Monday, August 30, 2004

Goodbye for now... or maybe, forever

The Isle of Portland

The star-filled seas are smooth to-night
From France to England strown;
Black towers above the Portland light
The felon-quarried stone.

On yonder island, not to rise,
Never to stir forth free,
Far from his folk a dead lad lies
That once was friends with me.

Lie you easy, dream you light,
And sleep you fast for aye;
And luckier may you find the night
Than ever you found the day.

- A.E. Housman

This is apt for this time of my life. Goodbye for now or maybe forever.

Does Anyone Miss Me Now That I'm Gone?

So I won't be around for long now. It's kind of sad. I would miss the people whom I love. Would they miss me too? Would they realize that there's something missing: the laughter, tears, morose talk, sad eyes of the yearning soul or me?

I don't know about all that but I'll miss all these things so much. Destiny doesn't give us too many chances and I didn't take mine. Now my heart is turned. Now it yearns no more. It cries no more, wants no more and needs nothing. But it misses that one thing that has always been absent from life.


Why need we make propriety claims on what is never ours? Why must we fool ourselves into thinking we can fight fate off. Everything is preordained. I thought I could choose but here I am.

Helpless fool of a woman, go and sleep!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

I, Moron

Haha! I guess, I always wanted to pay homage to Asimov in some way.

I, Moron

As I recounted all my wasted minutes
formulating strategies for battles yet
Sought advice from a guru who doesn't think of me as a student
doesn't even know I exist...
I wondered how it would all come to be:
time wasted, counting, fighting, making believe
everything I ever cared for
wasted, wasted down the drain.
I was told in these exact words,
you're nothing more than a used condom
flushed down the toilet
I looked aghast unable to say or do anything
and asked myself if I had always been like this
so defeated
yet unrepenting from the ways of war
beating the drums with my head
and find no results
only the beats cry
you're such a fool
these walls will not move
oh no! not yet or maybe ever.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Tell Her

A while back when I was wasting my time, I found this very beautifully worded blog. The posts brought tears to my eyes. Why is it so hard to tell someone that you love them. Sometimes, even your parents.

I think I need some rest right now. I guess I want to think about this and write some more. I wish I could hear right now the voice that I love but would I recognize it? Do I even know?

Fish Advisories Rising Due to Mercury Risks

Fish Advisories Rising Due to Mercury Risks
EPA: Mercury Emissions Falling, but Fishing Advisories Rising

by Jennifer Warner

Aug. 25, 2004 -- Eating fish from more than a third of the country's lakes and a nearly quarter of its rivers may not be a healthy idea, according to a new EPA report that shows the threat of mercury contamination is rising in American waters.

The annual report shows that more than 100,000 of America's lakes and 800,000 miles of its rivers are now under advisory due to fish contamination and pollution risks.

Officials say most of the new fish advisories are due to potential mercury contamination. Eating fish or shellfish containing low levels of mercury does not pose a health threat to most people. But eating fish that contains higher levels of mercury may harm an unborn baby or young child's development.

The FDA and EPA have recently advised women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid larger fish that typically contain higher levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

Fish Advisories on the Rise

The report shows that 48 states, the District of Columbia, and American Samoa issued more than 3,000 fish advisories in 2003, an increase of 280 from 2002.

Officials say the number of fish advisories is rising although emissions for major pollutants are declining because more rivers and lakes are being tested.

States are responsible for monitoring their own waters by testing fish for pollutants that accumulate within the tissues, such as mercury or dioxin. As a result, there is significant state-by-state variation in the numbers of waters and pollutants tested.

Overall, EPA officials say the national trend is for states to monitor different waters each year without retesting waters monitored in previous years.

There were 31 states with statewide fish advisories in effect in 2003, and officials say new statewide fish advisories in Montana and Washington are largely responsible for the increase in lake acreage and river miles under advisory. Hawaii also issued a statewide fish advisory in 2003 for its entire coastline.

The report shows the number of waters with fish advisories represent:

. 75% of America's contiguous coastal waters, including 92% of the Atlantic Coast, 100% of the Gulf Coast, and 37% of the Pacific Coast
. 100% of the Great Lakes and their connecting waters
. 35% of the nation's total lake acreage
. 24% of America's total river miles

The Prophet SAW Answers A Bedouin

The author of the source was not given so I would mark it unknown. I titled it myself for an easier read. SAW: Sal`al`laho Alaihe wa aa`le`hi Wassalam

The Prophet SAW Answers A Bedouin

Enes Ibn Malik reports that a Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah and greeted him in the mosque. The Messenger of Allah asked him where did he come from. The Bedouin said, "I came from far seeking answers to some questions". Our master SAW told him to ask his questions.

I wish to be an intelligent man, what should I do?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Fear Allah".

I wish to be a loyal servant to Allah and do what He wants me to do.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Read the Qur'an."

I wish to be enlightened and have peace of heart.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Remember Death".

I wish to be protected against enemies.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Trust in Allah".

I wish to follow the Straight Path.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Do good to others for Allah's sake".

What should I do so that Allah does not abase me?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Do not respond to the desires of your flesh".

I wish to have a long life.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Praise and thank Allah".

I wish for prosperity.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Be in a state of ablution at all times".

How can I save myself from the hellfire?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Protect your eyes and your tongue and your hands and what is below your waistline against evil".

How can I cleanse myself from my sins?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Shed tears for what you have done and repent by undoing what you have done wrong".

I wish to be a respectable person.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Then, don't ask for anything from anybody".

I wish to be honorable.
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Then don't divulge the wrongdoings of anybody".

What should I do to protect myself from the tortures of the grave?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Recite the Surah Mulk".

What should one do to be rich?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Read the Surah Muzammil".

How should I calm my fear of the day of last judgment?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Remember Allah before you eat anything and before you sleep".

What should I do to feel the presence of Allah when I make my prayers?
Holy Prophet SAW replied, "Give the utmost care in taking your ablutions and in being clean and pure".

To Be Or Not To Be

Today I asked a question. I said, is it all right for me to do something where I'm not happy but do it anyway? Is it all right also if I know I cannot make a change either if I'm doing that thing. The answer was yes, it's all right because we want you to do it. We know you can do it.

I think I surrendered. May God help me now because only He can.

The Self Righteous Idiot

Idiocy in itself is nothing to worry about other than that the idiot might hurt themselves or others by it if it gets out of hand.

It becomes a challenge and a worry though, when the idiot is self righteous. That idiot must be pitied but if you try to suggest that they abstain from self righteousness for the sole purpose that being an idiot takes the righteousness right out of it, you'll only find yourself flooded with rhetoric about, you guessed it, righteousness.

Idiots never practice righteousness over themselves but others are their targets. People who judge others for not attending their choice of religious services, be it a church, mosque, temple or whatever; people who think they know what's right and wrong when they themselves never put that sense to practice.

I used to think I would never have patience for such people but by practical experience, I found that I did! Because too often, the people you know close enough to be self righteous idiots are the ones that you love or like or related to you in some cosmic way.

That's why I've found myself being disappointed so many times. Being preached to when I knew that the person preaching to me wasn't practicing what they had just preached.

An friend of mine, who is a friend to me no more, was once telling me how his sisters never talked to other men (typical Pathan, subcontinent's male Muslim mentality) and that he didn't like that I talked to males either. Excuse me? Are you not a man? By that definition, I shouldn't talk to you either.

Exactly that's what I did next. Too bad, when he was diagnosed with a tumor and his friends ran away, I was one of the few to come back and stand by him. I'm not saying that to say, look how great I am. It's just feelings you have for people. They just come in the way of rational thought.

Idiocy isn't just limited to personal relationships. It crosses bounds and nationalities. Your electred representatives, your pastors and mullahs, preaching not to peak into the neighbor's house do more than just peaking. Some would say, hey don't hurt kids but be found molesting them. Some politician loves his wife when he's on stage but has a mistress out there somewhere, going to bed with her when his wife is sick.

Be this way but stop this self righteous idiocy about 'I'm better than you and you're nothing because I said so and because I got into a position to say so' because I don't care anymore.

Want me to believe you? Come out of these closets, shed this idiot garb of self righteousness.

Start being human. Being human means you accept you can be wrong and there's nothing wrong with just being a plain idiot. Don't pretend.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Fallacies of Logic

This is a very small research paper for our Logic coursework that I did back in 2002. We had to find advertisements that committed fallacies and identify the types. I only have the typed material and not the ads so here is whatever I did minus the visuals. This is to one of my most favorite and influential teachers, Mr. Shuja.

Organization of the Report

The report has been organized in such a way that first, the fallacy has been defined and then the examples follow to make them easier to understand. In the first section, there is a brief introduction as to what a fallacy is and then the first type has been defined after which comes its subtypes. All sub fallacies are followed by examples in the order defined above.


A fallacy is an argument, which at first may seem to be correct but on examination and analysis, is found to be erroneous.

A fallacy is a bad argument because there are emotional appeals in the premises that are not logical but may be psychological. These logical errors are known as fallacies. If an argument contains a fallacy, then the conclusion will not necessarily be proven. Some fallacies are just accidental, but they can also be used to trap an unwary listener or reader into believing faulty conclusions.

There are two types of logical fallacies.

a. Fallacies of Relevance
b. Fallacies of Ambiguity

Fallacies of Relevance

Fallacies of relevance deal principally with the relationship between the premise and the conclusion of the argument. These fallacies have irrelevant premises i.e., the right conclusion is being drawn from wrong premises. The premises, in these fallacies, are psychological and not logically relevant.


This fallacy is committed when we move to quickly or carelessly from general to particular cases. This fallacy is also known as Hasty Generalization. In such a fallacy, the premise is general but the conclusion is particular.

Converse Accident

This fallacy is committed when we move to quickly or hastily from particular to general. It is also known as Misapplied Generalization. In this type of fallacy, the premise is particular whereas the conclusion is general.

Appeal to Force (Argument Ad Baculum)

The appeal to force is to cause the acceptance or rejection of some conclusion through force. Threats and intimidations used to force someone to accept an argument constitute an appeal to force.

False Cause

This fallacy is a matter of mistakenly believing that one event was caused by another event just because it happened after the other. The two events could have both been caused by another event, or they could be totally unrelated.

Argument Ad Hominem

This a logical as well as ethical fallacy as it is an argument directed towards men. The emphasis is on the person, group, event, or circumstances surrounding the issues. In such an argument, the personal character of an individual and/or his or her circumstances is logically irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of what that individual says or does.

There are two types of this fallacy.

a. Abusive or genetic fallacy, which is also known as Straw Man
b. Circumstantial or tu quoque fallacy

A. Argument Ad Hominem, Abusive

Disregarding a premise or an argument only because of where it came from commits the genetic fallacy where someone ridicules his or her opponent instead of addressing the premises. This fallacy also involves Guilt by Association, which means that if a person is accused due to his or her association with elements of bad repute. Another type of this fallacy is the Straw Man. When someone uses this fallacy, he or she applies a stereotype to his or her opponents to make them easy to refute.

B. Argument Ad Hominem, Circumstantial

This fallacy is used as a defense, where the person being criticized accuses his critic of doing the same thing himself. In this argument, someone’s particular traits are associated with the argument to win psychologically by saying something like everybody’s doing it so why can’t we. That is why it is also called the fallacy of Tu Quoque (you too).

Appeal to Ignorance (Argument Ad Ignorantiam)

When one assumes that, a premise is correct because it can't be disproved and vice versa, the fallacy of ignorance is committed. This is the "guilty until proven innocent" fallacy. Absence or presence of one kind of evidence is not proof as to the other.

Complex Question

A complex question is one that is phrased in such a way to unfairly limit the possibilities of one's answer to prove the conclusion through fallacious premises therein. It is a tricky question designed in such a way as to entrap the other person into negating or confirming without considering the hidden meaning.

Irrelevant Conclusion (Ignoratio Elenchi)

It is an argument that is irrelevant if it proves or disproves the wrong point. Ignoratio elenchi literally means false refutation and it is committed when you miss the point. In such a fallacy, the premise is plausible but the conclusion is not related to it.

Begging the Question (Petitio prinicpii)

This fallacy uses its conclusion as support of its premises. Therefore, it is also known as the fallacy of Circular Reasoning. In such a fallacy, the truth is presumed for proving what one wants to prove.

Ad Verecundiam (Appeal to Inappropriate Authority)

Using the opinion of an expert in a field other than the one being discussed may invalidate the argument therefore it is called appeal to in inappropriate authority. It is committed whenever the truth of some proposition is asserted based on the authority of one who has no special confidence in that particular field.

Argument Ad Populum (Appeal to Emotion)

This fallacy is committed when instead of giving relevant premises and logical grounds for the acceptance of conclusion, an appeal is made to emotions of the people, like enthusiasm, patriotism, excitement, anger, love or hatred.

Appeal to Fear

This is a subtype of the fallacy ad populum. In this fallacy however, the appeal is to the emotion of fear and the acceptance is made on the ground of instilling fear in the listener or reader.

Argument Ad Misericordium (Appeal to Pity)

This fallacy is a special case of argument ad populum. It is different from ad populum in that it appeals to one particular emotion: pity or sympathy.

Appeal to Flattery

This kind of fallacy is committed when being obsequious makes the appeal. The appeal is made by adulations to a person or a group.

Appeal to Humor

Another type of the argument ad populum, this fallacy is committed when the attention of the listener or reader is reverted to the humor incorporated in the premise that doesn’t support the conclusion.

Fallacies of Ambiguity

These fallacies deal principally with the misusage of words. An argument that contains improper or ambiguous use of words is invalid. Therefore, these fallacies are also known as Verbal Fallacies.

Arguments sometimes fail because their formulation contains ambiguous words or phrases, whose meanings shift and change with the course of the argument thus making it fallacious. A term is ambiguous in a context when that context does not rule out all its meanings but one i.e., the premises is in one sense but the conclusion is in a very different sense.

Figurative Use of Language

When an argument makes use of metaphors and similes, it is known as the figurative use of language.


Someone who uses a word in more than one sense, but gives the impression that only one meaning was meant, is using an equivocation. Anyone who presents an argument needs to use only one definition for each of his terms. When more than one definition is used for a certain word, it can cause confusion and be misleading.


A sentence that is structured in such a way as to make more than one interpretation possible is an amphiboly. Amphiboly literally means “two in a lump” and it is a fallacy committed through the misuse of grammar.

Prejudicial Use of Language

This fallacy is committed in the following two ways.

a. To use emotionally charged words in a neutral issue.
b. To use neutral language in an emotionally charged issue.


An argument is invalid when the shift in meaning within it arises from the changes in the emphasis given to its words or phrases. This shift in meaning may prove deceptive with stress on certain words in that sentence or argument.

December, 2002

Da Jibra'eel Wazar

The Wings of Gabriel

What was the basic concept behind this lyrical poem? The angel Gabriel holds a high place among angels in Islam. When he used to step on earth, grass used to sprout in the place where he set foot. The dust from his wings brought things to life (if I'm not wrong). In short, the poem is about a person who is asking his/her beloved if there's anything which would bring them closer to each other. It's a piece that I haven't completed and now I know that I won't ever be able to complete it. It's in my native language of Pushto and since it's a lyric so I have not given much thought to rhyme and meter. So you could say it's more like a Pushto free verse, if I may be allowed the liberty.

Da Jibra'eel Wazar

Che ta bande gran she
Dase kas ba charta we
Da Jibraeel wazar ba charta we

Da khomaro stargo yo nazar
O sta khamoshi ba charta we
Da Jibraeel wazar ba charta we

Friday, June 20, 2003

Ocean Color Scene

Ok, that's the name of a band.

I don't know why I'm so depressed tonight. I think I'd gotten over the shocks of the past week and a half. It's not that I'm thinking about whatever's happened until now but I am under so much pressure. I can't think straight. When I look at someone or something I get jealous. It's just totally unlike me. I start comparing myself. Oh, how I hate this. I'm going through the throes of self pity and how I hate it.

I was just thinking about the ocean and the sea. Even the thoughts of that relax me. It just made me smile to remember that a few days back when I said I wanted a house in Makran, I was met with stares and I was asked why. Why? Why? Why? Because the sea is so blue over there and the sand is so pure and white. I have only seen that place on television. Then someone said I should get myself a house in the new place they're developing (as if I'd have the money). I want to enjoy the ocean from a hut on the beach, with a thatched roof made of palms! Or anything but let it be thatched. It would be even better if I made it with my own hands. Lol... I remember how I used to make nice little playhouses when I was a kid. I used to be an expert at that.

Dreaming, dreaming again. I guess it's all right when you know that at some point in your life you'd be able to afford what you dream. I don't think I dream of owning a sports car or a house in the 90210. They're more along the lines of living where I have the freedom of my soul. Not like Peshawar, where you soul starts reeking after a while and you start suffocating. The people, the atmosphere, the ambience of it all. It gets to my head in a bad way. I'm always wondering to myself, "what are you doing here?" At other time, I'd be wondering where my camera is or my sketchbook or my notebook so I could capture, draw or write my thoughts down. This place is full of pressures. Yet, to the outsider, it seems so dull and monotonous and laidback.

I do love it. I sure don't like the people very much. There's this shallowness about them. If they go to Lahore: We're impressed by Lahories!!! If they go to Karachi: Oh! Karachi people are so damn modern. Just why can't we be like them.

I wonder where someone from Peshawar holds an identity. So mundane. We want to imitate. Lahories are cool. Karichies (I made a new one!) are better. But I think we ought to have an identity of our own. What are we known for other than guns, burkas, chapli kebab or stuff like that? Do the artists here have any identity?

I once went with Shahgul to this sculptor's place back in 1999. He was living in squatting conditions. I kept asking Shahgul if we couldn't just hold an exhibition for this guy and she said it was impossible because people here really didn't appreciate what he was doing. There's my answer I guess. There's no appreciation. What with the ban on musicians now I think the last bit of mainstream culture would be wiped out. The other day on a private cable channel, I glimpsed the demise of the Pushto folk music. These people are killing whatever's left of an already non existant identity.

Khair, it's like beating your head against the wall. I'm here. One supressed person. I have the freedom to go to the university but I don't have the freedom to drive alone to it. I have the freedom to not wear a chaddar but I don't have the freedom to walk out alone. I don't care about these things but these are the freedoms for which I'm taunted because I'm a woman. It's all right here for women to dress up and dance and do stuff but if she wants to work or if she's an artist then God have mercy on her. I wish I had the freedom to picture the sea at sunsets and sunrises the way I picture them (for now only with my eyes) here. I want to feel that salty seabreeze. Why should it be only in my head? I wonder why. I want the freedom to float on water.

I do feel much better now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I Thought I was not Alone

This poem has been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, I'm thinking about it so much that it's given me a headache. It's not because I don't like it but the fact that it reminds me of things, which, as usual, I'd rather not think about. *laughs* Another thought just entered into this brain of mine. Made me laugh. I have to work on a template for my blog or ask someone to make one for me. I know I can't work on it. At least not until after 6th October. Let's see if someone would help me out with this. Here's the poem!

I Thought I was not Alone

I thought I was not alone, walking here by the shore,
But the one I thought was with me, as now I walk by the shore,
As I lean and look through the glimmering light—that one has utterly disappeared,
And those appear that perplex me.

Walt Whitman

So lovely, so much like my thoughts about the oceans, the seas and their shores or beaches or call them by any name they're still the same. How I would love to walk on the sand barefoot but not be alone. I hope this won't happen to me. It's like that dream. He's watching as usual with his artist's eyes as I sit on the beach in the evening. Well, why don't you come down and sit with me? We'll watch it together as the sun goes down. Or we can float on the floating bed I made in my head. Or the yacht of your dreams. *sighs*

Is this wishful thinking again? Maybe and then maybe not. Future is always indefinite. I'm trying to reach out to it while keeping my feet stuck in the present. Thanks God for no restrictions on dreams. (:

Alhamdolillah, the headache is gone.


I just saw this while rummaging through my stuff.

Nee saiyon assan naina dey aakhey lagey
Jinhaan paak nigahan ney o kadi naa jaandey thagey
Kaaley patt naa charhey safaidi kaagey naa theindey bagey
Shah Hussain shahadat pawan joo maran mitran dey aagey

Hazrat Shah Hussain

An Incomplete Study

This was a study that I carried out a long time back (I guess it was back in 2000-2001) and as yet I haven't completed it so it's inconclusive.

Incomplete Inconclusive

Over the years it has become clearer and clearer that parents neither understand their children nor enjoy their company anymore. It is, as if a long curtain has come between “us and them”.

ABC, a 17 year old says, “I can make the world understand my point of view, but not them.”

If the simplest thing came out of a child’s mouth, it would be so difficult to understand that children speak little to their parents nowadays. And whenever they should try, they are met with failure. The gulf between parents and children is ever widening. Some children have tried to make it smaller but they are scoffed at and made fun of. So, every failure has made such children determined to get away from the people who find it so hard to understand their point of view.

“It’s not easy to live with one’s coffin on ones shoulder, is it?” says 24 year old UET, who ran away from his home once.

Over the time, it has also become evident that even if they do understand something, they act as if they don’t, which is worse. It is easy for them to point fingers in the child’s direction and make them the scapegoat to hide the shortcomings in their upbringing of him or her. Some children might ask their parents to tell them their mistakes so they can try to correct them. At times, it seems why would they make it easy for the children? They are never told and the child, who is just a child, can never find where he or she is at fault.

“So, they get away with always trying to correct me without ever telling me where the correction is supposed to be made,” elaborates KMC who is in his final year.

So, in this struggle, many years of the child’s life are wasted without any reason whatsoever. Children tend to be forgiving, but many end up asking themselves whether they can forgive their parents after a while.

AMC 23, who tried to fight her problems at home by moving to a hostel says she still cannot cope with the fact that her parents never used to listen to her and their arguments affected her in the worst way possible.

“Should I forgive my father for making a nervous wreck out of me? Should I forgive my mother who beat me because it hurt my father and in that way made me immune to most pain other than my own? If I forgive everyone then whom am I supposed to hold responsible for the death of the person that could have been me? Or am I supposed to hold myself responsible as if it was my mistake that I was born? And when I ask my parents this question, all they can tell me is that I am not being thankful for all that they’ve given me and all that they’ve done for me. I want to tell them and everybody to take away all these things from me and give me some peace of mind instead. Make me a healthy, normal person who enjoys life. Give love instead and somebody, just somebody hold me for a while so that at least I can die in loving arms. But this will never be.”

No more being able to cope with her problems, AMC tries to cloak them with short-lived affairs. These, she says, give her self-confidence.

Many of the people who were interviewed for this article held much the same opinion when it came to the question of how exactly the parents coped with their problems.

“I am fast approaching twenty-one and I feel so naked and tired. I feel like I’m eighty. I want to tell my parents that. They only pity me for my apathy but they don’t care. They tell me to get out of their sights because I’m too apathetic to be seen. So, have I done this to myself? Have I made myself reach oblivion? They’ve never had an answer and I don’t think that any of our parents will have an answer”, says IBMS, who uses hash usually to get away from his problems. When asked if hash really helps, he says it helps in forgetting that he’s attached to this world in a real way.

26 year old UOP, who quit smoking and hash recently told us that his father knew about his habit but never stopped him. He tried to beat him when he came to know about it. Later on he gave up and instead, it culminated in making life for his mother difficult as she was blamed for ruining their only son. “He used to come home and would start screaming at my mother though it was his fault. When I had wanted him around he was never there. He’s always been too busy and if he ever finds time to come home he tries to find reasons to fight with my mother. He would never ask, beta tum aisa kyon kar rahe ho (son, why are you doing this)?” When asked if his father had shown any positive reaction to his quitting, he shakes his head and says, “Nahin yaar, he’s only concerned with what people would say about HIS son. He also needed some reason to make my mother more miserable. Object yeh nahin tha ke mein charas chhor deita. Buss abba ne larai dalni hoti thi (the object wasn’t to make me stop using hash but father wanted to make a fight). Now he’s found some other reason to fight my mother and play the blame game”.

He goes on to say, “all you guys want is the most perfect kids without ever understanding that we are children and however old we grow, we’ll still be your children. We’ll still need your help and affection but you leave us alone in a lurch. You leave us in darkness when we are weak and want us to find our own way out. How can we? Why can’t you help us?”

UET came back home after a month of staying at a right wing camp near Lahore because he thought by that time his parents would be fine. He says that though his mother is more flexible to his views yet she curses him sometimes for running away and his father doesn’t even talk to him anymore. He says he suffers from depression and insomnia due to all the stress and everything has adversely affected his studies since he had to miss classes for that one month and now regularly misses them on account of sleeping in the morning rather than at night. “Why can’t my parents help me? Why can’t they help me out of my depression, my sleeplessness? Why do the always only tell me that I am sleeping late? Why don’t they ask me the reason why?”

Some children feel that parents are scared that by asking so the children might uncover the discrepancies in their training of their children. Most parents would rather blame each other than own up to the collective responsibility of understanding their child’s problems.

Parents should accept their mistakes by helping their children understand if and when they are wrong and why. Your child needs your help. Don’t set about trying to reason why children sometimes ask questions like this. Don’t label them crazy or out of their minds for asking questions. They might never again ask for help because it’s too late then.

123, who has tried committing suicide many times and is determined on doing so again if given a chance, says, “ …then still expect me to come asking for help of people who never in the first place know how to help. It seems to me that parents have ever been children to men and women like themselves. And it amazes me!”

She sought help from a psychologist whom she says told her that would be fine after she has passed through the turbulent years of puberty. 123, who used to go to this doctor when she was 17, is 25 now.

27 year old BankerPesh is young and successful. He has a nicely paying job with a bank. He says he will never get married. On being asked why he says, “my mother thinks that she has all the rights to decide whom I should be marrying. I fell in love with this girl about 2 years ago and I talked to my mother about her. My mother never said anything to me at that time but went to my father who in turn came to me and asked me if I cared about the honor of my family. I ask where does honor come from in all this? I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t going out with the girl. I wasn’t going to run away with her. I’d simply told my mother I wanted to marry her but they flat out refused. It’s not as if she’s from some bad family or if there’s something wrong. My parents just don’t want to listen. They want me to marry one of my aunt’s daughters. Why should I? I have also thought of them as my sisters. And anyway how can I bring myself to forget that girl? I’m not a teenager nor is this a crush. I really love her and I’ve thought of marrying only her. I wonder why my parents cannot understand my sentiments?”

Like BankerPesh, many young men and women are questioning their parents’ line of reasoning. WorkerAntIsloo, 26, is a successful consultant for a multinational. She says she moved from her parents’ house in Lahore because she was being suffocated. “As soon as I graduated, my mother was on my case. At first, it was fine. It was amusing but then it was no more. I graduated with honors. It’s no joke. I’m my own woman. I was raised in an environment where I was told that being a woman and being independent isn’t any sin. But that wasn’t true anymore. It seemed as if that was all forgotten. Even my father who had been a pillar of support during all my growing years suddenly thought it was more important for me to settle down then do my own thing. It was just too much for me and I thought it better to move out then listen to things like, tumhari behan par kya asar paray ga (what effect will it have on your sister) and stuff like that.”

MultiKhi, 27, thinks the same but he says it was difficult for his parents to concentrate on him much when he had three younger siblings that his parents needed to take care of. He thinks that parents are keen to expand families without thinking of the repercussions for older children who tend to get neglected in this process. “Mein school jata tha to ammi abbu ko tayar kar rahee hoti thein (when I was about to go to school my mother would be readying my father). Abbu ko office janay ki jaldi hoti thi (father would be in a hurry for the office). Ammi munnay ke saath bhi masroof hoti thein (she also used to be busy with my younger brother). Mujhe lunch mil jata tha (I used to get my lunch). Phir school se wapas lekin abbu kabhi yeh nahin poochtay thay ke yeh chote kaise lagee (then I used to come back from school but my father never used to ask how I had hurt myself)? The older boys sometimes used to pick on me. Ghar akar ammi phir waise hi masroof (when I used to come back home my mother would still be busy). Unn sab ke paas time nahin tha ke poochtay (they didn’t have time to ask). Of course a gulf was created between my parents and me. When I was in college I started drinking with friends. It didn’t matter much. No one had ever told me what was wrong or right. Rather I should say no one had the time to tell me about all these things”.

Note: I've removed most of the original formatting. I had changed the names of the people for reasons of privacy. This survey was taken in part on the internet.

Saturday, December 22, 2001.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

No Ordinary Morning

I came out on the terrace and I was watching the clouds as they unfurled from east to west. I watched the birds in their early morning flights, the swallows and the sparrows, flying in pairs. The crows cawing on the wires and in the trees making unnecessary din, the mynah singing and then flying away, who knows where?

I watched the clouds take different shapes as they drifted across the morning sky like stallions, like birds, like so many nice things. Like you and me. I saw mythical Japanese mountains form in the clouds. I could hear even the whisper of the wind it was so quiet. It was complete except for the hum of running water and You.

All this time the clouds were carried off towards the mountains and I was wishing and praying and begging God not to take the rain clouds away. I requested Him, “Please, let it rain”. I missed you in those moments when I talked to a God whom I cannot see, touch or hear but feel nonetheless. I watched where the sky was trying to make a connection with the earth through the clouds when the breeze became stronger and it’s whispers changed into idle talk.

Slowly, the world was filling up with other sounds, bus horns on the road to phase 6, vehicles, and construction workers starting to show up for work. A brand new morning and how I would have loved to bask in these sights and sounds with you.

Yes, to many people, it would always be the same, every morning same as ever. But when you wake up every morning, go out after saying your prayers, walk in the grass to feel the dew on your slipper clad feet, watch the sunrise or feel the rain on your face, it is different, feelings are never the same, every morning. If every sigh that the earth takes is in perfect rhythm with your breathing, every breeze that caresses you is different, every drop of rain, every rainfall itself, every sunrise and its beauty are different then how can each morning be same and ordinary? I was wishing you had been there with me then. I wouldn’t have needed to write any of this. Sometimes, silence speaks for itself.

I forgot the date. (:


I had been in a frenzy from July (it seemed to reach a crescendo on 29th, 30th) to August (11th was the final day) and then I fell fell fell into the abyss of depression again. How cruel that nothing would last. Yet sadness goes far with us. Hmmm... Here's a poem.


Sadness is a shapeshifter that comes not in one guise.
Sometimes it takes the shape of the past or lost words
that came from a mouth
hurtful, sorrowful, lonely words
and at times it takes the shape of you or me
or both
just to make the effect complete.

4:55 a.m.
11 th August, 2004

Friday, August 06, 2004

Free As a Bird

Free as A Bird

I made this one in the evening, must be about 10:30 or so. I'm thinking of presenting it to someone. Let's see how it goes.