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Traveling enthusiast. Tea Addict. Electronic Music Junkie. Zippo collector. Judges people if they dislike LOTR. Love Acronyms

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Timeless Catastrophe

A magnificent thing about time i reckon
A hope inspiring spirit rejuvenates to cherish
The leaps and bounds that were sqaundered
New memories and promises redeem lost devotion

...And so i wonder
What happens next, where i go
So much to see, so long to go

Then just when you feel you deserve some more,
Spurs of joy and evenings of bliss,
And this momentary illusion enriches temptation
Temptation becomes lust and you are twisted

And so i wonder
What happens next, where i go
So much to see, so long to go

So you take a moment and step back
Out in dark you fall again wishing for redemption
But this magnificent thing about time...
New memories and promises redeem lost devotion

And so i wondered
What happens next, where i'd go
Not much to see, not long to go

Thursday, May 9, 2013

We Don't Need A Kryptonite

It’s a magnificent world, convergence is the key and humanity is at stake. It’s a magnificent world, realism is the key and idealism is at stake. It’s a system at a downfall but there are signs for men of knowledge. Like an episode of delirium, our consciousness is being deliberated to seek avenues of ignorance and sarcasm. What have we become? Where are we heading? When will it end…?

That… I would have prolonged for the next two pages like a hypocrite, but then I said to myself, “Dude…I don’t truly give a shit”. Anyhow, this is who we are. Another bomb blast- same old psycho maniacs on the streets raping the hell out of Pakistan. That’s really old school now. My ears want something really refreshing; let us see what we’ve been through in these past five years. Bomb blasts - check, target killings – check, homicides – check, suicides – check, plane crashes (that really got the hype in 2010) – check, drone attacks – check, tax inflation – check, tax hyperinflation – check, Pakistani cricketers accused of allegations – check.  Mobile snatching, strikes, mugging, embezzlement and the rest are accounted in miscellaneous crimes and were part and parcel of the ruling Government.

I analyzed and regrouped my thoughts over constant hijacking of the brand name “Pakistan” and how it’s been negatively publicized all over the globe. When you are living in Pakistan you assume that your country is not well acknowledged in the west, but in reality your assumption only equals to a bucket of water poured from a sinking ship. It is much more of a taboo word than you thought. Remember how all the mafia and terrorist movies that were made in the early 70’s and 80 focused on Russians as villains. Now it’s all about the Arabs, Iranians or Pakistanis, that you may have also witnessed in recent top rated flicks such as The Kingdom, Green Zone, Zero Dark Thirty and Iron Man 3 to name a few.

Irrespective of all this drama and commotion, you must’ve said to yourself that you hate this country or your parents forcing you to move out of this mess. No matter how hard you try, your heart still beats during the last over when Shahid Afridi turns the losing cricket match into an exhilarating win. Your heart pumps hard when Aisam ul Haq makes a breathtaking speech even after losing the final at US Open. Believe it or not, adrenaline rushes in. We can’t escape it, but the truth is there’s a little bit of Pakistan in all of us.

Living 7,000 miles away from Pakistan, I feel I have become much closer, not only to my family but the everyday nonsense that runs on Pakistani news channels. Politics was something I took least interest in just like most of us. Never cared for elections, never voted, never campaigned for anyone because as a rule of thumb, all politicians are corrupt and I am too cool for all this lower class bullshit.  But it happened, it grew on me. It was not merely a series of dramatic performances played by politicians, it was everyday life and its significance can be witnessed as we march closer to elections 2013.

Imran Khan, PTI, Naya Pakistan, fad or revolution? It amazes me how one man’s constant struggle has caused millions of people to take interest in the least interesting, politics. Just imagine, out of the 180 million people, if only a 100 of us had done something remotely close to what he did, where exactly would we be standing as a nation? Nevertheless I can sense the winds of change. I sense an electrifying atmosphere especially amongst the youth who are persistent for change. For the first time, people feel responsible towards voting, most importantly towards their right as humans. What is interesting about Imran Khan and the likes is that they have moderated the difference between idealism and realism. A ray of hope which we have actualized, that is leading towards a revolution. It does not amaze me that people of such high talent and caliber such as CEOs, musicians, actors and authors are a part of his party.

I am sure, like me, you are also amazed to see the videos, songs and even full length movies being made on Imran Khan by the awe inspiring talent of Pakistan. Where in the world people campaign in such versatility? However, one must also give credit to social media that has united people from all backgrounds towards a common purpose. The rise of social media has not only acted as an awakening tool rather it has aided in recognizing the true talent of Pakistani people; be it videos going viral or sarcastic memes, this is just the beginning. It indeed is all very magical and we are about to witness an important historic event; not PTI winning elections, but in actual, self-empowerment. You must have heard several versions of “there are two kinds of people on this earth”, well; I will give you my own. There are two kinds of people, men and women and we don’t need a Kryptonite.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Pronounce you Man and Maggie!

I am fond of food and I believe I’m here on this planet to do two things; eat food and serve food. I developed this significant urge to cook superior and tasteful food and so I began experimenting with the only resource easily available; Maggie Noodles. With Maggie Noodles nobody will understand the bond I had built during my early teen years and when I saw others making Maggie “the two minute way,” I felt poor Maggie were being mortified and humiliated. You always need an art to specialize in and that leads towards perfection. To be honest for some time in my early life, I categorized people in three ways; 1- those who cook Maggie the way they are supposed to, 2- those who spend huge amount of time experimenting on its taste by adding random shit and to their surprise, its tastes even awful than the original, soon they give up and 3- who eat Maggie, but while eating they always question Maggie Noodle makers, this could’ve tasted better. I personally like people who question because they are the ones who initiate a change and instigate a conspiracy in the kitchen. I questioned. Now I can mould Maggie into whatever I want it to become.

My love for cooking Maggie Noodles went so far, that I nearly asked the guys on the ground floors who were renting a small shop in order to sell my own Maggie Noodles. Soon I started dreaming of my own Maggie place with seven different flavors. After my O levels when I asked my mom about majoring in Culinary Arts and Cooking, this is what she replied, “Haye! Mein kia bolongi logon ko, mera beta bawarchi hai”. Dreams shattered, felt lonely and life had ended. Melancholy prevailed. Well that was the last night I ever dreamt of my own Maggie place.
The idea of writing this piece is not to boast on my “Maggie Making Skills”, it’s more about the urge to quench your thirst. We are surrounded with great examples, people who made it to the newspapers. It doesn’t happen too fast from being infamous to someone legendary, making history involves a lot of struggle and determination.

Throughout these years, I have always been inspired and motivated by almost everything that comes across being successful or famous. I can imagine those school days, wanting to become a Geologist, Detective, Forensic scientist, RJ, VJ, Chef, Doctor, and Painter, constantly changing my plans in pursuit of a better and a more successful life. However, in a bizarre twist of events I could never accomplish any of the mentioned above.

I screwed my O’s, and I can’t forget the look on my mother’s face as she brought home the result sheet while I was sleeping in the middle of the day. My parents worked really hard to present us with a healthy living and during those years of school we were going through a really tough time in terms of resources. My dad had started his own business, left his job and things were very difficult but they never ever let that sacrifice come between our educations. I could feel the pain in her eyes and the highly disappointed look on my father’s face. All he said was, “we are trying our best to provide you with whatever we can, the rest is in your hand”. Right there, climax, I needed that to be what I am today. That day changed my life and I gained my lost focus which was wasted over some stupid girl who didn’t even take seconds to dump me. Teen years, I tell you!

Jan' 2009

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bliss Will Come

A soldier’s bloom
Mighty weather so cruel
An episode of survival,
An event long refute
With a rise of the sun
A new day will come

A mirage of a wounded warrior
Like hurt chest of a companion
Far across the seventh sea
A journey too far from home
With a rise of the sun
Bliss will come 

Ali Kanchwala -September 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Karachi: The city that burnt

28th December, the city of lights lost its heritage as the oldest and the most revenue generating business hub costing billions of Rupees and priceless family traditions caught ablaze by those who are knowingly unknown. Such occult practices burnt clusters of business communities to ashes. People lost assets worth millions and there is no justification for the quantifiable loss they have to suffer.

Regardless of the material loss, people had invested their entire life building those shops and generations passed carrying out their businesses and making key relations with suppliers and customers. Who would have thought that there will be no chai-wala to offer them morning tea and customers falling in as they sip the ever refreshing dhoodpati. All is lost in dark with no hope to guide them to light.

On this date what we see is a crumbling Pakistan and the situation worsening, weakening and diminishing our hopes of a glorious Pakistan. I may call myself and thousand others like me conspiracy theorists that would put this blame on any of the three entities; the Pakistani Government itself, Taliban or America for that reason.

For those who pick our dynamic Government would certainly believe it to be a strategy to revamp Karachi by demolishing structures that stood for over 100 years built during the British Raj in order to build sky scrapers and a new Lego- world of concrete. Another school of thought would claim this to be a well sought out plan by the opposition parties to destabilize the current government.

For those who believe in what is told to them would certainly consider this an act of ridicule by our poor overrated world enemies, Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It amuses me how the words “Taliban” and “Al-Qaeda” are officially entered in Microsoft Word’s dictionary. Anyhow, for those who are always anti America would go on to say that this is all done by the invisible hands that virtually run and dictate our country. And some who really think a lot would even go beyond by saying that India and America ventured a covert operation to destroy and eventually invade Pakistan to get control over China.

Whatever the case may be, it is evident that Pakistanis are consistently going to struggle and suffer unanimously while we all wait for a Superman to rescue us. The problem lies in everyone one of us. We are the solution. We all want the mess to be cleaned up without getting our hands dirty.

Our parents don’t want us to join politics, we don’t choose to join army nor do we engage ourselves in any socially/ politically motivated events like rallies and protests. On the contrary, we break signals, we bribe the policemen and say “they are corrupt” and we don’t question authority. If we don’t obey the basic laws, we don’t really have a right to ask questions. The best example I could give you is of France. Now the French Government is the kind of Government that one could only dream of. They take responsibility for everything; from Healthcare to Education, they would even send a back-up mom to wipe your baby’s poop. Now that’s a Utopia we are talking here. Who would go against such an extremely beautiful Government? Recently French students in Paris and Lyon took over the city and the Police for disrupting their reforms regarding the curriculum (http://www.javno.com/en-world/thousands-protest-against-school-reforms-in-france_216314). This is the passion to fight for their right.

I have nothing much to say about the youth. I feel you would be disappointed. I remember visiting a party lately where there was this really interesting conversation going on about Islam and what Muslims are supposed to do and how there is no compensation and forgiveness when it comes to prayers. I was disgusted by that entire half drunk crowd who was a part of this conversation and the pious gentleman holding a bottle of Blue Label initiating that conversation. You drink and take the name of thy Lord. I mean where are the priorities set? Well the party was fun, had a great time mocking.

In a nutshell, demographically, the old aged have lost their hope in Pakistan, the middle wants their kids to run away from here and the youth is facing a severe identity crises. It is unwise to be extremely optimistic about Pakistan; it would in fact disguise all the discrepancies and incompetencies that prevail in a puppetized democracy. Nonetheless, one shouldn’t be a pessimist either. What we should be looking for are thought provoking realists’ ideologies, one that promote free will and opportunity to rise no matter where you come from.

Ali Kanchwala

Friday, October 9, 2009

Confessions of a Tea addict (Chai ka Charsi)

So this happens thirty days ago, I was diagnosed with Malaria and Urinary (not urine) Infection. It all started with severe constipation. To get to this, let’s go back 10 days so that you can get a glimpse of the entire “God forbid” situation.

My friends have come back from their universities abroad for their extra long vacations. Now when they are here, they expect me to keep them entertained and that’s what a good friend should do, that’s what I did. Ramazan is up; therefore we have a lot of “scenes” where we stay at this friend’s place that happens to live in Clifton. Now the three of us gather, we play MONO-POLY and RISK very often and we go to boat basin and khadda market to have sehri (sometimes includes dinner) and of course CHAI scenes (which we never miss). To tell you how chai has become an integral part of our lives there revolves some story.

Couple of years back me and my other friend realized we needed to hang out since we weren’t able to make enough good friends (“our type people” were just not there) so we started walking to Mohammad Ali (its not a person who sells dope, it’s a place) and ended up having chai at SIMSUM (a pet name for one of the dhabas at MA). This became a daily routine and we grew up drinking that same old addictive chai. Time passed by we became chai addicts. My regular consumption of tea had come to an average of 8-10 cups which I suppose is not normal. So now there is more chai running in my veins than blood.

One day at this friends place in Clifton, I had been constipated for 5 days. I almost stopped having food but there was one thing I couldn’t control on. Yes you are right, its tea. Anyways that night God blessed me with one visit of bathroom right after sehri and lord did I think I was free. But I wasn’t. When I went to sleep, somehow I started shivering. I felt really sick. To make conditions worse my friend had his room under the usual 16 degree temperature which caused my body temperature to rise to enormous extremes. The funny part is, when I woke up in the afternoon, I was soaking wet. I had sweated like never before.

Later that day surprisingly it rained in Karachi like cats and dogs and so I decided to go back home. On reaching home I felt sick again. Temperature rose to 101. For the next two days the same story continued, temperature rose and fell. I had not eaten anything for almost 3 days because my stomach heated up. It felt as if there was a different hell inside. Therefore I couldn’t have anything which was warmer by nature. So, no spices and absolutely no chai. In fact, to tell you the truth, in those 3 days I wanted to starve because I started hating food. I began hating “Chai” because of its warm nature. Looking at the brown liquid was just off. I almost admitted to my dadi who believes that dirty pathans at dhabas add “nasha” in chai.

I had not fasted for 4 days now; I was feeling guilty so I started doing a little research on tea. This was the best excuse I found that matched my critical condition.

Disadvantages of Tea

Others say that Tea….

  • if over consumption, may cause kidney damage
  • can irritate your stomach
  • drinking eight or nine daily duplicates the symptoms of ulcer
  • slows the digestion process
  • creates gas
  • causes diarrhea and constipation
  • affects respiratory and heart function
  • causes indigestion
  • overexcites the nervous system and causes palpitations

Source: http://sports-food.com/?p=95

The story doesn’t end here. Have you heard of this proverb; it never rains, it pours. Well it actually poured in Karachi and as usual our building’s basement got filled with water. Now my friends this basement is not an ordinary basement. Under this basement we have,

1- Our building’s substation provided by the KESC (first one to get drowned)

2- Water pumps (comes second)

3- Generator (so on,)

4- Car parking area (so forth)

During this period of agony (keeping in mind my physical health) the KESC refused to supply us with electricity for over 36 hours until all the water had been pumped out. You can’t be more irritated than this. Just imagine, it has made me write this sad story. The best part of this entire situation is that the light was gone only for 36 hours while we were expecting somewhere around 72. Thanks to my building chowkidars (gatekeepers) who had piled up sand bags on the entrance of the basement so water flow could slow down and less water accumulates.

Anyhow I am all better now, it’s the 10th of October and things have become really smooth apart from the long 3-4 hours of load shedding in our area specifically. A day before, I read in news that the KESC will shut the supply everyday for about 8-10 hours to meet up the total demand. It’s the usual here but it started ticking me off when I saw street lights and lights glowing bright as ever just across the street. So I did a little research and saw NEWS and surfed the web as to why the grass was green on the other side and found out that the KESC cuts the supply for longer duration mainly from commercial areas. It makes sense though. The street where I live and across the bridge where my uncle lives, has turned into a commercial block. Offices close down after 3 in Ramadan. So they cut off our supply.

During those times when we visited this “friend’s” house at Clifton, light just went for an hour and it went for a lot less than 8 times a day. Well that’s the situation here. Long Live Pakistan. That’s all I can say.

May Peace Be Upon You