Take it. It’s free.

Illustration of advice

Advice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a Pakistani, I just loooove to give advice. The line between my life and yours is a little blurry, you see. Everyone I know, or don’t know, between Gwadar and Parachinar, is an extension of my really extended family – bhai, baji, amma, baba, khala, chacha, beta, beti, uncle, aunty, bua. So naturally, I have your best interests at heart, muah!

Now, if you were clever like me, you would have realized that advice is free, just like a smile. Since smile is charity, advice is too. You should follow logic baba on twitter. He says A is equal to C (uff, we’ll talk about B when he’s left the room). Now don’t ask me for money – I have none to give, only advice, on how you should have spent yours, more prudently. As it is, I’m already over my budget this month because I bought this blessed pair of chappals that the phuppo next door swears by – they ARE the secret to obedient husbands. So for the rest of the month, I’ll give you smiles and advice.

What I’m about to tell you is derived from centuries of hair-whitening research from our nannies and grannies. It is specific to the Pakistani phenotype and genotype. If you are our Afghan or Saudi brothers, please triple the strength for each tip before use. If you’re Indian, Israeli or American, go flush yourself down the toilet. (That’s advice too.)

• Don’t work on Fridays. It is for baths, prayers and pelting stones on passing cars, if you feel offended.

• The secret ingredient in finger-licking good food is perspiration. Work up a sweat.

• The antidote to envy is to have a tablespoon of sour grapes soaked in gripe water at bedtime.

• Don’t buy lawn from Peepak Derwani. He has cheetah prints and even zebras know that cheetahs are not halal. Only Jay-Jay has halal lawn.

• Rickets is better than a sun-tan. You’ll get married as long as you’re fair.

• We have no CNG in cars and no electricity in homes, because there is no Haya in women. Stop blaming the government.

• Bald men are virile. Ladies use that information carefully, and use polio drops when necessary.

• If you want to be filthy rich, avoid frequent hand washing.

What did you just say? Mind my own business? No, no, no. I don’t own my business. It is in my great-grandmother’s name, because she doesn’t have an NTN.

You, Creep, You!

Wordle: Hate

You can love someone with all your heart and if you had two hearts, you could hate someone with both. After all, the poor hate the rich and the rich loathe the poor. Fat people resent the thinner ones and the thin ones despise their endowed counterparts. The faithful abhor the faithless and the faithless find them insufferable. The list just goes on.

At the heart of all hatred, you’ll eventually discover a deep sense of insecurity about resources which may be as tangible as money or a job, or as intangible as affection or appreciation. 

At a very basic level, the process works like this:

  • You don’t have something you value. Let’s call it the prize.
  • You consider all the reasons you don’t have the prize and choose a convenient one – you don’t have it because you were denied it (the denial of rights)
  • You look around and find others who do have the prize. These are the usurpers.
  • You make fundamental assumptions about the usurper’s intentions – that the denial of rights was intentional because they’re either supremacists or simply deceitful and unprincipled.
  • You are enraged and decide to fight back, because they deserve it. Now you’re not only playing to kill, you want to be as brutal as possible.   
  • They retaliate and the cycle starts.

Several sociologists, notably Dr. Martin Oppenheimer, have looked at organized hatred that is against the other race, religion, ethnicity, gender, value, choice and basically any and all differences between you and them. They note that sometimes it is based on actual injustice but most often, all the provocation one needs to deal with their own weaknesses and frustrations, is a perception or bias against another, fuelled by notions of supremacy and entitlement.

Whatever the cause or the object, the bottomline is that hatred is destructive for all involved. If you’re acting on it, you’re starting a vicious cycle. If you’re not acting on it, it’s affecting your mental health and possibly your heart health.

So then how do we deal with hatred?                                      

Confucius has nailed it before me by saying:

“He who requires much from himself and little from others, will keep himself from being the object of resentment”.

On a personal level, when (and thankfully, not very often) I am feeling resentful towards a person or a group, I first try to address the rage because it not only propels undesirable actions, but also impairs logic. So, calming down is crucial. No, I don’t, in any way try to be in their shoes – it’ll always be a bad fit, but I try not to let my dislike for them influence my actions. For example, I shall not cross my arms, frown, say anything rude, or change my plans, in response to their presence. Many times, I succeed at pretending they don’t exist, at other times I don’t. But I try, nevertheless. In the longer term, it is best to distance ourselves from people or situations that make us angry or act irrationally.

I’m sure everyone experiences the dislike/resent emotions once in a while. I’d love to hear what other readers do to deal with it.