Friday, August 27, 2010

With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.
Steven Weinberg

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I was so tired today and slept around 10pm (which is pretty early for me) and now woke up half an hour ago. It's about 2am right now, I feel so fresh but I doubt I would feel the same in the morning. Anyway, I started reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and I was reading the second chapter when I fell asleep. And guess what? I dreamed about a factory "manufacturing" humans.
This is leaving the effect already.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whenever you turn TV on during Ramadan you are greeted (on non-News channels) either with some kind of cooking show or an ad of some Ghee/Cooking oil showing a never-ending Iftar table graced with all kind of smoking hot food. And it dates back to the days when we all watched PTV and remained in sync with every drama serial or even new ads.

Also, it has become kind of ritual to expect food prices shoot up during this holy month when food should, technically, be least of the worries. You probably might have heard of this before but isn't the purpose of Ramadan to free us of 11 months of gluttony? The very reason behind the surge in food prices is that we all in our wildest dreams dream of that never-ending Iftar table in our own dinning room. Then, the whole nation, starts working "hard" to make those dreams come true. We want to eat the stuff we hardly ever eat during rest of the year. Instead of stop worrying about our meals, we actually stop worrying about everything else but this. Iftar preparations start from middle of the day. This act does not escape the reality of us being a twisted, hypocritical nation.

Last evening my neighbor asked me how I prepare my Iftar. And I replied there's nothing to prepare. Stunned, he asked what I eat and upon finding that he thought for a moment and asked "why don't you come to my house for Iftar? There would be many kinds of stuff." Long story short, it took him some time to grasp that Iftar could be something little worried about to.

I come from a family where food is just 15 minutes in the morning and in the evening. Even in our extended family it is considered 'shameless' to spend considerable money on food. Whenever I watched those ads on TV and asked my mom to cook those "kind of things", I got a good stare. Those kind of things were meant for guests only.

I wish if there is a God, He would come down and give us a good stare and say, "What the fuck do you think you are doing? This month wasn't meant to be like this!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Few days ago an old classmate of mine posted a taunt on facebook about President Zardari going on a trip to Europe and begging western governments for money. As expected, many ‘liked’ that and few posted comments in support. This was a little too predictable. We just love to criticize. I “like” Zardari as much as next person but here I am going to take a realist’s point of view.

It’s not Zardari alone. Every government since the very forming of Pakistan has been kissing asses here and there to touch some foreign coins. And I would say the fault is ours. We, the people of Pakistan are responsible for it. Two reasons: first, we don’t pay taxes; second, we want what we don’t deserve.

Every government in this world needs money to function. Ideally that money should come from taxes. The purpose of taxes is to pay a percentage of earnings and business transactions to government so we can have roads, cheap health care, street lights, law enforcement etc. But the truth is that from a street hawker to an industrial tycoon nobody pays taxes. There are very, very few people who do so, or pay in full and honestly. We the citizens of this country do not realize this huge responsibility on us. When government does not see money coming from within country, it turns to foreign aid and heavy-interest loans. A financial aid is probably bigger liability than a loan. You payback your loan, you are free. But you can’t payback an aid in money. You have to listen and work for the countries that help you financially. If you don’t it would be like biting the hand that feeds. We need to realize that we are the very people who are responsible for everything that is happening. Yes, we do have corruption problem but again who are the corrupt people? Your father? My brother? Somebody’s cousin? That would make another post.

Now towards the deserve part. We have to admit that aside from not paying taxes, we also don’t obey law, we use unfair means to achieve things, and we prefer relation over right. I laugh at people who go criticizing cricket team. We are a nation with all these problems and we expect our sports teams to be world class? We expect them to perform the same as developed countries’ teams do? Those poor cricketers are just like you and me. They don’t have to be the most perfect people in this country. They can break law or use unfair means just like everyone else.

The ongoing disaster caused by the flood is sad. You can’t really do much about natural disasters. It is nature’s way of standing in the way of man. I have been watching these events on TV. Although I feel sorry for the people who see the work of their lives flowing away in the current but I can’t digest their criticizing government for not doing enough. What we actually want is to remain imperfect ourselves while expecting our governments to be perfect. How is that possible? I know it’s not good to tell someone on his death bed that he is a swindler, but this is reality. Countries where governments do their best are the countries of people who pay their taxes, where justice rules, and who don’t eat someone else’s pie just because they can.

This should be a wakeup call for us. We have to realize that we are getting what we deserve. We cannot expect grapes from weeds. That would be insane. This is the time when we have to choose that whether we want to keep living like animals of a vast jungle or whether we want to change and live like civilized humans.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life. A good life is not measured by any biblical span.
Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls