An Intellectual Rant

We are three days away from the elections that will eventually decide this country’s fate. This is history in the making. The thought of existing through history excites me. I know, chances of making any significant contributions to history are very slim, but at least I can try? At least I can exist and witness?

However it is other matters that have prompted this “rant” (and I flatter myself by calling this intellectual). I had a conversation the other day with a friend. I was telling her how people from my family wanted me to pursue medicine instead of sociology; and that they thought sociology was for people who “passed matric in the third division”. I had counter-argued that if we left this country to be run by such people, we wouldn’t have the right to complain when the Prime Minister was arrested and barred from politics. I mean, how did a man like that get to the seat in the first place? Fine; one exception, you could say. Wrong. Remember that time when Mr. 10% became president? He was called that because no matter what he did, he always had a minimum of 10% profit or something. He was named for his corruption and he became the president.

If you’re not Pakistani, you really cannot understand the system this country runs on. There is corruption and ignorance in every crack, hole, you name it. People think we need a savior; someone from the Glorious West to come and deliver us from the hands of these oppressors, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You see, even Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, an eminent leader in the struggle of Pakistan, said all those years ago: if you think a situation like that will ever arise, then that will be suppressing the system and all its evils as opposed to liberating it. The only way out of a situation like this is to beat the system by becoming part of it; changing from within.

However, coming back to the conversation I had! After I had conveyed all this to her, she asked if I wanted to go into politics. I said I may or may not. She replied with how boring politics was and tried to somehow imply that it was unimportant.

This annoyed me. I told her that maybe yes, it WAS for people who lived in Instagram bubbles instead of the real world and that we couldn’t possibly live without politics! Her answer amazed me. She said, “Do you know what annoys me? People who post their two–year-old pictures from tumblr on Instagram and call it ‘aesthetic’.”

The passion with which that first question was asked made me feel as if something out of the bubble was to be said. But I realized, I’m just arguing with the wrong person. In the wrong generation. You see, this nation cannot even think for themselves. People either blindly side by one political party or just disconnect and do not care of whatever becomes of this place.

It annoys me because this country needs progress. From everyone. A collective effort. And the people are least bothered. I’m sorry, I realize you might think I’m being too hard and that politics is not everyone’s cup of tea, but every person should have at  least basic knowledge of what is happening in their country! There is no excuse to being ignorant in times that move so fast and are not afraid to leave anyone behind.

And instead, what do we do? Push the kids into becoming doctors and engineers, to become the labour that builds other nations? There are certain promises I’ve been hearing ever since I was a kid; that Kashmir would become a part of Pakistan, that the rupee would become superior or equal to the dollar, that Pakistan would become the next “super power”. Not only is there no way the situation is even close to all that, it is ridiculous. In fact, a few days ago the exchange rate for the dollar increased to 128 rupees. What does that mean? Inflation, IMF, hard times ahead to name a few. The national debt increased by 570 billion rupees. Exciting news, eh? And I don’t even see anyone talk about it.

Where is this going? And by that I mean this post and this country. I guess I better stick to writing fictional pieces.

Advertisements

Anxiety

It’s that time of the year again. Summer. Sweat.

And anxiety.

I went to sleep really late last night — half one, or maybe later. Seven thirty I was up again, that weird feeling in my legs back again. The feeling I call anxiety. Oh well, getting up in the mornings is quite refreshing, yes? No. I spent the entire day wasting time. Plugging in my earphones, listening to nothing, wandering from this room to that. I didn’t even clean today, which is unusual. However, I did wash my part of the dishes. But that’s pretty much it.

There’s nothing I did today which would make me proud of myself, or even satisfied. I don’t know why I’m like this. I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to, I haven’t been exercising, but most importantly, I haven’t been writing. Two weeks I spent in heavenly bliss, each day so inspiring I could’ve written fourteen books, but I was too tired. And now, I’m back home, washing dishes to fill up time, and I’m not writing? If I don’t write then I will forget, if I forget it will be as if I never lived, and that will take me back to depression. Not as a relapse as in the mental disease, but the seasonal uninspired me that visits twice a year.

Anxiety. Of what? Perhaps it is time for me to face it, and I do need an audience, so hear me out. Anxiety of the future. Someone told me not to think of the rest of my life, but just set small goals like five year plans. This, although wise, has triggered off another train of anxiety. What if, after five years, I am as now, a nobody? What if I never accomplish anything in my life? What if I never achieve the one thing I want most in life — influence? As stupid as this might sound, I want to change the way things are. My country has been through a lot, and we are trying to improve the “international image” but let’s face it. Things are far from ideal. We have a long way to go.

As I write this, the ex-prime minister of my country is being arrested at Allama Iqbal international airport. Can you see my point? A thing you should know about Pakistanis — we’re always on the roads. If we’re celebrating, the roads are blocked. If we’re mourning, we are on the roads. If we’re protesting, you get me. The mobile networks have been switched off. The entire nation is glued to the T.V. screens, where no transmission of the arrest is being shown. But we’re still watching, hearing the anchors say the same things over and over again. My country is in chaos. Security personnel everywhere, trying to prevent trouble, trying to keep the peace. There are protestors still, I can see the roads on the tv as I write this, but at least it is contained.

Two blasts have been recorded so far. One in Peshawar, leaving 30 dead, one in Balochistan, leaving 70 dead. I’m not particularly an Imran Khan fan, but something he said has stayed with me. Something along the lines of an increase in terrorist activities every time Nawaz Shareef is in trouble. 100 people in two (or maybe three?) days? 100 is, for us, just a number. A number so meaningless nobody is talking about it. Mubashir Luqman’s saying there’s approximately 7-8 thousand people in protest. Well, I’m glad. We prayed and prayed for this man to face the consequences of his actions. And perhaps this is it? Who’s to know.

What does the future hold? A question that might just give me a nervous breakdown at some point. I could tear my hair out, and not just metaphorically.

What does the future hold? The corrupt prime minister has been flown to Rawalpindi to jail, along with his daughter. So what now? With elections so close, I really do not know. Who can say? But please, please, dear God, make it something good, my people could use a break. Perhaps you’d like an insider view of what it is being Pakistani, in real life? I could give you one.

What does the future hold? For me, I mean. What will I do? A little girl asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I couldn’t answer. All I could think of was my dream of becoming a dictator, but could I really say that to her? I’ve tried talking about this with multiple people, but so far nobody can take me seriously. Lol. Perks of being me.

But now? What does the future hold? Will I make another mistake? Will I regret my choices (provided I get round to making them) for the rest of my life? Will this blog grow? Will people read this far? Who is to know.

Dear God, the world is messed up. My country, which is all I have, is messed up. Life is messed up. So please, please, show us all a way. Give us a miracle. A Quaid-e-Azam-Allama-Iqbal-type miracle.

If I’ve bored you, I apologise. But perhaps you will be excited to know that the Rock in the River went to the River with the Rocks? Not the river that inspired this blog, but any river is love. I’ll come back soon, I hope. But for now, send  me (and my country and the world) a prayer! We must not lose our optimism for the future!

In urdu we say, “Umeed par duniya qaim hai.” The world exists on hope.

I’m off to make some tea, before my mum takes off her chappal (I joke). Who knows, if all else fails, I might just open a dhabba! (Please we all know I make the best chai)