Saturday, November 18, 2017

On being handed a vial of sulphuric acid

Life, somehow, always finds ways to one-up me, and always throws balls at me that I can't play.
I've gotten plain tired of the strategy of giving up but my fate knows how to trigger my existential crises.
See, there are things I think I foresee. I worry about them, I mull over them in my mind all the time. They keep me up at night and melancholy during the day.
Or they did for a long time. Then, quite recently, I decided to send them all to hell, because I do not care, and I realized that my happiness was my own and not to be affected by anyone or anything outside.
Thing is, these things usually never come to pass. My problems, when they arise, are quite different.
My mother calls me a chameleon and I had it recently stated to me by my first-semester professor that I have changed quite a lot (twice) but even my transformations can't help me escape my fate.
Fate is all-reaching, and I guess that is why it is called fate.
So today, on the 18th of November in the year 2017, I got up in the early noon of a Saturday, feeling like a queen because
1. I had cleaned my room the previous night
2. I had had a bath last night!
3. It was early noon and I have been rising at 6 30 in the morning for quite some time. Early rising is good in the long term but lazy lounging feels nice from time to time.

I am behind on a project report but I was happy nonetheless. I am doing the project by myself and I don't know if I am going to complete it at all and the professor refused me a LOR and I might lose my only nice grade because of the report being late and the assignment that I submitted last night being incomplete (I didn't do the extra credit thing) and I screwed up the last assignment too but-I was happy.

I was happy because I figured that yet another B grade or a C-school only acceptance list or the fact that the boyses in my linear algebra class have ten times my level of understanding at minimum (God knows what the infinity norm is) and my poetry is third-grade and the set of my real friends is really small, a singleton set these days I think and that I am going to be homeless and jobless come January 2018 and that I never, ever, ever fit in anywhere be it East or West or that people always find me intimidating and way-over-the top serious even though I only talk to them on one subject out of that weird list of poetry, politics and philosophy and then they don't talk to me about that either-don't matter at all.
No one loves me and no one cares about me. That does not bother me in the least, because at the end of the day, I believe even my mother isn't obliged to love me. I might write stuff about it that people like but really I don't even give a quarter of a damn about it.

People never ever understand me, and that still rankles me to quite some extent, even though I try to keep a lid on it. People so rarely bother with listening in the first place, and I so rarely condescend to talk out loud but when I do, I feel that I am speaking a different language altogether. I suspect that the longing to be understood and to connect with someone on an equal level is a primal instinct of the intellect and it'd take huge amount of effort on my part to overcome it.

The need to be understood. Duh.

Maybe, maybe I should focus on my writings for this reason alone. People do get it when I say it in the form of poetry, and they don't need to be good friends with me to get this. it has happened twice in the recent past with two different people and I guess it does soothe my burnt ego to some extent.

So someone told me that a shiar of mine was super awesome, and that he could relate to it:
اک تبسم کو نظر انداز کر دینے کے بعد
اک تکلف تھا کہ میں نے درمیاں رہنے دیا
This is, to be honest,  what I call a sedlyfe shair. It is very honest and that is why he was able to pick it up I guess but it depicts a life I wouldn't wish on anyone. A life where you maintain a distance with everyone by choice. The distance is visible to anyone who cares to look a bit carefully, and your facade of rakh-rakhao and worldliness and girlish smiles can't deceive everyone. When someone tries to come closer in the metaphorical sense, you grow stiff and snub them and put them in their place instantly, even though you might spend hours whining about the lack of interesting people in your life, later.
I don't think I'm talking to him, again, ever.
Another incident was something that happened when I tried to show someone how to incorporate an idea in a shair. Another thing that I appended to the entire ghazal was:
سننے کی تاب ہے نہ سمجھنے کی آرزو
بہتر ہے میری بات یہاں ان کہی رہے
I thought of it as just another thing that I said but this guy called me out on it and he was like, pointy point! Again, this is very true, and equally sedlyfe. I think I appended it because I don't even expect people to understand this , though now I see this was naive of me.
Anyways, this time I gave my frank opinion that this is a sedlyfe shair.
I think my writing are the only way, ever, through which I might hope to get some understanding from the world.
Though I still don't see why this matters to me.
Oh, the existential crises. So I saw a couple of white hair on my head and I think this signifies that the end of my life is very, very near. I think I should keep this in mind, from now onwards.
I have learned to live without love, empathy, understanding, money, people, and most importanly, grasp of linear algebra. 
I guess I'll have to learn without a mane of beautiful hair, too.
Life is cruel indeed.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Of unrequited love, and the sister-zone, and on becoming a ten-minute-being

Today I received the perfectly non-shocking news that my GPA might make me eligible for cooking rice but it definitely does not make me eligible for grad schools, at least the ones I dream of.

Okay the cooking rice part is an embellishment of my own but the gist of the matter has been captured correctly.

On hearing this , I felt down for , like ten minutes max and then I was like, duh.

It was then that I realized my transformation into a ten minute human being was complete. Once I read a nice short story by the name, chalees minute ki auraat. or 'Woman for 40 minutes ' . I imagined I was going to be like her, but I have turned out to be radically different.

If I had a heart I could love you, if I had a voice I would sing.

I am going to quote this at a man one day. I do not know who the poor soul is going to be, but he will be capable of comprehending this.

Happiness, I have re-discovered, is a function of your innards only. At least this is the way I am. I do not need anything or anyone to be there in order to make me happy.

This hasn't turned me into the snow queen I admire in my low-class poetry. I love people, and I love things, but I do so on my own conditions and by my own conscious decision.

Conscious decision is the main ingredient here, the secret sauce as a really nice professor says in his class. He exclaimed twice or thrice today that I have changed a lot, and finally added that it is a change for the good, and that I used to be so quiet in his class during the first semester. This still makes me happy in the evening, after a soul and backbone crushing day.

After the night when I wake up, I'll see what tomorrow brings.

Once upon a time, I grew scared of loss. It was silly, and pointless, and it served no purpose. You can never be sure of something or someone sticking around(my ex-zulfain being a case in point) and really, why do you need something or someone, when life is wondurful and brimming with opportunities and new ideas and things and people are always popping in your life and when you can think and read and write beautiful poetry?

As for needing something or someone, I have very strict rules. The other day someone pointed out something that happened to my taste because of reading too much Iqbal- he thought I'm inclined towards heights. I think I've become a very independent person in the past few months in every sense of the word and a more fiercely independent thinker would be difficult to find.

Another thing in which I identify with Iqbal is the duality he mentions in his poetry, and I am tired of running dimensionality reduction algorithms on myself in order to make people understand me. I have vowed never ever to do that again , under any set of circumstances whatsoever.

Plus, the kud-dari. I hate being indebted to people, and don't like accepting favours from them.

One thing that I am good at is adaptation. I adapt slow, but I adapt like a lot. Like A LOT.

One thing that I am going to miss back home are interesting conversations. These I would die for, and I have such a dearth of them in my life. I am even willing to accept disjoint sets of folks for discussing politics, poetry, science, philosophy and then life stuff but each of these should ideally be non-empty.

If I had a heart. Sigh.

My poetry has definitely deteriorated.

Still, when all is said and done, I guess I am glad to have recovered from mid-life crisis by 26. It has made me realize that nothing can be taken for granted, and anything can disappear, but anything can appear, and in the end the self-styled importance we attach to everything is just silly and childish.

My GPA might be pathetic, but I am going to own it, and my life does not end with it.

I absolutely love Carnegie Mellon, but interestingly enough it has thrown more failures at me than successes, and shown me gently that failure is all right, and the important thing is to keep trying.

Unrequited love should, however , be a cause of concern to any poet, and I am a poet after all.
See, I love linear algebra with all my heart but it does not love me back. Painful? You bet. Am I going to falter? No.

The sister-zoning[that happened recently] is not something that I object to in the least, but it happened without warning and left me disoriented for some time. It was an interesting experience and God knows I have a dearth of people to talk politics to and I'm simply not going to let up such a person.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The thoughts of an ancient being

Life is weird. Uncertain. Full of surprises. Yet the biggest surprises of all always come from within when you pause for a moment to reflect on yourself and wonder, aisi chingari bhi ya rab apni khakastar main thi? [O wonder, did I really have that spark in my essence?]

I might be trying to understand regret minimization these days (and the geometry of l 1/2 norms!), but regret is one thing that I have completely and utterly eliminated from my personal life. It is counter-productive and it never serves any purpose. If I made mistakes, it was what I thought best at that time. If I wasted the time I should have spent on my assignment, there is no point in chastising myself for it. Life is so, so very finite and wasting time is the only silly thing one could ever do.

Wasting time has a very different definition in my dictionary, to be clear. For me it means being bored, I think. Yet, the things that bore me are very different from the set of thing that bores the general populace.

Clearly, I have lost my ability to express myself clearly along the way. Yet, try I must.

For instance, I do not count blogging as a waste of time. Writing is an extraordinarily therapeutic process for me, and maybe one of the best ways to get in touch with myself in the noise that the world constantly makes. I should really be working on my deep learning assignment, which I moderately like, but I realized that I want to do this.

On my 26th birthday, I spent an entire day quietly with myself, ditched a DL class and went for a lecture on differentially private algorithms instead, and wrote a treatise on my life for maybe like 3 hours. It soothed me a lot, but I think I would like to continue here and see if I can write without mentioning any proper nouns.

I hate wasting time on things that I do not like.

At 26, I have finally embraced my loneliness. I have always been a very withdrawn person, for as far as I can remember, but somehow in my late teen years I got the poisonous notion that maybe one should be one with the world. Incidentally, that idea was planted by the world itself.

It almost ruined my life, my personality, and my happiness.

People grow, and change, and transform, but there are some underlying things that remain the same, the deep roots that are not touched by the frost. Now I look back at my 22-year old depressed self and wonder why the heck I was such an unhappy little thing. I had awesome hair, I could understand maths and I did not have to worry about cooking my own dinner.

The hair thing really, really gets to me. Only after losing that glorious mane have I realized how very important it was to me and how I always took it for granted. Lesson of life learnt for ever : you can never, ever rely on something always being there for you.

Okay I still have nice hair but they have been prettier.

And I struggle with matrices.

The feeling of being alone is real. Very real. Not that I mind it at all these days. This is what I am, and this is what I am always going to be, on a very fundamental level. Not that I am always going to be.

That, folks, is the biggest realization to hit me in my 25th year of life for no apparent reason whatsoever. That time is finite, and life is short, and a privilege to have, not something that the universe owes you. Sure, there are problems and what-nots , but ultimately nothing matters more than your own happiness. The goal should always, always be to maximize happiness.

Now my idea of happiness is very similar to that of the original epicureans, and many people find it hard to grasp. However, trying to communicate to people with whom you have a tried and tested communication gap is again something mind-bogglingly silly and why would I ever, ever do that?

Let us get back on track.

My idea of happiness is to sleep on a floor in my own house and to read papers on linear algebra during the day and to write ghazals in the night.

Okay I just need a roof ultimately, it'll be fine if I don't own it for the time being.

But I am done with trying to make the world understand me. This longing to be understood is very silly in a human being of my age, unless it is for some equation or couplet that I write. Those need to be understood, not me.

Never me.

What Iqbal said about himself is equally applicable to me too, 'hay ajab majmoo a azdad ae Iqbal tou' [O Iqbal, you are such a compound of contradictions] but people don't understand it in my context. Heck, I am an enigma to myself, but I am utterly done with 1. Trying to reduce my dimensions in order to fit myself in my own little mind and 2. Trying to reduce my dimensions to fit myself in people's minds.

Not gonna happen, my girl.

I must confess my interest in dimensionality reduction, as applied to matrices. I might do a semester project on it. Hopefully I will, with a professor who is the first person ever in life to inspire me. I do not think I am ever going to be as good at approximation algorithms as him.

Mustafa Zaidi's couplet on being alone, 'hum anjuman main sab ki taraf daikhtay rahay, apni tarah say koi akaila nahin mila' resonates with me on a very deep level. Maybe it is lamentable, but I have decided that it is the world's loss and not mine. I am not an equation that longs to be understood. I am what I am, and never again am I going to feel out of place.

The most remarkable thing my life here has taught me is confidence, self-reliance, optimism and a don't give a damn attitude. Like seriously zero damns given. Absolutely zero. This is my life, and I get to choose who and what I care about. I have realized that caring about how people behave with you is, again very silly and I don't care one bit about it. Those who like me and those who don't are absolutely equal to me and I am going to behave with both of the same : with cool bar-e-saghiri courtesy.

The bar-e-saghir part is very important to me in a way. I was a misfit back home, and strangely enough I am a misfit here in a sense too. I accept that I am never going to fit in, be it Mashriq or Maghrib, and I don't want to. I am strictly my own person, and this is what makes me happy.

Yet I am very much a Mashriqi khatoon, and I don't want to lose that part of myself.

I don't even remember what I was trying to say.

I hate getting bored, and my tolerance for BS has dropped to absolute zero. Also, I am done with throwing tantrums like the little girl that I was, but no longer am.

In spite of all my disconnect with the world, I recognize that being completely aloof does not work for me either. There are people who interest me, and people I simply care about. I do not mind listening to someone quietly for hours on end, provided they tell me interesting stuff. Interesting stuff to talk about never includes people that we know.

With all my passion for linear algebra, I am not the cold theorem I suspect myself of being. I care about people, those I know and those I do not, but there are always limits and it is very important to be aware of them. Maybe the thing that I do differently is that everything is a conscious decision with me, or it comes back to haunt me. I like people in my life and I care a lot about them but it is simply because I choose to do so. No one ever is a saint and everyone will hurt you at some point in your life, if you give them that power. The trick is not to let it get to you personally and to not turn into the snow queen I admired at some point at the same time. My philosophy is of loving people unconditionally, but no one shares it with me, but that is totally fine. I realize it and whole heartedly accept it. I know that I always have the choice of behaving like the sweetest thing in the world that I am at times, or like the cold hearted bitch that I am at others, and it is always my own decision. Personally I'd prefer being the sweetest thing in the universe most of the times but sometimes the world succeeds in bringing out the worst in me.

And that is the thing I hate the most, because it indicates a loss of control at my end, and that is something I can't abide.

I don't like the world being able to trigger me at all. Getting immune to the emotional effect people you love have on you is very difficult, but it is very important for your mental calm.

The trouble with rousing to anger once every five years is that it is a catastrophic experience. And I loathe being triggered. I think I want to be something like Helium.

I do not want anyone to be ever able to elicit a response from me against my conscious decision. This is what I aspire to now.

The solitude, the feeling of being different from everyone else around you and the communication gap is always going to be there. I am always going to be alone actually, and that is fine with me. I think everyone is really alone and people only get over it by blending their self very intimately with the world in a manner that I can neither copy nor succeed at, for I prize my individuality dearly, as everyone should if it makes them happy. Iqbal suffered from it, and so did Mustafa Zaidi, and if I can write poetry as pretty as theirs, I'd be utterly fine.

Happiness, I have realized, is key. I am not the number of people who love me, or the number of questions I can solve, or my degree or something else. Achievements are nice, but my happiness does not depend on them in the least bit. I actually am a very simple girl and my ultimate idea of happiness is sitting under a tree writing proofs for LA and reading ghazals. People, and things, can come and go in my life just as they please, and it'd all be the same to me. I will always be kind and warm to the world, without ever making judgments about who deserves it and who does not, because if I choose to lavish it, it is entirely within my own power.

I'll write poignant and bittersweet ghazals but on my part, I am never going to be a bitter person again. Or at least I'll try my best not to. Melancholy and sweet, yes. Bitter, depressed and in despair, no.

Never again.

I just wish my hair would go back to being what it was.

I guess that is enough pseudo-philosophy for one day. I really should be working on that assignment.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A summer in Burgh

So here I am, alone and bankrupt and unhappy and a failed creature, and summer is here. Technically, half of it is gone, which I spent in browsing social media and whining inside all the time. Pittsburgh is a wonderful, wonderful city, and it feels home on so many levels and in so many ways where Pindi simply was an alien city. I proudly claim that I am a 'Pindi boy' and I own Pindi with all my heart and soul, but it fails to reciprocate in kind.

Also , I am not that unhappy since I have noticed that the end of my almost 4-year long existential crisis had begun, and it is a sweet beginning indeed. Growing up is a process of examining and re-examining all your beliefs and ideas, and nothing else. It does get tiring at times but sweeping everything under the rug and trying to conform is an innocuous looking but dangerous alternative. At least it does not work for me at all, and for future reference, I should just go ahead and shoot myself and save a ton of people a ton of trouble before trying to mindlessly replace my school of thought by one approved and stamped by the world at large.

This crisis of mine merits a separate post by itself, but that will have to wait. Things that helped me transition include QA sessions with myself , sifting through other people's advice and a close examination of my own ideas. Watching and reading up stuff on stoicism helped put a lot of things in perspective, though it is sad that something that came naturally to me should require the assistance of Youtube now. But , hey, whatever floats your boat, and when you need help you need all the help you can get.

Looking back , I cannot help but marvel at the emotional turmoil so many things and people caused me. I don't deny the importance of having, but the general populace puts way too much emphasis on it and I just can't be bothered about it. There are things and people that I want to have in my life, and there are things and people that I don't want to lose but ultimately, it's all fine and nothing matters that much. Life itself is bigger than the sum of its pieces and even though I am not the sort of jolly party-going person who might usually be associated with this type of statement,  I really can not be bothered about a lot of things I tried to bother about. It does not help me, and it does not help anyone else.

For a long time, I have been under the notion that I have made peace with myself but such tranquility on my part always leads me to discover some part of myself that clashes violently with my own perception of myself and then there is turbulence everywhere. Outwardly, I might have become confident in my skin, at peace with my social awkwardness and my reluctance to brush my hair before appearing in public but glance a bit deeper and it is a different story altogether. I don't know how many more years it is going to take before I am going to accept my habit of being the odd one out everywhere as the real me and stop trying to blend in or questioning myself for questioning everything. The fabric of my being was liberally interwoven with skepticism and duality and you can change your dressing but you can not change the person inside.

My duality and contradictions have bugged me my entire life, and I should definitely be used to them by now. I should gracefully accept that the straight forwardness is going to be there, and so is the rakh-rakhao. I will always have questions, and I will always know most of the correct answers, and I will writhe inwardly at others' blindness. I will always adore Mir and Russell both with equal fervour.  The curse of dimensionality, you know. What I fail to understand is, why do people have so much trouble wrapping their head around the fact that some other human being might have different dimensions with varied facets? It does not make for the smoothest life for me, and I hate to see others suffering due to it. I wish I could do something about it, but I cannot, and that is the plain fact. Eventually I suspect the suffering is more in my mind than anywhere else due to my altruistic habit of always feeling more for others as compared to myself but I do absolutely hate to be the cause of it, real or otherwise.

Pride might finally prove to be my undoing: I always considered myself a quick learner but my control system for life situations is way too slow. Summer is here and I am on vacation after , like, three years or so, and I have a room of my own and a place at a top notch place so I should be doing awesome research and writing fiction like anything. There does not appear to be any hurdle in my way, particularly since I diagnosed my obsession with social media as particularly detrimental to my attention span and bordering on drug addiction and put my foot down and limited my surfing to a midnight crawl. I am so done with thinking about life decisions, my lack of smarts, the futility of it all and similar tormenting questions. I should be working now, yet I am not.


A nice thing is that I have realized that deep down, I don't care beyond a particular threshold for anything or anyone. Whatever and whoever can come, and whatever and whoever can go, and it's all the same to me. I wonder at the sort of statements I used to give about the one and only love of my life, a stately place in Boston, rejecting me and the effect of it on me. I love that place but it is fine , absolutely fine. Things and folks who have arrived in my life much later cannot measure up to this place in the level of importance and my reaction to them can easily be calculated by simple interpolation.

There was this summer 5 years ago which I spent writing some of the most beautiful poetry I have ever written. That is something I wish I could recapture. Beauty is one of the few real joys of life, and writing Urdu poetry replete with references and Persian phrases is a noble aim indeed.

I guess I just need to start working and set aside my conundrums in philosophy for introspection during the serene moments of life. I have finally taken the leap from being a hardware girl to a theory person for now and I am enjoying it. Designing hardware is cool but research in systems is largely a matter of hit and trial (from my own very personal perspective) and I have always disliked memorizing the workings of systems designed by other human beings. Graphs, on the other hand, occur in nature and their mathematics is beautiful.

Maybe I do use the word beauty a bit too much.

For the future, I hope I get to work on the mathematical modeling of systems with a professor who blatantly rejected me last semester.

My social media addiction is plain stupid, and caused in part by the awesome internet coverage in amreeka. I refuse to let it control me. Sugar addiction, however, is on an entirely different level.

I am glad I rediscovered this blog, and the power of blabbering in angraizi. There is a world of difference between Urdu and Persian poetry, for example, and the themes expressed in the latter just cannot be codified in the former (Note to self : up your game, and make a serious attempt at this). Similarly, writing in Urdu and angraizi just isn't the same. Writing itself has a powerful therapeutic effect, and I don't know how those who survive without it do so. Maybe they don't have that many issues to start with in the first place.

You, my love, are not going to be abandoned again.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

زندگی ہے یا کوئی طوفان ہے

زندگی بہت عجیب شے ہے، اس میں انسان کچھ ڈھونڈنے نکلتا ہے اور کچھ اور پکڑ کر واپس آ جاتا ہے۔ نیز اس قسم کی پوسٹیں ہم ہمیشہ فائنلز سے قبل کیا کرتے ہیں۔
ایک امتحان ہمارے بیچلرز میں ہوا کرتے تھے اور پھر ایک اب ہوتے ہیں جن میں ہم چار میں سے ایک سوال حل کرنے کے بعد اندر تک خوش خوش گھر لوٹتے ہیں کہ پرچہ اچھا ہو گیا۔
یہ اعتراف کرنے میں ہمیں کچھ عار نہیں کہ پٹزبرگ اور کارنیگی میلن سے ہمارا وہ دلی تعلق ہے جو کبھی راولپنڈی اور ہمارے انڈرگریجیوئیٹ ادارے سے نہیں بن سکا۔ ہمارے مالی حالات کا بھی دیوالیہ نکل چکا ہے اور ہمارے گریڈز کا بھی مگر ہم یہاں خوش رہا کرتے ہیں بلکہ اس سے بھی بڑھ کر مطمئن۔
اپنی ذات پر تبصرے کرنے کو ہم یوں تو وقت کا ضیاع خیال کرتے ہیں مگر اتنا محسوس کیے بنا نہیں رہ سکتے کہ انسان کو خود اپنا علم نہیں ہوتا کہ وہ کب کچھ سے کچھ ہو جائے۔ خدا جانے وہ کون سے لوگ ہوتے ہیں جنھیں فطرت نے خود آگہی سے نواز رکھا ہوتا ہے۔ ہم کہ دنیا پر بھروسا نہیں کیا کرتے، خود پر تو بالکل نہیں کرتے اور اسی مارے ہم لوگوں سے وعدے کرنے سے بھی کتراتے ہیں اور تمیز سے بات کرنے سے بھی کہ مبادا اگلے غریب کا دل نہ ٹوٹ جائے جب اگلے دن ہم تہذیب کے موڈ میں نہ ہوں تو۔
امید اور توقع اور قسمت پر بھروسے کی کھونٹی پر ہم کبھی کچھ نہیں ٹانگا کرتے کہ ایک تو دنیا ہماری بھلائی کے لیے وجود میں نہیں لائی گئی اور دوئم کچھ ہم ازل سے قنوطیت پسند واقع ہوئے ہیں لیکن کبھی کبھار کچھ امیدیں خودبخود دل میں جگہ بنا لیتی ہیں۔ شاید اس میں کچھ قصور امریکہ جیسے رجائیت کے مارے ہوئے معاشرے میں رہنے کا بھی ہے کہ ہم آج کل سادھنا پوری ہونے کی آس لیے پھرتے ہیں اگرچہ ہمیں اپنی قسمت کے ٹریک ریکارڈ کا بھی اندازہ ہے۔
لوگ کہا کرتے ہیں کہ پچیس سال کی عمر کے بعد آدمی تبدیل ہونا بند کر دیتا ہے۔ ہم نے تو جس دن تھالی میں لڑھکنا بند کر کے بینگن سے انسان بننے کا سفر شروع کیا تو خدا کا بہت سارا شکر ادا کریں گے۔
ہماری ایک دوست ہمیں اخروٹ سمجھ کر خوش ہوا کرتی ہیں جس پر ہم بہت جھنجلایا کرتے تھے لیکن اب علم ہوا ہے کہ ہم پر بہت گہرا اثر بھی ہو جایا کرتا ہے معمولی باتوں کا۔ خاموشی سے، رفتہ رفتہ مگر بہت گہرا۔ سٹل واٹرز کی تشبیہ سے ہم جتنا تنگ ہوتے ہیں یہ اتنا ہمارے گلے پڑتی ہے۔
ہماری درخواست اپنے آپ سے صرف اتنی ہے کہ انسان ایک سا ہو، ایک۔ قنوطی یا رجائیت پسند، مادہ پرست یا   درویش۔  سطحیت پسند ہو یا پھر عمیق۔ فیراری کے خواب دیکھے یا پھر کسی درخت کے نیچے بیٹھ کر جوتے مرمت کرنے کے۔ مشینوں کی تعلیم پر توجہ دے یا پھر شعر کہنے پر۔ اگر ستارے پسند کرے تو پھر ہاتھ بڑھا کر ان تک پہنچنے کی کوشش کرے جس کے لیے بستر سے اٹھنا شرط اولین ہے۔
ہماری شخصیت میں چمچہ چلنے کی اتنی شدید ضرورت ہے کہ کیا بتائیں۔ ہنر تو ہمارا اپنا اوسط درجے کا ہی ہے، لہذا اقبال کا مصرعہ چرایا کرتے ہیں کہ ہے عجب مجموعہ اضداد اے اقبال تو۔
اپنی دو رنگی بلکہ رنگا رنگیوں سے ہم اس قدر بیزار ہیں کہ  خود آگہی قسم کی گفتگو کرنے والوں کو بھی بے کار  سمجھا کرتے ہیں مگر کبھی کبھی خود اپنے آپ پر اتنی شدید حیرت ہوتی ہے کہ بس۔  ہم ایسے عادی قنوطی ہوا کرتے تھے کہ رسل کی نصیحتیں بھی پی گئے مگر اب جب اپنے مستقبل پر غور کرتے ہیں تو امید کے ٹمٹاتے دیے کے سوا کچھ نہیں نظر آتا جس کے بارے میں ہمیں بخوبی علم ہے کہ امکانات کے ساتھ امیدیں وابستہ کرنا بےکار ہے لیکن غالب کے الفاظ
میں پھر اسی بے وفا پہ مرتے ہیں، پھر وہی زندگی ہماری ہے۔
شاید سوشل آکورڈنیس کے علاوہ ہم میں کچھ پہلے جیسا رہا نہیں۔ وہ البتہ دم کے ساتھ جائے گی۔ اس عمر کو پہنچنے پر بھی انسان اگر انسانوں سے بات کرنے سے قاصر ہو تو پھر وہ لاعلاج ہوتا ہے اور اسے غار ڈھونڈنا چاہیے، سو وہ اب ہم ڈھونڈ ہی رہے ہیں کہیں کسی لیب کی صورت میں۔ خدا جانے ہمیں دنیا کے کس کونے میں ملے، اور ملے نہ
دنیا سے بیزاری بھی ہماری وہی ہے کہ اگر ہم اگنور کیے جائیں تو برا مانتے ہیں اور اگر نہ کیے جائیں تو مزید مانتے ہیں اور اس کا بھی شاید کوئی حل نہیں۔
اکیلے رہنے کا شوق ہمیں ہمیشہ سے رہا ہے اور وہ اب بخوبی پورا ہو رہا ہے، یہ اس کی دین ہے جسے پروردگار دے۔ لیکن اس کے باوجود ہم لوگوں کو یاد کیا کرتے ہیں اور دہائیاں گزرنے کے بعد بھی شاید کرتے رہیں گے۔ یہاں ہمیں اپنے آپ سے اختلاف ہے کہ یاد رکھنے کی صلاحیت کو کام کی باتیں یاد رکھنے کے لیے استعمال کرنا چاہیے، بیکار لوگوں کے لیے نہیں۔ پھر ہمیں بیکار کی تعریف پر بھی اعتراض ہے کہ ہم اپنے حلقہ احباب میں لوگوں کو شامل تو کر لیا کرتے ہیں مگر نکالتے نہیں کہ یہ ہمارے مسلک میں منع ہے۔
اس گلی کے دوسری جانب کوئی رستہ نہیں
اپنے بارے میں ہماری صرف وہ پیشن گوئیاں درست ثابت ہوتی ہیں جو ہم اپنی تیسرے درجے کی شاعری میں کیا کرتے ہیں اور جو اپنے درجے کے سبب ہماری تحریر میں جگہ نہیں پا سکتیں۔
خلاصہ یہ کہ نرم ترین الفاظ میں ہم ایک ورک ان پراگریس ہیں مگر یہ بات لوگوں کو سمجھائے کون۔

Friday, October 7, 2016

ہے دوڑتا اشہب زمانہ

چیزیں بدلتی رہتی ہیں اور اس کے باوجود تبدیل نہیں ہوتیں۔ یہ اوکسیمورن یا مجموعہ اضداد تو ہے ہی اقبال اور ہماری طرح مگر اس سے بڑھ کر المیہ ہے۔کم از کم ہمیں تو یہی لگتا ہے۔ لیکن خیر، ارتقا شاید اسی کا نام ہے اور ممکن ہے کہ ایک دن کبھی ہم صحیح معنوں میں تبدیل ہو جائیں۔
تبدیل تو ہم ہو گئے ہیں اور بہت سے معاملات میں اور اس قدر کہ اب  محاورتا نہیں بلکہ حقیقتا  آئینے میں خود کو دیکھتے ہیں تو پہچاننا مشکل ہو جاتا ہے لیکن اس کی سیدھی سادی وجہ یہ ہے کہ ہم کہ تین وقت اماں کے ہاتھ کا خوب سارا کھانا کھایا کرتے تھے، اب دن میں ایک مرتبہ کچھ پکاتے کھاتے ہیں اور وہ بھی ناغے کے ساتھ۔دیگر امور زندگی کی طرح ہم کھانا پکانے میں بھی کچھ اینٹی ٹیلنٹ رکھتے ہیں یعنی پکاتے ہیں اور انتہائی بکواس۔ ایسے میں وزن میں دس کے ملٹی پل کا فرق پڑنا ایک قدرتی امر ہے۔یوں بھی خود کھانا  پکانے میں ہماری انرجی خرچ زیادہ ہو  
جاتی ہے تو کھانے کا خاص فائدہ نہیں ہوتا۔ہمیں کھانا پکانے کے لیے کسی انسان یا روبوٹ کی ضرورت ہے مگر ظاہر ہے کہ ہم ہر دو مخلوق افورڈ کرنے سے قاصر ہیں۔
ایک فرق یہ بھی پڑا ہے کہ پہلے لوگ ہمیں پانچ چھ سال کی پکی دوستی کے بعد کک آوٹ کرتے تھے تو اب امریکہ کی سبک رو زندگی میں یہ دورانیہ سمٹ کے چار ہفتے پر محیط ہو گیا ہے۔ خیر ہم بھی اس مرتبہ شاید ڈھائی گھنٹے میں ہی ریکور کر گئے، تین سال  کے مقابلے میں۔ اگر ہمارے ارتقا کا ڈیری ویٹیو زیادہ ہو تو شاید ہم اس پتھردل دنیا میں سروائیو کر پائیں جہاں لوگ دل میں زہر لیے پھرتے ہیں اور ہونٹوں پر مسکراہٹ۔ ہم کہ فراز سے بھی زیادہ سادہ دل واقع ہوئے ہیں ، ہر ہاتھ بڑھانے والے کو دوست سمجھ بیٹھتے ہیں حالانکہ یہ تلخ حقیقت اب ہم پر واضح ہوئی ہے کہ اگر ہماری کسی سے ہود بھائی سے لے کر بھٹوز تک اور غالب سے لے کر کارل مارکس تک  سیر حاصل گفتگو ہو تو اس کا مطلب ہرگز، ہرگز اور ہرگز یہ نہیں کہ اگلا ہمارا دوست ہے یا خیر خواہ ہے یا اچھا انسان ہے۔ پھر اگر کوئی آج کے دن کے لیے  دوست بن  ہی گیا ہو تو اس کا مطلب یہ ہرگز نہیں کہ وہ کل بھی دوست رہے گا۔ ابھی آخری کیس میں تو شاید فریق ثانی نے ایک ایک مہینے کا کوٹہ رکھنے کی عادت اپنائی ہوئی ہو۔ ویسے  یہ بھی ممکن ہے کہ ہم اپنے ازلی غبی پن کے باعث کک آوٹ کر دیئے گئے ہوں جسے پہچاننے والے پہچان جاتے ہیں۔
ہاں ہمارے ارتقا کا ایک اور ثبوت یہ ہے کہ سابقہ کیس کے برعکس اس مرتبہ ہم نے آفنڈنگ پارٹی کے لیے اپنے دل سے نرم تو کیا، سخت گوشے بھی ختم کر دیے ایک دو دن ایٹ رینڈم گالیاں دینے کے بعد۔ عمر بڑھنے سے ہم پر یہ راز کھلا ہے کہ روایتی دانائی کے برعکس ہم مورٹلز  کے دل اور زندگی میں جگہ بہت کم ہوتی ہے لہذا ان میں فقط ان لوگوں کو رکھنا چاہیے جو اس قابل ہوں۔ داغ کے تو نہیں اور سہی اور نہیں اور سہی میں بڑی تلخ سچائی پنہاں ہے کہ انسان انتہائی ریپلیس ایبل ہوا کرتے ہیں۔   اب ایسے میں کوئی ہارورڈ میٹیریل ہے تو ہوا کرے، ہمارے پاس جگہ نہیں ہے۔ ہارورڈ والے یوں بھی نمبر اور سفارشی خطوط دیکھ کر رکھ لیتے ہیں، انسان کا کردار تھوڑا ہی دیکھتے ہیں ٹھوک بجا کر۔ ہم ہارورڈ نہیں جا سکتے تو کیا ہوا، ہمیں تو ایک درخت کا سایہ بہت ہے۔ لیکن دنیا داری کے مارے ہوئے لوگ ایسے بے نیاز تھوڑا ہی ہو سکتے ہیں۔
دنیا کی پروا تو ہمارے پرانے جوتے بھی نہیں کرتے اور اس سپرٹ کے لیے ریاست ہائے متحدہ سے بہتر کون سی جگہ ہو سکتی ہے۔ یہاں ہم  انتہائی رنگین  مگر شکن  الود ملبوسات میں پھرا کرتے ہیں، کوئی کچھ کہہ کر تو دکھائے ہمیں۔ ہاں نوکری مانگنے کے لیے شاید ذرا تمیز سے جانا پڑے۔ اور ہاں بھئی، دنیا کی اگنور لسٹ پر ہم ہنوز ہیں لیکن اب اس بارے رونا دھونا نہیں مچاتے۔ رونا دھونا تو اب ہم کسی بارے میں بھی نہیں مچاتے کہ اماں کا گھٹنا میسر نہیں اور فون پر فقط جی جی اماں میں خوش ہوں کی تسلیاں دی جا سکتی ہیں۔  تھوڑا شوق ہو گیا ہے ہمیں دنیا سے لڑنے کا، اب خدا جانے کیا بنے نبمر ایک ہمارا اور نمبر دو، دنیا کا۔ مفت کا کھانا کھانے کی بھی ہمیں عادت پڑ گئی ہے کہ یونیورسٹی میں ہر وقت سیمینار اور کانفرنسیں چلتی رہتی ہیں۔
لیکن اس سب کے باوجود پرچے ہمارے ہنوز بےکار بلکہ انتہائی بےکار ہوتے ہیں۔ ہوا کریں۔ مائی شو ڈزنٹ کئیر۔ اور بھی غم ہیں زمانے میں پرچوں اور سابقہ دوستوں کے علاوہ نیز یہ کہ ہے دوڑتا اشہب زمانہ اس قدر تیزی سے کہ رات کو سوتے  میں کبھی آنکھ کھل جائے تو ہم حساب کتاب لگاتے ہیں اور  بے طرح ڈر جاتے ہیں۔ دن کی روشنی میں ایسے خیالات ایک طنزیہ مسکراہٹ کے ساتھ ٹالے جا سکتے ہیں لیکن رات میں بہت سے شعوری اور غیر شعوری پردے اٹھ جاتے ہیں ذہن سے۔

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

ہم جہاں پہنچے ہمارے ساتھ ویرانے گئے

شاید اس کی وجہ یہ ہو کہ ہم اپنے اندر کی ویرانی ساتھ لیے پھرتے ہیں مگر اس پر ہم فی الحال غور کرنے کو تیار نہیں۔
کس قدر عجیب بات ہے کہ براعظم بدلنا آسان ہےاور خود کو بدلنا مشکل۔ ابھی کچھ عرصہ قبل ہمیں سنجیدگی سے سارتر کی تبلیغ کی گئی یعنی کہ ایگزسٹنس پریسیڈس بینگ لیکن ہم کہ ازل کے شکست خوردہ ہیں ، اس پر ایمان لانے  کو تیار نہیں۔ سارتر کی سب سے پیاری بات تو ہمیں وہی لگتی ہے یعنی کہ جہنم سے مراد ہے، غیروں کے ساتھ ناشتہ۔ویسے سچ یہ ہے کہ ناشتا تو کیا، اب ہم لنچ ڈنر سب اکیلے ہی کرتے ہیں اور جب ایک مرتبہ ہمیں ناشتے پر کمپنی میسر ہوئی تو اس سے ہم کافی زیادہ لطف اندوز ہوئے۔  شاید انسان تھوڑا بہت تبدیل ہو ہی جاتا ہے کبھی کبھار لیکن ہمارے تو خارجی عوامل تبدیل بلکہ یکسر تبدیل ہو گئے ہیں۔
رہے ہم تو خدا جانے کس سے وہ اپنی خو نہ چھوڑیں  گے، ہم اپنی وضع کیوں بدلیں کی شرط باندھ کر اس دنیا میں آئے ہیں کہ کہیں تبدیل ہو کر نہیں دیتے۔ ہمارے اندرونی مسائل آج بھی وہی ہیں کہ جو تھے۔ ہاں اپنی عمر بلکہ معمر العمری کا لحاظ کر کے ہم نے اماں کو ستانا چھوڑ دیا ہے اور صبح شام انھیں فون پر میں خوش ہوں کی تسبیح سنایا کرتے ہیں۔ رونا دھونا کوئی ایسا ناگزیر عمل نہیں  جس کے بغیر زندگی نہ گزر سکے اور دل کی بھڑاس نکالنے کو بلاگ کیا کم ہے۔
خیر زندگی تو کس شے کے بغیر نہیں گزرتی۔ ہم تو خیر روبوٹ واقع ہوئے ہیں لیکن سمجھوتا کرنا انسان کے خمیر میں شامل ہے، چاہے رو دھو کر کرے یا خاموشی سے۔ہمیں خاموشی پسند ہے۔
بہرحال آج کی آہ و زاری کا ایجنڈا یہ تھا کہ ہمیں ابھی بھی لوگ لفٹ نہیں کراتے اور اگر کرائیں بھی تو مستقل نہیں کراتے یہاں تک کہ ہمارے پیغامات کی لمبی قطار کے جواب میں ایک آدھ لفظ موصول ہوتا ہے اور ہم خود داری کے مارے پوچھتے بھی نہیں کہ معاملہ کیا ہے۔یہاں متعلقہ بات یہ بھی ہے کہ اگر کوئی قسمت کا مارا لفٹ کرا ہی دے تو ہم ایک سو اسی کے زاویے پر مڑ کر سرپٹ بھاگ نکلتے ہیں اور یہ نصف صدی کا قصہ ہے،
دو چار برس کی بات نہیں۔ چلیے ربع صدی سہی مگر یہ ذکر ہم ابھی چھیڑنا نہیں چاہتے۔
سوال یہ ہے کہ ہماری انسانوں سے دوستی کیوں نہیں ہوتی چاہے ہم دنیا کے کسی کونے میں چلے جائیں۔
برف ہماری طرف ابھی پڑنا شروع نہیں ہوئی لیکن ہمیں اس سے فرق کیا پڑتا ہے۔ ہم تو اگست میں بھی فروزن تھے سو دسمبر میں بھی رہیں گے۔
اور پھر ہم کہتے ہیں کہ انسانی تعلقات ہماری سمجھ میں نہیں آتے۔ ایک تازہ سابقہ دوست کے الفاظ میں، ویری انٹرسٹنگ۔