Category Archives: Satire

Never give up on your dreams, keep sleeping.

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Never give up on your dreams, keep sleeping  – Saira Ansari

 

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Until the 12th grade i remember waking up for school with sounds of news channels growing louder in the other room, where my parents would have their breakfast while watching TV. These channels not only provided the 7 am latest but also, there were these morning shows where the host would appear in extra overdone make-up and heavy dresses to talk about everything that was pointless and unimportant. During my 10th grade i remember ‘Good Morning Pakistan‘ being one of these shows.
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They had Dr.Shaista Wahidi hosting with new guests, asking them ‘deep’ questions about their lifestyle, personal relationships etc. The show usually ended with Shahista Wahidi dancing to a hip desi song with the invited guest. All of this happened live; and that too at 7 in the morning. On one of these shows i remember Sahista Wahidi attempted to kiss a cobra with an action/thriller background playing in the studios. To spice things up and make it more tense for the audience, her father called her on the show and begged her not to kiss the snake. But of course she did. And then it just kept on getting worse.
By the time i was ending my 12th grade i remember every single channel airing morning shows with the same script outline which included different segments like the cooking corner, morning exercise corner, horoscopes, beauty tips, live calls and even a special segment dedicated to birthday wishing only. Nadia Khan from ‘Mornings with Nadia‘ on ARY was very popular for her special birthday dance which personally shocked me. These ladies did anything and almost everything to get better ratings. Now i see the morning media situation has continued to worsen. We have theme weeks now!
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There is the wedding week where the host gets hold of an ordinary to-be married girl, provides her with designer clothes and expensive make up packages. The studio set is turned into a shaadi stage and you even see models pretending to be at a wedding, sitting and chatting around on the set. Then there is the valentines day theme which obviously every single channel MUST follow. Whatever news or drama channel you switch over to on this day, you see red. Then comes the women’s day theme and the eid day special (this continues for 4 days. It just has to) . And if they have nothing to talk about, they bring in a maulvi ghost hunter or astrologist who takes live calls and ‘helps’ the audience with their personal problems. If that doesn’t work either, the hosts bring their families on the show and talks about themselves while their kids run around in the studio or start crying on live television..
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There isn’t much left to say because I’m sure everyone else has witnessed such morning show cheapness as well. At the same time i see why no one bothers to change or make such shows better because this is what the audience want to see. And believe it or not, they want to see all of  it as soon as they wake up. Aunties and sometimes even very decent uncles just give in and watch these shows because that’s just all there is to watch during certain times of the day. Such overly done segments get the channels their ratings and make the hosts more popular too.
God bless Pakistan.

 

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Epiphany

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“I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think”
Friedrich Nietzsche

The Fractal House.

The Fractal House.

 

As I drown myself into the deep abyss of scrutiny, voices break my mind into a puzzle. This enigma, the mind, something hard to put back, speaks to me with perplexity. And as it does, it dismantles from the rest of me. But what is this rest that I speak of? Isn’t my mind me? Isn’t it what elucidates me? Or is it the heart that steals the strength I have, weakening me with every scarlet tear it sheds?What am I made of? Am I made of dreams? Of spirit? Or just bones? Is there something that dwells within me, which holds me together? Or is it just reality that holds me intact, telling me that I am existent. Can it be true that the world we live in, the steps we tread everyday don’t really exist? That the words I’m carving on the wrinkles of this paper are a dream? But a dream of what? And every time this thought assails my mind, I pinch myself to prove that I exist. But does the pain that screams within the wound that I gift myself justify my being?

 

As I narrow my eyes, fixated on the hand of the clock, ticking its way to it’s friends that await it, a notion tingles my mind. Is the hand of the clock forced to move away from one comrade to another? To say a goodbye so quickly for a speedy hello? Or is it that these friends aren’t really friends? The clock, like every being, is ordered by the norms of society to know another to make itself known in order to exist. But who orders us? Who sets these norms for us? Is it the dominant paradigm, or is it a spiritual entity? Who determines that the sun has to burn the earth knowing that some people may not conceal themselves? Who orders the dark to set, knowing that it might camouflage the beast within? Who decides the fact that the bee has to die after it stings its enemy? Who determines these gruesome specifics to a degree where they feel just fine?

 

In a world where every word is a prejudice, where man devours another, where the existence of truth is a lie; Is it wise to have faith in a being that hasn’t been acquainted to your iris? Or is it naïve to think that the pink veins of the flower gave birth to themselves without the help of a supreme individual? And I ask myself; Is man one of God’s blunder’s or is God one of man’s?
But as my hand scribbles its way to its last words, my mind still wandering in a maze of unattainable desires, I sigh as I watch the woman in the water staring back at me with more strength to breathe in the answers than I do

 

 

Flashback Pakistan: Reverse Gear

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Flashback Pakistan: Reverse Gear – Saira Ansari

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Two days ago, during my usual time wasting midnight activities; which always include over-dosing on food with pointless staring of  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram news feeds, I came across this page called ‘Citizens archive of Pakistan‘. The page belonged to a non-profit organization operating from Karachi. What I found out while looking around on their page was that they really didn’t have any kind of historical archives which showed the long forgotten Pakistani history, photography, culture, literature or some sort of historical documentations of the 60s and 70s. Instead, all of the published content was related to recent events held at schools, orphanages and various art exhibitions.
Most of the time during classes, I hear my teachers talk about how times have changed. Sometimes they discuss and try to make us understand about the evolving of history by talking about their own personal experiences and the things that they could or could not do in the early 70s or 80s in Pakistan. Experiences like going to large rallies in support of a progressive and more democratic state, celebrating Basant, living in older parts of Lahore, the kind of liberal environment found in high class hotels and restaurants before the Zia era or even the excitement of going to a cricket stadium to watch our team play. So I began searching for other sources online where I could find old pictures of the open and Pakistani society which I always heard people talk about around me and I was able find out many interesting pictures and facts, some of which I have shared here.

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I came across beautiful post card stamps and tourist cards from the 60s which showed parts of Pakistan or had Sufi miniature artwork on them. I found pictures of a bar, restaurant and ballroom in Swat from 1970. During the 80’s the ballroom became an arcade games hall with the very first coin-operated entertainment machines. There were Pakistani Tudor cigarette
commercials made especially for female smokers. I also found pictures of tourists visiting areas such as Chitral, Attock and Multan during the 80s.
What I saw in these images was a safe and pleasant country where foreigners were welcomed and treated as guests instead of being slaughtered or kidnapped. The local populace had the freedom(s) without fear of being stopped or ‘Islamized’. It was while looking at these images of Pakistan that I realized, yes, there was a time that existed. When my country was a ‘sane’ place to be; My grandparents and my parents did live their early years in better times…most of the time, what i experienced and grew up watching on television was operations, strikes and killings and now in an effort to shun monotony, we witness suicide bombings by terrorists. There is no direction to take, we are still and for a long time will be
in the reverse gear.

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