Two years back Pakistan Telecommunication Authority held a competition on ITU’s theme for 2009, “Protecting Children in Cyberspace”. Yours faithfully also participated and luckily won the first prize! The article itself is pasted below for you to read and enjoy. Best wishes
Yes, I did that today, I quit smoking for good. I kicked that butt for good. I am not going to smoke anymore. It was epiphany I guess that led me to it. I have given up smoking a dozen or more times in the past three years. But I just could not give it up. But you know, the good thing is that I did not give up on giving up. So I decided to blog about it. I didn’t mind the money spent on smoking, I didn’t mind ruining my health nor the smell of it. It was a few encouraging words from a nice friend that led me to quit smoking. But now I am happy, I will not waste anymore money, I won’t smell as bad as an ashtray and I won’t suffer from lung diseases. If you are reading this and you are a smoker please consider giving it up. It simply isn’t worth it. You will live longer, you will be healthy and you die happy. Here’s a photo of the crumpled cigarette pack that I threw in the dust bin early morning, today. Best wishes.
“Sher Khan” was all he replied, shyly when I asked the lad his name. He was selling balloons in the rain, near PDA market in Hayatabad, Peshawar. His attire was different than most of the boys and girls loitering about in the area, selling balloons or just begging for a few rupees. He wore jeans, shirt, jacket and sneakers, and was using a polyethylene sheet as a raincoat. The boy must have been 9 or 10 years old. Sher Khan begged me to buy a balloon from him, which I did and paid him much more than what he asking for. He was happy and smiled at me followed by a “Thank You”. What saddened me was not his appearance, dress or anything else, rather that he was selling balloons in such rough weather. I asked him for a photo and he readily agreed.
Falak Sher is a barber by profession. He also works part time as an assistant at a restaurant washing dishes. He does this to support his family. He is my regular barber, and when giving me a haircut he does a lot of talking. A few days back he told me that his wife was expecting and requested for mew to pray that he gets a son this time. Upon this I asked him, how many kids he has. He told me he has two wives and 7 daughters. I can imagine he has married for a second time because the first wife did not bear him a son. So he has 5 daughters from the first wife and 2 from the second.
Two days ago he came to place with a 2 lb cake, he was happy and told me that he has been blessed with a son, after 7 daughters. This certainly was good news. In a country like Pakistan, a son has more weightage than a daughter. There are multiple reasons for this. Some of them are:
Sons are considered to carry the lineage of an individual.
Sons take care of their parents when they grow old.
Daughters are married off and start their families.
A person not having a son is considered unlucky, in fact he himself starts feeling that after sometime.
It is a way of showing one’s virility.
A widowed woman or a widower will never stay with her daughter upon growing old, if she/he does not have a son.
I really hope he starts adopting family planning techniques now, instead going for a second son.
This might come as a surprise as a Federal Judge has ruled against the “Don’t ask , don’t tell” policy terming it “unconstitutional”. The ruling also directs US Military to accept gays applicants as recruits. Though gay rights activists have warned aspirants not to disclose their “sexuality” as the decision may be revoked. The news is that the Obama administration plans to appeal against it.
What however, is not clear is that, will the US Army have separate units for Gays? or will they be merged in the “crowd”? Two ex-servicemen who were previously discharged for being “gay”have applied for re-enlistment, after this news was made public.
Strange it is, as how the limits set by God are transgressed to a stage where “wrong” and “right” appear very less different and in some cases appear to merge. The days when being “gay” meant being happy are long gone.