Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Because I do not hope to turn again...
I'm not the one for poetry, infact most of the time I don't even understand it. But this one just shook me. Its so incredibly simple and yet so meaningful.
by T S Eliot
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
posted by Niqabi at 1:39 PM
Friday, May 05, 2006
A day to remember...
I'm so thoroughly careless, so mind boggingly disorganised, so terribly incautious. Its incredible the amount of times I have suffered on account of my healthy habits. It would have been slightly acceptable, had it only effected me but now it's begining to slice the peace of those around me.
People tell me, left, right and center, every day of the week, every month of the year how frustrating it can be and how difficult it is to live with someone like me because I can't get anything straight. I have a memory disorder, or maybe its 'part of the deal' of being a careless bug. I always tend to forget the most important of things. And I not only forget them, I forget them at a time when there's no solution available for as far as the eyes can see. I deliberatly crash myself into situations where I'm utterly and completly stuck with no way out. Before, I thought I did it-either unconsciously or consciously- because of my thirst for daily life challenges. But lately I've started to realise that it has more to do with being innately mad than with anything constructive. I don't even enjoy these much-critisized careless escapades because most of the time, they just bring another dose of embarrasment and humiliation. I take it all with a smile. Vowing like a lion not to let that happen to me ever again in life. Thinking up strategies to allure myself into following a decently punctual schedual. I give myself small rewards, set up goals and try to motivate myself in all ways possible and yet I slip, time and again, into the person that I don't want to be. Its not that serious but its troublesome. It can make one detest oneself and yeah that is not a good feeling.
I'll relate this account as a shining example of the gift of carelessness that I posses.
I'm about to appear for my A level exams in like...two days. Yes, that is serious. Yes, I'm blogging here because this incident has left me in ruins, speaking in terms of nerves. Now before we enter an exam, we're supposed to be holding a certain 'statement of entry'. It is literally a ticket for the exam and if you don't have it, no matter what excuse you give, according to The Policy, you're barred from giving the exam. Our school issued them some time early last week, to be precise, that was last Monday. I, being a lazy duck, didn't bother to get it then. I wasn't actually delaying it (or atleast thats what I kept telling myself) rather just didn't go earliar because I knew that a whole chunk of hours would be chopped off the day I decide to pick it. We were expecting to have a sociology class some time before the exam so I had planned that I'll pick the statement whichever day I attent my class. On early notice, it was Wednesday but due to a 'family emergency' our teacher couldn't make it, so the class was postponed till Friday. I was slightly worried about the delay because if something had gone wrong with the official junk on Wednesday, which was very likely, I would have had the time to rectify it. Friday was like the end of the cliff. But as usual, taking my risks and living life as merrily as I can, I didn't bother much about it. Finally, Friday landed (today) and I went to school to attend a sociology lesson. After the class, I went over to the Administrator and politely requested for the statement. I knew, I was the last one to pick it, with exams just two days and had very little chance of receiving sympathy. But nevertheless, I tried. I sounded so meek and pleading, I would have given alms to myself! The Administrator wasn't as heated as I had expected but very calmly she planted a bomb on my head by declaring that my fee hadn't been paid. Now, anyone with the vaguest idea about the pace of monetary transactions in Pakistan would know that its no piece of cake. I knew there was no way on earth I could pay the fee today so I suggested if I could get the entry then and promised her to pay the fees by Monday. She remained adamant on her point; you can't get the statement unless you clear the bill. I felt like screaming down at her for being so selfish and materialistic. I mean its just a few thousand rupees, after all. Thats my own lame justification, in all fairness I am the one who needs to blamed. In the midst of this tense discussion she rattled something about The School Rules. But what good are rules if they can't be broken or moulded! To make things worse, I had no idea where the fee bill was. I wasn't even aware of ever receiving one, let alone finding it. I racked my mind, destroyed my peace and broke into a sweat. Now I know by experience (I've had the misfortune of losing my fee bill before as well) that to get another one issued is a task in itself that takes 2-3 business days. I couldn't possibly get another one issued, pay the fees and still have time to get the statement, without crossing the Monday deadline. Not to forget that I had this major obstacle of a day in this; the Merry day, i.e Sunday. And Sundays mean a halt on all official activities. Bad news for me. The administrator, in an attempt to be helpful offered me the school telephone to make a call home. I knew there was no use calling home because my parents are out of country, both my brothers were at school then and they're very irresponsible in any case, so no chance of being pulled ashore by the family. All through that time my mind was spinning like a motor, churning out one useless idea after the other. I ventured out of the office, dejected and sad. For the first time in my life I truly felt the tremors of being careless. But the lesson was learnt at the expense of something so horribly important. I just couldn't grasp the fact that my carelessness would come to harm me in such a poisonous manner!
Before one can get the statement of entry, one has to have signatures of a couple of teachers, including the Librarian on something called 'clearance slip'. I went over to the library, thinking matters couldn't go worse and asked her to sign the slip. She made a few random clicks on the computer, searching for my name from the database and ta-da, my name appears with a very innocent line ....'Ladies Coupe`-not returned'. She checked the date it was issued and it was...yes, October 2005. Ahem and the fine was somehere around Rs.500. She politely informed me that she can't sign the slip unless I pay the fine along with the book. The last time I saw the book was in winters and I didn't even know if it was in one piece because I shifted my room in early March and I never bothered to put the 'literature junk' in any place safe. I was sure there were many missing pages, that is if it wasn't already lost. So I begged her and related my tragedy. She seemed to be used to this type of drama and exaggeration so obviously she wasn't very helpful. I told her I'll pay double the fine if she'll just sign that darn slip because without it I won't be able to sit my exam! She looked at me intently for a while, trying to decide whether to trust me or not, gladly I was wearing the niqab. It helps sometimes :P Then finally she said OK and I thanked her profusely. Fortunetly I spotted my cousin reading some book in the corner. I went over to her and narrated the plight as nonchalantly as I could and asked her if I could get a cell (my own cell was out of credit). She didn't have one so she looked here and there, gave out a few hmmphs and ermms and finally got out of her chair to ask a friend. I was so happy finding a cell, her apparent hesitation didn't even bother me. I ran off to the toilets (we're not allowed to have cells in the school) and made a quick call to my sister, hoping she'd be awake by 10 am. Luckily she was and when I told her about the fee fiasco she sounded very helpful. I asked her to get someone from my dad's office to pay the fees. Giving those few directions abated my tension and I was glad that atleast someone was trying to do something about the problem. I went over to the bench and waited agonizingly to get the updates from my sister. In the meanwhile I thought, I'd search my school bag thoroughly before accusing someone and lo and behold! What do I find...a crumpled up envelope with my name written on it in the most ineligible of writings. Anxiously, I pulled out an even shrivelled 4-folded fee bill. Although I felt like giving myself a few spanks for totally crossing the line in being a forgetful jerk, I refrained in the interests of peace. Nevertheless, it was relieving to hold that extraordinary piece of paper that had the capability of turning my life upside down in a matter of few hours. When my sister called next, the office guy was on his way to the school to collect the fee bill and deposit the money in the bank. Its another story how he lost his way to school and how I was constantly giving him instructions on the phone. Suffice to say that my fees was succesfully deposited before 12:30 pm. When I received the confirmation stamp, I glided over to the office and gave the Administrator the treat of her eyes; a cleared bill. She signed it fashionably and gave me an earful for causing everyone so much trouble. But her reprimand seemed so gentle after what i had gone through. I bade her farewell and went home a changed person :)
posted by Niqabi at 11:11 AM
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Interests: World War II, Jews, Hebrew, ancient sites, Muslim rule in Spain, revolutions, Vatican city and Islamic literature.
Books: The black album, Portofino, Ladies coupe, In beautiful disguises, The buddhist of Suburbia, The hidden life of Otto Frank.
Contact: niqabified [at] gmail [dot] com
Quote: "We plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners"