The Cognitive Backyard

The Cho Cho Train

my life felt like a cho cho train tucking down a gloomy journey with so many painful stations to stop over

The train was already late. I was standing at Platform No. 4 of the Lahore Railway station since 3:30 pm. The clock just struck seven, the train was supposed to be there three hours ago. I had been planning this little visit of Hyderabad, Sindh, for over a year. It was one of the cities in Pakistan I had never been to. The last several months of my life had been like a horrible nightmare. I had spent months imagining this visit as a necessary escapade for my ailing wife. But I had never thought it would be in these circumstances. I stood there at the platform holding only the hand of my little boy, my wife was already gone from this world.  Continue with reading

The Fear of Loneliness

I am not afraid of loneliness, I am not afraid of the unknown, I am afraid of what I know

Over the past two and a half years, I have become insomniac. I can barely sleep. I have always been a nocturnal. I have spent almost my entire adult life being a night’s person and sleeping very late in the night. But I could still sleep. However, these past couple of years have seen me become sleepless. I can only sleep when my body is exhausted of staying restless, when my mind is unable to think or resist. Continue with reading

A Tale of Individualism

A colored umbrella among gray signifies individualism

In a lecture in summer this year, our fine professor, Dr. Amani Moazzam, asked us whether we believe that Pakistan is still a collectivist society. Some said yes, however, there were many who contested this idea. There were strong opinions made across the lecture room in favor of the view that we are increasingly individualistic. The professor suggested that there is a need to study the sociocultural changes in our society that we can only subjectively feel and state as of yet.

I, for one, took the suggestion to heart. And my mind simply hates it when it has to clean up the mess left behind by my heart. Continue with reading

Things I Still Want Her to Know

I Still Want Her to Know That I Want To See Her Again

Two weeks have gone by and I still cannot believe you are gone. One and a half-year ago, there were many things I wanted you to know; things I wished I had done differently and things I wished I had told you. Just a year ago, things were so very different. Just a month ago, although the doctors had been telling me otherwise, I didn’t want to believe you were going. I know you respected my eccentric nature and still loved me, but I never desired to be so alone as you have left me to be now. I didn’t want you to respect my weaknesses so much. Continue with reading

The Feminist Writer?

feminist view of domestic violence

I have written in one capacity or another ever since I was eight years old. I like to believe I am a good writer; some of my kind friends even exaggerate their appreciation for my writing to make me feel good about it. However, being honest with myself, I know where I stand. I am neither too optimistic nor too pessimistic about my writing skills. I have a realistic view of my potential. But, let me say this at the least that I am not content, I want to do better and I want to do more. 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

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

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

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