Saturday, January 28, 2012

Excrept of conversations with Sadia

Sadia is my 11 yr old youngest sister. She is pretty much the love of my life. Today I am 24 but it seems like yesterday when she was so tiny and chubby baby with her tiny fingers and big black eyes. And her arrival in our 2-bd rm apt brought in a huge fall out between Bushra and my mother. As she adamantly demanded that we should take Sadi back to where she came from (sounds more like a rhetoric of a white privileged racist.. LOL, seems retarded but those were the actual 3 yr old words... LOL). This led my mother to make me responsible for taking care of her. I remember my cousins teasing me as I was called my mother's unpaid nanny responsible for feeding her, reading to her, changing her diapers, picking her clothes. I did my first independent no supervision shopping for her, as my parents were too exhausted of taking care of 5 girls at the same time. Mind you, she was one hip baby growing up.

She was the first one in our family who started to talk when she was 9 months old. She was the baby who used to listen to my notes for exam as I read aloud to her explaining scientific evidence and sociological changes or reading news to her. Little did I know that she is such an intelligent child who processes things so well. Though I regret that I haven't been able to be around her in the past 5 yrs as much as I would had wanted, but I am glad that she has grown up to be an amazing girl in her own way.

I remember her first fight in school in Canada when she told off the white kid to stop making fun of her name. I was so proud that my 6yr old at that time knew how to defend herself.

She is not just a hip girl to be around, she is analytical and intelligent. She amazes me all the time with her cohesive intelligent remarks which are political in nature. When she ran the campaign for her student council. She told me,"Api, I am a campaign manager and you know we boss people around." I was surprised that a 10 yr old already knew how to boss ppl around On explaining the whole process of student council her response  was, "but that is bossing people around and telling them whats best in their favor." She talked about a society needs to be equitable and how homelessness can be reduced by providing people jobs on the state of their merit and not on the basis of their class status.

Not only that but she knows how to handle relationships and boys, which has always been a huge hurdle for me.

One day she came to me and said,"Man, do guys hold grudges,"
"Girls are better, guys destroy a perfectly good friendship"
"Dont you think guys just need an excuse to be mad, They just wanna do a guy-thing and mess it up."
I have no clue when was the last time I laughed this much after listening to a 11 yr old.

She helped me go through my disastrous break-up with my partner, and was always supportive even for a few mistakes that I made. She said, " Api, if he cant forgive u for one thing that you did wrong then he doesnt deserves you for ninety-nine things that you did well, so dont worry about him and all." After hearing that, honestly I was lost and mesmerized.

Although most youngest ones are spoilt brats, she has managed to be her own person on her own turf without much difficulty and I am really fortunate that I have known a person like her. In my family, women are not appreciated, or  cherished or loved.

Thus I am breaking this cycle today and letting her know that she has been the love of my life since she came into it and no one can take that place from her.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Maya Missed

Dear Readers,

This is re-blogged from Urooj Zia's tumbler, an excellent piece of work. Thoroughly Enjoyable!


Dear The Maya Jee,

Those are pink chaddis. You might be wondering why they’re sitting on your desk at work. I dropped them off. For you. These chaddis, Maya, represent my right to loaf in parks, in shops, in markets, in the streets; as such, they represent my right as a citizen of Pakistan to every public space that my country has to offer.
They also represent my right to use said public space in whichever manner I please as long as I don’t run foul of the mentally-retarded, intrusive laws of my country. I’m sensitive to the fact that the legal justice system is a concept that you have trouble grasping. Allow me to help:
a) Per the Constitution of Pakistan, I have, as a citizen of Mamlikat Allahbakhsh Pakwatan, the right to life and liberty. I have the right to public space. I have the right to appear in said public space with whomever I please;
b) Sitting with a person in public is not against the laws of my country;
c) Unless you can find four ‘upright’ Muslims who have witnessed ‘penetration’ (if you dont know what that means, try google) and who agree to testify as such, I and the person or people I’m with in public have not — I repeat, seeing as how you’re kinda slow and all, have NOT — violated any laws of Pakistan. Even if I were holding my partner’s hand in public, I am NOT violating any laws of Pakistan.
There, that was simple, wasn’t it? Now let’s talk about you, Maya. Off the top of my head:
a) Running after people with cameras and microphones is harassment — a crime;
b) Lying about whether your cameras and microphones are off is a crime (under many, many sections of the law);
c) Violating people’s privacy without a warrant and a mandate is a crime;
d) Harassing women, which is what you and your posse were doing in your attempts at ‘slut-shaming’, is a crime under Section 509-Amended.
Heads up, Maya, a lawsuit is headed towards you, and your producer, director, channel head(s), etc. And boy, do we have proof!
Now that we have all that annoying legalese out of the way, let’s get down to some other facts here:
1) Maya, I’m in awe of you and your posse of faarigh phappey-kutniaN. You lot can simply look at a woman and tell whether she’s lying about her relationship with the person with whom she is sitting. Does Interior Minister Rehman Malik know about your powers? You’re aware of our, *hem* law-and-order problems, aren’t you? As a patriotic citizen of Pakistan, have you and your gang offered your services to the interior ministry, or at least the home department? Imagine how many terrorists we could catch! You lot could simply look at them and tell us what they were REALLY up to, and voila! Off to Guantanamo it would be for them scumbags! Socho, Maya, no more terrorism! Socho!
2) Every khandaan has its own value system, as does every household within that khandaan. My parents, for example, are okay with me gallivanting with my partner; the rest of my khandaan, however, might not be as ‘accommodating’. As such, what we do is between my parents, my partner, his parents and me. The last thing I want while making a major life decision with my partner is a camera shoved in my face and an airhead making all sorts of assumptions about me.
3) Many families here don’t think it is appropriate for women to choose whom they want to marry (let alone the choice to not get married at all). If my family were like that, my job would not be to please them by being saddled with a random moron and spending the rest of my life in misery. No, Maya, it really isn’t. You might decide to do that, but that’s your problem; don’t make it mine. I will choose whether I want to be in a relationship and with whom.
4) What if someone were sitting in a park with a same-sex partner; how would you know if they were out on a date then? Or do you think ‘fahashi of this sort’ doesn’t exist in Pakwatan? Here’s a newsflash, Maya: it does. I’m bisexual, Maya, and some day, I might just run into you while out on a stroll with a girlfriend. What would you do then, Maya? Haw haey.
5) I see that you don’t like covering your head. Power to you. What would you do, though, if a bunch of crazies (not that you aren’t one) ran after you with sticks and harassed you to ‘dress more modestly’? Wouldn’t that be fun!
6) Also, you’re extremely elitist, aren’t you? I saw how your ‘outrage’ was reserved for those who could afford little more than a date on a park bench. I notice these things, Maya; a lot of people do.
I understand that you might not be entirely or solely to blame for this madness; you take orders from your boss(es) as well. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you have [at least some semblance of] a brain. As such, you can say ‘no’ to such blatantly insane and frankly, criminal, nonsense. What would you rather have: an idiotic displeased boss, or jailtime?
The point is, Maya, the bullshit that you pull is not journalism. Not everything done for a television station is journalism; your work certainly isn’t. I saw how you were taken for a ride by the fake ‘Kalmey waali sarkaar’. A journalist, Maya, would have asked a thousand and one questions (at least) and exposed the truth. You, on the other hand, chose to be an idiot. Learn what journalism is about, Maya, and stop harassing people. Because honestly, if you were ever to do that to me, there would be an extremely high probability of you walking home with my shoe lodged up your posterior.
That said, enjoy the chaddi; hope you get many more!
~ A Beyhaya Woman From Karachi.
PS: Inn chaddioN ko zameen pey na rakheay ga, maeli hojaengi.
PSS: Chaddi meiN dil hai mera. (I’ll stop now.)
[ThanQ for the inspiration, Pink Chaddi people ]

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kachee Goliyan - Review

Comics stream especially characters written by DC Comics were made during second world war at the height of Anti-Semitism during Second World War and American Nationalism. They were there to fight the evil forces, advocate vigilante justice and be the voice and symbol of hope for people.

Most of us are aware of comics from US, Anime and Manga from East Asia but not many people are aware of the new trend of web-comics in Pakistan. Surprise! Surprise!

Though the comic series that I will be reviewing today with you folks is apolitical but it taps into current popular memes and the characters from its own surroundings, which gives it a unique perspective. In fact, their claim to fame would be that they released Pakistan's very first comic book on Jan 1st' 2012, titled Kachee Goliyan - The Fallen Warrior. 

Kachee Goliyan or known as KG by their loyal 16,000 fans on facebook started the strip in summer of 2011 on facebook. The creators are Ramish Safa and Nofal Khan from my hometown, Karachi. Their comic characters JC, Sufi and Cousin Ghostface are someone to whom Pakistani urban youth can relate themselves. The comic strip makes comparison between famous Western memes and very common Pakistani icons like people asking advice from Oracle in Matrix saga (Pseudo Mystical Priest or Malang Baba), having characters with absolute lame attitudes like Archie Comics (Sufi), and many more.

In their comic book, the fallen or forgotten warrior is none other than Pakistani cinema famous icon, Maula Jatt, who apparently saves the day no matter what the circumstances are, with his famous gandasa and behen da dupatta (his sister's neck scarf). Here our super hero doesn't have superpowers like Wolverine or Spiderman but he represents the rural icon of Pakistan, where everything can be solved by kicking some butt with gandasa, who rose to fame in mid 80's to 90's with the popularity of Punjabi cinema in Pakistan.

Here the story line goes with JC and Sufi where they are informed of a possible meteor strike which can decide the fate of planet and the only who can save it is none other than Maula Jatt. Thus the duo put their brains together to bring the guy as if we was our own Robo Cop and chant the magic words to bring him to life. Though the book was short, precise, to the point and it left the reader wanting for more, which is a good sign for the story, but it lacked innovation.

As a fan I was expecting a bit more considering I have seen their better work in their comic strips and they have produced some really good memes and not just taking on the similar storyline of world coming to an end which needs saving from a super power.

Though it is not from famous land of dreams but it has its own niche. Comics have been a representative of suppressed voice of people which is not usually represented in mainstream media. Would it make sense if they were tapping into more socio-cultural issues of the land. My answer would be yes especially if they can keep the similar style that they have. Will the creators be able to carry out the work with similar quality is yet to be seen but be sure to check out their Facebook page; and their own website It won't disappoint you !

Website last updated 2013