Beer in Berlin

My parents tap into a mysterious inner reservoir as soon as they land on a foreign tarmac to become shopaholics. You won’t find these things back home, they say. I agree, just a little differently. I have never been fond of scouring streets one after another to satisfy my shopping demons. I am not fond of trying to locate and fall uncontrollably for an exotic item, a skinny jean (available back home), those 5 Euro tee-shirts on sale and souvenir refrigerator magnets. I am a sucker for museums, trying to find meaning for myself and the life of things around me in abstract art. Food is also of paramount importance. After all, my parents are right; there’s nothing like what you eat here that you will eat back home, so no foreign experience is complete without my palate divulging in alien cuisines. On a tight budget, it does not make any sense to stroll into a Michelin star restaurant and order a 50 Euros upward fancy lunch or dinner: it suffices to pick out the odd Vapianos, random street gelatos that also sell wood-oven pizzas with halal meat, and the infamous Turkish doner kebabs stalls. Berlin is not short of options when it comes to cuisines.

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Meaningless Ascent

A few minutes ago, I was climbing up the stairs to the first floor of my house. The endeavor is banal and meaningless, but it oddly resembles standing in a hot shower with lots of time on your hands. Thoughts pour in as a new altitude is broken every second until the mind becomes fixated on just one, and today, my thoughts got stuck on my experience (or the lack of it) in hiking up to a mountain. It’s not fitting, to say the least. The comparison appears to be shoddy at best. Climbing a stairway should not remind you of climbing a dangerous mountain capable of terraforming its own weather. The allure, however, is too leechy to pass away.

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A New Narrative

It seems to me that every developing country has a similar story about the priorities it has for arts and humanities. A lot of people in Pakistan, for instance, disregard any career associated with art as “thoughtless” and “suicidal”. Sure, the market is a little tough. Artists aren’t exactly in great demand. Its the engineer and the doctor, the computer scientist and any other type of scientist that inspire great respect amongst the individuals in our society. If you want a shot at getting rich, don’t waste your time with art. Art is for losers. Go to a science school, graduate with flying colours and you may have your chance. There is still no guarantee, however, for you see, the market isn’t changing so much. My experience in taking courses from the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) at LUMS has been brilliant. I have dared to dream, aspire, and all that jargon the school promises. More importantly, I have felt the yearning for creativity and art to be completely side-lined, as there is always a desire to produce the next big app, product, start up and all the other ways to “truly make a mark”, as they say. This is the place that tells me, “hey, you can be rich”, and to be honest, I see all other motivations pale in front of this tantrum.

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Talentless

After an enthralling comedy night at LUMS, I wondered; what is my strong suit? How can I stand out? How do I distinguish myself? The people on that stage possessed a surreal amount of talent. To appear unnerved in front of a crowd that can berate you there and then for a slight gaffe, how do they do it? How do they maintain such composure, yet come out on top? And that’s not it; they make people laugh, consistently, from joke after joke that are all improvised. That’s brilliant. Thinking on your feet and then bellowing out a witty pun for the public to appreciate; this is a very unique form of art, one that often goes unappreciated in Pakistan.

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Pseudo-Epiphany

I inject disappointment into my soul at times; to be very honest, college life hasn’t turned out as great as I expected it to be. The people are okay. I’m gradually getting to know them better now but no one has the time to really stop, and care for the intellectual, artistic aspects of life. No one seems to care about genuine creativity and learning, and more or less, we all are focused towards scraping a grade. I can’t blame us now, can I? After all, we’re paying quite a lot and we need to score good ‘to fit in‘. 

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Reasoning With Reason

Is there a solid reason to believe in ‘reasoning‘?

Sure, it does help us understand the world around us, but from the very same logical channels, there are other understandings that eventually commingle to reveal a very distasteful, perplexing concoction. To agree with this, you need to agree with the fact that every discipline we demarcate today to suit today’s world’s context, has been fashioned from the annals of philosophy. The philosophy of politics, the philosophy of science, the philosophy behind reasoning and so forth; you get the point, right?

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Tomorrow

Life is absolutely turning horrible as each second passes away in anticipation. I wonder what people awaiting death think of, but I can imagine. Their whole life would be flashing in front of their eyes, all their mistakes and all those nitty gritty moments that they thoroughly enjoyed.

I wonder what the difference between me and those people is. I’m thinking about all the things I have done; all the mistakes I’ve made…and regret. But yes, there is a difference. I can also think of a future in a dual beam. One of these beams where my mind naturally inclines toward is the compelling rage of serenity followed by a life of chaos, of uncertainty and absolute dejection. The other is, however, rosy. Despite it’s good nature, there is something wrong with it, I feel. I dream of all those things that my life has dreamt of achieving in the last few months. I can vicariously transport myself into the life of another – a person walking down on a road leading to the academic block at SSE. The person who later, after attending an intriguing Calculus class, goes on and takes a dive at the cappuccino bar at Gloria Jeans. I wonder if one day, that person would be me.

The problem with thinking all of the ‘good stuff’ is that it doesn’t put a smile on my face. It fails to ignite me. It fails to latch me onto the banter of a glorious upcoming. Instead, it makes me cry. It kills every time I think about it. Perhaps, it’s not a dream people aspire towards because they have greater goals. But one thing I have ended up realising from all this traumatic experience is that a dream, no matter how small or big, is still a ‘dream’ and there is a lucid impossibility factor that makes it what it is – a ‘dream’.

However, no matter how I think, it will be insignificant tomorrow. Either I am going to bask in some form of self-constructed and returned glory, or it will be the final nail in the coffin of shame. Otherwise, it will be a world on fire. Where my eyes would lose the capacity to discern. Where the people around me will no longer matter. Where everything will be lost. What a strange thing this is – you see, now I know why JK Rowling incepted a creature called the ‘Dementor’, the ‘happiness absorber’, the creature that sucks everything good out from you. I feel that these conditions are no different.

I have to brace what is coming for me. And I feel like I have all the time to do that, but I won’t like to think this way at all. I want to get this over with; I want to live; I want to live without any kind of fear of the future. Sadly, fear doesn’t always come with your permission. It’s something I’ve grown to accept as integral – a beast that whips me across a narrow tunnel, beating me to death, but knowing that with every time he hits, I grow stronger.

Tomorrow approaches, my friends. You can live your life the way you live it right now or you can change it. I envy all of you at this moment, because I cannot change anything now.

Window of an undying question

A window scuttled with dust
wiped a long time ago
Now reeks of a new breath
Twisting winds ravel the forlorn scraps 
managing a row with the bruised edges
It shall take it’s time,
And the master knows this
 
 
dust and wind, dust and wind
The master never knew
that when he shall look 
up and down, up and down
the time will skittle past
to an alley where 
the speed of light is fiduciary 
And the master shall then ask
Himself a question
to which an answer he knows
but shall never confess

 

Feelings

There are times when your life goes up on a high pace. When things happen so fast that you have hardly any time to think on them, but whatever you think of them, it’s just too hard to let it go away. But you have to. I wish I had the words to document all of those things, but ‘that inner reservoir of creativity’ I was proud of once, is finally drying up.
But I’m not too worried.
May be everything that is happening to me in these times don’t deserve words. May be it’s not feasible to translate them onto a virtual paper. And that’s the irony of it all. When you want to share your feelings with someone, with readers like you who will judge but then not pester, with the people I care about the most who don’t care back for me as much as I do for them – all of this isolates the inner me, eventually.
I’m not going to write about them, and that’s it. I know, the purpose of reading such a post evaporates but then again, it’s not for you that I write; it’s for me.
I feel grief and despair trapped inside of me. It’s poisoning and it’s burning me down like a merciless fire and venom. Sometimes, when you give someone your trust and love, you expect them to return it with the same. Sometimes, they do and then they stop doing it. Unfortunately, I cannot climb myself on the ladder and move on; it’s one of those moments when you know you have no other way but to just move on, but you don’t. Because you care. Because you can’t live without sharing your trust and love around.
I have a funny way of thinking this, too. But in this brief moment of humour, it still leaves a sting. When someone hurts you, they’re like a sandpaper. You end up getting polished and they end up becoming useless. However, when you rub on and on, your polish fades and bruises appear, and trust me, they hurt more than anything else.
I am happy that If I failed to write my feelings down as they came, I wrote up on a summary of why I felt I couldn’t do it. You see, feelings are so distinctive and unique, so pure and commanding that most of the times you’re at the mercy of their  whims. I hope with all the gloom following me at this moment just simply goes away. If not replaced by happiness, then at least by something but sadness and uncertainty.
I wrote this post listening to Les Miserables music. Although this post does not carry any kind of connection to the music or the movie, I felt that when you feel something, augmentation factors help. That’s how I convinced myself into writing this up.
And ending this post up with a quote I found on the internet seems appropriate: “Breathe, let go and remind yourself that this very moment you have is with you for sure.”