Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Overheard at TEDGlobal

I am sitting at this beach office, trying to get a server up so that the team can work on the database instance installed on it. Just had a biscuit in the breakfast. Wearing sweater, although it is 40+ celcius outside and extremely humid, but the chillers inside the building are killing.

That's my outside, pretty average, not really active, not extremely boring, just a routine day. Here goes the inside:

Awab Alvi is at TEDGlobal, Edinburgh, and TED asked to tweet about Optimism and Pessimism on the #askTED hashtag on Twitter, so I just tweeted what came to my mind. Luckily, my quote was read at TEDU at TEDGlobal, Edinburgh, and my name was taken with my country! Wow! That's pretty cool - I am proud of making the name of Pakistan to be heard by the audience at TEDGlobal! *Proud moment!*

Here's the full story:

Here's the screenshot:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ars Gratia Artis! Cooking for Cooking's Sake!

from the diary of a bachelor living abroad.

"Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained."

- Maurice de Vlaminck, French painter (1876 ~ 1958)

I became member of a social network community, focusing on cooking, mainly South Asian dishes. Moving away from Karachi, Pakistan and being self-proclaimed good cook, I started looking at its page, noticing a few interesting dishes on their albums. To agree to what the admins wrote about the community, it was tad addictive.

I even posted a couple of my cookings there which the members laughed at to my misery, never mind.

But lately, I have been feeling humorous about the posts I witness on the community's page. Following is a re-make of the posts that make me feel that way (no real names, any similarity purely coincidental):

Salma: Hi! Can you please tell me how to make instant coffee? I completely forgot how to. Thanks!

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration for the sake of humor - but below is what I actually just read:

Nilofer: Can you please post the recipe of Khichdi? Thanks!

Post like such, are lovely to add up to the humor:

Pinky: I'm newly wed :) Kindly teach me how to make half fried egg - I always break the yolk! I need to impress my in-laws... please help! xoxo

What actually reverberates in my mind reading them are the golden words of the traditional South Asian mothers:

"Aey Larki! Seekh lo kuchh khana pakana! Shadi ke baad kya hoga is larki ka!!"(Girl! Learn some cooking! What will you do after wedding!)

As a matter of fact, cooking is an art - and every art needs practise and diligence. To the dismay of all the good mothers in South Asia, this art is not being appreciated by some radical faction of our generation (or at least by some of those that I know of). Proving this statistically is cumbersome. When you ask the mothers, they would be found saying, "These kababs are made by my daughter, take some, and you did not take the apple pie! She made it by herself... and oh, I just forgot the Faluda, she's a master at such desserts!"

...And you can clearly see Agha Juice written on the Faluda glass...

What irks me, a potential husband to someone soon maybe, is that being a self-proclaimed cook, it will be tough to settle down with someone who has no love for this art, same goes for all my other brothers out there.

Cooking is an art. And this art needs to be loved, practised more, revived, focused upon and upheld!

Someone has said great words of motivation for this cause:

"If a woman is called to be a cook, she should cook food even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. She should make the dishes so well that all the in-laws and their guests will pause to say (to the Mother-In-Law), 'Where did you find her??' Find such a girl for my son as well!"

Bon apetite - dear fellows - who have wives who cook diligently.

Bon voyage - dear fellows - who don't.


Note: For those who smell male-chauvinism in my words: I am not a chauvinist. We all have our responsibilities, and we should do them well, just as Martin Luther King's actual words that I twisted above (original quote in the next line). And the fact remains, women are the home-makers all around the world- not men.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sehra for Afaq (Faraz bhai) & Zainab's wedding

Right now attending wedding remotely (via skype), and have written a Sehra for this wedding:

آج آفاق تلے آفاق کے بندھا ہے سہرا

فیض و نسرین نہیں سب ہی کو بھاتا سہرا

ہیں وہ پہلی جو مسلم کی ہیں نور چشم

ہے دعا ہو یہ مسرّت کا سراپا سہرا

نور زہرا و علی آج زمین پر آئیں

پہلی شعبان کی رونق نے سجایا سہرا

صدقہ عبّاس و علی اکبر کے سہروں کا

گویا عصمت کا اور عفت کا ہے مظہر سہرا

بنت زہرا کا رہے سایا تم پر زینب

رہے شاداب آفاق کا ہر پل سہرا

ہے محبّت کی رسم آج جو پوری کی ہے

زین نے پہلا ہے بڑےشوق سے لکھا سہرا

Written on 3rd July 2011. Wedding (barat) held on 3rd July 2011, 1st Shaban in Karachi

English Transliteration:

Aaj afaq talay Afaq ke bandha hai sehra

Faiz-o-Nasreen nahi sab hi ko bhaata sehra

Hain who pehli jo Muslim ki hain Noor-e-Chashm

Hai dua ho yeh musarrat ka sarapa sehra

Noor-e-Zehra-o-Ali (a.s.) aaj zameen par aaeen

Pehli Shabaan ki ronaq ne sajaya sehra

Sadqa Abbas-o-Ali Akbar (a.s.) ke sehron ka

Goya ismat ka aur effat ka hai mazhar sehra

Binte Zehra ka rahay saya tum par Zainab

Rahay shadaab Afaq ka har pal sehra

Hai mohabbat ki rasm aaj jo poori ki hai

Zain ne pehla hai baray shauq se likha sehra