Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Football, the ultimate unifier

There's hardly any other sport on the face of this planet that's likely to draw out people of a more varied nation, race or color other than Football (or Soccer as it's known over here stateside). It is simply amazing how you don't need to even speak the same language in order to understand one another on a football field. I have been going to play Football on weekends with a bunch of guys from every corner of the world. It is absolutely fantastic to see the amount of diversity there. We have people from USA, Nigeria, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Mexico, India, Pakistan (me :P) and god knows how many more countries. If there is an ultimate unifier, it has to be football!

And what better showcase for football than the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. The game is getting some good press here in the US, perhaps as big as it has ever gotten, which is great. Normally people here are far too obsessed with their own sports, but thanks to coverage from ESPN and ABC, people are excited about the World Cup to some extent. This surge in popularity is also helped by the fact that the US football team is putting up a decent showing at the World Cup. They won a nail-biting encounter against Algeria today to press to the Second Round along with England in Group C. Good luck to them, and for the neutrals, the real World Cup starts with the knock out rounds on Saturday. May the best team win!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hypocrisy galore!

The hypocrisy of this world really does my head in sometimes. So, by now you must have heard of the fresh wave of sanctions that have been imposed on Iran by the United Nations, and that too, unanimously (12-2). I am not a proponent of Ahmadinejad's politics, and certainly not of his provocative stances, what pisses me off, however, is how Israel manages to break every other International law or UN resolution in the book, and still walks away scott free! They pull off sh*t that nobody else in the world can ever think of pulling off (without seriously getting sanctioned or diplomatically isolated), and yet they get a sweet $3 billion per year paycheck from their great ally, the US.

The US (and other Western powers) are ever so vocal about imposing sanctions on a country trying to obtain nuclear weapons technology indigenously (they're not stealing or doing anything illegal you know), and yet a country with a substantial nuclear arsenal, that commits atrocities one after the other, is not even chided once in the strictest terms by the so-called civilized western powers?!

Hypocrisy galore!

Mera Karachi

I know things haven't exactly been very rosy in Karachi of late, but I was out and about yesterday, and couldn't help but notice how drastically travel times across the city have been reduced. OK ok, it may have been a working day and I may not have been out at a rush hour (it was 4PMish), but kudos to the city government for doing a great job of planning and maintaining the infrastructure in the city. Also, it was nice to see almost NO rain water on the major roads, which is so unlike Karachi. And thanks to the signal-free corridors, I was able to get from North Karachi to Malir Cantt in a mere 25 minutes, imagine that! I'm sure travel times are much lesser for people who live in more central parts of the city. Anyhoo, just wanted to say it felt great. Kudos to the government, for once, and to Mustafa Kamal of course. Well done!