The Drama club attacks!!

(Due to reasons beyond my control, I haven’t been able to post this until now. I apologize for the delay)

Let’s be honest, we’ve all learned (the hard way) that the TIP drama club does not know the meaning of the word ‘restraint’ so when we entered the auditorium we’d kept our minds as open as they could possibly get in the Islami Jamhurriya e Pakistan. We’d expected to

a) be a bit scandalized at the subject matter and it’s portrayal,
b) learn a few new ways to insult random strangers,
c) wonder how Osama and Noman can seem so completely normal (read sane) in every day student life yet be so wild on stage, and
d) laugh guiltily but loudly at the jokes, because lets face it, they’re actually funny.

Briefly, the drama club delivered on all four counts. Although, as a reviewer and not a critic, I would prefer to keep my opinion to myself; I can safely say that the crowd enjoyed the video and the live performance enough to make the event an overall success. Continue reading “The Drama club attacks!!”

Wake up and smell the slums

By Rabiyya Abdullah, TDT 1

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I pass by this route daily for TIP, and each day see things that make me feel sad, depressed, emotional, and guilty and make me realize how selfish I am, yet I do nothing.

I saw two little kids today sharing out of a thrown away theli of dried up biryani on the sidewalk. I saw a small boy probably two, begging a shopkeeper for candy and the man in return throwing water on the little boy to move him out of his shop. I saw a tiny girl of around four carrying a bag of rice her size on her head while older men glared at her with hungry eyes. I saw an old man hitting a boy half his size for breaking a bottle. I saw a little puppy being kicked and the men around laughing as it whimpered. I saw a mentally handicapped girl of about seven, covered in dirt, lying on the sidewalk alongside a dog and eating what the dog ate, and being treated like one. I saw men making obscene signs at little girls who were walking to school. I saw a homeless man sleeping on a broken bench, with only an opened up cardboard box covering him.

This is what I saw today. This is what we all see everyday. Yet we do nothing.

Korangi today has a very large slum of its own.

We applaud the makers of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and sing Jai ho!, but did we Continue reading “Wake up and smell the slums”

Seeds of peace in a barren land?

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Those who were present in the lecture theater on Wednesday 18th of March 2009, around 3:45 PM saw one of the reasons the state of the world (and particularly this country) is the way it is. The irony of the incident though, lies in the fact that this TISF slot was devoted to a talk supposedly meant to promote harmony and understanding. For what it’s worth- I can honestly say Aneeq (as Saram introduced him to me as) or Adnan (that’s the name the presentation was saved as) and other members of Seeds of Peace sure have their work cut out for them.

Seeds of Peace is an ambitious project with the aim of promoting peace and acceptance among young people in war-inflicted countries (like ours). Pakistan has the unique honor of being in a state of war within its political boundaries, as well as having hostile nations on both sides of the border, so this program- in a Utopian world- may actually help this country more than mass producing rocket launchers. In a Utopian world, of course, we’d be mass producing progressive, honest intelligent leaders that actually care about the country, and that sure as sin isn’t happening. Continue reading “Seeds of peace in a barren land?”

Keep Staring. This font might be female.

In the United States, everyone is sexless.

Or maybe- and I’m just spitballing here — they don’t think women are so rare that they deserve to be stared at like crazy. After all, 50% of their population is female! Imagine!?

But then, the male to female ratio is the same here…

So why, and I’ll repeat this for emphasis, why do Pakistani men insist on staring at every women/girl/transsexual/slightly effeminate creature that crosses their path? Continue reading “Keep Staring. This font might be female.”

Rise against the Fee Rise!!

Ladies and gentlemen, now spending one semester at the sunny location of TIP will cost us a whopping 80,500 Rupees!!

This makes a tidy Rs 20,125 per month…or Rs 914 if you want to pay on a daily basis!

Enroll now, before the food crisis turns cafeteria’s chicken-less biryani to Rs 100 per plate!

Demonstrating Democracy

Pakistanis are, without exaggeration, the only people in the world to have misused the term democracy in every possible way. The latest definition of it (and one you can see on the rear windows of many cars in Clifton) is “democracy… is the best revenge”. Inane as this sentence is; it has become a slogan of the civil society of this country. It has also become the reason I fear for the future.

You see, when the most ‘democratic’ party of Pakistan does not believe in holding fair elections within the party itself; and leadership is actually passed on via wills, then you begin to think whether anybody even knows what democracy is. It’s not a slogan. It’s not a device to get the top chair. And for crying out loud, it is NOT the best revenge (against whom? For what?! ) It’s a lot simpler, and yet a bit more complex then what we’ve been taught by the media channels.

Democracy can be divided into two categories: Direct Democracy, and Representative democracy. To understand Direct Democracy, imagine having all 170 million people of Pakistan as members of the National Assembly. Now imagine, trying to come to a decision. Direct Democracy is rarely used in any political institution since it’s impractical, and inefficient and probably very noisy.

The second category is Representative Democracy. This is what TIP (and Pakistan) claims to be. Instead of including every individual in state decisions, the individuals elect people who will represent them in the assembly. This also means that if the guy you elect screws up, he’s accountable (as you are too, after all, why’d you vote for a nut?). This accountability is the very essence of democracy; though as Pakistanis, we probably don’t believe in it. Continue reading “Demonstrating Democracy”

In quest for a hero (or heroine)

This article is entirely written in the masculine for simplicity’s sake. Women are just as capable of being heroes as men

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I’ve spent all of last month reading old Louis L’Amour western novels, and my head is full of nothing but horses, shoot outs, brand loyalty and cattle rustling. And cowboys… never forget the cowboys. In every good western, there’s a hero; a troupe of bad guys (usually cattle rustlers) and a girl worth rescuing. It’s escapism; we know it, we love it, and by God do we wish that it happened.

So who’s a hero? Does he have to be strong, and have to be fast and have to be fresh from the fight? Is he a street-wise Hercules, or a white knight upon a fiery steed? Heck, I’ve been holding out for a hero for all my life and I still haven’t found one yet. Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places.

So let’s find one. Continue reading “In quest for a hero (or heroine)”