Friday, November 19, 2010

Makes sense to me

Even though this may be a minute late, as a lot of little animals have already fallen (ha), I came across some information that I thought essentil to share.

Instead of going with your thousand-year tradition and selecting more and more cattle this year, PAWS  proposes you not forget the terrible loss Pakistan has faced and continues to be a victim of. There are countless homes without access to the basic necessities of life like three meals, clothes and clean water. Instead of sacrificing the animal how about you donate it and create a source of livelihood?

Whatever you beliefs may be I doubt there is any valid argument against supporting a life. 

Please read:
Give Some Live Goats This Eid (12 NOVEMBER 2010):

After the devastating floods of 2010, a non-profit organisation wants Pakistanis to think a little differently for Eid-ul-Azha this year.

PAWS, the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society, is asking citizens to think aboutsaving animals instead of sacrificing them. The volunteer-run group saysthat because so many families have lost their cattle and livestock in thefloods, what those families need most is not meat for a meal, but livestock to help them generate income and rebuild their lives.

Buy a goat  and this year, instead of sacrificing it, send it back to a village to replace what was lost and help people back onto their feet. Goats can provide an ongoing income for families through the sale of milk, ghee, meat and kids, as well as supplement their own diet and agriculture, readsthe public appeal from PAWS, a Karachi-based organisation.

PAWS says that over 1.2 million large and small animals in Pakistan werekilled during the floods. Those that remain are often sick and lacking veterinary medicines or starving because of no access to food and fodder.

With your help, PAWS wants to get healthy productive goats back in the handsof needy families in Sindh. Each goat costs Rs12,000. The cost includes delivery of the animal to a flood-affected family in Sindh, an initialveterinary examination including vaccination and drenching, and high qualityfodder for two months.

Who to contact:
Maheen Zia initiated this project and is collecting donations. Checks can be sent to the her and these will be cashed and taken to Pakistan on December 2, 2010 and deposited with PAWS. Receipts of each donation will besent by PAWS in early January.

Kindly make the checks payable to Maheen Adamson and mail to:
Maheen Adamson
2401 Farrol Avenue,Union City, CA 94587


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going further then Zardari - John Kerry on floods

An email sent out in mass to those who subscribe to Kerry’s mailing list is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. 
Firstly because I am more then certain that he has trudged through areas that our prime ponies in the President’s house haven’t so much as thought of. 
Because it was an open, honest note that was sent out to Americans who lets face it have a lot of reasons to not want to get involved from donor drain to militant fright and then to their own economic crisis. 
And then because there are yet more trustworthy resources here to help out.
Also, I would like to add that I have removed the Citzen's Foundation as a resource because of mixed reviews about their credibility. 
— x — 
I just got home to Massachusetts from seeing the floods in Pakistan -- and what I saw there was as devastating and gripping as the last humanitarian crisis I emailed you about. Even as I sit here I'm shaken by the fact that this is Pakistan's Katrina. 
It's not just that one fifth of the country - an area larger than all of New England, New York, New Jersey and Maryland combined - is submerged under historic flooding, or that with weeks left in the monsoon season, it could get even worse.
None of that captures what I saw and heard when our helicopter touched down. I went to Multan in the Punjab plains. This is no isolated hamlet, but an ancient city, a district capital with a population of over 1.5 million. And it's inundated with water.
I spoke to the people, heard their stories, their desperation for food and water. They talked of the joy when they saw American Chinook helicopters - distinctive for their two big rotors - because they knew help was arriving. But the scale of the disaster hit me as I flew over the city and surrounding valley, mile after mile of Punjabi plains turned into a massive lake, this large city covered in water. Roads were washed out, vehicles abandoned, tall buildings turned into places of desperate refuge.  Any flat surface high enough to escape the waters became a life-raft, often packed with people willing to bake in the hot sun rather than face the barrier of the flood-waters.  The scene stretched on and on.
You can get a look at some of this - just get a small sense of it - watching this NBC News piece: MSNBC
In the face of all of this suffering, so much remains to be done - and the world isn't keeping up with the size of the challenge.  The United States government is doing its part by leading international donor efforts with $150 million so far, including funds from the "Kerry-Lugar-Berman" aid package for Pakistan that we passed in Congress last year.  But today, we need your help to do more.
This is a hard time to ask Americans to give money -- yes these are tough economic times for so many here at home -- but what I saw in Pakistan calls out for the very best that we are as Americans, that we dig down and pitch in because if we don't, people will die. It's just that simple. Already more than 20 million people are affected, more than the Pacific Ocean tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake combined.
And the political and economic consequences for Pakistan - a nuclear-armed country in a volatile region - will be catastrophic if we don't act.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the creation of the Pakistan Relief Fund to give you a chance to help.  You donations will go directly to help the people of Pakistan. With a donation of $5, you can buy 50 high energy bars providing much needed nutrition; $10 can provide a child or mother with a blanket; and about $40 can buy material to shelter a family of four.
Please please click here to donate.
Or -- send $10 through your mobile phone by texting the word FLOOD, F-L-O-O-D, to 27722. You can also donate directly to many of the great non-profit organizations supporting the effort.  
A list of qualified organizations can be found online here:
Thank you for your time and contributions. Sincerely, John Kerry

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Watered down

I started, scrapped and re-started this note many times tonight. Not because I don’t know enough about the issue up front. My quandary concerns how to get my thoughts across without anyone setting this aside because of yet another issue about the country that I grew up in yet hardly recognize anymore.

A little more then a decade ago Pakistan was still relatively unknown. When my cousins moved to the US some 15 or so years ago I remember laughing because a kid at their school asked if Pakistan was a ship. Such was the ignorance of the younger generation about the Country. A ship!

Today though ask any - excuse my lack of tact - ignoramus about Pakistan and a switch (however dim) is immediately turned on. Of course they know Pakistan! It’s the new Taliban hot bed. The home to an ex-convict President who lives in the luxury of a palace. That place that the world repeatedly gives aid to that disappears in to the black hole that is the government. The land of no freedom (god I hate that word now). And, of course, the dysfunctional, bankrupt neighbor of India.

What we tend to forget though is that Pakistan is also home to Pakistanis. Of real people that face the corruption of a government that chooses to vacation in suites that cost 7,000 pounds a night while the country is wrecked by floods. Who are vulnerable to the threat of radical militants on one hand and drone attacks from a foreign land on the other. Who have no access to a decent education to learn and explore and break the ties of social classes. Who are bound to society riddled with so many negative labels by the media that it’s difficult for the general world to focus on the people that make up the country. Every day, normal Pakistanis.

So yes Pakistan has its problems and I will be the first to admit that there is no end or solution in sight. But while the world may be tired of yet another issue in a country smaller then Texas, we can't ignore what’s important at hand. And that is real people who are facing all the havoc wreaked by the one of the worst natural disasters ever seen.

With 14 million people displaced, more then 15,000 dead, no clean water or hot food accessible, entire villages washed away,  disease on the rise, farmlands (primary source of income for most) lost, and the government response being almost laughable, there is only one thing you need to know about Pakistan that is relevant at the moment; Pakistan - Pakistani's - need help.

I may be rambling here. So in a nutshell I’ll quote an  analysis of this same note by a favorite blogger “Okay, you know Pakistan as a despotic, corrupt country harboring militants and criminals but don’t let that cloud your judgment because there are real people there who need your help.”

Don't trust the government - hell I don't! Some research has helped put together what I think are pretty reliable ways to donate;

Imran Khan flood relief:

Pakistani American Culture Center :


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You said it. You did it. Now we'll have to kill you. (Part 2)

Resurrection. I’m actually quite annoyed (at myself) that blogging is the one resolution I didn’t keep. I am not a hater. I am not even an angry person, quite passive really – ask anyone who actually knows me. Just pointing out the obvious.

This is specific to brownies. Even more specifically brownies in Pakistan. Yes you. You know who you are. You took a term overused by the judgmental Pakis who have never beyond city limits and not only adopted it but raped it. As crass as it sounds I can’t help saying it – you gang raped it.
I suppose I should explain this term as many would not understand what and why (not that I do). A burger is a meal. An American meal. Especially enjoyed by every Paki – it’s a ‘treat’ really. You ask the visiting desi what they would like to eat? 90% of the time the answer is a burger. However its an American meal.
And that’s the trigger.
Every time a person with a different view – immigrant or even living in Pakistan – says or does something considered Americanized in any remote way that person is a ‘burger’. A slight veer to the left and you are a burger. A little insight to a belief and you are a burger. Introduce a new thought – well you get the idea.
How is this an insult? Using it should land you in the deep fryer. Burger that fool.

Left-hand side of escalator unmoving stubborn person
Just because I walk on magic stairs that do your walking for you doesn’t mean I am hyper and nor does it mean I am hard to keep up with. It simply means that I have legs that I discovered as an infant and realized that I sort of like to use them. More so while I still can. Agreed that the stairs do the work for you and frankly I don’t care if people don’t want to move if they don’t have to but MOVE OVER TO THE RIGHT SIDE. This may be very specific to San Francisco but I have to add this. Stop eyeballing me! And o yes when I politely excuse myself don’t look at me as if I have three heads. My legs are mine to use!

“LOL” made it to round one. But I have realized that this supposed plural cannot be ignored. It may even be worse. Not only can I not fathom why every other sentence is laced with an infamous ‘lol’ but now I am left wondering which moron first thought of the plural. And to add insult to injury the plural is spelled with a ‘z’ and not ‘s’ – why? Perhaps its ‘kool’. O my that really does make me cringe. So let me ask again what is so damned funny that people have to constantly have your say with an LOLZ! Its not just a term a person should use for the sake of saying something. At least wait to be genuinely amused.

Desis on Facebook terms: DP / Mashahalla / Awwwwww
Back again to specific trends, this time to Facebook speak.
Lets start with the comment “Nice DP”. Or how about “Oooo I love your DP!” What? Am I dense? Or just old? Perhaps both? So I went to my trusted buddy Google and did a search. Results? Nothing. Nada. So if Google doesn’t know how the hell am I supposed to know?
So I ask. And am laughed at and yes even labeled a burger for my ignorance. Apparently its common knowledge that a “DP” is a “display picture”. That’s the worst definition / label / whatever of a profile picture I have even heard of. I mean really! How lazy are you? Why can’t you say I love your picture. You are commentating right under it – you know that right?
Lets move on to “Mashahalla”. Why is this sprinkled everywhere? Every posed, overly cute picture is inevitably laced with a ‘mashahalla!’ What compels you? Your guilt of not finding God? Or because its cute? At least do everyone a favor and apply it correctly. Every single picture / comment / activity does NOT deserve a mashahalla! Nothing – and I mean nothing – is that praise worthy!
Want me to drive in my point further? Lets try this intelligent comment; “Mashahalla what a cute DP! You look sooooo cute”. (Should I have added cute to this list to?)
And then on to the expression of labeling a comment / picture / post as ultimate cuteness. But how many activities deserve to wear that crown? A status says “J” and you say “Awww”. A new picture is up and you say “Awww”. A humorous conversation above your aww-ing head is exchanged and you um, say “Awww”.  Makes me wonder if aww-speak is a cult perhaps?

Healthy & Weak
Term Contributor: Ayesha & I
Putting on a little weight is bad enough without it being politely called out (almost always by a desi aunty) as an addition to your health. “How have you been? You look healthy, the air must be suiting you.” Or how about this “You were so skinny before, you look so fresh and healthy!” The worst part of all these true stories is that they are said with a straight face. Have the generous, opinionated yet complimentary (twisted isn’t it?) aunties realized that the extra weight is an uncomfortable subject? Or that the compliment is being paid to a person who has been the SAME weight for the last 7 years? And then um, aunty jee please consider that your victim may be 3 months pregnant.
There are those that are fresh (what the hell does fresh mean by the way? Should I make an analogy to a fresh vegetable?), and then there are those that are sickly. Ahem I mean weak. “Your cooking couldn’t be very good you look so weak!” Mind you, this is all out of concern. And love. Stifling, claustrophobic, know-it-all concerned love. Perhaps the weight loss was intentional? Did you consider I may have been sick? And then again, your victims weight has not changed in the last 7 years!

Monday, December 28, 2009

You said it. Now we'll have to kill you. (Part 1)

Ignoring any sort of blogging activity in the recent past I feel compelled to come back from the dead. Its just that the list is always growing. And we must realize that the run-of-the-mill quips / comments / jokes people use in conversation and sometimes to imply humor are actually just ammo against their passing as likeable, normal people.
With many friends who live vicariously through other’s efforts, there will be others contributing to this list as it grows. O, and it will grow.

So the other day I receive an email from an old friend. Someone I haven’t met in a long time and so its obviously not someone I’m displeased to hear from. But then I see the subject line and its titled “long time no see lol......”. Call me dense if you want, but what is there to laugh out loud about here? Being ‘nice’ I reply back and ask a few polite question about life and how this friend is. And get a reply that starts with ‘lol …. I’m ok .. lol”. Am I missing the humor here?
Its like those annoying chats where the whole time you are in conversation the other person is lol-ing with each reply. What, what, WHAT is so funny about me telling you how work is going that is making you laugh out LOUD!
Even facebook status’ aren’t safe. “Life is a bitch .. lol” .. “Lost my phone .. lol .. message me your #s”.
So that’s it. One more lol out of you with no real context means that you will have to be committed.

The overuse of, and the wrong context to gets this on the list. Especially with recent US election history and certain wars that need to end. As far as I understand it, if you are fighting for freedom then you are not the attacker but the attacked. Yes it wonderful to be free. And no I do not want to live life shrouded indoors and not allowed to step out. Its just that I’ve heard it way too much. And almost always from the sort of person who uses it in the wrong context.
So no you may not ask people if they value their freedom just to justify wars that started for other reasons.
And neither is it socially correct - or non-retarded for that matter – to ask people if they like freedom? What kind of response do you give to that? Um no, I like living in the cage that Hansel was put in to fatten up?

“Have a nice one”
Admittedly having lived in the States the last few years I have heard this a lot more then in other places. But during my last trip home I had quite a few a ‘have a nice one’ comments sprinkled here and there at the end of a few conversations. If its travelling across continents then its definitely making it to the list.
Have a nice what? What does that even mean? Are people so lazy now that they can’t even give a decent goodbye blessing or farewell or whatever? What is “one”? What are you wishing on the other person when you wish them a nice “one”.
Till someone answers that question no one should be allowed to wish you a ‘nice one’ without explanation.

“Good times”
Term contribution: Rosie
At the end of a conversation, even if it’s a good one, why do people feel the need to seal fate? As affirming that yes, it was good talking to you. You aren’t a moron and I am not going to block these last fifteen minutes out as a painful memory. If that’s not annoying enough, the overuse of the term makes you want to push the person guilty of saying it over a very, very high cliff that overlooks sharp rocks. This kind of person applies it to everything. I was talking about bread – why does that connate a good time?

“Hella / Fail / Fuckin’ A”
Term Contributor: T & I
So this pertains solely to brown people. I’m not racist, far from it in fact. Its just certain slang just does not maintain the correct innuendo when used by different races. And in this case its all you fellow brownies.
Take this conversation for example – true story mind you.
Me: “Hi Happy Birthday ! Whats up”. 
Brown person: “Dude Im hella trashed at home. It was cold so I said Fuckin’ A man lets gets drunk right here at home.”
Me: “Glad you are having a good time.”
Brown person: “Fuckin A man. Fucking A”.
Um really? See, it just doesn’t match the face. And besides this attempt to slang didn’t even make sense. Why would you say Fuckin’ A to the cold? Or a lame party at home with er, your goldfish and your roommate?
Another example for you – and T swears its true. Facebook example no less.
Brown girl A puts up as her status: Saw Tabu and asked her if she was Juhi Chawla and Tabu got mad.
Brown girl B posts two pictures of both actors side by side and says: How could you mix them up?
Brown girl A: Fail.
As in epic failure? Fail? What? Need I say more?

“Omg! That’s .. soooo .. funnnnyyy”
Term Contributor: Rosie & I
So while we are playing the race card we must add that this is a very White term. And as much as I hate to admit it, its also limited to women.
So first off IM talk – as in abbreviations for whoever may take a mental minute – should be limited to online talk. And online talk only. I mean how lazy are you that you can’t speak in full sentences? What if everyone just normally talked like that?
Girl A: “Omg I’m so tired of her.”
Girl B: “Fml me too!”
Girl A: “She told me she would BRT. I mean Wtf?”
Girl B: “You should tell her to DIAF. Lol”
Girl A: “Omg! That’s .. soooo .. funnnnyyy”
Not only is it bad enough that ‘normal’ people are now talking in IM, but they are also dragging out sentences. Slowly. Not to mention painfully. So you tell me, how could this not be listed?

“When did you learn to speak English?”
Term Contributor: T
This has probably happened to every brown person I know living in the States. Especially from those who claim to be well versed in culture because they have a token friend of color. Admittedly though there is a higher chance of you hearing this in the Midwest. Sorry but you know its true.
How can a normal person ask someone that question with a straight face? More so, if we are actually having a conversation in PERFECT ENGLISH and you ask me how it is that my English is so good, how do you expect me to react? I mean are you retarded?
Or then when did I learn to speak English. All I really want to say to that is since I was a baby bitch. We were colonized too – look it up.

That’s the end of part one. I know the list is always growing -  I should start writing these down or something.