Another post about Death.

Death is the ultimate natural disaster.

Mourners, wracked by the tremors of devastation, are momentarily devoid of reason. Some numb, some inconsolabe; all having lost something valuable beyond words. Friends and family stand at the edge of a chasm where a person once was; a gaping fissure in the landscape of their lives.

We grab our loved ones by the shoulders, or we hold their faces in our hands, and look into their eyes imploringly. Are you okay? Are you okay? We scan their bodies for scratches and other signs of harm. Seeing them intact brings us relief.

What’s done is done, so why do we do this? To look for that spark, for evidence that life is still there? Or with hope, that in reflection, we see that we still exist?
Next, some are moved to action, while others suffer a delayed reaction. Food, comfort and various arrangements; all are given priority. In the meanwhile, and a bit too late, word spreads. The damage is done; not even a blip in the radar of the globe. A momentary distraction, maybe. An uttered tsking or muttered prayer.

Then. Lives are rebuilt. Routines are reconstructed to the best of our resources. Life, not even the slightest bit ruffled by Death’s insult, goes on. The crevasse gives way to undergrowth, becoming less of an eye sore and more of a precaution, a wayward reminder. The void, while obscured, is always there.

 

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Procrastination, Purgatory and the Pee-Yew

Exam season always feels like a sort of purgatory, between what we’ve been working for and what we’re hoping to achieve. The days leading up to the exams themselves turn into a listless monotony, that I’m forced to push myself through. While the overall aim is to be productive, something I wouldn’t say I’m failing at, my mind feels like sludge. I can’t help but find myself to be unthinking, almost robotic in my daily machinations.

It’s not that I haven’t allowed myself much introspection lately, but such is the curse of the med student, that when we do finally decide to get studying, it leaves little room for much else (thoughts and social engagement likewise). Rather, I have these little moments of self awareness. It’s like realisation in a dream that this is not, in fact, reality. The opposite would be more accurate, I suppose.

At 12.45 pm, lifting my third cup of tea of the day to my lips, I shuffle the pages before me and suppress another yawn. Half submerged in a blanket (I study in bed, yes, a terrible habit), I pause. Since the recent earthquakes in Afghanistan, I’ve been feeling (hallucinating, rather) the ground shaking at odd moments, a paranoia my loved ones have chalked up to anxiety, which I grudgingly agree to (it feels so real!). How can it not be strange and alarming to me that anxiety can manifest in such a way, when I’m not actually anxious (yet)?

In the evening, watching the sky change colour, I refresh my Facebook feed yet again, hopefully. It’s 17.15 pm as I listen to the azaans, some in tandem, other echoing each other. I happen to be in search of a date sheet; an as of yet unfulfilled promise by the University of the Punjab (or PU). This annual proverbial tug of war, between our queries and their vague responses, is something we’ve become used to. It makes us tense, and lull us into a false sense of security in alternations. The exams that we’re so fervently preparing for are apparently fast approaching, though without a deadline, we’re left working on estimations and guesses. Frustrated, I bat closed the window I’d left open, despite the cold. What is is about the chill that keeps you in your toes, yet turns you into a lethargic fool?

It’s 3.30 am and I’m scraping the bottom of a jar of peanut butter with pieces of biscuit that may or may not be stale, though at the speed I’m shovelling them into my mouth, this doesn’t seem to matter anyway. I love this time of night.

Despite how much I have or haven’t studied, at this hour I can close up shop; that is to say, chuck my books aside and just give up. I’m aware that doesn’t sound very motivational, but hear me out. There is solace in the fact that to stop before I reach my breaking point is a choice that is solely mine. And to start again, requires no motivation except my own.

Till then, I get to escape in sleep; that elusive mistress, adored by many yet obtained by fewer. The impertinent voice in the back of my head attempts to reel off all I have yet to do, but I swat it away as I bury myself under the covers.

Tomorrow’s a new day, after all. I’ll worry about it when it comes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I just realised I wrote  a blog post about two years ago, which is quite similar to this one! I suppose exam season feels the same every year.

Change and Other Clichés

20140619_232826 Looking in the mirror, I reapplied my lipstick, ran my hand through my hair a final time, now satisfied.

“Change is the only constant in life” -Heraclitus

While change is something that is always happening, the last two years have brought such a turn for me, which I can’t help but reflect on. I wouldn’t quite call it 180°… 120° or 130° maybe? Anyway, I’m convinced that my younger self wouldn’t be able to recognize, and would possibly despise the person I am now. I’ve managed to find myself saying, doing, wearing and various-other-verbs-ing things I never dreamed I would. Continue reading “Change and Other Clichés”

On Setbacks.

BiochemSucks

 

Good God, I thought, taking in the scene before me. A sizeable mass was covered by the floral quilt on the bed, moving only slightly. I noted sardonically the surrounding food boxes and empty junk food wrappers; tragedy stricken though she was, her appetite didn’t seem to have gone anywhere.  Amidst tissues, used and unused, lay a few textbooks. At least she hasn’t rendered herself completely useless, I was relieved to see.

Continue reading “On Setbacks.”

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

It seems we’re testing this theory out on a regular basis. We push people away, to see if (and possibly in the hope that) they’ll try to pull us back. Alternatively, the more we try to pull someone closer, the more they are distanced from us. We give, in expectation to receive a return of equal magnitude; be it time, care, attention or even hostility.

Continue reading “”

sky.

 

I will never get tired of looking at the sky.

More temperamental than any woman, its shapes and colours are ever changing. Its sets the backdrop for cataclysms, war, romance, loss and joy; draws the curtains on historical events, signifying every stories of the earth below, with its every variation. Fluctuating from siren red to zircon blue to the deepest onyx, I can but stop and stare. It is the only thing visible to us with the naked eye that truly feels limitless. I have built castles in it, in the crevices between lazier clouds. Every cloud is a beauty spot on its face. I have seen people in them, trying to put faces to names.

 

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It is one of the few things I am truly in awe of.