August 15th, 2018

Tagged. Here.15

Lost, are we? Why else would you be here? It isn’t as if this blog gets updated even on a monthly basis. One could not possibly explain a visit to this blog by stating one’s deep desire to find out what the latest update was about, or by maintaining  just how interesting one found this place continuously. The last update here was a month ago. The update before last was four months before that, and the one preceding that a good five months earlier. Yet, you are here. We know that for a fact. You have to be here if you are reading this, and if you are here one has to wonder what it is that brings you here. All evidence suggests you are lost in this virtual labyrinth, and have come to this dreadful dead-end in your quest to find your way to whatever it is you are trying to find your way to. Or perhaps you are not lost. If you are not lost, chances are you are here because you have been sent here by the kindly people who tag me in the hope of jump starting me back into regular blogging. Don’t ask me why they would want that. Beats me. I wouldn’t  jump-start my blogging.

As matters stand, Owl has tagged me thus: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged.

Owlie, now that I have got around to doing this tag, you owe me a big tray of those delicious date cookies of yours – simply because I have refrained from blogging all this while because I have not felt like putting my shortcomings up for public scrutiny, and now you are getting me to put 16 of them here. Here goes then:

1. I have not the faintest idea how to go about this. This is random enough.

2. I once made a paper plane that was airborne for far longer than it is appropriate for a paper plane to be. I was seven then, and never took that as a sign for me to take up engineering.

3. I have never played any sport regularly, except perhaps Soccer which I played from 6th standard till the 12th. We called it football, and I still do. I am calling it soccer for your convenience. Communication is a strong point with me. I used to play goalkeeper. I was the default goalkeeper because I was too bad at any other position. Eventually, I improved my goal keeping – to the extent where I was nominated the official goal keeper for the 9th standard team. I was also in the 9th standard then. Just in case you wondered. I stopped playing after I conceded 11 goals in the 20-minute recess playing against the 9th standard boys. I was in the 12th standard at the time.

4. Communication is a strong point with me – and yet, my communication skills seem to have been on a downhill ride for the past couple of years.

5. I often forget what I was saying, and when I do remember what I was saying I forget who I was saying it to. Often I also forget why I was saying what I was saying. My life has become an exercise in putting the pieces of my conversational puzzles together.

6. I am a terrible listener. Yet, there are those whom I love listening to -  so much so that I refuse to answer phones when I am listening to them.

7. I have learned to stay away from swimming and all manner of water-sport. Of the three occasions I have ventured into a swimming pool, I have been dragged out by the life guard on two occasions. The only time I summoned the courage to wade into the sea, I had to be rescued by Jalali Baba. The sea was not more than 6 feet deep at that spot.

8. Water and dogs hate me. They sense and smell my fear respectively. I love water. I don’t hate dogs. Such a pity dogs don’t read – or else perhaps this admission could have cleared decades of unnecesary bad blood. If you have a dog, let him know. Help spread the word, save the world etc…

9. There was a time when I had not a single trouser in my wardrobe which was not torn at the knees – an understandable consequence of my reliance on a motor-bike to get about the town.

10. A motor bike accident was also the reason for my closest brush with a sad demise. When the truck came to a halt, they had to drag me out from under it by the ankles. The twin-tyres left a lasting mark on ribcage area, which looks like the map of Lahore I think; and a patch of hair missing on my head. I was 19. It was a garbage truck hence the ‘sad’ preceding ‘demise’. I was on a bike the next afternoon, and was duly given a dressing down by my sister-in-law upon my return. The incident also taught me that I won’t die until it is time for me to die. And when it is time for me to die, I will die. In that way, it helped prepare me for death.

11. I have always had OCD. Or something bordering on OCD.

12. Music brings tears to my eyes. Sometimes.

13. Onions do too. Quite often.

14. As does a punch on my nose. Always.

15. On the down side, I lack discipline, punctuality, wisdom, survival instinct, competitiveness, a deep knowledge of any subject, ability to control my appetite, and enough water in my system.

16. On the upside, I do not lack compassion. I love easily and deeply. I try to forgive easily.  Alhamdulilah.

And now to tag 16 people who have not been tagged already. I don’t think there are 16 bloggers out there who will respond if I tag them, but if you are reading this, even if you arrived here after getting lost, you are tagged.

Additionally, A, Saadat, Asma, and Adnan you are all tagged.

The thing about ‘New Years’0

The Ushering in of a New Year:

In a few hours from now, the Sun will begin to rise. From all the fanfare that has been the prelude to this particular celestial event over the past couple of days, I am convinced that the Sun will be square when it rises, and might just be pentagonal, hexagonal, or heptagonal. Whatever shape it takes, it is not going to be the round boring thing it has been for the past 365 days, and for millions of 365-day units before that. And the light will be different – in speed, in brightness, and in properties. Quite likely, it is going to change its path as well, and might just start following a completely new modus operandi. Perhaps, it will split into two identical, or not identical, parts and each part will move in opposite direction until the two parts go a half circle to meet on the other side of the earth and repel each other back to their original positions. The earth will take a rest from its revolving around the sun, the length of the day will be halved and a chain of events will follow which will change the way life has existed on earth quite fundamentally.

Actually, I had expected something drastic to happen at midnight. I am not entirely sure exactly what it was I had expected. I had worried about the possibility that earth might decide to orbit at twice the speed it has followed over the past few millenia, or the risk that human kind and all other species might begin to undergo a fundamental change in their respiratory behavior, thereby making the need for pure oxygen redundant, and bringing about an increased dependence on polluted fumes for healthy living.

I still expect that when we wake up tomorrow morning, we will all be peace loving human beings, who will not esort to genocides and massacres whenever they have the power to inflict pain and misery on fellow human beings; that we will have abundant food for every inhabitant of the earth, human or not, in a ‘developed’ country or not, and ‘white’ or not. I am convinced that there will be no sicknesses, physical or spiritual, which cannot be cured through a prayer, an apple a day and a glass of milk, all of which will be in abundant supply all the time for everybody. I know that people will wake up feeling the need to reach out to their human brethren in times of need, and will find nothing but love for Allah’s creation in their hearts. No houses will be destroyed by man-made machines carrying firepower, no families will be burried under the rubble of their own house, no widows and orphans will rise from the debris of happy families, and no-one will live in fear of a fellow human. Most importantly, I am sure that people will wake up tomorrow morning with the clear realization and deep understanding of the fact that Allah Almighty is the creator of the Universe and to Him we shall all return and hence for Him shall all our actions be. Tomorrow, the 1st of January, 2009, will be  day of happiness, contentment, joy, love, happiness and well-being. Or at least, tomorrow shall be a day when everything will go back to the way it was exactly a year ago, no people will have died at the hands of their fellow humans, or of hunger or disease and we will get another go at not making the mistakes we made this year, right?

At least that is what it seems like from the joy with which people have been going about celebrating what is otherwise nothing but a mere change of date. The scenes of celebration, the anticipation of this change in date on this particular day must mark something more meaningful and deeper than just a change in a number. Perhaps, it marks the end of a year of achievements, or otherwise of a year of misery giving way to a year of prosperity and happiness; because if you ask me, if it is none of the above, what really is all the hoopla about?

What shall be different when I wake up? What am I supposed to be celebrating?

The New Year Resolution:

This is another peculiar thing one hears about as the 365th day comes to an end. People draw up and make new year resolutions to be better people, to be healthier people, to be less wrong and more right, to drop their bad habits and cultivate new good ones starting ‘tomorrow’. I am sorry, but if our resolve reserves are refilled on this particular date, I have been deprived of this disciplined refilling for all of my life. Why do people wait for it to be a certain date before they make their resolutions to be better and less bad people? What has one got to do with another? Who says you cannot make a resolution at 12.23 pm on May 17? Who says your exercise regime cannot begin on August 23 at 6:00 am? Who says I get less than 12 months if I make a resolution at 5:39 pm on April 03? If I must measure myself for a year on how well I do on a resolution, why can’t I do it from April 03 to April 02? Why must I wait another nine months to put that resoltuion into motion?

Why can’t people take stock of who they are, who they want to be, what they can be every day every minute?

Who says January 01 is all it is made out to be?

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