Weltschmerz

Three weeks ago we had to watch Inside Out for our psychology class. Which I should say is the coolest homework ever, but researching it I came across this one video that makes the point of how compulsive happiness is the reason for increased anxiety and depression in this day and age. As kids we are happy for no reason but I think a part of growing up is realizing that all sorrow is followed by happiness, as the movie suggests but also vice versa. At least this is what I believe. I have developed this fear in the past couple of years that when I am happy, bad things happen. This have led me to constantly try and find a state of balance between the two emotions. When I realized how getting attention from strangers on twitter was making me happy but also a dopamine addict, I quit. I saw how my friends are living “perfect lives” on Facebook and I felt depressed as my life is nothing but a university grind, so I stopped checking my news feed. I already do not watch TV or read newspaper yet universe keeps giving me something to be sad about. Except now I have accepted a little bit of sadness as a part of my daily routine. The Germans word, Weltschmerz better describes this feeling of how the world is cruel and there in no escaping the sorrow. Shoot, this turned out to be more depressing than expected. Please tell me it’s just me.

To leave on a lighter note, I got a question on ask.fm asking if you get stuck on an island with three movie to watch for the rest of your life, which ones will they be? This was a hard one but after much thought I have made my picks:

The Social Network
Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Captain America The Winter Soldier
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State of fiction

How can you expect creative minds to emerge from a country with no science fiction or fantasy magazines, no comic books and Spider, the only IT magazines that once was, discontinued two years ago. It’s not that are no people interested in this genera, it’s just more people care about politics so that’s what they get. Not that anyone is bringing a revolution or anything, we just like cursing and blaming others to no end. People are just as politically illiterate today as they were a generation ago and an awakening doesn’t show any sign on the horizon. Few short story competitions like Desi Writers Longue’s Dastaan Award, started allowing South Asian writers because there was not enough quality or quantity for biannual competitions. Ever since it started in 2013, solely Indian writers have won all the prizes. Even if we look at our short story competitions at university level, the given topics are always about terrorism, social issues or any other depressing subject.

Lack of readership is not the problem. There is a reason new newspaper companies are opening even today. Only problem is that people are not interested in creative or imaginative thinking. Spider was not discontinued by Dawn Group for lack of readership but to be replaced with Aurora, an advertisement magazine that apparently has more demand and thus more profitable, coz ads. I have seen Cinepax Rawalpindi sold out days in advance for Fast and Furious 7 but on the premier of Star Wars The Force Awakens, it was a deserted little place. I don’t blame anyone. How can you develop creative thinking when even at university level you are taught from power point slides that you have to memorize by heart to gain marks in exams. My love for reading was only because we HAD to study classical English novels in school and submit a writing on a given creative writing topic every week. It was a slow romance and it inspired many but still there is a greater part of our class that turned out to be just another addition to the herd. The stories in our Matric and FSc English books too are highly inspiring but they again fall victim to our teacher’s teaching style. Rather than telling us to write something similar or what we think might have happen next, they just tell us the meanings of difficult words in Urdu and mark the lines that make up the answers to the exercise questions. Mr. Chips, a novel most people oppose has a greeting literary style to it but again we are only taught the passages about his wife and conflict with the new headmaster and other parts we just gloss over through. Because these are the questions that get repeated in every exam. It’s like academic and examination departments are in an agreement to make it easier for the students to pass English by consistently repeating the same questions, yet many fail in spite of it.

If we want to grow as a nation, we have to let creative minds grow. We need to develop creative thinking in our kids and for that we need a kids and young adult magazine for science fiction, fantasy and latest technology news. However small, there sure is an audience for that and it will grow if someone dares to stand for it. Laters 🙂

Double Standards

They expect us to follow in our assignments every schematic detail they can. Font size 11, double spacing, Times New Roman, titles bold, pages marked, margins drawn, word count and everything they can come up with, while year after year they teach from the same ppt slides, never caring to even align some text, let alone make them aesthetically appealing or other things like following a built-in theme for once and sticking with it for at least a few slides. Its like each slide is its own abstract art of different colored boxes and text/equations floating around in free space. Four years. Four years I have been in this God forsaken place and not one teacher has ever presented from a properly arranged slide. I can’t study from these without going thought emotional torment. So I align them before I start and it only takes a few minutes. Will it kill them to do it on their own? For the future of mankind I can give them my edited versions but the question is how to do it without saying, ‘your presentations suck. Here take mine instead.’ This is hopeless. Laters 🙂

Spring Collections

There must be an issue with the multiverse. Mahira Khan was not supposed to be considered a good actor by any standards of the infinite universes. Yet here she is pretending to be a super star, popping up in every pointless TVC ever. “Kapray humaray liay kia kuch kartay hain, hum inn k liay kia kartay hain?” Kill me if this isn’t lame. All she can do is make a cry face without actually crying, that she’s been doing since Humsafar. If this is good acting then Pakistani dramas are overflowing with it. Anyway taking today about these kapray that do so much for us. On my way uni I’ve been counting billboards for a couple of days (because I am cool like that) and here’s the ad situation from Saddar to Defense Gate 3.

Amazon Mall-5, GulAhmed-4, Firdous-4, Khaadi-4, Ethnic (Outfitters)-4, Nishat-4, J.-3, AlKaram-3, Stylo Shoes-3, Sana Safinaz-2, Bonanza-2, Zara’s (Ittehad) -1, Maria.B-1, Servis-1

I may have missed a few but notice a pattern here. The clothing brands have taken over the billboard game with their spring collections. Every brands wants more eyes on their ad while trying to balance the count with their competitors if not top it. I have not seen a billboard war so fierce since the Paint ad wars of 2014. Allah save Pindi. First the schools and beauty parlors, and now boutiques are opening in every corner. (No rhyme intended) If monsoon does not flood this city first, these ads will. Or may be I am over reacting.

BTW what’s with this new brand, Muzlim? More like Mulzim…get it? Sigh. God I am funny. Tears. Laters 🙂

Saturdays I tell you

Today’s Saturday was a working day and I already hate Sundays so basically weekend ruined. Only thing vaguely interesting that happened today was this. We were making assignment in class when a friend asked: humm 3:30. kya time hai tumaray pas?
Me: aah. (take out phone) 3:30 hee hai
X: nai, I mean time hai tumaray pas?
Me: gharee? Nai
X: Nai, time. Time hai tumaray pas?
Me: kia? keh jo raha hu nai hai
X: farig time. Fee ho?
Me: abi tak tou free tha
So this is why kids they tell you not to go school on a Saturday. Later 🙂

Sarcastic Irony

I never realize how sarcastic I am till I meet some friend of a friend. Normally if I met someone new I will be okay but being with your friends and a new people come along. My whole so called ‘appeal’ for lack of a better word, revolves around being sarcastic without offending anyone. By sarcasm here I mean just saying something ironically while meaning the opposite, no contempt. When people get me literally it makes them think I am a horrible human being and I cannot live with that. I can pretend that I do not care what people think of me but I do care inside. I crave approval and need to be liked by everyone. However it’s even worse when I cannot tell if the other person was being sarcastic. Was it a compliment or a mockery? Maybe I ask this because I do not think of me as a compliment worthy person. Is this what’s my opinion of me? Also what’s with the people who do not understand sarcasm under any circumstances. Is sense of sarcasm a thing which they lack? Is this a medical condition? Perhaps later. TC 🙂

Almost Summer

It’s already the 2nd week of March yet the winter shows no signs of leaving any time soon. It’s sunny by day but also chilly after it rained yesterday. This morning I decided to ditch the jersey and start the summer on my own. I have this feeling that if people stop wearing jerseys and start having ruhafza, this will be a much need confidence boost for the shy summer of 2017. I haven’t gone far from home when I realize, as much as I like summer to just start already I would also like not to die of pneumonia. So I went back and took the hoodie. My trusty hoodie of this fall. I always think of wearing something else next day but it has become part of my skin now. This is my clothes cycle. Wear them till they lose color washing or burn to ash or something else to a similar effect. Each semester I have a look that stick with me throughout and also songs, which I later start to hate for bringing back bad memories after a bad semester. When a good day gets ruined because someone played a song I used to listen in 2nd semester. Plan is to not listen to any music but my mind will find a way to keep me busy being depressed over past. Praying for a happy summer. Later 🙂