Stories about electricity

Living in Quetta, the Amish way!

If I said that residents of Quetta live an almost Amish lifestyle, would you believe me?   “What is an Amish lifestyle?”, you ask. For those who don’t know, the Amish are a small Christian sect or tribe mostly living in North America and Canada. They are known for their simple and old-school lifestyle and can be recognised from afar by their clothes and appearance. Their men are usually attired in a suit and a hat while their women wear full skirts, mostly reaching to the ankle and may have their heads covered with a bonnet. If you have ever seen ...

Read Full Post

Pakistani Twitterati took on the #PetrolShortage and here is what happened

Already frustrated by crippling electricity and gas shortages, Pakistanis now have another crisis on their hands. This time around, Pakistanis are standing in mammoth queues just to secure a drop of petrol. The ‘petrol crisis’, as it is being referred, brought to light some interesting and entertaining observations on the country’s favourite government-bashing platform: Twitter. Three hashtags are currently being used to respond to the petrol shortage in the country; #PMLNpetrolchor was the top trend, with it being used over 19,500 times in the past 24 hours and #PetrolShortage and #SherBanoSher were each tweeted nearly 6,000 times since yesterday. We look at how people reacted: This @Reuters report ...

Read Full Post

After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

Read Full Post

Lahore: No gas to turn on the heat, so if I froze to death, would I be a martyr?

I woke up this morning and found out that, for the fourth consecutive day, there was no gas at home – none whatsoever. The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat. I would have to resign myself to a cup of tea. I knew that as long as we have our electric kettle and chai (tea) – the answer to all Pakistani problems – we would survive. The key word here is electric, of course. There was no electricity either. And this ...

Read Full Post

From Peshawar: A plea to the government

Dear Leaders of Pakistan, I hope you are well and are busy overseeing and planning solutions for the many problems faced by our nation. Since you will, undoubtedly, be caught up with reforms rather than amassing wealth, as you have just stepped into office, I thought I should tell you a little bit about your awaam. As a dutiful child is expected to inform his parents about the changes happening in his life, I want to tell you about how we are living now. We, your children, have finally installed a generator at home. Despite living in a posh area of the capital ...

Read Full Post

Yes, thunderstorms in Toronto can take you back to Lahore

Pakistan is notorious for a lot of things. However, electricity shortage continues to stand out from the gruesome front runners that are security threats and economic disparity. These are the perfect ingredients to derail any sane mind but a Pakistanis’.  All hell may literally break loose in Pakistan, but pick any common person from a crowd and there is always room for more in the snake pit; for more morsels in their hearty appetites for despair. Maybe because they have no other choice. Maybe because they are built that way. ‘Human Play-Doh’ is what I’d like to call them. You ...

Read Full Post

A day in the life of a family in Peshawar

In a dark corner somewhere in Peshawar, I sit in front of my laptop and check my mails.  My father busily searches for any news he can find on the’so called ‘issues’ seizing the country,  A renowned scholar, unusually popular in his late years, has started a “long march.” Stomping from Lahore all the way to the capital of Pakistan, he is able to leave the masses in awe and wonder. To me, it is just a regular day in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I step outside, to purchase some fresh vegetables that my mother has asked for to cook the evening meal. Racing to the ...

Read Full Post

Expat bhai, Pakistan is Pakistan yaar!

I feel sorry for Pakistani kids who grew up abroad. I realised this when my nine-year-old cousin was doing a heritage project in school, about Pakistan. She had to talk about her ancestry and how she ended up in America. It was going to be a typical project. She was going to narrate the cliché, sappy story of how her parents were looking for a better life for their children and thus migrated to America. Then, she would talk about how when she was three she visited her grandparents’ farm in Pakistan. Over there, she saw cows and hens ...

Read Full Post

Aunty, don’t you know?

I peeked through the door and spied on my aunt, She sat in the veranda with a face that was gaunt. She swung the fan side to side, sulking in the heat, And shouted for me to come sit by her seat.   I crept closer slowly as she muttered at the sun, And asked her if she would like anything done. After shaking hands in the air and crying where I was, She told me to plug in the electric fan that was standing close.   I snickered and said “Aunty, don’t you know, don’t you know? There is no electricity since morning and none since noon”. She foamed and ...

Read Full Post

The truth about Agha Waqar’s water car kit

Our social media and our mainstream media are known for publishing news irresponsibly and without verification. I was compelled to write this blog which is aimed at highlighting another instance of unverified reporting by the media. Some days ago, my friends told me about a certain episode of Hamid Mir’s programme “Capital Talk” on Geo TV. This episode was about a man called Agha Waqar – a proud Pakistani who claimed to have invented something called a ‘water car kit’. Obviously, the first thing that I said upon seeing this was “Bravo!”, as ...

Read Full Post