Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Of rays, and regrets


Now that the year is about to end "with a blast", I can sit down and reflect on the previous 365 days -- how they went by, what did I achieve, what I lost, etc. Umm.. overall, I would definitely not count this year as being anywhere as great as say.... 2002... or 2003-2004. Man.. those were the days! 2005 started my descent, 2006 was a leetle better, 2007 was again downhill, and 2008 hit rock bottom. Just when I thought you can't go below the bottom, it turns out that the earth has a big huge crust, and that's all "below the surface" this year, i was submerged somewhere below -- coming up briefly once, and then sinking again.

I'll talk about the good points first. Blessings should be counted on, rather than appended half-heartedly at the bottom of the list.

1. January 09 bought new hopes, a fresh start, new beginnings what not. We had freshly graduated, hopeful of finding suitable jobs etc. Alhamdulillah, I secured an interview and got a job which wasn't really related to pure engineering, but...erm.. I loved it.

2. The job began in this month. I was WAY apprehensive at first .. :) but it all sorted itself out Masha Allah and I really liked working there.

3. March marked further progress in learning at my workplace. I also made it to the interview stage of one of the top-ranked universities. That was definitely a cool moment :) [even though I was scared witless -- phone interviews :S:S! NOT my speciality]. But Alhamdulillah, I passed that stage too and got admission.

4. April marked my admission test to my home university :S It was an okay test. I had a comforting feeling at the back of my brain that hey, I'm not going to be staying here. No worries. Got my netbook too :D

5. May brought the glad tidings that I had secured a place in the home university, so MS was to begin from end of June.

6. MS began in June .. :) it was an exhausting experience. But er, I really enjoyed it. Was still hopeful for a scholarship.

7. July bought more work pressure and learning to deal with it.

8. August got me through the tough decision of leaving the job.. but I had done it for good reasons. So well.. :S

9. September was study break and Ramadan :) It was one of the best Ramadans ever! I learned SO much.. we had this taraweeh+tafseer thing at a nearby hall and went regularly... Alhamdulillah, it was a wonderful experience.

10. October marked the birth of a human being who ...solely through his existence, and harkatain (acts), can make me forget my woes in a split second, and make me smile. My bhanja was born on 17th Oct 2009 :):)...

11. November went by in a shadeed blur - helping out sis, taking care of the kiddo, etc etc... somehow managing studies as well. Semester ended :) and the fact that it wasn't all bad. It was better (and tougher...which is a good means I learn) than the other options I could have taken.

12. December is almost out the door. The month marked my exams... not great. But khair.. nobody much cares except my Dad. And speaking of Dad, lol... he and I have been embarking on missions now (remember i once complained that Dad and I dont spend any time together..? Well now we do). The mission is called "making sense of Linux" :D ...and its sooooooo funny I can't tell you.

Saying all these good things have made me reluctant to come to bad ones that happened this year. I'm going to make them short, and try to balance them out with the goods that came out of the bads :S

1. I never got any scholarship -- doesn't mean I never WILL... (I am still hopeful IA). Only my focus has now changed from MS to PhD. Hope it works out. Ameen.

2. I managed to hurt a lot of people through my actions. And suffered for it. -- but I did apologize, and vowed to myself not to act stupidly ever again.. (IA :S).

3. I was rude to people. Didn't intend it. But happened. -- asked for forgiveness from Allah :S and vowed to improve.

4. I have a load of regrets for loads of stuff. Too much honesty doesn't really get you anywhere. The person you should be 200% honest to is only yourself.

5. Me not getting a chance to go abroad -- I was devastated. But ... :P my sis was elated :D... and I would have (certainly) missed the birth of my bhanja, cuz classes start from October in most universities. So I didn't miss the precious time and helped out quite a bit :)

6. Many things I tried for... didn't work out. I am still hoping to see why they weren't good for me .. :) I sure do wish my dad wasn't so disappointed in me though.

It doesn't THAT bad now :D... (My blog archives helped me!). I guess 12 good things and 6 bad ones, do make it an overall okay year. Not too bad huh. The country's situation has deteriorated... and the corruption of our politicians hasn't surprised anybody... but disappointed and disillusioned a lot of countrymen. The NRO annulment was a ray of hope though. Wish there could be something done about that! Doctors' negligence has caused deaths and ailments that were not supposed to happen. The Karachi 10 Muharram blast has taken away precious lives (some of them children) and caused an economic meltdown for thousands. People's livelihoods have been burnt crisp, and to nobody's surprise, the City Government pleads innocent, and the Tehreek-e-Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attacks. **rolls her eyes**... We get either more naive, or more stupid, as the days go by.

May Allah Help and Have Mercy on us all. Ameen and enable us to steadfastly and with patience, march on...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Key to Our Dream

*Poem written by Tariq Mehanna
27th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1430
(14th of December 2009)
In the hours before Fajr; in the traces of the pale floodlights shining into my cell.
Plymouth County Correctional Facility, Isolation Unit.*


(In the Name of Allah)

I walked by our dream and was saddened to find
Tears filling her eyes with a look quite resigned.
She sat in the jail where we left her behind
Trapped behind the bars of a colonized mind.

I stood and wondered how I could set her free
So I asked if she knew where they’d hidden the key.
She wiped away tears and looked over at me
With pity that I assumed it would be so easy!

She said: “Buried inside pages of distant past
With a heritage of lions, so rich and so vast
You’ll find the key with Sumayyah, when to faith she held fast
As they speared her chastity, and she breathed her last.

And it’s the finger of Bilal, the heroic black slave,
The sign of Tawhid that in their faces he’d wave
As he lay tied down in a hot desert grave
Their harming of him made him all the more brave.

And it’s the pledge of ‘Ikrimah, enemy turned warrior
Who changed his life to make the truth superior.
Khalid himself could not hold him back from more
When his pledge at Yarmuk left the Romans so sore.

It is the back with shredded flesh and torn skin
Of Ahmad bin Hambal, who refused to give in.
He answered their whips with the truth and a grin
To protect our religion, he would not let them win.

And it is the bittersweet dust of the land of Hittin,
That once engulfed the knights of Salah ad-Din
From the filth of dishonor, he made that dust clean
And for the respect of the world did he set the scene.

It was the rope around the neck of the desert’s lion
‘Umar Mukhatar, who would bow down to no Italian.
Refusing to live in a state of humiliation
His chin high to the end, with no fear of the Creation.

The rope was passed on to Sayyid’s waiting head
With one last chance for him to be spared from this dread.
And from the choicest fruits, they promised he would be fed
But his index finger led him to another door instead.

The same finger that pointed up as Malcolm X lay still
Ending a life of honor, that was one struggle uphill.
He left a life of crime, transforming himself until
He spoke bitter truth with eloquence and skill…”

She sat in the jail where we left her behind
Indeed this key will be difficult to find
But it is you if you refuse to be blind
And decide to free yourself from the colonized mind.

This kind of writing makes my own puny efforts, just ...that. Puny. I wish I could do something for the injustice that is being meted out to countless people around the world today. My own country-woman being one of them.

And I stay helpless, and unable to do anything. Except post on a blog.
*disgusted with herself*

Friday, December 25, 2009

25th of December..

What I hope to be
What I plan to be
Are not certain
Act like burdens

The day is for celebrating
The birth of a man
Who had a vision
For certain

He saw what others didn't
With the exception of our great poet
Who didn't live long enough
For his vision to be ascertained

The new map emerged
The country was born
Many argue, many question
Was his motives islamic, for certain?

It's kinda weird
Somebody would go
To such lengths, for Muslims' rights
And not hold religious conviction?

Why else would a separate state
Be needed in the subcontinent
If independence could be obtained
From the British, without any tension

But Muslims needed to be
Separate from others
Their rights, separate rights
Their values different, for certain

This vision took shape
In the form of the country
Where we live today, thank the Lord
Credit to this one man's selfless actions.

Copyright Uni Wish-I-were-a-better-poetoony 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

So couldn't they have done something?

Insurgents in Iraq have hacked into live video feeds from unmanned American drone aircraft, US media reports say.
Shia fighters are said to have used off-the-shelf software programs such as SkyGrabber to capture the footage.

The hacking was possible because the remotely flown planes have an unprotected communications link.
Obtaining such video feeds could provide insurgents with information about sites the military might be planning to target.

The Associated Press news agency quotes a US Department of Defense official as saying the military has also found evidence of at least one instance where insurgents in Afghanistan monitored drone video.
The breach of the Pentagon surveillance system's security in Iraq is said to have come to light when footage shot by a Predator drone was found on the laptop of an apprehended insurgent.

A senior Pentagon official is quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that although militants were able to view the video, there was no evidence that they were able to jam electronic signals from the aircraft or take control of them.

The unnamed official said the US defence department had addressed the issue by working to encrypt all video feeds provided by drones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Predator drones can fly for several hours, remotely controlled by pilots thousands of miles away. The aircraft can carry out surveillance and attack targets with on-board missiles.

Responding to the reports, a Pentagon spokesman said: "The Department of Defense constantly evaluates and seeks to improve the performance and security of our various systems and platforms.
"As we identify shortfalls, we correct them as part of a continuous process of seeking to improve capabilities and security. As a matter of policy, we don't comment on specific vulnerabilities or intelligence issues."

Source: BBC News
So if the live feed can be monitored by using a simple software, why couldn't they monitor the feeds of the reconnaissance missions, and somehow, get the area where the drone was targetting, warn everybody in the vicinity, move their stuff out of their houses, save their books if that location was a madressah...and......

*huge sigh*... Dream on. Yeah.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is all hope lost?

This comes from a recent comment where I was reminded aptly that it's not wise to let go of all hope. If I analyse the situation around me a lil carefully, it is not ALL hopeless :) Indeed it isn't.

Lemme balance it out so that when I look at it, it would remind me of the good ... with the bad.

1. Our politicians are idiots.. but not all. Our public can be major idiots, but again, not all :) I have people around me (rare, but there!) who actually agree with this line of thinking.

2. The NRO bashing may not give these men due punishment, flush out all their money and restore the stolen wealth to the country. But it has truly exposed the thugs, and at least the world can now SEE the truth with their own eyes!

3. Umm. I may have a lot of free time on my hands sometimes. But I'm living in the age where technology has advanced to the level where a person can learn a lot...remotely... by simply looking and researching in the right places. Hurray for lectures online!

Life isn't that bad :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Haww!! shame shame

So now that the NRO has been blown apart, all the cases lie wide open for the world to see. I'm pretty much sure right now the time is ripe for some hardcore bargaining and bribing going on. Aitezaz Ahsan being a juicy example.


The whole irony of the situation is that these people, thugs (nothing less), their modesty and shame-factor is SUCH that Rehman Malik was seen sitting with the ulema of our country and smiling as they declared suicide bombing to be haraam etc etc (like we didn't know that). The shame-factor (scaling from 1 - 10, with 10 being the highest degree of shamelessness) is such that he has the audacity to sit among the ulema and declare nonsensical stuff... and ..!! The ulema never speak a word out against a man convicted of crimes sitting next to them! And talk about suicide bombers and what not. Hello....! Talk about duality! (definitely an 11 factor here!)

Ugh. As if thats not all, the Minister of Defense was not able to leave for China today with his delegates. For which he obviously whined a lot ... Why? His name was on the ECL.. Instead of defending THAT, the Minister of Defense was whining about not being able to leave whereas the Naval chief COULD.. :S:S

What kind of leaders are we living under !!

At least... at least its now proven (even though I'm still having a hard time believing that these people will ever be punished except on the Day of Judgement), that they are criminals. The court recognizes them as criminals. The people recognize them as criminals. And nobody can deny that!

At least now I can say to my friends (loads of them) who voted for a specific political party in Karachi local bodies elections.."Hey.. did you guys just vote for a party whose leader has 31 cases of murder against him ??"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And finally...

The torture is over. The constant, dull ache at the back of my over-burdened brain... is gone! Yep. The last (est) exam is now gone - er, not very nicely though.

I made a huge huge blunder. Cost me 10 marks. But it's not the marks that nag me :(. It's the stupidity factor.. worth much more than 10 points. Sigh. On the IQ scale, it would probably be equivalent to 50 points. And the worse (est) bit... :'(, I KNEW what I had to do... and I did it. Then at the last moment, crossed out all that (the correct bit), and then filled in a page of utter nonsense. Only because I wasn't able to remember the right procedure, and my mind somehow convinced me that whatever I had been doing previously was nothing but garbage, so I crossed that all out..

**tries not to sink in the miserable thoughts**

Khair.. It's over. Gone. Now this time is IA going to come six months later .. (Wow.. that's like..halfway through 2010!). Time definitely is flying. And my sense of achievement grows niller, and niller...and ni....... okay stop. (I feel miserable when dad says, "So... what are your plans?")

Yesterday's Meray Mutabiq (the program that has been banned and now airs from God Knows where..) had Dr Shahid Masood talking to Saif-ur-Rehman, (former chairman of National Accountability Bureu -- er, yeah.. something like this exists here)....and I listened in astonishment as Saif-ur-Rehman blithly conveyed the numerous charges brought up against our near and dear politicians and how they managed to scam it all off, by bribing the court. He also claimed that he has documented proof of everything. And ..(get this)... Musharraf is also not spared from the latest series of money-laundering charges. Apparently, there was this big hush-up deal (dunno the exact details -- but Saif ur Rehman does), and the amount involved was 10m dollars. Ho.. what a surprise. Everybody's sold out of course...(there is this nice proverb involving a hamaam - eh eh eh eh).. that's why they reach the top.

Khair. It shouldn't have come as a surprise then... to read this news today :D:D:D

Interpol approached to arrest Saif-ur-Rehman

ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has constituted a team for the arrest of Saif-ur-Rehman, former chairman of NAB through Interpol.

Sources told GEO News that Director General FIA Zafarullah Khan has formed a team for the arrest of Saif-ur-Rehman, ex-senator and former chairman of National Accountability Bureau.

Interpol, taking notice on the request of FIA, ordered the arrest of Saif-ur-Rehman from Qatar. Red warrant section of Interpol has started further action against the former chairman of NAB. He is no more able to travel freely.


As a dear friend once mentioned ... this :D:D:D has peculiar significance.