A Few Objections

So I have been feeling a lot of indignation lately.  There are things and people that have pissed me off recently so considering the fact that this is MY blog and I can write whatever I want on it, I shall rant today and vent out my vexations for all the virtual world to read.  Keep that popcorn ready.

1) I hate, hate, HATE people, or rather the habit that people have, of talking about others in their absence. Its cowardly, cunning and pathetic, no matter what your intentions are.  If you have any questions, queries or even just statements to make about me, please, be my guest, do not hesitate, and express them to ME.  Even if I think what you’re asking reflects your intense ignorance and illustrates the tunnel vision your mind seems to adopt, I would still oblige you and answer because it’s a lot better than trying to dig up info about me from others.

I’ve noticed this to be quite common in the Pakistani community, especially among women.  Gossip is, of course, prevalent across the world, but in the desi society, it’s of a more malicious and unforgiving form.  Aunties and muckrakers gather around in their living rooms, spending hours dissecting and tearing apart a certain person or a certain act or event.  Their daughters, impressionable as they are, notice this, and, seeping the environment they are surrounded by, grow up to do exactly the same at school and university.  It is nothing to be proud of; in fact, it is probably one of the greatest failings of our community since it perpetuates so much unnecessary malevolence and it’s just pitiful that anyone would find the need to delve into other people’s lives to find some sort of meaning in their own.

As I’ve said before, this happens everywhere, yet it is so much more frequent in Pakistan.  I knew before I moved here that this would be one of the issues I’d find hard to digest and deal with and I suppose I’ve actually been very lucky to find a small group of close friends who, like me, share this aversion. My message to the bad apples: lay off, grow up, find a hobby that involves more that just finding out how others live their lives, and focus on your own existence.

2)  As much as I agree about the superficiality and utter contructedness of the city of Dubai, I really don’t like the bad rep it so often gets.  Yes, it’s a city that, up until 30 years ago, was nothing but barren desert full of bedouin tribes and maybe just one main road.  Now, its a city of steel and glass, of gravity-defying skyscrapers, and sprawling malls that are a dime a dozen.  It’s built islands where there were none and raised the standards of living so high that to ‘make it in Dubai’ is to ‘make it in New York’.  But is that really something that it should be condemned for?  Does Dubai deserve the negative publicity that it falls victim to so frequently?

This article – http://tribune.com.pk/story/7950/at-least-we-are-not-dubai/ – is one such example.  Although it is well-written and does contain quite a few valid points, I think it falls short of being fair.  It’s heavily bias and not very objective, but tha’s understandable, since it is actually an opinion piece.  Nonetheless, I particularly feel very strongly against the last paragraph:

For all its irresponsibility, at least we have a robust media. For all the police corruption, at least we are not a police state. For all our littering, at least we have paper wallahs. Remind yourself that at least we have a heart. At least we have a soul.

Dubai is NOT a police state; in fact, it’s police force is probably one of the best and most effective in the region.  If there has been a crime, you can be guaranteed the perpetrators WILL be found, without you having to bribe the main man in charge.  The fact that the author is making this assertion while sitting in Karachi is nothing short of absurd, as all of us, even those from the port city itself, know about the civil unrest that stains Karachi.  Furthermore, Dubai too has paper-wallahs; in fact, thats how my family gets its edition of ‘7Days’ everyday.  And, regarding the lack of soul in Dubai, I’ll quote one the readers’ comments that this article got that I think refuted the author’s assertion quite well:

“You talk about Dubai’s love for money and spending habits of its people. Bro, they earn it, its theirs to decide what to do with it! FYI, Dubai has both the worlds in one city. You wanna live like a rockstar, go ahead. You wanna live humbly, that too is available. I think you should have walked out of your prepaid five star hotel in Dubai Marina and taken a ride down to Deira, Hor al anz, Hamriya, , Qusais, etc, etc, and seen for yourself that is possible to live a modest and humble life in Dubai too! But you were probably too busy checking out “flabby cleavages” in the comfort of an air conditioned mall sipping your american coffee to be bothered to take a taxi and walk around those neighborhoods!”

Everything the city has managed to achieve is so short a time is the fruit of its own efforts and that of its leaders.  I think Dubai is the best example of how far you can go if you have the vision to over-achieve and attain a level of excellence that was previously unimaginable.  I won’t comment on the author’s comparison of Dubai to Karachi because I think that would be quite unfair; I don’t possess enough knowledge of Karachi or even enough experience of living there to be able to fairly say anything.  That’s one thing the author of the article should have remembered: write about what you know.  A 10-day visit to Dubai does NOT make you an expert on the city and its ways, or give you the right to simply judge it by what you view externally.

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