The Garage School – Islamabad


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Continue reading The Garage School – Islamabad

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Why just women? Sterilize the men too!


The recent deaths in India relating to mass government-run sterilization campaigns in the improvised states is a disheartening incident. Such incidents lift all layers of trust and commitment given by these under-privileged people on the government. Whether it is roti kapra aur makaan or modi ki sarkar, disappointments and betrayals have languished in the scarred lives of the subcontinent.

Another thing which touches the heart strings is targeting women for such campaigns, although population control is not only in the hands of a woman.  I ask, why only blame the women for birth control or hold them accountable for the increasing rate of the population. In countries where women are treated as sex objects, denied of playing stronger roles than bearing children and cooking rotis and parathas, the authorities are putting these women through another test by taking away their ‘womanhood.’ The issue maybe quite common or talked relentless in the media but be it any part of the world, sterilizing women without their knowledge is equal to taking a man’s ‘manhood.’

In countries where basic education is a luxury, how do the authorities expect to spread awareness about birth control? Who decides their future, when the lack of basic needs is fulfilled with a pleasure which comes free of cost?

 

Reasons why a Karachiite cannot survive in Islamabad


From the chaotic, aggressive and fast paced life in Karachi to the peaceful, relaxed paced, serene beauty of Islamabad a Karachiite (in his/her true sense, somebody who has been raised and educated here) cannot survive for long term in Islamabad.

Travelling is my favourite thing to do, hopping from one city to another is always relaxing from the hectic Karachi life. After 3-4 days of roaming around in the capital city, touring the city each time from a tourist eye, the air of Islamabad which is so quiet puts me to sleep. Here are some things I have been noticing from my previous trips.

Lights go out after 10:00 PM

This is a big no no for Karachites, where malls are open till 11:30 PM and people keep coming in by 11:00 PM. Shops are open till wee hours where they can buy last minute missing groceries or to satiate the craving for thandi pepsi after a late dinner!

Green with envy

Islamabad being literally green makes a Karachiite green with envy but for the controlled law and order situation there is a source of major frustration. Why do they have the liberty to walk on the road carrying their phones and laptops? When it is a procedural for a Karachiite to carry two phones, one for me, one for the mugger, that is ‘if’ you’re lucky enough.

Keeping it in the closet

Everything happens in Karachi, from street prostitution to drug smuggling in broad daylight. Even the mugging episodes happen on stage with spectators looking at you with awe! In Karachi, when I’m often passing by the so called ‘posh areas’ ladies can be seen lighting up the footpath with their glittery outfits concealed beneath the misused Abaya. Karachi sure is one broadminded city and it welcomes anything and everything.

Karachi is a foodie’s treat!

The eating out scene is the best in Karachi, followed by Lahore (yes, I’m biased), all the restaurants are huddled in one place from Seher, Shahbaz Commercial, Burns road, Do Darya, Port Grand or Bahadurabad. Many a times in Islamabad, I have ended up eating in fancy restaurants or mostly ordering in at the guest house.

1 piggy 2 piggy..

Karachi is dangerous but Islamabad can be quite a chase! Wild boars are scarier than the Karachi muggers because with muggers, you have a chance to survive (without your belongings) but these piggies won’t spare your life or your clothes!

Rickshaw, chinqi, Bus, taxi.. kuch nai milta bhye!

I’m not boasting but rickshaws, taxis and buses are available at any time needed. Whereas to venture out in the capital city, there are barely any convenient transport options available except for very few. The rickshaws which are one of the major source of quick, fast and noisy rides available for commute within the city are a life saver. Plus if you feel your life is in danger you can always jump out of the rickshaw!

Where walls surround mystery – Ranikot, Sindh, Pakistan


Ranikot is the oldest known wall in Sindh, a comparison to the great wall of China. The magnificent wall stretches in Sindh covering kirthar mountain range. Recently, I got a chance to visit this place. Here’s a sneak peak from my traveling experience to Ranikot.

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Sign board written in Sindhi. Meerikot 5 kms, Ranikot 0 kms
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Nobody knows who were the builders of the fort. However, Archaeologists believe that it was built by Greeks. One of the semi circular bastions of Ranikot can ve seen in this picture
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Ranikot was later used by Talpurs who ruled Sindh in 1800s
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Known as ‘The Great Wall of Sindh’

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Majestic Alleys – Murree Hills


Seeking solace from the diplomatic world in Islambad, we went upto Murree hils to detox. The picturesque Murree Hills are popular escapade from heat and artificial life surroundings for people of adjoining areas. The curvy streets of Murree chant the history dating back to 1864 as a popular summer hill station in British Raj days.

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Morning with Christ – a church in Murree
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Seeking light
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Conforming the beauty – Pink roofs of the wooden dwellings Lockwood Hotel – Murree Hills
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Three’s a cloud covering the mountain top for a naked rain
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The light hole

Today – I


Today I

I, as a sane citizen of Islamic Republic of Pakistan would like make a confession. I urge the educated, well brought up and open minded people of this country to listen. It is a request made from the heart which has been shedding tears over the turmoil our country has been facing. It is heart crushing to see the people of my land suffer.

I’m in bed and about to fall asleep when my sister comes running to switch on the TV. I see chaos but that’s not it. I wanted to bury myself and hide away in the corner. I’m ashamed and disgraced to know that today the militants have invaded our Karachi airport. Our forces are entering the dangerous zone to prevent loss of life of hundreds of passengers and airport personnel stuck inside.

I sit in front of the television set trying to make sense of what is happening. We were already on the edge of travel ban weren’t we?

Drumming fingers on the remote control, I hold myself accountable. I take the blame today for not paying attention to politics, being reluctant to vote or voting in favor of family members who ran for elections for personal motives than national. I’m embarrassed and to confess that I don’t abide by rules made by the law and when I break them I laugh and joke about it to my friends. I call myself educated but the education remains restricted to acquiring a degree. When I acquire one, I want to go aboard and settle down to earn my bread and butter. I look for opportunities abroad first and if failing to find one, I look for jobs in multinationals which may look down upon me and always treat me as a donkey ready to take the toll. I have once never bothered of doing something for myself living in my country and hiring my own people so they don’t go astray because there are no jobs to feed their families. I want to go on a vacation and instantly I think of Thailand and Malaysia. I’m unaware of the beauty which surrounds our northern areas. I boast about the ninth highest mountain but I feel ashamed in confessing this today that I have never seen it even when I could before the situation got worst.

I agree that I want to leave this country and go live in an exotic place to taste the best wines and food there is. I take pride in saying I have travelled all parts of the world but I don’t know that there is a hill station right two hours away from Karachi which is screaming out loud to be noticed. I love history and have seen the Seven Wonders of the World but I don’t know what condition is our cultural heritage from Buddhists is in.

After I finish writing this blog, I can’t travel abroad for a few days now, so now I’m forced to sit and think about my country for the first time perhaps.

For you can’t see light until you have been plunged into darkness..

Allah help our country and give the highest place in Jannah to our Shaheeds

Because Walls are Expensive to Build


It has become routine to be subjected to harassment and teasing for the women in this country. Eveteasing or chasing, they leave no page unturned to scare the living day lights out of women. They can’t afford to build walls around them and they are helpless but to go out of their homes to provide to the needs of the household. Women from all aspects are subjected to some form of harassment or the other. The famous techniques are butt pinching in crowded places or calling out remarks from behind. Just because a woman is out of the house, there is no excuse for her to face the music for no reason at all.

Commuting in Karachi is a hassle due to non availability of a proper commutation means. Most women who work either hire a van or rent rickshaw walas on monthly bases so they can reach their work place on time.

Recently a group of girls were subjected to the same fate couple of days back.  Some gunmen started following them, who were travelling in a rickshaw on their way home. The girls got scared and one of them started crying so the goons on the motorcycle started teasing them more. They would bring their bike near to the rickshaw and back. One of the girls spotted a TT clung to their chests, which they comfortably wore without being noticed throughout the length of the road.  The worst scenario was that the rickshaw driver also got scared and failed to divert them or change their course of journey to a busier road. Much ahead they were joined by other two motorcyclists encircling their rickshaw. The chase finally came to an end when they turned to their house lane. The unidentified gunmen took a different turn and left them in peace.

To avoid episodes like this, exclusive services for women should be introduced. The Pink bus service in Islamabad or the Call a rik service should be made available in all cities. The concerned authorities should also provide a guard on board to protect the bus from being attacked.  The Call a Rik service was started for women particularly. For whatever reasons their rickshaws are few in number, it is a great initiative to provide some form of mental relief to women who’re victims of such cases.

Those who commute by foot to nearby areas have the tale to tell. In this other instance, the police officers guarding the house of a senior police official would pass crass remarks at the maids which work in nearby areas. They would shout out invitations to them for coming with them for a joyful ride.  Although this issue was brought to the notice of the household, they reduced the number of men deployed to guard the police official’s house.

Next instance I was utterly disgusted at. Calling for delivery at a normal time, the delivery man brushed the girl’s hand while taking the money and returning the change. The incident was reported to the restaurant in charge but no action was taken or even it was, it wasn’t reported back to the client.

This is just not one example, there are many. I wished I had begged to differ after so many years of rule. But the situation worsens every second. The representatives of people may keep the roads occupied illegally to protect them from the terrorists when they don’t reside there. Where do these people stand? Who have to commute to the other end of the city to earn livelihood? How do they save themselves from unidentified and sometimes from the police?

I like to say it loud