Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wish Lists

Is it just me or is anyone else noticing the increasing "consumerist spirit" amongst kids today...Musketeer Numero 2 has told my mom that "though he hears it may be trifle expensive" but he wants her to get him an IPod when she returns from visiting me (yesss, Mom is going to be in town soon)...forget the "expense" involved, we are just flabbergasted what the 5 year old intends to do with the IPod!!!!

I have been witnessing IPods appearing on the wish lists of children I have been visiting this year...what surprises me is that its coming from kids who's moms I know, have grown up with, worked with, are family, good friends...I know for a fact they have the same value system as me (and yes the mom's are equally perturbed by their children's demands)...like Ms Niece and Musketeer Numero 1 approach me this April about how unreasonable their parents have been about not getting them their Ipods..NOT EVEN THE FAKE ONES FROM BARA MARKET, complains Musk 1..."our friends are surprised key chalo your parents cant get you the original, tau copy bhee nahee leykar dey rahey (what kind of mean cheap skates are they that they cant even get you the rip offs)"...(please bear in mind present company is 12 years and under).

I am still trying to digest this exchange when I visit my "guru" and "soul sister"...similar exchange with her 8 and 7 year old (at this stage I am actually worried about why are kids approaching me to run down their "cheap skate parents", what is the attraction here, am I giving off some Ombudsmann vibes) ...So they scream OUR MOM WONT EVEN GET US AN MP3......to which I ask these kids, do you even know enough songs to put on a Mp3 and/or IPod?

Is it their peer group, something in the water...since when did the Ipod become the coolest thing in an 8 year old's back pack?

Or am I getting really really old and am totally out of it?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Detoxifying my Life

For anyone who feel they have been FaceBoxed with umpteen "friend requests" /pokes/ Matching Like" invites the following is brilliant...im cut/pasting the link as sadqa jaariya...I wish I had read the "Allah commands me" excuse for all the friends request I had to field.
Read onnn
Facebook Commandments

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My daily Grouse


For anyone growing up Pashtun in Pakistan nothing that Fasi Zaka raises in his Friday Times column last week is "brand new information" ...well actually not only for Pashtuns trying to speak Pushto in the public space...I have to confess there are an equal number of Pashtuns who also need to be "reminded that we live in a federation" and to calm down re: their paranoia regarding Punjabis (as in rich Punjabis arent just exploiting Pashtuns they exploit poor Punjabis as well)...sadly our relationship with languages in Pakistan is convoluted and reflective of how shizophrenic we all are when it comes to deciding on a "Pakistani identity"...as in what defines as "holy" (some find it sacriliegous if I recite the "neeyat"for my prayers ín Pushto) ...or that Pakistan's languages do not fit in with the Holy Trinity (English, Urdu et Arabic) therefore they have no place in the class room ..how can one community announce that they will be read as uncivilised if they continue speaking as they did in villages...I remember asking friends why they didnt speak in Punjabi at home and one explained that her family in the village would wonder why they had to move to the city if they could not exhibit all the "trappings" that a saheb culture should promise ..so the family speaks Urdu and a whole generation grows with the stigma that Punjabi= village=forgettable.

So sadly we grow up as others have said "illiterate in more than one language" (kind of ironic considering 2008 is the International Year of Languages) I speak Pushto but cant write it, read and pray in Arabic but will never be able to carry a conversation in it (unless its Oh People, Set Prayers and Give Zakat...really), and the infamous Persian class in BA where we only have to swot one book and answer in Urdu to get good grades..then there is the "foreign" language that all good Convent girls should be taking up (German in my case...but I speak German as I would Pushto) and my Urdu and English requires SERIOUS HELP when it comes to grammar et al..so where does that leave me? What do I know of the languages of Pakistan? In fact what does anyone who is non-Sindhi or non -Balauchi or Seraiki know of the language and people? A "sadkey deeva" from Asghar Nadeem Syed or Sheiki et Alan Faqir singing "Humma Humma" or the ubiquitious Rajhasthani tapestry on our walls does not a language make...
I admit that I did reject Urdu as a "colonizing" language growing up...I hated that PTV dramas would drum in every evening that being "Urdu speaking" and spouting poetry was a sign of being sophisticated with "tehzeeb" and any "pakh pakh" or the "asee tusee" of my Punjabi neighbours was left to the character playing the servant or the comic villager....anywayss.... now when I hear snatches of Mir Taqi Mir or Ghaleb in a film I seriously regret not paying adequate attention to my ghazal course books and promise myself to get back to it one day.
There is something very interesting that Zia Mohyuddin said in an interview ..I think it was carried in Zameen about what language means to him. "I think essentially, language means to me...culture. Language is nothing but culture. When you use language accurately and when you are able to appreciate a language correctly, you become at ease with that culture. Once you feel that youve acquired not just the rudiments of that language but the expression of that language, then its misuse is a travesty". Words to remember and live by..especially in Pakistan with all its trouble of a populace living with a multiplicty of belongings...whether its culture or religion or our diverse ethnicities.....it is only when we are at ease with difference, learn to appreciate the Other, appreciate the rich tapestry of colours, sounds and languages that our beautiful Land brings to our lives..that any silly digs (pakh pakh, sounds like stones rolling in a box) would be as Mohyuddin identifies a "travesty".

Sunday, June 15, 2008

post script

The lovely kay from karachi suggests a Jamie Oliver cook book to resolve my kitchen woes... hmmm...well I would rather the real McCoy ...Mr O..in my kitchen asking me soniye aaj kiya pakaye...See Im an Ok cook (have long progressed the Shan masala school of cooking) its just that Im "witless" when it comes to "planning" what to cook...anyways in her comment she also reminded me of hunter beef sandwiches...sigh... I dream of hunter beef sandwiches every night...thanks to Aus quarantine laws we cant bring in meat, dairy products et al and well our kind of hunter beef is not something that Ive found here..and I miss it sooo much.

Yes, all I crave right now is a hunk of hunter beef along with that other hunk Jamie O in my kitchen and then I will truly be heaven.

P.S: As I type this post I have BBC World on in the background (the background noise is tre important to make believe its still home home)...anyways the hapless anchor in Cooking in the Danger Zone is in China this week and in his quest to eat something reallly authentic is gorging on penis (plural form penes??) of all kind ...yak penis, goat, blurrrrggghhh...definitely not part of the Shan masala school of cooking.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the undomestic goddess

not that nigella lawson lies awake at night wondering whether a crazy pashtun in melbourne will be joining the pantheon any time soon...however JUST in case if the powers that be are audtioning for a slot any time soon, there a number of reasons why I dont feel my name is going to be short listed.

for OBVIOUS reasons I dont have the oomphh...sigh. even a biased Gman will agree...major Freudian slip the other day, Im admiring a top this character on TV is wearing and I was like hey I have something like that, perhaps I should forgo the vestie underneath and wear it like she does..and he goes Nahee yara, she has the b**bs for it...major awkward silence...Gman thinking to himself (Go to Jail – go directly to Jail – Do not pass Go, do not collect $200). Khair...out of the mouth of (man) babes and all.and I dont have the kitchen for it...case in point...my fridge has more color on it (fridge magnets, pics, cartoons) than in it (happy veggies, hot curries you know what I mean).

Anyways I bet the Nigellas of the world dont stand in front of the fridge and holler "phir aaj kiya pakaye" (so what do we cook today)..Ive taken to swiping menus from restaurant and use them as a cooking roster...of course we get stuck somewhere at Jaafrani Pulao. I dont mind cooking I just hate deciding and after all the "diversity" I bring to the dining table Gman thinks all we eat is Kadhi and Kichri....dont blame me, blame the melbourne weather...for me gloomy grey weather means pakoras in kadhi and piping hot kichri FOR THAT IS WHAT WE ATE IN PINDI...sigghhh Toto something tells me we are not in (Pindi) Kansas any more....of course Gman would rather we were eating lamb every day...yup, we are pretty much keeping the Australian livestock industy in business.
Khair, Gman had some fillings done and I had to think other than lamb to cook so we dont knock out what three hours of drilling put in...decide to jazz up the dal and make it a sambar...does Nigella tell herself when she is struggling for ingredients..What Would Quick Gun Murugun Do??
anyways tried to channel the ghosts of south indian cinema past and present...and well the result was ummm a Hybrid Dal at best in a Bhabha kind of way.
So anyways going back to the orignal idea behind this post..what does one do for the dinner type blahs...what do REAL domestic goddesses do when it comes to the AAJ Kiya Pakaye blues??

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yeh Packet Aap Ka Hua

Little does the hapless Cabinet official in UK know how happy he has made me this morning by leaving his reading material on the train....next time I get a ticking off for leaving my train ticket on the seat, I know someone who is more of a scatter brain than me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Surviving.....


Yesterday afternoon a dear friend emails me from Pindi with news of her father's death...rephrasing Lahiri 'news of these deaths never gets lost in (spam) mail as other letters do'....like Ashima and Ashoke I feel I live the lives of the 'extremely aged'...'those for whom everyone they once knew and loved are lost'.

I find myself consoling myself in the oddest way...at times on the train I stare at a pair of hands and trick myself into thinking that they are my grand father's...the whiff of Old Spice...eating ginger biscuits and hard toffee to summon afternoons with a grand mother.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

8-(

Read the following sprayed on the side of the bus:


There is no emoticon for existential angst.

I dont care...I get to see Miranda tonight....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

ladies (plus one) night out

One of my "guilty pleasures" is being addicted to sex and the city (the series)...and sporting a massive girl crush on Miranda...so Ive been counting the days till this Friday when I can finally catch the film (it releases in Oz on June the 5th) so the temptation to avoid reading the plot line (and critique of) DROVE ME NUTS...earlier this week I asked girl friends if they wanted to make an evening of it...gman was pretty miffed why i never asked him as he had been a "convert" to the show for some time...Ok guys, a major reason why Mr Big's character continues to intrigue us is because he is (clichéd though it is) A Man's Man...you can actually smell the cigar and cologne when you conjure a mental image of him("and leather" adds sis as we dissect the character over the phone) , so why is it that even when we are swooning over the Man's Man, Im secretly chuffed that my guy is cool enough with his "feminine side" to share my guilty..and very "womanly"... pleasure with me!!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Half Way There

actually just the first step....in a "classic" folly of putting the cart before the horse I have a brand new "author does book reading" shot for my profile before even starting the book...but its motivating, eh

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Interesting Calendar


some of you might already have this but for those who dont check for the 2008 AASHA calendar that illustrates the "taxonomy of sexual harassers"...more from www.aasha.org.pk where you can download the rest of it!!