Tag: people

#76: Vicissitudes

Life’s been so strange lately. There’s always been good days and there’s always been bad days, but, lately the two seem so intertwined I don’t know where I’ve been at all. It’s sad because you feel so happy and contented one minute, and, without any real reason, your entire day gets upended and you wish you could just go to bed and forget anything ever happened and that you were still alive and breathing and taking up space the next.

Plus: the work. There’s so much of it. In the past month, I can say that there’s literally been only one day when I’ve gone home and haven’t had stacks upon stacks of work to do. Reports to finish. Essays to check. Forms to complete or tests to study for. And, on top of that, there’s so many other things that dictate whether or not I’ll even be able to do them all or not. People. Parents.


It’s almost as if one thing goes my way then two others certainly must go the other. If one thing makes me happy then a second, almost necessarily, must make me feel like shit. At the same time. Only more so.

Why is that? Why can’t I be completely happy for longer than a day, two or three at most? I don’t know- maybe it’s just God’s way of teaching us to grow up.  To focus on the things that ‘matter’ as if that’s some sort of absolute. Or maybe, to not mess with things which we we’re not ready for yet and might not ever be either.

And yet, I could swear I was.


#71: To The People You Never Met

After so many days, I’ve actually felt the need to get up and write a post. Not the want to, not the desire to, you know; I mean the proper need to, the I-can’t-go-without-saying-what-I-have-to-say feeling that’s always been what inspires good writing. Right now, I feel like talking to you. About people, and, more specifically, about the people you haven’t met yet.

It’s so amazing how people you’ve never known before, never seen before, slowly become a part of your life, first by that perchance meeting, then a few minutes each day, then eventually always having an hour or two that becomes entirely theirs, and, somehow, over the course of a few months, they are your day. Isn’t it? You fall asleep talking to them, you wake and they’re there in one way or another- a message, a feeling, somehow, they are there and you thank God every waking moment that they are.

And, after you meet them, you change. For the better. And then you wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t met them. Sure, hell, you wouldn’t have noticed it but now you do notice it and you think how sad and depressing your life would have otherwise been without you even realising it and then you thank God again for not letting life stay the same way it was because even though you hadn’t known it this was exactly what you wanted and what you needed and He was sure one hell of a guy to give it to you without your asking for it and you wouldn’t be surprised if it were really all a dream because it was just too good to be true but it was real and I might be crazy but that’s what makes it so unreal this oh god oh god thank you thank you so so so much feeling which is really what it’s all about.

I find it funny just how impossible it is for us to choose the people we meet. You can’t really strike up a conversation with every other person you meet. You can’t really be nice to every person on the street, say hi, shake hands and hope they’re exactly the sort of friend you’ll always need. It’s funny how we rue the people we never met.


#70: To Have and Have Not

Recently, I’ve started interning at a local hospital pretty close to where I live. For the most part, it’d really been pretty ordinary, up until today. Usually, we’d just listen to talks, tour the hospital, talk with doctors, patients and, well, just get an overall feel for what the hospital’s about and how it functions and all. Today, though, was much more thought provoking than that. Today, we had our case studies. Our job was to interview specific patients, to ask them about their illnesses, diseases, life, anything we fancied, really, and to form a report from the information we gathered.

To be honest, I didn’t expect too much from the case study. I thought we’d go into the wards, talk to someone with a mild, much less than debilitating illness, write a few points, convert them into a report and then cross another thing off our to-do list for the day. But, as it turns out, I was wrong. The patient I met, Muhammad Awais, was a dark, aging man of about fifty, with greying stubble around his chin and cheeks- an almost beard- and eyes that were slightly yellow, that continually looked up at the ceiling, even as I talked to him.

“Excuse me,” I said, “We’re doing a report on the patients in this hospital and the treatment they’re receiving. Would you mind answering a few questions for me?”
“No, no,” he said, “Ask me whatever you want.”

And so I did. I asked him about his illness. The man had diabetes. He had high blood pressure and, on top of that, as if God were adding the cherry atop some sick twisted apple pie, he was blind. I don’t know what, but, something compelled me to keep on talking to him.

“Umm. Do you work, by any chance?” I said, realising the stupidity of my question the instant I’d posed it.
“No, of course not,” he said. “I can’t do anything like this.
I’m like a living corpse now.”

And here’s the thing about what he said. Sitting wherever you are, reading this, you’d feel that it’s just another cliche, but, it’s when you’re there at bedside, and a person like that is lying right there on the bed in front of you and you experience everything for your own self and you see the truth of what they’re saying, manifested in the form of an actual bed-ridden man who was probably at one time or another healthier than either you or I, incapable of doing anything and everything that he once could without the help of another person and in doing so becoming an unbearable burden upon the person and realising it for himself and who really wants to live that way, after all?

So, I guess, the point of me telling you all this is, that, well, you really never know what’s going to happen to you, is all. Like, Awais himself didn’t know he had kidney problems until he went to get his eyes checked because of the pain he’d felt in them owing to his high blood pressure and all. And, then, even when he did, it wasn’t early enough to do anything but begin dialysis as they began to fail completely.

So, yeah. I suppose you never should feel you’ve gotten the short end of the stick in life. As unsettlingly reassuring as it seems, there’s always someone worse off than you.


#68: Places

It’s funny how we fall so in love with places sometimes. How we get attached to buildings, of all things. They really aren’t things you should get attached to, much less feel something for. After all, what are they besides insentient piles of brick, painted white or green or something of the sort? It’s almost strange how, every one of us has one place or another they relate to the most, a place you tend to recall with a dreamy sense of nostalgia, of things you did, that happened to you, the people you met and other little things so firmly ingrained inside the crevices of your mind it’s almost as if they had been set in stone, carved scene for scene in mental vignettes that hit you at the most random of times and throw you into the past.

But, sometimes, you fall in love with places in other ways. You fall in love with places you’ve never been, maybe seen in photos, or heard of by word of mouth, but, never really experienced for yourself, you know. It could be a city, a far off country perhaps, or even just another part of town, but, not having seen it firsthand, you fall in love with not the place itself, but the idea behind such a place, the philosophy behind it. This is alright, maybe even healthy. But, then, you may yearn to go these places to see for yourself what it is everyone else seems to talk about. But this is dangerous, and, perhaps even epiphanic. Because, if you’re like I am, once you get there, you realise that though the place itself may well be everything you could have expected, you’re not really in love with it in itself. In the end, it seems just like any other street, like any other building.

And this is when it hits you. You can’t fall in love with buildings. You fall in love with people. It’s the people you remember when you think of a place, whatever place it maybe. Your school, the park you played in as a boy, the corner store, a neighbor’s house, wherever. It doesn’t matter. The only thing that really matters is the people that are there. The people you love, some more than others, some in different ways from the rest, but you love all of them all the same and this is what you really miss when you leave everything you have and go to some place you think you really love when it’s really just the idea of such a place that you love.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I miss you.


#65: Nuances

Sometimes in conversation, you get the feeling somethings mean more than simply what they seem to at face value. Even the most carefree of banter usually, depending on who you’re talking with, may have some profound underlying meaning.

It’s all to do with nuances. Little things, almost imperceptible, that you really can’t hold up as definite proof of something, things that might just as well be coincidental but then again just might as well be intentional, too- are what really make up the entire conversation. Even the smallest of gestures, like pauses, the way they say something in particular, the littlest and yet most meaningful things that are implied- this perpetual ambiguity that’s there, how one thing could mean two, three, or even four different things, on entirely different levels of meaning- are what’re really important sometimes.

Things like these can often mean more than what’s said explicitly. Even if it’s not said per se, if it’s through messages for example, the odd placement of a dash, the way a comma’s used, the positioning, let alone the type of emoticon even- every little thing somehow seems to mean something in itself and makes you feel a certain way when you read through the message, whether it be  anxious, sad, depressed, or even, if you’re lucky: happy.

Maybe, when we talk, all these things really do exist, and maybe they’re intentional and all of what I’ve said just now is true and maybe they really do mean what we think they mean, or what they’re intended to mean, or, at most, what we hope they mean.

But, then again. Maybe I just care too much.


#63: Overtures

Life’s strange sometimes. In good ways. Usually everyone I know, when they do talk, talk about how life’s so unpredictable, how, every time, you don’t know what can, or is going to happen to you- everything could be going great one day, but the next could be the worst of your life. Everything could fall apart and nothing would be the same again. And all that. But, here’s where I have a problem. Why is it that we always think that things will get worse, that they won’t get better? Why don’t we ever get up in the morning thinking to ourselves that today, tomorrow, or the next day could be the best day of our lives?

I tell you, it’s really the way you look at everything that matters. You never know where life will take you, it’s true. But, then again, it doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, if there’s anything the last few months of my life have taught me, it’s that you should always look forward to the future, because, well, you just do. A few months ago, I didn’t even know it, but, well, my life became that much better, really. In so many ways, I think I’d lose count if I did try to count them.

For one, I’ve met some of the most amazing people I know in the past few months. Really amazing. My best friends. People I trust, I talk to. The whole day. Who think like me. Who like the things I like. Who I can relate to. And it’s made me a whole lot better person than I was. Everything seems just that much better. But a day before all of it happened, can I say that I ever even imagined that any of this would, let alone could, happen, that my life would, to subvert an old saying, take a turn for the best?

No, I couldn’t have. Never.


#60: Expectations

I don’t like expectations. I don’t like being expected to achieve anything. Too much pressure. I’d much rather have people expect nothing of me. The advantage’s two-fold, you see. For one, I can do my best without worrying about having to reach this absolute to gauge my success. I feel that if you give your best, that’s always good enough. Secondly, well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a kick out of proving people wrong.

Then, again, coming back to what I was talking about: expectations. Well, not all expectations are bad, I think. Expectations you have for yourself are good. They push you forward. Urge you on, tell you you’ve got to expect better of yourself. Give you impetus, basically. And that’s the thing they’re good for.

Expectations from others, I’d rather not have burden me. Especially when you know you can’t meet them. I know, I know. They expect things from you for a reason. You’ve done good things before, you could do them again. Simple enough reasoning, sure. But, people don’t understand there are other things, too. Such as luck. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. That’s just the way things are. And, for me at least, I really believe luck has a big role to play in some of things I do. It’s wrong to expect me to reproduce the same things again and again. Call it self-confidence issues or whatever, but I believe it.

Some of us just need a break sometimes.


#52: Chicken and Bricks

Let me tell you a story. Three weeks ago, I had to go this competition. It was pretty early in the morning- around nine or ten I’m guessing. Can’t really remember. So, yes. My mom made me breakfast. Chicken kebab toast. As brilliant as it would’ve been, I’m sure, I was in a hurry. So. I put it in my cupboard. I swear I was going to eat it later. Cross my heart and hope to die.

Fast-forward to today. I opened my cupboard. Remembered something. Felt for said something in the back, and, lo and behold! My sandwich had turned to brick. The crust, the chicken kebab, everything. Hard as stone, I swear. In fact, I had this poster I had to nail into my bedroom wall and I used the sandwich as a hammer. I’ve kept it in my toolbox for the time being.


#51: Thoughts

So, I was editing a bit of my school’s magazine. I was editing the memorials section. Four people died in my school last year. Four. And I had to edit three memorials. Three? Yes. Three. Apparently nobody cared enough to write one for the fourth person. It’s depressing as hell. It’s not even as if I didn’t ask for it from anyone. Oh, no. I went all out. I asked some of his friends, but they kept putting it off, and now the deadline’s but a few days away and I still have nothing for him. Heck, I even asked some of his teachers, too. The only things I got from them were the same perfunctory nods of the head. And very sober faces. Nothing else.

It really got me thinking. Will anybody care if I’m dead? Blah. What a stupid thing to think, let alone say. But, hey, since I’ve thought it already, why not go on, right? I suppose some people would, wouldn’t they? Certainly not everybody. Certainly not. But some people would. Probably. Right? But, then again, that’s what the fourth guy would have thought, too, isn’t it? Yeah. It’s what everybody thinks. They say you never really know who your true friends are until you’re dead. Well, I can’t deny there’s some truth in that. No, not at all.

But, to hell with it. Why do I even care if people miss me after I’m dead? I’ve got a life to live, and I’m going to make damn sure that it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. There’s years and years to live right now. Dreams to fulfill. Journeys to make. Roads to travel. Along the way, maybe, too, I’ll find that one person who’ll actually care when I’m dead. And it’ll all be worth it, then.


#49: People

Ah, people. Such a difference they make. Some make you so happy when you see them coming across the hall. Others you’d rather not see everyday of your life. Still others, you wish you could slap across the face. Oh, I hope I wasn’t a bit too, sour, there. Must be. Diplomatic.


There are so many people you meet everyday (No shit, right?) but not all of them have the same effect on you. People are different. Not all of them are blackandwhites. Some are greys. And then there are some who’re just redbluegreenandeverythinginbetween.

Oh my, I don’t  believe I’m making any sense to you, am I? God bless me and my incoherence.



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