Guess Who :p
April 10th, 2011
It was one of those unseasonably warm winter nights, when it just didn’t feel like Toronto. Thank you global warming, for working on days I need to be in high heels! Yes, stilettos in this year’s great white northern winter, but I had good reason; I was handling celebs for a high-profile event, and today was the night we’d meet our “charges”.
As I hob-nobbed with the cream of North American desis that night, and my feet started feeling the pain of shoes that look so good but feel so wrong, I decided to take a breather by the fireplace. Trying to rub my feet discreetly, without garnering attention, the sudden voice behind, startled me…for the rest of the story…
Over the coming weeks I will be contributing to the Flood Series on Divanee.com.
The series will consist of my personal experiences in the field working with victims of the devastating floods that hit Pakistan this monsoon season, interviews with Pakistani personas, following organizations involved in reconstruction, and moods of mud that mire the motherland.
WARNING: These are NOT going to be feel good pieces, that carry the message of hope, patting oneself on the back for making a difference. If you are looking for a restoration of faith, I highly recommend you opt out of this blog now.
There will be photos, there will be videos, there will be a lot of WTH moments, and there will some slight slivers of silver….here…there….
I will post the articles as they are published.
Tres – Imranistan
August 3rd, 2010
Jay Sean: New Look, New Single, New Album
The first time I heard of Jay Sean was back in 2004. Those were the Rishi Rich & Juggy D days and Jay was still somewhat of a crossover desi sensation, you still heard the occasional Mai Tere Naal Nachna interspersed in his beats. While his songs were still flirting with mainstream, Jay came to American shores. One of my Jay-lorn college going gal-pals dragged me to a little club in New York, where Jay was headlining. I remember resisting the thought; I was not going to go see yet another “Brown Boy Go Black”, but I was suckered into the night out anyway…for the rest of the story…
I’ve avoided comment on Pakistan in recent years, not just because life as a Canadian, entrenched in municipal politics has changed my focus, but also because the last few years have left me pretty speechless in terms of the on-goings in the motherland. Before I could formulate a coherent thought on any event, we’d already be struck by a newer, previously unimaginable disaster. All one could do was circulate links from news agencies, ignore doomsday conspiracies alluding to the demise of the country, sign petitions against drone attacks, and mostly hold hands, pray, and devise ways of convincing die-hard patriotic relatives to move abroad, even if it was for just a little while.
But as has always been the case with the motherland, amidst all the mayhem, the absurd suddenly struck!
As if over million strong internally displaced persons, thanks to the crisis in Swat, South Waziristan, and generally disastrous economic wasteland weren’t already stretching Pakistan’s bare-to-the-bone resources, we have a new ecological crisis looming that threatens to displace thousands. Pakistan, as I write this, awaits for Ataabad Lake in Hunza to burst following a massive landslide. However, if you google news of Pakistan, this doesn’t even make the Top 5.
We seem to be more interested in setting known criminals free, still debating who maybe in control of the Taliban, silly cricket shenanigans, and aah yes….the storm in a teacup, the ban of social media in Pakistan. In a crazy twist of irony, the one thing that’s taken the people to the streets, burning tires and chanting, is the laughable EDMD event which used Facebook as its launch-pad, after the big and equally unnecessary brouhaha over the South Park episode which would have featured the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when Comedy Central set precedence with that first unnecessary act of self-censorship, which later snowballed.
So the Land of the Pure is a week into the Judiciary’s self-imposed ban on social media, thanks to the perceived threat to Islam (is the faith really that weak?), with no foreseeable end in sight, although May 31st seems to be D-Day. The ban has generated enough attention from Zuckerberg & Co, but so far the Republic of Bananistan has not moved from its very lonesome, and (fairly idiotic) stance, even for the traditionally absurdist Ummah.
We’ve burnt tires, demanded Facebook be banned (I thought it already was?), screamed bloody murder, and done everything but talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room….you know: economic downturn, Zardari-Machiavellianism, poverty, suicide bombings, lack of infrastructure, political instability, illiteracy, burgeoning population, etc, etc, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, we can’t just sweep EDMD & offending Muslims under the First Amendment carpet. I personally do not live the life of incorporating hate in my vernacular on the basis of “Freedom of Speech” protocol. But I am fairly wary of governments interfering via blanket media bans. When did ignorance = bliss? Its like we are back to the days of Jahiliyyah, and need a new Sir Syed to break us out of our own tyrannical grip on our grey matter.
For now we watch & wait, and many of us who grew up experiencing the best of Pakistan, we lament the loss of our land and liberties to the whims of its “Azaad Adiliyah” & Zardari-Bemari. What’s interesting is that the blogosphere and few social networking sites such as Twitter that have been spared the ban, have been abuzz with dialogue about censorship, human rights, the state of Pakistan, politics and economics. Not enough to trend it as a topic in tweets, but enough to give me hope there are not only some very intelligent people in Pakistan, but they care, and they have the energy to make a difference. Personally, I’d been massively plugging SAYA Trust, my family’s charitable foundation working to educate and rehabilitate internally displaced children living in the slums of Islamabad, on Twitter to bring awareness to the fact that many grassroots organizations like ours depend almost entirely on viral fundraising and word of mouth, and that its not just a personal liberties issue.
Express Tribune which partners with the International Herald Tribune even “followed” the story, and did a piece in which yours truly’s (DeuceExMachina) tweet was also quoted: http://tribune.com.pk/story/14678/wikipedia-facebook-youtube-what-next/.
I am hoping that sense prevails, and this ban is lifted by the 31st, as initially indicated by the Lahore High Court. Although I’ve learnt to always expect the unexpected when it comes to Bananistan, and its dairh-inch-ki-masjidism!
Till then, please lets pray for the people of Hunza, for I doubt much relief effort is underway in real terms
For more information on the #FBPkBan, please refer here.
There’s festering green schlep
On the cream cheese for my bagel
I stare at the gunk on the knife
It smells like STD spirit
And no one wants to eat you.
To the garbage—yet another bill
My internal moanologues
Drowning out PBS
Something about Srebrenica
Catch a glimpse
I feel cursory shallowness
Watching hungry armless children
Crumbs lodge in toothy gaps
My daily neurosis
Often in competition
With too-thin unloved blondes of soperas
Is beginning to hurt my eyes.
But I, Validation Junkie
Am unwilling to take the blame
Of changing the channel.
It is so easy to go in one direction and then,
Still go there.
An uninterested life,
In jaundiced cream cheese.
In unprecedented 8 degrees
Do not attempt to remove internal thermometer
Ha Ha Ha Ha
Dry, phlegm-less vomit
Rib cage hurts
Seek Annan’s manhood
Defy the figurehead, Brother
Resuscitate the organization
Don’t enforce it!
OUT! OUT! SPOT I SAY!
30 Peacekeepers > 30,000 Muslims
Mozlems, Mozlems, who are they??
NATO fashionably late
To this Slabomêlée
The request was on a wrong form
Fuel was thirsty
Shot us down
In the streets
A camcorder’s vision of sitting on one’s hands.
You are far too good-looking!
Who could cleanse your ethnicity?
So much for the home court advantage
And of being male!
Let the children be
Passports to freedom
But what about Aicha my rabbit Ma?
Let’s smoke the peace cigarette.
Ma I am hungry, and it is getting cold here.
I won’t be your last cigarette UN Enforcer!
Arms folded in supplication
Drink my wine
You instill the power in the Rat King.
Allah wont save You
We, who, even paid for the fuel
Will not survive this, Gloria…
Side Airbags: that is the answer to everything.
A promise on paper napkins
Made over drinks
In a silent forest
While we ran for cover
40 mile > 15, 000 Marchers
Where is the promised homeland?
Danced in the puke blue caps
We, made dinners
7,414 men no longer exist.
Only 70 have been identified
And returned to families.
Why can’t I rid my mouth of mold?
The drums kept beating.
Her muscles over-heated from the excitement of the last hour begged re-acquaintance with Cold February.
So glad sometimes to live in the tundra. The bristle of the insides would otherwise not have computed.
She left the entourage for hermitude she occasionally inhaled when life got too asthmatic.
Placing herself non-strategically on a street corner, she let the breeze in. A cab driver, vulturing on wayward inebriated clubbers, ready to head home too early on a Saturday night, nervously flirted with her attention.
She negated a nod.
“Not yet pal, the night is young, and I am having more fun then I thought I would.”
Some smokers pass by and fracture the new years resolution.
Unhinging the cleavage: “You boys got a smoke for me?”
A thought creeps….its been 24 hours…
So easily it’s forgotten that she put a silencer on this weapon seven months ago, why should it make a noise now.
But its still good for the kill, and it will.
They may be wondering where she is.
Takes a picture instead.