** Diary **

Today, Tuesday (Dec 30, 2008) I have just started writing my routine business on my web-page which is also my blog to collect all my journalistic work at one place.

As, today is also the first day of Islamic Hijri Calendar, Muharram 1, 1430, I had shared the new year greetings with my some of friends . On the response from the other part of the world, I was very amused and hope that besides all such hotchpotch between old friends, the friendship will be continued.

I have to file a comprehensive report on the City District Government Karachi’s performance of 2008. Even though it was not an easy job but I have to do this before the deadline.

Tomorrow is Wednesday (my weekly off-day at Daily Times) but there are some engagements I have to comply without any regrets.

Today, Wednesday the last day of current year of 2008, I have just arrived in the office to fulfill my some pending work. But the flashing news on different channels regarding a minor blast near City Court, M.A. Jinnah Road has disturbed. Thank Almighty Allah, only a minor blast but somehow two people were killed and five injured (as early news collected).

***

Happy New Year 2009. Today is the first day of new year. I have take a resolution to improve my journalistic capabilities in a new way besides the help of not only my friends but hardworking. Today, Thursday, the off-day of Faraz, our regular crime reporter and I have to done crime stories as his alternate. However, I had managed without any inconvenience as I have been used to do this for the last couple of months.

***

Friday (Jan 02) of the newly started year has passed with load of work. One of the pending story regarding the New Sabzi Mandi by Javed Sahib was finally filed for the next day publication. Today, I had met Agha Riaz and discussed the upcoming venture related to UAE. We had planned to met at Khairabad Restaurant where coincidently meet some of old friends Nadeem, Sohail and Anwar Bhai after a gap of long times.

***

Saturday (Jan03) was another busy day with couple of engagements. I along with Fawad and our DT photographer Liaquat had visited Karachi’s first Inter-city bus terminal located some 15-kilometer outside the city in west to conduct a feature story. It was a hectic day. We did our lunch at Bakra Hotel, a known restaurant in Kharadar area and reached office after spending almost 5-hours in the field.

I had had mentioned Fawad that one of my prediction for him will be posted on this forum but I think it was not fine to give our own judgment for anyone before its too early. Anyway!

***

Jan 5 (Sunday): The public holiday was as usual passed. Visiting Sunday second-hand book bazaar in Saddar was a routine feature for the last couple of years. A volume of selected poems of Robert Frost was purchased before coming to office. After the reading of preface, I had read one of my long time favourite poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ which had remembered the small piece written by Pirzada Salman in The Review, some four years ago on the occasion of exchange of citizens between Pakistan and India. Fatima Noor, a four-year heart patient was one of them who were allowed to visit India after a long time and Salman had written a beautiful piece to interconnect the Noor visit to India and The Road Not Taken poem of Frost.

Anyway, before leaving the office, Faraz was informed the dinner with Ma’am and we had went Highway Restaurant located on Super Highway along with Fareed. It was a remarkable gathering after a long time and everyone had not only enjoyed the food but also the chilly weather.

***

Jan 5 (Monday): In the presence of sever flu, the day was very hectic. Besides filing a story regarding the previous day visit at Yousuf Goth for review Intercity Bus Terminal operation. The story was a good feature one. Agha Riaz was phoned me and we discussed the upcoming venture in detail. Anyway. Tomorrow me and Intikhab Bhai had planned to visit Manghopir along with Juman Darwan for a story. Let’s see what happen.

***

Jan 6 (Tuesday): After a couple of months, I had visited my old office (The Nation) in day timings and had a good chat with Saadia Qamar, an old friend and discussed various things. She is a nice friend. Later, me and Intikhab Bhai had visited different areas of Orangi Town and first time visited the Manghopir Road till at the end near Garam Chashma. We had also paid a brief visit at the Leprosy Hospital, one of the Pakistan’s only such hospitals. I reached office in evening and I had told to see Crime Stories in the absence of our regular Crime Reporter, Faraz who was on off-day. Till mid-night, I had a very busy day with stories and chatting with some friends online. Some people are very difficult or have some psyche problems and became very difficult to convey a simple things in easy way. But somehow those who sincere they have to do what they can for their friends and loved ones who need any help. God Bless us.

***

Jan 7 & 8 (Wednesday-Thursday): Wednesday was my weekly-off day in the office while Thursday was the public holiday. Every public holiday became a boring day throughout my carrier. On this particular day, I had visited one of my old buddy, Adeel Kashmiri and had to attend a Haleem Party. But the party was cancelled due to the urgent invitation came from our all-time boss. Me, Faraz and Fawad had enjoyed the evening tea. Everything was good, the tea, cake, haleem, discussion but somehow there are always some people who either intentionally or accidentally passing comments which irritating others when such comments were related to one’s best friends.

***

‘The Best Of Friends Must Part’

Jan 9 (Friday): The day was full of activities from filing news items to sorting out some pending issues. A visit on early morning at the NADRA office was took some time but the matter was resolved amicably. Anyway. Things seems normal and wished for further better. Some of the old friends had tried to bring non-serious issues on the surface but how can one avoid to face the longtime friend.

***

‘The Shadow of the Wind’

Jan 10 (Saturday): Besides all routine works, the day was fine but missed some friends who have yet to make any contact. Today I had complied another book – the mini dictionary of proverbs – after first about idioms and will gift to some of my friends as a remembrance of old times.

Later in night, I had again started reading one of my favourite book, The Shadow of the Wind written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The book was a gift from my boss Mahim Maher and I really enjoy the book when some three months ago I had read it first time. On the second spell of reading, I was much amused by the style, the story, the language and what itself described in the initial pages of this book.

“…a few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later – no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget – we will return.”— Daniel

It was the second book which I had found most amazing after Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist was most amazing book and really a master piece to encourage the motivation in the readers and guide on a way which was less traveled.

Here are some of excerpts from The Shadow Of The Wind which I had found most amazing and such quotes will be incorporated in my next diaries.

“Some things can only be seen in the shadows.”— Sempere, the father of Daniel

“Presents are made for the pleasure of the one who gives them, not for the merits of those who receive them.” — Sempere

“Never trust anyone, Daniel, especially the people you admire. Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.”— Clara Barcelo

***

Jan 15 (Thursday): During the last couple of days, I was busy with the preparations besides waiting for my dues being delay for the last 10 days. The financial crisis had severely crippled the routines but I had managed somehow. Routine at the office, Daily Times was just normal. On Tuesday, I had take day off from office and with Faraz and Fawad we had went to cinema and watched Ghajini movie. A good picture and everyone like it. Today, it seems everything is okay and will be fine in the next couple of days.

***

Jan 16 (Friday): After a long time, I had met some of old friends and discussed the upcoming venture of UAE. Everyone was happy about the decision and the new scope ahead. Although, the routine was same, I had to file some crime related stories in the absence of Faraz and sat till late night in the office. During the last couple of days, I had gifted a number of books including Paulo Cohelo and other writers to Adeel, Fawad and Safdar. Everyone was seem happy to grab the books which were not only good ones but I had already briefed them about the plot, style and writers.

***

Jan 18 (Sunday): The whole day was spent to finalized the preparations for flight scheduled to Dubai in night. It was very difficult to away from the family at any stage. Everyone was sad including my children, Hania, Ammar and Omama. With the best wishes and prayers of my elders including my parents and other relatives, I had take off from Karachi at 8pm and landed at 9pm in Dubai International Airport on local time along with Rasheed and N.D. Khan. We had all planned to join the same organization in different capacities.

The airport was much larger what I was expecting. As a first visit of UAE, I have to collect my original visa prior to eye-scanning – a must feature for everyone – and finalized passport related things. We had finished all necessary documentation around 11pm and set off for Sharjah.

We had check-in at Sharjah Premier Hotel for five-days from our employer besides arranging accommodation for ourselves in the local areas.

***

Jan 19 (Monday): On my way to office from hotel, I was very captivated by the view of high-rise buildings in Sharjah, a really beautiful city full of concrete structures. I had joined the office and met our Editor, Shaadaab S. Bakhat and in evening we had asked to proper join the force. Though I have not given proper beat but asked to do what I can. I have just started a new chapter in my carrier life from the platform of ‘Gulf Today’ as a Reporter. In the next couple of days, besides exploring the city of Sharjah I have to remember the names of local roads and other details to be familiar with the local atmosphere. As a first day in the office, the Editor has introduced to Chief Home Section Ramesh, deputy chief reporter Imran Ayub and other colleagues. Everyone seems okay for me.

Lets pray Almighty Allah help me for better future and work in a good environment to produce what I can. As it as almost 8pm, I have yet to talk to my family back in Pakistan but hope to do in the next couple of hours.

***

Jan 20 (Tuesday): Today I had visited AUS (American University of Sharjah) to attend the opening session of two international conferences as my first assignment in Sharjah. Although Sharjah is not a large city compare to Dubai but the skyscrapers and huge number of vehicles on its narrow roads showing the gridlock and other hustle bustle in every nook and corner of the city. Everything is here fine even the weather in these days and suitable for everyone. Last night, I had visited the flat of my friends, Zafar and Agha Riaz and dined with them in late night. Visiting some areas by foot, I was very fond of weather and the food so far I had tasted.

In the presence of Gmail chat and other mode of communication, I had been in contact with all family and friends from Pakistan. Through easy access of internet, I had chat with various friends who were online in different timings throughout the day.

The friends were not from professional life but some were including Qasim, Intikhab, Nicole and others dated back old good days also chated.

***

Jan 21 (Wednesday): On another assignment, I had visited Deira-Dubai and covered three-hour long programme arranged by Emirates Post Group. The programme was the launching ceremony of ‘Rescue Gaza’ to collect donations for the welfare of people suffering in Palestine.

Everything was as usual and enjoyed very much not only the company of people but the hospitality bestowed to me. However, the story was published beautifully with my first byline in The Gulf Today. I had shared this information with almost all my friends.

***

Jan 22 (Thursday): After a five-day stay in the hotel, we had moved to our one-room flat. Our apartment located in Al Nehda area among the cluster of over dozens skyscrapers. With the help of Rasheed and N.D. Khan we had furnished our flat with all necessary things and hope to enjoy the life with a new determination.

The flat is located just 20 minutes walk from the office and we have decided to enjoy the walk as maximum as can to be familiar with the atmosphere.

One thing which has very strange that our local language, Urdu has been widely used among the expatriates belong to different countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippine and other regional countries. It seems that the people have used to adopt Urdu as second widely spoken language in the country.

***

Global Village-Dubai

Jan 28 (Thursday): During the stay in the UAE, me and other friends including Zafar and Rasheed had planned to visit Global Village-Dubai. Established on Emirate Road to enthrall the visitors coming to UAE throughout the year. The visit was very interesting and became informative. In the Global Village, different Asian and African countries had set up their pavilions where there cultural and other activities agog the tourists. Though it was weekend, people from all over the UAE had throng the festival and the entire area was showing hustle and bustle. On the way back to Sharjah, the traffic gridlock had again took almost three hours to reach home.

***

The Witch of Portobello

Feb 17, 2009: Today, Monday, I have almost completed one month in UAE, away from my family and friends. Being working as a journalist in Sharjah, UAE, I had visited many places in Sharjah-Dubai and enjoyed the working environment besides the interaction with new people belong to different parts of the world.

During the last couple of days, to lessen my solitude at home, I had read Paulo Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello, another masterpiece from the author of Alchemist. The story of Athena (the leading character in the book) was not a cluster of stories being narrated by different people who met Athena in her life. Every chapter of The Witch of Portobello was another story with a moral for the readers.

The spell of Athena was enough for me to disturb my attention for couple of days and it was lasted till the finishing of the book at once. Every sentence was a magic, every situation was a trance and every new step of Athena was really a magic. Anyway, after the finishing of Paulo Coelho’s book, I had started reading first book, Dreams Die First of Harold Robbins borrowed from Riaz Usman, a friend and senior colleague for a long time.

*****

Dear Diary,
Today, May 13, 2009 and I am here after a long spell of absent from this page. Life in Dubai-Sharjah is very fast moving. Living with all facilities which one can dream here but for me it is not worthy without my family back in home, Pakistan.
To passing the leisure time in good manner, I have started learning Arabic. The website, http://www.madinaharabic.com is one of the good site I found to horn my Arabic skills. During the last couple of days I have been practicing to learn as much as I can. Thank Almighty Allah, the Arabic language has become easier for me and Inshallah I will try my level best to learn in short time.
Besides learning Arabic, in the last two weeks, I had also finished a couple of books of James Hadley Chase and found these very fast moving and good novels.

***

“There is always someone in the world waiting for someone else, whether in the middle of the desert or in the heart of some big city. And when these two people’s paths cross and their eyes meet, the whole of the past and the whole of the future lose all importance, and there only exists that moment and that incredible certainty that everything under the Sun was written by the very same Hand. The Hand that awakens Love and creates a sister soul for everyone who works, rests and seeks treasures under the Sun. Were it not for this, the dreams of the human race would make no sense.” Paulo Coelho, the writer of Alchemist


One Response to “** Diary **”

  1. VERY WELL DESCRIBED.THE BEAUTIFUL & OLDEST LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD IS ARABIC.YOU ARE FORTUNATE THAR YOU ARE LEARNING ARABIC. — MASHALLAH

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