Those Lost Pearls

As she stands there and listens to those petty excuses, the repeated apologies and meaningless promises, she knows for certain you’re nothing but a liar. Yet she stands there out of pity, offering you one last chance to redeem yourself and maybe just grow up.
You are nothing but a boy, with the body of a man. Physically strong and empowering, towering over her with that domineering look and self-confident smirk playing across your face. On the inside however, you are neither strong nor arrogant, rather a helpless little kid, unsure of yourself and oh so lost.

What you hide underneath that tough stature and steel facade no longer fools her for she has dissected your mind and found there nothing but a child. The thoughts of a small teenaged boy, immature and afraid. You try to impress her; you want nothing more than to fit in, to be the man who is looked up to. You crave power and you want to be understood. You try to hide it, but you cannot fool her. She sees the frightened little boy behind those eyes, the terror lurching in them. The disappointment and hurt. The horror of being rejected.  Yet you attract her, like a magnet draws itself to another, but she knows that attraction can be overcome, for what’s the point of an empty shell if it no longer has a pearl?

She watches you as you draw other girls towards yourself with your classy style and mesmerizing looks. Then you play with them, for the child within you comes alive. You treat them like dolls in your play house, only to be trashed and passed on once you’ve had your fill; for you know big boys don’t stick to one toy-they move on and get better toys-newer, shinier more attractive toys.
She knows your game so well. And she refuses to be a part of it. She won’t be your toy for she still looks for that lost pearl which left behind its shell so long ago…

Girls always tend to look up to boys older than them. Generally the immature mind-set and oddness of those younger ones never seem to appeal to them. This largely has to do with the maturity level and quicker psychological growth of girls over boys.

They say a girl matures much faster than a boy her age. In fact according to a study, girls are around three to five years ahead in their intellectual abilities and maturity as compared to boys the same age. Of course this cannot be taken as a general rule and may differ depending on each individual. However what’s agreed upon is the lower level of maturity in boys earlier on in their youth. This tends to even out later on once past the ages of twenty-three to twenty-five and does not affect their intelligence or intellectual abilities over time.

Taking this in stride, women mostly marry men older than them, but this never seems to pose a problem or form a barrier of any kind. In contrast, marriages in which women are elder of the two, often don’t last.

And so she stands there, completely silent yet observant as ever, watching you slowly drift away. She wishes she could reach out and protect you, stop you from falling over the edge but as she watches, you move further and further away and she knows with a certainty that she cannot save you anymore. One day she will find that lost pearl. That precious, artfully concealed gem, which is somewhere out there, just beyond her reach…


Does the name really matter?

A couple of weeks ago I met a girl who is studying at Oxford University. She also happens to be the same age as I am. What really struck me about her right away was her ability to get along so well with everyone in the room. Being a rather quiet person myself, I admire this trait in people; to be able to adapt so well to any situation. I appreciated her confidence, and friendliness. However that friendly manner didn’t last for long, especially when I became the microbe under her set of lens.

Right from the onset of our conversation I could see her evaluating me, carefully watching my every move. Since girls tend to do this when they first meet one another, I didn’t take much notice of it and carried on talking, trying to keep up the flow of conversation.

All was good until the subject drifted to that of our respective universities. I knew she was studying at Oxford and for lack of anything else to talk about, asked how she got in. It was a simple question, put out of curiosity and admiration of her achievements. The last thing I wanted was to make her feel confronted. However, that’s exactly how she took it. Her entire behaviour towards me suddenly changed, as though she were challenging me to somehow prove otherwise- I decided to overlook it-not long after though, realising I wasn’t studying in Harvard, Cambridge or even Oxford for that matter, she seemed to undermine me. Her way of conversing with me changed as though she thought I was incapable of following her through. Or that my intellectual capabilities didn’t quite match up to hers. Throughout the evening I could feel her eyes on me every time I said something or added anything to the group conversation we were having.  Calculating every response I gave, judging me, slowly matching me up against a list she had laid out in her head.

Though very pleasant and formal on the exterior, I could tell her behaviour towards me had changed and that she no longer liked me. I began to analyse myself, wondering whether I had said something to upset her. But after backtracking through the entire evenings events, it finally hit me. Somewhere along the line of our conversation she had decided that I fell way beyond her standards, and my ability to portray myself didn’t add up to hers. This was solely because I happen to be studying at a good university, instead of studying at the very best one with the crème de la crème; way up top where she is.

Realising this disappointed and annoyed me. These day’s people seem to judge your intellectual abilities and mind-set based on the organisation you studied at, be it at college or university level. We also seem to mentally rate a person based on the job they have or the particular company they work for and the level of their responsibilities within that company. People seem to favour you based on this very fact. The ‘name’ matters, whether you match up to the set standards of the place or not. For example a person studying at Cambridge may be a rubbish speaker and completely inept at dealing with people where as a person studying at Imperial may be extremely eloquent and able to portray themselves with excellence when put in any situation. However many people seem to overlook this and will favour the Cambridge student, assuming them better and smarter than the student from Imperial.

a person studying at Cambridge may be a rubbish speaker and completely inept at dealing with people where as a person studying at Imperial may be able to portray themselves with excellence when put in any situation.

a person studying at Cambridge may be a rubbish speaker and completely inept at dealing with people where as a person studying at Imperial may be able to portray themselves with excellence when put in any situation.

When I first started college, I went through many such incidents where I was undermined and thought less of, simply because I went to a less popular college. The person in question would come up and ask me where I had gotten admission. After hearing my answering, I would be looked upon with a mixture of disdain and pity, followed by the question, “Didn’t you study hard enough in school?” This troubled me immensely. I always felt the need to justify myself; explaining why I wasn’t going to the best college in town, since it was over an hour away from my house and extremely inconvenient and I had a just as good college down the road. But no, the aunties didn’t get this. They always loved hammering home the fact that their daughter got into that “best college”, trying to imply the fact that I wasn’t good enough for it despite my having better grades than their daughters.

However, the irony of the situation three years later is this; all my friends and class mates who ended up at the said “best college” in town, once there, no longer felt the need to study any more since they were already as high up as they could be. This ultimately led them to early engagements and now most of them are: a) already married, straight out of college without a university degree or b) engaged, no longer interested in studying but sucking it up at the same college trying to get through some useless degree just to please their parents.

I on the other hand, despite being at an average college for two years had to work hard which has ultimately benefited me in the long run.

I’m sure many of you can relate to this situation, if not something similar. The institution you study at should not define who you are. This is not a big enough or valid enough reason to demean someone or make them feel somehow inferior. Stereotypes such as these will only cause a person to develop an unnecessary complex which cannot be justified.

In the long run employers may not even ask for the name of your university. What matters to them foremost is the way in which you come across to them as a person, your ability to converse well and handle a situation as well as the level of your degree. A person having a first class honours from Brunel University may be preferred over a third class degree holder from Oxford.

Another important point people fail to consider, is the rank of the department or school within the university. For example the math department at Imperial is just as good, if not better, than the math department at Oxford and is often preferred by students as it saves travel time, hence proving to be an advantage in the long run.

What matters most is studying something which you have a knack for, and are happy at doing. These three or four years will pass by in a whiz and years later down the line, all we will have left is memories.

No Longer Human

Robotic like movements are carried out in succession by tired, worn out limbs. Eyes so full of sadness seem to be drowning in their sorrow. The brown depths of their centre, brimming with tears unshed. Yet after one long look my way he seems to give up and continue his task, not looking up again until he knows for certain that I have glanced away. A construction worker, his young faced etched with grim lines, his hands hardened by the heat and toughness of his work. He carries on, day in and day out, unaware, detached and completely silent.

His silence makes me want to reach out to him, to learn his story, to share my own. But we remain caged in. Our individual walls, carefully constructed and resilient as ever, hold us back. Away from the world outside we proceed, in our solitude.

Often at times, we come across people whose eyes seem to tell a story. Their faces engraved with pain, stories from their past seem to be haunting them, yet they try to hide behind a shallow, cheerful mask with which they fool the masses day after day. If you try to search their eyes, you will see there, the hurt and sorrow which they try to otherwise, keep hidden.

Word's are meaningless, unable to explain the sorrow which these young eyes hold..

Word’s are meaningless, unable to explain the sorrow which these young eyes hold..

The human-such a lowly, insecure being. Unaware of each other’s plight we live each day, content within that little bubble of ours, so carefully constructed around us. Lost within the hollow hybrid of our own being we seem to crave the solitude of our own selves. Slowly, shutting out all that pains us. We seem so satisfied to gradually wither away, not feeling an ounce of suffering.  Not caring, not grieving, not giving. Alone, aloof and oblivious. Not letting other’s reach too far inside for fear of what they might find.

Yet we kid no one but ourselves. Deep down those demons and emotions, carefully concealed over time, are raging a battle. Wanting to let themselves loose and drown you in despair they eat away at you day after day. Your resilience slowly seems to be slipping away. With time, you no longer see the point of trying, and give in to fight. You give up-you lose!

Soon depression sets in. Bring on all the therapist of the world; no one is able to cure you, for only you hold the cure. The tincture for happiness lies within you, within us all.

Photo credits: Moaz Ali, Location:Pakistan

Photo credits: Moaz Ali, Location:Pakistan

Our lives lack the carefree happiness, and simple joy which people once had. Those little pleasures around which people’s lives once revolved, no longer mean much. We no longer care for minute little details, little emotion and gestures don’t touch us. We scoff at them, often finding them meaningless and useless. The reason: we aren’t satisfied. Our want for more and better has led us to a state of dissatisfaction, discontentment and frustration. Depression is becoming more common in younger people and it is no longer strange when we hear that our friends, as young as us have been in therapy. Isn’t this something we should question, rather than accept? Why are we so ready to give in to the fight? What happened to the human within us, the part which felt other’s pain and wanted to lend a helping hand? We no longer see the pain other’s might be going through. We choose to overlook, to remain unaware and remote.

Pathetic, unfeeling, insecure and afraid-A fickle, insignificant nobody in an evil, corrupt world is who we have become…

Be your own boss!

As I ran across the crowded shopping mall, heavy laptop in hand with my bag swung over one shoulder, I couldn’t help but laugh at the stupidity of my situation. I was running “errand boy duty” yet again!-My point here is not to demean any person who makes a living out of running errands, neither do I intend to look down on such people. Rather it is just a jab at the sheer inconvenience one person’s forgetfulness can cause.

Earlier that day my boss came to give us a pep talk and deliver some flash drives. While working with us, he forgot his laptop on my desk. Being so completely absorbed in my work, I had absolutely no idea and didn’t even turn around to check when he left, until my phone rang an hour later and he asked whether I would be kind enough to meet him halfway and bring his laptop to the station as he’d forgotten it on my desk, and was running late. Since I didn’t have much of a choice and was just about to take a break anyway, I decided to do my good deed for the day. But as I rushed through the throngs of tourists and shoppers, I was certain of how comical I must have looked, for almost every person I passed gave me an odd stare followed by an amused smile. Yes the laptop was heavy, one of those old Toshiba models, and it weighed a lot more than I was comfortable carrying.

This is hilarious,yet very true!

This is hilarious,yet very true!

This little event from that day, added another strike to the list I have laid out in my head, which slowly seems to be getting larger as my employment period comes to an end.
No matter how large the organisation you work for may be, you will be made to run errands at least once. This is mandatory. The said errand, will also be at a most inconvenient time, making you frustrated at people and their ridiculousness.

I understand now why people choose to set up their own businesses. Despite how decent and good your boss maybe, or however great the work place, the perks of working for yourself and making your own rules certainly out way those of working for someone else. At least in my book.
Apart from this, over time, you gradually become tired of following orders. Orders, which are sometimes completely out of your line of work. For example, an engineer may be forced to do a secretary’s job and admin work at the same time, for lack of staff and funds to pay for more employees. Saying that, some people don’t seem to mind, and actually find it more comfortable to follow a set of instructions provided by another-in simpler terms they like being told what to do.
I suppose it has more to do with each person’s personality. Certain people find it hard to make a decision. They like being told when and what to do, and work best once given a set of instructions which they follow through to the utmost precision. Others find it harder to follow instructions and must have things done their own way according to their own preferences. They crave responsibility and must be at the forefront of all decision-making.

Though there are advantages about working for someone else, and running your own business is extremely tough at times, it does pays off in the long run. Initially the long hours and amount of work it takes to set up can often seem like a huge draw back or a bad move, but once the business is up and running, good times do follow.

How many of us can relate to this!

How many of us can relate to this!

Looking at it from a general perspective, recession and figures aside; in an ideal world, a large proportion of us would rather be our own bosses. Human’s tend to like being in charge. It is a part of our nature, to crave power and leadership. But the world isn’t perfect and the lack of appropriate funding, and resources have us all chained up within the frustrating world of jobs and their silliness. At least for now…


7.30 a.m:
The only distinguishable sound around me is the thud of hundreds of footsteps, entirely out of sync.Each sound is lost amongst the echo of their collective patter,resounding off the walls of the tunnel. Muffled voices are carried through the dingy passageway, illuminated with fluorescent lighting overhead.

A sea of faces with un-seeing eyes pass over me-Seeing, yet unaware of their surroundings-Registering the thousands of faces around them,devoid of all emotion,they seem transfixed and lost within the circumference of their own captivating little world consisting of hundreds of thoughts.

Every face I pass is different,yet collectively they all look the same; with that detached  vacant glare and eyes which pierce mine. A solemn glance across my face,registering my presence,reading there nothing.

The aloofness which surrounds me is chilling but at the same time welcoming;providing me the opportunity to think. Every stranger who walks past holds within their hearts an untold story, going their separate ways, with a destination only they can see.

We stand so close yet our thoughts are worlds apart. The lack of space causes everyone to merge together,all caged in,clinging to the over hanging bars and long tube handles as landscapes around us change and the world outside moves past in a whirl of green and black. Yet inside, time seems to be at a stand still.The train feels devoid of all emotion as I stand there,amidst the scuttle of feet,the brush of arms and legs against one another and the pressured wind passing by.We move across the tunnel as one.

The train comes to a stop;the doors open. The announcer’s voice seems muffled by the rush of feet all scurrying out as the doors bang shut and the train whips past.Somewhere along that long passageway between platforms stands a solitary cheerful being. He seems at peace, happily playing his guitar while singing to passerby’s as he tries to brighten the atmosphere. He goes on playing unaware; with his hat laid out before him on the floor he tries his best to earn a living.In the early morning rush,his efforts seems wasted, as people scurry along; the hum of voices never diminishing.

Day after day I travel,observing yet completely silent. Returning the odd smile here and there and meeting those vacant gentle glances,often wondering what might be going on behind that facade of steel held up so well,only to hide the emotions and demons which rage within.

As I journey on, from platform to platform passing a myriad of machine like beings following the same set path along the underground trains I cant help but wonder.
Are human beings slowly becoming more robotic, shielding themselves against everything, becoming better and better at holding up that steel armor and shutting out the world.

We are all just strangers, brushing past one another on that long journey which lies ahead…

Moments past and words unspoken..

They say it’s a part of human nature, to always wonder about what could have been. To obsess over moments long past, and to never be satisfied with what is.
Each and every one of us craves that which we can’t have.

We tend to go over and re-construct past encounters in ways which satisfy and please us,often at times opposite to how the incident unfolded in the first place. That little voice inside our heads never ceases to quieten. Its relentless questions, and continuous re-playing of conversations forces us back into times which we no longer remember as they once were, often a result of all those emotions welling up inside us which tend to overcome the original memory. All rational thoughts are pushed aside as we sink deeper and deeper into the past, going through each recollection and wishing how things could have somehow been different.
Along with the memories comes the guilt and self-blame. We blame ourselves for not having enough for-sight about the matter, about not handling the situation well enough. Or maybe even being a bit too harsh. Add to that a never-ending terrain of questions and that’s when the doubt settles in.
With doubt comes dissatisfaction.How many of us have often spent sleepless nights obsessing over a moment long gone yet wondering how it would have been, had it somehow worked out differently.At the same time knowing with certainty that things always happen for the best.
Making peace with the past is often the hardest, yet best methods to gain contentment. It is a battle which is tough,nevertheless necessary, and once won can help bring about that inner peace each and every one of us lacks, yet craves so desperately…