“The bad, icky and stinky things that happen sometimes should never be allowed to have an adverse effect over the good, lovely and beautiful things happening everyday.”
Though I am not an avid reader, but I have always found it irresistible to visit a book fair or a literary event. One of the best things happening to Karachi every year is Karachi Literature Festival, and this year it was followed by Children’s Literature Festival. I could not attend KLF, but resolved not to miss CLF, in particular because I had to take my kids there too. The Children’s Literature Festival was jointly organized by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Oxford University Press (OUP), Open Society Foundations (OUP) and Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI), and to them goes a huge applause. Events like CLF provide opportunities to the kids to read and write, to listen to their favourite books being read and sung aloud, to listen to their favourite stories told by famous writers/story-tellers, to read their own writings to an audience, to attend sessions in their mother tongue, to watch theater and puppet shows, and other activities related to reading.
I had told my kids that though there won’t be any roller-coaster or merry-go-round rides, but they would still have good time with story-listening, creative activities and other performances. They were excited to go. The festival was scheduled to start at 0930hrs, but we reached at 1100hrs, one and a half hour late. Just upon our entry into the Arts Council I was asked to get registered and was handed down a booklet which listed the events of the day. Since there were at least five different sessions happening at the same time at different venues I had to choose the ones I thought were better.
We started off with a visit to an indoor camp called “Harry Putter Corner”. We could see newspaper clippings and comic strips on the walls. The camp was being run by Laajverd. The activists explained their project “Bacha (Kids) Bulletin” to the kids and got them involved in thinking about a real-life event and coming up with a way to report that event.
Then we headed towards a workshop on Innovative Methods of Teachings. The presenter was best at keeping his audience engaged. This was followed by our visit to an outdoor camp where the kids were having great time with paints and brushes. But by the time we got there, the piece of cloth was already filled with colors.
Next stop was a big white board where the kids had to write anything they wanted to.
Then we walked towards the courtyard where there were a number of bookstalls selling all the kids stuff. Sliding through the crowd, we arrived at an open theater where an interactive music session was being conducted. By the time we reached, the session was in its last 10 minutes.
Afterwards, we went all the way to a booth set up by Habib Bank Limited to promote its product called “Money Club” which was aimed at encouraging the children to save money by opening a bank account. This seemed to be the most-thronged booth as the kids were required to play an interactive money-saving game, make a score and win a freebie.
Next was the storytelling session conducted by Ufone-fame artist Adeel Hashmi. He conducted the session quite successfully. The kids enjoyed a lot. And finally I was asked by my kids if he was the same person they see on TV.
Finally, the kids told me that they were tired and wanted to go home. I told them there was one other event that I wanted to take them to. If they didn’t like it in the start, then we’d surely leave. They said ok. We reached an auditorium where a play “Alibaba Chalees Chor (40 thieves)” was going to be performed. As it turned out, the kids enjoyed the play till “The End”.
And we left happily afterwards.
Some random thoughts put as status on my Facebook during the year 2013.
1. One of the hardest things in our society is to get a 500 change.
2. Smartphone screens keep telling us how dirtier our hands are.
3. Oxygen is combination of two atoms chemically bonded to each other, and is necessary for breathing. If we add 3rd atom it will become Ozone layer which saves us from extreme heat of the Sun. However, if we add 4th atom called “tea” (a.k.a Chai or Chaanh) a Teaxygen is born which forms the basis, the reason, the foundations of our existence.
4. From what I have read and heard, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not abuse a single woman, in any way, in his entire life. Then how can we, the followers of such a Great Personality, endorse and allow the abuse of women in any way anywhere? [ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women ]
5. It’s a calm weekend out there.
6. If you don’t watch TV, you are uninformed. But if you watch TV, you are misinformed.
7. Very very very very difficult very very difficult to change oneself.
8. God bless everyone who has ever served me a cup of tea. . .ever!
9. We are all drunk.
10. Assumptions, sometimes, keep you in a better state of mind.
11. Life is a wonderful mystery.
12. “Tea”. The most soothing word.
13. Love is a perfect drug.
14. That moment when you forget what day it is and look at the calendar.
15. Summerheat: Season 2013: Episode 9
16. Dear Users, Please stop pretending here that you have the BEST job in the world and that you are the HAPPIEST worker in the whole universe and that NO ONE ELSE has as better a job as you have. Regards, #Facebook
17. Your life is result of your reactions…keep calm n have tea.
18. Some voices are just echoes.
19. Truth, my dear, truth.
20. There is always a Tea at the end of the day.
21. Everyone is in hurry, especially while getting out of the mosques.
22. Thinking that facebook statuses will make any socio-politico-religious difference. How cute!
23. Thank God there is nothing that won’t let me sleep, except my kids.
24. All I need is ataraxis and coffee.
25. Orange and Black are the colors of the Day
26. There are only Two Seasons in Pakistan. 1. Winter 2. Mangoes.
27. The more I read the more I realize how little I knew.
28. Yaar I support government’s decision to increase tax on mobile use… moretalktime at lesser cost made people talk uselessly and endlessly. tsk tsk!
29. Men are same…and women are literally the same.
30. Dear Summer, Please. Regards, People
31. Coffee is a vitamin and tea is a calcium.
32. A thousand things happen in a single day.
33. Life’d have been li’l less wonderful without music.
34. It’s only a cup of tea that keeps our hopes and faith in life afloat.
35. Think twice before trusting a person, specifically a politician, who uses religion to win your favors.
36. May God lead us on the Left path. Amen!
37. One of the reasons for our underdevelopment is that we take the road most travelled by.
38. In fact, the most amazing, wonderful and beautiful thing at ANY moment is…a cup of tea!
39. Faith. Hope. Life.
40. Seriously, PTV-only era was much much better than today’s sick-media era!
41. Science always brings a person of faith nearer to God.
42. My Dear Children, Unless you change yourselves, I’m going to remain the same. Regards, Motherland Pakistan
43. Dear User, If you ever feel angry, DON’T put the status just to get comments ‘what happened’, ‘everything all right?’, ‘Are you ok?’ etc. Get the fuck out in real world and vomit the shit out at real people. Sincerely, #Facebook
44. In winter we live…otherwise we merely exist.
45. This whole world needs a vacation.
46. Do what makes you happy…even if it irritates others.
47. Dear World, How about a nice cup of love n peace?
48. Let people talk and you will know the length of their hypocrisy.
49. 23rd March 1931: Bhagat Singh gave his life along with his comrades for Freedom from British Rule. 23rd March 1940: Resolution passed for a separate Muslim State. 23rd March 2013: People of India & Pakistan still fighting for Justice, Quality Education, Equality, Security and Freedom from Corruption.
50. Tea is a lovely drug.
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Isaac Asimov