my country did. I think Im crazy.

Next point about my life not holding any pleasure for me is analogous to : my life is holding great nasty unpleasant mouth washing bitter realities for me. Things I'd never ever in my whole miserable little life expect from the very last people on earth from whom Id expect..! Its ironic. And it sticks out its tongue at me...!
I hate it and loath is, despise is and detest it...but its there and I can do NOTHING about it. Can't even make it public.

Its a constant ache, a constant prick ...not to mention a constant nagging worry at the back of my mind every single moment of every single day..! And it doesnt show any sign of fading away, or relenting either.

Lastly....my throat feels like the gums on which teeth are about to grow. Oh gorss what a terrible example!!! But sadly, this is true as well. Its inflamed at various places...swallowing is a nasty business which just has to get done with and my nose feels ......heavy.

ENough complainG dont u think?? The only thing i CAN do is pray to Allah to make my life better and my exams better and my throat better

and last but not the least...my BRAIN better!

Allah Hafiz...(I cant believe uve read this far...........or maybe not:)