Wednesday, December 22, 2004

No Bodys Fault But Mine

I am sitting in a lonely lonesome town, deprived of some of the things that I would want the most and no marks for guessing what song I am listening to since the title of this post gives it away. It's Zepplin's "No Bodys Fault But Mine". Before anything else I would once again like to toast to the musical genius that was Led Zepplin!!
I sat back today, feeling confused, about what was to be done, what had been done and what I am thinking of doing. I have led a severly hedonisitic year. Like awfully, done most of what family, friends, religion etc told me not to do, kept satisfying my ego, kept satisfying my urge, lived a life in vain, lived a life that revolved around the present and the immediate future. Never thought about an afterlife, never thought about repentance, found an excuse for everything and managed to define gray areas. The result - I have just realized that I cant get what I wanted the most, since I am sure that hedonism is one thing that she would not support or approve of. Its just a crash-boom-bang situation. Like the time when one throws a party when the parents are away and the parents return sooner than expected.
All this led me to believe one thing. I have lost the game. I have lost the battle for which I was spawned, so to say. I have become the person that I once would have detested. Some have said that theres hope in relizaton, but the way I look at it, if you are destined for hell then make the most of this world.
Hence the title, its no bodys fault, my life in vain is a fault for sure, but none besides my self is to be blamed for it! I would unfortunately continue to live for the present. My unicorn would contiue to be just that. I would seek gains in the society, I would seek to make a name, a reputation, a position that quite a few people may envy, but they might not know, what I have given up for it... everything, to say the least!

The silver lining, Zeppling rocks ;) !!!

Friday, December 03, 2004

A Shout Out To Cigarettes

Its been almost three months since I lit my last cigarette. It feels good to have given up that habit, yet I miss the moments associated with it. I cant think of anyone having done a better job than cigarette marketers in associating their products with the various moments in life. Celebration, commemoration, happiness, grief, victory, loss, together with friends on a boat or in solitude by yourself at the beach, a Marlboro/Benson & Hedges/Player's was relegated as the ultimate accessory for all occasions. It actually made a lot of sense too, guys and girls bunking classes to take a smoke, or sitting by ourselves with very little money and "splitting a fag"! It was daring to smoke, it was an expression of rebellion, it was a sign of being old, grown up, mature and adult, it was all that and it was kind of cool too. One thing is for sure, it was a beautiful part of growing up.

I started smoking rather late as compared to some of my friends who had been puffing on the "death sticks" (as one of my friends call them) since they were fifteen or something. I used to be a big non-smoker, lecturing my friends about why its bad for them, till one day, on a very depressing night of March 1998 I stopped my car near one of those small Karachi kiosk that sell cigarettes on one side and panadol on the other (its perfect irony) and bought 3 Marlboro Lights for 9 rupees and a cigarette lighter for a buck. I sat back in the car, put the cigarette in my mouth and lit the first cigarette, I had no clue what I was doing and I didn’t for another few weeks, that’s when a friend of mine taught me how to "smoke".

The initial idea was to get some attention from this lady, it worked, but i found that the lady wasn’t what I had in mind, the only good thing to come out of that stint was the cigarette itself and so it hung on. Marlboro lights was replaced Marlboro Reds which were switched with Benson and Hedges. I kept having thoughts about quitting, I kept thinking its not the best of things, but there was something about that 2 inch long roll of tobacco that just made so much sense. It was a bond breaker, a social communicator, a pick up line, an opportunity for informal discussions, and sometimes just a dam good feeling.

All that was in an environment with no controls. I could smoke in any dam place that I wanted to as long as my mother didn’t catch me smoking. Public busses, university common areas, public parks, zoos, concerts, restaurants and the list continued. There was also no control over where I could buy cigarettes, from those little kiosks to general stores, etc, cigarettes were widely available to all who wanted to buy them. The quantity wasn’t fixed either, you could buy packs of 20 or just tell the vendor that u five cigarettes out of a pack.

And then I came to Canada – a place where one doesn’t see a single bit of tobacco advertising, no billboards, no TV/Radio spots no magazine ads, no inserts, nothing! A pack of cigarette in Canada costs at least $6 (Rs. 250) there are very few places that you can smoke. Some cities have put bans on smoking in pubs and clubs, you wont find restaurants with a smoking section, if you have to smoke, go out and come back after the smoke. I still continued my relationship with cigarettes. It felt incomplete with that roll of paper between my fingers.

In August I met someone who asked me when I would quit, my response was, when I cant sleep at night because of cough. Soon enough there were three nights in a row where I coughed so bad that I couldn’t sleep. Ironically I had been smoking Marlboro Lights those days. One night after a serious cough attack – I looked at my pack of cigarettes and said Sorry Dear Friend But It Seems We Have to Part Our Ways.

To date, I miss the cigarettes, not because of its nicotine content, since I don’t feel the urge for it anymore, even if I am in a smoke filled pub. I miss having a partner, old reliable Marlboro, the fall back plan, if nothing else works then I at least have my Marlboros.

Unfortunately, its one of those friends that our parents warn us about. It can be there through the best and worst of times, but there comes a point when we have to part ways with the friend. We know we will miss the friend, we know it would great to have the friend with us right now, but we also realize that in the greater shape of things its better that we are left in our worlds.

I guess that’s what its come to with cigarettes; great memories, good times, no future.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

What I Learnt This Weekend

  • Some people can do all the wrong things, screw up big time, be absolute pricks and yet can get absolutely lucky
  • If a pretty girl offers to buy you a shot, do not turn it down!
  • If a policemen threatens to put you in the slammer, be sure to ask him under what code, theres a good likelihood that he wont know and you could walk of on him.
  • Pool is a game for men, and a "pick up" activity for women
  • It takes 5 hours, 1 very fast internet connection, a knack for colours and basic power point skills to make a 15 minute presentation on a paper that hasnt been written yet
  • The entire economy of Saudi Arabia
  • Hyster is a brand of forklifts that available through out the Arabian penninsula
  • Saudi's east coast is the Red Sea, and the west coast is Persian Gulf
  • Walmart has lower current asset turnover than Target, but still leads due to a higher inventory turnover thus enabling a higher sales revenue, effecting the bottom line profit margin
  • You can make major changes to your presentation 2 minutes before time and guess future projections and still wing the presentation about a paper that hasnt been written yet. In fact the teacher may think it was the best
  • Everyone loves a Red tie
  • The difference between a one way left turn and a two way left turn
  • 4 AM is a great time to recollect recent experiences.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Collusion of Man & Devil

"Knock, Knock , hello, did someone call me?" - "ah, maybe you just wished for something that I could do - for I am the one with shortcuts, the one with quick fix solutions, fast results and immediate gratification, I travel in your thoughts and I live in your heart, they call me by quite a few names, to some I am a prince - prince of darkness, to some the Lucifer, some call me Satan some shaitan. God called me Iblis, but hey who gives a devil for a name, not even the devil himself " .
That was how The Devil introduced himself to The Man

It was just a little while ago that The Man was standing at the ebb of his existence. He was feeling the wind breeze into his face, he was feeling the sensation, he was trying to decipher the path of the signal that the wind had stimulated and that was reaching the brain. He was amazed. He was rethinking his initial motive to be where he was.

The Man wanted to take the final step, cross over, from this world into the next. The Man wanted to end and start over afresh. He wanted to end himself to end what he could not end otherwise. He saw the end as a beginning, a beginning of ends and an end of the beginnings that had no end. It sure was cyclical, it sure was as twisted as the Italian pasta he had for lunch. He could feel the taste of it now, the oregano, the cilantro, the Parmesan, the tomato, he could taste all that he had tasted, ever.

It was like the moment had frozen, the present was at stand still - there was no future - and the past was in a playback mode. The man could feel all that he had done, all the he had felt, all that he had tasted, all that he had seen, all the life that he had lived, all of it, in one go. That brief moment in time, the moment where tomorrow didn't exist, the moment where today was going to be today for ever, the moment where memories were the world that The Man lived and breathed in, that very moment made The Man realize that all that he had started, all that he had begun could not end with a single end. He was more confused than he was before, that's when he asked himself "Oh What I'd give to know what to do?"

And no surprises as to who responded to that question. The biggest oppurtunist that man kind has known.

The Devil continued, "So, you seek means to an end and I say the end means that the search is over. You want to end your search even before you get to know what you were searching for, you want to find an end to an objective that you did not execute, you were looking for a mission, you started on the right track, but now before you took your mission head on, you want to say you wrapped it up, you want to end it, you want to make it to the finish line, but you want to be quick. You my dear mere human, are looking for a shortcut, and you are in luck, since I know how you can find one."

"A shortcut, a quicker end to all that I had begun, but not an end to my own existence ? Is that possible ? Could I really get it ? " Questioned The Man.

"Of course you can, why do you think you cant, its all within you, too bad that whom you look up to never made you realize that you need to look inside for strength not up. Up is for the sky, for the birds that fly in that sky, for the stars and the planets and the galaxies that inhabit the space beyond the sky. Its a different world, its a different life, with different rules , the physics is different, the chemistry different. Out there you don't walk you fly, out there you don't look at the moon, you are the moon. Its a world where you can not look to for answers or to seek inspiration. That is not your world. That world will not give you answers. This is your world, this where you are, this is where you do, what you do. You are looking for answer, but you are looking the wrong way. You don't look up my friend, you look inside."

"But there's nothing inside, its a vacuum, its hollow, its empty. I ask a question and the response is an echo of my own question, bouncing around in that vacuum virtually forever."

"But of course it is. That's because He took the power away from you to question. He set the rules and did not take your consent for them. He does not want you to think, he wants you to execute. He does not want you to question, He wants you to keep walking in that straight line without looking left or right. His instructions to you are binary, this is right, that is wrong, this you can do, that you can not, every thing He says is in black or white. But do you not realize that life can not be a combination of Black or white, ones and zeros, yes and no, there is always a maybe in life, there always a half between a one and a zero, there is always a grey area between black and white. That is where humanity exists, that is where you live, not on the straight line, but around it. You have thought, you have questioned, you have challenged the rules that define the domain of your existence. He wont answer you, he never does, but I want to help you, I can help you, I will help you in doing what other even failed to conceive. You maybe making what some may call a sacrifice but what I justify as a trade up. "

"Sacrifice, what sacrifice, what do I need to give to you, you have everything, don't you ? "

"I do have everything, except a prodigy like yourself. I have everything except the passion that you have in your soul. I want a disciple like that, I want that soul."

"You will teach me how to do what ever I want to do. You will teach me how to challenge all the rules, how to step out of this frame that binds me down from achieving that which I desire. You will teach me bringing imagination, wishes and fantasies to life ? "

"All that and more!" said The Devil as he extended his hand towards the man. The Devil pulled the man back from the ebb of existence, the wind was now on the mans back. He felt a chill go up his spine as he caught hold of the Devil's hand. "Now I know how it travels" he thought to himself, as a smile crept on to his face.

He shook hands and looked the Devil in the eye. The minute long silence was broken by a burst of laughter from both of them. The Man thought he had found answers, the Devil knew he had captured another soul. The Man thought, nothing can go wrong I have the Devil on my side. The Devil wondered why He wanted him to bow to these creatures who cant look beyond their own self.

Yet another day when The Man lost it all to the The Devil thinking he had won the world.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bush & Kerry

Its amazing how living in a border town can influence your daily activities with the activities that aren't a part of your country of residence. The US elections are an example of this. Although being watched by all and sundry all over the world, yet here in Windsor, its being closely watched than quite a few other Canadian towns, since whatever happens in US in general and in Detroit in particular influences Windsor in one way or the other.

You see Windsor, On, a town of two hundred thousand people, is right next to Detroit in Michigan, USA. The only thing separating the two towns is the Detroit river - other than that people may confuse Windsor for another US town. Being in such close proximity to Detroit, Windsor own economy depends a lot on the Detroit economy and the US economy. Its a pure blue collared town that's running either because of the automotive industry here (its the auto capital of Canada) or the university or the Casino that attracts a large number of American tourists. The cars, mostly minivans, manufactured in Windsor are most often sold in US than in the local Canadian market. Thus its no surprise that Windsorites are seen taking equal interest (if not more) in US elections as compared to the Canadian elections.

I had the pleasure of watching a good portion of the CNN election coverage with a few friends over pizza and drinks - our pseudo little election party. In our little group were our hosts, the Murphy twins from Atlanta, GA. Republicans to the core. Then there was KS, of Woodbridge, ON a democrat at heart, but yet a republican, Bradley Davis (or B Diddy as we like to call him) of Hamilton, On, a poli-sci major and a democrat supporter and Geoffery White from Montreal, PQ, a MBA-LLB student, a supporter of naturalists, an environmentalist and a true genuine person ergo - not a Bush supporter. And finaly there was me, a formerly Pakistani, now homeless, international student, who is patriotic about his homeland and wants to see the person in power being friendly towards us Pakis i.e. not a Kerry supporter.

As the events unfolded and slices of pizza were consumed with bevvies of all kind, there was a healthy debate among us, exchanging our views, listening to commentary, checking internet for stats, playing who-knows-the-candidates-better, and even guessing age of hot older female anchors. There was talk of issues, there was talk of name dropping, there was talk of guffaws and bloopers and there was talk of cosmetic surgery (Kerry's Got BoTox folks!). There was talk of state level politics and everyone, including an out of context Pakistani like myself had a comment or two. We even debated about which US state we would like to govern, answers ranged from New York to Rhode Island, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska, Maine and Puerto Rico. Eventually, when I was convinced that Bush had a strong lead over Kerry (Florida named in quickly this time) I bid my peers adieu and headed home.

Now you must be wondering, "why a blog about your events on the election night". Well look at this way folks, I am in Canada not in US. Mine was not the only group of friends that were doing this. Bars were broadcasting the coverage and the whole town was abuzz with what the outcomes are like. It was like this small Canadian town was bit by the election bug. It made me realize how important and influencing are geographic neighbor's. I never lived in a town like this. In Karachi, there would be celebrations on election night if your friends father won a seat, other wise it was pretty much the usual. We never even thought about following Indian elections and doing a synopsis of the candidates. Our "brethren" countries were either monarchies or the concept of elections was just not that strong in them. Tempers didn't flare and fists didn't fly, there was no bad mouthing the candidates, there was no talk about the candidates cast or religious beliefs or to what church he belonged. So now I think you can understand why I thought this was an interesting occasion!!!

All in all, no matter who wins and heads the oval office, I just hope they do well to the country I call home and to the world in itself as well. At the same time, thank you Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry was giving a reason to get together and down some pizzas.

[At the time of this post the race is even closer than expected with Bush leading with 249 electoral votes as opposed to Keryy's 242 - Ohio remains the bone contention - its all too familiar from 2000 where Florida was a close call]

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Spontaneous Combustion

I am thinking right now - lost in a strange little thought. You know how one thought leads to another that leads to a third and before you know it the axons are firing away at warp speed and your minds just aimlessly jumping from one thought to another after every quarter of a millisecond - yes that exact same thought that's what I am lost in.
It all started with pizza, going to, cheese to Kraft, Unilever, co-of job, university, studies, accounting, money, finance, bank balance, credit card, bills, cell phone, calling friends, calling cards, Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore, England, London, bath, Liverpool, Michael Owen, David Beckham, man united, real Madrid, ronaldo, ronaldo's hot girl friend, Pete sampras's hot girlfriend, steffi graf and aggasi, head, racquets, susnset club, movie nights, chicken tikka, fires and club sandwiches, summers, swimming, gym, injuries, hospital, aga khan, doctors, parking lots, cafeterias, pundi, flrting, flings, romances, love, un-love, career, family, progress, job, interactive marketing, internet, orkut, friends, communities, blogs and finally blogger!
Thats how I got to writing this stupid little piece for nothing !!
Good times eh!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

You're My Unicorn

Yes , I am talking to you! Oh no not you, but yeah you!

I know you are reading this, I know you.

You hear all that say, yet play deaf, you see me, yet pretend to be blinded, you read all that I write, you want to respond, yet to stay away, keep yourself at bay, you play shadowgames with me. Yes thats you.

You want to say something, you want me to say something to you so that you can say something back. But you wont do it first; I know you. And I wont do it first, I wont say what you want to hear, I wont write what you want to read, I wont be where you want me to be. Its not a matter of choice, its a matter of need - of boundaries - of domains - and all that you want and i want and you want from me and I from you - is in a greay area!

I see you, you see me, I know you, you know me, its not abot me - its about YOU!

We are connected, yes we surely are, through a web - a web of people, situation and emotions. It connects us, we are far nodes. Me at one end and you at the other yet we are connected. Thats why you see me and I see you. I fear loosing the ground, I fear change, I fear unknown, I fear of doing something that would dispose me of my node, put me out of the web, make me loose connection with you. Thats why I am quiet, thats why you dont hear me say what you want me to say and I know you, you fear the same.

If I do take that step - if I try and move towards you I try overcoming the the links of people, situations and emotions, if i try to create an independent link, I fear I will fall. I will fall through the web, ill step into a hole, a gap, a void in the web. Ill fall into the void, ill fall into an unknown, non existent terriotory and Ill hope that there be a web to break my fall. A web to adopt me, to hold me to connect me - but it would be a pity, a bad compromise , to be a node in the new web since I wont be connected to you.

Its not about me, its about you!

But think dammit - just for a moment - just for a second - think! Your fears are like mine - you cant take the lonely plunge neither can I. But what if you take a step and I take a step - we both fall and while we are doing so we reach for each other. You for me, me for you. We eliminate the links, the people, the situations, the emotions, we eliminate all that was indirect - we connect on our terms - we link by our own choice - we form a web of our own, a connection that connects you to me to you . And if it fails - we tried - there would be satisfaction - you wont feel the ripping anxiety that you experience now I wont feel as agitated as I feel now, we would have tasted the fruit, we would have made our decisions -our choices!

But if you dont, then we shall keep playing your games of shadow. You and I would be running in cirlces round and around hoping one would stop at some time - turn around and say it. But till that doesnt happen, there will a clue in everything you say, a sign in everything you do, a subliminal message in every smile, every word, every movement, every gesture every laugh, every wink . Ill be seeing you, hearing you, dreaming of you, hoping for you, Ill be there by your side and you by mine when you or I least expect. Thats when Id like to grab you catch you, sieze the moment and take the oppurtunity to create that independent link of the minds the body the spirit and the soul.

But can I catch you? Havent I tried? Dont I want to? - No, Yes, Yes

I do but I cant

& thats why I say

You're my unicorn!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Fall On Campus Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Hatching Season

What is with October anyway. I am sure that if a survey of birth days is done, it would be found that a signfcant number of the global population was born during the month of October. When I look around, i find myself, more than half of my family memebers, around ten of my friends, and some of their family members as well, all of whome have their bith day in October.

Not only is this a busy time of the year as far as birthday celebrations are concerned, its also a time of financial crunch. There are some people who you need to give a gift to, it would be plain rude not to give them one and then some people deserve a card at least. But its not all merry merry for these people either - they are forced to get back in some way, either an expensive dinner or a good gift on our birthdays.

The worst punishment, for them at least, is checking their email the birthday morning. If you are still on hotmail, I pity you - 2MB gets you no where when you have 50 birthday messages coming in within a night. What i found really odd this year round was, that different online services that I had subscribed too also sent me emails - netflix, eBay, etc etc sending emails saying Happy BDay and why dont you try our new cheap DVD collections etc etc - northwest airlines was pushing a trip to hawaii for 2 on my birthday - Ofoto was telling me i could buy cheaper prints of my birthday party pictures from their websites - Silvercity was offering movie tickets - and then there were some websites actually reminding me of my own birthday - the greetings read Congratulations - Its your birthday - you dont say 'eh! Thanks for reminiding me!!Even worse was a pciture of a slice of cake and one candle on it, right below the reminder. Its My birthday dammit - you cant sell me something on my birthday by giving me just a slice of cake - i need the whole frigging cake!

I guess this just signifies how commercialized and commoditized ourlives have become. All corporates feel they can play a role in some part of our life even on the most special of the days.
Its not like christmas or eid - this target segment is not seasonal - the hatching season goes on, round the year!

Friday, October 22, 2004


Sometimes it doesnt really strike us as to how amazing life has been. Its only till something ticks in the mind when we realize, wait a minute, this aint all that bad after all. I took sometime out yesterday and thought about it - 25 years - 1 me - good times!
I have been blessed, honestly, a great family, some great friends. A lifestyle that many may dream of, being able to do what sometimes even I hadnt dreamt of. Its been amazing.
I have always wanted to have an above average life - do something big - reach for the stars kind of thing, but even now - what I have to date - is more that any average person could wish for. I am blessed, blessed with a life less ordinary.
If I die today Id be content - although there wouldnt be a huge inheritance for anyone, but I feel that I have surely made some impact on the life of all those who know me and that in itself is the biggest thing anyone could wish for. My stars are the smiles I get from the people, the wishes, the carsds, text messages, voice mails and phone calls. The fact that I conciously or unconciously did something for someone that made them remember me is more than anything i could wish for.
Now you see why I say its been a great 25!

Sunday, October 17, 2004


I am not a big fan of Bollywood movies, yet a friends comment about one such movie got me thinking the otherday. In a move called Devdas the chilhood love of the hero is called Paro, my friends suggested that every man in his life has a paro. It is true to a certain extent. The forms of Paro may differ, the idea of a Paro probably prevails

Saturday, October 09, 2004


Empty, blank, void, hollow
hope floats; the spirit follows
Sombre, silent, painful eyes
seek condolence from the skies
Quietly screaming "let it rain"
a dark deluge to wash the pain

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

What Really Matters

I am really close to fulfilling a dream. Two days from now I will be walking into an office where two people would make or break that dream. When the whole process started some months ago,I thought to myself this is the best thing that could happen in life. But now after repeated meetings, negotiations and back door politics, I am thinking to myself, whatever happens in two days, would it really matter. Honestly speaking, with due apologies for my French, I don't give a rats ass.

It happens over and over again, to all of us, at some stage, as we progress on the yellow brick road of life. Every milestone seems unachievable and even more challenging from a distance,but once you get close to it once its almost in the palm of hour hand, you can smell it,feel it even touch it from the tip of your fingers it looses the glamour. Its just not the same, its just not as grand as it initially seemed. I guess that's why they are dreams, the keep the hope up high, the drive us,pump up our spirit, motivate us to rise to the occasion and while all that happens the dreams help us discover a new person in us.

So if its all not worth it in the end, then what does really matter ? What makes a difference to us ? What complements our existence and highlights our being ? I would say its the capability to dream it self. If you cant dream, if you cant aspire, if you cant desire then you probably just keep living a monotonous and mediocre life with no particular highlight and at the end of the day you wont be able to feel that your existence really made a difference. I think someone famous once said that Id rather be thirsty than drink from the cup of mediocracy.

So dream on my friends, since dreams make life worth living.

Monday, October 04, 2004


The smile, the frown, the sights, the sounds
they have all changed
The nights, the days and every breath that I take
they have all changed
The needs, the wants, the dos and the donts
they have all changed
The hellos, the bye byes, the laughter and the cries
they have all changed

The people who were once my peps
The toys that were once my keeps
The roads that id would call my own
The park bench that id call my throne
all those memories seem to be stained
either I have changed, or they have changed