Wedding Bells.

My family is different from our families of our society and we have always been proud of that. We are different in our values of family and our relationships with each other. In my family, I have too many brothers and too many sisters. This is because all of us cousins are just brothers and sisters. We grew up that way. 

Two months ago, one of my brothers got married. I have been waiting for him to get married for as long as I can remember. And the Wedding was definitely worth the wait. 

A week before the wedding, everyone started coming. My sister from America, who also happen to have my amazing niece, came two days after I went to Lahore. 

And I was at the airport picking her up and my 2 years old niece, who had never met before, just came into my arms, swiftly. 

Here is how it all happened! 

We stayed up for the next 3 hours because she wanted to play with her khala (mother’s sister) and mamu (mother’s brother). 

The dance practices everyday from 6pm to 11pm. In the middle you can see my white brother who danced on all the desi songs. 

Right after the breakfast for some 25 people, it’s decoration time because it’s a wedding house and so it should look like one too. 

The family dinners from different uncles because it’s a wedding and everyday should be celebrated. 

Day one of official functions.

Some birthdays between the wedding. 

Nikkah. The ceremony where you sign the papers and say I do. I do. I do. 

This picture was taken at 6 in the morning because it was an early morning function at a mosque. 

The ride.

Because he is the eldest brother! 

Because I like to stay in the company of my brothers. 

This is an old tradition, when the bride and the groom had not met before, after their Nikkah, they would see each other for the first time though this mirror.  

With groom. But she was already a sisier. 

As I said, I have a very big family. 

The next function. 

Mehndi. The boys side visits the girls side, and there is only food and music. 

The three Sisters. 

We are the same clothes sisters. 

The mamu, is always the innocent person in the family. 

The final function. 

Because someone has to wear money their neck. 

The iPad uncle. 

The only thing this guy knows is how to dance. 

Rukhsati. Heading home now. 

Say thanks to God for such a pretty bride. 

Because she’s hungry.

But things don’t end there. They continue, the next day. 

And then we will all lay here in the room and sleep. 

Because re-do. 

What I wouldn’t do for my niece. 

Let’s get out of the house!

Let’s go home now. 

One has gone home and are having breakfast for one. 

-Naba Mehdi. 

Together. 

Who are we? 

What is there other than flesh and blood and bones? 

What is our consciousness? 

What is being alive? 

These are questions I can not find the answers too and in search of these answers I have to come to see world as place meaningless and full of suffering. 

I think I find this place and my life meaningless because I have lost myself and in doing so I have lost part of me that was alive. 

But I believe that I am not the only one going through this. These are thoughts that don’t occupy my mind alone but there are people my age, like me who are haunted by the same things I am. I am speaking to you, to us. 

When I lost myself due to several reasons, I fell on the path of ignorance. I ignored that I was lost and started lying to myself and others that I was not lost. More than that, I forgot that I was lost. In today’s time the word for it is pretendence.                                                     So I began pretending and I was so immersed in my role that before I knew it I filled the void left by losing myself. 

Almost a year or two later, I saw people that I loved and wanted to make proud of and I saw all the things in them that I admired. And when my conscience woke and desired to come into reflection of what those people were, I realized that I could not do that. I could not even try to be something like those people, because there was no self in me that would try. I was devastated. But because I knew that I had to kill my time on Earth, I couldn’t stand to not try.                                             Because there was nothing in me, I tried to replace them in myself, so that if ever, I found myself there would be no place to place myself within me. I tried it multiple times with those people and they continuously told me to not do so. I refused their advice and did what I thought was right. 

If I had, place replications of them within, I would have been precise with the intricate details. It would have been perfect but because there sizes and mine are not the same, they just wouldn’t have fitted perfectly. Anticipating the anger in such a case because of the place left uncovered by them, I left the whole idea half way. 

And then stuck. 

Not moving forward with the idea not moving backward. 

I couldn’t move forward with the idea because my conscience already afraid of the anticipated anger was advicing me to place myself within myself.                          I however, could not do that because I did not know where I was. 

Stuck and I decided to write this.   

I think it is important to be who we are because that is the only way we have a chance of living this life. It is how we live and unscared and daring live. It does not mean that I do not see those qualities in those person any more that tempted me to be like them. I still do, but now, I will just change those habits within me with the modified versions of theirs. 

That is my story uptil now, I have yet to find myself and be myself. Both tasks of grave difficult magnitude.

 But I have a profession, let us all stand United. All of us who have to embark on this journey,  let’s do this together, helping each over along the way. 

Lets do it together, let’s together find meaning to live and provide happiness to those we live. 

You know my email: Naba.Mehdi@Hotmail.com. Share with me your story and we will together do it. I will help you. You can help me.

-Naba Mehdi.

Midnight snacks.

All night owls are foodies at four in the morning. Since it is 4 in the morning, here in Pakistan right now my cravings for my final meal of the day have kicked in. 

Midnight snacks are usually junk food or fast food stuff and as it happened today I was short of both. I debated in my head whether to sleep on an unfulfilled-craving stomach or to make some ends meet and find something to eat.

Not much of a genuis when you guess It, I chose the latter. 

And my midnight snack for today, turned to be ‘alu gosht’. 

Alu (potatoes) gosht (meat).                         It is a liquid sorbet sort full of spices and meat and potatoes. 

But it heaven to eat. 

When you eat it with a bread, it is an accurate intense point of perfection where all the spices meet and bring out the best possible flavor that they could conjure. It is a taste of water elevated, to the point where it burns your throat. It is a pinch of sweetness to a mouthful flavor of rainbow that you just cage in your mouh and at every bite you become Remy from ratatoulie and you want to take as much time as possible to let the essence of humbleness last in your mouth! 

Sometimes midnight snacks are just desi. 

-Naba Mehdi. 

who are we afraid of?? 

I think everyone might feel this way, or might have felt this way once in their lives.

When you feel the earth rotating around the sun but somehow you are not. As if you are not in the earth. Because the thing is that life is moving on. Day after day. Sunrise after sunrise but you are stuck. You are not moving with it.

But no one notices.

Life was supposed to be good. The universe was supposed to be a friend. So where did we fell short? How did we humans became so lost.

Call it depression or anxiety or sadness or whatever illness, but it is not that. It is the realization of yourself.

It is to be in the knowledge of how much screwed this world has become and how much we are running after pointless things.

We, humans have a brain that is so powerful that it can create fabrications of the desires that one holds in his heart and when the artist sees it all play through this head, he feels the joy that the accomplishment might bring once achieved and somehow, unfortunately, that becomes enough. To feel it though our head becomes enough.

Why?

Because we are scared animals. All of us. But the question is who are we scared off? Neglecting religious beliefs, there is no one who is rulling us. We have kings and queens and presidents and prime ministers but we know their names, they don’t know ours. They are not rulling us, they just live in their own fabrication that are in power.

And even with them, there are so many of them. So many countries and so many presidents and all of them, all always at each other’s throats.

So, it is in fact we ourselves, harming each other. We are all scared of none other than each other, even though we are all equal. I can do to you, what you can do to me. And we do that to each other. If it weren’t for that? Why would I feel so lost today? Or why would you have had to fight yesterday, to find yourself? And then cry on your pillow for losing yet again.

The fabrication in my head is to why we are lost is, that Because the universe gave up on us. It let down on its promise that it made to each and every one of us on the moments that we were born.

It made a promise, and the deal was sealed when we felt all that warmth and air all with the force of millions of tiny atomic particles touching us all over, as we came out of our mothers womb. It promised us that it would provide with people to keep us company in the light of the sun and when the moon shone, it would remind us, with all these thoughts in our heads that we needn’t be afraid. And then, the universe promised that it would guide us all through life and will finally reveal itself when we enter into eternal peace.

But we never got so far. It have us all people and in that crowd we forget to smile to the universe and heart broken, it lost us.

Little did we know, that we’d be losing ourself.

With us on our own. We are terrorizing each other. And we allow ourselves to be terrorized.

In that terror, a child loses its dreams. A boy gives up on his happily every after. A girl gives on being equal and as a boy. A mother gives into fear that never ends. A father gives into slavery.

And the universe broke its word and abandoned us.

With out watching over us, we are retaliating in fear, fear of the unknown, fear of what might happen to us, if we chose to live, if we chose to be who we are.                                                                         If I chose to post this on my Facebook? Because truth be told, then all of my 267 friends, will gain judgement about me and who knows I might just lose myself a little more us?                                                   But then I will play my part in the cycle and I will immediately find a person and make him lose some of himself and the cycle will continue.

And the universe will keep on crying.

Why have we made life so Shit? Shit was supposed to be good. Shit.

-Naba Mehdi.

Suit up! 

The door behind her closed and there she was exposed to the vile world. The air sprinted at her face, ghastly and she became a victim to all her choices. 

Even before, in arranging this oblivious act to happen, she had wondered and questioned to the deepest realms of her mind, as to, was it worth it?      

And often another time, she had found this rhythmic charades stuck in her head, on repeat, having this melodious synchronizing tune. 

A girl dressed up as never seen before,     those eyes looked down at her, as never seen before. 

As the thoughts grew louder and wilder she calmed herself, in reassurance, she was not the first one to play the act for the audience of the clouds looking down at us but then soon a raven would come, contradicting the contrary believe, because the primitive audience is joined by a new brethren, who bring with them not flowers to applaud the actors but rather soft arrows, dark as the color of the eye, shooting from the top of the faces.

But the door behind her now is shut, the command is already into action.                  

The rebellion had begun; from a girl trying to win over the world as a boy, she took the first step, the first of many steps, she swam into the oceans of her dreams and desires and when at the Zeus of the water, they presented her the crown of the queenship, she looked them in the eye; her own blazing with fire that would ablaze the whole ocean, she told them, she swam all this way for the kingship and she would like them to call her as the ‘rebel king. 

After the closed door, at her first step she focused on gasping of the world inside of her. 

On the second step however, she was bound to hear the gasping of the world outside of her. 

But not so quick, because the road ahead of her was big, and the gasping sound can not prevail to such loudness, but the same can not be said for the faces drained too jammed to send messages to the brain for appropriate emotions displayed on the face. 

But before that, before anything, right now in this moment, she had to walk. 

Her feets trembling, her eyes not bearing look up. A calm voice from heaven whispered, stay confident. And she shifted her weight to her left and held onto the arm. 

The arm and the man who had given her the courage that she needed. The man who told her that the king should be dressed up in a suit.

And as he did, she followed his suit. 

Grabbing onto that arm, she made her way and with the help of her brother, he swept away when she slept into her comfort zone. 

She made her way across, seeking for people who supported her rights of kingship. 

And there she found here. Another person, who would perhaps never enter her kingdom, but even in those moments, that smile and open arms of applaud left their mark, that can never be washed over in any ocean, in any sea. 

And thus the king got in her suit, moved around here and there. 

The words of wisdom raining down on her, and in that rain, she stood in between her two brothers; one who made everything possible and the other who always told her that she would win the rebellion, but she needed to be in her heart a rebel first.

The new king in the suit was calm, because she knew she had two brothers, who had different but experiences of their own, as the kings in suits.                    

And she knew she could forver take advice from the experienced gentleman, on how to rule a kingdom, whilst wearing a suit?

The rain poured down, some of it said,     ‘Stand as if the whole world is beneath  you, tell them that you are their king, it  is one of the rules to being king in a  suit.’ 

And some of it said, 

‘Remember, hand in the left pocket and  no smiling.’

‘Aye aye!’ The younger two nodded. 

It is what it is.

In the latest episode of Sherlock there is this dialogue which both, Sherlock himself and Dr. John Watson have said to each other.

It’s to provide comfort to each other and the advice, to see and face the truth for what it really is.

I have been quite crossed ever since the episode, for what could these five letters possibly mean?

I think, I may finally have an answer.

What is a taboo, we don’t say the specifics about it. We know about the horrors that it holds, we have seen it. We all have been through it. In the darkest part of ourselves, just beneath the epidermis, we know of it’s origin.

Because it makes the blood in our veins cold, because it scares us to a state of shock, we choose not to ever say all that we know about it.

It is as huge as a castle, the most typical of castles. To make an estimate of it’s zenith, to fulfill the eye’s desire, we must look at the sky.                                       And in itself, it holds captive to so many breathtaking emotions.

However, the chemistry is solid. Literally, solid. Not any space in the castle for the emotions to move around.

In all that chaos inside the castle, you were there, right in the middle of it.

Instead of explaining all that to everyone and living it again for this time an audience to critic about, we counter their question to a what?

What? It asked, back.                                      Inside it, the bricks all crumbling to dust, because the what, scared it, to a used coal, in the calmness of the dry, the wind slowly whispering in its ear.

It is what it is.

It, is the body, it resembles, you.               Is, is the soul, that brings life to the sculpture that is, you.

Tabula Rasa; it is when you are living your life. When the Is and the it are both dependant on each other.

It is, like a sponge. Inside the sponge, resides the it.                                                 And the it, always desperate to be of use, always relying on friends, puts, itself through excruciating pain.

It shrinks. Hard pressed.

That is when you find your is, inside the castle, asking it’s-self, what?

That is when life happens.

In those moments, it is dies. To be born again.

Not alone.

What accompanies it, right behind, its very steps.

That is how it always remains, henceforth.

After all, it is what it is.

Black and White year.

This year when the clock struck 12, I did not even flinch in the anticipation of the new year. I was busy in watching a tv season and it was half an hour in when I realized  it was already 2017.

No resolutions. No new me, vows.

This morning, I finally watched my 3 years awaited episode of Sherlock, Naturally, it raced my brain into thinking new and innovative ideas and my deepest desires. I was thinking these all new sorts of ideas and what should I do about the things that I have been putting off.

It has been sometime that I have been thinking about how I want to live my life. What if the society doesn’t approve or if I am wrong. Because frankly, I am 18 and well, sometimes all I want is to use my brain the best I can and be someone, worth being in this life. (Yeah, I know, too young to think about these things.)

However, in the past years, I have seen, rather observed some unsettling things about the real world. Like deep down, you have to worry or be depressed and prepare yourself for the worst but on the frontier you have to pretend like you couldn’t really care. Be cool!
There was this other thing, that you have friends and family and all of them most of the time are claiming to be really supportive in any ambition that you might be growing. Everyone pretends to be too understanding and just shutting the shade of critics from near you but- the reality is, no matter how many people there are surrounding you, you in fact are alone- to face everything. But you can not say this out loud because can’t you see all these people hovering over your shoulders.

All in all, you are alone but don’t say this out loud because then you are negative and unhappy and disappointing and unthankful.

So, I realized while watching Sherlock, this life we have to live alone even with people all around us. We are alone inside our heads. We are alone when we are the monsters.
So, why not just live this life for yourself, making something of it.

This year, I will devote myself to learning and knowledge. Gaining these. Acquiring talents that I always wanted to. Not a month or days of practice, rather a year of practice, Rome wasn’t built in a day and when I am living this life, why not live it with my terms?

As depressing and underrated this world is, we are living. We are the black color bringing the life to this white world. Silently we have to hang ourselves, just how, where and when, we can be in control of.

Hence begins my black and white year!!

-Naba Mehdi.

A coward’s bravery.

Yes, I am a survivor.
I have survived against all odds.
Am I proud?
No.
I have survived against my will,
I am the hero of this story.
I had to survive.
It doesn’t make me a worthy survivor,
It makes me a coward.
A coward.
The mistake has been made.
The life has been saved.
Again and again and twice again,
I am the hero of this story.
Sooner or later I have to make a change.
The people who don’t know this story,
Will think high of me, for surviving,
Some will even be envious of this pretentious courage,
To them, ‘I’ survived.
But what of people and things,
Who sacrificed, for me to survive.
To them, I owe my life.
For them, I need to show the coward’s bravery.
For them,
I have to own my survival.
Unwilling, as I was for this survival,
Unwilling, I will allow my transformation.
I am the hero of this story,
I have to be one who rescues everyone.

Brave Animal.

What makes animals better than us?
Many things.

Most importantly, their will to do anything to survive, their fearless nature and the sheer power to do hard work.

Recently, I have been trying to do all the things I think of doing. I am telling you they are so hard to do.
An active imagination is amazing but the need to make that imagination come true and ability to not stutter in the name of hard work. That is a admirable quality, one that I don’t have yet.

In a way, animals lead a difficult life. They are always at risk of being back stabbed and most of them are also hunted from the front.
There is this constant danger residing in their hearts, to become the food of predator.

Because, each of the animal is a prey to some predator.

Imagine living like that, in the forever fear. Us humans, we’d give up everything and lose hope if we had to live this way.

Another thing is that their whole survival depends on doing real HARD work.
One that they can’t take break from or leave to the other day, that is only our luxury.
Most day, most animals fail to have their fruit of hard work.
Do they give up hope and go depressed.

The next day, they begin again. With same level of dedication.

They are not afraid to live their lives. They don’t question them, they live them, the way they deem fit.

Some warriors die in the end, but not of hopelessness rather, bravery they show in the lives that they live.

The concept with us is to call ourselves warriors and survivors. To sooth ourselves that even if we are not doing anything, we are doing something, which is by the way nothing.

Question yourself, are you really a warrior? A survivor?

What have you done to survive? How did you get by through all that hard work?

Yeah, we all love fictional imagination.

But they are people too, who like animals, do what every hard work to survive the day.
Those men are real warriors. They know the cost of lives we are living.

Don’t call yourself a survivor until you really have survived the storm.

The problem is, there is an animal in us all, we put all our working energy to ignore that animal.

You could have been a wolf, had you let its spirit consume you and who knows, you could have taught it from right to wrong.

Everything is possible in fictional imagination and fictional imagination is very much possible in real life.

Brave Animal.

-Naba Mehdi.

Wild, wild, North!

I went on this trip with my family, to the northern sides. We went to the place Swat.
It was well above the average mountain heights.
There, everyday, I would wake up at 6 on the morning, I would get a cup of coffee and I would climb the one mountain.
I figured out the way to the top so, it took not more than 25 minutes.
Oh, but I tell you, once I was there. A the top. It seemed that even though I was at the top there were more bigger mountains than the one I was standing on, ironically, my mountain seemed the shortest.
However I would sit there and enjoy.
Birds chirping on the left ear. Crows whacking in the right one. The sweet sounds of sorrow embarking the wind.
Cow moaning to the right, behind the crows.
On the left, the fall of millions of droplets of water ahead of the birds.
Before the birds, people in their indistant chatter.
The home of millions and billions of insects and birds.
All in their own rhythmic chores.
This was the most beautiful scenario I had experienced.
But,
There was something greater, you see. Before I went there, I was feeling lost and broken into a million pieces. I thought and felt as if my soul was lost.
So I climbed the mountain to get the nature to help me and find my soul back.
I would sit at the edge and I would converse silently with the mountain that was in front of me.
Somehow it understood what I was saying and miraculously, I could hear what he was saying.
There I stood, at the top of the mountain, surrounded by them yet still.
In between a prison, no one wants to break free from. That, that eternal true.
A sinic and skeptic, would only do himself one favor and that is by believeing in the miracle that now surrounds the soul.
I looked at them, at that family and through unstatic waves, the legacy came chirping at towards me.
You alone can help yourself.
A thick and heavy, masculine, the type of voice that guarantees experience, just a little salty and sweaty, somewhat tired always but in other expects the positive motivator, some one who knows struggle and battles and failure but still believes in recovery and help.
The mountain answered in such a voice.
Telling me to dig my roots deep and be as I want to be, in any position I want to be.
he sent again to tell me to let go of everyone.
The perfect solitude. The ominous combination of solicity.
I, a humble bow in the perfect respect for the nature that holds me within its self.
I bowed and tried again and again to be the perfect reflection of those words.
I failed.
But the mountain, my new friend kept telling me,
I alone can help myself.
I didn’t find my soul back then, but I found a new friend, a friend who told me that I was like him, from his family and one day when I achieved everything and survived the fights, I too could come and there, next to him, just like that.
And just may be some new  soul would come seeking the same help.
Most of all, it assured me that I had a home, in the wild wild woods.
See, for yourself, the magnificent mountain!
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-Naba Mehdi.