Wednesday, 11 February 2009

When the winds of change blow ...you somehow drift along with it

Many of you may have noticed a sudden change in my blog, firstly - I went blank for about six months, and secondly - I've now gone and changed the template to something, well, I'm hoping a little less 'morbid'. It's not that things have become any brighter than they were last year, but they have changed drastically (won't go into the details, I'll let you guess for yourself while I remain ever the mysterious one!)

Today I want to share a short poem by Sahir Ludhianvi.

I came across this shayr a few years ago and still, to this day, I am in awe of the eloquence with which he conveys his message. The urdu language has so much depth to offer, we can't begin to comprehend the same degree of meaning in English, a language which I am beginning to discover is more alien to my character than I had perhaps ever thought. Indeed, it isn’t until you are surrounded by that which is unknown, that you reminisce about the softness and heritage of your language and hold on desperately to your own being. I am grateful to my parents for showing me the beauty of where I come from, not where I belong.

Khubsoorat Mor

Chalo aik baar phir se ajnabi ban jaaye hum dono

Na mein tum se koi ummeed rakhuun dil navaazi ki
Na tum meri taraf dekho ghalat andaaz nazron se
Na meray dil ki dharkan larkharaye meri baaton mein
Na zaahir ho tumhaari kash-ma-kash ka raaz nazron se

Chalo aik baar phir se ajnabi ban jaaye hum dono

Tumhen bhi koi uljhan rokti hai pesh-qadmi se
Mujhay bhi log kehtay hain kay yeh jalvay paraaye hain
Mere hum-raah bhi rusvaaiyan hain meray maazi ki
Tumharay saath bhi guzri huii raaton kay saaye hain

Ta'aruf rog hojaaye to uss ko bhulaana behtar
Ta'aluq boj banjaaye to us ko torna accha
Woh afsana jissay anjaam tak lana na ho mumkin
Ussay aik khubsoorat mor de kar chorna accha

Chalo aik baar phir se ajnabi ban jaaye hum dono

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Status is not determined by how many boxes you tick

I have some 'friends' who sadly determine how well their life is going by the number of boxes they tick. This includes, education (and quite rightly so), job (I guess, that too), marriage (yeah, that ol' one), and having babies (hmmm...)... The thing is, it wouldn't be so bad if they just got on with it and stopped comparing themselves to everyone else, but women - yes women - I've said this before - just can't stop themselves from competing.

I wrote about this issue a few months ago, and I thought things might change (what with a few 'friends' regularly accessing my blog), but I was mistaken. The other day I was involved in a three-way-conversation that went something like this:

Me: Hey! So you're getting married, woo-hoo!!!
Friend A: Aww, jee, thanks hun, you gonna come yeah?
Me: Wouldn't miss it for the world mate!
Friend B: You're getting married??? Uff, about time!!!

[Background to Friend B: Been engaged for umm, about three years to random guy, and finally coaxed him to get on with the wedding earlier this year]

Friend A: Er, okay thanks hun...
Me: [decided to stay outta this one, coz I felt a cat-fight coming on]
Friend B: Finally, we get to see this happy occasion man
Friend A: [feeling kinda low at this point], yeah thanks...
Me: [private message] Hey listen, forget about her, people are people, they are born jealous, don't stoop to her level - ignore her! Better still, block her!

Am I the only one who thinks this conversation is pretttttty sad?

The thing is people don't realise one thing about me. Have a stooooopid 'I-think-I-tick-the-right-box' conversation in front of me and it WILL appear in my blog, I will (not) name, but I will certainly shame. People can be so demeaning these days, and I find that it is mostly women with snide comments and double-meaning, sarcastic jokes. I mean what ever happened to genuine, selfless happiness for your friend?

If you're not getting married it's 'why aren't you looking?', 'why are you so relaxed?', 'you're getting old', and if you're already married, it's 'aren't you trying yet?', 'you're looking old, don't leave it too late', 'did you know that if you have kids after thirty you start looking older quicker' (yeah, believe me I recently heard that one as well!!) - I mean WTF? You ALREADY look old at thirty, irrespective of whether you've got kids or not! If anything one would think that you'd look younger with all that running around after toddlers! I swear, some people abandon all logic and sense when they (finally) get hitched.

I don't know guys - you tell me, is this common amongst you guys? Maybe I'm just mixing with the wrong people, either that or I attract low-life, wanna-be-desperate-housewives!

PS: Dreamer - Good idea about the series on Facebook. Definitely going to look into that, so watch this space! :)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Wannabe Facebook 'Mozlems'

So here's how it goes:

- View profile page
- Info: "I love Islam, reading the Quran, reading Islamic books - Muhammed (PBUH) is the greatest hero, Allah is the best - and I am an active member of the Muslims Appreciation Society"
- View photo album
- Shots from umm... rather questionable club / beaches / or places that look awfully similar to street kerbs...!!!

Me thinking, huh? + connection = wtf???

Don't you just hate it when you add someone as a friend on Facebook and they have some looooong essay about how 'Mozlem' they are and how they love their religion? These are people with profile pages as long as my dissertation, with ayahs and religious quotes sprawled all over it. They've probably got the old "Hadith-a-Day" application and are likely to be members of "Sa-la-ma: Religion of peace", "Muhammed - our messenger", "let's bring Shariah law to the UK" groups, but at the same time you look at their updated photo albums and all you see are pictures of what looks a lot like an alcoholic drink (you give benefit of the doubt and click on), you then see fag in the hand, and arm around one-two-three-random blokes / girls... I mean come on, what's that all about?

The thing is I'm not judging anyone for doing what they do - but I am going to stop taking anyone seriously if they're a two-faced lying twat. I mean, why live a lie? Surely, Allah sees everything? There's no point in putting BS stories about how religious you are when you haven't even got the decency to live out your life like a proper Muslim - or forget living like a Muslim, just being true to yourself! Sadly, being a Muslim (in the true, correct way - don't give me this 'reformation' malarkey) means no alcohol, no free dating (forget dating, it means no snogging - that includes the same-sex, yes, I am serious, this is common 'stoopid-play' amongst the younger generation) and it sure as hell means no revealing anything beyond what you wouldn't reveal when leaving the house!

I get soooo angry when I see idiots who go on and on and on and on and on about how much Islam means to them and act like flippin' angels in front of everyone, when deep down you know what they're really about. Just today T and I were having a meal, and this time, thankfully it wasn't me who brought this subject up, it was her. T was as infuriated as me about the double standards people from our generation apply these days. It seemed to me as though T had only recently come across this rather bizarre phenomena, but most of us have seen it for months. It's a joke, and the sad thing is that it really does change your opinion about a person within minutes. It's like for god's sake, do what the hell you want, just don't act like you're a saint while you're doing it, because you're not.

I know I'm going on about Facebook a lot these days, but these damn, stoopid kids are p***ing me off :@

Monday, 15 September 2008

Facebook: A haven for classified nutters

Yes, it has been ages since I last wrote, but what can I say, I have been busy! (I would apologise, but why should I, this place is after all my little 'space' where I can do whatever the hell I like and do as I please... so, I won't - time to lose a lot of readers after that one! ;p lol, only joking!) So... what have I been up to recently? Not much, actually no I lie, I've been up to loads, but those are all stories I will save for another day.

For now, I will talk about an issue that is totally winding me up these days - Facebook. I admit, I am a self-declared addict, but at the same time I can't help but cringe at the number of stalkers, freaks and nutters who think it is their god-given right to add, poke, desi-poke, and message. I mean, what's that all about? You'd think people would get embarrassed at adding someone they don't know just to be rejected, but no - and guess what, the majority of them seem to be off-the-boaties... eeeuuugggh, it's yuk, and I can't stand it. The other day I got messaged by a one 'Kashif Butt*', this is how the conversation went:

July

KB: [blank message]

Me: Do I know you?

KB: ii want friend ship with you i m from dubai can you want friend ship with me you have any yahoo id or msn plz if want then send it to me id thankx you i m from pakistan you loking waoooo

Me: no thank you

KB: acha yarra app naraz kioon hotti heinye bhi app ki meher bani hein ke reply tu deya thanks wessy app hein bohat peyari hein dont mind

A month later (I think he'd forgotten that he'd already messaged me)

KB: daffa door nahi tu na sahi

Me: [believe me, you do not want to know what I wrote back the second time round!]

I mean, you'd think that the loser would've taken a hint, but no... I then had to block the twit and then reported him. I mean where do these people get off??? It's irritating as hell! Needless to say I have now increased my privacy to the highest setting, what does this mean? It means that you can no longer find me on Facebook unless you are my friend (yay!!!) - bad news for some old friends who may be looking for me; excellent news to avoid potential stalkers with ample time to sit in front of their PCs late at night trying to figure out updates about my life - freakazoids! Spare the humiliation, we know who you are!

* Name has not been changed because I want to humiliate the little twat, and hopefully it'll teach anymore future twats from making the same mistake - you will be named, and you will be shamed. Got it?!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Random Ramblings Rated 8.1 on Blogged.com

Yay! Finally, my talents are recognised!! Haha, only joking... (umm, yeah right), so I scored an whooping great 8.1 - which, in case you aren't familiar with the language of demical points - means 'GRRRREAT' - Yup, just like Tony said! Yes, pretty chuffed, so here's the link: http://www.blogged.com/directory/personal-blogs

Sooo, where have I been? I know, I'm sorry guys, just came back from the ol' homeland, i.e., Karachi, and what a trip it was! I fell ill when I got there (forgot that I was a 'phoreigner' and thought I could stomach the water) and then got scared sh*te-less (well no, not quite) when the six, or was it seven? No, no, definitely seven, bombs went off, and then came back only to get a form of food poisoning - yes, seem to have puked up my guts in the last week!! :( *poor me*

The good news is that I think I have fully recovered now... but unfortunately told by my Doc to lay off over-exherting myself, which means I will not be able to take part in the race for life tomorrow! Totally disappointed, because I was really looking forward to it. Oh well, never mind, inshallah next year - on to bigger and better things. But! My other team members will still be doing it tomorrow. Let's hope all goes according to plan tomorrow! Good luck guys... :)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Pehli Nazar Mein...

ABSOLUTELY love this song right now...



Atif totally rocks!!! He just gets better, and better, and better, and better...! :)

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Deluded "American Dream"

First of all a big sorrrrryyyyy to all my readers!!! I know I have been mega-lame with my blogs recently, but recently life has been a little random to say the least... I've just returned back from the States and my body clock feels like it is on auto-pilot - the only problem is the pilot doesn't actually know what time it is! So, I am resorting to writing a blog in order to stay awake and to update you on the few snippets of randomness that I've been experiencing lately... and this time, well... let's just say it's a little different...

As many of you know I write about nothing specific, and everything in particular. I write about the 'madness' (yes that's what I call it) in my head, and the sporadic thoughts that pop in and out of my mind from time to time. I observe things around me, and yes - sadly, I people watch. I want to start this blog by saying that this blog is being written in response to a number of reader requests for my thoughts on America - or rather, the "Americans". It is not something I would have willingly revealed, but as it is the twenty-first century and we are entitled to speak at our own free will, I shall share my thoughts with you.

Let me first start by saying (you know something controversial is around the corner when I say that don't you) anything I am about to say are generalisations - they are my reflections on a people, a creed, a community, a race - they are by no means directed at any one person, and they are certainly not intended to be distasteful or insulting. These are, as I said, mere observations (which, as many of you know, may potentially turn into another infamous rant.)

I have always had a 'thing' about America - well, don't we all? Having said that, I've never had any hard feelings against the American people. I have always found them extremely down to earth, friendly and open... that was until recently...

Americans are funny people, who in my opinion, have been fed a deluded version of what constitutes as being the ultimate "American Dream". Every one (including people my age) seem to "own" their own homes and are driving around in gas guzzling jeeps and SUVs like there is no tomorrow. When I ask around about what I can only describe as a ridiculous amount of wealth virtually dripping out of people's ears, I am told that everything here is bought on credit. "Buy now, pay later" schemes mean that you can live like a princess (or a prince) even if you are nothing but a pauper (or 'hobo' as I've heard them say.) It's no wonder that the current US economy is in such a dire state. It reminds me of a rather profound statement by a British economist a few months, who said, "my best financial advice came from my mother, she said, son, if you haven't got it, don't spend it" - his statement was in response to the recent property crisis in the States - I really don't think I could've put it any better myself.

But this isn't the only thing, "diva mentality" and melodrama prevails wherever I go and with whomever I speak to. Everyone has an excuse for something and I am told that possessing "daddy's credit card" at the age of forty is perfectly reasonable (I am thinking, hmm... I wouldn't mind that bit!), airing personal problems in public seems like second nature, and the concept of privacy seems unfamiliar. But I think the worst part has to be my realisation that every single person has their very own specialist - or rather an "ist" - of some sort, i.e., a psychologist, a physiologist, a dermatologist, a physiotherapist, a gynecologist, etc, etc... If you ask me the only "ist" they are actually missing is a hypnotherapist to knock some sense into them. The private health-care system is ringing people dry; they live and work to pay their health insurance - to stay alive, to stay young, and it makes me wonder whether the end really does justify the means.

In reality it made me feel very fortunate to be a Brit, where everything seems real, logical and moderate to me. In England, if you go to your doctors they will listen to you, make a reasonable judgment and send you packing with the suggestion to have a hot cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, and everything will be okay! Whereas in the US, doctors - or rather 'consultants' (remember they might not actually hold a Doctorate) - will hype it up and freak you out by classifying the common cold as some kind of rare disease which only three percent of the nation are suffering from, and guess what (hold your breath now) - you've got it! Everyone has an illness of some kind and they use them as excuses so as not the burst the inexcusable bubble of sheer laziness.

Obesity is termed as "metabolic syndrome", "hyperthyroidism", or "Cushing’s syndrome" (which I accept does happen to some people, but I refuse to believe it can happen to eighty percent of a nation.) Drive-thrus and food joints at every corner means that people have absolutely no control over their food intake and the lack of public transport means that they don't partake in any exercise (unless of course you're rich, live in Beverly Hills, own your own gym, and have a full-time instructor on site.) The doctors have a pill for almost anything, except a cure for being fat - oh, sorry - was I just politically incorrect there? Oops... I meant... erm... sorry, what are we calling it again these days??? I wonder whether jacking in the ol' sedentary lifestyle will cure it all (oh, and by that I mean getting off one's proverbial 4r5e and actually doing some work!)

A stroll in the mall reveals a range of cosmetic surgeries, scattered about the place as if they are shoe shops or hairdressers; you don't need an appointment or a referral to get yourself injected with some potentially life-threatening, high dosage drug - all you have to do is flash the cash, sit down in the operating chair (or table) and wait... two hours later and you have the perfect nose, sparkling white teeth, or down from a size eighteen to a zero - it seems absurd, but it's true.

The Asian and Muslim communities are living in some kind of time-warp where everything is as it should have been "back home" in some long-forgotten era. People are obsessed with provincialism (what? Oh sorry, too hard a word, I meant "re-gion-al-ism") and you are judged by whether you are from a particular neighbourhood, in a particular district, in a particular town, in a particular city, from one part of the border or another.

These sub-groups live by an 'extreme' moral code - you have those who are literally (to quote one friend) "from the pind* to the pind", or there are those who have adopted a totally western lifestyle which is neither here nor there. Then there are those who cut themselves off from all things western in a bid to maintain and sustain religious affiliations and allegiances, and instead lose themselves on a path of insanity. Balance is unheard of and it makes me question my own values and beliefs. Luckily I come out of it feeling more content than ever. I feel sorry for the communities living out there, who are so very fooled by the "American way" that they find themselves utterly miserable and alienated.

I could go on, but I am sure that by this point you are all gasping from shock that I have chosen to write this... the thing is, I am all for progression, and I am open-minded enough to accept different lifestyles, but when I see sane people, yes level-headed, sane people, being sucked into believing that this is the norm I will have something to say. It totally freaked me out and no, it is not normal - it is nothing but a deluded version of a dream that will eventually turn into a ghastly nightmare.

...So take the good, and leave the bad.

*Translation
"Pind" = Village