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.
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.
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.
Often in our lives comes a point where we need an escape. There is just too much going on, and while caught in this robust flow one tends to feel a little nostalgic even over the little peculiarities that he or she once enjoyed in a relatively static moment of life. I would call that robust flow of events ‘college’. I would categorise my escape to be this very blog, because its been quite some time that I’ve actually written something, about anything.
I really don’t know what I’m going to talk about, but I’ll keep writing till this post morphs into something worth reading, and hopefully by then you’ll be there to read it through as well. But really, this isn’t for you. This is for me. This is my escape, and even though it sometime bothers me that no one would read my post, this insecurity won’t last long and this won’t matter for long. This is my space, my escape and that’s about it.
In two days, a new equilibrium will be established. People of Pakistan have decided and are ready to cast their vote for a better Pakistan.
One thing is for sure; no matter who you’re voting for, your intentions are clean. All of us want to see a better, brighter Pakistan. All of us, however, have our own opinion on how that goal could be achieved and this is where the divide settles in.
Before I go on and announce my own political inclinations, I would urge you all to at-least cast your vote. Even if you do not believe that a vote possesses its hyped worth, still cast it. If you do not support any of the political parties, then instead of wasting your vote by sleeping all day, just visit your polling booth and cancel your vote.
NOTE: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE CAN BE EXPECTED
Yes, the name is pretty catchy – National Youth Summit. Such an event is one of it’s kind here, I can assure you. It’s empowering the youth in a weird sort of a way, or at least it claims to. It’s where you (If you’re young) will burst with energy and the neurons in your brain will grow vastly beyond the geography of your skull, consequentially popping out mathematical answers to every problem in the country. Welcome – the National Youth Summit is here to greet you for the very first time. Continue reading “National Youth Summit – The Joke”
11TH May marks the day when A’levels World History becomes…history. As much as I’ve suffered torture of writing multiple-page answers and memorizing events that cover well over 10 books, I have to admit, I will miss studying World History. A’levels is usually all about studying the horrifying Vectors and Calculus, combined with a hazardous attack from Bronsted and Lowry’s acids and bases, along with a projectile fall into the abyss of biological mess. Continue reading “Living World History”