I am writing after so long that the feel of my laptop’s keys seem unfamiliar to my fingertips. I am making a lot of typos, pressing ‘t’ instead of ‘y’ and writing ‘og’ instead of ‘of’. The layout of the laptop which was ingrained into my muscle memory now feels cold and foreign to my touch.

My head is stuffed with questions and answers; answers which ignite more questions and the cycle continues to spin around and around and around until my mind feels it has been through the spin cycle of a cranky old washing machine.

The month of December 2014 was a nightmare; for me, for my family, for my friends and for my countrymen. Illness, blood, violence, loss; both loss of life and material, followed me like a perverted shadow. I went through a phase of extreme procrastination and depression. Even music, my saviour, lost its charm; King Crimson started to make me physically sick. I have already talked about my phases on my blog and those who are my loyal readers will know.

Oh, my loyal readers! Half the reason I did not start writing again was due to my shame of facing those I had forgotten about. How I had made friendships and left those sweet people hanging, never even reading or contemplating on their own words of woe. For that, I am very sorry.

Every time I return to the world of writing after an unannounced hiatus, I promise my readers I’ll continue writing regularly now. But this time, I will not make another hollow promise. I may not return to the world of WordPress for another two months, for a year, or forever; I do not know.

As the year drew to a close, the nightmare began with the martyrdom of more than 141 students and teachers whose only fault was to attend one of the most prestigious schools in the country. The sentiments of each and every Pakistani were hard to understand. We all felt guilty, angry, depressed and helpless.

It continued when all educational institutions in my country were closed down due to the looming threat of similar attacks. My own university which was founded by our Army’s welfare organization, Fauji Foundation, had received such threats. The last time I was on university premises was on Friday, the 19th of December. We have not been allowed to even step foot inside the college building since then. While us students stay at home and “enjoy”, my university is being renovated into a fortress for our protection.

I have had all the time in the world to contemplate on what was happening around me, and my thoughts dragged me down into a black hole.

While all this was going on, I fell ill and during the course of three days I had had my share of 13 intravenous and 6 muscular injections which my father administered twice a day. For more than four days I did not eat a single bite or took a single sip of water. I spent New Year’s Eve staring at the ceiling of my mother’s room which had been turned into a temporary hospital room. And at the end, it turned out all the medication was just a precaution and a result of misdiagnosis. I had only suffered a severe case of vertigo which had unsettled my stomach, while I was treated for complete intestinal obstruction!

While I was ill, my chronically ill paternal aunt’s condition also worsened. Her kidneys were failing and she was rushed to several hospitals during the course of 5 hours by my brother and cousins. My siblings and my father simultaneously took care of two severely ill loved ones, and I shall never forget their dedication.

As I recovered, my father’s health dropped. At the age of almost 7 decades he has no chronic illness except a deficiency of B-12 and the tendency to stress over things, resulting in higher blood pressure. It was my fault that he had high BP during the course of my illness and days after that. He says he is better now, but the doctor will determine that tomorrow.

I caught up with numerous semester final projects which were due in 3 days.  I slept at 3 AM and woke at 9 AM to try my best to save my 3.8/4 grade point average.

On the 10th of January, I turned 20. Two decades of my life closed among chaos.  But it was not complete chaos. As with every dark cloud, the silver lining had begun to emerge a few days before my birthday. One of my sisters got the job she always wanted while the other had a substantial pay raise which had her dancing at regular intervals during the day. They are also upgrading their car. My father’s business is booming. My aunt, after finally agreeing to dialysis, is now successfully on the road to recovery. She visited on my birthday and brought balloons and gave me cash. She looked groomed and healthy and was even talking about getting a new haircut.

My personal silver lining happens to be the existential crisis I am going through. It may seem like a conundrum to some, and yes it is terribly tiring to think so much, but introspection is something that was required. Ignorance is bliss until you get yanked out of it by a series of unfortunate events. Nonchalance never works out in the long run. Writing, what I had been calling ‘passion’ for lack of a better one, might not be after all. ‘Art’ which I had pushed away indifferently may as well be. But that too, does not make my eyes shine anymore so I am looking for something that does.

I am looking for my ‘calling’, a purpose of existing. For a dream, an aim, which will turn my humdrum existence into what we call life. I finally understand that to live and to exist are two very different things, and I am tired of simply existing like a leaf blowing in the wind.

To life; I hope it comes to me soon.



I have always been fascinated with all the hype about “midlife crises”. It’s interesting to note how, at the prime of adulthood, a person loses all sense of direction and truly begins to discover himself, shedding away inhibitions and exploring his soul and mind.

I do not know whether such a thing actually exists or not, but I believe in a transitioning-from-teen-to-adult life crisis as well. Yeah, the name needs work, but atleast it’s self-explanatory.

It’s eye-opening to realize that in less than three months, I will no longer be a “teen”. As of the tenth of January, I will have spent two decades on Earth. The big two-zero. A score. And when I think of what I have accomplished in these 20 years, disappointingly less come to mind.

Have I learnt how to play an instrument? No. Have I won trophies in some sport? No. Have I achieved top positions in national examinations? No. Have I learnt a skill, have I changed someone’s life for good, have I made a difference in the world? No, no and no.

Even the plans I had for the future, have gone haywire. My mind is like the fragmented hard disk on a clunky old Pentium 3 PC. The data is there, the extra storage space is there, but it’s all scrambled in completely unusable bits and pieces. The program files are going corrupt one by one, the malware is creating problems in boot operations and the storage space is so all-over-the-place that it can’t be utilized.

What I need is perspective. What I need is drive. What I need is a mentor. What I need is solitude. I need to climb the Tibetan mountains and meditate along with the Nepali monks until I’ve got my head back in the game. I want someone to talk me through what I want and what I need.

Because if I keep going the the way I am, I will just be another moderately above-average student who like to read and write. And eventually my biggest fear will come true, fading into the shadows, becoming one of the ‘sheeple’.

I’m tired of hopping from one path to another. I want to be a lawyer. No. I want to be a journalist. Okay. I want to change my country and go into politics. Really? Well no, I’ve changed my mind. I have no hope left. I now want to leave the country. Okay, how? Well… I’m sure I’ll think of something.

I am also tired of keeping up appearances. The antiquated P3 is not going to give the same performance as the sleek new workstation with the Core i5 no matter how hard it tries. So I believe it is time to defragment the hard-disk, clear the recycle bin, change the RAM and replace the processor with a top of the line one. A new sound card and graphic processor, and I’ll be a new machine in no time.

Then all that’ll be left would be to figure out what is that machine’s purpose?