Super Memory, Super Success

Some people work hard, juggle a lot of hats and have a lot of information stored in their brilliant brains. Unlike me.

It’s so interesting to see how these people process information though. The pause, the expression as if you are slowly untangling the web of interlinked thoughts and picking out the one you need. the slow yet brilliant speech then deciphering that thread of thought in a coherent sentence. slight stammer but when delivered, brilliant.

one of the secrets to professional success is a super memory- which i don’t have. 





Binni had been working in a well-known organization for a few months now. Binni loved the corporate culture and the facilities that the organization offered its employees. Yes, dissenting employees were present as well, but they are present at even the best of places. Binni knew that if you were intelligent and hard working enough and knew the right people, there were high chances of a promotion.

A few months back, Bongo, a colleague got a super promotion. He was in a position that commanded power and could make the power players of the organization turn docile just to request some time.

Soon after the promotion, Binni started noticing that Bongo had started taking himself too seriously. He had developed airs about himself and felt that he judged everybody. Sometimes he didn’t even smile. She could hear him arguing at times or just being over efficient. It was pissing some people off and annoying others. But none of the lesser employees were in a position to point it out.

One day when Bongo was away, Binni walked up to Babacha who sat near Bongo and started chatting. 

“What’s the deal with Bongo?”, Binni asked.

“He looks so stressed. Is it the new promotion and its role?”

and then just for fun Binni added, “Or is it the wife and kid”?

“But the baby is barely a year old, so can’t be the baby”, she mused aloud.

“He is stressed.. but not because of the job. It’s the child”, Babacha said.

“Oh, is the baby unwell?”, Binni questioned.

“They just found out that the baby may be a special child”, Babacha clarified.


Binni’s brain froze and for a moment it felt like her soul had stepped out of the body and then entered back.

Binni felt ashamed for judging Bongo so harshly. Binni’s family had a couple of special children mainly because of a pro-longed practice of marrying first cousins.

“Did he marry his first cousin?”, Binni asked.

“Yes!”, Babacha clarified.

After a deep thought, Binni requested Babacha to never mention this to Binni again. Technically, Binni reasoned, Bongo would not want others to know so Binni would like to pretend that she didn’t.

Later, at the workstation, Binni had a series of troubled thoughts to reconcile with. Binni was not happy for judging Bongo so unfavourably. This little episode made Binni understand with even more clarity that people should not be judged by their outward appearances and actions.

We all have a story. We all have our set of problems. No one really knows what issues the other person is facing and what circumstances they are going through.

Some of us have the ability to smile through life’s hardships and some of us don’t. Not all of us know how to deal with events that almost derail our sanity. A lot of us just struggle.

Binni knew how Bongo must feel that the weight of the entire world had descended on his shoulders.  Bongo probably felt angry with the entire human race. And who could blame Bongo?

Binni’s own uncle had a child with downs syndrome. An aunt had a girl who was a special child too. One of her mother’s cousins was special too and needed care until he eventually passed away a few years ago. He was in his forties at that time.

Yes, Binni understood. Binni saw. Binni was ashamed.

As for Bongo, may Allah help him and his wife and may his child be a source of peace, contentment, immense happiness, pride and Sadqa-e-Jariyah for them. Ameen.



This is a fictional piece of work.

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Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny? – Surah Ar-Rahman.(Quran)

This weekend i thanked Allah for his blessings. Life has been kind. That is not to say that i have not had my share of darkness. I have seen sickness of loved ones and eventually said goodbye to them. i have been betrayed. I have had people stab me from behind, lived away from my family and missed them. Dealt with crazy bosses, crazier colleagues, complex family issues. Living in Karachi means that yes, i have been in accidents and survived without injury, my cell phone has been taken away on gun point and i have seen my share of protests and rallies. But then this is normal life for us, isn’t it? I am sure some of you have been through a lot more and truly speaking i feel blessed to not having to go through those “worse” things. AlhamdulilAllah.

Blessings they have come in forms- big and small and hazy and clear. The biggest blessing is to have loving parents who have supported me and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Post marriage, i sometimes feel like a six year old, aching to be with her ma and pa. I can cry rivers and look potentially silly to everyone just because heck, i miss my mom and dad. That is love. That is a beautiful bond. That is a gift. May Allah bless them with the best of everything in this life and the next. Ameen.

To have spent time with my grandmother has been a blessing. To have snippets of memories about my maternal grand mother has been a blessing. Grandparents teach you the best of everything, don’t they?

To have loved your siblings to death. To fight for them. To die for them. To die with them. That is a blessing.

To have gone to a foreign country to get a better degree. To feel lost and then being embraced by loving house mates is a blessing. To make more friends. To share joy, pain, laughter, craziness, failures and success. To have been able to laugh with abandon, to see beautiful scenic wonders, hear songs that stick to your head for life- those are blessings.

To have broken into a thousand pieces, having sought out God, placing my foot onto the holy land, finding his mercy and care wash over me through despair and tears on a lonesome morning in Karachi – such a blessing. Such a blessing, AlHamdulilAllah.

And then finding love. The love i always had. The love i shunned and embraced. The love i pushed and it pulled me. The love i felt was being compromised. The love that betrayed me. And the love that still remained strong. The love that stills holds my hand and smiles at me. That is a blessing.

To be able to see, hear, breathe, touch, inhale and feel is a blessing.

I don’t have it all. I have my down times. I have those days when I am angry enough to wreck my own life. But then there is patience. There is understanding. There is a constant reminder of my blessings. And then, there is peace. AlHamdulilAllah.

“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying “We believe” and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.”Al-Ankaboot – 29:2-3 (Quran)



Tragedy in Pakistan: Twin Factory Infernos in Lahore and Karachi

Despite my rising in-sensitiveness to everything under the sun after hearing one horrible news item after the other, I am deeply saddened by the death of more than three hundred labourers and factory workers in the two factory infernos in Lahore and Karachi. Let us please take a moment to pray for their families and the maghfirat of these men and women. Ameen.

This is not the first time; factories in Pakistan have been reduced to dust. A recent timeline published in Dawn here clearly shows that in the past five years, many factories have burnt down and their labourers and workers burnt to death.

With such recurring patterns, why is it that the employers of these laborers and owners of factories are not giving importance to Health, Safety and Environment Standards and following bylaws that protect their employees and their investment?


Factories in Pakistan need to be operated in compliance with the Factories Act 1934. Chapter 3 of the Factories Act 1934 has detailed provisions relating to cleanliness of the factory, methods to dispose waste and effluent from the family, artificial humidification, dust and fumes, over crowding, lighting, drinking water etc.

In fact Section 25 of the Factories Act 1934 clearly states the “Precautions” which every factory has to take against a possible fire. Section 33 of the Factories Act 1934 similarly deals with explosives or inflammable dust and gases in factories. After going through these Sections, these are the questions which immediately come to mind:

Q- Were these factories equipped with adequate “means of escape” in case of a fire and were this fire exit marked distinctly?

Q- Were the provincial inspectors carrying our routine and regular inspections of these factories, in which case, why did it never appear to any Inspector that these two factories did not have adequate fire-escapes, fire extinguishers or no history of fire drills? If this indeed was the case, then did the Inspector ever serve on the manager of the factory, “an order in writing” specifying the measures which should be adopted before a specified date?

Q- Were the exits from any room in the factory locked, fastened or obstructed so that they could not be immediately opened from inside?

Q- Did the factory have in place an effective and clearly “audible means of giving warning in case of fire to every person employed therein”?

Q- Was any dust, gas, fume or vapour which is likely to explode on ignition is being used in the factory; and if so were all “practicable measures” taken to prevent such explosion?

Q- If any plant, tank or vessel contained explosives or inflammable substances, and then was such plant, tank or vessel exposed to any welding, brazing, soldering or cutting operation especially that involving the application of heat or drilling likely to create heat or sparks?

And these are just basic questions. I am sure that once the matter is thoroughly investigated, we will see further glaring loopholes, instances of gross negligence and plain reckless behavior.

We need answers. Karachi and Lahore are mourning an unthinkable tragedy. So many homes have been left disturbed. So many families have suddenly lost their loved ones and in some cases the sole bread earner of the family?

It is not just the employers of the two factories in Lahore and Karachi who are responsible for this tragedy and need to be brought to task,  but the regulatory agencies and inspectors as well need to be made accountable for failing to carry out their jobs honestly and effectively.

Firemen trying to put out the fire in the factory in Karachi.
photocredit: Not mine but a random online newspaper whose name i can’t trace.