Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

malala

October 26, 2013

i thought i had posted this here when i wrote it, and only today found i have not:

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at fourteen she has

so much to live for

but surely not

a bullet in her head

to show the cowardice

of those who can not

stand up and face

a girl of fourteen

because her stand

in their face

makes them afraid

of an idea that she represents

and which may

cast doubts among

the professed guardians

of a religion to which belonged

aisha the wife, all of malala’s age

nasibah steadfast at ohad

fatima the daughter of muhammad (pbuh)

mother to hassan and hussain, wife of ali

zainab bint ali too among the names

umm e kulsum wife of usman

and a list of brave

learned, revered women

negated due to their deliberate desire

of ignoring history and narrative

of fourteen hundred years and more

taught, recounted and remembered

but they in their narrow interpretations

seeking to create a cult militant

ignorant, short on truth

long on hate of things that

go against their desire of leading

without opposition

neither ijmah nor questioning

where the khalifa got the cloth

to make a full shirt

or having two lamp with oil

from the state and self

for work and leisure.

and all this threatened

by a girl of fourteen

wanting to be like

the women of Islam

taught to her by her teachers

ingrained in her mind by parents

practiced by her daily

seen happening in life

and a bullet to the head

to end the life at fourteen

hanging to life in a hospital

by a tenuous thread

are the perpetrators

so afraid now

that a fourteen year old

that too a girl

becomes a threat to their edifice

made like a house of cards

one voice of a girl

against all odds

October 10, 2012

11:53 hours

My Reminiscence of 06 September 1965

September 6, 2013

Monday, 06 September 1965, was a special day for me, the first day of first year in Edwardes College, Peshawar. Ready to be made first year fools of, I cycled to college in a smart and fresh college uniform of white shirt and militia trousers. Apprehensive, a bit fearful, and dreaming of a future that only boys of 17 stepping into college can dream!

We were given a few jumps in the ground and a run round the quadrangle of the hostel, and then herded in to the hall for the principal’s address. Dr. Phil Edmonds strode on stage followed by the faculty, and Titch (his white poodle, that went everywhere he or his wife went); we were awestruck to see he was wearing the same college uniform that we were all wearing. We never saw him wearing any other dress during college hours throughout the four years we studied there.

Regular classes with orientation in each class then started, and at 12 we were let off.

Cycling back, I was surprised that there was no traffic on the roads, an eerie silence as if a calamity was waiting to happen with bated breath!

I reached home, and contrary to the hope that my mother would be standing on the door to receive me, I saw my younger brother rush out of the house and shouted, bhai, come quick, India has attacked Pakistan, President Ayub is about to address the nation. I almost threw the cycle down and ran into the room, surprised to see my father there also. He had come from the office to watch the address and reassure us that things were well, and Pakistan would be safe!

Later that afternoon a ‘fatigue’ party from the unit came to the house, and dug an air raid shelter in the walled compound on the side (the compound was bigger in size than most plots on which we make houses today!). For the next 17 days, every time the sirens went off to warn of an air raid, we would go down into the shelter and wait for the clear siren before coming out again. We even had two big shrapnel’s from bombs on two different occasions fall in our compound (I wonder where these would be now in fathers store, till mother was alive things like these, and other mementos were kept carefully!).

Edwardes College remained open for all the 17 days of the war in September 1965, and after and it was studies as usual!

Some of us friends then decided to become part of the war effort, and our contribution was to go to the Peshawar railway station, just across the road from Edwardes College, and help load stuff, like Jerry cans of petrol, eggs, and etc., in trains which were then taken down country for supplies.

Heady days, the few of us army brats, had a special place in the hearts of all, because our dads were fighting the enemy!

Today, when I see the fragmented and disheveled state of things in Pakistan, I feel sad – not only for the times when the people stood united as a nation, but for the loss, disintegration, insurgency, extremism and what have you, that has divided us into factions, with a loss of Pakistani nationality.

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Voice of Kashmir FM Radio talk show

July 8, 2013

Voice of Kashmir FM Radio talk show

i was a guest on the Voice of Kashmir FM radio talk show on June 21, 2013, the topic was role models in our life.

the talk is in urdu, and starts at 23 minutes, the delay due to technical reasons during which the audience had to hear music.

update – September 11, 2013: the item has been de-linked by the radio station, i will try to get a new link or a mp3 file to upload here.

Shackles

March 18, 2013

Shackles

Shackled

To the peg of life

Shackling

To a state

Torturous

Defiling

Denying

That what is wished

Leaving no place

For desires

To be had

Thoughts to bloom

Just a void

Where wants should be

Granted

Wishes Given

Desires acceded to

But the schemer

Of schemes

Has schemes

Which defy thought

Leaving another void

In which we

headlong fall

Crying unfair

But the schemer

Turns another leave

Of his book of schemes

Shackling more

The shackles

Called desire!

March 16, 2013

23.44 hours

dawn

December 18, 2012

a deep troubled slumber full of

tossing and turning in the night

dreams disjointed and flitting

unconnected and rushing

unremembered shadows of darkness

peeking from behind unknown slats

chasing each other till it was dawn.

and the cacophony to challenge

the faithful to a lot better than sleep

erupted from loudspeakers all round

vying to drown the call of the other

intruding blissfully on the state

in which the night had passed

finally spent and tired of the fitfulness

i turned in bed and slept,

oblivious.

17-Dec-12 6:45 PM

PakTSN Update: A good Interaction with senior students

December 7, 2012

I met Ms. Uzma Yasmeen a student of the National Defense University, Islamabad at the public talk on the subject of “Security architecture for South Asia” by Mr. Farooq Sobhan, Former Foreign Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh organized at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) distinguished lecture series on November 1, 2012.

In the last one month Ms. Yasmeen has become active in promoting PakTSN and she arranged my meeting with other students on December 06, 2012.

It was a wonderful interactive session, which lasted for longer than I had anticipated, but it was worth each minute of it. At the peak there were 6 students (some students were detained by the faculty for other work) round the table while few sitting close by had their ears on our discussion. We talked of terrorism, reason for my becoming an anti-terrorism activist; why I speak for survivors; about PTSD; steps that can be taken to create awareness about the ‘human cost of terrorism; rational for reaching out to youth; role of youth; how we can pool our resources to reach out to other educational institutions in Islamabad / Rawalpindi, and surrounding areas; and generally about issues facing Pakistan.

I cannot appreciate enough the interest and desire of Ms. Uzma Yasmeen to work with us on this important aspect of human interactions post passing away of a loved one in an act of terrorism. May Allah help and guide us in this endeavor. Aamin

I look forward to the participants’ inputs on broadening this undertaking of creating awareness of the human cost of terrorism particularly among the youth of Pakistan, and to our meeting with more people in the future.

School of International Law – Follow up interaction

December 2, 2012

we had a follow up on 29 Nov, to the 04 Oct, interaction with students at SIL.

well attended, and great interaction session, the students came prepared with the questions i had sent, and their search was in the right direction.

the questions answer session was intense and informative, and i found this group of youth to be fully aware of the ill’s of extremism, and active in “Saying No to Terrorism”

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new poem – untitled

November 30, 2012

omnipotence
presence
all-encompassing
supreme
lord of being
and all that has been
or will be
how can one
comprehend
the depth
or breadth
of the sway
at His disposal
when one can not
even know
the deep dark inside
of one’s own self
hidden under a sheath
a thin sheen
dulled by time
dust and grime
running after what
should be in our watch
forgetting what is for us
to be in the scheme
made on the day when
He molded the clay
to form till eternity
all, to obey
remember
exalt
but mortals we
not doing and
wondering
what went wrong?

23-Nov-12 6:58 PM

Behtar Pakistan TV Episode with me on the panel

November 21, 2012

i was on the panel in azm e alishan behtar Pakistan episode 6 telecast on november 17, and 18, the link to the episode:

https://vimeo.com/53916659

comments welcome. please circulate widely to give voice to our anti-terror crusade.

Behtar Pakistan an Azm e Alishan presentation

November 4, 2012

please click for the latest episodes, i will be a panelist on the program on 17 Nov 2012

http://www.azmealishan.com/behtar-pakistan-season-2-episode/episode/2