It is perfectly normal for average people like me to believe in the stupidest of things without using our brains or the unprecedented access to knowledge that is available to a 21st century human; perfectly normal but not ideal, as we do have this moral obligation to get our facts straight before we quote something in public. Especially when it comes to celebrities or people who get the chance to come on our TV screens and speak with millions listening, blurting out stuff that is grossly inaccurate transforms from mere stupidity to something almost criminal. So here is just an attempt to clarify certain things so that the influence of crap spoken in public and private gatherings might be reduced to some extent. So, once and for all…..
1. You cannot compare rulers who are ignorant of the miseries of their people with Nero. Nero tried his best to help Rome when it was burning, and even paid for the relief efforts out of his own pocket, he provided food to the hungry and opened his palace for the homeless. He was NOT playing a fiddle, which was invented somewhere around the ninth century, more than 800 years after Nero’s death.
2. It is absurd to refer to a revolution expected to bring peace and prosperity to the country by calling it a ‘Tsunami’. A Tsunami is known to play havoc wherever it comes and it destroys everything that comes in its path regardless of whether it is good or evil. Repeatedly saying “Tsunami aa raha hai!” does not give hope. I mean, what are you trying to do? Scare people?
3. Stop repeating the story about how when told that the people of France did not have bread to eat, Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”. This never happened. To my knowledge, this story is attributed to Rousseau’s ‘Confessions’, a book that was written when Marie was just a kid, not the queen.
4. If your child is not good at studies, tell him to work hard and work hard on him yourself, but puhleeaase stop saying that Einstein also failed in maths because…..he DIDN’T. He was exceptional in both Physics and Mathematics since early childhood.
5. Darwin never said anywhere that men evolved from Chimpanzees. If you cannot read his book, at least stop repeating this crazy thing.
Of course, if I am wrong about any of the above, you are welcome to correct me. If I am right, you are welcome to correct yourself.
Imran Khan has succeeded in instilling hope in the depressed and hopeless people of Pakistan who are now looking towards him to rescue them from the mess this nation is in. In the past month or so, however, a number of questions have been raised on his party’s ability to actually deliver. Recently, his opponents have been given new opportunities to criticize him, some of his supporters have started feeling that unsure taste in their mouths and those still undecided and skeptical have become even more undecided and skeptical. But what’s the big issue? Let’s take a look at the major problems people have with PTI.
1. Imran’s new recruits are the same old faces who have been associated with numerous previous governments and share at least some of the responsibility for where Pakistan is now. People fear that in the presence of these men and their vested interests, PTI would not be able to bring the reforms Khan has been promising for so long.
2. People like Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Javed Hashmi have been political opponents for a long time and people doubt whether they would be able to forget their differences and sincerely join hands for a common cause.
3. Imran has been making tall claims for years now but there are doubts on whether he has the plan and mechanism to come good when the time comes.
4. PTI’s supporters are perceived to be a non-serious bunch who throng to rallies as they would go to a concert or a cricket match but come election day, it is generally believed that such huge jalsa numbers might not translate into votes.
5. It is strongly suspected that PTI’s sudden rise has been orchestrated by the ‘Agencies’ and hence, if it comes to power, the party might not be able to freely implement the reforms it has been announcing. Some even dread that PTI might only be able to come into power with the support of other so-called establishment parties like MQM and PML(Q).
Now, Imran Khan and his party have been vehemently denying all these allegations and they are beginning to sound more and more like, well…….everyone else. So, I have just a few suggestions for PTI that might help put an end to all the above questions. What if
1. Shah Mehmood Qureshi announces publicly that he fully supports a tax on agricultural income to increase the country’s revenue and would also work for the reduction of feudal power and enlightenment of the serfs all over the country, including Multan. Similar statements by others to show that their vested interests are not as important as the country’s future, would help.
2. Javed Hashmi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi have a press conference and explain that they are willing to help each other’s campaigns and have no problems whatsoever.
3. Imran Khan explains in detail some, if not all, of his plans so that we can be assured that they exist. And if he actually has a plan for the complete eradication of corruption in 90 days, why not disclose it. I mean why not also give the current government a chance to implement it if they want. That would eliminate corruption even before the elections. Why keep it secret?
4. PTI holds its next big jalsa in March on the same day when Pakistan and India’s cricket teams play each other in the Asia Cup. The attendance at the Jalsa would prove that PTI’s supporters are serious and know that the future of the country and the Insaf revolution are the most important things right now.
5. Imran Khan himself should give at least one statement saying that if the army or the MQM or the judiciary or any agency or bureaucracy acts in any manner which is harmful for the country or unjust or corrupt, PTI would oppose them. Such a statement might help remove the impression that he cannot speak a word about these powers.
I am waiting for such steps. Until then, Imran just seems to be going down the same path as others have gone before. What scares me is this. Many have ruined Pakistan because of their bad intentions. Imran might just do the same with good intentions. But what difference does that make for a normal Pakistani? Anyway, I pray that does not happen and PTI turns out to be what we are all expecting it to be.
The world consists almost entirely of two kinds of people, those who are happy that the glass is half full and those that complain that the glass is half empty. The key word here is ‘almost’. Although most of us are led to believe that these are the only two ways to look at the glass, there are at least two other kinds of people. A fast growing proportion is those who refuse to see the glass at all, but I do not want to waste time on those here.
The real doers are the men and women who don’t look at the empty or the full half of the glass in isolation but see it as a whole and feel glad that it is not completely empty since it never is and also feel immense excitement at the fact that is not completely full since this gives them the opportunity to fill the empty part of the glass with whatever they want. They can put yogurt in it to make lassi or champagne to make a drink. They can put ice cubes in it to make the water cooler or some concentrate to make a whatever they please.
So, there are those who are happy because of their life and those who are happy despite their life, but the truth is simple.
1. Your glass is never empty, life always gives you something to build on. Never make the error of ignoring this and feeling otherwise.
2. The things you did not get in life could be a wonderful opportunity. If your life misses something, you can fill that part with anything you want. All you need is the courage to take risks and a little bit of imagination.
If God had filled all our glasses to the brim, what fun would there be in living?
I request all those who are easily offended not to read this as they might not find this in the best of tastes.
About a month ago, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), on a high after banning porn sites across the country, was contemplating the imposition of a system that would ban the use of certain words on sms. The move was aimed at eliminating (or at least reducing) the use of obscene or, in simpler terms, dirty words in sms, but the list of words proposed to be banned gave numerous people a good laugh. Inclusion of words such as ‘Athlete’s Foot’ and ‘Taxi’ were made the target of cynical jokes even in the international media.
I don’t support the PTA’s idea at all, not because of any problem with intention, which is no doubt is noble, but because of the seeming impossibility of the task. I believe that you cannot prevent sexual or vulgar words from coming up in any kind of communication since the list of such words seems never-ending and more alarmingly, always growing. What amazes me is the number of words that have actually come to have pornographic meanings when they were originally innocent and totally well-meaning. How did we end up attaching something vulgar with the most harmless of words? And when will we stop? It is funny how more and more words keep getting sexual second meanings, a fact that would make you think that sex is the most important thing for us and it is even funnier how we continue to label all these words vulgar after they have been given a sexual meaning. Remember the old poem we used to know when we were kids, “Billi boli meeaaun; Kya mein andar aaoon; Murgha bola No; Bahar ja ke so.” Now let me translate that for you. “Pussy said meow; should I cum inside; Cock said No; go sleep outside.” See? Now how vulgar is that!
I wish to go back to the world that made sense. The world where pussy meant cat, where cock meant a rooster, where gay meant happy, taxi meant a cab, phat jana meant getting torn, khul jana meant opening, lena meant to take something, dena meant to give something, chick meant a chicken, sex meant gender and so on. I know we can’t go back in time, so let’s hope we somehow stop turning normal words into indecent language because this is too funny and doesn’t make any sense.
Our country is blessed with so many resources but we just cannot seem to utilize them to the full. I know this sentence has been repeated so many times that you must be sick of it by now. But I am referring to a resource the utilization of which can be improved very easily and which has largely been ignored and its pricelessness hardly ever understood. I am referring to the fact that Pakistan seems to have more psychics than any other country in the world.
It is eerie to see the number of future predictors and more than a little unsettling to note that their predictions are absolutely correct almost 100 percent of the time. Be it the fate of an election, the result of a cricket match, the box office showing of a movie or any other incident ranging from a terrorist attack to when someone would get a flu (and how many days later would he be well again). It is really impressive and, I must confess, I often feel stupid when I realize that I do not have the same psychic powers as so many others around me possess.
There’s only one little problem though. All these psychics are too possessive of their powers and do not share their predictions with us mortals until the event they have predicted has already happened. Once a match, an election or other event is over, these people rush in to tell you ‘I knew it!’ And they follow this revelation with a detailed explanation and analysis of things that made it obvious for anyone with the slightest bit of intelligence to predict exactly what was going to happen. I just wish we can come up with a way to convince these people to share their predictions with us before the events actually occur. If only we could somehow utilize this resource well, we could leap forward and become the greatest nation in the world as no other country has this power.
So, please, all you great psychics. Either tell us your predictions before the event and then let us be awestruck with the accuracy of your prophecies, or spare us and do not say that you knew it after the event has occurred. Don’t take me wrong, but any idiot can predict an event once he has seen it happen. All I want is to prevent you from looking like idiots and make sure that your prowess is recognized and used for the good of the whole nation.
Political correctness has transformed from a simple notion to a serious obsession and it has, in my opinion, caused great harm. When originally used, somewhere in the 17th century, the term simply meant not being inaccurate about political principles and philosophies. Gradually, the term was distorted and people came to interpret anything that was against the prevalent political policy as being politically incorrect.
Now, however, we live in a world where everything that has the slightest potential to hurt someone’s feelings is deemed politically incorrect. You are not supposed to say anything that has a critical sound and relates to anyone’s religion, race, creed, nationality, physical condition, mental condition, spiritual condition, philosophy of life, beliefs, dogmas etc. Now, doesn’t that mean that you are not supposed to criticize anything at all? In order to be politically correct, the civilized among us do not refrain from lying when the situation requires. We lie to ensure that we don’t hurt someone’s feelings. So, we ensure that we prevent people’s silly complexes and insecurities from hurting themselves, while in the process, indirectly encouraging and strengthening these complexes and insecurities.
I have nothing against this. I just wonder whether it helps us become a better society, this papering over each other’s weaknesses. There are two things that we must remember in this regard though.
1. Everyone has the freedom to be politically incorrect if he or she can, in turn, tolerate criticism for not being politically correct.
2. You don’t have to be politically correct with yourself. So at least give fair opinions when you’re talking to yourself.
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Can there be any doubt that we are one of the most supportive nations and our current condition owes a lot to this unique trait of ours. Here are the people who excelled in this area.
1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari for supporting himself and absolutely nothing else. When one has so much power and the most important position in the country, it takes immense ‘courage’ to use all these resources for just one person, especially if that person is himself.
2. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, for continuing to support the government for such a long time despite being repeatedly disappointed. He proved that the age-old saying ‘once bitten twice shy’ has no meaning for him and he can be bitten a thousand times and still feel no shyness whatsoever.
3. Altaf Hussain, for supporting whosoever he wishes with rallies, statements or howsoever he wishes without any real need for logic or common sense.
4. Dr. Babar Awan, for his unparalleled support for the President. The guy even called Asif Zardari, the spiritual son of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Now that’s what I call going all the way.
5. Siddiq al Farooq, for supporting everything the PML(N) leadership does and says. This support is all the more appreciable when you consider the fact that he does not seem to have a clue about most of the things he is supporting.
6. Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi for that unbelievable statement he blurted in support of his party. Could anyone be more innocent and charming than Mr. Jatoi explaining that corruption was PPP’s right and anyone who was not corrupt must be stupid? We might never see a person clearer in his beliefs.
7. The Chaudhries of PML (Q) for supporting Gen. Musharraf in the face of serious opposition from PPP and now supporting PPP, thus proving that principles have little to do with politics.
8. The people of Pakistan for supporting incompetent people in every election and then whining till the next elections.
9. Imran Khan, for supporting all defeated politicians who can’t find a place in any other party.
10. Kamran, Umar and Adnan Akmal for always supporting each other and fighting for each other’s place in the team regardless of whether it is disastrous for the country. Now that’s what I can family ties. Blood is thicker than water (and cash thicker than blood? Can’t say that for sure).
Pakistan has been known around the world for its unmatched expertise in selecting the right man for the right job. These nominees represent the best choices among a long list of good ones.
Best Selection (Right Man for the Right Job)
1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari as the President of Pakistan. With a vast administrative experience (he party ran the Bambino cinema for a while), excellent education (amid claims that he never graduated from St. Patrick’s High School and the fact that Pedinton School, London, where he claims to have studied cannot be found in London) and memorable performance as a minister (earning prestigious titles like ‘Mr. 10 percent’), who could doubt that we hit the bull’s eye by selecting him for the top spot.
2. Zaka Ashraf. After the disasters during Ijaz Butt’s tenure, we surely learnt our lesson and appointed this person who is the ex-president of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd. and the CEO of Ashraf Sugar Mills, as Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board. And for all those too naïve to get the point, it was explained that under him the ZTBL team performed well in domestic cricket. What vision!
3. Rehman Malik, who was the obvious choice for Interior Minister after his performance as BB’s Chief Security Officer.
4. Bilawal (Bhutto) Zardari. Forget all the conspiracy theories. This guy’s selection as PPP’s chairman against BB’s will (supposedly the ‘will’ declared Asif Zardari as her successor) is perfect. He has not lived in Pakistan for any considerable period, cannot speak Urdu fluently, and seems to be well-set in the western culture. That’s all we need in a leader, nahi?
5. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who began his career in PML under Mr. Junejo, then opted for PML(N) under Mian Nawaz Sharif when the party split (and was Minister of Planning & Development from 1988-90), then joined PML (J) under Manzoor Wattoo (was Minister of Finance 1990-93) and finally joined the PPP in 1993 (serving as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Foreign Minister) has now joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. With such a diverse experience, Khan could not have picked a better person for Vice Chairman PTI.
You might be forgiven for thinking that I am obsessed with Karachi University ever since they awarded a PhD. degree to Rehman Malik, and maybe I am, but what can I do? The esteemed institution keeps turning up in news for the funniest of reasons. Now, MBBS students of various colleges affiliated with the university have come out on the streets to protest. Guess what they are protesting against. Come on, take a wild guess. Rehman Malik’s degree? No, that’s old news now, and we tend to forget old news, no matter how serious they are. The poor students are protesting because they flunked the second prof. Seriously. They are protesting that the marking was too strict and they actually have placards in their hands that say ‘We Want Marks’. I never knew that was a way to get marks, it could have saved so many of us so much time and energy that we spent studying.
Frankly, you can’t blame them. After all, if you can make Rehman Malik a doctor, what right do you have to deny anyone else the same privilege? Now, these students have requested Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad to intervene in the matter and give them grace marks so that their year is not wasted. Interestingly, not one of the said students is claiming that their papers were marked wrongly, not one of them has said that there was any mistake in the exam, all they are saying is that the marking should have been more lenient so that they, despite their apparent below the mark preparation, could have passed.
I don’t know what to make of all this. I mean, what the …..? What all this tells me is that we are still too immature as a nation and have not got the gist of what protest means. And what scares me the most is that the university might just accept the student’s demands. And then we would be on our way to many many more Dr. Rehman Maliks. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry so I guess I’ll just laugh till I cry.