Happy Birthday To You …

The ladies sit together. Pink balloons on their table indicate a celebration. Their clothes seem perfect. Almost too good. Hair made up perfectly. Ladies who wear the hijab have on the most tasteful hijabs one could imagine. Smiles abound.

And there is a popping sound and a sound of laughter. One of the balloons meets a terrible fate at the hands of one of the ladies. She stands in an awkward arch, laughing, not quite sure what to do next. But she resumes her poise very soon. Five of them and the chatter is audible enough for the whole mall.

Far from the elevators walk in four men, two holding bags on their shoulders. Baggy pants and buttoned shirts. Black to brown to blue to whites, a range of manly colors adorned their fit and stout bodies. The men don’t really seem to care much about how they look. Unfinished and unpolished, or rather unkempt. They walk over to the ladies who are now making space on their table.

One of the ladies calls a waiter who is wearing a red tee. Tall guy with dull features and stooped shoulders pulls over a table and a few chairs to the ladies’ table and chairs to make more room. He seems uninterested almost disgusted. It looks like a routine and he is used to seeing groups of young men and women chill out. His eyes avert and he just puts everything together and rushes off.

The group sits together and one of the men takes out a yellow crown made of paper and wears it on his head. Seems like he is the unkempt birthday boy bent on being the entertainer, also wearing black sunglasses. While it is evident that it is a birthday bash, this group of youngsters is totally unaware of realities or at least wants to care less about it.

The selfie session is on. Group selfies and picture time. A 2k+ spending on food and an extravagant card that has snippets of memories and a snow spray on everyone. The women seem to be in charge of the party arrangements while the men seem to just execute anything handed out to them. Evidently the societal conditioning of human beings.

Some new forms of celebrations pop out. Call-outs, hearts, mooch and fancy specs on sticks to click some more memorable selfies. All of the memorabilia which costs some money to buy and was not handmade. Another area where the women got creative and men only executed. Societal conditioning????

The washrooms aren’t devoid of the selfie- mania. The ladies throng the washroom to just selfie themselves. Another depiction of what the society expects of women who have a smartphone with camera. The confirmation and validation women ‘try’ to go through to fit in is level best weird. It can be judged from the fact that each woman gets an individual picture with the birthday boy, in addition to the gang picture, while the guys get a gang snap only. Looks like the gay fanaticism is high in this group.

After all this spending and celebrating in all the earnest, most sensible young people find it absolutely their right to do so a second time and a third time, money being no issue each time. But that man in the red tee who help put the table and chairs together doesn’t really get that chance. He just stands by to see more such celebrations and earn his cash. This guy might not think it weird to get individual snaps with all his buddies or even weird pics with his buddies, but maybe with women he might have weird reservations. O yeah he will. So there is a practical weird for everyone.

We have two poles and amazingly sometimes they just co-exist in the same space at the same time without saying a word to each other. Sometimes without even hating each other. They don’t even love or appreciate each other. They just exist and that is Pakistan or may I exaggerate KARACHI!

Take Me Up … Please!

The morning brings a new hope.

Well to most people.

To some its a routine. A boring and exasperating routine.

To those who want to change, everyday is an opportunity. I guess only 10% see it as an opportunity to change. To swell and grow.

In a country like Pakistan where somehow people manage to filter out the worst from all that is going on, opportunities get filtered too. What many miss is you can only grow food where there is none. Plant a seed where there is a barren land. In a stagnated or full grown land, there will be no space to plant a seed or grow anything. But then again the farmer waits and waits to get his produce. Patience is a virtue. Isn’t it? Sometimes its requires a lifetime to get results.

The worst situations could be the best recipe for growing into resilient organization. And by organization I mean any sort of organization, an organized human form. It could be as small as five or as big as five hundred thousand.

But every economy has its own requirements. A growing economy will not pay repeaters very well. It will distribute the wealth between them, paying the initiator the highest and the followers in a descending manner. The initiator is the first person who found a new solution or brought an innovation. Growing economies have lots of problems which need to be addressed and any such initiator gets the chunk.

The better-off economy always pays off the innovator the most or the want-need creator since such economies have sufficed all their basic needs. Or at least the product should look like it is something out of the box.

Thinking in terms of economy and direction gives a better view of the opportunities available in a country without the drama that is usually attached to defaming and deriding a place and finding excuses to not doing something by blaming everyone around you and not doing your own part.

Obviously something needs to change but someone needs to do them if everyone is not doing it. The opportunity is lying open and staring people in the face, requiring a sense of responsibility 🙂

To Know or Not To Know….. Is That a Question?

Another morning…. just another morning!

The traffic is normal and Karachi seems to go about its normal pace. People have loads to accomplish and the regular class has more to earn. But in between all this I wonder how much we want to LEARN and TEACH. Not much and not everyone is intent on it.

People come in all different shapes and sizes. So does their brain. Unfortunately when they develop to full content which is very early on in life, most are somehow fully equipped with all that they know and do not want  to know more. This is the most baffling view anyone can take on life.

Most articles online focus on re-learning, developing more skills and unlearning, which is alarming and outright amazing, coz lets admit it, it is outright difficult also. But to keep learning might not be as difficult as we ‘want to see it’. We keep ‘not learning’ stuff coz it either is not related to us, not relevant to our jobs, will waste our time or simply has no value. I wonder how algebra or Pythagoras’s theorem has helped anyone but an engineer, yet everyone has learnt it and applied it. I wonder how the atmospheric pressure could be relevant to anyone but a physicist  or a astronomer, yet all of us know its importance.

Continuous specialized or non-specialized learning may have very significant impacts on all areas of life, while paying attention to the self only has virtually or practically no positive impact on life-improvement. Nothing has been improved by paying attention to the sole self. If Steve Jobs had not paid attention to the programs he wouldn’t have developed Apple and continued to do so. Had the great writers not paid attention to small details of the people around them they wouldn’t have been able to create great fiction.

Learning improves the self and any roadblocks to learning can be felt strongly if paid attention to. Knowledge frees the mind, but it also gives a perspective. Looking at what can be accomplished by being in the know is almost infinite.