Dissecting the mind of a typical Malala-Hater

image edited from creative commons

There`s the fascinating enigma that is the human mind. And then there is the typical Pakistani’s baffling mind. It’s sometimes impossible to imagine the amount of hate-mongering  my country folk can accommodate in their over-stimulated, zealous brains. I always knew excessive chai (tea)-drinking had its repercussions.

This is not a debate on why Malala should be honored for her Nobel Peace Prize. Nor is this a rant on feminism and gender equality. This is an attempt to understand the mind of a typical Malala-hater. What on Earth goes on in their minds? Let’s dissect shall we?

1. Psst don’t you know?! Malala is a CIA agent out to destroy Pakistan!

Admit it. You`re jealous. Don`t be shy. You know you want the limelight. All those years of watching Hollywood movies about the CIA and spies, this fetish has taken its toll on that limited brain of yours. All those years of posing in front of the mirror trying to smile like Tom Cruise, or pout like Angelina Jolie must amount to something, right? You can`t see straight, so you now  live your fantasy through Malala. You can come out of that closet of yours now. I hear there is a rehab for people suffering from `why-does-Malala-get-to-have-all-the-fun`. You’ll ace it!

2. Obama, oops I mean he-who-must-not-be-named also got the Nobel peace prize!

Tell you wait. Let`s make a deal. I will accept this twisted logic questioning the credibility of the Nobel Peace Prize, if you stop eating meat. Or if you are a vegetarian, stop eating vegetables. Because God forbid, many non-muslims and atheists etc. also eat these things. And surely that`s why you discredited Dr. AbduS Salam when he won the Nobel prize for Physics? Surely, he was not a version of the perfect Muslim your bigoted society rants about. Anyway, so I have a new diet plan for self-righteous people like you. Sand. Three tablespoons full, morning, afternoon and night. Pure grains of mother earth, without any western impurities. This could be a good source of fiber and when combined with water it might taste like pudding.

3. Malala is our enemy, America`s friend!

I see where you are coming from. After all, years of pent-up anger and hatred for the US is apparent in your actions and lifestyle. You love to eat at Mc. Donalds. Say what? Oh yes, you only eat Mc. Arabia because obviously it sounds more Islamic. Anything to do with the Arab world is a bump in the upward direction. You buy jeans from Levi Strauss & Co. Oh sorry, I forgot one important detail. You always keep your jean folded from the bottom like a dutiful Muslim. And let`s not forget the American perfumes you buy every year on Valentine`s day for your boyfriend or girlfriend. A beautiful day like that is never complete without your iPhone’s stark image capturing abilities.Lets just leave it at that shall we?

4. Why didn`t EDHI get the Nobel Prize? BooHoo.

Why did the chicken cross the road? What did the ant say to elephant? Seriously, is this your idea of a logical argument? Abdul Sattar Edhi is one of the most honored and respected people in our country and surely he deserves the Nobel Prize and an even bigger honor if there is one. But that is his fate and his destiny. Stop comparing apples with oranges. Go do something productive. Peel an orange, sprinkle some salt and eat it up. Maybe vitamin C will unblock that sinus and help your stuffy mind to think straight.

5. Malala should get an Oscar (Malala = Drama)

Sure. Why not? After all, she acted brilliantly  when she faked an almost-death from an almost-bullet and then recovered after hours of an almost-surgery. Oh but wait. Why do you watch the Oscars? Demonic unicorns and Obama clones sponsor them. Turn off that television of yours will you! Better yet, burn it, before they get to you too!

6. Malala has done nothing to deserve the award.

Let`s make another deal. Why don`t you get shot by a fanatic, get miraculously cured and then speak among the most influential people of the world at the UN for the basic educational rights of girls in Pakistan. You up for the challenge?  Or would you rather sit smug in your homes, cooking up far flung conspiracies that satiate your sadistic inclinations. Oh no wait. You pray 5 times a day, have a mehrab (prayer bump) on your forehead and say MashAllah and InshAllah in every sentence you speak. Bingo! You have the magic ingredients. Who cares if you cheat and lie in your work?Who cares if you make a pomp and show of everything from religious practices to weddings? Who cares if you gossip and spread vicious rumors? Who cares if you slander actors for their profession and then spend nights watching porn? Congratulations,  you are officially a better human being.

Malala, I`m sorry, but can you please hand over your award to the morbid bunch of cry babies our poor country has to tolerate.


Disclaimer: Since the arguments of all cynics of Malala are so random and pointless, it seemed befitting to counter them with equally far-flung and ridiculous notions such as the ones presented in this blog. Those who feel offended can do so by all means. That is the sole intention here, in case you didn’t notice. You know who you are.




Wednesday Wiseness: When Hope met Faith…

Hope was dying. Her bruise was soul-deep. An existence that was mutilated by an open-house of attackers. She was stabbed by hypocrites, kicked by liars, slapped by the wretched.  Her life begged for release.  One drop of blood after another, she lost herself. How can you fix a soul when there’s no blood left?

And then Faith came along. Like a tickling breeze of reassurance. Like a cold sip of water on a scorching day. Like the embrace of a loved one. Like the welcoming ear of a stranger.  Like a shy beam of sunlight, peaking through sinister clouds. Like an unseen hand nudging towards the right path.

Hope opened her eyes again.  A flame of  promise shone through the ashes. An ocean of gloom surrendered. She took her first step. Then there was light. Glistening like a million fairies dancing beneath the moonlit skies.



If mentally challenged means having unlimited faith, then Henry McCollum is better than us

Imagine being accused for something you didn’t do. Not something trivial like breaking a traffic signal. Think farther, think  the worst. Rape. Murder. Imagine rotting in prison for thirty years for it. Now stop imagining because it’s all real. This is not a movie plot. It has happened to real people.

There’s a lot to be said of Henry McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown – death row inmates in North Carolina who were recently exonerated from the rape and murder of an eleven-year old girl after thirty years. Just when you think all goodness has left humanity, you come across people who show you what strength is all about. It’s not about power, money, or fame. It’s not even about being intellectual. It’s about having crazy, almost unreal belief that you will get by. It’s about having the foresight to see past the fog. The two brothers have been labeled intellectually disabled with limited abilities to read and write. But no one would have guessed their secret powers.

Two things that Henry can teach us supposedly intellectual people.

1. You don’t need much, just faith. In God.

In an interview to the press after his release, Henry showed utmost gratitude to Almighty God.  After a three decade long ordeal you’d imagine a disillusioned, angry person with hatred and vengeance oozing out like plant sap. What you see instead is the calm and thankful face of Henry Lee McCollum that blows you away. He is nothing you’d expect. In a world that teaches us to fight back with fury and hate, you don’t expect such faith. How can a person having suffered so much still be grateful? He has a low IQ, some would give this reason. But what does that prove, other than superficial standards of who is clever and who isn’t? He sees and feels what most of us don’t. He probably saw faith every morning in his prison cell. He felt gratitude in every breath he took, or with every bite of inedible food; reassuring him he was meant to live another day. Maybe his smile and the friends he made willed him to go on. He probably endured unimaginable horror but he held on tight. Imagine this level of gratitude coming from a person who experienced hell and came back. “God is good all the time,” he said. As it appears, it is the mentally challenged people like you and I who could do with a bit more faith.

2. Hope for the better, even if it kills you.

Henry took this quite literally. He hoped with the angel of death hovering over his head. He knew he wasn’t wrong and that is reason enough for the hopelessly hopeful. In Henry’s own words, “I knew one day I was going to be blessed to get out of prison, I just didn’t know when that time was going to be.” This stubborn and childish dream in a land where the sun refused to shine for thirty years is what makes Henry stronger and better than most of us.

Everyone doesn’t get justice like Henry. Many innocent people suffer till the end. But maybe hope and faith together make the journey livable.

It is rather presumptuous to call such exceptional people ‘mentally challenged’. I wonder why actual murderers, liars and rapists aren’t called so? If having a high IQ means humans can mastermind brutal crimes and treachery, aren’t people like Henry better off?

After Henry’s release, the first thing he learned was fastening his safety belt. Later on his father James shared plans to teach his fifty-year old son fishing.

If only unlearning hate, dishonesty and faithlessness were that easy.

Short Story: Spilt milk

‘Baba! Rida isn’t listening to me! She spilled all her milk. ‘ My son repeated himself almost four times but I couldn’t hear a word. Tears welled up as my children’s blurry faces screamed in front of me. Everything  was incoherent. As far as I was concerned, my world had stopped rotating. The sun refused to rise. And gravity had pulled a disappearing act.  Their mother, my beloved wife, was alone in the hospital, fighting a death sentence. And here I was, cleaning up spilt milk.

I dropped off the children at a distant relative’s house because my wife was in ICU. The city was humming with life. Whereas I felt as dead as an autumn leaf crushed under a heavy boot. Traffic was slower than usual. I saw happy pedestrians crossing the street. Mothers pushing their strollers with smiles of exasperation. The lights turned green and I didn’t budge. The car behind me didn’t honk. As if a sign from above, this little act showed respect for my feelings. Thinking that a rude honk could tear open a heart already on the verge of dying.  The world showed me sympathy. Their eyes brimming with pity. I didn’t like any of it. I didn’t want any of it.

My car pulled up in the crowded parking lot. At home I wanted nothing but to rush to the hospital. And now that I was here, my legs turned to steel. My hands became numb. I couldn’t move. The thick air inside the car gave off faint whiffs of my wife’s favorite perfume. I opened the dashboard and found her comb and her pink nail polish. I always made fun of her fetish for nail polish. Ever since the children, she never got time to put on nail polish while getting ready to go somewhere. Once the kids were buckled up in the car, she’d take it out of the dashboard and apply it on her hands and feet. Every time I made an abrupt stop, she’d give me her infamous look. Eyebrows furrowed, a suppressed smile and wide open black eyes that made me burst out laughing. Who in her right mind would put on nail polish in a moving car? Only she had a plausible answer for that. She always had an answer. Almost always.

I closed my eyes and pressed my forehead on the steering wheel. Faint sounds of ambulance sirens and voices bounced off my ears. Tears rolled down like lost streams of water with no ocean to merge into. I was a man. I was not supposed to cry uncontrollably. I was not supposed to shake with fear and bang my head against the bathroom mirror. I was not supposed to do a lot of things. Yet control was the first thing to disappear like soul from a dead body. I opened the door without looking and suddenly I heard a scream. I jumped out and saw a small, bald child crying at his bottle of chocolate milk spilled on the floor. ‘I am so sorry I should have looked before I opened the door.’  I bent down to help his mother clean up. She apologetically said it was not my fault, as if it was her fault her son was crying. The child was pale yellow like a wilting sunflower. My heart jumped as I saw his sorrowful eyes. I could have done anything for those eyes. After cleaning up I asked the mother if her son was all right. ‘Nothing a little medicine won’t cure, right Sam?’ She lovingly hugged her son, but her eyes betrayed the truth. He was far from ‘all right’. But she was with him and maybe that’s all that mattered.

I went back into the car and took out my wife’s nail polish. I felt a bit better. What perfect timing as I smiled looking up at the feeble ray of sunshine peaking through overpowering clouds. Maybe the child’s pain made it acceptable for me to lessen my pain. As if his anguish sucked in some of mine. I pressed the elevator button and made a solemn prayer to God. To give me the strength to make her smile. To give me the ability to be the best father. To give me the power to make every minute of our lives matter.


** This story is inspired by a true incident. I hope and pray that Allah gives health and strength to the concerned family. I also pray for cancer patients and their families suffering all over the world. Only Allah can give them the needed strength to fight such a monster. Amen. **