Monday, November 21, 2005

Call it what you will!
Ayesha Hameed

Sometimes you do not know where you're headed. Everything ' seems to be spiralling out of control and you tend to l lose the thread of reason and logic. It appears as if there would be no tomor­row and all has been hopelessly lost. Nothing makes sense, you want to go one way but you end _ up somewhere least expected. You try your best to hold on to reality and to your wits, but it professes to be a los­ing battle.
One day you wake and feel that, "today is the day on which I shall definitely make a head or tail of this mess called life!" You set out, once again, enthusiasti­cally on your philosophic and intellectual road to self-realisa­tion. You rake your mind to col­lect all the scattered leaves of thoughts; you assemble them in a heap in front of yourself and start anew on your ponderings. The first hurdle in your way is to establish whether you're headed in the right direction or not. This makes you question almost all your past deeds. Which, put under the scrutiny of self-right­eous intellect, lose their prior or rather apparent piety. You think that maybe you were not as noble as you thought you were in helping that old man: the point under consideration being that you did it with an ulterior motive in your mind; namely salvation. Thus this pious and selfless act of pure humility loses its altruist lustre and becomes a mocking deed of selfishness.
On further exploration you find out that all the really cool things that you did for your friends (so called friends, because they presumably also had the same motives as you) were not exactly heroic rather otherwise. Did you not help Safia because she is very bright at mathematics and could be a valuable friend (read free tutor) in future? The old guy at the main gate that you are so polite with, is that without any reason, just out of your good nature, or because when the time comes he would not tell your teachers about your, abysmal punctuality. Oh! And I almost forgot about that benign and exuberant litera­ture teacher, that you're so fond of praising (to her face). But among your friends you attribute to her all the horrendous quali­ties imaginable; you know fully well that she will never believe anyone who badmouths you, because you have always been in her good books (thanks to your honey tongued flattery). And the list goes on and on but you get tired of this single tracked analy­sis and think about the next pro­fundity.
The subsequent query is about what is to be done with your future? The possibilities are endless. First of all you have to look at the real purpose of life, than you have to decide accord­ingly about your future undertak­ings. Is not life about being res­olutely pious and to lead a life on the toes of moral and religious principles? So now, all you have to do is to find a profession that fits into these prescribed rules. You think about all the options one by one and to your great surprise and discomfort find out that every­thing (nowadays) requires some­thing a little untoward or another to be done by the aspirant. None of these in the end pass your ultra philosophic test. If a profession passes the moral test it fails on some subtle intellectual point. After having troubled yourself with these mind-boggling intricacies; you wonder whether the lives of the rich and idle were not the best. And who the devil thought about abolishing the feudal system (oops! Is it still there? Sorry guys forgot no hard feelings uh!)... Not so fast because your mind reminds you that the life of sloth is forbidden. Hence this reverie leads you to a dead end and you drop it, for the time being, that is what you always say.
So... now what? Nothing, because it is time for you, to come out of your intellectual world and, do something about that essay that your favourite teacher (the same benign one) gave. This is exactly how all these ponderings end, inevitably.
Moral of this insight: do not try to be a modern day Hamlet, do your best conscientiously and as well as your mortal self allows and leave all the inferences to be drawn by the One Who knows the best.

Ordinary girl
I was going through a oad period in my life. I made so many com­promises and accepting you as my friend was one of them. I accepted you because you always acted as if you cared so much about me. I thought, "How bad it is that she is doing so much for me and I hate her," and at that moment I accepted you as my friend. I tried to avoid thinking about your bad qualities, and allowed you to enter my heart. Time went by and I became used to your personality. I devel­oped special feelings for you, I started respecting you, and whenever I looked at you I thought how different you were, I started believing you understood my feelings, I thought you knew that I was a different girl, I felt differently. I own people, I believe in my friends, I thought you knew how sentimental I was. But alas! You are the same "ordinary girl", who needs reas­surance after every moment that people adore her, who loves to hear people praising her. But for­tunately I am not that type. And you got to know some people who could do this efficiently, so soon you showed your real colours. This is life. We meet so many different people, we all have to depart from each other, happily or with pain, it doesn't matter. So I am not depressed that you betrayed me, or left me alone. But I do regret, that my Lord has given me such a nice heart, and I allowed a person like you to play with it. I feel sorry for my heart, I am ashamed before my soul. How could I allow an ordinary girl like you, who has an ordinary mind and ordinary feelings, to have a special place in my special heart? Why did I waste my unique feel­ings for you? I really regret. This is written in my diary. I know you will never read this but I keep it for myself so that I can always remember that I met a girl like you. Other than that, there is no reason to remember you.
By Saadia Zahoor Abbasi, Islamabad