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.

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