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Archive for December, 2009

I miss you, she says.

Remember the pain, he says.

I got in, she says.

They throw you a bait. If you bite. You’r lost. If you dont, your angry. What can you do? You dont bite. You stay angry. You remember why your angry. You stick to your original plan. You dont let it drown in the fast lane. You remember how you like things. Slow. Easy. Family. Friends. Time to yourself. Not a slave to money.

Mehak asked me. ‘What is it life like on the outside.’

I wish I could tell her, its better, it all makes sense. The grass is greener on the other side. All those cliches packed together to tight, that you cant tell the difference b/w them. All those cliches packed together, put in a nice packaging, and stamped. That’s what I wish i could have told her.

But I was honest. The grass is not greener on the other side. Its maybe a tad bit pale. Back in GIKI, your in a place, where you dont have to figure anything out for yourself. All you must do is wake up on time, get to classes. Get through the quizes, classes, mids, finals some how or the other. Hook or crook. Face the torture of seemingly endless classes, boring lectures, useless labs. At the end of the day, you have your friends, you have a clear starry night, and all the roads to walk on for hours. You have the assurance, the support, the peace of having friends. Friends who you can trust, friends who will have food when you dont. Friend’s who’ll grumble and complain when you knock on their door at 2am, yet listen to your woes. Friends who’ll sit in your room, watch Lord of the Rings, all 3 back to back, till the wee hours of the morning and still have the energy to head to the cafeteria for breakfast. Friends with whom you can sit on the roof, watching the sun rise, after a whole night spent studying for the last final of the semester, and still have enough presence of mind to run to down the stairs to your room, grab someone elses camera, and take a few photographs. Just for memory keeps.

Back in GIKI, we all dared to dream of a better life. We nurtured our fragile dreams, we smiled at their thought. And couldnt help but wait for the day when we will get out in the world, and chase them down. Our dreams. All those hours on music, you even manage to find a soundtrack to it all.

When you finally get out in the world. You feel lost. 16 years of a single track life in the education system leaves little room for making your own choices. Out here in the world, you have to make your own choices. So we seek shelter. Either in jobs, or in an MS program at some other university. We cant live without the shelter and comfort of a routine, of somone making the choices for us. The dreams are either forgotten our put aside.

We dont dare imagine something different. We don’t dare imagine change. We’r creatures of habit. Change scares us. Taking risks scares us. We lay aside our minds, we lay aside our ego’s; the part that says ‘I’ and we hurdle together like sheep letting the shepherd take us where he fancies. We dare not stray from the flock, or God knows what may befall us!

Has any of us ever considered what if we strayed from the flock, we might come across paradise. There’s a chance we might get lost of course. But its a risk. And risks are worth taking, or nothing would ever change. If everyone is happy and content in their comfort zone, then how would things change. Where would the literature science and art come from?

Speaking of myself, I have the high paying jobI. I work in a office with glass doors and private guards. I got my visa card yesterday, and I feel financially independent. My boss asked me, Me ,if we should keep an intern next year, and suggest a project. I did, and he loved my idea. I made something happen. A month into the company and I made something happen. I made a ripple.My ego was through the roof at that moment.  Sometimes I get cocky and think I am good at what I do. But what I do, I dont even consider worth doing. So how does it fit into the picture?

I have urges to spend money on useless things. But I remind myself of why I am here. I try to. Its not to live the lifestyle, its to make money so I too can chase down my dreams, and not at my old mans expense. I have to remind myself or I wont even come down to a small blotch in the book of history.

Remember the pain he says. Remember the pain.

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24

I turned 24 today.

Six years to 30

My Birthday Cake

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First Moment of Truth (FMOT)

So here it how it goes. Here in P&G Sales, they have a concept. First moment of truth. From the time when the shopper enters the shop, glances at the shelf. To the moment, he picks up P&G product. The moment of truth for the shopper. What one must the company do to induce such a response? Shelf it a certain way, add strips and colors and brands. Add all the frills and whistles to seduce the customer to to pick up your thing off the shelf.

At P&G the company, there’s also a first moment of truth. The moment when you get the call, and hear your starting pay. To the first day at work and your first interaction with the people.

For some it may come later. For others it may not come at all, for me, it came the first week. But I decided to see how things man out. It’s only been a month. How can I possibly know what I want?

I don’t. But I know this isn’t it. Living in an alien city, living alone. Doing managerial BS, when I am an engineer with four years at GIKI to look back on. The projects I did as an undergrad. Watching it all come together. Watching graphs and numbers take shape. That was gratifying. That was satisfaction. That was using my brain to construct and conceive possibilities.

When I was younger, my idea of a perfect job was the one in which I would make lots of money and travel alot. Its amazing how things change. With time. I will travel on business trips if I stick around. Already I had a trip to turkey planned that got canceled. Another one to Dubai. Soon Europe.

But again, does the travel and the money really compensate me losing my dignity and self respect. Corporations seem to be no better then bonded slavery.

I haven’t made a decision yet. But the gears have started turning.

I haven’t made a decision yet. But the gears have started turning.

Fresh and Prime BS

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I am in the process of watching Julie and Julia. An excellent movie about writing and food. Two of my deepest loves, food being my least explored one.

Came back to Karachi in the evening. Landed at 12pm. Slept at 5pm. Woke up at 12am. Now i cant seem to sleep. I have to go to work tomorrow, but i cant sleep. And i hate the feeling of impending doom. A sense of a long and hard day ahead, and the voice in my head, telling me i should get enough sleep. Not enough sleep is one of my worst nightmares. Actually waking up and being cranky is. But i am always cranky when i wake up. I am not a morning person.

I woke up and found Aleem and Salik in the apartment. Salik had brought his Canon 7D. A very bulky Canon SLR, still with a crop sensor, thought it handled like a full frame. It has a movie mode, hence the weight and size. I am thinking about upgrading my D60 to a D80 soon, and buying some lenses. Maybe wait a month. I’ll be paying the house rent in Bulk, and that will leave me short on money. The pratical considerations always weigh me down when living independently.

Coming back to my initial driving force for this post. Basically motivated by Juile and Julia, i figured i should write something.

I have to write about Bilal Riaz, a friend and a senior from GIKI who passed away during the bomb blast at Pindi. They say he died saving his nephew. Its a sad loss. Mustafa was closer to him then i was. He called today. We didnt talk about it much. There isnt much to talk about. And i never know what to say in such things. What i do know is to write, so i have decided to write about him. Either in the manner of Rinku, with Faheem Hussain ko Lal Salaam, published in The Friday Times, after his death. Or in the manner of a short piece, fiction, dedicated to him. Maybe even my entry for DWL ‘Learning to drown’.

I guess, in a way, i can put up a picture of a candle i took in the memory of Bilal Riaz in this post. A sort of vigil.

For Bilal Riaz

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