Stockholm First Impression

So finally after a long wait I finally landed in Stockholm with my wife on 12th of september 2019. The first impression of Stockholm that I got from the Taxi drive to apartment was that how much Stockholm resembled Islamabad. Although it’s not totally like Islamabad but the journey till home sure made me feel like it.  The greenery, the clean roads, the beautiful and clear sky everything reminded me of Islamabad. But one thing that was different from Islamabad was the temprature in september. Its never that cold back home in September. I knew before coming that its going to be cold in stockholm, but I had no idea it was going to be this cold. When I later talked to Swedish colleagues in my office about it, even they were a little shocked about the early arrival of winters as well. So be prepared for the cold if you are coming anywhere between september to may. Because it stays pretty cold here almost all the time except 3 months.

The Taxis are really costly in Stockholm. Good for me that the trip from airport to my apartment was covered by my company. Otherwise it would have been a hefty 600 SEK  in 43 kms travel. Back in home I could travel in Uber every day. But here I cant even imagine a single trip on uber unless there is an absolute emergency.And not only taxis, you will find each and everything to be pretty expensive here.

That brings me to the public transport which is surely one of the finest thing about this beautiful city. You have to buy a transport card reffered to as SL card to be able to use the public transport. The SL card will enable you to take busses, trains, and even some ferries that will take you to every inch of Stockholm. The quality and punctuality of the public transport is really admirable here. Bus stations and subways have electronic boards which will tell you the wait time in your transport. You can almost always peek the bus on the far end of the road whenever the board shows 1 minute remaining.  Most people use public transport for virtually all the purposes. The busses and trains are perfectly clean. They have priority seats available for older, pregnant or people with disabilities. Also space where you can sit with your shopping bags or with your baby in stroller.

Swedes also love to ride their bicycles. You will see a lot of people bicycling to and from their offices in suits and all sort of dresses. Even the CEO of my company and the senior partner, who by the way both happen to be wonderful ladies, bike their ways to work and home. When the swedes are not bicyling you will see them on the electrical scooties which you can find anywhere on the street. Their are apps for unlocking the scooties and paying by minutes of use.

People take their diet and their health seriously. On the first lunch I had with the team, I was the only one that ordered a coke, everybody ordered plain water with food. Also I have noticed that people love coffee, but they dont add any sugar into the coffee. Also you will hardly find any obese person on the streets. I think its the combination of diet consciousness, appeal for exercise and also because of the fact that use of public transport demands a lot of walking.

You will find women equally participating in every field of the society in Stockholm. In fact with my limited exposure I am inclined to believe that the women are even more participating in the society than men. The CEO and senior partner of my company, the CEO of the relocation company that helped me with moving , the consultant of that reloaction company that helped me with the apartment, the apartment owner, all are women. Also if you will read the stats on gender equality, you will find sweden to be on top of the list.

Before coming to Sweden I had read that the Swedes are quite reserved and its difficult to talk to them. But the experience that I have had uptill now does not approve of this stereotype. I met a swedish guy on plane and he was so friendly that we kept talking till we fell asleep. Then the first day I was using the public transport to go to my office, I asked a swedish guy for help, and he was so kind that he helped me virtually all the way to my office. Also everybody is quite friendly in the office. People do tend to work quitely with focus when they are on their seats. But they love to have a good conversation over the lunch or coffee. Also there is a beautiful walking track by the lake a few steps away from our apartment. We often go there and everybody that comes here is in good mood and love to greet with a smile when you pass by. I think that is quite friendly.

Stockholm is an exquisite place to be whether you like to be close to nature or you want to be in loads and loads of people. You can get a taste of both flavors in Stockholm. You will find a lot of greenery and wonderful lakes here, where you can swim or do boating or just jog around the lake.  And you will aslo find a lot of shopping areas and resturants crowded with people. The streets are really clean and the buildings have a beautiful aesthetic feel to them. You can only feel it when you experience it on your own. And the exquisite nature is not only limited to the landscape and buildings, you can witness that in the people as well. People are tall and good looking and they dress quite decently as well. You will rarely see some one dressed a little casually on the streets. Also, if like me you come from a region where average height is on the lower side, Swedish people can make you feel like a dwarf. I am just kidding there are short Swedes as well, the children. If you ever feel depressed about your height, you can always compete with Swedish children in height.

The apartment in Stockholm tend to be quite smaller especially if you are coming from Pakistan. But on the other hand because of the small spaces, they have probably mastered the art of utilizing spaces. For example when we were apartment hunting there were a lot of apartments that had a special deck on top of the room to sleep and the rest of the ground was efficiently utilized for seating and kitchen area. The apartment that we have is 31sqm but has everything that a couple would require for a comfortable living.

These are my observations based on the first week only. God knows how they might change in time.

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چمن کو باغباں خود زیر کرنے پے اتر آیا
مسل کے گل انا کو سیر کرنے پے اتر آیا


لہو کی لت تکبر کی طلب نے لی جو انگڑائ
لڑا کر فاختہ کو شیر کرنے پے اتر آیا


قدم جلدی اٹھانے کا سبق دے کر ناجانے کیوں
امیرکارواں خود دیر کرنے پے اتر آیا


کئ برسوں کی محنت سے جو گھر تعمیر کو پھنچا
زرا سی چوٹ کھا کر ڈھیر کرنے پے اترآیا


ابھی بھی وقت ھے لوگو اگر تم چاند کو چن لو
تمھارا رھنما اندھیر کرنے پے اترآیا




Contemplating Time-off

These past few days have seen the politics of worst kind in Pakistan. From allegations of harassing massages to the claims of hidden marriage, Pakistan has had enough. Everybody that I talked to seemed exhausted with the news and wanted to get a break. But with the modern media and the social networks breaking news 24/7, getting a break from the current affairs feels like an impossible dream. But to be practical this is the right time and best chance to get a break and let your politics related brain cells rest and re-energize before the election 2018 strikes us again.

Sitting at home on a working day, trying to divert my attention away from the stomach pain, the ship of my thoughts sailed through the memory voyage once again. It’s been almost two years since I started my professional career as a software engineer. I cant believe how quickly the time has passed, I remember Back in the university days dreaming of having a job seemed like everything. Especially in final semester, job was all that we would discuss. Right after the senior batch passed out, we would often sit around together and try to recall the names of our seniors who graduated just shy of a 2 GPA. We used to be really happy if one of those guys got a job right out of university. Actually the happiness was not truly for them but for us, because if one of those guys could get a job, then chances were that the gods of jobs would show mercy on us as well.

I wasn’t sort of the guy who would study consistently through out the semester, neither were most of my friends. In fact I was quite far away from that, I remember in one of the start semesters me and my friend had this competition of  leaving quizzes (the one who misses more quizzes wins), it wasn’t a declared sort of competition but rather an unintentional one, somehow the number of left-quizzes kept increasing for both of us naturally. Sometimes we kept sleeping through the quiz times, sometimes we didn’t bother going to the Braber’s hall (That is where the quizzes and exams used to take place) because we could foresee the outcome of the quiz already. I don’t really remember who won the competition, but we both sure did end up with the probation letter in our hands.

I used to be really care free. I didn’t know the significance of a good GPA. Since I had already made up my mind that I would do a job after graduation, and as I had heard multiple people say that GPA doesn’t matter in our industry, I didn’t bother much about the grades. Rather it would be right to say that I made it a motto of my life to not get a good GPA. I remember during one summer, I picked up a course to improve, and got so lost in watching the season “LOST” that I actually lost the bet of exam and ended up with the same grade as before after the summers. I remember I slept in the mid term exam and as soon as the invigilator woke me up with a weird look, I handed him the paper and left. I was totally John Snow in that exam (The guys who don’t understand the game of throne’s reference, John snow’s girl friend kept telling him that he knew nothing).

That attitude wasn’t lasting however, I changed in my senior year. I wanted to make a good impression before passing out. I also realized that although a normal GPA doesn’t effect your job hunt, but the bad GPA sure does. So I worked and prayed to get a good GPA. I got really good marks in the 7th semester mid-term exams. My friends started to tease me that I am ending up on the deans honors list this time. Although they did that in a humorous way, I however decided to turn this into the reality and got serous about the quizzes and assignments. And when the final result came out, I had actually gotten on to the dean’s honor list. My friends were shocked. And I sure teased them back.

The funny thing however is that the dean had forgotten about the party that he had to throw for the toppers. So I went to him and discussed it with him. we finalized a date for the party. But then when the day came I slept through it and missed it.

However I have always been good about the practical stuff, even during the first semesters when I was clumsy about the studies, I enjoyed doing the programming exercises, and focused on the projects seriously. That is the reason that the responsibility of the coding part of the final year project was entirely put on my head by my group mates. They helped equally in the presentations and documentation part though.

It has only been two years and the university days seem far behind. My target at the time of graduating was to get my hands dirty with coding for two years and then plan for the future. Seems like the time has come and I need to re-evaluate my future plans.


Panama Rasgullay

There was a time when Mooti choor’s laddu were the most famous sweets in Pakistan. But since May 2017, the Panam rasgullas of two Khwajas of Noon league have become even more famous than Mooti choor. It is true that Mooti choor’s laddu are delicious beyond comparison but the value added quality that Panama rasgullay bring to the table are just unimaginable.

The biggest advantage that the panama rasgullay hold over poor Mooti choor is that their heavenly taste lingers on for exactly 58 days. The consumer can continue to enjoy the amazing panama delight for steady 58 days for the price of one rasgulla. And even after 58 days the panam rasgulla doesn’t stop to surprise you. If you remember a toffee from the childhood which used to be sweet in the beginning but would turn extreme bitter as you suck it a little, making your prankster friends laugh at you while you make funny faces, well that’s exactly what the panama rasgullas have brought for you. Right after 58 days they turn extremely bitter changing the taste of your mouth, giving you a sudden surprising diarrhea and gas. It sure feels a little uneasy and messy but its good entertainment for your friends and spectators watching you bloat and burp.

Another brilliant quality of Panama Rasgulla is that it makes you high. You don’t need to buy weed for straight two months after eating one rasgulla. All the troubles from your lives will just fade away and everything will look perfect as heaven. You will sing ,twist and dance for two months and will only be aware of the realities of life after two months. But no harm right? you can have another rasgulla after two months and experience high once again.

All the mithai faroosh of Pakistan are worried about this 3rd generation rasgulla. And are planning to give a dharna in front press club Lahore. Their only demand from is  Noon league to release the recipe of this magical Panama rasgulla.


Right after eating Panama Rasgullay.


After 58 days(Rasgulla’s turning bitter)


High on Rasgulla.


شب و روز

               دن گزرتا ہے گزرتی نھیں کیوں رات میری
شب کی تنہائ سے بنتی نہیں کیوں بات میری

                  کاردنیا میں ہی الجھا رہوں بھولا ہی رہوں
                     ہو نا پاے میرے ماضی سے ملاقات میری

تو جو رکتا تھا تو رک جاتا تھا نظروں کا طواف
تو جو چلتا تھا تو چلتی تھی جبیں ساتھ میری

                  چلو اچھا ہوا جانے سے تیرے جاتی رہیں
                  سب دعائیں سبھی حاجات و مناجات میری



Slash the cancer not the whole body.

The truth has finally become clear to the MQM supporters and voters, and if you think thoroughly, it is a big deal. Never in the history of MQM have we witnessed the MQM supporters denounce their leader in any case, they would go any lengths to defend Hussain’s stance no matter how smudged it was. We have witnessed many occasions when whole of the Karachi would be shut down if anyone dared to speak up against Altaf Hussain. Nobody would deny that the bond of MQM supporters was very different from any other political party and its leadership. People wouldn’t even mind turning to violence to stop voices against Altaf Hussain. It won’t be wrong to say that people loved Altaf hussain unconditionally, and didn’t even leave him even after he had broken their trust so many times, it was only after this irreversible incidence that they finally decided to give up on him, and all for good.

The question to ponder however is about the fate of post Altaf MQM. Many of people think that it should be totally banned, their national and provincial members be deprived of their seats, and article 6 be filed against the whole of MQM leadership. But is it really going to be helpful? Is it really going to be good for a peaceful Karachi and peaceful Pakistan?

We all know that Urdu speaking community of Karachi shares a special bond between them, they have a stronger sense of belonging to each other than rest of the ethnic identities. And this Urdu speaking majority of Karachi considers MQM to be its true representation. And we all know that whenever there is a trouble against MQM, it is considered to be a trouble against all of the Urdu speaking community of Karachi and it causes a sense of panic and frustration in all the Muhajir community. So the question that we should really ask is that is it worth upsetting all of them? Won’t it hurt us all if we push them all to the limit that they really begin to ponder if there were some reasons behind Altaf’s controversial stance?

I think the natural way is the best way, and if they are realizing it themselves that Altaf Hussain, once considered their identity is a bad omen to them, we shouldn’t stand in the way of the natural order of things rather we should show our support and love to them. It’s never a good idea to rub something in opponents face when he is already realizing that he was wrong. It could make him stick to his wrong opinion out of ego. And be assure that rubbing Altaf Hussain in the face of whole MQM would not benefit any of us.

We all know that it is an unprecedented event in the history of MQM, and we should not doubt their intentions. And if we do doubt their intentions then that won’t be fair on our part, and the reason that I say so is that in the recent past we did give a chance to the deviated ex MQM leaders who made a new party named as Pak Sar Zameen Party. If Mustafa Kamal and his colleagues have the right to get another chance after defending Altaf’s quisling speech in India, and defending MQM after 12 May, why Farooq Sattar and his colleagues shouldn’t be given another chance after they have categorically denounced Altaf and have broken all the connections with MQM London.

Another perspective on this issue would be to think of this situation as if you are in Sattar’s feet. If you are loyal to your community and if you want to help them, won’t you want to do the same thing? Would that be better to break the party and let the Urdu speaking voters wander around in hopelessness? Or would that be better to slash the cancerous part of the party and build the confidence of his people once again.

No matter how much we all hate MQM and their policies, one thing that we cannot deny is that there are some brilliant, young, energetic, educated and patriots who belong to the middle class in the party. They were given this opportunity by the party. We don’t know of many parties in Pakistan who give chance to the unknown middle class people to rise high among their ranks. These people have their affiliations and feelings attached to the party and we should respect it. And if they are willing to correct their mistakes, we should be compassionate about it. Long live Pakistan.





Crisis is a teacher, respect it.

Writing is what makes me feel liberated, it slows down the pace of my life and makes me feel free of all troubles. Past few days have been immensely hectic, with problems in production, the customer had made our lives hell. Days, nights, weekends were all alike and the fire fighting against the bugs continued regardless of the constraints of time and space. The times like these make you believe in the Murphy’s intellect and most importantly his laws:

  1. Things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.
  2. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.

There is no doubt about the above laws and that is why they are called Murphy’s laws and not Murphy’s theories. However I think, had Murphy been a Computer scientist he would have proposed another law:

3. Whatever cannot go wrong on your machine will and must go wrong on client’s machine.

Too bad he was an aeronautical engineer and missed on one of the most important law.

Anyways, in times like these when things are going wrong one after another, and you have a lot of pressure on you to fix things up, the probability of you making mistakes increases, and the cushion of making mistakes decreases. That is when your team matters the most because that is when you need your team the most. Now if your team is not helping at all and they believe on the philosophy of “every man for himself “, then you are all doomed. But if you are lucky enough to have a supportive team like me, then your problems become easy, and all of you together are able to put the fire out. Not only you are able to do your job well but you enjoy the thrill of fire fighting during all this period. No matter how much you complain at the outside, inside yourself you know that it was fun and that you have achieved something.

The things that you learn after the crisis has passed is that you start to believe in yourself , you start to trust your instincts and intuition, you know that if anything like that comes up again , you will be able to deal with it. And that is one hell of a quality to ask for.

The other thing that crisis teaches you is that you are at your best when you are calm, so whenever a crisis hits you and you are overwhelmed with the things , you should take a break. Sometimes a walk of few minutes can give you brilliant ideas to fix the issue, that otherwise you wouldn’t have come up with.

The last thing that you should know is that when the crisis ends, you should find a little time for yourself ,do whatever you like ,party hard if you want, or if you want to rest then sleep like a dog (I have no idea if the dogs sleep that long, it just sounded good so I wrote). And most importantly enjoy whatever you are doing.