Monday, May 31, 2010

Does this sound like a cliche?

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan.

And we forget his words like we forget the Pakistan Studies syllabus.
Save my country, please.

Oh and:
“What we have seen this morning is a war crime,” said Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator for the government in the West Bank. “These were civilian ships carrying civilians and civilian goods — medicine, wheelchairs, food, construction materials.”
“What Israel does in Gaza is appalling,” he added. “No informed and decent human can say otherwise.” 
Full article here

There are times when you just cannot consider "all sides" to an argument.

This time, it ain't the PTA.

Someone just forwarded this text to me, and I didn't know whether to laugh or be exasperated or just plain annoyed:

On 31st of may facebook wil b the only most visited wibsite in the cyber world n this wil continue for a week (or may be more) which will surplus the loss they experienced, people wilcomment, play games, up-load pics, send messages, will poke friends, up-date the status about facebook being unblocked, BUT no one of us wil think 4 a second about Muhammad (S.A.W.W), who was always thinking abt us. these are the signs abt wat kind of muslims wud b there, wen Dajjaal wil come n invite u 2 da wrong path, n it will be followed.....

Can u tell it to all ur friends?

I mean, seriously? So now whoever uses Facebook is a certified heretic who has no respect for the Prophet. Nice. I'm sorry I haven't switched to the halal Facebook yet. Excuse me while I social network the Pakistani way.

PS: I don't mean to be disrespectful. The whole "Let's Draw Muhammad Day" thing was absolutely horrible, as I've said before. But things like these just really, really piss me off. Let other people be, and let them make their own choices.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Good morning, Itchy.

Dear God,

Please don't give me an allergic reaction from all the raw coffee I have been consuming. Waking up after two hours of sleep with junkie-withdrawal symptoms isn't the best way to start a day when you have an exam. Scratching your arms (and your neck.. and your face.. and your head) during said exam is probably worse. I know I have been a little bit unhealthy, and I am Nescafe's dream consumer right now, but please do be nice. I will try not killing myself.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

And today

Jaahil downed a tablespoon of coffee with Diet Coke.
No, I am not on a suicide mission. I'm just trying to stay awake.

Friday, May 28, 2010

You know the A levels are getting to you....

  • When you open up the Harvard Law School website aka Jaahil's ultimate dream in life and start crying over it like you just failed your LSAT. Or, for that matter, your whole life.
  • When your cat becomes your bestfriend, and even he doesn't like being around you.
  • When you forget how your actual bestfriend's voice sounds like. 
  • When you get weepy because your boyfriend went out to eat without you. 
  • When you wonder which pair of pajamas you should wear today. Not just tonight. 
  • When your mother buys you three more pairs of pajamas because they're all you wear. 
  • When you tell your mother you need MORE pairs because everyone at college goes to class in their pajamas. 
  • When you fall asleep and wake up with a fat book on your face that is squashing your nose. And you weren't even studying. 
  • When you throw your book on the ground and tell your mum you're getting married. 
  • When you start watching The Disney Channel with your 9 year old sister and look forward to the Wizards of Waverly Place, and can differentiate between the twins in The Suite Life.
  • When your mother is embarrassed of telling people you're her child.
  • When you ask your cat to find your pen.
  • When you think there's nothing wrong with keeping multiple mugs of tea in the fridge so you can microwave them later.
  • When the neighborhood shopkeeper displays concern over your consumption of energy drinks, which just by the way, don't work. 
Yeah, they're getting to me alright.

Friday, May 21, 2010

An open letter to our esteemed president.

Dear Mr. President,

Your time as co-chairman of the PPP and as president of our beloved country has shown, not for the first time in history, that the Pakistan People's Party is not in fact a socialist party that caters to the demands of the masses (no, a ban on Facebook does not count). Your government is not doing anything to alleviate the sufferings of the public, and it has definitely not done a lot to reduce poverty, unemployment, the lack of health facilities, human rights violations and the myriad of other trivial issues plaguing Pakistan. There has, however, been (like there is in all governments) an explosive increase in the bank accounts of those who pledge their undying support to you. In other words, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poor, and the honest should just go shoot themselves.

While your children live in comfort and luxury, students in Pakistan languish in the face of a constant shortage of electricity, the worries of making ends meet, the utter uselessness of the so called Higher Education Commission and a substandard quality of education in governmental institutions of learning. Your son's security alone is costing a million pounds a year, because of course, we all recognize what a precious asset he is to the country what with his oratory skills, his ability to empathize with the people of Pakistan and the amazing leadership potential in him that is being honed at the prestigious Oxford University. I am quite sure his admission there must be the result of painstaking effort on his part. And of course, who can forget the appointment of your youngest daughter, Asifa, as the ambassador of polio?She can't even pronounce her own name right.

Also, thank you so much for blessing us with your presence at the Bilawal House. Thank you for the nuisance it is for those living in the area, thank you for the strange traffic rules, thank you for the eight hours of no electricity instead of the usual 3 because of course, the residents of that area must pay for their electricity consumption of the past one week when your presence ordained that there must be no loadshedding during the time of your stay at the Bilawal House. I understand that your position offers you "diplomatic privileges", and I would like to point out that I feel it is such a pile of rubbish that you, your children and the other incompetent and corrupt leaders of this country are having the time of their lives at the expense of the public, while the country is all set for a 43% rise in its international debt within the next five years.

"Socialism is our economy"?
Yeah right.  


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Great, my blog can't be opened on my ISP.
First thing to do tomorrow: Shout at the bastards.

The Great Facebook (and YouTube, and Wikipedia) Ban.

 Yesterday when the the PTA banned Facebook, I had a discussion with a friend regarding the violation of civil liberties. According to her, this ban was an infringement on our freedom of expression, a measure taken because people felt their faith was threatened by the activities FB authorities had refused to clamp down on. She felt that banning a whole social networking website just wasn't the way to go about it, and the government was acting foolishly by reacting in such a manner. Basically, what she felt was that the government's response was immature and was bound to get out of control.

I disagreed with her, because I thought that if it appeased the masses for a few days, so be it. She and I, and in fact many of us, do not represent the average Pakistani Muslim, and if their sentiments had been deeply hurt, perhaps this measure might make them feel better. Besides, we could all stay in touch through phones, messengers, Skype, etc, not to mention the fact that this ban might just make us study (I know many people who deactivate their accounts during exam time). The measure did not violate any particular human rights as to actually harm someone's life, and it was to be a short term measure, a form of organized protest by (willingly or unwillingly) the people of Pakistan.

What I was unaware of, when I woke up today, was the ban on YouTube. And Wikipedia. Really? How does that even make sense? At the very moment I write this blogpost, I can't even open my own blog, perhaps because of the words used in it. Apparently, the requested URL cannot be retrieved. So much for my freedom of expression, the violation of which, I might add, I take great offense to.

YouTube was blocked because of "Objectionable Content on the Main Page". And God knows why Wikipedia was restricted. If this is the case, then why aren't the thousands of porn sites being banned too? Do objectionable videos on the main page of YouTube really mean that we're going to watch them, and be influenced by them? I'd really like to think we're not that stupid, because it would be a shame if we were. Most of us know not to waste our time by leaving comments like "Y0U R@C!ST P!GZ, ALLAH W!LL $TR!K3 Y3WW" because we're aware that the people who post such videos are ignorant assholes who don't know the meaning of the word tolerance. Those who do comment, are equally, if not more, misinformed about the "evil culture of the West", so really, at the end of the day as it turns out it's ignoranus against ignoranus. Who are we to meddle in their enlightened arguments and cyberwars?

Quite evidently, the PTA doesn't share the same sentiments, and would very much like to meddle. And turn it into a nuisance for the rest of us, because it hurt their egos that a few hackers came up with solutions to the Facebook ban. Why not just go the whole nine yards, then?

Anyone remember the blogger ban of the not so recent past? Exactly.

Thank you PTA.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

That time of the year.

So around this time of the year, I decide to forget all about weight consciousness and dive into everything ridden with empty calories. Why? It could have something to do with immense boredom, but it's probably also because I'm one of those stress-eater types. Unless I'm heartbroken, which I will inform you, is a horrible way to starve yourself. You lose weight and still feel like shit. You wonder that even after the weight has dropped off, why he still doesn't want you. You curse yourself for ever being fat. And even if there's a remote chance of looking attractive because of the pounds you've shed, it's kind of ruined by the fact that your face is puffy, blotchy, and swollen at the worst of times, and looks miserable even when you look your best. A close second in horrible ways of losing weight is typhoid. Seriously, don't eat shit... Just go on the cabbage soup diet or something. You'll be less miserable, I promise.
Thank God I don't suffer from either of the above very often.

Anyway,  I was whining we were talking about this time of the year. Ever since the CIE and I became acquainted, I have taken to not only forgetting, but shooting, stabbing, killing, stamping on and setting fire to my conscience when it comes to what a Fat Ass I am. Not that it's very active anyway, my love for food has made sure the "stop eating, you fat bitch." voice in my head remains dormant, until one day I look in the mirror and decide I can no longer ignore the ogre looking back at me. And that I kinda don't fit in those clothes that-became-so-loose-after-the-typhoid. But not during the exams. Oh no. I don't even visit the mirror anymore, and I shudder to think of what people think when bg.h;(my kitten says hello world.) they see me. I don't know what I look like, but I know human is not a word I'd use to describe me during exam time.

 And then the exams end, and I actually look at myself. And freak.

Hello, CIE 2010.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I spend most of my time hating what this country does to its women. More later.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I try not to dwell on things these days, and I try not to obsess on the things I've done wrong. I don't have to think about what I did right, because here I am. So I try not to think too much, and let life be as uncertain as it is. And it's very, very uncertain right now. I don't even know if I'm going to college for another semester, or a year. There is no plan B, but I suppose if the time does come, I'll figure it all out- I've always managed to. So it's ok. I suppose.

As someone said, Nothing really matters.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And so.

Almost twenty months ago I posted this. Before anything had started, before I knew that these two academic years were going to be the best of my life. Back then, the process of A level admissions was stressful and nerve wracking, because of course, university was something to be thought of in the very distant future. When I look back at it, A level applications had absolutely nothing on uni apps. And I applied to just two places, but I speak for all my friends as well, when I say that the whole process can make one cry.

When I walked into The Lyceum, I knew this was the school I had wanted to go to. What I hadn't expected was a completely different world it was from the convent school where I spent seven years of my life ( and hated, quite honestly, most of them). People whined about how strict the admin was. I marveled at how the teachers were actually approachable ( I was usually in trouble at my old school), how they marked more leniently, how I was seen to be one of the "good students", how my teachers actually liked me, how shocking it was that other students had stories to share of "that time when" they got some teacher kicked out of their job, or how they would blatantly talk back to teachers (we'd get kicked out if we dared talk back to our teachers). I found myself, for the first time, appreciating the insanely high standards set by my convent school teachers.

I met people. Many new people in school and outside school, who did more to shape my experiences of the world than those past seven years ever could. I went in being judgmental, feeling I was "better" than the others, looking for new friends, wanting to prove myself. Two years on, I find myself trying to understand the reasons for why people are a particular way, and not the way I'd like them to be. I found out that being diplomatic is important, that you shouldn't be quick to put people in certain moulds and label them, that things and people are very, very quick to change. That the moment you stop caring what people think/say about you, you'll turn into a much happier, more confident person. I stopped wanting to live in the little bubble where gossiping about other people, being bitchy, judging them would be the only way you could socialize. I became, at the same time, more sensitive and desensitized. I learnt that the only people who I should care about were the ones who would care if I lived or not. I learnt how to say thank you. In other words, I grew up and matured- I'd gone in a child. I know there are people who didn't, who don't share my experiences of the place, but every one of my friends will vouch for how they can relate to at least one of the things I'm speaking of.

I remember how the  October '08-January'09 period turned into one of the most bittersweet times of my life. The hurt, the typhoid, the bed rest, the altered brain chemistry, the knowledge that I could live without certain people in my life- I firmly believe the typhoid changed me for the better. And how February 2009 marked a change I thank God for every day. It's the change that allows me to just let things go, let them slide and happen as they want to, as they have to. I met someone who changed my life for the better, has been the one person who was integral to the whole process of my growing up. That person is the only one who can tell anyone how painstaking it was to make me grow up, to shape me into who I am now.

I'm extremely lucky to have made it on to the debating team. I remember my first MUN in school, how I didn't make it on to the team that would be sent to Lahore. How I cried for two days in a row. How my mother tried to explain to me that maybe I just wasn't ready for it- and I actually wasn't. I stuttered. I couldn't hold my own. I lacked confidence. And how in September '09, it was a different story-I actually made it on to the team. The trip to Lahore was one of the best times of my life. If there's one thing I will never forget, it will be that entire experience- there should be a whole post about it, but I wouldn't know where to start. Even Boston, where I was so incredibly homesick, only elicits fond memories in my mind now that I think about it.

I wouldn't know who to thank and where to start. But amongst the people who stand out are my mother, who finally felt it was okay to let me go, that going to "boys' houses" wasn't that big a deal anymore,that I could be trusted to go to another country without her and for her faith that I'm going to do something with my life. My sociology teacher who inspired me to make one of the most important decisions of my life- choosing the college I wanted to attend-, for making sociology fun, for everything she did. That person I mentioned earlier in this post, who literally moulded me. My friends- old friends, new friends, people I met on the trips- everyone who made these two years worth what they are to me now.

After saying all of this, I still don't know what to say.
The Lyceum, you will be sorely missed.