Have you ever loved a woman enough?

Women love in the most strange ways. They love hard. They flirt. They take their time and sometimes they just spend their whole life with a man loving another man. But when she falls in love with a man truly, o she is amazing.

I have met all sorts. But a woman who has loved to the hilt and has not found the same, has always intrigued me. I don’t know why but such a woman has the depth and knows things many will never find. Its like discovering an old book with answers to lifelong questions.

Love for any woman is same. It is deep, connecting and sublime. Some lucky ones find love from the same man but the not so lucky ones are the ones who discover the meaning and worth of love and rejection. People say a man never forgets his first love; attention people, a woman often thinks what life would be like if she would have spent the rest of her life with that one man she fell for. The house, curtains, the color of the walls, the bed covers, she pictures everything. She goes back in time to relive those few moments and twists them in her favor. And then she tries to  reason with her ownself. She tries to see the present as it is and suddenly can’t find the past fitting the present. She smiles, shrugs and goes on with life. But in the corners of her mind that episode remains which will play again at some other time. And this goes on. A reel that plays when that particular song or film or that familiar event occurs.

Women love hard, almost always pretty honestly. But when dejected, most of them close all emotional connections to men. Only men who can see through them can even touch their core. Never play with a woman who has love and lost. She knows men a bit too much to let anyone even joke around her!

Confidential … For **** Eyes Only!

There was a time when the radio was invented and used for news and then it was used to air fancy programs. Soon it became a medium for music and parents wondered what were their children going to be facing when they would grow up in a world where there would be a radio program airing obnoxious music with even more daring lyrics.

Then there was Television. And the same cycle was repeated. And to this day parents wonder what their child will be seeing in the next 20 years that will become part of his/her acquired behaviour. So they ‘invent’ child locks on the material a child has access to on TV. They ‘create’ package plans for the mobile. The ‘install’ firewalls and child locks on computer internet access.

But something they conveniently forget is Newton’s Third Law; every action has a reaction. The child also becomes an adult and learns things of his interest and of his age quicker than his parents who have become more specialized versions now, with no practical interest in TV ratings, mobile midnight packages or the best website for buying football. So naturally what started out as ‘selective knowledge disbursement’ for the child becomes ‘selective knowledge acceptance’ by the parent.

And that becomes trickier with time, as the child learns that whatever he was ‘child locked’ from as a young child is still not acceptable as an adult in his/her household. This gives the child ‘power’ to “disburse” knowledge about his/her doings to their parent which becomes dangerous and crucial. Switching channels in the presence of a parent, watching obnoxious content with inner guilt, doing something you know you your parent’s wont approve; all are examples of selective disbursement of knowledge to parents.

But then children grow in a different time frame and parents in a different world. That argument is pretty much lost when only technology and science has improved and ways of bringing up a child or birth process has not really changed.

The life long round circle of doing and then getting it back and feeling ‘cheated upon’ by your own child is not rewarding. I don’t know what the solution is….. but there has got to be one! :)

Art Thou a Good Book???

I recently read a news article that Malala’s book launch was stopped in Peshawar. And IK had a balanced yet debatable view on it. Although we don’t have ‘jahils’ in Peshawar we can’t call KPK an educated mass of land which can bear the brunt of Malala’s story. When Karachi and Lahore have issues with her book and cannot sit and debate about her book amicably in a reasonable manner without disrupting the peace of the larger majority and the non-Muslims of Pakistan, the book was being released by a dastard crowd in the most volatile province of Pakistan. Does that make sense to anybody? It doesn’t to me!

Book launches in Pakistan are a wonderful affair, smell of fresh paper, literati and the media circus. It does wonders to boost your self-image and, if you are an avid book reader, does wonders for that mind that is yearning for the flow of words and some alone time with a fresh cup of chocolate, milk or tea.

I particularly like the signing booth. I guess most writers would like to see themselves signing books, but the line of excited people trying to get their books signed by the author is mesmerizing. Shows a lot of compassion for books.

Same goes for exhibitions and book expos. A whole lot of books sold and a whole lot of people looking for those favorite and wonderful titles from old stocks and and clearances that different participants do in exhibitions. But exhibitions are a wonderful way to see new countries exhibit their collections of exotic covers and once in a lifetime chance to see some of the titles. They might be priced heftily but some titles are just single copies and such expos might be the best time to grab them.

Books and information in books should be treasured and pleasurable. Investment in books and lone time is made with a motive of enjoying a novel or reading for understanding one’s life better and easier. Once that is out of the equation, no one will want to buy a book. No one wants to listen to a soliloquy or self-praise. No one wants to read something that degrades one nation or one class, creed against another. If someone is looking for such material explicitly, beware, they might have severe failings as an individual to find fault with a crowd!

Harass the harassment…

“Muashra kharaab hai (the society is not good for you),” said the mother, with concern.

“Bahir jaogi to kuttay kha jaegay tumhain (If you go out alone people will not leave you),” said the father, furrowing his forehead.

“Taangein na tor dun tumhari mein (I will break your legs if you leave the house),” said the brother, tightening his fists

“Bohat shoq hai tumhain sunnay ki, aur sun lo (Don’t you love listening to all this),’ said the sister, filing her nails.

These are the regular you can hear in the less-than-average household in Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, maybe any random city of Pakistan with slight variation in the severity. Anyone who knows such a household will know when a girl from such a household tries to go out and work cannot because of the ‘wow’ factors of the such a neighborhood even though the girl will wear the best covering in terms of clothing.

Another scenario:

“Khayaal se jana (Take care),” said the mother, concerned.

“Bhai chor aaega, akele mat jao (Don’t go alone, take your brother with you),” said the father, motioning the ‘younger’ brother lounging in the couch to get up and walk his sister to the stop.

As frustrated as he can be at being asked to get up from that couch, he still goes with his ‘baji’ till the stop.

“Mujhe bhi job karni hai parhai k baad after studies (I will also work after my studies),’ said the sister, gulping her milk with a wishful look on her face and hurrying for the van. A slight look of concern flashes across the faces of the parents.

A middle class family prays for the safe return of their daughter each day. She travels in a bus to save money for that Sony smartphone and for that wedding gift she wants to buy her friends next month. But she has ground realities waiting for her till she can fulfill all those innocent wishes.

And there you have a household with a story and a community with a culture and a Pakistan with a sensibility. But do we have to be concerned with the concerns that all these people have for the female gender of the society. Let me think and ask again….. oh yes we do. Are we insecure? Yes. Is that good? No. Can it be any different? Yes. How? :)

A famous Pakistani comic strip thinks we should raise our voice against the atrocious behavior that leads to such sensibilities; namely sexual harassment and sexual assault. But what has raising voice done for violence against women, liberation for women and rights for women. Little I would say! So without raising voice and crying out loud, I say solve the problem.

It isn’t that difficult. Groping a woman isn’t funny, neither is calling her funny names on the street or even talking about her in a sexual manner with a bunch of friend; that my friends is the worst form of sexual harassment that goes unnoticed, un-felt and unseen. So who is the culprit here and who is the victim. Personally I feel the old adage; a victim, being a victim gives rise to oppression. Now, now, now don’t just start with that stereotyped whaling, ” O she is against women,” or even the more famous, “she feels so victim-centric” whatever that means really! Coming back…. both the oppressor and oppressed are to blame.

Women in our society are ‘taught’ to be the weaker sex, ‘brought up’ to be the weaker sex even ‘conditioned’ to be the weaker sex, so much so that many, almost 90% believe that being weak is being pretty. Sorry to burst your bubble gals! It aint pretty, you are stronger than you think, use that physical and emotional strength at least to protect yourself. Men on the other hand are always ‘taught’ by those same ‘weak’ women that they can conquer the world and by some magical inference women too.

So sexual harassment ‘comes easily’ to men and not to women. Has a woman ever groped a guy in a public bus? Has she ever hooted at a lone boy in Pakistan? Will she ever think of touching him? The answer is a plain NO! She wouldn’t touch a boy no matter how high on estrogen she is because she is ‘ingrained’ with morals, while there is ‘no check’ on the morals of the boys of the same family! Boys can fake it too well I guess. The same ‘weak’ women of the family will hardly notice it through the facade!

Cutting a long story short, most of it comes from the house, training and what and where you learn. A man who harasses a woman outside his home, probably doesn’t respect his mother, doesn’t talk right to his sister or has ever seen what an ideal gentleman should be like. He probably has a father who has been a failure in his life, or doesn’t respect his own wife or mother and will never respect his daughter because he knows what world he has created for her. A harasser lacks confidence in himself always, don’t give him the confidence that he can shake yours!

Rigging In 62 and 63

Hatred! Black and red, burning, scorching and taunting. Back when Section 62, 63 were launched into the limelight, this was a select reaction by a select group of people. These people came from different walks of life; especially politicians.

The politicians tried every act in the book to kill the Constitutional requirement. And yes they did kill it. They got away with it. After all it is a requirement made for man, by a man, ordained by Allah. Ewwwwww. Now that is a tough one isn’t it. Ordained by Allah. Don’t mess with the big guy, as in ever. He usually knows how to get his way.

After hearing Imran Khan’s first speech hours after his accident, something seemed out of the ordinary. Something was just not ‘political’ enough. Then came an interview of his members. Me got skeptical, they can’t be so simple people. Methinks that was just a political stunt. But then came the ‘regular’ political and somehow the Gilanis are a gem of a people and should have more emotional outbursts. They give the true picture of how dirty politics can get if it is ‘made’  to run in families and if power is institutionalised.

Now the simple people in team of PTI don’t seem too out of place. Me-now-thinks why shouldn’t we have sincere and honest, simple people in our government? Why shouldn’t we have people who are educated, smart and not opportunistic? And these characteristics make up Section 62, 63 I believe.

The 2nd speech and address to the nation that Imran Khan has actually won him more supporters. People want to live decent lives. They want to be honest and simple. They don’t want to be dacoits, murderers and playthings for party motives. Now the youth sees light, optimism and its importance. They want to live in peace. Kindly let people live the life they deserve!!

Uneducated politics…

Religion has always been a bone of contention. No one even tries to rise above it. And those few who do are pulled against their will into the dungeons of choices.

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism no matter what your religious affiliation is or what subdivision you belong to, you can be sure once into adulthood you will be questioned and asked to defend your beliefs. If in a prominent position, you will be given hell if somehow people of your faith are giving hell to others. This has happened in history and is happening to date.

Recent development, a rather peculiar and hilarious one I must say was a headline in which a Islamically-centered party asked (or rather ‘ordered’, without any ‘proper’ authority) people not to vote for a certain party; voting for which it considered HARAM. No wonder there is a term ‘political Islam’. The latter party, innocent as it was, turned out to have a member who simply debated with a non-Muslim scholar on their voting position. So isn’t campaigning all about convincing the top-rung of every section of the society- Muslim or non-Muslim to vote for their party.

Just because a Islamically- centered party does not have access to all sorts of people; Muslim and non-Muslim, young and old, does not mean they can give careless fatwas. They are religious scholars, who need to uphold the sanctity of their positions. Just because they ‘think’ they are too important in a setting does not mean they will be taken seriously.

While they do the most moronic of things and try to cut down other party’s votes, they do show a very negative and ignorant picture of Islam and religion, two diverse things. Any religion when accepted and understood with conviction, opens a lot of doors. Islam is no different. There is a lot of adjustment possible; but there are some strict rules also. Have the guts to explore????

Divide And Rule… The Disparity Factor

The other day I read in a news article that ‘the people of Pakistan are ideologically disparate’ for the upcoming elections. (Somehow I could not hold back a smile since it was in a news paper.)

Not the exact words of the article, but I wonder if it holds true. Who created this disparity of Ideology? Pakistan had only one single ideology- under which it was formed, under which its Constitution was written, under which its Governments worked, so when and how this sudden disparity? For disparity and difference to be acceptable in a society, it has to be from within the society, in a shape and form that is acceptable to the society, speaks like a society member, has a good, almost magnanimous outreach, effective and looks and walks like a society member. This is the disparity factor.

About 5 years back, as an avid reader of books, I came across many which focussed on the Taliban and Pakistan. Many more that were written by foreign authors who had brief stays in Pakistan and Afghanistan, or were war veterans, or better still war journalists. Somehow they could always feel up to writing a complete book on a nation, their ways and work, in their very brief encounters with the nation, mostly generalizing a few incidents. Somehow the impact of reading such a book would not be eye-opening, it would be depressing, frustrating. Not because something was wrong with this part of the world, because the writer had too narrow a view!

When I searched for explicit material on the same topics by Pakistani and local authors, it was hard to find. I found a few books/material and novels that were intricately written. News articles and everyday journalistic views were rampant.

Today, if I go looking for books/articles on the subjects aforementioned, written by local authors; somehow I find many. I find self-proclaimed authors and those with distinctions too. But the matter is not what was 5-6 years back. It is harsh towards the founder and towards the Ideology, it kills the living spirit. It has no encouragement, no spiritual uplifting. Wonder y?

I can assure you back then we still had a democratic government. So why is it that now people have come out with ‘their own versions’ of Pakistan and Taliban and specially the Ideology of Pakistan??? Why do people and self-proclaimed writers think now is the ripe time to tell the educated youth that the Ideology of Pakistan is either not right or is faulty or has some issues. Seriously if it did- were they sleeping for the past 5 years ( coz before that it would have been impossible to write).

The fact remains that the Ideology was never faulty, it always needed a wise person to comprehend it, not misinterpret it. Just like the Constitution, law or a gun. When used wisely it is helpful, when misused it can do many unjust things. But to make those unjust, prejudiced things acceptable in a society the main factor is a source which looks just like any society member. Same goes for the disparity factor, to create a divide in understanding of the ideology, u need a factor which can make it look like just any other understanding and project it from a popular platform. Have you currently read anything that looks like it might be from a disparity factor?

It is a Myth That 300,000 Were Raped in East Pakistan

Sonia K:

Pakistan Army has always been blamed for raping their own Muslim sisters in Bangladesh. Did they? Were they so stuck up??? Were they that bad?? Many people from our media circles and the educated circles love to propagate the worst numbers, but it looks like there were some players that were never mentioned, never got the credit that they should have!!!

Originally posted on NEVER MIND:

By Asif Haroon Raja

Clip_112“Roman Catholic Relief Agency put the figure of rapes to as low as 4000. In fact, only ten cases of rapes had been reported till August 31, 1971, and the culprits tried and punished. These few cases were swollen to the exasperating figure of 300,000. The falsity of Sheikh Mujib’s repeated allegation of rape of 300,000 Bengali women was exposed when the abortion team he had commissioned from United Kingdom in early 1972 found that there were no more than a hundred or so pregnancy cases they could deal with throughout their stay in Bangladesh.”-Brig. Asif Haroon Raja exposes the lies behind the propaganda.

It has been alleged that Pakistani troops raped 300,000 women on and after March 25, 1971 in former East Pakistan. This allegation has generally been accepted by the world at large and even by some Pakistani secular pseudo intellectuals like Tahira Abdullah, Asma…

View original 941 more words

None of my business, but…..relocate!????

State with religion…..state without a religion…. methinks confusing but important question.

Pakistan on the brink of election with the intelligentsia geared towards presenting either their papers to the Returning Officers or their point of views about the kind of State they want Pakistan to be.

News articles are mostly in criticism of Section 62 and 63 mostly criticizing its inventor than the Sections themselves lest the writer comes under contempt. Now that ‘all’ the people have magically passed the criteria set out, methinks it is absolutely amazing to see Islamic law being brazen in the land of the pure! Appropriate knowledge of Islam never meant to pass all the Tom, Dick and Harries but somehow every educated fool and uneducated scholar has equal hold on religion.

But that is all on the political ground, something for the world to see. On the individual level every Pakistani is being influenced by multiple actors in the game, the politicians, the journalists, the anchors, the bloggers (oh yes we do have a part to play) , the social media fanatics, the people from across the border and the foreign channels. When someone says we have to blame ourselves for our state of being, I agree! What sort of signals and messages one accepts is entirely up to the individual. Not everyone can make a fool out of a person, and if ignorant enough anyone can be fooled.

The other day a strange incident happened. If the same would have happened with an ignorant Pakistani minority citizen, the result would have been totally different. A person from across the border, lets name him Mr. Postage (original name hinted he must have been a Hindu), messaged me on Facebook trying to convince me to ‘relocate across the border’ simply coz Pakistan was a horrible place for minorities. Taken aback, I asked him why he thought so. His reply involved persecution of Hazara Shia, Ahmedis and Balochis, while also citing kidnapping of Hindu girls. I tried explaining to honourable Mr. Postage that Hazara Shias and Ahmedis were Muslims, henceforth not a minority. Balochis have a province so what made him think they were a minority. Yes Hindus were a minority. He seemed unconvinced. Instead of asking, he wanted to prove that the killings were not targeted or political in nature. I asked him a simple question- how does he think people get an idea where to bomb coz Shia and Sunni don’t have any distinguishing marks on their bodies. A person could be a Sunni if it were a random bombing incident. The simple fact that people are picked out proves that these people are targeted.

Mr.Postage didn’t agree, but had no counter argument. What he did have was a prophecy for Balochistan- it will be a free state by 2018. This simply made me smile! Next came the be-careful-of-the-Muslims stance. It was awkward coming from a presumed Hindu coz Hindus lost this right when they mass murdered Muslims in Gujarat. Another accusation that Postage ‘thought’ would tick me off was ‘Did you read the kalma’. All he got was a levelled reply telling him that knowing the kalma does not change/alter any religious inclinations. He concluded that anyone feeling levelled and not against Pakistan and the Muslims is a ‘supporter of terrorism’. What people across the border forget to see is that we in Pakistan ‘know’ what is happening in our country. We have been facing things while you have been lying on your beds just reading off material on your screens- when you don’t know the ground realities don’t try to be experts and tell people what to do.

After all this had happened, I sat for awhile and just gave it a little thought. What if a really dumb and uneducated soul was handling this situation? Would they have given Postage the right answers? Would Postage be able to convince them? Maybe yes……maybe they would lose their cool and fight back….. maybe Postage was just having a bad day convincing people. His mere gut that he tried tells a lot about what is happening within circles across the border…….

Gwadar Port: new equations

The port of Gwadar is not operational as of now- but China’s ‘string of pearl’ is. What is important to Pakistan is to make Gwadar workable for Balochistan so it can reap the benefits of having a sustainable economy without giving in to any unjustifiable demands made by a comparatively ‘gigantic’ country.