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It was more than just red bricks..

For you a thousand times over – The Kite Runner

A few years ago I read a book called ‘Death at my Doorstep’ by Khushwant Singh. During that time my maternal grandmother passed away too. Inspired by how the author of that book had complied obituaries, I decided to write one for my Nan… I will post it up here sometime soon so that I can read it more often than I usually do, it just makes me feel like she’s still around..

Due to a certain event, I’ve been missing her greatly since yesterday. It just feels as if the last few strands of holding onto her are now slipping out of my hands. As if I have to say goodbye to her.. all over again. But there’s nothing that can be done I guess? Somethings are just part of the circle of life. And some people who leave us are always more than just memories..

Miss you.. 

 

 

 

 

I’ll let this be #3 …

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The talking head – the blank screen – then this must be the place

There are times when despite of things being where they ought to be one needs a hefty dose of motivation to be able to move on. Maybe it was just that my eyes were exhausted from too many hours of staring into my blank mind, but last night I felt less than amicable to my own self. I was annoyed and upset and tired and I constantly felt like no one could understand how difficult it was to manage this.

My weekend was rather ‘eventful’ (every time I use this word it reminds me of a friend who loves to taunt me using my errands). When I say eventful, I mean to include the good and the bad events making the overall period just a mere okay.

For the past few months I’ve been trying to keep myself in the ‘up and running’ mood because I knew there were challenges to face. I spoke positively about things, remained regular with my prayers and did my best to keep myself fit. One after the other life kept throwing its lame jokes at my face and I sat their dealing with each ‘event’ silently pitying life for being so babyish. The whole ‘I will do it because I can!’ attitude really works for me almost in every situation and that is what has kept me going for a while now. But this last weekend I just let life have a good laugh at how weak us humans can get at times. Despite of wanting to, I didn’t seem to put together the strength to get up and slap life so that it shut up. I just sat there with everything happening around like it always has, with friends coming and going, with me running my usual errands and in the back of my mind I kept staring at the endless plain, blank screen in my head. It annoys me even more when I can’t figure out what it is that’s bothering me.

So after the literally eventful weekend, I finally got myself together last night and decided to work this out. I couldn’t just sit here slipping down the dumps watching life giggle like a dumb, fat kid who’s the bully at school only because he can beat others up. A good friend suggested a song a few days ago, I told her I was going to listen to it but like I said, I just couldn’t get up to do anything except for the usual stuff. So last night, I did something which undoubtedly lifts my spirit and puts a smile on my face. I grabbed my ipod, stepped into our terrace and started searching the sky. If there was one thing I could never get tired of, it was star gazing.

So the song started to play – it was a beautiful track from an album by Miles Davis (a jazz musician) – and my search continued. I was paying attention to the song but I was desperately trying to spot the tiniest twinkling thing on the huge black sky. I couldn’t. Not one single star. I don’t remember when this last happened that I couldn’t spot a single star. I was beginning to give up, again. The activity which was supposed to lift my mood was playing hide and seek.

I knew a star wouldn’t just pop out of the sky and cheer me up but I still kept waiting as if something magical was going to happen and I will have a tale to tell! 3 more songs went by on my ipod and no smiley star as yet.. I believed that fate had chosen for me to remain depressed for a few more days, hence I walked back inside my room.

I started fixing my things for work the next day and kept wondering why there were no stars today?! Not a single one?! Not one star when I thought it was the only thing that could cheer me up? Moaning all the way I dragged myself to finish my work and then offer my prayers. In my prayers, other than my usual discussion and childish claims with Allah, I kept complaining about why couldn’t a few stars appear so that I could get out of this horrible mood? I don’t know why I didn’t ask the Big Guy to just fix everything for me, instead I couldn’t get over asking for some stars?! I guess I prayed less and complained more last night.

After dinner, I tucked myself in bed and started reading a book. I didn’t realize where it came from but I suddenly noticed water beside the bed on the floor. I tried to find out where the water was coming from but failed to spot the source. The level of water began to rise and I panicked. I frantically called my sisters, my mom, my dad but no one seemed to take notice. I got off the bed and within two seconds the whole scenario around me transformed. I knew I was dreaming. Despite that one assurance I could still feel my heart pounding out of my chest. I still didn’t understand.

I saw my entire family. My uncles, aunts and cousins. I was standing before a huge swimming pool and everyone was in there – playing and having a good time. I was afraid to step down into the pool. I didn’t seem to be enjoying too much while everyone else was partying away. I remember that my sister came to me and told me to come into the pool. So I took her hand and began to walk forward. The sun had almost set and I wanted to step out of the pool. It was getting dark. I don’t remember seeing my sister after that thought came to my mind and I also noticed that I was almost in the middle of the pool now. What I do remember is that I saw two cats. :S yeah I know.. To my surprise, I wasn’t too shocked to see them swim like crocodiles in the swimming pool and you bet they were having a great time!

I kept walking and eventually I was the only one left in the pool. I saw my family members and a few close friends this time who were standing outside having a good time, eating and relaxing. I wanted to get out of the pool too except for I didn’t know how to. The pool was so big and I couldn’t find any edges to climb out from. So I just stood there not knowing what to do. I know at that time I secretly wished to wake up. As night fell, I noticed something glitter in the water. Suddenly a friend who was standing outside called out my name and asked me why I looked so confused. I told him I wanted to get out of the pool at which he cracked up laughing. The next moment I was standing outside facing the pool. I was out? Yup, I sure was except for I didn’t know how. But atleast I was out of that weird creepy place with cats swimming around! I still saw no means of an entrance/exit but I was thankful that I was out. I don’t remember having a conversation with anyone after I was out of the swimming pool but I do remember feeling relaxed. I remember looking at my friend and I remember his smile. Normally, I’d smile back – but I didn’t, I was probably too confused and so I kept staring right back at him. He gradually looked upwards and I merely followed his sight. In millions I’m sure – there they were, what I had been looking for and complaining about – there were millions of stars. Taken aback in shock I immediately woke up; it was 4.50 am. My surroundings were exactly how I had left them.

I stayed awake for about half an hour wondering what I had seen and what it meant. That sight was breath taking. I had never seen so many stars at once. The thought made me smile. I decided not to think further and go back to sleep. I didn’t want to derive logic from something so magical. I didn’t want to think why I saw what I saw. I didn’t want to think whether or not there was meaning behind this. I didn’t want to think what those cats were doing in a nearly perfect dream?! 😛 I just wanted to hold onto that one moment after that smile.

Life is a mean, fat child but it’s dumb too – it only laughs because it has the power to throw tricks at you. But we have more than just the ability to juggle with its lame jokes, we can master the tricks and not be laughed at. We can logically derive our way out of every maze, out of every phase – we only need to believe that time is on our side and it will pass, leaving life’s lame jokes to be part of the past. Only if we move on with time, will we be able to look back and laugh at how childish those tricks were. Sorry life, but better luck next time! 🙂

I’m not sure if I’ve gotten back to feeling all ‘geared up’ yet, but I definitely feel happier. All that water, all those people, that ‘I know what’s going to cheer you up’ smile and then those countless stars. I know my complains last night were heard and answered, now I wish I had prayed a little more.

Sometimes I wish we could take a trip far away

Leave all this trouble and heartache and pain for another day

I will search for that place but till I find it all I can say is…

Live every moment and love everday

Cuz before you know it, you’re precious time slips away
– Live Every Moment, Rea Speedwagon

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Nearly a bad hair day..

I’ve had it with this school, Skinner. Low test scores, class after class of ugly, ugly children… – Superintendent Chalmers, The Simpsons

As per my daily routine, I reached office at 9 a.m and began to jot down my ‘things-to do-at work’ list. Simultaneously I read my emails and replied to the ones I could cater to on the spot & marked the ones I had to get back to later during the day. Around 10.30/11ish I have my cup of coffee/tea and while I sip on my coffee, unless something urgent pops up, I enjoy ‘my’ time reading news/articles/blogs. Apart from the few websites that I religiously visit, my reading material mostly depends on my mood. Today, I read up quite a bit on ‘people who try too hard to look impressive’ and ‘anger’. Yup, the latter had to do with my mood. 

I don’t usually flip out at little things; doesn’t happen unless it’s not a series of events. Yes I know many of you gentle readers might take a good laugh at that statement but seriously, it’s different when you’re with friends and mess around – not.the.same.as.being.real. 😛 so yeah, I do agree I have a bad temper but definitely not a short-bad temper. I prefer going quiet or walking away when things aren’t happening the way I would like them to be. But today, I went ape over something, someone said at work. (I agree that ‘something/someone’ is annoying, it annoys me too when …. someone talks like that?! :S) *brain fractures* The catch though is, that it was something I could’ve easily ignored but quite obviously I didn’t.. or couldn’t? Arrghh I don’t know.. It just made calm, little me like soooper angry!  So here I am sitting on my seat, having an intense ‘eye to screen’ contact with my PC and then begins the click click click.

I read up on 4 articles regarding human behaviour; both to do with anger and the jerks that some people like to be – I must admit, this is actually lightening up my mood 🙂 I still don’t understand why the jerks (hehe :P) have to be jerks!?! (luvin’ it!) but here’s something I read which helps one control their anger – it made me laugh a bit and well it asked me to write out whatever was bothering me (hence this blog; despite the ‘something/someone’ it’s out of my system atleast) & it actually works..

Anger can be powerful — but there are healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with it.

1. Acknowledge It: Clenching your teeth while stuffing your feelings does no good for you, your mate, or your gastrointestinal tract. (khee khee 😛) There’s nothing wrong with being angry. Admitting it to yourself, or as calmly as possible to the person you’re locking horns with (oh nopes! I wouldn’t try doing that today.. I’d probably end up punching a few people! *breeeaaaathhee*), can feel validating, and it’s the first step in working toward resolution.

2. Spell it out: Writing down your feelings — yes, the prehistoric pen and paper can work as well, if not better, than the laptop-can be extremely helpful. In the process (hmmm lets try), you can sort out why you’re upset about (*repeats the someone/something story*) and what steps you can take to work through the situation (punch someone? Maybe kill? 😛). Perhaps most importantly, putting your feelings into words can diminish their grip on you and help them work their way out of your system. (two thumbs up! 😀)

3. Get connected to your body, and channel the rage into an activity that can release tension – dancing, jumping rope, kickboxing and running are great examples. (I’d love to try those examples right now.. *looks around* damn you office!!)

4. Seek perspective: If you’re still feeling steamed from that bully on the exit ramp or the backhanded tone from the bartender, it might be time to make a list of the things you’re grateful for. (Ha Ha Haa….. NO thanks! Not with my present state of mind)

5. Connect, carefully: Sharing your feelings with a trusted person can often be very cathartic. Don’t make excuses for your emotions or buff them to a shine; just let them flow. (Now this really works!! I blurted out everything that was on my mind to this friend- Snoopy (there you go, you’re famous! Haha) and after swearing all that we could, we had a good laugh at the situation 🙂 ) But beware of the friend who just riles you up further; there’s a difference between letting you vent (Snoopy you’re a vent! I’m so dead hehe 😀 😛) and fanning your flames. (hmmm… true true… )

6. Take action: If it’s a serial aggressor that’s getting you down, chart out steps to improve the situation. A methodical, specific plan of action can lend a sense of control, helping stop the madness. (Yes sir! They better not be judging me by my size…cuz next time that ‘something someone’ happens – somebody’s gona get a hurt real bad!…I just hope this doesn’t happen…..uugh


7. Watch it: Sometimes even when things seem resolved, anger can linger in the form of hypersensitivity, irritability, and insomnia. (meh.. my anger already subsided *dances around* no not literally.)

Out for now, back to work *facepalm*

 

 

 

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Adiós Facebook!

After months of contemplation, I finally clicked on that ‘deactivate account’ button and freed my life from the pointless addiction of facebook. I loathe the fact of how I’ve always thought that facebook was overrated (I’d raise my hand for youtube over facebook any day) and yet continued to remain a member. I don’t even want to know the me who was once ‘emotionally attached’ to her animals and plants on Farmville! (-_-) – one’s got to admit that despite facebook’s grotesque sell-out, the thing is pretty addictive! I have friends on facebook who have no purpose in life BUT to sign into facebook and play Mafia Wars or quite realistically assume the role of fishermen/farmers. It’s like this whole fake world where instead of the news channel your friend’s status update will tell you what’s happening across the globe… instead of you remembering yourself, facebook reminds you of your sisters birthday.. like seriously, life without facebook isn’t conceivable anymore.. I guess? Ah well, that’s just an opinion, you might be a die-hard facebook fan; spare me your indifference..

Anyhow, since facebook woes aren’t anything new anymore (so much so that, there’s a ‘lamebook’ and a ‘vaguebook’ out there now) I’ll just keep my reasons of signing out of facebook to myself and let this guy explain what’s ‘generally’ annoying about Mr. Bookface… oh, I mean facebook *respect* …

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Why so serious?

About a couple of months ago I was hanging out with a bunch of friends and while we were having lunch, one of them abruptly threw a question at our faces. He asked us; if we could choose where we’d want to be born, what place would it be and why? Had he been ‘normal’ himself he’d expect ‘normal’ answers such as ‘XYZ country followed by some logical, rational reasoning’ but fortunately the crazy bunch that he was surrounded by lived upto his expectations & came up with some very interesting stuff.

Recalling that day, I rotated this question amongst a few of my friends/colleagues hoping to get a good laugh out of some of the answers; little did I know that I was in for a surprise. Most of the answers below happen to come from people who are either Pakistanis, or Muslims or both. (just so you know why they answered the way they answered 🙂 ) here are the nice, ‘thought-out’ answers I got;

-Two people wanted to be born in the USA because & I quote; ‘it respects freedom yaar’, ‘blue passport dude = no racism’

-A few said the UK because & I quote again… ‘of higher education privileges’, ‘I will not be looked down upon as I usually am with a green passport. My kids and I will have the chance to study in world class schools/universities. I will always be safe and I doubt that Britain would ever get off the map leaving me no nationality unlike the uncertain future of our country’.

On the contrary, here is a super patriotic one :P;

‘Why change my country yaaar (in case you don’t know what that word means; it’s a gesture without which most of us Asian people cannot talk :P) just because we have a few selfish, ‘deserve-to-die’ sort of people (who sadly are running the show) we can’t blame the entire country yaaar. It’s just those few people who have polluted our and our country’s image – had it not been for them, it’s a perfect place to belong to!’

And now, my personal favorite! These are the ones who according to me, did justice to the question (I’ll explain why I’m saying that later). Mind you, these are all career oriented, grownups who have either given simple answers or ones which have emerged from wild imagination;

‘Malaysia – its my favorite country :)’

‘Germany – if I was born a German, I’d definitely be a Formula 1 racer’

‘Pakistan – you get to live like a freakin’ king!! And you break the laws left, right and center & no one cares! Lalalala!’ (Quite ironically, this guy is a lawyer :P)

‘Turkey – the place and people are beautiful’

‘Pakistan – *thinks of a reason and then suddenly starts singing* cuz saaaare jahan se achaaa … *and I walked away before hearing the rest* (if you didn’t get what that singing bit was about… well you haven’t missed out on anything, safe to move on 😛)

‘Under a pumpkin tree – because I’d have unlimited access to……..pumpkins?!! Think about it, they’ll be freeeeeee!’

‘Jeddah – it’s fun and you’ve got the luxury of cars’ (as if every Saudi is born filthy rich! 😛)

‘Any place from where I can take a train and just travel to my heart’s content & where there were actual seasons – like the whole shebang’

‘In a teapot – *looks skeptically at us who were waiting for the reason to pop out & says* what? you really want a reason after I said a TEAPOT!?! Gaawwd!’

‘In the jungle – because I want a life as carefree and adventurous as Tarzan’s!’

The crazy bunch with whom this questioning begun gave most of the above silly answers. Only when I got a handful of serious answers did I realize that we have become tuned to taking everything in life too seriously. Like seriously. In fact, life itself is being taken way too seriously. Relax (yaaaaar), it’s only life.. happens once – stop being so rational all the time. Go back and read the question; it’s something that cannot happen anymore, in fact it’ll never happen – it’s a hypothetical scenario – thrown in just for fun. Just to see how wild you can get with your imagination, with your dreams.

Facts about racism, religious differences, and educational hurdles are things that primarily give shape to the world as we know it today. These issues exist in all societies – they only vary in the degree with which they exist, but nevertheless, they are there. Whether you have a green passport or a blue one, so long as your skin is brown there’s a problem! If you’re a white person and living in a nation that respects freedom but you have a beard – problem! No beard and no brown skin and you still have to live with the constant threat of becoming a victim of the terrorism that presides. Every place you go, everywhere you look there are pros and cons. That’s an unavoidable/unchangeable fact. The reason I said people who gave the simple/crazy answers did justice to the question was because they appear to have accepted the unavoidable facts. They have desires of either being Malaysian or being born under a pumpkin tree (come on, everyone can dream) but they know of the ground realities which probably enables them to enjoy such stupid little moments in life. Their minds are free to think beyond limits of logical reasoning – no harm in stepping outside the box. Their endurance enables them to sit back with a few friends at lunch and just have fun. There’s no harm in trying to let go of all the seriousness for a while – you know you have to return to the hard facts of life eventually, might as well take a break 😉

If I could choose where I’d want to be born I’d say an Island – an island where not alot of people accompany me (that would save us the politics hopefully and if they cause trouble.. well the sharks can have them then 😛). An island which has only the bare minimum that’s required to survive (and no, I do not mean a cell phone or facebook!) Basically, a place that’s free from all the materialistic things that create the bedlam. A place free from artificiality, free from this constant competition of who is going to win in the end. Where during the day I could dive into the ocean and explore the life therein and at night I could fall asleep while gazing at the countless, twinkling stars. – what.a.life! 🙂