Ya Ali, maddad, is a cry that comes from the heart. Whenever a situation is out of ones control, that is the prayer so many of us resort to. As one viewed the mayhem and commotion at the tail end of a mourners procession, taken out to commemorate Hazrat Alis (AS) martyrdom on the 21st of Ramazan in Lahore, it was a cry made in desperation. It has been a most testing month with no respite since the Air Blue crash on the Margalla Hills. In one month, we went from worrying about there being no water in our rivers to being swept away by them. Pakistan has been at the forefront of news worldwide for a multitude of reasons. What all should we blame on the conspiracy theories? Or is it that, like in the famous film, The Secret, the energies of the entire universe have been commissioned to submerge and humiliate the country. The Pakistan, which was symbolised by its rich history and culture, its deeply revered Sufi saints, its amazing potential of resources and its ability to live harmoniously with the rest of the world, seems like a figment of ones imagination. While there is no let-up in the resolve of those who are targeting people in the name of jihad, even in this special month, there are others who are quietly and commendably doing all they can to contribute to and help the devastated millions. In all these unfolding scenarios, the ship of state appears helpless and, even worse, rudderless. The captain does not possess the moral authority to lead those clamouring for leadership and direction. There is an odd dichotomy among the citizens who, while believing that incidents like the Sialkot lynching must never be repeated, feel that it will be quite alright to go the same route with the corrupt ruling elite. There are a lot of underground rumblings like a volcano getting its act together. What is reassuring is that both the judiciary and the media are alive and kicking. In fact, there is a continuous no-holds-barred debate on the media on a daily basis which allows a lot of opinions to be aired. Amongst those who happen to be at the helm of affairs currently the Chief Minister of Punjab has scored for his sincerity of purpose. He looks like a man possessed as he faces one calamity after another and his body language speaks volumes for the stress he endures. On the other hand, the Punjab Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah, always appears as if he just consumed a chilled glass of lassi. He is ill-informed, too laid back and just plain dubious-looking, quite like villains of Punjabi movies. The faujis cannot but help remaining in the news, whether they want to or not. The brigadier and his entourage who opted to return from America after being offloaded from a plane on flimsy grounds deserve a pat on the back. There has to be some difference between invited guests and gate-crashers. Eid is a quiet and contemplative affair this time. There is talk in the chattering classes of going away to better and securer countries. Everyone, who can, is examining possibilities of abandoning the ship physically, purely because of the prevalent insecurity. The breaches caused to trust are much more dangerous than those caused to the bunds in the recent past. Because, the bunds, after all, can be secured far earlier than the minds of the disaffected. Postscript: Amongst all the chaos caused by the news from our cricket team, one had to put up with the accusatory tantrums of Veena Malik, ex-fianc of one of the under-cloud team members Asif. Not for nothing, it is said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned Already in a lot of trouble, Veena Malik, added tons to Asifs woes by disclosing the details of his drug habit and suspicious behaviour on various occasions. Whatever she said may well have been the truth had it also not included so much personal venom and hatred. Like in everything else in the country, this too was an example of the pendulum swinging from one end to another She has apparently now also gone to England to spill the beans to those inquiring the team. I can quite imagine the remaining team members doing a lot of astaghfurilla these days and promising themselves that they will never do anything even remotely dangerous to their status, and probably never look at glamorous girls like Veena again either There are women and women Those of the fair gender elected to the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Assembly and who are also married asked the Speaker to close the session somewhat earlier in the month of Ramazan. The reason quoted was that they had to prepare the traditional chaat and pakoras for their families for Iftar. While new responsibilities may be added on to their lives, some things remain common to all segments of women - their primary role of homemakers, which never takes a backseat even for the most academically brilliant The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com