Archive for June, 2014

So…grand scale drama at Pakistan airports of late encompassing all adventure elements from terrorizing shoot-outs to angry passengers not getting off the plane to airlines refusing to fly to particular terminals for safety concerns.

I am beyond thrilled. This is too much.

What got my attention the most was the fact that my newsfeed exploded about Tahir-ul-Qadri’s arrival and subsequent ‘bad’ behavior at Lahore Airport. Well, yes, I agree. So not cool. And he got what he deserved – Emirates banned him for life from flying them. So, there. His haters had a field day with that, too – lots of jokes and bad puns and all that jazz, and among that, detailed discussions were held regarding what more will Emirates do to avenge this insult? Discontinue flights operations, perhaps?

Well, that did happen. But amazingly, not because Mr. Qadri had held the carrier hostage. Emirates (and Etihad) declared to discontinue flight operations to Peshawar after a PIA carrier was fired upon there, claiming a passenger casualty. To quote a friend here, “soon there will come a time when even PIA will refuse to fly to and within Pakistan!”

Surprisingly, he was the only one who posted anything about this terrible incident. There was not much in the way of a squeak from anyone else in my newsfeed over this. All the concerned citizens who were uproarious about Qadri’s behavior a few hours ago were – well – quiet. And why not? I mean obviously Mr. Qadri is the real threat to Pakistan’s stability and economy; not the trigger-happy-airport-attacking terrorists.

So now I’m thinking – it is okay to raise hell when there’s potential for character assassination (because we love to mock and belittle people, of course) but absolutely no need to waste time worrying when something truly sordid happens because well…Pakistan mein to yeh sab chalta hi rehta hai. It doesn’t matter if the government continuously fails to protect its people against anything at all. It is okay if the state run police kills unarmed civilians in the name of law enforcement – I mean they were like only eight of them, not like eight million or something! And it is perfectly fine for the government to force passenger aircrafts to land not to the nearest airport but to the one that suits their fancies simply because they are incapable of handling the situation on ground/immature/seemingly democratic with tyrannical mood swings. For PML-N, that’s the second time.

But of course, this is all fine. This is Pakistan. This happens.

Well, there’s one other thing that’s perfectly fine. Tahir-ul-Qadri as part of the country’s political fabric.

I don’t care if TuQ is a mullah (a favorite term with many), and has a beard or is too loud and emotional for my exquisite taste or hails from UK, Canada or Mars – if he is against Taliban and wants to be in Pakistan, he needs to be in Pakistan. And so I welcome him. He can refuse to get off as many planes as he likes because that’s not what will compel airlines to stop flying to Pakistan. No, that’ll be the doing of Taliban and ilk who think it their privilege to wreak havoc in Pakistani air and land space, and the utter incompetence of the government to secure the country against that.

As for the tsunami, the inqilab, the revolution, the blah – get rid of Taliban and their ideology, that’ll be revolution enough for now.

Advertisements

COOKING & THE MYTH ABOUT LOVING IT

End of May; end of school year; a bazillion grade level send-off activities that all teachers who ever taught my kids throughout the year can concoct, and one of my daughters brings home a recipe that she’s supposed to cook with Mom. Why? And as if that’s not enough, the god-awful paper sheet says ‘make it a fun experience’.

I’m ready to commit suicide. Also, they forgot to include 1 fire extinguisher in the ingredients.

I hate cooking. If I wasn’t brought up on good, healthful home cooked meals and ruined for life for wanting them, I wouldn’t cook. If I wasn’t married to a man who understood good food, I wouldn’t cook. If I didn’t have children whom we’d spoiled and nourished on healthy meals, I wouldn’t cook. Also, I’m educated – unfortunately – and I can read labels and ingredients and health blogs and magazines and oh yes, hubby is a doctor so – if we could consider fast food as food – I. Wouldn’t. Cook!

And then to have my kid with me whilst I cook? Oh sure! What are we cooking? Perfect Chaos with a hint of Hysterical Mother and a side of Don’t Freakin’ Touch That Sharp Thingy glazed with Step The Hell Away From That Stove? How about a tall glass of We’re Never Doing This Again topped with Gritted Teeth to go with it?

Besides, I’m not a fan of that trigger: make it an experience. Why? I don’t want to. What’s with the constant need to add a festive tag to everything we do?

I watch all these cookery shows – yes, I love those and I watch them on a full stomach lest I’m compelled (God forbid) to try any of the dishes they’re showing me how to make – and I listen to all those chefs sharing what an experience cooking was when they were young.

“I always saw Mom cooking something,” declares a celebrity chef proudly as she rinses out her celery, and goes on to elaborate how awesome the experience was.

I can relate to that partly. Mom cooked; always. Because if she didn’t cook, we didn’t eat. It was the same way in her house when Nana cooked; and back in Nana’s house when her mother cooked, and so the tradition had trickled down through generations and households and not just among us but all around us as this was the way of the East. Food from outside was not the norm but a sign of indulgence.

But cooking itself was never an experience as if that word is synonymous to something joyous and festive and fun. It was routine; something that had to be done – like eating or breathing or going to school. I mean of course Mom cooked because well…why wouldn’t she? That was part of her job as Mom. As is now part of mine – or my husband’s or my father’s and they have risen to that occasion countless times – lest a feminist pops a nerve here.

Point is – meals have to be cooked, not bought or ordered. You don’t have to like it; I don’t. And yes, you have to pass on the skill; I will – eventually. But I still don’t see myself making it an experience to cherish and blah. To me, it’s a prerequisite for staying healthy. It’s a prerequisite for good quality family time. It definitely feels awesome when my six year old smacks his lips and declares, “Mom is the best cooker ever!”

So yes, all the things that a home-cooked meal brings to the table with itself are, indeed, to be cherished and amazing and great to experience. But no, not the cutting, the chopping, the blending, the blazing heat of the burning stove, the strong simmering smells that fill my entire house and won’t go away, not the onions that make my eyes water, the meat that won’t thaw in time, not the ticking clock that mocks me more than it helps, and certainly not the dreaded daily question – what shall I cook today?

None of that is a fun experience. And none of that becomes any easier when I have a kid in my kitchen, holding a paper from school that says I have to cook with her and make it a fun experience. Then, I’d rather call up a restaurant and order a take-out.

Now, a clean kitchen – that’s fun 😉