Diary Without Pages

Trivia I find Ignored


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Wake-up Call – Literally!

I don’t wake up everyday, I am waked up everyday. One person or the other is awake at 7 in the morning, and waking me up is one pro-bono that’s everybody’s favorite – It’s their way of getting even with me, poor people can’t handle a little sarcasm from time to time. So on any other day, the first thing I see when I wake up, is a demon’s face (there are plenty to go around), often with a sneer, holding a small bucket filled with water over my comfy, oh so comfy bed. I feel the comfort only when its just about to be snatched away. That’s part of why I am so psyched for the night to come. I try to feel the comfort – but its not there! Now why is that?

Yesterday, I woke up at 6. That’s my routine (this wake up is self-induced) – wake up at 6, sit up straight wondering why the girl in my dream had shoes in different colors, and why my iphone’s keypad sounds are higher than the ringtone. At 6:15, head on pillow. 6:20, half dead. 7:05 hell rising (The demons’ time to shine).

So yesterday, I woke up, 6. For a moment there, I thought it was like every other day. The monotony of it almost had me cursing – when it hit me, the demons had moved out for the day, and I was all alone. Celebrations were in order; or not.

I didn’t know if it was a dream come true or a nightmare. On one hand, I finally had had a break from the routine, my lifelong wish. On the other hand, I love my college; a day off? Not on my to-do list.

In the end, I settled with an alarm. The decision making took away 5 minutes of sleep. Teeth clenching at the misfortune, I fumbled with the device, shut my eyes with force – if that’s even possible.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in the pocket, finding their cell phone or remembering the pocket with the change in it – but I bet that everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in 1.7 seconds, eyes closed – first time, every time.

7:21The alarm went off. Hands moved instinctively. In that vague state of mind I marveled at the precision with which my hands moved. The last thought in my mind, before the eyes closed – I’d be the 21st century Robin hood one day…

9:30, eyes slowly opening…random images, flashbacks, feeling of sweat on the soles of my feet from a nightmare I had, thankfully forgotten. And then – realization!

The way I remember it, I flew out of the sheets, my feet landed not so gracefully on the carpet, tangled with myself, feeling stupid,

Fall Flat.

Yeah, something like that.

Thanking God, for the animal instincts, I pushed myself up. Sat up straight – or tried to. Its common, after incidents like these, regaining posture takes a while. When I was conscious enough to know if it was night or day, my eyes swept across the room, and rested on the time piece.

I gave up effort, thoughts of arriving late did cross my mind, but didn’t last long. I wanted to go to college, that much is settled. Just not that badly.

Savoring the thought of demons in despair at my leave, a smile crossed my face. A little content, and a little disheveled, I closed my eyes – again. This time, they didn’t open until the sound of screams and shouts and squeals and shrieks.

The anger in store for me. I closed them again – this time, like a pigeon in front of a cat.

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Once a Fool

– At the request of a friend –

I went to the market, I went in a store, I come out of the store, I bought a ton of stuff. I went home. End of story.

Why do people make such a huge freakin’ deal out of a harmless visit to the market?!! OK we get it, you got your ass handed to you by a shopkeeper in a game of I-sell-you-buy. He was cheating, totally understandable. He knew more technical terms than you did and arguing with him left you speechless. So, you bought the Goddamned fried computer. Which ended up in a dumpster. All good! Happens to millions of people everyday, nothing special.

All right maybe not.

So the salesman is to be blamed.

Hell, executed is what he is to be!!  

Calm down, calm down now, all he did was sell a computer with an attitude problem.

More like a stuck up cocky brat that needs a slap on the back to obey the simplest of orders.

Is this thing really as bad as you say?

Trust me man! whatever I say – is an understatement.

But aren’t you, the tiniest tiny-est bit responsible for what happened?

I refused to be sidetracked, are you really my friend? confusing me like that. Of course its his fault, HE sold the damn thing to me.

Does your breed come without common sense? Its the job of Salesmen to outsmart the customer, and it’s the customer’s job to have a brain large enough to know when he’s being ripped off.

You’re being rude now, I mean, I mean,……Shit! its my fault I admit, but what should I do? Sit back and let the universe screw me over? 

No, you’re supposed to be smart enough to know the difference between a sale and a con, and if you’re not that person, all you’re supposed to do is just shut up and take it as it comes, cause that’s what’s gonna happen, might as well get used to it.


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Piracy Reloaded

It was a usual day, surfing the net, my only form of entertainment, (Pathetic, I know). I prepared myself for a daily chore, opened the bookmarks tab, the list of blogs I follow. And with a weary yawn, clicked on a favorite – for some reason, I feel awkward sharing the name – *sigh* complexes, complexes. So anyway, I suddenly had this urge to get a drink, after a long day, you just want to forget everything else and relax. No worries. (I looking for coke, I’m 16 you know), I didn’t wait for the webpage to load. I got up and into the kitchen to find the coke, couldn’t find it – figures my intentions weren’t pure. Going back empty handed was not an option. So I decided to fix something up, a quickie. And in like 15 minutes I had prepared enough to last an entire day. Let the cooks be jealous.

As I got back in the room, the living room, not my room. I don’t have a room. (It’s not that we don’t have the money, my parents think too much privacy is bad for health – pimples! they say). I got behind the chair, took a mouthful of macaroni and stared at the screen, in horror.

I instantly recalled a conversation I had with a wannabe IT professional friend, in the 10th grade.

“Get an anti-virus.”

“—What now?”

“It protects you from viruses.”

“Like an injection?”

“Sort of.”

“Is it important? Oh, never mind – which hospital now?”

“Are you kiddin’ me?”

“Who? Me?”

“Dude, I’m talking about a software that protects your computer from alien software.”

I opened my mouth to speak, but my expression spoke my mind, he cut in,”…and for God’s sake don’t start about spaceships now, there’s a limit to stupidity.”

“OK OK, I get it, but I’ve been running it for what, 3-4 months now, no problems yet!”

Getting all dark and sinister,

“You never know…, all those…uhm…’videos’ you watch, anyone of ’em may contain some virus.”

My face got red as I figured out what he was saying,”I do NO such thing!”

“Save the a-“, his voice trailed off as he gazed at a hottie passing by. Disgusted, I left.

Since that day, I’ve had a constantly increasing fear of internet viruses. Although I’ve had everything under control since day 1, I figured it would do no harm to get some info on these viruses this guy mentioned. ‘The blue screen of death’ is a well-known virus constantly brought up over the web. All I got was a general idea of what this is, and at length, it took root in my brain as a mystifying work of art.

As I looked at the black screen that looked so much like the feared blue screen. I thought, maybe it changed colors, I mean, how long could it possibly take for a screen to make a change colors? 4th? 5th millionth part of a second?

When a bit less aghast, I got a good look at what was actually written on the black page.

A protest. SOPA.

I suppose nobody is as behind as me on current affairs? I hope not, because I can’t find the strength nor the willingness in myself to ramble on about the atrocities of this monstrosity, drinking at 3pm does that to you….I found the coke, Geez!

As far as I could infer, bottom-line is, this bill stops online piracy – or wants to stop, whichever you prefer. This is generally considered a good thing, and all the arguments posed against it argue about the limitations it would put on internet freedom of speech. (It took all my effort not to copy/paste from wiki, give me credit)

Nobody is defending piracy. Its a bad thing, I know. But lets face it, when you live

My favorite band of thieves.

in a country such as mine, hardly anything is not pirated. Be it games, windows, photoshop, consoles, you name it! We’ve got it all.

I can’t say if this bill is just or not, though judging by the humongous number of applications filed against it, I can only assume it’d be nothing less than a nightmare, if passed.

But considering the number OF think-tanks we have over at the dark side, even if this thing becomes law, hackers have ways, otherworldly ways to do seemingly impossible tasks.

I can’t help but have faith in the ability of these magicians, they’ll come through, again, as always.

I know, most of you wouldn’t agree, I totally get that. At least we all agree on that, right? But please consider, when the shipping price is 3 times the actual product, who in their right minds would buy it?


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College Greens

Teachers at college are like workhorses, poor people have to take, at the very least six classes everyday; add that to the tuition they have to do and you have some very, very unhappy group of people as your professors. We, students try to help, partly because we don’t want them so overworked that they would snap at the slightest misunderstandings, and partly because, well, hoping for better grades becomes much easier when you’ve done them a favor or two.

On one such afternoon, I was checking chemistry papers for a teacher (No, they weren’t mine, and yes, I am capable). I was sitting in the quite lawn, the sun on my back felt like…well, the sun, second shift classes had started, and there wasn’t a soul in sight. It was peaceful.

Checking was easy. I didn’t have to actually check for mistakes in the tests, just add up numbers and record them on a sheet of paper. She didn’t think I was qualified enough for the real deal. (see how underestimated I am!)

So, there I was, with the papers; when I saw her (the teacher), crossing the lawn with long strides, coming towards me, I put down the pen and watched her, she carried a bundle of papers in her arms. My heart skipped a beat.

She approached the patch of green, and without a word, sat next to me on the warm grass. She lay down the pile, and sighed. Pulled back her long dark hair, and threw it over her shoulder, tired. I assumed her classes were over and she came here to relax. I resumed checking, as clearly, I was being deliberately ignored. My self-esteem didn’t allow me straight up ask her. With time, I could feel her gaze shift towards me little by little. My neck burned.

“How’s it coming along?”

“Wha-?”

“The papers, how many have you checked?”

“Oh, yeah, right.” I gulped,”I think…15, maybe 14 remaining…”

“Good!”

She fell quite again, this time, there was an awkward pause. I shifted with unease, pulling my collar like I was sweating. My eyes darting towards the pile in her hand with increasing frequency.

“Are those…are those, Um…my papers?”

She smiled,”As a matter of fact, they are! How did you guess?”

“Well…there are like hundred benches in the garden, and well, you…um…you came here, so I figured…”

“What do you think your result will be like?” this time, her voice was stern.

“Frankly?…Horrible!”

“Take a look yourself, I personally checked it.”

I could sense just the slightest bit of acting in play here. A ray of hope. I took the papers, with shaking hands. This is what I saw…

  • Mathematics – 99/100
  • Chemistry – 89/100
  • Physics – 84/85
  • English – 89/100
  • Urdu – 66/100
  • Islamiyat – 45/50

I scrambled for my calculator, shaking with sheer gratitude, typed in the numbers and...

89%

I practically ran around like a 9-year old in delight. When a little more sober, I asked her about who came out on top. She fumbled with some papers. I knew the name before she even moved her lips. It was not me.

I asked her about the runner up and this time, it was me.

I can’t complain, really, considering how bad my exams went. Didn’t feel like being a sour-puss on this happy, happy day.

I ran home. The remaining papers were left unchecked, and I think she understands the haste. Who wouldn’t?


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The Hole

A hole in the wall is present in all houses. Its part of the building plan, without it,  structural completion cannot be achieved. It is acceptable, when it has glass sheet fitted in it, and in some cases metal bars for extra protection. It can then be called, a window. You wanna know what it is called without the usual layers of protection?

A hole in the wall. 

And that is exactly what I have at my place, a hole, not a window, no sir! a good solid hole in the wall, meant for purposes that are yet not entirely clear to me. It is a proud hole, not one of those shabby ones, in the darkest possible corners of the wall, behind which is an eerie blackness, that are doors for rats to come and go as they please. This one lies at the exact center of the wall in the main living room. It stands tall.

It is not a breakage in the wall, no, it is carved into shape. A perfect rectangle with border lined with protective wood. It once must have housed something, after all holes are not merely left there in the wall by accident.

Having this hole has had its moments, like when my uncle came to visit us for the first time from Holland, thought that that must be the most transparent glass known to man. He went on and on about the importance of quality of windows and there benefits. It wasn’t until the poor guy poked his hand through the hole, while trying to make a point, that he finally understood why everybody except the most patient had left the room in a fit of laughter.

In the dead of winter, it is covered (reluctantly) with a piece of cloth to shelter from the cold. Yesterday it was taken off. According to my father, summer seems to have set in.

I recall it’s presence since before I could even run. All my life, I have wondered and wondered why would anyone want to have this thing in the middle of the wall, it’s not like we don’t have money to renovate, but nothing ever changes about that hole. We got a new bookshelf installed in by a carpenter on the opposite wall. A new computer table, a whole set of new chairs made. But the hole? Not in this lifetime I’m sure. 

I asked my parents, and my grandparents before they died, and my sister and brother, even my younger brother (yeah, I’m that curious!), but nothing.

Not. A. Thing.

My questions were simply ignored. There isn’t even attempted deflection. Just silence. Not a word on the topic is spoken, even when the cold wind coming through the hole freezes the shit out of us.

In the end I decided it must be one of those secrets they share with you when you turn 18. Seriously, enough shit given.


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Wedding Shopper

Shopping was never one of my strong-suits. Neither do I like the damn process one bit! Where I come from, everyone knows how to bargain. Every single man in the district knows how to bargain. Hell! the first thing taught to a boy visiting the market for the first time is that the shopkeeper is the enemy, fight the enemy, until he gives in to your demands. But for the better or the worse, I don’t know how to do that.

I hate it. If I have to get a piece of clothing, I just tell someone else that when they go to the market, grab the ugliest looking jacket you can get your hands on, it’ll work for me. The pricey ones need deep pockets. Besides I take a liking to whatever I wear for more than two days, so it doesn’t really matter either way. I know I’ll grow into them eventually.

So when my brother told he was getting married within a week, my first reaction to the supposedly happy news was anyone’s guess. In a nutshell, I wasn’t glad in the least. After attending many weddings of cousins, I had a vague idea that there was one job of the siblings of the groom.

Shop!

My expression throughout the first few days was a forced smile. And all the while I was thinking,”I have to get out of this, I HAVE to find a way.” Everybody knows of my fear of the market. So it was delayed to the last possible moment without question. All I did was keep thinking,”Someway, there must be someway out of this.”

Then it hit me.

I had forgotten completely,  my papers were still on! I had an exam on Saturday.

The perfect excuse!

My expected first visit for the wedding shopping was at that night. Unexpectedly for everyone, I was more than happy packing my stuff.

“Why is he packing in the first place? It’s not like he’s going on vacation.”

“Shut up! Don’t interrupt, finally! my boy has grown a pair.”

“It doesn’t matter how he chooses to go, he’s going! Wow!”

Humming to myself, I packed a bag, with all my paper related stuff and the other, usual necessities. I slung it over my shoulder, and with a smug smile, announced that I was going to stay at my aunt’s place through the wedding. I had come up with an excuse nobody could reject, the answer was right there, in front of me. It was a stroke of genius. Well, not nearly as dramatic, but you get the picture.

They knew what was going on, yet they couldn’t do anything about it. They were outclassed. With knowing smiles, I was ushered out, or thrown out, whichever seems appropriate, the latter. “Well played.” I thought to myself,”Well played indeed.” When I was leaving, in the background, I heard girls squealing.

“Yeah, this is their domain, let the masters show us how its done.”

In the 24 hours that were available to me for studying, I spent 3 or 4 doing that. The rest? Admiring my own genius! Now, the wedding is out of the way, and I am back, exams finished.

I will sleep now, compensate all those lost hours, you know. Like there’s no tomorrow.

 


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Spectacled

Have you ever found yourself in need of a pair of glasses? A friendly advice from a colleague with a hint of sarcasm? Or a sincere request from a family member who finds your queries about the faulty computer screen, more than just annoying?

I find myself faced with a problem, that is, to be sure, nothing of the sort.

Its funny how the train of thought moves. I was watching my sister wash her new dress, which she hadn’t even worn once. Apparently, a stray cat had found it quite appropriate to take a quick nap in the pile of fabric, and the cat must have a lavish meal beforehand; the  enormous pile of shit suggested just that! Why she left them out on the terrace in the first place? I cannot fathom. So anyway, watching her clean, I started thinking of clean clothes which led to clean people to feet (No, I don’t have a foot fetish) to washing feet – washing hands – washing face – eating – eating a lot – obese people – problems with obesity – people I know that are unnaturally fat – people I know who are unbelievably thin – decent people – what makes them decent looking – and in the end it all came down to

Glasses!

I recalled all the people I knew who I regarded as dignified, and everyone, well, not everyone, but most of them wore glasses. I figured glasses must have a

These are the ones I imagined myself with!

positive effect on how you look. I imagined myself with a pair and voila! I saw the elite version of myself. My face features reminded me of…well, nobody, I couldn’t think of someone with this much grandeur (lol! Just kidding). I toyed with the idea for quite a while to buy myself a pair, with a numberless lens, but at length, I decided I was being too narcissistic.

I amused myself, afterwards, as I lay in bed, with the imagination of the people I knew with glasses, and those who wore glasses were stripped of the privilege. The females (most of them) attained a secretary look, and the men, the good-looking ones, started looking more and more like Harry Potter. The remaining? Nerds!