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A Year of Sermons from The Pulpit – Reflections of a Blaager Newbie

One year ago, inspired by the interaction with the Blaagers on Twitter, I decided I needed a place of my own to vent my thoughts, feelings and opinions. Having bottled up these thoughts for several years since my return from the US of A, I figured that blogging would give me a great platform to speak out on issues just like in the good old days when I wrote in the Opinion pages of Technician.

Nearly a year has gone by and while it has been a great year in terms of my interaction with fellow blaagers, unfortunately it has not been a great year in terms of my writing. As I reflect on this past year, i see that my enthusiasm was there but the years of disuse of the creative side of my brain and the rust that had set it served as a big deterrent to my blossoming as a blogger. Add onto that a really hectic work and social schedule and unfortunately we have a very mediocre blog. Granted the quality of posts, in my humble opinion, were quite good, but the quantity was too little too far spaced and so the blog never really attracted people as there was no more content to return to.

I was so down at my performance as a blogger recently that I had actually thought of deactivating the blog. If the muse struck there were always several blogs I could guest post on. But then I recalled the saying, Success is getting up one more time than you fall down. So I’m getting back up!!

In my second last post, Vote for From The Pulpit in Pakistan’s First Blog Awards, I had promised several changes including more active posting. Four months later, I have failed miserably to deliver. I can only blame a Writer’s block for this lack of posts these past months but the truth be told it was my indiscipline to treat my blog as an area where I needed to set some goals and targets. That and the fact that i can never really manage my time despite my efforts. Another reason that I have not been able to post frequently is that I am too much of a perfectionist. Most bloggers simply write things daily as a journal, writing longer posts when needed. I need to start utilizing this format of shorter but frequent posts instead of trying to write entire volumes. The thought of the time requirement to write the type of posts I have been doing is maybe my biggest stumbling block. Shorter posts would mean I will blog more and blogging more will keep the gears of the mind well oiled and efficiency will increase.

I hope that the last post on “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” will have helped get rid of the cobwebs in my brain and started the ball rolling on things (I am writing this now so things seem to be moving OK for now I guess).

I have been alerted by the powers that be that the Blog Awards is finally happening May 28, 2010 and while the fans have helped vote The Pulpit to the top of the Best Diarist category (if you haven’t voted yet what are you waiting for?), unfortunately my four month hiatus from the field of blogging may just harm that popular vote of my fans. But I am working on that speech and figuring out all those I need to thank when I am up there (hey why be a pessimist?).

I do have several ideas for posts in the next couple of months (and writer’s block be damned if it gets in my way) and I am also trying to get some guest posts on here also. I am also Insha’Allah planning to Guest post at some other blogs also so keep your eyes on the blog for cross posts from that effort.

Finally I am calling again on the creative people out there to please help me get a new header graphic and give your suggestions for improving the look of the blog. Your help would really make this site rock!

Lastly I would like to thank all that are subscribed to my posts via email or RSS and I hope that I will be able to give you better content in the future Insha’Allah.

Vote for From The Pulpit in Pakistan’s First Blog Awards

DiscoMaluvi brings about a breath of fresh air, his tongue-in-cheek comments and his unique style of writing makes him one perfect blogger who symbolizes the true concept of blogging. He writes only when he has the urge to spill his guts, else he hounds us all on Twitter. The DiscoMaulvi name makes you wonder what’s this maulvi doing on the Disco floor.

The above words are ones used by one of Pakistan’s most well known bloggers, Dr Awab, BlogAwardsor Teeth Maestro, to nominate From the Pulpit for an award in Pakistan’s first blog awards. Such great words from someone who could easily be considered one of the Baba-e-Blogging of Pakistan is great.

Now that the gauntlet has been thrown so to say, it is imperative that the readers, without whom this blog is merely another page in the vast cyberspace, be made aware of this contest. Just as the loyal readership has made From The Pulpit worth for nomination for an award, they too must play a part in making sure that the awards committee hear their opinion.

In order for the blog to win, the readers are requested to visit and rate the blog on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. More votes means a better chance of winning. Your comments and recommendations on that page will further add to the chances of winning. And last but not the least, click on the link for the blog from the above page in order to generate page views.

While winning the competition would be great, it is really your love and support that is the more important part. Over the next year, I would like to see this blog blossom more as it emerges from its infancy. A better look, guest posts by several well-known Blaagers, active writing by yours truly, and maybe a custom URL. For all this, your support and your comments are vital. And maybe some additional marketing on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.

Well what are y’all waiting for? Get voting and commenting already! :)


Other Blogs we would like you to vote for:

Teeth Maestro

Deadpan Thoughts

Shaista Thinks

Naveen Naqvi


Raja Islam


A Special Thanks to CIO Pakistan and Google Pakistan for this great idea to promote the Pakistani Blogosphere.

This year on Pakistan’s Independence, mend some Broken Windows Facebook Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Tweet This 

August 14, 2009: Pakistan turns 62, and the Blaagers (name given to Paki bloggers) celebrate by Going Green and Trending #Pakistan on the Twitter Trends (similar to when we trended #PakCricket and Twitter was a Sea of Green). And while I was among those involved in this effort and fully supporting it these past days, a strange void was felt inside. A nagging thought that maybe Going Green and making it to the Trending Topics were feel good measures; a sense of Patriotism that rises up at occasions like this and then conveniently is put in storage for the next appropriate Pakistan Pride moment. We owe it to Pakistan to move beyond just superficial lip service to the ideals of Jinnah and our founding fathers. We must do something to stall the downward spiral we see our beloved country in.

I just finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell recently and one particular discussion in the book stuck with me: The Broken Windows theory. This thesis put forward by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982 and further discussed by Kelling in his book Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities gives us a great insight on the problems Pakistan faces right now. We have essentially become a community where there are too many Broken Windows.

So just what is this theory?

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.

Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.

Basically, the premise is that a Broken Window sends a negative signal and people start slowly treating the area around this Broken Window as rundown and derelict. The idea is that if you want to make a big change sometimes the best thing is to change seemingly trivial things. As these trivialities add up we reach a tipping point, and soon we know it the area is no more what it used to be.

Building Up Pakistan

So just what am I talking about? What windows are we breaking? Whether it is that 50 rupee note you slipped the policeman to avoid a ticket for talking on the cell while driving, or the fact that you just flaunted every traffic law that exists while driving an unregistered car without a driver’s licence. Or it is that empty Coke bottle you just threw from the car’s tinted windows.

Patriotism is not just about the paper flags you have decorated your street with, it is also about taking those flags down once the celebration is over. It is not about the huge flag on top of your house, it is also about removing that illegal and unislamic Kunda your house is running on. It is not about blaring National Anthems from your car stereo, it is about respecting the traffic laws as you do so. It is not just about being enraged at the disappearance of the Quaid’s photo from the President’s House, it is about living the ideals of the Quaid.

This year, on this Independence Day, let us resolve that we the Citizens of Pakistan will not shed our Patriotism when the clock strikes midnight. We will instead mend Broken Windows, clean up our mess, and implement the dreams and ideals on which Pakistan was founded on. And as pane after pane is fixed, we will Insha’Allah soon see Pakistan become Evergreen.

“It ain’t easy being Green” – Kermit The Frog

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