Do you remember?

Do you remember,

B028FC76-D47A-4661-B6EC-B9EDDB17A902The breaking of your voice and quivering of your tone each time we talked of goodbyes and letting go,

Do you remember how once you held my hand while calling me your sole strength,

Do you remember how my fingers interlaced yours, palm resting against palm, mingled breathes and two racing hearts , for all what we share and what we hold , Can not I ask you to just stay strong and not afraid anymore, for we belong together if not here perhaps in a world evermore , between the stars and skies azure. -Areesha

#Deadlyhour #Venting #Mentation

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The role of media in today’s arena.

In today’s whirl pool of events, Media plays a crucially important role in the development of the Pakistani society, but the question prevails, is Pakistani media a Lapdog or watch dog? Or is just an illusion of surveillance and awareness in the garb of journalistic reporting.

What is more important is to know that media in today’s arena is like a two-pronged or a two-chambered weapon. The effective reporting, the credential journalistic writing and the portrayal of right data and facticity in content helps society prosper and flourish, whereas, the malady-stricken reporting or the yellow journalism is imperative to only bring about more chaos followed by devastating surge of mayhem.

Aim of media:

There are about several fundamental roles of media, which includes, “creating awareness”, “strengthen the society”, “generate a public opinion”, “Surveillance” and most importantly “supporting democracy”.

It is the pivotal for the media, either be it social media, or print media or electronic media to fulfill its social responsibility of authentic and credible reporting.

The Pakistani media has been enjoying and privileging upon freedom of speech/ freedom of expression for more than a decade or so, after its liberalization back in 2002, many private television channels bloomed in and flourished. Earlier, there was only state run television, but with the advent of media reforms and privatization, a lot has changed, a lot had to change.

According to media theory of uses and gratification, the masses apparently seek media to gratify or manifest their needs. There are five basic needs that the viewer expects the media to cater, a) enhance knowledge, b) relaxation, c)social interactions/companionship and importantly d) diversion, or escape. If the media manifests any of these, the viewership would stay intact or rather increase. Keeping it in mind if you analyze Pakistani media, the trend of Talk shows, morning shows, one hour debate-analyses format programs, soaps, enactments, all of these are based on the cardinal concepts of UST. It wouldn’t be wrong to reckon here that the trend of TRP has also emerged and reared as a result of privatization of media channels and the working agenda of each channel to gratify its audiences humanly instincts or needs.

The media is also known as the mirror to a society. For, it casts the shadow of a society as it really is, its values, core morals, ideologies and motives. It is a matter to be dealt with sheer sensitivity in order to represent a well-portrayed and well-displayed Pakistan’s image on the world forum.

The positive aspects of Pakistani media can surely not be neglected either, the media has played a vital role in creating awareness amongst masses about various fatal ailments and crimes by producing strong public service messages or campaigns like ‘Polio’ , ‘HIV’, ‘Birth control’ , ‘road safety’ etc, also it has created a massive surge of self-awareness or the awareness of personal-individual-rights by producing some apex quality drama serials focusing upon societal issues and such conditions.

The imposed dilemma:

The Pakistani media has played a crucial role in reshaping and rejuvenating the society and its pillars but somewhere between just or fair reporting and excessive practice of Freedom of expression the media somehow seemingly has fallen prey to violations of the national integrity of Pakistani society.  The media channels are performing dysfunctional duties due to a lack of serious gate-keeping, which is a necessity, to filter out any sort of chaos inducing, hysteria constructing or hate mongering data/content.  The media today is more focused upon the element of exaggeration, most commonly known as ‘sensationalism’ in order to attain the so called electronic supremacy and viewer-eyeballs.

The huge media conglomerates seem to be scattered between differences of opinions, they seem to be divided on prominent issues and subject matters, there is a fierce battle or word of war between the channels, telecasting, in form of their various show formats.  Every channel has an agenda, a policy, all the content is based on that very agenda, it seems like today’s media has a personal agenda over national agenda or national interest which why the society seems to be drifted apart, trembling  into chaos and anxiety. In order to cater  ‘the first to inform policy’, most of the times the media fails its audience’s trust, and draws them under the dark hues of malicious content drenched with lies and propaganda. Moreover, an extremist trend in the media can be observed, the channels, the news papers, have extremist views over some or all subject matters, views that are instilled into the masses without focusing on the aftermath of the venomous content onto the society, holistically. The extremist trends are also being adopted in order to gain and then re-gain the TRP’s and viewership, and in a way to do so sensationalism is welcomed with open arms and surely a myopic sight by the Pakistani media.

‘People think how the media wants them to think’.

Noam Chomsky in his book Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media, 1988, immensely focused on how media manufactures public consent or public will through various techniques. He also argued on the effects of media on the functions and roles of democracy. How thoughts and opinions are delicately manufactured and masses are acutely imposed to root for ideas that the media giants or media agencies want, instead of their own.  Also, in this theory, he developed a propaganda model, consisting of five filters. He argues that propaganda is to democracy/ state and its institutions, what cancer is to human body.

If we keep Chomsky’s theory of manufacturing consent in mind, it is not wrong to say that Pakistani media is somewhat trying to manufacture the public consent in the present days, against the most eminent and prestigious institutions of the country, in order to satisfy the elite actors, it is wrecking Pakistan of its national stability and cohesion.

Recommendations:

  • Establishment of self-regulatory mechanism, in order to filter out unauthentic data and improve journalistic reporting standards.
  • Strengthening the investigative reporting cells, in order to add more brevity and authenticity to the content with factual supporting details.
  • Community radios or community channels in order to keep the masses uniform and infuse a sense of oneness; this would help eradicate the terror-inducing factors.
  • Landing rights to channels of different countries must be given after detailed analysis or the possible aftermaths on the Pakistani masses. For Eg, Afghan channels, Turkish channels, Indian channels.
  • There must be an element of financial fine on the channel producing propaganda against state intuition or any malicious content misleading the masses, so that the journalistic reporting can be brought back to its sole duty of truth bearing.
  • The government must give the journalist some sort of security when reporting in a difficult area, so that the journalist stays true to its duty and no botheration is experienced in free flow of data. Sense of ownership is important when it comes to channeling the loyalties.
  • The backward or far flung areas are to be given proper right to be heard. This would prevent sense of deprivation and reduce chaos.
  • The media must work its way and come to the terms with the state and its intuitions, with the mutual co-operation the goal of national stability can’t be manifested.

Fighting the Non-productivity in life.

Human mind is like a sea without shores, at times it will wholeheartedly swallow whatever you throw in it but then there are times when it rejects to absorb anything and everything , no matter what treasure you throw in it, it’ll spill it out like a giant angry beast.

Just like that, there are days of non-productivity and infertility to every individual, even writers, too.  Every once in a while the harsh winds of helplessness and the surge of uselessness mushrooms in.  This momentary lapse doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of manifesting your ambitions or that you’re useless. The whole process of feeling non-productive and clumsy is natural and can be all beneficial if we take it in the right way by holding onto the passion and honing our skills. Writing is a process of venting and pouring out all that resides within you. It is a play on words and meanings that inhabit between the cascades of sentences.

Writers ought to fight non-productivity days with avid reading. Reading all genre may help in bringing clarity of ideas. Visiting new places or short trips to up north can also help heal this agonizing time. Watching movies or telefilms are also helpful in quenching the thirst for a new idea or developing better understanding of already prevailing societal aspects.

Doesn’t matter what you do or what capabilities you house, in days as dire as the days of non-productivity always remember that you are capable of achieving all you desire despite the impediments being thrown at your face, if only you stay true to yourself and the abilities that you are bestowed with. Always remember the purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace.

The Sound of the Silenced world.

“If a tree falls in the forest when no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

If I scream in the silence, will anyone be around to hear it?”

I think of it as I sit there in the waiting room for my dentist’s appointment. Tossing the phone between my hands, succumbing to the surge of rising unrest until the door knocks and I am informed, it was my turn.

Going to the dentist’s and waiting in the ‘waiting room’ has always been my favorite part, I would usually find myself seeking out for human interactions. The scene of five to six women, sitting around a well carved wooden table covered with magazines and scattered newspapers, a spherical clock that hung on the top of the door fringe that seemed dull of life but savior of all those women who sit there and eye it in utter awe with the hope of being called any minute for the appointment. Interestingly, all of them craved human interaction as much as I did, for making an escape from the tiresome wait but none would make the first move and would delve into their mobile screens or would plug in the hand free, instead. Frown on the face too obvious to be noticed and the eyes reeling a little left and a little right in order to see what the next person is onto. I would often observe and laugh over this occurrence. On each appointment I experienced almost the same scenario but just with different women,every time. For numerous times I planned to make the first move in conversing but each time I would find myself carrying a book along or staring at my blank phone-screen, probably emanating a different vibe of ignorance or introverted or maybe just not interested, to others, reason why we don’t interact with each other on such public gatherings, anymore? Our gestures and body language plays as the agents of limiting our social circle and defining our definition of social reality.

What changed my conventionally knitted ideas of human bonding and initiative of interaction was the sight of vulnerability covered with instant happiness. It was my last follow-up appointment and maybe the last time to experience the air of a dentist’s waiting room. I entered the waiting room, this time with no phone in hand or cradling any book in my arm. I sat on one of the well cushioned chairs, after about 15 minutes an elderly woman came in finding a place right beside me. Without actually planning an interaction beforehand or without thinking about the age gap in-between she started talking to me. We exchanged some sentences, traded some words till I could feel the other women taking interest in what we were talking, smiling at us as an attempt to be a part of our communication, vulnerable to be a part of a social interaction. Within few minutes the waiting room was full of chatters and giggles ranging from high pitched to low pitched voices. Nobody cared who initiated, all wanted to join in. I realized it wasn’t any sort of special interaction or it wasn’t a debate over some particular topic but simple daily chores related discussion that had us all absorbed in glee and immersed by the sense of being full, complete and being socially heard.

We all experience such realizations every now and then that we don’t take heed on. These realizations aren’t just your social fears laced with insecurities but your soul striving for communication. We live in haphazard of 21st century, where a man’s best ornament is his branded gadgets and maybe the only companion, as well. We run a race against our natural instincts for material luring.The reason why we find ourselves alone and detached for all the days we are to live. We’ve build a set pattern to follow, a set of external criteria to live our life according to underlying a hard set of rules to follow in communication, too, Just like animals, humans have deep impulses as well . But unlike animals, humans give up on their impulses following these external set criteria’s and strident rules. Discovering these impulses and their process of manifestation is discovering the long forgotten self. Just like that, naturally, since birth we cater a strong impulse for communication and interaction but by involving external patterns and criteria’s we call forth self-harm and under nourishment of our personality which resultin a struggle to acquire more knowledge that would calm the upheaval within, we only expand the horizons of the unknown, creating a vertigo.

What if the water that you are in love with drowns you to the core, what if the wind that you are in love with succumbs you and cripples you in its own grip, what if the Fire that you are in love with burns you into scraps of dusts and ashes, not everything is to be loved, not everything will love you back.. -Areesha11188249_901698466538522_3744757960385479178_n

Blog Post- Pakistan Army’s 81st PMA long course get together!

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Glee is in the Air

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A group photo of officers and families, Chinar golf club,Murree.

 

Iridescent clouds impending down to the lush greens of Chinnar Golf club, Murree. Where the sun tip the light fantastic toe up above in the skies azure at the sight of comrades uniting on the land below.

On 4th October, the 81st PMA Long course gathered en masse at the magnanimous hills of Murree.

It is said that reunions are not merely an act of coming together or meeting again but it is a way of re-gaining strength and re-living glories that the camaraderie’s have experienced together.  How simple it seems and yet how ennobling and powerful it is.

The course get together began with warm exchange of cordial greetings between the officers and their families at Chinar golf club, Murree.  The roaring laughter’s of these comrades over the narration of events down the memory lane reverberated the air. Eyes moist from the adrenaline rushing in blood, experiencing the emotions of commitment and loyalty that they had pledged to this land decades ago, once in full glory of their youth and juvenility, with courage clamoring inside their hearts and chest fostering valor and determination.  Even after all these years of service and togetherness, a lot might have changed, a lot had to change, the years have passed and so have the days of youth but what stayed constant is the love for country and the utmost desire to serve the motherland thumping fiercely in the hearts of these brave men.

Whereas, alongside the lady wives sipped on hot tea busy in their chitter chatter, catering discussions on all aspects of life, let it be domestic, practical, educational, fashion or even how to kill termite. There is a reason why in military the wives are said to be a rank further then their husbands and maybe that is because they are the all-rounder, from mastering kitchen utensils to managing entire house and the kids with husbands gone to the zones unknown.

 

The event was divided into two parts, in the first part there were numerous games, some of them were played by the lady wives and the husbands and some were for the children and young boys and girls. There were games like “know your spouse better” in which the questions were asked and the answers by the couples were amassed and then matched, also games like “basketball”, musical chairs etc. were played.

The grownups were as joyous and gleeful as kids. Whereas, the kids were in full swing of fun and thrill. They played games like tug of war, musical chairs, races, basketball, poem and singing competitions harboring the true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship.

Moreover, the sketching competition under the theme of “comradeship and nationalism” outweighed all other activities. The kids tried with all their might and mental capability to narrate the meaning of the terms mentioned above with the pencil strokes, beautifully joining the dots of comradeship and nationalism that their fathers weaved.

Gifts and awards were also presented to the high achiever kids, both in academics and co-curricular activities to boost the confidence of these young leaders.

Also the awards were distributed amongst the officers for their philanthropic services.

As the sun dropped low, everybody got ready to take a position for the group picture. The 81st family gathered in half circles chanting slogans of the course. With each chant the hearts uniformly throbbed and the voices merged into a melodious warble. In that moment, I realized that these are the precious moments, irrespective of age and time, each one of us would house in our memories for years to come. That these are the bonds we’ve earned and not even the ravages of times would be able enough to tear this family apart. Even after a decade or two from now, we would still be standing tall and together, for now and forevermore.

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