Thursday, August 28, 2008

Save the sheep campaign!!



Umm the poster is for a sidey New Zealand movie which was out last year...but Im wondering if King knew something we didnt.
For this week's FT reports the following about Hubby (read Zardari):

Eye witnesses report that two black bakras are slaughtered every day outside Hubby’s Isloo house to ward off the evil eye. One day last week, while he was being interviewed by a television channel, the poor bakras set up a hue and cry, as they were being dragged to the slaughter. Hubby was visibly disturbed; he interrupted the interview and told a few hangers-on who were on the scene to “sort out the mess”.

In the interest of the bakras can we put Zardari out of his misery...but the mind does boggle as in who in their right mind is going to ' nazarofy' him?
P.S: I have decided that Im going to seriously publicize the bakra kill-fest in Northern America and Australia...the Americans dont care much about the lives of ordinary Pakistanis with or without Zardari but Im pretty sure concerned animal rights groups can lobby Washington about the perils of Zardari in the Presidential House... imagine the tragedy of two bakras being killed EVER DAY as long as he is occupying the President's chair,quelle horreur !!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Psych Evaluation

Had a very interesting exchange with a student today...(it taught me not to jump to conclusions for one) anyways the student wanted to run by some ideas for a prospective research essay he is writing on designing content for children's TV and was sharing his experiences working on the Sesame Street series in Bangladesh..so he was telling me how they were using some of the material from episodes produced in NY but had to constantly edit them so that they were culturally appropriate..so I nod my head in understanding...well anyone who grew up in Pakistan in the '80s is well aware how the censors liberally went with the scissors even if it was children's TV...
so I ask OK so what is it that they are targeting lately, women dressed "inappropriately" , public display of affection.
And he replied Noooo, they show children drinking water from the tap...now how can we show that to Bangladeshi children, we cant have them drinking unsafe water.

SIGH!!!! oh the freedoms of living in the West...to walk up and confidently fill a glass of drinking water from the kitchen tap. I guess when Rushdie was drawing up his list of why the rest of the world hates Northern America...the freedom to kiss, cohabit, have alternative sexualities and vote freely for one... he missed out on the Numero Uno freedom that has us stewing in the South...the freedom for little children to fill their sippie cups with water from a tap.

Elsewhere the London Financial Times quotes psych reports that have us believe that Mr Zardari is suffering from dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder .. Stephen Reich, a New York state-based psychologist, states that he found Zardari unable to remember the birthdays of his wife and children....ummm I beg to say so does half of the adult male population around the world...I guess Zardari's case is going to give a number of husbands a brand new excuse to get out of remembering the good wife's birthday and wedding anniversaries...remember when Clinton's escapades were explained as "sexual addiction" and a emotional health prob, and what that did for philanderers around the world...or anorexia nervosa being labeled as the Thing that Diana had...methinks there will be a number of husbands in Islamabad shrugging their shoulders and telling their wives "mujhey woh Zardari walee beymaree hai...Ive caught the same thing that Zardari has"...anyways jokes aside I hope the guy takes a break from active politics and recuperates before he makes us live his private hell.

And how many of you think that the Good Woman in Model Town will be telling her husband right now...shukar hai Nawazu tum bach gaye, tumhey kata wata hota (Good for you Nawazu that you were rid of him before he bit you).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pet Peeves -part deux

Well, Im pretty bummed that no one...I repeat no one...in my immediate friends/family circle finds Obama cute...Ok I am a Late Latif when it comes to "realizing" his charms..was too busy admiring his grit and determination and plans for the years ahead I should say to my defense..but the other day I kind of "woke up" and realised what the fuss was about...the man is serious eye candy.

Ok the other "thorn in my side" are some members of the Melbourne eating establishments...*clarification* I am not cheap...I am just principled...(thus spoke Scrooge says Gman)..now I was always OK with chipping in with the corkage if we were eating with friends at a BYO even if I dont drink...but recently some establishments have gone into what can be called "glassage" that is adding $3 per head to the final bill...which is kind of mean..the good lady explained kindly it was because they have to wash glasses..as if, I found it ridiculous...so all this while you have not been washing my water or juice glass...at times the sneakiness really gets to me...like the time the caterer at our wedding recption explained some inflated charges as "oh this is for providing flowers THROUGHOUT the ceremony"..opposed to I guess whisking the flower arrangements the moment the entrées were done with....khair, so this Friday I embarassed Gman by my "minor rebellion" of dirtying as many glasses as I could...yup you will be amazed how many you can go through with two lemon limes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Whiff of Bollywood

How many of you think that Obama will do a Yash Chopra proud...you know the amount of secrecy regarding his running mate...the nervous tension and suspense is the same as the hype regarding a new YC film and its "hidden from public eyes" heroine.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Season of Discontent












They say that
when Shakespeare referred to the Winter of Discontent he meant the silencing of dissent rather than its expression. Perhaps when there are no exit strategies, and a populace simmers in hate, the gardens of Wah no more grow flowers. Deserted shoes line its avenues. And where a spring of sweet water once enraptured a Mughal king, now lies drenched with the blood of poor laborers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No to Pres Zardari

If the PPP thinks its their right to nominate him, than its our right to say NO!! we cant have two of the most important posts going to the same party, and anything that comes with an "endorsement" from Altaf Bhai should be avoided like the plague.
Feeling too depressed to write...methinks I celebrated too soon re: the developments of the last two days.

Elsewhere the population of poisonous snakes in New Mexico contemplate over the repurcussions of reports that Mush is considering making their local habitat his new home. A rep of the group believes it will go a long way into making them less of a public enemy now that there is a new contendor in town.

Yes to Julie Andrews "Song for Recent Times"...good friend Rads has posted a link on her blog and its worth a dekho

Monday, August 18, 2008

Postcards from the TV Couch

Ok...Mush is on tele...it has been an hour...he is reciting a long list of "achievements" (which he is taking credit for), hotel occupancy rates included!! at the rate he is going and the long net that he is casting (talk about fishing for compliments /brownie points) i am waiting for him to take credit for my getting married any minute now.

Gman had to plonk himself in front of the tele just as Mush was going to mention the golden words, tau phir may chaloo (so I guess I will go) Im groaning that I missed the end but noooo it didnt end...typical Mush, even though he resigns he takes a good 45 minutes to vacate the chair.

So he embarks on a long list of thanks...where is the cued music like they have for the Oscars to cut him short...advisors, tech staff, the army, mommie dearest, the good wife, kids...probably the ayah who washed his bum in kindy was going to be next.

Ms Niece called just then and was asking me to explain why the grown ups were so divided...hadnt he been good in the beginning, so what happened to him? ..to which I replied quite unkindly, well servants, even if they are government servants are pretty similar, they start out good than something happens to them over time...do you remember all your maids?

The rest of the world is pretty quiet right now...Gman was monitoring the Indian response, they have been mighty quiet as well and he was wondering why. I was like Im sure they must be shitting bricks now the Saudis have said no to opening the al- Suroor bed and breakfast for Mush and Rice ruling out a nice ranch in the States, the good men in Delhi must be wondering whether he will be requesting access to the Neher wali Kothi now.

Khair, grateful that I am at the moment for mercies big and small..I stood up to offer my two nafal shukrana for deliverance...may God be kind on us in the days ahead...my sis tells me that the stock exchange was up 400 points as he spoke...but really may the days ahead bring good luck and fortune.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Ground Beneath Mush's Feet

Umm...so Al-Suroor turns out to be not the 'exhilirating' escape package it seemed and there are no crumbs of compassion for him on the US table, only Rice.

Oh to have your qiblas (Haqiqi-real and Majazi-metaphorical ) shift on you in the same calendar week and HOW!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anniversaries of the Heart

August 17th...eleven years of deliverance courtesy mangoes raining from the sky, a C-130 and if we believe what Muhammad Hanif is telling us a crow on a kamikaze mission.

I have been scanning the online newspapers since early morning hoping that Musharraf develops a streak of romanticism and decides to "deliver us" by resigning on the 17th...cant see any sign yet...but the day is still young..it will be some time before the sun sets this Sunday.

What I did read is that Zardari is hinting that the new President could be a woman..to which Abdullah Yusuf (the ex-Chairman CBR) might be adding "What if the new Pres can dance like a woman?"It wouldnt hurt finding out...after all the man needs to be employed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

When A Picture Is Not Worth All the Thousand Words

As further proof that time stood still during Mom's annual yatra Down Under, I entered the kitchen to realize that I had not changed the calendar since June...so I rip off the page to "bring in" August...now the calendar has snapshots from around the world, so I was pretty chuffed to see Pakistan for Aug...major serendipity..it being "Aug 14" et al. So we have this toothy Chitrali in a tea shop fixing a tea pot held between his toes, so after I ooh and aah about the "perfect timing" I step back a bit and wonder about the whole "folksiness" of it and the write up..yes yes its all very interesting. I potter around preparing the morning cuppa as the Chitrali watches me with a twinkle in his eyes, while I try not to be put off as I see that the tea pot is held between grimy toes and miles of gnarly, grubby nails.

But Im just wondering is this all that the photo journalist could "get" out of my community. stapling tea pots with metal pins..for Gman's benefit I scan through the pages and find India...yup Punjabi Sardar, "exotic" market place...listen Im not getting into the whole "show us as modern industralized states, in science labs, perched over super-microscopes"..I dont want to replace one kind of cliché by another. But Im just wondering why shades of Orientalism still linger when it comes to telling stories for our part of the world...like the other entries are pretty much about university students...wine making...economic reforms..fisheries...different stories for diferent communities..why is it left to the desis to provide the "masala"? Im not insulted, just irritated that when it comes to the South Asian story the world has not moved beyond the "friendly native". What is your take? Is my angst about the Chitrali tea-shop wallah just a -ahem- storm in a tea cup?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Bare Necessities of Life

I guess Pesho has been following the whole debate on the housing crisis in Australia--well Melbourne in particular, so she refuses to go to sleep until we make a mock "home" for her. I swear!!every day, she will get on the couch and nudge the cushions until someone drags their lazy asses off their couch and starts building her cubby hole. Then she squirms and edges in backwards in what we have for her...well we arent great architects and she knows it.



Chalo...the house is OK...now for a phone connection please?



Aah just right...thanks!! And in case I don’t see you: good afternoon, good evening and good night!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Random Thoughts

Though I promised myself just a couple of days ago to "destress" my life and not get too worked up about the situation developing in Islamabad....I cant help doing some "remote control" monitoring of the events transpiring. Or using humour to comment on the non-happenings. But I cant help thinking of the logistics and "every day details" unfolding in the Prez's house...has Begum Saheba folded her hands on her chest and tapping her feet as I type "Tau phir may sardiyon kee peytee pack karoo kay nahee" (should I pack up the woollies or not)...is the Mom Mush putting on her glasses and telling the ADC to fill out her prescriptions before the gravy train stops?

On a separate note, have any of you watched Persepolis yet? Oh I was laughing and crying and then laughing some more....please please get up and go and catch it asap or start pestering the DVD wallah for a copy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reality Bites

Further proof that I am well in the thirty-something years...your midnight et early morning caller changes...rather than a hapless ex- and THE midnight call, friends telling you about last night, or someone whispering sweet nothings you have younger cousins or Ms Niece calling you to pray for an exam and a good grade...they probably think dodgering old aunt must be up praying as thats all oldies do come the witching hour.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Post card from Golkamra Land



Moi..two minutes before class

Hmmm, so what have I been doing...well have been pretty busy as the new semester has started (cant write much about that...one of the perils of blogging with my real name /ID..cant comment much about my work life with the "ethics" of writing about students, uni employers et al)...major grave yard shift this semester, like Thursdays Im stuck coordinating a seminar that ends at 8pm so I dont get home before 930...actually am pretty comatose other days of the work week as well ..all this accompanied by major "tut tutting" by Mom who is in town. I guess she envisioned my "teacher" avtaar along the lines of Ms Chandni in Main Hoon Na whereas Im MAJORLY channeling the government school teacher, thick shawl, sturdy shoes, soda bottle glasses on nose, shrill voice...many a time Ms Babar has stopped herself from screaming ALL YOUZE KEEP QUIET AND DO READING, hainjee as I dive into plastic basket and peel the oranges.

Anyways, I must be the last person in my friends circle to read A Case of Exploding Mangoes...had major "romantic" ideas of reading it on Aug 17th (yup a khatam of another kind on the barsee) but couldnt hold it off and would keep on sneaking passages, oh it was soooooo good...can I say "cathartic"...somehow I just felt that our generation had closure...to finally see it all put in words. Now for someone to give the current "incumbent" on the House on the Hill a crate of mangoes...isnt his birthday coming up soon?

In golkamra land the mother prepares to pack up and leave next week...major tear works (on my part)...she is of the generation where the response to everything is the STIFF UPPER LIP and we will be seeing each other in X months right.
But I did see her "bending" the rules now and then...yup, she isnt quite the Iron Lady after all. Thankyou Mama Mia! and the wonderful Meryl Streep and the memories of her singing in her seat...and yes there was the time when she was flitting from one store to another and I had to remind her how she had this strict rule for sis and me as in "Well you told me leaving home you wanted to buy stationery so we cant go to shoe shopping" and the detailed itinerary we had to give her before getting in the car and no amount of tears would let her budge EVEN IF IT WAS A SHOP RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE WE HAD PLANNED (are you reading, mom?)...anyways so I GENTLY remind her of that and more when she was dragging me from one store to another...and she calmly says "Oh that was Pindi this is Melbourne"....so I jump up to the opportunity "Oh so we can have separate rules for Pindi and Melbourne...brand new information...should have told me a couple of years ago" ...oh well at least I tried.

Anyways Aneela has a brand new chill pill mantra...what with being comatose courtesy work load, crazy hormones, plus rescuing tattered jeans and various articles of clothing et cushions from mom who wants to detoxify everything...(which also explains the sheer inertia about not blogging and just lurking on other people's blogs)...it is freaking out colleagues like anything...the other day someone runs up to me in the corridor and says "Oh so what do you feel about the current situation in Islamabad" which in the pre-chill pill days would be the well whatever it is that opens the flood gates and today it was just a brief raising of the eyebrows "hmm something has been happening na...ALRIGHT" (think Meryl Streep...Devil Wears Prada...her Thats All) and I flounce out...its driving EVERYONE crazy and Im loving it.