Friday, 28 December 2012

From the movie 'Up in the Air'

How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you're carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel 'em? Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things. The things on shelves and in drawers, the knick-knacks, the collectibles. Feel the weight as that adds up. Then you start adding larger stuff, clothes, table-top appliances, lamps, linens, your TV.

The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. And you go bigger. Your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it's a studio apartment or a two bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk. It's kind of hard, isn't it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can't even move. And make no mistake, moving is living.
Now, I'm gonna set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can't remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn. In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It's kind of exhilarating, isn't it?

Now, this is gonna be a little difficult, so stay with me. You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office, and then you move into the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend.
You get them into that backpack. And don't worry. I'm not gonna ask you to light it on fire. Feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake - your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders?

All those negotiations and arguments, and secrets and compromises. You don't need to carry all that weight. Why don't you set that bag down? Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime - star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals. The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We're sharks.

Shaikh Ayaz: So Sang The Minstrel Beejal

O my nation of fools
Why do you think?
Of every gravestone as a milestone?

Mubarak Ali Shaikh, popularly known by his pen name Shaikh Ayaz was born on 2nd March 1923 in Shikarpur city. Lawyer by profession, he was a writer by heart. He has written more than 75 books out of which 50 are published. Those included poetry, prose and his autobiography. He composed poetry based on the concepts of humanity, love, revolution, death and patriotism. Partition of Sub-continent left a scar on his personality. He did not believe in division on the basis of religion instead he supported the idea of compassion and equality. During dictatorial regimes of Ayub and Zia he wrote under the influence of leftist thinking which offended dictatorship rule. They banned his books and sent him to jail thrice labeling him as a traitor. After the dictatorship rule he served as the vice chancellor of Sindh University. Later in his life during 90’s his poetry and prose took a realistic and spiritual approach. 

Ayaz went through intense personal sorrows and isolation which ultimately helped him to learn what would be the utopia for Sindhi/Pakistani society.  His isolation also bought him time to ponder on the combination of his idealistic nature with practicality. Results were seen in his work that produced national sentiment and national-self perception.

The poetry that I have selected to analyze in terms of it having a relation with nationalism is selected from his book “Kee Jo Beejal Boliyo” which was published in 1973. However he wrote this poem in 1971 during his confinement.
A great offender,
Ever since genesis
Seized and chained,
Hunted out and killed.
Condemned to drink hemlock,
Hanged from gibbet,
Roasted alive in cauldron of boiling oil,
Crushed in oil expeller,
Thrown down from mountain top
Despite all he persists in his luckless custom.

These lines describe how truth through the creation of mankind has remained suppressed. It has been brutally murdered whenever anyone has tried to voice it and we have several examples in history like Socrates, Mansoor al Hilaj, Makhdoom Bilawal and Tegh Bahadur. But the bequest of truth continues nonetheless because truth is the force which helps bind the suffering people as one nation. Truth sustains despite of all the dilemmas because without it endurance crumbles.

Any heart that he breaks into
Is always in turmoil;
Today he’s thy guest;
Have thee ever paused to ponder
Whom thou hast befriended,
The great offender,

Here the poet says that truth is a disease which will always keep you on your toes. He is saying that he has accepted the truth which instead of pleasing has always affronted people.
For any nation to emerge it is important that their realities and facts are acknowledged. Pakistan was only created when Muslims were able to make British and Hindus realize the truth of their national identity. Ayaz similarly is fighting for the identity of Sindh. He is talking about the acceptance of national individuality of being a Sindhi and not suppressing their rights.  He is labeled as a traitor when he talks about the rights of Sindhis. 

I’m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
The blue lotus in this murky moss of reeds
Is too a sinner,
So is the red-legged partridge
That flies in the dark,
It isn’t a sin that I’ve
Kneaded man’s clay again;

In these verses he is talking about if something beautiful dares to grow in an ugly surrounding or if anyone tries to be free is the gloomiest times they in society are accused of committing a crime. The poet has committed a sin of reshaping the mind frame of people. It is a crime for someone to go against the norms of the society and to bring a better change, in eyes of the authority. The leaders of the nation have to go through this hatred in order to bring a change.
I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
It isn’t a sin that I’ve
Built a temple to the heart,
Thou has raised the wall of hate,
I have uprooted its foundation,
I’ve sung the song of love;
I’ve redirected the reins of motherland.

Instead of spreading hatred Ayaz accepts the sin of distributing the message of humanity amongst the nation. He is saying to the enemies of the nation by which he means the dictators and the people who caused partition have tried their best to evoke revulsion and hierarchy in the hearts of the people. He as poet through his songs and poems is readdressing the nation the message of love and revolution. He wants to bring the nation under the banner of humanity.

I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
The red beard of Mullah,
This black tuft of Pandav,
To me,
One is no different from other,
Both are the fire of burnt out ember,
Religion is their ware
To replenish their fare;

Ayaz in these lines is basically telling us about the two-nation theory which separates the people of Sub-Continent on basis of religion. He says that the stereotype religious clerics are similar because they keep saying repeated lines what they hardly understand. These agendas only benefit handful people.

Nations are not created for the benefit of few they are the mutual thoughts and benefits of many. Instead of bringing religion as on obstacle and exploiting it should be cherished and respected.

I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
When humans scorched by hot winds
Come out on the streets,
When workmen, smutted by suffering,
Come out of factories,
I strike my string,
N’ heart become carefree;

The protests by troubled people of a nation have always been neglected by the authority and have faced hardships. People who have supported the unfortunate are dubbed as conspirators. Ayaz says that when his songs reach the hearts of the troubled nation, they can relate to him because their miseries are being addressed.

I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
I blew the trumpet of liberty
N’ removed the shackles of slavery,
Were these mere songs or magic
The age-old chains are broken,
All are picking my tears as pearls
From my shirt-front.

Our nation is still trapped in the web of feudalism. Millions still serve as slaves to people who hold power. They are miserable and helpless. Ayaz says that his songs have worked as magic for those who are in dire need. He accepts his crime of being the voice of the helpless. He further says his sorrowful songs are admired as something valuable.

I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
I’ve come up with a unique gift,
String is locked in combat with swords,
When I collide my songs with thy ramparts,
Thy strong towers shake n’ shiver,
Thou art no stronger with thy weaponry;

His poetry is an exclusive contribution which is better and powerful than any other weapon because his message spreads stronger throughout the nation rather than of the hateful message spread by the weapons.  Although every nation requires fighting for their rights to be built but that does not mean it has to be through weapons. Words are most powerful weapon which strikes directly heart and changes the thinking of the nation. Thought of a nation cannot be destroyed by weapons.

I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.
Thou’ll hang me by gallows?
No way,
I’ll never die by thy hand,
I’m the spring of that life,
Which’ll resound even after I’m gone;
I’ll become another minstrel,
N’ taking a mandolin,
I’ll come back, I’ll come back;
Are first denounced as sinners, hence
I’ m a sinner, I’ m a sinner,
I’ve sinned many a time.

Death is not the ultimatum for the poet. Ayaz says physical presence is a mere luxury his thoughts of a united and equal nation cannot be silenced by keeping him in jail or killing him. His songs survive in the hearts of millions who can relate with his work. Ayaz’s poetry could not be interpreted during the time it was written, but as four decades have passed today people of the nation are able to relate better to it as he predicted. 

Ayaz at the time of one unit never accepted Sindh to be a former province. He charged through his writing alone on the authority to preserve the nationhood of Sindh.  In his this poem we can clearly see his struggle to bring the change within the nation. He accepts the negative aspects of the society but is not ready to give up. To build identity of a nation it is necessary for the people not to give up their idea of individualism which makes them a community because if they fail their identity will never be completed and they will never come up as a nation. Ayaz in his poetry is urging the nation not to quit or stop believing in their identity. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012


So finally today is the big day. End of Mayan or God knows Aztec Calender. I am pretty sure many old bones would be rolling in their graves laughing their skulls and hip-bones off by scaring so many morons.

Bucket List

There are so many things one wants to do before they die.. Hell I want to do a million things. Sharing few of them.

  • Perform Hajj
  • Attend a Coldplay's concert.Afterwards meet the band.
  • Have a cup of tea and croissant in a Parisian cafe while looking at the Eiffel tower.
  • Watch an aurora 
  • Cross the Atlantic Ocean through a cruise.
  • Do Paragliding
  • Meet J.K.Rowling
  • Travel entire Europe in a midnight blue convertible BMW. 
  • Write a novel
  • Sing a song in front of a crowd.
  • Watch milky way through naked eyes
  • Stay in Mawsynram( a tiny village in India, world's wettest place) for at least a week
  • Do bungee jumping
  • Get a PhD
  • Work for Google
  • Pat a cub
  • Visit a chocolate factory
  • Learn to speak Persian and Spanish
  • Learn to dance salsa
  • Learn to play a musical instrument. Make that two.
  • Own a library
  • Visit Central Public Library, Vancouver, Canada 
  • Watch Van Gogh's Starry Night painting
  • Go clubbing in Las Vegas
  • Bake a 3 tier chocolate and vanilla cake 
  • Own a typewriter
  • Ride a hot air balloon
  • Visit Blue Mosque in Istanbul 
  • Visit Universal Studios Orlando (Harry Potter section specially)
  • Learn how to open a lock.. without it's key
  • Live in a caravan for a week
  • Watch new year fireworks in Sydney, Australia.
  • Visit Tuscan Valley, Italy and have their hearty cheesy pastas and tiramisu.
  • Visit Central Park, New York.
  • Own a blue sapphire ring 
  • Have a electric blue colored streak in my hair
  • Go scuba diving 
  • Drive on New Zealand's highway
  • Catch a fish
  • Invent a mocktail and name it 'Joyo'
  • Watch a fully bloomed Sakura in Japan
  • Spend an autumn in South Korea
  • Celebrate a very traditional Halloween and Christmas
  • Teach university students
  • Visit Ben n Jerry's ice cream flavors graveyard
  • Learn to cook at least 10 different types of cuisine
  • Go to a haunted house
  • Own an old English Sheepdog
  • Decorate my room with fairy lights
  • Own a charm bracelet with my personalized charms on it
  • Make snow angel
  • Have a perfect British accent 
  • Light a paper lantern 
  • Own an Audi (convertible highly preferred) 
  • Save a life.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

It's complicated.

I have been now using Twitter for more than a year now and I have been active on it on and off. But I really don't know why I can stay loyal to it for much long? Is Facebook taking away all the much needed tweeting hours... who knows...sigh.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Hookah Bar

It's just one of those days when I want to be at a club, my hair loose and me dancing to the state of oblivion. The song I am listening to is so addictive it makes me think my life literally in technicolor at the moment. 

Sometimes its just good to loose oneself completely. Loving the feeling of being high.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Random midnight thought

The greatest weakness of mankind for me is to be attached with something or someone. The ones who have the gift to remain detached are the most successful ones because they are not tied down by unnecessary emotions and burdens. So let’s rise above the all attachments and set our souls a little free because frankly all the burden I have on my little rounded shoulders is killing me.