One liners

Following is a compilation of my one liners. My thoughts put into words over the past few years.

 

1. The world is a mix of the idiot and wise. One suffers at the hands of the other.

 

2. Before I ask for directions, I must admit I am lost.

 

3. Only when you are able to withdraw your nose from the affairs of others, can you see the filth under it.

 

4. You must learn to learn before you can learn.

 

5. Negativity is a disease of the mind. It is like an advanced virus that begins by infecting you and ends by becoming you.

 

6. Everyone is born pure, impurity is acquired and learned. Life is then all about learning to unlearn.

 

7. Between you and your self is a door with many locks. Silence is a key to one of those locks.

 

8. The most important step toward knowing, is realizing the significance and insignificance of “I”.

 

9. Success is a reassurance that you are on the right path. Failure is only a redirection.

 

10. You cannot win an argument with an idiot because you are already a looser to have gotten into one.

 

11. The purpose of  ’emotional needs’ is to give people, with fulfilled physical needs, something to whine about.

 

12. Going far out in search of the truth is futile if you haven’t found it within.

 

13. Some adults have a child inside. In some cases that child hasn’t realized that there is an adult outside.

 

14. Self pity is the quick sand on the path of personal growth.

 

15. Questioning frees you from the shackles of your own conscious.

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The Ordinary and the VIP

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Commuting in metropolitan cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad often bestows upon you the unforgettable experience of being reminded how ‘ordinary’ you are and may only use the road when it isn’t being used by a ‘VIP’. When a policeman raises his hand or puts a picket to stop you, he may only be saying “stop and wait” but what you actually hear is “Wait, you ordinary worthless citizen! your time, life and business are of no value, wait! while the all important VIP passes”. It is quite similar to how when Kings and Queens passed through markets and thoroughfares, everyone and everything was brought to a halt – the only difference? those weren’t democracies.

Not only does this experience entail the pleasures of frustration and irritation for you, it also has, on occasions, caused death of the sick in ambulances stuck in traffic and birth of ordinary non-VIP babies in rikshaws and taxis. In effect, shaving 15 minutes off a VIP’s travel time has sometimes proven to be more important than a citizen’s life.

This almost royal protocol is one of the key perks of becoming a VIP in Pakistan, probably the most attractive feature too; one every wannabe VIP dreams of. The frequently raised question – why are these servants and representatives of public causing them anguish and mental torture, even loss of lives? is most popularly replied with the recently found excuse of ‘security risks’. It is the terrorist threat that forces these poor VIPs to travel in convoys, honking sirens and blocking traffic for ordinary citizens who actually face far greater and severe security threats and die thereof every day.

One wonders why a VIP’s life is more valuable than life of an ordinary citizen. A very common reply to that question is:

it is not the person who is important but the post that he holds‘.

So then if you separate the person from the post, aren’t the President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Minister, Chief Justice etc. all replaceable? And isn’t a citizen; a father, a brother, a son, a daughter, a mother irreplaceable?

If I am the head of a state where pathetic law and order situation causes citizens to be killed like diseased animals on a daily basis, my conscience would not allow me to hog a thousand security guards employed by the state for my own security. Wouldn’t it be my moral duty to ensure security of a citizen’s life and property before I secure my life or the lives of my family? Fact is I may never be a 100% motivated to improve the security situation in my country until my life or the life of my son is as exposed and threatened as the life of an ordinary citizen.

Fact is, we need to be reminded that there is no distinction, we all are VIPs and we are all ordinary citizens.

FIVE POTENTIALLY GREATEST, MOST NEEDED INVENTIONS

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Following are five inventions that haven’t been invented yet but, when and if invented, have the potential to become the greatest inventions ever.

1. The Sense Checker.

Like the spell check feature in Microsoft Word that has saved many writers from embarrassing spelling mistakes over the years, we now need a ‘sense check’ feature in our brains. A software program that would automatically alarm us when nonsense emerges in our head and is headed towards our mouth. The upgraded sense check plus would have an added feature of automatic deletion; in case one chooses to ignore the warning it would automatically delete the nonsense from our memory ensuring that it never finds sound.

Probable customers: all idiots and that is a highly populated market.

2. Auto switch off mode in cameras and mics.

This invention would be very useful in case the sense check is never invented. It would be a feature in all the cameras and mics of the world, especially ones used by the news media, that would automatically switch off the device whenever the person in front of it is about to utter some nonsense. Despite the drawback that it would put most of our news media personnel and many a political party spokespersons out of jobs, it would still be worth it for the benefits it entails for general public, especially those who do not need the sense check application.

Probable customers: None, since nonsense is mostly what our media relies on for TRP.

3. Forehead Display.

Now this one is my favorite among all the inventions not yet invented. Imagine a screen on our forehead that displays our IQ, number and types of complexes we have and our levels of insecurity and ‘tharrak’ for the opposite gender. Not only would it make judging others – which seems to be our favorite hobby – easier, it would also save a lot of time wasted in ‘getting to know’ a person by talking to them. We would know enough about a person before they open their mouths allowing us to decide if we want that mouth to open at all. Women would be able to distinguish between ‘tharkis’ and non ‘tharkis’ and this would be the end for clever, not so obvious, under cover ‘tharkis’.

Probable customers: all women of the world who would want it installed in all the men of the world and some men.

4. Honesty slips.

In our world this may just be the most needed yet least wanted invention. It would entail installation of a small chip and machine in our necks. Whenever a person would tell a lie his neck would generate a white slip and written on that slip would be the actual truth. For instance if a person thinks you are an idiot and says to your face that you are the best leader this country could ever have, a slip will be printed out of  his neck saying: “that’s a lie, I actually believe you are an idiot, a dimwitted person and I only said it to be in your good books since you just won the elections”. Or if during a ‘jalsa’ a leader says that I will end corruption in 90 days or shoot down a drone, the slip emerges saying “I have no idea what I am saying but it appears to trigger applause and makes me popular so what the heck”.

Probable customers: Now this is tricky, everyone would want this installed in everyone else, but no one would want it for themselves.

5. Flash Reminders.

With our short term memory, we Pakistanis need this invention the most. Whenever we face a person who makes a statement that is in direct conflict with a previous fact or statement of his, an image would start flashing before our eyes saying “contradiction alert”  followed by the actual fact, or as the case may be, exact statement that was made.

This is bound to make a husband’s life a lot easier. Imagine you are having an argument with your wife on why you did not take her out to dinner on some special occasion THREE years ago (that’s what they do, they save the best for later) and you know there is a real good and genuine excuse lost somewhere in your memory but you just can’t find it. When she says “you didn’t  take me out and you had nothing better to do”, the “contradiction alert” message flashes and you are relieved, it says “you did have something better to do, your brother had an accident that day and you had to go to the hospital to stay with him”.

It would also refrain politicians from taking u-turns on their stance as the entire public would instantly catch and confront them.

Probable Customers: Everyone, except a few politicians and wives.

 

OPEN LETTER TO THE CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER

Published (edited) in the Express Tribune on 3rd of January, 2014

To,

The Honorable Chief Election Commissioner

Pakistan.

Respected Sir,

I write to you as a citizen of Pakistan, to convey my concerns on the Local Government Election (LG Elections) debacle.

While legal battles are being waged in Courts and Commissions by political parties and Governments – we the citizens feel mocked at by the very process that is in place to make us stronger.

Balochistan is the only province that has gone ahead and fulfilled its obligation. Election laws have not yet been made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, LG Elections schedule practically stands cancelled in Sindh for the first time while the citizens living in Punjab have twice been obliged by said disruption. Twice has the hope of seeing power devolve into their hands been snatched from within their grasp.

While we, the citizens, are expected to abide by all laws and fulfill all our obligations towards the State sincerely with the sanction of penal action in case of failure therein, the State has failed without sanction, to fulfill its obligation towards the citizens.

Article 140 A read with Article 32 of the Constitution of Pakistan imposes an obligation on Provincial Governments to establish local governments in each province and devolve political, administrative and financial powers. However we have been denied this right for almost 5 years.

I believe in supremacy of the Constitution; all laws and institutions derive power from, and are bound to abide by, this sacred code. However even after the Supreme Court of Pakistan put its force behind Article 140 A, whereby the Election Commission is authorized to hold LG Elections, the honourable Commission seems helpless. It is generally believed that political parties are averse to the idea of LG Elections and consequent devolution of power from their clutches to the hands of the people. Hence, the demand for proper delimitation is being used as an excuse and soon enough the demand for overdue census will be added for effect. In their loud celebrations for the revival of democracy our political parties and Governments apparently forgot that democracy is not yet complete, not without functioning local governments.

LG Elections seem improbable after recent decisions of the honorable High Courts of Sindh and Punjab. The honourable Election Commission is faced with a dilemma; new delimitation requires time, which would necessitate postponing LG Elections, but for how long? Before delimitation, the question of overdue census will surface and that will in turn take even longer adding more years between the citizens and their right to local governments.

Recommendation

In my humble opinion the democratic process is completed only when we have an elected Parliament, provincial Assemblies, an elected President and finally, elected local governments. Without any one of the above mentioned ingredients democracy is incomplete, partial and even defective. The Constitutional obligation of holding a census every 10 years has been ignored since 2008. As a result the current Parliament and Provincial Assemblies were elected in 2013 on the basis of the 1998 census and the honourable President of Pakistan sits in office elected by these very Assemblies.

If the 1998 census and pre-2013 election delimitation were deemed sufficient to conduct general and consequent presidential elections, why are they now suddenly obsolete for the last phase of the democratic process?

If LG elections are postponed or cancelled owing to non fulfillment of the legal obligation of census, it will also put a question mark on the legitimacy of general elections of 2013. The number of seats for Senate, National Assembly and all four Provincial Assemblies will then be inaccurate based on population figures that aren’t real anymore. The distribution of funds to Provinces for the next five years may also be questioned as unfair.

Under these circumstances if the Election Commission files an application with the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking a declaration to the effect that 1998 Census and pre-election delimitation were valid for the general elections of 2013 and also for LG elections under the subsequently elected Provincial Assemblies, it may bring the only possible solution to this conundrum.

Census and delimitation should be carried out and completed, but only before start of the next exercise (commencing with the next general elections) and not during the ongoing exercise.

I do not hold the honourable Election Commission responsible for the ongoing LG Elections fiasco. I do however feel that the citizens of Pakistan look toward the honourable Commission to ensure completion of the democratic process and devolution of power to our elected local representatives.

Sincerely,

Zafar Sahi

A Citizen of Pakistan.