Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Chapter 1

          It was a lovely day. Spring was near, the winter breeze was enjoyed before it went bye bye. Winter surely had  taken the energies out of people, leaving nothing but their laziness. People had woken up from their slumbers.  Children were playing outside finally. It felt like as if the humans had suffered some kind of catastrophe and were  reborn once again. Summers were always pleasant in the beginning, but in months like June, July and August it  nevertheless was hell on earth. Summers are the longest season of Pakistan. The land where winter comes as a  guest and leaves people thanking for it's leave. People here are not used to the cold, hard stoned, cruel winters.  They're the summer people. That's what they are. Although most people prefer winters, but some of them don't.
     In Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, it was the time of examinations and students studying their heads off to  get in good colleges, and universities. Most of the youngsters dint even care about colleges, they're the lazy ones,  the ones that don't know about life yet. They're the ones that end up somewhere they truly don't want to. Get  married to someone they don't want to. Live life like every other dead head. How can such people have any interest  in their lives? But that's not 'it' to living in Pakistan. There are other things, like for instance being financially  drowned, and then economy going down like the Titanic. That's also the kind of life we see on TV when it comes  to Pakistan. The truth is everything that media tells you is what they want you to see. Truth is there's always  another story to a story portrayed to you.
     In Pakistan, there are rich and poor people. Humble and egoistic people. Tall and short people. Dumb and  geniuses. Not everyone is a muslim here. That's utter bull. There are muslims, with varieties which is utter bull,  but that's true. There are extremists, fundamentalists, liberal muslims. While on the other side there are people  from christians to Hindus. In Pakistan, there are even a majority of people who're atheists. Some are even  luciferians, people who think Lucifer was innocent. Some even worship Lucifer. Going towards the darker side,  there are a majority of people who perform black magic, mostly in rural areas. The literacy rate in Pakistan is very  low. Those who're not well educated end up being extremist muslims.
     I had different dreams today, mostly in the form of fears. I was a lost soul. I had a physical body, quite strong  but inside I dint really know who I was. It's the most frustrating thing to feel in the world, not knowing who you  are and what are your interests. But I ended up taking admission in a very amazing university. Maybe I turned out  to be lucky today. But I  believe we call luck referring to events we have no explanation for. So, maybe it's the way  it was supposed to happen. Maybe a lot were awaiting me in this university. It's not 'only' about the university, it's  like I'm reborn again. It's a new life awaiting me. It was good, but I felt full of fears. I so dint want to screw this  up, like the rest of my life. Now I also didn't want to lie and think about the wrong that I did in life or the wrong life  did to me. I wanted to skip that part, I'm not fond of looking at darker sides, no matter how much in the dark I already  am.
     I went to the bathroom after ending up unfortunately thinking about the dark sides of my childhood and life as  a whole. I woke up with a negative mind, it was going to be a negative day, maybe. I am not a superstitious  person. That's why I like to think it that way, that my subconscious had the ability to control my life. So first thing I  wanted to do was to shake off the negativity, and so I tried. I looked in the mirror, I was an okay looking man.  But I held my head high, feeding my mind with thoughts like 'I am a very handsome looking stud'. I so wanted to  work out since always, but I'm a lazy man as well besides other things. That was another negative trait of mine.  Oh no. I skipped this thought and started to think about the women I could end up impressing today. So I thought  I'd rather own a different attitude today, would be fun. So I thought I'd be a changed man today. Cause I've been  sick being home half winter just so I could study a bit. But nobody can study at home when you have a heaven in  your room. The TV, gadgets, my bed, my X-box and rest things are my girlfriends. That's the mind of a loner who  just got admission in a university where actually humans walk and talk and study. Study? I wonder. I shaved my  beard off, feeling like a cave man just being able to come out and see the real world.    
     I went downstairs and kissed my mom on the cheek in the kitchen. She always had a confused face whenever I  kissed her. I asked her how was she doing today. She said she was very happy for me. It felt strange, your mother  being proud of me. I never had experienced that before. But she had never let me down, ever. I realized she was  the only person I had in my world. My father had died in an accident, he was in the army. But he wasn't a very good  father anyway. He always gave me and my mom a very hard time. I had flashes of childhood in my brain, my father  beating me and my fragile mother. The flashes went as my mother came and sat with me on the dinning chair.   The flashes of course made me furious. It was the most horrible time of my life, my childhood. It's had a great  impact on my personality and my life. I looked at mom with a little frown that I didn't know I still had on. She told  me typical things, as to be strong and never lose faith in Allah. I held her arms, all wrinkled, with few dark spots  on it, and I told her she'd never be alone. I told her I was always going to be there for her. That moment I wished  and longed for a woman who could support me. It's a beautiful feeling I sometimes feel, but it's very frustrating. I  wish I had someone who loved me and cared for me. Someone I could share my bed with. Someone I could share  my fantasies with. Maybe I'd find someone. But when? I'm already in my twenties. I don't want to be a virgin with  gray hair. I got frustrated, again. I hated my head. The way it thought, the way it brought back memories from the  past, the way it sucked my confidence away from me.
     I held my books and cellphone, and took off. I went outside and saw my tiny car. I so dint want to go to  university on my first day and show the world this is what I drive. That's the biggest turn off. I somehow wish  people could be your friends because of the person you are, not because of what you drive. That's really stupid  though, why are people like this after all? What has car got to do with someone being my pal. I skipped the  thoughts for the gazillionth time. I sat in car and started the engine. Played some hard rock metal and drove my  way to the university. I accidentally pressed the radio button and the music of today's world played. It sucked my  brains out, it was extremely annoying and somehow embarrassing, although no one was with me. I felt embarrassed  as if the seats were living people. I hate the music of today. I seriously don't know what happened to the music.  Head back time, and the music was better every year passed. I played Stairway to heaven and sang along 'She's  buying a stairway to heaven', and I was lost in my world.
     I stopped in front of the university. I expected gangs of men and some gorgeous women to be standing there  and waiting for the man in the car to come out. But it's no movie, I thought to myself. Few people were there  outside, even though it was the first day of so many people including me. No one was special, just brown and  white people standing talking to each other. I went through the big gate, which I funnily thought was a doorway to  hell. I walked in and so many people were there. It's been long since I've seen crowds, not just crowds, insane  crowds. I tried to make my way to the administrator's office or receptionist. I finally found where the office was. I  went in. There was a woman of almost 30 sitting there, wearing big glasses. I told her about myself
     I went outside, and I realized it was too early for me to go and attend my class. It was spring. Beautiful weather.  I thought I'd sit down on the grass, alone, while other people were laughing hysterically with their pals. I sat there,  wondering what kind of friends I have a chance of getting. I sat looking at people and judging them inside my  heart. If I had somebody I would've gossiped with that person openly. That's what I've done in high school mostly.  That's what low-life's do. People of different ethnicity walked and talked to people or searched for their classes.  Some were brown, Panjabis mostly. Some were white, Pashtuns mostly. Some were black, Somalians mostly.  Some were fair toned, Kashmiris probably. Pakistan's not a nation of just brown people, there are different kinds  of people here. Varying in almost everything. I got bored sitting there and simply looking at people. I realized how  much life and I had changed. There was a time when I used to enjoy sitting idle judging people, but someday one  has to grow up, I don't totally agree. Someone reached me and patted me from my back. I turned around to see my  old school friend Javed. Right as I saw his face, my face lit up. It's so wonderful to see your old best friend again in  your life. I felt the warmth of love in my heart. I felt deep love awaken from my chest. I wanted to hug him, and so  I did, cause I'm anything but not shy, that's one of my goals for future life. I hugged him tight and we both  shouted saying 'Ey salay', as a slang for 'hey dude' in Urdu. I greeted him warmly. I'ad missed him the whole high  school and finally met him again. I later noticed that he had friends with him at his back, standing there. Javed  turned around and called them up and introduced them. Sarah, a tall, tanned girl with a nice smile came forward  and held out her hand for me to shake. She wasn't my type, that's the only thing I thought. Hassan, another friend  Javed introduced was very broad, I could tell he worked out too much to impress. I somehow felt inferior.  Faisal,  looked very nerdy, a very studious guy, nevertheless a social phobic. He introduced them all, and I met them. They  looked very pleasant people. I was the only Pashtun among them.
     'Man Hammad, how did you end up in here?, Javed asked me. 'You must've worked your brains out to get into  this place'.
     I felt offended deep inside. I felt mocked, deep inside his words I could feel as if he were  telling me I wasn't  worth a good university like that. I swam into the meanings of his words for long, but in my own world. Time in  the reality was passing slower.
     'End up in here?', I said. 'You're talking like as if we're prison buddies'.
     They laughed at my joke. I love it when people laugh at my joke. I feel worthy of their laughs, which is a gift, I  consider. Sarah asked me about my family and my whereabouts.
     'Well I live with my mother and my younger sister', I told her. 'My father died in an accident. I'm the only son of  my mother'.
     They forced their smiles into sad faces. They told me they were very sorry. Hassan had the guts to ask me of  the accident.
     'It was a car accident', I told Hassan, looking back into my life. 'Some drunk guy hit his car'.
     They felt even more sorry now. I told them I was over it, the accident took place two years ago. They wished me  good luck. I wished myself good look too, in my mind. It was gonna start to get late, I realized. It was almost time  for my class. I told them I was gonna catch up with them later.
     I held my books in my hand and went to my class. All day I just studied people and noticed each of their  movements studying why they were moving in a specific fashion. I believe, everyone's a hypocrite. They pretend to  be someone else while when they go back home, they become someone else. We tend to act in a way to fit in this  world. So many individuals, same ideas, same thoughts, same walk, same fashion sense, following same path. It's  very strange. I myself am a hypocrite. I'm not what I show I am. That's the story of everybody. I don't get surprised  when I see a new teacher. I can very much predict almost anything about him. Only numbered people I've met in  my life who've been a complete marvel to me. Because they didn't share people's thoughts. They were original. The  Pashtun race is very much the same. They're original people. They're afraid of nothing in the whole wide world.  They can for a cause even give away their life. They're the most honest people you'll ever meet. That's why in  Pakistan, they're said to be 'fools' or 'simple', because they'll throw the truth on your face. Honest people are made  fool of the most in this world. Pashtuns are considered aliens in my land. They're very different from the rest of  the races here in Pakistan.
     Pashtuns are said to be the descendants of Israelites. That has been said in many texts from 10th century till  now by many religious scholars and even secularists. When Moses lead his people across the sea, where did they  disappear? They departed from Israel and migrated to Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. There are various tribal  groupings in Pashtuns. Afridis are thought to come from Ephraim, Yousafzai which means 'sons of joseph'.  Rabbanis are said to be 'Rauben', Abdali or Naftali as Naphtali or Daftani, Gadoon as 'Gad' or 'Jaji', Shinwari as  'Simeon' or 'Shimon', Levani as 'Levil', Ashuri as 'Asher', while Pashtuns in Hebrew are called 'Pithons'.Some  common practices and customs of Pashtuns are similar to Jewish traditions, such as using a baldachin during a  wedding ceremony, lifting the bride and groom by their relatives or friends at their weddings is practiced among  the Jews by Hasidims specially, a custom practiced among Khattaks, Yousafzai and Afridis of Pakistan, and  lightening candles on a sabbath. Pashtuns also refrain from consuming certain foods just as Jews. One common  tradition among both is that the son must obey the parents in all matters. If a father enters a room, all stand up  and bow their heads in his honor. Pashtuns wear a four cornered garment which are called Tallit and in Pashto  'Saadar or Kafan'. It's one of the oldest Jewish traditions as well going back to Torah. The Tallit or Saadar has  fringes on the clothes ends which Jews call 'Tzitzit', while Pashtuns call them 'Zundee'. One common tradition is  that Pashtuns don't eat meat and milk together, which is an ancient Israeli tradition as well. Some Jews wear a  small box known to them and Rabbis as the 'Teffillin' (phylactery) and known to Pashtuns (and various muslims)  as 'Taaweez'. There even exist Taaweez, which are small metallic boxes containing verses of Holy Book. The  Taaweez bear the symbol of Star of David. It contains a verse of the Holy Book. Both Israelis and Pashtuns have  striking similar appearances. I believe that's why Pashtuns have different appearances than the rest of Pakistanis.  Rest of Pakistanis have great resemblance with Indians. Pashtuns are usually brunettes, but show a persistent  minority of blond-ism too. Their features are prominent, and their good looks are common as compared to their  supposed ancestor or primogenitor 'King Saul' of Israel. Pashtuns are said to be overly conservative, but that's not  entirely true.
     The whole day was entirely boring. I was somehow depressed in a way or two. Couldn't really tell what it was. I  felt lonely somehow. Entering a new world of complete strangers, so the feeling was entirely natural. I very often  met Javed surrounded by his gang of friends. So, I dint completely feel regretful in getting into that university. The  entire time passed and I couldn't tell what was killing me until I passed by a mirror. I stared at my reflection as if I  had spotted someone very familiar. I studied my looks somewhat like a woman. I dint want to be noticed. Nobody  seemed to be around. I realized I felt so small. This entire university was filled with people of different standards  and different financial statuses. It's the most disturbing thing, I believe. When you're doing some public speech  around a group of people, when you see the rich people, you feel wordings being slapped at your face. You can  say nothing. But I'm in no way such a man. I'm a man of principles. Even though I'm not a rich man, but an  ordinary looking, heavy bearded guy, still I'm very narcissistic. I have ego, and that's the only thing that has let me  stand my ground till today.
     Not even one girl caught my attention that day. Nobody was my type. Well, then again who and what is my  type? I've lived in a world of digital girls; such as Lara Croft. So, I don't know myself so much. Maybe I don't like  these real life, imperfect, bold women. Maybe bold women is a turn off to me. I, especially don't like girls that will  throw themselves to just any guy. Maybe the Pashtun blood runs in my veins, that's why I've developed such a  taste when it comes to women. Lara Croft never mingled with any man but instead shot their brains out. That's  why she's stuck in my head. Why is she in my head anyways when she's not even nearly my dream girl. She's just a  manly man guy thing.
     I went home finally. Went up to my room without greeting mom as she was sleeping most probably. I just  wanted to be alone. Walking among crowds dint actually feel right. I dragged the drawer out and took out the  cigarette box. Smoked a cigarette, felt so relaxed. I went out to the balcony outside my room. I smoked the cigarette  in the open air. It really felt like home.
        The air was so hot. It felt like the air was trying to carry my identity away. There was complete silence. I  thought about various other things than the weather itself. I wondered if novels could come to real life. All the  unreal people coming to life. In such a world I'd have been of somewhat heroic sort. While in the real world I'm  just another anonymous person no one gives a rat's ass about. It doesn't make sense how all the famous people  are cared about. Their ridiculously beautiful lives, holidays, mansions, mistakes. Everything they do is so overexaggerated and highlighted. I envy them but at the same time feel pity for them. I'd never want such a life in  the end. I like to be unknown. I don't want to be a song, I want to be a whisper. But I want to be heard.