The Plan Is In Motion

Fate is being kind to me. The plan God has made for me is finally gaining momentum. 24th February is a big day. If I rock on that day, my life will change for the better.

Please send some positive juju this way, I shall be obliged. And if I succeed, I shall tell you all where I will be at this time sometime next year. To all my American friends, it will be somewhere close to you!

May the Force be with *me*!

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I Have Not Forgotten

I am really sorry for not reading, commenting and writing on WordPress for the whole month. It’s just that our teachers seem to think that we don’t have a life outside of college and due to their kind consideration, now we actually don’t have a life outside of college.

So much has been going on lately that I have not had the time or energy to write. I leave for college at eight,come home at five. I change, eat and start working on assignments and projects by six. And then I stay at it till 11:30 or 12 and then I just crash.

I also want to write about so many things that I just can’t pinpoint a single one.

So to tide over my frequent readers, here is the first chapter of the novel I started writing as a teeny-bopper back in 2012:

The Love of a Father – A Vampyr Story

Chapter 1: Survivor

A violent mob. The burning pitchforks. The shouts. That was what Leah Dragos woke up to on the eve of her mother’s death. She was asleep on the hard floor holding her still and cold mother in her lap. She wanted to bury her in the forest behind their hovel, but she was so tired and drained with the tears she had shed and the keening wails she had no control over, that she had dropped off in a dark, haunted, dreamless sleep. Now she realized she would never get to bury her in the way she deserved, because the noisy mob was almost upon her home.

She sighed, she wasn’t afraid; it was merely an inconvenience, a nuisance that these people were presenting her with. She was confident in her abilities to thwart a crowd of “witch” mumbling hooligans. But she would be left without a home. Well I won’t be able to keep the house anyway, where would I get the rent money from? A house, like that’s what it is, a hovel more like it. But the memories, yes the memories…. She was jolted awake from her daydream of good times with her mother and landed back in her bizarre reality, when a particularly loud celebratory cheer on her mother’s death went up outside.

She shut off her emotions then, just like she had so many times before. A trait of hers for which she was called witch. Like it’s the only unnatural one I have. She thought bitterly. Leah’s ‘abilities’, as her mother called them, were a source of fear and trepidation among the village folk. Some said she was cursed at birth, others said she was a changeling, switched at birth by a mighty witch. Others simply claimed she WAS a witch, just like her mother. A monster, a ghost’s child, a shape-shifter. Leah chuckled while she carried her mother’s tiny body to the rotting mattress on the floor. She covered her up in her threadbare shawl and set her hands on her chest.

A tiny pearly tear was all her hardened heart allowed to escape from her eyes. Sorry Mama, you know I love you, but I have to disappear now or it will be too late. Yes, she had a heart as cold as the relentless ice that hardened the ground as she ran from the back of the hovel into the dark woods, but she knew it will be what would keep her alive now.

She was so lost in thought and remorse, that she did not see the dark, lithe figure emerging from the house, with a bundle over its shoulder.

********

He looked at her face; it was starting to discolor now. Silly girl, he thought, what was she thinking sleeping at a time like this! But he was proud of the calm façade she had put on later, he knew how she was hurting, but she hadn’t panicked, she was clever.

He swept a lock of hair from his eternal lover’s face. Eternal? She’s dead! He chided himself on the direction his thoughts were taking. Now’s not the time to revisit the mistakes already made.

He rolled up the sleeves of his raven-black coat, and set to work digging his beloved’s grave. His superhuman strength made short work of it. He cradled Irina’s body in his arms, close to his heart for a moment, before lightly jumping in the cave and placing her on the wet soil. He climbed out and started covering her fragile body with the cool earth. She always was breakable, he thought amusedly, focusing on the better memories of their love, rather than the bitter ones.

He stood up when he was finished; throwing the iron shovel in a tree over his head like it was a feather.

Now to see what my progeny is up too….

********

Leah curled into a ball in the hole made by a hollowed out tree. This was her sanctuary, a place to come to when things got too much for her to bear. It was a beautiful night; the orb-like full moon was hanging in the sky, the stars twinkling. A cool breeze was blowing, but Leah was shielded from its bite by her tree.

She thought about the crazy turn her already crazy life was taking. She realized she would have to live on the streets now. The village was small, but Leah had an idea where she would be safest from the rapers and the murderers.

There was an old abandoned side of the village, named the ‘Ghost Street’ by the villagers. It was said to be haunted. An old legend was famous around these parts, that the mansion at the end of the street was once the abode of a blood-sucking monster, a Lord. His land stretched miles around his home, a village was established there. Apparently the village people revolted against him and burned his house to the ground, seemingly with him inside it. Some said it was his ghost that haunted the place now. Some forms of the legend claimed that the people who had tried to kill him were killed off one by one in painful ways, and they were THEIR spirits that haunted the place now. She thought about what the mansion looked like now, the stone walls were still intact, but the wooden structures were burned. There were abandoned and dilapidated cottages all around the mansion’s ground. Yes, ample shelter, she thought. And nobody would venture out there, the cowards that these people were. A few teenagers on a dare or drunken men maybe, but there were plenty of places to hide out there. She made up her mind and started to uncurl from her fetal position on the hard ground. She picked up her bundle, settling all she had in the world on her shoulders. A dress, a pair of shoes, her mother’s diary, and a book, the only one she owned….

But the most prized possession she owned was around her wrist: a delicate gold bracelet embedded with three blood-red rubies on the front. And at the back were the words “In Aeternitatem”. Her mother had told her they were of an ancient language, meaning ‘for eternity’. She was very protective about it, she had given it to Leah on her 10th birthday, and after that it had always stayed around Leah’s wrist. Once when she was 13, it was a cold and brutal winter, Leah suggested her mother to sell or barter the bracelet, and she had never seen her mother that angry.

Her mother never said who had given it to her, but Leah was clever enough to figure out it must have been her father. Like I should call him that, my sire maybe, not FATHER, what has he done to deserve that name and status in my life? If I could just find him, demand answers, SEE him! Hell, I don’t even know if he’s human!

She wasn’t aware of the shadow trailing behind her, chuckling lightly on his daughter’s thoughts, which were swirling about crystal clear in his head. Her mixed blood had always unconsciously provided her a shield to thwart his telepathy, but not when she was upset and overly emotional. His smile turned into a frown. She must really be hurting then, her mother’s death and her absent father who she thinks abandoned her, if only she knew how much I care…

Just as Leah stopped behind the last row of trees behind his old mansion, he heard the message his second-in-command, his creation, Roman, was sending him through their telepathic link. Sorry child, you’re on your own for now, he thought, sighing.

He whooshed around and disappeared in thin air.

Hasta La Vista, Baby!

Goodbye, Losers!

So Tuesdays have been a bad day for me this semester. Nex-y got stolen on a Tuesday. I have back to back Graphics classes on Tuesday. The-teacher-I-hate-the-most has a class on Tuesday. And the Tuesday of this week was the last straw.

The-teacher-I-hate-the-most has been annoying me and using me as a personal assistant for the whole semester. This tuesday though… Yeah this Tuesday I made a decision.

No more being pushed around. No more being exploited and treated like a donkey. No more being ordered to bring my personal laptop so that Mr. Incompetent could use the multimedia’s help and infect Lappie with various Trojans from his archaic Flash Drives. That person also crossed one line I have no compromise on: Respect.

So I resigned as Class Rep on Wednesday. I typed up a badass letter with my soldier-lawyer-businessman father’s help, gave it to the HOD and set off a chain reaction of change in the University policy. I told them to have the duties of a CR in black and white. I got the task to form that policy. I made another pretty badass document on that and future CRs can now bow down to me in gratitude… Okay maybe shake my hand. If they feel like it. Totally okay if they don’t…

On Thursday I bunked International Terrorism class, went home and slept soundly after a month of stressing and twisting and turning. Here I would like to tell my readers that I like to bunk classes. A lot. Students with less than 70% attendance get their courses dropped, and thats about 6-7 classes. I bunk at least 4 in every course. Funny thing is, that teachers still give me the full 5 marks reserved for attendance or at the most, deduct a 0.5. I guess teachers just love me. That’s why some (most) were heartbroken I was no longer CR. Tough luck, kids. Maybe some other time; when CRs are no longer slaves to students and teachers.

This semester I couldn’t bunk because I was Class Rep. Teachers and students alike always kept an eye on me to make sure I wasn’t skipping. As soon as that pesky responsibility thing was off my shoulders, I was back on track.

It’s not like I’m not a good student, I do have a 3.8 CGPA… But sometimes I just can’t be bothered to take class, because I’m cool like that!

I skip 2-3 classes before midterms and 2-3 after. Now though I have a full set of 5-6 left in every class. Woot.

The other half of semester is gonna be F.U.N!

 

Mama, I’m Still Trying!

Circumstances in our lives and my 5-month disappearance from blogging lost me many of my regular readers, like Elk and Alienora; two people whose opinion meant a lot to me, and who were with me from the start.

They would have known that I do not get along with my mother. At all. I have mentioned this in many of my earlier posts. Now, however, I’m too lazy to go back and dig through everything until I find them. But here’s one, if you’re interested.

So, to any and all new readers, I do not get along with my mother. At all.

In our somewhat segregated society, it is usually the norm for mothers to be their daughters’ confidantes, their best friends and their stylists. Contrarily, from the beginning, it has been my father who was my friend. Any and all advice I received from him, even to the point where I get him to chose between two outfits I want to wear some party! However the dynamic relationship between I and my father is not relevant to this post.

Recently, clashes with my mother have been reaching an all time high. Yesterday, I reached my breaking and snapped at her to “just stop it”.

Still, every night, I lay awake and think about all my friends who hang out with their mothers and snap funny selfies, and who sleep with their heads in their mothers’ laps. These girls think I have the perfect life. I have a supportive, liberal family, a 3.84 CGPA, a laptop, a phone, a car whenever I need it. I’m good at almost everything I do, teachers love me, I make my own living and the list goes on and on.

Little do they know how much I envy them.

They have the one thing I’ve never had; so I try. My siblings have long since stopped trying. They no longer get hurt when Mother ridicules them in front of servants or taunts them in front of guest.

I however, still try.

Sometimes at night I just want to go and hug her tight. But I don’t, because I can never be sure whether she’ll push me away, give a scathing remark or hug me back.

Sometimes I just want to talk to her. Really talk to her. And find what goes on in her head that she resents us so much.

Sometimes I just want her to say she’s proud of me.

So I try.

I tell her about my Computer Graphics assignment and show her the designs I made. She nods. I tell her about how girls had dressed up today, skipped class and hung out because the weather was nice. She nods. I tell her about how my teachers said they were proud to have me as a student. She nods. I tell her about how a famous political analyst is my teacher at college. She nods.

I say something about the maid. She explodes. I say something about food. She explodes. I say something about my maternal relatives. She explodes. I say something about her favorite child. She explodes. I say one ordinary word out of context and she explodes. She mocks me.

I cry. My sisters ask me why do I still care? Why do I still try so hard to be her daughter? Why do I still take what she says to heart?

I have no answer to give them.

Except the fact that she’s my mother. A mother’s love is supposed to be unconditional and all-consuming, is it not?

Is it so wrong of me to want that?

Theft

I have grown up more in the past one year, then I ever had in the previous eighteen. And unfortunately for me, growing up has been synonymous with losing faith in humanity and becoming an overall pessimist.

Leaving school was like popping out of a huge soap bubble with flexible, pleasant smelling, rainbow-colored walls.

Entering college was like entering a new world, a better world. Everything was awe-inspiring, everything was flawless.

Until, a few months later, the rose colored glasses fell off and fell to the ground near my feet. I, in my blind haste to achieve new experiences, accidently stepped on them. They got crushed in a million little glass shards that glittered underneath my feet. From there, things kept deteriorating day by day until life became a mundane mess.

The final blow to my still somewhat cheery worldview took place on Tuesday the 14th of October.

It was an overcast rainy day, the kind I like the most.

Class ended at 9:50 and we, I and 6 others, sat and stood around a bench under a shade; discussing a mock business meeting that is taking place on Monday. Being the managers of a fictional company, we were discussing various policies when I distractedly placed my bag on the bench and sat down next to it to note down some points.

Around 11, when I decided to check my phone, I opened my bag’s front pocket and discovered that it was missing. Panic ensued. Calls were made frantically to my number by my friends, only to find the number switched off. CCTV camera footage was requested and viewed over and again. My family was informed.

It was indeed proven, that my LG Nexus 4, something I had bought after much research and saving up, had been stolen.

I have my hunch as to who took it, but I can not do anything without proof. Having the IMEI number and enough contacts in telecom companies and various intelligence departments, my father and brother are confident that the phone will be found soon.

I am not that concerned about the phone itself, or its contents; I regularly upload data to Google Drive and had my contacts synced with GMail. I remotely wiped the device using Android Device Manager and set up a password lock screen on it.

What I am concerned about is the principle. Why, in an educational institution, will a relatively well-to-do person resort to stealing?

Meanwhile, I am back to using my old HTC Desire S with the cracked screen. And everytime I pick up this phone, I think of the person who stole my well-earned property, and I again promise myself that I will find the culprit. Soon.

That person, whomsoever he/she is, decided to steal the wrong person’s cell phone.

Related Reads:

9 Pre-College Tips to Know

A “phone-y” conundrum

Breaking Rules And Protecting Identities

What makes me, me? What makes you, you?

What makes John, John? And Jack, Jack? If John and Jack were dressed identically, would you be able to figure out their personality traits? Both are reserved and quiet. Both walk with their heads down. Would you look at them closely enough to see that the twinkle in Jack’s eyes, is lacking in John’s? Would you want to spend enough time with them to know that John smiles wider than Jack? Would you even give them a second glance if both wore grey coveralls? If both carried subdued expressions? If neither had a single article present on them, that displayed their uniqueness and their individuality?

For me, the hair, the face, the body, the dresses and the shoes, the accessories, mean more than just physical, material things. If I had not dyed my hair red, I would not feel like myself. The red in my hair symbolizes my fiery temper, and my confidence that yes, I can, and do, walk like a queen even when the tips of my hair are a brilliant red (a thing unheard of in Pakistan). Sometimes, I temporarily dye a chunk of my hair green, or magenta, or blue because I  feel like it and to show that I do not shy away from being different.

I have several logical reasons for not wearing a Dupatta, and I compensate covering myself with wearing extremely loose clothes. My family understands that.

I like to wear jewelry. I have drawers full of pieces from all over the world; UK, America, Turkey, Dubai, Malaysia… Jewelry is a form of self-expression for me.

I wear a cross body bag and am the only girl in my college to do so.

The people who are imposing a dress code in my university, have not only taken away my forms of self-expression, but they have also snatched my identity.

My father has never imposed religion on any of his children. We have to make that choice ourselves. The only thing emphasised upon in my family is the pursuit of knowledge and truth, and it is understood that at the end of our journey, we will find Islam. Hence why one of my sisters is a Hijabi, but others are not. Hence why my mother prays five times a day, my father does not. We may have been born namely as Muslims, but we will not be true Muslims unless we, ourselves, find Islam great and follow its teachings to the tee.

Then who is the university management to make that choice for me? I am not ashamed to call myself a liberal, neither is my father. Who are they, then, to turn me into a hardcore Muslim? It is my job to worry about my Hereafter, not theirs.

My hair, my clothes, my jewelry is what makes me, me.

Women of my university, from September 22nd, are not allowed to do the following:

  • Wear jeans. The most bullshit of all rules. No jeans? Where do we live? in Victorian London?
  • Wear tights. Tights are worn under long shirts and frocks in Pakistan. Now, the only thing we can wear are trousers or Shalwars.
  • Wear jewelry.
  • Wear high-heeled shoes.
  • Wear bright colors. Only “sober” colors are allowed.
  • Wear short shirts i.e blouses or t-shirts.
  • No entry without a dupatta around the neck. The proverbial leash that all women in the subcontinent have to wear, so that the men are placated. Frikking perverts.
  • Sit with male members inside the classroom. Females sit in the front, males at the back. Separate, so that not even an accidental touch can occur.

Today, I wore my black dress pants under a knee length Kameez. There was no way I could wear the cotton pajamas girls usually wear. I need my pockets and I’ll keep them, thank you very much!

I wore black, to fit with my mood.

I wrapped a thick black Dupatta around my neck, which kept tangling with my ID badge and bag’s strap, and kept my neck so hot I developed a rash.

I wore sandals with a 3-inch platform, since a “no-platform” rule has not been imposed yet.

I drew the line at jewelry. I wore an onyx pendant bought from an obscure handicraft shop in my city, earrings bought from the leading elite gift shop in the country, bracelets my sister bought for me from Istanbul, Turkey, and a ring bought from a street vendor at the local market. Each piece had a story, and sentiment, behind it. I was ready to say a big Fuck You to anyone who even dared to ask me to take off my jewelry.

Despite the hot weather, I let down my thick hair so that the red tips were glaringly visible.

Today, I changed myself for people who mean shit to me, because at the end of the day, I am a person who follows the rules. With maybe just a toe out of line. It is in my nature to rebel.

Today, I was taught a lesson on How to be a Hypocrite. Because, I threw off the leash around my neck the second I was in my bus. Because, we were told by the new Discipline Head, a person I admire (or admired) a lot, that she didn’t care how we dressed outside the gates, but inside we follow the rules. Is that not teaching us hypocrisy?

Today, I realized that survival in this Godforsaken country I call home is fast becoming impossible for people like me. People who are not hypocrites, people who have an identity of their own. People who are, God forbid it, liberal.

Today, I also saw several girls who were not following the dress code and were still allowed to enter the college premises.

Tomorrow, I will also be of them. I will wear jeans, and I will not wear a dupatta. The discomfort and the identity crisis I went through today, I will not face ever again.

I am me.

No matter how shallow I may sound, these are things that make me, me.

And I no longer follow rules that have little logic behind them. Rules made by sick old men who can’t bear to see young girls out in the world, learning their rights and talking to males (oh, the horror)!

Ashes

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

Ash. It fascinates me. I believe in the principle many religions have in common…

From this Earth we were risen, to this earth we shall return. Form this dust we were sculpted, to this dust we shall return. Everything will, at its end, turn into dust and ash.

Everything will eventually burn itself out.

Even the Sun may, in a cataclysmic event that changes the course of the universe, burn itself and turn into nothing but a suspended cloud of glittering ash, hovering in the vast nothingness we call space.

Everything is volatile. Fate is volatile. One broken thread, one action, one word can change the past present and future of one or many people. Everything is flammable. And its burning is inevitable.

Everything burns.

With the course of time it fizzles out, leaving behind nothing but an acrid smell and a pile of ashes.

Everything turns into ashes.

Ashes. Are they not fascinating? A thing that was once alive, reduced to nothing but tiny particles. All the essence of its life, its virility, destined to be nothing but a grey mound. Is this why it is said that the phoenix rises from its ashes?

I believe it does. To me a phoenix is not a mythical creature, instead it is a metaphor that goes well with my life and I believe, every person’s, life.

Segments of our life start as sparks and gradually turn into small flames. We nurture and feed those flames until a bright, brilliant fire is lit. We bask in its heat. But, as is the course of nature, the brilliance of the flame slowly begins to dwindle. A wind blows. The flames flicker. Raindrops fall. The flames are about to die out. What can you do to stop it? Can you stop the wind that blows? Can you shelter the flames from the torrential rain? Do you add fuel to the fire? One day you will run out of fuel as well. One day the fire will burn out. And you will be left cold and bereft, staring into a pile of ashes and watching the glowing embers as they slowly fade into darkness.

For me, many fires have been extinguished over time. Some had water thrown on them, some became covered with sand over time. Some were stomped out in a fit of rage. And some just burned and burned without being watched over, and died with time.

I have never been able to add much fuel to my fires. After nurturing the flames for a while, I grow tired and bored.

I have lost many opportunities in the past year. Some I gave up myself and now regret, some were taken away from me

I have started many fires in the past year. Some remain lit, some have fizzled. All have been forgotten.

I have started many friendships in the past year. All have deteriorated.

I am, in this vast world full of dust and ashes, a lost soul. An alien that is seldom understood. Whose expectations can never be met.

A lonely existence is deadly. When you keep secrets to yourself because you have no one to share them with, when you yearn to laugh and wander about with friends, but can’t, when you have dreams that cannot be achieved due to circumstance or lack of motivation, when you have goals you cannot accomplish without support, you burn on the inside.

It becomes too much and you turn into fire.

And we all know what happens to fire; it turns into ash.

But from the ash, rises a phoenix. Beautiful, majestic. With wings that span the length of a room, with talons that can cut through the hardest of steels, rises a phoenix. Calm and wise, it spreads it’s wings and soars into the air. Alone, watching, listening, thinking, it observes the people it once called friends from its otherworldly view. It pays them no heed but turns it’s head to the Sun and determines to rise as high as that flaming ball on its own.

A new era has began. I am a phoenix, rising from the ashes of the last three month’s betrayals, broken trusts, lies and hopelessness. From the utter lack of motivation and passion. From the letdown of having no recognition of my talents whatsoever. From the insecurities that have been ingrained into me since childhood.

I have not lived on this Earth for almost two decades only to hide in the shadows and flutter about like blown ashes.

I must rise like a phoenix to blind those who doubt me with my brilliance and my light. A phoenix, a solitary creature, that does not require the fake support of masked hypocrites who only want me to turn into ashes.

For me, That day has not come yet. When it does, all will be earth to earth, dust to dust and ashes to ashes…

Thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. – The Bible, Genesis 3:19

From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time. – The Quran, Taha 20:55