Lahore was all about a conference. And a realization: Thank God I don't work in the corporate sector! With all due respect to my many friends who earn a considerable living selling soap (and other assorted products) doesn't it bother you - as it did me - that corporate truly has no soul? I mean I realize that without soap we'd be a lot dirtier, and without juice our beverage options would be that much limited and without razors men would look quite disgusting (sorry, but the bearded look and I have never been too fond of each other), but is that enough to make a career out of soap/juice/razors? I don't mean to sound all sanctimonious and preachy here (okay, maybe I do, but bear with me a moment) but don't you ever long for something a little more nuanced than a well-developed supply chain, an effective sales strategy or a clever marketing campaign? Not that the 'development' world shuns supply-chains, sales strategies or marketing campaigns. There is enough shallow hypocrisy in this sector to astound you. (Unless you were a jaded cynic in which case you'd say I-told-you-so and we'd move on). There is hypocrisy, duplicity, fraud and corruption plenty in this sector. Many opportunities for money mismanagement are capitalized upon and all-of-us who work in this sector realize that under the rosy lens reality is sometimes quite, quite fucked. But ALL of that aside, I will keep doing what I do because when you set aside every single negative factor (and believe me there are plenty) you can take pleasure (and pride) in knowing that your work affected someone else's life. That because of your efforts (and because YOU were genuine, and dedicated to your cause) one person - one family - will be a little better off tomorrow morning. And even though you don't save the world (as you once thought you would once-upon-a-naive-childhood) you did save something, even if it was just your own soul.
Karachi. A flying visit to my mom. And a fabulous manicure-pedicure session at the RainTree Spa (Forum, behind Ego). I'd wholeheartedly recommend it if anyone's in the mood for some serious pampering.
And Islamabad again. Straight to work only to find out that bloody Barakaho (the boondocks where even cows get somewhat bored) turned into a battleground because the idiot police proved (for the nth time) that they're not capable of handling a simple (and justified) protest by a small bunch of students. The police was rude, aggressive and generally fuck-annoying (by all accounts) and that was BEFORE they shot one of the students. As soon as that happened the shit hit the fan and the mob went wild. Apparently they attacked the police station, went nuts in the marketplace and mayhem resulted. They cleared it out after two days which was when I was finally allowed to leave the office. Honestly, my bed never appeared as sweet as it did yesterday night when I finally made it home after almost a week of separation.
And so that's what I've been upto all week.
How've you been?