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Friday, December 24, 2010

We have lost touch with who we are!!!


In this age, now more than ever before, fear overwhelmed everything else in society.  Why should this be so? Were people as fearful years ago as they are now? Or has society changed to such an extent that along with all of the technological wonders that have been created, to make our lives more comfortable, instead, hand-in-hand with those wonders goes fear.

Society has changed for the worst. My parents tell us every now and then that there was a time, not too long ago, when people could leave their front doors open while they ran to the shops. There was a time when people knew everyone in their neighbourhood by their names. A time when neighbours where like one big family and would look out for each other.When something bad would occur, everyone would chip in to deal with the matter - in other words, people where never left by themselves, or made to feel lonely. It was a time when strangers would be welcomed on any doorstep, with a cheery smile and hello and a new friend would be made.

But times have changed.   With the proliferation of newspapers, and the media at large, it seems that every single hour, we are bombarded with the latest atrocity that has occurred in our own country, or somewhere in the world.  In fact at one time, bad things only happened to those countries who we would view from far off on our television screens.

The mantra would go: As long as it is happening to them, and not us, then we are alright. In some respects it was a very insular way of thinking, a way of saying that those things that we heard, read or saw would never occur here. How wrong we where.  Floods, earthquakes, proliferation in murders, the silence of people who would rather keep themselves to themselves for fear of attack.

People who would step over somebody lying in the street without a second glance.  People too afraid to leave their homes unlocked (like our parrents grand parrents used to do). People too afraid to allow their children to play out in the fresh air.

The main causes for all of those things is fear.  Fear rules our hearts and our heads and stops us from being fully human, and it traps us into a society that we ourselves have created.

As long as it is on somebody else's doorstep and not mine is the mantra now. That is the way of thinking of all of us in society these days. The modern world in which we live is filled with terrors we could not imagine before, and because of this, fear has a grip on our hearts.

It was a wise man who said that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. What does that mean?  Well, if we live our lives by thinking ahead, ie: thinking something might happen to us, or our loved ones, every single time we stepped out the door, then we would never live at all.

The threat of gang warfare, terrorist attacks, and the ultimate, nuclear and biological attacks on our country and person, is too much for us. We cocoon ourselves into our own little worlds, hardly speaking to anyone  - if we can help it - and we separate ourselves to such an extent that hate and fear becomes the overriding factors of our lives.

We are too quick to judge a person, because that person, instead of looking at him or her as an individual, we look at them as being part of a group of people who will terrorise us because of their colour or ethnicity.  Fear in the modern world, even more so now, than before, makes us too quick to judge others, and that will eventually lead to our downfall.

One cannot help but be scared - fearful that our children may go out to play but then, may never come back. What with child murders, drug dealers, and any number of other things that make us fearful for our very lives in this society, we find ourselves trapped, with no way out.

We work, and that is it. We have no time for recreation because we are always fearful to leave the house empty - in case of robberies, we are scared to go to the park, in case we are attacked not just by gangs, but by dogs too. Dog attacks on adults and children have risen steadily over the years until now they have become a major problem in society.

A whole plethora of incidents in this society makes us fearful for our own lives, and those of our family. In this society it is every man for himself, and it is true. Who would go to help out somebody in trouble, if they are lying in the street? There are not many that would these days, and human life seems cheap.

Death is read about every single day, and we bat not an eyelid. It is no longer front page news because it is so common.  with the proliferation of all of the things mentioned, society today is far less tolerant - and far more fearful - than at any other given point in time. We have lost touch with who we are, and in the process we have lost touch with our humanity. This is our own fault and our legacy, because we have created the society that we wanted in the first place.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn returns but with a bit of discontent


"Then summer fades and passes and October comes.  We'll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure."   Thomas Wolfe

In a nice cool evening of September,  I walked along the edge of the stream, the leaves whisper the sound of past and the wild air reveals the arrival of autumn. I don’t know why some people call it “sad season”, may be they think, the year is dying but I love fall. 
With skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled, I love fall  because of the smells that it speaks of. I don’t know why Poet like Faiz Ahmed Faiz cursed this time of the year  in his poetry..

“This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.
Bless these withered bodies
with the passion of your resurrection;
make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing”

My be the poet narrated the half truth about autumn, because everything is half dead. The wind moves like a cripple among the leaves. But there is another way of seeing.  Seeing with the eye of memory, there is colours everywhere, the winds will blow their own freshness into you, and your sorrow will drop way like the leaves of trees. I sit quietly, listening to the falling leaves and wishing miseries of my land vapours like the faded memories….

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beach: more than a swimming place!

A view of Hawks Bay beach- Karachi

The human voyage into life is basically feeble, vulnerable, uncontrollable. So they need nature for inspiration and strength. with hectic life such is this, you aren't get many chances to come across beautiful places but if you do get an opportunity, make it count and memorize the ecstatic moments with the camera lens.... 

I've had it and did exactly the same. A week ago, I travelled to the Hawks bay beach, even though I come here before but honestly speaking, I discovered many great activities that can be enjoyed on the beach.

Hawks bay beach is just 20 kilometre away from the City centre. And it is one of the few beaches in the world where green sea turtles come to lay eggs. 

On a glorious sunshiny day, I drove my Mini Pajero with full of food stuff to the beach. On the way through we stopped to fill the air in a tube, which we carried for surfing purpose, the guy in the tyre shop told us that tube is punctured and need a repair. My buddy give him nod to go head, and then we experienced the most astonishing, at least we have seen it for the first time. The tyre shop guy started sewing the pierced part of the tube. When our eyes met, I knew that Beven's thinking was same as mine, that what the hell tyre shop is guy up to? Then the tyre shop guy realized that we are worried about his ability.... 

"Saab hamara roz ka kam he" (sir this is my routine work), said the tyre shop guy, who didn’t look too content with our distrust.

Anyway we enjoyed all day long and learned that spending time at the beach isn't limited to just swimming. There are tons of other great activities that can be enjoyed on the beach. One of them is partying, if you turnout in numbers, you can play music, dance and just have a great time. 

Writing on the sand is another interesting thing as I came across few guys whom wrote something on the sand and then took pictures. They told me that it will last forever. Another thing that we really missed was "Frisbee", this is a classic beach game and it is one that people never get tired of. Well talking about beach, then you can't forget fishing, but everybody knows about it and people have been doing this for centuries.

Building a sandcastle not only helps you pass the time at the beach but also it is really very creative activity, besides that you can troll the beach looking for seashells. Taking the best ones home, so that you can always remember the fun that you had at the beach. 

The beach is a great place for getting good photos and those photos will be a great memory to take back, and the modern gadgets make things really easy these days. Beaches are generally filled with people so you can make new friends. But then you've to be very social, in order to do that. There is no doubt in my mind that beach has been inspiring, so artistic mind people can get very good ideas.

Turning towards some of the romantic things, obviously watching the sunset is the top of all. This is one of the favourite things that I often do at the beach because it is such a fascinating thing to do. By doing so, this is the wonderful opportunity for the daydreamers like me to sit around and just hang out and daydream a bit.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Be careful with your online life

By Zaka

With monitoring software running on the social networking and online job sites, data about you and your activities on the internet can easily be tracked. The troubling fact is that nobody can tell what the trackers did or intends to do with user’s data. With 500 million Facebook, over 100 million Twitter and plenty of other’s social networking and jobs related portals users, the future life on the web is about to unleash.

Traditional expectation of personal privacy came into question as it proved that tiny pieces of data are being mashed together to create a digital profile of people in such detail, one never thought imaginable. Because of that, Facebook forced to change the setting in order to keep the user’s personal information private.

As such concerns have spread; the heat has been turned up under long simmering debated about the limit of online privacy. But for now it’s quite evident that only a big scandal to do with misuse of personal information for the issue to explode.

More than anything else, its user’s responsibility to keep them safe by careful of what they posting. The new technologies paint ever finer portraits of individuals based on their online activities, the greatest risk to privacy online for many users is their own ineptitude. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook encourage the sharing of status updates, travel plans and photographs, making it easier inadvertently to wreck a marriage, friendship or jobs. CNN anchor Octavia Nasr was recent famous casualty of 140 words of Twitter, in her tweet Nasr praised the Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah and lost the job as her tweet received huge criticisms.

I’m not sure in the 3rd world but certainly in the west, your tweets and posts can and will be held against you in a court of law.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Being unsocial: Is that a bad trait?


I have been unsocial since, well ever since I can remember, When I was little, I was convinced that I belong to some other place or family, because I always found difficult to fit in my surroundings; later realized I've to be like everyone else. Over the year's, I had tried but still think it's not enough. 

Now days I do live in a bit of shell, made few friends, because it really hard to find trustworthy people. So I prefer social withdrawal. As a result of that I used to hear “RUDE” when people describe me, some say arrogant. I don’t care when people talk like that because lots of social interactions seem pointless to me. Rarely I interested to talk about people, even then for some eccentric reasons people like to talk with me.

One can argue that many people do live that way, then why people create so much fuss about. When I look around, the real successful people aren't those who have great social circle rather it depends on hard work. ……..