Saturday, June 23, 2007

That lovable hate list

I try not to judge people. But I can't help it if I discover their online presence before I actually get to meet them. And then I look at each and every thing they've written on their profile whether its Orkut, Facebook, a blog or whatever...I never really read it, but look at it like a picture. It really matters to me how people express themselves in written language. It tells a lot about them. How they use capital letters, punctuation, how much are they willing to disclose about themselves, what kind of people have they added to their profiles, how they use words to describe emotions, what kind of testimonials or public messages/scraps do they have, whether they say "haha" or "LOL", how good is their grammar, etc. I don't know if others notice this stuff...I'm a freak.

But I believe written language reveals the real you. I'm not sure if this is because of my own internal representations or what, but I believe I can feel people through their words. I form impressions of how they want to be perceived, what they want the world to know and what they have to show for themselves. I can almost feel their deepest fears and vulnerabilities in ways that can not be articulated. I can smell the early morning air right now and hear those birds who always seem to wake up on time. And yet here I am writing this without the slightest idea of what day/time/date it is. "It is overwhelming, to cautiously reveal your own revolting vulnerabilities and watch them being collected gently, even adoringly, into another part of you that some- one can find beautiful."

Hate is a strong word. I don't think I can hate anyone. Not permanently, at least. People are people. People are not their behaviors. Behaviors and people are different things. But the relation of people with their behaviors can never be denied. We end up associating feelings with people rather than their behaviors, we're not robots, its quite natural. So, there are behaviors that I hate, especially concerned with written expression...which implies that I "hate people" who:

  • Use capital letters inappropriately, without realizing how THIS MEANS YOU'RE SCREAMING!
  • Write romantic stuff to describe themselves.
  • In case of social networking, add up random people asking for their friendship. I mean how sad are you guys?
  • Use "nicks" to reveal their deepest secrets and still refuse to actually discuss them. I mean, is there a camera rolling on you or what? WTF!?
  • Use their passport or "modeling" photos as their display pics.
  • Say stuff like "You Rocks!" or "You suxxx"
  • Say "Hi too!" in reply to Hi! regularly.
  • Use photos with some silly Allama Iqbal like side-poses.
  • Write "cute na?" as a caption.
  • Start every sentence with the word "well".
  • Use "133t" speak.
  • Wear shades indoors and upload a complete photo session in the given circumstances.
  • Upload their shirtless photos and think they're attracting chicks. Think again, you're gay as in GAY and not as in happy.
  • Have ANYTHING to do with Star Plus or any Desi Soap for that matter.
  • Have "text pictures" on their profiles.

As the moderator of my school and college communities on Orkut and Facebook, I experience this shit everyday. I'm not saying this is how it should be or this is how the world should work. Its more a matter of opinion. I say all of the above mentioned people deserve to be exiled from civilized society. Such people shall be ignored and/or avoided by everyone who is or aims to be popular in college and have a life one day. I'm actually a bit surprised how the tone of this post has changed all of a sudden. Guess I'll go running, time to sleep.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

For the Literary & Public Speaking Society magazine...2nd draft :p

Bus kerdo Bus!

This article is rated PG 13 and “Disgusting” by the critics.

Reader discretion is advised.

For some reason, our beloved college is located in Korangi Creek which is not the most easily accessible area of the city. This makes getting to CBM something of a challenge every morning. And there are days when I miss the Point and/or get ditched and get no ride with friends either. That’s when I come to college in S2. Now what exactly is S2? Sounds like some new luxury car doesn’t it? No sir, it’s a public bus!

I ended up with just 2 classes in a week when I registered for summer ’05. Therefore, it wasn’t practical paying for the point. So for the first time ever in my life, I decided to travel in a public bus…in S2! A few “macho”, “seen it all”, “been there, done that” kind of guys made fun of me when they found out that I had never traveled in a bus before. Despite the fact that I thought their “standards of masculinity” were quite low, I took it up as a challenge. The experience wasn’t so bad at first, apart from the stinky people and some very desperate-to-have-a-seat stinky people. S2 usually takes about 45 minutes to reach Korangi Crossing from my place and is relatively less crowded than other buses. So life wasn’t so bad after all…until the day “it” started happening, a streak of events that changed my life forever! Umm…well, sort of!

First, there was this piece of metal hanging from one of the worn out seats and it ripped a good part of my jeans off. I bunked my class that day. Then I started noticing how some strange people at the back always invited young boys eagerly to sit with them and I don’t feel like elaborating on that right now. But the best was yet to come. During one of my journeys, I was peacefully reminiscing about how I hit some big guy for a six out of the park when the person sitting ahead of me decided to spit through the window. We’ve all witnessed how the “Sultans of Swing” Waqar and Wasim have troubled batsmen over the years but this one really topped it all. I saw the saliva fly through his window only to come back through mine and hit me in the face. My world went blank. I remember trying to re-program my senses, trying to tell myself that it’s just a nightmare. I probably tried to pinch myself too. But it felt so real. Just recalling the feeling…the whole “texture” of it…sends shivers down my spine. Oh well, life goes on I guess. But on the positive side, it was quite literally the most amazing “piece” of reverse swing ever!

On yet another occasion, I realized that the person sitting with me was hunting for treasure in his nose but it never dawned upon him that his biggest gem had already landed on my forearm. I wanted to punch his brains out but then remembered from whatever little amount of experience I had, that there are certain rules when it comes to fighting in a bus. No matter how personal your issue is, the involvement of all the passengers in it is inevitable, so you have to get them on your side first. To achieve this, you need to beat the person in a rhetoric battle. Basically, you have to tear the other person apart with your rhetoric such that the audience understands and agrees with you. The louder and wittier you are, the better your chances of winning. Whoever wins the rhetoric battle joins hands with the rest of the public and beats the crap out of the loser. And honestly, I suck at confrontations and since the best come-back I usually come up with is “jo kehta hai woi hota hai”, I decided it wasn’t worth the risk and effort. But of course you can skip this step in certain cases. For example, you can absolutely smack people when you feel like their hands are crawling anywhere on your body (unless you like that, of course). The culprits would most likely respond by suddenly jumping out of the fast moving bus. Sure they’d end up on the road but don’t worry, somehow they always survive.

Conductors aren’t the nicest of people either. They usually argue with passengers for no real reasons and no matter how hard you try to protect your shoes, they will step on them sooner or later. They will ask you to move ahead and make space even when it’s not an option. They tell men to occupy the female passenger seats and hog the left over space by holding on to one of those life saving rusty poles. An interesting fact about conductors is that they are hard to spot sometimes because almost everybody traveling in S2 looks like a conductor. I remember how I just assumed this random person coming towards me was the conductor when actually he was not. He gave me the strangest of looks when I tried to pay him the fare. Also, there are people who carry bags or other objects and make sure they hit you with them from time to time until you offer to carry their load for them. It’s not always so bad though. I’ve seen a few good things too. Like, people respect the elderly. They leave their seats for them. And…and umm…oh yea! Err no I guess that’s it.

So the whole experience has made me The Alpha Male now, therefore, I can own any of you out there, any day of the week. Anyways, I guess summer ‘05 was probably a period of extreme bad luck since I still travel in S2 sometimes when I get ditched and such things don’t happen anymore. Through this magazine, I would like to make a request though: On your way to college, if you ever find me on Korangi Crossing, please consider what I’ve been through, stop your car and give me a lift. Thank you very much. You are magar mach.