A Conversation

It has taken me so long to write this because I have had more time than you had. I have had more chances to use, cherish and waste time; and more of it than I know how to manage well, anyway.
This is not a tribute. This isn’t even a piece to indulge in my very few, very vivid memories of you. It’s simply an echo of a conversation that I would have had with you if you were alive today.
Let’s imagine we’re sitting in class again; the cramped classroom, the one to the left of the stairs. We have seats right up in front and it is one of those lazy Urdu classes when Miss Rahat is in no mood to teach and everyone stays quiet so she wouldn’t have to take charge.
I think I need to tell you a few things.
You are not a hero, nor are you a victim.
You are just a girl who made bad choices.
And I’m not afraid to tell you this because you had the capacity to listen. I won’t lie to you or sugarcoat my words for you ever, not even in death.
I will tell you you were wrong, again and again because you see, you aren’t here anymore because of it.
I don’t say all of this because it will make a difference, but just because I felt it needed to be said. I say it because I don’t want you to become a symbol of young love, or a real-life incarnation of Juliet or a martyr. I don’t want your end to be an excuse for bad choices to ever be looked at as desirable or ‘romantic.’ I bring this up because there was a shocking amount of rhetoric that circulated, with the recurring theme of romanticizing your passing and your choice. Along with this came the bittersweet realization that it is only after one is gone that the world is alerted to the fact that we ever existed. I saw the most unlikely people, banking in on the opportunity to add to this rose-tinted affair of ‘star-crossed lovers’ or some similar bullshit. Your bad choice does not go away just because you did.
Do you see my problem?
Your choice became your end and the violence of your end, ended up defining you. I want to tell you it doesn’t define you, not for me, not for anyone who matters. I want to tell you that I remember your overflowing makeup table and your yellow wrist-watch, your dedication to sass and dance and your free-spiritedness. I remember the turquoise arm-chair in your room and your collection of necklaces. I’m smiling right now because I would have loved to see your reaction to the ear piercings I have now. I remember you helping me straighten my hair and the Jay Sean lyrics on your bathroom mirror. I remember how you stood up for people and how on fleek you always looked.
Was ‘on fleek’ a thing while you were around? I can’t remember. I guess it doesn’t really matter.
I want to tell you I am as brutally honest of a friend as I ever was and remember you in the most honest, most affectionate way. And maybe I’m being unrealistic by even hoping to put a dent on how you will be remembered but at least I have sorted all these thoughts in my head, thoughts that I was afraid of having because I thought they made me a bad friend or made me feel like I was disrespecting your memory. But now I know I would be doing no justice to the honesty in our friendship if I was not open about how sorry I am that you made that choice. You are entitled to your choice, we all are. I just wish it hadn’t cost us all so dearly.
I miss you.

Why I Got Addicted to Faking It

After one gets over the LGBT-theme of it, the show is nothing incredible. I was reading a couple of reviews online and the New York Times called it a “smarter than average” high school comedy, which I agree and disagree with. It’s smart because a lot of people would be interested in analysing it for it’s political connotations, bringing in viewers but then it really does nothing creative with the plot-line.

If we ignore everyone’s sexual orientation, it’s a good old love triangle.

But apart from the fact that I took two days off from school because I was feeling pretty lousy and had some time to kill, the only reason I can salvage for watching most of the first and second season in a day is the show’s setting. This is where it gets a little interesting, not because the writers are creative, but because they are finally willing to accept that lives outside stereotypes do exist. High schools without a cheerleader ruling class do exist. It is believable to pair up a tumblr-esque artsy quality and promiscuity in your “dreamy” male lead. And what I mean by this, is that promiscuity should not be exclusive to high school seniors on the football team or introverted, chain-smoking bad boys, as is usually presented in high school romantic comedies (or whatever they are calling these shows nowadays.) Of course I would like to say a whole lot more about what having nothing more to do in their lives than have a threesome, says about these self-proclaimed sixteen year-old’s but that’s a rant that can wait a while.

Being gay is – socially – not as big of a deal anymore in the world these characters are alive in, because there is a lot more acceptance. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, no one avoids gay people like the plague as was once the case. And this adds an interesting spin on the exposition of the show, because the tables are turned and being different is the latest fad. But the novelty wears off pretty fast and I sincerely hope they have something a bit more than sexual ambiguity to depend on for Season 3.

They also need to kill Karma. I cannot stand her and I refuse to accept someone can be that selfish for the better part of however many episodes are currently out.

My favorite part in the whole show, though, was hands down when Karma’s parents are (spoiler alert) arrested for selling weed out of their juice van. It was a better moment than all the other plot twists combined, and made even better by Mama Karma’s comment about how they’re hippies so they don’t see it as a drug.

Go figure.

Feeling Lost

As I’ve grown up, I’ve got more and more ashamed of any writing that is more than a month old. I didn’t realise how serious it was until I started this blog, and used to read back on my posts after every few months.

I genuinely feel like my writing improves after every few months, but it’s not because I keep writing and testing new limits. It’s because I come back with a slightly better understanding of myself every time and a clearer view what I want on paper. So it’s realisations that spur my writing on, as opposed to polishing up and improvements.

But something very interesting just happened.

Before I started this blog, I used to write a blog on Blogger. What I remembered of this blog was mostly tainted by generalisations; I was pretty sure the writing on it was immature and unreadable, which was why I had switched over to a new blog.

But I just opened it up after years, and I am left feeling so lost.

Amused and pleasantly surprised, but lost.

The writing is undoubtedly from an era long gone, and yet I connected with it so much. Because she.. me, is talking about things that she loves. And she is so unashamed about them. She continues to write, post after post, not discouraged by the lack of hits on her blog.  Most of all, what touched me, was that I was not cringing when I read it.

I just felt a sense of loss, a bittersweet string difficult to focus on because it vibrates so ferociously.

There is so much heart in that writing, and I felt upset because my attitude and my circumstances in life cut that passion off at the bud, before it could even grow into maturity. The tone of all my work now is so different, and although I love the ease with which I can fall into this tone, I do feel betrayed that it is not as easy to shift gears as it once was/

Give it a once-over, if you please.


What do you see?

Imagine a beach.

Or any stretch of land, really. Anything that speaks of serenity and appears fixed, but feels transient.

Hold onto that restlessness, that undercurrent of “This isn’t final.”

This is key. This is the thought you try to suppress every single day, and that which your human mind goes to ridiculous lengths to disprove by organizing, planning, checking off all those lists they publish every year to make you feel more in control. And to make you feel like we all know what we are doing.

To let you think, we walk on the beach.

Now imagine millions of identical, minuscule grains of sand. They make up the beach.

But they never see the beach.

They see themselves, everywhere they look. They see grains all around them, some being lifted up and tossed around, some sitting still for years and some constantly crashing around, struggling to find a more comfortable vantage point. Their perception of their existence is limited, entirely because their vision is limited. They do not know of any context other than that of all grains of sand seeming to congregate and shuffle around here. They resent the wind on some days, and welcome it on others. They are content in their ignorance of the source of this wind, but hate that they must admit their ignorance in the first place. And then it’s a new day and they do not have time to mull over the wind, because maybe today it does not matter and they get to decide everything for themselves.

All this while, the beach is calm. There is no chaos. The breeze is light and playful.

In one image, there is great disparity between perceptions and no real understanding of who or what is really in control. And this is the crux of it.

We hold onto this illusion of control, fooling ourselves so we won’t break down, helpless. We take a step back every time it all gets overwhelming and try to walk on the beach and take charge and assume a holistic position. But it gets us nowhere, because we are in too deep to rise above the mush of life. We cannot possibly rise above, because the reality of it is that we are minuscule.

How can grains ever know that there are two never-ending blues – the sea and the sky – instead of just the one they see above them.

It is when you let go of this illusion, of being in control and of knowing the greater context in which you exist – that you are truly free.

It’s a really hot day today, 43°C to be precise, and I can’t seem to find the energy to get out of bed. It doesn’t help that I’m eleven days into my much-awaited, well-deserved summer break and instead of feeling creative and stimulated, I’m just getting steadily more depressed. Also I missed deadlines for summer volunteer programs so haha, bubye easy(relatively)-road-to-college!

It’s a perfect day to complain about something I’ve wanted to rant about this whole year.

Cambridge AS Level Psychology

I’ve been meaning to get this out for a while now. If any of you has studied this course, or known someone who’s taken it, you might be aware of just how badly it’s structured. It’s amazing, really. Cambridge also offers Sociology at the AS and A Levels, and I find it best to compare Psychology and Sociology since they’re widely considered to be sister disciplines. Now I’ve never studied Sociology, but I know that the students are taught about the wider context of Sociology before jumping into the nitty-gritty. Students are taught about perspectives, debates and personalities who helped conceptualise ideas and give shape to the subject before going through case studies and applications. For instance, I’d know what functionalism or the feminist perspective was about and then the syllabus would require for me to quote case studies or data to back my essay up.

In AS Level Psychology – which by the way was a gamble of a subject in the first place with people saying everything from “It’s useless and too specialised at this level!” to “Oh… That’s nice.” *coughs and walks away* – students have to rote-learn 20 case studies and then do you advance to being taught that these studies are grouped in categories like physiological psychology, cognitive psychology and so on. And then you’re taught about perspectives like behaviorism. And then you’re taught about debates like free will versus determinism, after which you attempt to sit down and start placing each study in a the greater context of psychology.

                                                                                                              Classy Sheep

Am I the only one who sees something wrong here? It’s such an ineffective way to teach a subject, especially since next to no one in my grade has studied Psychology before. It might just be that my school is teaching it in a very roundabout, horrible fashion but let me know? Have you been taught differently?

The part which is definitely universal though, is the way the exam is structured. The first exam is worth 80 marks, 60 of which are concentrated on about 15 short questions, merely testing our memory and rote-learning skills. The exam is not testing any application, rather focuses entirely on how good your memory is. And the funnily enough the second paper has a 20 mark question asking candidates to just come up with a study with a basic framework in mind.

Just make a study, bud. Either rote-learn the shit out of those studies, or just make a whole study. Yeah. Good talk.

There is no middle ground.

And it’s really sad because it’s not half a bad subject. In fact the parts they teach the least of, are the most interesting. For example the whole nature versus nurture debate, and how babies can actually spot people with symmetrical faces (read: hot people) when they’re just six months old! Also how far individuality and situations influence behaviors and thoughts. It’s so interesting, but no. I need to remember what the ratio of males to females in the subject pool was, in the third mini-study conducted by Langloise.

Apparently next year will be better.

"The worst part about anything that’s self destructive is that it’s so intimate. You become so close with your addictions and illnesses that leaving them behind is like killing the part of yourself that taught you how to survive." —Lacey L