Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Posts Tagged ‘Social issues’

Ethics and Business

Posted by Haris Gulzar on November 2, 2009

A lot many times when deciding about something, we only consider aspects that favor us, and overlook many things deliberately. Or maybe not deliberately, but the we tend to think only in one direction, one that we want to happen, one that we have already made up our mind about. Sometimes we do realize other aspects to things as well but somehow we try and justify the reason we have for what we think.

Recently I have been involved in doing a research about opening up a breakfast house where one of the potential target market is those students who bunk their classes and look for places where friends could sit and have something to eat and pass time. I mean we have been thinking about ways to market this breakfast house to these students. This is to say that we have been thinking about how to promote bunking classes :-P. And because this is a big market, specially for a breakfast house, there are all justifications in this world to market our product to these students. Is it an issue relating ethics?

Even if we dont discuss marketing this place to the college and university students, places like these definitely attract the young generation itself. The word spreads quickly, and even without us marketing the breakfast house, it probably would be known at least in the surroundings. A place like a breakfast house is definitely a good idea but is it ethical if any such place attracts people to skip their classes and come to these places? Is there any solution to this problem (if it really is a problem)?


Posted in English | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

Dignity comes with money?

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 23, 2009

Quiet some time back, I witnessed something very strange and also thought to blog about it but then couldn’t get enough time and later forgot to write on it. Today I read a post that made recall what I had experienced. This post really moved me, although it also made me realize that what I experienced called an action from me as well, but I remained silent back then. I was at fault, and was amongst those who promote such discrimination because I kept silent :-(.

I was dining out with friends at a nearby restaurant. This restaurant was a low profile student restaurant that mostly targets the hostelites and boarders. The waiters were mostly pathans and the restaurant itself was also run by a pathan (or should I be saying this? Is this discrimination?). Two elderly ladies came to ask for some food or some monetary help so that they could have some food. Two men, who were sitting just a couple of tables away from us, called the waiter and asked him to give these ladies whatever they wanted to eat and bill these two men. The ladies were obliged. They told the waiter whatever from the menu they decided to have, and the waiter left to bring their order.

When the waiter returned, these ladies had taken a table and were waiting for their food. The waiter very rudely asked both of them to vacate the table and sit on the footpath so that other customers could be given that table. This was shocking for me. Or maybe not because I didn’t do anything in defense of those elderly woman. They had to vacate the table and had to sit on the footpath to eat their meal. Did the waiter get this authority to make a couple of elderly ladies vacate a table only because he knew they weren’t paying for their meals? Weren’t these ladies the customers of the restaurant when the restaurant was getting paid for what they were serving?

Dignity comes with money is it? I totally agree with the writer of the post above that social experiments within Pakistan should be held so that we know where we stand.

Posted in English | Tagged: | 26 Comments »

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?

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 »

Respect for humanity

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 2, 2009

It was a holiday today in Karachi due to heavy rains and floods across the metropolitan, but IBA was open. Some of you might be aware of the fact that IBA has two campuses, one in the sadar area of Karachi called the City Campus, whereas another inside the premises of Karachi University called the Main Campus. The hostels are at the walking distance from the Main Campus, therefore at times you have to travel to the City Campus if you’ve taken a course that is offered there.

Today, while coming back from the City Campus on a public transport, when the conductor asked me for the conveyance charges, I handed him half the ticket charges and claimed to be a student. I was accompanied by a fellow hostelite. The conductor returned me the money saying that the student discount was not applicable today because of the announced holiday. I told him that I was coming from my university and that it was open so I should be allowed to avail the student discount. One of the passenger shouted at the conductor and asked him to give me the student ticket. The conductor asked me to descend that bus and take another bus because he could not accept the student ticket on a holiday. The person that shouted earlier at the conductor stood up, and slapped the conductor right in his face.

Everyone in the bus was taken by surprise. That person, all of a sudden, had become just too emotional. He grabbed the conductor by his collar and shouted at the top of his voice to accept my student ticket. My fellow hostelite and I tried to stop the quarrel but the shouting man was too healthy and emotional for me to even try going near him :-(. He hit the conductor a couple of more times and kept on shouting at the top of his voice. How dare you ask a STUDENT to get off this bus. I’ll show you what STUDENT unity is. Do you want me to tell you what STUDENT unity is? Accept the STUDENT ticket or else I’ll tell you what a STUDENT can do?

By this time, the driver stopped the bus and came to try his luck to stop the quarrel. A lady from the ladies compartment also started shouting, but I guess she was in favor of the conductor. All I could understand was, a very serious fight broke out between that person and the bus staff, where most of the passengers were either trying to stop the fighting people by hand or at least by words. My fellow hostelite and the driver finally got the shouting person sit at his seat, but he continued to utter words in disappointment. You should know what STUDENT rights are. You should know what STUDENT unity is. You should support other STUDENTS if you see something happening against them.

I ask, is this how you take your rights? Is this how you show your unity? Is this how you tell what a STUDENT can do? Is this what a STUDENT is supposed to do? Besides, that person later told us that he was a teacher. I was amazed to know this. A teacher, telling students how to take your rights, in fact, demonstrating it in front of at least 15 people, including ladies, and shouting at the top of his voice about what STUDENT unity is. I thought I knew what a STUDENT is. But this teacher proved me wrong…

The person travelling with me said, for being quiet for long after the incident happened, that “Respect for Humanity is something I have at the top of the list in my dictionary” (and that’s where I took the title of this post). Why do we forget the respect for humanity? Is the conductor not a human. A couple of posts back, I wrote a post titled “Do takay ka aadmi” where I mentioned how a parking ticket collector was treated by a rich man, thinking that he had all the rights to insult a poor man. By all means, the conductor was right in claiming the full travel ticket because the government did announce a holiday for all schools and universities, but for some reason, my university was open. It supposedly becomes my duty to pay the full travel charges, but my try to save some bucks got the conductor beaten :-(. I thought I had a justified reason for paying the student ticket as I was coming from after having a class and because my university was open, but this was not the conductor’s fault. At least not something that he got beaten for.

The lady from the ladies compartment, soon after the fight was over, handed some money to the conductor for his shirt that got torn during the fight. I really hope that emotional teacher saw this and that he felt that he was way too harsh. One thing that I noted specifically was, the conductor, never for once, used any harsh words or attacked back. He stayed at the back foot, defending himself. He had a slight smile on his face, the one a person has when he is shocked with something happening to him. He never showed his anger. Later that person asked the conductor of how his shirt got torn off because he had only grabbed him from his collar, the conductor smilingly replied and asked that person to go home and have a glass of cold water. I think this is how you show what you can do.

I paid the conductor our full ticket and apologized, but the harm that was done to him was probably way more than what our sorrys could have healed. I hope Allah forgives me of the mistake I committed, for my intention was not wrong, and Allah knows our intentions.

Posted in English | Tagged: , , | 29 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 »


Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 9, 2009

Sometime back I was sitting with a couple of my friends who are both regular smokers. They’re always careful enough not to smoke in front of their parents or any elder, not because they’ll be caught smoking (everyone knows they smoke), but because they show respect to their elders. They think it looks bad if someone sees them smoking. Similarly, when they’re done smoking, they either have some sweet or some tulsi or similar sort of thing to make sure there mouths aren’t smelling bad.

That day, one of them started eating tulsi while smoking and the other one warned him not to eat tulsi during smoking because it is one of the biggest causes of mouth cancer. I was shocked. I mean it was good to know that one smoker was showing care for another smoker but don’t they know that smoking is the biggest reason for lung cancer. When I asked them if he was only warning the other person from mouth cancer or from lung cancer, both of them could only laugh :-(.

Click to view sourceI once read a quotation that said “Anyone can quit smoking, but it takes a real man to face the cancer”. Whenever I say this to any smoker, he only laughs, knowing that what they do is wrong, but they probably have no control left with them over quitting smoking. Smoking is an addiction I can understand, but what I don’t understand is, why do people start smoking? Why do they take this first step? Why do they challenge themselves, knowing that this will lead them to various diseases, the dangerous of all being lung cancer, still, they challenge themselves. What thrill is there in smoking? What motivates someone to such an extent that they starts smoking?

Posted in English | Tagged: , | 16 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…

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 question!

Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 21, 2009

A couple of days back, I was walking with my dad when he asked me if I have my wallet and mobile with me. I told him I didn’t have them and suddenly I recalled why did he ask me this question. There are two incidents associated with this question and with we being careful now to have our wallets or mobiles with us if we’re walking.

Incident # 1:

It was the 23rd of November, 2006, 2215 HRS. I was coming out of my University after having a meeting with a few faculty members. My car was the only car parked in the parking and the guard was only waiting for me to pay the parking charges so that he can leave. I was accompanied with three other friends. As soon as we came out in the parking area, I paid the parking charges and the guard left immediately. We discussed the points we had under discussion in the meeting with faculty and soon the other three friends of mine were on their way as well. Their motorcycles were parked inside university. They went inside, brought their bikes out and were gone, that’s when I also unlocked my car, sat inside, closed the door, put the key in the ignition and…

I heard a knock on the window followed by a very loud voice. “Bahar aao, BAHAR AAO” (Come out, COME OUT). The person shouting through the window had a gun pointing towards my head. I opened the door, stepped out and before I could say anything, I saw another person running towards me, and as soon as he reached me, he loaded his gun right in font of my eyes (that’s a scary sight I tell you) and put the gun on my chest. Within less than, or a maximum of 10 seconds, I was deprived of my mobile and my wallet. And let me also mention that the mobile I lost was the one I bought after doing Teaching Assistantships at my university for one complete year. That mobile was worth my life time savings at that time. The knock that I heard that day is still so fresh in my ears that I still get frightened sometimes when someone knocks on a window :-(.

Incident # 2:

My father was walking to the mosque for Isha prayers. The area mosque is hardly 7-8 minutes of walk away from our place. He was almost a 100 meters from the mosque when two young men approached him on a motorcycle and asked him to handover everything to them. Fortunately, he wasn’t carrying his mobile or his wallet with him. Confused, he started running towards the mosque, and the dacoits (they also got confused probably) just flew away Alhamdulillah.

My father has now made it a point to make sure everyone walking with him at the time of Maghrib and/or Isha prayers doesn’t have his mobile or wallet with him. He now doesn’t forget to ask this question…

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