Advertising & Morality


Is it just me, or does everyone think that the local advertisements are just giving out wrong messages?

I understand the respective company wants to effectively market, “Fresh Up Big Bite bubble” and increase sales- but i am sorry, the advertisement is just too wrong , at least for my digestion. If you haven’t seen the advert, here is what exactly happens in short:

– a young man bumps into a girl, pops Fresh up bubble in his mouth, and suddenly the girl is all smiles and very accommodating.

– a female in an office wants to get some signatures in a file, she pops fresh up bubble in her mouth, gets too close for comfort with the boss, and of course he happily signs.

– a young bloke is smoking and about to enter his house. He pops fresh up bubble in his mouth ( which of course takes care of the mouth odour ) , and embraces his mother, who is only happy too see him.

– and the best part, with fresh up bubble, you can increase friendship between a guy and a girl i.e. it is implied that the friendship will be upgraded into a relationship.

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And what about the, “Tarang chai (tea)” advert? My God! Yes. its cheeky. Yes! its colourful and is a product of good cinematography ( or whatever the technical term is) and is backed by a whole lot of money, but, “My God!”.

I did not enjoy Reema and Ali Zafar dancing. It was just strange, if you know what i mean. Its really disturbing to see two people moving in such a way that their torso seems disjointed from the upper half of the body. *sheesh* channel change please!

That brings me to the Telenor Talk Shalk ( read Shock ) advertisements. Do i really have to mention the suggestive punch lines, which Annie uses in the add, with the complete pout, fluttering of eyelashes and the most gaudiest of dresses i have ever seen on TV? Is cheapness the new criteria for making a hit advertisement?

This is not our culture. This is not our society. These are not our morals. This is not how Allah has taught us to live our lives? I am not a pious woman and i have my set of vices, but i will never support or advocate such behavior. There are young children and teenagers watching television, with only too gullible frame of minds and such advertisements should certainly be discouraged. Are there no standards in the advertising industry? Is it all about money at the end of the day?

I am just completely grossed out by the cheap tactics, negative brand imaging, and wrong messages which are churned out by these sub standard advertisements.

These advertisements can be easily seen on you tube. I would not recommend seeing them. But of course, curiosity killed the cat, and you may be the most inquisitive cat ever. =)

Restoration of Judiciary- Adlia ki Bahali


We lawyers are usually very poised and speak in measured tones, feigning elegance and properness (if that is word). Phir adlia behal hui ( and then the judiciary was restored), and we let loose all the inhibitions. There was the dhol (drum) , and our euphoria took over us. We danced. We screamed. We cried. We laughed. We celebrated. And the nation celebrated with us, except for a few cynical beings. Yes, the shareef ( reference to the politician, Nawaz Shareef) , did not show sharafat at all, and although i am certainly not a supporter of him or his political party- but i also cannot deny the fact that he did play  a huge role in this fight- especially at the last mile, even if it was for his own interests.

No. I did not dance or scream to be dead honest. Working inhouse in the  legal department of a private company, means that you are cut off from mainstream practicing lawyers. I did not participate in the Long March , or took part in the strikes. I was busy working and vetting agreements, at my comfortable deskjob.

The day , the Prime Minister made the announcement for restoring the judiciary, i had infact taken a day’s sick leave. But my spirit soared when the Prime Minsister made the speech. The lawyers did it. The judiciary was restored. So if someone wants to do bhangra and shout out a Braaaaaaa, by all means – do- for tomorrow, you will be back in the courts, with the same serious face and professionalism , fighting for your clients, and justice.

The world will not be perfect. Poverty will not vanish from Pakistan. Corruption and feudalism  may not loosen its vice like grip easily, but the step has been taken. There has been a mini revolution. Maybe i am naive and a wee bit optimistic. Maybe i should know better than to raise my hopes. But that’s just me.  :)

“Girti hui Deewaron ko, Ek Dakha aur do.”

(Give another push (shove) to the crumbling walls.) ;)

ps. I do not want to spoil the jubilations, but i want to clarify, that i never supported Chaudhry Iftikhar. I hate the fact that his face has been used like a branding tactic on flags and flyers . The struggle was never for him . It was for the restoration of judiciary. Technically, i feel that he should resign from his post now. Why? you ask? Because he has the constitution’s blood on his hands as well. He is just lucky that it has gone unnoticed for a much bigger and nobler cause.


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Can we Last?


broken


Pacts of a lifetime and covenants of fidelity,

The tongue  is teased by words which taunt

And yet indulging in idle, unneeded frivolity

The ghost of an annihilated memory rises to haunt.


The myriad lies as always get dissolved  fast

And she wonders, “Can me and you last?”



Sifting the grainy truth,

Interpreting the double meanings

Hindered by conjectures

Tired by nature’s screenings.



Will destiny please reveal itself, at last?

She still wonders, “Can me and you last?”



Embracing promises and new horizons,

Yet meeting the same dusty roads,

Casting off worries and emotional baggage,

And yet taking on heavier loads.



How can the future mutate into a remnant of the past?

Why does she still question, “Can you and me Last?”



Sheltering your shortcomings,

defending your mistakes,

But never ever, take it for granted

Do not forget what is at stake..



My heart is not enclosed and protected within an iron cast

If it breaks, she will know- me and you, we were never meant to Last.


© S.Mirza

16:40 p.m.

14 March 2009- Saturday

Forgive and Forget Myself?


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And I always let go. I always let go. I always forgive. I always forgive. Is forgiving a sin? Is forgiving letting someone get away with crime and their conscious mistakes? Am i leading people to take advantage of me again and again just by forgiving them?

And you? you have blown my trust so many  times, and yet, i kneel, until my knees turn blue, forgiving and forgiving you, and hiding and gulping the pain and the hurt. And i forget. I forget. I forget everytime. I convince myself that things would be different- but you always prove me wrong. And the little me inside myself- taunts me- “Told you so”. *smirk*

I am destroying myself. Will i forgive myself? Will i forgive myself for the crimes i am committing against my life? Will i forget?

The blame is always on me.

International Women’s Day


To be dead honest, i had no idea that 8 March has been dedicated for the celebration of Women. Not a clue. Over a few months, i have watched very little television, and my exposure to radio is limited to the morning show, and snippets of some random shows while being driven around. Newspapers have started depressing me and apart from looking at the headlines, i have ceased to voraciously consume articles and follow up on blogs. There is too much stress in my life and i need my sanity to deal with life issues and make light of them. Seeing the angry Sharifs, the ever smiling President, the clueless Prime Minister, the dolled up Sherry, the smug Mushy and the Insane Taseer is not a priorty and is certainly not my cup if tea for now. All that though is beyond the point. Women’s Day! Yes! that is what i was taking about.

Point is therefore- the clueless me was very much pleasantly surprised this Saturday afternoon, when two men enetered the Legal Affairs Department and handed me a blue coloured box and a card and wished me a very happy women’s day on behalf of the company. I could not help but smile and felt very embaressed when the men smiled back. ” Control -Control- don’t be too expressive”, i silently scolded myself but what could i do- This was so unusual and who does not like nice surprises.  The  gift turned out to be a very femine cup with the company’s logo on it and the card was equally nice and elegant. Me like. Me like very much. Here are the pictures. =)

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I naturally wikied like we all do and here is the history behind the International Women Day:

“The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Among other relevant historic events, it came to commemorate the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The idea of having an international Women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions. By urban legend,women from clothing and textile factories staged one such protest on 8 March 1857 in New York City. The garment workers were protesting against very poor working conditions and low wages. The protesters were attacked and dispersed by police. These women established their first labor union in the same month two years later.”

“More protests followed on 8 March in subsequent years, most notably in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1910 the first international women’s conference was held in Copenhagen by the Second International and an ‘International Women’s Day’ was established, which was submitted by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified.The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19.However, soon thereafter, on March 25, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed over 140 garment workers. A lack of safety measures was blamed for the high death toll. Furthermore, on the eve of World War I, women across Europe held peace rallies on 8 March 1913. In the West, International Women’s Day was commemorated during the 1910s and 1920s, but dwindled. It was revived by the rise of feminism in the 1960s.

Demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared as a non working day in the USSR “in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Motherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”

The running theme in the history behind this day is again, “Struggle”. We women have never had it easy and most of the time we have struggled for almost everything in our lives. Those who, however have had it easy are only a handful . As for the rest, their entire life is a struggle and a battle. Life is a fight for their basic rights to education, marriage, career , and what not. And then the battle continues, and some day you find yourself fighting for the very similar rights for your own daughter. It’s a vicious cycle. My mother once aptly said that a woman spends her entire life worrying and praying. First she prays and worries for her parents and her siblings, then she prays and worries about her inlaws and husband, then for her our own offsprings, and then for her grand children. There are very few women who actually worry about themselves especially in our society. Women never think twice before becoming sacrificial lambs and scapegoats for their loved ones. And when these women suddenly decide that enough is enough- it is never taken well by those very loved ones and the society for whom they have endeavoured through out their lives.

Its the year 2009 and women empowerment is the new buzz word in the west. But what about our very own country. Crazy so called Muslim Swati Talibans have been shutting schools for girls and the karo kari syndrome still runs through those feudal lands. Has domestic violence ended? Far from it. We are still where we started and have a far way to go. And trust me, the way to go forward is certainly not, something like the, “Pink Chadi Campaign” – Oh, but i’m drifting again.. lets leave that for now.

But you see why women are so special- they never give up. *Kudos*


George Carlin – Master Piece



Isn’t it amazing that George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent…and so very appropriate.

A Message by George Carlin:

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The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don’t send this to at least 8 people….Who cares?

My Verdict


And they ask you questions
The answers to which they do not understand
And they talk of what ifs
Without realizing the power of Allah’s hands…

And they talk of personal wants
And the issues facing their lives
And the greed and wants they have
Conveniently forgetting the word realize

They draw an exclusion, tell you to sidestep the issue
And tell you that the same should not be considered
And then they give you a blow from another side
For them you look alright, when you feel disfigured…

For things need not be related to each other,
Or hold a pattern or a relation to you,
Some things should be taken in isolation,
And we should not wonder whether it’s false or true…

But how I ask, when you stab someone deep
Or involuntarily, push you down the steep,
And how when their words have an impact on you,
And about a breaking heart, they don’t have a clue?

Oh, but your ignorance is bliss, I must admit,
And since I am me after all, I shall submit,
For all the insensitivities, I shall always forgive,
My wants I shall diminish, and yours- I will give.

And when I stand head bowed on the judgment day,
The blame will be on me, no excuses I can say,
I chose to be the victim, I chose to not fight back,
Even when I knew the end- an abyss – eternally black.

© S.Mirza

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 8:29pm

No Guarantees


helpless

There was so much i wanted to write but somehow words have dissipated into thin air making me feel utterly helpless.

Helplessness. that is what has been driving me to the edge. Even though people say positive things and tell you about optimism and hope and say all those nice flowery words, you know deep inside- you are helpless. life is taking you exactly the way it wanted to, and despite all your efforts, wishes, prayers and positivity, you cannot prevent things from happening they want to.

Life. who has a guarantee for it? you? me? no one.?anyone?

If tomorrow a truck runs over me and i die. that’s just it, isn’t it? who can combat that? no one.

What if some one you love is undergoing physical pain and physical decline owing to a life threatening disease- and there is absolutely nothing you can do to make that person feel better- you feel helpless.

Helpless.helpless.helpless. spare me the cliched words of encouragement and speeches of optimism-because you know you practice it religiously infront of the person you love. But can you take the pain away? can you wave your hands, snap your fingers and cure the disease, recuperate the body and give good health. you cannot. you cannot. helpless. helpless.

There are no guarantees in life, especially of the next breath you take. How can people be scheming, mean, rude and insensitive to other people in such a circumstance?

Take online forums, sometimes i see people going entirely ballistic and getting personal and mean beyond sense with other people. why? do they think that by sitting infront of a computer and writing smart words of taunts and sarcasm, they are achieving anything? Who knows the person you are being mean to, may be undergoing severe mental stress, may be going through a bad patch, may be undergoing depression and just one mean word may have driven them to the edge. think about it. life is short and unpredictable- why not spend it being kind. we all need kindness. someday you may be sitting on the other side, and you may craving for a kind word too.

Be helpful to each other because the truth of the matter my friends, is that we are not invincible. we have no guarantees- especially of the next breath we take.

Flamenco


Red Flamenco
Stilletoes on Fire
Passion Dances
To an intense, native rythem


Heart beat gallops
Miles afar
to reach the elusive
Mystic landscapes


Sensual souvenirs
hourglass grace
intimacy teases
attention
as fierce eyes
awake a long slumber

Strappy laughter
Coquettish strutting
The shackled heart
is finally free


Goosebumps breathe in
Exotic Perfume
Sour lemon and cinnamon fumes


the Icecube swirls
to melt in a whirlpool embrace.
and the candle dances
to the beat of the storm

Red Flamenco
Layers of Rouge
Kohl lined to perfection
crimson lips
fish net skin
and the never ending show
which must go on.


© S.Mirza


28th December 2008- 2:34 p.m

Dehumanising the Human


depressed

Dark, Darkness, Darkening the Dark,
Soul succumbs to whispering demons
Inside, Outside, Inside- the cycle continues,
The hope for hope slowly diminishes


Sapphire eyes are afterall only stones
And tears a marvel, a miracle
for the Saddening Sadness, saddens the world
and Worried worries lose their charm.

Sarcastic Sarcasm smiles Sarcastically,
Cutting edge quips are knifing away.

When nothing could humanise the soul
Nothing could fill in the void, the hole,
Someone sees the unseen,
Despite the mouth, unbearingly mean.

Real Reality puts up a fight,
To pull down again into melancholia,
Appears a Ray of Light.

© S.Mirza

11 December 2008-Tuesday- 22:04 p.m.

Never Ending Journey


never ending journey

I have been walking
slowly but surely
quick steps
a run
heavy steps
The cycle repeats itself
The journey does not end
The destination never reached.

I am a vagabond in search
of an oasis
I keep stumbling upon
a mirage.

when
tears had dried
and eyes had
turned to stone
the quest for an abode
comes to haunt me again

so close and yet so far
the pain drips from the eyes
and reaffirms the lack of choice..

I cannot stop
I have to walk on
and now it suddenly dawns on me
like a forgotten memory-

It is infact
The destination itself
which is in search of me.

© S.Mirza

14 October 2008 -12:00 p.m.

Metamorphosis


butterflyI pealed off the layers of my cocoon slowly, careful to not damage my wings. But i knew then, as is confirmed now, that despite my care, when i fluttered out of the cocoon, life’s toils and troubles will meet me. But the real test, is coming out of everything smiling and stronger and definitely not being bitter about anything.
Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 2:28pm

On self knowledge- Khalil Gibran


Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

self knowledge

And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.

Senseless


The senseless hate – for fun and jeer-
The senselessness of it all-
The short life
The people you love
Life ebbing away
Is hating worth anything?
It is worthless..

Does anyone know what turmoil is in another’s mind? You see smiles and chuckles, and you think it is all good. How does anyone know anything at all? we all need to know a bit more because we never know about anything in reality.

10 July 2008

Dual Facade


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Conversation in abundance
Eluding the shadow attached
Concentration on a reflection
Duality and a facade readily matched

© S.Mirza

13 June 2008

The Loser In Me


He was sitting on the couch opposite mine, in the university’s cafe.I was chatting to S, who was keen on reading her brief in record time before class. I secretly observed him.

He was tall, blonde, thin and had brown eyes. He sat with his knees together, and his tall lanky legs apart- like a triangle without a base. What amused me was the huge lunchbox on his lap.Inside the lunch box were four bananas, a fruit yogurt pack , a chocolate bar. a sandwich and some grapes. I sat quite amused, watching him finish his sandwich and his chocolate. He then took out a small shiny silver spoon ( wow! he comes prepared), and scooped the fruit yogurt out of the unsealed pack. Needless to say, the bananas were not spared. When all but just one of the bananas were devoured, he noticed my attention. I guess, he got quite uncomfortable then.He closed his lunchbox, neatly placed it in his backpack and sat twirling the last banana in his hand. I spared him the agony and averted my gaze, but the damage was done. He walked away with the last banana still twirling in his fingers.

loser

I told S how i would like to get to know him and that i didn’t like the fact that he was sitting alone and had no friends. He reminded me of the losers shown in teenage movies. S just giggled.

This reminded me of statement made by a close friend a few months back. She asked me why i always attracted attention of the loserly, the weird, and the ones to whom no one talks to and want to avoid?

“Maybe they see the Loser in me which i try desperately to hide!”, i answered back.

I won’t be immodest enough to call myself full to the brim of unflinching humanity, but i must concede that i find it almost inhumane when certain people are singled out and not spoken to i.e. generally alienated , simply owing to the fact that they are different. I’d like to talk to them, get to know them, make them smile, make them feel, that they do belong. I don’t know if they ever have belonged anywhere, or if my attempts generally failed, but i am content knowing that i just may have ( secret hope) made them feel better and nicer.A nice conversation or simply an acknowledgment can’t be that bad.

It has back fired at times.For instance once a freak tutor developed a crush on me and totally freaked and grossed me out. That was never my intention.  I was only nice to him because other students made fun of him.

This is totally beyond the point though. The point is:

The guy with the big lunch box should have friends! Maybe he does.  Hmm…

Jan 14, 2006 Sat 12:48 pm

Forgiveness


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If i have hurt someone, Allah, forgive me! But, if someone hurts me, Allah, forgive that person too.

Apr 22, 2005 Fri 12:08 am

Imbalanced scales


Familiar faces tuned misty
As a ‘Face’ solely remains vivid in heart and mind

but the ‘Face’ itself  keeps its familiar faces alive
I then must be insensitive, if the  face is kind.

I will not be forgiven if exhibited humanity
Such a variance in scales never did find.

© S.Mirza

Feb 2, 2005 Wed 12:04 am


scale-imbalance

Tsunami- the day the doors of the sea opened…


doors

Everything missing as happiness is lost.
Something is missing as an incompleteness rests inside permanently..

tears … in eyes , when seen the deathly scenes..
is God angry?

Jan 1, 2005 Sat 01:49 am

Saviour in Disguise


In the lonesome moments, a sudden despair hounds the entire soul. The weak heart carries a constant heavy burden; breathing it self becomes laborious . The limp body is tired. It carries the fatigue of centuries. Centuries of pain and despair, betrayal and the most taunting, EMPTINESS.The mind automatically freezes. No thought is good thought.

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And then, a small cherub comes towards her and holds her finger and smiles the most angelic smile. The innocence and warmth contained in those small , dark brown eyes draws out a new person in her. She, ineluctably smiles. She picks the child up and places the child on her lap and plants a small kiss on her cheek. She tickles her irresistibly and the child’s bubbly laughter fills her ears and her heart. Her body is rejuvenated. She can breathe easily now. The burden over her heart feels much lighter than before. The child climbs down from her lap and trots towards her mother.

She can still feel the warmness of the child on her now empty lap.
She takes in a huge gulp of air and looks towards the sky and whispers, “Thank You God! ”

September 27, 2004 Mon 04:37 am