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Family Eid!

I have never felt bored at Eid! Not when the only attraction of Eid was Rs.10 Eidee or now when the attraction is to catch up with family or friends.

There is always much more to do than the time permitting. Sleeping through Eid is an unthinkable option.

Why is it?

Eid is a festival that requires presence of people to be enjoyed. Happiness is to be shared, can hardly be enjoyed on one’s own.

Remember the cricket matches that Pakistan won. The joy multiplied when the match was watched with family and friends.

Remember receiving news of a promotion or a good academic result. Did you not feel an urge to hug someone and share the news?

The urge to share good news has always been there. We live in an age where the platforms for sharing joys and griefs are many.

Facebook is one. You post a status update and receive hundreds of congratulation messages and Likes. You can spend hours reading and exchanging messages.

The entire Eid day can be dedicated to wishing and receiving Eid greetings on Facebook.

But is it the same as sitting with your grandparents or parents or uncles and aunts sharing what you are doing in your life, listening to their experiences of life and childhood stories of Eid and other festivals?

Is the joy of receiving a compliment on your dress or looks or having a family Eid lunch not far more than getting a like on your comment?

Visiting old relative is a boring ordeal, yes? Getting up early in the morning is a nightmare, yes?

Yes till you get mature enough to miss all those ordeals. Then you wish to go back in time and do all that you missed but it maybe too late.

My grandfather died this March. Except for those years when I was abroad I did spend most of my Eids at his place yet I regret all those times when he had wanted to talk to me for five more minutes but I had a movie to watch or a friend to call or a book to read or lately a Twitter or Facebook to keep me engaged!

Wishing you a blessed family Eid!




Will you?

The news of the boy working at a Tandoor topping Punjab’s BA/BSc examination flamed a Tandoor of thoughts in my mind.

What does his countrymen have in store for him?

He was a private candidate, probably did not have enough money to afford university education. He must be a genius. He must be very talented. He must be very determined.

So was Sher Khan, the man from Banu who got a first division in BA and now drives a taxi in Dubai. His father also owned a Tandoor. He worked tirelessly to give Sher Khan school and college education. Sher Khan himself sold newspapers to make his parents and his dream possible. He did graduate with what he himself called flying colours.

Having graduated he wanted to work in a bank.

As per him he knocked each and every door but he did not have a reference. In despair he started teaching in an English medium school. The salary was satisfactory but his self pride was insulted regularly.

Teachers and students alike would mock his Tandoor background. He struggled to manage the students. His services were soon terminated as some parents had reservations about his background.

His parents were getting old. Their dreams shattered, they did not have the will to live. Sickness became their companion. He had other siblings to feed and educate.

An opportunity came to immigrate to Dubai as a driver. Happily he availed the opportunity. It was far better than living as a socially frowned individual in one’s own country.

The chat with Sher Khan in Dubai rekindled memories of a conversation with a fellow PhD student in Ireland. He was a professionally qualified accountant. He was trained at the best audit firm in the world. Now was pursuing PhD at the best private business school in Ireland.

We were exchanging notes about our families.

When James revealed his father was a carpenter, he  jolted my myopic thinking about society and status.

How could the son of a carpenter achieve so much? How did he own a BMW? His place was somewhere in slums! Was it not?

On that Irish wintery evening too a Tandoor of thoughts was burning in my mind. Very similar to the one burning since last evening in the monsoons of Lahore.

That evening in Ireland I had felt a revulsion for myself. How could I, an otherwise educated girl have such biases. Who was to be blamed for my biases?

Last evening I had felt anxiety bordering on despair. Will this Tandoor man get a job? Will his dreams be realized?

Will this society respect him for his credentials or mock him for his background?

He must have struggled hard. He needs our respect and our support but will we a nation full of contradictions for once contradict ourselves and embrace a Tandoor man as one of us.

Why not? Let us do it in the spirit of the independence day.

It will make Pakistan much happier than all the celebrations of its birthday!

I think so do you and will you?




Was I selfish too?

Was I selfish too?

Afghanistan has won a bronze!

Yes fantastic news!

What?

Great that they won. Afghanis must be over the moon!

And where are we, under the sea?

We should be happy for them!

And we should be happy for all those who won when we ourselves have become a sporting irrelevance?

Yes we should be, why not?

These medals have been won on the strength of uncountable wealth? Poor nations like us have no chance in this world of super rich states.

Has Kenya not won a medal? I do recall seeing names of African states in the medal tally?

Oh yes, they are naturally talented and gifted.

And we are not?

We are but on empty stomaches medals cannot be won.

Empty stomaches, we are not under nourished or as starved as some of the African states are.

You do not understand there is a conspiracy against us. No one wants Pakistan to win! It is not without reason that economically we are kept backwards.

We are kept backwards or we want to remain backwards?

You do not understand, our law and order has been aggravated so that our immensely talented sportsmen cannot practice against the best in the world on their home grounds. This is a conspiracy to ensure we become sporting irrelevance.

But I recall reading about massive embezzlement of funds, mismanagement in some of our sports departments.

Hoax crafted to mislead our public like you.

But the hockey team should not have conceded seven goals.

The umpiring was biased! Everyone is against us.

Including us I think! If we want medals then we need to plan and execute the plan. Every talent needs professional management. We need to innovate.

What management, you want foreign coaches, now you are being a traitor! So much foreign exposure has poisoned your mind.

I do not understand politics or sports. What I do understand is that nations poorer than us, more unstable than us have won medals. Maybe medals do not matter, they have shown determination.In defeat they have remained graceful. We a nation of 170 million people who are definitely not starving could only send 24 athletes and none of them even came close to winning a medal!

Could they not have triumphed over each and every adversity, each and every conspiracy? Maybe they could not but what should I do? It has been ages since I danced to the tune of my anthem. Never before have I have been so down to dumps.

I just wanted a medal to revive my spirits! Was I selfish too?