(1) A woman who drives a silver Prado with the number plate BD something. I have encountered her on the road twice in the last year and a half. She honks and bullies her way ahead in every jam. I once showed her the finger and she reciprocated. I think she manages or owns a salon or a cafe or something. Can someone give her manners a manicure. Ummm...her etiquette an appetizer.
(2) A's new school. Too many aunties trying to cajole too many weepy 3 year olds into school life; too many aunties telling too many kids to stop banging toys; telling mamas, "don't give chips and cocomo, pack a healthy snack." I saw one kid eating cucumbers. Poor, trusting soul. But A equates that to eating plastic or concrete. Aunties, do you know how hard it is to stand 6:45 am in the kitchen and conjure up images of healthy snacks, let alone, create healthy snacks? I thought fun snacks would alleviate the pain of schooling. But now I have to give him plain bread. On the plus, Aunty Bee redeemed herself with her rendition of "Little Red"; otherwise she had Italian mafia written all over her, doling out little stickers and all. Uff, she is delightful.
(3) People who are cynical and apathetic. They are disgusted that the Butt brothers were killed so brutally but believe that petitions, press statements, protests will not change anything. And sitting around and doing nothing will? May their families and loved ones find peace. Sign the petition, and don't let it drop.
(4) People who can't stop watching tv and complaining about the government. This is how superficial their critique is. "Zardari is corrupt. The government is corrupt. No one gave to the prime minister's fund; they'd rather give to the army." I mean, can anyone ask them to be more specific? Go up a notch, deepen the analysis a bit, get some details. The devil is in the details, you know. Can you perhaps critique legislative proposals, actual actions by local governments around the flood - prevention and relief, why NDMA failed to protect the people from their own predictions, why certain things happen under certain people in certain places. No. "Zardari ullo ka patta hai. Us ka baap to Bambino Cinema ka owner tha." End of story.
(5) People who love jawaans. Okay, I too thought Rashid Minhas was brave. But I was twelve! Its great that jawaans are doing their part, but rest assured it is part of their job description in times of crisis. Also, that does not put them above accountability. If Shahbaz Airbase was indeed protected from flooding at the expense of nearby villages, as AHRC reports (see link below), and with minister/army collusion, then we will protest. Come what may. It already has.
(6) People in America who ask what charity should we give to because "we are very concerned that it may not go to the deserving people as Pakistanis are dishonest and lack capacity, and we also have to be careful about jihadi outfits with a citizenship interview coming up in three years." Okay, so you want to be cautiously altruistic, just give to Edhi. His beard is certified by the UN. And he is honest and capable. And in case you think I am belittling your $100 contribution, I am not. But after you zip it over real quick, pick up the phone and call your representative, or your lawyer, your mom, write a letter, a pamphlet, a text or something -- for the US to increase the aid, help cancel our debt, end its Afghan Pakistan war, provide reparations to victims of drones, and then just go away. Angelina can stay. Really.
(7) People who write comments like this:
The Taliban in Fata and the mob and the police in Sialkot are kindred beings bound by an aversion to tomorrow, tomorrow being a metaphor for modernity and progress towards due process and individual rights.
Yes, its an alliance against the Human Rights Convention, and it was formed in Vienna in 2007. The Taliban and the Gujranwala police ratified an ordinance saying the same. Then they all roasted a goat and ate it the same day because they hate tomorrow.
(8) But even the talented Mr. Daniyal. Carefully and at first, without an ounce of voyeurism, without the pride of a rescuer -- writing the sadness. And then this line:
"The people of this area recognize their cattle as easily as you or I recognize a cousin or neighbor — they sleep with their animals around them at night, and graze them all day; their animals are born and die near them. "
I mean, couldn't you just say that livestock is really important to their livelihood, and often one cow is worth Rs. 1 lakh, and in desperation many fleeing the floods have, reportedly, sold these for Rs. 10,000 each. So imagine the loss, and grief for the animal. And yes, we too feel affection for animals, much like all of humanity, and often more than the affection we feel for cousins and neighbors because often we do not recognize them. And then this:
In one family’s encampment, discordantly, sat a dresser with a mirrored door — how did the man who had brought that through the floodwater think it would be useful?
You tell me. I do not know how much you have the presence of mind to take or salvage in times of calamity and strife. But people salvage their stuff. It is something they do if they can. There is no reason. They are not weighing utility or cost/benefit.
(9) Charity without politics, and politics without generosity.
(10) People who bitch me out, and then I find out about it. Uff Allah Mian, please keep it to yourself. Lets just put it this way if all people say all good things about you, then its all bad. If all people say all bad things about you, its all bad. If bad people say bad things about you, its all good. If some good people say a few bad things about you, its totally fine. Gotta develop a thicker skin, and keep up the solid fight.
On the pluses, tomorrow. Because I hate today.