Verbal tantrums of a writer & an anxious spectator of life.

Month: February, 2012

Fostering the Eastern Empire

A triumph or two, this one has me wooed

Estranged from one’s own land, only a portrait that the mirror reflects can speak louder than the noise of demise. Society is holding you by the neck, one falls into deep, resonating sleep. Once awake, you can breathe again and here’s a worthless tale of  how she found her lungs again. It’s rather overwhelming, returning to one’s soil and identifying with the past since those are the only elements with which one can acquire solace through familiarity. The familiar is no longer familiar, however, other than the promising sincerity of family and dusty roads that lead to the structure of our houses. The serene sound of the Azaan and questionable legitimacy of the food street hold us tight. Above and beyond there has been chaotic change; men trying to acknowledge the empowering sensibility of females and females trying to identify with their own newly-found freedom. Smoking in public and never being caught in eastern attire is no longer condoned, but in fact encouraged. Alcohol, which was rarely available openly at weddings is now being served at open bars here and there. Life has been garnished with scattered thoughts of liberalization and many, those who return from abroad, are caught in a temporary glee of sorts. Fleeing the suffocating eastern empire has become an option less cultivated – or at least it appears that the society has devoured the ancient inculcated values and stepped out to meet the modern world, with a torch of the west in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. But the truth is very different, my friend – and there’s far too much than what meets the eye.

What is an average woman to think or do with herself? Should she hastily make her way to the modern horizon or still think thrice before wearing a cropped shirt because even though her friends won’t judge, their friends will. Should she not care at all or should she care a little? Well if you only care a little around here, it counts for nothing so the glass must be measured appropriately, and with a microscope in hand because if she chooses to surrender to societal modes of life, then she must pursue her dreams of domesticated existence, otherwise she can be rebel and scream out loud in the open and claim the world to be her oyster. The trouble is, you see, that even though there has been change, there hasn’t been enough to change the mentalities and mind sets of the people. Well not enough people, any way.

You see, even though not everyone will stare you down, some will and those still host murderous intentions and that’s enough to kill a woman’s stride in our society. There’s no middle ground any longer; no place between the east and the west essentially. Either you’re with them or you’re not and there’s a clear distinction, sadly. Let me explain this further. If a girl wants to wrap up in a shawl, sit on a terrace restaurant and occasionally sip a glass of wine, she is no longer part of the decent crowd; she has been eyed with vino in hand, and that’s that and will not be forgotten. Her taste for life or eastern traditions along with her sturdy familial relations will be forgotten and only the silhouette of the wine glass and her face will sharply be recalled. There is no peace, you see, in being who you want to be or who you need to be. Even though Pakistan has began to expand its horizons, the mentalities compel women to remain in the shadow, or else the light will ruin their dreams. It’s not a sexist approach, really but more of a realistic one where the patriarchal system of equity and justice in the homeland has been too deeply ingrained to be diluted, even slightly. Men will share their dreams and miseries with you and promise to host futuristic aspirations but in the end, a woman will emerge of no consequence and that will be the gruesome consequence for the poor girl who befriended the male first, but her sin was occasional drinking and cropped shirt-wearing. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone thinks this way but again, not enough think otherwise.

I must commend the efforts of the society, though. Love marriages have surely been on the rise but so have arranged and irrespective of status and socioeconomic backgrounds, respect and honor in their essence is preferably offered to those that have settled in quiet arranged relationships and have not seen the madness of life yet. Women silently burn in their own dreams of liberalization, and when they attempt to host ideas of revolutionary extents, such as dancing with their beaus at a get together, or walking down the street holding hands – their egos are crushed and they are left alone to reep what they have sown.

Change will only come from within; when educated minds will begin to differentiate between extremism and balance and recognize that an ‘in-between’ woman can exist. Speaking of balance, it is a very fine balance indeed; where a woman is afforded her right to hold political views, opinions and assumptions and express them at her leisure. When her craving to smoke a cigarette in public and sip on something illegal will not be categorized as indecent, but simply as a choice of life for her. A choice she has a right to.

Lets remember what change means. And then claim we’ve achieved it – or not. 

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Somebody That I Used To Know

Edited by Dilsher Dhillon

 

Keep swimming. I keep swimming; through the tornado of rising tides and what not. In the end, I’ll become somebody I knew, a shadow of what could have been but never was. Constantly provoked by society to indulge in an idea or two, I must not forget my own. But in the end, we all become a tasteful sample of who we could have been but never should have been, because the world would not have it any other way. It’s not your fault, nor mine, nor can I raise a finger or an eyebrow and quiz the world. At last, I’ll leave it to my brain cells to absorb what will conquer the sins of my past and the vigor of my future.

Our desires can be replaced, at best. Not just by what they tell you to do or be, but through the therapeutic cycle of saturating them. The inner voice claims a curious and puzzled emblem of what I want to be and when the confusion sets in, so do the delectable suggestions of others who appear to know you better from the outside than you do from the very inside. I’m not claiming a discourse over a tragic existence, but merely embracing what I feel is the truth, at this very time. How much advice can we take and give? They are simply recycled thoughts and experiences we wish we had dealt with better but the cards have been dealt and your thoughts amalgamated with theirs and mine and what is mine becomes yours and yours becomes mine. No longer is your sole propriety a matter of yourself but that of where you live and their thoughts of it. Curiosity killed the cat – The cat being me, the cat being you.

Honey and the Black Balloon

I am vintage; because nothing conforms and nothing confirms but the tasteful illusion of what could have been and that is old, ancient, my friend. It’s the era of what needs to be, not of one’s desires, which at best are prurient. But am I the same as I was yesterday? I am the same as I am today but not always and what is left behind eludes to a travesty of what could have been, and there, my friend, there I smile with a dozen colorless balloons tied to one index finger and the sun is as black as the night sky and the moon is what honey tastes like and honey tasted better yesterday any way.

Kiss the Truth

I cannot think, I cannot be free.

 

It’s all about being something you’re not. It’s a game we never learned how to play, but were thrown into the sea and expected to parallel the skill of the fish. The world is spiraling downwards, into a raging motion of what can be. But what is it now? We commend technological advancements, the longevity of batteries that run our lives; whether it be a laptop, mobile or a an iPad. We engage ourselves in the motionless existence of a screen, a light glaring back at us and encouraging us to remain addicted. The less the emotion, the better is what they all claim. The softer you are, the weaker is what they all claim.We’ve turned into a robotic existence where declaring your love has become a sin, and the overuse of the word ‘friend’ has become despicable. Slow down and carry on, they claim. In fact, they beseech you to hide beneath the soil, amidst the grime of a thoughtless perserverance of not who you want to be, but rather who you should be:

If it is to be you to scream out loud in the middle of a dinner party because what someone said pierced through your soul and grasped onto your heart and twisted it in circles you never thought of before, remain silent. Do not show, do not feel, do not believe in what your intuition claims. The show must go on and you must not delve into the trivial journey of investing in mankind, or sharing with them the secrets of your heart and mind. Neither can you confess that you host persistent thoughts of holding someone’s hand, or telling them off, or telling them that you care. Do not care, they plead. Because caring is defeat, it is merely a characteristic that belongs to the defeated. If someone lends you a hand, hold back and think twice before reaching out for their fingers, for they may sting and the scar will never erase. If it’s pouring outside, hesitate before calling a friend to share their umbrella with you because they will want something in return. Turn off the voice, which is internalized within your system, which is the reason why your heart pumps blood following a rhythm no man can re-create because if you begin to hear the music, you will silence out the world and become obsolete. Don’t be too nice, or too sweet, or too polite – Don’t say yes to the first invite you receive by a friend or a foe, and never, ever be caught laughing too hard because they will glare at you and deem you unworthy of time and value. Run away from the screams inside of you that tell you to inform another of your love for them, because loving is for the weak. Silence the racing hearts that commend that you are alive, for to feel emotions is to feel the opposite of victory. Never let go, because if you do, you will get so carried away that you will forget the purpose of your robotic survival and be the best in quiet thought, and keenly observe and forget that the Lord gave you a tongue. Be a man or a woman of few words because that has become the most valued treasure of all times. Do not dance while you are driving, do not sing aloud, do not smoke a cigarette in public and never, ever smile unknowingly because someone will catch your moves and devour your reality with their own gruesome ideologies. Give time, test and break others because that’s the only way you will find the truth. If someone hurts you once, run as fast as you can because no one is worthy of your pain and if they follow you, run even faster because it is a shame to expose your vulnerable humanity. Never touch someone’s arm in affection, and never give them a kiss on their forehead because they will harass your eyes with their devilish thoughts.

What has the world come to? This is what we are being taught day after day, night by night – To escape from the sole biological reality that science has discovered yet: that of humanity; that of sentimentality and emotions. It is what differentiates us from an inanimate object. We are not objects. We are living proof that there is a bond in the universe that wants us to speak, to feel and to believe. Our feet are better than any engine in the world; they can take us places we never imagined and they can feel the pain or the joy of a long distance walk; they can sense the morning dew and they can caress your heart. Your mind is your only God, it is what has no limits, it has no edges, no corners, no circular motion of process. In fact, it is as limitless and free as the wind, intangible yet powerful as it can sweep you off your feet. Why are we turning into wooden sculptures? Why are we shattering the very pieces of our glassy existence, each piece of glass reflecting on our souls and why are we so bent on forgetting that we are alive, and that we have senses that can ensure we are so?

Nothing.

Even I couldn’t breathe, as if strangled by the waves of the sea – The current so high, so fierce, so deep, but I thought to myself, me thinks it’s no way to be, so I clutched onto the water slides and set myself free.

I Got Fear, you fool.

There are demons that possess your thought, of courage and matters alike.

I’m unsure whether to elongate this moment, or shorten it by bloody strife.

Do not feed me organic emblems of satanic thought, she cried.

I got fear, you fool, I got fear in my stride.