I am not proud to be a Pakistani

That is a powerful line, that. “I am not proud to be a Pakistani” sends a very strong message indeed. If I say this, you are thinking, “OK so this guy is sick of one or the other aspect of the society that we all feel bad about. And has taken his feelings perhaps a bit too far,” or something like that.

So what is the counter to that feeling? You say “I am proud to be a Pakistani”.

Did you get it? No? Thought so.  Let me try again.

Quite some time back, there  was this sudden surge of badly printed t-shirts that had ‘Proud to be Pakistani” written on them. You’d see a fair amount of people wear them, from your average Bashir (our generic version of average Joe, of course) to celebrities like Shoaib Akhtar etc. Here’s what this shirt is actually saying:

I know that you wouldn’t be proud of being a Pakistani, but hey, guess what, I am. I am proud to be a Pakistani.

What the hell? Is that’s how it is now? You already assume that people think you ought to be shameful of being a Pakistani, as if you have something to hide. Much like a little girl blabbering out to her Mother, “No mommy, I didn’t eat that chocolate cake,” without the mommy even asking. That’s guilt written all over it. Heck, it is gawddamned understood that I belong to this place, it is called Pakistan, the flag’s green and white with a crescent moon and a star, and no, our flags don’t really have Mickey Mouse on ‘em or anything. This place right here, this place right here is my country, my home and my two by two or four by four or whatever. This is me and I don’t need to tell you that I own it.

P.S. Wearing yourcountry’s flag’s colors on your person is not the same thing, people. That shows association and nothing wrong with that. Boasting your flag on your blog or ‘Going Green’ is all good, as it is an exercise in assimilation. Saying something like ‘Proud to be a Pakistani’ just does not cut it, folks. I have more than one foreigner poke mild fun at these so-called ‘slogans’, and that only proved what I had been saying, stop being so defensive, find the truth and stand by it.

Will Amazon’s Kindle fight back?

Amazon has been lazy, has been slow. The Kindle was introduced with the dinosaurs it seems, yet only recently was it upgraded to include countries other than the US. Fantastic, because I would finally be able to take my book-skimming habits with me – well, not so fast, the damned thing STILL does not work in Pakistan, where we ride to work on camels and use rocks to light fire and use pigeons for emails. Putting the ‘US-is-the-world’ bias that runs through pretty much any high-tech company, let’s see if the new Barnes and Noble e-reader will give Amazon a run for its money.

Short answer: Hell yes.

On with the long answer now:

Continue reading Will Amazon’s Kindle fight back?

Keyboards are on the way out, seriously

Image: <a href=Let’s get one thing clear, the keyboard is not a good thing. It doesn’t matter if I can type at a million words per minute, which obviously I can, the bottom line is: it is not ‘natural’. Before you go all Darwin on me with this, what I mean by ‘natural’ is that the keyboard itself has no value – it is a separate piece of hardware that just ‘has’ to be present if you want to interact with your computer. Think about it, it was and is a necessary evil to communicate with a machine. The introduction of touch screens was a step closer to a natural way of doing things – it removed the clutter of input devices such as the mouse and the keyboard. If anything, Microsoft’s Courier is a very exciting product that is not a concept and is to hit the markets any time now. If the introductory videos of MS Courier is anything to go by, the new wave of technology will change the game itself. (Of course, Microsoft’s Windows 7 is geared for the touchscreen world, so this evolution of Human-Computer Interaction is no surprise).

The Blackberry-owners would disagree that keyboard is much faster than iPhone’s touchscreen. Well, I own a Blackberry. Say that to any hardcore iPhone user who will set you straight. And note, iPhone is the ‘first of its kind’ – give this touchscreen technology a few more evolutionary cycles, let Microsoft steal it properly (via the super-awesome MS Courier tablet) and then come back and tell me that keyboards are a good thing. Ha!

Going solo in Pakistan

Freelancing in Pakistan is something that is very much underrated because it is very much misunderstood.

As per definition of the word itself, a ‘freelancer’ is one who:

… sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them

To be a freelancer, you don’t need a degree. Starting from the PKR 300 per day mazdoor to PKR 15,000 per day consultant, a lot of people are making some serious amounts of money with freelancing.

But how many of us want to go the freelancing route but just don’t?

Continue reading Going solo in Pakistan

Scared

Being scared is easy, just try something new.

I have been scared.  A lot. I never thought I could do that I just did do. I tried. But I did it only because what I attempted was easy, just like everything is once you’ve done it. But before that, it seems so worthy, so magnificent, so meaningful, so difficult – like everything worthy does.

Never though I’d contribute towards my first song that will see the air of play :). Never though I’d earn from a set of businesses, never thought I’d get to call myself a consultant, never thought I’d have a home office and I never thought I’d achieve my life goal that I had in college, before my life was over. All this and more. Scary stuff, all of it, but only when I hadn’t done it. Allah has created us, after all, so outdoing ourselves is not that big a deal. But only when the deal is done, not before. Before that, it is scary time.

And right now, I am scared.