When I talked about reckless driving and uncivilized behaviour, I had either not observed or thought about the trend setters. Recently, many new government (read democratic) vehicles have popped up on the roads of Karachi that have assumed the role of road warriors. They can overtake you from the left, disobey any signal or speed limit, press horn as long as they wish to, may even block your car or engage themselves in a one-sdied road tussle with you. This can be irrespective of the presence of a family, pregnant women, senior citizens or kids inside the other non-government vehicle. Mostly, the driving seat is either occupied by chauffer or a young man apparantly not old enough to hold a high enough governmental post to be eligible for a high-end vehicle.
Since we follow democracy and have a people’s elected government, therefore those who elect follow suit with the elected. Natural and justified.
Thanks to Ammar (teabreak.pk; http://www.ammaryasir.com/), I was fortunate to attend the First National Bloogers Conference in Pakistan today in Regent Plaza, Karachi. The anchor of the program (unable to recall his name right now) informed us that this was the first of its kind not only in Pakistan but also across South East Asai & Middle East.
The dignitaries at the conference included Mr. Raza Haroon (IT Minister for SIndh), Ardeshir Cowasjee (out from his bed probably, had the guts to wear shorts at a formal public gathering), Dr. Farooq Sattar (Federal Minister), Jehan Ara (http://jehanara.wordpress.com/; President P@SHA, a loveable, graceful personality – also a prominent Pakistani blogger jehanara.wordpress.com), Rabia Gharib (a very talented and active media personlity) and of course me, a blogging newbie.
The session overall, although less interactive and more prose, was interesting and informative and worth attending. Infact, it was one of those “Don’t miss it kinda events”. Sessions about social media (by Ramla), photo blogging and blogging in Urdu very particularly interesting.
I had the opportunity to talk to Raza Haroon at High Tea where he emphasized that he was surprised not to have recieved any one from the IT industry since he took office one year ago. Raza SB, probably more encouragement is sought from the government to be convinced enough to reach your office for suggestions and feedback. This however was an excellent initiative by the Government of Pakistan and could not have been more well timed. Well timed because bloggers have the power to safegaurd and potray the right image of Pakistan. To avoid the damage being done to its reputation by foreign parasites and cancerous elements from within the society.
As Farooq Sattar said, “Say No to Taliban and say Yes to Pakistan.””
The plane landed 15 minutes before time. After going through the long queue of immigration, we had an ctive clearance session. The black fat lady with a coarse voice at the counter had some reservations about the company marketing stuff that passengers attending the e-banking conference were carrying. She tried to tell me something in Benagli and then said “Take it there!”, pointing to some distant place away from the exit door.
I thought she was stupid. We were supposed to leave the airport through exit, so I just picked my luggage and walked away. She did nothing. Probably seeing us off was not part of her duty. Those who walked in the direction of her finger later realized that she was not actually using her index. It took them 3-5 hours to understand that. Those stuck at the airport with their luggage couldn’t really explain to the customs people the need for banners, brochures and giveaways in a conference. I would recommend the airport authorities to have an intro class on events from me or on common sense by anyone sensible.
There are two exit terminals at Zia Airport. One to exit from the airport, the other to confuse people. Those who arrive and those who come to pick the arrived. I used a taxi driver’s phone, who seemd really courtesous and forcefully gave his mobile in my hand, to call my partner who was waiting for me on other terminal. After the call, the taxi driver all of a sudden knew english and asked me for 20 Tk for the local call, or probably cell phone rent for 60 seconds. Very Expensive.
Welcome to Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh!
A white blond guy with blue eyes, accompanied by a wheatish fellow walked into my office last year in April. They turned out to be students of computer engineering at NED University Karachi. We talked for about 2 hours and by the time our session ended, we had finalized a sponsoship deal for an annual all-Pakistan competiton encompassing different areas of computer science. Those students, Omair Feroz Sheikh and Arsal were later to become very good acquaintances of mine.
Having an experience of managing more than 200 different events, I was able to guide them through the event execution process. Complimenting my expertise were the intellect and eagerness of the students who picked up quickly. The result was a very smooth and flawless event.
One year later, the new team of the event approached me and after a short-lived communication, we decided to go with another similar event parallel to the former held by another department of the same univeristy, while politely refusing the former. The team offered no discussions then.
Days passed until a collegue of mine reported the team badmouthing us for not sponsoring them at some other gathering. They also demanded my company to give explanations for refusal. This reaction was the least I could expect from decent, learned students!
Is that the way a responsible team should behave? Instead of developing cordial relations with the industry, they are whipping the reputation with misguided remarks. Probably the university shall look into what communication ethics their students are catching up.
While I was driving back home from office yesterday, I saw an ambulance trying to make its way through the heavy 7:00 p.m. traffic on Shahra-e-Faisal. The glasses of the ambulance were untinted so anyone within 10 metres distance could easily see that there was an apparantly critical patient with oxygen mask and lots of other wires attached to the his body.
It was shoking to see some drivers not only not giving way to the ambulance, but also trying to steal the ambulance of any space being created. There were a couple of drivers who tailed the ambulance so that they could move fast out of the traffic! Probably civilians have been mutated to be barbarians now who understands the pain only when they get hurt themselves
After attending a couple of international exhibitions in a row, the picture to me isn’t as gllomy as it appears. Despite recession, economic meltdown and lay-offs, banks are still leveraging technology to offer continually cometitive products to their customers.