Sunday, July 31, 2011

Waiting for that rain

Well, I live in Karachi (Pakistan) and that explains the title. We don't experience much rainfall even though we are ONE BIG COASTAL CITY. Gah! This post is not really about waiting for rain. I am going to tell you what happened this summer.


June 12th - 16th: Exams Over - Friends' Departure
Who are we?
Me and some of my school friends and their friends.
Intro
I didn't come home for 5 days after my exams because two of my friends decided to leave for Canada a week after our exams - yes! they could not enjoy summer vacations here with all their friends and all.
What did we do?
We spent the day watching movies, driving around the city in search of something to do, eating and mostly slacking off. At night we would decide to watch another movie or two while munching on cookies and chips and whatever we found in the kitchen. 
Rocks
On June 15th we went to the restaurants at the corniche because that is one place where we all believe to have found some inner piece, self-guidance, direction, achieved satisfaction. We loved looking at the sea together, playing slow folk/country music and speaking our hearts out to eachother. Sometimes we would walk along the sea listening to it, roaring. Sometimes water would splash and wet our faces. We always went there at night, in the dark, under the moon. It was relaxing for some reason. Driving back from there was always quiet. Nostalgic, everyone, each time. One of us would break the silence by saying something random, uttering a random thought or tell us something about his childhood or family or something, it was always random. That night was the same, just that it was our last night together over there and we were more sad than nostalgic. We achieved the same sense of peace that night. Next day one friend was gone, a week later the other one. We decided to stay in contact as long as time and life allows us to be.


July 18th - 22nd: Polio Immunization Drive
What is a polio immunization drive?
It is an activity in which volunteers go door-to-door immunizing children from polio. We usually conduct these drives in slum areas of the city where health care facilities are not really available.
How? Why? Who? Why me?
How - The Government of Pakistan announces National Immunization Days (NIDs) and we hold this activity in those days. We get these vaccines from UNICEF and we train the volunteers at a hospital. Town Health Officers (THO), World Health Organization (WHO) and our team's cluster checks ensure efficiency of the work.
Why - (Information extracted from WHO website) Polio does still exist, although polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated more than 350 000 cases to 1997 reported cases in 2006. This reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease. Today, only four countries in the world remain polio-endemic (India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan).
Despite the progress achieved since 1988, as long as a single child remains infected with poliovirus, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease. The poliovirus can easily be imported into a polio-free country and can spread rapidly amongst unimmunized populations.
There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.

Who - On a miraculous day I would love to read 'all of us, the whole country' over here but for now it was organized by Rotary International and Rotaract Club of Karachi Cosmopolitan took the lead. Two other Rotaract Clubs partook in the drive, however, the larger pool of volunteers were our friends.
Why me - I went for it because it was my responsibility as mentioned in the extract above and it was my duty as the Director of Community Services for Rotaract Club of Karachi Cosmopolitan.
The usual three day long drive + two
Usually polio immunization drives are three day long because that is how long it takes to cover an area and re-sweep it for missed children, however, this time the area was MASSIVE. We worked from 9 am till 4 pm and managed to immunize over 2500 houses. A total of 52 volunteers showed up with varying numbers in these five days. 
Appreciation Ceremony
We held the appreciation ceremony on July 22nd at Pizza Hut. We ate and drank first, and then certificates with pens, shirts and caps were given to all the volunteers. We'll be receiving letters of recognition from the Government too. After this the 'boys' went for tea and talk about future projects and stuff.


-I dont have pictures from the immunization drives but...


Me and Furree Katt (I look an absolute retard but that's what happens after a five-day immunization drive)


Receiving certificate and 'goodies' and acting retarded.


Om nom nom


July 23rd: Trip to Hyderabad
Why?
Another Rotary event. It was a district installation ceremony and we had to be there.
The Actual Plan
I was told that there are thirteen people (including me) going in the van which will leave at 4 30 pm because the ceremony will start at 7 30 pm and it is a 2 hour long drive, so we'll be there in time. The ceremony was to end at 9 30 pm and as such we would've been home by 
midnight.
What Actually Happened
-Out of the thirteen people only four (including me) were actually from Karachi, others were from interior Sindh.
-We left at 4 30 but we were driving around the city till 6 trying to find five of those guys.
-We reached there at 8 30 pm or something
-The ceremony had not started yet. It started 20 minutes before it was supposed to end.
-We were stuck there till 11 30 pm because they had started this 'concert' in which this fat old woman was singing Indian songs and these people from interior Sindh decided to dance on those songs.
-At 11 40 pm I managed to drag them out of there only to find out that they have convinced the driver to take them for ice cream. I tried explaining to them that ice cream in Karachi is way much better than what they'll find there but well, couldn't do much about it. It took them 40 minutes to buy and consume it.
-We left Hyderabad at 12 40 am and around 2 am our van driver got hungry and stopped the van only to spend another half an hour to eat. I never understood why he refused to eat at the ceremony when we invited him, the food was bad but not that bad. And he hadn't tasted it at all. 
-At 3 15 am we finally reached Karachi and I was home 15 minutes later. 


I decided that day to never travel with anyone who belongs to interior Sindh. Asking them to stop dancing and leave was as if I have abused their god. They got aggressive and they took revenge. For they played these songs on our way back home, they played these songs repeatedly for 3 hours.






And when they realized this crap has put us to sleep, they played this song on full volume.




July 27th: The Acting Wheel
The Day Begins
The Day began with me going to Trump Card's house with another friend. Once there we were checking out different gadgets and stuff on Youtube. Stuff like this:


Wing Suit demo by Jeb Corliss

Later we went for lunch and then to a mall check some books and then to a park. For some reason we became five year old kids over there and started playing around on swings and stuff. After this we left to pick another friend and then go to The Second Floor, a place for people interested in literature, arts and music. Groups of students go there to study or talk or something.
What was I doing over there?
I went there for this event called '11th Act Up' organized by The Acting Wheel, a drama club. They don't work with scripts, they just start performing. Improvisational acting. However, one I was there I got busy with three things.
1. Friends who were there with me for this event.
2. The moment I entered T2F (The Second Floor) I got a call from my Club's member to come at T2F to discuss socials for 'Speak Up! 2011', so I was doing that with them as well.
3. Some of my friends have been jamming for some time and they have formed a band, Quasars, and they wanted to perform there so I talked to the Acting Wheel people and got them in, so I got busy with that as well.
11th Act Up
I developed stage-fright in the early days of my school life. Acting was never my thing. It changed that day. I actually participated in their acting games because anyone could and somehow managed to do really good, as my friends and the Acting Wheel people said.
Quasars got a chance to sing two songs and people enjoyed them and started dancing there. This was their first public performance ever. 

In a game against one of Acting Wheel's lead

Quasars performing 'Lazy Song by Bruno Mars' and 'Rolling in the Deep by Adele'

Well, that's it for now. Catch you later, hopefully soon.
BYE!


Monday, July 4, 2011

'Ello

Hello People! I know I should have posted when I said I'd post but some things came up. These things are commonly known as fainéancy and apathy. Well, here I am.

16 30 Monday, June 27th 2011: I entered this local university to give their entry test. I wondered if I will pass the test, 2 hours later I had decided never to join that university.
Reason: The exam paper seemed to have been made by an elementary school kid. It had spelling mistakes, it provided wrong information and it was stupid.
Example: Economics and Social Sciences (Multiple Choice Questions)
Q. Halwa and paratha are traditional food items. They have a cross price elasticity of +0.8. What are Halwa and Paratha?
a. Halwa and Paratha are good friends
b. Halwa and Paratha are supplements
c. Halwa and Paratha are substitutes
d. Halwa and Paratha are compliments (they made this spelling mistake)
e. Halwa and Paratha are none of the above.

P.S. I passed their test and I have an interview on July 7th. I'm going.

x.............................................................................................................x

Three things I have learnt in the past few days:

1. Never go to a friend's BBQ if you do not know EVERYBODY over there
2. Never agree to become an umpire in an UNDER-17 cricket tournament
3. Never leave house without plenty of money in your pocket

x.............................................................................................................x

A friend committed suicide last week. The video is in bad quality and you will have to tilt your head 90 degrees clockwise.


Luckily there was a platform on the other side. *Phew*