Series: How I became a Reader. Part two

In Toronto, I was living alone and free. That gave me freedom to go wherever I want to. I was siting in a class titled “Politics and Economics”. My professor started quoting Marx too much. I was of an impression that Marx was this Russian who wants government to own everything and than try and achieve a society with no private property. Moreover, I saw them as traitors in Pakistan. This preconceived notion was a result of my upbringing in Pakistan where Marxist Poets like Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Military General Akbar khan were declared traitors as they planned a coup in early stages of Pakistan’s independence.

However, when I read the communist manifesto, I started realizing what a glorious mind Karl Marx was. His explanation of labour exploitation, capitalist greed and overproduction was so enticing and close to my heart that I started reading Polyani’s essays on the new west, David Harvey’s theory of enigma of capital and the systemic risk  and Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s urdu poetry. This phase of my life is very meaningful to me at a personal level. 

I started relating every theory with the economic system of my home country Pakistan which is a predominantly capitalist economy. The problem with that was that I had failed to recognize the fact that Pakistan’s economic planning was just election based and there was virtually no saperation of both the judiciary and  religion with the state and its economy. Thus, I decided to stop thinking about it. This was because my country’s democratic system had so far to become a real democracy. We had seen 30 years of military imposed martial law

To be continued 


Series: How I became a reader

Very selective in making friends, and always thinking, became extremely insensitive of my surroundings. I could sense anger deep down. In 45 Degree negative weather, my college dorm had three people besides me. Two Chinese and one white prairies native. All of them very weird. Both of the Chinese guys, Andi and Wong were High school friends who came to Canada to study together but a girl tore them apart. The white guy, who didn’t want to tell his name to anyone else was a political science major who had similar ideas as the infamous KKK.
What could I do? Go to the gym? Did that for few months but did not like it
Waste some times with girls? Did that for few months but did not like it
Agonized, broken, wasted, and above all, full of helplessness, I started reading. My first of the book-reads were Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, than a whole series of John Gresham’s books and the Downing Street years by Margret Thatcher.
After a handful of reading random books, I came to Toronto. I started to feel contented with it. Now I started to download as many books I could. Visited bookstores across Downtown Toronto; started to develop an interest in the philosophies of the universe, value investing and political science. 

To be continued