Friday, July 22, 2005

Why does not the world not rot in hell?

Does it seem I live in a world where headlines don’t bother me at all? That’s why I cared not writing even a word on the London blasts? Or the Ghotki disaster? Or the earthquake that jolted the city but was not enough to get itself registered on my scale? Or the Harry Potter mania? Or His Doggyship PM’s speech to the nation last night? I do blog. Mentally I am blogging all the time. And that is when I don’t even have to pause for a minute and check if my fingers are fast enough in transferring words and thoughts onto the screen. So. I blog. Regularly. Sometimes as much as six times a day. Or three times in half an hour. But tangibility escapes them all. But I am sure all my blogs are great. In fact, I believe that the blogs I have not blogged yet have to be the best and best saved for my own self. It does not really matter whether or not I can recall them at will. See. That is what I meant. The moment I sit down with intentions to actullay commit words to a proper readable blog entry, it’s only nonsense that manages to escape the grey recesses of my mind. My mind has a mind of its own and mins everyone else’s business but its own.
So.
There was this pic I came across in the papers a day or two after Potter mania made headlines. It reminded me of another pic I was stupid enough not to save. But more on that later (or not).


These Bangladeshi street vendors are seen in this pic by AFP Photos, peddling copies of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The quality was grainy even in print and there was no mention if it was the original high priced edition or the pirated, cheap version. Somehow I doubt if street vendors would be selling the original version. That has to be found in air conditioned, swanky bookshops. Where pre-ordering options were available. Salesmen all but bowed to your purchasing might. Offered discounts on purchase of merchandise on credit cards. And the kids (or adults) lining up to get their hands on a copy of HBP would’ve probably come to the bookshop in a chauffer driven air conditioned car.
So. The book(s) in this pic has to be pirated version. I wonder if the kid peddling this had an idea of what he held in his hands.A publishing phenomenon? What was on his mind? To sell the stupid heavy book off - wondering why anyone would want to way that much money for some cheap paper instead of buying some food - and get some money to take home? I wonder if these kids could read at all. I wonder if they were caught in the jubilation that heralded the release of this book. I wonder if they were happy only because it meant more demand for the cheap version and hence some more money in their pockets. I wonder how they may spend the money they earn from such book sales. I wonder if they go home and tell their parents how some stupid girls and boys had gone ga ga over a cheap print book and bought multiple copies of. I wonder if they talk to their parents at all. If their parents are alive and concerned of what their kids are upto.
Sometimes these disparities just get to me. And I want to quit everything. It is not fair that one kid can spend an obscene amount for a book and another hope that there is a demand for its cheap paper version. I want to jostle up everyone I sight, slap them till they see this depravity all around us and actually do some work. I want to kill myself for not doing enough, I feel for them, but my feelings don’t feed these kids, it does not ensure them a childhood they are entitled to. I feel worthless, not capable of anything save an occasional festering. I rant and rankle here awhile and go back to my routine. I really hate myself.

Someone please rescue me from this self loath and do me a guest post.

15 comments:

Epoppie said...

So this is where you hide! :)
Have updated my blog Mohtarma Madam
*Reads long post above*

Epoppie said...

I point blank refuse to
1) Buy any Harry Potter books
2) Watch any Harry Potter films
3) Have anything to do with HP...
Ploo to all the megalomaniac authors/film writers out there :P

Saeed said...

even i dont understand all this hype around HP...havent comeacross a single kid reading d book-just adults everywhere!
ya know?u shud really send in an application to them ppl workin at the UN...they sure could use someone like u...

A said...

Actually I do love reading Harry Potter, just I love reading GG Marquez or Tolkein or K Armstrong. Waht irks me is the hype. The way people go absolutely nuts over it while down the same road there are other kids, undernourished, robbed of their childhood. i hate the unfairness of it all.
I will be reading HP and HBP, but a pirated version. Rowling is already rich, a couple of hundreds not in royalty may not make that big a dent in her wallet. Or perhaps it would be unfair on her.
I just want that reading habits be promoted everywhere. and that can't happen if books are priced way above an average man's reach. I mean do you think one would want to spend that obscene amount on a book instead of at least a couple of days food?
The budget presented by the GoP this year states the minimum monthly income to be PKR 3000. and you know what this book cost? PKR 1300. And there were people lining up to buy it. that is what i hate. and that is what i hate about myself as well. the fact that i can afford to indulge in such an absurd act. So. I will wait around for the cheap pirated version to hit the market, save money and spend it somewhere its going to make a difference. InshaAllah.

Saeed said...

boy,that was fast!waise, i just KNEW u'd object to it...lol!umm,ok,i'll change it...but to what???kvetch kudi?ok,ok,sorry...bad joke...my bad...i've tried to use something that I read abt the person from his/her blog, to link them that way...like this girl who likes playing soccer in d rain, with her siblings,is linked as 'rain-soccer-star'...etc...u get the idea...i couldnt think of what else to link u with?!tell me what to link u as, & i'll change it asap!

Saeed said...

ok, is it ok now??or do i need to change it still???

iabhopal said...

Everything is so copious around that I am unable to peep beyond Islamabad and you ? You jump over Bharat in to Bangladesh.

Right in Karachi there are thick charred fumes, daily 50 cellphones snatched, 10 to 40 two & four wheelers stollen or snatched. Daily robberies at pistol point. Every now and then somebody shot dead.

Our rulers issue enchanting but false statement and according to them cause of all ills is mosque and madrassa.

My hard disk keeps on working 18 hours a day. It may give way any time and I may be dumped under earth or in the hospital.

Ya Allah forgive me for my sins.

Epoppie said...

And me, Ameen.

Virtuous Lady said...

I too have plans to read a pirated version of HP book. It's yet another beautiful post from you, though it hurts. Like you, I too think a lot but tell you what, I need a lot of slapping. I do nothing. Nothing at all. Just watch. Think. I need a lot of slaps. I'm worse than you!!

joe said...

It's so obviously not your fault so self loathing would achieve nothing. But you write about these kids and your writing reminds others about the injustices of our world and in that, you've done something that has to be done.

NJ said...

hey! i can just understand what you're saying... i mean the amount of money for HP 6 is enough to buy me course books for two semesters!!! wow...

and dont feel so bad about not doing anything.... you've done something.. fight with the pen, towards the injustices of this world... or your key board for that matter.. it IS something... keep going... one day, may we all realize the atrocities in the world and mend our ways... Amen

A said...

Saeed: Left behind a comment on your blog.
Ajmal: Sir, please don't say such things. We need people like you, for your wisdom and guidance. Karachi, with all its problems, is my city and it bleeds my heart to hink of all that plagues htis wonderful city.
Poppie: :)
VLady: The fact that you think is enough for now. But never let that thinking be doused by daily doses of apathy karachi walas seem to be suffering from.
Joe: I wrote, but is that enough? I think and rankle, but is it enough? and it's not just these children...it's everyone around me.
NJ: If I don't feel bad, I won't feel anything at all. I don't want ever to become a person who would ... ah let's leave bad mouthing a certain (thoughg large) segment of the society.

Thanks everyone...I appreciate your thoughts but nothing anyone says can change the fact that I have done nothing but pay a small lip service to the plight of the poor. and that alone is abhorable.

Carol said...

Publish your own wonderfully written children's story and have it distributed serial form by a bread or chip company or on the back of a cereal box in Pakistan. You have some great writtings. My family is always wishing you would publish.

Saadat said...

You are at least saying, or thinking about it. I have long ago quit on even thinking about these things. Debating Snape's good-or-bad status is more lucrative for my occupied-by-devil brain.

Saeed said...

i think our rahu-ketu (indian names for constellations,i think-dont even know which) are misallighned....stuff isnt falling into place here either....yours too,haina?

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