Monday, December 24, 2007

Decision Time...

Why is it that marriage is such a complicated thing for us Muslims these days? As it is the thought of marrying the right candidate consumes half our time and gives us gray hairs before we even tie the knot. Then, on top of that, we have parents who become an impossible obstacle in wanting something HALAL for ourselves!

Here is a good youtube flick reflecting what kind of nonsense can be made out of something that is actually a commandment from God to His slaves for satisfying a natural urge/need in a perfectly legal way.

More on this later...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Life in Darra

Darra Adam Khel is a town in the northern region of Pakistan. It is home to the Afridi tribe of the Pashtuns. There are 2 things in Darra that catch one's immediate attention - the scenic valleys and the weapons market!

Darra's economy runs on sales of ordinance handmade by craftsmen who have replicated almost every gun/rifle in the weapons market. The prices are really cheap and the quality pretty close to the original.

Since it is next to impossible for an ordinary person to gain access to Darra, I am posting this 8 minute video on Darra's weapon market.


Friday, December 07, 2007

The Battle for the soul of Pakistan

So much has happened in Pakistan in the last 9-10 months. The lawyers' movement has inspired the youth of Pakistan to mobilize and stand firmly in support of civilian institutions. The pressure that is being exerted by the lawyers, students and the media is starting to bear fruit - the major one being Musharraf being stripped of his khaki wear.

Pakistan has seen itself through one major hurdle and as it now faces its next biggest challenge, some politicians might end up playing the roles of pimps and sell Pakistan's soul to the powers-that-be. Two names stand out amongst this list of sellouts: Benazir Bhutto and "Maulana" Fazlur Rahman. These selfish scoundrels have ridden on the popularity waves of the lawyers movement and manouvered themselves into a position where they are now bargaining for the PM house. So much so that these 2 opportunists have trashed these same lawyers who resurrected their all but dead political careers. Brutus would feel shy at such treachery!

Pakistan is fortunate to have a batallion of good men and women who have given some hope to the people of Pakistan. Just when we were about to despair, God sent us not one, but a whole host of brave souls! Today, these brave persons are being incarcerated and punished for their honesty by Musharraf's goons. They are being forced into early retirement so that the good are thwarted and the bad continue their stanglehold on the jugular vein of the nation. Benazir and Fazlur don't give 2 hoots for the lawyers. They have stated clearly that they are willing to contest elections whether these honest men and women are re-instated or not. This treachery is equivalent to treason!

Are we Pakistanis going to let such power-mongers take control of our destiny and let the good folks fizzle out? Have we not learned anything from the struggle of Imam Hussain (AS)? Will we let wrong triumph over right again? NO! Pakistanis need to take a stand today and force these 2 scoundrels to boycott the elections if the Judiciary is not restored as it was pre-November 3rd. Anything short of this will just take us back to the status quo of the last 60 years and we will murder future brave souls who would have lost hope in the system; we will rape the ambitions of young aspirants who want to contribute positively to the country's growth; we will deflate the exhuberance of those who dream of saving the ummah from the shadows of despair. This fight should be waged unabated!

I am glad that Aitezaz Ahsan is already devicing plan B in case "Ugly and the Beast" take part in the elections. It speaks volumes of the level-headedness of the man and how he is able to transcend the rotten scenario and think outside the box. His open letter is well worth a read.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Innocence of the young

I recently went through 2 experiences that made me realize how children are innocent and so close to purity. Sure, they can be real rascals at times, but their hearts are so clean and souls so pure that it just makes an almost-30-guy like myself miss this innocence that was once in me, too.

I was at the City Center mall last night and was waiting for my order to arrive at the counter from "Shamiana" (desi food rocks!). 2 local girls, who looked pretty young - 14 maximum I'd say - also were ordering their food as I looked on while I waited. The filipino lady at the counter gave these 2 girls a coupon, which I hadn't got. I politely asked the lady at the counter why I didn't get any discount coupons and she told me nicely how it was only valid for the combos that these 2 girls took. I just said, "Oh OK... thank you... maybe next time I will go for it" and continued waiting for my food.

One of the girls came up to me with BOTH the coupons and offered it to me! She said, "You can have it" (in her local Arab accent, hehe). I was pleasantly surprised! I declined, but she insisted. I didn't take the coupons and told her that I had already paid for my food and that it was very nice and polite of her to do such a kind thing for a total stranger. She smiled and kept her coupons on her tray and left with her friend looking for a place to sit.

A couple of nights prior to this I saw a little boy - I would guess 7 years of age - eating my favorite chips, Lays Salt and Vinegar!! The little boy was with his mother and father and I made a face at him suggesting "Aren't you going to share with me?" And what does the kid do? He sticks his hand out and offers me the entire packet! I told him "Can I have alllll of it??" (sounding excited) and he looked at his parents and just nodded in approval! I was so impressed by the kid's "tarbiyah" (upbringing)! I just took one and returned the rest and really complimented his parents on the kid's exemplary behavior and manners. They looked like pretty proud parents, hehe.

Some can argue the first example cannot be really classified as young children, but for a person who is breaking white hair left, right and center, those girls really reminded me of my teen days when I was so into myself. It was all about my image and I-dont-give-a-fudge, rocker attitude. The little boy also made me realize how we actually start off as really cool and pure souls and with our experiences and increasing individualism (because of self-centered interests) we turn out to be real idiots, frankly!

Sometimes I really wish I could turn back time and pause it into my childhood. Reminds me of that cool Enigma song from yesteryears, Return to Innocence!