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Posts Tagged ‘pakistan’

Repost from Chai and Charas (My other blog)

The blank page can be daunting. But at the same time it offers a world of possibilities and freedom that only those who can muster up the courage to face the blank page understand. No dis-respect intended towards those who don’t write, but those who do will probably understand what I am talking about. Back after my hiatus from the pages of this magazine, I had the daunting task of writing something that would not be completely mundane and boring, as my life has seem to become.
Since there is nothing of particular interest going on in my own life; I have finished the course work for school and now wrapping up projects and working part time at two jobs to keep busy. I resort to offer commentary and personal opinions on some events happening around the world, mostly in Pakistan – the homeland.

Karachi the city by the sea that I have learned to love for its complexity and bustling life, but grown to hate for its violence, its areas divided on ethnic lines and the traffic lets not forget traffic, The time I spent there would be one I remember fondly but it recently made headlines – it usually does for all the sectertation violence but for a factory burning and killing around 300 workers, a tragedy but largely gone unnoticed in the country for the post part. Those responsible hide behind their political clout and hordes of money. Innocent lives being lost has become such a way of life for us that it hardly even makes a blip on the radar. Yes the government promised action, justice and accountability for those families who are now without a source of income. But haven’t we seen all this before? There will be ‘discussions’ and ‘committees’ and a lot of people talking in their fancy boardrooms, but when will justice prevail? The rich remain aloof, the middle class remain torn b/w their needs and wants and the poor, well someone has to clean the streets and be the poster cause of some rich socialites charity cause.

Which brings me to the second item on the agenda – recently I started noticing some Facebook activism going on in my newsfeed; something around Islam and the Holy Prophet. Now I am not a particularly religious person, but I believe in limits to freedom of speech, and when your free speech clashes with my freedom. The cause behind the protests (which I later found out was not limited to Facebook but in the middle east there have been incidents of violence and the such, I shall spare the details) is a movie by some guy which portrays the Prophet in bad light. Muslims are an emotional bunch, and after the incident with the Danish Cartoons, people should have learned not to touch our raw nerves. We almost always react to such incidents in violence and bloodshed. However beyond all the violence and bloodshed was a picture that appeared in my inbox. A story of a man in the UK distributing free copies of the Koran (Quran) with English translation in an attempt to bridge the understanding between Muslims and non Muslims. Admirable. Why cant we react to such incidents in a more civilized manner, rather then burning down everything that lies in our path, Yes the movie is offensive, I personally only saw the 14 minute clip and it seemed completely random and production value, direction acting everything was something a high school kid would make for his school project. The actors claim they did not know what the movie was about or what it was intended for. Motivations and intentions of the clip aside, I admire the spirit of the person in the UK and hence wanted to highlight his reaction above everything else, perhaps if we did not resort to violence, we could actually bridge this massive gap between Muslims and everyone else.

This was different then my usual works of satire and humor. But I personally felt like these incidents are something I needed to bring out, and express my opinion over. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and some of you may agree, some of you may disagree, but lets try make a positive change.

tra The End as we know it – Fiveless. Credits: com

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Dear Mr President.

I realize you’re quite busy. You have a country to run. I wouldnt even have an inkling of what that is like. I have had a short stint with ‘managment’, I imagine running a country is quite like that. Reports on excel, and replying to emails, calling meeting, conference calls and memo’s around the office. Is it?

Not quite? I’d imagine not. Ofcourse you dont send out memo’s or emails. Why would you, you are the President of the country. People probably flock around your ostancious office, pleading their woes. You dont call conference calls, our national airline is your chartered airline.  You fly it and bend it to your will. The entire country is your ‘backyard’ as they would say. Untill the next election.

Now Mr President, I dont mean to digress or insult. Merely humor you. You see, there’s humor even in the darkest of situations. If all else is lost, one must retain the capacity to laugh at oneself.

I am not sure if you are aware Mr President, but I have been your neighbour for almost 2 years now. 2 years is a stretch, but it serves to get the point across; I am not the casual observer. But your friendly neighbour. Yes Mr Predisent, you’re quite right, I live in that building across the road from your personal residence in Karachi. Aptly name after your son from your late wife, Bilawal House. I meant to ask Mr President, is that it’s actual name or something the local’s named it in affection for your late wife and her son from Oxford. Yes, quite the ‘idol’ worshippers we are Mr President.  Even though the Prophet himself smashed the Idols within the city of Makkah, we have replaced the clay idols with flesh gods. The irony is not lost on me Mr President, I am quite sure you appreciate it more then I could.

Now Mr President, having been your neighbour for 2 years, since you won the election, riding the wave of sympathy over your wives death, not only have huge billboards erected with your late wife’s pictures pasted on it, but the cities security being your own personal body gaurds and watch dogs shut off an entire section of the road for your security and well being. Now Mr President, I’d imagine shutting down half of a two lane road was quite enough to distress the common citizen. All in the name of security ofcourse, and the fact that you can do anything you wish, you proceeded to shut off the whole lane . Now Mr President I have to point out, that is quite rude, what would your neighbours say?

Mr President, are you fimiliar with the Gaza wall? Yes the one made by the Zionist Empire around Gaza to keep away those insects from their land. To my distress Mr President, I saw a Ghaza wall being errected along the road across your house. Yes Mr Preisdent, a 20 foot high conrete wall. Now Mr Predisent, who are the Zionists and who are the Insects in this case? Mr President, your people, ‘Love’ you. They loved your wife more, which is why you came to power nonetheless, they love you. Mr Predisent, I assure you, closing down an entire lane was quite the display of your power over the people, that you didnt need to build a concrete wall along the lane that still remained open to make your point. Not to mentioned the ‘Elite Police Force’ posted along the road itself, and the barriers.

I understand Mr President, that to make a point, one must supress the people of this wretched nation, but surely this is not the Middle East?

Mr President, I assure you, I mean well. I am just a humble neighbour, who wanted to bring this to your attention. You ofcourse have a country to run, and cant be bothered with minsulces details. That is why I brought it upon myself to bring this to your attention.

Sincerly Yours,

Kamil Rextin

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I thought, I might write a post, about all those lives lost, in that fatefull flight yesterday. A national tragedy, I was shocked. Frankly, I still am. I was on that plane 12 days ago. I was one of those 157 Passengers. I could have been a name on the passenger list.

I wont attempt to somehow rationalize or humanize or anything to what happened. I am simply writing this to mark a day in the calendar of my blog, of my lifetime, in this vast blogosphere.

May you all rest in peace.

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