Saturday, December 31, 2011

And again

Assume the fetal position. Lie in your bed with the lights turned off. Hug yourself as tightly as you can. Feel the heaviness of your heart in your chest. Feel it in your gut. Plead for a moment of forgetfulness. Try to make sense of how your heart swells when you're happy and how it shrinks when you're down. You wish you had control over your heart, you wish it had some sort of re-enforcement which stopped it from shrinking, something to stop the void you felt in your gut. There wasn't though, and I'm not sure what to tell you to be honest. I don't understand it.These moments when you tried to sleep, and you couldn't. Your head was empty of any thought but there were all sorts of emotions raging within, a storm that wouldn't quiet down. Suddenly you wish the lights were on, you could read, write, anything. Perhaps escape. It wasn't possible. You hugged yourself tighter. You didn't belong here, you belonged somewhere. Was that how you made yourself feel better? These chains that tied you down were getting rusty. You weren't sure whether this was a good thing, rusty meant easily breakable yet it could mean that any sort of key would no longer work. What tied you down? You were as free as anyone else. Excuses excuses.

What now? This wasn't you. The tortured soul. You were just confused. No idea about what. Saying life was confusing was a statement too vague for your state of being. What do you know of life? Perhaps more than you gave yourself credit for.


Come sit by my side, I'll tell you a few things. You'll understand as if you were the voice in my head. I'll have you remember me like this. A subtle being, nothing tied me down and you couldn't use one word to describe me. I was free. Bo assumptions, no expectations, no disappointments. I did everything I wanted to do, I had all the time in the world to just sit and.... think, or not think. To have that luxury.


The constants you longed for in your life made you wonder, were you a constant yourself? Constant to something or someone? 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A cough

``Don't keep coughing so, Kitty, for heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.''
``Kitty has no discretion in her coughs,'' said her father; ``she times them ill.''
``I do not cough for my own amusement,'' replied Kitty fretfully.
Pride and Prejudice


Thursday, December 8, 2011

HBBC: First Impressions

A belated HBBC post, overdue yet a promise is a promise. I try to keep mine, so Noor, here I am.

10th grade. This girl had enormous pride, I didn't like her. She wouldn't talk to us, and it was awkward when her two friends came to socialize. She had her own group of friends. This was our place, our school, our teachers. We belonged here. We weren't to be threatened. It was decided hostility, it was weird. Huda and I got along with everyone just fine. She was smart, perhaps we felt the competition. I'm sure she did too. We felt justified somehow.
We were asked to go to a school for a presentation and to our surprise we were to present with her. How fate works. We worked professionally together. We discussed it, agreed at how we'd do it. Till something happened. I can't remember what exactly. She wasn't so bad afterall, we laughed and joked. Even related to what the other was saying. Could this be? Yes. We became friends. Helped each other out with homework, it was good to have someone like her. So the year was spent. A lesson about people.

11th grade. I was put in a class on my own, how could I do this? When you had your twin sister with you throughout your school years in the same class it was only normal for you to feel scared. You wouldn't be able to do it. How could you break awkward silences with people without her joking? The first few weeks I was completely against the idea, it was going to be the end of me. They said it was for our benefit. We couldn't see how. Guess what? She was there with me. I remember her wanting to join another class to be with her friends but she said something about not leaving, at least I was here. There was hope. We sat together in the same group. I became bolder, more confident. I was on my own. I had it in me to be on my own. I kept her close. We studied, joked, read together. The time we had together made us realize of just how similar we were. We had inside jokes about teachers. This wasn't so bad, this was exactly what I needed. We confessed our mutual dislike for each other. We laughed it off.

12th grade. The best year of my school years by far, and mainly due to my friend Ayda. That's her name. I was a changed person. I became an almost nerdy rebel. We would talk every minute we were together. We knew every single thing the other did the previous day, when we went to sleep, when we woke up, what dishes we had for lunch and dinner, what did we study, what thoughts we had. There was no end to the topics we discussed. Teachers would always get annoyed. We didn't care, they loved us all the same. We sat a foot apart at first, then she moved to another place in the classroom. It never stopped us. when a teacher wrote something on the board, we stole moments to communicate what seemed an urgent piece of information to each other then. We were caught many times. She was the one who made me feel there was hope in me to be something, I could make it somehow in the world. She was the one I spent so much time telling about a book I was reading. She listened, like truly. She often told me how she loves my enthusiam for books. I loved her faith. She was honest. She set out to do something and she did it. She was the kind of person who knew what to say in the right moment. I was never that. I looked up to her in many things. We made it through a lot of drama that year. We cherished every moment. Endless texting back and forth.

I don't see her now at all. I miss talking to her endlessly; books and people and little things that happened to us. Life has its ways of keeping you away from the people you love. Yet, we'll always be in touch. I know that for sure. And I know, you'll always live in my heart, thoughts and prayers. I'll look back to my last days at school with smiles because of you, Ayda. So here. First impressions aren't to be trusted. Look at where we were and where we are now.
You're one of a kind. So I dedicate this post to you. I can't believe that you read what I write, that makes me proud. And I take pride in being your friend.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

She lived

They often asked her about themselves, she wasn't sure whether they expected answers. She hoped not, she didn't have any answers for anyone. A silence. A few minutes till they found the right words. They carried on and she realized it was as if they were addressing themselves more than speaking to her. They said her name, you know how when someone says you're name while talking to you. How serious it makes things sound. Not knowing whether they told her because of who she was to them, or they'd have told anyone who would've lent an ear. It didn't matter in the end, things didn't just revolve around your being. We all lived to serve a purpose, perhaps lived to find that purpose.

These thoughts of theirs led them inside the hollows of their souls. She waited. It was a dark place to be in. She let them find their way out. This was what they called comfortable silence. She loved these moments.This was what she'd remember years from now. This moment, this easiness. In her head, this moment filled pages and pages. A sigh of relief. She was blessed enough to be there. Then, they wearily took themselves out of it, asked her about her life. She wanted to tell them that they didn't have to, with her of all people they could simple let go of the strain of keeping a conversation. She gave an answer all the same, as heartfelt as she could make it. It sounded so void to, and she was sad. Sad because it was the best she could do. And there were things you just knew. It wasn't insecurities, and it was far from self-doubt. There were things you knew about yourselves. People denied about you, yet you knew they were true.

They smiled to her, a smile that said 'you have it so easy.' She was too used to that smile, didn't give it much thought. They asked no more, and sometimes they even left. She let them. She had no story, only an imagination. And a combination of half-lived experiences. Don't belittle them. They're everything she can truly call her own. For now.

But everyone had a story. I believed that. How come she had none? Is fate weaving her story without her knowing? So I hoped, she of all deserved it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

HBBC: Supernatural Powers

This week's topic is Engi Amin's Choice. Meet the rest of the HBBC members here.

I always dreamed of my own super powers. We all did, I'm sure. Flying was on the top of the list for quite a while. One hand in front, a determined look and a place that needed me. Spend time hanging up there, fly along migrating birds and touch the clouds. I always wondered what clouds felt like. Would they feel like cotton candy? Would they melt in my hands? Do you ever wonder about clouds? Why don't they put up a special window in the airplane where you could reach out and touch them yourself? WHY?!
If you think about it more deeply I'd need more than the flying super power to actually survive the flying experience. Oxygen levels are low up there, not to mention the freezing atmosphere. I'm probably disheartening myself... I would love to fly, though. the freedom of not being so pulled towards the earth, defying gravity. The joy of seeing anyone I wanted anytime I felt like it. Perhaps even look at the earth from afar, watch how it kept spinning around itself.

If flying doesn't work out, I can't seem to get better at driving anyway so how about flying, there's a second super power I'd love to have. Reading people's minds. In all honesty, the thoughts that cross my mind do surprise me sometimes. It would definitely be not cool if people found out about them. The silliness, seriousness, randomness, weirdness, and not to mention weirdness. They'll definitely think I have some sort of OCD, which let's face it, I totally do. So why would I want to hear people's thoughts but refuse for them to read mine? Besides having double standards, I just want to get the raw version of things. Emotions, thoughts, words that flew across their mind randomly, moments that played inside their head continuously.
Here's a serious thought though, should we judge others on the thoughts that they have? I always wondered. See, some of the thoughts you had no control whatsoever over. They just came to you, you could say that's your subconscious telling you what you really thought but then again, it wasn't true all the time. Was it?

Perhaps, when I could read their thoughts I'd reassure them of some of the misconceptions they had about themselves and about others. I'd tell them I understood what they were going through. I guess what we really crave for is understanding. If you could grant that to only one lost soul, how wonderful! Would it be too heavy of a burden though? I can't seem to handle my own thoughts most of the time. Just for one day, would I be surprised to the compassion and love and feel a deeper sense of belonging or would I be surprised by the hate and evil? Who knows. You must take your chances. I'm willing to take mine. See, I read too much into things. I want to be able to know what people are thinking of. End of story.

One last thing, I'm just a boring human with no superpowers... Go to the next person, perhaps they have something to wow you with. I'll just continue being... me!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

When a character I love did something wrong, I usually blamed them. Started thinking why did they do it, the motives and how could that character I personally related to so much do something so awful? It shocks me sometimes, and I begin to wonder about the things we do as humans, the things we don't mean. You see with books you tend to get the whole story, you know that person and they grow on you and doing what they did you live through their remorse and forgive them as they begin to forgive themselves.Yes, I know it's just fiction. In real life, you get the act, you get the apology, but you don't get the before and after. Those moments of conflict inside the person who did all of that.

Now, with Half of a Yellow Sun. Near the end. One of the characters I loved, did something horrible. So unlike themselves. It was war. He was a soldier, he wasn't used to that kind of life so when he found himself in that situation he did what his fellows did. A shameful act. He raped a girl. At that moment, there was no hesitation in him, at least nothing the author thought worth mentioning. He saw the hatred in the girl's eyes. I surprised myself then, I started blaming the author. Why did she do it? I didn't blame the character this time, I just thought of how cold Chimamanda was to do this to her beloved character. And so, I realized the possibility that she mourned him while she made him do it, but she did it anyway. Was it to give the story credibility or was it actually something that happens?

This does happen of course. Sins aren't committed by the evil only. Yet, this time, for that character, it felt like some sort of betrayal. I could be reading too much into it. He's not even my favorite character in the novel. He did that to the girl, and the author did did this to him.

War. The losses they suffered, how much they endured, the people who lost their lives in battle fields and those who died because there wasn't enough food. It's all so sad. You keep on thinking how wars are unnecessary, how evil and how they take away so much from a being. Of course, you're also amazed at people's endurance. It's a sad book let me tell you. Sad in a sense that you love the characters, you watch them fall apart, pull themselves back together and live on baseless hope. There's romance, beautiful love but the presence of loss and how they always anticipated it made whatever joys you found within the pages of the novel seem hollow.

These quotes, each is so true. So simple, yet so profound.

It came with never having had much, she knew, the inability to let go of things, even things that were useless.

Why do you need so much outside of yourself? Why isn't what you are enough?

How much did one know of the true feelings of those who did not have a voice?

Everything was moving so fast. He was not living his life; life was living him.

"You're burning memory," he told her.
"I am not." She would not place her memory on things that strangers could barge in and take away. "My memory is inside me."

I'm not sure this is a proper book review, I wasn't planning one but I had to write some of my thoughts here.
Ruqaiya, I didn't think I'd be this moved to be honest. A thank you is meaningless.