A little explanation for this one. I wrote this originally for ET Blogs, but while they appreciated the fan-girling, they said they couldn’t publish this because it would be too much like self-promoting. Anyway I thought it was funny and decided to post it here although it should be mentioned that most of the time, I’m the only one laughing at my jokes which is one of the few things I actually like about myself. 😀 anyway, without further ado, the blog ET was too scared to publish;

The Day the Earth Stood Still:

If anyone had ever told me how grueling my fifth semester at uni would be, I’d have dropped out by the second one. Thanks to a crappy school, and courses I could easily ace due to actually liking them at college, I’m not accustomed to actually working hard in studies. At school, the teachers didn’t care, so I didn’t. College, nothing to work for as long as you attend the lectures and listen to the class discussion. So when a horrible semester from hell ended on the 25th I returned home, had a proper meal after two weeks, and after the appropriate resting period (read; hibernation) of four hours, I woke up, ready to face the world. With that thought in mind, I started up my netbook, shook it about five minutes so the LCD’s image would stop shaking, and opened up the Express Tribune webpage.

“Alright then, world,” I thought to myself, waiting for my incredibly slow connection to actually work, “What have you been up to while I was away?”

Sadly enough, the world had no answer, because the ET page didn’t open. Cursing my wireless connection and the Mobilink Infinity people whose brilliant connection I gave up when they tried to cheat me out of more money than I owed, I opened up a couple of other links to see what was wrong. Yahoo, opening up just fine. Facebook, merrily blinking away. My Gmail, logged in without a hitch.

Puzzled, I opened my ET Blogs bookmark. Nothing. Error messages, no matter how many times I refreshed.

“Oh good lord,” I thought, beginning to panic, “This is about the Veena Malik thing isn’t it? They can’t compare her to Xena damnit, as a fan I cannot be silent! They can’t block me for that! Trekkies get away with it, why can’t I?!” Taking a couple of deep breaths, I reminded myself of all the ways blocking one individual from their website would not only be unethical, but also, a waste of time for people who really had much better things to do than care about someone who didn’t have enough of a life to not geek out every chance she got.

A sudden thought struck me. Could this be some kind of a gag on the media? Had the government somehow been overthrown by the military and the media prevented from reporting it? Rushing to my TV, I turned on every news channel I had; Samaa, Geo, Dawn, Express 24/7…Nothing. Perhaps the news hadn’t made it yet? And the channels were still running…

I tried opening the Daily Times, Nation, and Jang websites. They opened just fine. Again, ET refused to give me anything but an error message. That was when I realized I still had one thing left; TWITTER!

A quick scan of my feed revealed that there were others facing the same problem as me. Via Twitter, I learned that the website had faced a DDOS attack and would be up and running soon. I heaved a sigh of relief, feeling like the world made sense again. But wait! What would I do till then? There were a few blogs I’d planned on reading after exams, plus the bomb blasts, plus, I hadn’t kept up with the news properly during finals and wanted to see what I’d missed… The world would keep turning without the ET site, but for me, it stood still.

Fighting back my hysteria and reminding myself that being a drama queen just isn’t attractive anymore when you’re in your twenties, I attempted to think rationally, which, let’s face it, never an easy feat for someone ruled more by their emotions and passions. (Some journalist-in-training I am, eh?) A lightbulb went off in my head; There’s still Dawn! Sure, I don’t frequent their website much, sticking to just reading the newspaper only, and sure, it isn’t as attractive as ET and yeah, I’d have trouble navigating myself in unfamiliar waters, but its Dawn after all, the leading English daily in the country!

Scanning the news was fine. Sure, it wasn’t the familiar website I was so used to, but hey, news is news after all, and there was a time when I only read Dawn, not so long ago. Done with scanning the news, with great trepidation, I clicked on the blogs link. (After taking an embarrassingly long time to find it I might add, but it made me realize I needed my midnight caffeine fix after all) Scanning through the catchy titles, I looked in vain for a name I might recognize. That was when I discovered the unthinkable; they didn’t publish names on the main blog page! How on earth would I know if the writer was someone who I knew from past experience to be a good writer? I don’t want to waste my time reading some lame blog! (Which is what many of you are thinking right now, so turn back while you can, I can go on for hours. No really, I have been known to go on for hours, it’s not an exaggeration.)

I checked the site again, and despite reports of it working for people by then, I still couldn’t open it for some reason. Repeating a mantra of “Its Dawn, after all!” I clicked my way through the blogs. While they may not all have been the same old writers, the material actually was good and before I knew it, mom was stumbling out for Fajr prayers, scolding me for still being awake. Scrambling off to bed, I woke up at a time which, for the sake of whatever dignity I have left, I won’t divulge, and after my morning-err, let’s call it wake-up coffee, immediately checked the ET site again.

Glory be and hallelujah! It was working! I cuddled my netbook and petted the screen. “Never leave me again,” I whispered.

On another note, I think I probably need to get a life and stop being so attached to a newspaper. (But it’s so shiny and pretty! Plus, IHT!)

  1. Ali says:

    I am speechless.
    What a strange (good but strange nonetheless) post.
    Post-Exam euphoria?

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