Sunday, February 3, 2013

some honesty

It's back, and I don't know whether to be relieved or upset.

For days and days I have been checking: putting my ear to the ground, looking at my mental furniture to see that it is not shaking in tell-tale sounds of an earthquake, glancing at the volcano on the horizon as I travel from one state to another, in a very habitual way, like one looks at a clock (but doesn't really read the time), to see if it looks any different. It is here now. I've come back home to see a stranger with his bags in my rooms, a familiar stranger, a familiar demon, and I don't know how I feel enveloped by this old, but new, fog.

One thing I look for, desperately, is a sense of certainty. A way to predict.

Years and years, you'll have seen me talk about them here or somewhere else, when I do talk about it, when I do try to put it into words, when I do try to make sense of it. It's a chemical imbalance. It can't be a chemical imbalance unless a doctor says for sure. I don't trust psychiatry or psychology. Everyone feels depressed. This is not normal. Maybe if I take some medicine I will be able to tell what happy is like. Maybe it is because I am dissatisfied. The hypotheses pile up, and I am experiment and participant observation, subject and researcher, policy-maker and population, all rolled into one, all standing in the same space, like that Italo Calvino story.

It feels like there is no point. It is the stalker in all your photographs, always in the background. It is like death, but not in the most important way.

Meditations on death
There are two ways you mean "I want to die." I say you although I mean me and most of the time I can handle wanting to die, but sometimes it freaks me out. It freaks other people out too so let's just say you.

The first way you mean is, I want an end to life. You're tired. You've suffered. You want an end, a full stop.

The second way you mean is, I want death. To die, to sleep. You crave nothingness.

The two may seem to be the same, and in a way, they are. For the former there is a cure. You move. You change friends. You run away. You pick up a new book or go for a boat ride. For the latter, you could be in the most beautiful place in the world with people you love and it will make no difference.

In depression the optimism for me is that what I have is the former. That is why I need to get out of here. It is my only hope. It is my way of saying, I want to live. It is possible for me to live. The detractors, of course, say, But what if you're as unhappy there [there being not-here]? Then what? Then, it is the second kind and all of them, in their wise-ass way, in their wiser-than-thou way, in their stubborn way of validating their own awful choices, are wishing it upon me. Naturally that makes me resentful.

But why can't I live here? Because it would be death: it already has been.

Most of the people who 'want to see me happy' actually want me to not be depressed anymore. There is a difference there, too: the depression gets them down. They're not actually concerned about me. The ones who want me to settle, they too want a sick kind of validation. That is culture, that is socialization: a perpetuation of the election of the same choices. That is why people take offence when you tell them you hate the institutions they love, or this piece of land they've slapped an ironic, grandiose, impossible name on, or their shackles of ideals.

Other feelings
Underneath, there is anger. When I do feel something strongly, other than worthlessness, other than existential misery, it is rage.

I will not talk about love, though I suspect that it is a way of binding me here. Could be a survival mechanism. Over the years, it's turning into less of a challenge for the waves eroding it.

Happiness feels like the moment in the horror movie when everything seems to be okay, except you know that the killer is right behind the protagonist. The relief is surely short-lived. Meaningless, even.

I've had a long period of relative okay-ness. I have been able to feel happy, in a way. Each piece of me that dies leaves possibilities of happiness. At the end, there is the mirror image: death in life equals happiness, death in death equals happiness. It's funny. What is the point a life like that? Maybe it is that friends and family will finally shut the fuck up. Their superficial cares will disappear. Eventually it will be possible to forget the person who died, eventually the mourning will have turned into a mourning period, a phase.

I am two people. There is the person saying these things. Then there is the person who will deny them all later.

Sometimes one wins.

Sometimes the other does.

When they work together it is dangerous.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

adventures of boy/girl

while cycling, a lot fewer people stare at me.

at the canteen, the guy called me sir and then hastily corrected himself.

a boy in my class thinks i want to be a boy, and it irritates me to no end. it's not funny, and no, i don't want to be a boy.

just because i cut my hair.

the women in the salon, more often than not, see the hairdresser cutting off my hair, and say that they wish they were getting theirs cut as short too. they never do.

when i see women with short hair i feel a camaraderie with them. evidently something as small as this also takes guts.

of course, i'll cut it again when it grows out and again after that.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"For each man kills the thing he loves/Yet each man does not die."

For each man kills the thing he loves, 
Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame 

On a day of dark disgrace, 

Nor have a noose about his neck, 
Nor a cloth upon his face, 
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor 
Into an empty space.

- from The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde

I don't know if I kill the thing I love, but sometimes I'm just unable to deliver...I get scared.

You really have to think about these things.

Maybe I'm doing it, but don't know?

And what does one do if one is killing the thing one loves?

Yet each man kills the thing he loves, 
By each let this be heard, 
Some do it with a bitter look, 
Some with a flattering word, 
The coward does it with a kiss, 
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young, 

And some when they are old; 

Some strangle with the hands of Lust, 
Some with the hands of Gold: 
The kindest use a knife, because 
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long, 

Some sell, and others buy; 

Some do the deed with many tears, 
And some without a sigh: 
For each man kills the thing he loves, 
Yet each man does not die.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Project Idea #1: Wiki

Okay, I just got a really cool project idea.

I downloaded something called a TiddlyWiki, for I don't even remember what reason. It's basically a user-friendly thing that lets you build a wiki on your computer.

It's been waiting since 28th November 2012 apparently and I've been thinking about how to fill it up.

Now, I think, I'm going to write a page every day. Just about the stuff in my life. Of course, it can't be like a real wiki, with empirical references. It's basically a next-level notebook/journal.

Writing a page daily means I'll put in really mundane stuff too, like a page on calculators talking about all the calculators I've had. Seriously.

It sounds kind of nuts, but I really want to do it. It's like digitizing my brain.

I'm writing my first page, on Virginia Woolf, right now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Hey guys.

I'm writing here again because I miss this blog. This is what I do. Start, ditch, return. Life works in cycles.

So it's 2013 now and it's funny that it began the way 2012 began, with me working on apps on the 31st. When I think of it that way I feel like I've wasted a year, which I have, in a way, and which I haven't, in another. Only time can tell, but it's a question of Moving On With Life or Gaining Wisdom/Insight.

After this year-long limbo and the wisdom it has bequeathed me, I now want to Move On.

Which is kinda what I expected from 2012. I expected to be flying high, celebrating 21 December 2012 in, well, you know. I won't say the name.

Let's get one thing straight right away. A lot of my friends, bless their hearts, try to make me see the other side of things. The happy side. I get it. Fine. In a way, my life isn't a total complete utter mess.

But it is. I mean, other than the things that I've learnt this year -- I really shudder to think that I have wasted a full year of my life. I didn't get into college and I don't want to not go into academia. I've seen what I can do outside of it -- work in development, maybe, or get a marketing job and make tonnes of money and live comfortably. I DON'T WANT TO. All this time outside of it, I know for sure, on the double, what I don't want.

It's like losing somebody you love, minus the sentimentality. Am I making sense? My resolution for this blog is to not give a fuck about sounding 14. I am done seeking profundity and am willing to settle for profanity.

I don't know why whenever I start talking I inevitably circle back to College or The-College-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. Ok, I know why. I have to stop doing it because it is putting people off. No, actually, I have to stop doing it because it's putting me off.

Well, I've decided that I'm going to work on projects every month in order to stay sane. I don't know what I am going to do when I get rejected again in March/April. I think I'll get into the Lahori *cough* university, and I guess I'll go there. Not thinking about that.

I'm really not thinking about the future much these days. I've mostly even stopped daydreaming about College. I just...listen to stories, most of the time. A lot of This American Life. And, of course, I read articles and essays and such.

I'm letting my hair grow long. Maybe till the sides get to my shoulders.

I'm still deciding on resolutions other than reading and writing. Thinking about trying these.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


"Let us sum up. These four forms of attachment are the only problem that Buddhists or people who wish to know about Buddhism have to understand. The objective of living a holy life (Brahmacariya) in Buddhism is to enable the mind to give up unskillful grasping. You can find this teaching in every discourse in the texts which treats of the attainment of arahantship. The expression used is "the mind freed from attachment." That is the ultimate. When the mind is free from attachment, there is nothing to bind it and make it a slave of the world. There is nothing to keep it spinning on in the cycle of birth and death, so the whole process comes to a stop, or rather, becomes world transcending, free from the world. The giving up of unskillful clinging is, then, the key to Buddhist practice."

“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body.The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?” 
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

past selves/advice

I thought of writing a letter to my past self about some of the things I know now. Life has changed.

As I thought of writing it I really got into the feel of it; it wasn't just a letter of advice; I couldn't just say 'don't do this', because that wouldn't make sense. Here's an excerpt:

To myself, 1 year, 2 months, and 7 days ago:

Kid, you'll live. You'll lose everything and you'll live. I know, it doesn't make sense. I'm sorry about that.

Forget Mt Holyoke. Go out and play football. Screw being careful, have some fun. And for god's sake go out more often. Should I repeat the first part again? Choro yaar, dafa karo. You've been kicked around before, you'll be kicked around again. Collegeadmissions and school can destroy everything that is good about you if you let them. Don't let them, and keep going even if you feel like you want to die, rest, have some peace. 

Be nicer to your parents. I can't stress this enough. You have no idea what they're willing to do for you.


You'll still want the same things -- you'll just get perspective. You'll learn the hardest lessons for a person like you and you will say What the fuck, what kind of a life is this? well, so it is, so it is. You just keep going. Don't kill yourself.

...and that's when it got really messy. I was giving myself advice and yet it was useless...

I'm sorry if I sound condescending in this letter, I know you don't like that. It's've gotta take it from me, and you know I'm not going to give you any shit (btw, ignore everyone's advice, it's useless), life doesn't necessarily get any better, it just opens up. You know the things you wilfully ignored just so you could singlemindedly work to get into college? Yes, those things. They're important. What you want can wait.

would I take this advice? No, I would not. This would probably have made me want to do something unpleasant. Thinking about it is mildly freaking me out.

And so I'm thinking: past selves. Again. I think about past selves a lot. But honestly, if you could go back in time and give yourself advice, would it be of any use? Would you want to give advice to a past self? And if the past self acted on the advice, would you be you now? Nerd questions for perspective.

Recently, I've been thinking of a poem that's recited in one of my favourite movies, Into the Wild.

don't do it--she's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die.

If you could tell yourself (or others) these things, would you? Could you?

I heard this poem before - just didn't think it applied to me.

I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

Friday, March 16, 2012