Friday, November 11, 2011

No Substitute for Honesty

Sydney has been a very boring place of late. Eid outside Pakistan is anyways extremely dull and with every single person I know visiting Pakistan, it was far from being anything worth mentionable. Nevertheless, Eid came and went once more this year without any bakras (goats) or dummbas (lambs) being halalofied; so envious of everybody in Pakistan. But now things are looking brighter and more hopeful than ever; all those who left are slowly returning...woohoo!!

Julsi returned yesterday. He had been gone a month which basically means I've been off exercise for that duration but wait, I've been resting my knee so I can be in tiptop shape when we start our routine again. So anyways, once we had picked him from the Airport, we drove off to Maulvi's for an amazing breakfast, all thanks to Junior Bhabi and NOT to Maulvi. Everything was coming along nicely until Julsi declared that his travel wallet was missing. Following were the contents of that wallet:

- $8000 AUD
- Passport
- ID Card
- Credit and Debit Cards
- Driver's Licence

Pretty much his life! He had gracefully left it on top of the luggage trolley. It's amazing how easily smiles come to a person who has had that big a mishap. Julsi, composed and calm, called the 'Lost Property' office at the Sydney Airport. In the next 15 minutes we had been told where the wallet was and where to pick it up from. I'm sure the drive to the Airport under such circumstances wouldn't have been a joyride for poor Julsi in any possible way even though it was after shoving down parathas and bhindi (a day old). Nevertheless, everything was given back as is, and Julsi is whole again...yayy!

Needless to say, I'm impressed and have developed a new level of respect for these people. It's apt to quote Tiwanz here, '...agar goray kalma parh lain to inn kay lyay aik jannat main naya level banana parh jae ga....'; all of us laughed it off instead of actually being ashamed. The minute we figured out that the wallet had been left at the Airport, my main apprehension was that if a desi or a Paki has found the wallet, there's no way in hell Julsi's getting his money back. It would've been a perfect crime; clean as a whistle with no strings attached.

As heartbreaking, cruel and cold as it may sound, we are a nation of dishonest, amoral and corrupt people. I would personally shy away from dealing with Pakis for fear of being duped. The first opportunity we get to steal or make easy money, we run after it like a dog after bone. Why didn't Steve - from the Airport - decide to keep a thousand for himself? I'm sure he doesn't make millions at Toll Dnata's reception, and would've loved to buy himself a comfortable getaway trip to Port Stephens.

The sole reason behind Pakistan's turmoil is dishonesty and nothing else. We are a cursed nation due to our predilection for corruption. Can we please stop dreaming of revolutionizing Pakistan and change ourselves first? Imran Khan is a sorted out and focused character in his own being, are we? We love heroes and are extremely impulsive in 'making' them, but are we switched on enough to try and be one ourselves? If you want to save Pakistan, please save yourselves first.

I see good times ahead...for me; the lamb pulaos, BBQ's, Julsi's Chinese dishes and biryanis, Sehree's dahi bhallas and burritos. Sigh!! I'm hungry now, time for some food.

Cheers


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Words with Friends

This is the second post I'm writing on Scrabble, or world related games; seriously, I need more stuff in my life to write about.


Anyways, I was recently introduced to 'Words with Friends' (WWF) by Doc, and it was him that I played the first game against. Before we started the game, Doc warned me not to cry if I don't get decent tiles to play with because that was how this game was. WWF is a bit different classical Scrabble. It has a completely different board layout, and most of the tiles have different points e.g. 'L' has 2 points instead of 1, 'J' has 10 instead of 8, and so on. It took me a while to adjust to the new setup but that I did to Doc's immense dislike, I'm sure. I don't think he was expecting me to give him a run for his money. Well, as it turned out I won that first game and plenty thereafter. Having said that, playing on a phone is very different from playing face-to-face with a board in between; I'm sure I would be smashed out of the park if that ever came to par.


There is one Scrabble player that I've never won against without cheating; the General! By far one of the best players I've had the honor of playing, and I owe it to him for introducing me to this game when I was a child. I still haven't been able to figure out how he makes those 7 letters out of nowhere. I miss playing Scrabble on a board since nobody I know likes the game. Fine, the game does require a bit of patience and can get boring if the only words you can come up with are three lettered but there's no harm in trying. I actually find it as a good way to wake yourself up in the morning.


Recently, I came upon a player from LA who calls herself 'thefiercebunny'. Now this is important (for people who haven't played Scrabble) to understand that winning is not exactly the main aim of the game; it's the experience that one has to take in and enjoy. I've played a lot of games against Doc and...well, I'll make an exception here...winning is the main aim :D. We'll take 'thefiercebunny' as an example. We've played a lot of games against each other with most of them being very close and high scoring; it's not even that which makes a great game. It's the challenge before every single move and the thought that goes behind it as to where to place the tiles for maximum points apart from the word itself, to give slight and subtle openings so that the game isn't blocked entirely, and to dread how badly would the other player finally smash you (the intimidation factor).


Board games are old news now; everybody carries a Smartphone with access to millions of games allowing one to revisit old times virtually. Games like Risk, Cluedo, Monopoly, and Scrabble are a mere download away now. Yes, you can get these games and play them as well, and it is very convenient as well, but is the experience there? I'm afraid not. Apart from street Cricket and other sports, board games were a source of entertainment for Pakistani children until video games came along and produced wehshi mummy daddies.


Nevertheless, Scrabble is something that I'll always cherish and continue playing; not against anyone and everyone but people who actually deserve to share this experience with me :).


Dear Doc, I love you and please continue playing Scrabble with me; that's my only channel to be in touch with you constantly, otherwise your scary to talk to.


Cheerios until next time!!


P.S. Welcome back Julsi...you were missed!!