Yesterday I was reading an article, or more like just a headline and the internet trolls had made a feast out of it. Pakistan dissing, cursing and just your regular internet trolling. They somehow manage to find all that is wrong with country while artfully forgetting they are the root of the problem. Such posts are everyday occurrence they can sour one’s mood like vinegar curdles the milk.
Then today I saw a post about some guy buying his cabbie McDonald’s, because he wanted a snack and did not feel right eating by himself when he had another man next to him.
Yeah we are an economic disaster. And not the most morally sound society but when you see, just tiny gestures like this happening, they give you such a warm feeling that you just want to high-five that person and tell him/her it was not just a kind thing they did because they did not feed a starving man or help out a jobless man. They just gave somebody with less fortunate economic conditions, their due respect which so many of us forget to do everyday.
To all those people who thank their help or by gesture show them that they are not just the serving class but an integral part of society without which quiet frankly we can’t really function. I give you a standing ovation. Because people like you make me feel good. Even though I have no part in your act it still does.
‘Image by Artist Kate Powell’
This year was 4th ILF, but my first. Circumstances only allowed me to attend three and half sessions. But it was a really good experience. IT was my first time to actually attend a gathering of this sort where writers and intellectual from nearly all the fields are present.
(Faiz Ahmed Faiz Open Air Stadium: 3:30-4:30)
The session on Regional Connectivity and stability. Something as one of the audience directly pointed out to the one of speakers (Nasim Zehra: anchor person, columnist) as a topic never really discussed with vigor and facts it needs to be addressed with on the media.
5 speakers were present, Hina Rabbani Khar (26th Foreign minister), Anatol Lieven (Britsih Journalist, policy analyst), Nasim Zehra, Omar Zakhilwal (Finance Minister of Pakistan) and Jean François. Mr Zakhiwal like a true politician droned on for long time trying to state that international investors should focus on regional projects.
Nasim Zehra stated that asymmetry of power between military and government is the reason of setbacks on our economic growth she perceived that if we put behind chasing stability and focus on economic growth. Antol Leiven disagreed with this assessment saying if security and stability was not achieved, economic growth was not possible. Also the energy business due to sudden fall of fuel prices on international market has now become a very insecure investment for the investors. So if the security was not an assurance at a certain level such investments would not come easily. Hina Rabbani Khar said that during PPP rule their policy to start trade with India even with tension over Kashmir issue was an excellent decision and in which we got ever our regional issues for economic ones. In Pakistan or more like in south Asian region our basic problem is that economic issues are treated purely as political moves. Nobody moves forward or thinks further then 5 years of their tenure. Economic stagnation in the region is because territorial issues have over shadowed necessary progressive decision. Mr Jean Francois retold the history of France and Germany alliance on economic projects in 1951. Few years after the destruction of World war. The people already had fought two wars with each other, not mention the invasion of Paris by German, but French leadership understood that for regional peace and in hope there would now not be another war they initiated economical growth projects. They put people opinion aside and moved on, because they had a vision for the future. Same thing may not apply to our region but it could be partially adopted.
Even though we have very tense relationship with our neighbors. When events like Yadev ( RAW Agent) and Pathan Kot ( Terrorist attack ) happen things seem to spiral further down. But events should not over shadow the strategies of nations.
Summarizing: Regional Connectivity especially for the economic projects and massive development along with minor ones to support and keep the system functioning are necessary. This needs to be pushed by media. CPEC is a very major project and of huge importance but it can not happen if regional security and stability is not completely achieved. Political leaders should be strong and motivated enough to influence public opinions to get over prejudices and move on with things on economic front. The chances of political unity even for the interest of the country is in words of Pakistani Awam who have come to a sorry conclusion of “absolutely not”.
It was a vast topic but when it comes down to it was a lot of talk and lack of action which is how many projects in Pakistan just become names instead of things which have physical presence. A tradegy voiced by Hina Rabbini Khar on TAP gas pipeline a project on which “talks and discussion” started about 25 years back.
The session ended with people questioning would this generation see the economic growth of Pakistan or will it go down in wishful thinking. Will Pakistan be secure from international and internal sabotage long enough for CPEC to be fully functional.
I am looking at blank document trying to overcome my writer’s block. I have always written without ever having an end plot. It had worked out pretty well for me because once I started to write, the story always self-evolved.
Last year I was trying to write a story and it turned in to fabulous tale which everyone loved. That was my first success and was a completely unintentional one. After that I have written few stories which all were well liked.
Now I cannot write even I line without choking. I do not know why I am suffering from this heart wrenching writer’s block but it is making me feel inadequate.
I do not stand for much and do not have much to show for my one score of life. I never had a big academic achievement, always been a mediocre student. I do not have any skills like sewing, embroidery, cooking or baking. I am just a woman, who is just that.
One thing I do have are dreams, resolutions, ideas and aims. I have always wanted a position of power in civil services that is my dream and aim. I want to help people, bring change. Not small change in lives but in the system. That is what I think about half of the time what will I do if I become a bureaucrat. Other half is spend in imagining different conversions with different people or conversations among the imaginary army of characters I have stored in my head.
Someone who spends so much time in different fragments of their own imagination they should be able to write, right? That is what I thought before I started to write but it is not that easy, not everything that I imagine is coherent or concrete enough to be written.
The thing about imagination is that we can skip many important details and trim it to our liking. Me, personally can never pen down my thoughts completely mainly because they are private fantasies mixed with ideals. So those thoughts are too private,cheesy, inappropriate, secret and mostly nobody’s business to know.
My philosophy is; imagination is gift, it is place we can escape to relax and release all our worries without any effort. The day your imagination fails you, you are in big trouble. And am in big trouble.
I wanted to write something other than book reviews, don’t want my blog purely to be about books or politics and serious stuff so thought i should branch out. But i don’t know what i would blog about. Thought about writing reviews on movies or TV shows i watch enough of them but decided against it for the moment. As i am a multitask-er, so i never remember the good dialogues. i have to re watch the whole thing or find that moment to again than listen to it to and write it down. Well that is to much hustle to just write a blog about a movie. So what do you unknowns think i should write about??
The reason i bought thousand splendid suns was because i had watched the Kite runner. i had liked that movie and heard a lot of positive things about the writer.
Now when i read this book i gave it 5 stars but i was on a high the one you get after reading a fantastically tragic ending. But after that i have questioned every single detail.
The good parts ( from writing point of view)
Firstly: The Mariam part of the story is very good. It is something very understandable, relate-able and something we all from east have heard, seen or observed (unfortunately). Her naivety, her innocence and infinite believe in humanity. Like every good woman in Asia her effort were pointless and she was blamed for everything which was not her fault. Her consolation and peace was in Quran, one gift she received as a child and probably only highlight of her life.
Secondly: Rasheed, a loner, a widower, who technically buys his very young bride. In the start the guy is good, even considerate. But all his considerations were purely selfish. No children are indeed a sadness. But like a typical introvert he victimizes himself for having to live with such a woman who cannot give him the only thing he wants while he is provides everything for her. In this again the writer depicts a very typical thinking like earning and providing is favor men do, not a obligation given to them by Allah. But than religion restrictions are only for the woman, typically for the obedient and submissive woman. His hatred towards his wife is more because she was not young anymore. Another very perverted thinking which is not actually thought to be very degenerate as it should be.
Thirdly: Laila was like 14 when he entered her in the book, a very young age to be so mature and responsible and to have such a understanding of world. It felt like she was a grown woman not a adolescent. The war, her marriage to Rasheed the suffering and her relation with Mariam was another was again understandable. There was not much character building in this character.
The parts i strongly disagreed with
In Laila’s character writer tried to show an educated class, the class who valued education above religion. He separated education and religion. Religion was a setback while modern education was key to open and better minds. What a clique. Oddly enough religion is followed only by illiterate idiots or perverts and anyone with education does not need religion.
Another thing it was not that Laila and Jalil relation was unforgivable but it was the fact that writer made it look like it was alright that it was actually appropriate, and it was how unapologetic Laila was. Rasheed probably was the last person on earth who deserved loyalty. But then faith does not depend on how people treat you it depends upon us and our actions despite the situation and state. (It was not that Laila’s self defense mechanism was wrong.)
Mariam’s ending was as good it possibly could be, she believed. The writer should have put a little more effort in developing Laila’s character. She was the legacy she could have been little more flexible and accepting when i say that i don’t mean her situation with her first husband. At times she came of as stubborn child not a wise woman. But than i agreed with Laila on many parts it is that this book made me want to defend my religion and books like that could be very hard for me to enjoy without being sulky.