Wednesday, January 28, 2004

You cry for those you read about. The sorrow filled, tear stained stories of those lost for stupid, stupid reasons. 9/11? Sure. They were people too. Fathers, mothers, daughters, brothers, lovers, people. They deserve your tears as much as the people you don't cry about dying from starvation in a back alley somewhere. Cry. God knows it's something to cry about...

But I don't. Your tears are enough for the graves of the people whose stories you hear. I'd rather cry for the people who's stories I don't.

"When people run in circles,
It's a very, very mad world."

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Why are people patriotic, in this day and age of the self-as-individual? If we live in a society where we exist as individual entities first, and a group second, why do you find people who are willing to die for a place? People willing to give up their lives for their allegiance to a geographical location?

It is only when you live an alien culture that you realize what you were protecting. It isn't a place, and it isn't a government, or a constitution. A patriot is protecting a way of life, a culture, a mode of thinking. The patriot protects that culture from which he was spawned, he protects a way of thinking, the only culture which will provide him real comfort. And hence a patriot is protecting home.

I do not owe my allegiance to Pakistan. I owe it to it's people, in whose arms I find home.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 the end, its the silence that gets to me. No bus horns blaring. No rickshaws. No motorcycles bereft of silencers. No aza'an. No bustle of activity. No mass of humanity, gently undulating with that sound you can only get when a thousand voices are speaking at once. No beggars showering prayers on you at every intersection, regardless of whether you can spare some change. No telephones ringing away, demanding to be answered. No shouts of "(insert name here) PHONE!!!!!"
Just silence. Walk to your classes. Walk out of your classes. Goto your room. Study, eat, sleep, exchange a few conversations in the middle on everything ranging from philosophy to television, sparking life for a few seconds. Is a place really alive if you can't hear its heartbeat?

Over the sea and far away, I can hear something...

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

It's too complicated to actually sit and plan out. To even have expectations is an insult both to the fickleness of Fate, and to your intelligence, for not being able realize that. Yet we all do have expectations - of ourselves, and worse, of others.

People change..

You hear that all the time, but what...what does it mean? It means that as you live your life, and people live theirs, slowly but surely tiny imperfections will appear. Paths will diverge ever so slightly. They will converge, too, but once two lines finally meet they have nowhere to grow but apart. It's foolish to think people remain the same since the day you mert them to the day you die. The most you can hope for, particularly in the here and now, is that you will grow together, changing in the same ways, for a while atleast. Hope lives in the fact that we never stop growing...

There is no such thing as unconditional love, I realize. There's always, always something that could make that loves continuing existence impossible. The test of love is how extreme that limit is. What all can you forgive? What can you forget?

I don't even know where this stems from. Thinking of relationships, with people, with places. People - you can't avoid them. Places - you need a home. Everyone needs a home, even if it is a constructed cacoon where reality doesn't exist, and you're forever 17.

I've grown during this trip.

The word 'home' suddenly has a new meaning. It used to be a building, an actual brick and stone structure. Now, though, it has a more immaterial quality. It's a place, and knowing everything about it. It's a culture, and understanding why people believe what they do.
It's crisp winter mornings - where its not quite cold enough to put on a full-fledged sweater, but just right to drape a shawl around yourself. It's being able to call complete strangers 'bhai', and have conversations with them on everything from cricket to politics. It's the hug a man gives another man because they're friends, and theres nothing awkward about that physical touch. It's the shining, shimmering sea, with all those laundas off somewhere in the distance as you find a nice quiet spot to sink your toes into warm sand and just think. Or not think, as you prefer.
Home is in the arms of people. Give me a handful of certain people, and I'll be home anywhere in the world. Be it driving aimlessly through Karachi *trying* to get lost, or sitting on a bed in a flat in London till way too late, just talking, or sipping piping hot tea on a green porch.

Home is comfort, whichever way you find it.

All for now. I land in my current city in half an hour. Home is four months away. The thought - even just the thought - warms me.