Don’t ask me to explain how, but this morning I found this letter in my shirt pocket. I read it, slapped myself hard and am now putting it here for anyone who cares.
I am not allowed to directly communicate with you, so if anyone finds out I will be in trouble. I might even be punished; that would be fun wouldn’t it? Anyway, first of all, I want to thank you. You have been a real pal. Everyone I knew when I was born is either dead or fatally ill, just because they did not have pals like you. You never cared, always took stupid decisions, did whatever you felt like, and thank you for all that. Now, I did not decide to risk punishment and write to you just to praise you. I am getting weaker day by day and if things don’t get better soon, I might not survive, and I need your help NOW.
You are becoming just like the others. You have started to think normally, now you listen to others, try to be safe, I sometimes feel that you have even begun to be afraid. You spend so much time now thinking about the future. You act as if you can control, plan and ensure that such and such thing happens and such and such does not happen. You moron! After avoiding this silliness for such a long time, why do you want to fall in the same hole? Why do you want to forget what it means to live? Please slap yourself and come back to your senses.
And one last thing; Please ask anyone who cares to listen that there is nothing to be afraid of. Anything that exists is worth trying. There is no threat worse or cost higher than the kind of life they already lead, always scared, always cautious. Please ask them to slap themselves and come to their senses too. Too many of my peers have died, enough is enough.
Your Inner Child
There was a time when the beauty industry had not progressed enough to allow filmmakers to make the heroine look infinitely more beautiful than the poor gals dancing in rows behind her in bollywood and lollywood song sequences. At that time, the beauty industry was not even mature enough to make threading a common practice and we often come across old films in which it is difficult to judge who has the thicker moustache, the hero or the heroine. However, even in those times, the producers and directors managed to make the heroine look much prettier than the girls dancing behind them. The trick was simple. They selected the ugliest, fattest and most horrible looking gals to dance behind the heroine. The result; well the damsel looked no less than a dream girl despite her moustache.
This simple trick has been at work throughout history and still succeeds like anything. Isn’t Shoaib Mansoor making Bol and people like Pervaiz Rana, Masood Butt et al making crap behind him depict the same principle? Isn’t it evidence enough that where movies by these lesser directors come and go without a whimper Shoaib Mansoor’s production was a super hit even before it was released?
Just to quote one more example, remember Imran Khan the cricketer. Remember him walking into the field with a team comprising Javed Miandad, Sarfraz Nawaz, Tauseef Ahmed etc. No wonder he is still regarded as the greatest personality ever in Pakistan Cricket. Even fans from other parts of the world could not help notice the contrast and praised his style to no end. And if you don’t remember him, just watch Imran Khan the politician, standing tall among the Zardaris, the Awans (Babar and Firdous Ashiq), the Khosas, the Sharifs and the like.
So, I guess, the secret behind becoming the best is simple. Just select the ugliest, fattest and most absurd-looking girls to dance behind you.
Thousands of years ago, we lived as hunter-gatherers when every man hunted or gathered food for himself. Everyone got up and looked for food and spent most of his day in that pursuit. Then we discovered agriculture and the lives of a large majority of the population were made easier as someone else was growing food for them now. The free ones spent this new-found time building weapons and armies, creating governments and bureaucracies and eventually waging wars and killing other people. Victories in these wars provided more land, more food and more free time. So we progressed to industrialization, a part of which resulted in better weapons, more equipped armies and more wars. Lately, we moved on to the world of technology and the world became a global village. Now we have satellites, bombs, aircraft and what-not. Still, we wage wars and kill people because we need oil and land and security.
I don’t know where but I did read somewhere that hunter-gatherers were peaceful people and rarely fought against each other. Most of them resolved disputes through mutual dialogue and avoided open confrontation. Rarely ever did they steal since everyone just found their own food and ate it. There was no concept of personal property since the hunter-gatherers kept moving to areas where they could hope to find better prey. Respect and esteem was not given to the one with political power but to him who was stronger and could hunt bigger animals. There was no loadshedding, no oil crisis, no terrorism, no diplomacy, no bureaucracy, no mediocracy, no government, no opposition, no courts, no wars, no civil suits, no robberies.
And you tell me that mankind has made progress in the last 10,000 years ago. Really?
The following must not be perceived as Pakistan bashing. It is just based on a strong desire that this wonderful nation someday realizes its potential, and gets rid of the paradoxes that are stopping its progress.
1. Curiosity: We risk our lives rather than stop at a traffic light but would stop wherever there’s a big crowd gathered just to see what the hell is going on.
2. Amnesia: We abuse and curse a group of people out of power and replace them with others, only to forget everything and bring them back a few years later.
3. Wisdom: We can wisely analyze what is good and bad about all kinds of intricate policies but would not realize that throwing a wrapper on the road might be bad.
4. Trust: We seldom trust the local shopkeeper or our servant but blindly trust a ridiculous fact if it is reported on TV.
5. Solidarity: We might be at each others’ throats for a minute difference in religious interpretations but would show remarkable solidarity when our cricket team enters the field.
6. Talent: We would waste years in our offices but as soon as we are hired in a foreign country, we end up being among the best in the business.
1. You cannot watch News channels and get a chance to realize that there are people living in the same house as you and things actually happen in their lives too.
2. You find out that you have friends outside facebook and events do happen that are not posted as status updates.
3. You can THINK!
4. You realize what a long time one hour is!
5. You get a feel of how hot it is!
6. You get that rare feeling of pure and genuine happiness when the light returns.
7. Your children step out of the house.
8. There is silence.
9. People in the UPS and Generator business make lots of money (though people who buy them lose out on all the other advantages).
10. Maybe, just maybe, some electricity is saved.