8 December 2016

do you ever think about death


I've been obsessing over the idea of "fear of death" lately. Growing up in a Muslim family where we're taught that death is just another form of future (in Muslim belief, this current life is just a short period of trial and the actual life starts after we die) I kind of stopped feeling anything about death. It is something that's supposed to happen one day, sometimes in horrible ways and sometimes in honorable ways. And in the frenzy of knowing more about how people think of death or other's dying , I started collecting death quotes. I came across Janne Teller's words, “From the moment we are born, we begin to die.” And it hard because HOLY SHIT we're simply running out of time but the only difference is that we don't know our clock. And The Book Thief made me see death as a sensible, hardworking, sad employee and I highlighted a good amount of death's words in my book. One line I can't forget, “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”

And then there's a quote from Matty Healy, the insane artist, the boy with uncontrollable hair and graceless walk: '"My biggest fear is death. The end of the Matty show.”

Maybe this is why many people politely refuse to imagine about death, what a pity to think about the ending of the great show. And this is the reason why many people make art, to linger around even when they can't anymore, to leave something behind to be a little close to staying alive when they're not.

And below is an example of what went in my mind a few days ago when I was talking to Matty Healy in my imagination. He's known for a suicide he hasn't committed. After Halsey's song Colors, we're afraid he might take his life to get a place in the 27 Club. Though he has said countless times that he isn't going to kill himself but you can't trust Matty. 

I had a feeling that he wouldn't want to discuss death because he's afraid of it so our topic was dead people. Dead people of Areeba's life.


Me: Dear Matty, what a great time in my head. Thank you for coming, let's start.

Matty Healy: Hi.

Me: That's a nice question. I think about death a great deal. not that I am suicidal or anything. Death only makes me feel guilty that one day I am going to die and embarrass myself in front of angels and God Himself. You know, they ask questions about religion and prayers and I haven't done very well in all of it. I'm not even making better progress. My only hope is my mother praying for me when I'm gone. Else I am going to be in a great trouble for the rest of the eternity. My grave will be flowerless. The hell before hell.

MH: It's weird you think about it, I don't casually give death much of a thought unless it's for a song or when someone gives me a death threat. 

Me: WHY WOULD SOMEONE GIVE YOU A DEATH THREAT? 

MH: Because I'm exactly the kind of person people give death threats to

Me: WHAT ARE THEIR CHARGES? YOU ROTTING THE YOUTH? PREACHING ABOUT WEED? PRETENDING TO BE THE MESSIAH?

Me: ...................................

Me: You're way too controversial. It'd have been a shame if you hadn't gotten them in the first place.

MH: This is why it doesn't bother me anymore, I'm quite deserving. Worked very well for it. 

Me: Yeah.

MH: No more talk about your future death.
MH: Maybe some stories about dead people would work.
MH: No suicides. 

Me; I don't know much about real dead people, honestly. My grandmother died in a hospital hundreds of miles away from me, I was probably asleep at that time. Her death was the most real to me, my first time to lose an actual family member. But I didn't go to her funeral. I don't go to funerals. Not that they're depressing or anything. I just kind of go senseless there, I can't cry and it makes me feel guilty (death brings me guilt!?!?) I kind of force myself to cry if I ever end up going there and it makes me even more guilty that I can't bring one single tear to my eyes, not even forcefully, for a freshly dead human. So I try my best to avoid all of the funerals. But if you want to know more about fictional or popular dead people, I won't be a disappointment.

MH: Nice, just don't go mental. okay?

Me: Alright. Starting from Addams family. They give me hope to be a happy family, but first we all need to be dead (maybe this is the only way??!??) And my friends tell me that I'm Wednesday Addams, with shorter hair. I sometimes feel like that too. I fee like the way too religious version Wednesday Addams, born in the wrong era, in the wrong house and way more alive.

Then comes Benazir Bhutto, have you heard of her? She was the first ever female prime minister of Pakistan. Her murder changed my whole life. If it wasn't for her murder, I'd be a successful political science student, doing rebellious things in college, being arrested by women police for creating a chaos, proudly ruining my youth for politics, getting punched in the nose and bringing revolution . But she died 9 years ago by a bullet and ruined my career. Now I'm a purposeless teen hanging in a dark void with no aim to achieve in life.

ME: It's crazy, how did a dead woman ruin so much for you so easily? 

Me: The thing is, I was a politics-obsessed 10 years old that time. I thought I knew politics . I'd watch dozens of political talk shows and NEVER miss 9pm's news bulletin. I had memorized the names of all of our ministers and politicians of that time and kept track of what each political party was doing. I thought I knew where the politics of our country was going. A huge misunderstanding, obviously.

 So when Benazir Bhutto came back to Pakistan after years of exile, people went crazy. I knew she was going to flip the political game & win the elections and become our prime minister again. Her debates were fire. She was winning the game. She was supposed to be the winner but she was killed instead. A bullet killed her when she was meeting her supporters after another successful address in Karachi. She simply died. And that day, my grandfather told me that politics is just a dirty business, you can't know what's going to happen because it's not your game. And then my life shattered into pieces, I was so bitter that day. I was an honest kid and politics was too dirty, too hard, I couldn't play anymore. So I eliminated my intentions to be a part of any political shit from that moment in my life.  I haven't paid much attention to politics since then. A dead woman broke my heart and my life ambition, ta da!

MH: Anything else?
 
Me: DON'T MAKE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT MYSELF. I ONCE HAD A DREAM WHERE YOU INSULTED ME.

MH: It wasn't me but I'm still deeply sorry to you. I was actually asking for more stories.

Me: As if I don't know you, you live in my head for a reason. Anyway, here's another one. It's about Umar Jahangir. He's a character from an emotionally disturbing yet my most favorite novel (Amarbail) He dies in the very last chapter. I've never gotten over him.

MH: What's so special about this dead man?

Me: He's not your archetype hero or a villain. He's a hybrid of both. At one point you'd want to punch him in the face and in the next moment you'd want to rescue his broken nose and take care of him. He's a fool. Umar Jahangir is a fool. And he does everything to destroy himself. It's so painful to see something so regal being destroyed by insanity. He was born in a powerful family with troubled DNA. And did everything he shouldn't have done Plus he fell in love, which was the end of him.

MH: Sounds like me, I'm just more alive than him.

Me: You don't live in a book.

MH: I'm a fake, there's news on internet. I might be from a book.

Me: We all are pretentious shits, don't worry.

MH: Back to Umar?

Me: Right, when he dies (again, a bullet) I thought it was some kind of a joke because this meant I read 800+ pages just to find him dead in the end. If I could, I would totally pull him out of the book and assure him that he's safe now. Not even that goddamn writer can hurt him (not the goddamn writer, I love her so much, I'm just mad at her sometimes) I want her to write a sequel where she reveals that Umar faked his own death.

MH: But it'll never happen.

Me: Thanks for the hope.

MH: You're obsessed with dead people, is it healthy?

Me: My obsession with alive people isn't helping me either.

MH: Right!

________________________________________

It ends here. It's a work of pure fiction because I don't know if Matty actually got any death threats (he might have, he's got reputation) Thanks for reading, it got a little long.

Do you ever think about death?

Follow

post signature

28 November 2016

city wars

Recently there was a war on my twitter timelines - an online city war! It's amazing what internet can do: it can help you earn money, get famous OR let you fight online with other people. I used to think that fighting online was like punching your keyboard really bad and saying something to instantly piss off someone appearing on your screen. But boy, it doesn't always happen this way.

 The city war, it all started because of this video of Pakistani cities roast went viral on internet, everyone on twitter started the city war, defending their own city and roasting the other one. It included top 3 cities of Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad) And as being a Karachi Kid, I knew I had to defend Karachi (IT WAS A WAR) and roast Lahore.
And even though I've recently been to Lahore and my heart was saying DON'T SAY ANYTHING TO LAHORE IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CITY, I retweeted everything that roasted Lahore. It's just that Karachi and Lahore have always been like two rivals kids, always trying to be the best one. And if I was to categorize them, Karachi is more like Pinterest: Preppy, means business and isn't flexible. Where Lahore is more like tumblr: Artsy, historical and welcoming. And Karachi's super power is sea VS Lahore's super power is its historical places (plus Lahore is sea-less)
(BECAUSE KARACHI IS THE HOT GIRL ^)

Karachi and Lahore are such bright and lively cities of Pakistan, BUT the third and most important city (which happens to be our capital) Islamabad is like the step sibling to Karachi and Lahore. It's everything opposite of these 2 cities. This city sleeps early (the city goes down after 10pm) and wakes up in the earliest morning, which is quite disturbing to me because I grew up in a city that never sleeps. 
It was so funny to go through all these tweets and realize HOW ACCURATE SOME OF THOSE TWEETS WERE. Lahore is small, just the size of one town of Karachi. Karachi NEVER gets winter. Islamabad isn't interested in anything and sleeps early. They're the flawed, beautiful, imperfect kids of Pakistan. It's so interesting to see how each city has a different personality.
Have you ever joined an online roast? BECAUSE IT IS SO FUN!
Follow

post signature

25 November 2016

the archetype art kid's dream

Last week proved to be a series of small dreams coming true and experiences I'm 200% sure I will never forget. It's not everyday that you get to live a life you've always wanted to live and experience things that once seemed impossible. Me, my twin and a friend (Dear Maliha) arranged an art meet up and then went on a city tour, to see places we didn't know actually existed in Karachi.

The morning of the meet up, I was sitting with my backpack and donut in a small dunkin donuts branch and pretended to not care about life. Though I was more like a worried little kid and indeed cared about everything in this world and casually thought about all the things that could go wrong such as WHAT IF NO ONE SHOWS UP WHAT IF I RUIN EVERYTHING WHAT IF THIS DONUT IS POISONOUS things like that. I'm not very good at handling things that go inside my head, I have the potential to turn things into tragedies real quick.


None of my thoughts turned into real tragedies. 8 girls showed up and we had the best time ever. It was more like having a birthday in November (I was born in August). And the sight of all those art supplies, happy art kids on the floor and messy sketchbooks was the most glorious thing ever. It was heaven in a donuts shop. 


Our theme was "Inner Creature". And as I'm a profession fangirl, my art journal was Matty Healy + Halsey + space and flowers based. I didn't plan this entry, I never plan my entries but I only hoped it wouldn't be a mess. 
(Though initially, my glitter glue ruined one picture of Matty and I had to use this one. I don't trust glitter glues anymore. They might break your trust and heart anytime)


After 3 hours, we said good byes. And left to see Karachi unfiltered for the first time.

This tomb is the identification of Karachi, this is where the founder of Pakistan is buried. Last time I was here was 13 years ago. Things have changed since then, I have grown into too many different versions of myself but it's the same beautiful. It was hella nostalgic. 

~being a tourist in my own city~
~the city that doesn't love me back~
~the city that broke my heart~



I'll never say no to street food, no matter how many people say it's going to kill me someday.

And we were still out after the sun went down. It was impossible to think about roaming around the city after dark but we have careem now (which is the Asian version of uber) and having journies like this isn't hard anymore. We stopped at Burns Road, the biggest food street of Karachi. It was one of those places I wanted to see before I die. And I was there, too much alive.


This food street is an uncontrollable place. It's an old world meeting with the harsh new reality. Some of the shops are about 50 years old. The food is traditional and holy. And extremely affordable. I was emotional and overwhelmed and if I wasn't afraid of being seen by thousands of people, I'd cry loudly. Seeing the city I love being so alive and bright made me so happy I was almost out of my own control. 

Their isn't just food on the streets, there are old buildings and dead animals and fresh fruits stalls on the way as well. Our friend Priyanka knew all about the place and guided us through thebig wide streets.

We started from gol gappay. You can't miss gol gappay, it'd be a shame.

Then limka. I'd do anything to get a glass again.

We went to Karachi Haleem and I got their chicken biryani because there's NOTHING that I'd prefer over biryani. It's one single food that makes me forget my problems.




We got some paan and rabri. The shops were busy and colorful. It was another world.


And we got another careem to go back to our homes. Maybe the only reason this whole journey became possible was because of careem. Mainly because I was never brave enough before to go out, especially deep in the old city, after dark. But the whole city looked so familiar, no matter old and new parts of it, so like home, so bright, I couldn't complain. No matter what happens, I'll always fall in love with Karachi again and again. 
Have you ever tried to be a tourist in your own city?
Follow

post signature

16 November 2016

zayn book x photo diary

Zayn recently launched his book called zayn. Now that he's known for being a shy moody narcissist, his book only spread more controversies about his existence. And I luckily got my copy after a few days of its release which is the biggest achievement in my fangirling life. I was never able to spend this much money on a celebrity-love of my life and even though this book ruined my financial condition, I'm so happy and completely obsessed with this book. I have never been to any of his concerts so I'm going to pretend that this book is my personal zayn concert.

This book is aesthetically pleasing and full of zayn's beautiful face. But there's one thing, I had a feeling that this book is very carefully written. Not that he didn't use a bad word because he did, but you don't get to know one BIG secret about his life. The religion section of this book consists of a few lines. It's just a collection of experiences and song notes and doodles and never seen before images. It's not surprising, he's never been good at opening about his life or what he actually thinks. So only buy this book if you're a dedicated fan or don't complain.

And I made this lil photo diary thing for the book because I told you I am completely obsessed.




 





Fangirling forever!
Follow

post signature

8 November 2016

another f word

Future, I mean. It has become an easy thing, for me at least. It's coming anyway if it hasn't already. 
I've been thinking a lot about future. And then it occurred to me, shit!, I'm living in it. It's the future, everywhere. I'm a part of it, breathing in the future. Everything has been done, all the important people have said all the important things already, the days we're living in were predicted and designed by other people who lived centuries ago. And all this shit is making me feel very comfortable because I don't have to worry about this f word anymore. Welcome to future which isn't the future anymore. Well, scientifically.
I was going through my email, refreshing it after every 2 minutes, then jumping to check my twitter and then instagram, refreshing the pages to see how many people cared about me.I was wasting my life, minute by minute, click by click and per webpage. And I asked myself, DO I WANNA DO THIS? DO I WANNA CHECK THIS GODDAMN EMAIL BOX AGAIN? DO I WANNA CHECK THIS PERSON'S FACEBOOK POST FROM 2011? No I didn't. But I kept doing it anyway because there's no sense of responsibility left in me for time or future and it was so bloody terrifying for 3 seconds. Then I moved on. And if you & I collectively think about it, it is disturbing.



It's difficult to talk about "future" these days, it carries different meanings, different version for everyone. If I ever start talking about it when I'm surrounded by a group of women from my family, they'd just tell me that they know the future, at least mine. I'm gonna get married. Thank you.  And the story ends. So according to most of the women from my family, marriage is my future and then I am gonna die. Not that I mind, it's just a version of future predicted by housewives.
And then comes my childhood version of future, I imagined seeing girls in future with purple lipstick and silver jeans and short hair, flying cars on the sky. I'm the short haired girl with purple lipstick but I don't have the flying car. Nothing goes 200% as planned. But it's okay.
And if you want me to talk about the real real real future, like the coming week or the 2017, it's gonna be here anyway. It's sad to be this careless about it but future doesn't need my opinion, to be very honest. I like the way my past played me and the way present treats me but future is a mixture of theories and expectations. Expect anything, expect nothing, make it your own goddamn choice. It's a long dark alley and we aren't even sure when it's gonna end, all we know that there's light at the end of it so we are just going. and we're gonna keep going, it's the main rule.
What do you think about future?
Follow

post signature