Friday, November 29, 2013
HAIL TO THE CHIEF
(My letter to the new COAS)
My Dearest Sir, Friday, November 29, 2013
I would like to congratulate you for the breath of fresh air that you will bring to the Pakistan Army as of Friday being its new supreme commander. I use the term ‘dearest’ for you because you are the Chief Boy Scout of Pakistan. Yes, I was a boy scout and in my scouting we were always told in our jamborees that this honor is bestowed upon the COAS. I loved scouting because we earned badges for all our tasks and our little army instilled all the good attributes that one would find in an officer such as yourself.
As my new chief who will lead all the sons of our soil for the next term I am glad that a foot soldier who has walked the talk in the infantry division is at its command! On your long march into this new position I would like to let you know that even though I am a civilian I respect this task that you have taken and pray that you will be wise to listen to the tribulations of the sons who will lay down their lives for you. Sadly I am partially disabled and was not wise enough to accept the challenge of the uniform such as yourself but I would like to thank you for accepting the responsibility of protecting the soil where I took my first breath and ensuring its borders remain intact.
My appeal to you before you give your first executive order as you are not from the Armored or Artillery corps is that you have walked along our borders and protected them so please never reality of the ground situation because for the rest of your tenure you w are about to undergo a tremendous test of will, integrity, and power that is un-imaginable. The chair you will sit upon is a chair that I respect very much and know that you befit the honor that follows with it.
Our country needs a chief who is impartial to the internal politics of this land and is incorruptible by the forces that work around him. The Baluchi values that you hold true to your heart are very dear to me because they are all about family and I hope that this country does not judge you before it can understand you. I would like to request you to humbly forget the aspirations that the parliamentary society will set for you and make your own decisions as to the future of our borders.
As I am a citizen who respects you and that office which will be entrusted to you I would like to let you know that my conception of a perfect Army Chief is one that can keep every mother smiling that has a son in uniform and make sure he is not responsible for the unnecessary death of his extended family. I as a son of Pakistan expect you as my guardian to keep me safe from all forms of internal and external threats to me and my family.
I will expect you to be legendary in the aspect that you will help guide our politicians and keep them from swaying from their promises that have left us heartbroken over the decades. I will fight for you and I will struggle for you if you promise to love us 18 crore like your own two sons and defend us from any form of wrong. I promise I will not lend a helping hand to anyone who flexes their extreme values on defaming your office or you if you promise to ensure that you will empower Pakistan’s soldiers to act under the constitution of this great land and execute fully the vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah!
As a boy scout I salute you and wish that you too earn a badge for building bridges like I did but only between the people and the politician which seems to be an impossible task. Your office is an office of peace and after going through your record released by the press I feel you will hold true to the values that your upbringing has instilled in you. We are your family and we support you for who you are. I for one pray for your happiness and good health but being a Muslim I am of the true belief that your actions will define what you are? I pray that Allah grants you the wisdom to listen and the courage to execute what you feel right objectively without any prejudice towards anyone who will be a victim to any form of politics and I hope that you succeed in implementing your vision of the modern army that was envisioned by your predecessor.
My prayers are with you always because your soldiers are the reason we still exist so this Jumma Prayer I will pray for you that the Baton you will receive is never too heavy for you to tuck under your arm.
Amyn A. Ghulamali
(Common Man & Citizen of Pakistan – Karachi)
Thursday, November 28, 2013
HARDEST ERECTION EVER
Ok now that the KG elections are on and everyone is begging for votes I asked my father what his views on this whole drama was and who he would vote for. Please note that I am quoting my father who is visually impaired and 76 years old so his membership number is in the first two thousand (he’s very senior) and has seen the club long before the menu card became commercial.
He told me that he would vote for anyone who would appreciate the value of the club where the members would be smiling and families were laughing in the halls. The good times he told me was when Bomi P. Khambata was president of the club. He said at that time promses made by the managing committee were kept and honored. Memberships and friendships were not for sale and the food in the kitchens actually tasted good. My dad went down memory lane and told me that even when Razak Bengali was standing for president (the year before Mr. Khambata) elections were fun… there was all the nonsense about who to support but it was healthy and “innocent fun”.
He was so upset because people he had not even heard from or met in the past 5 odd years were texting him and calling to have a cup of tea because they had “serious matters to discuss”. Oddly enough my father found it odd that with inflation on a the rise, security concerns of the city and our general lives being a bit certain due to the politics of the country how some people were more obsessed with getting a vote from someone they had never called to wish eid or on a birthday!
When you are my father’s age you have seen the good times and can see through rhetoric within a second. It does not matter if he is visually impaired what matters are the words one thinks about and then utters. My father is a kind man who is soft spoken but has achieved a lot in his life through honest hard work and what he told me next really made me think a lot.
He told me that the Gymkhana has been through its managing committee raising the fees regularly to complete the hotel and guest rooms that it has been building. He said that he would vote for the man who would guarantee its completion because he himself along with his bridge buddies are exhausted being fleeced for something they believe will never happen in their life time.
Karachi Gym Khanas hotel room project has to be the slowest and hardest erection process that has ever existed in the History of Pakistan and all these people find it extremely odd because it is the most well-funded project by the members. The thing is that they might never get to use or see it because it might be completed in 2050 at the rate at which it is going and they will all be dead.
Also dad told me that it is pointless to start other construction projects to throw off the focus from the main core issue at hand because all of us members pay for it and start a new mini set of problems. If you want my dad’s vote then please note that as a very senior member he knows who can and cannot live up to their promises. So please when you text him or call him be honest and answer him when he will get to see what he as a member has contributed to being completed!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I am the luckiest guy in the world! Why? Because no matter what you say I have seen so many governments come and go that I could write an Iliad on the follies of governments big and small long and temporary you name it my generation has seen it! Now elections are a time when the best talent pops up… Come on you do agree with me don’t you? Because those who thought that you were beneath them now make an extra effort to try to disqualify the “schmuck” value that they created for themselves by their own doings when they were in power!
Now when the begging bowls are out and the politicians are ready to give you their soul for a seat on the managing committee of their little Pakistan it is the best time to negotiate and see what dramatics one goes through. Permanent citizenships will be awarded to those who have temporary residences in the small communities and you will realize that behind all the drama and attention created through supposed philanthropy it’s just business at the end of the day.
If charity begins in the home then that should mean you need to stop paying heed to all the natak and drama about what people are posting on facebook and twitter. Social media is bascally a place where according to PTA guidelines one has the ability to freely post their opinions and comments and ask valid questions to gain knowledge and a person has the rights to freely follow or endorse another point of view. Can you imagine it’s like the time the world laughed at IK when he got a twitter account but then when he started asking questions people took notice of him and that too the educated lot with the leased 6 million dollar cars. In short its not a charity rather a langar for pirates!
Politics has and always will be dirty and the more you get closer to an election you need professional people that will be your social body guards like every politician has to defend you against ridiculous accusations that your dhobis friend’s aunty ran over the doodh wala in the community parking lot so you are a horrible person. Furthermore I find that those politicians who constantly flex their muscle that rests between their ears and their war cry is “law suit” or usually banning someone from this silly big boys club are those who usually are the type that are desperate to get a seat in any committee and will settle for one that has to do with flushing toilets because it will make them feel competent for areas where one might feel the male gender might lack!
In this Umar Shareef production of elections the drama rises to a point where sitting in the theatre becomes stiflingly impossible because the play usually has no plot that makes any sense but like all elections its only about who will get a bigger seat on the royal throne of life. Frankly at every intermission in an Umar Shareef show that I have been to (they are really fun and I am an angutha chaap) in the middle during the campaign dramatics stop and vicious humiliation of people with different perspectives begin. By the time the curtain call has come all one sees on the center stage is an aftermath of stupidity. Oh yes after each on of Umer Bhai’s show we have devoured very spicy Pakoras, Samosa’s and terribly over sweet doodh patti!
Anyways what to do, you know all of this and it’s related to the country but can you imagine that all this nonsense is also going on at that Karachi Gymkhana where the population consists of chaddi friends who are ready to tear each other apart for genuine questions asked on facebook? Who cares right now I am a temporary problem stuck in a permanent annual drama and I can’t wait until the curtain drops on election day and the dramatics stop. However, I will not order anything from the kitchen because the way its management has been done in the past year I am very scared to get baasi pakoras!
Monday, November 25, 2013
OOPS I DID IT AGAIN!
If one walks around the finance ministry these days I bet you the entire band of hooligans sitting in there are either the most uneducated fools that God ever created who think that they are the smartest bunch of overtly emotional teenagers listening to Britney Spears going because they just managed to flush down the hopes and dreams of another big percentage of Pakistan’s economy!
It is so hard to keep things going in this country between the Dharna’s, Saneha’s that I am quite surprised we did not add words like Kulsoom and Maryam to the list of clichés people are protesting against these days! How on earth can an entire government decide to drop the rate of fuel and the hike the value of the dollar by devaluing the rupee? Are we playing satta inside the FBR? Or has it been entered into the constitution that the people have no rights at all after all we voted for a government that was for the people or was it for ignoring the people?
How do you expect a man to survive and feed his family when one loaf of bread is going to cost him more than his ride to work? What ridiculous jargon have these people been feeding us as justification for some endless crusade to sell, lease or barter away our civil rights and national assets? How on earth are we to feed our children if we have to decide who to feed because one loaf of bread will feed only one child for a day when we have two? Unfortunately the lions do not understand that their pride is not the only predominant faction in this Serengeti called Pakistan.
We may be lawless we may be going towards self-destruction but why is it that no matter what mother prays for this country and who’s prayers are being answered the ruling cash obsessed fanatics will never realize that there are 18+ crore others out there who do not have range rovers and walk to work every day. As a nation we are very thick skinned and I know for a fact that no matter what becomes of today we will wake up to try to survive tomorrow but this endless pain and suffering at no cause of the nation at all seems to be some silent vengeance being waged upon the entire awaam.
When will the people stand up, will it be after their country is sold of piece by piece to the multinationals or will the people protest when they themselves find that they are back in irons and chains like before 1947? Is the government struggling to put us in so much debt that we have to sell our souls to recover from it? Each of these enlightened lot are not only playing ping pong with the lives of the masses but with the history and heritage of an entire country! I am sure crime will come down people will calm down and all will go well if these goons in Islamabad could manage the kitchen expenses of Pakistan!
It is disgusting that we have to live in financial fear and we are in constant stress because of the damn GDP… I have another 3 words to say in the place of what is known for these three alphabets but it’s no use unless we as a nation rise above the ashes and stop focusing on cricket and start focusing on government issues that affect our ability to feed our families…
Frankly speaking I hate feudalism because any form of peeri mureedi other than that to Allah I feel is forbidden. Also I feel the educated peers are the worst of the lot because they know how to work the system and manipulate it to their liking in which the rest of us suffer whilst they fill their pockets with booty in cash or kind. But there are the innocents and amongst them I feel strongly was a great visionary the Late Benazir Bhutto better known to her friends as “Pinky!” Now if I had to l write a letter to the Yakuza it would go something like this…
Dear Insanely corrupt world! Pinky is a terrible politician because she has faith in the people and I feel she will not do well in your war against corporate espionage but as a leader she is extremely strong and has the ability to say what she feels which is what you feel as well. She being a strong mother will step in and pay for those sins that we blame her lineage for and I must say that she will make an excellent team player but it will be too late before the world can understand her vision. Sadly however, no matter what she has achieved the world will only remember her for the mistakes of those around her! However I do recommend that before you pass your verdict and dismember the “pinky” it would not be harmful to give another try or at least her ideology!
I personally love the Samurai way of life and specially the Yakuza because they don’t bump you off like the Italian mob or our Karachi gangsters in suits. They ask you to dismember yourself with a “Tantō” which is a samurai dagger but you begin with the pinky finger which you remove when you make any error worth being punished for. However the Samurai Ideology is similar to what Benazir fought for because if one comes to think of it one needs to take the following perspective into consideration.
I will call her Aunty Pinky because I have my reasons which I will disclose later but I feel that she even rose out from above the shadow of her father’s image for the following reasons. She had been exiled and came back with a pure vision that was corrupted by the politicians not by herself. She was a mother so understood the value (not concept) of Roti Kapra aur Makaan she was a wife so she understood the need to hold the entire country together with a smile regarding foreign policies. She was educated so she understood the core Sindhi values and that were to protect the rights of rural women. Her greatest achievement was that she sacrificed motherhood to try to raise an entire nation of problem kids however the babysitters she entrusted had their own vested interests.
Every household has problems and so did hers but she was resilient that she left a mark on society and a benchmark for those who preceded her. If you want to see the love that people feel for “BB” then one needs to ask those she touched and I don’t mean in Clifton and Defence or Bahria Town. Go to those who had an open conversation with her and the ones she truly understood. The Yakuza (Pakistan) dismembered her brutally when they could not control her and no matter what the reason was for removing her from the political body the reality was she was alive then and she still is alive now.
Please do not think I support PPP or any political faction with three letters but I do support an honest intention and she had several of them. If the world could forget Dodi El Fayed & Aristotle Onasis but remember the grace and beauty of Diana and Jacqueline Kennedy then why won’t Pakistan have the courage to forgive Benazir Bhutto for what was not her fault?
I call her Aunty Pinky because I met her through an Aunt of mine when she first landed in Karachi upon return from exile. After that I was partying at the beach in Florida at Eckerd College in the late 90’s and Jamshed Marker was our lecturer so he invited her as the Prime Minister of Pakistan to give the graduation speech to the exiting class. I went along for the show being one of the few Pakistani’s to see what it was all about and was thoroughly impressed by the speech and I thought to myself what an amazing politician she was, I fell in love with her when all the Pakistani students were there that she asked me by my name how I had been keeping and If I still loved choc-bars!
In Pakistan politicians come and go within the blink of an eye but Pakistan had a visionary leader and I wonder if we will have to wait for another generation or two before we can support someone so worthy!
The other day I was jacked by two chaps in suits. Got my cellphone, laptop and cash stolen (mind you I was coming from the bank) They left my wallet and credentials but, this is the third time in the past year that this has happened to me and like you I too am one of the lucky ones not to have any bodily harm done to them. I tracked down the morons who robbed me and when I sat across them I realized they were worse off than me.
Both these chaps were Fresh MBA’s in finance and that too from a very good college in Karachi. They had a middle class background but were unable to find a job or for that matter ble to cope with the worldly issues presented before them after college & then a forced marriage. My realization from these chaps who robbed me was as follows that this goes for the entire nation that it is up in arms.
We have 365 days in the year yet if you remove 104 days due to the weekends and then Pakistans religious holidays which adds up to another 36 and then if you take out other gazette holidays which add up to 23 you are left with 202 working days. However, enter politicians, religious factions and any other person with a vested interest and you are left with 71 working days. Those are the actual working days of last year! Between the bomb blasts, Alamdar Road, Shahzeb Murder case, elections, drone protests and any other odd reason Pakistan shuts down faster than an eye can blink.
I am surprised we are not out on the streets as business owners because we have to yet play salaries and wages and overheads for 365 days of the year and yet face terrible internal challenges that are no fault of our own. When will the people realize that all this is really bad for business? When will we the common man get a chance to breathe without rushing to put out another fire created by some “ill fortune”. As of yet we are going through an identity crisis and the fact of the matter is that no matter what you say or what you do or GDP is down our security (personal) is flushed down the toilet we are getting more and more frustrated. And also it is predicted that a loaf of bread will soon be 300 rupees?
Migration is not the resolve and neither is genocide related to the politicians what would help is that if the newer younger lot came to office. People actually worked their way up through community service and were elected on the basis of adding value to the Pakistani life. Can this government focus on such macro matters without dissolving the entire hopes and dreams of this country one does not know but it is surely worth a try to take a radical step because more and more MBA’s will be out there looting and pillaging! Pretty soon we will be back in the stone ages!