Ugly Or A Victim?!

So, I saw the following picture on Facebook and it evoked mixed reactions in me. While on one hand, I was pleased with the picture because it gave the right message, I was also angry that it gave that message in a wrong way!

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The Masterpiece Problem

I am always surprised at the image people form of authors who have written masterpieces; it is as if the author can only write exceptionally good stories. Well, it should be true, if the author has one amazing story, then it is a sort of proof that the author is capable of writing brilliant stories. Yet, that does not mean that every story that author writes will be a masterpiece without faults.

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I am often surprised at narrow-minded, superiority complexes harbored by people especially when it comes to languages. I have seen and met with people who see one language as superior to other, or see themselves  as superior to someone else because they speak a language better than another person, and it makes me wonder if a particular language is criterion for superiority.

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Dreams Are Made Of This…

I wonder what Xuki's dreams are made of...

I like dreaming. It is the entrance to a grand adventure….good or bad. I look forward to nights where I get a dream I manage to remember the next morning. Besides, the fact that they are a window in to my subconscious is a great added bonus.

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Internet Privacy

Being of the age-group who grew up in the internet era, I, like many others, don’t think of how greatly the internet can impact my life. Now, as graduation draws near and my job hunt starts, I am becoming more aware of the possible problems I can encounter via the internet.

I read an article in Reader’s Digest a few weeks back highlighting the impact of internet on our lives. What we think is private is actually available for the entire world to see. It highlighted, very accurately, the problems we can face during job hunt just because of what was a joke between friends or a memorable time. It explained in detail exactly how social networking can make or break our lives and can ruin potential employments. It also portrayed how “search-able” we are and how to ensure that we get the job we are looking for. Just googling your name will reveal the sites your are registered on and show your activity.

A more recent example of how internet can affect our lives is given on the link below:

How to lose your job in 140 characters or less

So how can we ensure something like this doesn’t happen to us? It is pretty easy and these are just a few ways to ensure this doesn’t happen to you:

Watch your words.
What you write on the internet actually passes thorough a lot of computers (or servers) to reach its destination. And it can be easily accessed from any of those computers…anytime. Granted there are steps being taken to ensure privacy but lets face it: the world wide web isn’t exactly the most private place. Care should be taken even while blogging. With the right keywords, your blog might show up on the search engine whether it is popular or not.

Make your social networking profiles private.
Social networking sites are the first place employers look to investigate potential employees. Setting them to private provides a chance for you to keep a little of your privacy. Moreover, this way a user cannot directly access your most personal information. Even then, it only takes a common acquaintance to reveal the truth about you.

Don’t be too eager to share your life.
Internet isn’t the best place to flaunt your embarrassments. Keep your embarrassing photographs and experiences to yourself. This can ruin your friendships, relationships even employments. Moreover, ask friends not to post up any photographs of your which may later put you in trouble.

Aliases exist for a reason.
Its not prudent to use your real name everywhere. Aliases can protect your identity to a certain extent. But they can be eventually linked back to you. So even with an alias, do monitor your activity and don’t get into trouble.

Don’t register everywhere.
Registering everywhere, even with aliases, do show you up in searches. So be careful where you register. And if you leave then cancel your registration so that it might not be traced back to you. However, even this is not a fool-proof way.

Keep in mind the implications of your internet activity.
If you think that an activity you do on the world wide web can come back to haunt you, then don’t do it. It is better to be safe now than to be sorry later. Have fun…but be safe.

Don’t try too hard to be a goody two-shoes.
First of all, in social networking, you want to share you memorable experiences with your friends. It is fine to do that as long it is not too degrading or incriminating. Secondly, employers don’t exactly look for goody two-shoes. Rather they want people with balanced personalities with a tilt towards the goody part. So your internet activity should do the same work for you as you resume does…i.e. advertise you. So ensure that your internet activity supports your claim to a balanced personality.

So monitor what you have done and watch what you do. As it is said, look before you leap.

Take care. 😎

Listening to: Linkin Park – What I’ve Done

Tourism In Pakistan

I was going to my cousin’s place in Clifton yesterday and I took the usual route through Saddar. During my brief journey, I passed by the ever famous Frere Hall of Karachi and it made me think about Pakistani Tourism. Frere Hall is one of the best tourism sites we have in Karachi. However it is closed to public due to security reasons as the American Embassy is right in front it. This is saddening since being an avid tourist (though have never really traveled anywhere) I would love to see something of the old Karachi. My aunt who was travelling with me recalled about the old days when she used to play by the Frere Hall and I would like to see other little kids and awed-eyed teenagers view the heritage passed on to us through generations.

Frere Hall or Karachi is perhaps not the best tourism site in Pakistan. The northern areas are known for their serene beauty and naturalism yet they are not promoted for tourism. Muree, Swat, Bhurban, even some areas of Lahore and many more are some of the best places to visit in Pakistan. Although I have not personally visited them (which I am hoping to change this summer), I have either read, heard or viewed them on tv and have aways harbored a desire to visit them myself someday.

One of the most famous places to visit in Pakistan is perhaps the Kaghan valley and Said-ul-Muluk river (Jheel Saif-ul-Muluk). The legend associated with this place is about a prince who was warned against staying by the river bank at night since fairies roamed that place. However he was awed by the place and slept there and when he woke up, it was night time. I am a bit rusty on this legend, but in the end it was that he was never seen or heard from again. And to this day, the legend goes that anyone who stays there at night is never heard from again. I read about this legend back in 7th grade (I think) and I’ve always wanted to visit it…but so far have been unsuccessful. Yet, I’ve friends who did visit it and they all related to me its beauty and perfection.

With many places like this spread over Pakistan, it is very surprising that the government is not taking steps to promote tourism in Pakistan. If it does, I believe that Pakistan can generate its major revenue just from this area. Pakistan has a very rich culture that has been kept very private for very long. It is about time to bring it to the front, to show the entire world what Pakistan truly represents and to awe the entire world by the exotic beauty hidden in this young country.

Patriotism Is Just A Word…

Before I begin, I will clear it up that I am not a patriotic person. I prefer to keep quiet on the question of whether I love my country or not. I have never really thought about it and don’t feel like talking about it either. But I definitely respect what it represents. However, the fact is that I am surrounded by people around me who claim to be patriotic…yet I never saw them act this way.

Last year in mid august I read an article in the Dawn Review about a Pakistani woman married to and Indian man and living in India. It was about how she missed her country and the celebrations that took place around the time of independance, and how they differred from the one in India. She mentioned that in India people were not allowed to put up flags on their rooftops even on their independance day and that you would not find that day any different from Pakistan. In short, I really liked the rule imposed by the Indian government.

Independence day in Pakistan is a whole lot different than that. You start seeing badges, paper flags and large flags in all of the houses as August starts. You see stalls put up just for their sale. Kids are excited and decorating their homes in anticipation of August 14th. Even the media starts transmitting everything in green and white, playing national songs and displaying a countdown to the day. And on August 15th, August 14th never happened.

What you see after that disappoints you in a way nothing else can. Although the flags on the rooftops are taken down, the small paper flags are not. They wear down in the rain, lose against the wild monsoon air of Karachi and finally fall on the ground where they are either covered in mud, stepped on or thrown in trash. And then I ask myself: When someone can’t even respect their flag, how can you expect them the respect their country; how can you expect them to be patriotic?

Patriotism is a hype in Pakistan. Everyone claims to be patriotic but seldom is their anyone who truly shows to be one. Back in 12th grade when we used to have a discussion about patriotism, I had friends who claimed to love their country…but they could not stay in it. Even now I meet such people who claim to love their country but they cannot seem to stay in it (that is they don’t want to stay in it, even if they can’t go abroad.) Fact is that there are few people who are truly patriotic and want to show it in every way.

I don’t have anything against anyone going abroad for education or work. I think that even abroad, there are people that are in their own little way helping Pakistan either by proving to the world how good Pakis are in their dedication or by investing some their hard earned money back in their soil. And to me that is true Patriotism. But sadly there aren’t many people like that over there.

Even those who are here in Pakistan seem to complain about how bad it is when in fact they are the ones truly responsible for it. Pakistan is one of the eight most populated countries in the world. If everyone in here decides to make a small difference, according to their ability, in any way they can, they can all togethere make a big difference. Just for an example, if everyone starts to throw away their trash at designated locations (namely trash cans), the entire country would be much cleaner. But its always easy to complain than to find a solution and act.

The grass is definitely not greener on the other side. Every country has its problems but they don’t tend to advertise it like Pakistan seems to do. On the contrary, they seem to highlight the best people, the festivals, the simple ceremonies in their countries. That is the only thing making the grass greener. So why is it that Pakistan is unable to make its grass greener?

A relative of mine started a job in a newly formed company about 4 years ago. She told me then that the man that started the company was an Asian-American businessman in the States and the only reason he started the company was because he thought that when he was benefitting the country he later settled in, why shouldn’t he benefit his homeland. And in his own way, he created job oppurtunities for his countrymen. To me, that is true patriotism.

In short, I have observed people in Pakistan usually get into a hype about the independence day. Its all about the fun and the flags. But when no one even cares that its the flag of their country they are stepping on, they can never care about the land…and they don’t. And their claims of being patriotic are just false pretences…