Friday, April 29, 2011

I touch God in my Song

By: Rabindranath Tagore

I touch God in my Song
            as the hill touches the far away sea
                     with its waterfall.

The Butterfly counts not months but moments
            and has time enough.

Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
            and yet give you illumined freedom.

Love remains a secret even when spoken
            for only a lover truly knows that he is loved

Emancipation from the bondage of soil
            is no freedom for thee.

In love I pay my endless debt to thee
            for what thou art.

(from the Poetry Chaikhana:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Things that make me Angry. Really.

My Classmates from High school, (when asked about my negative side in my slambook), all had the exact same thing to say: “Gets annoyed quickly”. It is very unfortunate that I have such trouble trying to control and cope with my anger. Some days are worse than others, and I feel like lashing out at every other thing. From the weather, to the traffic, to the fact that the light in the room is too dim or the chai is too cold or too dark, to what other people are saying.

Anger comes to me really quickly, takes me by surprise, in which I lose myself, say extremely spiteful things, and most probably I might even throw or smash something. The good thing is that anger leaves me really quickly too. After about an hour, I’d be perfectly alright and feeling guilty about what I just did. I also tend not to apologize quickly and easily, which is wrong. 

Here is a list of things that make me fly off the handle: (PLEASE EXCUSE MY LANGUAGE AND SLIGHTLY LONG LIST THANKS)

-         - Conservative and negative opinions, especially relating to women or people of other faiths/cultures/countries

-        - People scoffing books

-         - Blind following of faith, and absolute knee-jerk reaction when questioned/cornered

-        -  “Hi, this is Amy calling from XYZ duct-cleaning services; please can I speak to an adult?” What am I? A larva?

-         - Continuous stream of hate, bias and ridicule against a certain political party:  seems like it’s a fashion nowadays, isn’t it? If you don’t crack a joke about them you’re not cool.

-         - A toaster not plugged in for some mysterious reason

-         - A certain ‘politician’ – my advice to him: do what you do best, i.e. cricket.

-         - “You can’t do that!” “Why not?” “Because you are a girl! Girls can’t use a screwdriver you see.”
-         - Bell Internet services.

-         - Videos of an abomination called “Azizi”

-         - “Look this is so Cool!! Girl jumps off a cliff after reading this” – this type of FB shares, keep them to yourself

-         - Invitations to join groups that condemn other groups insulting religion (you tools are basically  freely advertising those sick bigots and their pages with your condemnation)

-         - Gits who were given a driving license by a jinxed or drunk examiner.

-         - Electronic equipment refusing to cooperate (tv, remote, Modem, computer, printer, cellphone, mp3 player, microwave,  hairdryer, curling iron etc)

-         - Recipes that take too long to make and go wrong halfway

-         - Friends that tell you they’ll “brb” but keep you waiting longer than 3 minutes

-         - Absolute pricks who take 2 minutes to type a coherent reply in a chat window

-         - Guys who immediately tell me “your eyexx so beatyful, sooo naaizze.. cn I have ur ph numb3r plzz”

-         - People showing off their expletive vocabulary on Youtube comments section, especially talking about “Nuking” certain war-torn countries. Wish I could selectively nuke their families and ask them how it feels. Petty filthy jerks.

-         - Illiterate idiots who type like this: y0 mAn U Rck! I lvv dis is xxoo gudzzxxx 4564934878rr54!!!!  Je ne comprends pas. Anglaise, s’il vous plait? Merci!

-         - “Hello, you have just won a Caribbean Cruise with Malta Tours Services, if you could please take a minute to—“ SHUT UP

-         - People believing in “disinformation” or “misinformation” or backing up their claims with dubious or obviously fake links with zero credibility- thanks for wasting my time

-         - People sending a Friend request and then asking me why I added them or do they know me?

-         - People tagging me in irrelevant pictures make me doubt their intelligence- thank you but I do not resemble a monkey dialling a phone nor is my name mentioned in that cliché quote you just posted, should I feel insulted?

-         - Get 2500 Shoppers Optimum Points!!! Open email -> when you spend $75 or more in-store. Dammit.

-         - Bose Sound System, buy one get one free. Exclusive offer from Reader’s Digest. Hello Mr. Hareem, you have just won a chance to get a Bose Sound System -> it’s MISS, MISS HAREEM.

-         - Check Hotmail inbox-> nothing important. Check Gmail inbox -> s**t-load of Spam. Delete Forever? Yes. Repeat every two hours. Every day of your life. Thanks.

-         - Canada Post. Postes Canada. Defining “Snail Mail” since 1867.

-         - Find highly interesting phrase --> type excitedly in Google (on Chrome) --> hit enter -> 15 seconds later -> Oops Message. Repeat.

-         - Discover perfect sale going on -> find perfect shade and style of jean -> all sized in the range of 00-04 only. Expletive.

-         - Read/Watch exceptional Jane Austen/Bronte sister story --> hear or read comment by stupid teen girl “Mr. Rochester/Darcy/Tilney/Heathcliff is soo based on Edward Cullen <3 I wuvv Edward Cullen!” --> do you even realize that Rochester, Darcy et al were created in the 19th century? Do you?

-         - Girls putting a truckload of mascara on their eyelashes until they look like thorny spiky needles coming out of their eyelids...must hurt.

-         - Hey plz be my fan plxx plxx plxx.... WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

-         - Hi there- WHAT was that noise? Like some car hit our Garage door or what?- that’s the Mississauga News guy delivering weekly recycle bin trash. Oh, I see.

-         - Trying to sleep at night --> Drip Drip Drip --> Is that water dripping from the tap? Oh no... --> get up, turn on light, tap is innocently inactive -> go back to bed --> Drip Drip Drip. Am I imagining this? Tic Tic Tic... Oh my God. Shut up. LOUD HORN. 

      That's all for now, I guess. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"I wanted to go to Paradise"

A cyclist on an old D.G.Khan street

Umar Fidai is 14 years old. He has two sisters and a mother, his father is dead. He hasn't been to school. He is being interviewed by a reporter while strapped to a hospital bed with severe injuries from a recent bomb blast.
No he is not a victim. He was supposed to be one of the suicide bombers to attack a Sufi shrine in D.G. Khan area of south Punjab. Somehow he was not able to detonate the bomb he had on his person, and was caught by the police although injured in the blast. Around 50 people have died.
The reporter asks: "Why did you do this? Why did you kill people?"
"They said kill the non muslims. They are wrong." Umar replies staring dazedly at the camera.
"Who? Who said kill the people?"
"The Taliban."
"Where is your family, your mother?"
Umar starts speaking in another language. Realizing people don't understand him, he switches back to broken Urdu. "Torkham, I'm from Torkham. The Taliban told me to do this."

A few feet away, a family of 6 or 7 people huddle together, the women wailing and mourning. They have lost an 8 year old child. The grandmother cries it was her fault, she sent the child to fetch some sacred water from the shrine. If only she hadn't. The mother of the girl looks up at the camera, but her eyes are vacant. She says nothing. Two little sad-faced boys stand beside her, uncomfortable with the camera and the hospital environment. The mother draws both her sons in her arms. The grandmother hides her face in her shawl.

"Aren't you sad? So many people have died... they were innocent. Aren't you ashamed, Umar?" the reporter asks the terrorist again.
"I wanted to go to Paradise", is all Umar says.

*An Update from Umar*

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Should doctors forget their oath?

It is day number 37 of the Doctor's (Young Doctor's Association) strike in Punjab province. They demand higher pay from the Government, and more benefits, and have refused to provide any OPD (out patient dept.) or Emergency services in Hospitals through out the province.
Almost 40-50 cases of death due to lack of medical help have been reported so far, (with actual figures much higher especially in rural areas). Other hospital staff, such as nurses and ward-boys have taken over this crucial role without having the skills and education needed. 
Today, I saw a man being interviewed on TV talking about the Doctor's strike. With tears in his eyes he explained how he had come from a far-away village to the Emergency dept. of a city hospital, only to be told there was no doctor on duty to help his 2 year old son. After 3 days of desperately asking for some medical care, he had to watch his child die. There are other similar stories. 
It seems all the doctors care about are their own demands. But what about their oath, their duty, to help humanity? Or is becoming a doctor only for financial/social respectability reasons? A doctor isn't just another person with a family, he is first and foremost the healer and the helper for those who are sick and needy. Have these doctors forgotten their oath?
I looked around on Google to find the famous Hippocratic Oath, and I found myself looking at another "debate" about whether it should be included in "ceremonies" or not, whether it offends somebody's religious beliefs, whether it is outdated, whether it's this or that or politically incorrect. This makes my heart sink. The essence of the medical profession, and the essence of this Oath, have been lost in this 'modern' socio-political jargon. 
So, today, the loss of human life from neglect is worth the financial gain of the striking doctors, just as the loss of the 'helping humanity spirit' is worth the political correctness and social relevance of a document. Such shame!

Here's a version of the Hippocratic Oath that I managed to find online. Maybe these doctors need to re-read what it says:

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
-I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
-I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
-I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
-I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
-I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
-I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
-I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
-I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
-If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University.