The Freedom To Pursue One’s Dream.  

As long as I can remember,I have always been a dreamer. I always dreamed about going to different places on my own without any supervision. Always dreamed about travelling to such places which aren’t typical famous tourist destinations. I want to go camping and sleep under the stars, just me, my backpack and nature. 

As a woman who belongs to a typical Pakistani family, dream like this can highly likely just remain a dream forever. You get to hear things like, do whatever you wanna do but after marriage. But, who knows what kinda person you are marrying ? What if he doesn’t understand and support your dreams?. Then what ? I tell you what will happen then you will just have to forget about your dream and get busy in your married life because that’s what I have seen happening to countless of girls and I am afraid someday I will also become part of that crowd who had given up their dreams because of their husbands or kids. 

For someone who have always lived her life under supervision, freedom to travel alone means a lot.I won’t malign my parents image by travelling alone. Most people think giving that much freedom to a girl is not ok and if a girl gets that much freedom then she can easily get out of control and then she will start wearing skimpy dresses, start drinking alcohol and will basically lose her sense of right and wrong. This mentality is so ingrained in our culture that even many of the so called modern men also have such views and that’s just sickening. 

I don’t know why a woman who travel or study abroad is genarally not considered as a good girl. People are afraid we will become too ‘westernized’ and just abandon our culture and religion the moment we will set foot in a foreign soil. The absurdity of it all boggles my mind sometimes. 

Let a girl dream. Support her dream. Help her to shine in this modern world. Trust her. She won’t abandon her values.  Just give her the benifit of a doubt. She is a human being after all, who has a right to pursue her dreams. Don’t clip her wings. Let her fly. 

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Quotes From One of My Favorite Books.

  • ​”Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”
  • “I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot”
  • “Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do”
  • “I can’t explain what I mean. And even If I could, I am not sure I’d feel like it. “
  • “When you are not looking somebody will sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose.”
  • “I am always saying “glad to have met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.”
  • “I like it when somebody gets excited about something.It’s nice”
  • “People never notice anything.”
  • “Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row.”

These quotes are taken from the book ‘The catcher in the Rye’ by J.D Salinger. It’s one of those books that honestly explains the confusion and chaos one goes  at some point in life.I love this book for its honest portrayal of human emotions and thoughts. 

Lonely In A Crowd.

I belong in a society where it’s the norm to live with your parents even when you are an adult and there is also a concept of joint family where two or more families live together in one house. So, you are not really alone in your home, there are always couple of people who live with you. 

Also, desi people often visit the houses of their relatives or the relatives come to your house. So, there is always a chance a relative might visit on a weekend or on practically any day of the week. 

But still you feel lonely. I have always had problems in really connecting with other people. I often prefer that people tell me about their hobbies or things that they are interested in instead of just sharing gossips about other people. 

I personally feel most people don’t talk about their passions and their dreams. Small talk bores me. I feel kinda disconnected with people who just want to talk about clothes, or makeup or cars or other material things. Just talking about these things can be extremely exhausting for me and I lose interest.

Mostly, I feel connected to people who talk about books they have read or movies they have seen or the places they have visited and people they have met. Also, I love it when old people tell me stories about their past. How life was in the 60s or 70s or 80s. It makes you wonder how differently they see the world from the new generation. 

Rarely, have I ever come across someone who has similar interests as me and who likes to talk about similar things as me. 

So, yeah if you dont have anyone in your life who truly understands you then even in a house full of people you feel utterly lonely and if you just have this one person in your life who gets you then you will never feel lonely in your life.

sometimes one person can make all the difference in your life.  

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Part two of the things that I love.   

  • Reading novels during rainy days.
  • Sometines watching 90’s and early 2000’s cartoons.  Dexter’s laboratory is my all time favorite cartoon and also courage the cowardly dog show. 
  • Watching old movies. Some of my most favorite are Rebbeca, Shahenshah(Hindi movie) and My Fair Lady(I love Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady).
  • Quietly listening to sounds coming from outside during winter time eg sound of cars passing outside my home or kids playing outside. (Makes me feel connected with the world.
  • Listening to old songs. I like to listen to old Hindi songs, Urdu gazals and English songs sometimes. My favorite Urdu gazal is ‘Tum itna jo muskura rahay’ ho by  late Jagjit Singh, one of my favorite Hindi songs is ‘tujhse naraz nahe zindagi’ but I think it also falls under the category of  Urdu gazal as well( as hindi and urdu sound very much alike and many Indian songs are in urdu so it gets confusing  for me sometimes under which category the song falls.). One of my favorite old English song is ‘bang bang’ by Nancy Sinatra. Just realized all of these songs are kinda melodramatic. Lol. 

Predators and Safety.

Today, the local news was filled with news of a 7- year old girl Zainab who was raped, killed and then was dumped in an area where people throw garbage. Many people shared the picture of her lifeless body which was lying on a pile of garbage. One side of her body was visible in the picture and you could clearly see that one of her hand which was visible was tightly closed in a fist.

Kasur is an area where incidents like these happen a lot and in 2015, a gang of child sexual abusers in Kasur were brought to light who had been kidnapping children belonging to poor families, recording the heinous act and then threatening their families that if they complained then those videos will be released on the internet. Even after the threats, many families went to the police for help but the families claim the police didn’t help them but instead protected the people who were involved in such activities because those people knew the influential local politicians and those politicians were pressurizing police to downplay the incident. The media found horrible details of about 300 children being videotaped while being sexually abused. The most disgusting thing about it is that it had been happening for years and was only brought to light due to massive protests by many families and their clashes with the police.

For Zainab hundreds of people are protesting on roads, thousands are protesting via social media. I want justice for her. It’s good that people are demanding justice for Zainab. There is even CCTV footage of her with a man shortly before she died. It’s speculated that that man was the monster who committed such a horrible act.

But the thing is, I am just sick of it, I am just sick of the people who commit such acts and sick of the people who try to protect such animals. I am just sick that only after protests authorities take action and nothing viable is done to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place. I mean, safety is nothing but an illusion in some places and that is a bitter truth. I hope this all changes, I hope for a better tomorrow for our children.

For The Love Of  Views And Likes!

So, lately, the internet was full of news about a YouTuber Logan Paul who apparently many kids love and adore and follow on different social media platforms. The news, in a nutshell, was that he recorded video of a dead man who had probably committed suicide and Logan was just standing near the dead man’s body and commenting and stuff and he uploaded that video on YouTube which is now deleted.

I am writing about this now is because I have seen how social media had made people greedy for likes. Heck, even I have sometimes posted certain statuses on Facebook just to garner a huge number of likes. It makes you feel good, it makes you feel appreciated and it makes you feel popular.

The thing which is alarming about it is people going to extreme lengths to get views or likes or subscribers. The Logan Paul controversy reminded me of an incident that happened about a year ago in which people shared pictures of a kid who died in a road accident while he was going to school in the morning. Those pictures showed the horrible injuries the kid suffered due to the accident, he was lying in a pool of blood and his injuries were shown clearly on the picture and some social media pages shared those pictures which got shared by hundreds of people and it made me think how disgusting was it to take pictures of a dead kid in that state! How unethical and absolutely disgusting of the pages to share the pictures just to get likes and comments !. Some people literally become so obsessed with getting social media fame and attention that they don’t realize that they are doing something completely disgusting and unethical. Without even giving a second thought people just shared the pictures of the kid. You invaded a dead person’s privacy people and you took advantage of a situation in which the kid obviously was completely vulnerable. The person who took the pictures didn’t realize that at all. For him or her, it was news material and I believe in this ‘age of striving for social media popularity’, many people seem to have lost common sense and basic decency to just get a huge amount of likes.

I fear that there will be a time when doing such things will be considered as normal and we would become desensitized to such incidents.

An open letter to Pakistani Society.

Dear Society,

I want to be a free woman.

Free from your judgements and hurtful gossips.

Free from the expectations of how a good girl should behave in a society. (Basically, she shouldn’t have an opinion and she should just focus on making good food and maintaining a household because that’s what is eventually the only thing she will do after marriage)

Free from the expectations of just getting married and having kids as my top priority or my only priority for that matter.

Free from the label of ‘larki hatho say nikal gaye'(which basically means the girl has gone astray) if I want to do something different from what’s generally expected of me.

Free from the ridiculous expectation of saving a marriage no matter what. No matter if my husband turn out to be physically or emotionally abusive because you tell me that a woman is born to compromise in a relationship and a divorced woman basically becomes a social pariah and a topic of gossip…so it’s always better to save the marriage even if I am suffering because a woman’s social status is defined first by her father, then by her husband and then by her son and without them she is nothing.

Free from the belief that my individuality as a human being means nothing.   Basically, when I was born I became a daughter, when I will get married I will become a wife and when I will give birth I will become a mother and that’s what all I will be in my life.

Let me breathe and be free. I know my values, you don’t have to constantly remind me of my values like I am a toddler who needs to be taught what she should do again and again. I am an adult woman, I will never do something that is against my morals. I will never engage in activities that might hurt me or my family.

Have faith in me and let me be a free and independent woman.

Expectations And Depression.

I think one of the reasons of depression is not coming up to your own expectations. For me at least that’s one of the main reasons.  I always thought by the time I will be at a certain age I would have achieved so much in life. Like, right now I would have gotten admission on scholarship abroad probably somewhere in Europe for my post-grad. But things don’t always work like you imagine them to work and that can sometimes be soul crushing. Studying in a uni abroad was one of my most older and important dreams and when I didn’t get the scholarship I worked hard for about 3 months it was just painful as Hell.  Most people don’t seem to get why am I so upset over it but they don’t know what studying abroad means to me. It means widening your horizons, it means freedom, it means independence, it means finally getting out of your comfort zone and going somewhere else on your own. For someone who has lived practically all her life in the same city moving to another country even for a year or two means a lot. As a girl, I want to experience that freedom because I am scared that within few years I would end up getting married and then get busy in settling in and raising kids like most of the women do here and my dream would just take a backseat.  And that thought is one of the most depressing and heartbreaking thoughts I have ever had.

I don’t know if I am making any sense with this post or not because I am not even going to edit it later on, I am just writing what I am thinking in real time. It’s just sad, scary and depressing like Hell when you don’t meet up your own expectations.

The Blogging Community. 

Blogging is like healing for me.  I write what I feel like because you can’t always express your opinions in front of other people because of fear of judgement and because you yourself feel uncomfortable in opening up to people. So, blogging is my way of expressing what I really think. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I am part of a community because I read other people’s blogs and I realized that even though we have different religious beliefs, we live in different parts of the world and our cultures are completely different but basically our sense of right and wrong doesn’t differ much. It’s amazing to find people who kinda think like me even though they live in different part of the world. It’s nice when you get to find people who are going through the same confusion that you feel in your life. It makes you feel like you are not the only one who feels that way and that’s ok. There are so many people who feel like you feel right now and they are coping up with it wonderfully and by reading their stories, I feel maybe this too shall pass and a new day will begin and you don’t feel so alone anymore. That’s the great thing about being part of a community. They make you feel like Tomorrow is going to be better than today.

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