JournalismPakistan.com April 27, 2016
For those of us who are dedicated ‘lootriture’ types the legend is simple. When you gotta go you gotta read. In reverse but no different, you gotta read if you gotta go.
And so I find myself one morning in the bathroom at a friend’s place where I am staying and committed to using the facility discover much to my horror there is nothing to read. Not a two year old magazine, no dog-eared novel, absolutely nothing. It wasn’t as if I was looking for War and Peace or the Complete Works of Shakespeare. It is only civilized to have something in a rack to read. After stuffing down the first surge of panic since there is now no ignition and the system is backfiring I do what any decent guy would do. I hunt for reading matter.
Having discovered that the plastic curtains are ‘Made in Thailand’ and the cistern can carry 5 litres of water I pick up and read the instructions on the back of a jar of pine scented bowl cleaner that promises to remove 99% germs and reaches places no other liquid detergent can. How it maps its way through this unchartered territory is not explained but the directions are to unscrew cap and after pouring ‘blu’ under the rim I should leave it there for 30 seconds for best results. I am drawn to a new tube of toothpaste that assures me of tingly fresh breath with a new minty flavor and deep action (whatever that means) and a complete absence of tartar, bad breath and a guarantee of stronger gums.
And then I find it, a veritable Ulysses in comparison to these dismal sorties. I have just done what all decent folks do in someone else’s bathroom. I have examined the cabinet contents. Pulled out the four page pharmacological pamphlet of a medicine called librocol which is lying forlornly crumpled in a corner. I settle back for a long read. Not exactly James Patterson but it is words. I learn it is a medicament and must be kept away from children. I absorb what action has to be taken if I overdose. The active ingredient is a combination of denzodiapsine with clidinium bromide and has anxyiolitic properties. I am advised to ingest with caution, not mix with alcohol and not have it if I am lactating which activity I imagine I am safe from. I must store it at room temperature (which is like a pinch of salt) and not interrupt the period of treatment prescribed.
Courtesy my friend’s inconsiderate priorities I am now an expert on the properties of librocol and wish to warn those who use it that its side effects include constipation. I don’t have to worry about that. I have ignition.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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