How to grow an EPIC MOUSTACHE

I have often seen people wondering about my Epic Moustache. A very few of them have even asked why and how. In this regard, I have tried to compile few words.

My answer can better be understood keeping in mind the paradigm used by a mad man. The guy who used to walk in the streets of Athens, and use to confront people with difficult questions. The paradigm is in his famous quotation “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”. We are lucky that he had some domestic problems with his wife otherwise we would have lost Socrates ūüôā

Now that I must answer those question, the legend tells of about few men and women seeking glory. They had two ways, some choose the easy path and some chosen the roads less traveled.

A. The easy route

B. The difficult route: 

It is to be warned that this route is little bumpy. In literal sense, the female are advised to follow the first route because it is more cute :). However, If they insist on standing on doing something on equal grounds then they may choose something womanly to do i pursuit of following the road less traveled. Maybe they can explore about Marie Curie or Helen Keller. A real womanly thing to do along with child-rearing and breastfeeding (this is to encourage normalization of breastfeeding).

Secret ingredients to Epic Moustache:

1- Right genetics, admit or not, without proper genetics its hard to grow an Epic one. It is to say that most of the time people underestimate/overestimate their genetics. We do not know it until and unless we try to cultivate some glory. I haven’t used the term good genetics, I am merely referring it as¬†‘right genetics’.

2- Now that one has determined he/she has right genetics. The next thing they need to have is to have patience. All too often, in the very start, the feeling to get rid of moustache becomes quite overwhelming. The main thing that count during this phase is patience. The patience against your own criticism and criticism of others. However, as we start seeing some success then we further try to abide by code of manliness. The critics always become silent as always.

3-An individual who is ready to endure some criticism has to take advantage of his/her whereabouts. I, the story teller, had taken fullest advantage of living in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In Pakistan beards especially the Epic ones get a lot ¬†more criticism than moustache.¬†It is contrary to teachings of the religion of which most Pakistanis claim to be followers of. I leave it up to ¬†cultural anthropologists to explain it better. We must admit that Muslims are quite paranoid of their own identity, so Epic beards easily get associated with extremist’s mind frame. It is to add here that at the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), beard was a fashion that was associated with honor, pride, and manliness (whatever you call it). ¬†In my limited reading I have seen Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his righteous followers to be very contrary to gender stereotypes. The one best example about it respecting women and their crying out of fear of God and compassion for his followers. Now that I have made my point, I don’t know if it is a manly thing to do or not!¬†Never to forget, Prophet (SAW) himself had beard and Muslims are advised to have beard. Truth must be told!

4- Further, now that one has something to criticize about or is planning to endure some for growing an Epic one. I am not sure what my readers are exactly thinking here. Some of the critics might be thinking why a man preaches what he does not follow. I feel unnecessary to comment on this. The more relevant conversation should related to moustache as a trait of manliness. Now before I talk about art of manliness, I must comment on few operational problems.

5-The final step is to¬†align yourself to face some operational problems (specific to Moustache). It is true that we cannot eat certain type of the foods. This means we have slightly weird eating habits. There is plenty of advice on the internet about “operational issues”.

In the end EPIC moustache has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, it is too soon to utter a word about them!

The code of manliness

“It is not the Epic Moustache outside that counts, it is the Moustache inside.” (rahim rajar, a forged statement).

The code of manliness has to do with habits and skills than genetics and looks. The supreme ingredients of REAL MEN are; courage, honor, integrity, bravery, service and truth etc. A man/woman can always acquire manly/womanly traits through hard work, practice, patience and steadfastness.

Please do share and subscribe to my social media places for something Epic.

Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

First a quick word for a blog post after 9 months, lately I have been working on quite a lot of things which I will slowly try to bring into some story. The current commitments and time constraints might not allow me to do it very soon.

Today I was not planning to write anything either until it¬†poured my heart out to hear that today was¬†‘International day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade”. So I decided to write few words before I again pick the¬†biography of¬†Olaudah Equiano from my collection of unfinished books. A quick word to those who don’t know,¬†Olaudah Equiano was¬†a slave who bought his own freedom and became one of the pioneer of abolition of slave trade in Britain. BUT This day is not day to remember one person or few people, it is the day that we pay our deepest respect and sincerest remembrance to those 18 million slaves who sacrificed their lives and went through hardships while paving a way to freedom. It is important to note that one third of those slaves were women. This year, in the Women’s History Month, we must give a particular¬†tribute to the¬†women who died and suffered during slave trade.¬†

Then we must remember and thank our heroes (men and women) who lead the movements of change and fought heroically on all intellectual and human rights front. Finally two cheers to all the heroes from all walks of lives who are still fighting against racism and slavery.

At the end I must say slavery IS worst crime against humanity whether in organized form or unorganized form. I don’t want ¬†to put slavery in history by using word WAS because it exists and it is there¬†in the worst form due to the fact that not many people really know about it. This modern day slavery¬†exits in the form of human trafficking, sex trafficking, forced labour (general and debt bondage),¬†child slavery, criminal exploitation and¬†domestic servitude etc.¬†I will quote only one line ¬†from UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which might make us think.

“People trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime.”

We must stand up together to put an end to the modern day slavery as well as to racism. It is only possible if we remember the suffering of 18 million slaves in slave trade. 

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why I don’t eat in restaurants

Three months ago, I made a pledge with myself for not to eat in restaurants whatsoever, today I feel happy to announce that I have successfully completed it and have extended this pledge to further six months. I have a simple thought to share with you.

It has been fairly easy experience without compromising my social interaction, most of the people have been supportive. Upon a typical invitation, my response include acceptance of invitation to gathering with an apology for not eating out. People then ask for my reason of not eating, giving me opportunity to speak against food wastage.

In past, I have not been eating in restaurants much but always felt guilty for two reasons. My pledge actually is due to second reason

1) The food customers waste as consumers

I always found it strange when people decide to waste left over food. It is very simple to get this food¬†packed and take with you. I don’t want to look good on the expense of others but I feel disgusted by such consumerist act of wasting edible food.

2) The left over food wastage by restaurants

I had many depressing moment when restaurants and food courts threw away all the edible and untouched food. I used to dine in a food court as a student, I would watch all the food on the counter and in the kitchen going in the waste by the end of shift. I tried to flag up this issue but trust me nothing I could do, If you live in UK then probably it will be more easy to understand. Nevertheless, this is happening everywhere.

Even once I was eating in food court and I knew the food was about to be wasted, so I requested person over the counter to give me little extra food. She simply said she can’t because I had to pay for this extra food¬†and after few minutes that food was in dust bin. This food could have been given for free to less fortunate or to homeless humans.

I actually made my pledge after one year of this incident when I was eating a buffet, near the closing time I witnessed the horrendous act of food wastage. At that day I made promise to myself not to be a part of this food wastage by restaurants.

How I maintained necessary social presence

Being a middle class social creature, I had to maintained my necessary social presence in these situations by having a tea, coffee, or a drink.

How I survive while travelling

Eating fruits, sandwiches from local stores, and eating from local take away and avoiding mega food chains where food wastage is likely to happen¬†(lesser evil ūüėÄ )

How I survive¬†when I haven’t food with me¬†

Sandwiches from shop

 Will it change anything?

Probably not! this thing will keep happening everywhere. But I have lesser moral conviction as I try not to participate in this food wastage phenomenon and try to create awareness by this little act.

Pay it forward

I know several objections can be raised but lets look within ourselves. This little act can create little more social awareness about food wastage and related absurd practices. If you think I make sense, please tailor this pledge for yourself.

Please share this thought with your friends who might make such pledges and let me know if you have similar ideas.

Empathy in human connection

I have ¬†been thinking to write about ’empathy’¬†for¬†many months. Finally while reading Prof.¬†Simon Baron Cohen’s book ‘Zero Degrees of Empathy’ I decided to write on this simple yet most overlooked word ’empathy’¬†from very basic to bit advance level. In the end of the video I’ll make reference to book ‘Zero Degree of Empathy’ and a relevant video.

To start, I must say we¬†often sympathize with people¬†without really understanding their real emotions, situations and responding accordingly. This is the point where we actually confuse sympathy with empathy. I would start with a simple video from Sesame Street where Mark Ruffalo explains ’empathy’. Although¬†it is meant to be for children but I have realized as a adult we often overlook empathy too.

Now lets take step further to understand difference between empathy and sympathy. How empathy is much powerful while sympathy is not really that helpful.

From above video we have seen empathy has four main elements (shown in following figure).

Now lets take conversation to bit advance level¬†where Professor Simon Baron speaks about¬†empathy while dividing empathy between¬†two components ‘cognitive’ and ‘affective’. He further explains how psychopaths are different than rest of the populations. In addition to following video you might find his book ‘zero degree of empathy’ interesting to read.

The simple thought follow of the blog is that we have to realize the power of empathy in human connection while realizing other’ emotions (cognitive part) and should act accordingly (affective part). Without¬†any of these two¬†components we cannot really be empathetic.

Charity degrades and demoralises

Before you get angry over the title, let me clarify I did not say it, it was Oscar Wilde who said this. Through this post you will see what exactly Oscar Wilde meant by this.

I will start with a video¬†“First as Tragedy, Then as Farce”, it talks about what is wrong with the¬†whole business of¬†charity or in other words why charity is no longer solving world’s problem. I encourage my readers to watch this video¬†and also read the following excerpt¬†from Oscar Wilde’s¬†book “The Soul of Man under Socialism“.

My purpose of the blog post it is to give a different perspective which we mostly do not hear from mainstream media. My readers may agree or disagree but  I leave it to you to think over it and make your own judgment.

Now lets see what what Oscar Wilde exactly said.

“The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism ‚Äď are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man‚Äôs intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.

They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.

But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life ‚Äď educated men who live in the East End ‚Äď coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. Charity creates a multitude of sins.

There is also this to be said. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property. It is both immoral and unfair.

The Soul of Man under Socialism” by Oscar Wilde

Life without Toilet, World Toilet Day

Earlier this year WHO declared 19th November as World Toilet Day. This blog post is to create awareness regarding this issue.

When I was about 6 years old, I moved from a Metropolitan to my native village for sometime due to some family business. At that time, there was no electricity available. Having toilet facility was considered as a luxury. Majority people were deprived of basic sanitation facilities and would go to fields to defecate.

People would normally urinate in house or fields. However for men it was bit easier because they could even do it in some lonesome corner of street too. Female would be very careful about their whereabouts, they would relieve themselves either in house or in fields. Normally a secluded place in house was allocated for this purpose.

For defecating, people would go to fields very early morning or night time, normally night time was preferred. However anyone can pop in any time in the fields but you would not feel comfortable carrying a vessel of water for washing up later. This process was also done by using a clean lump of mud in absence of water.

Men would go alone in fields, as safety wasn‚Äôt much of concern to them. Female from a house would gather in groups due to safety concern. They would normally accompany very young boys and girls with them to develop this habit in them. People would carry a vessel of water with them called ‚ÄėLota‚Äô. In field they would separate themselves and make themselves at ease. But to me this whole situation was very funny as I came from a city.

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                Lota

Sometime it would involve cleaning yourself with lump of mud than later on with water, but some people preferred washing with water directly. Anyways in case of absence of water, lump of mud was always the only option.

For children, it was bit easier. They would go outside the house during day time and will relieve themselves and then there was a particular thing ‚Äėsliding their bum on the cleaner ground‚Äô to clean. Majority of them would not bother to get washed.

In my village things changed after arrival of electricity as people started making toilets but this practice is still going on in poor families where they either cannot afford to build toilet or are not much concerned with hygiene and safety etc. People, in my village, were lucky as they lived in a peaceful and safer community. But later in my life, I would often read news in papers, women being raped or abused while making trip to defecate.

According to few recent tweets by World Health Organization (WHO), ‚ÄúPoor sanitation creates conditions for serious health probs such as diarrhoea, typhoid fever, malnutrition, polio.‚ÄĚ Regarding safety it says ‚ÄúWomen, girls particularly are risking their lives looking for a place that offers privacy to defecate, risking rape and abuse‚ÄĚ.

The sadder fact is that ‚ÄúOf the world‚Äôs 7b population, 6b have mobile phones. Only 4.5b have access to toilets or latrine‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúMore than 2b people in the world have no access to a toilet, half of these live in the WHO South-East Asia Region.‚ÄĚ But things have got little better, ‚ÄúIn the WHO South-East Asia Region 60% of the pop defecated in the open in 1990. This had come down to 39% by 2010‚ÄĚ

It‚Äôs a good step from WHO to declare a World Toilet Day and to discuss this issue on international level but still ‚ÄúUN Millennium Development Goals: of all 2015 targets sanitation target is most behind. 1 in 3 people do not have a basic toilet‚ÄĚ.

We have to work together to do humanitarian measures and to create awareness to make healthier and safer societies.

Contract with the Christians of Jerusalem (The Second Caliph, Umar)

“This is the protection which the servant of God, ‘Umar, the Ruler of the Believers has granted to the people of Eiliya [Jerusalem]. The protection is for their lives and properties, their churches and crosses, their sick and healthy and for all their coreligionists. Their churches shall not be used for habitation, nor shall they be demolished, nor shall any injury be done to them or to their compounds, or to their crosses, nor shall their properties be injured in any way. There shall be no compulsion for these people in the matter of religion, nor shall any of them suffer any injury on account of religion… Whatever is written herein is under the covenant of God and the responsibility of His Messenger, of the Caliphs and of the believers, and shall hold good as long as they pay Jizya (the tax for their defense) imposed on them.”

 Source: 

Six Religions in the twenty-first century by Stanley Thornes