Thursday, November 20, 2014

A box of chocolates

There was matter of inheritance which was settled last year. I had sued my brothers. My wife or her brother helped me contest the case. What remained was the implementation. My brother Sajid  lives abroad, initially flatly refused to come when I told about the court hearing. Later his wife Neeli would call on his behalf . Whenever she called my wife  Razia would avoid picking up the phone and ask me to talk to her. 
Razia explained she does not know how to talk with Neeli,  Razia had told so many times that did not  like Neeli and despised Sajid. I was away and Razia had to talk with Neeli, who told that Sajid is going to be coming over in the earliest flight. Razia told me that.
Sajid came and did the needful at the court. The next day I had to accompany him to the court  He dropped by my place and left a box of chocolates for my daughter. Considering that Razia did not like or care my brother and his wife, I did not tell Razia. Later after the box of chocolates were discovered, I told my wife and daughter that Sajid is her and he had had brought the chocolates for my daughter.
I expected that it would be a pleasant surprise, instead it turned into a fit of rage. It was if I committed a terrible crime. Razia kept on asking me why I did not tell her that Sajid was here and that it was shocking that I did not share this before.
I know this much about Razia is that if I had told her earlier, she would have thought of something mean to say instead of smiling or be happy, which can never be, under any circumstances. Her mother died earlier this, I did not see her griever or mourn for a second. Just went as if  nothing has happened. Her brother is worse in this matter. his motto is 'It is done, it is over, just get over and get on with life". He says this same thing in every funeral, he is revolted by grieving people

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Writers BLOCK

This is not writers block, the moment when writers cannot write. It is about where do writers publish their books. Though I am not superstitious I was told by a fortune teller that I would write some book which would make me rich and famous. That of course never happened,  the number of comments on different social networking websites is writing.
I doubt anyone would win a Nobel prize for what they write in their blogs. Or if they have their own websites in which they contribute their myriad ideas would be of interest to anyone.
But more has been written by so many people than any time in the history of mankind. I wonder if Leo Tolstoy would ever have blogged 'War and Peace'?. For me writing is second nature and I assumed that everyone did and could. Till someone said to me 'I wish I could write'. That surprised me a bit, then I realised  that writing is not a natural thing. Then I heard about people who had established them as novelists, finding the process of writing very difficult because it is impossible to figure how to start writing anything even a task as daunting as a novel

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Selfie culture

Smart phones have introduced cameras with which people take pictures of almost everything they can. But one thing is certain that people take selfies., clothed and  for the most part naked. The features in the camera exagerrate genitals.  It is worst secret of the worst kept secret of all, every denies  it but everyone is doing it.
In malls and other public places everyone is photographing everyone else be they friends and or complete strangers. Promiscuity has increased. people start wearing more revealing clothe and hope someone would make a poster out of it.
Whosoever started this selfie thing, it has caught on and there no stopping it. Once people were shy of showing off their bodies to anyone close, but will do so to complete strangers. Discover the thrill of exhibitionism. They do not realise it that it is fundamental change in their attitude. They visit video sex chat sites and expose their bodies to all sundry, not the least bothered who is watching, they become more excited when more people when people see them.
When the majority become more relaxed when they are admired about how they look. It increases their self-esteem stop being afraid or shy. They admire others and they get admired in return. Appearing naked before anyone is seen as something intensely shameful. But going around showing off ones naked body  - there is a realisation that it is not even half as bad they were told. The downsides are many  they have been discussed and there really is no point in talking about them.
On the plus side they boost a person's self-esteem. Women has shown off their bodies a whole lot men, prior to marriage and continue to do so after marriage. Their husbands are not so innocent, they too have done the same.In societies in which public nudity is denied, people are doing so  privately,   dancing is fairly common. Some couples gladly perform sexually for their viewers.
When trends change in closed societies, all they do on camera, they will do off camera because they know their neighbours have been doing exactly the same and are not in a position to do finger pointing. It will be a more permissive and promiscuous society from then on.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My eldest sister-in-law and her rules

I went to Canada, the first time ever and stayed with my in-laws just because my mother-in-laws was dying and my wife wanted to see her. The trip itself is an adventure in itself. After arriving in Toronto, I stayed one of my nephews. We were having a great time with his kids, who were playful and very loving. stayed for the first day with him.
Arriving at the Toronto airport was not as terrifying as we had been told, it was strange and shocking coming to a different country.Anyway that has nothing with the story. We only could stay for 2 days and 1 night, because my eldest sister-in-law Nishat wanted to take her house in Ottawa. It was the afternoon of the next day when she came over  in her car, to whisk us away to Ottawa. The road trip to Ottawa was deathly silent. My brother-in-law Azhar had a very grim face.  Some years back he had sent an e-mail saying that his mother-in-law was not welcome in his house, one of the reasons is because he spent years looking after his aged mother who had died only recently. He was fairly upset with his mother-in-law staying with him and was feeling worse when we came. He was not the least pleased.
 Nishat was the only talking actually behaving like a tourist guide for my wife. The road trip was very boring and I did not know that how horrible things would be when I would be when staying in Ottawa.
We were dropped off at Tarik, my brother-in-law's house,  because my mother-in-law was there. I entered the house and went in with my shoes and met her. Instead of Tarik of being welcoming and gracious, blew up in a fit of rage when was inside with my shoes on. I was taken aback, but said nothing. I talked with my mother-in-law, Nishat tells me to take my shoes off. All the years they have been at my place, I never said anything to them, I took off shoes . That did not change the fact that Tarik had nothing talk about with me. I stayed the day there and the evening at night he drove his mother back Nishat's house and stayed with no footwear in her house. There were separate slippers for the bathroom and toilet, they could not be brought out and put on different slippers when entering the room.
Azhar was not on speaking terms with me. Just went about grumbling or staying as far from as he could. What was supposed to be a fun trip slowly became the worse form of drudgery.  I went to another sister of my wife her husband has no grudges but has trouble staying awake and nods off every once in a while.  It was amazing that he can stay away on his drive to Toronto and back to Ottawa. So it was just miserable there as it was in Nishat's again the no shoes rule applied there.

Nishat was the first one to come to Canada way back in 1966. Her three brothers all came in the 1980s. All had stayed with Nishat, because there was no other place to live,  she taught them the rules of staying in Canada rather in Nishat's house. Everyone else adopted rules for their homes. Only when I visited my cousins there was a level of sanity there was no 'no footwear inside' rule.
Nishat behind all her smiles was a mean control freak. One of her brothers married a white Chritian Canadian, who refused to convert to Islam. Nishar refuses to see him and his wife and if they show up at her place, she hides somewhere and flatly tells them to leave. On this matter however Tarik and Musrat disagree  and welcomed them.
Tarik was interested in a similar woman, Nishat managed to sabotage that in a very cunning manner. Nishat's policy was not live and let live, it was live and let die.  She conspired to have him get married to a woman in Lahore. As they years worn Tarik and his wife became religious fanatics, something which perfectly well in Nishat's plans. Tarik's children indoctrinated in religion.
As it is said 'the best way to know people, is to live with them for a few days' and I did that. I spent two months in absolute  boredom. It does not matter what they did, what matters is how they went about doing things. the spirit with which they did it. 
It was not done with genuine enthusiasm, tney did it as a matter of routine, nothing else in very boring and stupid style. 
Coming back to Nishat, she refused to let her daughter Saika marry just anyone. Made it a point to get her married to a Muslim person at all costs. Blackmailing Saika, by saying that she would stop being her mother if she marries anyone other than whom she has decided.  It is evident that Nishat is completely insane.
Watching tv in any of the homes was out of the question. Tarik only watched sports and locked all the other channels because they were unIslamic. In Musrat's house most of the channels were locked only a handful very boring ones were on. In Nishat's house there was very old TV set where most of the channels were also locked up. So no talking, no TV, used the computer sparingly because it was looked down upon. It was boredom beyond belief.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Freedom of women or whatever

She left Pakistan when she was very little and settled in the USA. Her father had married an American woman. Her name is Alisha.when she became 18. Her father is my cousin, his sister tells me that Alisha is pregnant, she was not prepared to discuss it further.  I left it like that, the grapevine of my extended family started. There was lot of gossip going. The little details I could extract was that she was not married and was having a baby
For my extended family it was a shocker.
"How could she? She is not even married"  and so many questions like them. The more religiously zealous sounded as if they would kill her  if she was in Pakistan.  Several decades ago there was young woman who had come to Pakistan, because she had never seen her father's country. She had a six year old son. Every single day she would get furious calls from her father. One of the reasons he was upset was that the people who knew him would be shaming him for bringing up a daughter who is unmarried and has a son.
Marriage is the biggest priority.  There has to be a huge festival during the marriage and the daughter has to be disposed off to some guy she does not know  A monstrous facade.  Women are struggling for more freedom, struggling to assert their right over their body that it does not belong to anyone.
That is where society does not agree.A woman's body is everyone's property except herself. If she can do anything she likes with her body, it would ruin the cultural values.  Cultural values dictate that  sex is more sinful than lying, cheating, stealing and murder.
The most basic need is sex, but it is portrayed as a bad thing while every other crime does not carry the similar  stigma. If a woman claims absolute and complete ownership of her body, then those who resort to gang rape would not be doing so regularly. If a woman is told to be proud of her body and there is nothing ashamed to be a women, men will be reluctant to resort to rape. The reason they rape is because women are made to believe that they are subhuman and can be treated in any way they like.
A marriage is like telling that their daughter is having sex with their permission, do they not realise it makes sound like pimps. They have no right to tell their daughter about her marriage, whether she wants to or not. They have to let their responsibility ends when she is at an age in which can have sex by her own consent not what her parents tell her to do.  She can fall in love or out of it. No one can tell what she should wear or not wear.
Marriages take place with great fanfare, but divorces occur in secret as if it is shameful. Such should not be the case. A woman who is divorced or widowed is not considered eligible for re-marriage, in a specific category of society, however divorces are taking place more frequently, women have stopped  seeing themselves as unpaid servants of their husbands. They drop everything and divorce. Perhaps this will bring a welcome change in society.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Women smoking and drinking in Pakistan
Women smoking in Pakistan, may not be the last taboo, but it is an assertion by women that they are fed up of being pushed of being constantly pushed around and dominated. Though it is unhealthy yet  they are doing so  they have had it.

Women know the risks with respect to their behaviour, but the only way they can do is resort extremely shocking behaviour.   Internet cafes were fairly popular for dating, but a security camera caught some women some years back being intimate with their boyfriends. That turned into a huge scandal. One or two of them committed  suicide for dishonouring the family and should be ashamed of themselves.  The parents who lost their daughters, realised the mistake they made. The news of the suicides, had an impact. Parents saw the limitations in policing the activities of their daughters. They know there are certain things they can never prevent or control.
Many things were socially unacceptable like a women showing her face, talking to men who are not related to them. Appearing in public without the burk in  itself was at one time horrifying. There was a growing resentment amongst women about the attitude of women.
It was an uphill task for women but they are winning. The village mentality has not gone but it is losing its strength. Much of the mullah community is on the retreat, they are unable to deal with strong assertive women.
The state made a matter of policy to have absolute control and dominate women. But the state realising   that it is counterproductive.  But it will take sometime for it stop meddling in the affairs of women.
Officials travel abroad see women there and remain very quiet about everything they see and hear.The sheer hypocrisiy is that they do not women to enjoy the same freedom in Pakistan.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Religion and public matters in Pakistan

Here some issues pertaining to religion in Pakistan

  •  Noise Pollution: There are several mosques where I live. The  Azaans (call for prayer) via loudspeakers go on for over 30 minutes or more. Every mosque wants its 5 minutes of fame. Fortunately I do not living right next to one, but they are fairly close. The noise over hundred decibels enough to kill people or make their ears bleed. Each mosque tries be louder than the next.
    It is similar to the public transport people who want traffic ahead of them to move, they use very loud horns, the horns become louder so as to be the one to be heard over the others. As if that will help make the traffic move faster. or  other drivers ahead of them would move out of the way.    
    Many mosques recite the Koran so loudly that it can ruin anyone's sleep.The people who run the mosques have absolutely no consideration for the people in their neighbourhood. It is uncivilised, uncouth and stupid. Disturbing other people for fanatical religious reasons is unacceptable.
  • Lack of sense of sanitation:  The slaughtering of animals in residential areas causes filth, stench attracts flies and consequently results in the spread of diseases. It is disgusting but it is done fanatical fervour. To date no one accepts the idea of buy livestock and having it slaughtered in a slaughterhouse. People whose brain has stopped functioning do this, they do not realise the harm they are doing to the environment and to the people around them. It is extremely offensive.
  • Friday confusion: During General Zia's time, Friday made the weekend and Sunday was a working day. This went as long he could remain alive. This was changed. Sunday became the public holiday again. Many people continue to treat Friday as a public holiday, particularly shopkeepers, they work on Sundays. There is no standard and it is very confusing.
  • Absence of entertainment:  It is considered very pious to avoid any kind of entertainment. TV channels are on required to avoid show anything entertaining on religious occasions.The people do not want watch TV should not, why interfere in the affairs of other people?