Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Posts Tagged ‘Optimism/Pessimism’

Obligation or Curse?

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 19, 2009

A couple of days back when I was commuting from my hostel to the campus through a public bus, a girl of maximum 7 or 8 years of age climbed the bus from the males side, walked up to the front and loudly started repeating what she had rote learnt and what she probably practiced several times in many other buses before entering this bus. It was about 1:30 pm and she was bare footed in the scorching heat of Karachi. She was a beggar, as you might have already figured out.

The words she was speaking were the same we hear almost everyday. Begging in the name of Allah, in the name of your parents, praying for the success of your business, for you to get long life etc, prompting you to put your hands in your pocket and take out a colored note, or at least some coins, which many people did as well. Now the point of this post is not to motivate or de-motivate these beggars, it is to discuss this practice. It is to discuss if helping these beggars is even right or not.

A young girl, 7 or 8 years of age who deserves to be bought good dresses, to play with girls of her own age, to go to school with a bag hanging on her shoulders and to show off her new shoes to her peers, was rather engaging herself in going bus to bus bare footed, asking people for some help. In fact, she might have started this activity when she wasn’t even old enough to realize what she was doing. The way she fluently started and spoke the words, it was apparent she had rote learnt them and she knew the sequence of each and every sentence as well. She was well trained and practiced for this, and there was definitely someone making sure she does it all fine. Isn’t it an alarm for us all? Not the fact that the number of beggars are increasing but the fact that the children, who deserve to be with their parents at this age, are being sent to these public buses to beg. And the fact that by giving them what they ask for, we promote this activity and other children of this age group to engage themselves in similar activities God-Forbid (That’s what I think at least).

I have always believed in the quotation that goes like “Give someone a fish and relieve their hunger for a day, teach someone how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime”. Given this quotation and the fact that the number of beggars are increasing, and that by helping these beggars and giving them money we promote this activity, And given also the situation that a young girl who doesn’t even have shoes to wear in such bad heat, has to travel throughout the city not even knowing if she’d be able to get back home soon enough or not, a girl left all alone in this huge and unfair world, a girl who might have a very bad situation at her home, siblings dying for food, parents not being able to take care of their children because of poverty, should these beggars be helped? Also, should we de-motivate this act of begging publicly or should we just stay quiet and let happen whatever happens?

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Posted in English | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Sweetly done

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 3, 2009

I experienced the exchange of some very sweet words during my flight from Lahore to Karachi. And as soon as I heard those words, I decided I’ll blog about it :-). I think the plane had just taken off when a somewhat loud voice got the attention of the passing by airhostess. (The conversation here is not accurate to the word, but I hope you get the gist of it)

Man (In an Urdu accent, very loudly): Hello!!!

Airhostess (smilingly): Ji sir, kya chahiye aapko? (Yes sir, what do you want?)

Man: Aaj ka Akhbar de dain (Give me today’s newspaper)

Airhostess: Ji sir main abhi le aati houn, aur doosri baat ye ke kisi ko “Hello” bol ker nahi bulatay, agar koi cheez chahiye ho tou call bell daba diya karain. (Yes sir, I’ll bring it right away, and secondly, you don’t call out on anyone by saying “Hello”, if you want something, you can press the call bell).

The airhostess passed a smile and left immediately, making that person totally answerless. Now the point of this post is, I liked the way that airhostess corrected this person, and the boldness with which she told him to give respect while calling on someone. It was not a specific correction from this airhostess, it was totally general and in a very polite tone as well. The airhostess didn’t loose temper on the way that man called out on her, but she not only turned around and came back to this man to listen to what he had to say, but also taught him some manners. I think what this airhostess did was the right thing to do. What do you think?

Posted in English | Tagged: , | 37 Comments »

دو ٹکے کا آدمی

Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 27, 2009

یہ  واقعہ  میں  نے  خود  اپنی  آنکھوں  سے  تو  نہیں  دیکھا،  مگر  اس  واقعہ  کو  محسوس  ضرور  کیا  ہے۔  مجھے  یہ  واقعہ  جس  طرح  سنایا  گیا  تھا،  اور  جن  جزبات  کے  ساتھ  سنایا  گیا  تھا،  میرے  خیال  میں  مجھے  اچھی  طرح  اندازہ  ہے  کہ  کن  الفاظ  کے  استعمال  سے  یہ  واقعہ،  واقعہ  بنا  ہوگا۔  ایسے  کئی  واقعوں  سے  ہم  ہر  روز  دو  چار  ہوتے  ہیں،  روز  دیکھتے  ہیں  مگر  پھر  بھی  سوچتے  نہیں  ہیں۔  یہ  واقعہ  ہے  ایک  غریب  آدمی  کا،  اور  ایک  امیر  آدمی  کا۔ ۔ ۔

شام  کا  وقت  تھا،  ایک  غریب  آدمی  جس  کی  ڈیوٹی  ایک  بہت  بڑی  پارکنگ  کے  باہر  لگی  ہوئی  تھی،  ہر  جانے  والی  گاڑی  سے  پارکنگ  کا  کرایہ  اور  ٹکٹ  وصول  کر  رہا  تھا۔  اسی  دوران  ایک  امیر  آدمی  اپنی  گاڑی  میں  اس  غریب  آدمی  کے  پاس  پہنچا۔  غریب  آدمی  نے  گاڑی  کی  ٹکٹ  مانگی  تو  گاڑی  کے  مالک  نے  بتایا  کہ  ٹکٹ  اس  سے  گم  چکی  ہے،  مگر  پارکنگ  کا  کرایہ  وہ  دینے  کے  لیئے  تیّار  ہے۔  ٹکٹ  وصولی  کرنے  والے  شخص  نے  تشویش  کا  اظہار  کیا  اور  کہا  کہ  ٹکٹ  دکھائے  بغیر  گاڑی  لےجانا  مشکل  ہے۔  اس  غریب  آدمی  کی  اس  بات  پر  امیر  آدمی  کو  اپنی  بےعزتی  محسوس  ہوئی  اور  وہ  اس  غریب  آدمی  پر  چلّانا  شروع  ہوگیا۔

اسی  بحث  کے  دوران  جو  اس  غریب  آدمی  اور  امیر  آدمی  میں  چل  رہی  تھی،  دوسری  گاڑیوں  والے  لوگ  اتر  کر  انکی  بحث  ختم  کرانے  آگئے۔  تب  اس  امیر  آدمی  نے  وہ  کہ  ڈالہ  جسکا  اسے  غرور  تھا۔  اس  امیر  آدمی  کہ  الفاظ  تھے  کہ  “  اس  دو  ٹکے  کے  آدمی  کی  ہمّت  کیسے  ہوئی  میری  گاڑی  روکنے  کی،  یہ  انسان  اپنے  آپ  کو  سمجھتا  کیا  ہے”۔   یہاں  لکھے  گئے  الفاظ  شاید  اصل  مکالمے  سے  تھوڑے  مختلف  ہوں  مگر  انکا  مفہوم  تقریباّ  یہی  ہے۔  غلطی  اس  گاڑی  والے  کی  تھی  کہ  اسنے  پارکنگ  ٹکٹ  اپنے  پاس  سنبھال  کر  نہیں  رکھی،  مگر  چیخ  وہ  ایسے  رہا  تھا  جیسے  اسکی  کوئی  غلطی  نہیں۔  اور  اسکی  غلطی  ہو  بھی  کیسے  سکتی  تھی،  اخر  کو  وہ  ایک  امیر  آدمی  تھا،  اسکو  حق  تھا  کہ  وہ  ایک  غریب  آدمی  کو  بےعزت  کرے،  اس  پر  چلّائے،  اس  پر  اپنا  غصہ  نکالے۔ ۔ ۔

کیا  کسی  اور  شخص  کو  دو  ٹکے  کا  بول  کر  وہ  امیر  آدمی  خود  دو  ٹکے  کا  نہیں  رہ  گیا؟  کیا  وہ  شخص  جو  سارا  دن  محنت  کرتا  ہے،  گرمی  میں  کھڑے  ہو  کر  ہر  گاڑی  سے  ٹکٹ  اور  کرایہ  وصول  کرتا  ہے،  صرف  اس  لیئے  دو  ٹکے  کا  آدمی  ہے  کیونکہ  وہ  ایک  بڑی  گاڑی  میں  اے  سی  چلا  کر  نہیں  بیٹھ  سکتا؟  کیا  انسان  کی  عزت  صرف  اسکی  حیثیت  اور  پیسے  سے  ہوتی  ہے؟  کیا  انسان  کی  گاڑیاں  اور  اسکی  دوسروں  پہ  چلّانے  کی  صلاحیت  سے  ہی  اندازہ  لگایا  جاتا  ہے  کہ  وہ  دو  ٹکے  کا  ہے  یا  انمول؟  کیا  اس  محنت  کش  کی  عزت  نفس  کو  ٹھیس  نہیں  پہنچی  ہوگی؟  کیا  اسے  یہ  خیال  نہیں  آیا  ہوگا  کہ  اسکا  کیا  قصور  تھا؟  وہ  تو  فقط  اپنی  ڈیوٹی  دے  رہا  تھا۔  افسوس  کہ  وہ  امیر  آدمی  یہ  نہیں  سمجھ  سکا  کہ  اس  غریب  آدمی  کی  نظر  میں  یہ  امیر  آدمی  دو  ٹکے  کی  اوقات  بھی  نہیں  رکھتا  ہوگا۔

اللہ  ہم  سب  کو  ہدایت  دے  اور  ہمیں  ایک  دوسرے  کی  قدر  اور  عزت  کرنے  کی  توفیق  دے۔ آمین

Posted in Urdu | Tagged: , , , | 16 Comments »

Does the crack remain?

Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 3, 2009

Long ago I heard from someone:

Friendship is like a china ware,

Always precious, rich and rare,

Once broken, can be mended,

But the crack is always there…

Is it true? Can the crack ever be mended? What good is that friendship for if it can be broken? Or is it just us to be that stupid to think there is a crack in our friendship, when actually there isn’t?

Posted in English | Tagged: , , | 18 Comments »

Going back home…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 1, 2009

He went to a corner of that big workshop garage, grabbed his pants and his shirts from the hanger, changed his clothes and got out of his all dirty and stained shalwar qamees, approached the front deck where other mechanics were sitting, took out his clean shining black slippers along with a green shopping bag from beneath the deck, took out the small piece of soap and a comb from that shopping bag and went straight to the wash basin adjacent to the deck. The smile on his face was so noticeable that one of the other mechanics asked him, “tera abba aagya kya?” (Is your father here already?).

He thoroughly washed his hands and face and looked at the mirror from all possible angles to see if his face is all clean yet. He wet his palms and strolled them in his hair a couple of times, grabbed his comb and struggled through getting his hair back in shape. He looked so neat and tidy as if he was now ready to go for work, but things were actually exactly the opposite in this case. He was going back home. He smilingly went to each and every person present there and shook hands with them. One of the mechanics tauntingly asked him to clean the mess on the deck before he left but he, without saying a word, just kept his hand forward offering the other person to shake hands with him.

His smiles and happiness was truly justified and needed no explanations. Earlier that day, I saw a “senior” mechanic ask him to loosen a bolt, which even after trying his best, he couldn’t. His ear was given a 360 degree rotation along with a slap on the back of his neck for not having enough power to loosen up a bolt. He was made fun of. Other senior mechanics laughed at this so bold and brave action of slapping this kid, who was hardly 15 years. Seniority at this workshop probably came from having the authority to shout at and use free hands on junior mechanics, and make fun of them.

He was also asked to hold a lamp and point it exactly where the “senior” mechanics were working, and if his hands just dropped slightly, he was dealt with all the authority that those “seniors” had. And even after all the torture he was made to go through (though I seriously think he was immune enough to feel it torturous), he kept on smiling and laughing with others. Not only did he perform his job related to the workshop, but he also brought tea a couple of times for his “seniors”. In fact, this was probably also part of his job. No doubt he was happy at the end of such a long day…

وہ  حیراں  ہیں  ہمارے  ضبط  پہ  تو  کہ  دو  قتیل  ان  سے

جو  دامن  پہ  نہیں  گرتا  وہ  آنسو  دل  پہ  گرتا  ہے ۔ ۔ ۔

Posted in English | Tagged: , , , | 13 Comments »

Pair of old shoes

Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 27, 2009

A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students’ friend for his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which were supposed to belong to a poor man who was working in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work…

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Student turned to the professor, saying:

“Let us play the man a trick, we will hide his shoes, and hide ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them …”

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “We should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor… But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him..”

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes…

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance.

He gazed upon the coin, turned it around and looked at it again and again.
He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin…

His feelings overcame him…

He fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing…

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears.
“Now,” said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. .. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

If you want happiness… .For a lifetime – help someone..

Posted in English | Tagged: , | 23 Comments »

The “Pakistani Style”

Posted by Haris Gulzar on June 28, 2009

I have always criticized the way Pakistani media presents the picture of Pakistan in front of the world. Showing war within country, lack of peace and security, lack of satisfaction within people, hatred amongst people of one area for the people of another area, blood, dead bodies, corruption and what not? All of this might not actually be a wrong picture, but I have always wondered if anyone out there ever thought about the impression outsiders would get about Pakistan. Pakistan is way way better than what is portrayed on the media, and this media does not only consists of news channels,  but newspapers, radio stations, and even bloggers play a major role in presenting Pakistan to the world.

But, on the other hand, I also think the media should very positively criticize openly, to issues that need attention. Issues, that definitely are a dent in the image of Pakistan but with a small step from each Pakistani, can be sorted out. Issues, that definitely aren’t leading Pakistan to any successes, but can be turned into success factors. Issues, that are issues for now, but can be made into reasons for Pakistan’s growth and success Insha-Allah. This post discusses one issue of this very sort.

I happened to visit WAPDA office a couple of days back. I had to apply for a new connection of electricity. I asked the procedure of filing an application, the required documents, the time it’ll take for the entire process etc. I was given the forms to be signed by the owner of the land and a list of the required documents to be submitted. When I submitted the application, the officer who received the application file told me that a surveyor would come to the site to see the load and where the electricity pole is, and I’ll have to treat that surveyor in “Pakistani style”.  Yeah, that’s exactly what his words were. He was blunt in saying this, as if it was part of his training to guide every customer this way. The expression “Pakistani style” was supposed to be a code word, but the tone and facial expressions with which he said it didn’t let it remain a code at all.

The way I was told about how it all works, I couldn’t even ask that officer what exactly did he mean? I was expected to understand the meaning myself. Being a Pakistani, it was implicit that I am aware of the Pakistani style. Why has bribing become a Pakistani style? Who has helped this style flourish to this extent that government officers direct their customers to adopt this style when applying for new connections? Isn’t it us promoting this style, and what’s worse is, associating our country with this as well :-(. What will it take to eliminate this thinking from the government officers minds that it is a Pakistani style? To make them believe in this country, and believe in themselves. Not only them, but to make everyone believe that Pakistan is not what they think it is…

Posted in English | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Glass half full…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on June 19, 2009

Do we ever look at the positive side of anything at all? Why are we so pessimistic always? Why do we start blaming others for our pessimistic assumptions? Why can’t we, for once, see the glass half full?

Pakistan beat South Africa yester-night to enter the Finals of the T20 World Cup. Team SA, who were ranked as the favorites to win this tournament weren’t of a good match to the Pakistan team. But was it really Pakistan’s performance and will power that lead us to the victory? Or was it a fluke? Or was SA not in a mood to win the match? Or was the match fixed?

Strange whenever Pakistan wins the match, no one thinks of the match being fixed, but you get to face one loss, especially if it is against India, everyone comes out so sure and confident that Pakistani players must have taken a hefty amount to handover the match to the opposing team. Is it only Pakistanis thinking this way for their very own team? Does this happen elsewhere as well?

Anyways, what I basically wanted to point out was, I heard many people say today that Younis Khan was full in mood to loose the match, but it was Afridi and Umer Gul who saved us. The reasons these people have are that Younis Khan wasn’t scoring when he came to the creeze for batting, and the run rate fell sharply as soon as Younis Khan came in to bat. Secondly, he gave an over to Fawad Alam at such a crucial time, and in such a pressure match, which clearly depicts that Younis Khan didn’t have good intentions.

How quickly do we run to conclusions. How quickly do we start blaming others for actions and decisions they take at crucial times. Why can’t Younis Khan think good for his team. Why is it wrong to give a new bowler a try. After all, no one from the SA team would have imagined Fawad Alam bowling an over, no one knows how fast or slow, how flighted or flat or on what line and length does this new bowler bowl. Why cant giving the ball to Fawad Alam be part of the strategy towards winning the game.

Good that we won the match Alhamdulillah, otherwise everyone would have definitely said that it was Younis Khan’s idiotic and silly decisions that made Pakistan loose the match. For us, the glass probably always remains half empty…

Posted in English | Tagged: | 12 Comments »