Friday, July 20, 2007

A State of perpetual numbness!

It has been quite sometime since I last made an entry here. I have been wanting to post on several dozen topics. From the Cyclone disaster in Pakistan to the pathetic social state of the Silicon Valley Pakistanis. And now the recent landmark Supreme court decision overturning Musharraf's dismal of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry.

Each time I would site down and attempt to write a post, I would be overcome by a state of perpetual bluh'ness, for lack of a better word. A Feeling of what for, who the heck cares would overwhelm me. Be it the desi community of the Silicon Valley, particularly the Pakistani and Muslim communities that tend to be passive to all things other than Religion.

This is a phenomenon I find most prevalent amongst Silicon Valley Muslims, who come from diverse cultural, ethnic, predominantly middle class backgrounds. But have chosen to adopt a new cultural identity that revolves around the Mosque, and all things Islam. For crying out load there is more to life other than the Mosque. I am not saying to stop attending the Mosque. I merely want point out that there is a serious imbalance in our community, which in the long run will prove detrimental.

It's either work or religion around which life for many Silicon Valley Pakistani revolves. The other day I was talking to a friend, who is fairly active in this community, runs a weekly email digest, he was complaining that their is no culture here. The Silicon Valley in itself is quite dead, in terms of a vibrant social life with concerts and plays. He further went on to comment that the people of the Valley are extremely one pointed on their respective careers, leaving little time in day for social and community interactions. If you want culture, be it art exhibitions or musicals your best bet would be to visit San Francisco.

The current Corporate buzz these days revolves around "The Human side", from Cisco's " Human Network" to Dows "Human Element", you are left with Corporations mouthing almost Utopian sounding words, yet what effect is that having on the people you live and work in and about this area we call the Silicon Valley?

We in the Valley live under this false pretense of being connected, sure we are connected technologically. Getting a hold of someone through email, instant messenger, or your social network of choice. You can connect to people, share pictures, mini applications called wigits, these various communication tools have done more damage to society as a whole than good.

I recently logged into my Facebook account, and the first thing I saw was a number of friends had been busy installing various wigit, or mini-Aps. For what? What do these tiny bits of code do for you, or how does it help you interact with people better? Does it? I personally am feeling the internet has been determinantal to society. It has isolated us even more than before.

Where is this Silicon Valley Pakistan and Muslim community headed? in a state of perpetual numbness they are, if something is not related to your career or Islam they are not interested. For crying out loud there is more to life that all this. What about enriching yours and your children's lives with art, poetry and music? How about encouraging your children, in addition to their school work to taking up (e.g) a musical instrument, be it guitar, violin, or tabla, dhol, harmonium.

Further, how much longer will this community remain passive, Your motherland is drowning from the after effects of a violent Cyclone, however there is not a wink from anyone. And I mean anyone. Apart from a few emails flying about, appear for donations from Hidaya, Islamic Relief, OPEN there hasn't been any discourse on the topic.

Millions of people have been either displaced from their homes or killed, the least one would expect is some constructive dailogue on the subject.

The bottom line is where is this community headed? Where are the thinkers, philosophers, poets, musicians, artists of the Silicon Valley? Can this ever evolve into a vibrant community engaged at levels of life. Or will it continue to remain passive and impervious to all things non Technology, Business or Religion? These are questions we all, the denizens of the Silicon Valley need to reflect. What will you do? How will you change your life?

Wake up my fellow Wadiwallahs, wake up!

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

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