Dear Diary, Bare Blog

Every time I open this page I wonder why I made it. Besides the obvious fame that I have reached, I was told blogging is about putting your thoughts into words, a newfangled concept about upending your brain and showing it to the world.
Kind of exactly like the oldfangled concept of keeping a diary, but somehow innovative. Somehow.
I have to admit that being a girl I tried to be exceptionally special by writing a diary like all the other exceptionally special girls around the world. I tried to be diligent too, therefore I had three diaries over a span of 9 years, each with only about five pages used over time before they were employed for better purposes, e.g. solving complex algebraic equations in the rough for assignments.
I even once had the very rare type of pink diary with a heart-shaped lock that every other emotionally stunted girl possessed, with a key that doubled as a very useful piece of tin that is of no use.
I had an extremely eventful childhood, as one could’ve guessed from the consistent mention of the term “bored”, strewn generously over my carefully worded prose that was written as carefully as a one-year-old carefully handles fireworks. I.e. very carefully, and with care. Unlike all the girls who used the word “kewl” I often used the word “kewl” to set myself apart and many a times I wrote down lyrics of pop songs by boy bands, a practice only practiced by a handful of millions of adolescent females.
Safe to say I always maintained my individuality, especially by doing something as commonplace as writing a diary. And then as I grew older, something not many have experienced, I noticed a very subtle shift as suddenly everyone jumped onto the internet bandwagon very suddenly in a subtle manner. I realized writing a diary by hand had become extremely rare hence everyone must blog to value a handwritten journal entry.
So I decided to make a blog too, and spent hours typing this post in five minutes to figure out where I kept those old diaries.
I have checked the drawer of all-things-miscellaneous and found everything that is not a diary. I suppose the fruitless search has been highly successful; I certainly seem to have collected quite a lot of receipts from the ATM machine. But that is a story for later.

Perhaps I’m lost, perhaps I’ve found my way

They say life is a journey, with winding roads that lead us through forks and crossroads and dead ends. But that is not to say you have a map guiding you, through dips and turns, diversions and boobytraps. What you have are checkpoints instead. Random X’s marked on the sand and you have to find your own way to each mark, flag it with your name and move on to the next target.
I don’t understand how some people plan out their whole lives like a map; from which college majors to take, to which particular job in which particular company they want, to the color of the threadwork on their wedding dresses, right down to the pattern of the tiles they want in the picture perfect house in a specific suburb. Even to the number and gender of their future children with the exact kind of spouse they know with a certainty they will end up with.
I suppose such kind of permanence in thoughts about the future comes from supreme confidence in their own abilities to achieve every milestone they set for themselves.
I know I could never do that, as much as I dislike ambiguities, as organized as I may like my thought process to be, I know I could never be at ease with a fate I chisel into stone myself. Does that make me seem afraid to write my own destiny? Or lack confidence to reach my potential and go after what I know I want?
Perhaps it does, perhaps I seem like the kind of person who goes with the flow, wherever the wind takes me, or any number of cliches that define my existence in this manner.
Or perhaps I actually chose this instead; the option to not choose my path, control it, bend it to my will. Perhaps I chose to have faith in a higher power to prod me at the starting line, cheer me on at every juncture and to let me find my way.
My dreams are nebulous and my future is uncertain, for all my hopes and wishes they might never even intersect. But perhaps I would rest in peace knowing that this was meant to be, that my dreams are a figment of my own imagination, a manifestation of my desires right now; not a glimpse into what lies ahead, not a crystal ball that predicts what is yet to come.
Perhaps it is better this way, that my happiness is His responsibility and I could let go.
Perhaps, this is a word that encompasses how I feel about life.

high school = college = not a child anymore

Being a pseudo-geek I fancied physics enough to opt for engineering subjects when I went to college. It actually started on a good note because seeing as to how I got over 80% in school, I apparently automatically cleared the admission criteria. The conversation with the administration was brief:

Me: Hello…I want to-

Officer: Did you score over 80% in school?

Me: Y-yes

Officer: Congratulations, you’re in!

Those two years that I spent in college were brief, quite honestly it was all a blur and I barely remember anything, but it probably changed my life in some way. In the beginning I was afraid of being ragged but nobody ever came to me; I am told that I have a look on my face that either says, ‘put one finger on me and suffer the consequences’, or just as likely ‘I’m hungry and I have no friends’.

Besides the forgettable attempts at talent shows and literary plays, I remember being fascinated by a catfight during the council elections. I had never seen girls fight before and that after seeing the torn clothes, scratches and the hair on the floor yanked out in the girls’ fury, I could imagine why it was called a CATfight. Another memorable incident was when the principal got an anonymous bomb threat and all the students were evacuated to an empty ground behind the college. Owing to a life spent in the happening city of Karachi, we did what we always do on such occasions: We had a picnic.

For me, those two years were when I got to understand what the movie Mean Girls was all about, from cool cliques to nervous nerds to badass bitches (not my words, theirs). I think I made it to that select group of students who never made it to any gang. Perhaps it was better that way, I’d like to think I was the cool one among that lot. Maybe.

School was such a long time ago

It’s really odd how my memory of a decade spent in school is so foggy. I mean, ten years at the same place, I was practically raised in that girls’ convent school and yet I only have a patchwork of memories, good and bad, but mostly the embarrassing ones.

In that no-frills institution run by no-nonsense nuns, I made some friends and also lost some. The ones I could keep have stuck with me till today, the ones I couldn’t have moved on; so have I and I wish them well. For all the childish squabbles and screaming matches, I never thought I would never meet them again, that odd feeling of continuity born of a tiny bubble your life is when at school. I wonder if they thought of me in the last ten years devoid of any contact. But however short our time may have been together, oddly enough I miss those old frenemyships.

I still remember  the good manners and etiquettes drummed into our heads; gosh if the fearsome Headmistress saw me today I would receive a verbal thrashing bad enough to make me quake in my very unladylike pjs. We always had to be courteous and polite, gentle ladies yet stoic and resilient, I faintly remember the school philosophy talking about being like a tiny boat adrift in the sea, yet holding strong against the currents. It’s strange how it makes so much more sense now than it did back then when I thought we were meant to take swimming lessons. I miss that red and white boat-monogrammed uniform.

There were some teachers who became friends more than instructors, perhaps because I was such a dork. And yes I was a model student, following orders, never breaking rules…never being cool. Oh well I was nerdy cool. There, that ought to make me feel better. Perhaps it does, in a way, the comfort I could draw from being me, as incomplete a personality as I may have been, I miss being a starry-eyed student.

We always believed our school was haunted, what with a hundred and fifty year old history it carried with it, so many places to explore and doors that we were forbidden not to open. Of course we created our own conspiracy theories, and obviously we checked them all out. An interesting part was the owner of the tuckshop, an ancient Caucasian ghost of a man whose life was spent swatting little girls off his candy counter. For all my memories of him yelling at us to behave, I remember one smile and I wonder if he still lives…I haven’t seen him in over ten years but I miss the mystery of that building and all its inhabitants.

I didn’t really think I would remember so much because I thought I’d never miss this place but quite honestly, I miss my school and the life I spent in it.

Kindergarten, Nursery, Preschool etc. etc.

I have never been, and never will be a morning person. When I joined preschool, I used to go to sleep in my pyjamas and wake up to find myself in the school uniform, I’m pretty sure my mother had something to do with that. But I loved going to school, not to brag but I was one of the best students there. And no, that does not reflect on the standard of the school, so don’t judge.

One memorable event was when our school was invited to a children’s programme on TV. Everything was going well until I decided to step on the stage between a performance and showcase my talents but sadly that turned into a disaster, the producers had to stop recording and start all over again. I think that is when my parents struck ‘Celebrity’ off the list of my career options.

Hm. Sad. I would’ve liked that.

The Olden Times

Ah…the olden times.
Those were the days when the sun came up from the east and set in the west…some things never change.

I don’t really remember anything from the time when I was a baby. Even though I still hold onto my claim of being highly intelligent, I don’t think it would have held true back when I probably thought myself unlucky to have landed on the blue planet.

There are times when I feel hazy memories coming back at me: a strange black room with a window opening to leaping flames, a cauldron set on a fire in the middle of the room. The weirdest thing being the strange guy talking to me. Strange pointy head, long nose, razor-sharp teeth, long talons and a long tail ending in a spike, kind of reminds me of the that devil dude, but what would the devil want with me right? Funny thing is I can’t make sense of what he says to me:

You shall be my successor! Wreak havoc in the world!

Weird huh? yeah I know…

The Beginning of All Ends

A quarter century ago the people of Pakistan were having a very eventful week; with the celebrations of Pakistan turning 41 just dying down, there was the news of the fateful plane crash of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq…and then there was me. Eventful indeed. Of course the people who handled the tiny she-devil in the form of the innocent baby girl are better witnesses to this simple truth. And so is my older brother who had rather fascinating ideas about how a baby entered the world. Of course he was ecstatic when the baby arrived in the pretty pink basket as he was told it would, but about the events surrounding the arrival, the lesser said the better.

It has been reported from various reliable (and non-reliable) sources that I was a creature of another darker dimension that came to rule over the unsuspecting people of my household…and rule I did. A very primitive description for a hyperactive child with a penchant for climbing every unimaginable thing that happened to be vertical, eating food that tasted otherwise, showing behaviour similar to primates in various respects and screaming at a pitch audible only to dogs to get her demands fulfilled. Well that was me during my early years: I could not have been further from ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’.

Apparently I had a mind of my own from the start, no one could tell me what to do, a far cry from innocent glassy-eyed toddlers. While other kids were babbling, I was articulate enough to form complete sentences. I was irreverent with no respect for authority; imposing my own on others instead. But I was also very cute as little girls go, if I might say so myself, with big brown eyes and curly black hair I was a picture of innocence, ah the perks of being a child, you could get away with any crime whatsoever and that is exactly what I did for years to come till I had to go through the same dilemma my older brother did, it was when I finally came face to face with another creature from my perceived dimension: my younger brother.