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Unrelenting optimism

Published Nov 05, 2010 12:15pm


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I am proud to announce that I have solved all of our nation’s problems. We do not need to end corruption, inflation, the energy deficit, injustice, unemployment or even street protests; we need to change ourselves and establish a life code of  'Unrelenting Optimism.’

According to this code, we should always rejoice, even if it requires making up facts. Our problem is that we just love to complain. No matter how good life is, we just complain. I think it has turned into an Olympic sport for us, Pakistanis. We need to open our eyes and realise that everything is actually great. Life is beautiful.

You know how every so often people come out on the street to ‘protest’ something? Now, that my dear readers, is a popular misconception. These people are not actually rioting on the streets and they aren’t wreaking havoc – they are, in fact, throwing a huge street party where everyone in the neighbourhood is invited. More like Eid than Tiananmen Square. Those cars and vehicles are being burned so that everyone can have a bonfire where they can roast marshmallows and tikkas! You have to admit, there is nothing more festive than bonfires across the city. How often is that you get to see the entire neighborhood out and about?

What about inflation, you ask? Inflation is actually just the farmers’ way of trying to make the entire population health-conscious. After all, sugar, meat and dairy products are not very good when consumed in large quantities. The higher the prices, the less food a person consumes, the thinner they get and hence, a healthier (and of course, better looking) population! In actuality, this is a dieting-drive across the country!

Some like to whine about unemployment and how too many people are currently jobless. Now that is certainly misleading. Unemployment is not the problem. You have to see the positive side to this: it just means that these jobless people now have more time to spend with their families and 'find themselves.’

The energy deficit doesn't mean that we should live in the dark. Power outages actually promote and strengthen the candle-manufacturing and generator industry. With no electricity, we do not spend precious hours of our lives by watching TV or browsing the internet; we learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. Like a starry night or a candle-lit dinner.

Now many may mistake the relationship our nation has with our international friends, aka the goras whom we affectionately call Obama, which is funny because he's not gora, but we are too polite to say anything. Contrary to popular misconception, we're actually the best of friends. If that was not the case, they wouldn’t lend us money every so often, even though we never actually pay them back. Heck, they even protect our borders for us! Such silly news anchors we have, what more can one ask for in a friend?

Many people (conspiracy-driven foreigners, I'll bet), believe that Pakistan lacks a proper justice system. I say that they are wrong. You see, we do not have a functional justice system that actually settles cases because the powers that be have immense faith in the people of Pakistan to resolve our own problems. So what if sometimes it allegedly gets out of hands?

What of government over spending? You see, every once in a while, the leading economic powers across the world date a girl named Prudence, but since it is not a Muslim name, we decided that it is in the best interest of the nation to shy away from her and over spend. Just so that she doesn't get the idea that we are open to temptation. Besides, why should a perfect Islamic state, follow the fiscal example of the rest of the world? Sheer lunacy. Besides, the more we spend now, the harder our children will have to work in paying off our debt, and we as a society want nothing more for our future generations than to develop a strong work ethic!

While others may share a different, less-enjoyable reality, the world is actually a much better place when looked at from a different angle. Those who choose to look at it differently, find joy even when the circumstances don't justify them. Anyone can be happy when things are going according to plan, but to be happy when nothing works in your favour – now that requires talent. And of course, unrelenting optimism.

Murtaza Ali Jafri is a Karachi-based banking professional and blogger. He believes in free markets and freedom, and wishes men could get more of the latter.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (22) Closed

anuj Nov 08, 2010 10:07am
change starts with me. I like the idea that if i am an optimist, and not a persistent negative whiner, one can find a laugh in all shdes of grey. thanks , it was a satirical piece, but the message was not all bad. They say a nation which can laugh at itself can succeed because it can find a way out of that quagmire too.
Sameer Nov 08, 2010 07:24am
Nice article, but this shows desperation over unabality to change the things. If one is not able to change but have to try to change or at least don't say that everything is ok. For a sensetive person it is not easy to rmain happy when people around hime/her are in misery. We need to contribute to a change for the better, even it is said "khuda us quom ki takdeer nahi badalta jo khudh apni taqdeer nahi badalna cahte"
sana Nov 08, 2010 05:31am
I agree - its sounds condescending, hurtful and insensitive. Some things can not be made fun of , such as human plight and misery as well as the struggle to end it,
Shayna Newlin Nov 13, 2010 08:03am
Sometimes I just think that people write and dont really have much to say. Not so here
Mudassar Ali Nov 08, 2010 04:09am
"an attempt to live in fool
Maddy Nov 08, 2010 04:10am
A good satire indeed but I would take it a nook further. You are right when you say that STOP COMPLAINING. Couldn't agree more, but, keeping aside the politicians, can't we do our part with deliberation? small petty things (for us) which are our duty and literally can rejoice someone? Sadly, we are hypocrites. When we are shed away with something we like, we complain not knowing what we did to others or for that matter still doing. My meek petition to everyone here is to start correcting oneself before complaining. Moreover since life is unfair, try to enjoy the good things in life no matter how little they are.
Aamir Nov 07, 2010 09:34pm
We can face our problems and fight hard to overcome them with unrelenting optimism. That is all I like to say.. I didnt like the previous blog by you and I sure didnt like this one either.. didnt find it funny at all
Dr iftikhar Nov 07, 2010 08:14pm
Great man!
imran Nov 07, 2010 01:43pm
an attempt to live in fool's paradise. regards imran
Mehreen Nov 07, 2010 08:42am
It is very refreshing to read a humorous perspective on serious issues, such as hunger, political corruption, energy crisis etc. This stance makes one sit up and notice these issues. Unrelenting Optimism is a refreshing way of facing these issues as well, but can one really hope to change the situation with this approach? I think somethings should remain serious.
Sarah B. Haider Nov 06, 2010 04:31pm
Nice write-up!
Faheem Nov 06, 2010 10:07am
Great article..the beauty of write up is in the humor with great sense of realization of the harsh facts of life..I love the way u have present the unemlpoyment, corruption, povery crisis..
Aysh Nov 05, 2010 09:06am
Your humor just sounds condescending and can be termed another 'complain' - entertaining but nevertheless a complain. Dawn when you moderate please do not change my English - I am a non-Pakistani having grown up and studied in 3 English speaking countries so I assure you my English is great. It was highly embarrassing when in the recent live blog for Aisam Quereshi you'll shifted my words around for some inane reason and the questions just sounded plain horrible.
Tahir Naseer Nov 05, 2010 08:55am
Nicely written. What about the actions which should complement the discussed unrelenting optimism?
Cautious Nov 05, 2010 10:30pm
Good one budddy
Neel Nov 05, 2010 01:13pm
Vikas Nov 05, 2010 02:39pm
To Aysh: Just because you grew up in english speaking countries makes you think that you have superior command over the language? Check your last sentence, I suspect you missed school when they were teaching grammar, keep your non Pakistani identity away from a Pakistani blog.
Yazeed Saeed Nov 06, 2010 08:40pm
It is like saying get rid of poverty and poors, by making everything expensive. Looking at life from different angle does not change reality.
moaz Nov 05, 2010 12:39pm
yes its quite right sir.... the life is all about percieving. or u think.conditions follows ur thinking.
Peter Nov 06, 2010 11:51am
Well said!!!
tabassum Nov 05, 2010 06:27pm
nice one, exactly what v need to survive the doomed present and future of our country and the world in general, optimism
anis Nov 05, 2010 07:29pm
Bravo! Atleast some people in the land of the pure still have a sense of humour! Satire is a must if we have to survive in trying times........unfortunately, not many people appreciate the value and worth of this commodity.....when we are the ones who need it desperately.