Monday, January 19, 2009

Us and Them

We were just talking about disassociation of self when I stand in front of a class of 86 freshman students and deliver a lecture, before you hung up but promised to call me back. We meet every day, yet find reason to speak on the phone at least five times a day. Sometimes you can never run out of things to talk about. At other times, you think you’ve known someone your whole life, but feel like complete strangers in their presence. I wonder if that feeling is entirely one sided, when we sit around the familiar dining table but can barely share an awkwardly worded sentence; while I seek refuge in my burger and noodles (strange combination, agreed) you shift in your seat, rather comfortably, it seems. Have we run out of things to say, or are we content in this mutual silence? Perhaps this is just a phase; or conversely, maybe we’ve grown out each other. Maybe I’m that pair of grey trackies with the red ankle elastic I never wanted to grow out of. So I kept stretching it over my socks and ankles till the elastic wore out, and Ammi had to give them to the Salvation Army. I wonder if there’s anything to salvage here, if there’s any point sticking around. Although, I don’t necessarily feel involved.

The rain always makes me sing and your name always rhymes with rain songs. Your casual mention of things important always seems to trivialize my purpose. However, your simple enthusiasm over the weather makes me soar. There’s you and then there’s you. If I had to choose, I’d choose you over you. You, on the other hand seem to spiral. There’s so much about you I know, and then so much more I have yet to figure out. You seem to get the better of my imagination, when I try. These taunts remind me of school when we were lured into bartering our stationary for a packet of chips. Needless to say, at lunchtime I was left with half an eraser and no chips. Sometimes you are so lost on me, I wonder if we will ever find common ground. Or perhaps we could continue driving along in your fast car, to the beat of the day, in search of orange chocolates. They always seems to fix things in the end.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

For Z.

Wax encrusted fingers
Already hoarse voices
Still find the strength to speak.
Not so coy anymore,
We walk in circles
Only to be seen by you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Political Economy of National Security

So, yesterday while making my presentation for Pak Studies class, I was reading about how the military and excessive defence budget bolstered the role of the army in the state's political affairs, leading to a political economy of national security. Whatever the role of the military was/is in Pakistan, primarily national defence and security from internal and external threats, I was thinking along very different lines, parallel-y (if that's a word). Thinking about the household, which is always my basic unit of analysing most social/political phenomena I come across, I thought about the national security of the house. How parents provide a sense of safety, oneness, unity, integrity (parallel to the rhetoric used by the army in its various military interventions, so to speak). Although these parallels are doing nothing to serve the purpose of this piece of writing, I couldn't help but be grateful that you have been together for 26 years and counting. Nothing can be said of peace of mind and heart, and the security of a child knowing he/she will be awoken by the same familiar and chirpy morning voice, or be patted on the back awkwardly on a first day of work. While my new year motto is things are going to change, and for the better, these are some of those things which should never change. There is no better.