Don't dream, when you can't make it real. They're only fictions anyway - Moddi, A Sense of Grey

Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance, in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance, when you're perfectly free - Rumi

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Oct 31, 2011

Poor Empty Pants, With Nobody Inside Them

You just got dumped. Most of us have at some point of our lives somewhere by someone we thought was the boy/girl of our twisted dreams. If you've been doing most of the dumping, then bitch, there is such a thing as karma and it's just waiting for you to lower your guard down. 
Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh. Sometimes, things just don't work out. Whatever! 
I don't know how many of you have ever read those gazillion articles on Google about break ups and the different stages people normally go through after them, but boy are they toned down. I mean, yea sure some of what they say is correct, but the mild manner and indifference with which they describe our situation is downright insulting, to say the least. Hence, I decided to do a piece on what actually happens when the "love of your life" crushes you like a smoker does his cigarette after he's sucked it dry. Or she (don't want to be called a sexist).
Anyway, prepare yourselves. Please, consider the fact that you might not be able to handle the truth. If that is so, stop now, turn away and never look back. Otherwise, let's get on with this. 

Stage 1: 
 So the bandage just got ripped. Right now you're just reeling from the bloody shock of it all. You can't believe that when they said forever they actually just meant a few months or years and you were stupid enough to fall for that crap in the first place. You're sort of in a zombie like state; walking around with those big, horror filled eyes and are totally numb. You don't understand what happened, sort of like walking into a pole that you absolutely did not see and before the pain hits, there is just total darkness. You have difficulty accepting that the relationship is over. The intensity of this stage depends on your expectancy of an ensuing break up and your level of commitment to the relationship. It will probably last you a day to maybe even a couple of months depending on how good you are at the whole denial thing. 

Stage 2: This is when the shit really hits the fan. You finally realize what has happened and you can do one of two things: 
  • You turn to alcohol or drugs or some form of narcotics that will fool you into thinking that everything's alright. Or
  • You have an emotional breakdown. You curl up in a fetal position on your bed and cry till you pass out. You wake up dazed wondering what the hell happened and when it comes back to you, you cry till you pass out again. Repeat. I'd recommend that you avoid watching any television channels or listen to any music that in anyway reminds you of your loss. I think the Baby Channel is quite safe (tried and tested). Also, consider stocking up on ice cream, chocolates and dozens of tissue boxes.
As regards drinking yourself into oblivion, don't do it. You're very likely to end up like this

In either case, nothing to be proud of. Also, you'll  fuck up your liver and no one is really worth that much trouble. Don't do drugs either, I've heard some pretty bad things about them too. 

Regarding the second situation, any prospective heart breakers should consider cutting the cord on a Friday so that the dumpee can utilize the weekend to have their breakdown. I mean, isn't it insensitive enough that you break their heart, you want them to lose their jobs too? 

Stage 3: This is your "What the fuck, that bitch/bastard!" stage. You feel magnanimous amounts of anger at the asshole who ruined your life. You're always thinking of ways to get back at them. Don't hold back, but don't kill them either. You don't want them to know the power they have over you. That's pretty self destructive and you don't want them to think they made the right choice by walking away. Find healthier ways to let it out such as burning their pictures and everything they ever gave you. If they have their stuff lying around, burn that too. There are also other ways such as putting up their picture in your room and throwing darts at it, egging their house or car, posting pictures of them all over the neighbourhood advertising sexual services. I wouldn't recommend voodoo; if you go that far then you should stop and think that maybe the problem in the relationship was your crazy ass. 

Alternatives to egging the car

Stage 4. You reach this point once you've let out all your pent up anger. Now you only feel sad and alone. You feel the magnitude of your loss and its a pretty dark place because you're devoid of all hope of ever finding love and happiness again. This is the time to take sometime off from the world and be by yourself. Many people will try to take advantage of this vulnerable state of yours. And you'll probably let them because you'll fool yourself into believing that those feelings are real. They're not.  Don't fall into that trap. Making out with random people is also not a solution. If you see yourself going down that path, buy a blowup doll. Fortunately, the business world has taken notice and decided to take advantage of the situation. 

For the ladies

And for the men

Stage 5. Once you're past the whole "I'm so lonely" stage, take a sigh of relief. The worst is now over. You're finally reached the point where you don't need or want your ex around anymore. Its time to put that blow up doll away; that is if its survived stage 4 with you. 

Stage 6. Basically, you're sane enough now to enter the real world and meet actual people. You understand that your break up certainly wasn't the end of the world and the world didn't stop for your suffering. You  reconnect with the world and the people you care about (this does not apply to your ex). You find joy in the things you used to do. You don't feel the need to look like shit anymore. Basically, you're moving on.

Stage 7. Hallelujah my friend. Take out that "Single and ready to mingle" shirt and wear it loud and proud.

Oct 30, 2011

To Be Immortal

There is a poem by Mary Frye which I recently heard. It is probably one of the most emotional and moving poems I have heard in a while. Her inspiration for it came from a German Jewish woman, Margaret. Her mother died in Germany and she was not allowed to visit her mother because of Hitler and his anti-Semitism movement. When Margaret heard of her mother's death, she said to Frye that she was not even able to stand at her mother's grave and cry. That's when Frye came up with the verses I wanted to share with all of you. So if any of you have lost a loved one, I hope you find comfort in Mary's words. I hope that you are able to feel the souls of your loved ones in everything around you and in effect, immortality.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Oct 29, 2011

Beyond The Imperfections

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Such a simple quote, yet with such a powerful essence. And so hard to incorporate into our lives. Happiness and unhappiness exist together. In fact, they are within each other. Khalil Gibran wrote "And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?". We can only appreciate joy if we have known true sorrow. No life is without either; there may be some dis-balance in the distribution of them no doubt. But we all have known joy and we all have known sorrow. I wanted to share a poem I recently heard on an Indian movie; one that just doesn't seem to leave my head. So I thought I'd share it here. Hopefully, if anyone out there is feeling low, it'll help them feel better. 

Jab jab dard ka baadal chaya
Jab ghum ka saya lehraya
Jab aansoo palkon tak aya
Jab yeh tanha dil ghabraya
Humne dil ko yeh samjhaya
…Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai
Duniya mein yunhi hota hai
Yeh jo gehre sannate hain
Waqt ne sabko hi baante hain
Thoda ghum hai sabka qissa
Thodi dhoop hai sabka hissa
Aankh teri bekaar hi nam hai
Har pal ek naya mausam hai
Kyun tu aise pal khota hai
Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai

"Whenever the cloud of pain loomed
Whenever the darkness of anguish approached
Whenever a tear filled my eyes
Whenever this lonely heart was scared
I consoled my heart and said
'oh heart! Why do you cry thus. This is the way the world works"

These dark lonely times, time has distributed them to all.
Some sadness is a part of everyone’s story,
Some sunshine is a part of everyone’s life
Your eyes are damp for no reason
Every second is a new season
Why do you waste such precious moments
Oh heart, Why do you cry thus!"

Hope this piece serves its purpose. Have a beautiful day everyone! 

Poet: Javed Akhtar

Oct 27, 2011

Divine Secrets

Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day: Elizabeth Bowen
Autumn is here Karachi. Today, I woke up to one of the most beautiful mornings of the month. Clear, blue sky and a gorgeous sun. There was a very light, chilly wind that gave me goosebumps. It was a crisp breeze, tempting me to join in its graceful indifference to the world; slow down, let go and just breathe, it seemed to be saying. So I did. I sat outside with my morning tea before work, just watching the world zoom by as it missed out on this blessing of a morning. There was a dog out on the street and sadly, it was the only being that seemed to be sharing this moment with me; this moment as the season changed and the world seemed to radiate with a raw, untouched glow, almost akin to a new born baby's skin. Yet, refined in its beauty as if created after decades of practice.
Soon, the sweaters and the shawls will come out, the sexy jackets and the divine boots; people will start stocking up on moisturizers,skin lotions  and Vaseline; no more air conditioners or fans, we'll sleep huddled up in blankets and waking up in the morning to leave the warm comfort of your bed will be the hardest part. Not to forget the yummy rooftop bbq's.
And everyone will wonder, when did this even happen? When did the summer just disappear? It all happened so suddenly!
But I will know and I will remember the exact moment when the winds turned cold and the sun's rays seemed to lose their glare and harshness, when everything felt fresher and clearer, when the leaves started to turn yellow and fell down like glitter from the skies. It felt like I was part of one of the many carefully guarded secrets of the universe; I felt honoured and humbled. 
So the next time God gives you a chance to witness such a beautiful moment, stop. Look around, feel His blessing in the swaying breezes and the singing birds and the wonderful colours and just thank God that you are alive.

Photograph by: Nadir Siddiqui

Oct 25, 2011

The Bag Of Life

Sarah Jessica Parker once said in Sex and the City: "Balls are to men what purses are to women. Its just a little bag, but we feel naked in public without it"

I couldn't agree with it more. And I think my friend Erum* probably lives by it.

Let's start at the beginning. Considering the more morbid pieces I have written, I asked this other friend Reema*, to give me something interesting to write about. She told me to empty out Erum's bag and write about the stuff inside. Yes, that is how fascinating Erum's bag can be. We call it the "Bag of life." It got its name in college when  you could ask for almost anything (I really mean anything) and the bag would provide. Sort of like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter. You think I'm exaggerating? Once, we were hanging out in our room and I was feeling hungry. I was rummaging in her bag looking for some biscuits or some sort of junk to eat and lo and behold. I actually found an egg, hard boiled and all. It was one of the most shocking moments of my young existence. This really was the bag of life. I have never doubted its power since. We took the egg, put some make up on her and named her Jubeda. I know some of you will think its disrespecting food, but I couldn't give a flying fuck about that.

Jubeda: One of the many Miracles of The Bag
Whether we ate Jubeda afterwards is something I'll leave to my readers imagination. 
Anyway, back to the real topic. So I emptied out Erum's bag. Part of me dreaded it; what if I found something I didn't really want to? A bag of coke? A loaded pistol? The rotting corpse of some man who had once wronged her?
With great courage I started to take everything out. And here is what I found:
Three different perfumes; probably one for each time of the day.
A wooden hairbrush which is almost a decade old and contains the hair of several women (anyone want to frame someone for a murder?)
A notebook with a list of all the people she wants to kill and the different ways she plans to do it.
Tissue papers with love notes from her many different suitors.
Every type of make up imaginable so no one ever has to know what she really looks like.
A bottle of lotion from BodyShop; so no one ever has to know how long it has been since she took a bath. 
A wallet with all kinds of atm/debit cards, cash etc for any unplanned and quick getaways.
Tons of Naz pan masala packets to freshen up her breath. 
Jewellery; to wear. 
A brown bag with something suspicious inside which she wouldn't let me open (I think its poison)
Lipbalm; for any unexpected kissing sessions. Also to be used when lips are dry.
Handsanitizer; I'll leave that to your imagination.
Pills; to keep her crazy self at bay.
Sunglasses; I'm guessing its either for x-ray vision to ensure the man's worth the lame jokes he's cracking or for really sunny days. Probably both. 
Headphones; whenever she wants to listen to music, she can just pop them in her ear.

There was also some stuff that I can't mention here. I have been forbidden. 

So there you go. I emptied out the Bag of Life. No corpses, no illegal drugs, no man of my dreams and certainly no answers to life. But the next time that men ever wonder what the hell women have in those huge bags they're carrying around, at least they'll have some idea. 

*Names have been changed for obvious reasons
Some of the things mentioned in this blog are fictional while some are absolutely true. It's up to you to figure out what. (Does not apply to the egg)

Oct 24, 2011

Woe To Him Who Believes In Nothing

Loss: The state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value. This is how one of the many dictionaries on the internet defines loss.
The thing is, you'd think that once you've dealt with a really big loss, nothing can phase you. You imagine yourself as immune to any feeling of pain and suffering around you. You think that you've lost something so valuable that now, no pain can be greater, no event can now hurt you with as much raw intensity again. And you feel an almost divine power in that. You figure that maybe that's your saving grace. 
And then, to remind you of how human you really are and how terribly weak your shield of resistance really is to agony and misery, the universe deals you another hand of bullshit. 
Today I found one of my stray cats terribly injured. I don't mean "limp-in-the-leg" kind of injured. I'm talking skinned,bone revealed, body rotting kind of injured. I mean, I can't even imagine what could have happened for it to be so severely and gruesomely mutilated. I could smell its rotting flesh. I still can. Since it was Sunday night, there wasn't much we could do. We just wrapped it up in cloth and lay it down. I tried to feed it, but I guess she's beyond that now. 
I don't understand though. What lesson is to be learnt here? In other things that have happened, I get it. But this was just a poor little animal and for it to die so painfully. Dad says the point of these things is to remember to praise Allah even though you can't understand. It is a test of your faith in Him. To not denounce or question Him when stuff like this happens. But right now, faith is the hardest thing for me to keep. I watched this kitten being born, watched it grow up. I used to feed it every night. Every time I came home from somewhere, it would be at the gate, waiting to be scratched or fed or just some sort of acknowledgment. Now, its lying on the floor, rotting to death and I can't even have it put to sleep because its too damn late in the night to call on the vet. 
But doubt is worse. It is a pain more lonely than the difficulty of keeping faith. 

Oct 21, 2011

Arrest This Man

The problem, I believe, is that the men of this country are raised with absolutely no sense of responsibility or accountability. They go about causing absolute chaos in the world; saying what they want, doing whatever they like with such total lack of concern for everyone and everything around them that it disgusts me to no end. Their parents treat them like little gods, giving in to their every whim and letting them walk away from every mess they create without question, let alone having them clean it up. And I don't mean the mess in their room (although I strongly believe it starts from there!) 
They grow up with a feeling of total immunity because they are never held accountable for any wrong they do. And that is how they spend their entire life. They do what they want whenever they feel like it without any clue as to how their actions affect others. They just don't understand that things they do or say can hurt another human being. They throw their weight around thinking its their fucking birthright. 
It is so important for parents to raise their sons right. Get him to fucking pick up that wet towel and hang it up to dry. Make him clean up his damn room and pick up after himself. And what the hell is up with not making them do their own dirty dishes. My own brothers will just come at random times of the day or night, eat and then just leave the dishes in the sink, never bothering to wash them. And whose fault is it? They really expect that everything just miraculously gets done. If they do something wrong, hold them responsible. Make them realize that they screwed up and need to fix it or else. Otherwise they just go through life selfish and self absorbed, like little babies throwing tantrums when things don't go their way. They have no semblance of respect for other people and cannot cope when real life suddenly hits them in the fucking face. They cannot grasp why the whole world isn't doing their bidding. Suddenly, they have to work for the respect and love they once got without question. They can't figure out why people aren't willing to wait on them hand and foot regardless of the jackasses they are being. Heck, they don't even understand that they are being jackasses. They don't understand why people walk away, why relationships break down, why they lose their jobs, why their children alienate them; the list of why's is then endless. 
This destructive attitude that parents have really has to change. Loving your kid is one thing, but smothering them with it so that they know and expect no other kind of emotion is another. Everybody needs tough love. 
Because your love can protect them from a lot of things, but karma isn't one them. 

Oct 20, 2011

Its The Worst Darn Stuff I've Ever Seen; I Like It.

Today, I went out with a friend to buy smokes and the shop owner looked at us like we'd just told him we had a penis or something. Yes, I said penis. I, a woman from the so called Islamic Republic of Pakistan, knows what a penis is. 
Who are you trying to fool?

You know what? I also know all about the birds and the bees. 

So what's the big deal? We asked for cigarettes, not a lap dance. I hate this society with its double standards of what is acceptable for men and women and what is not. I'm not saying men and women are exactly the same (and thank God for that). But there are some things you just can't tell me I can't do just because I'm a woman. And this country of pseudomaulvis who think they've got it all figured out and will read ayats from the Quran thinking, "I'll just bullshit stuff out of my ass. So what if I don't even understand Arabic."

And I doubt that there is a single ayat from the Quran which specifically states that women shouldn't smoke. Or that women who do smoke are morally corrupt. What does that even mean? Do men who smoke behave differently from women who do it? If men smoke, they'll still have rainbows coming out of their behinds, but women will probably smoke their way into some poor, unsuspecting man's bed?
This society needs some serious reassessment of its moral codes.
And while we wait for that to happen, how about that ciggy eh?

Oct 18, 2011

And You Gotta Love Your Way Of Life

There is a certain numbness of the heart that follows. You don't want to remember and you certainly don't want to care. You can almost feel your brain cells working to distract you and you follow mechanically whatever it tells you to do. It is exhausting, mentally and physically. It's almost like a drug, intoxicating you so completely that you think nothing and you feel nothing. And somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind, you know you shouldn't ignore everything. It will never go away. It will wait, like the monsters in the cupboards of your childhood. And when it resurfaces, the damage will be worse. 
You have to let everything play in your head, all that was said and all that was done. Every lie, every broken promise, every shattered dream, every word that made you feel worthless; all the anger and the resentment; you've got to face it and then you've got to let it go. You need to crash and burn so that you can rise from the ashes, pure as the day you came into this Godforsaken world.

Oct 17, 2011

Khambay Jaisi Khari Hai

Today, when I was coming home from school I got really excited and felt happy for the first time in days. The reason for my nauseating, mind numbing joy?

That's right people. They're finally installing lampposts on the streets outside our house. Now, we no longer have to switch on our headlights at insane levels blinding pedestrians and other drivers alike. If only they would actually install the light bulbs, then we would be good to go. No worries, we've put up the post, now we wait for God to do the rest!


Last Sunday was an interesting day. It started of as most Sundays have been for the past two months. I woke up crying, but then again what woman doesn't? We just have different days of the week for them. 
So anyway, I woke up crying, wallowing in self pity over how my life sucks and shit isn't going my way and I never, ever get what I want and no man will ever love me and I'll never have what Brad and Angelina have (money, power, money).

After a more severe break down than usual owing to the recent break up, I dressed as only a recently broken up girl should be, unwashed jeans from the laundry and an old shirt, hair not brushed and makeup-less face. 
My friend, Asim, picked me up and lo and behold. He actually got off the car when I walked out. If there's anything we need to learn from the Brits, its how to treat a woman. He was opening doors and waiting for me to walk in first everywhere we went. I felt like a princess.
I was actually expecting a very low key day. No serious talks, no meaning of life discussions. I've been having those with myself a lot lately. Besides, everyone knows the meaning of life is 42. Or, as an anonymous friend likes to say, 69. 
However, the stove didn't work as is the way of life in third world countries. You're hungry and you can either afford the food or the gas. As a nation, we take Dorothy Parker's quote very much to hear. "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves."
Gas Be Damned
 So what else was there, but to heat up some leftover pizza and talk about the meaning of life or as Asim calls them, Deep Meaningful Conversations. Its that kind of a house you know, with bay windows and balconies looking out to the ocean. How can one talk about anything except life issues. It will also be a very good place to have a party and get down and dirty.
I can't really mention what discussion took place. I believe that would be an invasion of privacy and even though we, as a nation, don't understand the concept of privacy I think I should keep my mouth shut. I guess I should be grateful. Not only did I get free chicken and pasta (how can I not appreciate free food) I also got a lot of perspective on things as a whole. 
a) Life sucks for everyone, even for those delusional people who think it doesn't
b) Things could be worse. I could have been married to a crack head. 
c) Even break up me is pretty damn good looking
Never Looked Better
d) Always check your stove before inviting people over for lunch
e) When you move into a new house, always buy a dustpan when you're going to have clumsy people over for lunch. 
f) Nothing is more beautiful and peaceful than a sun setting over the beach. 
g) Everyone, even the people you think who have it all figured out, have broken hearts and crushed dreams and we are all just looking for a way out.
h) People sometimes do the right things and bust their asses for all the wrong damn reasons.

I just stopped for half an hour to have some rice and daal (lentil soup) and have totally lost focus now. So I'm going to call it a day. 
For all the women out there, don't put all your eggs in one bastard.
For all you men, what's it matter. You're probably thinking of Uncle jack anyway. 

Just Like Tomorrow

I want to forgive, but hating is easier. 
The wound is still fresh. Every memory that comes back to haunt me cuts deeper, not letting it heal. 
I want to let go, but it consumes me like an intoxicant till I think of nothing, but the lies and the broken promises. 
I don't want to be this person. The kind that is defined by the actions of another. I have fought my past for so long; I have never let it mould me. But this time I feel too weak to fight back. I just want to give in and let myself crash and burn. 

Oct 16, 2011


Searching for divorce rights in the US? What the fuck?! Can you spell pride or self esteem or grow some balls?