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!