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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Have You Written Your Will Yet?

We are never really prepared for our death, are we? And a lot of times, in a very melodramatic way, we stop each other from discussing this most reliable of facts and this biggest reality, thinking that somehow talking about it may cause us to die sooner than we are supposed to.

As for writing a “Will”, we hardly ever take it seriously because one or more of the following reasons

  • It’s a scary thought
  • We think a will is only regarding money and assets, and if we don’t have much of that then why should we really write down a will?
  • Even if we are religiously inclined, we don’t know that this is one of those “should do” things
  • Our families become melodramatic if we don’t and go “aisee baat moun se mat nikalain (don’t utter such words)”
  • We think it is something just oldies should do
  • It is not a priority, simply

But there are solid reasons why writing down a Will is a great idea

  • It makes it easier for the family in that time of turmoil when they have lost a loved one and are confused. A will makes sure they know exactly what to do
  • It makes death a reality….one that we actually prepare for. Because harsh as the reality may seem, death may knock on a door anytime
  • It gives you time to reflect and think about things still undone, and things can be done you wanted them to once you are gone
  • Most importantly, this hadith:  “It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a will about it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
If you are a Muslim who is convinced that this is something you want to and should do, here are a few guidelines and tips:
1. You can make a bequest of upto 1/3rd of your total assets and property. So 1/3rd, or around 33% of our assets are what you can leave a will regarding. Not more.
2. You cannot bequeath something to someone who is a legal heir according to Islamic rulings of inheritance. Which means that for example you can leave a will for something to be given to your niece or nephew, or to domestic help, or to a friend, or to a charity or trust, but not to your sons and daughters and spouse because they are your heirs.
3. There must be at least two witnesses to your will. Written wills are always a better idea to avoid confusion later. So leave copies with two or more people. People you trust. (For reference see Surah Al-Maidah, verse 106 of the Quran)
4. Mention the debts you may owe to people or organizations/financial institutions/lenders if any. Your will of upto 1/3rd should include your liabilities, religious or otherwise, and what you willed to people or a trust will be distributed AFTER your liabilities are cleared. Your religious liabilities will include, for eg,  the wife’s meher (dower) in case he has not given it yet. Or if Zakaat is due on the deceased, it should be paid off first.
5. Your will should include how would you want your funeral  and burial rites should be performed. Things like if you have preferences regarding who should bathe you, where should you be buried, should you body be flown back if you die abroad, how should your grave be made etc. Also include details like do you want your soyem etc. to be held or not.
6. Leave advice or important good bye letters or messages for your family, specially children. That may be a good chance, when their hearts are soft, that they may pay heed to your suggestions like remaining steadfast in good deeds and staying united as a family once parents, who are the nucleus, are gone. Leaving suggestions for siblings or spouse are a good idea too.
7. If you have any responsibilities and would like someone to take care them once you are gone, appoint a second in command.
8. Important questions are these: Would you want to be on life support (like ventilator) or not? Do you want to pledge your organs for donation or not? Would you like to be resuscitated or not?
For clarity on cadaver donations, visit this site: http://amjaonline.com/00endetails.php?fid=22726
It is important for the family to remember that if a will was made for an unethical or immoral or sinful act, then that should not be acted upon.
Death is a reality. Let’s face it and make sure we know what we want is done after we pass away, and our loved ones know it too.
References used:
1. Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Kitaab ul Janaaiz
2. “Mera Jeena Mera Marna” (Al-Huda Publications)
3. http://www.islamlaws.com/islamic-law-of-will-what-is-wasiyat-in-islam/

Educate the Girl Child & You Educate Generations

The school’s building is solid. Spacious. The rooms are sun-lit and airy. I am loving the trees in the lawn where the school band is practicing. As the side-drums roll and the bass drum thunders and the flutes lilt away to the tune of “Pak sarzameen shaad baad”, the trees sway in the breeze – date palm trees and Lignum amongst others.

As you enter, you hear a soothing twittering of chirpy voices typical of any girls’ school. The girls are all ages. Neat and tidy in grey and white uniforms. Tightly oiled plaits and braids. Sounds of “Good morning miss” resound in the corridors. Everybody seems busy. It’s a good school and the kids seems happy and busy.

So neat, well-planned and spacious is the school that it is hard to believe that it is run mostly on charity. The girls, with heads held high, are daughters of under-privileged parents mostly. Chowkidaars, thailay waalaas (vendors), maalish walaas, maasis (maids), dhobis, labourers……and many girls are orphans. I met one who had lost her father in Karachi riots last year. The whole family makes rubber chappals at home and the brother sells them in the Makki Masjid area. Yet once in school, the girls forget their problems, and sit alongside other better off students. Some of those from very poor backgrounds are doing very well in school, which is heartening.

Taaleemgah Dukhtaraan e Awaam Trust Girls’ School, DHA, is sandwiched between the affluent Phase 1 of Defence and Azam Basti/ Sau foot road. The building and land was the kind donation of one of the Sheikhs of UAE. It has more than a thousand students and very sincere, dedicated and trust-worthy staff members.

Most of these girls see their coming to this school as their one chance of better tomorrows – a chance at education, at economic empowerment, at awareness and a better life. A girl’s education can be sponsored with as less as Rs 6000 an year. Lesser or greater funds can be donated into funds for uniforms, books and in some cases even the food for these children.

Educating the girl child is the answer to many of Pakistan’s key problems. If each one of us who can afford to take up at least the task of educating even 1 girl child, how much change could we bring? Good, positive change! But it’s not enough to drop off an envelope of money. See the child you are sponsoring. Give her incentives when she studies well. Follow up on her attendance, even through one phone call every few weeks. The school drop out rate is very high for girls from under-privileged backgrounds. Parents often pull them out of school so that they can help with house chores, or be employed as child labour. Monitoring their progress ensures that they stay in school.

Let’s make a difference. Because these little girls need our help. And Pakistan needs them to be educated.

Contact Dukhtaran e Awaam school at 02135384886

Side-lined by Society

Living on the fringes

 
 
Living on the fringes

Every time I am at the stop sign of a traffic signal or am sitting in the car at Khadda market, which is a so-called elite bazaar in the high-end neighbourhood of this metropolis I belong to, I observe a social trend that disturbs me. This area is teeming with eunuchs for some reason; I see them knocking at the car windows of every car that passes by in hope of some money. But it is not the eunuchs that I am commenting on right now, much as I accept both prostitution and beggary as social evils – I am commenting on the reactions of the elite and the educated.

A mocking laugh, a turning away of the face, a sneer, a scandalised look. Is this because we disagree to the means of earning that they have chosen? Or is it simply because the binary division of genders is so entrenched in us that gender non-conformity is a sin that we find worthy of punishment? The result? Even if, rarely so, a transgender does attempt to opt for an education or a career choice of considerable normalcy, the society does not accept it. We do not accept a transgender as a mathematics teacher, an accountant, as a household help or a chauffeur. A transgender, in simple words, is out of the boxes we have divided society into.

And this is not true for transgenders only. We find perverse comfort in dividing society into compartments. Anyone outside the compartment has a hard time feeling normal, even though they might not be ostracised openly. As a writer who is interested in people and their rights, my research and observation has often led me to real life stories I wish I did not have to encounter.

I observe marginalisation in blatant as well as understated ways. According to Wikipedia’s definition, “In sociology, marginalization, or marginalisation (British), is the social process of becoming or being made marginal… Being marginalised refers to being separated from the rest of the society, forced to occupy the fringes and edges and not to be at the centre of things. Marginalised people are not considered to be a part of the society. (Arko Koley, 2010)”

How we perceive religion leads us to judge and then, accept or reject people on the basis of what is OUR version of an ideal society. Even within the framework of Islam, we often find people marginalising those belonging to another school of thought. What to then say of those belonging to another religion? Renowned writer and journalist Zofeen Ebrahim is particularly disturbed by this. “I feel when people are discriminated on the basis of religion and then punished for it, it is a disturbing trend and indicates that society is veering towards extremism and bigotry,” says Ebrahim. We live in a society which does not only see a person wearing a cross or a bindi in a certain light and often refuses to accept them, but also will judge a person with a beard or a hijab in a pre-conceived way. When the trend of extremism catches on, it starts working both ways.

The most common example of marginalisation, world over, is on the basis of discrimination people face on the basis of caste, creed and financial standing. In rural Pakistan, even now the first question is about the caste someone belongs to. In certain parts of the country, certain communities have distinct physical features and this results is in serious discrimination. We assume that our ethnic group, community, province and language have an edge over others, and so the prejudice sets in. The result is obvious when Pakistan goes to the polls or when the average Pakistani chooses a suitable match for their son or daughter – anyone outside the box is not welcome.

While we may have our sympathies with them, there is very little empathy society shows when it comes to a special child or a disabled person. People still fear special kids. Perhaps we fear everything that we do not understand. And so it takes experiencing a loved one having such a condition to understand this. The education strategy for special children is not inclusive at all, although it is encouraged world over. Very few restaurants have ramps, wheel chairs and washrooms for the disabled. They do not readily get jobs and cannot drive around comfortably. Generally, they are expected to stay at home and not mingle in society.

Marginalisation has deeply embedded psychological effects on people. Counselor Asma Pal says that “social scientists have been investigating the impact of marginalisation for the last two decades and suggest that it can trigger a range of negative emotions and reactions in people. The psychological effects of these symptoms are a sad and gloomy outlook on life in general and an aggravated sense of injustice. Identity issues, loss of self-esteem, depression, anger, isolation, inability to cope with real life situations and a loss of motivation are some of the problems that may arise.”

Social stigmas like being a widow, a divorcee or the child of a split family causes problems when it comes to social issues like getting married. A man who marries for a second time or a woman who remarries after having been widowed still raises eyebrows, even though religion and law permit this. The most glaring example is when at the time of a mehndi, a widowed or divorcee aunt or friend cannot put henna on the girl’s hand, since it is considered a bad omen.

Personally, I am particularly sensitive to how the elderly are treated. My mother is an elderly person who is old, forgetful, quiet, and is stepping into the twilight zone that brings with it dementia. People often express surprise when we insist on taking her along to restaurants and family get-togethers. I observe that after the formal ‘Assalamualaikum,’ very few treat her and others of her age as normal individuals. Very few take a moment to sit with the elderly and chat with them. The elderly may be old but underneath the wrinkled hands and faces, interesting people still exist, if only we talk to them and have an inclusive attitude towards them. “Sadly, we do marginalise elderly people. We live in an ageist times. We discriminate on age, gender, race, cast, colour, religion etc. You name it, we do it. It’s even done by little kids in school. Sad but true,” says Pal.

Thankfully, there are still an increasing number of people who can look beyond the differences and focus upon the commonalities we have with people. For such people, the limitations are much less when it comes to interacting with others. The world becomes a more tolerant place when we agree to disagree and can disagree with someone yet give them the basic human right of respect and inclusion in society.

 Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam is a freelance writer.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Mind The Gap

In our lives, we undergo phases. And the transition from one phase to another is tedious. And sometimes, in these transitions, we experience empty spaces. There are chances we might slip and fall into those empty spaces, or fill those empty spaces with completely wrong things. So what we need to do is this: Mind The Gap.

Imagine stepping yourself out an underground train, onto the platform.

A moment ago, you were in the train. You knew your destination. You knew where you were headed. But just before you were about to reach there, you checked the approximate minutes remaining to the destination. You checked the map if you were new to the area. A few minutes earlier, you stood up in anticipation. You checked that you had not left behind anything on the seat. You moved closer to the door. And once the door opened, you made sure you step out carefully. You did mind the gap. Because you do not want to fall.

Within seconds, you are now in another realm. Transition over. Fast paced steps, purposeful, focused. That is because you were careful not to get your foot stuck in the gap. Because going down the wrong gap is a whirlpool situation. That one careful step was important.

In our lives, this is what we go through. Transitions. Phases.

In the Qur’an, Surah Al-Inshiqaq addresses humans, telling us that ours is a continuous journey of moving on from stage to stage:

“That you shall assuredly pass on from one stage to another.” (Q, 84:20)

I am forever intrigued and fascinated by the lives of the Prophets (as) of Allah, and the phases of their lives.

Yusuf (as) – from loved and pampered son to a brother deceived by blood to a slave sold in teenage years to a prisoner in a well to a young man to the Prophet of Allah to the ruler of Egypt to the magnanimous brother who chooses to forgive his brothers. Phew!

Muhammad (saw) – from an orphan brought up in rural Arabia in the lap of Haleema to his uncle’s home to a 25 year old young man married to the wonderful Khadija to father of many. And to the cave of Hira – to solitude and connection with Allah and Prophethood. And to being oppressed and persecuted in Makkah, and to being forced to migrate to Medina. And to being a statesman and ruler and general of the forces and husband to wives from diverse backgrounds. And from each chapter of the Qur’an to another – a 114 rungs of the ladder.

Moosa (as) – Plucked from his mother’s lap as an infant, into the palace of Pharoah. Prince of Egypt to one who unintentionally kills a person and flees from Egypt. From a shepherd to the Prophet whom Allah speaks to. And so Allah speaks to him in one of my favourite chapters of the Qur’an, surah Taha:

“….so We freed you from sorrow, and tested you to the maximum; you therefore stayed for several years among the people of Madyan; then you came (here) at an appointed time, O Moosa.” (Q, 20:40)

An appointed time! So yes, there is a time for everything. And in that journey, from one phase to another.

We go from being single to committed. We go from being a child to an adult. We go from being student to teacher. We go from being a daughter to a mom, a son to a father. We move stations – geographically, mentally,emotionally. We change jobs. We go from being thin to fat to thin again. We evolve in our thought processes. We replace one set of friends with another. We lose parents to death. We lose loved ones to separation. And change is not always about loss. It is also about gain. We move up the social ladder. We become richer or more famous.

Every transition is a test. And every time a transition happens, there is “gap”….an interim”void”…..which could be a big one or a seemingly small one. A tiny emptiness, between the familiar and the unfamiliar.

One fills up that void with the wrong things a lot of times. Vacuums suck out the worst in us. Alcohol, drugs, sex, addictions. Letting one get sucked up into whirlpools of negativity or hatred or depression. Or other highs – like pride and arrogance and materialism and undermining others.

And so, what actually was a time for becoming stronger and climbing a rung higher becomes a time of sliding down on that most important ladder – the ladder that leads to self-actualization, of closeness of Allah, of ma’arifat (recognition) of Allah.

We either stop realizing at all that we are doing anything wrong. Slowly, the gap-filling wrong things start feeling right. So much so that we reach a stage where we say “there is nothing such as wrong or right”. Satan, often residing within us, lulls us to sleep.

The other extreme then is that we despair and feel remorse to such a degree that we stop trusting in the mercy of Allah….we feel we are beyond repair and forgiveness. We give up on ourselves….on His Mercy, and forget that the Qur’an tells us in Surah Az-Zumr:

“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Q, 39:53)

So at times of transition, of change, of movement, watch out. Stay connected to Allah. Gotta be careful to fill the void with the right things, not the wrong. Fill the void with the doing of good, productive, positive stuff. And with zikr (His remembrance). Through the Qur’an. Through dua. And he who holds onto Allah, Allah Will not let him slide into an abyss. Like it says in Surah Al-Baqarah:

“…..whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks………” (Q, 2:256)

So hold on to Him. And Mind the Gap.

The Facebook Social Reader is Annoying!

Facebook is fun.

I am not paranoid about the whole privacy thing. I enjoy FB. I use it to stay in touch with friends and family, and to indulge in some activism. And very importantly as a source of info too – How else would I know how much weight Kareena has put on and what is AshAbhi’s baby’s name. And earlier on, it was FB that got me introduced to Kolaveri Di and Aaloo Anday. And on a more profound note, it’s great to get to see the features from the Met Museum of Art, NYC’s site, and also to learn important stuff from Sarah Joseph and Muslim Matters. And for learning about great leaps into the field of social entrepreneurship and humanitarian work.

So FB’s all good – except a few REALLY irritating things.

And recently, my pet fb peeve has become the Social Reader.

Sure, you can set up the privacy settings otherwise, so that “only me” can see what me is reading. But then, what’s the whole point of it?

And what if I do not set the privacy settings privately enough?

See, what we read gives away so much about us. And gives others who may be “faarigh” and “waila” (free), when you read something, a chance to dissect and psych-analyze and read into your life and speculate. “Oh, so she was reading ’10 signs of depression’. I always knew she had issues”. Or “Oh, he read ‘hate your boss, but show it not’. May be I should tell our boss”. Or “Oh, she has been reading ‘top tourist destinations’. She is planning a trip”. Or “Oh, he read ‘how to concentrate better in Namaaz’. He is becoming a fundo!”.

And these are really innocent examples. There can be more gory details and many closets opened up with this social reading business.

Isn’t it supposed to be private what I read at bedtime?

Why should this app post on my behalf, including articles I read, people I liked and more?

Neither do I wanna know when my girl friend read “The 101 of getting rid of cellulite & stretch marks” or when a male friend read “How to face rejection from the woman in your life”. It is too darn personal.

So Social Reader, thank you but no thank you. I am too old-fashioned for you. I’d rather go and google a topic or go visit the NY Times or Huff Post sites myself.

Women heralding the winds of change in Pakistan

Women heralding the winds of change in Pakistan
by Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam

10 April 2012


http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=31249&lan=en&sp=0

Karachi, Pakistan – From a country where terrorism, extremism, inner strife and polarisation continue to eat at its roots, good news is reaching out globally from a perhaps unexpected source – its women. Pakistani women are fighting for more than just the empowerment of women. They are taking centre-stage in Pakistan’s fight against oppression, social tyranny and extremism. They are the emblems of change, and Shad Begum is one such woman.
Photographs of Shad Begum standing alongside United States’ first lady Michelle Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her face resplendent with satisfaction, are a piece of much needed good news coming out of Pakistan. She is a recipient of the 2012 International Women of Courage Award, which is presented annually by the US Department of State to women around the world who demonstrate leadership, courage and sacrifice for others.

Shad Begum belongs to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the social system is strongly patriarchal and tribal sensibilities reign; unlike other provinces, Pakistan women there are not even allowed to work in the fields.

At the occasion of the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards, the US Department of State described Shad as “a courageous human rights activist and leader who has changed the political context for women in the extremely conservative district of Dir.”
The Association for Women’s Welfare (which later changed its name to Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation, or ABKT), set up by Shad in 1994, took up pioneering welfare work for women in the Dir district. Initially, ABKT focused on welfare, but increasing support from civil society and donors helped it focus on development and empowering individuals rather than only providing charity. Now, Shad mobilises and sensitises local women by helping them acquire primary education, political training and micro-credits to work towards empowerment and build their capacity. Providing health facilities, constructing bridges, installing hand pumps, creating wells and paving streets are all examples of ABKT’s development work.

Shad Begum decided to enter politics in 2001, only to face a head-on collision with local conservative leaders who strongly opposed the participation of women in leadership and the mixing of sexes. In an area with a population of one million, but only 150,000 women registered as voters, this was not easy. Shad stood as an independent candidate because no political party would support her.

She was the victim of character assassination and was called a “funded foreign agent”, in addition to receiving threats from the Taliban. Yet she carried on with her mission and people believed in her: she received the most votes of any female candidate. Four years later, as a result of her efforts, including an effective campaign that got the attention of authorities, 127 women were elected at the local level in the same area. “Men voted for women in the election. This is a big change”, said Begum.

Shad moved the organisation’s office to Peshawar when the Taliban became prominent, and she has been threatened by unidentified militants.

With women like Shad stepping up at the grassroots level, there have been major leaps in the present government’s tenure when it comes to legislation promoting women’s interests. Pressure from civil society and advocacy from women’s groups have forced policymakers to address women’s concerns. Legislation has been passed criminalising sexual harassment at the workplace, as well combatting gender discrimination. In addition, legislation regarding women’s rights to inherit and forced marriage have been promulgated.

In January 2012, the National Assembly of Pakistan unanimously passed a bill to create a powerful and influential National Commission on the Status of Women, a huge step in the right direction and one that is being lauded by human rights activists as a salient pro-women move. This bill came after years of struggle by women’s committees, consultations, relentless advocacy and 22 consensus amendments.

The impact of women like Shad Begum cannot be over-emphasised in this progress – these women are heralding the winds of change in Pakistan.

###

* Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam is a freelance writer, journalist and blogger with a focus on human rights, gender and Islam. She blogs at chaaidaani.wordpress.com. This article was written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews).

Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 10 April 2012, http://www.commongroundnews.org
Copyright permission is granted for publication.

Pawnay 14 August – Dream of the Quaid “not” realized

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/apr2012-weekly/nos-08-04-2012/enc.htm#3

What became of their dream?
With ‘Pawnay 14 August’ Anwar Maqsood enthrals the audiences
with the humour and tragedies of the unrealised dream of the
national leaders
By Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam

What if the Quaid Visited Pakistan Today?

I expect only the very best from Anwar Maqsood. I expect him to make important political and social statements in the fold of humour. I expect each line to be a punch line. I look forward to quotes and puns that will ring in my mind and which I can use as quotes. I expect his work to make me laugh and at the same time leave me seriously more educated about my country. I expect brilliance, and nothing less. But this time, with “Pawnay 14 August” which is the first theatre play he has written, he surpassed my expectations.

If Maqsood is called the “Father of satire” in present day Pakistan, it would not be wrong, which is why the young director Dawar Mehmood confessed that he had come to Karachi with a dream that he’d be able to shake hands with Maqsood. When that dream came true, he convinced Maqsood to write a theatre play for him. Maqsood closed his eyes, opened them, came up with the name (Pawnay 14 August) and within their 90 minutes’ conversation came up with the outline of the script of this play.

In the Arts Council of Karachi’s auditorium bursting at the seams with people, a stampede situation seemed inevitable when Maqsood started by addressing the emotionally charged audience, and quietened them eventually with extempore brilliance. He started by drawing an imaginary situation of a gathering of the dead poets’ society – of Faraz, Faiz, Ghalib, Mir, Josh and others. And that Faraz, from the heavens, was inviting Maqsood to anchor the “heavenly” centenary celebration of Faiz. His pun was both funny but painful when he said that if this is how Karachi’s situation remains, “Anwar will be anchoring that jalsa next year”.

The play is set in present day Pakistan, when in a hypothetical imaginative scenario, we see the three central characters, Quaid-e-Azam, Maulana Shaukat Ali and Allama Iqbal, visiting Pakistan for 23rd March celebrations to see what became of their dream – Pakistan. As they wait in the waiting lounge of the airport in Karachi to take a flight to Islamabad, they meet an assortment of characters that interact with them, providing all of humour, catharsis and the tragedies of the unrealized dream of our original leaders.

Jinnah with Veena

Te choice of characters is interesting. Veena Malik’s character provides zing and shock value for poor Iqbal when she uses his poetry out of context. In this, Maqsood reminds us how we use powerful poetry like Iqbal’s to mean what we want it to mean. The character of a Bengali and the conversation reminds us of the painful fall of Dhaka in ’71. Perhaps the hardest jibes of Maqsood’s pen were against the armed forces, the recurrent Martial Laws, the 32 out of 65 years this country has seen under army dictatorship, and the fact that the biggest budget drain is the forces. General Pervez Musharraf got the brunt of Maqsood’s razor sharp wit, when a lady is shown flying to Dubai to see him for a “private corner meeting”. Representatives of the many Muslim League factions was a metaphor also for how the nation is split into factions. The colourful, “burger”, English-speaking representative of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf provided comic relief. Punjab and Sindh had representatives, but those from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were not included and were sorely missed. Jamaat e Islami’s dharnaas were highlighted by the burqa-clad character shown to be a female JI representative. Maqsood remained gentle on the Muttahida Qaumi movement.

The brilliance of this play lies in not just the ingenious way in the subject matter has been dealt, in which Maqsood has sensed the pulse of his audience. In addition, the acting is praiseworthy. The stately Umer Sultan, particularly, was very convincing as the Quaid (and by that word I mean Jinnah), with few dialogues but such powerful facial expressions that they made one emote and connect. Talal Jillani was good as Iqbal, but his role should have been given better emphasis. Aamer Agha as Maulana Shaukat Ali provided laughter, fun as well as profound poignancy. But to me the surprise star performance was of the young lady acting as the air hostess. Her timing was superb, and timing is what makes theatre what it is.

Maqsood’s dialogues would need a separate review. Some of the really worth remembering ones would include Iqbal being told that “jis raat tum ne Pakistan ka khwaab dekha tha, us raat tumhain sona naheen chahiye tha” (the night you dream of Pakistan, you should not have gone to sleep).

Pawnay 14 August made audiences laugh and made them cry. It revitalized patriotism. It left a lump in your throat on every second dialogue. It raised questions that need to be raised. It was not overly simplistic at any stage (pun intended) but was also not unnecessarily complicated. It left us, most importantly, not just with pain but hope.