I like to hang around people who know how to have fun without feeling guilty. I think I don't remember many instances of having fun without feeling guilty. I know the reminder that the parents were doing so much for us was a true one. But I felt guilty in my heart , guilty before I could ask for one more hour in the park , guilty before I could ask for anything. And I know I would have got anything had I asked for it. But at a young age , I learnt to balance guilt and desire. Seemingly harmless statements such as 'you have had too much of fun already, and still you wont listen to me ' made a way for the guilt.The reminders didn't make me a content person. They opened a trade route between guilt and happiness . Slowly I became wary of too much happiness , too much enjoyment. Except the enjoyment I got from myself , the leisurely walks into the garden of thoughts. That kind of fun started and ended at my will. I began to prefer it over other things. Because all people have a point of exhaustion. And they usually set their threshold low.
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
The soulful feeling is lost amidst the aspirations for glitz and glamor of wedding. It cannot change when the function is gathering - centric. Not just the function , when whole lives are people centric. How can two people join hands , in a way of their choosing , comfortable on their common wavelength when it is not a matter between them, where they are not the ones setting terms , not the ones inviting guests. ( The reason for their passive role is their dependence itself which is another story ) It really is a crowd. And people are there to find things they have done better in their respective weddings , or take note of things that they can do better. I am reminded of a bride and groom on the aisle , saying their vows , in front of adoring people. Because these were the people who were invited by the bride and groom , people who really meant something to them and were not there just because they shared blood with a common relative : people who could not care less about you. I am reminded of the simplicity and purity of two people saying their vows , declaring their love to each other.
No amount of extravagance beats it , because the glamor can last in the photos, that too just for you. People move on all the time. And then it becomes what society fought hard for it to not become : a personal affair. Except it is too late then.
Friday, 17 June 2016
The best suited profession to me was law. I would have been a lawyer. I have questions about that, I would have picked very selective cases about which I was convinced that I was not defending a criminal (individual or mentality ).
But the need to settle things , the itch to pin blame , the hunger for conclusion , the problem with 'settlements'... I could make a profession out of it.
Sometimes it's more liberating for me to rationalize and find that I was at fault in a situation , because I am the only person who is in my control. When I own the blame , anger goes out where acceptance comes in , the path becomes clear. Because now the things are under my control.
I can see where the cracks are , I call fill them in.
It is frustrating. And very hard for me to feel that an argument with a worthy person was not seen to its end. That some ends were left loose. That no conclusion was drawn. That whatever emotion the other person has settled on is not an informed one.
Sometimes long after a conversation has taken place ,one that did not lift my heart , I think of a point. And when I do , I want to say it to the person. World is free to interpret it as an obsession, as my inability to let go. What they don't understand is that I want to reverse the entropy. I want to instill some system in this chaotic world. I want words to have more value than people are willing to give them. I want to fix the loopholes in narratives. But it's always not under my control. I have to leave it to the people to see the cracks.
Monday, 13 June 2016
A writer ends his story on the note of some conclusion. Some moral , some longing , some irony , some solution. He/She ( I wish there was a common third person singular pronoun so that I wouldn't have to write He/She so often) would avoid an abrupt ending. Such a book wouldn't sell. Such a story wouldn't have a take home message. And before all this , such a writing would not satisfy the soul of the writer.
I, however , am confused. And unlike the past my thoughts will most likely come to an abrupt half of surrender. Off the top of my head , after the killings in Orlando, I am thinking that the design of a human life is so random. Yet we entitle ourselves to dreams and ambitions. We believe in a bigger picture. Some buy the religion. Others just join the different causes. Because we want a bigger picture. As a doctor , I have seen death very closely. I have seen life to be at mercy of an emergency tray. I have felt the pulse becoming feeble under my fingers until it disappeared. I have seen a horrified helplessness on the faces of people when they learnt that the two way communication with someone they love has been aborted for eternity. I have seen my fellows , my colleagues attributing this to the design of a God up there in sky. I have seen them take refuge in their convenient camps of wishful thinking. I have felt the rage choking my throat at their audacity to explain what cannot be explained. And the explanation of which does not have any meaning. You would know too if a body went cold in front of you. Everything that person said or did becomes meaningless. You will totally detach yourself from the feeling that it was a living person slowly. That is why it is so scary if a person , supposedly dead , would wake up. Because we just want comfort. Even if a person is dead we want the comfort of knowing that he is dead for sure. We want certainty. Madly , we chase It. In ideals , in people, in relationships , in belief systems. We have zero tolerance for uncertainty . Thats why people believe. So that they can attribute their losses to will of a higher being orchestrating a bigger plan. That's why we don't stop to question why we are told that we are better than others ? How all what we have been told could be a lie ? How our lives might not be operating on a design ? How it could all be random. Random like you drinking a can of coke and a bullet hitting you in your head, numbing everything you ever felt.
I don't know what's the place for empathy. I think people can either operate on empathy or on principles. Because the two paths don't intersect. I live by the way of principles because the lack of boundaries in empathy horrifies me. I empathise with a robber who robs because he is hungry. Why I shouldn't empathise with a serial killer who kills because of his misshapen psychology ? Why I don't empathise with animals. They are killed to feed me ? Where is the limit because If you look at it, every crime has a motive and one that feels very real to the one perpetrating it. I see the things close to my heart in black and white so I choose to stay aloof. I choose to hug principles defiantly because the lack of boundaries in empathy is frightening. I am not selfish but I don't assume the right for people's welfare on myself. When I take away the burden from my shoulders , I feel the pain of people in my heart. It is a beautiful paradox of my life. I don't think I am supposed to help people. I don't suppose I am supposed to do anything , actually. This sponatenity makes me act in humane ways ( or ways I know to be humane in that they don't hurt any human in life or property ) but this spontaneity has also led human beings to be reckless and act in disregard for everything but themselves
There is nothing certain in life . I want to see certainty in love.At all times , in all weathers. Which is probably a mistake if you take certainty to mean something fixed and certainty does not mean things should happen as they are supposed to. How can it meant that when there's no way things are supposed to happen. Certainty is in the concept. It is in the background to the foreground. It's when you love the raw materials regardless of how the finished product turns out. And even though it's totally uninspiring and dull to look out of a window and see a staircase and unpainted back of a home, there is an option to paint the window in the picture of raindrops , clouds , and unlimited horizon. It will be perfect. And perfect never means what we are conditioned to believe is perfect. Peace is good but I have known some fights to be the closest to heart because they were are an act of catharsis. They revealed the beautiful self behind the facade. Love can be faked. Fights can hardly be. They are the most genuine things that humans do.
I disapprove of idealism , not with a sneer of knowing better. But as an act of giving up to the random design of the universe. I don't know if any cause is worthwhile enough to commit myself to. I have one dear, short, uncertain and random life that I am holding onto very dearly. I allow myself to think for myself. I allow myself to speak for myself.
Friday, 13 May 2016
You are now the only connection between me and my flesh and blood.
You overwhelm me with comfort.
The comfort that feels so unreal to me that it remains the only indicator of how you are not a reality, when you are all that I see.
The comfort that I only ever felt the absence of, not knowing that I had it when I had it.
The comfort that I am no longer used to.
You tease me with your eagerness to disappear,
Far into the recesses of my mind , out of the door of consciousness.
The more I focus on you , the flimsier you appear
The harder I will to make you stay , the sooner you leave.
Yet I run behind you like a mad man, chasing , what I know to be unreachable, even in the moment.
Each time I slump down on my knees, defeated.
The only thing that is mine is the dust from my past.
You are a merciless imagery,
A tease that erodes the healing scab that time lays over my bleeding heart.
But you come nonetheless.
And I crave you for the fleeting moments of comfort.
Because I am an addict of the highest order of intoxication.
Love, loss and grief.
Saturday, 30 April 2016
Dr. Azeem Jahangir had the most interesting take on the matter of profession choice in Pakistan. According to him, The difference between your career and your passion is same as the difference between arrange marriage and love marriage. People in Pakistan 'arrange'the profession of their children too, generally speaking. When you find yourself in an arranged marriage , you try to develop interest in it. And this is what happens with arranged careers.
This is the most comprehensive comment on the surprisingly under - addressed matter of career choice in Pakistan. The practice of not letting your children answer to their calling is the reason why there are more dispassionate doctors here than in say, America or any other country where your interest is the single most important determinent of your profession, after your aptitude. How can a person who is interested in fashion designing , be passionate about medicine ? There can be forced interest. No doubt . One may even be good at it. But I think no one can excell in the field he isn't truly passionate about. As a result, He could be a good doctor at best where he could have been a great fashion designer.
People here opt for the 'inherent coolness ' of the title doctor. Nothing could be farther from the truth than the assumed nobility of a profession. You become noble by your conduct. A name plate or a name on degree isn't anything, to be honest.
So when will this stop trending ? When will the controlling Pakistani parents stop living a proxy life through their kids, streamlining their desires at every point of their lives?
Granted, the loved ones and society on the whole, wants an individual to prosper. But If everybody lived by the results of other people's lives , there would be no no art, no music , not even any innovation in science. There would only be safe, practical choices. Now there is nothing wrong with safe choices. But there's something seriously wrong with an academic system in which the true motivation for a profession is the status symbol it entitles a person to. There's something seriously wrong when capable adults are coerced into making choices that differ from their passion in order to be considered worthy. As a result The best of the minds go to designated professions and there is a serious dearth of intellectuals in other fields. Another result is one's chronic unhappiness with the chosen career.So much for carrying the weight of other people's ambitions on your shoulders!
I would say that is a problem.
There is a serious need for aptitude testing. And ideally the trend setting, doctor bahu seeking mentality of the society should be checked.
Monday, 25 April 2016
This is about the man, whose heart was punctured by a bullet. Whose blood spread on road like ink on paper.The irony about the man is that , he had stolen money to sustain the life that was slipping away before his very eyes. And he wasn't dying a noble man. What do you think would be his final thoughts ? Would he desperately pray to an imaginary diety, would he think about the faces of the people he had loved, if any ? would he repent ? Would he lose control. Would he stop thinking because..it is pointless to argue with uncertainty. It has no face. It is everywhere, clouding everything a man thinks he owns. Then Would he let it go? The unwanted lesson life teaches us so often. Wouldn't letting go of life, dim every sense, every memory , every feeling he ever felt. Wouldn't he laugh at the efforts of writers and poets to grasp that which is so mediocre, so plain, so without taste of anything extra ordinary.
Just a simple act of ..seeing your life abandon you.