The question continued to haunt all us Pakistanis, and it should also have haunted the rest of the world: how did the flood victims perform their sehris and iftaris? It may well be that the way they did has been closer to the way it should be performed: simply, without any fanfare, based on a very simple menu. Well, raging inflation has made elaborate iftaris a rarity anyhow, so perhaps all of this poverty being imposed on us is actually good for us? Well, if you buy the argument (which has never been made yet) that the IMF is the organization we are spiritually bound to satisfy on earth, then you can probably make the case that poverty endured for the IMFs sake will lead you to heaven, but if you dont, you will wonder. Another thing that has happened with these floods is that it has put Pakistan and India in unfamiliar roles. Where Pakistan now is in the unfamiliar position of receiving aid from India, India finds itself in the (for it) highly unusual position of an aid donor. Pakistan is used to receiving aid, but not from India, while India is more used to getting than giving. India would like to give out aid, only so far it has held back because of its teeming and hungry millions, now about a billion. You know, its like with people. If you hang out with rich people, you should be rich yourself. So if India wants to hang about some street corner with the USA, which is making a cosy nuclear deal with it, it should prepare itself to shell out more aid, while its own people continue to starve on the streets of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay, even though they may have been renamed Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai respectively. Americans mustnt take all their idioms dealing with Indians very seriously, like Indian givers, because they mostly dealt with Red Indians, or rather Native Americans now that they are safely extinct. On the other hand, Indians should take a good long look at the fate of their Red counterparts, and remember the quote, White man speak with forked tongue. Before they get too happy with their new superpower status, Indians should remember that no one ever became a superpower with anothers help. And that this superpowering is an expensive business. And the present superpowers only got there because they made others pay for their adventures, just as Pakistan is being fooled into paying for the USAs War on Terror by promises. Well, it seems now India is being made to pay for both the War and for the nuclear deal, and not just by buying uranium ore from American companies, but by giving Pakistan aid. Well, India is not so much giving Pakistan the money as it is giving the President of Pakistan, who doesnt mind where the money comes from, so long as its foreign exchange. It might or might not have been appropriate for Pakistan to have accepted Indian money so soon after it celebrated Independence Day, which not just meant getting back its independence, as it does for so many other ex-colonies, but the actual coming into existence of Pakistan, the actual redrawing of the old map, not just a re-labelling. However, that is one of the great achievements of the present government, which the previous government is so envious of. The previous government would probably have gone closer to India, because it was headed by a commando who wasnt afraid of anything, and who is best remembered as the man who showed Parliament his fists. But we shouldnt worry, the activities in the floods are meant to build up a debt of gratitude which will allow a takeover. They souldnt wait too long, because the real debt of gratitude is owed by those East Punjabi refugees brought to Pakistan by the Boundary Security Force, who would probably have been killed otherwise. We shouldnt forget that the Muslim portion of the Force was commanded by a certain Brigadier Ayub Khan. He was probably the first person to translate a debt of gratitude for what was after all duty performed, into the right to rule. However, when all is said and done, there has been a lot of destruction, and our worries about sehris and iftaris should be replaced by worries about Eid. Ramazan has reached the halfway mark, more or less, and Eid is fast closing on us. We will probably go towards our preparations without thought of those who will have to celebrate it as refugees under the sky. That is unfortunate, as unfortunate as the poor brothers we should be spending Eid with. Well, more than a year after the bomb blast which totaled the '15 office, the traffic light at Qadri Chowk is back up, just the last thing after the wall that restores the purdah of the regional ISI office, which was left open for staring at by any Indian tourist, which allowed the extraction of its secrets. It seems the region is now secure.