Archive for July, 2008


Nostalgia… Or Advice That Actually Made Sense?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….

You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind… the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

– Wear Sunscreen – Baz Lurhman –


Raindrops are Falling on My Head….

It is gorgeous out today…

No other city in the world looks the way Islamabad does in the rain.  Grey skies, a cool, fresh breeze and raindrops are falling on my head…  Okay!  I almost went tra-la-la-laing into a Fred Astaire kind of clicking my heels move..

I want a huge platter of pakoras, steaming hot, served with spicy, fresh coriander and mint chutney and a piping hot cup of tea brewed till you can hear the sizzle as you pour it into the cup…  I want to walk up to Pir Sohawa in with the rain spraying my face and the wind in my hair… 

Most of all, I want to share all this with…

The Damn ringing telephone!!! 

… Nothing like a cell phone to jolt one from utopia and turn away from the window with a sigh and return to work!


Blueberry Muffins At Last

Biting into yum yum goodness… Sigh!  Can’t believe there were only two!  I was scrappy enough to actually split one just so I could savour its delectable fruitiness for another day.  Even on the 3rd day they were so worth it!!

Of course the associations with the muffins are extra special.  The person who brought them, the whole planning that simply turned into an ‘as and what happens-when’ randomness just made that first luscious bite oh so worth waiting months for!   Meeting up with friends and something more for the few hours we had, spent with good food, good conversation and standard insanity and you have a pretty good time anyway.  And as Mystique put it here, nutshells, hunny bunnys and jaanu maanus made the whole thing so much more worth sighing over on late night telephonic conversations and sms…  🙂  The fact that we were in minors’ company (a.ka. seven and nine year old girlies) made absolutely no difference to the diverse discussion going from weight gain to weight loss, to chocolate embargos (sigh), to potentially lining up and short listing candidates after a gruelling session of getting and watching asses kicked in Lahore later in the year… 😉

So Nutshell, when ARE we going to see you again? 🙂



Somehow, it became important for me to give my word today.  All my hesitation, my reluctance, all my issues came to this one moment where I choose to move on or stay where I am…

I gave it…  And now am terrified!  Of what it means!!  Of keeping it, breaking it… of all that can or will happen… of what to do!

My mind is telling me I’m insane.

My heart says it’s fine.

What have I done?????


Picky Picky

I so want to pick a fight with someone…  Anyone!!

I am going around looking for an excuse to have a good old fashioned fist fight.  I want the satisfaction of punching someone right in the jaw…

If nothing else, give me a verbal battle where I yell and shout or perhaps even more effectively, shoot someone down with one well-directed cold, quiet shot!!

Someone oblige me please.  If I don’t get it out of my system before he comes back, I’ll blast him.

I don’t want to do that…  😦


Verse Versus Verse…

When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. – Kahlil Gibran

I’ve done that…  Somehow the call, just that sign of a someone holding out a hand to you is so irresistible…  And here is my lesson learned…

Bahut khud per jabar kar ke
Mohabbat ka safar kar ke
Luta ke her khushi apni
Usse paaney ki chahat main
Mita ke zindagi apni
Mohabbat ki musafat main
Bas itna jaan pa’ee hoon
Mohabbat maar deti hai!


You Think…

You think you know me but you don’t.  I am the ultimate performer.  The consummate actress!  I remember telling somebody how I am going through life with a multitude of masks and personas, one to suit every person with whom I interact.  I suffer no delusions that any person wishes to know who I am or what I do.  It is what they believe they see that will matter.  Show them what they want to see and there will be no further questions.  Ever!

Do you really believe you know me?  Can you tell me, you can hear past the words I speak?  Can you decipher the gleam in my eye or sense when my smile falters?  Do you hear the catch in my breath when I tell you I KNOW that in your life, I will always be second?  I am you first true love for sure, but your life’s great passion, for sure am not.

Do you know I’m numb?  I get this strange pang inside my chest, where I think a heart beats for the sake of fulfilling the medical definition of alive, but for intents and purposes I don’t believe I’m better off than a corpse buried six feet deep under earth.  Am I alive?  I feel nothing but duplicity and overwhelming disappointment in all I am and all that I know I am.  That disappointment wells up inside till it has consumed me.  Failures plague me as does my own ineffectualness at getting past them.   I’m not human enough to suffer for my failings.

I have no wish to live.  Life means wanting to feel too much.  To dream.  I don’t remember a time when I ever had dreams.  I was beyond that.  Everything I wanted was something attainable whereas I defined dream as something abstract, half real that could exist only when my eyes closed, shutting out all that was real.  For me, all was measurable, real.  It was there and all I ever needed to do was reach for it.  I lived the impossible with the least possible effort.

But I died…  There is nothing here now.  No laughter, no tears.  Echoes, yes of sounds that can sound like rapture bouncing of the walls.  Yet, look into my eyes and see that they are empty.  My smile will tell you I believe all you say, yet look past it and you’ll know that I am waiting for the day when I’ll tell you it was all a lie.  It’s not even my mind that says it.  The voice comes from within.

Do I see deception because that is what I expect?  It’s all I see.  My life is a mockery.   And I don’t care…

I always believed being indifferent meant you won’t hurt any more…  I was wrong.  Being indifferent just means you’ll let yourself die silently a little more, every time you hurt!!!

I feel violated.  As if something vital has been stolen from inside me.  There are wide, empty spaces… not the kind that show you potential to be filled with colours and bright coloured knick knacks but the kind that are just empty gaps that will allow darkness to seep in and make a home within you till you can no longer see light…

I wonder sometimes if things I thought about were too extraordinary… too miraculous.  And I realized today, that all I wanted were simple ordinary things so perfect, they would stand out like that first bright star in the night sky…  And on realizing it, I wished for it, wanted it…

It hurt…  Dear God!  It hurt!

July 2008