Friday, October 29, 2010

Mood Streets

Mood Street is a weekly column, that runs in The News on Sunday. You can contribute to it on

Apple is more then a fruit. It is, in fact, a symbol with a long heritage. One of the most familiar apple symbols is found in our holy books – most prominently in the Bible. Apple is the forbidden fruit eaten by Adam and resulted in a shocking landing of man from Heavens on Earth. Had this apple not been consumed, there is a possibility that our joy-ride on planet Earth would not have materialised.

Even if millions of people land on the moon, they can't take their billion ton cattle along. India has recently launched their first 'moon mission'. The Indians have some advantages over the beefy Americans.  

Who knows what the ultimate reality beyond death is? But all this speculation does make one wonder what might conceivably happen if, by some chance, some of the world's famous folk of the past might 'come back' to today's world. What would they think, what would they feel, how would (or might) they react to many things?  

I was four years old. He was of an unknown age, a vagabond dog to which my aunt had taken a liking. He was of an orange brown colour, as if dipped in a turmeric solution. All humans and sheep of the house ignored him, alike. But I rode him like a horse on all my treasure hunts, neighbourhood conquests and expeditions.

Most men would readily declare that they would help a woman being assaulted in the street. Yet we know from experience that people are violated often on the street, in the midst of a crowd and no one comes to their rescue.

A priest wanted to burn the Quran in the US. Thankfully, their president intervened to prevent the absurdity. But an entire colony of Christians was burned in Gojra and our president couldn’t even publish the official report on the carnage. 

Every tragic Shakespearean protagonist succumbs to a weakness. I too have a weakness — for certificates — and fell from grace this year, when I desired a private Punjab University degree.

Some four years back, everyone advised that a bachelor in Environmental Sciences is inevitable for a successful life. Before taking the plunge, I dreamt of a multinational job with a starting salary three times that of my dad's, perhaps emerging as a Pakistani Rachel Carson or Christiane Amanpour covering environmental disasters. An Oscar winning documentary on Climate Change, would have been very encouraging too.

Activism is one of the best aspects of life. It proves that we don’t merely survive the system but can direct and mould what exists according to what we think "should" exist. As a child, I was quite an activist myself. Usually I banged doors and cried. This bore fruitful results.

Learning to Ride
Journalism without training is like horse riding without practice. You tend to fall every now and then. And each time the fall hurts more. Keeping all these thoughts in mind, I joined a short course on media in the South Asian Free Media Association last December, which lasted two months.

The Kinnaird Years

Places hold us, whether we like it or not…rather like barbed wires…we leave little bits of ourselves there.
— Katherine Mansfield.

Lure of an old book

Old books have a charm of their own. As a child, I had an aversion to them and to the old, dark and dingy Anarkali streets my father went to, to buy them.
I knew lots of girls in my class who read glossy, new books. But, somehow, that’s just not the same experience! Once you hold a seasoned, colourful childrens’ classic with pictures of goblins, rabbits and witches drawn inside you are bound to examine it. 

Last train to Berlin
Since my early childhood days I have been wondering why I am I so accident-prone. My mother thinks it’s because I am simply clumsy, but I know deep down that it is a misfortune. There is virtually no part of my limbs that has not been bruised at least once.

Earning without deserving
I can remember only a handful of teachers who were kind and out of them only two stood out for their talents. The rest were insipid at best and many of them confused “authority figures” with “authoritarian figures”.

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