Choice


Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

You don’t feel like talking to me. No problem.

I don’t mind. Not really. Not anymore.

It’s your life; you’re free to choose who you talk to.Or not talk to. I, on the other hand, don’t seem to have a choice in this matter. And so, I can only grieve.

Because if I had to, I wouldn’t make this choice. Unless I had a damn good reason. Maybe even not then.

Little by little, though, I realize I do have a choice: not waiting around on you.

Works for me. I don’t have time to be miserable any way.

Dear Friend


Dear S,

Here’s the letter that  I should have “written”…

I just counted. I’ve known you for around twelve years now. Half our lives. Feels like forever, though.

When I look back to how we became friends, I would have to give a lot of credit to fate. Your birthday came at the perfect time. And if you hadn’t fallen ill and required my help in catching up, we might not have jump-started this friendship.

You became a part of my life at a time when it wasn’t at its best. When I had just been handed some new challenges and things weren’t easy. But of course you didn’t know that. Yet, in your own special way, you made it better. And easier.

Hence, in retrospect, I’m very grateful for deciding not to change my section, even if the first reason was that I’d rather have Mrs. Wallace as my English teacher.

I’m sure you remember Mrs. Wallace. She isn’t an easy person to forget and the main reason isn’t that she gave us both a hard time. She just made sure that even twelve years later (and more, hopefully), we’d still be friends.

I can’t believe that in about a week, you will be embarking on a new phase in your life. That you’d be married soon and going far, far away. Or that you’re the first one of us to bite the dust. That we’ve finally reached this point in our lives. That you’d go from a Ms. to a Mrs.

It’s only an addition of an “r”, I suppose but I still can’t wrap my head around it. Because I still feel like we’re two awkward teenagers just plowing through our lives…

Being loud. Being obnoxious. Talking for hours over the phone after spending the whole day together at school. Knowing each and every detail of how we spent the day. Knowing every extended member of each other’s families. Exchanging notes during lecture. Stopping at the canteen for samosas on the way to transporting class books from the basement to the top floor. Visiting your dad for junk-food money. Being the victim of teacher politics and still holding strong. Eating mountains of that strawberry toffee that I can’t remember the name of. Arguing over stupid things. Crying at the end of the Murree trip together. Making up for everything with a simple hug. Random walk to Masoom’s every other day. Studying over the phone with your brother.

There’s so so much more! Even after we left school and weren’t together everyday, you were there for me.

But most of all, what I remember is how you made me a better person. How you helped me communicate better and open up to people. How I tried so many new things with you around.

I don’t know how you put up with this presumptuous nerd all these years. But maybe, it’s because I was your presumptuous nerd.

Because no one else would hold my cold, dead hand during lecture to try to warm it up and make me feel less shivery.

I less than 3 you, S!

Yours,

Today and always…

My Year In Review


It’s that time again.

The time for review and reflection. The time to look back, at all the good and the bad, and “resolve” to do better…

For me, only in retrospect though, 2012 was a good year; better than 2011 in many ways.

I am still naive in many regards. I still let my hot head rule my words. I still wear my heart on my sleeve. I still worry too much and over-think everything.

Despite everything, I feel I have grown. Both up and out of my shell. A bit.

2012 was the year in which I managed to perform a very essential duty due a Muslim. I rarely blog about religion – thoughts, beliefs, opinions, practices, etc – but it was both a time with family and with God that I cherish. This was one experience that I won’t ever forget in my entire life, and I pray to God that there isn’t a point in my remaining life that this happens. Though it wasn’t easy, if I could go back, I would do it all over again.

The year also marked important career decisions. I once again tasted the thrill – and hardships! – of job search and the application & interview process. Now, I’ve finally settled down at (my current) work, quitting one internship and an earlier job in the course of the last twelve months. Having gotten the hang of operations, there are many moments where I really enjoy my “hidden” power and influence. Overall, I am just really thankful that all these opportunities did come my way.

In this regard, there are also lots of new people who have come my way. Some really nice ones. And some old ones have secured an even more permanent position in my (scarred) heart. Their presence through the best and lowest of times, their patience through my blubbering, and their ability to give me perspective is highly appreciated.

A shout-out to finally acquiring a smart phone (though still not smart enough to use it, it turns out) and applications like Whatsapp & Viber.

There was only a normal amount of reading and a minimal amount of writing, except here on the blog. Maybe 2013 would be the lucky year?

I did find some new favorite bands and musicians though: Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine and Of Monsters & Men. And it is just a coincidence that all of these have words starting with ‘M’. Promise!

At the same time, 2012 was also the year when I had my first major accident, after having a driving career of seven years. Mostly, my own fault. It was scary and I learned how fear makes a person scream. Yet, I was once again very ‘lucky’ since I wasn’t hurt and only the car was damaged. And that I didn’t have any passengers. Phew!

2012, in retrospect, in one word: lucky.

Cheers to that and hoping that this one would be a good one as well!

Dream Scream


I opened my mouth to scream, both as a warning and in fear but nothing came out.

It was fun for a while but then the scene changed. Drastically. My friend was in danger and there seemed to be nothing I could do about it. Except open my mouth to scream, but nothing would come out.

It was a hoarse whisper at most. No one could hear me. Trying to talk didn’t work. My heart was pounding in my throat and didn’t let me talk. My friend was in danger and I couldn’t even say a word.

At the same time, I was painfully aware that it was only a dream. Only a dream, I told my dream-self. It is only a dream.

Yet the fear was real; very real and very solid. All I managed to do was to run about. I couldn’t scream to call anyone’s attention to my friend’s plight. Or mine…

I did eventually wake up. I just couldn’t scream.

Mind Your Business


It’s other people’s ‘job’ to know they need you. All you need to know what is your due. And try to keep an upper hand. 

A simple philosophy. Yet, how do you do that? How do you keep an “upper hand”?

That’s not too complicated either, according to one point of view. Only a spin on the mind over matter philosophy. The human brain is part of the human body. Hence, it is entirely in the human’s control. All a person needs to do is harness the power. 

The human brain might mostly have a mind of its own. But you only need to take control of it to start doing wonders! Even if only up to the level of not having a miserable day?

Hey, it’s a start!

Sunday Special: “Nothing”


That’s right. Just a normal, typical Sunday.

Except for the weather.

A weak sun. Lots of clouds. And a cold wind.

A cold, chilly wind that sends shivers up your spine. And then down.

Add a visit to an old beloved place. A conversation with a random stranger. A cup of hot tea and some reading out in the open. Learning a little about yourself. Learning lots more about the people in your life. Freezing hands. A pink nose. Some texting. Lots of reassurances. You feel miserable. You feel elated.

And the normal, typical Sunday becomes one you remember…!

Me Too!


I was there, too!

The first meeting. That really interesting conversation. A quick bite before class. Chilling at the end of the long day. The late-night walks. The inappropriate jokes. Cramming in the library. The non-study sessions. Pouring out your heart. Explaining all the things in your head, without giving too much away, and knowing we still got it. Complete randomness. The panic attacks. The gossip sessions. The staring into space. The heated arguments. Changing the world, one discussion at a time. And more…

Or maybe there’s a perfectly good reason why I’m the only one who remembers this: a case of falsememoriginitis.

Better go take my meds now.