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Thursday, 23 June 2011


A few days back, Express News was showing a clip of an 18 year old child whose height stopped increasing when he aged two, thus his name was recently penned down in the Guinness Book of World Records.

My entire family was intrigued by what we saw on the screen, a tidda sa bacha, no taller than my own nephew, talking and signing papers. It was quite a sight. We all were closely following the entire news-clip, when my dad questioned,

"Ye bi koi 'news' hai?". 

Others responded in unison k 'Haan, bus ab to kuch bi news keh ker every-hour-bulletin mein dikha detay hain'.

Junrey Balawing

Everyone was eating the yummy fruit, aam, while this news flashed on our TV screen. Thats when it hit me, News HOTI KIA HAI? Mutlab, even the 'opinion' about news is now influenced by the 'halaat' of Pakistan and the rest of the world. The word 'news' now seems tied up with the few hot topics which keep on flinging on the TV every few days. i-e: Terrorism, Economy going down, Ghareebo ka bura haal, auraton per zulm, politicians kay assassay ki assessment [Come on, any person holding a ghar in Defence automatically has a value of 2-4 Crores PKR, so finish that up already! They are politicians, let them feed on their greed].

Just a regular visit to the news channel. READ the content. ;) its NEWS.

Tou banda khud hi sochay, now a child who JUST isn't growing any taller is not interesting and is not 'news' material. We are now programmed to watch whatever we've been eyeing since a decade now. Khudkash bumb blast. Army posed as resembling Death Eaters [Read: You should be a Harry Potter reader to understand this!]. This not being enough, now the SOLELY news-channels have their own full-on-fire programs.

Talk shows. Not those morning ones where the pretty women sit in an over-whelmingly decorated room with gaudy make up and large flowy, flowery clothes, but those where there is one VERY ANGRY looking host [Saray Pakistan k maslay inhon nay hal kernay hain], two other people, politicians, who are pepped up with one or two very strong arguments and will keep on harping on about them unless they tire out of their own breath and drink that glass of pani. And there's another person, the star of the show, a woman. Aurat. She's also a politician. Looking serene in her covered head, but just wait till she opens her mouth. She will outdo and out-scream [is that a word? :S] all the males on the show and get her not-so-persuasive-point across in her loud-speaker-fitted-in-throat-voice. We women have that power as a tohfa from mother nature. (H)

Khair. Tou ab socho. Iss tarah k hum programmed hain, All the time listening to these pressing issues and big words like 'economy, politics, halaat, dehshadgardi etc' k now an interesting piece of REAL NEWS doesn't count as news. I am not merely basing my ENTIRE bhashan on my dad's viewpoint but added to him are all the others who i discussed this newstory with. The responses you ask?

1: 'Bhala yeh bhi koi news thee?'

2: 'Lo, ab banda lamba na ho to news walay wahan bi pahunch jayen gay'

3: 'Dunya mein aur kitnay muslay hain k ab esi khabron k lye bi waqt zaya karein?' [I couldn't help but think to myself, "Uncle, jub suicide blast hota hai to kia app chhalang laga ker on-scene pahunchtay hain?, No you just listen, you watch and you listen!]

4: 'Ab rangers nay uss bachay ko maar diya, WOH news hai, uss ko tou cover hi nahi ker rahay'. By this response I was literally on the verge of pulling my hair out. COVERAGE NAHI THI!? Tell that to Geo, Express, Dunya, Aaj and the milliards of other News channels. They were LIVING off that incident. Yes. Jee rahay thay.

Okay, I, Obviously was rambling away from the main topic. Well, I'd just like you to THINK over the meaning of the word 'news'. Let me madad-ofy you a bit:

News 1
Definition: A report of recent occurences; information of something that has lately taken place, or of something before unknown; fresh tindings; recent intelligence.

News 2
Definition: Something strange or newly happened.

News 3
Definition: the quality of being sufficiently interesting to be reported in news bulletins; "the judge conceded the newsworthiness of the trial"; "he is no longer news in the fashion world"

News 4
Definition: a program devoted to news; "we watch the o''clock news every night"

News 5
Definition: new information about specific and timely events; "they awaited news of the outcome"

News 6
Definition: new information of any kind; "it was news to me"

News 7
Definition: information reported in a newspaper or news magazine; "the news of my death was greatly exaggerated"

So, point put across. News is NOT the moon revolving around the earth of only terrorism, katal, suicide bumbaar, siyasat-daan, chor, dakait, syasat-daan-who-dont-live-in-our-mulk. It is a KHABAR. Now, ironically questioning, is this insight NEWS much? :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

My mom-teacher: Mrs Sheema Zakir

Ustaad waaldain jesay hotay hain. We've heard this phrase since our first day of school. But, weird as it is, we always negated this fact till we graduated out of high school.

Teachers would scold us in front of crowds regardless of our 'izzat', subliminally teaching us an important lesson of never repeating the mistake again. It would not be because 'he/she is OUT TO GET ME'. They would not give extra marks to us to make us study hard. Not because, 'Marks detay huay jaan jati hai shayad!'. They would complain about our indisciplined attitude to the authorities to make us a more disciplined shehri by the end of the day. Not because, 'number barhwanay hain admin k saath'.

This is a popular approach used by teachers but Mrs Sheema Zakir was a different teacher all over. I use 'was' only to emphasise that she used to teach us. Mrs Sheema Zakir is a completely different definition of a teacher altogether.

In the last class with her back in grade VIII, she sat with the entire class and like a mother, told us about the life ahead of us. She said, 'Dunya ka kuch nahi pata, you all are my daughters and i would want you all as happy as i would want my beti to be'. Mrs Sheema was a mother to all. Together and individually.

When i first failed my chemistry house test, she wrote "see me" on my paper. Being a timid student, i ignored the "see me" just because of the thought that she might call and give me a good scolding about how a 'teacher can call parents and all'. I avoided her eyes the whole day. I avoided going by her office on the "other" side of the floor and took the alternative staircase. But she knew all along. She let me play around. Then took me out of the class.

"Khizra i see you have been avoiding me"
Now, this was a bomb dropping on my head. Being only 14 years old, i did not know how to respond and SERIOUSLY had no plan B story prepared.

So, i merely stared at her.

She took my hand and told me to accompany her to the office. "Meri to band bajay gi" was all i could think of. Aik to fail hui, uper say bhagti phir rahi hun. Mama parsi JAIL mein i study, not some other school. I kept on cursing my decision of avoiding her. And even with her hand holding mine, mujhe tension k current lagray thay.

I followed. We reached her office and she told me to sit down. Beth to mein gai, but nazrain wo k uper na hon. sharminda thee. To my surprise, instead of sitting in the mighty *teacher's chair*, she pulled another student chair and sat in it.

And then she talked to me. Not the teacher-torture talk. But the mother talk. She asked me what main issues i have with the subject. I answered her meekly, k 'miss ye ye falana thamkana masla hai'. She said, "Khizra, right now i'm your friend, Talk to me like you would talk to your friends." My eyes lit up. I thought i might hear a joke and was waiting for a punch line. When after a full minute of silence, she still had the same motherly smile, so i let go.

Phir to jo meri train start hui, ruknay ka naam hi na lay.

I failed my chemistry test in the beginning of grade VIII, when we did all those weird topics, acids, bases and salts.

I told her, k miss, 'chemistry to samaj hi ni ati'. She said 'its okay, its okay not to understand chemistry, everyone is not a lover of that subject, but i want you to excel in whatever you love. And Khizra, you need to figure that out soon.'

Uss time i was very dumb. Bongi they say. But Miss Sheema ki aik do talks nay muje very purposeful banaya. Miss sheema aint some any chemistry teacher. She was hum sub ki mom. She listened to our non stop chats, involving teacher ki buraiyan, aik dusre ki backbiting, Miss Mavalwala k baray mein, Anything. She would always listen. She was the best best mom-teacher we all had at Mama Parsi. And trust me, even I [born-hater-of-chemistry] liked to visit the awful-smelling chemistry lab every now and then to have a chit chat just because of her. Oh and also the new female-assistant.

This is my small story of how she left an impact on my life.

I want you All to pray for Mrs Sheema Zakir. She is admitted in AKUH. Please Pray for her.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The expedition to murder-ofy.

It happens in one minute. But the impact it leaves upon my soul is for an eternity.

This extremely weird happening happens in my kitchen. One dark night in my kitchen. The only place which holds my ever-tasty, always-in-demand snacks. My whole kunba is asleep at the sinful hour of 2 am so i tiptoe slowly out of my room. The whole house is quiet and one can quite clearly hear the seeti of our gali ka chawkidaar echoing somewhere in the silence.

I reach the door of my kitchen and this is where the battle starts.

The main pressing issue is the heat. Because of heat, the non-permitted owners of the inside-of-cabinets-filling and the famous habitants of oven-ke-peechay-ka-area come out for a nocturnal stroll. Unluckily, thats the time when i take my coffee and my snack.

So i enter. All armed with a chappal in one hand and a mortein spray [it rarely works on these pests, but creative marketing gets it in our rashan ki list] in the other. The other bara marhala is the switchboard. Sometimes, i really wonder WHAT the architect of my ghar was thinking when he/she decided to place the switchboard right next to the door. No, not the open side. The HINGES side. So, YES, i have to open the door, go behind it, yes, in this andhera room, and THEN switch on the tubelight. Ab philips ki ho ya sogo ki, jalti thori dair say hi hai.  ;)


The room lights up. I can see the bartan washed and stocked in the rack. The oven clean. The tokri holding all the miscellenaeous stuff. Everything clean. UNTIL.

I see one tiny pest, aka cockroach, roaming on the counter in one its glorified moods. Moods i say because i can see his antlers hopping up and down. The whole anatomy of a cockroach is weird. It itself is brown. Burgandy type sometimes. Khoon safed hai [what family lives they have, obviously evident] and legs are so thin. But. urgh. Not gonna describe that.


Well, then after i had my nishana of chappal and the spray right above the insect's at-ease body. it slithered thora sa. And *phataaack*. Squished. Dead.

Yeh sub to hogaya. But the feeling of being a murderer [The way Rihanna says it, "muurrghderaarr"] is very scary.

After i kill the pest. Tub all the humanity comes in.

'Us becharay ka bhi ghar hoga'
'Us becharay ki bhi life hogi'
'Us becharay ko bhi shawq hoga outings ka, just like mujhe hai'
'Us becharay ke bhi friends hongay, and when together they would also love to party and hang out'
'Well, the party they would do would be in my kitchen, on my food'

You notice the wavering in the humaniti-esm here?

Well, it gets better.

'Us becharay ki biwi hogi, who would be waiting for him'
'How will they bury him now, he's all squished, thanks to my chappal'
'Us becharay kay bachay bhi hongay, how sad will they be when they find this..'

Wait. That means that the cockroach's adam's family is still out there at the back. And because unka khoon safed hota hai. They would be out again. They are millions in number. One death will not harm. Karachi wala hi scene hai. ONLY one death on news is a blessing. The cockroach's khandan MUST be squished. ONE BY ONE.

Notice how the instantly anay wali humanity ended instantly only? With the cockroaches, it is this way only. I feel a bit dukhi after i see the atma-hutya. But the fact that this set of species is roaming around and creating gandagi gets me agitated. And then. Yes, HAPPY with my success of a assassiner. :D

Notice the anger here?

Well. its only another sighting of another cockroach which ignites my jazba of a clean kitchen and pulls the lever of my arm and *phattaaack*. Yes. i Kill. I am A murderer. But for a good cause.

Just like them gun-walay waziristan tribesmen say.


Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Festive Itwaar Bazaar

One cant call themselves PAKKAY karachiites unless they have had a taste of the Legendary Itwaar Bazaar. No, its not the sunday market, its the Itwaar bazaar. Period.

The itwaar bazaar is the MEGA Mall of Karachi. Sans AC ofcourse.

It is a heaven which definitely deserves a trip as it holds merchandise which is unavailable in the rest of Karachi at those minimal qeemats.

Dazzles. Sheeshays

They got them baaltiis.

Forum and Park Towers charge us for the ACs and the battiyaan they have all over the mall. But, whatever, even humara Itwaar bazaar has undergone a revolution. Not been there? O_O

The tiled corridor
The floors are tiled now. Oh and yes, there is a floor now opposed to the desert sand. To come to think of it, a few more years with that sand and we would have been able to trek through the sahara without any issue. Heat. Lu. Sand which takes you in. We had all that.

The new Itwaar bazaar is covered now. My version of the history of this evolution goes this way: On a very unfortunate mango-shopping-on-a-sunday trip to the old Itwaar bazaar, I witnessed a danda-flying. See, phase VIII is windy. And when i say windy, i MEAN windy. Very hawa-daar.

So i stood clinged to a tent-pole while my mother negotiated the qeemat of a very very tasty looking chaunsa aam. In that short while the wind abducted the danda for a bit.

I was busy eating the mangoes with my eyes while my hair slopped against my sweaty, sandy face. Wo kehtay hain na, taiz hawa ka jhonka, like in Hum Dil De Chukay Sanam. Yes. Salman Khan one. So that TAIZ hawa ka jhonka came and the pole slipped from my hands. Direction you ask? UP. The danda roughly seethed my skin with the hard friction and literally and figuratively FLEW upwards. Me, dead to the world, staggered to the aam ka tthaila while the danda had its 3 seconds of drift.

And then gravity nay kamaal dikhaya. The pole, obviously came down. But on what it came down you wonder? It landed its muddy stub on a very yellow chaunsa aam. The chaunsa's juice spread out and the guthli was stashed.

This was a kissa *I* personally witnessed, there was talk about others> a girl getting bruised with a flying danda. Reason being the pathaans' laziness to fasten it to the ground. Yeah so the lounging dandays started flying and the DHA office decided to butt in. Er. Help in. So now we have a covered Itwaar bazaar.

The new itwaar bazaar has ADDRESSES of the thailas-my bad. stalls. Very learned stall owners talk on their chayna ka mobayl to guide some new admission to their staff.

"haan, tonty phor wali lane pay ajo, goochion ka handbag latka huwa hai, udar hi tum ajo, balayk color k bayg hai, hum tumara idar hi intezar karta hai khochay'

Yes, so there are lanes. There are sections. There are addresses. *Tonty Phor*

Handmade Dazzle. Choorians.

The new Itwaar bazaar also has a PROPER parking area now. The one them malls had? Yes. With lanes. With painted parking car space. With police walay isharay doing and one-way lanes. Yes. The caveman is maadrun now. But somethings will never change. The sazookiyan will always park in the wrong direction. Sometimes blocking a bmw. The pathans will always wipe their faces with one of their merchandise cloth. They will oggle the angraiznian with the same crooked smile. They will flirt with the burger chicks as 'bajii, itna susta to paak tawar mein bi ni milta' closing the sentence with a paan-colored-teeth. **Dazzling** They will talk in their zz and khh and bzz of pushto when commenting on a customer. The hawa at Itwaar bazaar will still never dry your sweat. The remote kay cover wala will follow you till you respond. The company stalls reps will smile their dazzling teeth even in the hottest, windiest, sandiest, most humid of sundays. Company policy hai baji.

Karachi and Karachi walay may be a step ahead but the paan ki peeks at Itwaar bazaar and the sycophant attitude of the stall walays will always be the stark reminder of where we come from.