Monthly Archives: October 2013

BANDI CHOR DIVAS!

Okay first things first. I know I said I would do more on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this week, but Bandi Chor Divas is this coming Sunday AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT IT BEFORE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS, YOU KNOW?
Also, I know I said I might post a little bit during the week about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but then I thought about it, and I know it emails some of you everytime I post, and I don’t want you to get like multiple emails a week, right? Would that be annoying? Or would it be ok? Lemme know!

OKAY. BANDI CHOR DIVAS.

I have to start this post by taking a trip down memory lane. Last year around this time I was all

diwalipost2012

You don’t actually have to read all of that. I just put it  there for visual effect. if you already read it…I’m sorry. I should have put this before I put that whole thing. So you would know not to read it. …

kareena

Haha it’s all good, M.

kareena1

Nah, it’s okay! They probably didn’t even read the whole thing!

kareena2

…what?

kareena3

M…what are you sayi-

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M CALM DOWN! IT’S OK! NOBODY READ IT!

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WHERE ARE WE TRAPPED??

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NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!

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shahid2

kareena8

What, Voice of Reason?

shahid4

Get on with the post.

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ok.

Ok. SO last year around Diwali time I told you guys about Diwali! I told you that it is a Hindu holiday with significance in Sikhism as well, right? WELL GUESS WHAT? IT TURNS OUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE OUR OWN HOLIDAY COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM DIWALI, WHICH CELEBRATES WHAT I THOUGHT WE CELEBRATE DIWALI FOR. BY WE I MEAN SIKHS. DOES THIS…DOES IT MAKE SENSE? NO? LET ME EXPLAIN THEN.

Okay, so last year I told you guys that Diwali is significant for us Sikhs because one of our Gurus, Guru Hargobind Ji, was released from jail. This is him, btw:

And he didn’t leave jail just like that. There were 52 Hindu prisoners who were wrongfully imprisoned, and when Guru Ji was told he could leave, he said that he wouldn’t leave unless the 52 Hindus were also freed. Emperor Jahangir, who was the one in charge here, was basically like lol.

“this guy wants me to release everyone else, smh”

And so Jahangir said “Aight, as many prisoners can hold on to the hem of your shirt, that’s how many can go free.” And so he probably thought it would be like one or two prisoners. Buuuut Guru Har Gobind Ji had something up his sleeve (that’s almost a pun but not quite 😥 )

Let’s just say, he had a special shirt made…

And so all the prisoners who were just imprisoned for their religion were freed. And this happened right before Diwali, so thanks to Guru Hargobind Ji, all of the Hindu prisoners got to celebrate their holiday as free men. And us Sikhs, we gained a holiday ourselves, known as Bandi Chor Divas, or Day of Liberation. 

To me, this holiday is pretty special. It’s all about justice. Guru Ji was free to go and everything, and he didn’t have to risk his freedom by making demands of his own. But he did. Also, what kind of prisoner makes demands for his own release? Like, that’s pretty boss. 

Anyways, Bandi Chor Divas is this Sunday. Whether or not you celebrate it, enjoy the holiday! And remember the value of justice, and how much even just one person can make a difference. 

Happy Bandi Chor Divas 🙂

-M

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POST POSTPONED (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) TILL TOMORROW. I’M SO SORRY. I AM A TERRIBLE HUMAN.

Ugghhh I’m sorry. Voice of Reason told me this would happen and I was like nahh. But alas.

 

I shall explain myself in tomorrow’s post 😦

-M

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Formerly North West Frontier Province) Alternatively, Oh Snap: When You Find Out You’re Not Just Punjabi

(This post is probably going to be on the informative side, just to warn those of you who come here mainly for the hasavat. I know I said last time it would be a funny one…but imma save that for a couple of weeks!)

Remember that documentary I watched?

Okay well one of the episodes was about North West Frontier Province, and I’m like in love with that place. And I’ve blogged about it sooooooo little. And it’s so fascinating. And diverse. And beautiful. And complicated. So I’m going to blog about it. Extensively : )

As I think you guys might have been able to guess, I’m constantly interrogating asking my grandparents questions about their childhoods, their parents, and their experiences, particularly from before they came to the States. And just when I think I have a good idea of pretty much everything, one of them will mention some small (or huge) detail about their lives that throws me a complete curve ball. I actually love it 🙂

One of the most memorable times this happened was when I was casually talking to my dad’s dad and a thought occurred to me.

“Darji, you’re parent’s were born in Punjab, right?” (Punjab being the region that everyone in my family is from…or so I thought.)

“No,” he replied casually.

“…Where were they born??” I asked.

He replied, “N.W.F.P”

These four letters meant nothing to me. I didn’t know squat about them, and I had never heard of the place they referred too. Now, whenever I hear these letters, thoughts of beautiful mountains, rivers (one of which my grandpa almost drowned in as a child), kebabs, isolated tribes, Malala Yousafzai, the Taliban, and, unfortunately, increasing violence come to mind. No one ever told me we come from the land of the Pashtuns. But now that I know, I will never forget.

So first of all, what IS N.W.F.P? Well, it’s a region in current day Pakistan that borders Afghanistan.

One of the most amazing things about North West Frontier Province, or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as it was renamed in 2010, is that it. is so. diverse. At every turn you will find a new world with new people who speak new languages. One particular group of people that comes to mind is the Kalash.

source: http://photo.net/photodb/user?user_id=1784134

source: tumblr

Travel along some crazy dangerous mountain passes, and eventually you’ll reach Chitral, a region of Khyber Pakhtunkwa. In this area, the Kalash people live lives very different than those of the rest of their countrymen. Women never cover their faces (which I’m not trying to say is good or bad, just distinct), a different religion is practiced, a different language is spoken and…no one knows where they come from. Not even them lol. Some people say they are descended from Alexander the Great’s troops. But the thing is…so are a lot of Pakistanis and Indians. This would not be enough to explain their totally different culture. So really…who even knows. A lot of ethnic groups try to claim the Kalash, saying they are their ancestors. People seem to think they MUST come from somewhere else, because many of them are lighter skinned and lighter haired and have lighter eyes. But I don’t really see why that means they can’t be native Pakistanis. Many on the North Indian continent have lighter features. I think the bigger mystery is how they developed such a unique culture.

Unfortunately, the Kalash people are starting to fear the loss of their uniqueness, because of the influence of the world around them. I’m all for unity and everything, but I think it would be pretty cool if the Kalash could be all unified and stuff with the rest of Pakistan, while still maintaining their individuality, you know?

Okay. I’m going to show you more pictures now. Actually no. I show you video.

Okay. So CAN YOU BELIEVE that the Kalash are only ONE part of the amazingness that is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?? Part II is going to drop next Monday, BUT I might post a little something every couple of days until Monday about Khyber Pakhtunkwa, because there’s soo much I want you guys to see. aghhgskdljfdksl.

Okay, also, my India trip is most likely still happening this December ( :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD) and so I thought I’d go ahead and let you guys know in advance that I’m not going to be posting text posts while I’m gone (which will be late December-early January), but hopefully I’ll be able to post pictures and videos and stuff of my trip WHILE I’m actually in India! Technology man. Technology. And I’ll definitely let you guys know exactly when I’ll be gone sometime before we leave.

Okay. And I guess, other than that, sorry for the excessive use of caps in this post. Idk why that happened.

Have a beauuuuuuuutiful week,

-M : )

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Malala Meets ‘Murica

I can’t get rid of the whale background. I don’t know what spell it has over me but I just can’t. Also, I think it’s time we name the whale. Suggestions?

Okay sorry. Today’s post. Right. Malala. 

 Malala Yousafzai was in the U.S this past week, and she has been absolutely killing it : ) She’s done a few interviews, and the things she says are so so powerful. If you haven’t checked her out on The Daily Show, you can down below:

She was also interviewed by Christiane Amanpour, but I can’t find a video : ( But one of the things I loved from that interview was when Malala said Allah and Inshallah. By using these words, she’s kind of showing people that it’s not Islam she’s against, but rather the radicals. By using these words, she’s showing people that she is in fact a Muslim, and perhaps changing their preconceived notions that Muslims are bad. It’s like, see Malala over there? She’s a Muslim too! And she’s awesome!

Another thing– last night I was looking at an interview from before she was shot (which, I am ashamed to admit, I clicked on partially because I was intrigued by how on point her makeup looked…among other reasons though ok? Click here if you want to watch it.) and there were two things that stood out to me about it. The first was that she was speaking Urdu, which just kind of brings it home, you know? Like my mom and I were sitting there listening to her speak and understanding (my mom more than me) what she was saying, and it made us both realize, once again, how we are from the same part of the world as Malala, generally speaking, and yet there she is getting shot for going to school, and our lives our totally…totally different. And yet so similar. That’s always a pretty intense moment. 

The second thing about this interview is her voice. She sounds so sweet and gentle, which she does now too, but there’s something else. Now when she speaks, you hear so much strength in her voice, and so much power. Then, you could feel the power behind her words, but not, perhaps, quite as much as now. Granted, she was obviously younger in this video than she is now, and likely nervous, especially if it was one of her first interviews, but you can’t help but wonder if the strength she has now has increased because of what happened to her, you know?

Oh wait, one other thing about this interview–Malala says once again that she is a Justin Bieber fan.

Next time I get flack for being a Belieber, y’all what comeback imma have ready AM I RIGHT?!?

OH GOD WAIT OK one OTHER thing about this interview that’s really cool is how when you first see the interviewer, you’re kind of get the impression like “oh she’s probaby just going to ask a few questions and Malala’s going to do all the intense talking.” But the interviewer asks some amazing questions and the two of them engage in such an intelligent, thoughtful conversation that they BOTH contribute too. I’m embarrassed to say that when I saw the reporter in her cute salwar kameez, that that’s what my subconscious impression was–she was just there to smile. Gosh…it really disturbs me that I thought that. But she proved me wrong. Lookin  nice AND, much more importantly, speaking well and asking great questions GO ON GIRL!

Alright guys, it’s about time for me to go. If you haven’t seen Malala’s interview with Christiane Amanpour, I highly suggest you try to find it! If I come across it I’ll try to post it for sure! 

I know this post was kind of on the disorganized/rant-y side, but I hope you enjoyed nonetheless! What I had planned was actually totally different, so that’s probably going to be next week’s post. Hopefully it will make you laugh : )

See you Monday!

-M

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ANNOUNCEMENT

Okay. I’ve been posting a day late so often lately, I think I’m just going to go ahead and make it official lol: posts on Mondays from now on. I’m just getting tired of posting a day late and disappointing everyone because you’re expecting it on Sunday 😦 That’s no fun for anyone. Is this good? Are we good? I think it’ll be good. It’s just that my weekends are usually pretty busy, right? So like, I plan my post during the week, but during the weekend it’s hard to find time to actually type it up and edit and whatnot, which is why I’ve been lagging. So if I post on Mondays, I’ll have the week to plan, the weekend to type what I can, and a few hours on Monday, if I end up needing them! Yeah! This seems like it’ll work…in theory…which means that it will probably go horribly wrong…but it’s the plan for now! Look, I even changed my the tagline up there to reflect this new schedule, so you know it’s real baby. 

See you tomorrow! 🙂

-M

 

 

OH! Also, if you haven’t seen Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show, check it out down below, she’s amazing:

 

 

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Bloons…

And no, I am not writing about the game, addicting though it is.

Metaphors! Metaphors are fun. The whole comparing things without using like or as thing? Like…man. That’s cool. But you know what’s even cooler?

WHEN METAPHORS HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE.

Consider the following:

Source: The guardian

Source: The Journal.ie

Source: BBC

Source: Tumblr

Source: The Week

I’ve seen these pictures so many times: taken somewhere in South Asia, a man in a somber-colored kurta standing against tan– tan buildings, tan ground, tan faces, tan. But somewhere in these pictures, there is a big, bright, and loud pop of color in the form of a bundle of balloons that the man is selling. These pictures are obviously visually intriguing, but there was also something else about them. Something I couldn’t physically point to on the pictures. I wasn’t sure if it was a happy thing…or maybe something sad. But there was something about them that said so much about the man in the picture, and about the world around him. 

And then it hit me.

This whole thang is a metaphor. 

Let me explain. 

Places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have been through sooo much. Extreme weather, poverty, earthquakes, and war. So much war. And, all though I’ve never been to these places, when I meet people from there, or watch interviews of them, I’m always in awe of how strong the people are, and how much they shine. We’re talking Malala Yousafzai

Source: Indian Express

or Laila from A Thousand Splendid Suns

which i understand is fictional but she’s based on real women ok
A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

not to mention the children, who have been through so much

pashtundukhtaree:“I am involved in the land of a ‘Leonine’ (lion-like) and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a wall of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one Alexander into the world, but every mother in this land has brought an Alexander in the world.”- alexander the great on a letter to his mother while in current day Afghanistan

Source: Tumblr

And so to me, the pictures of the balloon sellers kind of sum up the whole thing, you know? The bleak background kind of symbolizes everything that the people have been through, and the balloons show the spirit of the people, who have been through so much, and still remain smiling. I don’t know, ok?! I know it sounds corny! But it’s just one of those things that just works a little too perfectly, this metaphor. Like, I see you, God. I see you using literary devices up there. 

And yeah. I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this, because what can I really say? The pictures say it all. Also, I took the SAT yesterday and I’m really tired and I’m about 100 words away from writing random confused gibberish. So imma peace out. But you! You there! Leave comments! Talk to meeeeeeee.  Do it. Do it. Do it now. If you want, you don’t have to if you really don’t want to. But if you DON’T really not want to, then go ahead 😀

Okay, apparently I wasn’t able to avoid the random confused gibberish. I apologize.

Bye guys.

-M  ❤

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