Where to begin the story

Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story.Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state,and you have an entirely different story. 

Start the story with demand for Sharif’s resignation, and not with the atrocities in Model Town, and rigging in the elections, you have an entirely different story. If you start the story from the breakdown of the gate of the parliament, and not with the shelling of innocent protestors,  you get an entirely different story.

Remember how it all started.

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Scientist finally confirm that dogs are the most loyal animals.

Since the beginning of time human beings have praised dogs for their loyalty, however, the evidence was not conclusive. Scientists at the American research centre at Los Angeles, have announced ecstatically that they were able to prove this fact conclusively after an experiment which was conducted in a real setting.

In a South Asian country there exists a special breed of dogs called Neagurs; the Neagurs are divided into two varieties, the lopnup Neagurs, and the rasin Neagurs. The lopnup Neagurs consider the Rasin Neagurs as their superiors and take their lead. These two breeds have been bred in this South Asian country by special breeders that belong to the Firash clan.

Recently scientists transported a large number of lopnups in the leadership of one Rasin from their natural habitat of Bajnup, to another city, and here they were given a task which goes against the nature of dogs. The task assigned to the Neagurs was to attack creatures called InnocentPeople; the task was selected because under normal circumstances any breed of dogs would not attack these harmless creatures. However, under the guidance of Rasin, the Lopnups, mauled the InnocentPeople, proving the amazing breeding skills of the Firash’s, and also the elusive theory that dogs are the most loyal animals.

After the event Rasin was seen wagging its tail in front of the master, the master stroked it, and gave it a big bone, and also promised dog food for all the Lopnups.

Note: To prove the case further, scientists also included a group of noble creatures amongst the Neagurs, these are the noble LopLsi, and ordered them to do the same, however, the LopLsi leaders refused to comply. It is known that LopLsi are independent creatures who do not have a master.

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Stand against the tyranny of the government!

No matter what your political views are, this heavy handed treatment of innocent people should be criticised. Shame on you if you do not.
Makhloq-e-Khuda Jab Kisi Mushkil Me Phansi Ho
Sajde Me Parre Rehna, Ibadat Nahi Hoti
Her Shakhs Apne Sir Pe Kafan Bandh K Nikle
Haq K Liye Larna To Baghawat Nahi Hoti….

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Open Letter to PML(N) supporters

If you are one of those PML(N) supporters who support the party because you get direct benefit from elected members of the party I am not talking to you. If you are a supporter who like them have no scruples, I am not talking to you. If you vote for this party because you share Nawaz Sharif’s love for kashmiri daal chawal, I am not talking to you.

If you are not in the categories above, I am talking to you. This party clearly bribed many people to get a favourable result. The issue at hand is not the rigging, it is a culture, and a mind set. This party, if it stays in power, will reinforce this culture, and what is this culture? It is a culture that not only encourages the powerful to exploit the weak, but more importantly allows us to turn our gaze away from these small injustices. If it is condoned at the highest level, it is embraced at all levels below it.

I urge you to separate yourself from this party, and publicly show this, by joining the people who are speaking against this. Do not just sit back, and say to yourself that this is something that happens in our country. It only happens because we allow it. Just for once get off the couch, and help change this system. Change it for the our generations to come, come and show people who are powerful, that we as a people, will not tolerate this anymore.

Like trickle down economics, accountability will trickle down as well, if we can not hold these people accountable, we will not be able hold anyone accountable for their actions. It is not about elections, it is about the corrupt culture that has permeated every facet of our collective life. Stand against this corruption!

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Comic relief

Thank you Meera for providing us much needed comic relief in these serious times 🙂


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Faraq kya parayga …..

In the last two weeks one question that has been asked again and again is: Yaar kya achieve karaingay? What difference will the protest make?

In my opinion even if PTI, and PAT return without achieving anything, we would have achieved a lot. As an individual we all have principles, and we ought to stand up for these principles, even when nothing concrete is achieved. Ends are never in our hands, we are only capable of taking means. For me, standing in protest against injustice is taking means, the ends are out of our hands. Principles are important, principles make us who we are. For once forget about what you will achieve; own up to what you know is right, and then go out and let others know who you are.

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Go to D-Chowk not for PTI; go for yourself!

I recently went to the protest at D-Chowk, and I feel motivated to write this impassioned plea to all Pakistanis. For once I am going overcome the Garfieldian instinct of lying down until the urge to do something constructive wanes away.

Like I indicate in the title I am not going to focus on PTI’s legitimacy to stage this protest, I am going to focus on what I took away by participating in the protest. Like many of us ‘educated’ Pakistanis I live completely disconnected from the larger context I find myself in. I do not care about anything that does not directly impact my life, and to be honest the political situation of this country does not. I had no intentions of going on the protest until a childhood friend – who is the personification of the disinterested Pakistani, completely alienated, and unperturbed – messaged me pleading for action from ordinary citizens against injustice. He had had enough. I was shocked, and the realisation that even I had been accustomed to the Zombie like existence which is the norm here.

I traveled to Islamabad, and returned after a day. I came back realising that the events of the larger context may not directly impact me, but that does not absolve me of my responsibility to this country. All of us should be active members of this society, and be ready to make this known. Even when the political party is in the wrong we should have the courage to hold them accountable. If Imran Khan had rigged elections, and irrespective of my vote to his party, I would stand with other parties against him. So even if you voted for other parties, and it is clear to you that the elections were not fair, you should join the protest. A party is not important, fair systems are!

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Hypocrisy of Dawn.com

I was really disappointed by both the article, and the behaviour of Shoaib Turk, who wrote an article titled @An open letter to Imran Khan, from a PTI voter on dawn.com.

Here is the link: Article

I wrote, in my opinion, a very balanced response to his article, which he decided not to post in the comments section. My language was educated, and I was disappointed by his behaviour. There is an unwillingness to share a comment that shows the weakness in ones argument.

I am not going to reproduce the content or the substance of my response, however, I will comment on one aspect. In the very beginning he claims that ‘some of us more sensitive PTI supporters’ .. and then arrogates to right to speak or all the more sensitive PTI supporters. Such a dichotomy  does not exist- the sensitive/insensitive, rational/emotional PTI supporter is an artificial dichotomy you create, and then go on to attribute one world view to the ‘more sensitive’ supporter.

Just wanted to tell Shoaib Turk, and dawn.com that if you have the right to say things, be prepared to share our comments.

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Legitimacy of the PTI protests

Many people take the position that the protests carried out by PTI, and PAT do not have an Islamic basis. The article I have linked below gives a very well thought out answer by a leading Islamic Scholar. People who decide to participate in these protests have sound Islamic thinking with them, you have the right to not participate, however, you cannot call their decision unIslamic.

This brings up a related point. In that the protesters were speaking out against the excesses of tyrannical, authoritarian powers, they are engaging in the best Jihad. The Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, mentioned, “The best Jihad is a just word in the face of a tyrannical ruler.” In light of this Hadith, what Islamic argument can validly be made to deny the people their right to speak out against the tyranny of their rulers? 



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Naya Pakistan

A quick response to the oft repeated, and probably, only argument PML (N) supporters give in favor of their choice.

The gist of the argument is that IK has no experience and has not outlined a concrete plan for Naya Pakistan (i.e the resolutions to myriad challenges our country faces.)

Although, that is not true, but for a moment let us assume that it is true:

IK has a very noble sound vision/ideology for Pakistan, and no detailed plan, and no experience. 

We know for sure that PML (N) has experience, and a system, but the important question is what is the vision to which the system is aligned to, and the experience will be deployed to achieve? Again a very cursory look at the party (an in depth reflection would in fact reinforce the insight gained from a cursory look) will reveal that they too have a vision and ideology, and will look something like this: 

PML (N): We want to see our bank balances fatten, and those of our political friends too; we want to quench our appetite for power, humaray sher ko insaani khoon kee aadat parr gayee hai, we will dine on the common man of Pakistan. We know that our vision can result in an angry reaction from the common man, so we will appease him by empty promises and glittery Metro-like projects, he is easily duped (we know from experience).”

The difference between the two parties that ought to be important is not the varying degree of experience, or the lack of concreteness in the proposed system, but the ideologies that are going to determine the intentions of the system! The most important distinction is the ideology, and vision. The system is just a handmaiden of the intentions of the ideology and vision of the parties. PML (N)’s ideology is rotten to the core!

History is replete with examples of the transformative power of noble visions, our Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) had the noblest mission, and Allah gave him taufeeq to overcome all the challenges of implementation. So tomorrow vote for the sounder nobler ideology!

And reflect on this: “Iss PML (N) k sher ko insaan k khoon kee lat lag gayee hai abb yeh humaray liyay safe nahee hai!”

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PTI passion

Election day is around the corner, and I know for a fact that our youth is passionately supporting IK. However, if we want to affect a change, we need to convince our families to swing their loyalties. At first blush this seems to be an insurmountable challenge, but in the last two days I have come across stories that give me hope, and I have redoubled my efforts to proselytize the laggards in my family.

Only last night I met a young man who had spent a couple of agonizing hours worried to death about IK’s health. The first words he uttered, “yeh banda bohat important hai hamaray liyay.” One of my companions recounted to me the story of this young man’s parents’ conversion to PTI. He had refused food for two consecutive days to convince his father who had been an ardent follower of PML (N). In the end the father, who like others like him had no grounds to support this corrupt party, caved in. He admitted to his son that his loyalty had only historical precedent, and was an untenable position to take once the emotional attachment to PML(N)  was stripped away. This is exactly our challenge, our families have a very misplaced sense of loyalty to these vultures, and we have to make them realize the vacuous nature of this emotional attachment. I urge you all to go as far as this young man, and coerce your elders to vote for PTI.

The second story is about a street hawker who sells lemonade on busy intersection in Shahdara. When we asked him about his voting decision he enthusiastically expressed his belief in PTI; he comes from a small village, and proudly told us that 250 families in his village had taken an oath over the Quran that they would vote for PTI.

Both these individuals, and many more like them, come from very humble origins but they have the sense to vote for our only viable option. They are not literate, but they are more educated than many of us. Use these two days to win support for PTI. Plead, cajole, convince with love and passion. It is our belief and passion, against sheer pigheadedness. There can only be one winner in this tug of war. But remember to behave! People look at us, and pass judgments on IK, so be respectful, yet firm!

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We begin again …

It is an appropriate day to renew my resolve, and encourage my friends to write more. This blog has shown very weak signs of life in the last year, and even in its youthful days it was not a head turner. Let us hope for a better year!

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A budding writer needs your feedback

The Story

Every story begins with a story – there always is a story of a story. So it began with thoughts in my head, thoughts about life and love.

Questions – confusing, confounding and suffocating.

I decided to give my thoughts a concrete form – the only way I know is using words. But is it not so that words are not sufficient, are never sufficient. They have never been able to paint thoughts in their sublime beauty – but today they must suffice.

What should I write about? I asked myself.

Life, but I don’t know its’ meaning, its purpose – and so it began.

A city of busy streets and busier people.

Streets full of people. People who are frustrated with life – life for them has lost its eternal

spiritual beauty, what remains is ugly with no signs of its’ beautiful and rich past remain, no memories of its’ deeper shades survives. Every day these people unwillingly carry the burden of life, only to put it down for the night, and continue the toil the following day.

The day is like most days in this city and the street like most streets.

He glanced at his watch impatiently and then slammed at the horn. He was running late

and was stuck in traffic. Dark grey clouds hung low in the sky, threatening a heavy downpour. The day was breathing its’ last breaths and the night was impatient for its’ first.

He was not supposed to be stuck in traffic, he had to be somewhere else.

The first few drops came reluctantly, one splashed against the windshield; another

caressed his arm, rested for a second and then continued its descent. He rolled his window and lit a cigarette. The rain started coming in sheets now, big drops pounding against the car. Smoke rolled upwards in a slow circular movement, hovering infront of his eyes for a few moments and then disappearing. If only he could burn his

worries at the tip of his cigarette and then watch them disappear into nothingness.

The rain continued to hammer down.

He took a left turn into a sideroad hoping to find a less traveled road to

his destination. This road looked unfamiliar, but he carried on.

Heavy rain is always followed by a blackout in this city. Now, the city was enveloped in

darkness, the only light coming from cars speeding towards their destinations. Darkness has a very strange effect on this city. It swallows the sounds of the city – all one can hear is the sound of the rain. The most effected by this darkness though, are the people of this city you see a few walking around in a daze and a few not moving at all. The darkness just hits them like lightning and they become totally disoriented – with glazed eyes and suspended limbs they wait to be enlivened by electricity – always reminding me of my laptop that some years ago refused to operate on batteries and only works when it is connected to a live source.

It became impossible for him to find his way now, so he stopped. He lit another cigarette

and closed his eyes.

An old woman saw the car parked on the curb. All she could see was the burning tip of

the cigarette, slowly moving towards darkness, glowing, and then falling towards darkness. She slowly walked towards the car and rapped at the window.

He was shaken out of his thoughts with a loud rap at the window. He reached for the light

in the car and rolled down the window. There stood an old woman in the rain. She had long white hair that stuck to her scalp, the patched clothes she was wearing were clinging to her frail body. She stuck a boney hand out and asked for some money. He mumbled something and handed her some loose change lying on the dashboard.

A young, weary man stared at her from the dimly lit car. He had a soft face – like all rich

people have she thought. The young man handed her some loose change that had been lying on the dashboard.

The old woman took the money. Then she stared at his face for a few seconds. Although,

her face was typical of poor old people, her eyes were different. There was strength in those eyes, and when she stared at him he could not turn his eyes away from her.

His eyes caught her attention. There was no spark in them, they were sad and lost. He

was so young in appearance but his eyes were old. His eyes had seen too much, they were searching for answers. Age will teach him, she thought, teach him to be patient and wait for the answers to find him.

She smiled and walked away.

The old woman walked away in the rain and disappeared in the darkness. He rolled the

window and lit another cigarette. What a strange woman, he thought. Dressed in patches, with probably no shelter for the night but how beautiful were her eyes – peaceful, content, smiling. As if she had everything one could wish for. As if none of the external difficulties in her life had affected her. Her body had suffered but her soul had not – was that possible?

The rain kept pouring down, occasionally the sky lighted up followed by a nerve racking

thunder clap.

He rolled down the window and lazily stuck his arm out, rain drops gently kissed his bare

skin. He felt a sudden urge to walk out in the rain. He deposited his cell phone and wallet in the dash board and with sleeves rolled up stepped into the rain. He was overcome by a combination of sensations. His short, dry curly hair quenched their thirst on the drops; his closed eyelids felt its coolness; his open lips tasted its sweetness; thin streams curled down his chest and his spine simulating every nerve. It felt like music.

A young girl stood under a tree, her gaze rested on a beautiful young man standing

motionless in the rain. She started walking towards him.

He had never felt like this before. His whole being was full of life and he felt light. He

slowly opened his eyes and noticed a young girl walking towards him. She was beautiful with large innocent eyes that stared out of a small radiant face.

The young man opened his eyes, they were beautiful. He looked back at her

effectionately, this gave her confidence. She walked up to him and looked at him shyly. She wanted to touch his face, so she motioned him to lower his face.

A little hand peeked out of the sleeve of the loose garment and invited him to come

closer. He sat down to bring his face to the level of that of the young girl. The young girl stroked his face with her small hand, their eyes locked for a moment – her soft eyes reassured him that everything was going to be alright.

She slowly withdrew her hand and with a nod walked off in to the rain.

His eyes followed the girl disappear into darkness; his thoughts followed their own path.

He started walking aimlessly through narrow streets. He was oblivious to his surroundings, too occupied with his own thoughts. He started thinking about the problem at hand – a problem that moments ago had felt too heavy to shoulder, it was breaking him down emotionally and physically – but now when he thought about it again it seemed as if he had given it unnecessary importance. People had endured problems much worse

and had not let those problems weaken their spirit. Life had offered him so much and so

little to many others but they were grateful for the little they had and he was ungrateful for the little he did not have.

He had never believed in coincidence. Meeting these people was no coincidence he

thought. Someone was out there who was closer to him than he ever thought, and that someone had sent him a message. Yes, God did answer when one asked for His guidance with sincerity.

Presently, he found himself standing infront of a mosque. He had taken a random path,

without any thought and this path had brought him here. All paths in the end bring you infront of God. He walked in.

The mosque was lit with candles. The candles burnt silently in niches, the light from one

candle spread for a few feet, reaching out as far as it could, illuminating walls adorned by ayahs of the Quran. The dieing light from one candle embraced that of the next candle – thus forming an intricate pattern of light and darkness throughout the mosque.

An old man stood in a corner of the mosque giving the Azan, his words deeply touched

him, the words made a connection and something within him recognized and acknowledged a timeless pact.

He made his way towards a square pool of water, surrounded by people making ready for

their prayer. With unsure movements he sat infront of a tap of water and started washing his hands, trying hard to recall the sequence he had been taught when he was a young boy. A young man came and sat next to him, he started copying the movements of the young man. By the time he washed his feet he was surer of his movements and when he got up he got up with a sense of purpose. He was aware of the significance of his actions. He walked to the place where the imam was sitting and squatted behind him in the first row.

The imam proclaimed in a strong voice, Allah u Akbar and started reciting the opening

surah of the Quran. The words fell upon his ears, melted and flowed towards his heart, he was unaware of the meaning of what was being recited but was sure as to what they meant. With a second proclamation of Allah u Akbar the imam went into ruku’ and the with the third into the sajdah’. His forehead gently kissed the rough skin of the saf’. A cool and calm feeling flowed from the ground through his forehead and into his heart. From their mixed with his blood and his heart pumped that blood to every limb of his body. These feelings did not go even after the imam had finished the four rakats’.

In a state of rapture he got up from his sitting place and started walking about the

mosque. He walked a few feet and then stopped his attention caught on an inscription on the walls of the mosque; walked again and then stopped again oblivious to the aged eyes following him around from the corner of the mosque.

The old man sat leaning against the wall of the mosque, he was staring at the young man

standing infront of an inscription on the wall. The old man had never come to this mosque until today, but the rain had brought him here. The young man noticed the old man looking at him from the corner of the mosque. He walked up to him and sat beside him.

The young man and the old man sat and talked for a while. Then the young man got up

and walked out of the mosque. The rain had weakened and the city was alight once more. The man, absorbed in his thoughts, stepped on a slippery patch of soil; he lost his footing and stumbled on to the busy road.

Time stopped. Warm blood and cold rain drops flowed down his face. He knew that he

had reached the end of the road. It was only appropriate. The answers had found him and his search was over. He did not feel sad, he just felt light – he closed his eyes.

The young man closed his eyes without a sound. He had not tried to hold on to his last

moments, he had not fought death and instead had willingly returned what was always not his. A crowd was gathering around his broken body.

The tasbih’ caught my eye. It was lying only a few feet from the dead man next to a bunch of keys. I looked around and slipped the tasbih into my pocket, and with his keys walked to my car.

Here it ends. Here it begins again .. !!

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Some inspirational words


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