Balochistan – The Scariest Place

I always received questions on social media from people who lived in other provinces of Pakistan asking me weird stuff about the province I live in. Like “Oh so you are from Balochistan, so do you guys have Wi-Fi there?” Dude, how am I online then!

I ignored such questions because I thought it is just the people who live in the fantasy world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and knows nothing about the real world out there. Nevertheless, people’s ignorance really came to the fore when I joined university in the capital of Pakistan.

The journey started when on the first day of my university, I went to the administration office to receive my university student card. The women in the administration office who was distributing cards asked me “where I was from?” because I looked different. I told her “I’m from Balochistan”. She looked at me “Oh so is Balochistan a part of Pakistan?” I was utterly shocked at what kind of question is this. I stammered “Yes”.

All she said was “okay don’t mind I was just checking.” I did not get her point of what does that word “Checking” meant there. I found that later when I properly joined university and face more pathetic questions like
“Oh so does people kill each other there?”

well then I might be a ghost here!

“Why do you guys want to be separated from Pakistan?”
like seriously, who says!

“OMG how did they let you come to another city all the way from that backward province?”
No comments!

“Wait so you are not Baloch? Then why are you from Balochistan?”
why you no watch TV girl!

“So you guys hear bomb blast and stuff. How do you live there?”
well you might have mistaken Afghanistan for Balochistan!

“I have heard all the terrorist organizations live there, why you keep them?”
Well what can I say we have plenty of space, you know, being the largest province area wise!

“So you came here because there are no universities?”
Someone please kill me!

At first, I felt irritated and answered the questions anyway. I felt alien living alone in the new city, which these questions made more difficult. Sometimes they asked me the same questions and sometimes there was a new version to their weirdness.

Nevertheless, the irritation turned in to pity soon when one day I met a friend who had a presentation on cultural show, where her group had to perform the Sindhi culture. She asked me for help I told her I would help her. She showed me the material she had collected; I got confused and asked her again if which culture she has to perform and she again told me it is Sindhi. I was devastated when I saw the material she had collected seemed to depict Punjabi Culture.

Her knowledge about culture made me feel terrible, and that was where I knew that Balochistan is not the only place they know nothing about but they do not know their own roots. Who is on the fault? Parents, Society and Media. The three pillars of the modern age on whom kids these days rely on and get their information. How would kids know about their roots when their parents themselves do not know about what culture they belong to and how enrich our culture is?

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Pakistan is one of the countries who have the deepest, enriched and colorful culture and needs no words to describe. In this busy day life where people barely find free time and in that free time their source of entertainment are all type of media, whether its TV, Radio or connection to social media. These mediums are not fulfilling their duties, as they are the only source of information for new generation. The duty of reviving our long-lost culture falls on the shoulders of media.

I miss the time when PTV national used to have specific slots for people of all cultures and provided the relevant information. Everyone knew what our regional languages are and what thing belongs to what culture. Our News channels brings in the news, which benefit them in terms of ratings and social media engagement metrics. Our TV channels only play dramas, which bring in the ratings and advertisements’.

TV is only source of passing time for consumers and source of money for marketers. It is a pity that our new generation knows nothing about its culture and we are letting our culture die. People, who live in the same country, share the same sentiments for their country but knows nothing about what is happening in the neighboring province.

How can we say we will make this country proud and give it the place it worth is when we do not have proper knowledge about the surroundings of our country?

Faryal Jogezai

Also published on Daily Pakistan.

Minimalism-The Less the More

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I was surfing through the internet playing a video after a video, just to kill the boredom. I came across the video of Ted talks where the Pakistani talent Laraib Atta the youngest VFX artist was talking about her journey from Essakhail to Hollywood, in her interview she used the word Minimalism. It was the first time I had heard that word so like all the google fans I also googled the word and that’s when I came across the depth that word contained. heard the word minimalism. The word was new to me so was the context It was used in, the word like itself had a different meaning.

The word minimalism is not a word it’s a term that began in 1960s and early 1970s in post–World War II Western art, most strongly for American visual arts. The dictionary meaning of the word is a style or technique that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity in visual arts, music, and other mediums.
Besides its literal meaning the term is stolen for another purpose from music , design and literature for a way of living. Here the term is derived from minimal, which means the smallest possible amount, quantity or degree. In simple words the idea of minimalism means simple lifestyle or the more you have less is more than enough. Minimalism is to only have the things you use frequently, things that add value to life; but not the extra stuff, the just-in-case items.

“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.” —Richard Holloway

Minimalism is all about cutting away all the clutter than you can easily live without and still have a rich life with the things that matters the most to you. Removing the extra and leaving the essentials. Minimalism sets you free of the stress that you go through without realizing like extra amount of household chores because of the unnecessary household goods, piling up the things you want then the things you need, buying things that you know you would merely use, keeping the old items when they need to give away or replaced or by replacing them with something that cost extra money than its worth.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding the real freedom. Freedom from fear, worry, melancholy, guilt, depression, from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve constructed around our lives. Minimalism is to rid yourself of life’s abundance for concentrating on what’s imperative so you can discover satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness. Minimalism helps you to live in the time, focus on your health and family, discover the purpose of life and purse your passion.

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For us muslins, minimalism is a part of our religion. Islam promotes moderation and shuns extravagance or extremism in any avenue of life. We are specially guided by Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to always be moderate in every decision we make, in our lifestyle. He taught us “Nothing more than the ‘needed’”.

Quran Says: “They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless”. (Surah Ar-Rum, 7)
We have become the victims of the consumerism culture that has enslaved us into thinking only about how to ‘get more and have more’. We always want the latest, biggest, smallest, newest and due to which we get into debt to buy bigger houses, get into more debt to buy a better car, few years down the line, once we’ve paid our debts, we once again go through the whole cycle for another wish of ours to be fulfilled or to make us more prominent in the society. Here the word minimalism is known as Zuhd. According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) it means to hold dunya in your hand, but not letting it into your heart.

As Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:” The worldly comforts are not for me. I am like a traveler, who takes a rest under a tree in the shade and then goes on his way.” (Tirmidhi).

In Islam there is no nullification of life as some people may misunderstand. There is a balance and adjustment between this life and the Hereafter. There should be no polarization extremism. Build your life around what you ‘need’, rather than what you ‘want’. Be like the traveler as the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveler/wayfarer.”(Al-Bukhari).

A traveler is always traveling day and night without stopping, He is heading towards his destination. A traveler only takes little as possible, the things that he only needs, he doesn’t burden himself with unnecessary luggage that would make him uncomfortable throughout his journey. Similarly, we should not be weighed down with materialistic things that makes our journey through the world to the hereafter ponderous.

Quran says: “and they ask you (o messenger!) what to give in charity? Tell them (give) that is in excess of your need”.

Some Practical Tips:

Follow the what you ‘need’, rather than what you ‘want’.
Think before you buy things.
Keep a tiny wardrobe.
Be grateful for what you have.
Choose quality over quantity.
Invest in experiences instead of things.
Household work, Do it yourself.
Try to invest more (time, money, strength) and consume less.
Encourage others to live a simple life rather than a material one.

A part of me

Time

There is a part of me who wants some more time and a part of me just wants to skip everything and end it!
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Go and Stop

A part of me wants to witness every bit of it and a part of me just wants it to pass in a flash and come to a conclusion!
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Lies and truth

A part of me wants to tell the truth and keep nothing hidden any more but the other part just wants to keep lying cause it just seems easy then the rest!
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How I Changed !

People have different inspirations , some change by a tragedy , some by a phase , some by time but i was changed by a book . Its not my favorite book but its one of my favorites . Its name is “Jannat Kay Pathay” by ‘Nemrah Ahmed’ . i wasn’t a saint but that book gave me a hope that could be one . The book’s lead character Haya , i could see myself in her . It was like the book was written for me .
She gave me the power to face and change . It was hard but not that much as i thought it would be . Before i was a rebellious person , the one who doesn’t care about anything . I barely used to offer my prayers . I was a depressed person . Depressed without any reason . After Imam Sahab taught me Quran , I never touched it again . I wanted to become an artist , i used to sing . I was a music freak , who used to keep record of each underground band .
I used to do each and everything that was prohibited by our deen . I had a small in my heart which sometimes tired to wake me up but that never really worked . My heart wasn’t yet fully sealed . Than a friend of mine suggested me this book and I’m obsessed with books , so i can read any kind of book . So i started this book .

As i was reading it … i was changing along with it . By the time i finished it . I wasn’t myself , I was someone a part of me always wanted to become . I was different , happy and serene . I finally found peace in my prayers . I was reading Quran with all my heart . I didn’t bare any kind of hardship as normally girls face when they start doing Niqaab . Even i made it easy for some girls , who wanted to do it but couldn’t dare to do so , And Alhamdulillah i feel blessed for that 🙂