Apologies! My Kids Were Not Featured on Facebook Today!

My kids did nothing worthy of a Facebook status update today, and I am SO bummed!


I woke them up with the usual, Rise and Shine... Brighter than the sun, and all the nighttime stars, for thou art both brilliance in little bodies. - But, nothing. They groaned, moaned, one promptly fell back asleep, the other flashed a fake smile, grabbed her pillow and made her way to the couch.


After they were dressed and ready to leave, I took pause from my usual yelling at them to hurry the hell up, and  gave them their daily instructions: Read all your lessons well, pay attention to the teacher, make sure your hand goes up first to answer any and all questions, score 100 points for Gryffindor! - The kissed me somewhere around my mid-section and left.


Pick up from school, and I expected them to once again assault me with their brilliance. - One cried, the other dragged his water bottle on the ground, and kept asking me ridiculous questions such as "What's for lunch?"


No homework today, so it's really the teacher's fault, for not assigning them a book report on Of Mice and Men. She cost me a photo opp on Facebook, and will receive a note from me tomorrow.


In the evening, after several attempts by me to make them swallow some non-fiction, adult reading materials whole, they opted for TV instead, and some form of insane running around the house. Read the Dictionary at LEAST!! I yelled. - They ignored me.


Dinner time, and there could have been some much awaited brilliance.... Had I not served french fries with their chops.


By bedtime, my patience had worn thin, and my empty social networking pages screamed for something. Anything!! So, the usual stories were not read, the nightly hugs and kisses dismissed, while we discussed OPK (Other People's Kids). Laptop on... Well, my lap, I read them every single Mommy Brag I could find online, till they cried with shame, and begged for mercy. 


There is no room for average children in this house! I said with finality.



They promised they'd do better tomorrow.... So wait for the update.



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Privileged Saints, and Poor Scum

I remember the last time I got caught in the middle of a riot, or a hangama if you will. The Huz and I had to make a quick stop in Saddar's Bhori Bazaar for some desi clothing, to send across to my sister for her daughter. We decided not to travel by car, and opted for a rickshaw instead, simply because it's completely stupid to travel to Saddar in a car, and expect to find parking.  

Anyway, we were in a shop which sells a ton of eastern wear, when we heard the gun shots, or as a Karachite would call it 'firing.' Before all of us even had a chance to freeze, the shop shutters had come down, and were locked from the inside. 'Fikr nahi karo baji, thori der main khatam ho jai ga' (Don't worry sister, this will end soon) said the very calm shopkeeper, to a middle aged woman, who like me was rooted to the spot, with a look of absolute terror on her face. Two minutes later, the shutter was back up, and they began herding us out the door. 'Walk fast, and get out of the area' was all they said. Outside it was chaos, as literally hundreds of people scrambled past shops, or darted through the narrow lanes, trying to get away from the mob of men, coming at us with machine guns. Old ladies were being helped along, terrified young women were being shoved or escorted through the mob, by random young men, all unspoken rules of not touching women forgotten. And, they were all poor young men. What we shamefully call 'street urchins' - The cobblers, the tailors, the cart walas. The uneducated, and so called 'uncouth' of our nation. 

It took me back to the time there was a bomb explosion at my work place. And, how a Rickshaw wala grabbed me and started shoving me towards the main road, because he thought there might be another blast. Or the rest of them who without thought jumped into the horrific rubble, and began to search for bodies, while the suited ones stood at a distance and watched.

The last few days, I've been watching the riots in England. But, more than that, the reactions by people remain more interesting. If the kids on those city streets are wrecking whatever they can, it can be slightly compared to some of the wrecking we see taking place in Karachi. The looting? Not so much, but hey it could happen. 

However, the reactions from many people are more or less the same. Because ultimately people are the same everywhere, aren't they? Specially the privileged. God, they love to bash the poor, don't they? And, blame them for everything.

Bad parenting
Gaming addictions
Facebook obsessions
Greed
A sense of entitlement
Disrespect for authority

I wonder how many of them realize, they could be speaking about their own pampered little angels? 

A single mother working as a maid at three or four places, is in essence neglecting her duties as a parent, according to a lot of them. But, these same career men and women, spending late hours at the office, while their kids are babysat by hired help, and/or expensive toys, are actually "working damn hard" to give their kids a good life. 

I suppose the poor man who can't afford to pay his kid's school fees on time, is the one who threatens his son's teacher for daring to discipline him? Um I think not. It's mostly you know, those 'well educated' and 'polished' mothers and fathers who storm into the principal's office and yell their perfectly coiffed heads off, about how traumatized their precious angel was, because he was given a detention.  

Oh, and while we're at it, your 'educated' kids could benefit with some extra spelling, and grammar coaching, no matter how cool they think they come across on Twitter & Facebook.

Where was I? Yes, it's the poor kid's parents who are never aware, or don't care where their kids are every evening. Those poor bastards are the only ones out there indulging in drugs, and early teenage sex, and all those other immoral things civilized society knows only happens in the ghettos.

Poor kids want everything for free, the greedy little snots. My kid earned his X-box, Wii, PSP, and iPad. And, because we sit together every night, as "a family" and eat dinner, my daughter doesn't stand a chance of ever getting knocked up at 15, and having a baby. 


Well, that and, really expensive, private abortion clinics.


I've never seen greed in the eyes of a poor child, only hunger. I've never seen disrespect there either, only survival. But, I've seen plenty of it in the eyes of more pampered, and privileged kids.

So, if the parents of those would take a moment, and stop being such fucking hypocrites, get off their high horses, and stop congratulating themselves so much... it would be nice. A little surprising, but nice all the same.

The only difference between your child and theirs? A safety net. Can you in all honesty say, that net will always be there?

Think it over.


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Of Legends, Maestros, Drunks and Idiots...

The Express Tribune blogs have been filling up a number of free and lazy moments for me during this endless summer. Most of the blogs written don't do much for me, some make me laugh, some are hard hitting, and some are plain old rubbish. But, far be it from me to insist (as some do) that some of those bloggers stop blogging. Writing is after all, writing, and dialogue is important. The ET blogs provide a good enough platform. As always though, I draw the line at nonsense.

You knew that was coming didn't you?


Blog dated June 12, by a member of Karachi's Catholic community, paying tribute to one of 'Pakistan's Portuguese wonders', Ralph D'Aranjo. The blogger begins by mentioning the Portuguese people's contribution to the early music industry??? in Pakistan.

OK, first of all, what is up with the overuse of the word Portuguese? We have always been known as Goans, and yes some of us are of Portuguese descent, many are not, so let's not get carried away shall we? Besides, plenty of the Anglo-Indians in Pakistan also contributed to the music scene in this country. And, so did the Punjabi Christians, such as the famous Benjamin Sisters.

The comments which followed the post were both interesting, annoying, severely mooching, and one or two downright nasty, as one male decided to create a ruckus about the blogger's relationship with the 'honored' one's daughter, and let fly with a rant reaching epic proportions. I mean come ON... If you mention Misquita Blocks, then I don't know what to say to you. And, there were mostly all Christians commenting, with a couple of courtesy comments from non-Christians, which to be honest was like being blasted into those days of yore, when we all attended a Christmas dance at the Karachi Goan Association, and took a couple of our Muslim friends along, even though the tickets clearly stated "For members and their Christian guests only' - Um and you thought minorities were not capable of discrimination? Ha!


OK, back to all these musicians with magical fingers. The 'maestros', the 'legends', the 'chosen ones.' I remember the stories well, from my parents, neighbors, etc. Of how the night life in Karachi was so great back in the day. Of course, I grew up in happy, happy Zia-ul-Haq time, so our night life was mostly a 'Get indoors before 9 O'clock curfew.' But, the Christian musicians were around still. They were at every freakin wedding, dance and hotel lobby in the city. Some were great musicians, truly remarkable. They played, they taught music, they  entertained, and then many of them left the country, and now all those great, not so great, and the downright idiotic, reminisce about their glory days on Facebook pages dedicated to them. OK, maybe one Facebook page, which calls them all legends or some such nonsense.


But, a good number of them? Drunks!


And, I worked long enough in the hotel industry to know that first hand. Hell, I grew up in the Christian community, and was no stranger to weddings since my early childhood, and enough dances in my teenage and beyond, to know that a lot of these so called 'masteros' were nothing more than slobbering drunks, who played and sang off key (mostly because they were drunk) to crowds within their own community, who were 1. Little kids who didn't know more than 'drums are for banging' 2. Teenagers, who just wanted to fucking dance to anything that sounded like Boy George or Dire Straits and 3. Middle aged to senior people who were also mostly very drunk (hey Dad! ;)), and happy to jive to oldies music. Not that a lot of them needed the music. If there was a dance floor, they'd make their own music. Yes, a lot of them were just that good... Credit to many of them who remain so. As were some of those greats from bands like The Black Jacks, The Key Notes, The Visions, etc. (Can you tell I grew up in the 80's?).


But, the bullshit of that whole blog got to me. It really did. Not so much because it was about one man, who to his credit is the last of the old musical dinosaurs, but that it implied something about people from a community, who were for the most part anything but great. One other person in the comments section really got my attention. At the end of his comment he said these guys are better off playing in some restaurant hotel, living quietly because that is all they can afford to do while their social and family life falls apart. 


Why do the honest voices remain a minority in everything?


And, I wanted to respond with 'That's what most of them do now.' In fact, many of them never left those hotel lobbies. Sure, a few went on to do good things, but if you walk into one of those hotels tonight, you'll see them there still. Old men, ragged by the booze, and desperately trying to hold on to either a mic or a guitar. 


A people of considerable talent, but many of them lacking in ambition, and drive.


It is nice to sometimes hear of the days gone by, but it is equally important to look at the here and now. I see young and upcoming musicians, both within the Christian community, and outside it, and these same 'greats' pay them no heed. And yet, we have idiots glorifying the old fuddies, and the old fuddies lapping up the adoration without more than a passing thought to the younger generation. These poor young souls will excitedly post links and info to their next 'big' performance at BRC's Open Mic Night, and what not, but will anyone care? 


No, they won't. 


And, they're good! Some could be great. The have talent, they have drive, and they want to be something.


No, but let's just keep walking ass backwards down memory lane, and making stuff up as we go along. Let's glorify idiots who held a bottle of QDL in one hand, and a mic in the other. Let's not give a crap for the next generation. Let's not cheer them on, hold them up as examples, promote them, maybe even glorify a few of the deserving ones. No, instead, let's work really hard to embellish a history, and keep it on record. 



Cheers!

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The Only Good That Comes Out of Pakistan, is Slims

I have a childhood friend, who lives in the U.S. who is one of the most pro-Pakistani people I know. Having left Karachi in her teens, she and her family made it to the states, and settled down in Florida. Now, a working mother of two gorgeous children, she is a self-made, strong and independent woman. And, she never forgets where she comes from, and what she really is. A Pakistani. Born, raised and proud of her roots.

It's getting more and more rare to spot these kinds of people. Not that I blame many who prefer to distance themselves from Pakistan, what with our current state of affairs, and hogwash. Not to mention former Pakistanis in the west, looking to avoid hate crimes, just because of who they are. But, bullshit? That comes out in the form of some Pakistani Americans, ranting and hurling abuse against a nation they were born in.

This same friend, proudly posted a link on her Facebook page, about Mir Zafar Ali, a local kid, who is now an Oscar winning, Visual Effects Specialist in the U.S. - She was immediately assaulted by a former Pakistani who commented with "One out of what billion? The only good that comes out of Pakistan is Slims."


How quickly can you say 'douchebag'? 


This idiot claims to not be proud of being Pakistani. I feel he should address the fact that he is a pessimist, and seek out therapy. There is a LOT of crap going on in Pakistan, tons of it. And, those of us living here know it better than anyone else. But, let's set a few things straight shall we?

  • The nation as a whole did not hide OBL in their neighborhoods.
  • Many, many Pakistanis have never even been to Abbotabad
  • And, while we're at it, it's Abbot-ah-baadh, not Abbot-abid
  • No, we are not heading to the beach everyday, to see if we can spot OBL's remains. And, not because some American has already beat us to it.
  • There is no shrine to OBL near our seafront. I promise.

Now, back to the idiot (although, I'm really calling him 'dickhead' in my mind).

As my friend pointed out to him, he is probably wearing clothing with 'Made in Pakistan' tags on. Or, he could be wearing 'Made in USA' tags, which were really just printed here in good old Pakiland. And, I'm betting he uses a good slathering of Fair & Lovely everyday, just so he can maybe turn white at some point, and feel he is truly American. He chooses to remain ignorant to the fact, that many Pakistani Americans are successful in their chosen fields, be it medicine, politics, engineering and yes, even crime.

Not forgetting to mention how he ends up labeling himself, and his entire family as "nothing good" because you know, they have literally come out of Pakistan.


So, the question is, how are we any different from anyone else?


We're not. Except that maybe we're currently bleeding a lot more than most people.


Pakistanis abroad, and Western Pakistanis here. I have a message for you (not all of you, just the douche bags amongst you).

For the ones who left, and can't stop bitching. Read that again... You left. You tried here, and you failed, or maybe you didn't try at all, so you ended up trying somewhere else. And, maybe that minimum wage job is giving your ego a little boost right now, but not enough to make you feel more special than the Oscar winning dude.  However, you should know, that no matter where you go in that vast land of the free, you are, and always will remain just another Pakistani, to those who you probably grovel before. 

For the ones who came back here. If you're not trying to make a difference, not making the sacrifices (and I don't mean a 'I-just-took-one-vacation-this-year'  or "I-only-have-two-power-generators-not-four-so-I-am-making-the-ultimate-sacrifice" sacrifice.), get off your high horse, STFU with your bitching about this country, and grow up. There are people far, far worse off than you are. And, really... If you are going to insist on calling us "third world" you leave me no choice but to call you 'third class.'


This country may not be perfect, in fact, it's crazy right now. But, there are people who live here, work here, raise their families here. And, they're not all bad people. So, please, enough with the bullshit.


P.S. While writing this, I decided I should maybe one day write about Pakistanis in the west, who every day set an example of what the 'good Pakistani' is all about. The ones who hold fast to their culture, their traditions, their homeland. I'm sure there are numerous stories out there, that should be told.





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Great Balls of Fire!


Discussing fires yesterday, with a group of friends, I realized we don't really consider fire too much of a threat here in Pakistan. I'm sure, in Karachi people have some kind of fire escape plan, should their houses ever catch on fire. Calling the fire department, would be last on their lists of course. I remember years ago, working at a local hotel, which decided to excessively conduct a series of fire drills one year. Some of us were selected to climb out of the fifth floor (big ass hotel floors folks, not your average residential building floors), and then fight our way down a canvas chute, attached to a fire truck. I signed up, took the elevator up, climbed out of the balcony, started down the chute, then remembered I'm claustrophobic. Of course, the two firefighters there to assist us, thought I was mental. I climbed back out, jumped back into the balcony, and watched the firefighter light a cigarette, before I went off in search of a drink.


Should there be a fire in the apartment building we live in, I have an escape plan in mind. We live on the 1st floor, so instead of running down stairs, while the building burns, and people stampede, I think it would be easier to tie the kids in sheets, and lower them over the balcony. The Huz, would need to climb down first, which is fine, because he can climb up and down sewerage pipes easily (at least he used to over a decade ago, when footballs, and tennis balls needed retrieving). I see a great future for him in the U.S. as a firefighter, should we ever move there. And of course, if that happens, I will be a fire-fighter's wife, and expect everyone to thank me for my husband's service. Oh wait... wrong service.


As you can see, fire is not scary in Pakistan. In fact, we love fire over here, more than we love to hate our cricket team... At least that's what it's been like in the last decade. BOOM goes a market, then everything catches fire, and people gleefully jump over burning carts, and flaming fruit stalls to rescue old men and women, who were only there for a bargain. OK, maybe not gleeeeefully, but man can they jump.


Then, of course there are the groups who hate "blasphemers", and burn down their residences, villages, churches, and parts of their towns,  After, which the media will film the burning for hours, while people watch, and young children learn why their city is called the "City of Lights" and/or 'The most violent city in the world.' 

As you can see, no panic. We're a fearless bunch.


Tyre burning is another great local sport. Fuel prices go up, power outages become unbearable, "rival groups burned tyres on Tuesday? It's our turn now." It doesn't matter. People find their excuse, and take to the streets, yanking tyres off vehicles, drenching them in petrol and setting them ablaze on main roads. Other people abandon their cars, and run around looking for more tyres, to throw on the massive fires all around them. Most go home, because watching endless re-runs of it on the news, while sipping chai at a local Dhaba, or alternatively, updating Facebook with "OMG I was just THERE" is more appealing.

One lonely tyre... Not for long.


Bus burning. Well, because buses are just so goddamned badass, and big, and look so scary when set ablaze. Why not? And, easily accessible too, these buses, since they can always be found on the streets, shuttling working people back and forth, so you know, they can maybe earn a living, and feed their small children.

Looks gorgeous in print doesn't it?
  

Flag burning. No excuse needed, it's yet another fiery national sport, sponsored by people who clearly manufacture international flags, and have lots of 'Not fit for export' ones to spare. India, Israel, The Netherlands, Sweden, were this decades favorites, OK, OK, the Indian flag has always been a favorite.... coming in second, only to Israel. Until recently that is. Then came the American flag... And, the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave? Nonsense! Ah, it remains the most sought after flag to burn. Even though there seems to be an endless supply of it available, at any given impromptu flag burning ceremony. If you've burned an American flag, you're a hero.

But please, keep giving us visas, and aid for Sesame Street productions.

Coming in last, but certainly not the least. The effigy. One cannot begin to describe the passion and emotion behind the burning of an effigy in Pakistan. We've burned so many over the years, created so many remarkable likenesses from George W. and the Pope, to members of our national cricket team  The effigy, without doubt, is our true love.
Dude, why are you beating it?

All this talk of fire has made me hungry. Think I'll fire up the grill tonight.
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Here We Were Taught the Golden Lesson...


 *How to sift out wrong from right.


Idly browsing through Facebook today, I came across several updates, all sharing the same link. St. Joseph's Convent turns 150 years old. Without hesitation, I clicked the link, without missing a beat, I 'shared' it too, and without a second thought, I proudly posted a rambling tribute, which ended with "What a great school we belonged to." 


Ah the very essence, of what our convent school was about. Greatness. Introduced to us, when we took our first tentative steps, into that massive structure, and from then on, drilled into us relentlessly over the years, by every faculty member worth her salt.



We were great! We were special! We were Josephians! It becomes almost second nature, to think like that.



*Honor and glory to our school. 


Screw the rest.


We were served an elitist mindset upon admission, and encouraged to like it.


As one reader graciously commented "Having studied at St. Joseph’s Convent, is like being part of the royal family! We can always hold our head up high and walk with everlasting pride." 


Reading that article, I see nothing has changed. Because, while celebrating 150 years of education, students produce plays poking fun at the "lesser" schools. Baconhouse, Amma Farsi, and Karachi Punctuation School. Are you fucking kidding me? 150 years, and this is how they're allowed to honor their school? 


*We are taught to fight the fight.


Ms. Kazi still stands front and center, to remind everyone how "lucky" they are, and apparently she still affects a fake British accent, while she over pronounces words.


What started out as a Christian mission of five nuns, starting a school of just ten pupils, turned into one of the leading educational institutions for girls in Karachi. No doubt.


But, they fail to talk of the blatant discrimination within that institution. They fail to mention how if you were good, privileged, or "pure bred" you were accepted. Dare I say Cambridge = Worthiness, while Matric equaled... um yeah right, stand over there and shut up. And, how if your parents scraped together every penny to pay for your education, you had better be grateful to the school, for accepting you. I was lucky I came from "an aristocrat, Brahmin, Catholic family" and luckier my sister before me was a star pupil. That I dashed their hopes of carrying on her tradition did not go over well. I was forgiven however, and probably prayed for a lot.



I think the praying took place, when I got thrown out of religion class (several times a month) for daring to question the Bible.



*God's blessings shower down on all
Who through it's portals dear
Leave well-equipped to meet the call
Of life, each passing year



I was told at the age of nine that I had "disgusting" handwriting, and an inability to string together a coherent sentence. But, that was tame compared to what was said, to the poor Urdu speaking girl who sat beside me. I watched fellow Christian students berated for being "Anglos" by self-righteous Goan teachers, and slammed repeatedly if they came from "broken" families. I watched fellow classmates, learn at an early age not to cry, when called an idiot by an adult. The same teachers instructed the "pure breds" to not associate too much with those "beneath" us. The same teachers complained to our parents, when we broke that rule. Students who didn't do well in a subject, were forced to sit at the back of the class, if you struggled in a subject you were labeled "lazy," and heaven forbid you should ever question authority. 


*Kind guiding hands, keep us from harm.
And, make our hardships light.



My school, taught me to loathe bullies with a passion, I didn't know I possessed.


My school, helped me to understand the privilege of class, and status. 


The friends I made there, I will always remember fondly. The fun and good times, remain memories carved in stone. And, some teachers admired, and loved dearly, always. Cannot end without a tribute to the two canteen owners, who fed us crap worth it's weight in gold..


*We'll always have a special thought
For our dear convent home.


*Lyrics from the official school song


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Stuff and Nonsense

Spur of the moment plans, to meet up for coffee is something I rarely do. But, meeting this one particular friend was important, well, because I don't see her enough. She's a fellow mom of twins, almost always short on time and energy, so our plans to "meet up" rarely progress further than text messages promising it'll happen "soon," while we attempt to juggle kids, work schedules, kid activities, nonsense and more nonsense.


So, there I was, sometime last week (I've forgotten which day... Like I said, too much nonsense) at *drum roll* Butlers Chocolate Cafe, waiting for my friend to arrive. I put in the drum roll, because in Karachi, one must always do that, before one mentions places such as Butlers, where all the "cool" people hang out.


When I entered, I immediately felt the waiter was trying to usher me out, He sort of gestured to the door behind me, his eyes signaling something to the cashier. Then, having realized I hadn't stumbled upon the cafe by mistake, attempted to guide me to a table in the far back. I pretended he didn't exist, and grabbed the nearest table much to his annoyance. He mumbled something about "being more comfortable" and I snapped. So, I froze him with my best don't fuck with me, because I'm a bigger bitch than your mother look, because hey, I didn't work in a swanky hotel for nearly ten years without learning crap like that.


He held my chair for me, then dutifully brought me a menu, and discreetly looked down my top. 


I ordered a coffee, which had some sophisticated name, with the word 'cappuccino' attached to it.  Extremely comfortable in my old, old jeans, some type of kurti I grabbed out of the closet an hour before, hair freshly washed, but not blow dried, and my  favorite worn out flat sandals, smoking my cigarette (nasty habit I know)... I began texting with my brother-in-law, about how Butlers is just a regular roadside cafe everywhere else, but in Karachi the waiters will treat you like shit, if your clothes are not designer labeled. 


Two "ladies" seated at the next table, kept shooting me looks of disgust, one kept wrinkling her nose everytime I exhaled smoke, (she was also wrinkling her nose before I lit up, and I promise I showered that morning). She pointedly asked the waiter to remove the ashtray from her table, then went back to pretending the cafe did not have a 'non-smoking section' on the other side, so she could remain seated at the corner window booth, with a clear view of the entrance. Must not miss the chance to see if fellow hair-sprayed to death acquaintances, put in an appearance, so we can wave french manicured fingers at each other, and air kiss over everyone's heads.


I visit such places for blog fodder as well.


And, yes in Pakistan, we still have smoking sections in our restaurants.


Then, there was this woman sitting with her friends, directly across from me, just staring. I rubbed my nose. She stared some more. I lit up another cigarette, and felt a hiss behind me. Turning slightly, all ready to suggest the non-smoking section, I caught them both glaring at me. I glared right back, while trying hard not to imagine, what one of those faces would look like minus the botox, and obvious eye lifts. It didn't work, so I smirked, and could swear I heard the words "low class" muttered as I turned back to see the waiter standing near me, asking yet again if I would be dining alone.


It's a sin to dine alone at Butlers.


If you're not armed with an iPad.


My friend finally arrived, looking very much the mom who stayed up all night with a sick kid, struggled through fusses at breakfast, wrestled three kids into a car, drove them to their schools, and finally stopped for a break, before heading off into an over-scheduled day. 


She had definitely not changed her clothes, there were visible 'sick child' signs on her t-shirt, tired lines around her eyes, and an exhausted smile on her face. The waiter stared at her in disbelief, and later kept shooting her looks, which told of the unimaginable physical pain she caused him, with her audacity of showing up "un-polished."



I was tempted to rip the silver, tribal design earring, right off his left lobe.



And, feed it to botox lips behind us.


The food was good, the coffee was great. This post is really just (yet another) pointless one... Because, I'm in a kind of pointless mood.


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Tired of being a Pakistani

After recent events in Pakistan, where yet another life is taken, yet another voice is silenced, we realize we're not so much back at square one, but that we never moved from there at all. 



I'm tired of the blame games, the finger pointing, the defense of dogma, the useless rants of liberals, the silence of moderates, and the fanaticism running rampant in this nation. The bloodshed. The despair. I am tired of people jumping up to defend their religion, after every tragedy. As if that makes all the difference. It does not. 


I'm tired of the dependency on scripture and Holy Books, as if they are the only source of moral codes for what is right and wrong. They are not.


I am tired of searching for hope in all the madness, tired of those who have stopped searching for it, and so tired of those who hold on to it, preach about it, offer prayers for it, then sit back and live in it with comfort, and a solid dose of denial.


I am tired of shielding my children from the news, tired of attempting to explain to them why it's not safe to go here, or there. So very tired of words like "terrorists" "assassination" "serfs" "elite" "fatwa" "minorities." "Shia, Sunni, Ahmedi, Christian, Hindu, religion, rights, law, repeal...  Blasphemy."

 
I'm tired of news channels, and their panels of 'experts' engaging in so called discourse, with some borderline hard core extremist, hell bent on defending bloodshed. I am tired of people taking to the streets, and burning flags of nations they could not find on a map, setting ablaze vehicles of hardworking individuals, destroying public property, as if it is their duty to stand up for themselves in such a barbaric manner.


I am tired of no longer reacting in shock, when I hear of tragedies.


I am tired of watching news clips of bomb sites, in all their gruesome glory, and only feeling grateful it wasn't me, or my loved ones who perished.


I'm tired of the poverty, and the power hungry who prey on the poor. I am tired of those who can do something about it, but do not. I'm tired of people telling me to 'get out' if I don't like it, and just as tired of people telling me to 'stay and fight' so we can have peace. 


I'm tired of constantly being confronted with the fact, that the only way to achieve peace is to fight for it.


I am very, very tired of being a Pakistani.


But, I cannot be anything else.


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Drama, Teenagers and Agatha Frickin Christie!

Not much else besides that seems to be filling up, what just happens to be our 7th wedding anniversary weekend celebration. The conversation a few days ago went something like this...


J: My school kids are doing a play, I need to supervise


Seriously! You're a MATH teacher.


And, later...


J: Can you come help out a little?


Dude, I'm a working mom (redundant term isn't it?), and you're SO in need of a second wife. (Totally legal in our country btw).


And, so I envisioned my weekend going to hell, because that's what you expect when you think you're going to be surrounded by a bunch of teenage wannabe superstars, with chips on their shoulders, and acne where blush would otherwise look good.


Not a hint of wannabeism, the chips were barely visible, and the lack of acne made me wonder how much sex they were having, or whether they just all have great parents, who insist on a year round healthy diet of fruit and veggies. 


At first glance, they seemed disorganized, loud and erratic. Their supervisor (the Huz) did not seem to be helping matters. I will never understand how he can be yelling at a kid one second, and laughing hysterically with them the next. I wanted to run from the madness , which consisted of much messing up of lines, literal dragging of feet, and no one seeming to have a fucking clue what the word 'places' means in an on-stage production. 


I met and dealt with 'The beauty,' 'The beast,' 'The class clown,' 'The stud,' 'The bookish mouse,' 'The genius.' and everyone in between. Gay clothing, hairspray,  girls boldly stating they did not feel ashamed to change in front of me, then promptly stripping,  boys not very careful either, hair straightening irons, female bickering over hair and make-up (OMG the bickering!!!) I was in a Pakistani, missionary, High School Musical hell.


Thankfully it wasn't Vanessa Hudgens' voice belting out from the speakers, or I would have killed them all.


I had the best time.


These kids... Umm, young men and women....


I was struck by their niceness, amazed at how hard they worked, and loved how much they cared about their play. This is the stuff young people are made of, and the older more cynical amongst us, would do well to remember that.


You know who you are, asshats! Stop criticizing the kids.


They put on a show, which rocked the house. A hilarious Agatha Christie play happened. Their talent was impressive, their humor typically teen, their passion? Outstanding. 


And, they did it all on their own.


Little to no help, just given a task, and expected to do a great job, sometimes with needless interference. And, support? Umm WTF is that when it's just a bunch of teens right? 


OK, so back to what I planned would be a review of the production (much as I'd love to rant endlessly about asshole people I spotted adults). 


And, don't even get me started on the 'Christian' presence I observed there. Seriously people! You have so begged me to (yet again) rant about you. Another blog post though.
 
 
 
On second thought... screw the review. I recommend you go see it. If you can't, then go see something undertaken by teens from start to finish. You might be surprised by how professional kids can be.




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A Class Above


So children, the topic today is classism and the elitist mindset. I don't even know where to begin, because there is an endless field of crap I'd have to wade through to find out where it all began in the first place. So, in my typical style of not really giving a rat's ass about history, and why this is this, and that is that, I'll just jump right into the middle of it all and point out the bullshit I see around me.


Right now, we're living in a nation which is rapidly approaching hell's fire. People are dying, thousands are suffering the after effects of the floods, the fanatics are getting more fanatical, target killings are an everyday occurrence, people are scared, people are resigned, people are leaving the country, and some people are tweeting about Meher Bokhari being a fundi bitch, and Veena Malik is telling all the mullahs to back the fuck off.


But, it's important for some to remind themselves, and others of who they are, and what they come from. How they sit far above the rest, and either tut tut at those they see as beneath them, or do what they can to exploit, abuse, and ridicule them.


An otherwise pretty entertaining blogger, was the straw, that broke this camel's back. Why? Because, he's privileged enough to have attended the best fucking school in the whole nation.


BEST! 


The one where everyone retains their place if they have "perseverance, excellence, and a dash of style." according to the blogger.


Notice no mention of daddy's bank balance, and feudal background.


Or mommy's social standing in some big shit, fuck-the-people-this-is-about-luncheons charity organization, where they spend more money on organizing their annual dinner/dance, than they do helping the poor in a decade.

So, in essence having the one school in Pakistan, where it is imperative to be the best academically just so you can retain your seat, is actually a good thing.


How?


How is it good? Wouldn't it be better if it was one of the best? (Calm down Patricians, this is not about you... not in this post anyway) And, there were many more like it? Maybe in every district? You know just so that ALL the kids in this country had the chance to strive?  Or maybe even had a chance at education without it having to be a money making business? Hey, how about every school retaining good academic standards?


Or, are poor kids living in slums, going to public schools, going to low fee private schools, going to crap ass schools, all a bunch of idiots?


Maybe they're just not worthy.


Because, if some kid off the street was given admission in KGS, how would his parents afford the fees? How would they pay for his college tuition in North America? OMG would they send their child to school on a public bus? Or worse, on foot?

Never! Privileged kids should never see that kind of stuff. It may make them aware of *gasp* poverty!


Or the middle class.


Academic standards, my ass!


They take in the best, from the richest (or those who do a good job of pretending to be rich) and retain their "high standards." It's common knowledge, and it's disgraceful to see it being lauded over everyone else, by some very naive people, who prefer to live in denial.


This is not about whether KGS is the best school or not, because it's a great school. 


But, seriously former students of KGS (some of you) and other elitists schools. Get off your steeds. If you were fortunate enough to get the education you got, do something more than just lauding it over others.


Like I said to the blogger in his comments section. One need not elevate themselves/put others down to take pride in what they come from.


These are the kind of people, who continue to help this nation remain in the sorry state it is in. I can't say that enough. Because, hey enjoy their comforts, and status too much. They have to be the best, have the best, and keep the best for themselves. And, the only way they can do that, is if they keep everyone else down. Whether they realize they're doing so, or not.


But, it's nothing to be proud of.


P.S. Home of the Snapping Turtle (link in my blog roll) is an otherwise pretty entertaining blog. Just because I disagree with the blogger today, is no reason why I shouldn't promote the little brat.




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Cinderella is a Bitch... Poor Cinders!

So, again... Hyper moms worried about the little phases their kids go through, in the corporate world's attempt to take over our childrens lives, and ruin them completely.

Completely!!

But, it's really our daughters we should worry about, well because you know... Some feminists say so. Beware of the pink, the fluffy, the glitter... The goddamn Disney princesses!! They will eat your daughters, as Peggy Orenstein so dramatically tells us.

Cinderella is a bitch!

Protect your daughters people, because girls need to be protected right? They're weak, easily influenced, not like boys who are tougher and never want to grow up to be princes, or knights in shining armor. Not since that little fucker Lightening McQueen zoomed onto a screen, and forever changed the way little boys view their body parts anyway.

My daughter likes pink, and purple. She also like princess dresses.

And, dirt.

But, according to Peggy, it's only possible for girls to play in dirt wearing princess dresses.  

“Just because little girls wear the tulle does not mean they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. Plenty of them shoot baskets in ball gowns or cast themselves as the powerful evil stepsister bossing around the sniveling Cinderella.”   


Umm ball gowns? 

This is how she views females?


I have nothing more to say about that, because the purpose of this post was to list the evil commercial world's plot to take over my son's brain, and turn him into a cartoon character. I've witnessed so many phases in my son's life of six years, I'm actually terrified he'll become "confused" when he grows up... Because...

  1. Diego Ate my Son
  2. Lightening McQueen Ate my Son
  3. Spiderman Ate my Son
  4. Batman Ate my Son
  5. Multiple Personality Disorder, aka Ben10 Ate my Son
Hell, at least my daughter will look pretty in her ball gowns. My son on the other hand, will grow up to look like this if he had his way.


What is the color pink compared to that?


Any feminists care to create a stink about that?


And, can we PLEASE let kids be kids... When they're kids?
Thank you!


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