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May 26, 2012
Desert Rose
June 10, 2012

Citizens should be allowed to let off steam in peaceful healthy ways. There is a lot of hidden anger that comes out when people are protesting on the roads, on television and in the news, but especially when they are protesting against power outages. By Fareeha Qayoom

By Fareeha Qayoom



esterday there was no power outage for three hours straight during the prime time. (Apparently, they made some extra energy because of the glacier meltdown).  I got to watch lots of current affairs programs on TV between 8:00 PM to midnight. I hadn’t tuned in for ages…Funnily enough, I hadn’t missed much. It was same old, same old blah, blah, blah…


First, there was Mubasher Luqman’s show on Dunya TV. I must say, it was pretty intense– (I felt like a guilty voyeur for compulsively watching but even then, I wouldn’t let my brother switch channels!).  It was a total stand-off at ok corral. I am not even sure who won? The topic of the day was the coming budget and was the government even aware of the misery her policies were causing regular people of Pakistan? Lots of disturbing news footage about three ordinary citizens of Pakistan living the lives of quiet desperation…mixed with an intense diatribe from Luqman and emotional, defensive and irrational outbursts by the two invited guests who were trying to defend their roles as politicians in the sitting government.

Then, there was Mehr Bukhari’s show. Another gloom and doom topic that advised parental guidance. The topic du jour was young suicides and was our society depressed?


After that we moved to Najam Sethi’s  show – his talk was about legal and illegal detention by our intelligence agencies and Dr. Afridi’s possible detention for a year before the public display of ‘so-called’ due process.


What seems to be missing from our public discourse is the indigenous, genuine ‘made in Pakistan’ feel-good factor, the positive and happy stuff to balance out the gloom and doom news and happenings being bombarded from virtually all directions.


There is no light relief. They have even taken away cricket from us – (am not even sure who ‘they’ are). The only ray of light nowadays on television for example is ‘Coke Studio’– that’s the only creative, collaborative, feel-good (musical) show that allows (a subsection of) the nation to unite, albeit on the net, over the press and privately at homes. The only other light relief is cookery shows. (No, Indian soaps are not light relief. They cause stress to the watchers too!) The music channels are all showing Indian filmy music which is hardly entertainment – the songs are obviously made as advertisements for movies and have a total commercial purpose. How many commercials can you watch in an hour? It begs the question – is there anything indigenously positive, creatively brilliant watchable happening in Pakistan?


There is a cultural vacuum and no escape from the harsh realities of our lives. You bet we are depressed, manic and suicidal. There is no mystery – you don’t need to do shows to state the obvious. It is simple – input is equal to output. People who have not discovered God or religion, back bone or indeed character (as Haroon Rashid and Senator Mushahid’s suggested remedy for depression in Bukhari’s show) need some peaceful and healthy outlets too.


Citizens should be allowed to let off steam in peaceful healthy ways. There is a lot of hidden anger that comes out when people are protesting on the roads, on television and in the news, but especially when they are protesting against power outages.


The TV producers should do some happy stuff too for prime time.  Inciting people to become a mob is not the answer. Allow the people to laugh too – something on the lines of “hum sab Umeed sain hain” for example. I also caught sneak peek of “But tameezian” between commercials – that guy was a brilliant mimic.


Bottom line, why can’t they do more laughs then cries? “Do More” or in other words, “dil mangay or!”





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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


  1. more reading?

    The Power of Positive Thinking
    By Remez Sasson

    Positive thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results.

    A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful result.

    Whatever the mind expects, it finds.

    Not everyone accepts or believes in positive thinking. Some consider the subject as just nonsense, and others scoff at people who believe and accept it. Among the people who accept it, not many know how to use it effectively to get results. Yet, it seems that many are becoming attracted to this subject, as evidenced by the many books, lectures and courses about it. This is a subject that is gaining popularity.

    It is quite common to hear people say: “Think positive!”, to someone who feels down and worried. Most people do not take these words seriously, as they do not know what they really mean, or do not consider them as useful and effective. How many people do you know, who stop to think what the power of positive thinking means?

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  2. Positivity
    Insights from Science on the Art of Living
    by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.

    Darwin’s Regret
    Darwin’s regret: Not enough poetry and music
    Published on May 15, 2009 by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. in Positivity

    My mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years… Now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry… I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music… My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts…

    If I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

    Why Choose Hope?
    Published on March 23, 2009 by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. in Positivity

    President Obama continues to urge Americans to choose hope over fear. The choice is vital. Hope and fear are not mere words or facial gestures. They’re deeply felt neurochemical stances toward our current circumstances – stances that alter our outlooks, our actions, as well as the life paths that unfold before us.

    Fear closes us down. Our actions become rigid and predictable. Pessimism pervades our self-talk and drives our decisions. Our bleak outlooks bleed into our exchanges with family, friends, and colleagues, eroding any collective sense of safety or security. Fear’s negativity also seeps into our bodies and affects our health. We can feel it eating away at our stomachs, raising our stress hormones, and turning our shoulder and neck muscles into stone.

    But what about hope? Do we truly know all that it offers? Can hope lead us out of these dark times?

    Hope is not your typical form of positivity. Most positive emotions arise when we feel safe and satiated. Hope is the exception. It comes into play when our circumstances are dire – things are not going well or at least there’s considerable uncertainty about how things will turn out. Hope arises precisely within those moments when fear, hopelessness or despair seem just as likely. Perhaps you’ve just lost your job, your dreams for starting a new business or retiring. Hope, in times like these, is what psychologist Richard Lazarus describes as “fearing the worst but yearning for better.”

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  3. Every living cell in your body reacts instantly to every thought you have. “There are two types of addicts. The happy ones, and the violent ones.” – VH1 – 9-11-01. Luckily … I have seen the happy ones. (yKil)

    If you’re successful half the time, try doubling your efforts.

    · On a positive note I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. · · I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. · · I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. · · I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” · · I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. · · I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can,happiness will find you. · · I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. · · I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. · · I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. · · I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. · · I’ve learned that you should pass this on to someone you care about. · · I just did. Sometimes they just need a little something to make them smile. Note: People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but People will never forget how you made them feel… ”

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  4. Positivity

    You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. But either way, people want to be around you. Their world looks better around you because your enthusiasm is contagious. Lacking your energy and optimism, some find their world drab with repetition or, worse, heavy with pressure. You seem to find a way to lighten their spirit. You inject drama into every project. You celebrate every achievement. You find ways to make everything more exciting and more vital. Some cynics may reject your energy, but you are rarely dragged down. Your Positivity won’t allow it. Somehow you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one’s sense of humor.

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  5. The Optimism Bias
    By Tali Sharot Saturday, May 28, 2011

    We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures. We watch our backs, weigh the odds, pack an umbrella. But both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic. On average, we expect things to turn out better than they wind up being. People hugely underestimate their chances of getting divorced, losing their job or being diagnosed with cancer; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; envision themselves achieving more than their peers; and overestimate their likely life span (sometimes by 20 years or more).,8599,2074067,00.html

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  6. The search for optimism
    Huma Yusuf | 30th January, 2011

    THERE is one question that Pakistanis outside Pakistan dread being asked (and no, it`s not, `when does your visa expire?`). It`s a query that evokes contradictory instincts and emotions — cynicism, truthfulness, restraint and an indefatigable, yet inexplicable, nationalism. `Is there cause for optimism in Pakistan today?`

    My knee-jerk response is to say `yes, of course, why not?` I remind my questioner that sceptics have predicted the collapse of Pakistan for decades, but that we`re still hanging in there. Honestly, though, this answer is a false positive. Just because Pakistan hasn`t imploded doesn`t mean we should be optimistic about the country`s current state.

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  7. Optimism Test

    To test your O.Q. (optimism quotient), answer the following questions honestly. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question; the program will keep score and you will find your O.Q. at the end of the test:

    Apply our optimistic suggestions, for example : read good books, smile more, spend time with optimistic people, do good deeds for those around you, listen to good news (there are plenty!) and bring good news to others. Come back to take the Optimism Test from time to time and follow your own improvement as an optimist.

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  8. The Case for Optimism
    Special Report
    Why It’s Smart To Be Optimistic

    Sure, it has been a harrowing storm. And now is no time to discount the dangers that still exist. But opening your mind to optimism can help you seize the opportunities ahead

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  9. How to Be Optimistic

    Edited byKrystle C. and 92 others

    While being skeptical can be a healthy way to avoid getting taken advantage of, being pessimistic – that is, always assuming the worst – can have major negative consequences on your life. Seeing only the negative aspects of any situation can cause you to miss opportunities, neglect problems that need to be solved, and fail to take action that would otherwise improve your relationships and quality of life. In fact, studies show that pessimists are more likely to develop chronic illnesses later on in life than optimists. Optimists look for the light at the end of the tunnel. If you’ve always had a pessimistic worldview, it can be difficult to shift your focus, but it is possible to start seeing the glass as half full, not half empty. In fact you may come to realize that glasses are in general all full – it’s just that gravity tends to attract the more dense liquid material towards the bottom.

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