The Pasha Dailies

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Then I can sleep

I dont expect to see everyone there, 

If my loved ones show up –

Then I can sleep.

I might not be able to change the world, 

If I changed a few things for the better-

Then I can sleep. 

Some may shed many a false tear, 

If a few friends laugh at my folly and yet miss me –

Then I can sleep. 

I needn’t have many victories, 

But if the few I have are won with dignity and honour intact –

Then I can sleep.

 
I may have been foolish and in my foolishness hurt you that day, 

If you forgive me –

Then I can sleep. 

Alas for when i sleepwalked through life!

If I have woken–

Then I can sleep.

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The art or the artist

Many questions have arisen of late regarding Robin Williams’ untimely death, his depression, financial worries, marital concerns and the inner turmoil faced by artists regardless of them being loved world over. Having also loved Robin Williams (like so many countless others), I considered him part of my childhood. Like that doll house, stored away somewhere at my mom’s place, which was part of so many happy childhood memories and that would, without a doubt, always be there. A shock when you realise that this beloved childhood is over and that the ones who bring you so much joy can themselves be so very sad.

As I have myself started recently working in television, I (in a very small minute way) get a glimpse of life inside the box. Because I think that is where we, the actors, directors, truly live. We live inside a box, inside people’s minds and sometimes even inside our own minds. Our existence is separate from us, it is what we “create”, what we perform that really defines us in the mind of so many.

Inevitably every time we do something new, we are riddled with a million questions: “Did I do it right?” “Could I have done it better?” “Did I make the right decision in doing this at all?” ” Is my work worthless?” And inevitably “Am I worthless?”

The last question arises because we are (by so many) defined by what we create and if what we created was not good enough, does that mean we, in turn, aren’t good enough?

It’s not easy seeing something that you have worked hard for being torn to shreds. It’s even harder when people attack your personal character without knowing a thing about you. Robin Williams faced this judgement posthumously, news reporters deeming him a “coward” for taking his own life, other media personnel calling what he did a “selfish act.” Yet these judgments and (may I say) slurs are impossible for people in the public eye to escape.

A lot of people said, he was depressed but if he had asked even one person in the western world what they thought of him they would have reassured him about how much he is loved. No doubt this is true. Maybe if he did realise how much he was loved he would not have felt so hopeless. Or maybe his depression and mental illness had become so extreme that it made him blind to the love people had for him and instead made him see a dreadful looming end. Maybe.

Or maybe behind the voices of the hundreds of strangers telling you they love you, are the questions and judgments that surround you. Questions that are repeated consistently by your peers, by the internet, by social media, blogs, all asking you the same thing “what will you do next?” “what was the worth of what you last did?” Inevitably, you too starts asking yourself the same questions.

An artist faces pressure to provide meaningful artistry. A genius faces pressure to keep his genius alive, to keep pushing the boundaries of what people expect, what they love. It’s no mean feat. It’s a task of ginormous proportions and you always face the risk of disappointing others.

One can wish that people weren’t so unkind. That they for a moment remembered that the people they see on television, in cinemas, in the theatre are in fact “people”. Riddled with the same worries, struggling to make something of themselves and their lives, and struggling to stay true to who they are in a world where demands for “what is or what used to be entertaining” change every day.

Yet, this wish would be a futile one. Love and hate flow fairly equally in this industry and the old clichéd adage is true “the show must go on.”

But sometimes the show leads to unexpected twists and can create a sort of tragic misstep where both the artist and the art cannot exist simultaneously. The art that gave birth to the artist is his unwinding. And eventually claims him.

Men of Honour – by Maria Pasha

Many a times I and others who like myself enjoy Austen and other novelists, surely must have had to defend our eternal love for ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

Today I’ll try to explain why our devotion is so perpetual.

Once upon a time, many years ago when I began reading P&P, I would find a little corner where I could enjoy this magical piece of literature undisturbed. Here, I would be drawn into a world where men wore tail coats and top hats, women wore exquisite gowns and where the meaning of words like ‘honour’ and ‘honesty‘ still held importance. Of course, the romance was subtle but perfect. Just the way I would want my story to turn out. My Mr. Darcy would propose and I would scornfully reject him. Then he would fall even deeper in love with me….oh the magic!

Sister: “Maria why are you smiling in this weird way?”

Oops, looks like the day dreaming got carried away. Think I need a cuppa.

So, the real question is:

Why do women like Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton?

I am quite sure everyone…even men…have a vague idea of Mr. Darcy. No introductions needed there.

Mr Darcy: The ’10,000 pounds a year’ owner of the great estate Pemberly in Derbyshire, England.

(not really..it’s a novel)

Maybe it is not so much about romance or the perfect proposal. In my opinion, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton signify the forgotten values and virtues which some of us still hold dear.

Because Mr. Darcy loves Lizzie so dearly, he puts himself in her shoes and sees himself clearly for the first time after she rejects his proposal. He then makes amends by doing whatever he can to show her that he doesn’t judge her for her family’s faults and that the only motive that drives him, is winning her love.

Colin-Firth-as-Mr-Darcy2

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” – Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)

For all those of you who have never heard of him; Mr. John Thornton is the leading male character in Elizabeth Gaskell’s late 19th century novel, North and South.

BBC produced a screen version of North and South in 2004 and Thornton is portrayed brilliantly by our very own Thorin Oakenshield from ‘The Hobbit’ (aka Richard Armitage aka Mr. Thornton – whom I first saw in 2004 so he’s off limits to all you girls!- even the married ones – especially you Neeta)

Girls love Mr. Thornton simply because he is a strong man with principles and some ‘perfect’ lines. (Thankyou Miss Gaskell).

Thornton is a supremely eligible factory owner at the advent of the industrial revolution in Victorian England who falls in love with Margaret (a well bred lady from southern England). He is rejected because she thinks he is a hard task master with no compassion for his employees. Over time, Margaret realizes that Thornton is a man who is brutally honest and someone who expects hard work because he works the hardest himself. She starts to respect him and falls in love with him. (For more details…read the book…unmissable)

JTcravat

“…I have never loved any woman before; my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absolved with other things. Now I love and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.” – Mr. Thornton (North and South)

 

Aaaaaaaaaargh…and now back to reality!

Nowadays, men can’t even talk to a woman properly let alone hold a door open for her. I heard of a man who made eternal promises of fidelity with a girlfriend of 5 years and then married the girl’s cousin without blinking an eyebrow. I sigh as I am reminded of Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion who is advised by his old friend that his friendliness has been mistaken for love by a girl and thus he is ‘honourably’ bound to marry her.

Another male friend of mine casually tells me he is engaged to his cousin only because (emphasis) ‘he has to marry someone’. While saying this…he has a horrible smirk on his face.

[Vomit break]

Where are the men who actually hold true to their promises? Where are the men who don’t start shaking in their boots or run to their mummies when they hear the word ‘engagement’ or ‘marriage’? Why do these jerks have this disgusting need to try out each and everything on the menu? Why do they have insatiable appetite for using women and playing with their emotions? And seriously….what is up with the endless beating about the bush? Please! We can see through it so stop with the ‘Hey what’s your number? Oh sorry…I was asking my friend” AAAAAAAAAAGH

Sister: “Men like Mr. Darcy and Thornton only exist in novels”

Me: “NOOOOOOO…it can’t be so final!”

But most probably it is true. We live in a different world now and being street smart and diplomatic is considered a far greater skill than being an honest straightforward person.

[This is so unfair]

While I leave for work disgruntled with this thought, a man holds the lift door for me so I can get in. I smile in spite of myself.

Maybe all isn’t lost…..yet! Read the rest of this entry »

The Pasha Dailies – What Maria has to say

In my view the Pasha Dailies is not a blog just limited to me and what I have to say. It’s about whatever anyone has to say. So when my sister, Maria, sent me this little piece of writing, something I really enjoyed – I thought I’d post it here and see how you all like it.

So enjoy guys! Comments are welcome. We love to hear what ‘You’ have to say too!

——————————————————————————————————

As I drum my fingers next to my forever loyal companion…a lovely cup of tea; I think what should I write about.

(takes a sip…nothing like a good ol’ cuppa)

Since blogging seems to be the newest trend and my older sister is well on her way to becoming the next J.K. Rowling, I decide I must take a shot at it too. Afterall this is the digital age.

And that’s when it hits me!

I shall write about the one thing which no one can stop writing about: Ze gadgets and ze internet

But with a twist. The same story with something new!

(Not like the special K cereals which boldly say “less calories and more taste like never before” and leave you astounded with the gorgeous looking red berries on the cover and you believe that this time IT WILL BE WORTH IT…ok getting carried away)

Nah..this is a short blog but not about generation ‘Y’ (bends forefingers knowingly) but about the wonderful people who claim that the world was oh so much more simple when there were no machines.

Yes, our mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, cha-chas and chachis..masaat and maasi (I think my sindhi needs a little check here)

While I am excitedly and breathlessly writing this away like a scientist who has discovered the cure to cancer, my aunt is contentedly watching HUM TV dramas on…..YouTube.

BOING.

Not so long ago I remember a ‘very brief’ conversation

Me: aunty, you should get a laptop…it’ll make life easier for you and plus you can video chat and watch movies and tv serials on it as well.’

Aunty: “what rubbish! I have a 40 inch tv so why would I squint and watch something on the laptop. Plus, I can make phonecalls through my mobile. And I won’t be able to understand how to use a computer”

Me: “But..”

Aunty: “NO!”

As you see, very brief.

A few months later, my aunt returns from the land of the free (which actually seems to have freed her mind) with her new toy, a Sony VAIO

Aunty: “Maria…my WIFI isn’t working on my laptop”

Me (after I get over the double heart-attack of seeing a laptop and hearing the word ‘wifi’…it was all too much) : “Umm..I think there is something wrong…”

Aunty: “DON’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY LOVELY LAPTOP”

So, while I scrape away at the laptop like a rejected orphan who has to accept that the new baby is more precious than “flesh and blood” , I think about this new change and smile inwardly (despite the supreme snub) because I realize that our parents love the power of machines.

Another fine day with a fine cuppa, I sit and chat with Amma (another very brief conversation).

Me (as I look at her nokia with the keys falling apart, I try to find the appropriate words to soothe the upcoming blow)  “amma, I think you should get a blackberry because your phone is now..well…a bit old fashioned…plus you get a lot of emails from your colleagues and it’ll keep you updated all the time”

Amma (takes a slow sip of her tea): “No”

END.

Unfailing…a few weeks later, my mom arrived with her blackberry (all black and shining) and she gave it a special compartment in her handbag next to her lipsticks and ofcourse we weren’t allowed to touch it because “you girls always finish off my credit”

But a double heart attack was close (I don’t know how I survive them)

My mother joined WhatsApp

Me: “WOW Amma! You’ve joined whatsapp! That’s so cool!!!

Amma: J (she uses the emoticon) and I stare at the screen

Me: “WOW Amma! You’re using emoticons now!!

Amma: “LOL”

I think I near fainted. This is all too much. I almost cry out joyfully “my baby is all grown up” but then I realize the irony.

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So as my cuppa finishes…I grin as I think:

ammas and babas, mamas and maamis, khalas and khalos and all the masaats and ohtis of this world

Admit it! You love the gadgets! But you know what…you guys are super cute

Amma: “Maria I think I will buy an iPad. This laptop is sooo heavy you know”

Me: “but but but…umm…ipad..do you know? Oh yes ofcourse you do..”

The messages

May 11, 2007

Hey babe! Don’t sprain your back while moving the fridge! I don’t want an old uncle to deal with when I’m still young!

Sept 30, 2008

Hey honey happy birthday! I love you so much! Can’t wait to spend every day and the rest of my life with you. Tomorrow 😉

June 5, 2010

The money is mine. The fame is yours.

He went through each and every message that she had left him over the years. It was all there, spread over the floor on small yellow post its. On the days when they were fighting it was just few words like ‘dinner at 8’. On the days when the sun was shining and there were in love like it was the first day they had met, she wrote something like ‘look hot and make me proud!’ and on regular days it was short and funny like ‘I looked into the mirror today and thought I had become my mother. Help!’

On some days he had forgotten to even read them. They just went there, up on the fridge. He would have a quick breakfast and go to work and forget to read what she had wrote. Her loopy, cheery handwriting would adorn the fridge and then he would come back home and smile when he read his message for the day.

But sometimes he even hated them. The constant reminder that she was there even on the days they weren’t speaking. Her handwriting would bug him, it was etched into his brain. The way her i was always slightly crooked. The way her w looked like a baby’s bum. He even ripped a few of them in anger once.

But now they were all here. On the floor. Years of messages. Reminders. Love notes. Intimate words. He just sat there and looked at his life. The life he had spent with her. It was all in those notes.

I am Bridget Jones by Zeenat Pasha

My sister writes amazingly but to my chagrin, keeps her blog private. As any rebellious but well-wishing younger sister would, I have found a way to combat this need for privacy as I feel some stories need to be read and enjoyed by all. Since I have not had the time to write a blog entry (sorry about that folks) I am going to post her latest entry here. You all will love it. Happy reading!

I am Bridget Jones
Posted on June 1, 2012 by Zeegirl
To many, this title may come as a surprise.

As a child, I used to be called ‘Mary Poppins’ by my cousins as I was ‘spit spotting’ my sisters to do everything that mum expected them to do. And to be honest, I am much more comfortable being Mary Poppins than Bridget Jones. I may not be ‘practically perfect in every way’ but I am quite prim and proper like Mary Poppins. You won’t catch me on a roller-coaster or attempting any hair raising activity. No way. I am much more comfortable with safe outings like picnics or walks in the countryside. Anything that the ladies in the Victorian times would be comfortable with, is what I am comfortable with.

Thus you can imagine my embarrassment and real pain when the so called Mary Poppins

finds herself converted into Bridget Jones – again and again.

There have been occasions that I do not wish to recall AT ALL and hope will be erased from existence completely if I choose not to think about them, but I believe some are definitely worth sharing so you can understand where I am coming from.

1 At University, doing a full time degree with a child was not easy. Mornings were mad, with flying aeroplanes carrying bites of food to the mouth and thereafter getting the child in question, ready for nursery. When it came to getting dressed myself, ten minutes or less was all that I had, to get ready, and be on the move. Makeup was usually applied enroute.

There were mornings when I literally did not get a chance to look at myself in the mirror- this being one of those mornings. At Uni, before the class started, I met one of my lecturers in the corridor. This particular teacher was someone quite popular with the students – it helped that he was also easy on the eyes. After a friendly chat, during which he praised my recent assignment, we said our goodbyes and I thought happily what a good start to my day that was, especially after the mad rush earlier. I suddenly had this strong feeling that I should look in the mirror – this inner voice telling me to go to the nearest ladies toilet. I got there and examined my face. All OK. Then my eyes travelled downwards and froze! I was wearing a turtle neck shirt back to front!! So the stitching that should have been hidden underneath my hair, was a straight line at the center of my neck! I wished the ground would crack open and hide me somewhere. The thought of bugs bunny hiding in his snug rabbit hole was suddenly very appealing. However no such luck. I now live with the hope that the lecturer didn’t notice!

2. First week at a new job. I read in a fashion magazine that a white collared shirt was the ‘must have’ fashion accessory for every working woman. Not to be left behind when it came to fashion, I was attired in my new white shirt when I dropped some ketchup on the front of the shirt whilst eating my subway sandwich. A very panicky me spent the rest of her lunch hour in the toilet, cleaning out the stain. Finally I got it off – there was a slight damp patch on the front so I grabbed a piece of the hand wiping tissue, to pat it dry. What resulted was a new blue stain. I stared in horror. Yes my friends , the tissue was blue and so was the front of my shirt! Note to self , maybe white shirts aren’t really your thing – do not follow fashion blindly.

3. Another day, walking to the office, I thought, hmmm, made it in good time. I should walk more often. Nothing like a nice morning walk on a summer’s day and my shoes didn’t hurt one bit either. I looked down happily at my feet and stopped. I was dressed in my office attire – a suit jacket and trousers AND trainers! A frantic phone call to my sister and groggy promises later ( as she was asleep), I had the courage to walk the rest of the way to the office, equipped with the knowledge that I would get my ‘proper shoes’ by lunch hour . I planted myself in my office and prayed silently that I did not get any new clients that morning. This event reinforced my belief in the power of prayer.

4. Another morning, whilst running late to work, I decided against walking and perched myself at the nearest bus stop. With my eyes glued to the road, I prayed for a bus to come along soon so that I did not have to endure the embarrassment of being late.

I was dressed in a suit with my briefcase in hand – I looked every inch the professional woman who meant business. Sure enough, the bus appeared on the horizon, slowly creeping up to me. As is customary at that time in the morning. it was fully loaded with college students and others like me, hoping to make it into work before 9 am. I attempted to step onto the bus with the exact bus fare so that I did not waste any time… and the next thing I remember is finding myself on the floor – brief case and all. Yes folks, I lost my footing. All eyes were on me, as I pulled myself together whilst the bus driver asked me if I had hurt myself. I replied, ‘only my pride’ and heard a few giggles in the background, I made my way to the nearest seat, carefully avoiding all eyes. As far as I am concerned, I have never come face-to-face with the eye witnesses of this episode – a very comforting thought I tell you. Ignorance is bliss on occasions such as these.

5. The final incident that I am willing to expose, features me sitting in a hair salon getting my hair done before a party. The stylist asked if I wanted to have waves put in and I thought, why not. It would make a change. Then the stylist set about the task at hand and after completion, showed me the mirror so that I could appreciate her hard work. Yes I had waves and they didn’t look half bad. I thought with a smile. I paid and stepped out, happy with the new me. Suddenly it started raining but I had an umbrella which was whipped out and used. But mother nature did not like the new me – thus with strong winds and uncontrollable rain, she fought hard until my umbrella raised its arms in mercy towards the sky. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the umbrella to put its arms down and provide me with the shelter I craved. I reached home, the salon experience and look, a distant memory!

Bridget Jones or Mary Poppins, I am comfortable with both sides of my personality. Eventually I get over my latest embarrassment and live to tell the tale

Hope you all enjoyed laughing at my expense . Have a good day xx

Of motorcycle rides and paan peeks

Hanaan was always a man. Even when he was 5 years old. In fact, it was from that age that he was expected to be a man and everyone treated him like he already was one.

His earliest memory was riding on a motorcycle. He leaned over with his small hands on the handle bars. His cousin from his mother’s side was sitting behind him and was actually the one driving but Hanaan, young as he was, thought it was him. He felt a surge of power and awe and the world seemed open to him like a woman on her wedding night. Waiting to be explored. Blurry lights whizzed past him like shooting stars.

For most people, the most important years of their life come after childhood. The year they hit puberty, fall in love, graduate from college or get their first pay cheque. The most important year of Hannan’s life was the year he turned 9 years old, the year that Hanaan committed his first robbery in the city of Karachi.

He and his cousin Sherjaan were riding their motorcycle as usual on a hot Jum-e-raat evening. Sherjaan had gutka in his mouth and every so often when they stopped at a traffic signal, Sherjaan would mark their journey by spitting on the road and leaving behind a red streak much like hansel and grettel’s breadcrumbs in the forest. Meanwhile, Hannan’s hair danced in the wind and he was happy.

They stopped the motorcycle at an alley and Hannan got off. He knew exactly what to do and the night seemed to buzz with excitement. It was his first time. He took off his chappals and walked over to the main road. Saddar is usually a very busy place by day but at night, it tends to slow down. A few cars passed – families returning after a day of enjoyment it seemed. Going out to dinners, visiting friends, they had no troubles. He went up to their car window and begged. Told them a sad tale about his mom being a widow, him having to drop out of school so that he could earn and support the family. He even gave them the name of a school and his class. He saw the scepticism on their faces but they nonetheless gave him a few coins. Enough to ease their guilt for being rich, fat and stupid but too little to get him a decent meal.

Then she came. She was alone in the car, she was driving. Hanaan’s father and grandfather had only ever driven rickshaws but she – she had a car. He went up to her window, Sherjaan was watching from the alley. He begged her and she rolled down the window. She had long, brown curly hair and big almond eyes. She gave him Rs.50, more than the usual charity given to a beggar.

Sherjaan drove right up to her window and showed her his gun. Fear immediately convuluted her features and she stared at Hannan and then at Sherjaan. At first, Sherjaan thought he would just take her mobile but then he thought, why leave the car? She was alone and friendless, he had just struck gold. And why stop there? He was never going to get such a girl – rich and beautiful. Why not take her too?

Sherjaan gave Hanaan quick instructions: Take the gun, get into the car and make her drive to the highway. He would follow on his motorcycle. Hanaan took the gun excitedly. It’s heavy weight in his hands made him feel suddenly very important. This was his mission. He got into the car and made her drive. She spoke to him, pleading. Telling him he was too young to have this on his conscience. That she was married and had a small child waiting for her at home. He felt bad for her but didn’t answer. At one point when she started crying, he almost wanted to play the hero rather than the villain. He wanted to get out of the car and tell her to drive as fast as she could back to her house. But he didn’t because he knew that nice guys finish last.

They drove towards the highway. She was scared. Sherjaan was close behind with his eye always on the car. They stopped and so did he. She realised what her was awaiting her.

They stopped at a traffic signal. With one final look at Hanaan, the girl jumped out of the car and started running. Hanaan got out and started running behind her. Shoot! Shoot! screamed Sherjaan.

He did.

More red streaks on the road.

An unsavory wedding

Mrs. Illahi sat on one of the uncomfortable steels chairs covered with a silk white cloth, taking her piece of naan clockwise and anti-clockwise on the white china plate with her long slender fingers. Red nail polish, golden heels. Chomp, chomp, chomp went she. Suddenly, she was joined by Mrs. Cheema, a dear old friend in a blue and pink sari. Curly hair, matching pink hair clip. 

“Rizwana! How are you?” said Mrs. Cheema approaching her. Mrs. Illahi quickly swallowed her bite of salan and hugged Mrs. Cheema, making sure her oil-laden fingers don’t touch Mrs. Cheema’s clothes. 

“Please please sit!” said Mrs. Cheema, taking a seat alongside her dear old friend.

“How is Sultan bhai? And the children?”, asked Mrs. Illahi, as she took a sip of Pepsi.

“Oh MashaAllah doing so well! Ahmed just got into Lums! He is such a smart boy. And my daughter Ameena is getting married by the end of the year!”, said Mrs. Cheema hurriedly and excitedly. 

Mrs. Illahi face suddenly lost some of its color.

“Oh really?” said she,”how nice. But you know my son, Gulraiz, is doing very well also. He just topped his class at Baqai Medicial. I think he will be a fine doctor one day.” said Mrs. Illahi, quickly recovering herself.

“Oh yes, Gulraiz is a nice boy. Very sad he never got into Aga Khan though.” said Mrs. Cheema carefully studying her friend’s face.

Mrs. Illahi took another sip of her Pepsi.

“So Ameena is getting married is she? How nice.” said Mrs. Illahi.

“Yes, she will get married and go to Canada. I will miss her so much. But this the way it should be you know. Mothers have to let go. And daughters have to go to their own home one day.” Mrs. Cheema sighed a deep soulful sigh. With teary eyes, she fixed the pallu of her sari.

“Hmmmm. But wasn’t Sultan bhai against the wedding?” asked Mrs. Illahi, with an accomplished smile.

“Oh. Woh….no no. I mean, he thought the children were too young. But I convinced him in the end.” Mrs. Cheema smiled uncomfortably.

“Yes, yes. My husband told me he thought the boy wasn’t earning enough to support a family,” said Mrs. Illahi, with a twinkle in her eye.

“Oh Sultan is always so particular you know. Nothing pleases him!” Mrs. Cheema with a cackle. “Okay Mrs. Illahi, I think Sultan is calling me! So nice to see you again!” 

Mrs. Cheema scurried away. Mrs. Illahi, with a lot of effort on her part, got up from her seat and went to get some gajar ka halwa dessert. 

What is a woman?

It’s International Women’s Day today and I have so far been thus wished by three men and two women. And each time they did so I wondered, what is a woman?

I work in a place where stories of women from every strata of society are told everyday. Yet I still wonder, do women even know who they are or is it something they spend all their lives pondering?

Are we the offspring of our fathers, the property of our husbands and the caretakers of our children? Are we the downtrodden and oppressed group of society forever fighting for equality and rights? Are we the flag-bearers of a free and fair tomorrow? Who are we? What is it that we want for ourselves?

I realise with fear and awe the responsibility of so much falls on the shoulders of a woman. We are capable of and show both immense strength and weakness. We are vulnerable yet we are strong.

Amidst all the diverse roles we have to play, my wish for every woman today is this: think of what you want for yourself today; not your husband, parent, child, boyfriend. You. Just yourself. What do you want? Now go out and get it.

The Saa-s and the Aah-s

Okay so who doesn’t like music right?

Alright let me rephrase, aside from Islamic fundos who dislike everything and everyone (even themselves), who doesn’t like music right?

Music is what shakespeare called “food for the soul”. About music Leonard Bernstein, American composer, said “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

What better stage than Pakistan to make music; in between sounds of gunfire, wailing sirens of ambulances, and high-pitched shouts from the television screen (my mother listens to talk shows with the volume waaaaay high).

Which is of course what I thought when I first starting learning how to play the harmonium and add ‘Trained in Eastern Classical Music’ to my rather long list of accomplishments (yes yes, I am very impressive I know). Little did I know that I would now be waging my own battle on the keys of said instrument and often will stare, mouth-gaping and spit-drooling, to my Ustaad (teacher) as he hits a particular note in a way that leaves me utterly dumb stricken only to follow it by asking me to do the same. Uhhhh……..

Also, any initial warnings of a ‘lifestyle change’ were not emphasized enough. I was not told that my throat would become particularly sensitive to anything cold or spicy (that omits two things we Pakistanis enjoy most – Cold Coca Cola/Lassi and spicy Nihari for God’s sake!)

But to be honest, the whole journey of learning classical music started when I sang a song for a short film last year. The team was trying to keep the song under wraps (to be released with a bang at some later date) but of course, if you’re not going to put it out there, piracy will beat you to it! At least, whoever it is, gave me credit.

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4LM87Z7ReQ