Culture vultures

Recently a Qawwali singer Amjad Sabri was shot dead in Karachi. It was said he had no enemies, nothing can  be further than the truth. The reason is Qawwali singers, Ghazal singers and others are born in such households where they had to master the art. Each of them is vying for audiences there are literally turf wars on such things.
Before concert halls, vinyl records and others which followed, they performed in brothels  The prostitutes would dance for the men who had gathered there. They were paid and the dancing girls too, then the men would go off with a prostitute. 
Rival gangs controlled different brothels and had their own singers, dancers and prostitutes. There were turf wars one gang would decimate the other. Pimps kidnap women and force them into prostitution. 
These people are considered the lowest of the low in society. Respectable people kept their distance and they were never welcome anywhere.The mullahs fell in the same category -  because they sought the help of the gang…

Robotised world

The present will seem magical to people even living in the 1980s.  Smartphones, touchscreens, self-driving cars, electric cars, solar farms, electricity generated by thousands of solar panels. Blue Tooth, Infrared. Factories have less workers because of automated manufacturing. Things move quickly from concept, designing and actual manufacturing of that item. The evolution of CGI will eliminate actors. There is a great deal more things on the way which will increasingly eliminate human involvement.
The only problem with this hyper-efficient environment is the economy. If the economy is doing well, everyone is  employed and making money then people can afford such advancement. The basic necessities of the people food, shelter. clothing and medical support and money to spare so as to be able to buy latest gadgets then it would work.  But such technological advancement takes places which for all practical removes human involvement it is bound to create resentment, hatred and result in u…

The future of gaming

In the VCR wars, Sony's Betamax lost and VHS was used.  VCRs are no longer in use, CDs were used followed by DVDs then Blu-Ray DVDs. As this was going on, people increasingly began to rely on the Internet to watch all the films they wanted.  This ended the 4 decade long video rental business.
A similar situation has emerged when Sony and Microsoft selling their respective consoles. Some games can be played on Playstation and others on Xbox exclusively.  But the personal computer is there and can be configured anyway and can still play most games.
The future of gaming will no longer be consoles, it will be the Cloud. The GameCloud will be like the telephone exchange of gaming. It will not only provide games, it will have a feature which would create problems for both Sony and Microsoft. The problem is this GameCloud will quiet literally perform like a telephone exchange. Players can log in to GameCloud, they will not need any change in the existing hardware of what they have, this…

The absence of joy and excitement

Paychopaths are void of feelings. The past six months have shown me how much they can cause. I came into some money six months - I was jubilant,extremely happy and excited when I received it. The first thing I did was give my daughter, who had graduated a month so earlier and I did not have anything to give her, now that I did,I gave her more than any of uncles and aunts could. She took the money and said nothing just sat there as if nothing had happened. What I was expecting was that she would jump with joy and be very excited about receiving the money.There was absolutely no expression on her face. She had to be prompted - and she gave the expression of joy and happiness - but at no time able truly comprehend the reason. 
Later when  I told my wife about the money, which was long overdue - she had the same deadpan reaction as my daughter. No expression of relief and no tears of joy,  nothing at all. Here I am feeling incredibly happy and the response is of cold indifference. Bough a …

Insane parents

Not being able to choose the parents is a sad part of life. I would be very  happy if I had parents who genuinely loved and cared instead of being the exact opposite. Besides that they lied and thought no end of themselves.
 They were violent and mean all the time. When I was small,  they could away by hitting me and being abusive.When I became older they demeaned in front of family and friends.  Running me down every opportunity they got. Ignore me and act as if I did not exist. The friends I made did not meet their approval, because liking someone is not good enough for friendship. Their idea of friendship meant people who can be used to get something in return for friendship. As a result of their attitude I avoided having friends - because never be good enough for my parents.
They used to do this in my childhood, way back then I felt as if I was invisible, anything I said or did, did not matter and because no one wanted acknowledge my presence - I felt like killing myself

When I got m…

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…

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 writin…

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 …

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 w…

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 unmarr…

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 …

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 reas…

Weird anti-social behaviour

I invited my wife's family for a get together. When they came, instead of sitting down to chat, rushed to where the TV was to watch a game.I have no interest whatsoever in the game. Even if I am, I will not watch a game when I am having a get together.
 I sat where I usually sit and talk with anyone who comes visiting.This time I was sitting alone - because the game was many times more interesting than my company.
Addiction to a game and not being interested in talking about anything is some kind of anti-social behaviour. Some kind of mental illness. 
Even if the people are family, there is such a thing as  courtesy and decorum. I suppose people who are anti-social  cannot understand that is, which they brush it  aside. Only after the game ended did they come over to sit. But that was temporary, dinner was served and they rushed to the table.
It was apparent they had no interested in talking with me whatsoever. I was feeling really sickened by this behaviour. It hurt. But they we…

The limits of social networking

Every 'social networking' site has some technical limits as to how many people can be on a single account.  For Twitter it is 3000 and Facebook it is 4000. Others may have their own. What is social networking for if it is limited in the number of people it can handle at a given time.  All these social networks are beginning  police all activity and censor a great deal.  The very purpose of social networking in itself self -defeating. Many people have stopped using them because there is nothing really going on. No drastic changes, no updates. Many people are on them for absolutely no reason at all. They are there, they have an account but never ever use it. They never bother to log in.
There are those who want to share what they are not liked by the owners of that social networking website and the people who using it.
The original social networking websites were myriad chat rooms and forums. People who liked the same things got together and shared whatever they had in common …

Mysterious kidnappings

Young students in their twenties are being kidnapped from Karachi and other cities. Though reports about these are kept secret, but with the frequency they are taking place, there is bound to be a leak  and people eventually get to know about this. But the question is who responsible and why is it happening.
There are no clear answers. But the people who get away by committing such crimes are obviously are very highly placed, they are virtually above the law. No one can arrest them, even though the evidence is overwhelmingly against them.
This is a new way to terrorise the people, it simply boils down to this. If the police and other law enforcement organisations are unable to prevent crime, the people would be forced to take up arms against those who murder, kidnap and steal.
Whatever the reasons for the kidnapping, is irrelevant, the people protecting the kidnappers will face the wrath of the people. No court, no judge is going to prosecute these criminals. There is a limit to suff…

The begging racket

The begging racket is one of the most common which plagues the city and it involves the police. Traffic signals are rented out to the beggar gangs, the police collects the rent. Beggars are everywhere, not a single place is spared. In shopping areas, wearing dirty clothes, standing in the sun, exposing disabilities. Stories abound of finding out that beggars actually multimillionaires living lavishly, owning several buildings. On days of  religious events gather around at churches, temples and mosques.
Many of the beggars are spies "hiding in plain sight". That does not work anymore, because everyone suspects that behind the guise of a beggar they really are someone else. They act insane and pretend to be so many other things, all of them are really very rich with huge bank accounts. If they are exposed, either they move to some other part of the city or they kill the people who know the truth about them.
The really destitute and extremely poor people never dare beg because…

The Khilafat Movement an epic disaster

Turkey lost its empire after World War I. The empire comprised of the entire Arab world and some European countries. The Khilafat Movement essentially was to help Turkey in World War I because they were fighting the British - as the saying goes the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Turkey never got back its empire, it was occupied by the Allies who had won the war. The Arabs never forgave the Muslims of India because they were supporting their oppressors.  This has had a long term impact on Pakistan in its relationship with Arab countries. Yasser Arafat the  late Palestinian leader never made an official visit to Pakistan, he simply stopped over on his way to India.
The Arabs saw Islam as a threat to their freedom, which is why they made the Arab league. They saw the Allies as their liberators.  They much rather be ruled by non-Muslims than by Muslims
The Arabs hated the term Muslim Ummah, For them it meant being ruled by some non-Arab Muslim country. The Arabs made the Arab League, i…

Boredom killer

The cellphone has become an integral part of Pakistani life, it is hard to imagine life without it anymore.  Every single person is using them, particularly people by those who have a great deal of free time and lots of people to talk to. Gossip gets around fairly fast. I was in a bus, there was this lady who had this phone stuck to her ear and she was asking virtually about everyone in her family and group of friends and telling them all kinds of stories. No sooner she was diconnected because she used up the credit, she added credit resumed her gossiping.
All kinds of people, many who are doing fairly menial jobs are busy receiving and making calls. People love staying connected with anyone they know. There are others who have few friends and want to talk, I received one and that unknown person simply wanted to hear me talk about anything. He even went so far as to ask me to lie to him,  because there was really nothing to talk about. He simply wanted to hear a voice. Lonely people …

Being old and not knowing it

I feel exactly the same as I used as I did when I was a kid. But it struck me that I was older. I was 20 when teaching and all the kids there started calling me 'Sir'.  That really surprised me. That was the title I used to give everyone who was older than I was. I got over the shock, went to the university completed my studies.Being in my 20s was not safe - cops always stopped all the motorcycle riders who were my age, check licence and registration. But it was easier so many other things. Make friends, talk to almost anyone.
When I turned 50 things changed drastically - I looked older to everyone else. People called me  with the titles given to people who are old. It was hard to talk to people because of the age difference. Many of my relatives, friends and colleagues had died.
There is tremendous respect for older people I must admit, but I have never felt any different.  For instance I was standing in a place there were number of chairs all occupied by younger people. I c…


The way people made and established themselves is absolutely disgusting. In any case they are rich, accumulated sufficient wealth over the years. Their wealth however has made them feel they are superior to my family and me.  They have a whole bunch of cars and they arrogant beyond belief and very shallow they cannot make an intelligent comment about anything. The dodge subjects.
I know mental illness runs in the maternal side of the family but today was the absolute fucking limit. A month or so back I went to see my surviving maternal aunt, she had some figs, she showed them to me, instead of offering them. She shut them off somewhere and very emphatically said she was not going to give them to anyone. A month later another, simply calling on her she hands over the figs and was being very generous.  When I opened the packet, there were worms and insects crawling all over them.
It was fair enough to conclude that even she is not immune to the mean and disgusting which my entire fami…