Of learning and unlearning

It’s been a long time since I wrote some prose. 2016 starts tomorrow and I find myself thinking how bygone memories start amalgamating into one big chunk. Recording memories helps to separate that chunk in your head. Moreover, writing about my memories has always made them even more special.

Hence, this blog-post comes about as I wish to jot down how different this year has been– just like all other years.

So here is what 2015 brought forth and I hope it continues to be this way:

  • Self-discovery: I learnt that doing what you’ve always wanted to do brings with it freedom like you’ve never experienced before. It enables you, strengthens you and you start forgetting to notice what others think about you. This is because you are doing what you want.
  • Family: I realized how my family is my backbone, my safety net, my audience and my lifeline. Without it, I would have been a self-centred, complaining potato.
  • Friends: It absolutely isn’t necessary to have an ever-expanding social circle, or thousands of pictures, or numerous get-togethers. Treasuring the few loyal friends that you have, who you can call/message any time of the day will always be there for you. It is equally and perhaps even more necessary to be there for them. See what you can do for them instead. And yes, true friends don’t take account of what/when/where you did something, because they know who you really are – with all your flaws.
  • Fitness: I started this year with a lot of fitness goals, and having almost failed to accomplish any, what I can say is – there is no age for you to start thinking about your fitness and health. Everyday should have time devoted for some sort of physical activity. It makes you happier and makes you feel better about yourself. It certainly releases a lot of emotions and negative energy inside you.
  • Critical thinking: In the beginning of 2014, I would never have thought that 2015 would have led me to choose the career path I have taken. However, the entire field of social sciences and liberal arts has taught me innumerable things(for the lack of a better word), and not just citations, research and creating bibliographies. I have realized how and why the human race is where it is today, and more than that – how it is important to have a thirst for knowledge inside you and to always believe that you still know nothing.
  • Religion: This is a follow-up from the above point. I used to think of my own religion and of religion itself from a very narrow point of view. Looking at how religions have evolved and the philosophical thought around their elements, has made me realize how profound my own religion is.
  • Gratitude: 2015 has indeed taught me to be grateful of what I have and even of what God has chosen to keep away from me. He always has His reasons and 2015 has given me this crucial lesson.

And with that, I’ll end with Walt Whitman’s ‘On The Beach At Night Alone’:

On the beach at night alone,

As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,

As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.

 

A vast similitude interlocks all,

All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,

All distances of place however wide,

All distances of time, all inanimate forms,

All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,

All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,

All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,

All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,

All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,

This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,

And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

 

Thoughts

Thoughts, they lead me on and on,

They lead me into passageways,

I restrict them not,

Catch them not,

For they have leeway.

 

Into the past, into the future,

Not in the present,

They refuse to dwell, where I wish to.

I want to lead my thoughts into

Passages I know.

 

Yet they put me on a leash,

And I follow,

My thoughts my master.

 

 

 

Contradictions

Give me a pen and I will draw,

The wind that blows in my face,

Cold and comforting.

Give me a pen and I will sketch,

The hard contours of your hand,

Warm and tough.

Give me a pen and I will colour,

The stars that always smile,

Down at me with a sneering face.

Give me a pen and I will shade,

That leaf that just fell,

Hurt and in bliss.

Give me a pen and I will write,

Every contradiction that smarts me

And heals my wound.

Borders

Crossing borders, we try to see,

the many contradictions – two or three,

they are not.

They are many.

for the world is full of humans,

all unique.

You try to see each one, as

an Indian, a Pakistani.

a Clever, a Meek.

But I tell you,

don’t group them,

as nations.

Borders don’t count,

any more than coins do,

to a rich human’s bank account.

any more than an ant does,

on the treading path of a wanderer.

Think beyond these crafted borders,

that divide, multiply,

add and subtract,

all of our prejudices, all of our

greedy assumptions,

about humans,

who people the world,

and are as unique,

as fingerprints that dot,

gloves, walls, pens, paper,

my hands and yours.

Revolution

fast away,

into the dark night,

drive away,

out of the world,

of fears, and tears,

trials, and errors,

never come back.

Come back,

only for the solace of a bygone world,

where you could catch love,

like the breeze catches dust,

blow it into your face.

We are done, I say,

with the same beginnings,

the same paragraphs in open newspapers,

the monotonous softness of headlines.

I want the revolutions, the activism,

of a bygone era,

where every life,

other than your own,

mattered.