Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Paradox of Our Age

I met an inspirational person today. Michael "Pinball" Clements, head coach of Toronto Argonauts who had come over to my office today as a motivational speaker talking about team work. In the hour and a half that he was there, he said quite a few things that made me and my colleagues comtemplate and reflect. He also shared something with us that I had read a long time ago but still found it to be equally thoughtful. Something called the paradox of our age that I felt deserved a place on my blog.

The Paradox of Our Age by Dr. Bob Moorehead

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, thow-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete. Indeed, these are the times!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Travel Dreams

I want to buy a video camera and take four months off and travel to Pakistan.
I want to go to multan and all the sufi shrines there, I want to go to bhit shah, I want to go to chaman and queeta I want to go to gawadar and sonmiani and travel on the coastal highway. I want to take pictures of the "eye of the sea" . I want to make a movie on shandur polo festival i want to take pictures of basant in lahore. I want to smoke up in dara adam khel, and see the men from frontier dance with their swords, i want to visit the tomb of shireen farhad, i want to dhamal with papoo saeein at data darbar i want to go to parachinar and peek into afghanistan. I want to travel on the karakoram highway making spontaneous stop overs to chat with the locals who look chinese no pakistani no chinese, ah we are all gods people. I want to go the base camp at K2 and feel the heat of the sands of cholistan. I want to stand at Wagah and scream in the face of the Indian soldiers and declare the proud existence of my nation. I want to check out what BRB Nehar is all about. I want to visit the neelam valley and see how men divide heaven on earth. I want to go to punj nad and since the indus come together. I want to follow the indus in hope of spotting some blind dolphins, i want to hung an ibex and watch a hobura bustard take off. I want to see migratory pink flamingos that come to karachi in the winters. I want look in the eyes of the vultures that spot super highway in sindh. i wanna go to hala and learn the age old art of making those lovel handicrafts. I want to go to taxila and realize no matter how strong and developed we are, god will have his way. I want to visit the abandoned synagouges in the mountains and dance with people of kalash who still lead their Alexandarian lifestyle. I then went to stop, take a breath and start all over again.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Good Morning

I woke up with a smile
and your thought in my mind
The clock said 6 AM
"hmm, still 3 hours to 9"

I got off my bed
still thinking of you
still questioning myself
"What Can I Do ?"

I turned on the radio
there was a good song
I danced in my PJs
the pleasures of living alone

I shaved and I showered
and got dressed for work
then poured myself some juice
& ate last nights hors d' oeuvres

Your thoughts kept bringing a smile
over and over again
your memories were sheer happiness
your absence, pure pain

I tango'd with thoughts of you
& salsa'd with your memories
and kept hoping for a miracle
for me, for you, for us, to be

I then got up, I was on way
our sweet little date was over
Its night where you are and my day has begun
so naturally we cant stay closer

& every morning when I wake up
before the crack of dawn
I hope at some point, you thought of me
my one true love, my Unicorn

Sounds Like Karachi

"Theres something about this city that gets under your skin and you cant sweat it out"

Salman Haq - A Character in Kamilia Shamsie's "In The City By Sea".

Monday, March 21, 2005

Chai, Garam!

anyone ever having travelled across Pakistan in the train, not the swanky karakoran express, but the cheaper ones like Shalimar or Tezgam, would be familiar with two voices that haunt the train's corridor late at nights and early in the morning.

Chai, Garam - Garam, Anday

on one of my trips to Lahore i was woken up by the Chai Garam holler. and I decided to get the tea. It was pretty good. only matched by moms doodh paati, the special karak one she would make with the special tea leaves not the regular lipton stuff.

As I sit here today after a hard days work and not having had that moms special blend in ages, I wish I could hear someone holler, Chai Garam on the streets of Toronto. I guess its back to the tea bag for me.

Proud To Be ME

You scored as Pride.















Seven deadly sins
created with

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Road Trip!

51 hours

Four Cities


Three Friends


One Car


One Great Weekend

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Waqas and I, Jan 2000 during one of the many sessions of spontaneous combustion Posted by Hello

Thand Wala Pankha

I realized today how much I miss all the great things that I would be involved in while in Karachi. I got talking to a very old friend on MSN today. While in Karachi, my friend Waqas and I, would occasionally jam together and make stupid sense that we found utterly hilarious. There were songs of forgotten love like "Kutti" (Bitch) and songs of first love like "I Get High". Since the past few years, Waqas has been in Minnesota, and I have been Canada. We possibly couldnt sit down and jam together.
Today, he messaged me on MSN wanting some help on a song that he and some friends were writing about a ceiling fan or what we call in urdu a Pankha. We added audio to our conversation, played the riffs, told me the chords and sent me the first few lines he had come up with. In a very short time span, we ended with a the song below.

PS: If you find it nonsensical then I have done my job well ;)

bara july ka ek garam sa din tha
mein baitha howa tha, kamra band tha
khirki khuli thi, per hawa thi garam
dil mein thi sirf, ek thand ki lagan

mujhay nahi chayay, koi pyar ka phunda
is jaisay mausam mein eik hi dhunda
mangay fakeer, ameer aur hur eik bunda
sub loogon ka chayay thand wala pankha

aai phir woh july ki shaam,
garmi, aisee garmi, kay july badnaam
aurat, bachay, bhoray aur naujawan
sub ko diya hum nay yeh paigham

mujhay nahi chayay, koi pyar ka phunda
is jaisay mausam mein eik hi dhunda
mangay fakeer, ameer aur hur eik bunda
sub loogon ka chayay thand wala pankha

shaam dhuli, phir aai raat
garmi na choray hamara saath
dil say niklay eik hi faryad
barsaat barsaat barsaat

ab sooch liya hai, maan liya hai
sub nay yeh pehchaan liya hai
dunya ka hai sirf yehi dastoor
garmi kay agay hur eik majboor

mujhay nahi chayay, koi pyar ka phunda
is jaisay mausam mein eik hi dhunda
mangay fakeer, ameer aur hur eik bunda
sub loogon ka chayay thand wala pankha

Friday, March 11, 2005

Homer Says 2

"Homie No Function Beer Well Without!"

Homer Simpson Expressing Displeasure at the Unavailability of Beer at an Event

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Homer Says

"I am not disabled, I am just lazy"

Homer Simpson when buying a monkey to help him around with work

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Something Old For A Change

This weekend I cut myself from the rest of the world. Shut the lid on my lappy and turned off the lights in my apartment, baked some fish and did something that I hadn't done in a long long time. A movie marathon.

I would do that occasionally in Karachi. Once in a few months, Id rent a number of movies and watch them back to back all night long. The movies would spark ideas, the movies would spawn thoughts, questions and concerns. But most of all I could entertain myself by spending a little time in someone else's fantasy.

So this time, my choice were five different movies from five different parts of the world. From Italy, Maleena; a story of a child becoming a man, his infatuation with a woman and the woman's strife in a Sicilian village that wont accept her on her terms. From Argentina, a Spanish movie called The Motorcycle Diaries, took me deep into the trans Latin American trip that changed one Ernesto Guevera to the revolutionary that we know as Che. From Brazil, The City of Gods, a Portuguese film that described the evolution of criminal gangs in the Rio De Janeiro slum called The City of Gods. A true shocker, the movie described a real life story of two young kids growing up in the same slum, one becoming a kingpin and the other becomes a news paper photographer and despite of the difference of their profession both their lives revolved around the crime infested slum. Next in line was a slow pace satire of the Iranian culture in a Persian movie called The Secret Ballot. Imagine a woman polling agent who lands on a remote Iranian island municipality for a few hours on election day to ensure that everyone votes. That's what the secret ballot is all about. And finally, there was an English movie too, Ray. I now know and completely believe why Jamie Fox deserved that best actor oscar. That was one gripping movie with a great performance by all those involved.

Everyone in the movies was following an objective, Ray Charles was trying to find self fulfillment through music, Che was seeking self discovery through the trip, Lil Ze was seeking absolute power in the City of Gods and in the same slum Rocket was seeking an honest way to make his name, Maleena was seeking respect as a widow while her sexually frustrated guardian angel was seeking true love, Khanum was seeking people who wanted their voices to be heard while her military aid sought an explanation to how a vote from the small island would make a difference to the nation and the people who voted!

All this made me wonder, how many of us, in all that occupies our life, have been able to figure out what our objectives are in the larger scheme of things. Why are we doing what we are doing and is that what we should really be doing ? And finally does the load of work, the lack of time, and the diminishing role of spontaneity call for changes in life ?