Friday, September 23, 2005

Constantine -- the demon killer

John Constantine – the Rebel Exorcist. An interesting movie which shows the story of a man who is torn between good and evil (*yawn*) and his own personal strife with life, Lucifer, Gabriel and cigarettes.

The animation is quite outstanding, the story is pretty good, but the end….ahhh yes. Just like any other ending, this ending is no exception. It could have been better. Obviously it is easier for the viewer to say that because:
  1. we were not with the production team

  2. we set high standards based on movie watching experience, not movie making experience

  3. its easier to criticize something we wouldn’t do ourselves. Presuming most of us are not movie producers / directors

That said and the rest being set in stone already, it’s a great movie to watch with DTS surround sound on a 42” Plasma tv ;)

Coming to the ending, the moral of the story is quite simple, don’t screw up your lungs because no one is really going to come down from some divine location and yank all the tar out of your lungs. Smoking is hazardous to your health – surgeon general warning!

Although it was a side thing, and most of the movie is spent showing Keannu Reaves yanking demons out of little girls and using all kinds of funky Blade type weapons to destroy other flying demons, while maintaining an attitude, that of NEO – since he is the 1…or wait, was it Nelly? Anyway, they can figure it out themselves.

Its basically Matrix meets Blade with cigarettes and how cigarettes are worse than heaven, hell, Lucifer, Gabriel, God, demons, heartbreak, death and jumping off buildings with great heights.

Sure, if that summary wasn’t good enough, go ahead and watch it…but if I missed anything out, do let me know.

In memory of Billie Boy

An old conversation I had with my friend JJ. Found it while cleaning up my documents…

Session Start ( Tue Mar 08 23:37:46 2005

[23:37] jay: yoo listyem
[23:37] jay: listen
[23:38] Zohare:  listening
[23:38] Zohare: yo
[23:39] jay: remember you made this site
[23:39] jay: hmmmmmmmmmm where you wrote about your friend bilal sadiq
[23:39] jay: ?
[23:40] Zohare: yeah
[23:40] Zohare: what abt it
[23:45] jay: is it stil theree?
[23:49] Zohare: nahi yaar. that was on my college webspace.
[23:49] Zohare: i have the files
[23:49] Zohare: but i need webspace to put it all back up again
[23:49] Zohare: its funny bring it up
[23:49] jay: well
[23:49] jay: ?
[23:49] Zohare: by tradition i put up a new page to remember his death on the 8 of april, 1 month away
[23:50] jay: yeah man dude i didnt know him
[23:50] jay: when did he pass away?
[23:50] jay: hmmmmmm around the time when we first left for states?
[23:51] Zohare: 2002
[23:51] jay: acha dude after u put that page up please gime the link kay .....was nice whatever u wrote about him.. i read it like last year ..usman waheed showed it to me
[23:51] jay: just recalled so i messaged
[23:51] jay: okaay dude
[23:54] jay: ok!!!!
[23:54] Zohare: thanks a lot man. that means a lot to me that someone takes an interest in that
[23:55] jay: dude that was really sweet of you sure everyone loved it
[23:55] Zohare: :)
[23:55] Zohare: i hope so...
[23:55] jay: just wanted to know more about him...really sorry again

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The life of a car salesman

I have been trying to sell my civic for sometime now and for some odd reason (purely sarcastic) I have had very little luck.

A guy called me up yesterday and insisted I was asking too much for my car. He told me he saw newer civics for less. I told him he is free to go buy the other cars, why is he wasting my time and his? He insists that I must justify my price. He does not take into account all the differences between a private seller and a dealer trying to make a quick buck. He says if I lower my price he will come see the car, I say I am not going to lower my price but if you see the car we can negotiate. He insists that he is too far to come for a car so expensive, I say sometimes there is benefit in paying more because you actually do get more. He says that he might as well book a new civic, I say well go ahead…you can go wait a year for the new civic, by which time another model will be well into the market at a much higher price and you will hate yourself for being impatient.

Point being that people ask all the wrong questions, expect all the wrong answers and no one ends up buying or selling because minds are already made up, we just want reinforcement of why we made up our minds.

Now the thing is that we all think we can do something better than the guy / girl (for the sake of not being called sexist) next to us, but what we don’t realize is how exactly we would perform that act of excellence.

Selling is really quite simple in theory. It is just as simple as buying but obviously on the opposite side of the road.

Let’s take the example we are on. Two people standing on opposite sides of the road and they wish to interact but without the road being between them. Now one would think, why doesn’t one of them come over to the other fellow’s side? Well, because that would then mean one person sacrificed something by making the move, while the other did nothing. That is not a 50-50 situation.

The ideal solution would be for them to meet half way, completing the task at hand – meeting in person – yet not compromising more or less than the other. To do this, they would build a bridge (to avoid getting hit by a semi) or the middle of the road (if there is no semi in sight).

If you are not with me, try this formula: Buying + selling = 1

If we don’t sell, how will someone buy? If we don’t buy, how will someone sell? They are proportional to one another, synonymous, complimentary and so forth.

Simple laws of economics which we tend to ignore when in the process of selling / buying.

Coming back to my problem, I can’t seem to sell my car. The idea is that I sell it so I can buy another one. A slightly more expensive one, but a newer one which will last me another few years, as did this current one. The way to do is would be to set a price, attract customers, negotiate an agreeable amount where he offers me something, I lower my price, then he raises his offer and I lower my price yet again and so forth. We do this until we come to a mutually acceptable price and perform the trade. Cash for car

The point I’m trying to make is that I think I don’t want to sell my car, or, on the other hand, the guys trying to buy my car are morons / assholes who don’t know the dynamics of buying things worth more than 10 dollars (for the sake of int’l readers)

I think I don’t want to sell my car because I won’t lower my price below 11 lakh 15,000 rupees (about $18,500) and they won’t offer me more than 10 lakh 50,000 (about $ 17,500). Why the hell should I lose $1000 on my car because other people can’t understand a few things:
1. I am not a dealer
2. My car is in fab condition
3. I doubt anyone has a car in ISB with mileage as low as mine + service records from its purchase to date
4. My car is better kept than most people I know, and they don’t even want to sell their cars!

Anyway, I think it comes down to the fact that people are irrational and inconsiderate about certain facts that cannot be avoided. I'm not being unreasonable about my price, my car is just too good for them fools.

Well, as Timmy has been reinforcing, maybe I should just keep it and work on it instead of getting the new one. Then again, this will lose a lot of mkt value once the new shape comes out next yr. choices choices…

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Quarter Baked

A monkey is sitting in a tree smoking a joint when a lizard walks past and looks up and says to the monkey "Hey! what are you doing?"

The monkey says "Smoking a joint, come up and have some."
So the lizard climbs up and sits next to the monkey and they have a few joints. After a while the lizard says his mouth is 'dry' and is going to get a drink from the river.
The lizard is so stoned that he leans too far over and falls into the river.
A Crocodile sees this and swims over to the lizard and helps him to the side, then asks the lizard, "What's the matter with you?"
The lizard explains to the crocodile that he was sitting smoking a joint with the monkey in the tree, got too stoned and then fell into the river while taking a drink.
The crocodile says he has to check this out and walks into the jungle, finds the tree were the monkey is sitting, finishing a joint, and he looks up and says "Hey!"
The Monkey looks down and says " much water did you drink?!!"

An apple a day...

An 86-year-old man walked into a crowded doctor's waiting room. As he approached the desk, the receptionist said, "Yes sir, what are you seeing the doctor for today?"

"There's something wrong with my dick," he replied.

The receptionist became irritated and said, "You shouldn't come into a crowded doctor's room and say things like that."

"Why not? You asked me what was wrong and I told you," he said.

The receptionist replied, "You've obviously caused some embarrassment in this room full of people. You should have said there is something wrong with your ear or something and then discussed the problem further with the doctor in private."

The man replied, "You shouldn't ask people things in a room full of others, if the answer could embarrass anyone."

The man walked out, waited several minutes and then re-entered.

The receptionist smiled smugly and asked, "Yes?"

"There's something wrong with my ear," he stated.

The receptionist nodded approvingly and smiled, knowing he had taken her advice. "And what is wrong with your ear, sir?"

"I can't urinate out of it," the man replied.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Terrorism + Poverty = ?

Bored at work, I decided I should go for a spin around the city with my partner in crime, Timmy. While aimlessly touring the streets of Islamabad, he decided he needed to go to Telenor and pay his bill. I figure it would be a priority since the cheap bastard couldn't call out thanks to Telenor barring his outgoing calls.

He ran in, I sat in the car and waited. I rolled down my window while looking at this young boy walking my way. He couldn't have been more than 11-12 yrs old. He had another younger boy with him, perhaps 7-8 yrs old. The older boy in question was wearing a very dirty diesel t-shirt with carpenter jeans, the kind you find at GAP. Sneakers on his feet, probably Nike considering the way his getup was, but that's not important.

He walks up to my car, all the while I am thinking, wtf is he looking at me so intently for. For a moment, I thought he was into dudes and wanted to pimp himself...the sick guilty mind of a male slut...anyway, so he comes up to my car and starts talking. Now, he has an accent, but he looks Pakistani. I gathered he was asking for money, but it didn't strike me as unusual until I realized how he was speaking. He wasn't moaning, he wasn't reciting a memorized, over-dramatized speech. He was actually talking naturally, a little fast, but I imagine nervousness can do wonders to someone’s speaking ability.

This young man was a refugee from Iraq, here with his family as runaways from the Americans, the fundis as well as the republican guard. Whatever the reason may be, that is not my concern. I gave him whatever I had in my wallet, not much, maybe a few hundred rupees, but it was the first time after a long time that I truly felt sad for someone else. I mean, it hit me like the great depression, this young boy walking the streets with his younger brother is begging for money wearing whatever he was wearing. It doesn't look like a kid living a comfortable life with an addiction to beg, instead it's a kid whose life was torn from within his very hands and now he was lowered to begging for survival. There was a time those clothes were his luxury buys, now they are his only buys. He looked as though he hadn't showered in days.

He said he was here to work for the UN and I don't understand how being that he was only 12 yrs old. Maybe I misunderstood him and meant his father was. We communicated in Urdu and it didn't occur to me until later the method with which we communicated so much in such little time.

I found it ironic that someone had to come to Pakistan to beg for money. Things must really be quite destitute where he hails from in Iraq that he had to resort to such an extreme move.

On another note, just briefly, I can see terrorism now intertwining with poverty and some how being proportional to one another. A sort of hand-in-hand relationship. You wipe out a nations stability, shock therapy to the core, displace all the people in your way, spank a few for fun and say it never happened and then suddenly you look at the developing / third world and wonder why there is still so much poverty, so much hatred and very little evidence of where all the AID money has really gone off to?!?

Think about that for a moment...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tag me baby one more time

So I have this friend here right, mu-mu she is called, nd she loves to play games. today it is tag. The classic tag, where you touch someone and then they are it and so forth. It was fun when we were kids, it sure as hell isn't as fun now cause it requires writing and mu-mu is gonna get a whoopin from me but until's to ya meh~

5 people I will be tagging are Sophi (who does not have a blog so i dont know what she's gonna do), Ali Haider (my cousin and doctor-to-be), Richard Ram (it home baby yeah!), Munni man Mike and Zahra (the best niece in the world!)

5 years ago: I was 20 yrs old, immature, inexperienced and at my prime with no one to really go at it with!!! I had just started college at Bucknell and was just getting in to the whole "independent" thing I was anxious to see america alone, go to college and do all those things i spent my life anticipating. It's not all that...

1 Year ago: I graduated from college, moved to virginia for a week, after leaving lewisburg finally, and then went on my way to new york. I lived the dream of any country gal in middle america!!! yay women! hold up...shiet...this isn't coyote ugly, is it?!?

5 songs I know all the words to: You oughta know (Alanis Morrissette), Numb / Encore (Linkin' Park / Jay-Z), Half the man (STP), Any song without lyrics (Anyone who sang a song without lyrics) and a fifth one I don't give much of a shit about.

5 Snacks I enjoy: Brown bread with salt, tiramisu, banana cake ( made with Sophi's hands) and Corona -- "miles away from ordinary"

5 Things I'd do w/ $100 million dollars: spent it, save it, give it, lose it, throw it

5 places I would run away to: NYC, Las Colinas (my farm), isloo, providence and

5 things I would never wear: a spiked paddle, rope thong with embedded razor blades, a bra (ooooh nastay), butt tight jeans with high heel black sneaker cum shoes that brit paki's love to sport and last but not least a diaphram (cheers meh~)

5 favorite tv shows: Lost, Johnny Bravo ("I'm beautiful baby!"), Shano ki Shaadi (no, seriously), Daily Show with John Stewart and Arrested Development

5 greatest joys: Soph, travelling, sex, drugs and HALO

5 favorite toys: naughty naughty! Oh alright, winnie the pooh, jenna's look-a-like poon, laser pointers...come off it, is this really a question?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

E-7: A residential hangout for the unwanted

This is an article I wrote and no one published it because they were worried about it being a little too controversial. Go figure...

Having just returned from the United States after four years of intense education, I realized how nice it was to be back in my own home country. Having weighed the differences between New York City and Islamabad, the latter seemed the better choice.

I would like to indulge your attention, for a moment, to elaborate on some elements of desire that I have for Islamabad, and perhaps the people of Islamabad can come together in some form of cohesion to make Islamabad a safer, cleaner, more comfortable place to be living in.

There is a distinct issue at hand that I wish to address that is E-7, one of the nicest sectors to live in, or is it? I remember many beautiful things about E-7 that I believe can no longer be more than a memory, something today’s youth may not ever enjoy. I remember having met my childhood buddy by the infamous ‘fuwarra’ (fountain) of E-7 with the colorful glass which has been a landmark for us. I remember having many birthdays in the park of E-7 facing Margalla Road. I remember playing soccer with many school friends from ISI in the fields behind E-7. I remember going to the banyan tree of E-7, fascinated by its width each time. I remember going for walks around E-7 with my father, always trying to keep up with his Air Force stride and pace.

I can go on, but I won’t because I would like to make a point. In the five years I was away, a lot of these things have changed. I love E-7, just as much now as I did then, but one element has permeated our space and infected the life out of our wonderful sector. This element is the fundamentalist maulvis. They have huddled together like a swarm of bees, built a hive of a madrassa and are now flying around E-7 with their stingers ever-ready to sting anyone who interferes.

Fortunately for me, I am a very moderate individual with convictions that I reserve for myself, refusing to impose them on others. This is the gift my father has bestowed upon me and with his presence and strength; I am able to be true to my own beliefs. These maulvis, who have come to E-7, thanks to a certain dictator of Pakistan who I will not mention, have become a nuisance and an annoyance to the people of E-7. The soccer fields in the back of E-7 are now fields of athletic gathering for the maulvis. They have monopolized that entire part of E-7, being that their ‘home’ is right adjacent to the field. They have no courtesy for oncoming traffic, crossing the roads like headless chickens, walking in the middle of the road neglecting to use the sidewalks. They maintain a body odor that is most unpleasant to inhale at any given time. They had the audacity to burn down a fantastic tree that I used to love to visit as a child, one used by Buddhists as a place of respect and worship prior to them having a proper temple.

Where in our religion does it say to deny tolerance to people of different beliefs, choices and so forth? If I am not mistaken, one is to respect his/her mother even if she is a prostitute by profession. Can anyone imagine that being a reality?

Respect is earned with time not acquired by force. This is something my father always taught me and I believe it is a principle that has taken him through life with pride and honor. People like him who live around E-7 like to go for their strolls in the evening, admiring the beauty of Islamabad by foot. To take in what him and his Air Force colleagues fought so hard and long for, risking their very lives, just for future generations to have a home, a place they can call home, whether they are Muslim or not. Is it fair that a man of his stature should have to walk around E-7 concerned with the deterioration of this sector, let along the country as a whole? Is it fair that the youth, people like myself, should go abroad for an education with dreams of prosperity and success in the west and choose to come back to better their country and see that the religion has become a disease more than a way of life or a savior? Is it fair that we deny the youth of Pakistan, the younger generations that still attend schools of all levels, should not even know what beauty Islamabad used to maintain? It is true that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, but this beholder does not see beauty in new roads as he does in a comfortable way of life, a life where everyone minds their own business and does not interfere in that of other peoples. With this, we may as well enforce our own version of the ‘Patriot Act’, or the ‘Sab Kuch Dikhta Hain Act’ as I would imagine it.

Islamabad is a city of great beauty. Green roadsides, good hearted residents (for the most part), Hills in the rear, Rawal dam on the other side. Without anymore details, just a mere comparison to the traffic, dust and disarray of Rawal Pindi, sets Islamabad miles apart from most other cities of Pakistan. Let this be a plea to the people of Islamabad, more specifically the residents of E-7, to build some pressure on the CDA and government to do things that please us also, let the foreign countries get what is due to them in time. These maulvis are truly becoming a cold sore in our way of living and they must be contained someplace and I believe E-7 is not that place. They have no respect for anyone other than those sporting the ‘foot-long’ beard. I have nothing against the beards as I have one myself. It should not be a source of identity for people as it is not for me, rather a choice. I know some folks who are very polite, hygienic, well-spoken, considerate, and religious who would agree with me about these maulvis.

I am most outraged that we can spend so much money on all kinds of ridiculous things, but not devise a policy to make Islamabad more livable. Take Turkey for example, in Istanbul, alcohol is legally served yet the country has a 99.9% Muslim population. How does that work? Very well actually, people do not interfere with each other. They take an interest in their long term future together, not the next four years of money making and power struggles. The drinkers drink, the praying ones pray and when they cross paths on the road, they greet instead of judging each other. Not that they are a stellar country of reasonable people, but for the most part the people have the comfort of knowing that religion is not as much a threat to their lives as it is a benefit. If this country wants foreign educated young adults, such as me, to return to the green pastures of Pakistan, then I suggest this article be the first step to a serious improvement overhaul.

Telenor - European Standards or lack thereof

This is an article I wrote that was published in a very well known business magazine in Pakistan and the Middle East called Pakistan and Gulf Economist.

Telenor, as everyone may know, is a multinational mobile connection provider based out of Norway. With such high standards and aggressive penetration skills to enter a market such as Pakistan, they must have spent a lot of time, money and resources working on a market strategy, to maneuver into mobilink’s monopolized customer space.

One would think that a company that has committed a first-time complete ownership on an operation in a new market, such as ours, with a $600 Million license fee would have at least trained, trained and trained yet again, a well rounded local team before launching into the dark realm of Pakistan’s mobile consumer market. Sadly, they missed one very important factor in their user policy, which even I took for granted.

The license agreement is there for us to read and as the end user; we are given the choice to read it before getting into a contract. But when most of the elements in a cell phone contract are believed to be generic, you think that each provider would have mentioned something like a ‘refund policy’ in their agreement.

Apparently, according to the horse’s mouth, that is not the case. In fact, Telenor, having been bombarded with account cancellations (mine being among the first), decided it was high time they prepared a refund policy so that the term “refundable security deposit” was real and not just a poof in the air. Just 2 weeks after getting three accounts, I cancelled them due to poor user feedback.

Thinking that, since the sim packs were unopened, I would get the “refundable” security deposit back within days. To my dismay, refund is a word unspoken in the company’s financial department. Tut tut Mr. Financial Manager, you did not learn very well from your previous job as to how a customer should be satisfied. Customer service can only act on policies that are enforced by the folks sitting upstairs.

Giving you the job was probably the most negligent decision that Telenor made and now that they have committed $600 Million into a 10 year contract here, they should probably consider replacing you so that the company does not continue to suffer from a bad repute because of a very careless oversight on your part.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

click the ads

That's right everyone, I have officially become a sellout to the advertising world of the internet. I have earned 13 cents in the last two days. You want to become rich like me? click the links and make me rich first and then i will tell you my secret of how i joined Google adsense and earned a million pennies by sitting on my not-s0-fat-ass anymore.

Anyway, help me help to help me and I'll try to help you too.

Click the ads and together we can be merry! I'll buy the beer

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Alas, let there be GMessenger

Breaking News: Gmail has launched a beta messenger service.

Out with the msn, aol and yahoo messengers, the best email service now has a chat program with telephony and its pretty light weight.

Not a lot of options just yet, but hell it works on Nortel’s network, I think that’s nice.I have been waiting for a chat program like this for sometime. Soon, they will probably link up with Picasa, Orkut, Hello and any other affiliate very soon to make life even easier.

Ahhh...Gmail...please with ease

Hook it up
here and add me (

On another note, I had an interesting encounter with an asshole on the road the other day.

We have this great shopping area here that everyone loves to go to. A family place of sorts called Jinnah Super Market. What makes it
Super beats the hell out of me, but it’s the religious center for all the young guns in Isb with loud stereos, tinted windows and really really nasty modifications to their shitty shitty cars. Anyway, so I'm entering a 1-way lane and this 'asshole' is coming out from the IN side (where I am entering) and I start making hand gestures at him basically saying "Wtf are you doing you fucking asshole?!?" He replies in some similar yet more aggressive manner and I roll my window down and he’s like what the hell is your problem. I'm like dude your exiting from an IN lane on a one-way road. He's like yeah I know. At this point we are holding up traffic and he has two kids dangling from his lap (safety first you know). He starts suggesting he wants to put dem fists up and I'm like if you didn't have those kids there, you would be one sorry SOB. I started pointing at the sign, half the size of his fucking car, that read "IN" and he looks at it and he’s like yeah so this is the OUT lane too. What do you say to someone who says that, when there is another sign at the actual exit lane which reads "OUT" as broad as daylight?

It's times like this I wish I had a HUM-V with serious chrome bull-bars in the front so I could go ramming bitches like him straight up. Guys making wrong turns and shit. Man that drives me nuts. Traffic is so poor in Islamabad, which is the Capital of this country I was hoping to save with the other guys in my Generation.

Sadly, the old folks don't like such changes, they like things the way they are and that helps them keep their bellies and bank accounts full.

Anyway I'm not going to get in to politics now; we will save that for another time.

Here's one to lighten your mood

more reads

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