Tallat Azim Summers are associated in our part of the world with monsoons, romance, holidays, kholapuris and kur-tas. We can also throw in man-goes, cucumbers and lassi for good measure. These pleasures have always been enjoyed by all social tiers at their respective levels. We are generally a lazy lot and the summer heat makes us more so. Its time off, do not disturb, whatever. So therefore, if people are not doing what they usually do with the onset of summer this year and are hot and bothered enough to be out in the streets protesting, the government had better wake up. The 18th Amendment has been passed by the Parliament but it is not doing much to placate the loud protestations being made against the demon of loadshedding. The fumes emanating from burning tyres are nauseating the air and adding to the rising temperatures. The mood of the populace is anything but celebratory. One is left to contemplate on the fact that a recent example of an uprising has been seen in Kyrgyzstan where President Bakiyev had to flee the country for bloodshed to stop. More than for anyone else, it should be a point of concern for those in positions of authority as Kyrgyzstan is not so far away from us and the kharboozeh ko dekh ker kharbooza rung pakarta hai theory may suddenly become applicable here too Our summer of discontent has become visible as the unwashed millions realise that their lot keeps getting worse and, while the world keeps making advances, they are made to live in circumstances in which their counterparts lived several centuries ago. What is worse is that the common man also intensely resents the fact that the menace of loadshedding does not affect the elite and people with means because they have substitutes and go about their lives undisturbed. It is this hopelessness for their lot ever improving that is bringing them to the streets, even in the prime ministers city of Multan. Governance in this country has also suffered because of poor public service management. For years we have blamed only the politicians but even with martial law there has never been any improvement in governance. The babus have always been more concerned about their perks and incentives rather than any meaningful change. Resources continue to be misallocated in development projects because of corruption and mismanagement. Newspapers report that the Pay Commission 2010 has once again proposed an across the board pay increase, leaving the system intact. As part of a major overhaul of the government machinery a 50 percent raise in the pay and pension of civil and military personnel has been proposed for July 1 this year. It will have an impact of Rs 507 billion on the national exchequer over three years. What about the common man? Who is planning that he gets two square meals a day? That he has hospitals to go to and water to drink, and most importantly, electricity every day. Postscript: Firdaus Ashiq Awan represented the government at Shoaib and Sanias wedding in India. TV reports told us that she took a taj or crown for Shoaib as a gift from the people of Sialkot. Firdaus Awan won in a general election from Sialkot and the bridegroom belongs to Sialkot, hence her being the chosen one. My crib is only with the choice of gift It really bothers me that people in Pakistan actually view the crown as a gift option and bestow it often on people they love best. Rasm-e-taj poshi is a phrase one hears often. Maybe, it is the hidden yearning for days of yore and monarchy and the wish to be slaves again. No body ponders for a moment to think how ill fitting crowns make the recipients look more like clowns than anything else I wonder how Shoaib looked. Another story doing the rounds is about the NGO set up by Mussarat Misbah, for girls who were victims of acid throwers, called Smile Again Foundation. The Smile Again Foundation has done extremely high profile fund raising events and telethons over the last five years or so. An investigative report says that the Smile Again Foundation has no records of the ample funds raised. This leads me to wonder if all the other NGOs like Zindagi Trust and Sahara for Life, which are also run by showbiz personalities, have their accounts in order as they too have got contributions from far and wide. In Pakistan, if ever there is something to show for fund raising, it is the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital set up by Imran Khan. A mobile company has made the most beautiful video which depicts the dilemma of the modern rat race. Every time one views it, it brings tears to the eyes. How a successful man gives up his job and brings his management skills into building a school for the deaf and mute as he has a sister who is deaf. The video does so many things rolled into one. It highlights special education, it focuses on reality and roots, and most importantly it motivates to give back and to put right all that is wrong. One is reminded of the Obama election slogan we can It is definitely advertising at its best. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com