At times like these when the city’s bleeding, the roads are blocked, public transport is nowhere to be found, pillion riding and cellular networks are banned and you’re confined to your homes, all you can think of is to whine on social media about the situation of the city. Did you know even a situation like this can be turned into a positive one? Let me tell you how, because it works for me and I know it will work for anyone who decides.
Get busy. Complete all the work that you have been pending. Look around you, your room is a mess. Tidy things up. Give your mommy a break and do your laundry yourself for once. Finish that book that’s been lying on the table ever since you borrowed it. If you don’t have something to read, tweet me @HeyAsad, I’m reading The Secret by Rhonde Byrne, I’ll send you a copy.
Watch that movie that’s been on your watchlist for so long. Finish a season of your favorite show that you haven’t been getting the time to watch.
How often does it happen that all your family members are at home all at the same time? Give your mommy a hand in the kitchen, or wash the car with your dad. Spend some quality time with your folks, share conversations with them. This is might be the perfect moment to tell them what you haven’t been getting the chance to tell them all this time.
How about a Skype session with your family abroad?
If you’re a school boy like me, there couldn’t possibly be a better time to finish all your practical journals, learn all those ‘tabsaray’ or derive those formulae if you don’t want to screw up your exams again.
If you’re artistically inclined, spend lots of time on Pinterest, Tumblr, DeviantArt or wherever you find artworks that inspire you. The philosophy “you are what you eat” doesn’t only imply in terms of food but on everything that you do. You are the type of music you listen to; you are what people you hang out with, every book you’ve read, every movie you’ve watched and every picture you’ve seen. You are consuming all that. Everything you create is a collective result of what you have consumed. So if you’re an artist, you should look at lots and lots of art. And if you are a blogger, there couldn’t be a better time to update your blog. See the feedback you’ve been getting on your posts and maybe, give your blog a revamp.
Now is the perfect time to make your own gratitude list − a list of things in your life that you feel thankful for. Gratitude dissolves negativity in our lives, no matter what form it has taken. It can part seas, move mountains and create miracles. Ask yourself what are you thankful for and list all the things that come into your mind, may it be the friends you have, your perfectly working limbs, the places you’ve see, or that you get lots of Eidi every year; there are no rules, be as specific as needed and add everything. This list will remind of you the blessings you have to be thankful for when hard times arrive and things aren’t going your way. Start right away. It won’t take long.
Stay away from social media. Social media can be depressing at times like these. Seeing people dying, protesting, constantly getting reminded of all the bad that’s out there, it’s not going to do any good to you or your country. You cannot help the world by focusing on the negative things. As you focus on the negative events of the world, you not only add to them but you bring more negative things into your own life at the same time, and every negative thought blocks good from coming to you. You can change the channel on your TV but you can’t control what appears in your news feed. It’s better if you rather stay offline.
Know that banning cellular networks, blocking roads and closing businesses cannot stop you staying postive. Like attracts like. Possess a positive vibe and watch all the positive things coming your way. It’s the law the Universe follows. Sitting and talking about the terrible condition of your country is only going to make it much worse. Like it or not, that’s who the Universe works. It doesn’t understand negation in any form − if you speak of negativity, it will send more of it towards you.
Reality is what you perceive it to be. If you see from my eyes, it’s a brand new day out there and brand new possibilities. Look up, you might even see a rainbow. See what’s in your hands. It’s power. The power is in your hand. It’s you who can turn things around for yourself. The Universe is on your side. Now it’s all up to you. Either you can stay inside that bubble with all of your troubles or you can look for the positive in even the worst situations and let the Universe guide you.
2012’s been catastrophic. It has been literally the worst year of my existence. It was entirely about loss and zero gains. Nothing worked out as planned. Nothing. There’s been a twist in fate and not in a good way. Unimaginable, unfortunate, unmentionable things happened. Yes, it was that bad. I’ve got chances, I blew them big time. I left no stone unturned in sabotaging relationships. I’ve been stupid. I’ve hurt people. I’ve been a disappointment. I’ve been a setback. And I have perfectly good reasons to state that.
If I sit here to chalk down every screw up I’ve had in 2012, it’ll literally take me the whole night and I don’t really wanna recall them anyway because what’s important is that its over. 2012 is over and I must not let 2013 continue its legacy. I am gonna make 2013 different. I am gonna make 2013 memorable, and in a good way. Must set a constitution for myself to follow. Yes. And shit or get off the pot would be an appropriate addition to it. This applies to whatever thing you’re not doing that you should just sack up and do already. I’ve spent almost the entire year procrastinating. And since I’m so good at procrastinating now, I’m going to utilize my skill to procrastinate on procrastination. Stop giving yourself up to that little bitch inside you that’s always keeping you from doing crazy shit because 2013 is gonna be about doing crazy shit and crazy shit is what we’ll remember 20 years from now. It’s what makes us come alive. I need to live a little alive this year. Screw hope. Do it already.
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” doesn’t seem totally cliche now.
So yeah, fuck off, 2012. I’m gonna marry 2013.
Irritated by the teacher’s repetitive mistakes in dictation, I said, “Miss, why is that every word you pronounce is wrong? You call ‘instead’, inst-aid and you call ‘trace’, tras.”
Affronted by my criticism, she said, “It is my accent and I cannot change.” What she meant was, deal with it!
“So what, that doesn’t stop you from pronouncing words right as they are. I say your accent is fine.”
“There are different countries having their different accents, Australia, Columbia, Korea or India, people pronounce words how their accents allow them to. How many people are you going to correct, will you tell me, Asad?” she exclaimed.
“None other than my own English teacher, with whom I’m concerned with.” I replied.
“Look, the people here pronounce ‘adobe’ as adob, ‘receipt’ as re-sept. How are they supposed to get me if I ain’t speaking the language their way?” she said.
“Well, isn’t it your duty as a teacher to aware them of their slip-ups, correcting them in the process?” I said, “Well I’ll let you know I didn’t come from some Cambridge school with British teachers or the city of London; what I’ve learnt is all from here and it certainly isn’t rocket science to pronounce a couple of words right.”
Damned me, on the inside, she did indeed and continued dictating.
“You should’ve have said like that. The last thing you want is make them have beef for you.” they may say. “I believe in freedom of expression; a person has the right to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted restrictions.” I say.
“You are just making things difficult for you. They’ll avenge you and they’ll make your life miserable. You need to learn to zip it if you want to survive in this country, and you will have to follow ‘their’ ways to proceed with your life in this country.”
“This is Pakistan! That’s how this works here whether you like it or not.”
“The kind of family you come from cannot afford you living abroad where no one will give a damn about how you choose to live and you know it. You’re going to spend your whole life living in this society, among these people, and you will have to be one of them to survive among them.”
“Well if what you do is called living a life, then I surely prefer dying over what you perceive as life, because this goes against all my views, my beliefs and my religion.”
“Besides, this worldly life is only temporary and in the hereafter is my home of settlement. Now why would I risk that by taking the wrong turn on the road like everybody else?”
“Well then you will be facing a lot more adversities than you do right now, if you’re planning to stick with that attitude of yours.” they warn me.
I say, “I’ve got a strong hold on my faith and my Lord and He’s got my back. I need not worry about that and neither should you.”
And that’s when their doubts about my Lord’s might begin to expose, and still “What does he knows religion!” they say, calling me a sinner, an infidel, whatever it is that hits those hypocritical beings next.
You say ‘it’s Pakistan, deal with it’ but isn’t it people like you who make Pakistan how it is? I say, if every single one of us decide to set ourselves on the right path and don’t take the wrong turn whatsoever, Pakistan would be a more just and peaceful country. Take that step.
Now that I’m finally doing my intermediate at NFIC, I didn’t think I would say this but I admit it, I actually, really miss my school and everyone from there, even though I was the one who couldn’t wait to get out of school and move on with my life. And now that I have moved on, I’m not sure if I even remember everyone from my past year at school. I suck at trying to remember things from the past, others do it fine. Well, lets see if my brain cells aren’t total rubbish.
There was no desk that was not covered with Talha’s drawings of fighter jets. I was and still am the kid who’s so skinny he almost looks malnourished. Lubna was and probably still is that fat girl who was every teacher’s pet. Sobia was the girl who showed up merely once in a blue moon because she likes her sleep better. Hafsa was that wacko who used to throw stuff on Saad Aqueel while we suffered. And Saad, if I had a nickel for everything time I cracked his nuts, I’d own a bank! Sorry, Saad. I’ll make sure your junk is okay once/if I become a doctor. There were two Saads in our class. Saad Aqueel and Saad Naseem. Saad Naseem was a love bird. Both the Saads were, actually. Hamza was the kid we used to snack on because her mom don’t cook for him, but for us. Muttajjar, he was the best punching bag our class had. Shahbaz was best known for his driving skills, and Sameen was that tall girl with the curves, lol. Zaki was and always have been an abomination, but he sure was a source of entertainment. He was the one who invented the classic Ammar jokes. Ammar was the guy we used to literally look up to because he was the tallest guy in class (or school, probably). Fazila was the universal baji and Laiba, well, lets just say she came to her senses in the last year thankfully. Huda was the girl who once whistled during class which got all the boys kicked out of the class, and that was probably the most epic thing she ever did. Salik was the one with the prettiest handwriting and Faizan was the smartass whose goal was to annoy the living crap out of every teacher we had, and he did a fine job by the way. And then there was Mehwish, who got their Mehran sold for the sake of a good result (kidding). Taha was the fatass who used to watch porn on his phone during class and Nasir was the small kid who finally got growth spurt, in 10th grade. Better late than ever, I suppose. Noman, I’m not gonna mention anything about him because I’m not sure if there’s enough room for him in the server (if you know what I mean). Rida, she was the girl with a dude-ish voice, which was awesome by the way. And how could I forget about Nazish, popularly known as churya, and her best friend Umaima, she was cool though. You could find every item available at the canteen under their desk. Then there was Areeba who didn’t get to fit in so well. She joined us in 8th grade. Asneef, only one thing comes in my mind when I think Asneef is Rattan (janitor), the nickname Zaki gave him. Man, he got butthurt.
Okay, all that thinking got me hungry so if I missed someone, I don’t really care. No I’m not even gonna apologize. I can’t think on an empty stomach, so I’m just gonna go and make myself a sandwich. And no, I’m not fasting. Bite me!
So our English teacher gave us in homework, to go through the works of Stephen Leacock, and bring into class a short essay we liked the most. I did go through some of his short essays, but was too lazy to copy them down in my notebook, so I didn’t do my homework. The next day I went to school, everyone did their homework but me and I was screwed. So I took my pen, and during the chemistry class, wrote an essay of my own “by Stephen Leacock” and guess what? The teacher bought it! xD
Kids, every day of the week, they drag themselves out of bed around six in the morning to get to school on time, and what do they get in return? The teacher makes an already boring topic even more boring as if they weren’t already dozing out. What a typical teenager has in mind during the lecture aren’t subatomic particles. Here’s what ninety per cent of the students “present” in class really have in mind.
“When will the class be over?”. “How much time is left till the bell rings?”. “God, when will the damned bell ring?”.
“I want to sleep.”
“Why did I even come to college today?”
“That girl is cute.” ”Ah, she’s looking at me again!”. “Why is she smiling, do my hair look funny?”.
“I hope the teacher can’t see me doodling.”
“If that idiot has a girl, why can’t I have one too?!”
“That teacher is a…”
While some are irritated by the teacher’s jibber jabber, some are listening to that catchy song by The Beatles that is stuck in their heads and some are waiting for just the right moment to ask the teacher if they can go to the toilet.
I’m pretty much convinced seeing great minds being produced in the classrooms of Canada and judging by the looks of the faces, how can one not see the country’s bright future! Props to the teachers, of course.
Internet’s a wonderful place. Full of wonderful people showing of their talents ranging from freelance photography and choreography to baking cupcakes, and it is amazing watching kids making the most of it, learning and sharing and getting appreciated. Ahmed met me through my comic page on Facebook and he is full of surprises, found it interesting to get to know and he never failed to impress me. And for the rest of us, I interviewed him. Lets discover him, shall we?
To kick things off, shall you please introduce yourself?
“My name is Ahmed Hassan. I am 13 years old and I just passed the 8th grade. I was born in Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan. I love to draw and paint, which lead me to get much more interested in art.”
So Ahmed, did you had passion for art since you were merely a toddler or something like that?
“I wasn’t interested in art at that time. It was my sister who made me gain some interest in art. My passion for art started when I searched for other artists on the Internet. I was nearly 8 at that time.”
How did your sister influence you? Tell me more about your family.
“Well, my sister is a great artist. I think she was interested in art when she was just a child. I have seen her sketches which she used to draw when she was a child, they were so awesome. She likes experimenting a lot in this part. Her art speaks for itself.”
“Whenever I saw her drawing sketches, I used to sit and draw with her. She encouraged me a lot in my life. She is the reason why I am on this stage today. I am proud to have a sister like her.”
You look for inspiration online. What kind of impact do they have on you?
“I am going to be honest. The only thing special about them is their way of drawing and their passion for art. I’ve learned a lot from them. I didn’t even know what digital coloring until I saw their work. The artists made me gain more interest in art.”
You’re really good at what you do. Have you ever experienced failure? How did you cope with it, if you ever did?
“I’ve never experienced failure. Thanks to God.”
What pushed you towards making comics?
“The comic artists of Pakistan. Just before starting my page, I searched for pages and comic artists to learn more from them. My comics are mostly based on the conversations I have with my friends. We crack up big time reading our messages. So, instead of wasting my humor, I thought of pushing myself towards the comic scene.”
You’ve been passionate about art since childhood. Have you been a fan of comic books?
“Online comic books work for me a lot. For example, Kachee Goliyan. The humor is amazing. The drawings are just awesome. They crack me up big time. Apart from that, I love to see other comic artists starting up their own online comic books. Just like ‘Mango People’. I was way too excited for their comic book. Well, the result came out great. Pakistan is filled with talent. It feels good to see people trying so much to push the comic scene forward.”
Where do you see the comic scene of Pakistan is going? Do you see growth or do you see downfall?
“People with humor and talent are pushing the comic scene in Pakistan towards awesomeness. The only downfall I see is with the people who try to act funny, even if they aren’t in the mood. There are millions of people who don’t have humor, but some of them desperately try to drag the humor out of them. Which doesn’t quite work. Apart from that, I am sure the comic scene in Pakistan will keep on growing. I wish luck and success to all of the comic artists in Pakistan.”
How’s Facebook working out for ya?
“Facebook is working a lot for me. I haven’t shared my page or my stuff on any other social networking website except Facebook. Apart from that, the response is amazing. The comics artists plus the fans have encouraged me a lot. Well, my Facebook page did take time to get some likes. I didn’t knew how to make people hear of it. All of my work, was kind of getting wasted. So, I contacted some comic artists and they kept sharing my page and encouraging me.”
Where do you see yourself among the outburst of comic pages?
“I am just a mediocre artist. I draw. And when funny ideas pop up in my mind, I make comics. The only reason why I’ve used memes in a few of my comics is because of their expressions. I draw and I make comics because they both work for me.”
“I don’t want to compare. There is some kind of a different talent in every comic artist I have seen. Some are awesome in sketching. Some are professionals in digital coloring. And some have got loads of humor. People have told me that they can expect me to draw anything. It’s right from my point of view. It just depends on my mood. Well, in the part of comics, I am not that much funny in real life. It’s just that a few ideas pop up in my mind and I make comics about them. While others have got a different kind of humor.”
Would you like to be a full-time artist in the future?
“Not really. I draw and make comics because I’m interested in both of them. There is a lot of other stuff to do when I grow up. A lot of fields to join in. Though the passion for art will keep growing.”
Judging by his performance, I say the boy has potential, he has the potential to go way beyond what he’s capable of at the moment. We all need appreciation . I recommend you checking his Facebook page iDraw - Comics by Ahmed where he currently posts all his drawings. You will be left speechless. Right that down.
This is Asad, signing out.
This is no work of fiction. It is a true story. It skips many chapters of X’s life, but then again, how much can a person possibly learn about another person’s past on their first meeting, so lets start, shall we..
April 29, 2010, Sunday it was when I met X, a civil young guy who you probably won’t expect to be a thug or have any sort of criminal record whatsoever. You won’t have a clue of the struggles he has been through, you won’t know if he’s still facing them to this day, his civility won’t let you think this guy had lived a repulsive thug life.
X has always been a good student but violence and mayhem, not just devastated his boyhood, but set him on the wrong road, and urged him to do bad things, bad things that he hesitated from telling, things that left him full of regrets.
X is a fully-trained terrorist; trained to outlive, trained to kill. There was no way his parents, his friends could know about where he went and what he did; X is nearly untraceable. X never attended any call from his folks and surely, he had a butt load of explanation to do, nothing they did made him spill.
Surely X was violent and hostile, and it won’t be wrong to consider him a threat to human life, but there was one thing that X was not: X was not homicidal. He was built for the kill, but he had something in him that kept him rejecting every offer he got, made him refrain from gunning down targets. He wonders if it was Capital H-I-M. X never murdered; although a few months back, being short-tempered, he turbulently assaulted a boy his age breaking into his own house on a nightfall, for which he got arrested and harshly beaten, whipped and even burnt by the local police.
Fortunately, that turned out to be what X just needed. X recovered physically as well as in respect of moral principles and values, thanks to the moral support of those who he loved and those who cared about him. X is now a respectable citizen who is responsible for his words and actions. He started back on his studies and now he is looking forward to work abroad with his uncle and start earning. X believes that He caused him to get back on the right track. He believes God just doesn’t let His bondsman get off the right path; if its someone who’ll show a lost bondsman the right path, its Him. X is eternally grateful.
Some of us always wanted the comic scene in our country to go big. Some of us always dreamt of comic art becoming a way of expression. We are glad that it is finally happening; webcomics is the new ‘thing’ in the Pakistani cyberspace, and yes it is really happening!
We all love Kachee Goliyan, Secret Achaar Society, Jay’s Toons and Comics by Arslan. These were the first few names who started this whole ‘comic revolution’ on Facebook, but for some of us, they were not just good comedy, they were something bigger than that, they were inspirations.
With a sudden break out of numerous comic pages on Facebook made by different artists, a by-stander thought that he should also give it a shot, and thus MT Comics was born. Mohammad Talha, the creator of MT Comics, is a 10th grader with massive talent, who started making gut-busting comics about our ‘desi’ lives. The Secret Achaar Society has been his source of inspiration. His reason of giving it a try: his passion for comics and digital art. MT Comics not only target everyday life issues, but also political affairs and present, and awesome puns. And all this is done through nothing other than Paint. Yes, he makes ‘em using nothing but the Paint app that comes with Windows, which requires mad skills and he has got it!
Inspired by Kachee Goliyan, Jay’s Toons and Sarcass Stick, two 10th graders Asad Aliand Zoha Ishtiaq, with no hope whatsoever to catch the eye of the audience in this crowd of comic pages and memes, came up with The Epic Fail Duo, and hence the name. The kids make comic strips to share the stories of their lives, their conversations and inside jokes with the world, on which they are getting unexpectedly exciting response. The kids are simply being themselves, pleased to meet people with mutual interests, and enjoying their response they are getting from their audience. These kids got the potential and they are on their journey to discover it.
Must say it was quite unexpected to have kids adopting comic art as a medium of expression, and it is good to see they are being appreciated for their early adoption of the trend and totally nailing it. Its great that the kids are having a healthy audience to show off their talent and skills, and although some just can’t help criticising, things seem to be going just fine for them. Though their talent must reach a broader audience as a proof that our teens ain’t any less creative than any pro. They are already chock full of creativity, what they need is constructive criticism and a suitable environment (audience) to polish their abilities. There’s nothing more encouraging than seeing your hard work being appreciated, and that just these talented kids need to grow.
We can expect the comic scene to go even bigger in our country by the end of the year and we just might see a Pakistani Comic Con as well if talented people like these keep popping up, showing off their creativity and humour, adopting comic art as a way to speak up, doing what they are good at. And as smooth as things are going, it might just become a reality. Let us not discourage these people and instead help them grow, what they are doing is not a waste; its art.
Darn sardi ka mousam doesn’t seem like it ain’t leavin’ this city any time soon, doesn’t look like its getting any less cold either. Yes, we are screwed. Or at least, I am because I hate this weather. You are confined to your bed and you don’t feel like getting up ‘cause you’re all warm and cozy. You end up skipping work, like homework and stuff. You skin gets drier and thus, uncomfortable like every minute unless you apply something, which is on my list of things I really hate to do. You can’t feel your hands while typing or texting ‘cause they are already fucking frozen! Not to mention the stupid dandruff. Fine its already cold, but seriously, are the ‘thandi hawaain’ really necessary, like isn’t it already freezing cold enough? God, I hate winter! If there’s anything I like about winter, they are coffee and soups, and nothing else, zilch. Okay, the winter vacation part is good but we’re getting some days off anyways if you count all the strikes and all those ‘ITs’ we do. Okay, where was I? Yeah, back to hating on winter. I hate it, I seriously hate it. You know winter, you should leave this town and go back where you belongs, or where you’re needed, like at Santa’s or the polar bears in the Arctic. Global Warming and the melting ice caps are pissing them off. You should leave this city and never come back.
P.S. If you ‘love’ winters and I hurt your feelings or something, just to make you feel better, I’d let you know I DON’T CARE!
I remember starting a blog back in 2010, after the school was off for like a month, in April after I passed 8th grade. I had to figure out something to get the time passed. Used to follow some major blogs back then and still do, mostly about tech and stuff. They inspired me to get started with my own tech blog, which was probably sort of a failure, not really though. What can I say, I’m my own critic!
My best bro in school, we think alike. A few weeks back, he was like, we should start blogging again, like after we’re done with our board exams. I was like I dunno, I write way informal. He was like, what the heck, let’s just not get our English skills rusted. Had to agree, he does make a fair point. And just when I decided, yeah I should start a blog again; I went through some blog posts by random Karachite bloggers about getting selected for blogging for KarachiTips, a pretty darn famous Facebook page celebrating the awesomeness of Karachi online. They got me thinking, I should totally apply for it, give a try, see if I can make it, but since I read that so many of the bloggers were already selected, I just hoped its not too late and turns out it was not, when I asked Muhammad Abdullah (co-founder of KarachiTips) if its not too late to apply. His reply was a bit unexpected. He offered me to join ‘em, because he’s a big ass fan of my comics (The Epic Fail Duo) he mentioned. Obviously, my reaction was is this really happening? Couldn’t believe he actually said that for a second there. Then I was like woo-hoo (Homer Simpson style) The feeling, that ‘khushi’ that people not only recognize my work but are impressed, is overwhelming. As I said before, I’m my own critic.
Wait, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, the blogging shit. So I’m gonna be blogging for KarachiTips.com which is going to be awesome. I write WAY INFORMAL as you can see, hope they accept me just the way I am. Gonna push my luck a little just this once, keeping my fingers crossed and try blogging more often.
Shukriya for reading this junk.
This is Asad Ali, singing out.