‘Every woman must be stared at’ is the motto

Stepping out of your ‘Comfort Zone’ is the real challenge. Little did I know what this sentence meant until I myself stepped out of my comfort zone and took challenges in my life.

So I was a super happy BBA grad, like every other girl in my university, ready to take the next big step in life.
Thanks to Allah, I got my first job before my convocation and started to plan my life ahead.

It was a decent job in Sales department, with good package and a car for commuting within Karachi as traveling and maintaining clientele was part of my job description.

With uncountable perks, best work environment, healthy opportunities and ample growth, I took the job. However, what came next, turned my life upside down.

My reporting branch was situated at Korangi Industrial Area, near Jinnah Medical and Pakistan Steel Mills.
My day at work started from 9am, where I’d drive to work daily and return around 7ish pm.

I did not have the slightest clue that the experience I was going to gain from this organization or in this specific role, will change me a person. And so my way of thinking regarding a lot of little things including my perception changed.
I had always been a pampered child of my family. Too protected, too polished. Not going to far flung areas of Karachi because of the usual ‘halaat kharab hein’ or ‘garmi bohot hai’ or ‘Tyre puncture hogaya tou?’ etc.

So as soon as my rotation ended, I was asked to report to Branch 1 at Korangi, which by the way I’d be referring to as ‘my happy place’ throughout this article.

First day, I was on my way to ‘my happy place’, with closer on full volume and shades in place. As I reached Brooks chowrangi, I realized I had something on my face. Something huge. Maybe near my eyes. Maybe on my forehead. The first thing I did after reaching my office was rush to the restroom and check if my “no makeup look” was on point. And the hell it was! I was confused, blank and totally lost.

If my makeup was fine, if my forehead did not have any huge black spot, then what was it? Why were some eyes glued to me throughout my journey? Why were they following me as I drove past each one of them? Looking as if they were trying to tell me something. Say something. Or maybe give a signal?

I pushed these thoughts away and chose to continue working. Little did I know the horror show is yet to start!

Next day, worse.

The eyes pierced through me. The abysmal bus conductor standing near Imtiaz’s bus stop, or a bike rider on Shawn Chowrangi’s signal, had their skin piercing sharp looks and their bee-like huge eyes stuck on me as I passed by them. Chills running down my spine, I did what I did best, imagined my Mehran as a Ferrari and drove as fast as I could, to reach my happy place.

Same like the previous day, I rushed to the restroom, hoping to find SOMETHING on my face just to justify those stares. But no, nothing..

As soon as I was turning around to continue with my daily routine, my eyes fell on my shiny gold pendant that I wore everyday to work. Suddenly my father’s reminder popped up in my head.

He had given me heads up a few days back and had asked me to avoid using my phone when I enter Korangi area and to avoid wearing or carrying anything super valuable as mugging was a very common practice in this locality.

And this is it! I got it! Mystery solved!

So all those desperate looks were after my little gold pendant! Wow. Ta-daa! Problem solved.

Well, I was stupid enough to think that leaving my pendant on my dressing table before coming to work, would leave all the evil stares somewhere far away from me too.

And yet again, they followed me. Each stare, with a tiny sharp smile, at times a short quick wink was all that I witnessed every morning. I felt exposed, and that’s it! Mom’s voice rushed in my mind “Sarpey dupatta le lia karo, drive kartey huye”

Oh yes Sana, how can you be so stupid! One piece of cloth on your head, and you’re good to go.  Nobody will stop you, nobody will wink smile or even look at you. Problem solved, right? WRONG!

Dupatta didn’t work. Well, if covering myself didn’t work, maybe covering the car would work?

Next day, Sana’s covered – check, car covered with shades on each window – check, no necklace or gold pendant – check and lastly, EYES LOOKING AT YOU AND MOUTH GIVING YOU SMILES WITH GUTKA COMING OUT OF THE WHITE-TURNED-BLACK TEETH? CHECK!

And that’s when I sat back and realized. Its not us, girls. It’s the society.

Not everyone is the same, agreed. But we cannot deny how easy it is for a man in Karachi to look at you without blinking his eyes and smile/wink or even bite his lips alongside. However, all a girl can do is look down, elsewhere or just pretend she didn’t meet any eyes whatsoever.

It was hard for me to adjust with this environment. Environment which, neither me nor my family or my company could change. Because this? This runs in their blood.

I thought of asking the usual “tumharey ghar me maa behen nahi hein kia?” to the culprits, but is it worth it? Its not. This mentality can only be changed through education, because with education comes respect.

So whoever is out there, driving on the roads getting all the worlds attention,  from a hawker in kameez shalwaar, or a paanwala passing a wink, or a bus driver not letting you over take and smiling from his rear view mirror, well trust me, that’s ALL they can do.

And you? You can learn to be indifferent about it and make a little prayer for these people who have taken “deikh magar pyaar sey” too literally that yes someday, they will change and we girls, will get our share of respect.
Let the games begin.

Love,
Sana – who still drives to her happy place every day, with confidence x100.


NASA discovers 10 new Earth-size exoplanets

 

WASHINGTON: NASA revealed Monday 10 new rocky, Earth-sized planets that could potentially have liquid water and support life.

The Kepler mission team released a survey of 219 potential exoplanets — planets outside of our solar system — that had been detected by the space observatory launched in 2009 to scan the Milky Way galaxy.

Ten of the new discoveries were orbiting their suns at a distance similar to Earth’s orbit around the sun, the so-called habitable zone that could potentially have liquid water and sustain life.

Kepler has already discovered 4,034 potential exoplanets, 2,335 of which have been confirmed by other telescopes as actual planets.

The 10 new Earth-size planets bring the total to 50 that exist in habitable zones around the galaxy.

“This carefully-measured catalog is the foundation for directly answering one of astronomy’s most compelling questions — how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy?” said Susan Thompson, a Kepler research scientist and lead author of the latest study.

The latest findings were released at the Fourth Kepler and K2 science conference being held this week at NASA’s Ames research center in California.

The Kepler telescope detects the presence of planets by registering minuscule drops in a star’s brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it, a movement known as a transit.

NASA said the latest catalog is the most complete and detailed survey of potential exoplanets yet compiled. The telescope has studied some 150,000 stars in the Cygnus constellation, a survey which NASA said is now complete.

The mission ran into technical problems in 2013 when mechanisms used to turn the spacecraft failed but the telescope has continued searching for potentially habitable planets as part of its K2 project.

Govt successfully maintained reduced sugar prices during Ramazan: minister claims

ISLAMABAD: The government has successfully maintained the reduced sugar prices during Ramazan for the first time contrary to the trend in previous years.

This was noted at a meeting of Inter-Ministerial Sugar Monitoring Committee in Islamabad on Tuesday with Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan in the chair.

The meeting was informed that in 2016, the sugar prices had reached Rs70 per kilogram during Ramazan but this year, the prices were stable at around Rs56 per kilogram.

The committee was briefed that the sugar price in the domestic market according to the Sensitive Price Index for the week ending 15th June, 2017 was 56.30 per kg which was 11.1% lower than the level of December 15, 2016 when the export of sugar was allowed by the ECC.

Over dozen suspects rounded up during raids in Karachi

KARACHI: Sindh police claimed to have arrested 18 suspects involved in streets crimes, car theft and land grabbing in overnight raids, ARY News reported.

According to details, police arrested three suspects, including two car lifters, from Hyderi area and recovered three stolen cars and narcotics from their possession. The cars were stolen from the jurisdictions of the Taimoria, Azizabad, and Tipu Sultan police stations, police said.

The police also arrested 11 suspects involved in illegal occupation of amenity plots from Gulistan-e-Jauhar area.

The Jackson police arrested two suspects and recovered weapons and drugs from their possession. Whereas, Anti Violence Crime Cell (AVCC) police acting on a tip-off carried out search operation in an area adjacent to the Northern Bypass and arrested six suspects said to be involved in kidnapping for ransom.

The police said the suspects were being interrogated with regard to their suspected involvement in heinous crimes.

Besides, the police arrested three suspects from Baldia and Madina Colony.

Army chief awarded Legion of Merit in Ankara

RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was awarded the Legion of Merit in Ankara on Tuesday in recognition of his services for promotion of Pakistan-Turkey defence ties.

Speaking on the occasion, General Bajwa dedicated the award to the martyrs of both Pakistani and Turkish armed forces.

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Later, the army chief held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart General Hulusi Akar and discussed matters related to regional security.

The two leaders agreed to further enhance defence cooperation.

Turkish military leadership was greatly appreciative of the role Pakistan Army played against terrorism and in peace keeping operations and as a factor of stability in a very volatile region.

Earlier, Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Ataturk Mausoleum and laid wreath at the grave to pay homage to the father of the Turkish nation and penned down his respects on the visitor’s book.

The COAS also visited Turkish Land Force Headquarters where he was received by General Salih Zeki Çolak, Commander Turkish Land Forces and was presented guard of honour.

At the Turkish Land Force Headquarters, COAS was briefed on the regional security situation as well as the Turkish Land Forces and their various undertakings in field of training, defence production and peace keeping operations.