Tagged with " Conversations"

A world without The Alchemist

A friend Raheel shared this graph which lists top 10 most read books in the world on Facebook. As expected, there were some usual suspects in the list like ‘The Bible’ and ‘The Harry Potter series’. Raheel appeared to be a little bummed that the list also features the Twilight Saga and thinks that if anyone is looking for a snapshot into why the world is so fucked up, they need to see what the world is reading. In other words, if too many people are reading about angsty vampires, werewolves with pedophilic tendencies and insipid pinning girls then something is NOT right in the world. 
I am sure Raheel has his reasons for being sick and tired of the Twilight Saga but I think there are other entries far more worrisome than the tales of a teenager who alternates between necrophilia and bestiality. 
For starters, the world can do with a little less religiosity and a lot more compassion but let’s just not go there because I have no desire to be lynched by that overwhelming majority that reads all the religious texts.
Secondly, twilight is not dangerous because it is mostly read by the prepubescent teens (and their older sisters with stunted mental growth and their moms who wants to do all things their little girls do) with absolutely no delusions of grandiosity. If they are happy reading about undead old creeps who look like sparkling teenagers then let them be – in their own little bubble. 
Far more dangerous are those who read absolute shite like ‘The Alchemist’ and think they have had this spiritual and/or philosophical and existential awakening which kinda gives them a license to pontificate according to their heart’s desire. Not only do they want to expound their new found wisdom to any poor unsuspecting soul that comes with the radius of 200 meters, they also think they are doing the others a huge favour by sharing their profundity. It is at times like this one agrees with Scott Adams and blames it all on the Gutenberg press for spreading the pop philosophy mumbo jumbo to the masses. The world would have been a better place had there been no ‘Alchemist’ in it.
Apr 23, 2012 - Uncategorized    7 Comments

Y U frandshipping me?

Tazeen: Who is Beena and why she wants to be friends with me? Facebook stalking much? 
HBM: huh?
Tazeen:No seriously, why do all your female friends wants to frandship me? Someone needs to tell them I am not a dude :S
HBM: Block and delete her, she wants to be friends with all my friends. Block the fuck out of her. I plan to do the same if she doesn’t stop. 
Tazeen: Btw, how can I block the fuck outta her?
HBM: Who else has added you from my list? I am working on my restricted list and planning to right-size my friends list? Any information you provide will really help give mankind a better tomorrow. 
Tazeen: For starters, I couldn’t care less about the better tomorrow for mankind. As far as your friends are concerned, I have already befriended Sana and Ayesha from your list and they are both harmless but this one is hardcore. She keeps sending requests every other day without even introducing herself. It’s like stalker Shahrukh Khan, from those dysfunctional k…k..k..k..Kiran days, breathing down on the phone, scaring the socks off your feet. 

HBM: Don’t tell her you think she is like Shahrukh Khan, she will probably take it as a compliment. Sana is okay. I asked Ayesha how she knew you and she said she had been commenting on your blog. Beena just got a stern warning from me. I suppose you should see an option to block her when you reject her request next. 
Tazeen: Hmmm
HBM: But wow you are a chick magnet!!!
Tazeen: I know! Just one of those several things that I never aspired to be. 🙁
Sep 30, 2011 - Rawalpindi    14 Comments

All you wanted to know about General Kiyani’s cigarettes but were afraid to ask

Because I am slightly odd, I have friends who also veer in the same direction and the conversations we have are also of not your garden or average variety. Last night AB and I were having a random chat session and she came up with a couple of peculiar questions (mind you, we were already done with the mandatory bitch fest about a lady who was simultaneously flirting the pants off a couple of elderly gentlemen). I attributed the strangeness of her questions to the fact that she grew up in Rawalpindi and the fascination with GHQ is but natural.
Here is an excerpt.

AB: Yaar ek baat tau batao? Did General  Zia-ul-Haq use desi khizab (cheap local hair dye), Kala Kola (the only brand of hair dye available in Pakistan back in 1980s in black and brown)  or some other fancy shmanzy hair dye that Mrs. Zia must have picked up for her husband’s wispy follicles? (Yes, my friends and I are totally obsessive compulsive over bad hair dye jobs of generals long gone.)

Tazeen: (After much contemplation and deliberation) I think Gen. Zia must have used Beijinghair colour; after all he had to put in his weight behind the whole Pak China friendship.

AB: OK, and what brand of cigarettes does General Kiyani smoke?

Tazeen: Why do you want to know about Kiyani’s ciggis?

AB: Yaar another friend mentioned that he rolls his own cigarettes?

Tazeen: Come on, you can’t expect a general sahib to do anything himself. I think he smokes K2, akhir inki shan bhi tau Paharon jaisee hai.

PS: Because I generally whine a lot about Pindi, I dedicate this post to AB who is kinda cool despite being growing up in Rawalpindi.
PPS: While the whole world was busy discussing APC, we were discussing Kiyani’s ciggies and hair dyes, what happens when you are born and then spend your childhood – not to mention most of your adult life – under military rule and how it impacts you.
May 20, 2011 - Uncategorized    6 Comments

You can face it all when you have friends like that …

This post is dedicated to my friend P, who has been most thoughtful, esp. when it mattered most, would always say the right things to cheer me up and have been generally a great guy.

Earlier today, he and I were bitching about how some people – who in our opinion are not as bright as we are – get their bylines everywhere and we get told off by the editors – actually we don’t even get told off by the editors – we are just ignored.

Then as two perpetual losers we decided that we are too good for this country and we should focus on foreign publications and as random as we are, we also discussed people who slept their way up in the business. Here is how he turned my regular whinefest into laughter.

We all could do with a friend like that.

T: at times I feel like such a bloody loser.

P: Losers ye log hain, not you (he is adorable and seriously good for my ego and sanity)

T: Remember —- , we all know s/he slept all around to get where s/he is

P: hahaha… Acha maybe I’ll ask someone in New York to sleep with someone at NYT for us.

T: Dude, you actually have people who are willing to sleep with random strangers on our behalf?

P: Maybe, depends on who the random stranger is, but yes.

T: hahaha, if you can pull it off then you are more powerful than Altaf Hussain, Bal Thakrey and the Pope, all rolled in one.

Jan 11, 2009 - Uncategorized    34 Comments

Politically incorrect conversation between a Pakistani and an Indian

I promised Saadia that I will do a Pakistani’s impression of India after the myths post, but I just cannot get to do it (serious time management issues and multiple deadlines). Instead, I have decided to put up a dialogue between a Pakistani and an Indian girl. Chadha is a friend from university days and we stay in touch through the wonderful medium of World Wide Web. Here is a piece for you all – a piece of “people to people interaction’ between the two of us.

Tazeen says:
Chadhaaaaa …. longtime

Maneesha says:
yaar its been chaos at work… I am home now for holidays and still have to keep checking mails

Maneesha says:
By the way I saw my first nikaah ceremony yesterday

Tazeen says:
Ah, so you have seen our version of nuptials. It’s just like Christians’; we just ask them thrice to be really really sure. And of course there is the whole haq meher thing as well and the bits and pieces of “Do you accept Mr X to be your lawfully wedded husband for the meher of Rs. Xyz” and the girl has to respond with “qabool hai, qabool hai, qabool hai “ (I accept, I accept, I accept).

Maneesha says:
Yes, except unlike the movies the boy and girl aren’t separated by a thin curtain, but are in completely different rooms!!!

Maneesha says:
It was quite interesting, particularly since the boy is Sri Lankan and doesn’t understand a word of Urdu.

Maneesha says:
So all of us said what we wanted to in front of him and he didn’t get a word… kya mazaa aaya

Tazeen says:
wah wah

Tazeen says:
This is your masi’s daughter, right?

Tazeen says:
She is marrying a Sri Lankan dude?

Maneesha says:

Tazeen says:
Good, everyone should marry outside their religion and country … that way no one will stay bigoted and unnecessary attachment to clan and country would make way for a peaceful world

Tazeen says:
Gosh, I sound like a Miss World contestant.

Tazeen says:
World peace!!!

Maneesha says:
You know…. write that somewhere… when you are dead and gone, someone will discover it and make it the law…. like in a futuristic movie

Tazeen says:

Tazeen says:
Let me do a blog post on it. (I did this one after the conversation)

Maneesha says:
Totally…. put it there right now

Maneesha says:
Future would be something like this:

Scottie approaches captain Kirk….
Captain I would like your permission to marry a Clingon…
Captain says, with flair – Scottie, as you know, Tazeen’s law is in the making. She was a visionary – she stated those words centuries ago that everyone should marry outside their religion and country (In their case, the marriage could be inter galactic )… that way no one will stay bigoted and unnecessary attachment to clan and country would make way for a peaceful world

Tazeen says:

Maneesha says:
Or, write it…. the law….

Tazeen says:
Oh as in legal language?

Tazeen says:
Thou shalt only marry outside your clan (if you really have to) otherwise just live in sin. How is that for a brand new commandment?

Tazeen says:
I mean if it is that far along in the future, legal matrimony would have become obsolete by then, naheen?

Maneesha says:
Exactly, then it will be mind connection, and telepathy and other less messy things.

Tazeen says:
Hahaha, There wont be any exchange of bodily fluids, and zero chance of contracting STDs and Aids. I think people will be a lot more tolerant about cheating if it is all telepathic and long distance. What say?

Maneesha says:
Yeah, it would a much healthier environment. UNAIDS would be redundant.

Tazeen says:
Imagine. Cheating would just be a lot less thrilling hence the charm would be greatly diminished.


Dec 22, 2008 - Uncategorized    35 Comments

Fight flattery with flippancy

My friend B claims that I seriously lack charm and poise when it comes to accepting compliments. I obviously rejected her claim. Not that I get that many compliments (and I am counting ‘balls breaking bitch’ in the category of compliments) but I thought I was taking them enough élan and elegance. These are the flowing examples cited by my friend as sentences dripping in unnecessary sarcasm.

Compliment 1

Tazeen, you write really well.

My response:

Oh I just rant, if you are half as dissatisfied with life as I am, you too would be able to go on like I do.

Compliment 2

You know, you are funny.

My response:

Really, I thought only court jesters were funny.

Compliment 3

You have very beautiful eyes.

My Response:

Huh! And I thought it was Rimmel’s deep black kohl and my expertise with make up.

Compliment 4

God, you are photogenic, the camera loves you:

My response:

Does that mean I look hideous in person?

Compliment 5

You are smart.

My response:

In the sea of mediocrity, even common sense looks like a stroke of genius.

Another friend who studied psychology as a minor back in college jumped in and called it my denial of my talent. Talent!!! You can’t call being photogenic a talent, can you? She also used words like deep rooted fear of acceptance, delayed maturity and lack of emotional intelligence and God knows what else; I did not hear the rest because I had tuned her off after emotional intelligence.

Come on people, batting lashes at the poor sod who tells you your eyes are beautiful is as clichéd as it gets. Am I the only one who thought my responses were smart, flippant and dripping with self effacing humor?

I believe in fighting flattery with flippancy – no?


Nov 22, 2008 - Uncategorized    44 Comments

You are not a girl and still not out of the closet. !!!

I have a gift for conversations. Whether it is small talk, big talk and plain talking, I do them all. I have previously posted the gems of my conversational skills here, here, here, here and here, here is the another conversation that speaks volumes about my social elegance, chic and sophistication.

Location: A lecture Hall in Northern Italy


Me, not paying attention to the lecture with my ears plugged to my iPod.
The guy sitting next to me.

The guy: So you are listening to music?
Me: (Taking my ear phones off) What?
The guy: You listening to music?
Me: Nah, I am listening to the FIFA stats, mind blowing stuff you know.
The guy raises his eye brow and says: Ah, a girl after my own heart.
Me: Come on, this is no time and place to be cheesy. Its 11.00 am and we are in a lecture hall.

After a couple of minutes

The guy: Can you please share your ear plugs with me and pass on one of the ear plugs, I getting bored outta my mind (It was a yawn inducing lecture in the strangest accent ever)?
Me: (very begrudgingly handing him one of the ear phones) if you really want to (while secretly hoping that he would refuse).
The guy: (took the ear phone) Thanks.

Exactly a minute later

The Guy: (sounded outraged) That’s Cold Play?
Me: Errr yeah!
The Guy: But only girls and fags listen to Cold Play!
Me: Yeah, in case you failed to notice, I AM a girl.
The Guy: Oh believe me, I have noticed and I have noticed plenty.
Me: (giving him the filthiest look I could have mustered) Then I guess you don’t want to listen to it anymore because you are obviously are a girl and still not out of the closet.


Jul 30, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

All about Askari

I have received a few comments and some really weird emails about this post of mine.

The first one was if it was an original chat session or did I make it up. 

People, it is part of an original conversation that I had with a friend. I do have a lot of spare time (I blog after all) but I have not gone coo coo in the head as yet.

The second one was if there actually is a guy called Askari or a figment of my imagination.

Yes, there is a guy called Askari, if it was an imaginary conversation and I had to come up with a name, I would have chosen a more filmy name like Sameer or Sheheryar, not Askari, not after 9 years of Askari government (those who are not familiar with either Arabic or Urdu should know that Askari means military and yes we do name our boys Askari). Secondly, Askari’s Abba would have been miffed if he found out that his master piece was called figment of my imagination.

The third one was, if there is a guy called Askari then why is he not here (people wanted to know why is he all quite and not blasting me on this blog)?

That I am afraid I don’t know, but I have been told (and I have it on good authority) that he is cursing me to hell for making him a celebrity on my blog but I know that he secretly loves it as well.

Jul 26, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

C o n v e r s a t i o n !

A recent conversation between two friends

Tazeen says:
askari says:
askari says:
anything interesting going on in your life?
Tazeen says:
yeh meri life hai … I am the most interesting thing in it


May 20, 2008 - Uncategorized    2 Comments


I met a couple last night for the first time. They both live in Dubai and apparently are having a whale of a time there. Hubby works for Acer – the computer manufacturers – and the wife works for one of the fancy hotels that abound the desert emirate. After talking about their glorious life non stop, they thought it was polite to ask me about my life, in general and my work in particular.

Hubby: So what do you do?

Me: I am into publishing but I work in non-profit sector, I …..

Hubby: (interrupted me with a saucer eyed look which basically said, WHY?) But didn’t you go abroad for your degree or something?

Me: (not knowing what it has got anything to do with my work and his knee jerk reaction) ummm yes, I did.

Wife: So why did you choose to work for an NPO?

Me: I don’t know. I am a policy analyst by training so apart from government (Which repeatedly rejected my attempts at getting a job there – I was even told by a man in one of the government departments that I am overqualified and over enthusiastic about my work to make a go at it in the power corridors of Islamabad), I can work in a research institute or organizations that work for people.

Wife: So how much money do you make working for an NPO, do you make much?

Me: (visibly uncomfortable, because no one knows how much money I make, not even my dad, in fact even I don’t know how much I make because my income tax deductions vary every month depending on my fuel consumption) …. Ummm I make enough money to pay my way around.

Wife: But that’s not enough na, you want more from life, naheen?

Me: Do I? I guess if I had more money I would have traveled a bit more but I like what I do and I …

Hubby: (cutting me short) But wouldn’t a foreign degree equip you for a job in a multi-national?

Me: I don’t know, I never applied in a multi-national, probably because …

Hubby: (Interrupted me yet again) But why?

Me: I don’t know, I guess thats not who I am.

Hubby: That’s rubbish. You are qualified and you should be able to get a decent job in a multi national. What are your strengths?

Me: (with sugar coated sarcastic smile) I have a lot of patience; I tolerate bad behaviour and stupidity.

Wife: that’s not good enough, we will have to bluff.

Me: Bluff? Bluff who?

(They started talking about me as if i am deaf and mute and cant really understand what they are on about)

Wife: She is tall and presentable and has a really nice voice; I guess she can be good in PR.

Hubby: Yeah, or may be promotions (Honestly, I don’t even know what they do in promotions).

Me: Excuse me, what are you talking about.

Hubby: Don’t ruin your life here, come to Dubai, we will set you up in decent job where you can make some money and live a comfortable life.

Me: But I do live a comfortable life and I don’t like Dubai.

Hubby: Nonsense. Everyone likes Dubai.

Wife: (hands me her business card) Send me your resume and I will set you up with a few people I know. I am sure we can work something out in Dubai.

Me: Dubai? Who is going to Dubai?

Hubby & Wife: (in unison) YOU ARE (and left me feeling bushwhacked).

There is something wrong with me, no other living or breathing person meet characters from hell with this regularity. On another note, if this couple ever have any children, they would be so damaged that no shrink would be able to work his or her magic on them.