Romanticizing Duffers in Paris

The business is same. 7 million tourists per year. To visit the steel tower. Why? Because movies say so. Celebrities keep that tower in the background of their pictures. Instagram. Models love to pose in front of it. It sells. And with that, Paris too. And consumers, the tourists, keep on coming like herd of sheep. Duffers!

It’s same elsewhere too. In Amsterdam, they have Red Light District. Tourists come even if they don’t want to fuck. They come. They spend. They visit. They roam. They spend a year’s savings in couple of days. But they don’t fuck. Yet they get fucked. Only they don’t know about it.

Well, why not enjoy the free stuff? Like sports on TV. Or do you want to be part of crowd to stand in queues for tickets, then fighting to enter, then finding the seat, then seeing the game with a binocular in one hand and selfie stick in other; posing for the world of social media which is waiting desperately for this particular duffer to illuminate their timelines.

Like. Like. Like. Heart. Love. Wow. For the ego. For self-confidence. For rest of the duffers to see the response on this duffer. Like mine. I will like yours.

Quid Pro Quo.

Even after following all their advertisements, we are tracked. Like inventory of Walmart.

Those who didn’t fit to the prescribed model of advertisements and monopoly and brands and trends; were out-casted. They were labeled. Traitors. Anti-nationals. Like Snowden. Like Assange.

And Assange is arrested. The founder of WikiLeaks is finally taken. The man who showed us a ray of hope in this ugly world of Orwell’s 1984, has disappeared.

Anyway,

Guess what? This sells too. Such words and books are cool. Also accepted and widely read. Writing about duffers has a market. A market of duffers. Not niche now. Every duffer believes he isn’t referred here. That’s his friend and everyone else. Not him. And that works. In writing. On laptop. In a hotel near Eiffel Tower.

Likes. Yikes!

The 6th Transaction

Pain resides over love. Love breeds around it.

Like a vine; wrapping itself round the massive and un-yielding tree of pain. Twisting, covering, inch by inch –  hiding the tree itself.

And the people passing by fully enjoy the breathtaking view of the vine. Experiencing it. Smelling it. Touching it. Without knowing what it encloses. Without seeing what lies beneath.

 

The last breath is never easy just like the first breath; however, for Wali, the trauma of breaths has been different. His first breaths were as conscious as the last ones. Always. He always knew the purpose, the journey, the struggle; yet failure was destined for him. The pursuit remained not for a decade or a life but for lives along with echoes of requests in parallel universe.

Yet here he is again at the Gate of Transactions with God, with the same request and the same vehemence in his eyes, to ask to pass the same journey again. Just like a moth to a flame, he has to burn. He has to die. It is his destiny. And perhaps the purpose too.

The Gate of Transactions is unlike any of the other gates. It is a combination of the physical and metaphysical dimensions. Time exists in the physical dimension and there is no limit to the time you can traverse. However, contact remains elusive; bound by a silent command. The command of ‘Kun’

This is Wali’s 6th transaction with the hope that it will be the last one. He may not have had any eminence in his four lives in the world, yet he has the royalty to be here for a conversation.

God loves to give chances. He loves to give hope. He will easily grant you another life. But He will sternly refuse any assistance. He will not reply to the old-wretched-soul of Wali. He won’t look. He doesn’t need to look.

He knows. Everything.

“Here I am again, at the mercy of You and Your creations of time and life and hope.”

God knows.

“I need to go back again. I need to start again. I need another chance. Another life. Like Adam.”

God knows.

“O Dear Lord! Grant me another chance. Send me back. Forgive me but I don’t want the eternity of heaven. I need the life of the world.”

God knows.

“I have failed but my failure is not mine alone. I am limited. I am restricted. I am confined. In a body. In a soul. I deserve another chance.”

God has always known.

Time continues to race. At the edge of chance, his heart – barely able to beat – slows down. He looks up at God, silently imploring with his eyes as words fail him.

“Please!”

The Guardian of the Gate approaches Wali to escort him. He has had his chance. He has had his meeting. He has had his failure. It was meant to fail. Requests, pleadings and lives are turned to ash like that.

Un-Kun-ed.

“The vine is nothing without the tree. It lives, breeds and produces because of the strength of the tree. Pain and love go hand-in-hand like your parallel lives.” Pointing to the gate, he says, “Please leave.”

The gate closes behind his back with a clang.

Each prayer accepted and each wish resigned.

“Is this it,” he wonders.

This is it.

KUN!” comes the Commandment and the universe echoes it for the sixth time.

… follows a conscious gasp somewhere near a small hut near a cold river passing through a cold desert.

In The Name of M.

There was a problem. He was sure what to write but he was not sure how.

Should he write about her as M.? He talked about her as M.

With time, and with a never-ending state of separation, he started to talk about her a little openly. Daughter. His daughter.

And then, with the continuation of the separation, he talked a little more. Revealed a little more.

MARYAM. Maryam.

His M. His daughter. His Maryam.

Even before she was born, there was a connection. There was a strong connection through dreams. Through light. Through beautifully alone sleepless nights.

But of course there were some prerequisites to be fulfilled to meet her in reality. A marriage. A marriage destined to be doomed from the beginning.

Anyway,

She arrived on a beautiful sunny day. On April 9th 2014. Lahore.

That was the day he realized why the Prophet Muhammad SAW used to stand up for His daughter. With utmost love and respect.

Like the trials of all the philosophies before they were theorized by the great scholars of different times, this story was to be trialed as well.

He had to drink the poisonous water like Socrates.

He had to be insulted in the city like Mansur Al Haj.

He had to bear the crumbling pain in his brain-eating-itself like Nietzsche.

He had to witness the strange eyes of his own people like Hussain.

He had to be killed again and again so as to be given life every time to rise through the stages of suffering until the final resurrection.

Like the Divine Comedy of Dante. From inferno to purgatory to heaven…

However, the inferno isn’t ending since forever. The tunnel ahead looks dark up to infinity.

But even in the inferno, dreams are not forbidden. You can call them nightmares but they are the only meeting points for him and his daughter.

August 6th 2014 was the day of separation. December 14th 2015 was the re-union day. 496 days. In the Family Court.

These 496 days were the longest time period that he had had to survive. And he survived. With dreams. With nightmares. With hope. With struggle. The court allowed him 4 hours twice a month. A total of 8 hours a month. This was considered as a big relief as every lawyer told him.

Women must have been victims of patriarchy outside the court. But inside the court, particularly in family courts, men are the biggest victims you can imagine. Fathers have to struggle for months and years for the first glimpse of their kids. Thousands of Rupees are spent monthly to make the meetings possible. Bribery and begging is compulsory as well. Sometimes, fathers are beaten up too and there is no one to rescue them.

His meetings, visitations to be precise, continued for 6 months. Then the same old story was repeated and he was deprived of that too.

The story of separation started in the same tunnel of darkness.

He heard a lot of love stories. He saw them. People waiting hours to get a glimpse of their loved ones. People waiting to meet. People waiting to be united. Waiting and waiting and waiting. He never faced such waits all his life. Maybe he was needed to be taught how to wait for a loved one.

He is waiting. And he is doing it pretty well.

Everything that has a beginning has an end. This shall end too. He will see. We shall see.

While drinking the poisoned hemlock, Socrates saw his face in the reflection of the water for one last time. The dark incurious eyes. The face without any expression of sorrow or joy. The clean forehead with some wrinkles. His uncombed hair. His last reflection. Just before sipping the hemlock, his lips smiled a little. Everyone around who hurt him all his life were going to die and be forgotten in the ashes of history while he was going to live forever. Just before sipping the eternal grief and pain of his life, he was relieved of all his pains.

And that is when the tunnel is going to take a dangerous and darkest turn towards the perpetual happiness.

 

In the Name of Zainabs – Our Daughters

There was a Zainab before. A blind girl.

In the times of Zia.

She was raped. Gang-raped.

But as she was blind and couldn’t identify the culprits, she was stoned.

Stoned to death for adultery.

The so-called “sharia” by Zia was imposed.

Just walk through the corridors of government or private organizations and you will find corruption at every corner of this country. Employees at lower grades are as corrupt as employees at top hierarchy.

Clerks are the ones that keep the pain alive. Employees in the field are the ones keeping the bribe system blooming. Shopkeepers, section officers, businessmen… almost everyone is corrupt. We have to verify a zillion times before making any purchase in this country.

Our kids, our generation, the innocent beings, are also not safe from our corruption. We feed them with impure milk. We raise them with bigotry and complexes. We trust strangers for their development. We send them to unsafe madrassahs and schools. We use them for our gains.

Most of the people, when asked about their kids, reply that they will help them in old age. That is it. Selfishness.

Lower the income bracket, higher the number of pregnancies. The only flourishing indicator of this country. And then they are left to face the miseries of life. Which is why they get into the wrong hands.
A Basic Health Unit (BHU) is given a minimum target of 60 deliveries per month. If less, an inquiry is held. Such is the ugly state of our “population control”.

Anyway, there is a question. Questions. What to do? How to keep our kids safe? Apparently the best solution is to take contraceptives. Let the kids stay in the heavens. But our selfish nature will not allow us to do that. Then what to do?

Schools are not safe. Madrassahs are not safe. Streets are not safe. Even relatives are not safe. What to do? There is no answer. There is only selfishness and misery. And misery will prevail for long. Because we see, we shout, and we become normal. Until we are jolted again.

Young Zainab’s father said that the head of JIT should be a Muslim. His consciousness is amazing. The rapist and killer of his daughter would most probably be a Muslim. The men behind child sexual abuse scandal of (2006-2014) were also Muslims. The state should be rid of this religion card by now. Our security, our existence, and our future is as stake; but we keep this card alive for personal benefits.

People are angry. There are episodes of anger.
Political parties are playing their political card.
Religious parties are playing their game.
The father of the unfortunate Zainab is also speaking in favour of the religious card.
Everyone is playing except those who are beyond the tags of conservative, liberal, Muslim, and non-Muslim “clichés”.

Faizabad Episode

I remember wasting time on convincing people that you cannot let a weaponized group to contest in general elections. Like TLY. It was allowed to contest in NA-120.

ECP didn’t allow them. Interior Ministry didn’t allow them. ISI allowed them. That is why they are “apnay log” as COAS said.

Who are NOT “apnay log”?

People of Baluchistan.

People of Karachi.

People of Hazara.

Minorities

People who are abducted.

I can post numerous posts of public events where civilians are being violently treated by the military.

Why did COAS say that the two parties should resolve their matter peacefully?
Why were officials tweeting about it while they were not ready to follow the orders?

Why were they making political statements at all?

A minister had to resign today. Tomorrow more pressure groups will force more resignations.

Opposition members are saying big words today. Tomorrow they will be facing the exact same challenges.

The same happened in 1977 when Mullahs and Political Parties made an alliance against Bhutto, supported by the ISI.

In 1988, Islami Jamhoori Ittehad was formed against PPP. Nawaz Sharif was the key man launched and supported by ISI. Hamid Gul had a major role in forming the center-of-right political alliance.

Karma!

Reiterating again; this is not democracy. There never has been.

Such are the situations that reveal who is playing the game.

And why is the Government impotent?

Why doesn’t it take a stand?

Well, it can’t.

Why?

The top leadership of this government was born and nurtured under Zia. It didn’t form and wasn’t allowed to develop naturally or democratically.

No party in history of Pakistan was developed democratically. They were made all of a sudden to challenge the former ones. To make democracy uglier.

MQM was made.

PML-Q was made.

PPP was fully supported by Yahya against East Pakistan.

PTI got the final boost from outside the camp.

I can bet, you cannot make a national political party in Pakistan without the assistance from barracks. Ever.

That is why these parties behave like dictatorships.

This is why Nawaz is being dictator of his own party.

Pakistan is a hub of failed experiments. From sects to political parties to security state to anything, everything is a failed experiment. Yet we boast with songs that we are what we are not.

Faizabad interchange is an example of failure. Of not only the government, but the whole state and its security institutions.

We are still in 1977.

As ugly as we have ever been.

Mothers

Away from all these conspiracy theories reside our mothers.

The mothers who send their kids to schools even when they know they aren’t as safe as they were once.

Over a hundred mothers saw their little kids for the last time when they went to school on 16th December 2014.

There are mothers who are embracing the dead bodies of their young sons; in police uniform, military uniform, and also in no uniform; on a daily basis.

There are mothers who see their sons dying daily in the desperation of meeting the basics.

These mother get hurt daily.

Yet they never ceased the process of reproduction.

They give hope at the breakfast table and clean wounds at dinner.

Perhaps we inherited it from the fearless mother Fatima Jinnah.

Now I know why mothers in Palestine never stopped having kids.

It is not about death.

It is about life.

A Man, A Woman, & A Daughter

He saw the sleeping woman along with her daughter.

12 noon. June. Ugly weather.

Like others, he moved ahead. But that voice, the inner voice, that echoes in his brain like shrieks, didn’t let him move.

He had to come back from a mile.

He stopped his car.

Embarrassed.

Who is looking at him?

He called the woman. Why is she here? Why not at home?

The typical questions people with homes ask people without homes.

She told a typical story. A story such people usually tell. Liars. Lazy.

He gave her money and requested her to go where she lives. Then more money. He requested her to not do that to her daughter. She asked for a lift to a nearby stop.

All this happened because of a three year old daughter of hers. Or his.

That little girl. Playing around her sleeping mother. Clenched his heart. His moves. His time. His whole day.

His whole life.

And during all this, he didn’t dare look at the young girl. He couldn’t. He tried to look in the rearview mirror, but he was not that brave. He was a coward after all.

He remembers the whole episode. The words. The scene. The area. The temperature. The embarrassment. The time.

He remembers the feeling of being well-off equalizing the feeling of a sinner.

He remembers when the two worlds collide.

But he doesn’t remember the face of the protagonist of this episode. He couldn’t.

He is a coward.

He was afraid of seeing “her” instead of “her”.

Her. Who?

Cheat

His plan was simple. To cheat and get caught. And to be dumped by his wife. Simple as that.

She caught him. He confessed. She left. That was very easy for him.

To end the relationship, he chose the easiest path. He gave his wife the commonly-accepted-reason to end a relationship. And she did leave.

But what if she hadn’t?

Well that would have been double the fun. The crime would be “accepted”.

Yes you got the message right. But don’t get the messenger wrong.

Majority cheat because they cannot control themselves. And the rest cheat because they want to “control”.

You are Expected to be Present but…

No. you shouldn’t be doing this. Then what? Hmm. What is expected of you? Do that.

What your parents expect? What your friends expect? What your wife expects? What your kids expect?

Just do that.

You are expected to come home after your job. Directly. Do that.

You are expected to spend most of the weekend at home. Be it lying idle on the bed. Just do that.

You are expected to smile even when you don’t want to. Behave. Smile.

You are expected to laugh when you are the butt of the joke. Ha-ha. That’s it.

Get up early in the morning. Breakfast. Office. The ugly bosses. Yes. Do that. And don’t take lunch break today.

Come home on time. If there is work, inform. Don’t miss it. After the spanking from office, it’s time for home.

You are expected to pretend that you are waiting for the weekend. Excited for the weekend? Yeah.

Weekdays pass quicker. Monday is like the best day. But don’t you dare tell anyone, you abnormal human being. Friday is the non-nicest day of the week. See, my grammar!

Wake up. Sleep. Alarm. Snooze. You are late. You bloody…

You are expected to enjoy. Movies. Cricket. Football. And you actually enjoy these shits.

You are expected to yawn at long philosophical boring articles and books. But you don’t. Your six senses are only active at that time.

You are expected to date. You date. Then you are expected to marry. You marry. Then you are not expected to date. You don’t date. You are expected to carry on. You carry on. You cannot carry on all alone. You are dependent. You hate group tasks. There is a reason. But we don’t accept that.

You are expected to close your eyes when you kiss. You must moan while having sex. A little at least. Shiver. Orgasm. Have you had an orgasm? That is not an MCQ. The only answer to happiness is yes. What amazing sex you had. But you were thinking what the hell is that?

You are expected to love. But what is love? Is there a universal definition? Is the paradigm of love the same for all? Is there any metric to measure and rate it? No! Then what the hell is that? Is respect love? Is care love? Is empathy love? You are a loving person I guess. Yes you are. But if love is to get clingy, to look in the eyes, and to kiss regularly, then you are not in love.

You are not in love.

You are not present.

You are not in the moment.

You are not here.

Where the hell are you?