October 28, 2010 § 12 Comments
Today was undoubtedly one of the most trying days of my life. How easy is it to sit for some six consistent hours in front of a crazy, vulgar crowd and continue with the proceedings of an event. Especially when you’ve been installed in that capacity for the very first time. Pretty tough, trust me on that!
So that’s how it was. Having organized an inter-departmental declamation contest and having invited some of the most prestigious adjudicators, I was pretty hopeful that we could pitch up a good show. That was not to be, apparently. Soon after the event commenced, the ‘dissident’ groups had come over, taken the charge of the mob and made them realize that shouting slogans, one-liners and vulgarities was more fun than listening to the speeches. I could see some of my own acquaintances doing that from among the audience and all I could do was to stare at them for a few moments and then look askance. There was no respite offered.
In fact, things got even worse when two female senior members of the debating society here decided to take the stage. Their eagerness in displaying their seniority aside, I tried my best to tell them how that’s gonna exaggerate the things. However, the two were bit too confident. Consequently, I left the stage to them and took my seat at a nearby Dhabba, sipping away tea and looking at the turn of events from some distance, which by no means was good. Soon enough, I was called back, handed back the stage and things started rolling again. It’s a tough job to sit there, doing nothing but announcing names and being the subject of every debater’s puns in the capacity of being the President. Nevertheless, we persisted and offered the dice to all the 45 speakers.
The best thing about the event was the turnout. I was very overwhelmed to learn that so much students wished to speak. And even awesome was the fact that all of them put through that crazy mob. Not a single one gave into the shouting or jeerings and completed his/her speech.
It was a great experience and it was a very bad experience too. Good, in that I learnt some vital deficiencies in the organization of an event and time management. Bad, in that it made me see the typical mob-psychology first-hand where pretty gentlemanly mortals go mad along the drift. It was a fine lesson.
Finally, I have decided to step down from the candidacy of Presidency for the society. I think that it’s about time to prioritize things and the preparation for GRE tops it all for now. Let’s hope I stand by the vow of mine! ;)
October 20, 2010 § 10 Comments
Upon the lowly wall of the graveyard, I leaned, lost in my reverie. Many a men had lost their grandeur to this eventual abode and many a glory rested, dust-misted, within those low confines. The tall, quiet Neem trees hovered above the graves like the silent guards. More so to ensure the tranquil than confinement – the latter being a need towards which the inhabitants here could no longer afford a tendency. I established myself by a long, neat row of graves which wore no names or distinguishing signs. A befitting brotherhood to the men who now shared the finale. Many of them would never have considered such an equality when alive, I thought. To be in league with Adam’s son, the first dead, and all hence. So diverse, them all, in living and yet so indistinctly similar now. And observing so deep a silence that you could hear the lightest of the grass straw, which adorned them unevenly, on its slightest sway.
I had been told to be there to gather a moral on life’s mundanity and then employ mine to a more useful purport. With a contrite soul though (which, in itself, I consider a false, pretentious proclamation), I feel no difference committed to the permanence that has set deep within me. There is a time in life when you experience what not many mortals did or would – a time when you change so much in being that the sincerest pleas or the profoundest events do not strike you at all; when not the saddest or happiest of moments could sink down to the cold that seems to have grasped at your very heart and soul, withering them both; when everything that had once stirred you and swollen your breast with utmost elation, the colors, the flowers, the dim, wet fragrance of mud-scented wind through rains frisking gentle against your face; all seems as ordinary as a cold English day. Howsoever you shall endeavor, this damp feeling stifles down all rigor into a slothful persistence. And you wish but to withdraw yourself from all and station and invest in solitude. Not a profound one, mark you! – it, too, a dreamy solitude with no consistent thought and rather fickle remembrances. Men have ventured to probe this abstruse phenomenon and have but failed; for not a soul fully comprehends this mental remoteness unless being struck by it. And not a single soul struck so is able to deliver the affects to others or thenceforth, recover. To a plain eye, and even to the scientific lens, a man indulged so is still physically fit to amply occupy a social space. But to talk of the man himself, he has no desire at discourse of any manner and wishes a quiet recluse. Ironically, the greater he wishes to retire from the company, the more it’s thrust upon it until he’s all too weary of the few words he has to pretentiously posit periodically at such occasions. At length, he chooses a permanent absence.
I look heavenwards and wait for a shade to murk the fine azure. There are no sings from the gods. I slowly rise, rub the dust off my jeans and walk away – a quiet requiem for all that is lost.
September 2, 2010 § 7 Comments
For the last few months, I’ve been exerting myself. Towards producing objective view-points and making a meaning out of my writing. That seems futile though. The more I write from that stand-point, the more I’m pushed down the slope of undeserved expectations. Not only that, I tend to be more stressed, angry and at times, frustrated at refused space or unqualified criticism from other quarters.
The only solution I can think of right now it to take a break. Right now, I miss so much so terribly that it becomes a living illusion at times. Starting into empty space, I can see boats lying by dark castles on low tides, men hiding by the boats, silently embracing the truth of their defeats; scenes from back-yard of mud-houses, a reigning eve making it a greyish brown musk and I playing quietly, all by myself; a faint memory of laden mango trees and happy cackles in the orchard. Perhaps it’s not a tad bit loss to bargain childhood for everything.
Some times, I wish I could simply lie under the bare sky and make wishes over shooting stars. And I could stay like that forever. That reminds me of a childhood occasion when I ventured to spend a night on the bare roof with a piece of cloth and a pillow. Back then, it was the pinnacle of bravado. Today, I’d give a lot just to get a few moments in that feeling. Solitude still is something I cherish most. And it still is something I afford least. Our choices are so limited in their freedom that they really are no choices. They are pre-planned, pre-decided fates handed over to us and we are mere acting pantomimes. A few years ago you’d have met a highly optimistic being in my place who’d never have accepted this statement. A few years down the lane, and I’m forced to admit the validity of it.
But maybe, there are still choices that can be made. I wonder if everything could be abandoned at any point in life and we be permitted to take a different course altogether. The nomadic gypsy-lust is such strong at moments that I feel like losing myself on the steppes in those far-away lands. Purpose or no purpose, vastness and granduer shrivels the fear insignificance of being creates. And beauty only adds a faint hope to it. When all is lost, it’s best to throw us into something that’s too engaging – or too deep for a careless stupor. Tired, dejected, depressed and entirely lost, I feel like going for this void – that of a random, detached vocation. An undecided, unknown, uncalled-for calling.
Winters are in the coming. I feel something astir in the dim cold that drifts on the north-wind. I hope I’ll have my moments, my time in the silent months. For silence is all I desire for now.
July 10, 2010 § 17 Comments
At 10:30 p.m. July 9th, I receive the following message:
“Assalamualikum. I know I have “hurted” you many times. I have done many mistakes and I may “continu” ’cause I am a sinful “beign!” Please…forgive me so that I would have a little ease in my life. Happy Shab-e-Mirag.”
Now, apart from the excruciating mistakes in that sentence, what bothers me most is the sheer hypocrisy that is vested within those two lines. The person who has sent me the message is a capital fellow! Finely talented, I must say. He’s a fellow debater, engages in all sorts of co-curricular, my team-mate on a number of parliamentary contests, has no problem engaging in interactions and discussions with the opposite sex, listens muzak, discusses movies and has a life of whole lot fun! In simple words, he falls well within the category we would term ‘non-religious’ and proudly ‘open-minded.”
But what am I supposed to make of the sentence above, is what bothers me now. It leaves me thinking what a nation of hypocrites we are. It has become more of a custom, a dogmatic observation to make such proclamations of humility and sinfulness. But how exactly does it help? From what I know, the same message or something similar popped on my cell’s screen last year and last year and all thence-prior ever since I had a cell. And a dozen times, all from a diverse set of ‘open-minded’, capital fellas. Does it mean they will quit everything they consider ‘un-Islamic’ and becomes the sages they vow to be? Does it mean they will stop viewing the kafir’s movies and profiting them through the CDs they purchase on first availabilities? Does this mean the next time I see they’d be imitating Zakir Naik rather than Michael Jackson and their iPods will be belting out Sami Yusuf in place of Shakira? Of course not! But you see, the tradition holds. Don’t get me wrong here. I am absolutely not proposing you to become one either. No. My point simply is: stop being hypocrites. Stop citing your sins that you act willfully and consciously and which you have all intents to continue with.
Coming back to the gist of my dissertation, that’s not it. That’s just the tip of a Freudian iceberg. You look down and you see the entire society based upon the berg. You see people running businesses they secretly hold as ‘haraam’ and then tipping a local madrassah at the end of the year to bathe the profits in halal-dom. You see people employed in banking sector who’d yap about the haram-ness of ‘interest’ in their personal lives. You see maulvis, religious heads sermonizing about the vices of a cultural domination when their own kids are draped in a western culture, from head to toe, inside out. Heck you see the same people abusing facebook on the pretext of blasphemy who’d been using it to no good purports!! And behold, the latest in the league are the pop-singers-cum-religious scholars who’d teach you about foreign conspiracies and the danger Islam faces at their hands after having a session of head-banging Les Paul. Pardon me for the slip, pray also add to it the fashion designers.
A charity donation at the end of the year, forwarding a virtuous text message, a recital in the morning before so-called sinful indulgences, a ‘melad’ every month, a trip to Raiwand from year to year or to those who can afford it, a round trip to the House of God is all that it takes to purge us all of all the vices we commit. Or in fact, of late, all it takes is an energetic rhetoric every morning at a TV show where you don’t forget to insert all the relevant syllables: zionists, patriotism, need-to-change, back-to-age-of-glory, momon-istic vows and etc etc. It’s convenient, it’s easy and it’s once-in-a-while. And the most beautiful thing about it is that it gives us a token of approval to do all that we want until the next installment, which of course is conveniently distanced mostly.
And when you quietly insert, between the vociferous discourses they often utter, a sentence or two about religion being a personal matter, all hell breaks loose. From bashing to condemnations to outright labels of infidelity, they do all that they can to guard their forts of piety and religiosity(and effectively lock your routes of escape too). Irrespective of the blatant violations they commit towards what they so passionately talk of, they consider it their inherent right to be ‘the’ spokesperson and to be ‘the’ guardian of faith.
The malady is not unique. And it’s not contained. It’s virulently widespread. And the more religious the outfit and babbling becomes, the more the sinful they turn, at least by the very same standards they hold. Even when every one of us knows of this pretentious, self-announcing, faked humilities, the show goes on. And the one with the most impressive text or the largest sum of money will be labelled the perfect momin. So much for the remarkable displays of Iman!!
On an ending note, let me declare without a contrite soul that this night, I didn’t forgive any of the friends I hold a grudge against. And I did tell them rather than returning them warm, brotherly responses, that a night on the rug is not enough to erase the conscientious vices of a life-time!
June 23, 2010 § 14 Comments
It’ll be two years on July 1st. Partings, your and mine. And I still feel the faint scent of your being scattered around me and breathe it in with every breath I take. And through every single moment these last two years, I’ve wished you had not parted. I’ve wished that you were still by my side and together I’d have continued on this tiresome journey. I’ve wished to eradicate that day off my life, if only that were possible, and to have you back, to wake up with your affectionate good-mornings and to feel that gentle kiss on my forehead. And I wish I could still do things to make you smile, and what a dear smile it was!! And I wish you were still here to hold me in your tight embrace and tell me with a twinkle in your eyes that everything will be alright.
I draw my comfort off the thought that whereever you are, it’s a better and happier place than the one you left.
Love you, Abbu jee
Happy Father’s Day
May 30, 2010 § 36 Comments
I finally have won the Best Personal Blog, hosted by CIO, Pakistan. Yahooo!!!
It’s truly been an honor and despite the fact that I was unable to make it to the ceremony and the UnConference, I truly regret it now that I’ve had a look at the pictures and read about it. It was trly an awesome event.
The official results of the awards can be found @ http://blogawards.pk/
The Tribune did an article on the blog awards @ http://tribune.com.pk/story/17124/pakistan-blog-awards-2010-awards-of-a-different-kind/
Here, let me pretend a little humbleness that the post is not meant merely at telling the world that I bagged the award :P It’s rather that I truly felt awesome when I got to know that I grabbed an award, especially after giving a look to the jury panel which comprised of many fine national and international personnel. It’s like….you keep writing on your blog and although I do it because I love writing and wish to speak my heart out on issues and notions, when someone comes up with any bit of recognition for those efforts, it really is a great feeling. That’s precisely what I felt.
Also, it was an event, first of its kind, in Pakistan that was about bloggers and blogging. And I really hope that CIO will continue to be a platform for arranging more of the event of such kind since blogging has proved to be a very dynamic dimension of citizen journalism for us all.
May 4, 2010 § 20 Comments
Well….this time its a tad bit larger. I wrote an entry for the world bank essay writing contest 2010. Out of the 2100 entries, my entry was ranked 90th. That may sound well only before you get to know that only top eight essays were considered the finalists and were qualified for the grand jury round. So, in simple words, that means I lost :P But quite frankly, I am happy with whatever much I did. Suffices ;)
Here’s the list for the top 200 entries:
As for the article itself, I’ll be posting it soon in another post. It was about solving the problem of youth unemployment through youth-headed entrepreneurships.
April 20, 2010 § 36 Comments
It’s been drizzling here since the morning. The sky is a white-grey shade and the wind carries a certain chill in its bosom, the one that makes you want to wear something more than tees when out in the open. Occasionally, it’d get a tad bit darker when the grey would run over the white for the larger part. The university campus is officially off today, consequent to yesterday’s strike. And so, I have the much-cherished and long-awaited solitude-and-rain combo, a rarity indeed. The worst part, though, is that net is down at the hostel and I’m at the lab right now, typing it all. Took me quite pains to make it to the lab since the security guard at the department’s gate won’t let me in, clearly eyeing me, the only student on campus, suspiciously on a student-less campus.
The rain just got harder. To my right is the door that opens to a mini-garden apparently over-stuffed with virtually every available plant and some other poorly fashioned garden-stuff. I don’t even know what do they call them :S And to my left extends the long row of PCs that concludes at the south-wardly wall. To be honest, I hate to be at this place right now - I mean, I’m passing my time at a lab when it’s raining?! But then again, I had to check few mails, so this can’t be helped.
On a side-note, I had a loss(declamation) and a win(mastermind quiz) added to my list of accomplishments. I must say despite all the pretended humbleness, I cherish the latter more, considering it helped me with recharging the budget with its little cash incentive :D Literally, it came in quite handy at a crucial time. :P
Well…I guess that’s enough of my ramblings. I admit I haven’t been able to actually blog for the last quite some time and that really is annoying me a lot. It’s university net that’s partially to be blamed and my languor too. It’s rather easier to languish in the chair with a George Orwell novel than go around the campus looking for net. I hope it’s fixed soon though. So odias till the next post.
P.S. Oh and I’m watching ‘How I met your mother’ these days. Man, it’s AWESOME!!!!! I’m loving it with its witty humor and especially, Barney’s acting ;) :D
April 12, 2010 § 15 Comments
After days of scorching sun comes down the first summer rain. I stand under an overcast sky, trying to strike a chord as the droplets lick down my face. However, despite the wind flapping at my shirt, despite the water that trickles down my body and the lush greenery that my environs contain, I’m unstirred. Something weightless, perhaps emptiness itself, fills my insides. It’s a feeling of utter vacancy that ticks within and renders everything colorless without. It’s the feeling that has accompanied on many, long days when it pushed me into refractoriness and recluse. I’ve tried thwarting it like I have in the past, but it has transformed. It’s not overwhelming any longer – it comes like a subtle stupor, drawing slowly over my conscience. And I fail, entirely, to put it away. I no longer find the energy to do anything. Words, themselves, evade me. For years we’ve shared a bond but it is starting to falter – they’re disintegrating into the thin air and I am helpless. I desperately try to cling on to them, to retain their treasured company but they turn into memories – mere memories of bygone days, the exaltations of yesterdays. No more do I have the elation of writing them; no more do they come to me like a heavenly touch, giving the utter pleasure. Their meaningfulness has ceased and they exist over the dust-misted pages like broken promises of the past.
And this is excruciating. When I try to pour myself onto the papyrus and it looks back at me with its ghastly pallor, devoid, it gives me these pangs of agony. And the pain only gets acuter with each passing day. Today, though, the rain seems to have diminished it just a little, with its gentle touch which has stirred me somehow, somewhat – not that it didn’t bring along the painful nostalgia. Still, as I write this down, I feel some contentment deep down within me, at having taking arrested a few moments away from the permanent respite.
March 25, 2010 § 31 Comments
A special note for certain people.
How do you feel when they walk over to you and offer you, with conditions, one of those utterly pathetic niches you don’t give a damn about? And when one of them scumbags wants you to beg on your knees for something he’s ripped you of? Thinking you’re too desperate for that when the reality is that it’s the last thing you care about? When the truth is that you laugh heartily at the desperate longing of that person himself in trying to bring you down to your knees and laugh harder when you refuse to do so and then see a pitiful annoyance marked all across his face?
You tell them you don’t give a damn. With a brain about its place and your hands fine to bear the brunt of times, you take a deep sigh at every loss and move on. And those miserable onlookers try to sell you their anecdotes of sympathy not knowing you really move on when you do. Not knowing you realize life’s many opportunities and know there’s lot more than little, unimportant, pretentious nothings in life. You know the loss is their’s every time you move on. Your opinion of yourself stands far above the self-guttered, yet obviously pretentious, humble posings they have to offer. And you walk with that air, letting them call you whatever they may. Afterall, they matter little more than nothing in your life itself.
And there’s a strange elation about this proud parting. There’s not a hint of regret in that final decision that comes to cut those loose chords which have been anything but the containment of your own being. And you’re far, far better off without them. While they dwell in their delusions de’ grandeure, you know you have more important things to indulge in. With a steady feat, you make your way out of the crowd of idiots – afterall, what’s better than letting them keep the two cents when world out there awaits to lay a fortune at your very feet? ;)
March 23, 2010 § 20 Comments
I’ve never been the one with a light breakfast. It were the heavy parathas or a well-buttered toast back at home. Or choori made the deal de’ deluxe :D But ever since the university, things have changed a lot. Not that I still don’t commit huge extravagances when back at home, I’m quite humble at campus. These days, the menu includes dates and milk, both light and nutritious. And surprisingly, I’m able to follow it strictly mostly. However, occasionally, I take a break off it when fellas have some special plans which usually are a halwa-poori devouring at Wah Cantt or the famed Khan Baba k parathay with the omelets and tea.
Considering we have our mess starting at 11:30 a.m, it’s rather good planning to take it light at breakfast. Sometimes, I simply love the regular bun and tea. My friends tell me that’s bit too simple but I’m quite in love with that – only, I’d been a tad more grateful if the tea was a better version of what I’m served now. But then again, I’ve grown quite used to it over the last three years and it now no longer seems much brackish.
A few days ago a friend suggested ‘Banni’ as a fine halwa-poori point. I have all plans to make for it some day soon. I’d have gone straightaway but the fellas are quite uncompromising on the ‘academic commitments.’ Guess that would be possible only after the mid exams.
Last semester was a rather bad one considering my diet practices where I took bit too often to the canteen biryanis and samosa-chats. I find them quite disgruntling now though – guess that was a brief love affair. However, mess dining are no good really. Except, perhaps, the biryani and savor. I am quite appalled at the way they do spinach or any vegetable for that case. It seems like a water-boiled, poorly-cooked barely-edible thing when they bring it to you.
Nawazish Khan Cafe is lot better in both the diversity of choices and cooking. But it’s the farthest from my hostels and the overwhelming customer-count always leaves the availability uncertain. So that’s also not too good an option despite a better quality.
Well…that’s about it about the university cuisine. I just hope my mom won’t read it or she’d be quite freaked at what I eat here. Every time I call, she doesn’t forget to take care of my diet. So to sound truthful to her when I say it’s going perfect, I do take a share of fruits now and then off the Gate-2 fruit shop.
P.S. I’d really love to know some classic spots for dining at Wah Cantt, Islamabad and Pindi. So your suggestions would be very welcome ;)
March 21, 2010 § 5 Comments
Mid-exams start from tommorrow and for now, that’s the last thing I’m bothered about. In fact, I am quite tensed about not being tensed about them. I can’t take my mind off the books, the blogs and of course, writing. And then when I have to open that painfully boring Computer Graphics book with strange figures looking back at me and the ‘oh-so-insightful’ lectures of our instructor, I quite understand why I’m so disinterested in the entire business.
Anyway, got to take them anyway. So I may take off another few days. I admit I’ve been langouring over blogging and I can’t say for sure how long the respite’s gonna last – but for now, that’s that. I am unable to write something meaningful or I’m bit too lazy to do it. So well….till then, kindly put up with the gibberish ;)
March 6, 2010 § 10 Comments
Time plays the tune – now soft, melodious and now poignant, rough. And you’re hurled hither or thither, along the melody. You can never discern the pattern, and never a purpose, if there’s any. The path is fraught with as many bumpy rides as your breathes and you’ve no choice but to go for them. Such is the irony of life.
As notes dim down to whispers, you take a pause and stop somewhere along the journey. You lets your breathes straighten and take a quick rest. The bugle pronounces the resuming and back you’re, again on the unending trail. Every step you take brings you wonders- there are the rains and the pains – parched throats and vacant hopes. Mirages that lead you off the trail into wonderlands of sorts and you let yourself indulge, knowing the finale draws closer nonetheless.
Then one day, when you wake up to a purposeless life, the fatigue with which it wears upon your conscience is too heavy to bear! You never conjure up the motive to get up and move. It’s the lethary that starts setting in when the monotony of life and death dawns upon you, unleashed bare by those who won’t give you any dear, wishful delusions to dwell in. And howsoever you may curse them, the truth, the poignant truth makes itself known. Even when you place your hand on your ears and shut your eyes from reality, it seeps through skin, flesh and blood and runs through you. And then, every moment is a pain; every breathe an instance of agony. You wish to draw yourself out of this whirl of mirages and contour of colors and visions but its drapes draw tighter about you, stiffling, exhausting, piercing and bleeding. Fear, that once was, is replaced with a hollowness that devours your ownself into it. And you’re drawn into that void, helpless and torn apart. Every new dawning breaks apart a part of that once solid being and lets it roll in a different direction. And you lie there, still on your bed in the early morning moments, contemplating the pain itself and the sun that shines like a golden dagger through your heart. And you realize nothing really matters. It all is but a little more than a dream.
February 22, 2010 § 53 Comments
I wish I could go back.
To the times when I’d take long rides in the dull afternoons of summers on my tri-cycle. And would find the joy of worlds in a five-rupee note that’d bring me 2-rupee cake, a ras-gulla and what not.
I wish to go back to the times when you’d bring back my report card and I’d hide behind the door, ashamed at having scored a second. I always wanted to make you proud.
And to the times when in the dim mud-scent of winter rains, we’d go on a long drive and in the silence of Multan’s sub-urbs, you’d let me your words of inspiration.
I wish to go back to the times when everything was so simple and mundane. And nothing mattered, nothing at all, but you and everything was so perfect!! When you’d wake up every evening to tell me the tips on gardening and I’d fondly follow all around the garden.
I wish to go back when you’d surprise us with your sudden visits from Bahrain and as I’d walk to the living room, rubbing my eyes, there you would be with a big hug and lots of sweets and gifts. And I’d look into your twinkling eyes and laugh and stay up the rest of the night.
I want to turn the moments back to that point where I’m leaving the terminal and you’d give me a tight hug and wave your bye as you depart. The journey, every journey, seems incomplete without that. And when you’d recieve me every time I returned. My entire journey was spent in the anticipation of meeting you again and finding your smiling face looking back at me.
I wish you were here today!! And you’d grasp me in your warm, tight embrace and tell me that everything would be alright. So you’d solve it all, this complex mesh of life itself, in a matter of minutes and with a smile. Just like that! Just like you solved every single problem for me through those eighteen years. And then we’d go out on a long drive and have ice cones on our way back.
I wish!! Oh I so wish Abu jee!!