Wednesday, November 13, 2013

back to school years ... 30s is the new pre teens!

Once you finish school and enter the anticipated magical realm of College, you feel liberated. How long that liberation lasts varies from person to person. But never in your imagination you ever again go back to junior/high school again. Never to have regulated home work hours and tests for which your parents can judge you...ever again.
You probably weren't seeing the future as a parent!
Yes... i believe now that history repeats itself ! and someday are repeated in a worse way perhaps.
Where it was your job just to wake up, now you will be waking up your own self as well as others... preparing breakfast, fixing school lunch, cursing yourself for forgetting to ask the kaamwali to hang the ironed clothes in the breakfast area.... scolding the kids for taking off the shows somewhere that no one can find now... terrified to be late... hating the weather for being too hot or too cold.... fighting with the hubby for misplacing car keys.... and above all regretting to put the phone alarm on snooze! Why the hell did they even create the snooze button? I am sure..sure sure sure...that no one has ever benefited from it! Perhaps there should be separate MORNING ALARM in every phone, WITHOUT  a snooze button!

Any ways.... i was only whining about the morning blues so far. The day is just beginning.
So those of you who have put their kids into fancy shmancy big named schools, you all know how the traffic is ****ed up around there? Not to mention post Shahbaz Sharif's azeem awesome idea of closing all opening on MM Alam road, the two round abouts at the edges are an everyday hell hole for drivers at home time schools hours! So the 5 minute drive from my daughter's school to my place generally end up being of 45 minutes at least every single day (i'm not even gonna mention the Friday fright!)

Yeah then comes the lunch part...well since that has nothing to do with being back in your school regime, i wont bug you with that. But future parents..BEWARE!
Since our great National non-unified education system follows different rules and curricula for every single school in Pakistan, your coming face to face with home work tremors will vary . I never knew that even the various franchise of the same school follow different patterns of teaching! O yes they do! So depending on your patience, ability and interest of your child, kindness of school teachers, distance from TV, Computers, PSP, V, X Box, and Toys, and the kind of food (sugar and carbs specially) , your home work time could go very smooth, or very bad!

And after you are done with all this... comes the bed time... and with it...THE STORY TIME! The first few years of your child's life will define the following years of story time. If you are a first time parent (like us) you 'd have spoiled your child in pre-school years with story time...and now ...those times take revenge with BED TIME. i have observed an equation:

Story Time = Time Remaining to Wake Up x The Length of the Story
                                    The Questions Asked by the Children

so the less time is there for you to sleep that night, the more the story gets dragged!

But once the children are in bed and you thank God for the beautiful day that you just had, looking at them fast asleep... fills your heart with joy and love of a kind that is incomparable. In the thick silence of night , motherhood seems like the best thing ever, and you think "its not that bad. perhaps i can handle more of these creatures!" and you smile to your self quietly. And maybe someday, you even utter these thoughts to your husband
 "Honey! you know i was thinking, perhaps we should have one more child?!"
and he looks at you with eyes wide filled with anger. And he stabs you right there in your chest...and blood fills the room. You tear your shirt open to pull out the dagger and run outside in the lawns which are being sprinkled, and you are like

and that's it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

One World Citizen

The term World Citizen has been fascinating me for quite a while, and i kept thinking that perhaps it is a notion coming from someone like me living in the 3rd world country , being unhappy with the socio-political conditions. Until recently i came across the whole movement regarding this phenomenon. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the idea here are some Wikipedia extracts for you:

World citizen :

World citizen has a variety of similar meanings, often referring to a person who disapproves of traditional geopolitical divisions derived from national citizenship. An early incarnation of this sentiment can be found in Diogenes of Sinope (c. 412 B.C.), the founding father of the Cynic movement in Ancient Greece. Of Diogenes it is said: "Asked where he came from, he answered: 'I am a citizen of the world (kosmopolitês)'".[1] This was a ground-breaking concept, because the broadest basis of social identity in Greece at that time was either the individual city-state or the Greeks (Hellenes) as a group. The Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongundran wrote in Purananuru, "To us all towns are one, all men our kin." In later years, political philosopher Thomas Paine would declare, "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion."[2]
Albert Einstein described himself as a world citizen and supported the idea throughout his life,[3] famously saying "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."[4] World citizenship has been promoted by distinguished people including Garry Davis, who has lived for 60 years as a citizen of no nation, only the world. Davis founded the World Service Authority in Washington, DC, which issues the World Passport (usually not considered a valid passport) to world citizens.[5] In 1956 Hugh J. Schonfield founded the Commonwealth of World Citizens, later known by its Esperanto name "Mondcivitan Republic", which also issued a world passport; it declined after the 1980s.

Global Citizenship:

The term "citizenship" refers to an identity between a person and a city, state or nation and their right to work, live and participate politically in a particular geographic area. When combined with the term "global", it typically defines a person who places their identity with a "global community" above their identity as a citizen of a particular nation or place. The idea is that one’s identity transcends geography or political borders and that responsibilities or rights are or can be derived from membership in a broader class: "humanity". This does not mean that such a person denounces or waives their nationality or other, more local identities, but such identities are given "second place" to their membership in a global community.[1]
In general usage, the term may have much the same meaning as World citizen or Cosmopolitan, but it also has additional, specialized meanings in differing contexts.

Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. A person who adheres to the idea of cosmopolitanism in any of its forms is called a cosmopolitan or cosmopolite.[1]
A cosmopolitan community might be based on an inclusive morality, a shared economic relationship, or a political structure that encompasses different nations. In a cosmopolitan community individuals from different places (e.g. nation-states) form relationships of mutual respect. As an example, Kwame Anthony Appiah suggests the possibility of a cosmopolitan community in which individuals from varying locations (physical, economic, etc.) enter relationships of mutual respect despite their differing beliefs (religious, political, etc.)

A global city:
A global city (also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center) is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated, and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade.
The most complex of these entities is the "global city", whereby the linkages binding a city have a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socio-economic means.[1] The use of "global city", as opposed to "megacity", was popularized by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 1991 work, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo[2] though the term "world city" to describe cities that control a disproportionate amount of global business dates to at least the May 1886 description of Liverpool by The Illustrated London News.[3] Patrick Geddes also used the term "world city" later in 1915.[4] Cities can also fall from such categorization, as in the case of cities that have become less cosmopolitan and less internationally renowned in the current era.

and it all of course brings ideas opposing it, and sometimes complicating it. e.g :

Anti-nationalism denotes the sentiments associated with the opposition to nationalism. Some anti-nationalists are humanitarians or humanists who pursue an idealist form of world community, and self-identify as world citizens. They reject chauvinism, jingoism and militarism, and want humans to live in peace rather than perpetual conflict.[citation needed] The Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism offer a critique of territory-based nationalism that recognizes nationalism as a form of compelled pagan religious belief, as articulated in a range of sources, including the University of Columbia academic and pioneer of innationalism studies Carlton Hayes in his 1960 text Nationalism: A Religion.[citation needed] The imposition of nationalism as a belief or identity system, particularly when in conflict with more established and self-sustaining identity choices can be understood to undermine the legitimacy of territory-based nationalism. They do not necessarily oppose the concepts of countries, nation states, national boundaries, cultural preservation or identity politics.
Some anti-nationalists oppose all types of nationalism, including ethnic nationalism among oppressed minority groups. This strain of anti-nationalism typically advocates the elimination of national boundaries. Variations on this theme are often seen in Marxist theory. Marx and Engels rejected nationalism as a whole, stating "the working class have no country".[1] More recently, certain groups descended from the Maoist tradition of Marxism have moved towards this fiercely anti-nationalist stance in a different way than Trotskyists, saying that although it may be a painful and unpopular position to hear, ultimately opposing all nationalism strengthens proletarian internationalism. Many Trotskyists, however, such as Chris Harman, were critical of nationalism while advocating support for what they saw as progressive national struggles.[2]
In recent times, Islamism has been described as an anti-nationalist movement,[citation needed] calling for unity of all Muslims and discarding the notion of nationality.
Anarchism has developed a critique of nationalism that focuses on nationalism's role in justifying and consolidating state power and domination. Through its unifying goal, nationalism strives for centralization, both in specific territories and in a ruling elite of individuals, while it prepares a population for capitalist exploitation. Within anarchism, this subject has been treated extensively by Rudolf Rocker in Nationalism and Culture and by the works of Fredy Perlman, such as Against His-Story, Against Leviathan and "The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism".[3]
In his "Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life", Arthur Schopenhauer rejected nationalism, seeing it as an abandonment of personal identity.[4] The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche can also be seen as opposing all forms of nationalism, although he opposed virtually every other form of social movement and ideology as well.[5] Søren Kierkegaard's philosophy is a criticism and vehement rejection of Christian nationalism.[6]


Existential migration is a term coined by Greg Madison (2006) in Existential Analysis, the journal of the Society for Existential Analysis. Madison's term describes expatriates (voluntary emigrants) who supposedly have an "existential" motivation, unlike economic migration, simple wanderlust, exile, or variations of forced migration. ‘Existential migration’ is conceived as a chosen attempt to express something fundamental about existence by leaving one’s homeland and becoming a foreigner.
As well as the new concept of existential migration, the research proposed a novel definition of home as interaction; that the ‘feeling of home’ arises from specific interactions with our surroundings that could potentially occur anywhere, at any time. This is in contrast to the usual definition of home as a fixed geographical place. The new concept also challenges our usual definitions of being at home, the experience of foreignness, what constitutes belonging, and the nature of homelessness. The insights gained from this new concept elaborate our existing understanding of migration in exciting ways. Existential migration suggests reformulations of the psychological underpinnings of migration studies, cultural anthropology, tourism studies, cross-cultural training, refugee studies, and psychotherapy. Madison's research presents its subject matter in a clear and evocative way, emphasising the actual stories of voluntary migrants in order to convey the poignancy of the topic.
The phenomenological research that gave rise to the concept of existential migration (Madison, 2006) also suggests a cautionary note regarding the psychological impact of increasing globalisation. While globalisation is frequently presented as an economic evolution of capitalism and as a market necessity, there is scant discourse about the impact that these profound changes in world structure may have upon the experience of people in their daily lives. Although the phenomenological research on voluntary migration needs further critique, the first research does suggest that the world community may in fact be entering an age of global homelessness. Of course recent economic turbulence has curtailed the increasing expectation that young professionals should be prepared to live abroad in order to enhance their career prospects and indeed many, especially in the financial sector, are unexpectedly returning home after foreign assignments. However, even these returns home are often more problematic than expected and rather than return, they seem to resemble yet another migration due to the subsequent changes in person and home environment since the original leaving.
The concept of existential migration has generated considerable comment from voluntary migrants around the world as well as psychological and social science researchers, though there remains precious little in print about these fundamental existential motivations for migration. The concept has commonalities with some of the work on cosmopolitanism by the anthropologist Nigel Rapport. A book on the subject, entitled The End of Belonging, is available publicly. The research is increasingly cited by new international researchers exploring the experience of voluntary migration.

interesting right?
for more, research and think on your own ... i have planted the bug :P

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rituals of Funerals and the star gazer

The rituals of death are as weird in our south asian-sub continental-pakistani- middle class- muslim- Lahori cultures, that i get surprised after all these years , still! I am sure its similar all over the world to some extent but we take the trophy i am sure when it comes down to the variety and contortions of these practices.
How to present your dead ones is one thing, but how to touch them, what to recite and blow on what part of their bodies, and what to do and what not to do that will take them to heaven straight, when should the Qul (recitations) be held the next day or the one after, how many thursdays should be family GT prayers, and when should be the Chaleeswan (the 40th day of prayers held for the deceased) etc. The funny thing about Chaleeswan is that i don't know its origin, and neither do most of the people around me, apart from its coalition with the Chilla (40 days after giving birth to a baby and the mother's stay home period).
Anyways. I have observed the presence of certain characters at these unfortunate occasions. Being a woman, i cant categorize them in the men's compartments, but in the ladies areas, there always is this one alpha female who Know It All! She can be a relative, neighbor or friend; mostly in her late 40s/early 50s; generally a widow and is well dressed with good skin and donning a mute make up also. This character will come up with traditions seemingly unknown to everyone else but she will demand them in such a way that everyone will pretend to start working on them in agreement. For example , a certain Surah from Quran to be recited in a particular number, or while standing at a particular place around the dead body, or even be recited by a certain relative. Or not to put flowers on the deceased skin, or not to touch them on face by females, or placing the photocopy of a certain Surah of Quran under the Kafan (the cloak) before taking him/her to be buried, etc. Se can be found reciting Quran louder than the others as well!
      Then there is always someone present at the funeral, who is in a hurry. She keeps looking at the clock, or incessantly shaking her leg, or quickly finishing her recitations, Sipara or the Date Seeds whatever. She is completely oblivious to the sad people around and can't even have the courtesy to look sad. This person is mostly over dressed, with painted nails and a designer bag.
       You will also for find mourners. As a distant cousin's daughter (7 years old) once asked me at a funeral "Why is my Mama acting so much today? " and i was like "What do you mean sweetheart?" and her reply amazed me and i found it hard to put my smile away. She said "you know whenever someone new walks in, Mama starts crying, and then she is fine and talking, till some new guest arrives!" And that is how the moaners play their part.
      But i guess all these people have just found their place in the society by where and how the society and circumstances have placed them. Of course there are genuinely hurt people, who wish the best for the deceased's family and help out with chores honestly. But sadly these are the people that go unnoticed, and only the other truly caring ones notice them being busy with the needful tasks and the true traditions.
      And how can we forget the actual sad ones, who have lost their loved one! They are completely oblivious to these characters surrounding them and living on. Orhan Pamuk has written something beautiful on the first page of his superb book, "My Name is Red". It is the corpse addressing the reader: "...  Before my birth there was infinite time, and after my death, inexhaustible time.  I never thought of it before: I'd been living luminously between two eternities of darkness."

( P.S: it is so typical and cliched of us south east Asians to begin or end a speech/ piece of writing with a famous person's quote etc :P )

Thursday, August 15, 2013

when the providers become the dependents....

  Life never ceases to teach you... the learning never ends no matter how old you get. There always is a new chapter, a new lesson, a new word or a new aspect to the same old story that you had not properly grasped. And there you are , rubbing your nose into it, learning it all over again.
   I was 21 when my father was diagnosed with cancer. Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Last year of college couldn't have been any tougher i guess. Being the only child and being the best friend of my Abbu , I didn't want to finish college the same year, but he couldn't bear me wasting a year of my life because of his illness. So he forced me to continue, amidst all the chemo and all. I was lucky to have the tutor i had (Rashid Rana) who really supported me well and i ended up with the distinction and an award. Now when i look back, i really don't know how i managed all that! But that couldn't stop my father from leaving me. Exactly a month after the thesis show he passed away, leaving me and my mother in a state that i don't have words to define even today, a decade later! Wow. it has been 10 years! and i have survived without him...unbelievable!
    But here i am a decade later, facing a worst situation with my mother. Knowing what she is going through, dealing with another cancer, unable to stop her from slipping away, is again undefinable. I have a roller coaster relationship with Ammi, where we have to disagree on every single thing every day, and yet come together in the end. But today she didn't resist , today she didn't deny .... and i feel at loss winning an argument without her opposing me. 
   What the hell ! 
A person who has never asked for any sort of help from anyone, whatsoever, when comes down to a point in life when they can not stand up without support is painful to see and i don't really want to know how it feels! The circle of life seems too wicked to me today. Its nature...almost merciless. Its cycle... pointless. 
   I remember, a few days before my father passed away, the son of his long lost friend came over to visit (that friend who he hadn't met for over 25 years also died one week after Abbu's demise) , and Abbu said something that rings in my ears from time to time. He said " Can i tell you something Lalay dear... In the end only memories remain. But if i tell you the truth, a point comes when even they cease to exist."  ..............................
And here i am trying to jot down the memories, the experiences, the life...... 
only for it all to be withered away.... someday.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Independence, Pride and Shame

The currents on which all the urban Pakistanis are riding, is on the ship called Pakistan, and it has two terraces. The one for those who are ashamed and the other for those who are not. Why , What and How can be discussed and debated for hours and hours and never come to a resolve .  But we can generalize them loosely.The ones on the Pride Dick, i'm sorry i meant Pride Deck are the ones who enjoy emotions like Heritage, Separations from the non-believers, Ancestry, Lineage, Patriotism, This land is mine and That is yours, This is my religion and That is yours, I am right and You are Wrong, Narcissism, and a joy of being happy with who you are etc. etc.. While those who are on the Ashamed Terrace also enjoy some of the feelings enjoyed by their nemesis like Narcissism, I am right and You are wrong etc, but they also have other emotions which might not be too joyful ; for example the looking at the bigger picture, the understanding of religio-political conditions, safety situations, the practice to one's basic rights, availability of opportunities and facilities to common man etc etc.
    Now it is very very difficult to decide who is right and who is wrong, but on the auspicious day of our independence from the Goras, who ruled us Muslims for a very long time, while we had ruled the Indians for so long in our worries, that is how the history goes right? I am not complaining or complementing, i am just observant to the fact that Every dog has his day :P right?
    Since we all have a purpose to the phenomenon of our birth, i just wonder at times...Why now??? Why here???
hmmmph ....???

Anyways...Happy Independence Day to you all... wish us to be truly independent and truly free someday from the prison of the self and all the narcissism that it runs on by default.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Marriages and Friends

We all know people who fall in love during their teens or even in 20s. But we hardly hear of people falling head over heels in their 30s and 40s. Mainly because in the subcontinent most of the people are married by then and raising kids. Those few who have not tasted the Laddoo (sweet meet) of marriage by then have been pushed to suicidal limits by their friends who have been married happily or unhappily. Both cases are not good for the so-called virgins (which is still in demand by the way!) because all that married people can talk about (and by people i mean wives) are their marriages, in laws or kids, that the unmarried looners have got nothing to do with. The importance of an undisturbed game of "Mortal Combat"or an episode of "Zindagi Gulzaar Hay"  and  the complete oblivion to the smell of a dirty nappy during that time is not understandable to them.  Neither is the nagging mother in law or the maid who takes a lot of days off! Yet they pretend to take deep interest in all these issues and even offer sometimes to help morally or physically! In return they get showered with love , praise and sometimes envy that secretly makes them feel good about themselves. All the while when they want to have all that their married friends have , the married people take a breeze of the times long gone by through the lives of their friends. Men by having those mindless gaming sessions, or discussing machines; women by romanticising the boys in their friends lives and juicing up other spicy details of their love lives. Hence when people fall in love under such conditions there is a lot of background music being composed.And they fall really really hard in love. Majority of these love stories are boring but super hit because everyone is settled financially , parents are also relieved that finally their son/daughter has found someone worth marrying, and they themselves are excited to be part of the couples lot now.
     But one thing that no one foresees is the one thing that is at stake. That is the one thing that pushed all these feelings forward and the one things that brought double times the spice in the relationships; the friendship. Once these people get married they find it hard to find times for their friends who have been married since ages and have been providing the hanging out pad. These guys are starting their new lives, have to have children soon too as the wife is not getting any younger, and therefore the friendships suffer. The same people go to the background and the same problems that once seemed so trivial take the foreground gradually.
   And so the life flies by...They all meet after decades and wonder where did it all go? How could time fly by so swiftly without making them ever being aware of it!  Love, Marriage, Children, Parents.... everything that was tangible in relationships was of course important and perhaps each more beautiful than the other... but one thing that made them even more beautiful was the presence of friendship in all those relationships...and for the unfortunate ones, the absence of it. And our friends whether we met everyday or once in a decade have been that weird constant in our lives that made the whole equation balanced.
      This is for all my friends out there who have loved me, supported me and left me.

P.S: are the best friend of mine  ;)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Aspiring to be.....

Whenever we meet someone we don't agree with or don't like for any particular reason, we tend to objectify the other person. It is a default mechanism to look at others through our own eyes. I mean we are not given many choices physically. But we do have a choice to try and understand the other person from his/her own perspective. It sure is difficult specially when all our circumstances, conditions and life stories are so varied! We all perhaps don't ever ever see the same colors as any other , or hear the same tone and sounds. Have you ever seen the display of Televisions in shops or malls? They all show the same video but each has a distinct color and sound. And unless you see them all together you can't tell how the green leaf on one screen is so much different from the green displayed and received by the other TV! Similarly i feel that each of us are different..just like everyone else. How we hear, think, feel, perceive things, universe and life in general are all individual and unique experiences or simulations, whatever you believe in.
    I have been feeling for a while that i need to think outside my box (though very humbly i feel my box is quite large ;) ) to help myself understand others and me better. I tend to loose my temper very quickly and this habit has been increasing in the past few years. I have read many self help books, explored the net for such stuff and have gathered enough data, yet when it comes down to applying it, i feel at loss. I realized many many years ago that i mostly Re-act whenever i am agitated, and i need to Act and take control of the situation first hand by simply being in control of my actions and reactions. Knowing this hasn't made me execute it so far diligently. I try, i fail...i try again ..and i succeed sometimes and/or fail again. Thats how its been.
   A writer though gets to understand this act more than anyone. She creates angels and monsters, and feels and creates their thoughts and emotions personally. All her characters are a reflection of her own life's experiences in some way i believe. Just like the author of "Around the World in 80 days" had not set foot outside his home country, i feel sometimes i can write about a person living in new york based on the amount of movies and tv serials I have seen based on the city, while i have never ever been to NY (so far) . And if i want to understand some other person , that i like or dislike for whatever reasons, by writing about him/her, developing a character about them can be a rewarding experience i am sure.

So let me simulate this person for you all, and for me in particular. The names and blabla have been changed bla bla resemblance to anyone is only by chance bla bla bla...

So there lived this woman who....
.... not easy... not ready to share on a blog yet.

Sorry for your inconvenience.


One Question....Answers Two Two...two two

There are certain kind of questions which have multiple answers. Similarly there are some people who have multiple answers to all kind of questions. I happen to know one such family, yes a whole family that possesses this super power. I recently had to pay their family home a visit and what happened there to me could have turned into a national tragedy if i didn't keep my cool. 

So one of the kids was unwell , and i asked the father

me: "what happened to the little one? i heard he was unwell."

father: " he had pain his tummy for two days, and i got worried you know. This boy of mine if very sensitive... he got braces for his teeth and his eye sight is also week. So i decided to take him to a specialist. You know my child specialist is very very good. He takes 1500 rs for a check up now ! But he is very good. So he made Ali lie down on his check up bed in his office. It was high , made of wood and a very cute cotton sheet was spread on it. I was really happy to see that sheet. I asked him later where he had gotten the sheet from and he said his wife got it from Fortress Stadium Market. You should also check that place out hunh?  Then he asked my boy where it hurts? and he touched his tummy in the centre. The doctor touched him on the right side of his tummy and pressed and asked "does it hurt here?', and Ali said "nooo" . Then the doctor touched him on the left side of his tummy and asked "does it hurt here', and Ali said "nooo". Then the doctor pressed the tummy in the centre and asked "does it hurt here?" and Ali said "yess". So then the doctor said it can be "Jaundice or Typhoid. We must get the tests done!" You know Amber, i got so scared! So i went straight to Shaukat Khanam Lab and got all the tests done. It costed me more than 5000 rs .Meanwhile my child was constantly complaining of pain."
By now i could hear the ants crawling on the walls outside, the electricity currenting through the wires, the termite eating away the wood and under his stern gaze i could not Not listen to him! frustrated and pushed to edge , i snapped at him ,"SO what was diagnosed eventually?"
Father: "Oh nothing..Mashallah Ali is perfectly alright. The doctor said he is just a little weak, so he should rest and take vitamins. He recommended these imported vitamins which you must also give to your kids and..."

I apologized and said that i had to make an important phone call and went outside. Unfortunately i bumped into his older brother outside who explained to me how his new UPS system works on a dry battery so well that i feel i am capable of constructing one on my own..from scratch now.
Any how..... after loosing some precious hours there i finally got into my car, spent 23 minuted saying good byes and for the upteenth time recieving a lecture on why i must produce a son , i left their house. 

Driving away I wondering if such people who talk a lot of nonsense , and have no sense that they are either torturing others or making a fool out of themselves, are their ignorant blissfulness actually blissful? or are they as miserable as their intellectual counterparts who try to reason with the trivia of everyday life set in a grand scheme? Anyways... i must cut this blog short now...i really don't like torturing other you know.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On Marriage and Gaining Weight

      When i got married an Aunty of mine shared a very interesting information with me which i ignore until recently. She said "After a year of marriage women generally gain about 5 pounds which are conveniently ignored as it is expected in our culture for women to gain some weight after marriage. But then the poor girl gains 5 pounds every year...  and there she stands 50 pounds heavier after 10 years of marriage! "
      How could i have ever ignored such a precious piece of advice!  Recently after almost a decade her words were echoing in my head and my weighing machine laughing at me. Also many years of various kinds of diet plans, exercises , gym routines and tight clothes stare me at my face as i look into the mirror. My Mother thinks i am lunatic thinking that i am carrying extra weight, and makes me swear that i will never ever starve myself, or try to lose weight...well but that's my mother.

Me and Hammad on our Wedding Day in 2003
      I think the problem lies in genetic memory or social culture or just my love for food. I mean i belong to a family where people generally gain weight in Ramadan instead of losing it. I used to have embarrassingly large portions of lunch packed in school and college during Ramadan because my parents worried i might go hungry... and then as the pace of life changes those large portions don't do you any good.
     No matter what Christian Gray says about being well fed for good sex, i think too much food slows you down. I mean most of the scholars or mentally smart people are also physically smart. How many fat geniuses have you come across? Hardly any right? Its because your body is working at wrong places providing extra energy to digest and transform the food you have put in it and there is very little energy left for everything else then.
      Anyways..thats all .... i sometimes just feel bad that i let this happen, and now i have to think about losing my weight and be conscious of what i eat :(
      So all you beautiful young ladies out there.... be careful of those 5 extra pounds that you acquire after your marriage... do not ignore it...and do not get used to it.
      After all they say :You are what you eat, so don't be Fast, Cheap,Easy or Fake :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Types of Mother In Laws ...

I am one of those few lucky people who happen to have a good Mother In Law. Generally most of the people i meet have horrible, beyond humane kinda MiLs... or so i am told. On the basis of a decade being in the married zone i have concluded that though there are no perfect MiLs (just as there is no perfect Daughter in Law) but you can generally categorize 2 types of MiLs:
1: Good
2: Bad
Now we all know that the Good ones are a rare breed and they will sure go straight to heaven. But the second genre of Mils has further sub-categories. In my opinion there are at least 9 kinds:
1: Born Evil
2: Attention Seeker
3: Superiority Complexed
4: Inferiority Complexed
5: Greedy
6: Miser
7: Perfectionist
8: Only Son Syndrome
9: Has Too Many Women in Her Life

Certain people have a bad karma i believe. As it is said that there are kind of people who spread happiness wherever they go, and then there are those people who spread happiness whenever the go! And this attitude is developed really early in life i think. Born evil is just pushing it further back, but actually i mean that they have some kind of bad upbringing or bad childhood , which leads them to be pure and simple evil.
       Such Mils don't let the DiLs breath. Everything that the young bitch does is wrong in their opinion and since they are not happy they will not let her DiL be happy either. They like to back bite and are also the ones who leave the gas stoves/ovens on to murder the innocent young girls!

This kind of MiLs are really annoying, as they don't necessarily do anything evil but they suffocate their children by being over demanding and wanting to be the centre of attention at any given cost. Such good old ladies get sick-a-lot, throws a lot of parties for the children, grandchildren and even the daughter in law as long as they remain the get to play the most important part during the arrangements and celebrations. Such MiLs also can be really embarrassing as they love to grab mike or to the contrary say NO to something that everyone is insisting upon.
    They usually get into accidents or some minor illness when the son and DiL has a holiday plan where the MiL is not tagged along.

I feel the worst for the DiL of such a woman. This stuck up woman will keep reminding her DiL about her being:
from another cast/creed/city
her family owning more riches than that of Dil's
not good at house-hold jobs
not knowing how to cook for her son
unable to raise kids properly
not as pretty/thin/jolly as she (MiL) used to be
not being able to give birth to prettier/taller/male children
These ladies eventually make the poor young girl believe that she is no good and might even turn into that sad lowly creature that the MiL keeps describing her as.

If the DiL belongs to a richer family, has given birth to too many sons or has won the son's heart completely , it might give the MiL an inferiority complex. Such ladies tend to get depressed and find ways to show the DiL down whenever they can, especially in public.

Such MiLs give the DiL and her family the toughest time perhaps, by constantly asking , demanding , comparing or threatening with divorce. She will always be greedy for more and often pretends she has lost the gold gifts that she received so that they be replaced with more. Such women will either be fat or quite thin but never in the middle, perhaps because their greed either comes out in the form of gluttony or they try to suppress it by hiding it.
There is generally no cure to such diseased people.

Do not confuse the miser and the greedy. While the greedy wants more and more to spend, the miser wants more and more to hold on to. Such ladies will count the Botis (Meat) in your food, won't let a single tomato or onion go waste and insult the crap out of the DiL for wasting the washing liquid in the kitchen, "when 3 dishes can be washed with the same amount why you keep adding water to it"? These ladies will constantly whine about their DiL's unaccountability and make sure that the time is used on activities that save money. When the DiL can cook , why hire a servant for the kitchen? When the father in law can teach , why hire a tutor? When i can talk, why turn on TV and waste electricity?

Do i even need to say anything about her?

Ah the patriarchy has doomed us all!!! In cultures like ours , the importance of a penis regardless of its size or functionality is beyond explanation, whether it belongs to you or to one of your significant other. Women thrive on having to be associated with a man and if some unfortunate female cannot bear a son , she is as good as nothing. Hence sons are all and everything to the Mommies in the sub continent. Now if someone has only one Son, remember not to marry your daughter off to that guy ! It's a plea! I have seen many a cases where marriages were arranged only because "he is the only son...will inherit it all alone!"  and the poor DiL suffered the wrath of the MiL all alone too. such MiL's tend to perform all kind of chores for their sons by their own hand. They are insecure that is the DiL starts taking care of the son she might steal him or he might start getting stolen. I have heard of cases where the son mostly slept in the MoM's bedroom while the wife and kids slept in the other...tch tch tch

Yeah and this sort are ruthless in a very indifferent way. Since they have got their sisters or daughters already filling the void which needs to be filled with incoherent talking, hence they don't really have time to mingle too much in your business. They have a lot of trivial worries of their own to solve e.g sister's husband is cheating on her; daughter's mother in law is giving trouble; friend's daughter is having an affair etc. Such MiL's can be dangerous because all the theories and stories they hear from other ladies are applied to the DiL. Hence such a DiL can save her ass by being friends of all the other women in her MiL's life!

I am sure there are more kinds out there that i still have not been informed about. But what i really would like you to think about is that how many of such Mother In Laws live inside you? Each one of us has some part evil, some part bad, some part unseen or unaccepted by our own selves.
Sometimes it is beneficial to be self critical..isn't it?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Glass is Half Full...Yours is...?

Choosing to see if your glass is half empty or half full is a matter of your sanity if you are living in urban Pakistan these days. Since you have to constantly counter the crises of electricity,water and gas supplies, educational, economical and political contingent situations, unwanted relatives and so called friends and again electricity. I'd like to share with you one such day to elaborate my point.
     I woke up drenched in sweat and my children stuffed in between me and my husband...not to my surprise (though only God know how they end up there every morning, while i ensure they are tucked tightly in their bedroom every night ! ). I 'm sure most of my Fellow Pakistanis are familiar with the sweat drenched mornings or midnights as the Air Cons turn off as the electric power goes off, and if the power doesn't come back in an hours time then the UPS also starts to slow down and eventually the fan dies too. Now if your husband has any active bone in his body that works during the zombie hours then he'd get up to turn the generator on. or you will wake up it happened in this case.
    Thank the Lord above it was already morning and we had to wake up anyways, and i was hoping that my cleaning maid would turn up earlier that day as a long lost friend of mine was coming over to visit. She had returned to Pakistan after 8 years, from the USA. So i got up, got everyone up and welcomed the day. As i went to the loo , to my surprise there was no water! As it happens sometimes the electricity crisis had affected the water tank that supplies water to my neighbourhood, and no one bothered to announce or inform us. Our over efficient gardener watered the plants and left the hose on to replenish our newly acquired American grass, and leaving us waterless. But thank the Lord above, we have a lot of drinking water in the kitchen and refrigerators, and whatay delight it is to use chilled water for poo poo and pee pee purposes on such hot and electricity/water-less days.
   From 10 am to 1 pm i was getting the kids have breakfast and do their school home-work, ignoring the noise of Jenny (our generator), facebooking and anticipating my maid's arrival. By lunchtime i finally accepted that she is not showing up today, so i got my wits together and got up to sort out the house. With no water and now will it was a drag. My cook and driver had already had a fight about some trivial issue not to my surprise as it happens on hot days in Lahore. 
   Anyways.... the day dragged along and by the mercy of the Lord above things somehow turned out fine before my precious guests arrived. The cook cooked food, my cleaning maid, water and electricity all showd up after lunch, i got the kids cleaned up, phoned hubby to remind him to come home early,ordered nik knacks, got a massage and finally got dressed. The sun retired and the guests arrived by the evening prayer and i found myself in a very uncomfortable situation , climatically and socially. It appeared that out dear guests who had decided to bestow Pakistan with their presence after almost a decade were not happy to be back with their Old widowed mother and Blind Sister ( its a reference from Indian Cinema's Amitabh era... just so that you know). They thought that Lahore's society had lost all its manners and etiquette in the last 8 years. People walking the earth on this part of the world resembled "Mental Dogs" (pagal kuttay), and all the doctors and In-Laws were "Educated Illiterates" (perhay likhay jahil). The traffic system was run by aliens and  the electricity crises reminded them of stone age. Since their children couldn't speak urdu, they were very apprehensive of the education system here as their kids had problems communicating with others. 
     Their lives back in the US and A were so perfect that they couldn't wait to go back. They had come for 3 months and now were regretting their decision. They confessed that they missed their busy lives there ... lives where they wake up at 5 am to go to work and come home at 6, cook food, do laundry, meet the kids and go to sleep. Where they dont have friends as they don't want to interact with the alcoholic infidels. Where they socialize on Eid only which is not a day off from work either. Where they are ensuring that their kids do not turn out to be like other kids or God forbid treat them how the white people treat their parents. Where there is no electricity failure ever!
     I was trying to look at my cup which was half full literally ... sipping coffee and thanking the Lord above that my husband was somehow still keeping his calm. As soon as they left i apologized to my husband for inviting such disrespectful people over, and i couldn't be grateful to him as he only beat me with his shoe that night and not with his belt. He has told me i cannot meet any of my friends ever again and i'll make sure i never ever do that. 
   After all how could they say such things about our homeland? after all it is our land which has kept us grounded and connected to our religion! and it is our religion that connects us back to the land of the holy Arabia. If the roads of Lahore do not remind you of the desert of Arab, how will you remember who you are? The palm trees provide us with the shade not only from the sun but also from the satan.
   May we all drink mango juice as smoking is injurious to health. After all all super hero movies now are in 3D and we have got to respect that.