Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Collective Roar!

We have adopted two traits that are beginning to haunt us on a national scale; one being that of giving up and entering into a resignation mode, the other being that of embracing disintegration and divide with generosity. And in times like these, it is easy to blame external elements for everything that goes wrong. I asked myself if this was the right approach. I asked myself if chanting empty slogans without belief, repeating saintly teachings without action and envisioning a prosperous Pakistan without any real vision should be the backbone of a new Pakistan.

For a good part of my teenage years, I was all talk and no action myself. I was patriotic, still am. However, I lacked a basic understanding of my role as a Pakistani. I had no clue how to channelize my positive energy. I had built a story, with a perfect ending of a prosperous Pakistan. What my story lacked, unfortunately, was a sense of how the story would progress from the first page to the last.

And then I questioned the way I was brought up; made to believe that nothing can go wrong with our country and, just in case, something did go wrong, it was someone else’s mistake. I was made to believe that Pakistani generals were messiahs; that the political leadership was only worried about Pakistan; that soon enough, streams of milk and honey would start flowing; that the growth of cellular connections meant Pakistan was transitioning from a developing state to a developed state. But then I started realizing, things can go wrong in Pakistan too. So I blamed others.

The politicians are corrupt, I thought. However, I refused to realize that they exercise corruption in their domain. We exercise the same in our domain. It wasn’t just the politicians, I figured soon enough.

People don’t listen to rational views, I kept telling myself. I only realized how wrong I was when I truly understood tolerance; to each his own.

And just like this, as if a chain reaction was initiated inside my head, I tried to make myself understand that things can go wrong in Pakistan because of common people like me. I tried counting the many times I lied. I tried remembering the times I was unfair to others. I tried accepting my mistakes. And I tried to look forward, this time with a purpose and a vision.

One last question popped up in my mind: if all of us want Pakistan to succeed, what is holding us back? And soon enough, I figured we are not doing enough on an individual level. We continue to talk about collective roars without realizing that we need to roar individually first. And so I resolved to make my individual roar count in whatever manner possible.

The vision is simple: play my role for Pakistan. So, I promised myself to do just that; work on my own. What is my role as a Pakistani? My role as a Pakistani is to do my job diligently. It is to be a good, law-abiding citizen. It is to be a focused student. It is to help others, which in turn will help my country. It is to live and let live, to practice and preach tolerance. It is to look beyond religious differences and promote unity. It is to stay positive, without getting blind and losing plot of the situation. It is to end the hypocrisy that I have practiced for more than a decade. For at the end, Allah will not ask me if I criticized the Zardaris and Sharifs of Pakistan. He will question my deeds.

If there is a will, a true one, there has to be a way. There is one thing that Pakistan truly deserves to get from us; honesty. Let us be good Pakistanis first and see if we can reach a point where that one collective roar will see us through.

Pakistan Zindabad.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Letter to Salman Butt

Dear Salman,

I started following you from your days in the Under 17s. I still remember how I started loving Slazenger bats with yellow coloured grips, just because I saw you playing with it in an Asia Cup match back then. I still remember, randomly enough, Habib Oil Mills sponsored that tournament.

I still remember your test debut against Bangladesh at Multan, where you made a quick fire 37 in the second innings. Salman, I still remember your ODI debut against West Indies, where you were out for a duck, caught in the slip. By the way, you have carried that illness throughout your career. It was a decent delivery by Ian Bradshaw anyhow.

How can I forget your innings at the Eden Gardens? You battled cramps and immense pressure to guide Pakistan through. It was the month of Ramadan too! Good old times, Salman.

You toured Australia with the team next and boy, didn't you play well! I remember you making a statement against Glen McGrath in the second test at Melbourne, hitting out in his very first over. Of course it was after the debacle at Perth where we were bowled out for 72.What a promising start it was against the best team in the world, a fifty in your third test and a hundred in the fourth.

You were dropped after another test match though. I always opposed the move, not that it mattered. You were dropped in the West Indies too. Again, I felt you were hard done by. You deserved a proper run at the top.

You made a great comeback against England at home. What a patient 122 it was at Multan. The inconsistency settled in again though with Irfan Pathan making you his bunny on India’s tour of Pakistan.

Salman, I was impressed with your ability to withstand pressure, proof of which you gave time and again with centuries against India in the Kitply Cup and in India back in early 2008. The test tour to Australia saw you shine like a true linchpin of this fragile batting line up. Too bad you ran Mo Yo out though.
But you know what Salman? I always believed in you. When they gave you the captaincy, I was the happiest man in Pakistan. I knew our team was in safe hands.

Was I fooling myself Salman? After every test match, I used to go and see your average. I always wanted you to move up to the 40s. May be, Salman, if you had stayed away from Mazhar Majeed, that would have been possible. I saw, in you, the Gautam Gambhir of Pakistan. Salman, I always believed in you. Why couldn’t you just come out and deny all the allegations Salman? What is holding you back now? Why can’t you sue NoTW? What’s stopping you?

My belief in you has faded away. I don’t know if the allegations are true or not but I just wanted you to know that I feel wronged. Cricket will never be the same for me. Thanks to you, Salman.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Till death shall we denounce them!

Is this my land? Does anyone actually care now that so much blood is lost or are we just a bunch of "good-for-nothing-partriots" waiting for more to come? Will it be the same? A plethora of talk shows coupled with sensationalized media reporting with no solution or action? Just another note from my side and then I’ll get on with it? As I pen this down, someone else in my city is crying and the reason is very valid; they have lost their loved ones. I do not want to imagine losing my loved ones and that is enough for a feeler of what those people might be going through.

To imagine that my mother escaped today’s blasts by a few minutes, literally, makes me wonder; you never know whose next. How many more houses need to be destroyed before action is taken? How many more sons will be lost before we will see any considerable improvement in the situation? How many more fathers, mothers, husbands, wives and daughters are required? Where is it going to end? When is it going to end? Will Haleema and all the other babies of Pakistan grow up with this sword hanging over their heads forever? It scares me.

Today’s blasts took place in RA Bazaar, an area central to both my houses for the past seventeen years. To have seen what happened to that place today was very disturbing. The thought had never crossed my mind. Really, it hadn’t.

Everything is so uncertain.

This is not my land. I know for sure. My people are peace-loving people. Yes, a little civic sense would do no harm but they are not the beasts that people think they are. The parasites eating our society are alien to us for we are not with these blood-suckers.

This is not my land.

My land is the land of Abdul Sattar Edhi, founder of the largest private ambulance network in the whole world. Not only this, he is also a recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize. He is our real face.

My land is the land that produced Ali Moeen Nawazish; the wizard who obtained 23 As in his A-Levels, the Rawalpindi boy who took the whole world by storm. He is our real face.

My land is host to the state-of-the-art Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.

My land is the land that produced Shehzad Roy; founder of Zindagi Trust; an organization that provides quality education to the under-privileged Pakistanis.

My land is the land of the LUMS “Outstanding Delegation” at Harvard MUN and MUNTR!

My land is the land of Ussama Ahmad Khan; the hard-working world-topper in A-Level Law.

My land is the land of Nasim Hameed; the Korangi girl who is now the fastest woman of South Asia.

My land is the land of Aleem Dar; the best cricket umpire in the world.

My land is the land of Shaina Khan and Anita Pabani; bronze medalists at the International Chemistry Olympiad.

My land is the land of Abeera Ali, bronze medalist at the International Biology Olympiad.

My land is the land of Zaeem Hussain, bronze medalist at the International Mathematics Olympiad.

My land is the land of the LGS-55 Main team that has made it to the International Space Settlement Design Competition thrice.

My land is the land of Chaudhary Aitzaz Ahsan, a recognized intellectual of the Foreign Policy Magazine.

My land is the land of Sara Nasir, the gold medalist in Karate at the South Asian Games.

My land is the land of Habib Jalib, the staunch democrat, a man of highest integrity.

My land is the land of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, Shaheed.

My land is the land of the theoretical physicist, the Nobel laureate, Abdus Salam.

The Green flag is a reflection of these faces, not of those blood-suckers. Count the positives. Stay Strong.

My land is my hope. My country is my life and my life cannot be in the hands of those blood-suckers. Till death shall we denounce them, till death shall we fight them and till death shall we stay united.

پاک سرزمین کا نظام
قوت اخوت عوام
قوم ، ملک ، سلطنت
! پائندہ تابندہ باد
شاد باد منزل مراد

The order of this sacred land
Is the might of the brotherhood of the people
May the nation, the country, and the state
Shine in glory everlasting!
Blessed be the goal of our ambition
Rise Pakistan!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The being that has suffered;
Suffered at the hands of the beast we call man
The being that has been, for ages, the victim of chauvinism,
The easy outlet for her clan

The innocence that was and is exploited,
The eyes that talk of love have always seen hatred,
The voice that, with its sweetness, stirs emotions,
Has always been suppressed

The chasteness so easily questioned,
The purity so blatantly ignored,
The futile cries, the screeching shouts;
So skillfully disregarded
She is the voice of the Maker,
She is the reflection of innocence,

Man suckled on her breast
Gnashed its teeth once he was bred
She cried, she shouted, she moaned
The pain just did not go away
Worst, she could not even complain
All she could do was reconcile
She wiped off her tears, remained silent
"Tribulation was a part of her life" was the comforting note

The chasteness so easily questioned,
The purity so blatantly ignored,
The futile cries, the screeching shouts;
So skillfully disregarded
She is the voice of the Maker,
She is the reflection of innocence,
She is the being we call WOMAN!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Umeed, Hope, Espoir, Hoop, Hoffnung, Speranza, Esperança; July 20 2009

This comes out as a result of reflection upon a lot of stuff that I have read.

The power of human words cannot, ever, be undermined. That we possess the ability to make the impossible possible is not an exaggerated phrase. It is very much central to how humans tend to do things. It is all in the head! Yes, that is what I think.

For us to develop and strive, being pragmatic is fairly understandable. But what that pragmatic approach needs is something to supplement its implementation. That something is what a person thinks. That something is what goes on in the mind. That something is how the issue at hand is perceived by the person. That something is in the head.

Observing our society through different interactions with it, I have formed my opinion, which is, as always, open to rejection/disapproval, that being so overwhelmed by the world, we have started seeing even the possible as impossible.

Pessimism has crept into our society fast. Despair never looms alone. It is a direct consequence of happening events. In our society, for example, things such as debate on religion, economic strife, lack of confidence in the leadership are all factors that have played their parts in bringing out pessimism in its true form from many of us. To many of us, life is ok as it is. For many of us, the phases where one loses confidence and deprecation rules over our souls are more frequent than the frequency of alternating current perhaps. Bad attempt at utilizing my scientific knowledge?

What we really need is a breath of fresh air in the garden tormented to death by the winter winds. Hope is the word supplementing smart actions. Optimism is the fresh air. Pessimisn needs to be done away with. WE CAN is the phrase. WE CAN'T must be out-fashioned.

Umeed, Hope, Espoir, Hoop, Hoffnung, Speranza, esperança

The Basic Question; August 21 2009

A sense of despair grips me as I push these buttons to put into words what my mind thinks. Whether it will be coherent or not, is not something I care about right now.

I wonder these days where it must have gone wrong. And the answer, like it always is, is that human nature is human nature after all. My mind thinks and while it does, everything seems surreal. That my mind would be a slave to these thoughts, was something I never actually cared about. So what is egging me on to write? The basic question! You idiot, what is that basic question? Was getting there, you evil side of mine!

Don’t mind that.

So the basic question is about the standards of our society. Why must anyone suffer? Why must someone very talented, born in a poor family, be exposed to mental trauma and suffering while someone very dumb, born in a rich family, gets innumerable opportunities to excel?
Just because his family doesn’t have a few rupees?

Come to think of it, that is the reason!

We are driven by money and that my friends, rids us of our status as human beings. That, my friends, makes us the wild beasts that we have transformed into. We have been blinded, and now money seems a good enough tool to carve out the future of people. We have set a world order where money drives everything. Human Beings were worthy of more.

So we (beasts), that are the former human beings, had an alternate route. That route was to ensure welfare for all. That route was to ensure that each household gets that window of opportunity to live a better life. But what did we do? We limited the access to the window of opportunity, making it available to only those who have money.

More to follow as it comes.

Sehri, Paratha, Chai, Pani. Got my learning permit. Husn-e-Haqiqi.