Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sweet idle brain o’ mine

There goes a saying that “Everything is bigger in Texas”. Well maybe it’s not a saying but I saw it on a T-shirt in a Hillary Duff video many years ago. Don’t judge me, I was 15 OK! I say, forget Texas. In exams, everything is bigger, brighter, more colourful, entertaining and exciting than any other time of the year. The interesting thing is that it’s a concept everyone can relate to. Everyone ranging from age groups 7 to 25 years (or more if you think you haven’t had enough yet or due to the current insane amount of extended studies we all are compelled to do anyway) goes through this phase.

It is times like these that the human mind amazes me. I mean, why and how can it be that something we don’t give a crap about normally will become the center of our lives. I remember when I was studying last year, the nights were long and hot. All I had was the window displaying darkness. It was then that I started noticing this vehicle coming up to the office up front around three in the morning, VERY often during the week. Before I knew it the books were chucked away and I saw myself, binoculars in hand, lights off, trying to find the cause of such late night visits. My imagination went wild; drugs, smuggling, chucking away dead bodies, burglary, human trafficking, country wide socio-political conspiracy, you name it, I had already thought of it. Of course when I revealed my midnight adventures on the breakfast table they were welcomed with appalled faces, the mother adding “Haye Allah, what will people think of a girl hanging on the window with binoculars at 3 in the morning!” Well, my answer was, what would people be doing looking out of THEIR windows towards the girl’s window at 3 in the morning? No, why would they be awake anyway? (*Goes into investigatory mode. Again*) I mean, here I am playing responsible neighbourhood watch-type citizen and nobody cares! I was glad that at least THIS reaction was a bit toned down than when I confessed a possible UFO sighting (Again, do NOT judge me, I was around 10 when that happened :P). So yeah, when I say imagination gone wild, I’m so not kidding.

It is this time of the year, or month, or 6 months or semester that out neural configurations change a bit. I don’t know about you but I tend to get edgy, sensitive, emotional, totally creative and much to my bad luck hungry! Somehow the neighbours' grandkids start looking cuter, so much so that you just want to watch them take swings and live their problem-less life. Of course I snap out of that soon enough since at least I’m done with all THAT, you know school, O/A level. That kid still has to go through that. Ha! SCORE! Take that extremely cute kid with no worries! Then there is the house at 7 o’ clock. Like clockwork the girl who lives there will come to this swing set and keep swinging till sunset. She doesn’t follow the clock, but the sun. And once again, books forgotten I concoct up her life history, hopes and dreams. Also, the earlier mentioned grandkid’s grandma and ma have this whole Star Plus style thing going on. I can feel the vibes and the characteristic “gongs” at a bearing of 45 degrees north, about 50 feet away.

Speaking of Star Plus I develop an interest there too. Normally there is total remote snatching going on along with constantly cursing the poor characters and camera angles and blackmailing the mother but come exam season I find myself asking the mother how “Akshara” (HIGHLY annoying) is doing. Also, there will always be a notebook nearby, literary epiphanies come when the mind is too full of numbers, poetry evolves when the mind is blocked with too much information, outrageous status updates (yes, more outrageous than usual) will keep flitting when the self gets lonely and misses its constant ‘networking’ and much to everyone’s horror, waiiiiit for it…..singing! Not to mention sartorial ideas even, so much so that one is compelled to sketch some scrawny drawings. Yes, that is a big deal. Those who know me a bit know I usually wish for the miracle of going to bed one night, getting up the next morning and voila, all clothes, matched, designed, stitched lying somewhere in “the elves and the shoemaker” style.

The worst part is there is always some wedding, huge party or Eid round the corner that you have to miss more or less. Not that it’s too bad, I mean I look like hell anyway but yeah total self-pity moment. BUT the family always sends my share in plastic ice cream boxes so the food pity is covered I guess.

These are just a few examples. I guess everyone has a crazy exam creativity niche. My sister goes artistic and starts making stuff out of the kind of stuff people would throw away (to great effect I must add). My brother says his mind opens up for strategy video games and he gets better at them. Everyone I know will have some distractive exam life in store for them. Talha A. B. here coded a whole template (for the blog! Coming soon :D). Yes, coding a template, that’s a big deal. Not child’s play so children, don’t play. Note to Talha: Good work, now STUDY!

Anyway, here be that time again. Already here for some and for some (cough) not too far off. So yes, the time of distraction (that can lead to destruction) is here. Let’s hope we all consider it only an element that keeps us sane and it doesn’t prevail the mere reason it originated from. Let this be the time to reflect on the little “fun” things we take for granted. Like staring at the huge mango tree the 7 o’clock guys had WHICH they were stupid enough to cut down. Who DOES that to a mango tree? That’s fruity blasphemy! The only tree in the vicinity now is the “jaamun” (black currants) tree. I don’t even like jaamun. I hardly like “gulaab jamun” (come to think of, that’s sweetmeat blasphemy. Fine, I’m “selective” about them, stop judging my sweet tooth now :P).

With that highly unnecessary last detail I bid you all the very necessary good lucks and break a legs for upcoming and ongoing exams. Study hard, stay sane and remember the most important rule, one chip at a time :D

Sara (distracted) Q

P.S: At this point I feel awfully relieved that the good looking grand kid is 24 months and not 24 years. Just saying. Again, do NOT judge me! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Of anomalies, ecology, paradigms and poop

Top row: Uranus, Neptune; Centre row: Earth, w...Image via Wikipedia

Poop. It is something we all make. Why? Because we must so that we may allow our bodies to carry on with the rape of mother nature. Yes, I said poop. Get over it.

Confusing. That’s the only way I can express it. It’s just so damn confusing. I look at all the other species on the planet. They live in such perfect harmony. As Edward Elric would say, “All is one, one is all”. Everything is part of this circle. Living and dying. In dying, making way for the newly born. A perfect, finely tuned, never ending circle. As Mufasa told us in our childhood, “the circle of life.” If you don’t know who Edward Elric is, watch more anime. If you don’t know who Mufasa is, did you even have a childhood?

So why confusing? Confusing because, In this perfect circle, there is one big anomaly. Humanity. The best killer that this planet has produced, oddly sticks out. An anomaly in an otherwise perfectly balanced equation. Our blood lust is insatiable. We’ll kill each other, we’ll kill life that surrounds us and if we take a step back from all the killing for a moment to lift ourselves high enough to see the big picture, a larger fragment of the grand design, we’ll realize that there is one more victim of our crimes. One more life that we are all slowly ending.

The big picture? Well, to simplify, lets try a paradigm shift. I love doing that, we should do that more often. Such a beautiful concept isn’t it? If you can’t play the game, just change all the rules. Come to think of it, it’s dangerous concept too. So lets change some rules. Lets redefine how we see our planet. Lets assume that it is just an organism existing in a wider ecosystem. The atmosphere, the deep blue oceans, the rolling plains, the hauntingly beautiful deserts, the mysterious forests and the veiled mountains are all mere organs of this organism. All the living beings within this organism are merely cells, that ensure that the organs function as they are supposed to.

Get the picture? Well, lets keep going then. The circle of life. All is one, one is all. Everything has a defined role. They will consume that which is defined for them, taking no more than is necessary and in turn be consumed by another. No exceptions. It doesn’t matter whether you are a miniscule insect or a mighty predator. You will serve your time. You will fulfill your ordained purpose. You will consume that which is allowed to you. Then, having done it all, you will pass on, in the end being only nutrition for the body. For the new organisms, for the new cells to consume.

The anomaly? Well, all the cells are in perfect in harmony. If we leave this system of cells and organs unregulated, it will carry on forever. That is, until you factor in just one last cell. Mankind. This cell is different from all others in the body. It has no predator. It will kill almost anything, for reasons other than self preservation. It continually evolves, always changing, always adapting. Unlike all others that dare not go beyond the boundaries set for them, mankind will find a way to survive even the harshest of conditions. It has no natural evolutionary advantage over any cell in the body. No claws, no sharp teeth, no strength. All it possesses is a neo-cortex and opposable thumbs. One final thing, Its hunger knows no bounds. It will consume anything and everything, going beyond its own needs regardless of whether other cells or even if its own kin starve. Death of another, even extinction, matters not.

Does it make sense? The behavior of this one cell is irrational. Unlike the other cells, it is aware of the body. It knows the bigger picture. It even knows the consequences of its own actions. Yet still, its behavior remains outside the boundaries of what is rational. The brightest minds are employed, not to save humanity but to destroy it. Their job is to come up with newer more efficient and creative ways to kill itself and everything around it. Millions of its kind are starving, on the verge of death and yet knowing this the others hoard resources for themselves, far beyond that which they require. As a species, humanity is suicidal.

How does humanity fit in this picture? Well, lets think on it. What is the one thing inside any living organism that does nothing except consume its hosts’ resources, destroy everything around it and reproduce so that its offspring may carry on doing the same? There is one organism that matches the description. Agent Smith tells us, it's a “virus”. If you don’t know who Agent Smith is, where have you been for the past ten years?

What now? Do we carry on? Do we change our ways? We will have to ultimately. The sooner we do, the better chance we have at a brighter future. Like any living being, our planet can only sustain the wounds we inflict for so long. Maybe it’s for the best we haven’t discovered any other inhabitable planet yet. In our current state, we’d only add another victim to our list of murders.

Talha A. B.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Country for sale! Buy now while stocks last!

National Monument of Pakistan in Islamabad.Image via WikipediaIn a post not too long ago I may have complained that the general price level in our fair country is getting a bit too high. In this one however, I will tell the other side of the story. After all, I'm not one to manufact propaganda and propagate the news of our country's dismal state. There are in fact many things that are quite cheap and getting even cheaper by the minute. The credit goes to, well, we'll leave that part for later. For now, lets get into all the bargains you can grab before the sale season ends.

I was always told that human life is priceless. You can't measure it. It's impossible to value it terms of anything else that God may have created. Gold, silver, diamonds and even oil. Well, that last item has some complication attached to it. Imagine that. Such a high price for this particular item that you can't even measure it. Now however, thanks to capitalism (or is it imperialism? I keep getting confused) the prices for this once expensive commodity are now greatly reduced! But you can only avail this offer in Pakistan. Just ask American tourist Raymond Davis (or is it assassin? Again, I keep getting confused) who bought two Pakistani lives for 1.4 million dollars. Thats just USD 700,000 a piece! And who knows, if you buy in bulk you'll surely get a big discount. Just Imagine, you could be the owner of your very own genocide! In fact, get creative enough and you can name it a "Pakistani" holocaust!

To top it off, America is giving us Islamiat lessons for free. How nice of them to give us that little refresher course on blood money. Wow America, I have no words to express the overflowing sentiments I feel right now. I do however have a finger that can get a minute fraction of the point across. Guess which one?

It doesn't end there. The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation has gone to great lengths to make our beautiful country more accessible to foreigners. Why just now they started their stealth helicopter program. Thats right, If you own a stealth helicopter then you can just fly right in! No visa, no passport necessary. Hell, we'll even toss in a free Arab. If you're armed then you'll love to visit the town of Abottabad for target practice. By the way, Abottabad is not a suburb of Islamabad. It's a city itself. Way up in the mountains.

It's not just Pakistan that is making itself more accessible to foreign countries. You may all remember the Iraqi "Everyone with a false rumor gets in free" promotion. That had dramatic effects on the price of oil. Consider this, the American forces had themselves a party there, according to the Iraqi Body Count project they won the lottery, 150,726 Iraq's killed. There's no way we can compete with that. Damn you oil rich countries. Now, assuming an average of 1.9 million barrels of oil were pumped out from Iraq from 2003 to 2010 and that the average human body has 4 litres of blood the price of oil comes out 0.000124 litres of Iraqi blood per barrel! Now thats an amazing offer you just can't beat. I don't know why Americans complain about the high cost of oil, all you have to do is deposit one dead Iraqi at the nearest gas station and you walk away with 32,207 barrels of oil!

Coming back to Pakistan, people may not know this but we also have another great service. We'll stock your prisons for you! Just ask our satisfied customer, the administration of Gitmo. Before they outsourced their prisoner acquisition function to us, their prison was a desolate place. No prisoners. There were fears of takeovers, mergers and redundancies. Then, we stepped in. With competitive rates as low as a few hundred dollars for one Pakistani, we saved their prison and now it is constantly stocked, always a fresh supply of inmates ready for "enhanced interrogation". That is just one success story, contact us now to see how outsourcing to us can enhance your prison! Whats more, we'll even handle the shipping charges. Contact us at info@buyacitizen.gov.pk.

So who does all the credit go to? Well, to understand that, you've got to realize that Pakistan is a business. It's the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Limited. Once you see it that way you realize that Pakistan Ltd. is, always has been and always will be a cash cow. The owners of this company, the ruling party and the army take every possible step to ensure that it remains a profitable entity. However, no organisation can achieve its objectives without its faithful employees. It is only due to our citizens perserverance to not do anything while things go from bad to worse that we have reached the position where we are today. It is only because of us, who keep electing the same people to power over and over again. So enjoy everyone, you earned it.

Talha A. B.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Way I Are

Shadow person (self-portrait).Image via WikipediaOk first of all, I think a lot of my post titles have been based on song titles or well parts of songs. Same goes with this one. I kinda like it actually. Anyway, I was going to write something about French people, based on this movie I happened to watch recently (“Ameliè”, good movie, awesome music) but somehow this popped up.

Have you ever felt that the most difficult thing to talk about in this world is......YOU and even worse, what’s going on inside of you (spare us indigestion details though :P). And that rules out vanity (ahem!). So think for a mere two minutes, how many people know you for the REAL you. How much of YOU do you put out there, for all to see, experience and even criticise. It’s weird how there are two sides to every person but they will normally only show one side. Funnily, that’s on choice. Whatever we feel is more acceptable we kind of adopt. So what’s acceptable? Who defines acceptable anyway?

Well the answer to the million dollar question is US. WE define our acceptable. It’s like this; all humans have in them ALL traits, some of them surface more often while others just hover in the background. Some just stick to the walls and might NEVER come up at all. (Just like Davy Jones’s crew in “Pirates of the Caribbean” that just became part of the ship as part of their immortal enslavement). Actually that’s what it is, enslavement. We blame the world for making us who we are or not letting us be who we want to be but the truth is, its all crap. Excuses. We need ’em. ALL THE TIME! Honestly me, you, us, we have total ability, capability and desire to go all out on a lot of stuff and maybe mellow out once in a while. What’s wrong in doing that? Why is the class clown not allowed to have a quiet day? Why can’t the quiet girl be outrageous once in a while? What’s the deal with all this stereotyping? Who says you have to behave the same way your whole life? Evolution where art thou?

Ok let me illustrate using a personal example. Some years ago, my parents went on Haj (Pilgrimage), leaving me and my younger 2 siblings with our then alive grandmother. I wasn’t really old enough to go into household micromanagement but being the eldest some worries came naturally. It was one of those days when I felt stressed and missed my folks like hell that I picked up a pen and paper and concocted a poem in less than 15 minutes. That poem was titled “loneliness”. Those who know me well know that I’ve always had a knack of sharing my creations so I took it to school the next day. BIG mistake. The whole class was spellbound, the friends were outraged and the teacher just stared. Why? Because they didn’t ‘expect’ something like THAT to come out of ME. The friends were offended at the feeling behind it though I explained it was just a spur of the moment thing and NO it did not imply that I was alone and friendless and no one loved me. Whatever the case, the general population viewed me like you view a psyche case so I tore up the poem and declared it a mistake.

Reason behind the reaction? Sara Qadeer, ENTP (“Extroverted. Intuitive. Thinking. Perceiving”; 1 of 16 personality types, find yours HERE), generally bouncy, proactive, loud, optimistic, cheerful, talkative and at times irritating individual writing a poem about being LONELY and SAD! Why? How? What I did was I showed people my other side, the side that “hovers”, that can have depth or introspection and what do you know, it got rejected. I guess it was my fault right? We all permit people to interfere one way or the other. There comes a time when THEY start defining who we are rather than the other way round.

Lately I’ve started questioning myself on how REAL everything is, how LONG it’s supposed to last and how serious that should make me. I have always been the day to day person, take it as it comes. Not the best approach but hey it saves me from headaches. It’s as if for the first time I’m trying to look at the picture ahead and the idea of THAT scares the hell out of me.  I never went into deep thinking about consequences or results. I mean, I used to give the crappiest exam ever and spend the next 2 months like some gold medalist. As a person I’m not too hard on myself. Sure, you beat up yourself for this and that but no long term-ness, more of a ‘living on a whim’ routine, though now, according to worldly interpretation more of a ‘living on a prayer’ scene. You know what God says about this world being temporary I think I took that too seriously, in a way God did not intend me to take. My bad.

Lately I’m being constantly reminded that it is what we do NOW that bring about consequences. And what we are meant to do now IS a consequence in itself no? Consequences leading to more consequences. I hope that made sense.

The bitter reality is that I and maybe you live in severe denial. Denial of the evil lurking in this world, denial of the fact that you actually need to STUDY to pass, denial that things don’t always turn out the way you want them too and that every action has an equal and opposite reaction (Uncle Newton, law of motion btw). It’s as if sooner or later you and I get slapped in the face with reality. The reality I at least always avoid and siphon off.

Ok I know this is getting long but bear with me, this is the best part. It is yet again, one of Talha’s awesome discoveries on why we fluctuate; moods, preferences and what not. The thing extends from what I said about two sides to a person. There is a dominant mode that defines our persona and an “inferior” or suppressed mode that can be called the “shadow” to that persona. So we all know we really can’t get rid of a shadow; we are aware of its existence but we ignore it maybe? If I may quote the co-author “The more you deny your shadow the more it builds up, until it finally manifests into ‘burgundy’ mode”. Yes, burgundy is the colour of my ‘dark’ shadowy side. The regular side is the orange-ish red, if you’re on my facebook refer to the display picture before last :P.

I guess the key is to accept the shadow and the fact that it will never leave you the hell alone. (Ok I’m POSITIVE that one of the “Marvels” made use of such a concept once. Do tell if you know because I can’t remember). Time to time, the shadow needs to be satisfied. The shadow is the extreme opposite of the personality we move around with. So my shadow is an introvert, sensing, feeling and judging type thus it takes over at times so I can stare out in space and try to look for ‘answers’ maybe or more so evaluate self, scribble in the journal, get some stuffed baggage out from the part of the brain I ignore to ponder over and of course hog on fatty food items while I’m at it.

The thing is weirdly, people look up to me for this strange reason. They don’t always tell but I can see it. There is technically nothing extraordinary about me but they tell me I have this optimistic and positive approach to life they wish they had. They go “how do you do it?” or “I need one of your positivity lectures” or “just tell me what ever can be GOOD in what’s happening?”. Basically, I’ll always have a sunny side for some rainy day. Sometimes I ask myself if I myself think that way anymore. Maybe there’s more behind the positive exterior, whatever ounce of negativity comes I shun it away because I’m so adamant to not waive off my belief in the sunny side.

But there are times when those born under the light of the sun see some shadow of doubt. Normally waders, they try to dive. People call such moments of introspection as “phases”. But really, are they? Or are they a reflection of our biggest fear that we might have lost ourselves somewhere along the way. Is this how we started out in the first place or are we just a product of those around us, a chess piece amongst many, playing the part only to get to the other side.

Think about it. I think I might too. Hence, must find food. Until next time,
Sara (serious/philosophical) Q.
Enhanced by Zemanta