Monday, August 29, 2016

On "Getting Tired"

Unse meri bohat dinoN baad mulaqat hui. Bulke yun kahiye kai mahinoN baad. 

Main ne poocha: "Sir! kahan rehte hain! aap ne to logon main uthna bethna hi choR diya hai. Kiya adam-bezaar ho gaye hain?"

"Nahi, aesa to nahi bus ab khud apne saath ziyada waqt guzaarta hun".

"Aesa kiun? Aap se baRi ronaq rehti thi mehfiloN main"

"Bus bhai! Insaani rishtoN ki halawat main jahan bohat se saroor hain, wahan zimedarian aur dukh ki kaRi deewarain bhi hain. Ab un dukhoN ki uljhanoN se uljhane ki na to himmat hai aur naa hi unko suljhaane ka jigaR. Bus dostiaN , rishte nibhate nibahte thak sa gaya hun."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

On "Women's 12th Man"

Aurat baRi bewaqoof hoti hai. Us ki zindagi main aik mard aesa hota hai jo uske saath saath rehta hai magar woh use darkinaar rakhti hai. Woh use dost keh leh gi, saathi keh lagi magar us se mohabbat nahi ker paaye gi. Jese Thomas Hardy ke 'Far from the Madding Crowd' main hota hai.

Aur woh mard bhi Iftikhar Arif ke barhwain khiladi ki tarah

intezar karta hai 
aik aisi sa'at ka,  
aik aisay lamhey ka 
jis main saniha ho jaaye 

aik jumla-e-khush kun 
aik naara-e-tehseen 
us kay naam ho ja'aye 
Sab khilariyon kay saath 
woh bhi moutabar ho ja'aye 

(Iftikhar Arif here)

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

I will not lie! First time I get introduced to Jared Diamond when I picked a book at bookstore titled: "Why Is Sex Fun?", thinking of it as an erotica. It was the time of my life (somewhere from 1993 to 2001) where I roamed and spent hours and hours in bookstores as new age, parapsychology, metaphysics, hypnosis, palmistry, out of body experiences, death yoga, reincarnation and related subjects were my obsession. I previously blogged randomly like here, here, here etc

'Why Is Sex Fun?' turned out to be one remarkable book and an eye opener on human sexuality, psychology, and bonding. Afterward, I read some of his work with immense interest and believe that he is one of the most remarkable anthropologist of modern history. He is one of that distinct human being who not only questions conventional wisdom, but bring strong arguments in favor of his views - but still at the end leaves a lot for his reader to ponder and decide.

Few days ago while listening NPR, there was a discussion and statement was made that those societies which domesticated animals became more civilized. It prompted me to go back and dig years old article (thanks to Google) written by Jared Diamond: "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race", where he argued that actually, human downfall started after they learned the art of farming (and domestication of animals). Before that human survived and did better in every aspect of life, living as hunters. Ecosystem stayed preserved, humans worked hard and stay focused and content. Sounds stupid but read the article. Before I put the link to article, allow me to paste three paragraphs here (as I am afraid if link goes down):

" One straightforward example of what Paleopathologists have learned from skeletons concerns historical changes in height. Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunter-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5'9" for men, 5'5" for women With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B.C. had reached a low of only 5'3" for men, 5' for women By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors".

"Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. HunterGatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in farming populations could a healthy, nonproducing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses..."

"As for the claim that agriculture encouraged the flowering of art by providing us with leisure time, modern hunter-gatherers have at least as much free time as do farmers. The whole emphasis on leisure time as a critical factor s€ems to me misguided. Gorillas have had ample free time to build their own Parthenon, had they wanted to. While post-agricultural technological advances did make new art forms possible and preservation of art easier, great paintings and sculptures were already being produced by hunter-gatherers 15,000 years ago, and were still being produced as recently as the last century by such hunter-gatherers as some Eskimos and the Indians of the Pacific Northwest."

Link to full article here

Sunday, August 21, 2016

On "Dead Patriotism"

14 August wale din jab tum ne mujh se yunhi kaha: Happy Pakistan Day - aur main ne koi jawab nahi diya to tumhare chehre pe aik rang aa ker chala gaya.

Wajah ye thi ke - zindagi main aksar kai muhabbatain aik dum bhaK se uRR jaati hain. Pakistan ke liye meri aTooT mohabbat ke saath bhi yahi huwa.

Islamabad main paida hui. Abbu Zoology ke professor/aik college ke principal - aur Ammi doctor thiN. Aik khushaal zindagi thi. Pakistan hamari jaan tha. Main haste khelte Medical College paunchi. Shadi bhi aik well established gold medalist physician se hui. Main neurologist, woh pulmonologist - Hum dono mian biwi ka shahr main baRa accha naam tha. Izzat thi, daulat thi - 2 piyare se bachhe the -- Ravi har taraf chen hi chen likhta tha!

Koi 5 baras pehle ki baat hai, aik raat hamare ghar kuch log ghus aaye. Hum Mian biwi ko baandh ker bachhoN ko utha ker le gaye. Police, fauj, agencies, beuraucrats, politicians, Mullah, Mafia har kisi ke aage haat joRe. Kisi tarah ke koi taaluqaat kaam na aaye. --- Aakhirkaar bangla, gaari, clinics ki zameen, saare zewar de ker bachhoN ko chuRaya. Hum bhag ke America aa gaye. Is umar main aik nai zindagi shuru kerna. Mere Husband raat ko Gas station pe kaam kerte, main din main grocery store pe. Allah Allah ker ke USMLE pass huwa. Rab ne kher ki - mujeh residency mil gai. Mere Husband se USMLE to pass ho gaya, residency na mili (his age, I guess). 

Tum hairan the ke hum agar 5 baras se is shahr  main hain to nazar kiun naa aaye, bus ab jaa ke halaat kuch badle hain to logoN main kuch uthna bethna shuru kiya hai.

Aur tum kehte ho mujhe se: Happy Pakistan Day ::: Pata nahi hasate ho ya rulaate ho !!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016


"Main zara si galati kerta hun, aur mujeh foran saza mil jaati hai. Kiun?"

"Wah Jazakallah - Mian tum to khuda ke pasandeedah bandoN main se huwe!"


"Native (Red) Indians kehte hain: Rassi jitni lambi ho, phaansi utni hi khaufnaak hoti hai"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Mandela Effect

Hum sab "Mandela Effect" ke maare hain

Baqol N.M Rasheed, hum sab Guman ke Mumkin hain 
Baqol Saleem Kausar: Ajab aitabar 0 be-aitbaar ke darmiyaaN hai zindagi

Bus hone ka aik aihtamaal sa hai!

MakeeN hain hum yahan ke, 
hamari kaainaat kahiN aur hai

koi kal nahi - na jaane wala, na aane wala 
bus aik isi lamhe main pinhaN hai zindagi

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Aik baat

"Aik baat kahun! Jo baat bister pe saath let ker kahi jaa sakti hai, woh baat aksar - zamane bhar hi himmat joT ke bhi - wese nahi kahi jaa sakti".

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On "Hotel Checkout Mania"

First time I sat in airplane when I was 27 years old! But than life remained a constant run for me. It is  like "zindagi ka muqaddar - safar dar safar". May be as I came from lower middle class, I tend to check hotel room, bathroom and living area three or four times before I check out - to make sure I haven't forgot my charger, iPad, tooth brush or something. One of my colleague on my last hotel check out made an interesting comment to tease me but I guess there was a grain of truth in it.

"Jo log hotel check out pe - baar baar ye check kerte hain ke - kuch reh to nahi gaya, kuch reh to nahi gaya - aese log aksar saari zindagi apne ooper gadhe ki tarah cheezoN ka bojh laade phirte rehte hain".

Monday, August 15, 2016

On "Life Many or Less Choices"

Few days ago I was listening to Shah Rukh Khan regarding his life from middle class, early demise of his parents, his arrival to Bollywood as a survival and than achieving the top spot there. (I could not relocate the particular link on youtube)

As a human we feel constraint, irritated and unhappy when life doesn't presents many options to us while making any decision. But what I have seen and learned that human mind is mostly prone to make wrong choice if given too many options. Many times, it is a blessing when life decides a way for us. I think: "Life is all about acceptance and perception".

I have to agree with Shah Rukh; "Success is usually accidental"!

On Side note: My crush Mila Kunis is back in "Bad Moms" and look as stunning as ever and this time with more maturity. Its a good movie to just laugh and have a good time. Trailer here

Saturday, August 13, 2016

On "A Woman at Age 60"

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in 'The curious Case of Benjamin Button' that: "...Twenty-five is too worldly-wise; thirty is apt to be pale from overwork; forty is the age of long stories that take a whole cigar to tell; sixty is - oh, sixty is too near seventy; but fifty is the mellow age. I love fifty. "

Here is another opinion.

I think 60 is the best age - for a woman. It is a very balanced age of libido, calmness, experiences, health and emotional intelligence - for a woman. 

I had my menarche at age 13 and my first kiss at age 14. Yes! girls are stupid to remember that. I lost my virginity to the first man I truly love at age 17, and I have no regret for it. For a brief period, I experimented with drugs, sex, tobacco and binge drinking at the dormI had my own share of heartbreaks, setbacks in relationships, crying spells and a divorce due to physical abuse. I married again to another good man. I raised 3 children like a typical suburban momma!

but as I continued to age, I slowly became a spectator to events of life. I start enjoying my time with myself. 

Though on the way menopause was a big bummer. For a while, I lost myself. I felt useless. Kids were grown and gone. Husband has lost interest in me and was going through his own mid-life crisis. I felt like a useless thrown away tampoon. It took not months but years before the dust settled down. As I recovered, I start enjoying my time with reading, shopping, classes at gym, dinner and a fine glass of wine with friends, book club, playing bridge, taking care of house and my health. Now I keep my all appointments with my doctor and dentist. I still call my relatives and send them cards. But I don't need or expect the same in return.

Don't take me wrong. I still love and value my husband. We travel together and I truly enjoy it. But now I feel I don't need him. Kids may call or may not call. Thanksgivings and Christmas' are just dates on a calender. If they visit I adore their visits and love hugging my grand children. I do enjoy thier pictures on facebook and answer their texts. I still sleep in the same bed as my husband. But I don't need any of them anymore.

At age 60 woman achieve a kind of a grace, a calmness and enjoy a strange drunkenness of her ownself. Very happy and very content. 

I doubt poor men enjoy the same bliss.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

On "The Toughest Test of Friendship"

Friendships and human bondings remained the core value  of my life. But it was not easy as I found it very hard to walk that fine line between being a "naseh' and a 'charasaz'. Indeed I have lost many friends when they needed me just to vent their emotions but as a true friend, I found it my responsibility to identify their blind spots, which sometimes grow to full blindness during moments of crisis. I blogged about it here. On the same token, I myself, during some of my wicked days of life became an extremely hypersensitive human and lost many friends as it was hard for them to sustain my bickerings. Over many years, I learned to stay quiet and let vent happen. I learned myself to become hypersensitive to friends' needs - as the most important thing they need is your presence. Absence is the biggest bummer in such situations. And, once I see the low tide of emotions, I try to passively express my honest opinion.

One sage years ago told me that: "The most important thing in life to say, I am here if you need me  - and mean it".

Sunday, August 07, 2016

On "woman's anchor"

Mard pareshan ho - zindagi main kisi 'crisis mode' se guzar raha ho - to chup ho ker konaa pakaR leta hai 
- aur aurat - dil'joii ke liye koi saharaa ya 'anchor' dhundhne nikal paRti hai - bus yahi woh kamzor lamha hota hai - jahan woh kisi mard ka aasan shikar ho jaati hai 

Saturday, August 06, 2016

On "AI"

Some people are really very smart as they can see very easily, very clearly and in easy words answers to very complex issues. Stephen Hawkins concluded in his famous book: "A Brief History of Time" that there will never be any 'Time Machine', as if it's true, people from future would have already visited us. Or as he concluded: "Probability is that there is no other intelligent life superior to human in universe - otherwise they would have already contacted us".

Few weeks back while at MIT, I heard an interesting argument that: "Most human developments, discoveries and progresses are due to making mistakes and learning from mistakes, and this constant endeavor. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have less chances of making mistakes and so may never be able to overcome human power. In other words perfection is not a positive characteristic, rather learning from imperfection is an ideal characteristic!!

Some people are so intelligent that it just baffles my mind!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Good Dinosaurs

As in last few months, I blogged about my fascination with some of the kids' new animated movies - where they try to simplify complicated concepts to make them think 'out of box'. Movies like 'inside out' (here), 'Captain America" (here), 'Zootopia' (here), 'Minions' (here) and others.

'The Good Dinosaur' (trailer) is an interesting concept. Whenever we hear word Dinosaur it brings negative connotation in our mind as human brains have been conditioned to think of them as wild savage animals who roam on this planet earth destroying everything. This movie tried to reverse that impression by showing that Dinosaurs were just a living creatures on this planet earth and indeed like humans there were many good hearted and helpful among them.

On side note: It brought back in my head famous dinosaur scene (here) from a highly acclaimed movie 'Tree of life' (here).

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

On "Bright side of migration"

I met one of my cousins after 32 years. As family went to sleep under jet lag, we sat all night in the backyard of the house with nice breeze blowing, lights off and some moonlight. We puffed hukkah, sipped cups of chai after chai and tried to catch up on stories of our loves, lives and fortune.

RaatoN se bhi lambe ye piyar ke qisse
Aashiq sunate hain jafaye yaar ke qisse

He said something very interesting: "32 years ago when I landed at Perth airport, I had only 200 dollars in my pocket and didn't know where to go. As life unfolded, my first job was to clean 400 urinals and WCs of a 22 storeys' building. I did it with all my heart. Later I flipped burgers, drove taxi, took care of old people, cooked in restaurants, collected trash for a company - went to college - Eventually I found my opportunity and my luck clicked as Louis Pasteur said: 'Nature favors prepared mind' - my one man company grew beyond imaginations transacting thousands of dollars a day. Do you know why? Let me tell you what I think. My family migrated multiple times in last 100 years - from a small town of India to big city of Agra and then to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and then to West Pakistan - from a refugee camp to one after another neighborhood of Karachi - It put resilience and survival in our blood. So my friend - don't always think of poverty and migration as a curse. There is always a silver lining to a black cloud. Are we not better than many who were born with silver spoon in their mouth and never experienced misery?"

Monday, August 01, 2016

On "infidelity in Marriage"

Few days back, I was talking to a friend about infidelity in marriages. Lot of dirt get throw on each other when marriages break down due to infidelity - but - I think once relationship breaks down - it does not matter which spouse cheated or does not cheated. These all are secondary fallouts and nothing but misplaced anger from actual core of (from whatever reason) long gone and dead bonding.

huwa jab Gham se yuN behis to Gham kya sar ke katne ka 
Na hota gar judaa tan se,  to zaanoN par dhaRaa hotaa

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On "moment of near death"

(posted as said to me)

"Bhai! - jab main ne drug overdose kiya aur ICU ke bed pe para tha to - sab keh rahe the - ab ye nahi bache ga. Mujhe kuch kuch sunai aur dikhai bhi de raha tha - magar unko lag raha tha main aakhri hichkian le raha hun...... 

Main ne CPR ko bhi mehsoos kiya, ragoN main dawaian bhi mehsoos ho rahi thi. Mera vomitting kerna... aadha jism sun ho jaana ... dil ka dubna, bhai sab mehsoos ker raha tha main, magar...

Magar bhai - sab se ajeeb baat ye thi - mere dil ko yaqeen tha abhi maut nahi aani! Mera dil kahin keh raha tha - ye maut ka lamha to nahi ho sakta - Maut aesi to nahi hoti. 

Bhai! tum to doctor ho aur tum ne to aesi bohat kitabain paRi hain - Kiya hamari ruh ko maut ke zaaiqe ka ilm hota hai. Kiya maut aati hai to jism choRne ka pataa - dil, dimag, hum-zaat aur ruh saath de dete hain?

Bhai! mujhe aesa laga - main pehle bhi kabhi kahin mar chuka hun - aur tab to maut aesi nahi thi..Bhai! mujeh aagahii thi ke maut main to baRa itminaan hota hai... 

Bhai woh sab kiya tha! Bolo na !!!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On "JaN Nisar Akhtar's Dile NadaN"

Jan Nisaar Akhtar (father of Javed Akhtar) was a well-known progressive poet of pre-post partition India. He was from Lucknow school of poetry - and kept his poetry simple - away from heavy Persian and Arabic words. One of his poetry - Ae dile Nadan, which was inducted after 7 years of his death in the movie, Razia Sultana, by Kamal Amrohi Sahab - speaks of the beauty of his simple language poetry. I am putting a link from youtube but God knows how long link will stay alive. Each word and line feel like a marvel - (indeed with voice of Lata Mangeshkar and music of Khayyam).

Ye zameeN chup hai, aasmaaN chup hai
Phir ye dhaRkan si chaar-su kiya hai

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Curious Case of a Bathroom Curious

Being a physician - and after so many years, if I can call myself a seasoned physician, I have seen many common as well as uncommon diseases. But this case was very unique. I am not sure, if it ever got publish as I was unable to follow later due to privacy reason - but this case even after so many years is hard to explain.

The patient was himself a physician, in his mid-fifties - and was blessed with fortune, fame, family and all stabilities in life you can think of. But he was addicted to sneak in people's houses (like a thief) when they are not home to use bathrooms. If he cannot easily get into a house, he will check into any hotel/motel and will sneak into an occupied room, when a guest is out during the daytime. He will take nothing - just visit and use the bathroom - and leave. He managed to avail master key or machine to duplicate cards for the hotel rooms. Eventually, he was caught by a guest and later arrested due to cameras in hotels. I don't know, if he was able to practice later or not - but as far as I know - he was let go without any pressing of charges from particular guest and hotel. On the same day, shaken from arrest, he checked himself in ER to seek professional help - and our service was consulted for an unrelated issue.

I asked many psychiatrist friends but no one ever heard of any such case. Each shrink has his own theory to explain his behavior - but nothing concrete ever came out. This case always comes to my mind when I see many successful people around me with odd habits.

Indeed, even after 25 years of everyday work as a physician - humans continue to boggle my intelligence - and every day I get my 'humility pie' of wrong judgment or presumed diagnosis.

Insaan is kaainat ki sab se bari kitab hai .

Saturday, July 09, 2016

"Hats off Sir"

Saw Edhi Sahab multiple times between 1986 and 1992 - when I worked as a medical student, volunteer and later as a house officer in "Casualty" (ER). He was shockingly a simple person. Courageous to carry any wounded in his arm from his ambulances arriving one after another from riot-torn areas, irrespective of any ethnicity - and without any fear of any political goons there.

Indeed, a legend - a man far bigger than any price - died.