Woman Thou Art………

oblivious

Living in oblivion is better than being conscious of one’s mere existence 24/7. Ignorance is one thing- bad as they say it is, but oblivion can be a blessing in disguise. Being a woman in a developing country can be really troublesome. Not because the society is patriarchal, but because feminism is a constant reminder that a woman is inferior. The constant discrimination that is reaffirmed in tens of ways. What does being oblivious to this fact do- it brings a serenity in the life of a woman, the waters seem calm, there are no waves, not even ripples on the surface or underneath.

 

Does the oblivion hurt???

 

Going a few years back into history, just before Partition would be a good idea, women were pretty much independent in making decisions regarding their homes and children, but when it came to making major decisions they were made by men. Many women were not educated and hence financial matters were mostly dealt by men. Not trying to sound very partial here; but that did entails some disputes regarding property distribution. Earlier women were not ‘told’ they were central to everything, or everything revolved around them, which made them realize that men of the family also had rights and responsibilities. Rights which needed to be fulfilled by women, and responsibilities which women needed to see were fulfilled by men. This created a balance- in which a woman automatically gained an authoritative position; without even realizing it. The oblivion always put the woman at home, work or doing both duties, in an authoritative and responsible position.

Did women at that time lead horrible lives? Not many women say they had horrid lives- but they did have huge and bigger responsibilities. They fended for bigger families, cooked for larger families, for friends, friends of friends and relatives. They sewed and clothed a number of people. They saved money on a regular basis. They had better home policies of honesty, integrity and respect. Some even had harsh punishments for kids who strayed from norms. Were their lives horrible?

Did they have time for themselves? Little I must say. For their work/career? Some were excellent career women! Astonishing as it might sound, some women were great disciplinarians, obviously girls schools/colleges had female staff and that staff had families of their own. But majority women stayed at home. Am I saying that the woman of today should stay at home- definitely not! But if she leaves the house, then she either should be capable to manage time too well or she should share responsibilities.

 

What has realization brought to women in Pakistan??

 

Currently women talk, media displays and the world backs with figures. What we see is that a woman’s health deteriorates, she thinks about her position, considers it, reconsiders it and then rethinks it in the grand scheme of things. All this puts a lot of stress on the fragile being. Should education about the self bring stress- should it really bring stress of this level????

Acid cases were rarely ever heard of. Rape and abduction of women has always been there but has not grown proportionately. Some eras saw women eyeing fashion as a way of expression, but no major increase in rape and abduction while the current era sees the same fashion statement as the very cause of rape and abduction. Quite interesting.

What about her position at home? She tries to handle the responsibilities, trying to keep her status as a ‘liberated’ woman, a person who has realized her position in the society. She tries to make others fulfil their responsibilities, giving them the impression that she ‘deserves’ a liberated respect.

As for sharing responsibilities with the significant other half while working- too little on that front, she is not ‘able’ enough to do it. Sometimes she goes overboard in delegation, and sometimes takes on too much. Why is this a big problem for her? Most of the time she ends up tired and sometimes too tired to do anything besides rest!

 

So is the uneducated oblivion better than the educated realization???

 

Does our formal education leave a lot to be desired? Or does a lot of knowledge coming in from different sources need to be questioned before being ‘believed’ in???

A Fifth Season…

With the election season warming up the people of Pakistan slowly and surely, what I see is mixed emotions and a list of choices. This latter is good or bad only time will tell. Elections or the final election day always has a lot of apprehension for the people of the country. Lately the interim Prime Minister was to be selected and it took days at a stretch to select that one man to serve for 3 months. Whether this was a serious change for the better or a bitter battle over choices only the people present behind those doors can tell. But it made the people long and wait for that one name to be called out; that one final name… the people waited patiently yet in complete silence in front of their screens when the name was announced.

May 11 elections will bring the people to their screens again. With the same apprehension, but this time an apprehension for a political change, an economic change. A change for a better future, a hope that they will not just survive they will find their dreams and will be part and parcel of the change that will come in the next 5 years. This time the elections will be different, as they will involve a democratic government giving off its right to rule to another democratic government in peace (probably).

For the first time there will be a myriad of political parties contesting in the elections. Sure gives the people a lot of choice and space on the paper to put their stamp of approval on. This time around it is different for many people; the youth, coz an icon is contesting, the old, coz two aged parties are up for the takes, the battered, coz the battering spades are still very much in the game and the religious, coz after all this is an Islamic country and no matter how modern we get the Islamic element will always remain to pull us ‘back’ to our roots. Who wins is anyone’s guess……

Earth Hour in Pakistan?????

World Wide Fund for Nature made a commitment to organize Earth Hour on the 23rd March, from 2030 PST to 2130 PST. People across Pakistan were supposed to switch off their lights for a complete one hour and celebrate the cut in carbon emission. Since the climatic change is over-whelming and the world is emitting fumes that are harming the ozone layer, such a step not only proves to be useful, it also creates a sense of responsibility among the youth and a desire to be part of a movement.

But does it really have the desired impact in a country like Pakistan- in particular Karachi?

Karachi is a complex and beautiful city. Its beauty arises from the myriad of ethnicities it houses. Being a metropolitan city it also has a lot of foreign people residing and at least a few of them claiming to love it. The city has its rush hours, its pollution, its crowds, its noise, but then which metro doesn’t. It has a myriad of issues, with broken roads, some broken telephone wires and biggest of all the tickling and  playing electricity. The city that is awake at night and that refuses to sleep, although it is not safe at night these days, has one issue that has an effect of a plague. Electricity!

Last year alone the outages at a minimum were 3 hours per day. If we see that on a 10 month scale, excluding the winter months which are better, that would amount to 822 hours. In some areas of Karachi the outages were 14 hours at a stretch. Furthermore, some areas even had 18 hours without any electric supply. If the numbers are to be calculated the scale would tip to around 4500 hours. If in the last year alone Earth enjoyed around 4500 hours of no-carbon hours from Karachi alone, just imagine what was the contribution of Pakistan to ‘Earth HourS’ in 2012 alone!!!

The argument that comes here is that people had generators of some sort to switch on lights. I ask- how many people can afford that type of luxury? No doubt the sales rose, but so did the prices. Even with the power generation units, people prefer to power up single or two units only. They prefer not to power the whole house since it requires a lot of energy and resources.

Why celebrate Earth Hour!

With such a huge contribution in millions of precious hours already made by the whole Pakistan- does it really matter if we ‘celebrate’ Earth Hour with the rest of the world. I don’t think so. I believe the rest of the world should recognize the contribution Pakistan has already made to the world at large. Power outages whether created or genuine have markedly reduced the carbon footprint and by celebrating the Earth Day we not just undermine our contribution, we also don’t admit it.

On 23rd March the mausoleum of the Quaid was darkened because of the Earth Hour. I ask the whole nation, “Does the man who gave you a country deserve a dark mausoleum, on Pakistan Day? Doesn’t that make you feel ashamed or make you feel a tiny bit disturbed? The man gave the people a place to live and fresher air to breathe, and what we give him at the 66th anniversary of Pakistan Day is a dark forgotten hour to celebrate with the earth!!!! Not with Pakistan or with our land to say the least.”

A long time………..

For the past 2 months there has been no activity on the page. Regretfully due to a lot going on.

Coming back to my laptop and being a little more attentive to what the country is about to experience is something I feel needs to be written from a different perspective- as there will be a lot of journalistic crap!!!

With a lot of Islamic to secular talk going on and speculation about the founding father of Pakistan on the rise, I wonder if people are changing for the better of for the worse. If people supporting the ‘change’ are changing into better human beings or dehumanizing for the worse!!!