The Ultimate Countdown!

In my waking world, I run around the zig-zag paths; balancing Davidson’s on one hand and the keys to my dorm room in the other.
The countdown has started and while I should be rejoicing the anticipation of being graduated in a couple of months, the apprehensions that eat me from within are real.
This blog knows how those five years went by, how I kind of grew up and almost survived. The question marks are zooming in and heavens know how I don’t want this degree to sit in my drawer under the piles of stupid college photographs.
This is the last semester. This is the last deal, they say… but what would they know? They did not dream big. They did not fall in love with medicine.
And when I sleep, in my NREM world of countless possibilities, I end up dreaming of leukonychia. I mean, what the fuck?

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Aside

Balcony.

Neon lights in balcony, dark room and when the fan has stridor; I am thinking. Last time I made a conscious effort to think was ages ago. I am thinking what ishq e haqiqi entails. This is funny how at 23 you get your life all figured out. You know what primaries are and why secondaries are nothing but stupid crabby metastasis eating you inside out. I might have been happier at some point in my life but this is different. This is an admixture of feeling all things positive at once. Serene. Liberating. Light as a feather.  I know I will die a happy person if I die tonight. Please excuse me if I get all Urdu-ish from this point onwards. For some reasons, I have been thinking in Urdu lately. I like how these verses in Urdu taste on my tongue how the words come out from Broca’s even before you start noticing. Is this what mother tongue is all about? Is this why swearing and crying for help is always better in your own language? May be!

عشق مجاز پاکستان سے حجاز تک بس ایک سیڑھی ہی تو ہے عشق حقیقی تک پہنچنے کی۔ کچھ لوگ بڑی پھرتی سے یہ منزل پھلانگ کر چلتے بنتے ہیں، کچھ اسی سیڑھی پر طنابیں، قناطیں گاڑ کر زمیں جنبد، غلام رسول نہ جنبد کی عملی اور کافی حد تک بھیانک تصویر بنکر صدر کے فٹ پاتھوں پر دل اور چیسٹ ایکس رے روشن کردینے والی سیگرٹ کے مزے لیتے رہتے ہیں۔ بات ہورہی تھی عشق حقیقی تک پہنچا دینے والے عشق مجازی کی۔ اگر یہی مقصود ٹہرا تو فوراً سے پیشتر ایک محبوب ڈھونڈ لیجیئے۔ آج کل بہت ہی سستے محبوب فیس بوک اور ٹویئٹر پہ بھی مل جاتے ہیں۔ قیمت وہی، چند ری ٹوئیٹ اور حسین تصاویر پہ دلکش کمنٹس۔ لیجیئے محبوب آپ کی جیب میں پڑے موبائل میں۔ مبارک ہو اب آپ کی نمازوں میں متحان میں کامیابی کے ساتھ ایک نامحرم کے محرم بننے کی دعائیں بھی شامل ہوچکی ہیں۔ حاضر جمع رکھیے اور یہی محبوب جب ٹوئیٹر کی نیلی چڑیا کی طرح اڑ کر کسی دوسرے شجر پہ بیٹھ جائے تو بجائے ’وہ میرے نصیب کی بارشیں کسی اور چھت پہ برس گئیں‘ گا کر سریلی آواز میں رونے کے بجائے اپنے اور اپنے محبوب پر ہنس لیجیئے۔ اپنے اوپر تھوڑا زیادہ۔ حماقتوں کے اشتہارات لگا کر فارغ ہوجائیں تو جأنماز خود ہی بچھ جاتی ہے۔ یہ وہ مقام ہےجہاں آپ انسان بننے کا عزم کرتے ہیں، تائب ہوتے ہوتے ہیں۔ اور جب اسی رونے دھونے میں کہیں آپ کی امی جان کو خبر ہوجائے تو خدا کے ساتھ ساتھ ماں بھی مہربان ہوجاتی ہے۔ پھر جب ایک دفعہ ماں کی گود میں دل کھول کے رکھ دو تو سمجھ نہیں آتا کہ خدا ماں ہے یا ماں خدا ہے

 

 

 

This blogpost didn’t win a title.

It takes time to realize that life’s not butterflies and rainbows, you’re not part of any fairytale because hospitals reek of death and not love, these hands are not made to hold flowers from someone special but scalpels, you wouldn’t read beautiful words written only for you but the books that weigh more stones than you and when you break, you are broken for good. 

I want to fast forward life to that time. I need to realize these things STAT.

Ladies, Constant Vigilance.

It’s easy to blame some other country’s singers for inducing sensuality that accentuates animal instincts in human beings.

It’s easy to blame women for bringing out a rapist in an otherwise ‘innocent’ human being.

It’s easy skimming thru a rape story and a small tsk here and a small tut there.

What’s not easy is creating a difference, to do your role in society because goddammit, you’re so happily sitting in your comfort zone munching those popcorn watching eve teasing as a funny scene in an otherwise romantic movie.

I’m emotionally exhausted. I see those faces, these prebuscient girls and those shivers that run down spine and I don’t know what to feel anymore. The worst thing about such case scenarios is that we can help yet we choose to not let these things affect us.

I don’t forgive myself for apathy, you shouldn’t be doing that either.

The rape incidents that went viral in India and now Pakistan are so much like an epidemic. There’s a pattern and then there’s same vehicles (medically and literally); Prebuscient girls and public transport.

Here’s an account of something that happened with an acquaintance few days back in Karachi:

Sara took a Qingqi somewhere near Jauhar. The driver asked her if he could also let another woman, who was veiled, to ride his qingqi. Sara refused saying I’m already sitting how could you let another passenger in. He said she’s just a woman. She said ‘no’, even more vehemently. The qingqi stopped near the woman anyway, he said something inaudible to Sara’s ears to that woman and she climbed in. Sara steadied herself to disembark when the woman gripped her arm and said: “Aise kese jaane dain gay?” (How can we let you go just like that?) She screamed, pulled her arm free of her grip and jumped. The qingqi drove off because heads turned in that directions, cars stopped.

There was another similar incident that actually met an unfortunate end. The hospital where mom works at has a rickshaw stand right outside. One of the nurses took her ‘routine’ rickshaw, the familiar driver. He did the same ‘noble’ gesture, offering her to share her fare with another woman who was standing few blocks away. The nurse happily allowed. They took her to some shady place and robbed her, the guy tried making ‘advancements’ only to be distracted by some automobiles in a distance.

The only point of telling these stories is when you travel alone, you need to prepare yourself for the worst. There are very simple things that can save you from being robbed or raped or worse. I would be blogging on this subject in structural form in coming days and I would be really glad if any of you’d like to contribute by sending me guest posts.

Here’s the simplest link I found while searching for applying self defense principles:  http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/self_defense.html# Read on the subject, inculcate awareness in your immediate circle.

We’ll see how…

*Sara is a pseudonym for obvious reasons.

A Broken Compass.

I am binging… which may or may not be clinically or grammatically correct but I do. That’s actually the only thing I do these days without questioning myself.

There are question marks inflated like helium balloons, they soar above my head and then they follow my wayward steps. The forlorn skies of Karachi have seen it worse. So they look at me like teletubbies’ baby-Sun and then they laugh as evil as him. I don’t know, if this city is any longer mine… if I even identify with people who live with me. I would not be surprised if one day I wake up and find myself sporting an extra limb, I’m this alien to myself.

What exactly happened? I did this for myself and now I am lost within me. Like a confused reticulocyte that keeps asking passengers for a ride to spleen. Yes, that.

My compass is broken, I don’t know where I’m heading. I had dreams; of holding that scalpel and fine tuning hearts but now, nada. I might just eat and then puke in morning or dirarrheate-  my signature move.

Besides, I feel as incomplete as this post.

One ladies, Two ladies!

Primarily, because I’m bored.

On a second thought, I should have said something earlier. I mean four years of experience in travelling by these intercity buses, so many stories.

I like watching random people talking to even more random people, I like gauging their stories by the way they haggle with the bus conductor, the way a mother slaps her wailing child, what do they say to stop the bus to take a piss in bushes. This is Pakistan and travelling with a bunch of strangers in one hell of an experience per se.

I leave Karachi 9ish a.m. It would take 4 hours to reach the place I’m in love/hate relationship with. It’s like an arranged marriage, I expected better… It delivered wayy too less.

They have made me take this so-called VIP seat as I’m the only ‘one ladies’ in the bus. This is what you need to know; if you respect a lady, you must call them ‘ladies’, it doesn’t hint that you could be gravid with another baby girl… it’s just Bus Conductor Manners 101. I’m not even making fun of them as I type this out. Professors at my University have this really amazing tendency to call ‘they’ as substitute for Urdu pronoun ‘Aap’ . We’ve seen as much in these four years that we’re immune to all kind of surprises.

The saying goes: ‘ Travel is meant to broaden the mind and loosen the bowel’. We beg to differ. Four hours and we have tamed the anal sphincters and them urethras. This is however, not true for the male passengers. I have always heard and believed that men can control their urge to urinate more impressively than females due to longer size of urethra but here’s another myth buster: They can’t!

Science doesn’t argue with men who need to take a piss or dump every hour. No wonder there’s so much greenery on both sides of super highway.

I’m no feminist nonetheless. Frankly, I don’t mind any excuse for the bus to be stopped.

We stretch our legs and grab a cup of tea from roadside cafés. They’re there like mushrooms sprouting after every five miles or so.

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This tea is the reason I’ve still some hope in fellow Pakistanis. We can even export that frigging awesome tea.

We get on the bus again and I can see the fellow travellers more clearly.

Right now I’m distracted by this ‘dil mera tour dia us ne bura kiun maanoon.’ Bus drivers are obsessed with Karishma and Boby Deol. They just don’t want to move on. At times they also play movies. My bollywood experience is mainly limited to these movies. Dabang, Rowdy rathore, Chupke Chupke, Nayak, Bol Bacchan etc. I watched these in bus only.

Sometimes they also play some really PG 18 stuff. I’m just surprised why families don’t object to that. I mean, who could be fan of watching mujras with dozens of strangers. It’s like sitting in Nishaat Cinema, Saddar. (I made this analogy up, stop making this judgey face… You ass)

‘Humsafar chahiye, Umar bhar chahiye; This is being played right now and I’m hungry.

Songs make me hungry.

These important people I can never travel without are… Driver and conductors. They are good people, like really good people. You’re offered tea, Pepsi and even Poly Juices if you’re stupid enough to cry all the way back to Karachi after giving a dumbass viva.

Once a girl vomitted in my lap but other than this it’s good altogether. So extensive that I can’t stuff it in one blogpost.

I like travelling only because it breaks stereotypes. It bursts biases. I like talking to strangers.This family sitting right next to me are Sindhi people. They talk in amiable high pitched tones. Their kids look lovely in ajrak patterned frocks.

That woman sitting with a child asleep over her hand bag is Punjabi because I eavesdropped snippets of Punjabi.

That guy who sells tea is a Hazara. People who run those highway side cafes, they’re mostly Pathans.

They are all beautiful people.They smile at you, I always return the smiles unless you’re a really sleazy person.

All these years have drained me out of respect for all those  who stereotype people. How difficult is it to love people regardless of their creed or race, I ask?

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Affia_Bibi_Quetta_ShamsAbad

smile-kid-Pakistani a_kid_in_baloch_dress_peasants pakistan-peopleThese people don’t hurt anyone, they won’t judge you on the basis of which city you belong, which accent you sport. These are the people who make 80 % of this country’s population and you guys who don’t go places, just sit on your bum stereotyping and shitting, who are you people seriously?

P.S. This blogpost was written in episodes, the incoherence which might be habitual otherwise is more pungent here, I can almost taste it.