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A Convention Loving Profession

In a recent experience while assisting my senior in a matter before the Honorable Supreme Court, an honorable member of the bench during an experienced lawyer’s arguments commented with a smile, “Really innovative and novel arguments counsel”. We’ve all heard our seniors say that law is a convention loving profession. Everything about it is conventional and orthodox. And though the counsel got the partial relief, one couldn’t help but notice at ease that the smile of the honorable member of the bench was mildly sarcastic.

With a gavel, gown and the black suits, law being a convention loving profession essentially not only is not a bad attribute, but is understandable and logical. Some think the reason behind this is that most of the codified laws, both substantive and procedural, are decades old; some even more than a century. They have a point as many laws made in the near past are based on modern mischiefs, their premise and in most cases, the procedure is not novel. For instance, with the emergence of e-commerce and the like, there was a definite need for categorical codification of relevant rules e.g. Electronic Transactions Ordinance 2002, but the procedure is not by any means new.

The more relevant and significant reason for lack of novelty in the profession might simply be human nature. The means of breaching a law might have changed, but the ends are the same. There might be some fancy new way for stealing a car, but in mens rea, there is no novelty. Similarly, the means for a breach of contract, failure to perform an obligation etc. might be innovative but the chances of the ends being newly found are extremely rare.

In terms of procedure, the whole system is based on the doctrine of stare decisis; Meaning thereby, judicial precedents of higher courts forming a yard stick for the cases to come. Although the doctrine of stare decisis in Pakistan has strong constitutional basis supported by judgments of the apex courts (ironically), in numerous adversarial systems it is considered debatable that whether the doctrine is a constitutional requirement or is it merely a judicial policy that can be abandoned at the will of the courts. The answer, from the pro doctrine perspective can be found in numerous precedents, one of which, cited as 2018 YLR 1985, suggests that “Deviation from the principle of stare decisis could breed a sense of injustice and uncertainty. It could also lead to hamper trust of the litigants and public-at-large on judiciary”.

But one cannot remain oblivious of the fact that our entire legal system, as every other common law jurisdiction, is derived from the colonists and while criticizing the doctrine of stare decisis, Johnathan Swift, one of their own, says: “It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever has been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice, and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of directing accordingly”

However critically one analyses the aspect of law being conventional and orthodox, it is an incontrovertible fact that just like good wine (no practical experience there), law develops, strengthens and gets better with age.

College Memories


In the words of Charles Dickens, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”, we were in College (High School). The Eastern concept of High School is quite distinct from that of the usual Western ones. In fact it would be better to say that our College comprised of the students who almost idealized the Western Culture, but the administration had beliefs contrary to the imagination of the students. The main reason behind it being an orthodox mixed nature of College was that unlike other private institutions, this one was looked over by Pakistan Navy, deeming it a semi private institution. Although, the college was notorious outside its boundaries for being an extremely Western Cultured institution allowing the students to be immensely liberal in almost all sorts of matters, the situation was such that there was some strong segregation between the female and male wings of the building, and there were some really strict rules, the failure to follow which would lead to some intense retribution. Similarly, cell phones were not allowed inside the institution, bunking a class was most certainly prohibited and as almost all institutions, smoking was forbidden. Therefore the rumors that flew around in the atmosphere of different colleges regarding our college were almost entirely wrong.

The other day I was sitting with a couple of friends at a tea stall and we started recalling one particular day in our College life and it was pretty hilarious. It took us hours to wind up the conversation because our accounts were extremely elaborate as each and every single detail of the day was inscribed in our memories. Our college includes a semi formal administrative body of students called the students’ council. The hierarchy of the council is such that the College captain is the first in order, the Deputy, his subordinate. Then there are four different houses, each of which has a house captain who overlooks four prefects and a sports coordinator. I was a member.

The day we were discussing started as just another day in the College for us, meaning thereby bunking the first class of the day and deciding that we must start our academic day by having a healthy breakfast from a nearby market. The breakfast took longer than usual and we sat at the table for a good 2-3 hours, spending almost half the time of the College having breakfast, followed by tea and finally cigarettes (except me, of course I didn’t smoke). We all came by different modes at the breakfast place, some by foot, some by car, some by bikes and most by chance. We were thirteen and one of us owned a hatchback car. This is not a lie, we, the thirteen of us, sat in that hatch back and moreover the guy who was driving was in the mood to get us all killed. He started racing the car as soon as he saw 50 meters of clear road ahead of him anywhere. The roads we sped on included a boulevard which ran between the houses of some pretty important folk who had policemen as their protocol guards standing fast outside the houses, who in turn tried to stop us, but who were they to meddle with the verve of young blood.

One of us had to use the toilet owing to all the thrill and adrenaline and as funny as it sounds, it was a unanimous decision that if one of us had to answer the nature’s call, the act had to be performed inside the college. The car was parked outside the college, where there was a no parking board, because yes, we were cool like that . The guy, owing to whom we came to the college, rushed in and all of us sat outside the boundary of the college. Some of the other fellows, who had their own story of the previous half of the day, joined us as they were in the whereabouts. The weather was as beautiful as it could have gotten. The clouds covered the sun and the effect that the atmosphere gave was that it was about to drizzle. One of the fellows had a guitar and I started playing it. Some started singing to the tune of the particular song, almost all were smoking (except me, of course I didn’t smoke), most had their cell phones in their hands as text messages were considered as a trend back then. We were on a bunk, they were smoking, and we had cell phones in our hands. It sounds pretty silly now but we were breaking rules, although petty ones but rules all the same, and it felt good. It felt really good. That atmosphere had intoxication in it, not literal of course, but an intoxication of friendship, college life memories, the feeling of everything being perfect.

Whenever one has a feeling of perfection in life, it only has one problem and it is the same universally i.e. it does not last long. Accordingly, following the natural convention, the Principal, A commodore in the Pak Navy, and his second in command, the Vice Principal appeared straight out of no where and emerged smiling sarcastically into the previously beautiful scene. The smile on both their faces signified that either they were in a very pleasant mood that they saw us in this state and kept smiling or they already knew that they would find us here. The latter seemed more probable, as the former is something contrary to the law of nature. The beauty of the event was that the students who accompanied me were almost all in the students’ council, including two house captains, the deputy college captain and some prefects. It was so ironic that they used to enforce the rules which we were breaking by the virtue of the council, which we were the integral most part of. We all stood extremely straight, every one who was smoking threw their cigarettes away (except me, as of course I didn’t smoke). The cell phones were concealed, the shirts tucked in, the smiles turned upside down. Amongst us, the guy who was the senior most in terms of the council hierarchy, the deputy thought that he had been successful in not catching the eye of the administrators, and tried to sneak out by couching on his knees and silently walking on his toes slowly taking cover of the car while all of us, including the principal and the Vice Principal, were keenly observing him and wondering what he was trying to achieve. As the Vice Principal informed us, we got to know that the security cameras have been installed right on the spot where we were sitting the previous night and the output was accessible in the Principal’s room, by the virtue of which they caught us.

To our astonishment, the Vice Principal who was an unreasonably reasonable man, got hold of us before the Principal could pass any judgment as to whether suspend us or otherwise take more extreme steps, and asked me that why was I there. I’ve been complemented several times on my extempore framing of stories. I told him that we’ve been taking the make up classes of mathematics all day long and we were on a break as it was our sports class and we decided to sit here instead of going into the football field which was all sunny. The Vice Principal ordered us to go inside the college and sit in the class rooms. As we were walking inside, joyfully that the fortune is with us today, our mathematics professor emerged who was a bit of a strict guy. Before he could reach the VP and inform him that we were on a bunk and we didn’t take any class today and there is no such thing as makeup mathematics class, we ran as fast as we could, some to the cafeteria, some to the chemistry lab, some to the gym. Unfortunately, the mathematics teacher saw the guys who ran in the gym including me. As soon as we heard that the mathematics professor is at the door of the gym, me and a friend of mine took cover of the two pillars in the gym and hid ourselves behind them completely. If only Indiana Jones or Bond could see us take cover of that pillar, they would’ve burnt in envy. Surprisingly, the mathematics teacher, as soon as he entered the gym, called out my name and asked me to come out. I thought to myself that he is bluffing; he isn’t sure that whether I’m here or not, I kept as still as possible. He then called out my name and the name of my friend who was hiding behind the pillar with me and asked us to come out. We shared a look that he is definitely bluffing. We neglected all of what was around us and concentrated at concealing ourselves. A few seconds later I looked at my friend again who was then surrendering and I thought to myself, I’m not a chicken and I wont surrender. A few more seconds later I turned to the front of the pillar and there I saw a big mirror in which I could see the mathematics professor with a crowd of at least 30-40 students mocking me as they could see each and every single one of my expressions when I was thinking that I’ve deceived them. I was so embarrassed that I went straight to the teacher and said, “I’ll be in the class” and walked right past him. He too thought that the humiliation I was faced was enough punishment for me. That was the first time I saw him laughing. I’m glad I could help.

The bell rang signifying the end of the academic day and we all moved out of the college slowly talking to each other about the events of the day and how it went well at the end. As we got out, we saw the police car and the sergeant with the car that we were roaming in all day. Our hearts came to our mouths when we remembered that we’ve been signaled by the policemen and they could’ve informed the headquarters. The problem we were facing was that our college bags were inside the car and the sergeant said that all the bags inside the car would be held responsible. He didn’t say for what, but we got a clear picture of what was gonna happen. The owner of the car along with another guy went to the headquarters and we waited for them outside for a good couple of hours, then we returned to our homes and thought obviously it isn’t such a serious matter.

As I reached home, I got a text message from the owner of the car saying:

I’ve been expelled, all of the guys in the car would be suspended tomorrow for 2 weeks, message by the principal.

I advise you to inform your parents so that it might not come as a shock to them”.

Obviously, all of us were devastated. We formed a group like conversation over text messages and started sharing our views. Instantly we thought of the scene when our parents would be called upon by the Principal and he will inform them of all the misconduct we have been committing. He’s then going to tell them that we’re suspended. The image was so horrific that we all decided to tell our parents of the day. As soon as one of us told his mother, the author of the message sent a text saying that I was kidding and don’t tell anyone, the car was wrongly parked and he got a ticket only.

To others, outside our specific friendship circle, this day was not a big deal. We did not break any drastic rules, we did not commit some real daring acts, we know we were not cool when we over sped the car, we know suspension was not possible and even if it was, it wasn’t such big a deal and most of all we know, to a layman, this is lame. But every single one of us has memories attached to every single detailed second of this day and many other days which cannot be counted. Some people might say that we’re living in the past here, but I have formed a different view point. This is not living in the past, in fact this is cherishing those old, simpler, less complicated times which led us to be whatever and wherever we are now.

As we tried to finish talking about this day at the tea stall, everyone lit a cigarette and thought for a moment or two, and after those moments, everyone started their story in turn by “remember that time . . .” (except for me, of course I didn’t smoke).


Waiting for Mrs. Snake


Growing up in an orthodox Pakistani family, I’ve heard all the superstitions regarding the snake. It seemed a little exciting to me that snake is the only animal that either should not be meddled with, and if encountered by any chance, should be killed brutally and should be tortured in a manner that the eyes of the poor soul should be disintegrated and squeezed. The reason behind this torture, the source of which is some local folklore among the kids, some movies based on that folklore and finally the myths of mysterious things happening to the persons who neglected these tales, is that when a snake is killed, the lens of the snake’s eye freezes and it entails the image of the last scene that was witnessed by the snake before being killed. Therefore, the poor mourning Mrs. Snake swears revenge on the person who is seen in the image of the last scene of the snake’s eye when she visits to pay her last respects to the dead. Now after the revenge as been sworn, the myth describes that there are two modes in which Mrs. Snake will attack the murderer. The first way is quite understandable, by finding out where the person lives either by following him home or by using special contacts and finally when encountered, by killing him instantly. The second way is a little artistic as the myth suggests and requires a vivid imagination. Apparently when Mrs. Snake turns a full 100 years of age, she has an ability to transform her shape into a normal woman, with stunning beauty. She then traps the murderer (who is obviously alive) in the trap of her beauty and he obviously falls in love with her and then, she first breaks his heart and then kills him and hence completes her revenge. Surprisingly, a lot of people are a victim of these superstitions and one would be surprised to know that the second mode of revenge is more widely accepted to be true.

Thus begins my tale of misery where I encountered a snake. This is a real story and I have evidence to support it. Almost a year ago, my family decided to spend an afternoon in our under construction farmhouse in the vicinity. We purchased the land some 2-3 years ago. It is at the edge of a hill and is quite beautiful as one can view a big portion of the city and the mountains from it. So there I was, finding some wood to create a fire, hiking towards the top of the hill. When I got back from the adventure, my brother told me that they had spotted a snake of considerable size, almost 2 meters, who was sitting coiled up on a rock inside the walls of the farmhouse boundary. He forbade me to go near it but as D. H. Lawrence, curiosity got the better of me and I went there as soon as they started to make a fire. It really was a beautiful creature, mud colored, sitting all coiled up on a rock just minding his own business. I needed to take a closer look, God knows why, so I got near it. I thought it was dead as it was not moving at all. In order to prove my hypothesis, I found a long stick, probably a branch of a tree and poked the snake. To my surprise, it was not dead. It was not even close on being dead. In fact it was a lot brisk in reaction than I had ever imagined. It instantly leaped towards me but as it was the month of December, he was in semi hibernation mode and was out of touch, so he missed. He was a bit lazy to go back to his original position and I, totally in self defensive mode, found the window of opportunity. I instantly grabbed the spade and hit him right in the middle of the body from the sharper side. He started coiling instantly and I could see that he was dying and I had done a hellish thing. As I had hit him with a great force, the spade struck the rock and made a big THUD of a noise which attracted the attention of my family members. They saw the spade in my hand, the smile on my face, the comfort by which I was standing really close to the location where the snake was, they knew instantly that the deed had been done. From the very stick I was poking the snake playfully with; I picked up his corpse and threw him outside the boundary towards the uninhabited part of the hill.


It was then when my family members started reminding me of all the superstitions and the mysterious happening that had taken place after the murder of a snake. My mother, in particular, kept reminding me for a good hour or so about Mrs. Snake. I was inclined to go to the place where I threw the corpse when my mother finally decided to go and pay her respects and I literally freaked out. The snake was almost split in half and was still coiling and moving. I got really scared and the superstitions got the better of me. I took a rock and threw it over the snake which ceased its movement forward as the rock was too heavy. I went back inside and got the spade by which I defended myself previously.

After that I don’t know why I turned into a psychopath as I tortured it according to how I was supposed to, as suggested by the myths. In the end, my mother reminded me of Mrs. Snake that she may have already seen the eyes of the dead snake and may have stored the image of my face in her memory when I had thrown him in the uninhabited area unattended. She reminded me as to how Mrs. Snake will now take the form of an extremely beautiful woman and approach me. She then warned me to be aware of all the beautiful women that will try to get close to me without any reason. Lucky for me, there are no beautiful women in my life yet and none have approached me so far without any valid reason so far and not even one has ever tried to get close to me with or without any reason.

*sighs sadly, waiting for you Mrs. Snake, where you at…*

Political Toddlers

Not long ago, I remember engaging in a severely intense argument with a friend of mine who supported a political party, the one which I despised at the time. As it does, the argument was heading no where. The reason behind the encounter was the conflicting interests of the political parties we supported respectively and during the course of the argument we were trying to prove, by the virtue of swearing amongst other logics, that ‘the party I support is better’. I don’t remember what proved to be the turning point for me or when did it happen but since that argument I’ve developed a completely different view of the matter.

The problem, that I’m trying to highlight here, rests in our mindsets and our thinking. We feel immensely proud today when a 13 year old kid speaks of a political party, the one that we support, with great confidence, sheds light on the history of the political party and engages in a squabble with an elder defending his views regarding the party, assassinating the moral characters of as many figure heads of the opposing party as possible. Whether inn the end, the elder, as is more experienced in the art of character assassination and arguing logically on the most unimportant matters and non issues, wins the argument or not, we consider the kid to be headed towards wisdom. This process does not stop; in fact every single argument sets off a chain reaction in terms of arguments. The result of which is clearly evident in our society where at every corner of every street, the same kind of quarrels are taking place.

The first step towards finding the solution to every problem is always the hardest one, i.e. identifying the problem and killing one’s ego while accepting the fact that the problem rests in one’s own self. The situation has reached to such an extreme that almost in every household, the child of not more than 4 or 5 years of age, when he is not even able to form a view, learns either the phrase “dekho dekho kon aya, sher aya sher aya” or “zinda hai bibi zinda hai” or “jeena ho ga marna ho ga, dharna ho ga dharna ho ga” or solme other phrase of the sort.

Why are we politicizing our children? Hell, why are we even politicizing our youth? Obviously, all of the great scholars and the intellectuals are of the view that the youth of a society should be involved in the process of self governance and should be politically aware. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan himself strived all his life for the purpose of enlightening the Muslim youth of the subcontinent with regard to the politics and governance but we have neglected the fact that prior to all his efforts in politicizing the youth, his movement comprised of achieving a literacy rate amongst the same youth during which the idea of ‘aloofness from politics’ was practically applied. Today we stand at the same ground. We are at the very drawing board stages of literacy. Although some might argue that we are considered by almost all to be literate, one is inclined to argue that the standard of determination of literacy needs to be revisited as it has proved to be quite ineffective many a times. And even after achieving that literacy, the great scholar mentioned above never meant for people to fight amongst themselves over political loyalties and the like matters, what he meant was for the youth to be well acquainted with what their rights and duties were, both as a national and as a Muslim. When they had achieved the said target, only then they were able to discover the modes by which their rights needed to be protected.

One of the most essential elements of literacy is the knowledge of one’s rights and duties. It is encouraged that if the promised rights are not being protected or are being infringed, one demands in any effective manner that they be protected. But contaminating the minds of the youth with the lust for political importance and the loyalty towards some political faction while completely neglecting the particular faction’s policy and practical effectiveness in protecting the rights in accordance with the public policy should be stopped soon, otherwise the kids of tomorrow will idealize the political leaders based on their oratory skills in the political talk shows etc. We all know what most political talk shows yield. Nothing; absolutely nothing. Immensely intense arguments are heard from both the sides which include heavy swearing and the breach of all the codes of conduct for a prudent person in order to prove a point, which in the end even if proved does not matter.

One must consider for a brief moment to be independent of all the political affiliations and directing one’s attention and energies towards the knowledge of one’s rights and duties and the modes by the virtue of which they can be protected and enforced. The term political atheism is heard considerably in a greater magnitude than anytime before. But it is usually comprehended by a shallow approach which deems the term quite frowned upon. Usually, political atheism is used and understood to be synonymous to political impassiveness or apathetic attitude towards politics. In my view, it actually means the independence from all the political pressure groups and other affiliations so that an objective, rational, uninfluenced and independent judgment can be formed regarding the matters concerning governance, protection of rights, enforcement of duties and conflict resolution.

Sir Thomas Wyatt: Emo Sonneteer


There’s a time and a place for everything. Even for emo music, and that’s called high school. While I was never one for the level of sissypants sensitivity reached by Hawthorne Heights or Dashboard Confessional, I did have a special affinity for the works of Sir Thomas Wyatt, England’s first famous sonnet writer, which you’ll see counts for something.

My love to scorn, my service to retain,

Therein, methought, you used cruelty;

Since with good will I lost my liberty,

To follow her which causeth all my pain.

Boys and girls, this man couldn’t be more emo if he were dying his hair pink and weeping into his Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie. But he was Thomas Wyatt, the pioneer of the English sonnet, and I loved his stuff.

If you’ve read Wolf Hall, you recognize Wyatt as a peripheral figure who nonetheless led a very interesting life. In…

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Ten Things ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Taught Me


I remember back in 2010, lying in my warm comfortable and cozy bed one chilly winter morning, disappointed from the entertainment on the television, in my room and randomly surfing through the TV stations. Literally, nothing good was on. I mean if there’s a limit of utter frustration, I achieved it that day as the first station that aired the Hollywood movies was airing some Chinese detective documentary which to make it worse had been translated poorly into the English language by a guy with an immensely disturbing Indian Accent.

Now I know most people are, but I am not at all a fan of the movies with ridiculously lengthy songs and dances, in which the hero gathers a group of men who out of no where, break dance in the rain, which just as a matter of luck starts to pour when the crew starts their performance in the streets All in a nutshell, I hate Bollywood movies. The next channel that aired Hollywood movies had a movie named the Chinese godfather running. Now if you’re not aware of the movie named the Chinese godfather, I’d suggest you watch it at least once in your life. Trust me; it is an experience of a life time.

All the other stations had something alike on, so carelessly surfing through the channels, I stopped at the station that aired Comedy sitcoms. I was not a sitcom guy at all. It was just that my TV remote had stopped working and after I had ‘gently patted it on the back’ several times and it still had not started functioning, I decided to discover the inner comical sitcom lover in me as the bed was too comfortable and I was too lazy to get up and change the station from the buttons on the television.


It’s actually quite funny now that I recall that Marshal Erickson was a complete stranger to me when I first saw the episode ‘The best burger in New York’ that day. I absolutely loved it. It sparked my interest. And in my subsequent holidays I decided to start the series from the very first episode. There was no turning back from then onwards. Every day was an adventure for me. I know some might not believe me, but I downloaded the first 5 seasons in a week and watched them all collectively in a period of 8 days. The ongoing season was the 6th. I believe it was December and the 12th episode of the 6th season was out. I saw it the same day. I literally waited all day for the episode to be available online. This sequence continued till the 31st of March 2014, when the last episode aired. The moment It finished, I started missing it.


Enough for my sentimental attachment towards HIMYM, here are a few of the things that the show had taught me:


  1. A goatee doesn’t go with a suit. If you have a goatee and don’t have a suit, get a suit and get rid of the goatee. Suits are awesome.
  2. Whenever you’re sad, stop being sad and start being awesome.
  3. Even if you know that something is gonna end the way like you imagine it to be, you can not always enjoy the ride.
  4. You never end up where you though you wanted to be, that’s life.
  5. You cant just skip ahead to where you think your life should be.
  6. Eventually, we’re all gonna move on. Its called growing up.
  7. The future is scary but you can’t just run back to the past because it’s familiar. Yes it’s tempting.
  8. Revenge fantasies never work out the way you want.
  9. Never stop your search for your yellow umbrella.
  10. Whenever there’s a rank in some name, you have just got to salute the rank and the next name. For instance, it is a general conception that…

You put your hand to your head in the form of a salute and say General Conception.


If I had the time, I’d watch the series from ‘Kids I’m gonna tell you a story’ to Ted standing in the rain outside Robin’s apartment building (whoao that gave me chills). However, these are only a few of the things I have learnt from HIMYM. I mean seriously, I can write a book and maybe someday I ill, but in the words of the great Ted Mosbey, more on that later J

That day I got HIGH!


My blood is pure, I have never ever touched a drug or alcohol my entire life. That didn’t stop my friends though, some of them drink a lot but luckily for me, uptill now I have had the sense to avoid such disgraces to the society. From the time I gained my senses for the first time, thanks to my parents, I have never fantasized about getting high or drunk. I never even felt the desire to look ‘COOL’ as people say when they are high or drunk. The event I’m about to mention here is somewhat close to getting high, most of the folks won’t consider this getting high, but then again I have no intentions to fulfill their standards.


I was in Karachi, at a cousin’s wedding, when I saw a Paan with tobacco in it, being in my reach. Occasionally I enjoy a sweet Paan, but one with tobacco in it, I have never tried. In this part of Sindh, Pakistan it is customary to serve a Paan after a meal in such gatherings as a wedding, and people in the same area tend to add tobacco to their Paan, as they are used to the sensation.


For starters, a Paan is a preparation of betel leaf combined with areca nut, and has many variations. Adding tobacco to it is its original form as the early consumers of Paan used it as a stimulant.


So I was at this wedding and the waiter out of the blue pops from my side with a dish in his hand asking if I would like a Paan, I asked if it had tobacco in it. He replied yes sir, and I although making a frowned expression accepted it and placed it in my mouth. I wouldn’t lie, the first taste I got from it was absolutely disgusting. I felt a piercing feeling in my throat and I was about to spit it out when an esteemed cousin of mine said, dude you have to keep it in your mouth for a while. And I though yeah okay what the hell. After some 40 -50 seconds I got up and boy did I get up, there was a song playing named balam pichkari the lyrics went like:


Itna mazaaa ku aaraha haii”

(why does it feel so good)


And I started laughing, the reason being nothing. I went up to the stage where the groom was sitting with his newly wedded bride. Now at a Pakistani wedding at least, this is the most privileged and the most important location at a wedding as it is the attraction of all the eyes and gets all the protocol. So I went up to the groom, a fairly close first cousin of mine, and said, bro you have got to try this tobacco Paan, its amazing, trust me. And he eye balled me with anger as the photographs were being taken at that time and I was blocking the view. I was wearing a brown 3 piece suit, hair gelled back and a weird expression with a red fluid dripping from one side of my lips.


I realized the gravity of the situation and I went off the stage. I’m not proud of it but I had 3 more of them that night. Apart from the first one, they did not taste good. I came home and slept that day. The next function of the same wedding had to take place in Islamabad so we flew back to attend the Walima ceremony. And that is where the climax of this ‘getting high’ phenomenon took place. My uncle, the father of the groom, had arranged a Paan wala himself, inspired from the event at Karachi I guess. So there he was, at his stall, serving Paans to every one, but the different thing about this one was that there was 3 types of tobacco, sitting in 3 pots at the table. I panicked as I saw this because it isn’t considered decent to have a Paan with tobacco, and there was a lot of crowd at the stall. So I walked up to it, asked for a Paaan and without looking at the pots, I grabbed a fistful from each of them as the guy gave me a Paan wrapped in the paper. Now I went out quickly and placed the tobacco in the Paan and gobbled it. Turns out, I found out instantly that the Paan is supposed to have a very little amount of tobacco in it and I added more than ten times the tobacco an addicted person takes.


So I went back in, and I was floating, literally. First of all, I went into the lobby of the hotel and sat there for 20 minutes before realizing that I was sitting with my legs on the couch in a 5 star hotel, and scratching my head constantly. And as I further realized that my phone had been ringing for the past 5 6 minutes and I had no idea. I got up quickly and took the elevator to the 1st floor and found out that the wedding hall was in the basement. So I took the long ride back to the basement and went to the men’s hall. From the corner of my eye, I judged I was standing with my cousin. I grabbed his hand and said “dude, I put way too much tobacco in my Paan” and as I looked at him, it was a respectable looking stranger in a suit with a confused expression on his face saying, “I’m sorry?” I hurried my way out to the women’s hall and found my brother who was calling me on my cell phone earlier. By then every thing was normal. But I was told later that my cousins and my brother saw me wandering around the hall with a funny walk.


That was the last time I ever tried this strange phenomenon and I have sworn to myself that I will never try this again, and I assure you that it is not worth trying.

Confessions of an innocent teen


1. I’m not always playing a game on my cellphone at night.

2. My cellphone doesn’t go to the silent mode by itself.

3. That apple and mint scent coming from my shirts is definitely not fruits.

4. No i never bought that lighter for the torch behind it.

5. When i was 10 years old, mum gave me Rs 50 to give to charity, when the bell rang, it was actually my tutor and i told her it was a beggar and i gave him the money, while i actually kept the money in my pocket and told the tutor that im not feeling well today so i wont be able to study.

6. Whenever a leg piece of chicken is missing from the dinner, mum’s actually right, i always sneak in and take it when she’s done cooking.

7. Whenever some one gets me something expensive from a foreign country, its not by mistake, i actually demand it.

8. My school never asked me to go watch a cricket match and cheer for our college team on their behalf.

Things Pakistani Girlfriends Say


In all my years (only 20, though I love to use the expression) I have never encountered the situation I’m going to write about here. These facts have been described here after years of bragging and boasting of my friends, making me jealous of them having strong ties to the members of the opposite gender, being of the same age group and not amongst the family. And sometimes these strong ties were complimented by involvement of their feelings making them even more affectionate, and naturally making the ratio and quality of their boasts and brags even higher. All in a nutshell, they had girlfriends, I didn’t.

Love does make a man stupid, I am a witness o this fact. As soon as my friends got involved in their relationships, they started acting strange and the things they boasted about fulfilled the requirement of humor for my mind for at least a day.

For instance a very close friend of mine used to giggle as he boasted, “Usman, you just can’t imagine how good it feels when she asks me for something, like the other day she asked me to send her some mobile credit. She thinks so big of me, she asks this favor every day. She gives me the opportunity to serve her every day :’) I’m so in love”

Most of the friends I come in contact with are Pakistanis and the one’s having girlfriends are almost all in a relation with the members of the same nationality. They tell me the weirdest things their girlfriends say and they think it’s perfectly alright in fact they regard them as cute. Some of them are:

  • The strange names they give to their counter parts like, ‘Jaaaaaaanuuuuuu Babbbbbyyyyyyyyy’ ‘Melaaaa Shonaaaaa’ ‘Koooochiiiiiii Koooooooooooo’ ‘Cocomooooooooo’ cuppycakeeee’.


  • The strange jealousy they have with a female colleague of yours. “Who was she?” o just an old class fellow, “May she rot in the deepest dungeons of hell with Beelzebub”



  • You just got hit by a car, and she says, “Oh my God, Are you all right? What happened” and after making sure that you’re completely alright or slightly injured she utters, “What the hell were you thinking, why are you so careless, what would I do without you, you could’ve died, you don’t care about me, I know its all because I’m ugly and you don’t love me anymore”


  • She texts, “hey baby” it’s perfectly fine. You text “Hello honey” she replies, “Haya karo thoree, auqat men raho apni” (have some shame and stay in your limits)


  • Her birthday, you give her a chanel wrist watch, a teddy bear, a pack of rochers and a big birthday cake. Your birthday, a cheap dairy milk chocolate and trust me, some of my friends say it is the best gift ever as she gave the chocolate with love. Yeah right, Can love be cheaper than this.


  • You forget to text her in the morning at the usual 7 AM, you realize this at 7:15 and you text her, “Good morning honey”, the reply devastating, “Go Die”.


  • Her dog dies, the result, you are comforting her for the next week. Your uncle dies, the result, same.


Once again I would like to mention here that these experiences have nothing to do with me, they are just some of the things my friends tell me. Yet I have not experienced the feeling of love except for when I hear some thing frying in the kitchen or when I see my brother getting out of the car with an extra soda in his hand.


But this girlfriend affair, I’m saved by the nature till now and the ones who are beginning to enter this strange covalent bond, I’d warn them that please, stay away as long as you can.

The Chronicles of a Potential Terrorist (Part 3)


part 2: ( )

Day 106

I am so excited today. Keith is taking me tomorrow to that place he told me about 3 weeks ago. We had a suicide blast at the start of this week which caused an enormous damage. A mosque was targeted this time, yes a mosque. The authors of theses drone attacks are a bunch of goofs. No, not them, our government is a beautiful composure of idiotic brains. I mean this is just pointless. For the attackers, this is just a mere excuse that we are manufacturing terrorists here because clearly a person attacking a mosque and blowing himself up is in no way considered a Muslim, even in some of the extremist sects, which is a very rare instance. So what seems to me is that the authors of the drones are generating these suicide blasts themselves. But why? Why us? We are not doing any thing illegal here. We had families too, our children used to go to schools and leisure areas too. Aren’t we normal people? What crime did we commit? There were no deaths fortunately in the blast, just some minor injuries, as the blast did not occur in the mosque but at its gate. And not even during the prayer time. I’ve been thinking a lot about why did they choose such a time. Why not during a prayer time. It seems that the intent was not to harm anyone physically but just spread terror. I have my mind set right now on the place I’m going to visit tomorrow. Finally I’ll get to help someone, I’ll get to feel the goodness of helping the poor and the suffering. What am I thinking? Am I not poor? Am I not the one suffering in life? What has brought this change in me? I’ve been visiting the graveyard every single day for the past 106 days. If I be completely honest, my children’s graves are the secondary factor that pulls me to the graveyard, the sweet words of Quran’s Recitation being the first. Although I don’t get the meaning of the verses, still the relaxing sensation is unexplainable.

Day 108


Keith is wealthy man, as I found out during the 4 hour drive to Muhammad Khel, another area of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, up towards the north from my village. Mohammad Khel is one of those areas which is constantly hit by drones, just like ours but it has more recognition in the country for it is very famous for the lamb curry made at a local restaurant there, hence the reason for the rehab  camp so the NGOs working for so called charity will extract more fame. The journey was not boring, we mostly talked about the therapy and how it helped, with occasional cigarettes, smuggled from Afghanistan, Marlboro formerly known as Phillip Morris. There was not as big a camp as I expected, some 70 – 100 people residing under it temporarily until the NGOs help them find a replacement for their demolished houses in result of the attacks. Keith was right. To help them, these people just like us, is like restoring our lives, or at least trying to see the happiness in other people’s eyes which our eyes are lacking for a long time and surely which is not gonna appear any time soon. Keith and I were the only ones who were amongst the victims and were also volunteers to help others. No one knew that except us. Keith told me he had found the place about 2 months ago when a friend of his came to visit him in our village. His friend being a Muslim had a long beard, and wore thick spectacles. He wore a woolen cap at all times, or at least for a day and a half we stayed there. But there was something about this man, something very different than other Muslims. His attire and expression was not at all polite infact his voice was a bit scary. His words, never illogical as he justified every thing he said by a logic afterwards. We stayed the night at his house, a big single story house, barricaded by big fortified walls having burges in them. Barbed wire ran over them. I was surprised at this and upon my asking Keith, he told me that his friend also very wealthy, rented this place for the rehab. I woke up at night and I noticed that Keith was not present, I went to the hallway, and I heard laughter and talks from another room nearby, peeking in I saw Keith and his Big Bearded friend. Keith was drinking, I’m quite sure of that, his friend also had a glass in his hand but didn’t seem drunk and the glass was almost empty. I went back to our room and slept after staring at the roof for at least 40 minutes. When we were leaving the next morning, His friend, Mr. Daud Khan asked me that did I enjoy my stay here and how did it feel to help the others, I ddint lie, it was pretty good. After a long long time I felt alive again. And I thanked him for his hospitality and even after the little event during the night, I promised him that I will come again next week because I want to be able to make something out of my life again. Keith is not the sort of person who doesn’t get your gestures and body language quite easily. Upon his asking I told him of what I saw at night, he smiled and said, Daud Khan will never drink, but his hospitality is remarkable, as he specially arranged it for me. He was just having a soda. I believed him, or maybe I wanted to believe him. But I was certain of one thing, I would see a lot of Daud khan in the upcoming weeks as in my life, I had already started a new chapter of my life in Mohammad Khel.


Day 109

I have started my first Surah of Quran Today after an inspiring and amazing story that how Quran calms the heart I heard at therapy today. I want to be able to pray too, and I’m certain one day I will. I learned a very good thing about Keith today, he listened to the story of Quran very calmly and smiled at the end and clapped too. This is how a man should be. But at my shop today two of my regular customers, a gardener and Kamal Khan’s brother just gave me the hint that I should keep a little distance from Keith. You never know about these Christians, they said, they may turn out to be the sepents under the flower. I felt bad about them, look at how Keith listened to the story of Quran with such patience, while us Muslims, we cant even stand them. I’m feeling a little down today, probably will miss therapy tomorrow. At least Daud Khan is not like them, I mis judged him, he is a man of honor. I wish I could go to Mohammad Khel again very soon.

To be continued…