Tag Archives: human condition

To a Teacher’s quest, Nobody Protests!

To a Teacher’s quest, Nobody Protests!



Teacher introduces and implements a ‘five percent of the total grade’ assignment for a course in Islamic Studies that is compulsory for everybody in class. The whole class has to offer prayers at the college mosque. There are people from various sects and religions in the course. Nobody protests.

Teacher states that the military is the only institution that can  lead economic development, in terms of GDP growth, in Pakistan. In her first lecture on Macro Economics, nobody even tries to counter argue, since the teacher has an amazing reputation in the economics department. Nobody protests.

Communication skills instructor details in a half an hour long diatribe that students must watch Zakir Naik if they want the real truth in life. teacher goes ballistic on sole student who tries to question the logic behind that revelation. Student humiliated, and ostracized. Class moves on to further lecture on piety. Nobody protests.

Teachers questions why the Shia’s can’t even dare to challenge the writ of the state by protesting against the mass killing sprees all over the country. In the backdrop of the Alamdar road incident where the families did not bury their dead for four days, A professor claims that the shias should listen to the majority as the majority rules in a democracy. And yet again, nobody dares to stand up, its all about securing your grade and remaining in the good books.

Teacher feels up girls in class and calls his methodology “a spiritual reawakening of the student population”. Later he lambastes a girl for wearing a hijab who giggles and takes it in her stride. Teacher is woken up by his female teaching assistant everyday and escorted to class by girls who have to do it out of duty. Nepotism reigns supreme. Nobody protests.

Teacher mails students six hours before a mid term exam that 80 per cent marks are a prerequisite for students being able to qualify for their thesis in the final semester. Like lambs, led to slaughter, students appear in the exam next day, nobody protests.



“I am not an Island!”


It is a common phrase we hear, tucked in here and there to show that man is not self-dependent or independent, and in fact requires not only companionship but also strength in numbers in order to gain his sustenance.

If you come to think about it, even the natural order of things does not allow for me to be a complete loner. I was born as a sixth member of my family. Right when I was born I had two sets of grandparents, parents, fives uncles, an aunt, a dozen cousins and three (incredibly awesome) siblings.


As we begin to grow up, we are institutionalized, by which I mean put into academic ones. From this point forth our life is just a race through one school to another, or to a college, and then to a university and then perhaps to another university. All these years you manage to gather another web of people you begin to depend upon. Whole categories worth of people; teachers, acquaintances, school friends, college friends, and university friends. If you are lucky, you get promoted to another institution after that which is called quite aptly; work. And there you have another set of people to forge through and pick as your own; boss, colleague, project manager, you name it.


However, somewhere along the way we don’t just categorize the people according to how we know them, but also we begin to prioritize them. That uncle always gives me more Eidi on Eid so he’s the best. That school friend stole my eraser in kindergarten; she’s such a menace to society. That girl from university wear hideous clothes, does she not look at herself in the mirror before coming? I really don’t want to be seen with her.


With this prioritization of the people in our life, we begin also to alienate the people in our life. Sometimes we do it to a single person out of some grudge we have or a bad past experience. But other times we do it as a group; someone who doesn’t fit our perception of a friend and hence cannot be included in our confidantes.

The truth is though that by prioritizing the people in our life, we begin to treat them like commodities. We label them; pervert, druggie, psycho, loser etc. And with these labels we begin to shed these labelled commodities from our lives, very much the same way we label our old clothes when cleaning out our closets as garbage, give away, hopelessly old etc and then continue to dump them.

What we need to realize is the difference between not being an island and reducing someone to an island. Where yes it is wise to have some level of prioritizing in the people you love and trust, there we must also be careful to not make someone feel excluded. So your group of friends does not like a person, it does not mean that you must dislike them as well. In fact, befriend them and show your friends what a great person that person really is; or at least try to be polite to them.

Reaching out to other people and accepting the fact that we are all not islands drifting in the sea is key to human existence. You are not alone if you are with the right persons and then you realize the sense in never letting anyone feel that way either.

And if you are among the few who have been made to feel lonely and commoditized, don’t be shy to say it aloud, “I’m not an island!”


Injustices towards men of the 21st century



By Ahmad Akmal

Everyone knows about the troubles women have faced. But the largely ignored & in my opinion, the more important aspect is the hardships and absolute cruelty men face today.

Women in Pakistan always receive special treatment no matter what. People are likely to move aside and make way for you when you’re walking through a crowded shopping mall but us men have to force and squeeze our way through the hoard. People will gladly give up their seat for a woman if there are none available but men will have to stand and endure. Say, your car breaks down in the middle of the road or you get a flat tyre. It won’t take long for a stranger to come to the rescue and help out the lady in distress. What about poor guys like me who don’t know how to change a flat tyre? No stranger was nice enough to help me out. (Thank God my dad came to get me or I was stranded for good)

Personal experiences of my friends are testimony to what I’m trying to say here. A friend of mine once bought a product from an online shopping company, which provided some false information by mistake. Disgruntled by the lack of professionalism, she decided to vent in an e-mail and really let them know how disappointed she was.  Miraculously, the company replied the very next day. After that, they called her not once, but twice, to apologize once more. But wait, that’s not the end of it. They even offered her a free discount on the next product she purchases from them. I would’ve loved to receive such special treatment but unfortunately, that’s not how things work here.  I mean, I’ve never been able to get the people in Subway making your sandwich to put in more than 5 olives, ever.  But, I’ve seen a girl say “Olives zyada daalna please” and the guy literally threw in a fistful. Heck, they even agreed to deliver for free to an area where they don’t normally deliver to. Just imagine the kind of double standards at play here.

One thing that I never really understood is about how women get so angry when guys look at them. Okay, I understand that in Pakistan the staring has been taken to a whole new level but still, when a guy “checks out” a girl it means that they look nice and are attractive. I mean, I would be absolutely flattered if random women on the street were ogling over me and turning their heads to get one more glimpse of the incredibly attractive man their eyes are feasting upon. Talk about an ego boost. Instead, women get disgusted and complain about how men are so desperate and always staring. I just don’t get it. Although, I would love to see how women would react if one day, they show off themselves, as usual, and no one even bothers acknowledging their existence. Now that would be interesting. Ungrateful, that’s what women are.

Us poor men crumble under the burden of expectations and stereotypes of what a “real man” is supposed to be. Not all of us are tall and muscular, have plenty of chest hair and coarse voices and have a thick, carpetlike beard. It’s not our fault our DNA made us this way! There’s only so much you have control over. The majority thinks men need to be rough and tough and should not cry. But obviously, it’s okay for women to let the waterworks run. I’ve seen guys been made fun of for wearing pink shirts. Fine, I agree it’s a rather feminine colour but let the poor guy wear whatever he likes! Some guys get their eyebrows made and wax their arms and chests. Instead of calling them metro-sexuals, just let them be! They just want to look nice and pretty, like the ladies do. But no, women won’t be called names for doing the same.

Life is very hard for some men out there. Women just like to steal the spotlight with a bunch of made-up problems. All of this might be a part of a grand scheme, who knows. These women are evil & manipulative creatures. One can only imagine the kind of horror and injustice us poor men face everyday around the world.

To all the oppressed men around the world, stay strong. You’re not alone.