The Malleable Heart

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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’



Lets talk about our I’s and isms.

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I am so bloody angry. I feel like am I am going to suffocate under all the hate that we have for each other in this country. I don’t know where the idea of Pakistan went so damn wrong. We might as well just nuke each other off. Its not we are doing anything with our “atomic” abilities any way .

First there are our “I’s” Pathan, Pashtun ( mind the difference) Punjabi, Sindi, Balochi, once upon time there were Bengali but now they have their own country.

I have seen more tolerance in street dogs when a another wanders in their territory than I have seen in most Pakistani’s for one another. Every single one of us is convinced that they have got it right. “12 kitabain parhta hai aur Aalim ban jata hai saray paraha likha jahil”.

The division in Pakistan is far more complex than most complex chemical formula. We just don’t have a sectarian problem in this country if we only had the sectarian problem life will be half less complicated than it is at the moment. We have a theism and atheism problem. We have liberal and conservative problem. We have a problem with the rich and we have problem with poor. We have a problem with elite culture and we have problem with middle class culture. We have problem with army and there are the ones who happen to worship it. We are democracy lovers and what we love more is making it fail. We have an obsession with freedom what we can not seem to get is freedom does not mean a license to act like wayward imbeciles. Then we have a problem how people dress, women who wear burqa or do niqab are “fundos” and who wear jeans and tees are “baegairat”. The “modern educated class” call the people with beards “taliban” or “harbourers of taliban” either as joke or seriously .You freaking assholes that is insulting! You do know that your Prophet(S.A.W) had a beard? Even Hazrat Issa (A.s) or Jesus Christ had one!

The other class call them moulvis or hajjis either as joke or so seriously that they think these people might be personification of angels (that is a exaggeration but lower income class trust in people with beard is quiet misled) and leads to things which are too shameful and screwed up to even imagine.

Then comes the “-isms” bane of our lives. There is Wahhabism, Sunnism, Shi’ism’, Barelvism, Ahle-hadith, Isma’ilism, these are the ones I know. Not to mention few whose correct spellings I am unaware of or am forgetting them. Honestly there is just not enough land to give everyone their own separate state.

But then came the educated class who love to talk about things they don’t really face. Some how we love our stereotypes. Extremist exist everywhere, in every single kind of sect, ethnicity and culture or what ever separation you happen to believe in. lets not even mention the role of electronic media whose sole job is to provide the news that really does not exist or to blow things out of proportion to a scale that out smarts most of the showbiz tabloids.

In our country the new popular culture and favorite status update seems to be of bashing religious people. On other hand we have the ones who happen to think “facebook” and “twitter” are the platforms to preach religion.

Seriously people wake up thanks to you all we have “Sunni-Islam” and “Shia-Islam”.

Here is a hint for everyone whatever you say won’t change the thoughts people who are prone to think you are a infidel. “itna naaike ka bacha hota na tum saab, tu facebook pa status upload karna wala halaat nae hota”.

So in good nice words get over your self and stop wagging your tongues on each and every incident and stop giving them shape they don’t really have. “khala ka ghar tum logo ka?” Freedom of speech ki maa behan aik kar ka rakh dye hai tum logo na.

There are things you say among friends. That is voicing of unformed ideas. That is thinking brainstorming. Printing your brainstorming for the world to see is really ridiculous. And more over they come off not liberal or cool but as naïve and prejudiced. You are not young enough to come off naïve and not old enough to be forgiven for your prejudices. Imagine every writer starts publishing his or hers first idea of novel? that would suck wont it. Even if it was Tolkein or Rowling or Grisham or who ever. You are neither of those people so imagine how much you suck.

Next time you feel like bashing anyone by that I mean anyone (excluding ISIS only people who no one have enough words to describe) just think that some one is dumping a bucket full of rotten eggs on you. The smell is disgusting just like your words who hurt people who feel insulted by them when they are being blamed for things they never did and never even thought. You with your “honest saying” and “so called truth” are brewing same hate and intolerance which is done by ISIS rockets and AK47s.

This post is for all the wanna be revolutionaries and liberals and free thinkers and smart people and conservatives who think social websites are perfect place for verbal vomits. Congrats facebook and twitter activists and the flag bearers of truth you have out done yourselves once again.

How it happened this is the funniest book ever :)

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Do you have grandmother? a brother? a sister? a father and mother? a sister in law? a brother in law? are you a Pakistani teenager? do you have relatives? do you belong to a Pakistani Muslim family? are you a girl? do you have a village where your ancestors came from ? a caste? are you syed? are you shia? are not thin? are you really good looking? are you not good looking? have you studied arts or science?
If you do have half of the given traits in you or a quarter. then you can relate to this and laugh at this cunningly crafted satire of our good, weird and sometimes quiet senseless culture. Which manages to revolve around matrimony a bit too much.
even if you don’t support any of those traits laughs are granted.
You can find a way to make this about you and even if you don’t you might know few people in it.
Shazaf haider writes this book in easily crafted English which i term as desi-english which all the subcontinent readers or people who once belonged to this region can easily understand and enjoy. Sit back and be ready to be entertained by this 300 some pages of really bold writing ….

Shahabnama By Qudrutullah Shuhab (my Review)

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I am going to give a short review of this book, because well its nearly 1300 pages and no way i can justify this masterpiece(bear with me, he is one of those people i wish i can get 20mins with) so here it goes.
The reasons this one of the best written book:
<b>1.</b>If you read this book you know what kind of man the writer is, his writing really reflects him no hold backs no cover ups you really know who you reading, that is; a person who is intelligent, a little proud, is honest, and really sees for the world it is, and is not afraid to talk his mind. And does not feel the need to justify himself. And of the time  he is right.
<b>2.</b>there are many excellent urdu writers way better then the Shahab. Shahab, who in sense of saying has not written much but he has something that makes him really unique it is his excellent sense of sarcasm. He has the sense of sarcasm, that well, to be honest not a lot of Urdu writers have. Best Urdu sarcasm ever.
<b>3.</b> then comes the details of historical events and opinions. There are a lot of unbiasedness and accuracy in those. He does not care that he might be hurting what are Pakistan studies books love to shove at us as “nationality”. he tells things for what they are which for most part in our History  are really screwed up.
<b>4.</b>its the account of Ayub khan tenure with whom he spend a lot of time he gives real picture of how royally army screwed us over and who innocently they were convinced they were doing us a favor. Ayub Khan was not a bad man he was just not cut to be leader. then there is the matter of war of 1964. i think there are very few other people other then Shahab who don’t treat that war as a strategic success. People fought that war our Jawaans and pilots and civilians, they were the braves who saved face, they bled valiantly. Our generals lost it.
<b>5.</b> Then comes the part of painful and highly controversial topic of separation of East Pakistan aka Bangladesh. Always have been told that it was Bhutto’s fault or Mujib ur Rehman or India’s or totally west Pakistan’s. It was all those things but it was lot more then that. It was fault of the Pakistani politicians (east and west alike) and the our prejudiced British-complex bureaucrats faults and it took 24 years and a lot of dirt money make it happen and propaganda. It wont be wrong to put that also in Ayub Khan’s list of incompetency’s as a leader.(my opinion)
<b>6.</b> Also there in these chapters which give quiet good review of Pakistan foreign polices but more so all the other world leaders of the period of 60s who were kind of game changers in their own sense.
<b>7.</b> The first 200 pages of this book are fun and happy because they were the youthful days of his life. His life in Kashmir, first crush, first achievement, days in Lahore, first love and its loss. The most painful part of this book was the chapter about famine in pre-partition Bengal. that made me squirm in repulsion and disgust at humanity. Shahab’s ability to get graphic is quiet commendable. He uses his this talent in another book (Ya Khauda) whose review i will give under that book .
<b>8.</b> Its obvious that he comes from practicing Muslmaan household or at least trying to be well practicing household. His religious opinions get a lot more visible as he matures and there is that issue of spiritualism which many people like to dub as fairytale which is odd. But quiet understandable. i am one of those people who can accept that reason has limits and believing simultaneously in science and spiritual world is quiet easy for me.
All and all this is one long book, its a journey of a life of a good man. A man who had his faults but he tried to be better. Who could not make much difference but he ended up making a lot of it by writing this book. I will read it again because i don’t think i have done justice to it yet.