Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Non serious attitude of people

I went out to buy basic grocery after 15 days just for hardly 45 minutes around 1:15 pm. To my horror, no one was following social distancing. My route was service road of gulistan-e-Jauher, block 18, till perfume chowk. There were a masjid, 3 banks and ATMs and general stores on my way. 
Salah was offering in congregation. Despite marks for distance, people were standing so closed as today is really the end of the world outside the banks and ATMs. ( I wouldn't tolerate this closeness even in normal day). Same type of crowd was on general stores buying as much as they could. This condition is almost in every general or super stores, be it karyana store or Imtiaz supper market. 
Media of all sort are full with news, facts and figure. This pandemic has shaken the whole world. We are, officially in lock down. This also not the first day of pandemic either. The msg of social distancing, washing hands and other precautions has reached the large number of people if still not to all. We are almost all aware that precaution is the only solution. 

Question here rises is that why public is not taking this seriously?
 This is not 1938, where Orson Wells from Mercury Theater, is checking the power of media by narrating radio adaptation of "War of the Word" on CBS. We are in real war. Media is doing its bit. This is not panic broadcast. All msgs are to educate and aware the public about the Covid19. 
Why people are not taking this msg seriously? Why people are not understanding social distancing?
 Have media failed to informed public properly?
 Are we having media dysfunction, an opposite unction of media of numbing due to too much information of Covid19?
 Or our public need classes to stand still in queue.

Friday, March 27, 2020

In the time of corona virus

It has been ages I haven't write much like I used to write. Is blogging dead or something? My reason of not doing it much is work. Not only physically, it is mentally exhausted too. I am most of the time shagged out to do anything else. Then, there were so many other personal things which were taking over me. And once you break the routine, then it become quite difficult to get it back. 

But anyho ! 

I wanna keep doing it. I wanna keep blogging. All I need is a routine. Due to this outbreak of Covid19 everything is on stand by in the whole world. We are all in quarantine. At one time I was thinking the world is about to end.;[[l I am in house since March 16. I went to shopping with a co worker. She wanted a dress like I had in DICE event. At that time, fear, panic and out break wasn't that much censorious. We went to whole sale market, opposite Bolton Market. It is at main M.A Jinnah road. Then we went to Parsi Colony and had lemon cake from Cillie's. She invited me for lunch at her home after our shopping. 

After that we had a partial lock down. 

 Before that, I went to women March on March 8. 

It wasn't a pandemic yet, over here. It was also thinking that it is st a flu virus type thing which will go away. In China, it was since November. Around January, Wuhan got proper lock down. It was not even in news here till late February when patients started appearing. 

People are still not understanding this Covid19. In the beginning we all were clueless. Government of Sindh province did best thing to shut down educational institution in  first week of March and other places where public can gather lie malls, restaurants and cinemas at first place since March 17. We are officially shut down from March 20 till April.

But now when everyone has got what this virus is and what and how does spread, time to be sensible. Looks like government is trying to explain and putting people in homes. Last night, praying in congregational was banned by Sindh Government but as I am seeing in news and social media, videos and pictures of people still praying in masjid is being circulated. They somehow unable to understand that praying in home in this difficult time is not anti Allah. This all lock down is for our safety.

It started in Pakistan, when pilgrims came from Iran and Saudia Arabia in late February. We also have other religious preaching programs like Ijtimas in large numbers now. Some contracted from there. Religion is still sensitive topic to discus. Banning religious gathering openly and by force is asking for trouble. Well, if they want to have virus and transmit it to others then, bravo to our public. Saudi Arabia is able to shut down masajid and postpone annual Haj of this year due to authoritative government. What Iran did is beyond my understanding. No comments. Like, my life motto: no need to help those who don't want help. No need to comment. It is waste of time. 

All of them foreign returned people carried on meeting others instead of quarantine themselves. It figures. Patients started multiplying. So far number of patients are more than thousand. 

I personally know lots of people who are against Lock down along with our Mr. PM Imran Khan. The are more concerned about economy then the lives of million of people which will be affected by Covid 19 in long terms. This is not just flue virus. As we have seen, how it hit hard in China, Italy besides many other European countries, Iran, and now USA. Numbers of effected people and deaths are increasing. 

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine so far, and not enough testing kit. Only solution is maintaining social distance, hygiene and quarantine. That's how China could be able to flatten the curve and control the epidemic. Things got horrid in Italy because people took it light. Even in strick lock down they were doing party with neighbors and going for hair cut. 

Other problem is health care system of ours. How will be handle it if numbers will go on, when developed countries are still unable to manage it? Prevention is better than cure medicine. Government should take more bold steps and impose curfew.

Quarantine is indeed difficult. I try to isolate my self for hours and a day from hectic routine, especially when it comes to people. Mt problem is that I am too soft to myself. Having a control keeps life in moderate mode. It was an strange urge to be with other other person. I was looking for someone. And that was at some point problematic. I lost my equilibrium.

This quarantine is blessing in so many ways. I am gathering all my pieces together.  I only meet relevant people and go for specific work only. Time is a strange thing. When we want it, it is not there, and when it is here, we are unable to make use of it.

 This quarantine is too long. Reading book has become the most tiring thing. Watching news and logging in to any social media is giving me anxiety now.

Other than that life is so much better. It will be more better. 

Hopefully, we will be able to flatten the curve and get rid of this pandemic a soon as possible. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Maintaining distance.

It is good to see that the notion of social distance is talk of the town due to this notorious Covid 19. All I wish is that it catch on once and for all amid general public as well. Actually we don’t understand the importance of maintaining distance physically and emotionally with strangers as well. 

Living in desi society, where everyone is brought up to mind other’s business, it gets so difficult to make others understand that getting personal is unhealthy. They consider such person a snob. Been there, done that.  When in reality this is called boundaries. Every person has a right to maintain that boundary when closeness becomes so uncomfortable. Giving space is basic etiquette.

Everyone is not social. Getting personal for no reason, or especially when someone has clearly ask for maintaining a distance or staying in quest to find out about others personal life is unhealthy habit. But, in our environment, it is other way around. If you show little bit of discomfort from such unnecessary closeness, new can of warms will be open for you. You will be called rude and what not.
Your crime is that you are not people’s people. Some of us are private person. Some of us are introverts. 

Mean to say, we mind our own business and don’t like others interference in our business in return. It is not easy to open in front of everyone. It depends on relationships to relationships. Location and time matter. We should respect others and their choices unless and until they are not criminals and harmful to others. No body owns no one. Life will be so easy if we only think about our self.

It is also an okay thing if someone is not close to you. Many are predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things. They don’t find the closeness comfortable. It is exhausting. There is another kind: an outgoing, socially confident person. Respect each type. Take as they are. Sky wouldn’t fall if we mind our own business.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

March must go on

 International Women's Day is a celebration of womanhood. Every year, on March 8, the world acknowledges their struggle for freedom, for equality and for making this world a free, safer and better place for everyone. International Women's Day 2020 campaign theme is I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights.

Instead of celebrating womanhood, inspirational economic, political and social accomplishments of women past, present and future our main discourse is how vulgar the slogans are in the women march. The issue is that serious that few days ago, even a petition was filed against it with the claim that the sole purpose of this said march is to spread anarchy in public. Various anti-state parties are funding it, therefore it should be stopped. The petitioner, Judicial Activism Council Chairman Azhar Siddique’s biggest concerned was the slogans like Mera Jism, Meri marzi( My body, my choice).
Lahore High Court, declared the petition null and void with the remarks that March can’t be stopped under the constitution of Pakistan. LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh ordered to refrain from hate speech and immorality though.
March is a democratic way of bring up issues which need solutions. It mobilizes people of like minds at one place. People who are victims, isolated and feel excluded, get the sense of inclusiveness. So many people at one place, asking for same thing, shakes status quo. And that’s how public discourse starts. The voices are heard. The issues become prominent. For far, many rights e women have is because of the struggle of all the feminists who raised their voice. Came out and made the world realized that women is not less than anyone.  It as their activism that we are now able to have equal rights.  It may take time, but sooner or later concerned authority takes actions if the demands are logical and legit. 
The Aurat March was first organized in Pakistan by Hum Auratain/ Us Women, a women collective in 2018. It became bit controversial due to its slogans. The problem is that the slogans are just shocking, and alien for the masses. They are not resonating well with the majority.  The whole event has created cognitive dissonance among people. Mabey, everything was really so sudden and too early. The decision of majority can’t be ignored in democracy even if they are wrong majority.
It is amazing to see that people have strong believe that our women are safe, sheltered and protected despite Pakistan being ranked 151 out of 153 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index Report 2020 index, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), people have strong believe that our women are safe, sheltered and protected. Just like the petitioner and LHC chief Justice majority finds the slogan vulgar, immoral and un-Islamic.  Do your own survey:  they will tell you these reports are fake and conspiracy against Pakistan.
This is where the root of all the problem lies: Unaware masses who is deliberately ignored.
We are ignoring the fact that not only our society is still patricidal and conservative, there is another elephant in the room: class system. People don’t even consider all these activists their people. They dub them ‘Candle Aunties from upper class who have all the luxuries.” They doubt their struggle.  They reject them as their advocates. The divide is so clear.
Then comes the incident of the famous writer and king of dialogues, Mr. Khalil ur Rehman Qamer, how without any shame leashes out at Marvi Saramd on national television. Her crime was to interrupt him. He got flare up at mera ism, meri merzi. The “dialogue” he used for her is impossible for me to quote here. Do check the comments of people on his official Facebook page as well. People are appreciating him for giving shut up call to Marvi. He is a mindset. He and all other are deicing what is acceptable and what is not for women. And his reaction made it clear that there is indeed will of someone else on the body and life of woman.
Our women somehow find shelter in tradition and religion. Traditions are not some scared thing which can’t be changed. Religion on the other hand never stops anyone from living their lives.  
Interesting thing is that many don’t even know that “mera jjism, meri merzi (My body, My choice) is prochoice slogan from USA. Here in Pakistan we are using it in broader term like freedom to control one’s own life, freedom to have choice of marriage, work, and giving birth or not. It is about raising voice against rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, material rape, human trafficking, bonded labors’ slavery, and other rights. It is a legit.  The idea that I am free and responsible for myself and my body is empowering in its self. No one has right to control any human.
The saddest part is that, in 2002, there is a need to explain the meaning and definition of basic human rights. We have to explain the meaning and context about every slogan. World is moving forward. The ideas, thoughts, societies are changing with more speed than ever. We are in the era of Artificial Intelligence.  In many part of the world, gay marriage has become legal after all struggle, and lobbing. There is many more to come. When, unfortunately we are deciding who good women are and who bad women are.  
Actually we all played our role in making things complicated for all of us. All the four pillars of state: Government, judiciary, executive and media along with an important institution of ours, “religion” didn’t play their respective role in making Pakistan a progressive, tolerant place for everyone. It was never on agenda. Ngos and civil societies come later.  Talking about anything different from normal narrative is like opening a can of warm.  Ideas take time to penetrate and to be accepted in every society. It is a natural phenomenon.  This doesn’t happen by its own self though.
The million dollar question is who will bell the cat?  Who will talk about it?
Silence serves no one. It is right time to be out and be louder for equality, justice and freedom, for realizing that woman as an independent human who is capable of living her own life.  She has her own rights. And for that March must go on.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Dilemma of honor

Hareem Shah is another controversial personality of our time.  We call her social media start/celebration/sensation.  You all know how she started and where she has  reached now. Her fame is  her involvement with politicians through the medium of an entertainment  app TikTok which has become so called controversial.   News are that she is no more in Pakistan because of her current controversy of leaked videos of phone calls with politicians. According to her some big wigs are threatening her and her family. Wise decision. As  everyone is comparing her acts and fate with late Qandeel Baloch, especially after her leaked passport and CNIC pictures to expose her, leaving Pakistan is a wise decision.

Then comes Mr. her father's 12 minutes video in which he is apologizing in tears on her behalf for all the mess. He seemed ashamed of her.  As a law abiding citizen and a religious man,  being a responsible and loving father,  he did everything in his capacity to  bring her up well. He is more worried about his ancestral's reputation, national security and integrity due to her acts. To him, she has disappointed her. He prays she come back to the right path. 

Harmeen Shah, whose real name is Faizza Hussain is an adult woman. We and everyone including his father and whose ever reputation is on the sake need to understand the fact that no one is responsible for her and her acts. No one should be ashamed of her or anyone. But the  million dollar question is what wrong  did they exactly did that everyone belongs to them are concerned, ashamed  and disappointed?  

What are their acts in fact?

 Since when making video is a crime? 

All the politicians are equally involved with her. Her access to Foreign Minister Office was because of them. How come it is possible that a  TikToker gets tap into the top office and  record the video for fun? How come there is no investigation? Or just  for more likes and followers she one day decided to record her video in Foreign Minister office and got through  it? 

How lucky! 

We should stop making others fool in today's age on information and technology. The leaked calls are of not she talking to the wall. Why one politician is advising her not to go in media ? Why the face of that person is hidden with emoji on whose lap she is sitting? To be honest, everyone is quite comfortable in that leaked picture.   And if she is blackmailing or threatening them,  then it is still their problem. This phenomena is dubs as facing the music. All they could do is register an FIR against her if they are so clean. As she once said in a TV interview that she records everything. Another wise thing. 

Why would anyone entertain you for free?

 Connect the dot. 

The concept of shame and honor is way too much in overly conservative and unnecessary traditional societies like Pakistan.  Here everyone wants to control everyone. Public has opinion on everything. They don't mind telling you how to live your life. They are ready to taunt and even reaching at the level of making the lives hell of the people related to you  for your acts which  they disapprove because they find  then different from their idea of doing things. This is called cognitive dissonance. The disturbance created in their mind is too much. You can even get killed or burned alive. 

 Majority here have no issue with anything in general. They are okay with conservative ways of living. No one here fights for the right of freedom because no one wants it actually. People respect their cultural, norms, tradition and everything in between. Thus they don't want anyone to bring any kinda change. Every other thing they find conflicting their existing set up is unacceptable. Everyone has right to do whatever that person is doing is no such thing.

Those minority who wanna  do "other" things, do behind  the close doors. That is the way it is. They are at least safe, alive and mentally in peace.

Therefore, whatever  especially Qandeel  was doing didn't go well. She was fighting  a lost battle every day to be accepted by the audience who some how had rejected her long ago. Her struggle was more psychological than physical. There was no one with her on that. Such fights are exhausting and waste of time. Those people cum audience were only on her page to take out their own frustration by insulting her. She was too much for them to handle.  They wanted her to repent or die.

Almost same is happening gain for Harmeen Shah. Her story is different but treatment by masses is same. The taunts, insults and leakage of her personal documents...all just to expose God  forbid to get murdered. 

 Public use social networking sites to share their meal, shower, ice cream, cleavage, shoes and what not. They also  have their fair amount of followers and haters.

Qandeels mistake was that her Facebook page and content  was for wrong crowd. Usually, now due to so much content on internet, no one gives damn about them.  Neither should.  That's how social media works. They are owner of their own profiles. What is vulgar and what is not on personal accounts are subjective discourse. 

Technically, that is not your page. You have issue. Don't follow, don't subscribe. Who says this is your duty to tell what others one should do in real life, cyber world or behind the doors. Calling every one  "R" word can't help anyone's   frustration. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sunday Market

From fruits, veggies to cloths, crockery, shoes, books, used items and what not....everything under one tent on a duty grounds in different areas of Karachi is the best place to get stuff at cheapest rate. Started out as a Bachat (discount) bazaar in 80s on weekends, now they are Sunday, Tuesday, Friday Bazars in almost every area of Karachi. Extremely crowded but worth it. Heaven for those who know the art of bargaining.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pakistanis over reacted

First of all, Priyanka Chopra's tweet is not about decelerating Nuclear war on Pakistan. She, as any Indian supported her motherland and her Army. Pakistanis are doing the same. Both countries have nuclear weapons. The love of war by its people shows only frustration. In all that controversy of a Pakistani origin girl called out Ms. Chopra in USA couple of weeks ago, turned out as an embarrassment for Pakistan. The whole country ganged up against Chopra. Human Right's Minister Ms. Shrini Mazari's  request to remove Priyanka from Good Will Ambassador  has been rejected by UN. They called it her personal opinion.  In my opinion, It was personal attack on Chopra. Both countries have failed to resolve their issues so far. The war in region will be the deadliest. It is time the both sit down and solve  this issue.