Saturday, November 19, 2011

You are the wine I have not tasted
You are the thoughts that are blasphemous

You are the jewel I cannot adorn....
You are the bird I can only sight...
High in the sky...
Out of my reach...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Woh ek pal

Sometimes a small moment is worth a lifetime. Insaan us ek lamhe main apni tamaam zeest ka safar poora ker le. Apni kul kainat ka nichor us ek lamhe mein daal de. Us lamhe mein apni poori zindagi ji le.
Sahih ghalat, accha bura, us baat ki tameez main woh apni baaki tamam umar guzaar de gaa.
Lekin abhi the 'now' is important. Use jeene keliye use dimaagh ki nahin, dil ki zaroorat hai.

Us ke baat shayad ab yeh baat samajh aa sakti hai, ke kyunkar ek parwaana, ek shama ke gird apni zindagi khaitma ker lene mein hi apne aap ko laafani tassawar karta hai.i.

Us ki is gustaakhi, is sarphiri kaa anjaam jo bhi ho, us ek lamhe keliye woh mehboob se qurbat haasil ker ke apni destiny, apni taqdeer ko poora kar leta hai. Apni zaat ka haasil use is ek lamhe mein mil jaata ha

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Women are the cornerstone of any social setup. Since times immemorial, women have been statured differently in different civilizations, ranging from a deity to an object of amusement. Clothes signify culture having religious, social and ethical background and women's honour is entwined with the kind of clothing they adorn. The concept of “Chaadar and Chaardeewaari” is embedded in our collective psychologies.
The great dichotomy between East and  West is deepened further by the dress code depicting their respective values: ‘liberal’ versus ‘conservative’, the latter claiming to preserve their cultural heritage. Pakistan falls somewhere in between, with leaning of its middle class towards conservatism, it has not had similar regulations despite having a huge female population observing it. 
Veil being a cultural symbol is considered an integral part of the Islamic Civilization and in countries like Iran and Saudia, there are laws to abiding women to observe Hijab in public.
Organizations require their employees to observe particular dress codes. But when it comes to wearing a piece of clothing like the headgear, the debate encompasses a spectrum of religious and social issues.
So when France decides to implement a ban on it, it is bound to spark a debate around the world.
The French President labels the veil as a symbol of "servitude" and considers it 'an attack on the dignity of women'. Supporters term this move not as an attack on Muslims, but recognize it as a woman's right to walk unveiled, labeling the naqaab an extremist interpretation of Quraan and not a religious observation.
The move is significant because France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe.
The ban makes sense against a background of suicide bombings and other terrorist activities carried out mainly by Muslims in instances where this may be used to obfuscate their identity. Could be an attempt to amalgamate the hardcore Muslims with the mainstream population, fostering social cohesion. But if the motive is the 'liberation' and 'emancipation' of women, the move could instead alienate the orthodox Muslims.
Surely the freedom of expression entails being able to choose between walking with the hijaab as well as without it.
This ban in United States and elsewhere on the female employees has ensued in legal battles by Muslims, most of them eventually succeeding in obtaining judgements in their favour, allowing them to continue wearing hijaab at their workplace.
Conversely, in our part of the world, when an organization with an Islamic and Arabic background makes it mandatory for its female employees to adhere to an ‘Islamic’ dress code , it is bound to raise eyebrows and numerous queries. Multinationals requiring their employees to observe Hijaab is rare as compared to the Western attire that is commonplace in our country.
 The motive could be multifactorial. This could be a part of their efforts to infuse an Arabic flavour in support of their theme of Islamic Banking, in the same vain that multinationals in Pakistan require their employees supporting a Western attire to ascertain their roots for instance many food chains. This could also be a marketing gimmick in order to lure customers towards a Riba-free way, the modern day customers being cognizant of their needs of the product rather than judging a book by its mere cover. That packaging of a product is essential to make it saleable is undisputable. But customers are intelligent and resourceful enough to go through the entire package, including the quality of services offered rather than merely by the ambience created.
The common ground in both the above-mentioned incidences is the fact that regardless of the location on the map, from the unconventional French to the orthodox Muslims, each of them in turn is trying to impose their particular standpoint, each of them promulgating rules and decreeing punishments when they are not complied with. Surely women have enough insight and premonition to decide the best course for themselves. The exception to this may be parts of rural Pakistan or Taliban administered rule, where women are discouraged from education and kept under lock and key. But to presume that the same dogma applies to a woman roaming the streets of Paris or in a corporate environment is Pakistan is preposterous. The freedom of women is not restricted to their garb. It encompasses other social and legal issues which the enlightened French and traditionalistic Mullahs are equally unaware of, like inheritance rights and their right to vote etc. which have been conveniently forgotten.
Casting aside the debate of East and West, is not the imposition of a particular code upon a person infringing upon its basic rights of an individual?

Keeping certain basic ethics in mind, should not and individual have enough liberty and freedom of expression to dress according to his/her satisfaction?

The debate is not just confined to the Hijaab. While rightfully criticizing countries for imposition on discriminatory grounds, enforcing a similar code on a generation brought in a democratic setup with a considerable libertarian environment would make them question not only the imposition, but also the pluralistic and benevolent values of Islam and put this forth as a religion of tyranny and extremism rather than tolerance.
Islam has sought to conserve the reverence bestowed upon them by God Almighty, by observing modestly in clothing and mannerisms rather as an object to be conemplated upon. But is it fair to enforce this divine right upon others in keeping with our sentiments of self-righteousness?

While being an advocate of the Hijab, it should be an individual’s personal decision and guided by one's own intuition rather than navigated by any legal or cultural dictum.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Woh to ik rahguzar tha, usay manzil samajh baithi
Ik aashna tha, use hamsafar samajh baithi

Ik tajarba tha, use haasil samjh baithi
Ik zarra tha jo meri poori kainaat thi
Ik goshe to apni kainat ka mehvar samjh baithi

Aankh jab khuli to reza reza ho gaye khwaab saare
Ik katra tha jisse samandar samajh baithi

Pashemaani ke siwa ab kucch haath nahin
Ik pathar tha jisse main apna sanam samajh baithi

Liye phirti hoon apni ghamgeen yaadon ka bojh
Ik saraab tha jisse apni meraaj samjh baithi

Apne lutte khwaabon ko daaman mein liye phirti hoon
Woh to khud ek talabmand tha jisse charaagar samajh baithi

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


A state of nothingness achieved. In limbo? Like your mind refuses to spit the venom in it. Nothing more to say; Nothing more to write about; The mind like a closed room refuses to open its walls. Emptiness ahead; Emptiness behind; Hope is a distant memory. Nothing to look forward to. Life has to go on. The same days and nights. But devoid of spirit. Purpose. Life laughing at you. The mundane routine eating you up. You hope you survive this. You have to; For the sake of your loved ones....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Emptying Darkness
Haunting Despair
Screaming Silence
Unanwered Prayers

I try to laugh
The pain wouldnt go

I try to cry
The tears wouldnt show

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Catch 22

"Whenever I try to make both ends meet. Someone moves the ends.”

My friends and colleagues think I am crazy. “What are you studying for now?” I feel nervous with five pairs of eyes upon me. “It’s nothing. I say defensively, Just needed to complete some research. Trying to complete my thesis.”
“I thought you were done with that”. I am eyed suspiciously.
“Just some small things left.”
For Goodness Sake, can’t you TAKE A BREAK? You have everything one can ask for. A well-settled family life, doting kids, soaring career. And at this age. What more could you ask for?”
She was right. What more? Human beings are not designed to be content. There is the “only if” factor in our lives. We strive night n day to achieve that only, and we manage to achieve our goal, it suddenly loses its significance. Once we are in possession of the ‘only’, the ‘if’ remains or changes its form. It is different for all of us. It could be that dream house, the dream job, a brand new car or a vacation to an exotic resort.
Or as in my case, a higher degree, a prestigious title.
Our whole lives are spent in a catch 22 situation. We spend our lives running a marathon, from one hurdle to another, competing in a senseless and arduous race of wealth, possessions, titles and vanity, reach the finish line only to find another hurdle at the end or that the bar has been raised even further. Even before we have time to ponder over the purpose of competing in the first place. That medal or prize at the end tends to overshadow all other aspect of our lives.

“Life is not about the day you win prizes. It’s about all the days in between.”

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"It's not what you know, but whom you know".
Protocolitis is a phenomenon that needs no introduction in the Pakistani System. If unfortunately, you are not aware of this term, either you are not a Pakistani by heart, or you haven’t lived here long enough.
This term, though rare, the practice is rampant in our society. Everything needs and has to be done through 'special treatment'. From getting any job done in a Government Institution to getting time from a famous private practitioner to of course getting your child into the 'en vogue' Institution, you need connections.
Of course, knowing the right people to get the job done is an accomplishment within itself. It saves one from the hassle of standing in a queue and hence the wastage of time and resources is minimized. The same principle is of course being followed by our wise rulers who have protocol while travelling so as to keep the expenditure of the taxpayer's money to a minimum. And while their time is more important, you can fruitfully utilize yours by teaching your child the number of vehicles in their squad.
The second benefit is the marked change in behavior encountered after the person dealing with you, realizes 'who' you are. This can come in especially handy in no-win situations like arguing with a traffic sergeant, or at your local bank when the 'last date for payment' sign is up. The person upon realizing your noble heritage, instantly replaces his frown with a smile and suddenly finds all the time in the world to respond to your enquiries.
The most dramatic change in my humble experience is observed in the Doctor's office, when you are the chosen one amongst a throng of ailing humanity and the nurse can take your vitals at a leisurely pace with a re-assuring smile, which tends to restore one's confidence of being dealt like a human being .
Others, of course have the right to disagree. A variety of anecdotes can be unearthed regarding this subject, there sadly being no dearth of examples. Remember the last time you were setting afoot on the ‘Land of the Pure’ and recuperating from the ‘cultural shock’ one tends to get while coming back. You are standing in the queue minding your own business, when suddenly a person way behind you is called upfront and given the royal treatment, while you call your relatives standing outside to assuring them you have indeed landed.
The situation is more pathetic the other way round. On departure, pour example, you are required to dismantle all your equipment like a warehouse exhibiting its items, while the’ protocol’ is whisked through.( Wonder if a similar situation exists at our borders, no pun intended).
Proclaiming to be of the blue blood can have its disadvantages as well. Because you are a protocol, it is assumed that you can afford all the ‘special’ favors bestowed upon you. That would probably lead to your doctor prescribing you the priciest treatment, your hairdresser advising you about the choisest hair-care and your bosses assigning you to tedious tasks, presuming you have the right connections to get the job done.
And of course the biggest drawback is being a protocol itself. Once a protocol, always a protocol. Because you once used your connections to get that file moved, next time there better be a bigger one!!


Standing amidst the glittering lights of the city, with throngs of people queing for purchases, shopping as if it were their last day on the Earth. Or is it?
With larger-than-life plazas mushrooming everywhere and with the latest models of SUVs, with barely enough parking space, people wearing gaudy clothing with flashy accessories, it is hard to conceptualize this place brnaded as the most dangerous place on the planet today.
True, these upscale places represent only a fraction of our populace and paint a rosier picture of the present state of affairs. But taking all that into account, the state of affairs potrayed by the media makes one skeptical of the present situation.
"9/11 was horrible". I remember my friend telling us. "I was near that place at that time." The rest of us stared stolidly back at her. Any attempt at empathy was unfruitful at this point. "We have a 9/11 everyday." was all I could muster in response. That was the time when schools were closed for an indefinite period of time after receiving death threats and we did not know when our children would be able to go to school again.
And, there was a time when people working or living near the sensitive areas would be dealing with terrorism on a daily basis, wondering whether they'll be able to make it home alive. My way to work and back would bear semblance to finding my way in a fieldmine, jubilant at having crossed another barrier.  While working near the Mall in Lahore, I personally had to go through similar experiences. With every key road from the One Five building to the FIA building to the High Court being targeted, calling my loved ones to assure them of my safety and being stranded at the workplace till late in the evenings was getting to be a normal routine.
In Karachi, our "city of lights" (pun intended), where statistics show target killings on a daily basis now, a sense of irony prevails when there is no news on this front. Reminds me of the no-death parties we had in our Neonatology Department where the day was celebrated when no child lost his life.
But, amongst suicide bombings almost on a daily basis, target killings, inflation, unemployment and insecurity, we still manage to trudge on. Life goes on with the same, if not more fervor for us Pakistanis, or so it seems. Is it because we have so many problems that we have become immune to them?
Amidst all this chaos and mayhem, we still continue to celebrate, 'life' if you will. We have new restaurants, fashion weeks, galas, weddings on a larger scale than observed before. Every public place is brimming with activity, traffic on the roads heavier than ever before. No situation can be 'dangerous" enough to dampen our spirits. Would, I wonder things be the same on 5th Avenue if 'they' were facing a similar situation?
But as they sat, all is not lost when u have hope. True, there is an impending sense of doom, an apprehension on the horizon, about our personal and collective futures. Although it is not without a sense of irony and sarcasm that I observe when I start something new like buying a new car, re-decorating my house, my son starting his school, it is refreshing to see people who still believe in this homeland and believe their progeny have a future here and plan for them. People who, despite the circumstances came back to this country to offer their services to it and who have decided to stay back. Looking at them, one still feels hope for this country and the feeling that it can survive and exist despite all odds, thanks to its stubborn people. Hats off to them!