Bewitched…

Finally I was over with Tess of the D’Urbervilles yesterday and was not in the mood of overdoing it by reading some critical material. So I glanced at my shelf looking for something amazing to read and my eyes were held by The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.

We did The Mill on the Floss in the first semester of this Honours Program. Though I loved the story, the annotations and the discussion we had with the teacher makes it more special. I was reading the parts which were underlined, marked and were remarked upon and I realised how much it still moves me.

In the first class, the teacher said that each and everyone of us have a Maggie in ourselves. And we were bewitched by this idea. And we still are…

When we finished it, the teacher discussed some major themes, aspects and ideas about the whole novel and on the last blank page of the novel, I wrote something that the teacher said in class:

Death before death is Mysticism

And the silence that followed still has its impact upon me…

The Mill on the Floss

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it – if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to oursleves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call ‘God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known?”

-George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)

Democracy?! hahah!

On 18th of October, everyone was asked to stay home. These were the orders from all the family members, and not just mine but my friends’ too. Everyone knew it was “NOT SAFE” to go out even on the eve of Bhutto’s return.

While watching the procession from the morning till late at night, everyone knew that something’s going to happen. It seemed they were all watching TV to see when it actually takes place. The tragedy moved us all. This is how this nation is made to bleed. All those people walking beside Ms. Bhutto’s “bullet-proof” and “rocket proof” were poor common people. Most of them were paid to be there. How many of those poor souls might have thought that the money would cost them their lives. More than 130 people died, more than 500 were injured!

I laughed out loud sarcastically when I heard on T.V that the attack was an assassination attempt on Bhutto. Hello… For me or others who have “BRAINS” know that if Bhutto really was the target, she was a clear shot. One sniper, and no one would have ever known where the bullet came from. The blast took place near her well-protected car when she was INSIDE, RESTING!

It took her a few minutes to reach her home right after the blast. The people were scattered everywhere when her car braved away from the scene to her well protected home in Clifton. Everyone of us watched the tragedy on T.V. It’s like acid being poured inside our windpipes.

Next day, on 19th Oct, Bhutto had a press conference at her home. She joked around, laughed and said it out loud that her decision to return was not naeive even when she was warned earlier of possible attacks! For her it was the price people paid to have democracy in their country!!! “You’ve got to be kidding me!,” was my response.

What has she sacrificed for this land? for these people?! NOTHING! She, with her husband, has hoarded up wealth of the Pakistani people and now she claims that she is in the right! She still has her cases in Swiss Courts on money laundering, how can she expects us to forgive her?!  She’s back to drain us of all what’s left. And she’s come with the good news of DEMOCRACY?! She, who’s father was hanged by a General President had made a deal with another without any shame? She, who is going to give Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan to IEAE for making her father’s dream a reality? How can one trust her?! No, she’s here to actually peel off our skins and would bleed us to death.

It hurts me to say this. But I will mercilessly be blatant into saying that people who were there were sacrificed to ensure that Bhutto has sympathy of the rest of the world. The people who died and are injured, it’s them who have paid the price for being there, ON THR WRONG SIDE! It’s them who’ve paid the price for their WRONG choice! Now the bloodbath will begin. Now, like in the late ’80s and early ’90s, ordinary people will see the earth drinking their blood and politicians hoarding their wealth and eating their flesh!

Kahin tu hoga shab-e-sust mauj ka sahil

Kahin tu jaa ke rukay ga safina-e-gham-e-dil” – Faiz Ahmed Faiz

I hope and pray that O Allah Save us from these trials and afflictions of this bloody game of politics that these “moderates” are going to play now. Ameen

Love

While doing Wuthering Heights the teacher said something which struck me. He said that when you fall in love and become one. The whole idea of being one is that one person has to submit totally forgetting his/her ego to the other person. The other becomes more important.

Eid… Eidi!

So yes early morning Vermicelli, kababs and chaat round at relatives, home or at close friends is how everyone start off their day on Eid-ul-Fitr. The moods and the festivities are always on their height.

The most integral part of this Eid is the EIDI! Everyone lines up in front of the elder family members (at times begging) for Eidi. Everyone trying to nick more money from someone or the other. Everyone making excuses to get more money out of their elders’ pockets. At this time of the year, even the mums don’t scold their kids for asking money! That’s something everyone takes advantage of! I still remember when I was giving out Eidi to my cousins, my two year old cousin stood looking at me finally saying,” Ap ne mujhe Eidi nahin di.”(You didn’t give me Eidi) And I couldn’t help myself laughing out loud! And you should see how the guys in my family go crazy! But it’s the part of all the Eid Festival! (OOPS! One of my brothers didn’t give me Eidi!)

The most important thing about Eidi is mostly people don’t give gifts! It’s the money which everyone loves! (ain’t that making me sound like a capitalist?!) But it’s a good way for  people to actually open their heart and keep their hand easy on the money! It makes you realise that money shouldn’t be restricted to just you, but it should trickle down to other fractions of the society as well starting from your own family and friends! The other thing about Eidi is elders give it to younger, brothers to sisters. And it’s not necessary for sisters to give it to their brothers(only if the brothers are younger). So, yes feminists should be happy! lol.

Anyway, so now that you have Eidi, how to spend it?! All I can think right now is: BOOKS! Cousins are planning to have dinner at some fancy place… let’s see what we end up doing…

Kartography…

The first few days of university, everyone seemed to brave through the coarse university schedule. We used to have a couple of classes in the morning then we’d wait till the afternoon for a couple more classes. In the beginning, I didn’t quite know how to utilize the faarigh time as it was all new for the students and teachers were testing their tempraments and abilities and all. So I decided to take one of my favourite books to university to read in between the classes.

This is how I got hooked up with N.A. She saw Kartpgraphy in my bag and screamed, “You’re reading this! OMG!”

“I’ve read it but I love it and I do read it time and again,” was rather my comment.

And then both of us narrated the best parts in the book and the dialogues and we discussed it. We still do. I don’t know what keeps me glued to it nor does she. But I read it whenever I need a kick to get into reading even though I know it by heart. ALmost. And N.A. doesn’t read it every month like me yet we talk about it sometimes.

So, it was Kartography that bonded us and then came alot of books that we’ve read or want to read. I still remember how she made me read The Alchemist and said it was amazing, and I didn’t like it that much. And she was disappointed! lol.

We’ve read a number of books, shared our views and even shared our books (this reminds me I still have your zero point with me.) The other day I was making a list of books that I’ll buy once my brother lands in Karachi, and I asked for her assistance. And thankyou for the name of Imam Ghazzali’s book! I really appreciate that.

Well… we have our differences in alot of things but I’ll always remember how Kartography bonded us. The bond of friendship is so that we do fight, argue and all but still in”our marrows of our marrows” we are the same! Thank you N.A., for everything and specially for your precious time and all the books!