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.

 

 

 

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‘Burka’ spins another tale

The ‘Burka’ is known for its controversial spin pertaining to every thread of its existence, specifically in the last decade. From being the ultimate garment of female oppression, to being the ultimate symbol of piety; this cloak has a new tale to tell each time

Burka is notorious for its widespread use in being the ultimate disguise. No wonder the government of France suffers from delusions of Burka clad terrorists invading their country. Its application is interestingly varied; from a low-budgeted Pakistani horror flick – Zibahkhana, where the scary antagonist dons a gruesome burka; to a real life desperate lover who uses the concealment to meet his girlfriend in a girls hostel; and wait, it gets even better! I recently read about an under-age teen who bought liquor in Toronto last year, dressed in a Burka, and almost got away with it.

Amid this mockery of an otherwise benign attire, comes a refreshing new addition. The `Burka Avenger`; Pakistan`s first woman super hero! For someone who loves the entire superhero shebang, all oodles of curiosity were kindled the minute I laid eyes on those big, brown eyes courageously peeping through her shadowy attire. A brilliant concept on many levels. Firstly, tackling a recent and important issue on girls education in Pakistan, following the Malala incident. Secondly, using the Burka as a disguise in a country where it is still a mark of respect and acceptance, no matter how much ridicule it may disperse globally. This may be the most viable use of the poor garb just yet. Lastly, using a Pakistani woman as a superhero to impart the importance of education over a widespread ignorant and misogynistic society is ironic yet perfect on all accounts.

At the risk of sounding like an over worried mother, I can almost feel my blood boiling at the criticism this cartoon may invoke. I sincerely hope that my worries are uncalled-for. Yet, it is not hard to imagine our country’s religious zealots tightening their turbans and pulling up their shalwars, all set to violently denounce the avenger’s blasphemous black nail colour. Maybe if they actually read Islamic history, they would discover brave and heroic women like Khawla Bint Al Zawar who courageously fought battles in Syria, Jordan and Palestine. In the battle of Ajnadin, not far from Jerusalem, her brother was taken prisoner. She brilliantly disguised herself as a male knight and rode to her brother’s rescue aided by her expert swordsmanship skills.

Then there were more; the ever persistent Women rights activists or habitual feminists trotting our globe like wolves sniffing their next wretched prey. I am by no means a proponent of this cultural/religious garb and I am all for freedom of women. But please don’t always associate the idea of the burka with increased oppression on the female kind. It is after all just a piece of clothing, as is the two-piece. My advice to them is to dig deep on western super-hero comics before banking on superficial facets of the avenger’s choice of guise.  Burka Avenger is not alone in her selection. Dust (a.k.a. Sooraya Qadir), a fictional character in the famous X-men marvel comics is a powerful counterpart who has the power to transform her body into malleable clouds of dust. She is originally from Afghanistan and proudly uses a Burka as her normal attire.

In an attempt to spread appreciation for the occasional good that comes out of Pakistan, I humbly request people to enjoy this cartoon animation for what it simply is: a creative and meaningful entertainment for the whole family. Carping criticism is just not that fashionable anymore. If nothing else, I am sure ‘Burka Avenger’ will make numerous children all over the country happy; and perhaps even give them reasons to dream and hope for a masked crusader, who not only saves the day, but is also from their beloved land.

people with wings

Its always about the hero; that  magnanimous figure emanating light like an angelic apparition. In the exuberant world of fiction, sidekicks are faithful buddies dressed in silly clothes; usually skilled at blending seamlessly into the background while occasionally tossing golden nuggets of advice for the hero to ponder over. Who would have thought that Batman would get along so well with a meek little Robin; or that Sherlock Holmes would share such an interesting bond without the ever skeptical Dr. Watson. Yet, its always about the hero.

In the real world, things are not too different. The persona attached with a hero is almost an unreal one. Marvel comics might single-handedly be responsible for distorting our image of the hero forever. Normal humans tend to fall short by most standards. In reality, sidekicks sometimes befall an even more regretful fate. Walt Disney had Ub Iwerks, his oldest and closest buddy and the actual wizard behind the creation of Mickey Mouse. Yet whoever heard of him?  Similarly, Octave Chanute’s aviation designs were the inspiration for Write brothers’ glider designs. Octave generously helped them throughout this venture and was sidestepped as soon as they became self sufficient. (source). These are just a few of the many people history’s pages so conveniently forgot.

If fame were a mortal, it would be an extremely self-centered one. In its realm, there is always someone willing to forgo levels of ethical and moral decency for some intoxicating slice of fame. Two is almost always a crowd. However it is not always as disagreeable as it may sound. Many such people prefer sitting snug in the background. They do not need people creating a hullabaloo over their achievements. Whether the star attraction or the humble wise companion, their victory song is solely for their own ears.
Sometimes it does not matter if a person`s existence is shrouded by anonymity because it is not everlasting. As luck would have it, some might get plucked from a torrent of millions for no obvious reason simply to embark on fame`s notorious adventure. Sometimes its alright to be fate’s loyal sidekick. Its like a game of spin the bottle where destiny’s bottle points at you no matter what and within moments you miraculously emerge from obscurity; albeit for a fleeting moment. One such individual was Bashir Ahmed Sarban, a camel-cart driver surviving in the slums of Karachi, whose story I was introduced to just recently. In 1961, life completely changed for Bashir; destitute with a thriving mustache;illiterate with a talent of adorning his speech with delightful aphorisms. During Lyndon B Johnson’s (US Vice President) visit to Karachi, he noticed a camel and its owner sticking out from a cheering crowd as his motorcade was driving to the guest house. Out of goodwill, he stopped and went to meet the camel and its owner. “Come meet me”, was what he said to Bashir during their short conversation. Soon after, all was forgotten until a Pakistani newspaper published something about Bashir’s good fortune of how he would visit the US as the President’s guest. This  spread like wildfire and after much effort, Bashir traveled all the way to the US. When he came back, his life did not change much in terms of his financial condition as many would assume. Yet he became a downright celebrity, with people flocking to him like fish on bait. “People will not leave my life alone. They eat my life up”, was what he said when popularity took its toll on him. To the people of his community, he was their hero. The little kids in the slums looked at him with awe, almost as if he had wings. Every time some curious reader stumbles upon Bashir’s chronicles of passing fame; or when a little girl`s grandfather shares a heartwarming tale how magnanimous life can be, Bashir Ahmed Sarban`s name will surely live on.
Then there was Malala Yousafzai, a teenage women rights activist from a small city called Mingora (northwestern Pakistan). She had dreams as big as the universe. And when you have such high aspirations, everything just seems to fall into place, no matter how treacherous the yellow brick road. She survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban and became one of the most influential people of 2013. The way her life spiraled from complete abyss to skies of immortality, surpasses all things heroic. Malala will remain a symbol of hope and magic for any child who yearns to break out of archaic norms of ignorant societies.
Countless other people have lived to do extraordinary things but their untold tales have been swept away like life after tsunami. Similar to stars, every atom of their existence collides together to produce an endless array of energy in the form of inspiration, courage and immortality. These people have proved that no matter how ordinary a person may be, true worth is judged by actions and intentions. As long as you are true to your own self without fretting over shallow recognition, your moment to shine will surely come in its own right time. And yes, its always about the heroes; real life heroes.
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
Rumi