Archive for the ‘Musings!’ Category

Since I heard the news of his death, I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to gather my thoughts and come to terms with the fact that the person who I was in so awed with is no more. Even though there was no personal connection between us apart from me going crazy whenever I would see an insanely great Apple product, it’s hard not getting emotionally connected with him, his persona and his awseomeness factor.  Before his Stanford 2005 commencement speech, I thought of him only as a cool, billionaire CEO.  Of someone who made the right decisions, did the right thing at the right time.

But then you hear his speech and realize things weren’t always smooth sailing for him. It was that speech which made me a SUPER fan. What he said made sense to me in my personal life as well. There were a lot of times when dots weren’t connecting but I knew they eventually would and now looking back they do! That it was OK to make mistakes and fail. And that life would be fulfilling if you spend doing it what you love. Maybe these are things that all wise men say, but he was a living example of his preaching and it sure was going to leave an impression. I had saved that speech in my pc, email and would read/listen to it whenever life wouldn’t make sense. For me, it was the best piece of motivational, inspirational therapy that anyone could provide. Add to it, that many of my friends and acquaintances would quote from it was an example how his words had touched us and our lives.

It wasn’t just the Stanford speech but his simple take on life, work, loving what you do and think differently that had filled my life with inspirations. Truth be told, I may not be following my heart in all matters and living the way he prescribed but knowing that he did and was successful is such a motivational booster.

Skeptics can’t understand our emotional involvement with a billionaire who just made expensive products and was no in part involved in changing the world! Maybe their world didn’t get changed but anybody who uses a pc, mouse, smart phone, mp3 player their lives have been impacted by the change he has brought to the industry. And as he said, it was never about the money but knowing that you created something wonderful when you went to sleep. He has brought sleekness and class to our gadgets and has been the in the forefront of bringing innovations to our lives.  He introduced the intuitive use of technology and it’s because of him that my niece knew how to use touch phone and iPad much better then the adults even before she started school! It’s because of him that now when we see a product we also see the detail that has been put into his manufacturing. In his limited time, he has brought major changes and made us want what he made because we know that what he made will surely be awesome.

Thank you Steve for all the wonderful, insanely great inspirations and creativity:) We’ll miss you! And hoping to learn something from your life 🙂

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Being a bit of a geek, I follow the latest development in technology. I don’t have the latest cell phone, neither believe that I can’t live without the newest, coolest gadget as if my life depends on it, nor do I get impressed much by every new happening in the techy world.  

MacBook Air

MacBook Air

 

BUT I do go gaga over Apple products (and I still don’t have any of them either! :(). I find Air book amazingly beautiful;  love the screen adjustments in iPod  

iPod

iPod

 

 and then there’s iPhone 

iPhone

iPhone

 

(still not available in Pakistan!). The fonts, the screen, the style, the thinness, the overall look everything spells C-L-A-S-S in Apple. 

And so, I’ve always assumed that I’ll buy a mac book whenever I decide on getting a laptop. A few days back, auby and I tried playing an online game from our respective homes. But since my home pc is super cool, nothing worked and we ended up having a discussion on upgrading the pc and I told him about my fantasy of buying an airbook. Anyways, a few days later while we were researching laptops, I came to realize that Air book is way too expensive. For double the configuration, I could get a decent DELL/HP laptop for less then half the price! The only thing missing would be the cuteness and the class 😦 

Hit by the reality check of performance-cost-look and the answering the simple question of why I even need a laptop made me put things in perspective. I would still love to get an air book, and if somebody is listening at Apple, could you guys please lower the price to make them affordable and justify the cost OR better gift me one(A).

Back by popular demand :)

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Musings!
Tags:

I am back

After a long absence from the blogging scene, I am back to stay :). During the past few months, I’ve been tagged thrice and awarded twice! Thank you for remembering and honoring me 🙂 It’s time to start some serious blogging 🙂

Looking forward to hearing from you guys 🙂

Last week, my father had a surgery at PECHS Trauma Center and alhamdulilah say he’s in recovering phase these days. The surgeon who has supposed to be performing the surgery also has clinic at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), so when he said the surgery is necessary we assumed he’ll be conducting that over there. Just two days before the surgery, he told us that the surgery will be performed at PECHS Trauma Center. We all were appalled by it because in that week, a case relating to negligence in performing the medical duties at the hospital was doing the rounds in media. An inquiry committee had been setup to probe and report about the incident.

The doctor wasn’t ready to change the place and we all thought it was because of two reasons

a) Since he was associated with the hospital he wanted to bring them business in those hard time to show there’s nothing wrong with it
b) His share of money is more then his share at better/luxurious hospitals like AKU and South City.

The following is just a narration of what I observed and witnessed over there in the week he stayed over there.

The day of the surgery, after local anesthesia affect was wearing off, daddy started feeling discomfort and it was showing on his face and his body movements that he was in pain. My mother called the nurse on duty and reported that he’s in pain and can he be seen and give any medicine? When the nurse came and asked daddy what was he feeling, the words he used were ‘anxiety’, ‘discomfort’, ‘itching’. As soon as she had heard his sentences, she in literal sense started talking loudly (shouting?) at all of us attendants and my relatives who have come to visit. The gist of her conversation was

“Uncle tu keh rahe hain unhe koi pain nahi ho raha. Aur bhi hospitals mein ghaltian hote hain. Staff members kee wajah say he loog sahih ho kar jate hain. Agar aik nay ghalti kardee tu is mein hamara kia qasroor. Hum tu apne duty kar rahe hai na. Yeh tu keh rahe hain unhe koi pain nhao horaha tu phir aap loog kion keh rahe hain inhe pain hai?”

Translation: According to uncle, he is not in any pain. Just because a mistake by a staff member please don’t act as if we are not doing our duty.

I am not sure if the word trauma in the name is taken literally by the hospital staff. Because the nurse yelling was totally uncalled for and nobody had said even a word about their care and service. We just watched her drama after she left I commented “God, why is everyone in such a defensive mood?” One of my paternal uncles who was there asked what had just happened as he had no idea about the cases.

After her episode, my elder brother decided that since my younger brother was to meet the surgeon at that time we should call him and tell him to ask the doctor for advice and confirm if the pain  and these symptoms occur after the surgery. The surgeon must have then called the hospital and the doctor on duty arrived. He complained that he was coming and why had we called the doctor? Then we had to pacify him as well that we didn’t have dr no and my brother was there because he had asked him to come in the evening and will you guys please check the patient instead of being annoyed?

Apart from this, I noticed that the staff on duty had to be called at least twice before they would come to grace us with their presence. Also, some of them were pretty lazy or irresponsible in performing their duties. For example, they would have to be called for taking B.P. or they need to be reminded that since he has taken XYZ pill within the last 12 hours and so he can’t take another one as yet. Or when a nurse would change the drip, she would left it leaking or forget to do inject it correctly.

Apart from the medical staff care, the hospital was being extended and the construction was going right outside our window. There was to much noise and the cherry on top was that the workers kept shouting to be heard over the noise. I am not sure if there are laws regarding hospital construction in the active area but I would suggest that they are made and followed to minimize the commotion levels near hospitals. Because it’s very annoying and not all beneficial for the patients to be in contact with so much noise pollution when they are recuperating.

And one another shocking news is that anybody could just waltz into the Operation theatre and ICU without any identification and proper attire. One day, I saw a lady just walk into the place and during that her phone started ringing with a very loud song. One of the guys from the OT did come out and scolded her for being there and letting her phone ring right next to ICU but without proper control at the door, anybody can do as they please.

This is not to say that all the hospital staff and doctors were difficult or tardy. And I don’t have any other experiences at hospitals so I can’t compare the level of service. The plus point for the hospital was that it was clean and the room was good enough. Apart from the details mentioned above, the others staff and doctors were warm and considerate. However, the conclusion I can draw from the whole experience is that you literally had to be on your toes and keep your wits about while dealing with them. Because their single mistake can wreak havoc.

f4f?

Posted: June 17, 2009 in Dear Diary :), Foosballs, Musings!, Sports
Tags: , , ,

Venue:           Entertainment area, Basement
Time:             any time during the second half
Duration:        20-30 minutes
Participants:   Em, Auby, Lubz and I
Purpose:        Foosball match!

We have been following this pattern for at least half a month without even realizing our (I am definitely in our part) addiction. It would start when one of us wouldn’t be in the mood to work (are we, ever? ;)) and message each other on Vypress about everyone’s free time to schedule a time for playing. The amazing fun part is that no matter how busy anyone would be, he/she would take the time out or finish it in a matters of minutes (due to adrenaline rush :P) to engage in our daily indulgence. We had gotten so involved in it that once I even created a private chat room for the four of us on Vypress so that we can group chat and reach a decision about the time.

With lubz playing as an attacker and I on the defense we would take on Em-Auby duo, and they would change positions depending on the game situation. We tried changing our roles too but it didn’t work out (8 players were too many for me to handle!). I have to admit we lose (by close margin) more matches then we win but all the matches are highly enjoyable. And playing mixed doubles is amusing too because your own tactics gets used against you! It’s the only time in the day when I laugh my heads off on Em’s jokes about pathans, on my own stupid mistakes when I am unable to stop a goal or when Em or Auby scores a goal for us:).

It’s been a total pleasure learning and playing foosballs! And day by day, we are getting better and sooner we’ll be able to beat the guys more then they beat us at it;)

P.S. Em came up with the creative acronym ‘f4f – Free for foosballs’ to save time on our chats for play time scheduling!

Immortal lines

Posted: June 9, 2009 in Musings!, Novel World
Tags: , ,

Being a book lover, I am used to remembering and quoting specific lines from novels. Here are just a few that have stuck through ages

  1. My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” (Forrest Gump by Winston Groom)
  2. I’ll make him an offer that he can’t refuse. (The Godfather by Mario Puzo)
  3. The second place is the first loser. (Palm Island by Nelson De Mille)
  4. I sometimes wonder what my life would be had you been alive?
    I would be alive too (The Love Story by Erich Segal)
  5. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy)
  6. Sometimes, the worst thing you can do to a woman is to love her. (Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts)
  7. Of all the ways we’ve come to hurt ourselves, the worst has been through love. (Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts)
  8. 42 – The answer to life,  the universe and everything (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)
  9. Parting is such sweet sorrow. (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)
  10. And now allow me to be geeky at the end with the following quote from Martin Fowler’s book Refactoring: Improving the design of existing code
    Any fool can write code that a computer can understand; Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

P.S. The sentences might not be exact in some cases. I wrote them as I remembered the lines.

It was summer of 2004 marking the beginning of an end to our university life. At last moments, 9/10 of us in the gang decided about going on Pakistan Tour arranged by our dear alma mater FAST. The itinerary included traveling in train from Karachi to Islamabad and then going up to the northern areas. The highlights consists of

  • A day trip to Muree/Patriata
  • Staying in Balakot and visiting Shogran and Sri/Paye from there. (Sri all covered in clouds and remember what we found there;) )
  • Going to Naran Valley (the nestle coffee rocked, the breakfast was amazing and rooms got unlocked?) for seeing the out of the world spectacular Saif ul Malook, camping at night and Lalazar where the greenery was breathtaking beautiful
  • A trip to Swat Valley included stay at Bahrain (room was too good but remember the food we ordered the first night?), visting Mingora and Kalam and Malamjaaba
  • And going to Thandiani which had all shades of green from Abbotabad

The list is not complete as there were many stopovers on the way. And the beauty witnessed can never be described in words (by yours truly at least). The detail of every place we vacationed at is still imprinted in my mind and the fun we had was priceless.

This post isn’t about our trip but more about what I recall from the Swat Valley. It’s heart wrenching to see people forced to migrating within their own country and the area ravaged by war. I remember Naran and Swat were the most developed places among others, the tourists were welcomed, and there was no forcing of wills on others about dressing and covering up. Except for one girl who observed the full hijab (wearing abaya) and 2-3 of us who used to cover our head, remaining ones weren’t observing any sorts of hijab (but not observing hijab doesn’t mean they were improperly dressed). Also, there was no ban on wearing westernized clothes in any part. None of the local people ever tried to comment on how people were dressed up, who was traveling with whom and the likes. These days, all we get to hear apart from the displaced people and the war in Swat is how females are subjugated and children aren’t allowed to go to school. Back then, there was no trouble in paradise and this is how I want to keep my memories about Swat too!

Just sharing a few awesome pictures of Swat found at flickr

A view of mountains in Swat
A view of mountains in Swat
Mankhial Mountains - Crown of Swat Valley

Mankhial Mountains - Crown of Swat Valley

Malam Jabba Resort covered in snow

Malam Jabba Resort covered in snow. The PTDC hotel which was arson can also be seen in the background

Glacier in Kalam

Glacier in Kalam

Anyways, coming to an important point, this week Em and I were discussing how to help the refugees because I didn’t want to give the money to any political, religious party because I am not sure if the funds do reach the intended. He directed me to Jehanara’s post about P@SHA efforts on raising money for the victims. Donations can be made online so it’ll easier for anyone living abroad who wants to contribute. Also, the software houses in Pakistan can also take it one step further as TPS is doing (thanks to Em and his buddies effortsJ ) by asking their employees to donate (if willing) and giving the money to P@SHA.

I hope our smallest gesture of lending help makes a positive difference in their lives. And the war against the insurgents(?) finish soon and accomplishes a constructive end.