Alien to Myself

I woke up in this alien place and I live amongst its alien people and follow its alien rules. I do what I do not want to do, I say what I need not have said and I live the life I evaded for so long.

I ask myself: What am I doing, where am I going, what will tomorrow be like, who am I in this place? Who is this stranger I’ve become? How and when did I lose it? What’s happened?

Life happened. I slept in peace but awoke to chaos, I slept among my family but woke to bereavement, I slept to the joyful sound of true friends and awoke to the sounds of shattering glass and false laughter, I slept at home but awoke at a loss, I slept to the touch of my love but awoke to abandonment. I slept with warmth flooding my body and awoke to the fingers of cold creeping all over me.

I went out to outer space, but felt the world tighten around me; I felt trapped and bound. I went out to bustling New York: I felt lifeless. I went to Paris, the city of romance, and felt abandoned. Deserted. I saw the statue of freedom and felt imprisoned. I made a new home but its walls closed in on me. I stood under the clear blue sky; my lungs yearned for a breath of fresh air. I stood under the morning sun; all I could see was darkness.  I went to Italy, Rome; I missed the antiquity I had always loved. I read a book…and failed to grasp its meaning…

But all was fine till I shut my eyes for too long and lost sight of the lighthouse that had vowed to forever lead me back to who I am or, rather, was. The candle I lit in the dark ended up extinguished; my only haven gone. The candle that showed me hope in a hopeless world, that gave a meaning to this pointless life of mine, a meaning to everything around me, is now long gone. When everything went wrong, when the world hit me so hard from all around, my candle was the pillar that had my back – the one thing that made everything else alright.

Without a candle, I am now alien to myself.

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Hypocrisy

We humans are so fond of labels, judging others and pointing fingers. People should walk in each other’s shoes every once in a while. How can we ever condemn others when we ourselves are prone to doing their mistakes (and maybe much worse), had we had their parents, lived their lives, endured their sufferings, or grown up in the societies they’ve grown up in? I mean, can you guarantee you won’t steal if you were born to a poor family and are starving to death? Can you think of no situation where you might be driven to stab your friend in the back?

Why is there racism against some minorities at the workplace? Some people might say, “…well statistics show that ‘such and such group of people’ tend to be violent” or some other excuse. But what if THAT person going on and on about statistics were from that same group of people? Would they look at statistics?

If a bomber is right outside your house bombing the neighbourhood, you will wonder where the rest of the human race is? How can they abandon you to such cruelty? Are they not human? When you watch the news, however, and hear of many crimes committed against humanity a couple thousand miles away, you might feel bad about it but probably won’t lift a finger (except if you’re changing the channel).

Countless are the religious men that condemn the slightest of wrongdoings but sanction killings of other men to serve their own purposes and agendas. One would think that no person in his right mind would tolerate or entertain such a thought as theirs. Unfortunately, this is untrue even in our world today. Examples are abundant in history: the Crusades that drew people to fight in the name of religion and the dominating church of the Middle (or Dark) Ages. Till our present day, the killings of innocent people under the name of ‘Jihad’ or scaring soldiers into enlisting to fight miles and miles away from their homes to ‘protect their country’ by attacking innocent people is still common. These ‘pious’ men are the worst type of hypocrites, brainwashing weak minds to do their dirty work for them.

If Satan ever laughs, it must be at hypocrites; they are the greatest dupes he has; they serve him better than any others, and receive no wages

CHARLES CALEB COLTON

 

People willingly choose not to exercise their brains to seek out the very obvious reason and justice when it is much easier to fall in with the status quo. In some cases, it’s much simpler to have the world boil down to right and wrong (set by society, the church, etc.) – much simpler than trying to comprehend that there is a grey area between right and wrong  and that black for you might be white for others.

I ask myself, “Am I being a hypocrite about hypocrites? Aren’t they the product of their very own life circumstances too?”

Well, maybe but then again, don’t they have a brain just like I do? And the free will to use and abuse that brain? They most certainly do, yet I can never guarantee that I wouldn’t be a hypocrite had I been in their shoes.

I’m 23 years old and I still feel I haven’t figured things out. When I stop being a hypocrite, even if only a hypocrite about hypocrites, only then will I be at peace with myself – when I truly sympathise with a prostitute and feel compassion for a murderer.

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Patriotism?

We are in the new middle ages – Dark ages in midst of all the enlightenment. All the knowledge is at the tip of our fingers, yet we choose to repeat history once again and ignore the dazzling light, the literally blinding light, shutting our eyes to be indoctrinated by animals. Savages who feed on blood and money, who sanction what God and humanity have forbidden. Two teams. One who fights for patriotism and knows nothing of it. And another team who also claims patriotism, but is patriotic to its own ends only. But they are two divided into millions. The more they are divided, the more they are unwilling to leave their comfort zones for the achievement of the goal they both claim to be pursuing: patriotism. So screw patriotism!
Humans or animals? God blessed us with brains and set us apart from them. Yet, we choose to squander His gift on avarice and destruction. We choose to raise our hands and reach out to the heinous fiend that will demolish us and deprive us of our rights to live. They say we haven’t got rights now? We haven’t. But are we diabolical enough to sell the lives of thousands for our own ends? Or are we imbeciles to give our souls up for the ends of those diabolical people? And if we are neither, and are actually seeking justice, are we that much of idiots to affiliate with those in pursuit of ‘patriotism’? Are we the blockheads that will buy their doom with their own blood? Again?

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An Ancient City

What more splendid than the smell of jasmine in the city of jasmine…

Walking in the oldest narrow alleys inhabited in the world, the old streets that have witnessed generations after generations of people, of customs and of events that only these streets can acquaint us with. Imagine walking on the same grounds that millions of people have walked on…every stone has had its share of stories, pains, joys and secrets. That stone has drops of blood of some martyr…that stone witnessed an endless number of invaders leaving its beloved grounds, the one over there observed children playing in the streets, that other one noticed the joys of the men walking around the streets before a wedding…it noticed the hop that governed a groom’s walk; only it knew of his happiness. Some other spot must have witnessed people lined up along the street conversing at day next to the products they’re selling. Yet, some other one must have worn out from listening to Um Kalthoum and Abd el Halim or some other prominent music from some ancient time. But what’s common among all of them, is the jasmine scented in them like the blood flowing in our bodies.

The sound of the mosque or the bells of the church; people from different religions reuniting over this Holy piece of Earth. What more beautiful than the Umayyad mosque, for centuries and centuries back, it has been a place for worship. Praying in it, think of how many millions before you have prayed in this mosque…each person with his different story and purpose has been seeking this temple to pray. What more wonderful than the sight of the youngsters running in its yard reminding the ancient mosque of its childhood that is almost as old as the dawn of man.

Nothing can make my heart skip more than the sight of my beloved souks crowded with antique and ‘bharat’ shops, walking among the old simple people late into the night, listening to the sound of the ‘oud’, with the dim lights playing ancient stories in my mind. And I can never feel purer than when the music ceases as the azan starts or the bells of a church ring…never can I feel closer or truer to God.

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