Category Archives: Existentialism

Pep Talk from fruits

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Its funny how sometimes we personify inanimate objects. Giving them human expressions and making them more life like. I happened to make the ‘scary’ faced fruit and from there it just spiraled on. Inspired by youtube’s famous ‘Kid President’, here’s a little video for the downcast – to, hopefully, bring a smile to your face.

For those of you who do not speak Urdu, “akela” is a pun. We call banana in Urdu “kela” whereas “akela” means “alone”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o – ‘A Pep Talk from Kid President’

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Insignificant Life

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By Asiya Shoaib Ismail

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Humankind are the most selfish of all living creatures, not possessing the capability to live beyond themselves. This is defined by the way they sit and nurse grievances or mourn those who have passed away. This nature of man is the one thing that goes against him in most cases. The ability to remember some of the most hurtful or embarrassing incidents of the past life sometimes lead onto feelings of hate or regret which are detrimental to the growth of humans. The power to let go is what truly lacks in us, and therefore the concept of ‘forgiving and forgetting’ is unachievable because we cannot forget; not unless we all get amnesia and forget ourselves and those around us.

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Another side to this idea is that from the day we gain consciousness, most of us develop certain ideals of what we think is right and who we think is right. On this basis, we go ahead and form affiliations with people and start picking on those we don’t agree with. So somebody becomes ‘stupid’, somebody a ‘heretic’, somebody a ‘saint’ and somebody a thing so hateful that you wish it was dead. By doing so we either put a select few on a pedestal higher than us, while the rest become mere creatures; filthy creatures to be ridiculed, maligned and proven to be lesser than us. And humans as a social group thoroughly enjoy maligning and offending each other. The ‘us & them’ as they call it.

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What I fail to understand though is, why humans love to stoop to a level that rarely befits them being the only animal with a brain large enough to think straight and think practically. The breath and energy people waste on refuting arguments and shutting each other up can truly be used to much greater use such as researching or through polite debates rather than random slander. Furthermore, I don’t understand why humans love to believe that they are the most amazing and awesome thing in this universe. Though they claim that there is a being superior to them, a god or a higher deity, they usually tend to use this being when it suits them otherwise choosing to completely flaunt the authority they claim it possesses. They use god to prove how the world has been made for them and them alone and that everything on earth exists for the benefit of the human. Though it is true that the human is the only highly developed animal, one cannot deny the entire history and heritage behind them, the great number of species and the environmental conditions that helped the mammals develop into who they are today.

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When one looks at the entire cosmos and the wondrous activities that happen within it, and then sees the puny size of planet earth and the even punier humans, it appears rather shameful, the narcissistic and arrogant behaviour of these bacteria-like humans who think that they own the world, when in fact there is a much larger world outside of them and their silly grieving selves. Man proves to be, dumb and at the same time, the smartest animal to roam the earth.

The writer is self-studying the Korean language and Hangul script at the  moment and possesses a keen interest in learning as much about the Korean culture as is possible.

At world’s end

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At world’s end (Azal Zahir)Image

At world’s end,
How far back can we really bend?
Clinging to reality, a foot to escape,
Hanging above a world of dreams,
Mouth agape.

Below, we can put together our thoughts that fleet,
Create a world void of sin,
A world of fantasy, a haven we may call our lair,
With streams, hills, bowers and flowers,
Budding in their beds.

Yet to climb back up is where many path and errands meet,
Where the light brightens and dims,
Our hearts find love and despair,
More love and then repair,
Where many known and wise footsteps,
Have still tread.

So in wonder,
Steady gone under.
Is it the light ways that are so frightening?
Or that the rock could be struck by lightning?
How long can we remain afloat?
To let go or not?
How much longer can we remain so taut?

 

Nagging Conscience

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Nagging Conscience An interesting thought crept in to my mind this morning while I was getting ready for college. I was busy putting on my clothes when I realized that the single biggest engine of motivation in society is guilt. Think about it, we are all born in to a world full of people who expect things from us. We have responsibilities, duties, cares and troubles, things we must do, not for ourselves, but things which are thrust on us by others. We are scared of what will happen if we fall below the bar other people set for us, the bar we think we should aim for to please them. This simplifies a lot of things I’ve been thinking about lately. Why I’ve begun to hate everyone and everything around me. It all seems fake, like it was made to look shiny. The reality couldn’t be more different, dirtier.

 At the end of the day, it’s all shit. Doesn’t really mean anything. The reality we create around us is just to battle with our inferiority complexes. We try for our lives to have meaning, but fail miserably. We look for higher powers, for answers because we want to belong, to feel like it all means something, even though it doesn’t. We live on just one of a million possible planets in infinite space, yet for some reason, we’re arrogant enough to think that we’re actually special. That somebody out there actually has a plan for us. I find the thought amusing. I find it funny, how on the scale of things, we are more insignificant than the smallest dot the human eye can see, yet our quest for something bigger compels us to be irrational and think that our thoughts, our lives really matter. For us, the concept of infinity is unimaginable, and for us, time and its length only matters till we’re alive, but we cannot even begin to appreciate what eternity really means. When I was six, and I used to think of heaven, my biggest fear of dying used to spring up in front of me, and that was of eternal life after death. I used to fear that I would get bored even if I made it to heaven, because let’s face it, forever is a long time. There’s only so many times you can eat all the candy, play all the games and have sex with all of your virgins because eventually, since it is never ending, the possibilities would end. I preferred oblivion to this situation. Fifteen years later, I actually applaud my six year old self for having this thought. People get smarter as they grow up, I, on the other hand, feel that I was smarter as a six year old.

Nothing really happens. Nothing ever happens. And that for me is a source of constant depression. On the face of it, the college we go to is always full of life. Things are always happening. From parties, to sports events, to competitions of debates and dramas. But I hate being there for these. They make me feel even more alienated from the others. I don’t understand how everyone has so much fun in their lives. I find it nauseating. I know I need change. I wasn’t always like this. But I don’t understand what really needs to be done. Not coming to school doesn’t help either. I get behind on work and feel even more miserable. I try watching a movie but am too distracted to focus. I start looking for my copy of Lord of the Rings, my favourite book in the world, and the answer to all my problems. As a child, when I first read it, my life was going through a rough patch and I wasn’t really happy. But then I started reading LOTR in got so lost in it that I forgot about everything else. I wanted this feeling of oblivion again as I went through my bookshelf, my eyes peeled for the familiar worn, green spine. I found it at the bottom, right on the edge, inviting me to get lost within its pages. I retrieved from the shelf and lied on my bed and started reading. When I was done reading six chapters, I looked at the time and saw that six hours had passed since I started reading it. The feelings of depression, the loss of hope were gone. I then had an epiphany. There was no point in looking for meaning within life because it was a fruitless task. If one is critical about happiness and where to find it, then he/she won’t be able to find it. The only way to be truly happy is to enjoy the little things, like eating your favorite dessert, or listening to your favorite song. There’s no point questioning your existence with such negativity, because at the end of the day, you’re stuck with the lot that’s been handed to you. My purpose in life, from then on, has been to explore and enjoy all the little things that have always fascinated me, and so far, I have been successful at enjoying myself. At the end of the day, none of the philosophical questions matter, because there is no right answer to any of them. One should think about them, but not let them get in the way of your life. That is the true meaning of happiness.