Archive | November, 2011

He’s Only Seventeen

27 Nov
Brrrrr! This is a funny caption.

Brrrrr! This is a funny caption.

Twelve more days to go, and it will finally be legitimate for me to drive. Eighteen years; I have suffered more than I have gained. I have realized that the poems I write, end up making sense later on in the future. It seems as if I inadvertently predict what’s going to happen to me. I ended up converting this one into a song.

November, oh November rain!
How long have I been longing for you;
Reveal to me, new walkways
Reawaken the old pain
Notice, you did not, the plants that I planted for you

November, cold November rain!
You swept the Lost off the streets tonight
November, sweet November rain!
But you set me free in all your might
Next time, when you come by —
Speak to me, oh November rain! 

-A

Though I’m thankful for what I have, and I don’t regret writing a poem that seems so vague, I secretly wish I didn’t have to hide my feelings behind ambiguously patterned words.

Creating Positivity

22 Nov

“Think good, speak good, do good,” was the motto of Mera Passion Pakistan’s (MPP) launching ceremony in Lahore this Saturday evening. Apart from all the post-event criticism, I believe MPP did a perfect job smoking an air of positivity into Lahore’s bloggers. It is no secret that the local and global media doesn’t cover most of the positive things going on in Pakistan. The responsibility of news reporting has been confined to negative stories only, which is why the unsung heroes of this country rarely ever make it to our TV screens.

Glass is half full.

MPP’s objective is simple — to cover the positive news, and to provide the nation’s heroes with a platform on which their work is recognized and appreciated. The event was very well organized, which was something that perhaps none of the attendees had expected. Not only were we shown short documentaries about some of the undiscovered heroes, we later realized that they themselves were present there.

Pakistan’s Wright brothers: No, seriously. You may call them Qazi brothers though. Qazi Sajjad, inspired by a plane he saw in a 60s Bond film, built its own version using bamboo and a Suzuki engine, which can reach the altitude of 16000ft. Thanks to the pilot Qazi Tufail who assisted with the project. This motor glider, the brothers say, can be effective when monitoring the traffic and the floods.

“The Telescope Guy”: Asad Mehmood, is a soon-to-be 18-year-old student from Okara, who built Pakistan’s 5th largest (now 6th largest) telescope in his house, on his own. He spent a total of 25,000 PKR from his own pocket for achieving this target. Asad is one of the most passionate Physics buffs I have ever known, and I hope he goes on to build even bigger and better telescopes.

The Teachers: The floods in Sindh have displaced millions of people from their home towns, and have forced them to live in refugee camps. The children in these camps are deprived of their most basic right, which is education. These three students (two boys and a girl; I don’t remember all the names) from IBA Sukkur, studying on full-scholarship there, decided to take a step forward. They regularly go to the camps and educate the children there. Since their backgrounds are no different from these children’s, they realize how important education is for them. I consider them the true heroes, because educating poor children is the only way to save them from becoming street-beggars in the future. I personally conversed with the group in Sindhi (their mother-tongue) and it felt great to know that people from my province are finally beginning to realize what’s good for them. (I usually criticise Sindhis a lot for their non-serious attitude to life.) The best part was, they sat right beside me all the time and I didn’t know who they were until I saw them on the big screen.

Photo by Haris Nadeem.

Left to right: Asad Mehmood, The three IBA students, Fazli (the man who covered the stories), Qazi Tufail. (Photo by Haris Nadeem.)

All in all, the event was a success. Mr. Irfan’s talk was one of the most inspirational and patriotic speeches I have ever listened to. All the attendees appreciated him. Applause. Laughter. Interaction. It was a wonderful session.

But the criticism is always there. The most objectionable and debatable issue is the awarding of an iPad by MPP to Google’s Badar Khushnood, the man who helped a great deal with organizing the event, while the discussed heroes were only awarded 10,000 PKR each. Another concerning point is that MPP has still not finished its website. There is no information whatsoever about the team behind the project.

If Life Remains, I’ll See You Again

16 Nov
No funny captions this time. Shoo! Go away!

No funny captions this time. Shoo! Go away!

It was a long day, but different. The strikingly harsh sunlight had tanned his skin a bit. The back of his shirt had gotten wet from all the sweating. “Finally,” he thought, “I can brag about myself.”

The bus was not so crowded and he didn’t have to struggle much with his eyes to find an empty seat. The bus conductor gave him an unpleasant look, as if he was expecting more people to board the bus than just him. But it didn’t matter to him. As he slowly advanced to the seat he had his eyes locked on, he realized that it was the first time he had actually seen an empty spot in a bus. Then he realized it was the first time in five years he had been on a bus.

“Ashfaq?” He heard a familiar voice from the back. He turned around to see who it was, and soon, his entire teenage life flashed before his eyes. In all his hardships, only one person had stood by him, and he was looking at her now. He stood there, desperately trying to recover his original self from such an untimely surprise. “Ashfaq, ten long years, and you… you are still the same!”

Bismah’s loud voice had alluringly stolen all the attention from the surroundings. Ashfaq walked closer to her. He had a lot to say, and nothing to say. “Where have you been, my man? Say something!” But he was struggling, trying to figure out what it was that he wanted to say first. He wasn’t out of words; he was out of sentences. The friend, who had stood by him during what was the worst time of his life, was right in front of his eyes, and he was speechless. He had never returned to her what she gave to him. During all these years, there hadn’t been a single moment he had even recalled her face. And there she was, radiating positivity with her smile, like she always did.

“I’m sorry,” he finally managed to speak.
“What for?”

He went silent again, thinking of how he had spent his last ten years, from being a poor student on financial aid, to a highly paid professional. He would have killed himself long ago, had she not been there for him. How could he not remember her all these years? How could he plan his future and not include her in it? He felt guilty. He felt as if he would break into tears any second. “I shouldn’t have given the car keys to Asma,” he thought. The next stop was near. It was not his stop, but he had decided what to do to save himself from the embarrassment.

“I’m sorry, I don’t recognize you,” he said as he rushed through the exit doors. His appointment as the company’s CEO now meant nothing to him. It was a long day, but different.

This is my first attempt at story writing, so never mind the lack of attractiveness in details. Oh, and, this.

Of Shower Concerts and Moonwalking

11 Nov

The narrow spot in the backstage that gives me a view of the crowd induces a heavy sensation of nervousness and excitement into me. The band accompanying me is already on the stage, warming up with the instruments. Meanwhile, I wait inside the dressing room for the big announcement, keeping a last-minute check on my hairstyle and re-buttoning my off-white shirt, folding up its cuffs to three levels. I move closer to the mirror and admire how natural my stubble looks.

But seriously, you can't see me clearly with that kind of lightning on the stage.

But seriously, you can't see me clearly with that kind of lightning on the stage.

 “Aadil! Aadil!” The unexpectedly huge crowd anxiously waits for me. All of a sudden, the water supply from the shower comes to a halt.

Daydreaming has its limits, but it keeps you entertained. You can either convert a dream into reality, but if you are not rich (or determined) enough, daydreaming gives you a slight taste of what you secretly desire. Though I know what it feels like when you exit the backstage’s dull atmosphere and step onto a vibrant stage, and I know how thrilling it is to be dancing in front of a huge audience, but I have never been on a stage all by myself, singing. Therefore, shower is the place where all my dreams get fulfilled.

How can you not be jealous?

How can you not be jealous?

To this day, I have delivered hundreds of inspirational speeches, coached tens of football and cricket teams, had conversations with people who exist only in my imagination, played instruments I have never touched, and done a lot of things I would never do in real life.

The best part, however, is when I moonwalk. I can’t really moonwalk to be very frank, but I try. I invent my own dancing steps. Once, I fell very badly while randomly dancing in shower, but that (unfortunately) didn’t kill the spirit, or the trance.

Cooler than the one-step-forward-and-two-steps-back dance, since 1983.

Cooler than the one-step-forward-and-two-steps-back dance, since 1983.

Oh, and you must stop judging. I’m not shy to perform in front of an audience in real life. I just don’t get enough opportunities. My last time on a stage was on 23rd of March this year, when I dressed up as Jinnah for a group-performance.

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