Kya Sab English Hain?

So a video of Sarfaraz Ahmed has been going viral for the past two days where the poor guy can be seen right before a press conference, extremely nervous on seeing that all the reporters are native English speakers. It made me sad. I mean this was a time when he should have been rejoicing Pakistan’s victory, he should have been proud of himself for leading the team to semi finals just the way a captain he should. But here he was, all nervous as he would now be scrutinised for his proficiency in English rather than his skills as a cricketer.

And, man, was he right? He was unfortunately. People have been making fun of him and joking about how ‘paindu’ he is or how uneducated he is. First of all, let me clarify he is a highly educated individual. He has a bachelors degree in Engineering in Electronics. On top of that he memorised the Holy Quran and became a hafiz merely at the age of 10. This makes him more educated than most of the people commenting on the video. As for being paindu, he is far from it. He does not belong to a pind at all. He was born in Karachi and has always lived there so he can’t be categorised as a paindu.

Now coming to mindset of all the people pointing fingers at him. Please stop it. It only shows that we are still mentally slaves to the gora saab. His mother tongue is urdu and is very fluent and eloquent in it. Would you have called him a paindu if he was a Chinese and was struggling to speak English or perhaps a French or a German? No, I’m sure of that. Because they are proud of their mother tongue and they concentrate on building their nation and their athletes rather than trying to find faults in their conversational English fluency.

Next time when you see someone speaking in English with an accent or struggling with vocabulary, don’t judge them or mock them. English is not their first language and they are not claiming to be proficient in English anyway in the first place.

Finally, I have two suggestions for all pakistani cricketers:

  1. Please ask for an interpreter for your press conferences and post match presentations. No one will make fun if you when you will speak impeccably in your own language. You can then concentrate on talking about what you want to talk about rather than concentrating on how to form sentences.
  2. Please start learning conversational English. It will help you in lot more ways than you think. But the reason to learn must not be that people have been mocking you.

As for all of you, please let them enjoy the fruit of their labour.

Muqabil (review) Episode 23 – 25

Muqabil has handled the subject of child molestation in a way completely novel for pakistani television. We recently watched Udaari which also dealt with child abuse but Imtiaz was shown to be a bad guy overall and people hated him from the bottom of their heart. On the other hand, Mehmood was someone anyone would trust easily. He was shown to be a religious and civilised man. He had a respectable job and had brought up his kids well. He was the hero his daughter would always look up to. But he had a dark side no one was aware of: he was a paedophile. So, on one hand, people hated him to have abused Pareesa, they also liked him for his various good traits. This was a tricky situation as the serial humanised the rapist in a way, it should not have. People should not be sympathising with him. But I’m glad the makers of the drama handled it in a good way, which satisfied most viewers without losing out on the message it tried to convey.

So everyone included Pareesa’s parents found out about how Pareesa was abused as a child by Mehmood. It was interesting to see see that it was not only the pool where she was abused. She felt vulnerable for the rest of her life till the time she fell in love with arman. Her fear and insecurities after the incident were described in a very good way. There is a reason why ‘mehmood ki goad main pali hai Pareesa’ was mentioned through out the serial. That’s because he carried her a lot with the wrong intention. Here it also must be noted that she was not abused because she had a working mom but because her parents trusted someone with their child when they should have in fact listened to their daughter and trusted her (remember Udaari? The mother was instantly aware something was wrong with her daughter. She was working as well but the key point was communication). So anyway Shehnaz decided to kill Mehmood but Mehmood committed suicide himself. I quite liked the scenes where everyone questioned Mehmood’s sudden death and reasons for his suicide. I’m glad they showed that a pedophile is and must be considered the ‘bad’ guy regardless of how pious he pretends to be.

Soon after, arman decides to end his commitment with Sarah but he has no intention of getting back togather with Pareesa although he is very well aware that he is deeply in love with her. On the other hand Pareesa decides to leave for Canada. But before leaving, she holds a press conference telling people about how she was abused as a child and how the suffering of the victim can be minimised through family support. This was one of my favourite scenes too as it was so satisfying to see a girl who could hardly stay outside her own bedroom mustered up the courage to tell the world what she was afraid to tell her parents too. And she gave the credit to her husband for her new found confidence.

Of course, it was a relief to see arman and Pareesa together in the end. And that scene was just so beautiful and vulnerable. I’m glad they didn’t make it too cheesy.

So, all in all, Muqabil was a wonderful journey but it could have been wrapped at least 5 weeks earlier. The editing department could have used their chopping skills in a superior manner to make it more impactful but nonetheless it was a great watch.

As for the performances, of course the three lead actors did an amazing job. But it was the supporting cast that needs a special mention too coz it would not have been such a treat to watch if the supporting actors had faltered.

Great work team Muqabil. Looking forward to more work from you.

Singapore – From my eyes II

In the past 5 decades, Singapore has come really far. From a small island expelled from Malaysia in 1965, giving it an unwanted independence, it has become one of the world’s most successful countries in merely 52 years. If you sit and chat with the elderly, they will tell you about slums they used to live in during the earlier years of independence. Today, Singapore has the highest home ownership in the world. Almost 90% of all Singaporeans live in their own homes. A huge success on its own. It has grown from a third world country to a first world country faster than any other in the world.

Tourism is one important factor in the massive economic growth of Singapore. So a country a lot of people did not even know about in the 90s is now one of the favourite tourist spots in the world. It welcomes the fourth largest number of tourists when compared to any other city in the world. Although it has no ‘rich’ history or heritage to boast about as its a new country with no mountains, no desserts and no changing weathers through out the year, nearly every thing had to be built from scratch to attract tourists.

So if you are planning a short trip to a city in Asia, do consider Singapore.

I will be doing a series of posts with a few recommendations of must see/visit places and things to do while here in Singapore, starting with Sentosa.

Why?

Because its Sentosa 🙂

I don’t think anyone who visits Singapore leaves out Sentosa. It’s a must!

The itinerary I’m sharing with you will need to 2-3 days. You can stay at one of the hotels at Sentosa for the best experience.

You can reach sentosa in a cable car and start by paying a visit to the mythical 37 meters high majestic Merlion and see for yourself how it safeguards the shores of Singapore as the legend goes.

Then move onto the luge. They claim no one does it once and they are not wrong. We go to sentosa almost every month and we buy a 3-time ticket per visit. Its just a lot of fun.

You can then visit IFly and experience skydiving in a especially designed air tunnel while never really jumping out of an air plane. If you acrophobic like me, this is for you as you would never actually be flying too high up from the ground. 

If you are still not tired and adventurous enough, you can zip across South East Asia’s steepest zip wire, do a treetop obstacle rope course, do wall climbing or a 15 m free fall. And then you can end the day with the majestic light, laser and water show ‘Wings of Time’.

If you are travelling with kids, let the kids spend the day at Kidzania while you can have a snooze at one of the beaches or experience flow boarding at the Wave House. If that’s not enough, there is also The Butterfly and Insect Kingdom to explore the various different kinds of beautiful butterflies. And dont forget to drop by Madame Tussaud to meet your favourite celebrities. 

*The pictures are not mine, all taken from official websites of the respective attractions.