Privacy in Karachi
I am overwhelmed with the lack of privacy and the overwhelming presumptions that exist in our culture. Yes, its has been discussed, how we cannot mind our own business, TV shows and books speak of the gossiping neighbors as an arch type that we all must bear, but why? Why can’t people mind their own business? Do they gain anything at all? A wise man once said “small minds discuss people, big minds discuss events and great minds discuss ideas, genius act silently”. Have we lost all semblance of greatness? We are a bunch of childish grown ups who feel compelled to focus and comment on the person rather than the idea being presented. Is this why we are lagging behind in the race to just be human?
Coming back to my peeve, the lack of privacy… when applying for a bank card here, you are usually asked for your mother’s maiden name. This is a Western idea of security as women usually take on the name of their husbands after marriage and so someone may not know your mother’s maiden name (surname) if they have met you as an adult and so may not be a security threat to you. Recently, when I filled my form for such a bank card, not only could I NOT seal the form, the office admin person actually looked at the form and asked why I had not given my mother’s complete name! The one “secure” question is not only open for all to see it’s also open to scrutiny! (Also the distance between cars is so minimal I do feel violated sometimes just by the sheer lack of distance between my car and my “lane mate’s”! – I say lane mate’s because of course we are so keen on sharing that people feel compelled to “share” my lane with me, no “one lane one car” rule here! Also, before someone starts off with how there are too many cars and not enough space, yes there are, but if you drive BEHIND one another, you will still get to your destination, it will just take a little longer). I digress but I heard how a foreign delegate once said about us Karachi-ites that we are a people going no where in a hurry!! Let that be food for thought, especially at a time when we are supposed to be practicing self restraint and control, during Ramadan.
Also, this idea of asking about people’s salary when was that deemed as ok? It’s not ok to say we are a very close knit society and its ok to share this stuff. No. These are unsaid rules that were once considered a lack of breeding and grooming. Why is everything that we do wrong considered ok now? These are small day to day peeves that I mention here. I am not touching on the big topics like justice for all, irrespective of financial background, that is a quagmire I am not sure I am capable of handling here, but there is a genuine lack of upbringing in our people and it’s time we start acting educated. Even if we did not practice such things earlier, we can change still, (that is the human condition) it may not be too late for us as yet .