Monday, April 17, 2006

Moved HERE!
Thursday, January 26, 2006
  Sands and Blizzards!
There is entirely too much print space, if that is the word I am looking for, wasted on what is called ‘celebrity gossip’. The past few weeks, the newspapers have been replete with stories about the ‘celebrity’ gay marriage, and this in an Islamic country like the UAE, where Orkut and Naseeb are banned because they are dating sites, and where when recently police raided a ‘discreet’ gay party and made arrests, it was front page news. Prior to that there was Aniston pitted against Angelina, and not very long ago you could not start your morning without finding out what Bennifer had been upto in the preceding twelve hours. Today, once again, City Times, the tabloid-cum-sports pages of Khaleej Times, thought it necessary to splash A.Jolie’s semi-naked picture on its cover, and inform us that Angelina and Brad have had success at procreation. Its the Pitts, pun intended.

I subscribe to Khaleej Times, since long ago I had decided against spending any money on Gulf News because of its inherent bias against Pakistan in its coverage. Outisde of these two publications one’s options are still quite limited when it comes to mainstream newspapers. KT used to be quite a decent publication, with a balanced approach to news coming from both sides of the Pak-India border. More than that, City Times in its good old days did not carry the extra baggage of spots news, and was indeed looked forward to because of a certain humorist’s column on its last page. Bikram Vohra, who put a smile on many a face every morning, has long since left City Times, and has been recycling his CT columns in the recently launched Evening Post.

I have continued with Khaleej Times, more out of habit than anything else. The paper has gone to the dogs. The front page induces nausea with its “Your favorite and number one paper in the UAE, Khaleej Times, this…; and your favorite and no.1 paper in the UAE, Khaleej Times, that…” stories. I had half a mind to ask our paper boy to rip off the front page before delivering the paper at our place, but then I noticed that even the stories inside were not much better either, and if we continued with the ripping strategy, we might as well ask him to shred the damn thing for us as soon as he received it. He’s a poor chap, who works really hard to make ends meet, and I did not think, he would have been able to afford a shredder, so we continued to receive the paper every morning, and I continue to shred it in our office daily. On a positive note, KT did take lead in putting the officials of government organizations under the microscope, and often imitates the western publications’ tone in its ‘fight’ to bring forth the causes of accountability, and justice. This is a favorable development, since one felt that the officials in the Government departments, and quite often the expatriates in private institutions flouted the moral, ethical, or regional norms with impunity and with the least consideration for those affected by their behavior. With KT on the prowl to report such incidents, and other publications following suit, perhaps one can expect these incidents to reduce. On the whole though, the newspapers are disappointing, especially in their choice of stories to fill up their pages.

It has often made me think, however, why do they have to fill up the paper with such riff raff. So Elton John and his gay friend got married, and I can understand the inevitability of having to report the marriage too, but who needs the intricate details of the preparations for the wedding, and the celebrity list attending the wedding, and whatever else happened there. How does it hold any importance for the people of the UAE, for it to keep propping up in the newspapers on regular basis. So, Pitt and Aniston got divorced, and found other partners, whats the big deal? Must we have their daily lives forced down our throats? And what’s with the Jude law and Miller story? One committed adultery, tendered in apologies, the other forgave; and now me thinks they are playing the same story with the roles reversed. I can understand if this were reported as news, but when it becomes the topic for discussion every day, it gets to me.

Looking at above, you could be forgiven for assuming that I keep a close watch on the celebrity gossip. You could not, however, make a more fallacious assumption. I never read celebrity gossip, yet it is so in your face all the time, so omni-present, this celebrity gossip, that you can hardly not know whats been happening. The newspaper in the morning, the magazines stacked by the cashier’s side in your area supermarket, the TV news, the radio…its everywhere.
Who are these celebrities? What makes them such celebrities? What is their claim to fame? Their art? Their talent? I do not think so. None of these news, which clutter the information highways, subways, underpasses and overpasses, are about their art or their talent. All this news is about is their homosexuality, adultery, more adultery and still more adultery. Why should a responsible paper in an Islamic country commit pages after pages in print space to these inane stories? Why can’t these stories write about real people having real issues, people who need these papers to bring their plight to the fore, so they can be helped. Why can’t these papers write about those unsung heroes who toil day and night to eek out a living, and make life worth living for others?

They say gossip sells paper. Perhaps it does too, in a society whose obsession with the individual’s right to trample over another individual’s rights has blinded it to the cause of preserving the good in a society. In an Islamic country, in an Arab country, and that too in a GCC Arab country, a newspaper ought to exercise more caution and responsibility in its choice of stories. The GCC newspaper should realize that it has to take the same pride in its own self, which an average GCC national exhibits in his own thob and gatra. The GCC paper, I strongly feel, should write about the sands and the oasis in those sands, not about the blizzards in the west; only then will there be an international entity called the GCC paper.


7 Responses to 'Sands and Blizzards!'
1TariqJanuary 4th, 2006 at 3:14 am
Salaams knicq,
I agree with you. Too much riff raff.
Maybe there should be a new newspaper in the UAE?
P.S. thanks for the update on Jolie and Pitt. I didn’t know they had ’succeeded at procreation’. I guess i’m uptodate now..
In addition: A very coherent and targeted post.

2hemlockJanuary 4th, 2006 at 11:31 am
i hear ya! i hear ya! i hear ya!!!dude, gossip so does not sell, this one time at bandcamp…err, noi mean, incidently, i was in charge of the gossip page in my paper (dont ask) and for the longest time i carries this guilt over my shoulders because i felt responsible for what i was allowing to go into print… cuz ppl were reading it…so i took a stand, and cut out the trash. my ed would shout at me, i would shout back at him, tell him to do the job himself, which he obviously couldnt, so he would leave me alone until a later spasm.he. he. he.
btw: GEO is like the newest pakistani channel, BRILLIANT news coverage… hats off to them yeah?last night on GEO news:“Ashwaria Rai says 2006 will be her year”nuff said.

3knicqJanuary 5th, 2006 at 3:56 pm
Tariq: W/Salaam. I agree with your agreeing with me. There are already a couple of new papers in town, but they have their job cut out for them…and unfortunately, they are as taken with the gossip news as the ’senior’ ones. As for the update on Pitt/Jolie ’success’, I am not entirely sure whats transpiring there, but I surmised from the headline that third time lucky meant something….
Hemmie: Bravo! Thats what all these people who put in those gossip news unwillingly ought to do…I have this feeling that no-one can willingly put that crap in papers under their name…it would take a really dumb person, if ot a really sick person, to be willing to share people’s private lives with the world. But it takes a brave one…I nominate you for the knicq journalistic personality award!
Oh, and I saw that GEO brilliance in news coverage too! It was one of their headlines…!!!
The Morons!

4HappySohailJanuary 5th, 2006 at 10:21 pm
I just found out why knicq do not want us to read celebrity gossip stuff.
You will figure it out after reading this excerpt from “Lie” magazine, “As per totally unreliable sources knicq was seen along with Christina Augilera at a famous night spot in Dubai…….”

5AnjumJanuary 6th, 2006 at 5:42 am
bravo, knicq - what a great, targeted post! i agree with you that gossip is so prominent that even if you’re NOT paying attention you come to find out what’s going on in these ppl’s lives. and who ARE they anyway? what have they done that we should be so interested in their every movement and thought? acted in a movie?! gimme a break..
it is sad for me though to realize that this same prevalence of gossip is found in muslim countries as it is in the usa. i had high hopes for living in a muslim country but more and more, i hear that it’s just as bad, if not worse, than here.

6knicqJanuary 6th, 2006 at 4:06 pm
Now, now Sohail…you should not believe everything you read in the “lie” magazine…as for that news, here’s my official position….”first of all, it was not me, second it was not a club, third the club was not in Dubai, and fourth it was not Chritina Aguilera but Salma Hayek in a disguise”.
Anjum: So good to have you here after so long. Sometimes, I think its all a big conspiracy…not the one that has th Hondas/Toyotas party to it, but one that has the fourth estate n cohoots with the powers that be…all this gossip is a diversion, people are conditioned to think they care, and should care about what a certain actor/actress/singer/dancer/director/etc., etc. had or did not have for break fast, so that there is no room left for the news that matter, on the front pages…so that people are not thinking about issues that matter…
If you start reporting the millions starving to death everyday around the world on those pages, sooner or later you will have people wondering about questions no-one wants raised.
Do you smell a conspiracy too?

7happysohailJanuary 6th, 2006 at 7:03 pm
Here are my 2 cents on this topic:
There are three reasons for all these gossip columns showing up everywhere.
1) Globalization and American culture (culture of tolerance) being center of it.
2) The way we do business in this day and age; we got very very marketing oriented corporate juggernauts irrespective whether they are American, European or Asian. Films and other entertainment is a big part the global economy with Hollywood being the center of it. All these gossip columns are just marketing tools. There are people who read it and enjoy it.
3) Its all about choices, I never read gossip columns. But I will never demand that it should not be there as there are people who read them and enjoy that kind of stuff. There is enough demand for that kind of journalism to make it economically viable to be printed.
Trust me if there is enough demand for other kind of newspapers that you believe should be there then they will crop up soon as its an economic opportunity not to be missed.
Conspiracy what conspiracy? Sony is Japanese company and has a big clout over Hollywood (production of movies and music). We can not say that its Japanese conspiracy to control American youth. It’s a global village and we are free to move anywhere and share anything. I have been in USA for almost 7 years now and whenever I read online or other Urdu newspapers I burst in to laughter about funny and baseless news of discrimination against Muslims in USA. I and other friends from Pakistan who came from Pakistan never felt discriminated here. Is there a conspiracy going on in Muslim world against USA too? I think newspapers print what majority of their readers will like to read.
Again I just expressed my opinion; I hope no one is angry with me after reading this.
knicq please now please do not try to get a vodoo doll for poor me and try to torture it.
Love and peace for all.
  Digression - The Rule.
Its a conspiracy, and the Hondas, Toyotas, Mitsubishis and the Mazdas of the world are party to it. But, let me not get ahead of myself. Lets start from the begining…

Long long ago, yours truly used to eat an apple a day. It was,however, not necessarily the habit that kept the doctor away. What did keep the doctor away was a combination of various factors, chief amongst them being the fact that the doctors kept to their seats in the military hospital, which was a few miles outside the city. A distant second reason was the fact that Walid Sahib had a car and could drive us there whenever the need for doctor’s expert opinion to corroborate Manji’s expert opinion arose. It may also have to do something with the fact that doctors had long ceased to make house calls in this part of the world, unless of course the house call were made purely out of social obligation rather than professional compulsion.

The long and short of it though is that yours truly used to eat an apple a day. Sometimes, yours truly ate two or three apples a day too, provided the apples were crunchy and juicy. If the apples did not have, what one used to call ‘the crunch’ one supplemented the apples with almonds, which while did make the meal crunchier, was as bad a combination as they come, but yours truly was not, at the time, aware of the new precedents he was setting in bad food combinations. On the contrary, one remembers having rather relished the combination to a great extent. So much so, that there came a time, when if an apple turned out to be a good, and crunchy-as-a-good-crunchy-apple-apple, thereby making almonds totally redundant, one was rather disappointed.

It just goes on to prove that our senses are largely acquired senses. Haven’t you ever wondered about that cream roll you used to love eating when you were a five year old, but could not bear to take a bite of now? Granted, the said cream roll might not have been able to maintain its freshness after all these years, but hey, if you like something today, isn’t it rather rummy not liking it a few years down the road. I wouldn’t like it if Count Dracula went all watery mouth seeing the ‘well-rounded’ me today, and refused to partake of me, say thirty, or for that matter three hundred years down the road. Whats a few hundred years in a vampire’s life?

Speaking of Vampires, I have often wondered what would a vampire end up with, were he to sink his teeth in Jalali Baba’s fat neck? There are multiple possibilities that come to mind, and it is almost impossible to be entirely confident of which one is most realistic in nature. What one can be confident of though is that such an eventuality would be entirely to the detriment of the said vampire. JB, as I have often highlighted, is the reason why so many people in the tobacco business are still able to eek out a livelihood. He is also directly responsible for stifling the pesticide business in his area of residence.

Not very long ago, the municipality workers with their pesticide guns emitting clouds of smoke could be seen systematically going through the streets of that area, trying to ensure that the residents were rid of mosquitos, flies, and the like. However potent the mixture they used, their foes were always able to muster the resilience to survive through those termination campaigns, and almost always came back to exact their revenge on the residents through sheer numbers. The municipality appointed terminators were fighting a losing battle - that is until JB moved into the locality.

Fortunately for JB, and for the residents of JB’s locality, Mrs. JB is a doctor by profession, who forbids JB’s suicidal ambition to fill up as many empty pringles boxes with ‘Marlboro’ and ‘Gitanes’ ash, as required to set an enduring world record. JB is a highly intelligent and wise person, his attributes amply reflected in his choice of friends and devotees. He is gifted (or cursed, depending on how you choose to look at it) with a devious mind adept at spinning strategies to foil Mrs. JB’s best laid plans to keep him healthy and around for longer than his own modest target.

As soon as the pringles ban was clamped down on him, he experienced a rebout of his selective amnesia. Apparently, this selective amnesia had served him well in his college days, when he needed to step out and act out his part on the other side of the cigarette. For those who do not know, a certain gentleman, evidently extensively experienced in and deeply knowledgeable about such matters, has gone on record saying that a cigarette is nothing but negligible levels of tobacco complimented by generous helpings of that addictive agent nicotine rolled into a stick which has fire at one end, and a fool’s mouth at the other. I tender heart-felt apologies to any puritans who might have been irked by my-not-so-accurate reproduction of the said gentleman’s words. Suffice it is to say that I feel rather strongly on the subject and find it difficult to not offer my tupence worth, even if that means resorting to synthetic quotes.

Pardon my habitual digressions. JB, therefore, had to feign amnesia, when he went out shopping for the house. He would conveniently forget picking up such essential items such as powdered milk, diapers, mineral water, or whatever it was that Mrs. JB had underlined the importance of not forgetting to bring back. It would give him an excuse then to saunter around the block on the premise of going back and picking that essential item in a jiffy, and, of course, to light the fire at the other end of the cigarette. Little did he know that as he went around completing these household chores, he was cleaning out the neigbourhood of all insects, even the roaches. The poor things, roaches that is, found it the hard way, and fortunately did not live to alert their kind, that it is one thing surviving a nuclear holocast, but it is enirely another proposition surviving JB fumes.

Mosquitos, an Urdu humorist declares, are a gallant kind. They are not known to resorting to blitzkreig tactics, nor are they prone to stooping to shock and awe kind of warfare. They follow, and quite consistently so, the search, warn, challenge and attack line of offensive. Well, in JB’s case, they found the hardway that their tactic was flawed. Searching him was no issue, since he leaves a nicotinic trail behind him, and the paths leading to him are normally lined with insects of various kinds, sizes and shapes which have perished after falling in the line of JB fire. It was the warning part that they failed to do, they had to get near him to effectively buzz the warning-cum-challenge in his ears, and this proved a task they were ill-equipped to carry out. Perhaps, if they had the gas masks…!

They brought out the infantry once, and as scores fell left and right trying to bridge the distance between their kind and JB, some finally did manage to make contact with the enemy. The offensive was altogether anandoned, however, once they saw their valiant commandoes and marines wilting before their eyes after sipping from river of nicotine. It is rumoured that the mosquitos are working to train an SSG unit, where the young mosquitos chosen for the training are weaned on “beedi”, and it is a smart move too, since the only thing that stinks more than JB smoke is the ‘beedi’.

It remains to be seen, however, if this strategy will bear fruit. Apparently, too many young mosquitos have perished in this cause, and a certain group of mother mosquitos have got together and started protesting the very idea of launching the war on JB. Their point is that JB is headed the destruction way as it is, and the mosquitos should not have to mindlessly lay down their lives towards achievement of this end. Many believe that the head mosquito may just have signed his own exit from the dorms of mosquito power through his incessant and mindless gibberish about conquering JB and sucking him dry. A growing number of mosquitos and other insects are begining to feel that black, nicotine infested, blood is not all it is made out to be, and that it might not hold the key to enduring insect supremacy. There are, however, paddy field grown mosquitos and other rum drinking insects that have not allowed reason to interfere with their ambition, and they continue to espouse the insect way of live for JB, lions, elephants, birds, and plants alike.

Given all of the above, and JB’s record against other blood-sucking creatures, those vampires had better watch out.

Digression seems to be the rule of the day today. I think, I had better stop here. We will come to that conspiracy by the Hondas, Toyotas, Mitsubishis, Nissans and Mazdas in another post.


11 Responses to 'Digression - the rule.'

1MaranelloDecember 31st, 2005 at 6:56 pm
What did the poor apple do to be mentioned in this post then? Unless of course this was a subliminal reference to the fact that this apple is meant to be smoked through a sheesha with the ashes carefully preserved for posterity in a Pringles can…. hmm, yeh, that makes a lot of sense!
I am all for the odd (or in some cases, very odd)tangential comment aka the “jumla-e-mu’tarza“… however, yahan toh poori post hi mu’tarza hay…. Magar khair, it would be rude for one to be mu’tariz on your post-e-mu’tarza, so I won’t be

2MaranelloDecember 31st, 2005 at 7:40 pm
Another thing… if “Digression is the Rule”, then what about change? Apologies for talking in cliches (and ghissay pattay cliches at that) but isn’t change the only constant? Or, to put it more eloquently, sabat siraf taghaiyur ko hay zamanay main… or words to that effect… based on which, taghaiyur should be the Rule, and Digression should merely watch from the sidelines, waving the odd pom pom. No?
PS: Seems like I am talking to myself here.. khair, someone has to (talk to me, that is) - so probably wise to inflict this misery on someone I know and vaguely trust (ie my own self)

3knicqJanuary 1st, 2006 at 2:01 am
Maranello bro., you crack me up. You sure, you’ve never read Yousufi? you do seem to have Yousufiic traits!
I must clarify, however, that the apple has as much to do with sheesha smoking, as I do with the filling up of empty pringles boxes with ash. It found mention, because it was the first thing that came to mind, after “Long, long, ago…” I am sorry to discount the only thing that had seemed to make sense.
The tangential comment elongated into a post only depicts my blinking mind. As conciousness dawns, I strive for the nearest straw to stay afloat, and before long I find myself looking into the deep unblinking eyes of the creatures of the deep once again. From a distance, I must present the picture of a haplessly drowning person… up close it ain’t much different. When you are me, it is quite difficult to stay coherent and make sense for long enough to become less irritating…
Mashyat-e-Aezdi main muslihat ke kai pahloo pinhaan hua karte hain…jumlaha-e-mo’tariza, aur woh bhi tuwalat pazeer, kitni badi ne’mat hain, is ka andaza aap ko usee waqt ho sakta ai, jab aap ko ehsaas ho, ke agar jumla-e-mo’tariza nan aata, to aapko khurafaat ka sirf aik hee pehloo hazam karna padta…hazrat-e-insaan ka nizam-e-hazma aik hee jins se musalsal do-do haath karne se yaksar qaasir hai.
Khair yeh to jumla-e-mo’tariza ba-jumla-e-mo’tariza ho gaya…:)
You make an error in assuming that change and digression are mutually exclusive…if one is twisted enough, and has influences demented enough (hint: JB) one can actually get the two to work together. Fact is digression, as practiced by the likes of yours truly, is change itself. Won’t you agree?
Oh, and I love talking tomyself…I find myself to be the best audience. Looks like, i just doubled my audience, as did you…count me in as your friend in misery bro!

4BaptizedLuciferJanuary 1st, 2006 at 2:37 pm
naye saal ki shubh kaamnaayein
5knicqJanuary 1st, 2006 at 7:50 pm
Whoa! For a minute I read it as… “Nayee saas kee sub kanyaein!”
…and I was wondering, what the…?
Aap ko bhi naya saal mubarak…:)

6BaptizedLuciferJanuary 1st, 2006 at 11:00 pm
looool, at least now we know whats goin on in ur mind!

7MaranelloJanuary 2nd, 2006 at 8:08 am
Shubh Kaamnaayein
yeh kon khatoon hain?

8knicqJanuary 2nd, 2006 at 8:40 am
Yeh Shobha Kamnaayein kee choti bahan hain.

9knicqJanuary 2nd, 2006 at 10:22 am
Bee Lucifer: Hmmm…I hate you for these trick comments that bring out the carefully concealed real me!

10happysohailJanuary 3rd, 2006 at 7:04 pm
Hi kcniq:
Its strange I even do not know kcniq? Do let me know
Also you must put ur latest pic on ur website too.
Also I was expecting to see some New Year resolutions in your next blog. Please share ur wisdom with us.
U must be wondering why suddenly I have become so demanding, well there is a good chance I will be ur new neighbor so I want u get used to it. Now u know my plan so do not even dare to move.
I remember once you told me that u want to have a rock solid body by the age of 30. To be exact in second semester during MBA, Whats going on that avenue. You still have some time.
Take care.

11knicqJanuary 3rd, 2006 at 9:11 pm
Oh Hi Happysohail,
Frankly, even I do not know kcniq, his name is striking similar to mine though…mine has a misplaced ‘c’…:)
My new year resolutions eh? Thats a good one. I guess we could sum it up in one line…lesser procrastination, greater compassion, and zero consternation.
Now, you coming here…isn’t that good news? Make that great news! So sawari baad-e-bahari ka ETA kia hai?
I am on local leave for two weeks after the Eid, and if you arrive here in those days, you will have a guide to show you around, and to accompany you on your qdambosi trip to JBland.
Oh, and about that rock solid body, which I have wanted to have since my school days by the way, I am quite close to my target…WE, (my wife and I) have achieved the rock part, and its a BIG rock…now I have to start working on the solid part. That picture…we’ll put it here as soon as we achieve the solid part. My doctor and the photographer both agree that for best results we should go for a little bit of blasting here and there…or may be hope for a few landslides…the photographer thinks this way we should be able to capture thw whole of me in a single shot!
  ANQ’s birthday, The Trio, and ANQ’s birthday.
ANQ turned three today (December 16), Masha Allah. Madi called to wish, the gorgeous chachu that he is, and the lovely person that he is. May Allah bless him for his love, affection and kindness which he has always shown me; I have introduced him earlier in some posts, and I have perhaps already written that he forms the trio that I was blessed with in my college days, the trio that has stood by me like the Hindukush in my times of adversity.

This trio is comprised of Felicity and Fash in addition to Madi. True, Fash is the oldest soul outside of blood relations that has had to bear the curse that I am, and folks, I tell you 20 years of bearing this curse is a tad too much. However, there was this period of almost a decade when he and I were out of touch completely, and it was in college that we ran into each other again, so I am inclined to think of it as a rediscovery of a sorts - more so for me than it has been for him. He was also instrumental in bringing us all together in this wonderful friendship, where each of these amazingly special people have had multiple chances to prove their consistency in standing by me in my times of adversity, in my times of foolishness and stupidity, and in my times of going through I-should-never-have-been-born phases.

They have been stubborn in giving me good advice, patient in their consternation at seeing me do the exact opposite, and gracious and generous in not taking the didn’t-I-tell-you-so-again-and-again-and-again route when helping me pick up the peices. They have also been immensely generous in sharing their laughter, limelight and love with me. We are, today, in three different countries; which, come to think of it, is a huge improvement on the state of affairs a few years ago, when we were in three different continents; however, we are bound together by that most enduring of bonds which everyone calls friendship.Thank you God for great friends, and thank you for all your blessings - blessings, that not only include great parents, wonderful teachers, loving wifey, and adorable TNQ & ANQ, but also the many, many stellar, albiet eccentric friends, and patient colleagues, neighbors, fellow-drivers, and fellow citizens….

Thank you once again, and many times over, for TNQ and ANQ. ANQ, being ANQ, made the most of our birthday wishes this morning, and promptly put forth inquiries pertaining to a certain item that is automatically associated with birthdays - the birthday cake. We did not have the heart to turn her down, so we decided to get a cake in the evening, if she still remembered about it. Who were we kidding, she remembered very well, and repeated her inquiry as soon as I stepped back from a very tiring day out at the beach with “the guys”, the guys being HPN - the sand stealer, HPN’s father, HPN’s father-in-law - the newly crowned frisbee champion Sharjah beach, HPN’s BiL aka LHS on daMomma’s blog, Jalali Baba - who needs little introduction on this blog, Fash’s BiL aka O on KK’s blog, Dr.IK who was hastily roped in as resident doctor after KK, our regular and blogistan’s very own doctor, had to pull out to get ready for his flight tomorrow morning to the land of the pure, and yours truly - the logistics specialist held responsible for lack of plans, and poor logistics. More about that, however, in a separate blog which, as Yasmine warns in her recent comments, might take too long to materialize.

We, therefore, had to arrange for a cake hastily, light some candles on it, and get a hastily gathered crowd, which included a total of two guests, to clap and sing out of tune as ANQ blew the candles with some help from TNQ and cut the cake. I have hardly ever celebrated my own birthday, I remember we did get a proper birthday organzied way back in 1998, because we needed an excuse to get all the friends together one last time before everyone left to discover his/her destiny, and my birthday happened to fall just about the time. The point, at that time, was not celebrating the birthday. Besides, every present I opened turned out to be a shirt - I have been using them for seven years now, and I still have some left in the closet that I have never worn. Take it from me, it takes one a long time getting through 30 shirts that do not fit.
We never celebrated brithdays in our home, when we were children. It was just no big deal, once or twice we got called to birthday parties, and we did not know what to make of the proceedings. So, the guy was born years ago on that day, what’s the fuss about? Years later, when my own birthday was celebrated, I had felt so at a loss and so inadequate having all these people standing around me waiting for me to cut the cake…birthdays, as far as I was concerned, were for kids, or for other people whose day can be brightened by wishing them, but not for myself.

On a point of principle, we still do not celebrate birthdays in our home, the principle being simple… there is no Islamic precedence of celebrating this occasion. We did celebrate one birthday of TNQ’s and one of ANQ’s, but the idea was that the kids were too small to register the proceedings as an occasion, and we the parents were delighted that we had been blessed with our precious children on that date, and wanted to celebrate Allah’s mercy on us. Today, once again, we had this semi-party sort of a thingy, because our child had been asking for the cake, but also, and more so, because we are so so thankful to Allah for the blessings TNQ and ANQ are, and our hearts rejoice on the day Allah had blessed us with these children.

So, ANQ turned three today, and had Madi Chachoo call from Karachi to wish her, and had a strawberry cake to blow the candles on….May Allah bless her and TNQ, and may He keep them on the right path always, and may He fill their lives with Iman, joy, happiness and contentment, and He reward them with Jannah in the hereafter. Ameen.


13 Responses to 'ANQ’s birthday, The Trio, and ANQ’s birthday.'

1MaranelloDecember 17th, 2005 at 3:56 am
“May Allah bless her and TNQ, and may He keep them on the right path always, and may He fill their lives with Iman, joy, happiness and contentment, and He reward them with Jannah in the hereafter. Ameen. “
Ameen to that. And may He make them both a source of blessing for their parents in the dunya, and a source of blessing and forgiveness for their parents in the Akhirah, ameen.

2knicqDecember 18th, 2005 at 10:30 pm
Ameen to and thanks for your prayers brother….:)

3HappySohailDecember 19th, 2005 at 9:53 pm
Happy birthday to little kido, with all the best wishes.

4knicqDecember 20th, 2005 at 12:33 am
Thanks Sohail….juss getting around to making that call I promised you!

5HappySohailDecember 20th, 2005 at 1:20 am
I tried to call u again after posting, but it just rang, rang and rang and no one picked up. Now I will officially declare it, its easier to get Paris Hilton on phone than NKQ.

6yasmineDecember 20th, 2005 at 6:06 am
Ameen to your dua for your children. And to Maranello’s. And may you and your wife be blessed and rewarded for the time, effort, and love you put into raising your children who are such a joy to you. Ameen to that as well.
My favorite part of this post, I must admit, was the references to HPN and KK and daMomma and daAbbu and Jalali Baba. It’s such fun seeing the ways in which Blogistan intersects.

7knicqDecember 20th, 2005 at 8:58 am
Hmmm…I had stepped out for a while, initially to answer the doorbell, but ended up playing dark frisbee, which is frisbee played in the cloak of darkness, so the pride of players stays intact, and the frisbee and the noses do not.
Came back to find a missed call from a Lahore number…was that you? Are you in someway able to call via Lahore? Or have you taken paris Hilton there to show her the ‘Yaadgar’?
Been calling that number, and a Paris-Hiltonish- voice keep telling me something about my matlooba number no longer being in iste’mal…I tried reasoning with her, tried explaining to her that it had to be in use for it give me that missed call, but she is not good on the listening skills.
Yasmine: Jazak Allah for your prayers sis. Your favorite part itches to transform itself into an independent post, but good old procrastination will have no part of it - the itching.

8SaadatDecember 20th, 2005 at 10:18 am
And I missed another birthday. *sigh*
Ameen to your duas and everybody else’s.

9ADecember 20th, 2005 at 10:29 am

10knicqDecember 21st, 2005 at 8:36 am
Hmmm…Saadat, you would not have missed this one, had your enetation not been playing those ‘bouncer’ games with me. If I counted the number of times, it has bounced my comments, I’d need that abacus thingy to get the figure right.
You gotta work that thing’s prejudices out bro…:)
Thanks for the wishes.
A: In ANQ’s own trade mark one word reply to all why questions…Ish’liyey!

11SaeedDecember 21st, 2005 at 3:36 pm
Ameen to all the duas!& yeah, my bad, even i missed this one….& forget the plans etc, atleast you were able to spend the afternoon with all those people….just this sunday i finally met my buddy after a whole month (yes, we stay in the same city!).Yes, its definately a dampner when friends get seperated into different countries & continents…..

12hemlockDecember 27th, 2005 at 10:50 pm
ok… like 3 yr olds??? are the FUNNESHT to be with lots of hugs and smothering kisses to ANQ from umm… hemlock … errr phopo?lol but seriously speaking? is your kid ticklish? i love tickling kids… hehehe
birthdays in my household are such a huge affair, for like, the immediate family. just an excuse to celebrate (the whole affairs last well over a week), seeing as how life sux otherwise we try make the most of the little things in life.

13knicqDecember 28th, 2005 at 9:05 am
Salaams Hemmie…
I’ll convey your hugs and kisses to ANQ…phuppo just about sounds right
ANQ is not the least bit ticklish…TNQ is though…
ANQ is tickled, if at all, by our futile attempts at disciplining her…she then gets on with her agenda as royalty does in the face of commoners protestations.
These days her favorite threat is…”Main aap ko moon pe phaink doonga…!” It is normally issued immediately after old man knicq has put on his sternest face and handed down what he considers his harshest scolding….:(
  On making a Jalebi...
In the past few days, I have often made time to sit down and put a serious update up. I have strived to create the right conditions, which every serious blogger knows is most important - the creating of the right conditions that is, not the striving, though it would amount to criminal something to undermine the importance of striving. One must continue to strive, and strive diligently towards the achievement of one’s goals, even if the goal in itself is nothing but to achieve the highest standards of striving. That would, in fact, be considered the purest form of striving - to strive to strive.

I digress. The right conditions to blog vary from blogger to blogger; some must have absolute silence, a dimly lit place, and their favorite stuffed toy by their side before they can get down to the business of serious blogging; others must have the soothing light of a full moon illuminate the blogging sectors of their brain while they sit under the open skies typing out with their right hand while the left hand twiddles a lead pencil incessantly; still others must first complete a five minute mile before they can hope to get anything close to an update. About the latter, I have a theory. I think they are porous bloggers, whose ideas do not take the conventional route when seeking expression; these are ideas that seep out of their whole existences, and eventually find expression in words…

I have known people who must wear their school badges when they sit down to blog, and those who must have at least two sharp lead pencils, a pound of lined A4 sheets at their disposal, and a white board right in front of them, so that they can type out an update on their laptops. There is, of course, Jalali Baba who will not blog until his neighbor has smelled a dozen roses tinged with the smell of JB’s sautéd flesh, or until a yellow Hummer has overtaken a red Aston Martin on the dirt road leading to a highway in Nouadhibou.

There are less particular bloggers too, who need nothing more than a keyboard for a tool to get down to blogging, and those who find a hundred subjects in a sneeze, a sunset, a sunrise, or an alley cat to keep blogging for a month. I have heard about them, but I am quite convinced that they are the stuff of legend, and quite possibly do not exist in reality. I have seen cases that are close though - the blog celeb trio of Momma, Little Baji and Owlie are examples that come to mind.

Unfortunate as it might seem, I find myself closer in my blogging behavior to the former than the latter group. I must have the right conditions. The trouble, however, is that given the dynamic personality that I am, the right conditions for me to blog can ill-afford to be static. This dynamic disposition of the right conditions, while completely commendable, and absolutely impressive, has inherent flaws, or challenges if you may. The biggest challenge for me is to keep pace with the change. Quite often, I am able to figure out the current right conditions, and get down to laying the ground-work for what could possibly be a legendary post in blogistan; but before I can create the absolute right conditions, change sets in, with the result that when I am finished with creating what were until recently the right conditions, I must reconcile myself with missed chances and lost glory - once again.

It has been a cat and mouse game, with the mouse inevitably getting away, and the cat left to lick its wounds. I am not one to give up though, and try, try, try I do as I must. Success continues to elude me, as does that moment of glory when the right conditions are created long before a different set of conditions comes to be defined as the right conditions, and the perfect update is born. Perseverance, however, is seldom in short supply in knicqland. Its, in fact, the only thing that keeps the place going. Ah! The challenges legends-in-the-making must confront.

So, as I was saying, I have often sat down to put up a serious blog, and worked to create the right conditions, so the serious update might just translate into “The Update”. In so far as I can understand, there has been only one ingredient missing, and it is that most elusive of all ingredients that goes by the name “chance”. It takes many disguises, and would rather have me believe that it was an inconsequential fountain pen, or chilled can of Coke, or the right temperature setting that went amiss at that decisive magical moment when everything must fall in place to give birth to a worthy update, but I know better…I know what is amiss is nothing but chance. Luck has not favored me despite my arduous toil…blah, blah, and blah.

There! That is my explanation for not having updated in a century!
p.s. That recipe for making a Jalebi, here it is.


11 Responses to 'On making a Jalebi…'

1hemlockDecember 11th, 2005 at 2:11 am
*waves right back*i like the way you think. except in all of this, you’ve forgotten to point one thing out. you almost always end up NOT blogging about what you had intended to blog about, having veered off the course, to either the south east, or the north west.

2yasmineDecember 11th, 2005 at 11:36 am
Man, I could so relate to this post, Knicq bhai. The problem with being a blogger (or at least, with being me) is that I’m constantly thinking to myself, “Oh! I should blog about that!” whenever something interesting happens/is said. And I start mentally composing a post right then and there. But if I don’t post it for reals within the next few days or so, then I’ll never get around to writing it. This would be alright, and I would just move on, except for the fact that the post is all half-written in my head already, and if I don’t get it out, it’ll stay there forever, reminding me, ‘Remember? You never wrote about me.’ So that’s a long-winded way of sharing the fact that there are plenty of things from like two years ago that are still just itching to be posted, and someday inshaAllah I’ll get around to it, because I really have no choice, as far as these words floating around in my head are concerned.

3SaeedDecember 11th, 2005 at 2:47 pm
excuse accepted!lol!& we really wouldn’t mind as long as there is a new update to read & comment on!U can strive for those right conditions as much as you like,& althou you may not be elated with the end result, we love it!I’m sure TNQ & ANQ give you enough incidents to blog about incase you cannot think of something when you’re at the comp???

4knicqDecember 12th, 2005 at 1:22 am
Hemmie: Here’s welcoming back to this place. I was beginning to think we’d lost you to cyberworld…that’s a potent observation you make…for as far back as I can see, I end up either not blogging about what I had set out to blog about, or not blogging at all. I guess, what keeps me going is the thought that if I do veer off the course to, lets say, South East, and continue going long enough, I’ll emerge, one day, from the North West to end up at the point where I had started off from…or vice verca. As long as you are at the same point, you can resort to what you had originally set out for…:)
Yasmine: Being a relative amateur at the blogging game, I seldom get past the “Oh! I should blog about that!” part, but you are right, I get to that part a dozen times in a day. It is what one might call the non-blogging-blogger’s syndrome. The trouble is when I sit down to blog, I can’t seem to recall one such moment…sigh!But hey! You’ve got to get those posts out of your system…you owe it to them, to yourself, and most of all to your fan club!!!We, here, are now eagerly looking forward to those floating words settling down in the RM land! Perhaps, that will give me impetus to move on to that I-have-half-written-posts-floating-in-my-head stage…:)
Saeed bro, you rock!You are right about TNQ and ANQ too. They conduct themselves in Urdu, so the essence of their actions/sayings can only be captured in Urdu, which is why I have long toyed with the idea of putting up an Urdu blog…ANQ has, however, picked up a most appropriate english phrase from TNQ, who for his part brought it home from school, but employs it to communicate with high-fliers only—literally. “Come back hea plane!” as she runs after an aeroplane…

5SaeedDecember 12th, 2005 at 4:14 pm
lol @ TNQ & ANQ’s antics!

6SaadieDecember 13th, 2005 at 4:03 pm
:), for me just motivation will do. when I want to write something I write and at times the urge of writing happens at the most oddest of hours errrr so I endup not posting at all.

7AnjumDecember 14th, 2005 at 5:58 am
salaam knicq! ahh, the classic blog-about-not-being-able-to-write-a-blog post always entertaining, despite the supposed lack of subject.

8hemlockDecember 14th, 2005 at 6:53 pm
how is it smart, travelling across the world to end up at square one?travelling for teh sake of travelling is one thing… but if square one is where u want to end up, why take a step forward at all?*ignore me, i tend to give myself headaches*

9knicqDecember 15th, 2005 at 8:48 am
W/salaaaaam Anjum. Where ya been sis.? Good to see you here…:)
Entertainment is often more fun when devoid of subject. It is then that it becomes PURE entertainment. e.g…ever been ticked off by one of those sitcoms with a message? My favorite is Sienfeld, precisely because it is black, and without any messages…not that it all has anything to do with my blog…:)
Hemmie: I think it is all about making an informed choice…you go around the world and ascertain for yourself that there is nothing better than square one…”I have seen the world, and I know now, my square, the one which is one, is the one. Breeds contentment, you know….
I have been known to give headaches to headaches…

10MaranelloDecember 16th, 2005 at 3:07 am
knicq, if I was a Martian, had just come to Earth, and had not read any of your other very interesting and insightful blogs, then my thoughts after reading this particular entry could be summed up this:
Nach na jaanay, aangan terha . . .
However, as I am not one (a Martian, that is!), I have read your other blogs and know keh janab ko naachna toh bahut khoob ata hay (in this limited context only, I hasten to add!).
Hence, the more apt thought for my Martian alter-ego should be:
“Na nau mun tail ho ga, na Radha naachay gi . . .”
True, no?
Though of course, if I was a Martian, I probably would not know Urdu mahawaray…unless Mars is somewhere near Lucknow, maybe on the road to Kanpur, eh?
hmm… not sure why this comment is so naach-obsessed. Don’t blame li’l ole me, blame the ahl-e-zabaan who came up with the mohawaray!
And about the email… well, I hope its a case of neither (the mohawaray that is)

11knicqDecember 17th, 2005 at 12:32 am
Hmmm…so you have a great sense of humor, and write in a style that is close to my heart - yet to find its name, and if so far unnamed give it one - both of which qualities you displayed amply in that satirical eulogy you sent me about me by way of your introduction; and now you seem to not only have dastaras in Urdu, but if above is anything to go by, you have memorized the Kitab-e-Muhavra - if there is one called so, and nurture a fixation with ‘naach’, or at least naach-related muhavras.
You are one of the very few people I know, who know the Catch-22ish muhavra about Radha….that says a lot. So, here my friend, is thanking you for your kind words, and assuring you that the mail is a case of nither of those muhavras…it is actually more a case of me naaching tigni ka naach trying my hand at time-management, prioritizing and all those kind of things, because all those things refuse to get naaching at my isharas…if you know what I mean :)
  Cricket and The Crown.
There was a little bit of ambiguity surrounding the catch Sir Ian Bell had taken to dismiss bloody M. Yousuf, when bloody M. Yousuf had shown his impudent intent approaching his century. Thankfully, Sir Simon Tauffel was the umpire, and he took Sir Ian Bell’s declaration at face value, and ruled bloody M. Yousuf out. There was absolutely no need to refer the matter to the third umpire, since Sir Ian Bell, unlike bloody Rashid Latif is a gentleman, and would never have appealed for a catch, had he not taken it cleanly. Preposterous as it is, the bloody Pakis have been drawing parallels between the incident involving Sir Ian Bell and the infamous incident involving bloody Rashid Latif, and have had the audacity to even suggest an inquiry into the matter of Sir Ian Bell’s catch.

Bloody Rashid Latif was banned for five matches by the esteemed ICC for appealing for a caught out decision after what was shown by the TV replays to be a less than clean catch. Gentlemanly conduct does not come easy to the low-life brown people, and expecting them to display same under all circumstances is rather optimistic. Realistic approach demands that all appeals by the bloody brown people should be referred to a third umpire to ensure complete code of conduct of a gentleman is observed when the game of the gentlemen is played, especially by the bloody brown people with the gentlemen themselves. A gentleman’s word however should never be doubted, nor should a gentleman be slighted by referring a matter to a third umpire when a gentleman has already stated his position on the matter. It is because of this reason that any comparisons drawn between the incident involving Sir Bell and that made infamous by bloody Latif would in essence have to fall under fallacious comparisons. Apples may not be compared with dried dates.

There is then the matter of the decisions His Umpiring Excellency Darrel Hair has made. His credentials have been questioned by the insolent Pakis for having called bloody Shabbir Ahmed for chucking, or for warning bloody Kaneria for running onto the pitch, or sending Salman Butt back after he had visibly and intentionally run on the pitch while takng a run. His Umpiring Excellency is beyond reproach, even approach. That he should be requested to officiate in matches not played between gentlemen teams in itself is derogatory to him, and beyond the comprehension of yours truly. That he should undertake these assignments despite the low social stature of the ‘hosts’ in itself bears testimony to his dedication to upholding the cause of gentlemen.

His Umpiring Excellency does the bloody brownies an immense honour by often officiating in matches played by them, and at the same time ensures that the devious scehmes employed by the bloody brownies in their impertinent attempts at rising to the status of equals with gentlemen on the playing field are checked at all times under his scrutiny. If bloody Shabbir Ahmad thought he could jeopardize the English Gentlemen’s plans, he had another thing coming. In case, bloody Kaneria had forgotten his rightful brown place in the general scheme of cricketing things, His Umpiring Excellency was quick to remind him of the same; and for the impudent Salman Butt to think he could repeat his insolence of the past in the second test match was childish. His Umpiring Excellency knows a thing or two abour disciplining children.

What is beyond comprehension is the insistence of the bloody Pakis that His Umpiring Excellency did not have to refer the matter of bloody Inzamam’s dismissal by Sir Steve Harmisson to the third umpire. Some have gone so far so as to suggest that even Sir Steven Harmisson should have been reprimanded for shying at bloody Inzamam’s wicket in the first place, since, as they put it, bloody Inzamam was making no attempt at taking a run. A knighted gentleman to be penalized for exhibiting his exalted fury! What nerve, what impudence. Why, I ask, should bloody Inzamam not be ruled out when he has the insolence to take evasive action when a gentleman throws a ball at him. And to suggest that His Umpiring Excellency should have favoured Inzamam for this insolence, and that too after his 109- run defiance in the face of the exalted English attack. Who, by the way, was to ascertain that bloody Inzamam’s foot lifted in the air, and the other outide the crease was not a precursor to his attempt to take a run. Are we now to assume the best on the part of brownies?. Such amateur optimism can only spell doom for us all. Bloody Pakis know this well, but continue to expect us to give them the benefit of the doubt, and some even have the audacity to suggest that we play the game with them as equals, while many have been demanding that His Umpiring Excellency should be relieved of his duties.

Alas! The world outside the Empire, as well as beyond the realms of pure, white skinned people seems to have forgotten its place.


4 Responses to 'Cricket and the crown.'

1SaeedDecember 1st, 2005 at 4:33 pm
will b bak to read later…..abhi bas “Happy National day!!!” lol!

2knicqDecember 1st, 2005 at 6:10 pm
…and a happy National day to you too bro…!

3MaranelloDecember 13th, 2005 at 4:40 am
LOL..well said and well written.
I fully sympathise with your views ‘knicq’; however, am less sure about what can be done in this regard. Its not as if Their Imperial Majesties at the Imperial Cricket Conference still run cricket; no, we have in charge our very own Pak, Mr Ehsan Mani, FCA, formerly resident of the leafy suburb St. John’s Wood and presently enamoured by the bright lights and skyscrapers of Dubai. The ICC is no more Imperial; it is International, not only in name, but in appearance too - an Indian (Sunny G) heads its cricket committee; a Pak is the President; a Sri Lankan heads the powerful Match Referees Panel and another Sri Lankan was the Referee officiating in the Pak v Eng series; the four Asian countries have a near-veto in the ten-member voting group, and finally, the ICC itself is based in Dubai and financed by Indian Rupees and Dollars…
However, why do I do get the feeling that all of this is mere window-dressing? Cynical? Perhaps.. but leave aside the appearances and review the reality and it still is a game for the goras, run by the goras and officiated by the goras.

4knicqDecember 13th, 2005 at 9:05 am
Maranello…thanks first of all for that lovely email…I am looking for words to write a reply back, and should write back as soon as I have the first line ready….gimme a few weeks!
Now, I can see that you have stayed away from Pakistan, and from Sub-Continent for that matter, for long enough not to know that the whitest, racistest, imperialistest people of the world are brown people wearing suits, and doing white jobs!
It is no window dressing my friend…when faced with challenging times, the goras have brought their knights to the fore…and like I said, brown people are the best gora knights!
  Monk Knicq
I have obsessive compulsive behavioral disorders…if that is the term I am looking for. For years, when my mother and I were closer than we are today, she would stop me early, hence ensuring it did not become a habit. There are scores of habits that she saved me from, and there are still scores that she perhaps did not even know of - most of the latter ones plague me today. I have lost count of the relatively innocuous ones like nail biting, clicking my tongue, plucking my eye-lashes, and making a deep squeaking sound that could easily be mistaken for a stifled hiccup, every now and then . There were more serious ones at all times, but they kept changing (because mother would pounce on those more aggressively than she did on the other ones, and left me with no option but to invent new ones) and that is why it is easy for me to not remember them, especially when I do not want to.

I remember when I first saw episodes of Monk, I was terrified, excited, and amused all at the same time; because I knew exactly what was happening with him, I could identify with his compulsions out of personal experience. Thankfully, my compulsions were not that intense, and unfortunately I was never that brilliant, or anything close. But, I had my problems.

I could not look at a fan, when I was about five years old. It made me dizzy, and it frightened me. I distinctly remember going back to Pakistan from here when I was about 6 years old, and not going in to meet my relatives when they came visiting, because the fan in the room they were sitting in was revolving so slow I could follow each of its blades, and I did, and that made me dizzy. You would think a smart kid would figure out that part and not look at it again, but once I knew that it made me dizzy, I could not ignore it, not even if I forced my eyes shut, and then to be on the safe side looked at the floor with my closed eyes.

Actually, I could not look at anything that was revolving, so for obvious reasons, merry-go-rounds were not for me for a long long time. By the time, I was over that fright, I was too old to be seen on one of those rides. Who knows the latter might just have been the very reason I was able to overcome that fright.

A fly hovering too close to a dining table was enough to kill my appetite, which in itself was not a
very pronounced entity. Actually, I did have an appetite as most growing children do, but there was little that I ate. I did not eat most lentils, rice in any form, meat that came with a bone and most of it did come with a bone, and anything remotely green or classifiable as a vegetable.
Walid Sahib loves food, and relishes it in all forms. He also has a deep, personal disdain for anyone who does not share his love of food. Mother, though not entirely taken with food in itself, eats everything and anything that is halal, and edible. They were like that quarter of a century ago also, which I think is about the time I must have started acting up.

Ours was a house where not eating food served on the dastarkhwan was tentamount to nashukri - unthankfulness to Allah; you could have your preferences, you could also keep something really low on your preference list, and if something figured low on everyone’s list, it was seldom cooked or served, but if and when it was, it was to be eaten. Now, factor in the fact that I did not have a preference list, I just did not eat anything that was not curd, cheese, jam, or chapati with butter on it. Sometimes, I ate a few varieties of lentils, and that was that.

My parents’ initial strategy was the “take it or leave it” route, which failed to yeild desired results, since I would finish my chapatis/rotis dry, or by pressing them against the curry served to absorb the spicy oil from the plate. I do not remember how we ever managed, but as far as I can remember I was not eating what was cooked and getting scolded for it. Sometimes, they would give in, and allow me to eat with cheese, and when I say cheese I mean Kraft, and jam. In these moments of dastarkhwani bliss, all could be spoiled by one housefly hovering over any of the items served - even if I were not going to be eating those items anyway.

I have spent night after night plotting to wipe out the entire housefly population from the face of earth. My disdain for houseflies was not without reason - Pak Railways were to be blamed for breeding that hatred, because it was on one of our journeys aboard one of the tezgaams/expresses from Jhelum to Karachi when I had seen the flies covering a pile of dirt on another train next to our train at the station. The image stuck, and to me every fly was dirty, and anything they sat on was dirty, and utterly inedible.

Speaking of nights, I would not go to sleep for what seemed like hours after we were put into bed. It was a combination of fear of darkness, and over active imagination that kept me awake, and often got me into trouble. For when you are a seven eight year old, one of the most difficult tasks in the world is lying still in bed. It becomes an impossible task, when you have to lie in bed, petrified by the ghosts staring at you from all corners of the room, and insects crawling up and down all over you.

When your father is as light a sleeper, as Walid Sahib used to be in those days, all these factors can lead to a lot of trouble for you. Walid sahib found it difficult to go to sleep if the little green light our air-conditioner used to emit were not covered with a piece of cardboard…the little green light that indicated that the compressor was active. He could be startled out of his slumber by the noise of a television being switched on in the neighboring room…needless to say the volume on that television used to be turned down to zero. The best part is that the television used to be in the same room in which we used to be sleeping, because for a long time one room used to be all we used to have, and when you have lied down fidgeting in your bed for two hours, you finally decide to watch some cartoons! The peculiar thing about cartoons is that they are quite bright, and are set to a super sonic pace. When I think back to it, I realize Walid Sahib must often have woken up thinking he was on the dance floor of a disco; all that flickering lighting. The rest as they say is history, and I am not complaining it is.

Those days are long gone, Walid Sahib sleeps like a child under flash lights and with stereos blaring under his pillow. This has a lot to do with the fact that after 30 years of a 7-1 government job, he is putting in twice the physical effort running his gift items shop; and with the fact that he has lost hearing in one ear, and strains a little to listen to what is being said normally. But my habits are coming back with a vangeance.

No, I am not an insomniac, on the contrary, I am a hopeless hybernating animal. But, I am getting those little unsettling habits, new ones and hordes of them. The other day, I found it difficult to fall asleep on the couch because I knew my glasses were lying under the couch. I could feel them under me, and even though I was as sleepy as I always am, I had trouble dozing off…the presence of those glasses under the couch poking me in a remote area of my warped brain. As if that were not enough I could not lie down and watch the match the other day, because the remote control of the VCR was lying at a rather non-complimenting angle to where I was lying down - across the room on the table!

I had to get up, and correct its angle. Increasingly there are things that I do not really have to do, but I have to do, and vice verca.

I am headed the facility way….the mental facility way. Promise you will come visit…?


4 Responses to 'Monk Knicq!'

1JBNovember 27th, 2005 at 8:33 pm
Dear Knicq,Your incident reminds me of a fairy tale I heard when I was young(that was a looong time ago). It was about the true princess who gets all black and blue when she sleeps on a heap pf 30 matresses stacked on top of a pea.
Mr. Knicq, by the powerd usurped by me, I dub thee: The True Prince.

2knicqNovember 27th, 2005 at 10:03 pm
Jalali Baba and The True Prince…kinda nice ring to it JB, won’t you agree?

3SaeedNovember 28th, 2005 at 3:51 pm
lol!relax….either this isnt something to worry about,or you’ll find you’re not the only 1 in the asylum…LOL!even i have such habits-like checking that the door is locked-i’ll b in bed, know that i probably have locked it, but i wont b able to sleep unless i’ve checked it once more….

4knicqNovember 29th, 2005 at 3:21 pm
Oh well Saeed, I have a fair idea I will not be alone in the assylum…JB with his warped sense of self, and warpeder sense of the world around him is sure to trace my steps to the facility pretty soon….there is Coori, who was blessed with a daughter Masha Allah last week, who will probably have ended in the assylum for his detergent optimizing ways, and who knows they might consign HPN there too for his obsessive compulsion on others to follow a queue in a SCRUMPTIOUS buffet at his home, and his wife for her multiple, varied and often succesful attempts to mortally wound herself…..
Just for the sake of comparing notes, do you lock yourself out also to be doubly sure that nobody can enter the place once the door is locked?
  A month ago...
This morning, at precisely 8:51a.m. PST, it will be a month since a devastating earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck the northern areas of Pakistan; or at least that is how most of us will see it. There will be some amongst us, who will choose to interpret it as 30 days since their fellow human beings were devastated by this calamity. However, for the three and a half million, whose lives were turned upside down on that fateful morning, all sense of time is lost. It is as if the earthquake broke all clocks in the region, and time now stands still with no needles to prod it on, no pendulum to help it swing from one minute to another. For most of these people, it has been one long painful moment of misery that refuses to pass.

Tragically, for many, as many as 73,000, time did stop that morning. Then there are those, who fervently pray for time to stop this instant, because every new second brings with it untold misery, unimaginable pain, unprecedented gloom, and new forecasts of doom. 73,000 dead is the official death toll, which has come under fire for being conservative to the point of understating the tragedy. The NGOs have near unanimously put the death toll in excess of 100,000 already; gangerine, pneumonia, diarrheoa and diseases of the respiratory tract threaten to kill untold numbers still, and looming over all of it is the harsh winter of the northern region which it is feared might freeze over a 100,000 people to death in the coming weeks.

Yet, these are not the gravest threats faced by the people of Azad Kashmir and Northern Pakistan. The greatest threat that these people face is human failure, our failure. Hundreds of hours have been lost in pledging this and that; in explaining why this cannot be done and why that is not feasible; in pondering if this might be the right course to take, or that; and in not believing that such a collossal tragedy has strcuk such a large section of the earth’s population. Countless hours have been lost in not pushing those who have the power to help and contribute to saving the lives of those struck by the earthquake and stuck in the face of fast approaching death. Innumerable failures have beset humanity as humans have struggled to put aside limitations they impose on themselves.

The earth has a population exceeding 7 billion, and every hour lost in not ensuring that those affected by this tragedy are saved, provided shelter, food and security is equivalent to 7 billion hours lost. I agree, it takes a utopian naivete to expect every person in the world to contribute to this cause, and that too with this urgency, but I wonder if it really must require a utopian world for each country of the world to take responsibility for the reconstruction and rehabiliation of a village, if not a couple of villages. The UN has 191 members. When something this tragic strikes humanity, humans must rise above themselves, and set new precedents with an urgency with which they would expect others to come help them if such tragedy befell them. I wonder if it is too late to set new perecdents now?

For to most of us, it was a month ago….!


One Response to 'A Month Ago…!'
1SaadieNovember 9th, 2005 at 12:36 am
:), world may come or not but we have to be there, keep writing.
  What if...?
In a few hours from now, it will be exactly a month since a devastating earthquake rattled the Richter Scale at 7.6 in the northern areas of Pakistan. Baffling as it sounds now, the official death toll by the end of that day had not exceeded 100. Consequently, the world community’s response to the calamity was lukewarm, evidenced by the USD 100,000 pledged in aid by the US on the first day.

Earthquakes are devastating, and with the exception of earthquake prone Japan, which is one of the best prepared countries to combat earthquakes, an earthquake brings with it large scale death and destruction. Almost a decade ago, on January 17, 1995 Kobe, Japan was jolted by an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake had lasted 20 seconds, and the death toll from this earthquake was 5100 people. This in Japan, where afterwards Japanese seismology Professor Tsuneo Katayama had written that he “had opportunity to observe the damages causd by the 1989 Lome Prieta and the 1994 Northridge earthquakes”. However he had thought that Japanese structures would not collapse as the US structures had in those earthquakes. He was wrong, Japanese structures did collapse, despite the fact that they had been constructed under stringent earthquake safety regulations, and in so collapsing brought death to over 5000 people.

I wonder what were our poeople thinking when they spent the whole day covering Margalla Towers, when they knew full well that the epicentre of the earthquake was 90 miles to the north of Margalla Towers, and how did they arrive at the ridiculous figure of under 100 dead at the end of the first day, when they knew the eqrthquake had measured 7.6 on the Richter Scale? Did they think, our construction models were superior to those of the Japanese?

I just cannot stop wondering what might have been different had we reacted 24 hours earlier than we did…


3 Responses to 'What If?'
1sh_gufNovember 8th, 2005 at 5:53 am
ٹیسٹ کمنٹ
2sh_gufNovember 8th, 2005 at 5:58 am
اور ابھی بھی ضروری ہے وقت پر پہنچنا۔۔۔ فوری طور پر جو نہیں کیا جا سکا وہ افسوسناک ہے تاہم اب اس وقت جو سب کرنے کی ضرورت ہے وہ اگر نہ کیا جا سکا تو ۔۔۔سوال یہ بھی ہے
3sh_gufNovember 8th, 2005 at 6:07 am
بھائی اگر یہاں اردو قابلِ خواندن ہے تو کیا اس ناچیز کو اس کاوش پر سلور میڈل کا حقدار قرار دیا جا سکتا ہے ۔۔۔ !
  Blog Quake Day.
Today is Blog Quake Day, well technically it was yesterday, but I have yet to sleep. I found out about BQD from Rambling Monologues, whose blog is one of the best blogs linked to your right, and who has written heart felt, informative and very useful posts about the earthquake, and how one can help the victims of the earthquake.
I do not know where to begin…that feeling of helplessness and uselessness, which first descended on me when I saw the pictures of that massive devastation for the first time, pervades my days and nights here as I, and pretty much everyone around me, otherwise go about our lives as usual. For the first time in my life, I share my parents’ unbounded disappointment at my not having got into a medical school; perhaps I could have been of more use, had I been a doctor. For the first time in my life, I am disgusted with myself for living the life of that anecdotal cricket who saved nothing for tomorrow; perhaps if I had been saving something in my bank, I could have put it into good use at this hour. Not for the first time in my life, I feel a total failure. I am wrong of course; I am what I was destined to be, and prior today I have always believed that saving is for middle aged people - if at all; my needs and wants have always been taken care of by Allah, and will be taken care of by Him always. I have never had ambitions to build a mansion, buy acres, or stock up on the yellow metal. I know I am not a failure when I look at the wonderful people, and whose love, Allah Almighty has blessed me with, family and friends alike. Yet, I cannot help but feel that way. that has been the effect this earthquake and its aftermath have had on most of us - they have jolted the very premise of our philosophies.
I am invaded by a feeling of guilt each time I spend a dirham towards items not essential to my survival, as it rears up images of those devastated, cold, hungry, and desparate people who would kill for each of these dirhams right now.
I shudder at the thought of being in their predicament…and beseech Allah to ease their suffering, and spare all His creations, including my family, any such suffering. I pray and pray and pray…
Yet, there is no denying the fact that those five million people affected by this catastrophe went to bed after Suhoor on the morning of eighth, with not the slightest hint in their minds that their lives, if at all spared, would be turned upside down in the next few hours. There is no knowing what lies in store for us, and it just underlines the importance of making the most of this time we have to carry out our mission on earth, and our mission on earth is to follow Allah’s commands, and He commands us to refrain from shirk, worship Him, and spend on and for the betterment of our brothers ans sisters in need, out of the bounty He has given us.
Donate, donate and donate, because this is the only way of loaning out to Allah, and Allah promises to be the best repayer of all loans. lists the various channels through which donations can be funnelled into the affected areas, take your pick, but remember to donate as much as you can, and then some.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, we have all seen and heard uplifting stories of sacrifice and devotion from all segments of the Pakistani Society and from multiple sections of the world society. It is unfortunate to note that it took such a collossal tragedy to bring out this compassion and sincerity in us. Yet, there is a dire need to keep this spirit alive until the victims of this earthquake have been rehabiliated, until the women widowed by this earthquake are freed of concerns about how to go about the rest of their lives, and until the children orphaned by this earthquake are all provided the compassion, love and security that we all want for our own children. The Abdalians, alumni of the Hassan Abdal College, have shown this spirit and have adopted two villages and its people, vowing to cater to the needs of the people of these two villages, until those villages find their own feet. It is not possible to put a time frame to the life of this spirit, but it is easy to see that this spirit calls for more than just digging deep into pockets today - it requires for all of us to make a long term commitment; a commitment to continue to open our hearts and pockets for our people until these people, especially the old, the widows and the children are self sufficient. It could take years, and if it must, we must be ready to come through for those years.
Lastly, we must remember that this is not the last earthquake to jolt us humans, but it should be the last one that comes to jolt us into humanity.
Perhaps, then, there will be fewer earthquakes; perhaps then they will strike in unpopulated areas; and perhaps then, we will have completed our mission.


9 Responses to 'Blog Quake Day'
1DesiPundit » Blog Quake DayOctober 27th, 2005 at 4:17 am
[…] Blog Quake Day Posts: Zack, Patrix, Ash, Navin, Raphael, Al Muhajabah, Rjputro, Pinstripe, Neha, Anthony, Balaji, Devious Diva, Charu, Gawker, Brad Miner, Sujatha, Pickled Politics, Daily Rhino, Cadmus, Pablo Halkyard, Sunil, Aisha, Anjum, Vikram, Rashmi Bansal, Rosie, Aswin, Nagu, Sohnii, Abinandanan, Basil, Rezwan, Lores Rizkalla, Kaushik-Bidisha, Indigo Jo, Sume, Monologist, Shirazi, Neha V, Mayank, Kush Tandon, Nicecafe, Daniel, KM, Michelle, Baraka, Robert Sharp, Joy D. Sepoy, David T, Yasmine, Gratisgab, eM, Uma, Chamique, Greatbong, Veena, Knicq, Islamoyankee, Aun, One more reason, Aparna, Mumbaigirl, aNTi, Peregrina, lawhawk, Anand, Elizabeth, Angelo Embuldeniya(Strav), Madhu, Shabina, Kaashyapeya, Oodles, Tobias, KAWyle, Jemgal, Zigzackly, Shenaz, Maria, Chai, DeGrouchy Owl, Shaheen, Nafiza […]
2newbieOctober 28th, 2005 at 5:42 pm
there is a update about the situation here
3SaadieOctober 31st, 2005 at 1:26 pm
you have wrote about everything I was thinking about, amazing post.
4AbezNovember 1st, 2005 at 1:39 pm
JazakAllahuKheiran and many many thanks for yesterday. Please convey that too Wifey, too.
5knicqNovember 1st, 2005 at 2:57 pm
Newbie: I have been reading many posts from ground zero, but none was as detailed, and as objective as yours. May Allah bless you for your efforts, and may He help you with malaik. Ameen.
Saadie: Thanks bro.:)
Little Baji: You are welcome Little Baji. May Al Shaafi shower His blessings on you. Ameen.
6BaptizedLuciferNovember 4th, 2005 at 2:31 am
holy moly batman! no eid post? this is blasphemy
7SaadatNovember 4th, 2005 at 5:37 am
Eid Mubarak, Bhaijan!
8SaeedNovember 5th, 2005 at 10:45 am
9knicqNovember 8th, 2005 at 7:28 pm
Lucifer: Whoever said there isn’t an eid post - its just late….
Saadat: You gotta teach your enetation thingy some manners bro…its been acting like a pretty secretary…there is an MBA term for it…”Gate Keeper”. Won’t let my comments in…
Saeed: …and a very happy Eid Mubarak to you too!
  Test - theirs and ours.
People have been saying, implicitly or explicitly, depending on who was saying it, that this earthquake was Allah’s wrath. Why are we so fatalistic, I wonder? I came across these ayahs in Surah Baqara recently, and I found an answer to all such deductions.
“155. Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,
156. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”:-
157. They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. ”
Why do our people not understand that life in the world is not a fairy tale affair, where the princesses are pretty, princes handsome, and villians ugly. If it were that simple, everyone would be a believer, save the Abu Jahal’s of this world. No, faith is just that - faith, and it is tested by bounty as well as by tragedy, and it is not easy to fare well in these tests.
The earthquake that shattered much of Azad Kashmir, and parts of Frontier (Pakhtoonkhwa?) on the 8th of October is the biggest test we as a nation have had to face. It is a test of faith, and of character. It is a great test for those who have lost loved ones in an instant, and must now come to terms with injuries, hostile weather, hunger, disease, and uncertainty. “Sabr” according to the Quran is where they must find solace, in Sabr and in Salaat, in patience and in prayer. For in these times of suffering, in these times of weakness, shaitan will attack them from all sides, and create in their hearts doubts of all kinds, raise questions in their minds as to why did Allah choose them to be victims of this tragedy. He will remind them of their good deeds, and make them skeptic of their value and importance. He will ask them if those good deeds were all of any good at all? Through patient and perseverant belief in Allah’s mercy alone will the people be able to stand up to these devious attacks, and I know it is not going to be easy for them.
It is not easy to hold on to one’s sanity after a calamity of this scale, and under such circumstances, to hold on to one’s belief is all the more demanding, all the more daunting. It is much easier said than done, and I am aware of that. We, who start complaining at the slightest inconveniences that hinder our daily lives, can have no idea of how much faith, and how much strength of character this task requires. One can only pray that Allah’s unlimited mercy arrives for them from all sides, and brings them comfort, relief, and reassurance.
It is an equally great test for the rest of us, who have been spared the horrifics of the earthquake. While, those affected must delve deep into their hearts to find the belief and the strength to come to terms with the after math of the earthquake, we must realize that just as their response to this collossal test could bring them the rewards of heaven or more misery from hell, so will our response determine our place in this world and in the hereafter. As Muslims, and as fellow humans, it is binding on us to reach out to our brethren in need, to do all in our power, and more, to lessen the impact of this catastrophe on their lives. This entails not just opening our wallets and digging deep in our pockets to donate, but it calls for us to open our hearts and dig deep in our souls to sacrifice. Donations alone cannot and will not help 3 million people made destitute in a minute; no amount of money, not even the five billion dollars the authorities say are required to rebuild the devastated areas and their people’s lives, can heal the scars left by crashing ceilings and crushing losses.
The money is only one factor, just the begining, what is required are lasting love, timeless devotion, and above all sustained sacrifice. Because it will be love and devotion for our people which will enable us to empty our pockets for these people, but it will be the spirit of sacrifice that will keep us from putting this tragedy behind us in a few weeks, or months, and getting on with our lives. Today, we need to decide to sacrifice our relatively secure and carefree future for the betterment of our brethren affected by this earthquake. Today, we need to realize that our people will need our dedication and attention for a longtime, they will need our support until the time they are stable themselves.
We cannot absolve ourselves of all responsibility once we have made our donations. The money sent today will be spent tomorrow, and might not be there day after, but it will be required for months after that. What happens then? Today, we need to set aside a portion of our incomes for a long time to come for the victims of this earthquake. Today, we need to own up, and take responsibility for specific people, specific children, or families until they no longer need their brethren’s help. We are a nation of a 150 million people, which means there are a fifty people to take care of each person affected by this tragedy. Essentally, every person needs to take care of his designated person for one week every year. It is a simplistic calculation, but it should become the premise for a large scale initiative. Yes, any such initiative will need thinking out of the box, but we must realize that after 7.6 on the Richter scale there cannot be a box - all boxes get demolished in a 7.6!
A tragedy that eliminates all structures in a society, a calamity that wipes out an area’s civilization cannot just be grappled with by money. It requires a structured approach, and a sustained effort until new strcutures are developed.
So, let us take stock of our lives, do we have a week?


9 Responses to 'Test - theirs and ours.'
1sh_gufOctober 23rd, 2005 at 6:38 am
…with all my little very little potential and energy (…I know that bhai), not a week but the whole stock of my life
2BaptizedLuciferOctober 25th, 2005 at 6:16 am
hate the mullahs especially since they are goin around saying all those ppl deserved to be punished. Great. now mullahs will play god and tlel us who is going ot hell and hw isnt. I rem reading a sahih bukhari hadith that the wrathe ofallah comes on all, even tho its meant for a few. And that each one ffected by it is judged accordingly when they are raised. So how come th emullas are deeming everyone a sinner? including innocent kids? None of em seem to be talkin about the test it is for all of us. The whole nation has united, magar in mullahs ko hain nahin, its a perfect chance for them to market themselves again. retards! :S
3BaptizedLuciferOctober 25th, 2005 at 6:17 am
im tired of collecting relief. ineed away from it for a while. before i go insane thinking of all those going insane over there.
4FelicityOctober 25th, 2005 at 12:42 pm
And someone should ask those mullahs if the Pakistani’s were greater sinners than the ido-worshipping hindu’s across the border. I thought God could forgive anything and everything except shirk. Not so, apparently, if you go by the mullahs.
This is just thier chance to revive the religious fanaticism that Musharraf has been attempting to put an end to. But it’s not as if their goals are noble and they really wish to see people follow the golden path of Islam… this is just their chance to rile the people against Musharraf’s governement and regain power. This is political propaganda more than it is a religious call. Had they an ounce of purity in thier cause,God would have helped them make something of it by now.
5SaeedOctober 25th, 2005 at 4:59 pm
if u were to believe my flatmate(who’s from isb,btw), d quakes were a result of subterranean nuclear tests.So were the tsunamis (US behind those,obviously),as for the quake in india in bhuj,last time’round, well those can be credited to pak!!!Oh, he even mentioned the illuminati somewhere in there…
6BaptizedLuciferOctober 25th, 2005 at 8:19 pm
saeed, u have some interesting company lol
7knicqOctober 26th, 2005 at 9:44 am
Sh-guf: Your spirit is uplifting…hope most of our country men feel that way…and you should under estimate the potential and energy a scholar like you possesses.
B.Lucifer, (as in Lucifer Baji )It isn’t just the Mullahs who are going around saying that kind of thing. It is most people who look at it that way. How are you channelizing the relief you collect. Perhaps, we can combine your efforts with another team that I know is working on it.
Felicity: Coming from that part of the land, I must point out that shirk is a way of life in these parts, actually it is so in the whole country. Idol-worshipping is not the only kind of shirk.
Shirk and bid’at characterize the Islam of Pakistan, what else is all that thronging to mazaars, dargaahs and peer dhakoslas. This is not to say however that I believe this earthquake was the wrath of Allah, and not an aazmaish/test. But, come to think of it, who can know? Maybe it is somewhere between the two…a warning of sorts for the rest, and an azaab for some and an aazmaish for others. Allah works in mysterious ways…
I do realize that I seem to be contradicting my own thoughts in the post, but after the sort of disturbing reports that have started trickling in along with those uplifting stories, one just never knows.
As for Musharraf, while it is a given that those fanatics and extremists were the bane of our society, and needed to be weeded out before they destroyed the whole nation, let us be under no illusions that the methods Musharraf had resorted to were anything but counter-productive.
Moreover, by presenting a westernized Islam, and egging on a westernized culture not in line with our own cultural, and religious values he has himself underlined what the ignorant Mullahs had been trying to say unsuccesfully all along- that the mullahs way is the only alternative, the real Islam, to the onslaught of the west. He started out well, and lost direction along the way.
As an average Muslim Pakistani, I am left as frustrated as before at the wrong depiction and promotion of Islam.
Musharraf has just taken us from one extreme to the other extreme, paving the way for the first extreme to return with a vangeance. Before long, a Khomeini will rise, and the people of Pakistan disgusted with the westernized and watered down Islam Musharraf and his cronies have been propogating will carry him to the “throne” on their shoulders - only to suffer under him until they carry the next Musharraf to the throne. It is a vicious cycle.
People need to understand that Pakistanis are a people who define themselves as Muslims, and because of the regional as well as religious influences will always be a conservative lot, which is to be differentiated greatly from an intolerant, oppressive and extremist lot. Their way of life aligns greatly with Islam in its true form, but varies infinitely from the extremist or the “moderated” Islam the Mullahs and Musharraf respectively are trying to force down their throats. The one thing that needs to be got across to our people, the one thing they actually need to be educated about is avoiding shirk. Nobody seems to be doing that.
I digress, out of habit. Its just that the Mullahs and Musharraf are the two faces of the same coin - the khota coin. The ounce of purity is missing in either agenda.
Saeed: I’d like to hear what your friend has to say about the hurricanes….what are the chances of him attributing it all to the construction of those Palm Projects off the coast of Dubai?
8FelicityOctober 26th, 2005 at 1:34 pm
You’re right about the shirk, and also that we really don’t know if this really was or wasn’t God’s retribution.
However, I don’t think you can ultimately blame the president for forcing the Pakistani public down a more westernized road. Pre-Musharaf Pakistan was already walking that route. We would be where we are today culturally, Musharraf or no Musharraf. It’s just easier to point a finger and put the blame on someone. It provides for a more convenient solution: get rid of the guy to get rid of the problem. It’s what we’ve been doing all along, blaming a person. We don’t realize that it’s not one person changing our culture. It’s all of us.
Back during the Zia-ul-Haq days when the Hadood Ordinance was introduced and when, essentially, these Mullah’s really gained power, assisted of course by the US-cause west of our border; it wasn’t as if things were really in control. We had a government advocating a very conservative Islam, but that didn’t keep our youth from still being fascinated with the west, or at the very least, the Indian culture, the movies etc, long before cable or ssatellite television was around. Where we are now culturally is where we would have been regardless of what government propogated what kind of religion. The allure of the open, less conservative western ideology is far too great. Protectionism wouldn’t have held us back. It DIDN’T hold us back. The only thing that could keep us rooted would be good parenting, good schooling, where we would learn of the virtues of what we believe in and then make that conscious choice to follow along that path.
My point is, lets not blame the mullahs or the Musharrafs for who we are. We are a nation of fingerpointers. We love blaming somone else for our misfortunes. In fact even reading through what I have said, given nothing else, I put the blame on parents for not doing a good enough job. We talk about our culture as if we’re the exceptions to the rule, as if we aren’t a part of it. We forget that we have our own job to do. We need to do our own soul searching and go beyond making heartfelt statements and having intellectual discussions. We need to act. We need to change ourselves and become better human beings, become more God-fearing. That’s the biggest charity we can give the world right now, by starting with ourselves and our own children and giving the world and our country better citizens.
This is the test. It’s a test of our spirituality, our intellect, our hearts and our ideologies. This isn’t just about how we can materially help others. This about how we can help ourselves.
Ignorance is not stupidity. Knowing what is right and still doing the wrong thing is. By that definition, we’re a nation of idiots, and if this earthquake doesn’t slap us into our senses, nothing will.
9knicqOctober 27th, 2005 at 3:08 am
You are so right Felicity, as always.
However, I would like to add that the leaders of a nation have a bearing on where the nation heads, politically, as well as culturally, and a responsibility to ensure that the nation heads in the right direction. You will note I often club Musharraf with his cronies. The captain must stay the boat, and where the boat heads eventually, does bear on his captainship.
Zia’s regime turned a blind eye to the monster of extremism, and look where it got us. Musharraf’s regime, by endorsing the handful who stray miles from the path of Islam in their pursuit of westernized way of life, is allowing the other extremism to take root.
Zia and subsequently Nawaz Sharrif’s era had their fair share of modernists, as you rightly pointed out. It is the nature of a people - they will resent, denounce and when opportunity presents itself go against what is forced down their throats.
Taking what you pointed out further, I would say that protectionism, of either kind, can never be the answer. “Amr bil maroof wa nahi anil munkar” is the answer.
At the end of the day, people should be provided with positive atmosphere conducive to making the right choice. None of our Governments has ever made that provision.
Here is hoping and praying that we all do change ourselves, do become more God-fearing, and give the world the biggest charity we can give. Here is praying that we be rid of our idiocy. Ameen.
A little brooding here, a bit of pondering there, helpings of humour, sprinklings of tears, now celebrating, now lamenting, all done under the watchful eyes of Hope, all endured in the hope of staying human.

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