Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Harem Within: Tales of a Moroccan Girlhood.

#SMIUWRITES is a bi mothly write up challenge for  SMI University's writers and bloggers. This week's topic for the write up is " The book I read." Here is my post.

Fatima Mernissi's The Harem Within: Tales of a Moroccan Girlhood is a rich and lively memoir of her growing up in the four walls of haram of Fez, Morocco, back in 1940s. 

The time when Morocco was going in a social and political transition. And her haram was the last few harams of that time. 

The story is written in a fluid and painterly style with deep psycho-sociological analysis.  It narrates the daily life of women drowned in a straitjacket of obsolete traditions. It addresses the political and social life that existed at that time, nationalists who fought the French occupation, slavery, polygamy and claim of modernity. 

Before I go on, let me clear you that it is not the typical haram people anticipate where Arab kings live with countless female slaves.  I mean, technically they are enormous houses of rich people with huge walls. And places like middle east and south Asia, kings are/were only rich. They were the one who used to have luxury of big houses and many females. That is why people think haram is palace full with girls. 

Messeri was an upper middle class girl. Her haram was in the city where she  lived a sheltered  life in a joint family system with her parents and siblings, uncles and aunts, cousins and relatives. They had servants and old salves as well.  It was her father and uncle who  managed the house while her parental grandmother, Lala was the head of the family. Her decisions were full and final. There was establishment in that home.

There was  confinement, segregation and limitations, values, and  tradition. Like any traditional Arab families of that time, women were supposed to live in houses and wear veils. Permission from the males were required to go out. Everything was controlled, even the radio. New generation of males were getting used to modern inventions, and better education introduced  by French. She was also illiterate until adolescence.

There were characters with different views and opinion about modernity and change, but still there was vividness, hope for the better future, willingness for the reform. Women were ready to change. They wanted to know what was going outside the big walls of that huge world and see the world. They wanted to know, learn and break the chains. At least they were questioning. 

Her own mother's dream was a better Morocco for her. A liberated Morocco from all the chain of backwardness, superstition and tradition.

There was no such sadness no piety.

“But when your situation is hopeless, all you can do is turn the world upside down, transform it according to your wishes, and create a new.”

And that is why I loved reading it.

Why sad?

Why living controlled life?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A pleasant surprise.

It was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't sad at all. Neither I miss anything or anyone anymore. I don't even want to go far away.   I am no more in his "khumar." I wish everyday like today.  I wish this feeling to be permanent.

Maybe this calmness, this state of mind is because finally, we talked, almost clearly about things which were in our heart. I faced it bravely.

I wouldn't want him anymore, anywhere with me. I wouldn't miss him. :) I wouldn't feel sad. A thirty year old woman can't feel sad on petty things.

I would go places without wanting him with me. He is not mine. He was never mine. Having any hope is foolish. In our two hours talk via phone, we made it clear somehow. I am happy.

I met a class fellow in uni after handing in my assignment to my professor. And be with him mental as well. We went to canteen for free tea. Unfortunately it was closed due to some reason. He asked me to go out and have it from dhaba. It was noon, lunch time, so I declined his offer.  Regular classes will be start from August 1.

I walked from Uni till Jamma. It was good. It saved me  50 Rs. Already I am spending like a retard.

My light room is working again. I developed few pictures.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

It is permission, not freedom.

All those good character women in respectable professions tell about having all kinda freedom they enjoy in their lives are god damn delusional lairs, obedient and brainwashed from the day one. They have #permission not freedom. They are where they are today because of their family support.  Even a prostitute can't be a prostitute without permission  and family  support from her in Pakistan.

They have created their fools paradise. 

Somehow, being obident is wise. Life becomes hell if anyone dare to go against stream.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

We all killed her.

Rrcently, whenever I saw her on TV, once in a while during interviews, she had to give explanation of her inappropriate delfirs and vedios she posted on her own personal Facebook page. Anchors, like Mubashir Lucman and Nadia Mirza, asked her about feeling ashamed  of her acts, shamelessly.

" Do you  feel ashamed of what you are doing? Is your  family ashamed of your acts?" (Baloch in Nadia Mirza Show.

( Failed attempt of Maria and Nadia to make her apologize.)

" Why don't you do something modest like other modest showbiz women are doing?" (Baloch in Luqman's Show, Khara Sacch)

Well, she told them they are ashamed because she is not doing any such good thing.  And, finally, one of her brothers brutally strangled her to death when she visited her parents home in Multan, last night. 

May her soul rest in peace.

Her inappropriate act which led her to this tragic dead was living her life. She was ambitious, with dreams of better future in her eyes. She wanted freedom. She choose which is consider vulgar and inappropriate in her misogynist society. 

Her crime was posting selfies and  videos which were raunchy off and on, when cyber and real world is full with such stuff and such people. She even didn't know how to do raunchy things properly. They were going crazy over her striptease's trailer, like they have never seen any sort of thing ever in their lives.

She was nothing in front of Sunny Leone,   Ponum Panday, Rakhi Sawant, Kim Kadrishan, Or Mia Khalif. However, they are is doing perfectly ok in Bollywood and Holywood. 

Still, it was just her tireless effort to be somewhere. To make a name in showbiz. 

 Her only mistake was that she was barking at wrong tree. No one here buys what she was trying sell  openly. 
No one here buys gal power. It is not record. Women are happy they are, in their lives. 

Those selfies and videos were not accepted neither praised by Pakistani public who was her audience at the same time. She was fahasha (vulgar, slut, bitch and god forbid what not)) and they were all faristhy (angels), who used to visit her  page religiously with the intention of bringing her back to to right path. They prayed for her guidance because she was on wrong path.

She was disgrace to her family, country and religion, therefore she should be shamed of her "acts."

She is silence now.

We all killed her in our own way. 

Pakistani public, who knows every type of entertainment (after  all the highest porn watchers of the world), want their local entertainers, especially females to be good, religious and chaste entertainers who don't spread vulgarity in society just like their own women in their homes.

Messing up with them means opening can of warms.

To them showbiz women  are lost, vulgar, characterless, far away from religion, who have no respect,  and  it is whole nation's national responsibility to bring them  to the right path by cursing and praying for them. Now she is dead, they are praying God to forgive her sins.

Now when she is dead, everyone is condemning her killing in the name of honor, when we all know deep down they liked what happened. These ghariate brigade  strongly  believed it was inevitable. 

" Just image how will you feel if your sister do such things? What will be the reaction of your family if they find out you are acts?" 

When as much as I know, being an adult, one is free to live his or her. No one is supposed to feel anything about another person's  life and decisions. What an  adult does unless it is not a criminal act, is none of anyone's  business.

 Defining what is right or wrong in a society should not be your headache either. Societies evolve with time.

They have created their own fool's paradise, where they want everyone to act according to their made up  cultural and religious values, where standard of sharaffat is so high that women  think 100 times before taking breath, "kuch bura na hogie!! " Izat tu na chlaie jaie." Respect is giving to only those women who are someone's wife, sister, mother, daughter. Rest are official awarah.  
And what else we could except from who grew up watching their mothers and sister setting their dupatta their whole lives, who are brought up to emotionally, verbally and physically abuse them for the sake of teaching them lesson?

Sad part is that women and men are OK with this set up. Ther eis even an athem which goes like:

hum maaen, hum behnain, hum betiyaan, qaumon ki izzat hum se hai 
 We mothers, sisters and daughters, the honour of nations lies in us.

Everyone is minding everyone's business.  Not only they have this high standard of sharaf wali society, they believe in family and clean entertainment. They demand same thing from their female entertainers.

Learn to enjoy entertainment for the sake of entertainment. No need to get emotional and start giving prayers of guidance  to every other person after ma behen ki moti moti galiyan.

If that entertainment and entertainer is inappropriate to you and your family, or it is against your religious and culture values, leave it right there. Tune into Q or Peace T.V immediately. Telling paid entertainers in social media or in showbiz how to act is catching on. It just shows frustrated public's frustration and nothing else. 

 You are an audience not a customer. Your demand to act in limits and haya could only be applicable if you have had paid them directly. Only way to reject what you consider inappropriate is simply by stop watching them. It will make them flop. The end.

Wise were Veena and other female Pakistani actresses who become shareef and perform in limits now. 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Outside My Window.

I love my room. It has big window which I keep open always.  There is no such view to view, but still I like it the way it keep my room lighted and windy. I should be thankful. And I am.  There are two big coconut tress reaching up till fourth floor. Pigeons, crow, sparrows, and squirrels...all come and sit there for a while.

I captured them with my 50-200mm.


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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Rickshaw Ride.

It turned out a good day so far.  T, that gal from Ajj T.V, and I walked till Jama Market. T went on his way, gal caught her bus. I took rickshaw.

My auto driver was a chatty guy. We talked about so many things in our 45 minutes ride, despite my flu. He almost told me about his family, wife and kids. He said he likes teachers because his wife is a teacher. At the time of marriage, some fifteen years ago, he was an uneducated man. Now with the help of his wife, he can read and write in Urdu and English. It is their love marriage. Initially her family was reluctant in marrying her with him. 

And they hardly fight. 

It has been seen that your living standard is automatically better if your wife is educated. It is actually a woman who runs home. Upbringing the children. Man are mostly out. 

He is right in so anyways. Education effect your living slandered. It is also better if there is two income coming on house esp if you are living in city like Karachi.  

He  also taught her to drive rickshaw at sea view. They sounded like a happy family.

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