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Although, when i said to my self, let me try and write something meaningfull, i had a few idea’s in my head. Mainly after a conversation with Wad, i thought i’d write something pertaining to it. In either case Wad, this is dedicated to you. And to you Dad, coz you told me. Write something. This maybe not be published in the TFT, but i am making a sincere effort. And you; Dad, never asked for more. No matter what i churn out of my Medula Oblangatas, this post is dedicated to the both of you.

21 guns-Green Day to fuel my creative juices.

He asked me if i was happy. Moving to another city, miles from my home, family, living in an apartment with a stranger. I said i am content. I guess the answer is not that simple.

If i track back on the other posts i have written, on this blog, I start by ranting on about how i dont have a career or a job or no direction blah blah. Now i have all of those things. I have a job at a very good company. I am getting paid enough to keep a good lifestyle, and i am living on my own. Independent to make my own desicions. All that one could ask for? Or is it? Is it right for me?

Yes. It is. When i ask myself, ‘what would I be doing back home’. The answer, inevitably is i would be either thinking about all those things mentioned above. Sitting in the window ledge, wondering, and slowly killing my air bags in the process. Then i would eat, lay infront of the tv. Or sit on the internet. Nothing productive. So yes compared to that, this is a much better deal . Specially now since i got a good place to live in, and that gives me a peace of mind. I have a decent, no wait, an excellent place to come back to after a long days work.

Ofcourse then, the exercise of this blog is not to let the corporate world drown out the tiny voice in my head. The voice that drives me to question social norms, status quo, in short, that gives me that individuality that i pride myself so much for. My ego. The stack of books on my bed are to keep me grounded. I am not comfortable with money or power. They corrupt people. They are the eccense of the consumerism that is killing out society and our minds. A slow creeping death. The irony. I am part of  the machine that is driving that culture. The catch. I wont let it get to me. I think it was in some Islamic reference that i heard, ‘Life is a constant struggle’. And so it is. No one said its going to be easy.

I stayed at PC and Avari, all expenses paid when i first arrived in The City by the Sea. My first reaction when i arrived at the hotel, PC, was utter discomfort and conflict. I cant do this, i told myself. I dont deserve it, I dont feel comfartable with people running around me, picking up after me. Its inhumane. Its below human dignity to be a servant to another man. But i realized after a couple of days, thats their job. They might not have chosen to have smiles pasted on their faces and fullfill every ridiciolous demand that the guest makes. But it’s their job. It fills their stomach, and their wives and childrens. In the end, all that we should/ even maybe are judged for is if we made an honest living. With our head held up high. Even though these poor bastards cant hold their head high. They do make an honest living. For the sake of their families they bear it all. All i can do is make it easier for them. Hence I humbly passed my time at both the hotels. Always being polite. Always greeting the staff with a pleasant smile. Always being grounded and not forgetting, this is not my place. It is only but passing. I was hazed and disoriented but i managed to keep my head straight. That has been how i have been brought up.

If Ali had been in my place, and he was talking to you, Wad, he would suggest Islam as a source of comfort for your troubled self. So would my sister, Gol. I would too for that matter. Although there is much lacking from me in that front myself. I am yet to get a prayer mat in my new room. I dont believe in traditional religion and rituals maybe. But i have a strong belief in God. It is an utterly personal thing for me. Not to be worn on your sleeve or displayed in your beard and piousness in wearing your shalwar above your ankles. It comes as all forms of respect and love must. From the core of your existence. It is very personal.

When i first got the call for the job, i remember sitting infront of the tv, watching, horrified, the news of a bomb blast in Peshawer. This was the second time some close had been so close in proximity to the destruction. Rabia’s windows and doors were shattered by the blast. Before this, Feryal’s parents were inside Marriot when it blew up. I asked my self, my country is drowning in blood, and i am going to go and work in a comfartable office, with people who live in a different country. Their worlds are not touched by such things. Mine has been. Or i choose to make it a point to register such things. I cannot live in a comfartable bubble and pretend my world ends where the rest begins. Politics is something every person must have a say in. It touches us all. But my justification, right or wrong, time will be a judge of it, was that at that stage, a fresh gaduate with no job experience, no money of his own. What can i do? I know, this is the question that we all must learn to answer to make a difference. I was writing those days. And i wrote a piece on the carnage of the current civil war that i saw myself at Malakand, ‘Damage Control’. I strongly believe in the written word, and its power to bring about change. But my part is not done yet.

What do all these seemingly random threads of thoughts come down to? I strongly believe i am made for things that are beyond working in an office, day in and day out. I strongly believe there must be more to life, then simply the nihilistic circle of making and consuming. We are, by God, or my evolution, in possesion of a brain. Rather a mind, the abstract concept of the slobby organ on top. The abstract which learns to say ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘Why’, ‘How’  ‘When’, and all those questions. We are after all the only animal to ask questions about our own origins and look into science and spirituality for answers. For me, i believe it is writing. The power of language to express complex human thought and emotion in a way that others perceive  it and comprehend it is just fascinating. Must’nt we all have a higher purpose? That is a void, that can be filled with religion or science or art or any other thing of your choosing. Or let your intellect sink into a ocean of numbness and debauchery untill the tiny voice in your head is silenced.  Stop waiting for someone to show you the way. Make your own path. Think of Chris Columbus, or Alexandar, or Amstrong and his team at NASA, or Watson and Crick, or closer to my own heart and home, Abdus Salaam. There are many battles out there waiting to be fought. Pick one and get on with it.

I have a strong temptation to send this to TFT now that is has crossed the thousand words mark.

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So after much worrying, and delibration and again a little bit of worrying, i have finally moved into my own apartment. My own in the every sense of the word. I co inhabit this place. Which draws a thick line right down the rent and other costs. Hence making living a little bit easier. Yes it seems i have stepped out of shell and into my own. Flown from the nest so to speak. First staying at hotels, on my own, sponsered by the company ofcourse. But me. Not piggy back with my dad on one of his trips, but me! It’s all in digestion.

About the place. Well its furnished. It has a view of the sea and the sprawling city that is karachi. And its clean and has a lot of potential to become one of those living spaces one admires on tv. That requires work and commitment. My flatmate and I have already decided to paint the walls and jazz up the place. Right now as i am writing this, there’s a constant beat of the trance that blaring from the speakers in the next room in my ears. Not my taste, but its not vulgar. There is worse music people listen to out there.

I think i need to reaccess my blogging and writing, seems like it’s come down to chronicling my time here. Well maybe its just that newness of all of this that leads to this feeling like another ‘Dear Diary’ sob story.

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I remember watching greys anatomy episode, in the days nearing my graduation. In it, there was a girl, who ends up in a hospital a day before graduation. Alex asks her to tell him, her graduation speech. It goes something like this, ‘Today is the day my life begins, today is the day i become a menace to someone other then my parents…’

Omer Imtiaz from PG dropped me a mail asking me to call him. I did. The moment i read the mail, i called him. He told me he wanted to check my availability etc before he forwarded my name to GBS for hiring. Said he’s 90% sure. Now i dont want to get my hopes high, but its a bleak hope, light pouring through a crack… and a dozen other such metaphors. I pray to God something good comes out of it.

Meanwhile I finish my articles for TFT, write more, and ask RR for the project he needed me as an RA on.

And hence forth, life goes on.

Listening to Kings of Leon-Use Somebody as I wrote this:

I’ve been roaming around
Always looking down
And all I see
Painted faces
Fill the places
I can’t reach

You know
That I could
Use somebody
You know
That I could
Use somebody

Someone like you
And all you know
And how you speak
Countless lovers
Under cover
Of the street

You know
That I could
Use somebody
You know
That I could
Use somebody
Someone like you…

Off in the night
While you live it up
I’m off to sleep
Wagin’ war
To shake the poet
And the beat

I hope it’s gonna
Make you notice
I hope it’s gonna
Make you notice

Someone like me,
Someone like me,
Someone like me, somebody.

Go and let it out…

Someone like you, somebody
Someone like you, somebody

I’ve been roamin’ around
Always lookin’ down at all I see

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Starting over is never easy. And I don’t think there is any book on the subject. Or humanity for that matter that says it is. It is a wrongful assumption to make, to assume everything is a a piece of cake, in life. Specially if you have 16 years of science and education which all you have to speak for you, and at the end of it all, what you really want to do is write, or something. Then its starting from scratch.

I like to imagine if I got somewhere, on a job on the basis of my education and qualification, i would be at a, not being modest, comfy job with a steady income. But since my writing for TFT has taken a step forward, I have dared to dream of a different life, that was all but a far away speck for most of my existence. I tend to under estimate my technical capabilities quite a lot.  Maybe i am just not that comfortable with it. I never came to terms with my capacity as an engineer. Though i did do quite a few not so shabby projects in my undergrad work. Specially my FYP which was awarded the first prize. But sitting at an office job, 9-5 doesn’t agree with me. Life must, MUST amount to something more then simply providing for yourself and your family. So I have found a glimmer somewhere, a door creaked open, left like that by accident, and the opportunist in me has managed to get a few fingers hinged in. Hoping to push it open. Having no idea where it leads or whether it will even ever open fully for me to walk through.

I like to imagine myself breaking the rut, and trying something new. Does that make me brave? I like to think so. But having no strings attached makes this easier then it would have been later in life. Maybe.

RR offered me to be is Research Assistant. He just called as i was writing. He gets projects and research grants for studies and what not. Like agriculture in Pakistan. Good thing or bad thing is I’l be working from home. I was hoping to live in Lahore for a few months and maybe get to go places. Maybe all that is not lost yet. I have agreed to do it. If i am up for it, i’l be getting some money per month or per project, as per our agreement. How much and the mechanics of it all are still vague. He’ll send me the material and i’l go through it and give him the green light. Long hours and everything is all good. With nothing to do and all the time to spare, i might as well do something constructive and working with someone like RR, would be good exposure. Or atleast thats the idea.

So bottom line. Instead of wearing a suit to work everyday and sitting in an air conditioned office. I sit in my shorts at my laptop, typing away furiously at the keyboard now and again.

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Pindi Assorted Photographs

Pindi 08

Pindi 08

From the expedition to pindi.

Finally got down to uploading the pics.

Article expected to be published in TFT on friday.

Hindu Temple

Here are a couple of shots i re-sized

Pindi 08

Pindi 08

for TFT.

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