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.
Sometime back I blogged about Karadeniz Powership which had set sail for Pakistani shores. Now it has reached Pakistan and is docked at Karachi. To the common man this might sound as a great relief, but actually it is just another way of fleecing the already over-burdened people of Pakistan by the incompetent Government. Well it is actually a spillover of incompetence of the previous Governments, but this one is no different, in fact it is worse. ( Shoot, I have started rambling again )
The statistics say this power solution by the Awami or People’s Government is by far the most expensive. According to PEPCO, Karkey Karadeniz Electrik Uretim of Turkey signed the deal for providing Electricity to our beloved country for 5.98 cents per unit, but that was May 2009. Now it is November 2010, and almost 2011. Add in the current price of furnace oil, the corruption included in the whole process, and the figure shoots over to 18 cents per unit. Ask a 3rd grade student to do the math and he/she will tell you it comes to around Rs. 15.66 , actually Rs. 6.29 higher then the current average price per unit!
Only a People’s Government can think of such solutions, because the people get to pay the money, the Government collects the money, pays to the M/S Karadeniz and pockets some of it, thereby introducing another acute spate of circular debt. The agreement is valid for six years and it doesn’t take a genius’s IQ to figure out what the fuel costs will be in another six years, well simply they will skyrocket. But that will not affect us, because we have enough water to build dams on, enough coal reserves to be declared the biggest on Earth, enough Wind corridors and Sun belts. Only if we can agree on building the darned Kalabagh Dam, putting a coal fired power plant on Thar coal or making use of ample sunshine or wind. But the question is, “who will bell the cat?”
I was on vacation a few days back and went to my native town. The good thing about vacations is that everyday seems like Sunday. So one fine sunny Tuesday I went to the local market a saw at least 20 or so Starlings on the roads, sidewalks, under parked cars, near shops and almost everywhere in a small area. As I went near them none flew away, they just hopped and ran form one place to another. This was strange, as free birds are supposed to fly away when they smell danger or feel threatened.
I chased a few of them, but still they wouldn’t fly! This was really strange! So I took out my camera and snapped a few pics of the birds, some running, some resting and some laying on the road. A couple of boys were standing near me and on my inquiring told me that a Starlings vendor was here, selling Starlings and he got hit by a car. As a result of this accident the cag he was carrying broke open and all Starlings escaped! Hence the commotion.
Now for my readers, let me tell you that in my country Pakistan, free birds are caught and trapped by mobile vendors who roam streets and roads to sell them. Those who can afford the price pay the vendor and set a certain number of birds free. This is considered as a good deed, and a good Omen. At places I have seen people selling crows and sparrows as well. To set a bird free is a noble act, according to local custom! But what about the guy who catches them in the first place?
Before you take a look at the pics, let me tell you something else. Some of the Starlings just lay on ground and some were standing absolutely still. I believe either the birds were drugged or had their feathers pulled out, so that they could not fly. The vendor I believe, did this in order to catch them again and sell them to some other person for setting them free yet again! Strange it is indeed, very strange.
Thanks to SMS packages in Pakistan, I get a dozen or at times more jokes daily. I have shortlisted a few for sharing with my friends. Hope you enjoy them!
Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office.
“Boss” he says, “we are doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff.”
“We are short-handed, Smith” the boss replies. “I can’t give you the day off.”
“Thanks Boss” says Smith, “I knew I could count on you!”
While making the payment a woman searched her wallet. The cashier noticed a TV remote control in her purse “Do you always carry your TV remote?” cashier asked“No” she said “But my husband refused to come shopping with me so I figured this was the worst thing I could do to him”
My son likes to draw pictures. After school he has his lunch, does his homework and then gets busy drawing pictures. A few days back he drew a picture for some contest and asked me to upload it to a kids website which somehow wasn’t working. So I decided to upload it to my Blog. Hope you like it 🙂
Ghost Mind: It can cut people. It can control ghosts. (My son’s imagination!)
Pakistan is facing the worst ever electricity crisis in its history. Thanks to years of mismanagement, shortsightedness and corruption; a country bestowed with rivers, enough wind to generate 50,000 MW and a Solar belt that can also generate an additional thousands of Mega Watts of electricity, not to mention the world’s biggest coal reserves. The city of Karachi, the industrial hub of Pakistan and a city which generates almost 65 % of the country’s revenue was the worst hit. Karachiites suffered, and are still experiencing up to 12 hours of load shedding. Now a Turkish Power Ship, perhaps the only of its kind has set sail from Istanbul to Karachi which will give the city a relief of some 230 MW. This agreement has been signed for a period of 60 months, or 5 years. This may sound as good news, but the point to note here is that this is again a short term solution, it will run on fossil fuel and it is not going to be cheap, not at all.
Our daily newspapers carried this story along with a photograph of the ship which words like “ To end the power problems of Pakistani brothers and sisters”. Well, I have no qualms at admitting that I wept on seeing this picture. Not because it carried an emotional message, but because despite being bestowed with so much we are still waiting for God knows who to help us and alleviate our problems. That perhaps is the most painful thing. The leadership will never understand this, there are suffering from acute shortsightedness I guess.
Pakistan Army team has won the Cambrian Patrol Competition 2010 and has been awarded Gold Medal for best performance. Cambrian Patrol is organized by the British Army in Wales and is hosted by 160 (W) Brigade. It attracts Army teams form across the globe. Over 750 personnel of various countries (16 in all) that include UK, USA, India, France and Canada etc participated in the 10 day long competition that was held from 8th to 17th of October, 2010. During this exercise troops have to carry out surveillance tasks, do patrolling, administer first aid, cross a river with full load. Pakistan Army simply stood out and was declared the BEST. This is a great achievement for the Pakistan Army as it was competing with more advanced countries. If anything this shows the Pak Army’s team work, motivation, resolve and training. Well done boys, keep it up! Watch the video below.
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.
Picture this; Azhar Haidri 23 was in love with Rumana Aslam (21) and his family wanted him to marry Humaira Qasim (28). What is a guy in love supposed to do? Dump his sweetheart for family or affront his family by marrying his love? Tough choice, very tough indeed. So he worked out a novel solution, what if he married both? Ahem! both on the same date, that is. Surprisingly, both girls agreed! And the man is all set to marry both damsels. In Pakistan, it is not uncommon for a man to marry twice or even more times, but this happening in 24 hours is strange indeed. The guy considers himself lucky, hmm, me says “wait and see” dude, lucky isn’t marrying two girls in 24 hours.
Today is the 16th of Oct 2010, it is Saturday, day off for me. The morning paper carries a photograph of Karachi’s slum area “Khuda Ki Basti”. The photograph itself is self explanatory. It shows a web of illegal electricity connections from a WAPDA pole. One could rave and rant about this thing, but why waste time. Just the picture is posted below for everyone to see. But on the contrary let me say a few words: This explains for the non-availability of electricity, this explains for its high cost and above all this explains the rampant corruption in our society. The question is, if such pictures appear in newspapers, does anyone actually take notice? I mean the people who are supposed to be controlling all this? I guess not. How true it is when they say, “The fish rots from the head.”