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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Farewell To My Friend Dr. Syed Fasihuddin

Aah it was a 36 years of friendship in total with 30 years of marital association of two people of opposite personalities.
Fasih was quiet, gentle yet nerves of steel, living in the moment and a fearless risk taker. And despite being not too talkative, he was a people’s person, and a helper.
I am, as always expressive, explosive, yet a loner, super cautious bordering to being fearful, never living or enjoying the present, mind always planning 5 years ahead.
Yet for some weird reason we clicked very well. And clicked so much that both of us did not need to change our personalities. I learned from Fasih how to give space to the other partner. He let me be me and certainly wanted me to let him be him.
But the fearless risktaker that he was, I tried my best to be a check on him. But I always failed. And he always proved me wrong.

Whether it was his decision to marry an Indian and the practical challenges related to it. (This is another story, that deserves another memoir).
Or refusing to hand over his wallet on gunpoint at Sharei Faisal( Karachi) traffick jam in rain and handing that boy a brown envelope with patties saying, “I don’t keep wallet, eat this it must be hard work as there are so many cars.”
he guy remarked, “Fauji lagtey ho is liye itni himmat dikha rahe ho.”(You look an armed forces man and hence being so daring). And the boy walked to the next car.
Or whenever we travelled, which were very frequent, he would leave at the nick of time, despite my cries to keep some margin of time, speeding to reach on time. Once when we were travelling from Makkah to Jeddah airport to catch PIA flight for Karachi, the car’s tyre burst and we ended up reaching airport 2 hours late when the counter was closed and they were wrapping the list.
Fasih went straight to the manager desk, who was Manzoor Junior ( A Pakistani Hockey Olympian). He was very angry.
Fasih said, “Sir tyre got burst.”
He replied, “Yes this is an old excuse.”
He was not in a mood to listen to Fasih’s pleas. He then touched the chin of Manzoor Sb, “Sir aap hockey bahut achi kheltey the.” (Sir you played awesome hockey.)
Manzoor SB got even angrier and yet said, “No. Sorry.”
Fasih them told him, “Sir aap tou 1984 olympic team ke captain they. Sir, gold medal bhi mila tha….” (Sir you were the captain of 1984 Olympic Team. You even got the Gold Medal).
Manzoor Junior laughed and told his staff….“Inko toilet ke pass wali jo khali seat hai woh issue ker do. Family for peeche wali row de dou.”
(Give him the empty seat near toilet and the row behind to the family).

I wanted to travel Egypt, as it from his Egyptian experience and stay that inspired my father to name me Ilmana. Fasih suggested we drive by car all along River Nile from Luxor to Alexandria in Egypt, even though there were some news Muslim Brotherhood’s recent surgence in Upper Egypt in 1996/1997. I dreaded and he said, “With two toddlers car journey is the safest journey.”
In the area of Asyut, half way through, the Egyptian Army stopped us. “Pakistani?What are you doing here?”
Fasih replied, “Long drive along Nile al Gameel.” (River Nile, the beautiful)
The armed forces guys were so cordial, they drove ahead of us all along 1200km or more, proudly stopping to show us the historical points. And Fasih said, “See we have free guides. You just fear for no reason.”

Or when he gave up his lucrative job abroad to build a hospital in Karachi Pakistan, when target killing of doctors were at its peak in the city. I lived those years with my heart in my throat. I owe this to one of his politician friends who suggested to him, “Fasih bhai at least in haalaat mein bachon ko tou mut Karachi laao.” (Fasih bhai at least in these risky times dont bring your kids to Karachi). So my kids and I came to Canada in 2009.

In the middle or all forms of corruption and bribery in Pakistan he wanted to do good work. So for approval of his hospital plan, confronting the Director General of Karachi Building Control Authority, KBCA (who is now a fugitive for corruption) in his polite affirmness Fasih demanded, “I want to make a quality healthcare setup that provides honest and ethical care in Karachi but I dont have any money to give bribe. I am a salaried man, not a builder.”
And imagine the miracle, the man famous for not sparing a penny of bribe relented saying, “Pray for me in Haram”.
Fasih then took out a box of Ajwa dates as a reward for him. With his mild sense of humor, he came out smiling from the Director’s office saying, “This ajwa dates will control his hypoglycemia for not have got any bribe.”
He was famous in Building Control( KBCA) that, “ye doctor tou kangla hai.” (This doctor is a pauper). And Fasih enjoyed his nickname.

When we inaugurated the dream of his life, Taj Clinics( now Taj Consultants Clinics) he named after his mother Tajunnisa, and realized the hard work wasn’t yet over and it was now a 14 hour per day job, with no vacations, no salary, not even a car for first 2 years of the startup.
I often joked to him, “Deewane tou pehle hi the, ab aur tarah ki deewangi hai.” (Crazy you were already, now this is another level of craziness).
He just laughed and retorted, “Zindagi kya hai jaanne ke liye, Karachi mein rehna bahut zaroori hai.” (To know what living means, you must experience living in Karachi).
He did not regret for a single minute the U-turn his life had taken from a high salaried Consultant luxurious life in the Middle East, to a life in Karachi far from family, with no rest, no money and loads of sweat, loadshedding, manipulations, navigating a thororughly corrupt system for every paperwork, and most of all never ending expenses in newly begun Taj Consultants Clinics.

At our inauguration of Taj Consultants Clinics on April 5, 2015

In 30 years there must have been 100s of such incidents when I feared but he just kept taking risks but with a belief that he is not doing anything unfair or unjust. And that this is the right way and nothing good happens by being fearful. He kept proving my fears wrong.

Last pic together near Niagara Falls on May 11, 2020

He came for a 2 week spring break to us in Mississauga on March 1, 2020. With blessing in disguise due to lockdown and no flights he got stranded here with us for 10 weeks. He travelled back to Pakistan on May 15, 2020, despite our pleas to not go, as I feared he will risk his life in COVID 19 as a Pulmonologist in a madhouse called Karachi. He said he has his patients, his staff that needs to be paid salary before Eid ( May 23, 2020) and,
“I can’t hide from what I am trained to do. My patients will die. I promise I will be safe.”
He started his Chest Clinic at Taj Consultants Clinics on May 25 and saw tens of patients each day with at least a quarter of them were clinically COVID 19. He used to tell me with frustration that many of them are negative on tests and they refuse to accept and to be referred to COVID Centres. On asked to be tested from a relaible lab one man even said, “Sir I have 3 daughters. How can I label myself COVID 19.”
And I kept worrying yet praying and nagging him across oceans, as usual, to follow strict precautions, PPE and SOPs knowing this time too I will be proven wrong.
But this was not meant to be. And as I always told him, “If any risk goes wrong, we wont get a second chance
Last he saw on Friday 19 after which he developed fever and isolated himself. He was admitted on Sunday. Alas, Fasih lost his battle to COVID 19 on Friday 26 June 2020.

Hisaab e umr ka buss itnaa sa goshwaara hai,
Tumhein nikaal ker dekha tou buss khasara hai
(This is the mere calculation in the ledger of my life,
If I see excluding you, it is nothing but a total loss).

Farewell My Friend


Choking and Laughing in Delhi’s Pollution

When there is little you can do to change the ridiculous situation, the best tool you can resort to is satire. Satire and jokes through social media posts, memes, and even poetry are the ways Delhiites these days are coping with the frustrations and helplessness in the choked air.
Its hard to preserve the health of your lungs in the months from October to December when the Air Quality Index reaches ‘Hazardous’ levels of 500+, but good humor can at least preserve your sanity. Dark humor perhaps.

Below are some of the most eye catching memes I cam across on social media:

Being a cricekting nation, how could there not be a meme with Cricket:

Ofcourse there has to be memes relating to Bollywood films & its stars too!

The two memes below are my absolute favourites:


I came across a few pieces of poetry too on pollution.
Here is one by:


The leaves on the Ashoka tree outside my window droop.
There is no breeze to caress them.
There is no fresh dew.
They droop with dust, soot and smog.
And as they droop, so does my heart.
An eagle flies through a dusty haze and trees in the distance are foggy.
A tired insect flies by, its wings so heavy, as if the drag of the soot- laden air makes it fly through treacle.
A truck blares a horn far away.
The parakeets are absent. The pigeons have fled. The squirrels are not running about.
My eyes dart here and there, searching for my familiar morning sights.
It is quiet. Oh so quiet.
And no one is awake.
And the leaves on the Ashoka tree droop as they bear witness. Her leaves cry silent tears as the birds flee. The guava tree is laden but I don’t need to chase the parrots away.
As I hear another firecracker in the distance,
I push back my chair, and I sigh.

~ A poem by Jhilmil Breckenridge

Credits: I read this poem in a brilliant firsthand account by Mayank Soofi on Delhi’s pollution “Oh Ghalib, give us a verse on Delhi Smog”. Link to the whole article:

At the political front, the supporters of AAP’s Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal at state level and BJP’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the centre indulge in mudslinging, blaming each other for the root cause. Meanwhile, the kids take the most toll, not just in terms of health risk, but also by missing schools after the announced closure. ūüė¶
Some samples of this political tit-for-tat can be seen in the slide-show below:

Then there are honorable Ministers like these who are walking talking memes themsleves.

Politics of religion is not ingnored either in this catastrope that spares no one, from any faith or class. Last year when the Delhi Govt announced a total ban on crackers on Diwali, a classmate of mine from Grade 8th taunted on the Montfort Class WhatsApp group:
“Yeah on Bakr Eid, killing animals is good for soil, but bursting crakcers on Diwali is bad for air pollution.”
Sigh ! I could only pity his self-destructive bigotry.

On a serious note, there can be no lighter side to an issue as dark and deadly as this. According to Air Pollution Index Hazardious ( Severe Grade 6) its health implications as described by WHO are:
Healthy people will experience reduced endurance in activities and may also show noticeably strong symptoms. Other illnesses may be triggered in healthy people. Elders and the sick should remain indoors and avoid exercise. Healthy individuals should avoid outdoor activities.”
This is a textbook example of a slow-killer.

Being born, raised and educated in Delhi, it hurts to realize the catastropic health consequences that over 20 million face in my homecity. I thought Delhi was unlivable even in the late 1980s as a student when every girl of my age group had to endure regular eveteasing( aka sexual harrassment) in horridly crowded DTC buses. (Thats another story of my Delhi that merits a separate session of storytelling.) Tbh today’s Delhi is a living hell.
With an ever widening rich-poor divide, Delhi’s pollution has proven to be a great equalizer. Now the rich, ruling and the powerful elite cannot escape in their safe havens from the poisonous air.
During my last visit to Delhi in November 2017, I experienced suffocation, breathlessness and buring eyes, accompanied by hours of traffic jam on the roads.
I took a deep breath of fresh air as I landed in Toronto 3 days later. My heart still ached for the loved ones, including my mother in her late 70s and three beautiful nephews and a neice, I had left behind waving at the Delhi airport, who like millions of other seniors and children in the NCR waited eagerly for a breeze that could blow away the smog until next Diwali season. That breeze did not blow until mid-December.

I do agree with the Manager of Haji Hotel ( ref in Mayank Soofi’s article) that we dearly miss Ghalib’s brilliant satire on the current state of Delhi.
In the heart of my hearts I also thank my God that free-spirited Mirza lived in Delhi in a different era. You all can guess why.

Just to leave a pleasant taste in my own mouth( and maybe yours), let me pen off this blog with this song:
Pollution by Rahul Ram:

Educate a woman and you educate an entire generation…

Recently a photo of a 25 year old Afghan girl Jahan Taab from  a remote poor village Oshto in Daikundi,  went viral when she was taking the college entrance exam called Kankor Exam while breast feeding her child. Later it was confirmed that she has passed the exams and wants to go to college to study Sociology. Photo credits are given to an invigilating lecturer Yahya Erfan. He was so moved by her determination that he posted the pictures on his facebook. Link here

“She got up from her desk when her baby started to get fussy. She sat down on the floor, breastfeeding the infant, and kept filling out the answers to the test.” (Buzzfeed).

She reportedly told the lecturer Mr. Erfan that she is worried about the cost of education and that the University is 8 hours from her residence. It is the power of social media that a Go-Fund was created to support the cost of here higher education.

More about JahanTaab



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Needless to say, girls’ determination to study is never an issue. The key barrier is the systemic patriarchy in the garb of cultural mores or religious edicts.

Patriarchy is such an omnipresent barrier that hinders women in all communities and all economic strata one way or the other. And here is where the role of men becomes extremely important in bringing about women empowerment by dismantling the walls of patriarchy.

Here I must share my own story too.

(Bear in mind I am an urban educated woman with a strong will power. But even then, had it also not been the supportive men in my life, I may not have sailed through various systemic hurdles that patriarchal infrastructures create at every nook and corner of a woman’s life).¬†

In the early 1990s, as an Indian medical graduate I had to go through a written and a clinical exam by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council to be certified to practice in Pakistan. I opted Karachi centre. When I received notification for the exam it said the exam will not be held in Karachi as there are no other candidates. The exam will be in Peshawer.

Since I lived in the Middle East, I was supposed to travel with my kids to Karachi where my in laws lived. But before I could even know and panic about how I will travel with kids to Peshawer, my husband first took an emergency leave from his hospital, and then informed me that we are all travelling to Peshawer. 

My husband Fasih and I, with our two kids- a toddler and a 6 month old breast feeding infant landed in Peshawar. It was a 3 day long exam- with a written paper and clinical exam.  From day 1, my husband sat in the lawn of the examination centre, with two babies, as he dropped me for the exam. I would come out to feed the baby every few hours in the breaks.

Funniest incident in the whole saga was when my daughter cried, “Papa potty.”
He ran with the baby in one hand and the toddler in another to the washroom.
As he entered the male washroom the guard said, “Take the girl to female washroom with her mother.”
“BUT mother is busy in exam.”
“Then wait.”
“But this baby cannot wait. She has to go urgently.”
So the guard let him take her to the washroom. And while holding the infant in arms he helped the toddler finish the job and clean her. 
Finally they came back to play and sit in the lawn again. 
And then he smelt the baby has soiled his diaper. He ran again to the same wash room.
The chowkidar got annoyed, “Ap pher se as gaye?” (You have come again?).
Fasih: “Smell this diaper.”
The guard laughed and commented, “Aur parhao biwi ko.”(Let your wife study more).

After day1 the entire examination team knew about my family and when I went from each viva and clinical exam, from Internal Medicine to General Surgery to ENT to ObGyn to Ophthalmology, first thing the professors asked was how are the husband and babies doing? 
Second question they asked was, “Where have you graduated from?”.¬†
On reply “Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi” every single one of them began the viva with the comment, “So do we really need to test your knowledge?”
No bragging but I passed with the top position. 

The head examiner was Prof Zakaullah Beg who was my husband’s professor in his postgraduate life. He himself called Fasih on phone 2 weeks later in Karachi to break the news.

Moral of the story: Empower a woman and she will make her husband, family and entire community proud.

Negative Stereotypes

Think Norway. What occurs to your mind?
A beautiful country up in the north, where it snows, its all peaceful, no crime. No?

Think Africa. What crops up in the same  head?
Poverty, AIDS, famine, a picture of a starved kid pops up in imagination, and for some well informed perhaps they think of it’s corrupt leaders. Yes?

BTW, don’t ¬†you know Africa is not a country but a second largest continent?
It comprises of  57 countries, each with a distinct culture, language and of course like any other country, each of them have their distinct problems.

So will it  be  justified to summarize all these sovereign states with just  four or five issues, that too very negative.

Why did this stereotyping occur?
The answer is simple. Disinformation.

Of course through the various advertisements from the social sector, that with all their good intentions wish to collect funds for development in the continent. And the media, that through its good intentions tries to highlight to the world the grave  issues they face. However, despite their good intentions, they end up creating a negative stereotype.

Ever thought what must Africans be thinking or feeling of this stereotyping of  them?
It is not that such issues do not exist,  they do, but then this is not all, about Africa.

To highlight this negative stereotyping, without ¬†lashing out in anger, a group ¬†has come out with an extremely creative and cheeky parody called ‚ÄúAfrica for Norway‚ÄĚ with the message:

‚Äú Imagine if every person in Africa saw the ‚ÄúAfrica for Norway‚ÄĚ video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?‚ÄĚ

Also imagine if they also used  picture of a Norwegian child shivering in cold, without permission from those concerned?

Here is the parody “Africa for Norway” :

What message do they want to convey through this initiative?
1.Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes.
2. We want better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and media.
3.Media: Show respect.
4.Aid must be based on real needs, not ‚Äúgood‚ÄĚ intentions.

For more details on the brilliant project click>>  Radi-Aid .

Coming closer to home, who would know more about stereotype than Pakistanis and Muslims with a “My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.”¬†¬†being their holy passport to the outside world.

On a personal note:

Growing up as a minority Muslim in a metropolitan New Delhi, India, I came across some curious stereotypes:

  • How many wives ¬†does your father have?
  • Why doesn’t your mother wear a burqa or why doesn’t your father have a beard?
  • Is you father a¬†professor¬†of Urdu in Delhi University?
  • Do you eat Biryani everyday?

Equally ridiculous questions were asked when I came two decades ago, as a newly married immigrant to the megacity Karachi in Pakistan:

  • Are you a Hindu? (On wearing a saree and bindi together, and being of Indian origin).
  • Did you have Hindu friends?
  • Did you ever eat food in Hindu households?
  • Kya India mein VCR hota hai? (Are there VCRs in India?) ( The last curious query ¬†sounds hilarious ūüėÄ now, but it almost got me crying as a new immigrant. Those were the days when India had only Fiat, Ambassador or Maruti cars, ¬† no Sony TVs and yes, not even StarPlus channels ūüôā ).

Not sure if these stereotypes were also created through media !

“Rationality ka janaza hai, zara dhoom se nikley”

The heading was the best tweet, I found on #waterkit. ( Courtesy: Urooj Zia).

There have been few moments in my ‘virtual’ ¬†life, when Tweets have been so hilarious.

#waterkit hashtag was  tragically comical.

Based upon the dialogues exchanged in an epic  TV program on this invention, I could not help summarise it this way:

Ye qissa hai Physics key balatkar ka
Aur Waterkit se chalne waali ek car ka
Jab mil baithe syaane chaar
Do minister, ek scientist, ek Engr Waqar

Dikhaya aisa duniya ko chamatkar
Petrol , Bijli sub huwe bekaar
Karwayein kyun Auto-specialists se inspection
Kya kee hai kisi ne pehle aisee invention

Mamoo ban gaye anchors Talat-o-HamidMir
Aur Dr AtaUrRehman huwe lakeer ke faqeer
PhDiyaan sabki ho gayein fuzool
Koora huwe Thermodynamics ke usool

Theory nahin hum practical ko maante hain
‚ÄúWater is H20‚ÄĚ, kya aap ye raz jaante hain
Wikipedia se hum ne kiya hai confirm
H2O se Hydrogen nikalne ka irada hai firm.

Faqat jahalat ki rail-pail hai
Sub moh-maya ka khel hai.
Duniya hansegi to hansti rahey,
Gumrahi ki gari buss chalti rahey.

Moin Bhai Dilliwala, a tribute to Moin Akhter

As if the year passed in a stroke. It is hard to come to terms that one year has passed since Moin Akhter left us.

A stand up comedian who took the art to a level whose altitude is hard for any other actor  to surmount.

As a family friend there are countless small and big moments to cherish,  which are no less pleasant and hilarious, than his performances.

Actions speak louder than words, hence Moin in action, not words is the best way to pay tribute to him.

I pay homage to this monument of Comedy called Moin Akhter through my favourite piece.

The episode touched me, and related to me in more than one way.

First it was one of the million brilliant performances as a Dilliwala by Moin Bhai, who often chose to speak to me exclusively in a Dilli wali wisko, jisko dialect.
Being a Delhiite, what could be more pleasing, than see his genius turn into ‚Äėmere sheher wala‚Äô at a flicker, both on and off the screen.

Secondly, being an Indian-Pakistani, this Indo-Pak collaboration where Moin acts as a Dilliwala who migrated to Karachi,Pakistan, and the brilliant comedian Javed Jaffery representing a Dilliwala residing in Delhi, India, I found it so close to my own life.

Thirdly, it is a perfect example to showcase how the two Delhi cultures survive thousands of miles apart, and yet distorted  in their own ways.

Fourthly, the interaction between these two Dilliwalas also showcases the ground reality of how the two countries relate to each other in a love-hate relationship through cricket.

Last but certainly the most important reason, why  I emotionally fell for the episode, is the of Indo-Pak visa, and how the Indian Dilliwala,  used cricket as an easy way out to jump the grueling process of obtaining a visa to meet his near and dear ones on the other side of the border.

For those who have to go through this ordeal can very well relate to how the visa process acts as a heartless wall between the loved ones conjoined in heart, yet separated by the political border.

Friend or no friend of Moin Bhai, Dilliwala or no Dilliwala, cricket match new or old, I am sure everyone will be as thrilled to watch it as I am even after having viewed it over a dozen¬† times previously. (Many will¬† find it exaggerated, but perhaps comedy is always so¬† ūüôā ).

P.S. My special apologies to my non-Urdu/ Hindi understanding Blog followers and friends.  I wish I could translate the episode, and could share with you the thrill of watching the pure genius, the king of stand up comedy in Pakistan, who was also a personal friend, mimic like a typical  resident of the walled city of Old-Delhi, my city.




Reflections of a little mind !

For years as a little girl I did not know the exact literal meaning of the word ‚Äėsocialite‚Äô.

Having seen pictures in the centre pages of magazines, I knew they were pretty, mostly in full make up which looked so natural, nearly always dressed nicely and almost always wore the most enviable jewellery one could imagine.
Honestly, at times I did not even find them pretty, but everyone, in their hi-fi circles thought them ‚Äėbeautiful‚Äô or ‚Äėstunning‚Äô. Not quite sure if they thought them beautiful or just called them beautiful on their face. But yes the magazines did quote them ‚Äėgood looking.‚Äô

I also wondered why they took so much pride in being called ‚ÄúHeyy sexy!‚Ä̬† Weren‚Äôt they annoyed or scared, when someone called them that? ¬†Perhaps they did not have to travel in crowded buses, or pass through quiet alleys after dusk, where if they were ever hurled that same phrase, it would have taken life out of their limbs and made them run for their life. So how would they know that?

I also wondered what was it that made them be called ‚Äėsocialites‚Äô. Did they do social work? ¬†But I never saw any mention of that in those glamour magazines they made regular appearances in.

Imagine, I did not even have the common sense to guess they did a lot of social events like throwing birthday parties, barbecues, celebrations, bashes and sometimes even parties without any reasons to earn that title. I wonder perhaps I envied how come they were able to hop from one party to another like butterflies. And how is it that their parties always got coverage in those glossy magazines, when it wasn’t even a fund raiser for a cause?

As a little girl I also wondered, ‚ÄúDidn‚Äôt they ever get bored of just enjoying, partying, wearing nice dresses all the time? Weren‚Äôt they ever bored of being happy go lucky and smiley all the time?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúIf it is all a hullabaloo because they are rich, then why and how did they get rich?‚ÄĚ I always wondered as a little girl.

I was stupid enough not to understand they had rich parents, who let them do all this. But then how could I know this, because my parents weren’t anything close to rich. They didn’t even let me have enough pocket money for buying a puff pastry in the school cafeteria, I just had to suffice with a sasta samosa, that too once in a while.

I actually wondered how their Moms and Dads raised them, ‚ÄúDidn‚Äôt they have to study hard to grow up, to be ‚Äėsomething‚Äô in life?‚ÄĚ
I could guess they didn’t have to get good grades in school; just an expensive school’s name where they’ve been was enough of a merit for them.

If there was twitter then, I am sure I would have wondered why they had so many followers while they barely followed back only a hundredth of them.

And the tweets they tweeted were just too ordinary to be given so much attention.

With tweets showing off like

‚ÄúWent into my helicopter to Las Vegas‚ÄĚ,

‚ÄúAte a red velvet cake with fresh cream‚ÄĚ,

‚ÄúWearing a ******** (big brand) pink dress‚ÄĚ with a Fickr image of it.

Well I would certainly have wondered how was that 10k dress any better than my pink lace frock I wore on my 6th birthday, which Ammi just tailored herself after buying the lace from a bumper sale.

I would even would have wondered why some serious people were so very concerned to clarify what their tweets meant, when on rare occasions their tweets weren’t that clear and straight forward:

Socialtie: Went to a spa, had a massage and got adjusted.
A follower: Adjusted?

Well, perhaps I wasn’t made of that material to fathom the depth of what a socialite is meant to be. And, understand,  I was just a little girl then.

But tell you a secret; I still cannot get the sense of the purpose of this word Socialite.

Leaving your heart prints

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about expensive gifts, teddy bears, chocolates or red roses to girlfriends. It’s about¬† making any of your loved ones ( whosoever they¬†may be) ¬†feel that they matter.

And to make anyone feel  that you care, fortunately does not take loads of money. In fact it does not  cost anything but  a tender caring heart.

I planned to write a humorous blog on the ‘extortion day’ that¬† men generally call Valentines day, with a few jokes.

But when a friend sent in an email mentioning¬†about the idea of¬†¬†‘heart¬† prints’, it was too touching to just shoo off this day in a joke. Hence without adding any of my non serious words I share the sentimental caring words a friend¬†wrote in her email.

Sharon  shared:
We leave fingerprints on whatever our hands touch. ¬†On walls, on furniture, on doorknobs, dishes and books, as we touch we leave our identity. ¬†Each day we have the wonderful opportunity to leave prints on the hearts of those who are entrusted to our care.”¬†¬†

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in one of her famous poems: ¬†‚ÄúHow do I love thee? ¬†Let me count the ways.‚Ä̬†¬†

We might say: ¬†‚ÄúHow can we touch hearts? ¬†Show us the ways.‚Ä̬†¬†

The ways that we leave heart prints can be summed up in the word LOVE.

In his meditations, St. La Salle was very fond of quoting St. Paul.  In his First Letter to Corinthians, St. Paul describes love.  He writes of a love that touches hearts.

How might we describe this love?  We might say:

“May we leave heart prints by dealing patiently with others.
May we leave heart prints by being kind to others.
May we leave heart prints by never being jealous or boastful, or arrogant or rude.
In our dealings with others, may we¬†leave heart prints by not insisting on our own way.‚ÄĚ
When we are not irritable or resentful or rejoice at wrong, but rejoice in the right, we leave heart prints.

So, in all of our dealings with others, let us leave heart prints.

And if someone should say: ‚ÄúI felt your touch,‚ÄĚ that might be miracle enough. “

Continuing with a  serious note,  perhaps  an look of concern, a nod that we  understand,  a bend  to lend an ear,  a few words of  compassion or just a caring glance that turns a grimace into a grin  are all ways to leave heart prints.

Coming back to my not so serious ¬†words, well I wouldn’t ¬†leave this page without ¬†caring ¬†words for my ¬†men friends¬† for whom this day proves to be more of an extortion day. Here goes my empathy for the impoverished pockets:

¬†¬†Conversation during an expensive candle light dinner on Valentine’s Day:

Girl (blushing) : “Do you love me with all your heart and soul?”

Boy¬†(”the bill’ on his mind):¬†“Mmm hmm.”

Girl( flushing ): “Do you think I’m the most beautiful girl in the world?”

Boy( still thinking of the ‘ the bill’)¬†: “Mmm hmm.”

Girl(slushing): “Do you think my cheeks are like rose petals & my eyes like gazelle’s?”

Boy( ” the bill’ thoughts persist)¬†: “Mmm hmm.”

Girl( gushing) : “Oh dear, you say the most beautiful things in the world!”

With no  offence meant to anyone, but I hope to  leave some grins on the grimaced faces  :).

A just Mullah

A Mullah ji  is fed up of his wife who either forgets or puts more namak(salt) in the khaana( food).

One day in a rage he spells: “Talaaq talaaq talaaq.”

So that he doesn’t change his mind, he immediately goes to the Qazi to announce and make it final.

Qazi: “Okay, are you sure?”

Mullah: “Yes, very much. Enough is enough, I hate the food she cooks and the little attention she pays to me.”

Qazi: “Fine. How many children do u have ?”

Mullah : “Alhamdulillah seven. ¬†Four are big enough to look after themselves, three are too young to stay without their mother.”

Qazi: “So how will you divide them. Will Allah not be angry that you will take 4 and give only 3 to your wife. Allah wants you to be an ‘aadil’ (just).”

Mullah( thinks a minute) : “Okay, InshaAllah then I’ll come back to you next year.”


A complaining Mullah

When a Mullah died and went to Heaven he saw that a Karachi bus driver was given a higher place than him.

He complained to the angel on duty: “I gave long khutbas in the mosque on every Friday, all my life till the last day.”¬†

The Angel asked: “While you gave long sermons, did people all pay attention to you? Speak the truth today!”

Mullah: “Well to be honest, many played with their cellphones, some yawned, and few even dozed off.”

Angel: “See when this man drove the bus on Karachi streets, not only did his passengers all stayed alert, they even prayed to God ¬†for Mercy. Even the other drivers of cars and rickshaws prayed and remembered me, when he was plying the bus on road.”

Aalu Anday etc.

If you churn the ingredients-adversity, endurance, sense of humour,  imagination and hope into a machine at one end, you will receive Pakistani youth at the other end. Hammered with adverse circumstances one after the other, the hardy rocks of youngsters are  carving themselves into idols of the future.

Endurance is not just the ability to bear an adversity, but to turn it into glory. And laced with sense of humour, their creativity becomes their crowning glory.

Remarks a friend Kamran,¬†‚Äú I’m both amazed and proud of this younger generation of Pakistanis who refused to cow down, who continue to eke out a good time against all odds and do their thing. It’s almost as if nothing’s happening around them when everything is.‚ÄĚ

There could not be a more artsy way to show their disdain for the prevailing politicosocial circumstances than through this master piece by the Beygairat Brigade .

There a lot more to this song, than just funny lyrics or catchy music …and is pleasing to know how these ‘kids’ get them conveyed through the briefest of ¬†audios and ¬†visuals. In fact, the name of the band says it all.

It was extremely imaginative of them to depict aalu andey (potatoes & eggs,  the current offering ) what  these youngsters are getting from their Mom( Pakistan), while they wish  Chicken ( their desire for a better deal).

As an ¬†FB friend Rashid aptly describes ¬†the song ( in fewest possible words) , “Song worth thousand articles by sages.”

I salute thee, the Brigade.


Sometime ago, yet another hilarious piece of creation pertaining to the burning issue of load shedding brought a cool breeze to the sufferers through the composition by Load Shedding Studio. They did a superb job in sketching the biography of a load shedding victim aka Pakistan.

Bijli ji !  Great  ji .


“There is no defense against adverse fortune which is so effectual as an habitual sense of humor”, ¬†quotes Thomas Higginson.

And,  when the adverse fortunes become as habitual as they have in Pakistan, then humor becomes  a compulsion. Had there not been the knack in Pakistanis, in general, to laugh at themselves,  who would have been their saviour ? I wonder.

Youngsters, keep scoffing  off  your miseries  through melodious satire, till the true happiness sprouts from the seeds of your efforts.

“Satire, indeed, ¬†like a polished razor keen,
Wounds with a touch that’s scarcely felt or seen.
Thine is an oyster knife, that hacks and hews
With ¬†talent and not ¬†rage, to shun abuse.”

Bravo, keep it up !

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