Monday, August 22, 2011

In the city of strangers

Live Show of Natural Selection,
Some are born travelers. Perhaps I am not because I am more interested in people than buildings (I think it is people that are the sources of everything...if people aren’t glorious, how they can think of and work for glorious constructions?....that would a great contradiction). When I heard that Islamabad is the city of strangers, I got more interested to see how the people interact with each other. The reason of interest is a historic one. I am not an exception in taking interest in the people of this region. Anyone who is interested in cultural evolution would take interest as this region is a live laboratory as well as a museum for cultural evolution. One can see the vicious competitions among cultures that most of the time becomes very violent (I think if Darwin was living in our times and he was aware of what is going on in Karachi and Balochistan, he wouldn’t give much importance to fossils as there are live shows of Natural Selection…Fellow citizen kill each other and try to harm each other’s properties in every possible manners…Perhaps it is the real nature of humankind that in times of peace are covered under fake layers of religion, humanity and so on)…..
Cultural Amazon,
Yes, I was saying that the reason for my interest is historic. This region has seen many invasions from major nations of the world in different times and has absorbed the cultures of the invaders, so we see much cultural diversity in this region. IF YOU CALL THIS REGION AS “CULTURAL AMAZON”, I think it would not be an exaggeration (The amazon is famous for its ecological diversity)….The language (URDU), Music (One amazes when see the diversity of musical instruments, vocal varieties and the details of musical nodes…it is much detailed than western musical nodes)…I must acknowledge that I am not expert of music but even an laymen can have a sense of the diversity of the music of subcontinent… Religion, Life styles (From ancient tribes of Sindh that live around isolated lakes and have preserved the relics of ancient Sindh Valley Civilizations to remnants of the Greek invaders in northern areas and diversity of different tribes that still kept alive ancient Iranian, Turkish, Mongolian and Hindu cultural relics with them)… and so on….
Looking for a senior driver,
If you have all these things in your mind and you step in the city of strangers, you would wander among the faces, the way they walk, talk, and behave and of course the way they live. It wasn’t my first time (It was my sixth visit) that I was visiting the capital city of Pakistan but I was more excited this time. The main reason was the intensification of the competition among different tribes and nationalities of Pakistan. Islamabad is called city of strangers because one can see the people from around the country living in Islamabad. So the first thing that I did was to look for a senior driver who have seen the expansion and growing of Islamabad so I could learn something from him. Many drivers came to me but I was looking for a senior one. A driver with reddish brown colored hair and short white beard approached me. “For how many years, you are driving in Islamabad?”....I asked….He looked a little bit puzzled and then replied, “It is almost 20 years that I am driving”…he answered.. “OK, good, show me your city then”….
Revolution in Pakistan?
He was originally from Lahore and came here at the age of 11 to then newly built Islamabad in search of a good life… however, Islamabad didn’t have much to offer him. He was broken and angry and was telling me again and again that revolution is near and people will snatch the wealth from wealthy rulers who aren’t willing to share their fortunes with their fellow countrymen…. Though I couldn’t agree with him but I didn’t say anything to let this old man say what a lot of old men say (I wasn’t agreeing with him because he whole life was limited to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. If you live in Islamabad, you can think of revolution because most of the residents are educated and are strangers who came in hope of a better life here….But people who have seen Karachi and Balochistan know very well that this country is deeply divided and people are more interested to fight with each other than to fight against the key issues like poor governance, poverty, diseases, illiteracy, lack of essential infrastructure, rule of law and so on…Revolution…that is only a crazy person’s dream…Chaos; Yes that is what we can see on the ground and everyone is working hard to spread it)….
This post became tool long…so I leave it the rest for another time :(

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Let's beat the drum!...!...!...!

Yeah, Let's beat the drum...In month of Ramadan, some people beat the drums going street to street to wake up the people in predawn time...I was always fascinated by their jobs; they wake up people from sleep in a time when they are in deep sleep... Socrates were thinking that most of us are in deep sleep like that of predawn time, so he was going from street to street in ancient Athens and cross-questioning people to show them that their lives are un-examined...When we do not analyse our beliefs and world views then it is like living in sleeping mode...The stronger the certainty in unexamined worldviews, the deeper is the sleep.......

As there is no Socrates to stop us on the streets to cross-question our worldviews, keeping diary is way to open yourself for your examination (it is famously known as self-accountability) here I have started beating the drums...let's see how much I am going to be committed to my diary :)