The Cognitive Backyard

Passions of a Romantic

For a man torn apart between duty and desire, life had never been easy for me. But let me just say this I have never cared much for duty and my life has always been made miserable by desire. I am a passionate man; I am a romantic; a man with more energy and wilfulness of the heart than the ability of his mind to reign in. But my pursuit of passion has always been hindered by the call of duty. Continue with reading

Pulling the Plug

Should I pull the plug and commit a murder

I have to confess I am no angel. I am a sinner, and like every sinner I have a past. But I have always taken it as a matter of great personal pride that there are some sins I have never even imagined of committing. Murder is one such sin; taking another person’s life is something I have always regarded as a godly job. No matter the impulse or the hate, I have never felt the desire to take someone’s life. However, I was never tested. Continue with reading

Smoking with Epicurus

smoking with Epicurus

As far as smoking is concerned, I “grew up” fairly late compared to my other smoker friends. When I started smoking in the year 2000 my friends were already smokers for years. One of my favourite smoking companions was my elder brother, Usman. In fact, it was from his pack of Benson & Hedges that I smoked my first cigarette. I still miss those nights when we would sit for hours on the terrace or the roof of our house smoking and immersed in endless gibberish.  Continue with reading

The Utility of Doubt

doubt

Fear is a powerful force, some say it is more powerful than love. I believe doubt to be equally more powerful. It is doubt that gives birth to fear as well. Some of us even doubt those who love us and our courage to face our fears. Doubt has led mankind to unfathomable discoveries and inventions. Doubt coupled with curiosity is the root of all human knowledge and awareness. It is in doubt that we truly discover ourselves. I believe doubt has great utility.  Continue with reading

Benefits of Returning to Grad School

there are many benefits of returning to grad school

“I should really be studying” is something I keep telling myself. But, I have observed it is quite easier said than done. At this ripe “young” age, I returned to Grad school to continue my formal education and achieve another academic milestone. However, I was sure that 16 years of formal education have made no effect on me, none whatsoever, and another 2 years degree would make no difference. Continue with reading

The Conquest of Paradise

The conquest of paradise

I have always believed I had a purpose. Ever since I was a little child I used to ask myself often “Why did God create me?”, “What if I didn’t want to be born?”, “What if I wanted a different family?” I have been so far unable to find the answer. I have hardly ever been convinced by what philosophers or clergy has to say about it. After years of search for an answer, I have managed to shut myself up on the concept that human life exists on a delicate balance between predestination and free will. Continue with reading

The Charm of Six Digits Salary

Everyone wants a six digits salary

Naeem is one of my best team mates. He is meticulous, hardworking, and an extremely dedicated professional albeit his size; so size doesn’t really matter after all I found out after I met him.

He is the kind of follower who leads his leader. Interestingly, we appeared for our current jobs on the same day and were selected for the respective post we applied for, and joined the University on the same day as well. Continue with reading

Sugar in a Plum – Part II

This is the second and final part of the interview – Sugar in a Plum. If you haven’t read the first part already, I suggest you to please read Sugar in a Plum – Part I before reading this part.

“And finally, you got married?” I asked again.

“Yes, finally, in 2014 a family came to visit us,” she replied, “An old couple who told us their son lived in America, and they will come again when their son visits. It wasn’t a big deal, a lot of families said they would visit or call again, but they never did. But this family, they visited again, and this time, their son came with them”. Continue with reading

Sugar in a Plum – Part I

The distressed brown girl in the cafe looked like sugar in a plum

The interview – Sugar in a Plum – will be published in two parts. This is the first of the two episodes.

I was looking at this woman for about last half an hour sitting in a corner of the café. It was early in the afternoon on a fine spring Saturday. Gloria Jeans’ outlet in the lush green vicinity of Model Town, Lahore, is my favorite coffee bar. The outlet has a small sitting area in the balcony for smokers, my usual place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Continue with reading

Doubt and Reflection in March 2016

prisoner of doubt and reflection

Another month is gone! This was another month of doubt and reflection.

Life not only passes by like a flash, it is full of many distractions. It is also mostly cruel these days. In a world that floats in mindless bloodletting and heartless dehumanization, it is increasingly difficult to go on and find purpose in mundane routine of your daily life. Continue with reading

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