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Freedom of the press: Yeah right, whatever! February 11, 2007

Posted by psykedelik in Pseudo-Sociological Crap, Random Crap.
1 comment so far

One of our reporters (Abbas) received a death threat today.

Abbas is our crime reporter. Mahim (the city editor) and him have been covering the story about Nisha’s death, and the police investigations, etc. Someone called Abbas up today and threatened to kill him.

This brings home the “fear” that every journalist lives in, here (in Pakistan). At times like these, you realize what a huge farce “freedom of the press” actually is, and reality hits in in a really big way. I mean, you always know that there’s a chance of things like these happening, if you’re pursuing stuff that’s serious enough, but somehow you never think it’ll happen to you or someone you know.

“Yeah well, it happens to people. I don’t know those people, though,” you think and sit back, relaxed. And then it happens to someone who works with someone you know, and then it’s someone you work with yourself. Someday it might be you…

I just realized what Abbas meant when he asked today if I could get his cellphone records out. I told him he should get a cellphone that allows him to record his calls — my K700i, for example, has the call-recording feature. With Nisha’s case, he needs to record every call that comes to him (exept from people that he knows, of course).

I’m hoping that the call to Abbas was just someone’s idea of a lameAss joke. If it was, all I can say to that person is: “Get a life, bhainchod! This isn’t even remotely funny.”

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Summer-Vacation-Karachi February 9, 2007

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
3 comments

I woke up pretty darn late today (3:15 p.m.) and I woke up exhausted — which is weird, because I think I slept for, like, 9 hours! [ Note to self: Work on stress relief, mate! Stress relief!]

Anyways, so the van came over around 4 p.m. like it usually does, and the weather outside gave me a pretty waala surprise. Karachi-land (yes, I’ll call it Karachi-land today, instead of Stinky-ville like I usually do) was all cloudy and pretty. This was the Karachi that I remembered from summer vacations of yore, and happy memories came flooding in.

We’d spend our alternate summer vacations with relatives here (once every 2 years) — July and August. Each day would be filled with happy stuff from the time I woke up to the time I was forced to go to bed at night (or atleast I remember each day that way). There’d be cartoons on PTv, and for once every 2 years, I’d be able to watch cartoons that weren’t Japanese animes dubbed into Arabic. 🙂

Not that I had anything against the Arabic cartoons in Abu-Dhabi — I still remember “Captain Majid” with the amazing gravity-defying footballers, and “Adnan wa Reema,” the brother-and-sister duo who had two halves ofthis medallion and were looking for something that I don’t remember anymore. I remember “Jazora,” the metal-eating dinosaur, and loads more! And then there was the Arabic version of Care-Bears, and My Little Pony, and Midgets, Smurfs and this other cartoon in English on Channel 8. I don’t remember what the official name of the channel was, but it was tuned at Number 8 on our television at home, so “Channel 8” it was! 🙂 *happy-dappy times*

So yeah, all that was Abu-Dhabi. Karachi would be Loony Toons, Silver Hawks, Thunder Cats, and all. ( I’m a huge cartoons fan! 😛 ) And then there’d be Chhupan-Chhupai (hide-and-seek) with the cousins, and Baraf-Pani and all sorts of rowdy games which I couldn’t play at home in Abu-Dhabi.

Outside the house, there were all those visits to Phuppi’s (paternal aunt) place, and Nani’s (maternal grandmother) place, and the best of all — Urdu Bazaar. I’d go wild there, and gather up all sorts of treasures! And the “cassette kahaanis,” which were recordings of stories in Urdu. Those cassettes had poems on them too, all sung out with music, etc. I think I still have them..

And Sumer-Vacation-Karachi had delightful thunderstorms. Electricity would of course disappear the moment the slightest drizzle hit the ground, but I remember none of us used to mind! We’d sit for hours around candlelight — all us cousins — and swap stories, or play games, and time would fly, and I’d sigh sadly when the electricity came back on. One of my cousins would take the motlen candlewax and roll it up into balls for me. I remember treasuring those balls, for they were a novelty for me — electricity was never dear in Abu-Dhabi, and we never had to use candles!

So yeah, Karachi today reminded me of Summer-Vacation-Karachi, and I forgot all the crap of the past few weeks. Life became simple again, and I got my “chhoti chhoti khusiaN” back.. 🙂

I also figured out something else — how much I love my parents and my sister, and how much I owe to my parents. I mean, they’re the only people in the world who’ve always been there for me — who’ll always BE there for me — who’ll always welcome me back with open arms, no matter how badly I fucked up. The moment I realized this, I regretted all the times I’d blown up at them for stuff, and the times when I’d hurt them emotionally. Today I realized what “home is where the heart is” actually means… no matter where I go, my parents’ house will always be home, and there will always be a place for me in it.

It rained in a few areas of Karachi today. The MET office is predicting thunderstorms tomorrow. So tomorrow will be another happy-dappy day! 🙂

Islamabad Airport blast: Who’s responsible? February 7, 2007

Posted by Bolshevik in Quasi-Political Crap.
2 comments

There was another “suicide blast” in Islamabad yester-evening [Tuesday; February 6, 2007]. Only one person died — the would-be bomber himself, while two security officials were injured. However, the conspiracy theorists in my head got all up-and-clamouring after I saw the pictures which had come in on the wires. Now the thing is, this seriously doesn’t seem like an actual “militant attack.”

Why am I saying this? I have a bunch of reasons. They might not be correct — they’re probably just conspiracy theories, or results of me reading too much into these incidents. But that doesn’t mean the people in my head will shut up. They won’t.

Here’s what they have to say:

1) Suicide bombing never fails this badly. I mean, seriously. Even the tarmac on the road is intact.

2) The pictures which came in on the wires last night show that the bomber’s body is pretty much intact (except the part where he tied the bomb-thingums around his waist). I’m pretty darn sure our suicide-bomb-vendors know how to make better stuff (read: stronger bombs or something).

3) The guy had a very “Sharaee” beard. That’s, like, wayyyy too obvious — suspiciously so.

4) The reaction from ‘authorities concerned’ has been very “mild,” to say the least. The reaction after the Peshawer blasts (when the Peshawer CCPO and all were killed) was wayyyyyyyyy different. Everyone (authorities concerned) sat up attentively after the Peshawat blasts. The reaction to the Islamabad Airport blast, however, is more, like, “Yeah well oh well, whatever!” I work in a newspaper — all their reactions come to us. Security was “beefed up” in places, but something’s missing. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but they’re just not clambouring like they should have.

5) When no “official” is injured (or killed), it generally points to an “agencies ki job” (not that I’m saying that the “agencies” did this — no siwwee bob! :P).

6) Like Ziyad pointed out on the NFP community (on Orkut), “If they really were tribal militants, I expect them to out-gun airport security officials any day.”

Here’re the pictures. The “labels” have been put in by the photo editors at APP and Online (click on thumbnail to view larger picture):

app82-06islamabad.jpg      app83-06islamabad.jpg     app84-06islamabad.jpg     pix06-89.jpg     pix06-91.jpg     pix06-92.jpg     pix06-93.jpg     pix06-94.jpg    pix06-95.jpg

[Pictures courtesy: APP and Online]