An Excerpt: Looking For Alaska

Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied by the last words of the already-dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life. And then I screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there’s no sugar-coating it. She deserved better friends.
When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it in spite of having lost her.
Because I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know now that she forgives me for being dumb and scared and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here’s how I know.
I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that , sometimes, think that maybe “the afterlife” is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled.
But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.
Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
SO I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison’s last words were: “It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know that where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere and I hope it’s beautiful.
-An excerpt from Looking For Alaska by John Green

Another New Year

December 28, 2012
2012 is coming to an end. And I cannot believe that it is going to be over.  It seems just like yesterday when I was welcoming 2012. Another year has passed and life is still going. Time flies so quickly, it is like one minute you are looking at it and the next minute, you blink and another year stands in front of you. 
Personally 2012 started with a bang and it gave me the biggest news ever. On January 7, 2012, I came in contact with the eldest of my cousins. We had lost contact with him 30 years ago due to a lot of things that happened in our family. But it was definitely the best day to know that the kids who always existed in talks were real. Growing up, I and my cousins made a pact that we will find them when we are much more elder but we never had to do that.
It was also the year I officially started a blog and although I am not consistent at all. I will try my level best to be so. I am not sure of anything in my life at all. And I am confused as hell on so many different things that are life changing and important. But I became sure of one thing. And that was that I can put my thoughts into my words. And that is my strength. No one can take that away from me.  It is one of those things that is just mine. 
The biggest shock that I got was when I was told that Muteeba aka my best friend who I consider as a sister, is going to Pakistan forever to continue her studies. No comments on how I felt. Because it was downright the most unbelievable thing I had heard. But it did happen.  The next shock that I got was when she came back because of our stupid education system. Thank you, education system. But I got to have one more year with her. What could be more awesome than that ?
I lost a lot of battles this year but won a lot of them too. I experienced things I hadn’t before and realised that things happen in a different manner than I thought as well. I also made new friends and thankfully didn’t lose any old ones.
Honestly, my life is filled with so much drama and things happening all the time that I cannot remember half of the things that have happened this year. One back draw of this year was that I could not finish my challenge of reading hundred books because I fell into a phase where I think, social media engulfed me and I abandoned my poor books. But no problem, I am back on track and they will get full attention. I read 78 books. Not good at all.

The coming year is very important and crucial for me. Because this year is going to decide what my future will get to be like. Where I will stand ten years from now. I will be starting a whole new chapter of my life and this year is all going to be about that. Whatever happens in this year, I hope it happens for a good reason and happens in the best of my interests. I do not know whether next year I will still be able to say that 2013 was an awesome year. But  I hope that I do get to say it and mean it too. 
P.S. I apologize for being such a lazy ass and uploading this after 16 days of New Years start. 

That One Book

You know how there is that one thing in your life, just an ordinary object that reminds you of your whole life. It holds so many memories that your whole life is associated with it and you think that it is the symbol that represents you and your life.

My thing is obviously  a book. But its not just any book. Its the book. It is just a writing book that teaches you how to write in cursive. We have had that forever. It holds a very honourable place in my cupboard so whenever I look at it, all the memories associated with it flood my mind. My mom had always believed that cursive writing is the right or main writing of English. Like it represents English. So, me and my brothers were taught cursive and their were very strict rules about writing anything in simple hand writing. As far as I remember I didn’t even know how to write in other than cursive, till like 9th grade. Even now when I write in simple writing, my mom gives me her ‘I do not approve of this’ look and she goes all like, I cannot believe I taught you cursive and you are writing this. I still remember the first time I wrote in simple font in front of her, she was like, what happened to your writing ? Like she has discovered that I have cancer or something and I felt like I just robbed a bank.

Growing up I always got tons of remarks on my writing and everyone wanted to write like me. I basically used to get Marvellous on my notebooks because of my writing. I remember, before moving to Qatar, there was this National Level Writing Competition in which the style of our writings were suppose to be evaluated and I obviously took part but I knew I won’t win because there was this other student who was really good and her writing was simple. Last day in my school, I am handed an envelope and I open it to find that I had won that competition. Thing was everybody had told me that I won’t win because I was leaving school and all but I did end up winning and I loved every minute of it.

Its pages are yellow and worn out from age but it just holds that many more memories. Whenever I look at, its like looking back at my childhood. You see now whenever I write something and I get compliments on my articles I think of that book. Because that is the book which had a role in making me who I am today. There is only one thing in my life that I am sure of more than anything and that is my writing. That yes, I have the ability to put my thoughts into words and maybe bring the words to magic. So in future when my first book will come out and I will sign it, I will think of this book. My first book that made me.

I hope that one day I can pass it on to the coming generations of my family and someday it will create another person like it made me. Its one of those things who are always special to you and are near your heart.


Around The Corner

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on, 

And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race, 
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then, 
And now we are busy, tired men,
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him”,

 But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away, 
“Here’s a telegram sir,” “Jim died today.”
 And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

-Charles Hanson Towne


Some Old Memories

I was cleaning my cupboard and going through all the old stuff. There were so many things. My reading list of 2011 stared back at me with all its glory because it has the names of 103 books written on it. There was the wrapping paper that Ghina gave me my B’day present in. There was this paper where me and Nadi had drawn Mosqui Teeba. There were papers on which my friends had written quotes or just random words that   I never threw out. Rough draft of the first ever poem that I wrote. A page from my mom’s diary. My old speeches. Pictures of a few of my friends. My 9th grade roll no slip. The ice cream stick with  “like us on facebook” written on it. The candy stick from last years food festival that I never ate. Picture of my best friends sister who looks like a little cute boy in it. And some other random bits and pieces of different things.b

Sometimes I have difficulty in processing the fact that I am 17. Life has passed by really quickly. And it still is going by like its racing with the best car in town and it wants to win on any cost. Sometimes I want life to stop and take a pause. Let me get my bearings and fully understand what I am doing. But life does not stop for anyone. Its like a train with no destination. And you are on it.

I love making memories. I want to live my life to the fullest. So that when I am old and whiter haired, I would have tons of pictures and stories related to them to tell the people around me. I could say that yes, I have done everything I ever wanted.

I think that when you look back at your life, you realise what you were and what you have become. You understand the things that you did and that you shouldn’t do again. The mistakes you made, the triumphs you celebrated. The loser you were, the winner you became. The kid you were and the adult that life made you. The pain that brought tears to your eyes and the joys that brought a smile to your pretty face. What people thought you were but what you really became. Weakling is what they called you, fighter is what you proved yourself to be. Times when you had no money to buy an ice cream, times when you spent hundreds of dollars on one pair of shoes. Times when no one stood by you, times when you made everyone stand by you. Times when you fell down, times when you picked yourself up again. Times when you failed, times when you succeeded. Times when death faced you, times when life engulfed you. Simply all times.

I look back at my life from time to time and I learn a lot of things from reflecting back at it. It has been an awesome journey so far and I hope that it will be more awesome in the future. It is good to look at all your old memories and look at the person you were. Memories have always been very important to me and they always will be. This is what life is about. Just living it one day at a time and not forgetting who you are.


Think Before You Speak

Words. They are one of those things that needs to be taken care of. And needs to be used very carefully. Action does not hurts as much as words do. You hit someone, they hit you back. End of story. But sometimes a single word can destroy you. It can cause you more pain than a tumor or a heart attack.  So when people say think before you speak. They are right. It is the best advice ever. But very hard to follow. Because at time we say things we don’t mean. Or things just slip our tongues. As much as we would like to take it all back, the damage has already been done.

I have always gotten in trouble due to my tongue and the fact that I never think before saying anything. Whether it is school or friends, I have damaged a lot of things because of these same words. But I think that I do try to make amends and I have learnt that is better to evaluate what you are going to say before then listen to ten hours of a lecture and then spend ten more hours to make up with a friend. Because I say things I don’t mean and the other person does not know that. So they end up assuming things that I never meant and thinking of it very seriously whereas I would not have given it a second thought.

Like Napoleon said;

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”

 Just remember, once words have left your tongue, they cannot be taken back. It is said that two things cannot be taken back. One is words when they leave the tongue of a person and the other is arrow when it leaves a bow.

You see like an arrow, it will take you just a minute to target and shoot but the wound created by it will take weeks or days depending on where and how hard it hit. Saying things is very easy but the mess created by it is very hard to clean. And sometimes it just cannot be cleaned.

My mother always says that a person looks best till he or she speaks. After that, either they will continue looking best or will look their worst. So how you speak and what you speak is what defines who you are. It makes up your personality and whatever you say will tell the other person what you are made up of. Judgement is based on the way people speak. Its like if someone has an accent, you know whether they are from a town or a village. Similarly, what you speak will tell the other person whether you belong to a good family or not.

At the end of the day, words matter a lot. How they should be spoken, when they should be spoken and what should be spoken. Think before you speak because it comes down to this.